Swedish rock band Sahara Hotnights initially came together in the early ’90s because four young girls shared a common interest: alleviating the boredom of their small town lives. Consisting of Maria Andersson on lead vocals and guitar, along with Jennie Asplund (backing vocals, guitar), Johanna Asplund (backing vocals, bass) and Josephine Forsman (drums), the group blended elements of garage rock, power pop and punk and, after only a few short years of playing together, won a Battle of the Bands that earned them the opportunity to record their own demo album. Often described as a mix of Blondie, The Ramones and Nirvana, Sahara Hotnights released their debut EP, Suits Anyone Fine, in 1997 to critical acclaim and, after signing with Speech Records, released their first full-length album, C’Mon Let’s Pretend, in 1999, for which they garnered a pair of Swedish Grammy nominations.
In the New York Times bestseller The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, the book that exposed millions to the burgeoning seduction community, author Neil Strauss devoted an entire chapter to Zan Perrion, calling him “the undisputed heavyweight of the genre” and noting that “in four years, he never once asked for advice, he only gave it.” Seduction icon David DeAngelo has called Zan “an example of a true natural,” and Mystery, of VH-1’s The Pickup Artist, has stated, “I want to be like Zan.”
Zan, though, maintains that he is not a pickup artist. Instead, he is a romance artist, one who views women as the highest form of art and has dedicated his life to the pursuit of beauty in all its forms. As the founder of the Ars Amorata philosophy — a celebration of the art of seduction and the rebirth of romance — and a co-founder of the Amorati network of men, Zan is one of the most original and insightful voices on relationships and seduction in the world today. After ten years of writing, Zan released his first book, The Alabaster Girl, in December of 2013. Within its pages, Zan recounts his life, philosophies and insights into the world of romance.
Every day, one in four students is bullied. According to an American Justice Department survey, 160,000 students miss school each day out of fear of being bullied, and one in ten teens drop out of school completely due to repeated bullying. Against the backdrop of this increasingly-important issue, author Thomas Russell’s Finding Your True North: A Bullied Teen’s Journey of Hope depicts the life of an oppressed teen who learns life-changing, soul-searching lessons from the residents of an unfamilar town.
Formerly a freelance writer and the editor of RV Trade Digest, Russell is now a mentor for Five Star Life, an organization that teaches values to middle school children. Inspired by the issues these children were encountering on a daily basis and seeking to make a difference in the lives of bullied children around the world, Russell wrote his book over the course of four months and had it published in August of 2014.
By day, food blogger and New Orleans resident Beth Moncel is a microbiologist in a hospital laboratory. But when she’s not working, she’s a talented cook who is obsessed with numbers, and at the intersection of those interests is her website, Budget Bytes, where she creates delicious meals that are both healthy and exceptionally affordable to prepare.
Moncel created Budget Bytes almost six years ago, at a point in her life when she was financially strapped and in need of good food and a fulfilling hobby. These days, over 2.5 million visitors a month come to Budget Bytes for unique, inexpensive recipes ranging from Dragon Noodles to Maple Dijon Chicken, and in 2014, Moncel published her first cookbook, Budget Bytes – Over 100 Easy Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half.
Originally hailing from the small town of Milford, Massachusetts, about 35 miles southwest of Boston, Mia Mastroianni now resides in Los Angeles, where she holds down the bar at one of the city’s most exclusive clubs, the Soho House West Hollywood. With her confident and charismatic presence, she has been crafting unique cocktails for several years. Known in the L.A. bar scene as Tall Mia, she appeared in 2012’s “Sh*t People Say to Bartenders” video, which has garnered nearly three million views on YouTube, and beginning in 2012, Mastroianni competed against other female bartenders in Speed Rack, a competition that raises money for the fight against breast cancer. She placed in the top eight in both 2012 and 2013, and in 2014, won for all of Southern California and went on to compete at Nationals.