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Author Spotlight | Meet @CherylIlov: author, podcaster, ninja, and her latest book #memoir #ninja

She told me that I should write a book, because (according to her), I write very well and was also a good storyteller. At the time I dismissed the idea, but the seed had been planted, and it wasn’t long before it began to sprout. My sister’s idea was for me to write a book about our unique family history, which has its roots in the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe. It sounded like a great idea, until I realized that if I were going to invest the time and energy into something as daunting and time consuming as writing a book, I should start with a project which would help establish myself as an expert in my field and grow my business as a physical therapist in private practice. Thus launched the birth of my first book, “Forever Fit and Flexible: Feeling Fabulous at Fifty and Beyond.”

My second book, “The Reluctant Ninja: How A Middle-Aged Princess Became a Warrior Queen,” was already being written long before my sister told me I should write a book. It began when I started training in an ancient Japanese martial art at the tender young age of forty-seven, surprising everyone, including myself. As a self-proclaimed middle-aged princess, I was the last person anyone would ever expect to study a martial art. However, I did not go willingly into the male-dominated and testosterone-infested world of men and martial arts, and I was not in it for the long run. My plan was to take a few classes, learn a few self-defense techniques, and move on with my life. But that’s not what happened.

I fell in love with the art, I fell in love with the training, and I really fell in love with the sense of empowerment and confidence I gained through training. And I knew that the stories about my incredible journey needed to be shared to the world, especially to help empower other women find their inner strength and warrior spirit.

I do have several more books that I am working on, including a sequel to “The Reluctant Ninja,” where I share many of the philosophies, principles, life lessons and traits of the ninja, which readers can implement in their own lives to help them through life’s challenging times. And of course, there is still the book regarding my family’s history.

When I am not writing, dancing, hiking, or beating up bad guys, I love nothing more than hanging out with my handsome husband and adorable Italian Greyhounds.

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Title: The Reluctant Ninja: How A Middle-Aged Princess Became A Warrior Queen

Author: Cheryl L. Ilov

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: Willow Bay Publishing

Book Blurb:

Cheryl Ilov surprised everyone, including herself, when she began training in an ancient Japanese martial art at the tender young age of 47. As a self-proclaimed middle-aged princess, she was the last person anyone would expect to study martial arts.

Cheryl had been living a charmed life until it all came crashing down after a traumatic experience thrust her into the vortex of hell known as PTSD. As she tried to deal with the devastating effects of the trauma, she slipped deeper and deeper into the dark pit of despair.

Her salvation came when her acupuncturist finally convinced her that taking some martial arts classes would help her heal from the trauma. Little did she know that decision would take her on a journey which would change her life forever.

Cheryl takes her readers on a roller coaster ride as she skillfully weaves her remarkable story of personal transformation and triumph as she overcame her fears, discovered her inner strength, and unleashed her warrior spirit.


Wes patiently explained the technique Marc had just demonstrated. Then he told me to kick him. Just as patiently, I explained back to him, “But I don’t want to kick you. I’ve never kicked anybody in my life, and I don’t want to start now.”

He gave me a sweet but slightly patronizing smile. You could almost see a little word bubble above his head with the words, “Isn’t she cute?” “Come on, you can do it. Just kick me right here,” he said, while pointing to his lower abdomen. Twirling my ponytail, I smiled back and repeated myself. “But I don’t want to kick you. Besides, I don’t want to hurt you.”

His smile got bigger. He thought I was adorable. “Trust me, you won’t hurt me. I know how to protect myself.” He assured me, “Go ahead now, kick me.” Still not convinced, I looked below his belt and began stammering, “I just don’t want to kick you . . . um, you know . . . in the sensitive parts.” Still smiling, he replied, “Well, I don’t want that either. Go ahead, kick me. It’s okay. You won’t hurt me. Just make sure you aim above the belt.” I straightened my gi, smoothed back my hair, lifted my right leg, and drove my pointed toes deep into his abdomen with all the power of a grande jeté flying across a ballet stage. He let out a loud “oof,” staggered backward, and clutched his abdomen, gasping for air.

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Author Biography:

Cheryl Ilov has always had a passion for storytelling. Her writing career began by chronicling medical documents and progress reports for thousands of patients as a medical professional in both respiratory as well as physical therapy. Along the way, she discovered that weaving stories along with treatment modalities helped educate her patients and was a powerful tool in their recovery and ongoing progress.

She started a blog in 2011, writing about health, fitness, and life in general. Her elegant, friendly, and sometimes whimsical writing style captivated her followers, and several of her short stories have been published in The Pueblo Chieftain as well as FINALLY! Magazine, an international online publication for the over fifty population.

“The Reluctant Ninja” is Cheryl’s second book. Her first book, “Forever Fit and Flexible: Feeling Fabulous at Fifty and Beyond,” made Cheryl an award-winning author and was a #1 Best Seller on Amazon. She is currently working on her third book, which shares secrets of the ninja and life lessons she learned through her training that readers can apply to every aspect of their lives, without spending eighteen years training in a smelly dojo like she did.

Cheryl lives in Denver, Colorado. When she isn’t writing, dancing, hiking, or beating up bad guys, she loves nothing more than relaxing at home with her handsome husband and three Italian Greyhounds.

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Jun 16, 2022

Thank YOU Mrs. N., for the author spotlight as well as the interesting and thought-provoking questions! I really enjoyed it! 😊


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jun 16, 2022

Thank you, Cheryl, for the wonderful author spotlight!

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