Monday, October 28, 2013


Zombie Stomper
Now, you all know that my blog has everything to do with books, shoes and writing. But who would have thought that today, well actually last week, I would find these shoes. If you look very carefully you will see a +zombie face on the side of this shoe. The most shocking thing is...its called the "Zombie Stomper" Stiletto and it can be found at +ShoeDazzle

Yes, Shoe Dazzle has managed to find the one shoe that I would not wear. Not that it isn't cute as all get out, but I'm to damn scared of zombies. I don't want them to close to my feet.  I don't want them to be tempted to eat my toes and than I'd be fair game if I were to topple over and then they could have their way with my brains and do all matters of things to my face and their breath, my god it has to smell horrible!

Sure +Christine Verstraete is an expert in all things zombies but I am not. Her novel; Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie is all the rage this Halloween! It follows Becca as she tried to adjust to her life...well you get the book and read it for yourself.  Now back to the story.  When I happened upon this truck, I sent her the picture because I couldn't believe my eyes. First the truck, now shoes! I think something is happening and they are not letting me in on the secret.

Zombie Response Team Vehicle
See they want to lure me into believing that you can be stylish all while trying to cover your head to prevent the zombies from getting at your brain. Then they tell you to run away, which they wouldn't have to worry about that, and not to worry because zombies only move from side to side which makes it hard for them to keep up. They say move to higher ground because zombies can't climb stairs...Whatever! In the +TheWalkingDeadSeries they seem to do JUST FINE IN FINDING THE HEALTHY PEOPLE.  Ok, sorry for yelling but this is an emergency! These people, or zombies or whomever they are,  want us fashionable women to be lured into a false sense of security by purchasing these +Stilettos Stompers so that we can kill them with our shoes. ARE YOU CRAZY!

Lady Killer Fugg
First, any fashionable woman wouldn't kill zombies in our good shoes. Besides that green stuff will squirt out, yeah; I don't want that on my shoes! I barely want to walk in the rain with my nice shoes on. So instead I recommend these beauties on the right. See they are low enough so that you can keep your balance. Comfortable enough that your feet will stay warm and they even come with a flower to give the illusion that you want the zombies not fear you and then WHAM! 

You get them in the head and watch that green stuff fly, which won't matter in these beauties because these shoes are machine washable. Stomp away in these Lady Killer Fugg from +ShoeDazzle and your home will be safe from zombies. Than you can call the +ZombieResponseTeam to come and clean up the rest of that mess. 
Happy Halloween! 

Monday, October 21, 2013


I am still fascinated by Mr. Luke Murphy so I sat down and had a little chat with him.

BSW: Playing hockey is a very grueling sport; when did you know that it was time to hang up your skates?
LM: I grew up loving hockey and that never changed. But my years of “chasing the dream” took their toll. I’ve never been very big, so injuries played a big part in my decision. I had a series of injuries throughout my pro career, everything from broken bones to scratched corneas to herniated discs. I was nearing my 30th birthday so I knew that my chances of ever making it back to the NHL were slim. Plus my girlfriend wanted to start her own career and a family, so I knew it was time to settle down and get a stable job.

BSW: You did what few authors do. You actually studied how to become a better writer, why? And what did you learn from that?
LM: No matter what I did: I always want to be the best. I’ve always set high goals for myself, and expect nothing but the best from myself. I constantly read; from novels in my favorite genres to books, written by experts in the writing field. My first two purchases were “Stein on Writing”, by successful editor Sol Stein, and “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King.  My major breakthrough from Stein’s book was to “Show don’t Tell”. I wrote that phrase on a sticky note and put it on my computer monitor. The Self-Editing book helped me learn how to cut the FAT off; eliminating unnecessary details.

BSW: You sent out a lot of query’s to agents. What made you stop and pull back and rework your manuscript?
LM: I was just fed up. After months of rejections, I determined my manuscript just wasn’t good enough. I was persistent, and I knew I had it in me. I just had to stick with it. There were many people along the way, professionals in the industry, who helped me realize at the time that my novel needed work. These people wanted me to succeed, and took the time to not just send a rejection letter, but also tell me what needed to be done.

BSW: Your protagonist is a black man…you are not. Why did you decide to write a black character and not just make him a white male?
LM: I read a lot, especially in the crime-thriller genres, and I decided that there were not a lot of African-American protagonists in novels. When I first started reading adult novels, I was heavy into James Patterson. “Kiss the Girls” was the first adult crime-book I ever read, and I fell in love with the genres. I also loved Patterson’s Alex Cross character, an African-American detective who was widely popular with readers.

BSW: . Have you attended conferences and what is the best advice you can give to someone who has never been to a conference?
LM: In 2007 I attended the “Bloody Words” writing conference in Ottawa, Canada, rubbing elbows with other writers, editors, agents and publishers. I made friends (published and unpublished authors), bombarding them with questions, learning what it took to become successful. My advice, be outgoing and friendly, and never turn down an opportunity to speak with someone or let someone read your work.

BSW:  My blog is about books, shoes and writing. What book are you reading or working on right now? What shoes can’t you live without and give one piece of writing advice.
LM: I’m currently reading Bood Memory by Greg Iles. I’m currently working on my second novel, another crime-thriller, following the career of rookie, female LAPD detective Charlene Taylor. I would love to write another book. Right now, I have a full time job (teaching), a part-time tutoring job, and three small children (all girls, YIKES!!).

I don`t have much time to write, but when I get a chance, I do all I can. It could take some time, but eventually I would love to write a series of novels featuring Calvin Watters. But I will not limit my novels to Calvin Watters, as I would like to write a variety of novels, all in the crime-thriller genres.
As for fashion, I admit I don’t have much (LOL). I leave my clothes up to my wife and I wear what she tells me to wear. As for shoes, since I enjoy working out, I would say my running shoes I couldn't live without. I know, pretty boring.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Have you ever received flowers, for no reason at all? 

Have you ever been sent an email that says, just wanted to make you smile?

Have you ever been told, let's go out to dinner/lunch/breakfast because I want to give you a break?

If you have than you know that those little things mean a lot to women AND men. Let me be clear. Men like to get those little things also.

My "just because"
Have you sent your man flowers just because you thought about the way he looked at your last week? If you haven't why not? Men like to receive small tokens of affection from their ladies just as much as we like to receive them.

Think about the time you gave your guy or significant other a massage as he sat down to read the paper or watch television. I can almost guarantee that he was shocked but he enjoyed it also.

Rubbing his feet, giving him a pedicure, giving him a massage or doing something as small as bringing him a glass of water after he has mowed the lawn is almost as good as receiving that huge bouquet of roses on your desk on +valentinesday valentines 

To prove my point, I sent a co-worker a nice gift basket of sausages w/cheeses because he had mentioned that he enjoyed them but only got them as gifts around the holidays. I sent him one with a card that read, "Because you shouldn't have to wait until the holidays" and I didn't sign my name, but he knew it was me because we had shared that conversation only a few days before.

See things like that for a man as well as a woman, means a lot. 

Now, how many of you are going to do something special for that person in your life, just because? My challenge to you do something for someone, something small. 

Remember, it doesn't have to be for your wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, or significant other. It could be for the friend who listens to you when they could be doing something else. 

Monday, October 14, 2013


Today I welcome Luke Murphy, retired hockey player turned published author. I wanted to know what the difference was between hockey and writing and his answer was a bit surprising.

As a child, I never dreamed of writing a best-seller, never aspired to write the next classic novel, I wanted to be an NHL superstar…period.

With the death of my mother in 1992, losing a battle to cancer, I sensed it was time to get serious about reaching my dreams, and moved away to pursue hockey.

From 1992-1995 I noticed a shift in the game of hockey and realized that the odds of making it to the NHL were unfavorable for a kid who stood 5’9’’ and weighed 160 pounds. So, my goals shifted. I accepted a hockey scholarship to Rochester Institute of Technology.

In the winter of 2000, after sustaining a season ending eye injury while playing in Oklahoma City, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a new hobby emerged.  From a family of avid readers, even as a child, I always had a passion for books.

One day, with an idea in mind, I sat down in front of a computer and began writing. I wrote a little every day, around my intense rehabilitation schedule and before I knew it, I had completed my first manuscript.

I didn't write with the intention of being published. I wrote for the love of writing, as a hobby. I continued to “hobby” write through the years, honing my craft, making time between work and family obligations.

Then I made a decision – I enjoyed writing so much, I decided I wanted to take my interest one step further – write a story with the intention of being published. 

I've never been one to take things lightly or jump in half way. I took a full year off from writing to study the craft. I constantly read, from novels in my favorite genres to books written by experts in the writing field. I continually researched on the internet, reading up on the industry and process. I attended writing conferences and made friends (published and unpublished authors), bombarding them with questions and learning what it took to become successful.

Feeling that I was finally prepared, in the winter of 2007, with an idea in mind and an outline on paper, I started to write DEAD MAN`S HAND. It took me two years (working around full time jobs) to complete the first draft of my novel.

I then worked with editors and joined a critique group, doing anything I could to learn, to improve my writing and my novel to point where I could create the best possible novel.

I sent out hundreds of query letters to agents. After months of rejections, I pulled my manuscript back and worked on it again. Then in my next round of proposals, I was offered representation by Ms. Jennifer Lyons of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.

After months of work with Jennifer, my dream was finally realized in April, 2012, when I signed a publishing contract with Imajin Books.

So, exactly how smooth was my transition from playing hockey to writing books?

Many people might not see a connection between writing and hockey, but there are many similarities in not only your preparation, but “musts” once you’re there.

In both hockey and writing, you need three things: patience, persistence and thick skin.

For both, it takes hard work and practice. There are many critics, and you need to be able to take criticism with a grain of salt. In order to find success, in both you need to be persistent and confident. It’s all about taking a chance, putting yourself out there to be evaluated by your peers. That’s the scariest part. 

My one piece of advice for all aspiring hockey players and writers…you’ll get a lot of “no’s” along the way and people trying to bring you down. But remember, it only takes one “yes”. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Today I am going to talk about an author that I have known for a little over three years. Mr. +Austin Camacho

We met by accident at the now closed Borders Book Store in Waldorf, Maryland. I was the debut author coming out with my very first novel and he was coming out with his seventh. Yes, at that time he was on number seven but now he is on number nine.

He whizzed in with his cart full of books, a tray of assorted cookies, bookmarks and postcards. And there I stood, with a table full of books and that was it.

Since I have a competitive nature, I couldn't let him show me up. I told my assistant to find a store and buy me some candy. I didn't care what kind, just get me something. I then walked back to see just what this 'guy' was doing.

He was rushing around in a flurry, setting up his table, his books, his postcards and oh yes..those damn tray of cookies. The nerve of him! I wanted to talk but instead I became intimidated by him and didn't want to seem so amateurish, which I was but I didn't want HIM to know that. He asked me how I was doing, I told him I was a new author, he asked me what my book was about and I told him and then he told me about his. I had to buy it because I couldn't let on that I was really on spying on him. I bought, Russian Roulette and promised to read it.

Well, I didn't read it because my youngest son read it first and wouldn't give it back. When I tried to retrieve it he said, "Mom, go get another one, this book is really good." What just happened. I HAD bought a book, the one he had and yet I was being told to buy another one. So I went back to Borders and bought Damaged Goods

My goodness, I was hooked. I had just found another author that I could start a series that was foreign to me. I had never read any mystery novel before and this gave me a great first timers look inside what a great story a mystery could be. I loved it and read it four times. (guess I really DID like the book, huh?) I finally got up the nerve to email him about how I like the book and then proceeded to ask him for advice; (you knew that was coming didn't you. I mean c'mon, he was on number seven, I was on number one)which he said he would give, as long as I didn't ask to many questions.

I'm so lucky that Austin S. Camacho was in that book store on that day promoting that book. I learned so much from him, namely, never show up without something that will bring people to your table. Always smile and never sit down. Oh, and I've had some kind of treat at my table!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


In the past couple of weeks, I have attended a conference, attended a book launch at the Jamaican Embassy and given a class on marketing at the Harford Public Library.

Bethany Hacker was the organizer of this great event and let me tell you; her staff was on the ball!
From the time I walked in I was greeted like someone special. I checked in a little past 8 am only because I went to the wrong place. Instead of me ending up at the library I was sitting at the ‘administrative office building” for ten minutes before I decided to pull up my email and check the address against what I had plugged into my GPS.  Wouldn't you know, I was 11 miles PAST where I should have gotten off at so I had to go back.  See, even WITH a GPS I still get lost.

So I arrived and was greeted by a very friendly young woman who gave me my name tag, my notebook and my assignment for the day. I said a quick hello to Bethany and just like that another staff member, asked me if I needed help. I said yes and he first showed me the all-important breakfast table with the coffee, teas and assorted bagels for my eating pleasure. He then took me to the room where I would present my Marketing class.

He then showed me to the ‘presenters’ room where I got myself mentally prepared for my panel. I was on time to the room, since he had already given me directions to it and I was greeted by another very eager young lady who was going to introduce me. Wait…this is big time…I actually had an introduction and once she was finished applause (so I really didn’t need to include the applause on my PowerPoint)

I wowed the crowd…all 27 of them…yes I counted them because I was shocked! Utterly shocked that they wanted to hear what I had to say. I worried that I wouldn't have enough material to fill an hour but boy was I wrong. Not only did I fill the hour, the class went longer because they had some great questions.

Afterwards, they thanked me with even more applause. Lookahere people! I love applause and unsolicited applause it the BEST I tell ya! They followed me back and talked to me, they have started following me on Facebook and Twitter and I made some great connection.

The first ever Just Write Conference was Just Right! 

Thanks Bethany for putting on such a classy event. Can’t wait for next year!