Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fit to Kill's First Star Review

Fit to Kill just received its first star review of 4 out of 5! More reviews to come. To check out the latest review in detail, click.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fit to Kill's First Feature

Fit to Kill was recently featured on Laurie’s Thoughts and Review on Non Paranormal Features. It contains an excerpt from Chapter 8- The Assessment, and an interview on yours truly. To check it out click:


Fit to Kill Book Signing Event, A Great Experience

   Fit to Kill had its very first book signing event Saturday, May 12. The two hour gala was held at Fit Stop 24 Olympia, a fitting location considering the subject matter of the novel. Readers traveled as far away as Oregon for a time of music, food, hobnobbing, great excerpts reading, give aways and an autographed copy of a novel, recently reviewed by the Deepening world of Books as, “A solid promise to rivet and satisfy.”

  The event continued an additional forty minutes to accommodate those still arriving. You can never sell too many books. Future book signing events for Fit to kill are in the works throughout Washington State and we will keep everyone posted. Most importantly, a very special thanks to all who took the time out of a sunny scenic Saturday afternoon, a rarity in Western Washington around this time, to support a novel that one day you may be able to say, “I got an autographed copy of Fit to Kill before it became famous…and a movie.”   

Monday, April 23, 2012

The 2012 Emerald Cup, a Hurling Experience

Sitting at this keyboard, I take inventory of the last three days, The 2012 Emerald Cup, the outcome, and the steps taken to produce that outcome, not as an excuse for my placing, but merely as a chronology leading up to one of the worse episodes I'd had in a very long time.

Let's cut to the chase. Prior to Friday’s weigh in, my weight ranged between 189 and 191 pounds, from an initial weight of 214 pounds. My last meal had me weighing in at 194.6 pounds, which I was happy about. Knowing how I dry out, my projected stage weight was 188 pounds...perfect because I'll look 198. In this sport, a lot of times it's not so much as how much you weigh as it is how much you look like you weigh. This takes me back to my last meal.

It was pretty much what I'd been eating most of the year, I don't like eating strange prior to a show. Ground sirloin patties were part of that meal. I sear both sides on a super hot grill, leaving the middle rare. When I nuke it later for three to four minutes, it fully cooks and is moist and tender. My first patty was perfect. My second however, was a little rare...no, very rare. I had to nuke it for another full minute, but not after I had already eaten half of it.

It’s a little before 7 am when I wake up. I had gotten up several times throughout the night. I step on the scale to see I'm 188 lbs. "Great," I say to myself, shaking my head in approval. Di wakes up and checks me out. She knows exactly what to look for. "Let me see your quads," she says, looking to see if my quad separation goes all the way to my hip. "Ok, back double Bi...Wow!" Alright…Wow is good, especially coming from Di. She gives me the thumbs up, and then goes back to bed. I feel I'm ready.

I decide to take some electrolytes to ward off any possible cramping. Five minutes later, I'm dumbfounded since that churning feeling of reverse peristalsis is unmistakable. I'm not three steps into my haste to the bathroom when vomit spews onto the carpet. "Ok...this is a first," I tell myself. Di immediately gets up. "Donnie, are you ok?" "Yeah, I think my body didn't take to the electrolytes too well." Don't ask me how I came up with that lame freaking conclusion.

I head to the Meydenbauer to get air brushed, about a block walk from the Marriott hotel, thinking my little episode in the room was an odd fluke. I get there and as early as it was...its pandemonium. After about ten minutes, I decide since my class is one of the last to be on stage, I'll air brush later...good move. My walk back to the hotel was arduous to say the least. When I get to my room, it felt like I had walked ten miles through the Mojave Desert...then all hell breaks loose.

It's mostly a blur, but I believe it started with the bathroom toilet, and instead of spewing...this time, I'm hurling. This may sound a bit odd to some folks, but as a professional trainer, you can't help but to marvel at the remarkable abilities of the transverse abdominal muscles, even if you are literally throwing your insides out. I recall hearing the flush of the toilet. I'm walking out the bathroom door when..."whoa, whoa, whoa!" I rush back to the toilet, but instead of kneeling, this time...I'm sitting. Once again, those transverse abdominal muscles are working their magic. Hell, I'm just going with the flow at this point. The toilet flushes again. I hear Di's voice speaking in an inaudible tongue, but I answer anyway. Then comes the bathroom sink, which I do remember. It seemed as if everything I'd had for the last week was hurled into that sink, and to my surprise, nearly filling it. During that moment, the Emerald Cup seemed like it was a million miles away and there was no way I could remotely conceive of being on stage in mere hours and at that point, had decided not to do the show. I collapse on the bathroom floor, and hear Di mention something about getting Nic. I do recall thinking, "If I had gotten airbrushed, I would definitely need a touch up."

Before long, I'm flayed on the bed with Nic and Di watching me."How you feeling Donnie?" Nic asks. Surprising, I was a little weak, but feeling a lot better. "I'm good." Nic and Di decide there was no need to call 911. They had me go through a series of poses and we all concurred I should still do the show if I were up to it, though my weight had plummeted to 181 pounds.

As a result, I placed 7th in a tough open light heavyweight class of over 20 competitors, at the age of 51. Next stop, Oregon State open light Heavyweight in 11 weeks, and then to the Master's Nationals in Pittsburg where hopefully, I earn an IFBB pro card in the 50 age group. I'm no stranger to adversity, and life has taught me that there are times when adversity is greatest before success. With that, I'll see you in Portland, with a much better outcome...and cook your beef, seriously.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Making of Fit to Kill


Fit to Kill is a piece that I started in late 2009. It took a year to write with two months of that time used just to write the storyline. Ironically, I'm not an avid reader of novels, but I am an avid movie watcher, and I love a great story. So, when I decided to write Fit to Kill, I concluded that it couldn't be just a story; it had to be a great story.

The Setting

La Flore is a fictitious city of nearly a half million people. The city is also one of the main characters of Fit to Kill. This stems from my favorite true crime series, City Confidential, in which the series gets viewers up close and personal with communities, their residences and their reactions to the forces of a crime story, which as a viewer, I always find intriguing. I added this element, via La Flore, to my novel to get that same intrigue from readers.

The Profound Irony

La Flore is voted one of the nation’s fittest cities, renowned for its personal trainers. So it’s tragically ironic that La Flore’s highest accolade has become cancerous by brutally murdering its citizens, and when he’s not engaged in that obscenity, he’s motivating them through heart pounding workouts in his private training studio. As a personal trainer of twenty years and former owner of a private training studio for seven years, I'm able to pull from my years of experience to immerse the reader into the realm of training. After all, there is a reason the story is titled Fit to Kill.

The Conflict

Fit to Kill is rife with conflict. Of course, the main conflict is between the heroin, Detective Tara Tanner and the Killer, who I can’t reveal, sorry. However, there are conflicts within each of the three main characters. La Flore is a model city facing its first serial killer; Detective Tara Tanner has multiple conflicts that are both professional and personal, and the Killer, well, I can't say or I'll give away a big twist in the story, but all of these conflicts will collide in the end for a spectacular finish.

Twists and Turns
In Fit to Kill, lines are blurred between reality and fantasy, between dream and consciousness. Roles change between predator and prey amongst Tara Tanner and the Killer. Throughout the story, the reader does not know who will survive and who will not. I like stories that challenge the mind and I wanted my novel to do the same.


What story wouldn’t do well with some level of temptation? The word alone sounds enticing as well as words associated with it like desire, and lust. Both Tara Tanner and the Killer are plagued by temptation that if succumbed to, would have a profound impact on them. With Tara, it could destroy her marriage, with the Killer, it could destroy him.

Supporting Characters

There are nearly twenty supporting characters in Fit to Kill. I didn't want to make these characters merely empty names. I want readers to connect with Tara Tanner's family and her co-workers, to the murder victims and to the Killer's acquaintances. By doing so, readers get further invested into the story, because there's nothing like a great story.

These are just a few highlights to my novel, Fit to Kill. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Go to the bottom of my home page and read the first three chapters, on me. But trust me, it only gets better after that.