Just Finish is your inspirational journey from being overweight to running an ultra-marathon. What inspired you to capture this amazing story in a memoir?
A few things inspired me:
- I had told my story to people in small chunks, and some said I should tell my story in a book, I laughed them off.
- During runs I listen to audio books. I listen to Ira Rainy’s Fat Man to Green Man and Still Not Bionic and Rich Roll’s Finding Ultra. Their story started with health scares and and ended with ultra’s. I thought their story was like my story. The biggest issue was their story was from an elite athlete perspective, going on to run several Ultra’s. My story is from a grassroots running perspective which seems to have resonated with people who have or are about to start their running journey.
- Writing a book also was something I wanted my kids to have when I am gone. More of a legacy piece. They are only 10 and 13 now but someday they may attempt a marathon. Who knows?
What was the moment for you where you realized you had to make a change in your life?
It was the moment the doctor said I had a fatty liver. A fatty liver could have lead to many other medical issues. I started to reflect and tell myself, I want to see my kids graduate, I want to walk my daughter down the aisle, I wanted to grow old with my wife. If I didn’t do something I may not be able to do any of that.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who tells themselves that they just can’t do it?
DO NOT WAIT FOR A MEDICAL EMERGENCY to start you fitness journey. Take care of yourself be active, be a roll model for your kids or family. The only person who who can make that change is you. Do it for yourself and reap the benefits will surprise you.
What is one thing you see differently in life now that you’ve trained and finished a marathon?
It may sound cliche but the second I crossed the finish line of the marathon, I knew, if I set my mind to it I could do anything. The idea of ME training for, starting and ultimately finishing a marathon was, as I said in the book about as far fetched as Steven Spielberg making my book into a movie and it winning an Oscar.
My book is a true story that follows my journey from sitting on a lumpy futon, overweight, out of shape and picking Pringle shards out of my navel, to me running a 50K ultra-marathon. It’s not a new story it’s just told from the perspective of a “grassroots runner” who just wanted to finish the races I entered.
It’s about my struggles, my achievements, the barriers, the pain, the people I met and how I pushed myself to the brink while trying to achieve things I never thought possible.
My story is not a fat-to-fit story, it’s a fat-to-fat story; I found out too late in my journey that running miles and miles without considering other factors was not necessarily the best way to lose weight, but the benefits of my running journey transcended what the scales told me every Monday morning.
My story may not appeal to the elite runner, as there will be no mention of 6- to 8-minute miles, finishing in the top ten, or any Olympic qualifications. My story is more for the wannabe runner, the runner who is just starting out and the runner who feels more comfortable running 14- to 18-minute miles; the runner who will check the time of the previous year’s race results to see what the slowest time was before they enter; the runner who has to phone the race organiser to see if there is a cut off time in the longer races; or the runner who will walk just out of view of the people at the finish, then turn on the jets for the last 100-metre sprint finish. All things I have done during my running journey (and still do).
Murder at First Pitch follows Madeline and her pursuit to clear her brothers name after he’s accused of murder. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
As with most cozy mysteries, there is some sort of incident that directly affects the main character and their choices. I knew I wanted to make it a family connection since the ballpark and family business was the center of the book. I also think it gave Madeline a way to realize just how much the ballpark and the team were important to her.
Madeline is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character?
Family is one of the most important things in Madeline’s life. Even after thinking she was going to make a career outside of the family baseball business and having to rethink things, she realizes that her place is with her family. The team had been such a large fixture in her life, and by returning, she becomes closer to her family and friends. Her career is still important to her, but she realizes that she needs both the career and her ballpark family in order to be happy.
Why did you want to write this story, and series, within the baseball culture?
I’m first and foremost a huge Boston Red Sox fan. I’m a baseball person through and through. When I was beginning my journey to be a mystery writer, I thought about all the things I enjoyed, and what I would be most interested in staging some. I hit on baseball (no pun intended) as the perfect location. There are so many sports fans who aren’t represented currently in the cozy mystery market, so I wanted to share my baseball love.
It’s a love letter to my Grandpa Asselin, who got me into baseball on the radio many summers and to my Grandma Asselin who was obsessed with mysteries.
This is the first book in your Ball Park Mystery series. What can readers expect in book two?
Book Two will continue to explore Madeline’s new job and the ballpark events. The readers will visit another fictional ballpark in Salem, MA and meet more people from the neighborhood. I hope to introduce more real-life Abington businesses and residents in honor of my hometown. Madeline and Davis will continue to grow closer, and of course, another set of crimes. Stay tuned!
32-year-old Madeline Boucher’s Grandfather instilled a love in the Boston Red Sox into her from an early age and increased that love by purchasing a local Independent League Baseball team, the Abington Armadillos.
After losing her corporate job in Boston, Madeline realizes her best option is to join the family baseball business. As the new “Social Media Director” for the team, Madeline attends her first business function and witnesses an argument between her brother Ben, and a strange man.
A few days later when walking the ballpark during her early morning hours, she finds the body of a man beaten to death with a baseball bat in the Visitor’s Dugout. It was the man her brother was arguing with at the party. Madeline is concerned that her brother would be considered a suspect. Through the local Detectives and Davis – the head of security for the ballpark she learns the victim is Christopher Dailey, a local baseball scout and prior felon.
When her brother is arrested and taken to the police station, she realizes she needs to figure out who the real culprit is, so her brother doesn’t take the fall for something she knows he didn’t do.
Sean Kachmarski was overweight and out of shape. He would laze around his couch but when he got off it, he really got off it. He got up and ran. Not very quickly but his commitment despite not being an athlete was impressive. This is a story of one regular everyday man overcoming his personal limitations to do something wonderful, impressive and to see things through.
This is not a motivational story for the overachiever, the one who wins everything. It is a motivational story for the average person. The person who tries to achieve something by sheer will. It is a story of the trials and tribulations that come with committing to something and the urge to quit becomes so strong that you almost choke from it.
Sean Kachmarski has bared all in this inspirational book. He has let the reader see his whole journey. The bad, the ugly and the fortunate. The candid narration of his story from the futon to the lineup is not only inspiring; it is a kick in the butt for anyone who may be stuck in a rut.
Regular folks need motivational stories from other regular folks. Imagine an overweight unfit person being told how they can run a marathon by a seasoned athlete. If you were the overweight person, you would not believe it.
The way Sean tells this story makes it relatable. He makes his story interesting by relating personal stories with simple language. The story is relatable but its unique perspective gives the reader a heartfelt literary experience.
Sean Kachmarski delivers a down to earth story about the human spirit and the will to change yourself. By the end of the book, you really will know you can. You will no longer doubt your ability. His positivity is infectious and something I admired. This is a book you will both enjoy and benefit from.
Pages: 205 | ASIN: B084BVCDD2
A Players Path follows a young athlete as he struggles to live up to his fathers dream after he passes away. What were some of your driving motivations while writing this book?
Well, I was asked by my publisher to write a sports-themed YA novel. And I was already planning on writing a story that involves kidney donation. I myself am a living kidney donor so this topic means a lot to me.
Andy is an interesting and well developed character. What were some ideas that drove his character development throughout the novel?
I basically tried to remember myself as a teen and how I may have talked or reacted to certain situations and I let the character develop himself during the writing.
This book dealt with issues like grief and loss. What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Like I mentioned before, I’m a living donor, I donated my kidney back in 2012, so organ donation and awareness is big to me. I wanted to bring that awareness while hopefully bringing an entertaining story to the reader.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m working on a bunch of projects but one of them is a time-traveling story that involves a historical event. I’m pretty excited about this story and as of now, there is no release date.
Fourteen-year-old football phenom Andy McDonald was supposed to dominate high school football. Yet, just before the school year started, Andy’s family suffered a tragedy. His father, Jerry McDonald, was involved in a car crash on his way home from work… He did not make it.
The doctor in charge of organ transplants, Doctor Yang, wanted to transplant Jerry’s kidneys into two people who needed a kidney. Since Jerry registered himself as an organ donor, this was possible. Before taking Jerry’s kidneys, Doctor Yang wanted to get approval from the family. Andy’s mother wanted her son to make the final decision. Now facing a decision that would confirm the loss of his father (in his mind), Andy would soon find out this decision would not be the biggest of his life…
The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
Gold Award Winners
Crimson at Cape May by Randy Overbeck
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Andy McDonald dad taught him everything he knows about football. His father’s dream became his. After Jerry McDonald dies, Andy swears to live the dream for him. He feels his father’s presence throughout his journey. His high school football career is a blessing in so many ways. He even finds a good friend. Will he live life as DeAndre advised? Will he be able to save dear Chase? How will he be able to make a choice between two very important things in his life?
Titan Frey writes Andy’s story with passion and artistry. Written in the first-person narrative the book is about what is most important in life. It’s about making the right choices when it counts even when they are hard ones. I also enjoyed how this novel explores grief and how to survive it. It is about loving and losing but moving on nevertheless. Andy may have thought that his father was speaking to him while he was on that tree, but really (I think) it was his own consciousness disagreeing with the choice to get up there for that particular intention.
This is a simple book with a powerful message. I lost a loved one, and the pain is horrendous, A Player’s Path helped me relive those moments from a different perspective which I found ultimately healing. The writer executes with much emotion and intensity but maintains a simplicity that would appeal to people in a younger demographic. It is light and short, making it a quick read, but leaves the reader with a refreshed feeling of peace at the end of it.
I felt that the book could have benefited a bit from another editing pass to remove some redundant writings. Other than that, this book is simple enough while also communicating and keeping the reader committed to the story. I found it amazing how the writer has captured the voice of a teenage boy including all the stilted conversations teenagers engage in with older people. It is a delightful story albeit sad due to the struggles the characters go through. Alice McDonald, despite going having a tough time, shows up for her son when it really counts. I found her to be inspiring.
A Player’s Path is a story that gives readers a happy ending, but not so perfect that it is unbelievable. The team may have suffered a colossal loss on the field but all was not lost. A Player’s Path is exceptional and thought-provoking.
Pages: 130 | ASIN: B0841QSXQK
Madness is based on the real life of Hank Luisetti, a man that changed basketball forever. What was the inspiration that made you want to write this book?
When I was a teen, my life’s goal was to become a film actor, but getting married young and starting a business put that on hold in my early twenties, so I decided to “Stallone” it and write a movie and only sell it if I was to play the lead. That sounds pretty funny now but to a 22 year old, it was a solid plan. I told my father about it and he said he knew the perfect guy to write about. He told me about Luisetti and what he did. I went to the library in Manhattan, these were the days before the Net was born, and researched him for two weeks. When I finished the research, I was hooked. Luisetti has been one of my idols ever since. I have a load of memorabilia.
This book is a balance between Hank’s real life achievements and some fictional elements. How did you find balance between these and what was important for you to get right?
It just happened over years of cultivating it. It began as a screenplay and went through several versions before I wrote the historical fiction novel. I went back to college when I was forty and got my BA in English, so I read all the classics and love storytelling. Some of the Odyssey rubbed off in Madness; Hank is like a modern age Odysseus. I also based a lot on my childhood, friends, and Italian roots. I am a second generation Italian American and Hank’s a first—our upbringings had definite similarities.
The one thing I enjoyed was how palpable the determination and passion was in Hank’s life and in this book. What were some themes that were important for you to capture in this story?
All the classic themes are embedded in there: Coming of Age, Overcoming Obstacles, Family Values, Life’s Journey, Man VS Himself and Society, The Power of Love; I can go on. I really don’t know how to answer it—I wrote from my heart. I became Hank Luisetti as I wrote and weaved in my knowledge of books. As an actor I was acting out scenes as I wrote. I put myself in there and the themes grew. If I didn’t feel the emotion, it didn’t get written. I really enjoyed writing it.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have no idea when that will be because I’m still promoting Madness, which takes all of my spare time. I do have six outlines though. One is potentially a trilogy about a baseball player. I’ve had this story in my head for thirty years. After that, I leave the sports genre for good. All my others are very different; a few have female protagonists, which should be interesting. When Madness slows down, I’ll begin again. If people like my style, I have a really nice story which is a free eBook on Amazon called Settling A Score. Like Madness, it’s not really about baseball as it is about Coming of Age, Family, and Overcoming Obstacles. It’s fiction but based on my childhood in the Bronx during the 1960s.
Who’s the greatest basketball player ever? Madness is the intriguing story of Hank Luisetti, the predawn of March Madness, and how modern basketball was born.FINALIST, 2019 TopShelf Book AwardsSOLO MEDALIST WINNER: Autobiography / Biography / Memoir – 2019 New Apple Summer eBook AwardsBRONZE MEDAL: Young Adult Category – 2019 Readers’ Favorite Book AwardsFINALIST, Sports – 2019 International Book AwardsFINALIST – 2019 Topshelf Book Awards”I would say author Mike DeLucia is to the sports novel, what Sylvester Stallone is to the sports film. Mr. DeLucia’s characters are rich and relatable, in a story where sports is an analogy for life.”Mike DeLucia keeps the characters engaging, and the action moving. He manages to capture the energy and excitement of a championship face-off, and put it on the page. This is a well-done “sports” novel.”The majority of searches say Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time, but many others oppose this. While Jordan’s rank is debatable, a respectable dream team would include Kevin Durant, Bill Russell, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dr. J, Tim Duncan, Jerry West, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Stephen Curry, Michael Jordan, and Hank Luisetti.Chances are, you’ve never heard of Hank Luisetti. But this wouldn’t be a legitimate discussion without the Hall of Fame legend whose celebrity caused a basketball revolution.James Naismith invented basketball in 1891; Hank Luisetti reinvented it in 1936. Hank changed basketball’s genetic footprint when he popularized the one-handed shot. He could jump so high and stay up so long he seemed to defy gravity.Was Luisetti better than Jordan? That’s impossible to say because they played in different eras. But Hank Luisetti was basketball’s first superstar and what he did for the game is unprecedented.This historical fiction novel is based on the basketball achievements of Hank Luisetti. Some actual events, aspects, and characters have been fictionalized.
There is a certain quality about people who make valuable contributions to history. They seem to have an uncanny ability to remain focused on their goals and to overcome their hurdles with stoic determination. Such is the story of one Angelo-Giuseppi ‘Hank’ Luisetti. Some people may not know who this is, including some basketball fanatics. However, the fact remains that Hank revolutionized basketball. Madness is his story of courage, focus, determination and immeasurable passion for the game.
The legacy of Hank Luisetti should never go unrecognized. He lived an inspiring life of hard work and motivating those around him to be better. Mike DeLucia tells his story in a compelling manner. He pulls in the reader right from the introduction with a peek into Hank’s life before basketball; being taught not to question God and a whole delve into his life during basketball. You will get to see the struggles as a ‘different’ kid. Nothing has been held back. This book is marked with candid banter and a knack to inspire the reader.
The book does not discriminate between demographics. It is enjoyable by anyone of any age. It is written in simple language. It weaves the plot of Hank’s life in a way that keeps you interested in how one person can be such a pillar of strength, not only for his self but for others too. You will find all the spirit, joy and heart of the game and the man himself captured between the lines of this book. The story is told in such vivid detail that you can almost see the sweat trickle down Hank’s face. You can feel his heart beat in his chest every time he was on the court.
Mike DeLucia uses true events but has created fictional characters to support the plot. These characters are properly built with enough backdrop and dimensions but it is done so carefully so that they do not overshadow the purpose of the story. They are great characters that will appeal to the reader. These characters will affirm that truly no great man becomes so without a few trusted people to him along the way.
There is a lot to learn from this book. You do not even have to be a fan of basketball. You could know absolutely nothing about the sport but you would still enjoy it. Madness: The Man Who Changed Basketball is a trip into the heart of one of the greatest sportsmen of all time.
Pages: 251 | ASIN: B07N87N384