These Shoes ….

These shoes were made for walking …

But they could also lead to the culprit responsible 

For Jack Spencer’s disappearance.

Find out more and see what happened to Jack, to Myra, to Kai. A Readers’ Favorite 5 * novel

Courtesy Pexel, Terje Sollie

SpamMan Chronicles

(Backstory–see bottom)

This is my imagined image of SpamMan Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on

Dear SpamMan

Thank you for devoting so much effort to promoting The Lucky Man-An Act of Malice with your rather unconventional methods and for no payment/ransom fee. Just saw a nice spike in my book sales, thanks to your action. Maybe there is something to reverse psychology. You might be interested to know that someone who read my book mentioned me in the same sentence as Hemingway. (I think that was so nice of them, don’t you?)

Have a fantastic day!

Proud Author, 

Monika R.


Dear SpamMan

Sorry for calling you names, but with all your aliasses, Gavin, Joseph, Kenneth, perhaps something foreign, or Clarissa, it’s hard to decide what to call you. I’m sure your situation is dire. Why else would someone resort to such tactics? Extortion is a crime. But have you ever considered getting into marketing? You’d have to drastically change your business model, but with some hard work, who knows? Look where it’s gotten me. I was published. The Lucky Man-An Act of Malice 

Hope those are raisins in your cereal.

Proud Author,

Monika R.


Dear Joseph and Your Shitty People

#writers #amwriting #authors #readingcommunity #writingcommunity

(In response to a threat I received this weekend.)

(Shitty People is the name Joseph applied to his partners and they pride themselves as being a team of shitty people.)

Photo by furkanfdemir on

Part One: The Ransom Note

Dear Joseph:

Thank you for your last email. It is endearing how you called me a penny-pinching bitch and threatened to destroy my career before it even began—really heartwarming on your part. I’m not going to lie and say your note didn’t affect me. And I’d like to share with you the reason behind that initial emotional bruising, and that you are completely wrong about me. But thanks for choosing me as your target. I’m many things, but I’m not a bitch.

My novel is the catcher and keeper of my dreams. I didn’t just fire it off.  Unlike you, I work for what I have and don’t feast off the efforts of other people like vermin. For me to publish my novel, it’s taken roughly ten years to become even remotely good enough. During those ten years, I have dedicated my life to writing, to taking classes when I could, and never giving up. So you want to fuck up my dream? Well, here’s the truth. Go ahead. I obviously can’t stop you and your team of shitty people. Now why anyone would associate themselves with shitty people is beyond me. My approach has been slightly different, and I reach out and commit myself to partner and support amazing people. Just a suggestion, but try it sometime.

It’s also interesting how you are so kind in the opening of your email and are offering to provide me a service (completely illegal by the way) to work and promote my book and I quote, ‘we want to strike a deal with you’. And whether you meant to imply it or not, I take it that you see the huge potential in my novel The Lucky Man-An Act of Malice, otherwise you wouldn’t bother.

You are suggesting that I am doing something immoral or illegal by using a sanctioned Goodreads platform designed for authors to reach authors and reviewers to exchange ARCs and swap reviews. You must be getting your information from fake news because it’s a practice that has been ongoing and Amazon, who owns Goodreads, is aware. Please read up on the subject. Amazon does have a policy and I follow their guidelines.

About ruining my career. Thanks for that. Not that there’s much to destroy at this time because I just got going, and, without a doubt, it would be devastating nonetheless. But remember how I mentioned that it’s taken me ten relentless years of trying to get here? Well, if you decide to fuck with me, I promise that whatever shit you throw at me, I’m simply and creatively going to spin it to my advantage. Authors are used to taking ‘shit’ and making something from it. 

And here’s a tip. By going after those of us just starting out you are targeting some very tender egos, but I can guarantee that we are fighters. What you fail to understand is that budding authors don’t have a budget to hire marketing teams, publicists, agents, tour managers, and the what-nots, or extortionists scumbags like you, to become rich and famous. Here you might also do the math: count the names of the very famous authors alive making huge money (I’m sure math is hard for you) and then subtract the thousands of authors who don’t make a dime from their efforts but continue to write simply for the love of writing. I’m on that team with thousands of others.

So you and your crew of shitty people, go ahead, make my life miserable. I already learned from the thousands of rejections that I am a survivor. Should you happen to live in a country where life is the shits and this is the only way you can see a way to get out, I suggest you come up with a better, hopefully, more honest attempt. Try hard work, it always pays off.

Wishing you and the shitty people you’re in cahoots with a lovely day. May those be raisins in your cereal. 

Monika R.

Author of

This is it!

Start the car!

Photo by Mark Vegera on

Head to Amazon … by any means necessary.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

Read 5* review:

Photo by John Guccione on


EBook coming soon!

Tell your friends!

Call Ron Howard and tell him he should make this book into a movie!

Photo by Martin Lopez on

Tell your friends again!

Move over Grisham, Patterson, Hannah, Owens, McConaughey, Obamas, it’s time for a new face on the list. (And that face is mine!)

And Thank you!

Photo by on

Book Reviews:

My muse for The Lucky Man-An Act of Malice.

Getting book reviews is not the only uncomfortable request authors have to master, but when another reviewer emails you this comment, the hours you devoted to your book are all worth it.

Hi Monika,

I’ve finished with The Lucky Man, and was quite impressed. It’s definitely a page-turner and delves into the deep end of the plight of our planet while keeping the reader in a state of suspense that only a well-conceived well-written who-done-it can do.

I was kept on the edge of my seat The Who way, and the … of the Spencer’s completely took me by surprise. Well done. Nothing will change my mind about giving this a strong FIVE stars.

From Author Tobin Marks:…/dp/1633372375/ref=sr_1_2…

Stay tuned for my book launch…

The Power of the People and an Invitation to Review

Photo by Pixabay on

Nowadays, we are often led to believe that the world is a terrible place. That there is crime everywhere, that we shouldn’t trust anyone.

While there is crime and everyone is out to make a dollar, the world is also full of unique, kind-hearted, generous people. Think of our healthcare workers who have been fighting for a year now to keep us alive. Despite being physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, they forge through the fire: For Us!

Take a moment. Close your eyes and think of that person who reached out to you when you needed someone. Or the stranger who smiled and held the door open for you. Or those individuals who rescued a dog and are giving it a good home or those who donated to this or that cause. Those are kind people. And yes, people’ fuck-up’. That’s who we are. All we can hope for is that we learn from our mistakes, develop a growth mindset, and move forward, even apologize if the occasion warrants it.

This week, I also want to thank one of those individuals I have never met in person. I met Sir Peter through WordPress, and he gifted me with a wonderful gift. He took the time and read my manuscript and gave it such a glowing review that I cried. So thank you, Peter. It means so much.

Coming Soon!

Every writer needs validation. We may kid ourselves and say we write for our well-being, but the truth is, most of us write because something in our ‘soul’ propels us to do so. And it’s impossible to argue with our inner self; we are deeply biased.

Photo courtesy:
Dorothy Larson and Amber Langworthy, Las Lajas, Panama

I come to the writing process the hard way. When I was a kid, I dreamed of working in the cosmetic industry. I enjoyed a great career and still miss all those fabulous freebies. In college, I was introduced to some amazing ladies: Jane Austen, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, and Virginia Woolf. Meeting those ladies sent me on a journey to read just about every Penguin Classic novel ever written because my dear Jane’s collection is relatively meager. I chewed my way through: Tolstoy’s War and Peace (Twice, once for the characters and the second to really understand the war portion) Hardy, Thackeray, Dickens, Eliot, Hawthorne, Fielding, Cleland, Collins, Steinbeck, Twain, and Harper Lee all the way to Dostoyevsky among many others. Finally, I hit a roadblock when I tried to tackle Cervantes and failed. Although I didn’t know it at the time, reading the Classics prepared me for something despite not understanding the journey.

Coffee and sponge cake with Jane Austen in Chawton, UK
Continue reading “Coming Soon!”

The Lucky Man–An Act of Malice Storyboard

Jack Spencer made a fatal mistake. One that landed him in the Pacific, literally without a paddle. As he struggles to survive the elements that the perilous blue throws at him, Jack comes to terms with the truth. He’s guilty. The most prevalent mistake: an affair with the woman about to marry his best friend. But does the punishment of being set adrift on the ocean warrant the crime? Only he can answer, only one person can save him.

As soon as Myra Spencer reaches Hawaii, her senses shift into overdrive. Her son, Jack, is missing. But everyone downplays his vanishing act and evades the truth. Hints suggest too much of a good thing as rumors of a mysterious beauty surface followed by copious amounts of booze before a wedding that will never take place. But as his mother, Myra knows better. Jack’s in trouble. Only she has no way to prove it—other than the suspicions her heart dictates.

Dumbfounded, Kai Hale holds the paddle belonging to his missing canoe in hand. The canoe is his lifeline to make amends with mounting debt. Slowly Kai’s life collides with the Spencers, and the reality of Jack’s disappearance is tied to his canoe.

But why? That is the question everyone is desperate to answer.

What Jack can’t know is that he’s on course with destiny. A path that leads him to an island and people who await his arrival. An island not charted on anyone’s map. The truth changes everything.

 ( What Jack can’t know is that someone close to him is out for revenge.)

Dear Jeff Goins:

Painting courtesy Marlo A. Ackerblade

Dear Jeff @

Thanks for sharing your discoveries, struggles, and Aha! moments with me. Much of what you say resonates, that is the reason I’m dedicating this morning’s free write to you. If I slip it into the giant online mailbox system, well, who knows? I guess you do, as you are reading this.

For me, the inspiration to write came later in life. My head has always been among the clouds daydreaming, and telltale clues that I should be a writer are carved into the proverbial sand.

Since I stem from a long line of workers, by that I mean, farming, skilled labor, retail, blue-collar, wanting to be an artist was something you did in your spare time. It is unreliable work. Bringing home that paycheck, even if it stunts your emotional and spiritual evolution, breaks your back, is what’s important.

So that’s what I did. I went to college for what I thought was my dream job, but what eighteen-year-old knows the answer to that riddle, and became a cosmetician.

In between, I also had to learn English. In college, I was rewarded for my dedication when out of 700+ students, I–the immigrant, had the highest test score in English grammar.

All along, I was searching for that ‘thing’ that I could feel in my bones, a calling, a longing, a feeling that I was missing out on something, and that I wasn’t complete.

To feed that feeling, I devoured every Penguin classic novel, took up sewing, drawing, painting, crafts, dancing, gardening, and enjoyed the experience. But that voice, or should I say voices, were starving for something more consequential.

Besides, I had a job. As a cosmetician, I wasn’t satisfied. Sure there were aspects I enjoyed, but I craved more. I worked my way through the retail system, took every opportunity to learn a new skill, and eventually became the head buyer of cosmetics for Canada’s largest grocery chain.

Success. But I hated it. I hated the cutthroat environment, the stress, the backstabbing, and also the schmoozing. Someone mentioned that our environment and job were not unlike the dangers of the Gaza Strip.

Life went on. I retired when the company moved headquarters; the offer to join them in the east, I declined. Because of that decision, I had a wonderful six years with my mother, which I would never have had and is worth much more than that 6-figure salary job. When my mother passed away, my husband and I moved to Panama.

Under the shade of the coconut tree, I finally sat down and wrote. There was no longer the stress of a job, keeping an immaculate home, dogs to walk, or to impress anyone with my success. I haven’t stopped writing since.

My first love is fiction, but I want to become the best, well-rounded writer. Therefore, I want to learn about blogging, about writing content, about producing well-crafted journalistic articles.

I’ve had a few stories published, and the bruises from the vast, and disappointing, collection of rejections are healing. What remains is a callous build-up. But each rejection serves as a fuel-injected kick-starter to strive for better.

Earlier this year, one of my dreams came true. My novel, The Lucky Man–An Act of Malice, was picked up by a small New York publisher and is scheduled for publication in March 2021.

What I found interesting about getting that offer is that once the excitement settled, and the contract was signed, my reactions were, so what’s the next big project?

I was also accepted to write articles for BellaOnline, the second-largest online women’s magazine, as the Canadian culture editor. I’ve learned so much from them, but now I wouldn’t mind a paycheck once in a while.

Since I don’t spend much time on social media, (I know, I know) I’ve started a WordPress site, The next phase is building up my portfolio, to capture a following, which is where I fall flat on my face. I’m very comfortable in engaging in conversation with a stranger, but I’m terrible at selling my skills, my worth, myself. After all, being a writer is a very solitary journey, and the only company we keep are the characters itching to jump to the page.

I’m even worse at reaching out to people and asking for help. So that I’m even considering writing to you, Jeff, something in your emails to me must have landed.

Back to your question, ‘what is my dream?’

To say, I want to make oodles of money and be the next Henning Mankell, or Anita Shreve would answer part of the equation, but not all. And part of me fills with a bit of shame that in the end, it is about money.

As a writer, I’m fragile. If my dream could fulfill that void, that I am good enough, well, that’s worth a million bucks right there.

What is my dream? I want my family to be proud of me. I want my name in neon lights, most of all, I want to write.
 Thanks for reaching out,
Monika R. Martyn