Reality Informs Fiction: Trails in the Sand

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I published Trails in the Sand in 2013, three years after the disastrous oil spill after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. From the first moment I heard about the explosion nine years ago and through my job as a public relations director with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, I was glued to the news on the struggle to contain the tar balls and greasy water approaching the Panhandle beaches of Florida.

When not working at my day job, I was also starting a novel about a dysfunctional family struggling to change generations of heartbreak.  April 20, 2019 marks the nine year anniversary of this event. Each year on the anniversary, I offer a special on Trails in the Sand, normally priced at $5.99 on Kindle. April 21-28, 2019, the book may be downloaded for $0.99. Click here to grab your copy.

Four years ago, I wrote about the disaster and how the book Trails in the Sand was born. Here is that post to commemorate both the oil spill and Earth Day and to remind us all the importance and fragility of our natural world.

Published originally on April 20, 2015 – Five years ago today, the oil rig Deepwater Horizon caught on fire.  Even though the newscasters downplayed its significance at first, I felt a black cloud deepen. I’d just moved to southwestern Pennsylvania where news of the Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster a few hours away in West Virginia still dominated local news. Twenty-nine men died in that explosion on April 5, 2010, just ten days earlier.

We soon learned that BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico had blown its cap, which allowed gushing oil and killed eleven workers on the rig. As I’ve done for the past two decades, when something bothers me, I start to write. The result from my sorrow and unease with both disasters resulted in the novel, Trails in the Sand.  The novel serves as a reminder of two preventable disasters that occurred within two weeks of one another in 2010. Forty men died and countless wildlife and their habitats were injured or destroyed. Both events touched my life in some way and both made their way into the writing of Trails in the Sand.

When the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia exploded, twenty-nine miners, doing their job in the bowels of the earth, lost their lives. Subsequent reports showed the company ignored safety regulations, which played an important role in the explosion. At the time, I was in the process of moving from Florida to western Pennsylvania. The mine is located several hours from my new home, so the local media covered the disaster continually for the next few weeks. The national news also kept its eye turned toward a small town in West Virginia where families mourned their husbands, sons, fathers, brothers, and cousins. After April 20, the lens of the cameras shifted to the southwest.

The news began as a whimper before erupting into cries of outrage. An oil rig somewhere off the coast of Louisiana caught on fire on April 20, 2010. Soon the whole rig collapsed, and eleven men never made it out alive. Oil gushed from a well several miles below the Gulf’s surface.

As I made the transition to Pennsylvania, I still held my job in Florida, although I was in the process of leaving. I was a public relations director for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. I made the trip back and forth sixteen times in 2010. I conducted meetings from a cell phone in airports, highway rest areas, and at a dining room table from our small temporary apartment in Pittsburgh.

Every time I started to give my two-week notice to my supervisors, something happened, and my wildlife biologist bosses pleaded with me to stay. During a crisis, the spokesperson for a company or agency suddenly becomes a very important part of the team. Scientists become speechless when looking in the face of a microphone.

Nothing much happened in those early days of the oil spill for the wildlife community, although as a communications specialist I prepared for worst-case scenarios, while hoping for the best. Partnerships between national and state agencies formed to manage information flowing to the media. By May, some of the sea turtle experts began worrying about the nesting turtles on Florida’s Panhandle beaches, right where the still gushing oil might land. In particular, the scientists worried that approximately 50,000 hatchlings might be walking into oil-infested waters if allowed to enter the Gulf of Mexico after hatching from the nests on the Gulf beaches.

seaturtle4An extraordinary and unprecedented plan became reality, and as the scientists wrote the protocols, the plan was “in direct response to an unprecedented human-caused disaster.”

When the nests neared the end the incubation period, plans were made to dig up the nests and transport the eggs across the state to Cape Canaveral, where they would be stored until the hatchlings emerged from the eggs. Then they would receive a royal walk to the sea away from the oil-drenched waters of the Gulf.

aptopix-gulf-oil-spill-1fee0422a0df6673The whole project reeked with the scent of drama, ripe for the media to descend on Florida for reports to a public hooked on the images of oiled wildlife. Since I was in transition in my job, they appointed me to handle all media requests that came to the national and state agencies regarding the plan. From my new office in Raccoon Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, I began coordinating media events and setting up interviews with the biologists.

As the project began in June 2010, I began writing Trails in the Sand. At first, I created the characters and their situations. Then slowly I began writing about the oil crisis and made the main character, Caroline, an environmental reporter who covered the sea turtle relocation project. Then suddenly I was writing about her husband, Simon, who mourned the loss of his cousin in the coal mine disaster in West Virginia. I didn’t make a conscious effort to tie together the environmental theme with the family saga unfolding, but before too long, I realized they all dealt with restoration and redemption of things destroyed. As a result, the oil spill and the sea turtles became a metaphor for the destruction caused by Caroline and her family.

I’m a firm believer in the subject choosing the author. When that happens, it’s best to let the muse lead me to the keyboard and allow the words to find their way to the story. Trails in the Sand stands as my testament to the process.

3-D1Trails in the Sand synopsis

When environmental writer Caroline Carlisle sets off to report on endangered sea turtles during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the last thing she expects is to uncover secrets – secrets that threaten to destroy her family, unless she can heal the hurts from a lifetime of lies. To make matters worse, Caroline’s love for her late sister’s husband, Simon, creates an uproar in a southern family already set on a collision course with its past.

Using real-life events as the backdrop, Trails in the Sand explores the fight to restore balance and peace, in nature and in a family, as both spiral toward disaster. Through it all, the ancient sea turtle serves a reminder that life moves forward despite the best efforts to destroy it.

April 21-28 – Only $0.99

 

 

 

Live from the Road by P.C. Zick – Caleb and Linda Pirtle

It’s summertime and go on the road with my novel Live from the Road. Caleb and Linda Pirtle surprised me with this lovely feature for my travel novel about four women who find more than fiberglass statutes along the Mother Road.

Live from the Road by P.C. Zick: What a quirky, nonsensical, gorgeous, joyful, sad bit of inspiration you’ll find in this novel of magical realism.

Source: Live from the Road by P.C. Zick – Caleb and Linda Pirtle

GRATITUDE – GIVEAWAYS AND GREAT DEALS

FacebookCoverNewHello all – I’m pleased to announce some wonderful opportunities for loading up your Kindles for the holidays. If you’re a reader, nothing beats the stress of the season than getting lost in a great novel. Here’s your opportunity with some freebies, some great deals, and the chance to win some great prizes!

I wish all of my followers in the United States a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends, family and good food. This year, no matter where we live, giving thanks and
gratitude will help us move forward into a healing and healthy 2018.

To show my gratitude, I have some great books–some discounted and some
free–along with some fantastic GIVEAWAYS you don’t want to miss.

I send you my best wishes for a happy end of the year,
P.C. Zick

BTA Cover SmallestBehind the Altar
FREE FREE FREE FREE November 15-19
A tattoo artist on a Harley. A do-gooder beauty. A
forbidden passion.
Leah Bryant lives a quiet life helping others. When her future mother-in-law, Geraldine, threatens her causes, she’s left confused by the hypocrisy and befuddled by a stranger who roars into town on a Harley.
FREE ON AMAZON
Click on image to enter

 

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JackieThe Sheriff’s Woman by Jackie Weger
FREE FREE FREE
Sheriff Garrett Stark had his eye on Rachel Cameron
for years. But she was married. Now she’s not. Garrett
is ready to make his move, but Rachel wants Garrett to
mind his own business. So. He does. His business is
Rachel and he’s all in.
AMAZON SPECIAL FREE for a limited time

AuroraGrand Master’s Pawn by Aurora Springer
FREE FREE FREE
One young woman challenges the secret rulers of the
galaxy, and risks a perilous love.
Reminiscent of the science fiction stories of Andre
Norton, Violet’s perilous adventures are sweetened by
romance and a sprinkle of laughter.
AMAZON SPECIAL FREE for a limited time

LapeFoolproof by A.J. Lape
FREE FREE FREE
Darcy Walker gets into high cotton trouble again when
she agrees to help a guy friend at a speed dating event.
She’s got a dead body, a cop breathing down her neck,
and a hot, stubborn boyfriend. Darcy is at her wit’s end,
but nothing is Foolproof.
FREE NEW RELEASE

 

 

FasanoFollowing his Heart by Donna Fasano
99 cents on Amazon
What readers are saying…
“I loved the story behind the love story.”~ avp
“I loved it, read it all at one sitting.”~avp
“Fantastic book written in such a beautiful way.”~avp
AMAZON SPECIAL – 99 cents

 

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PiperBeneath the Shady Tree by Piper Templeton
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Payton Montgomery wishes she could remember her
early childhood; Joel McIntyre wishes he could forget.
Could their shared early past reveal secrets that will set
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AMAZON SPECIAL – 99 cents

 

 

 

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What readers are saying….
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“Sinead and Christian seem so real, I can almost be
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AMAZON SPECIAL 99 Cents

 

Amy

Pineapple Mystery Box by Amy Vansant
99 cents on Amazon
What Readers are saying…
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“It’s never dull in Pineapple Port. A mystery/humor
series and I love it.” ~avp
AMAZON SPECIAL – 99 cents

 

DahlkeDead Red Mystery Series + 2 bonus books by RP Dahlke
FREE FREE FREE
Police ask Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher, who couldn’t see beyond the hood ornament, is found strapped in the driver’s seat in Lalla’s vintage Cadillac. Dead. Lalla is gonna find the answer.
AMAZON SPECIAL FREE for a limited time

 

 

 

 

 

 

fkbt graphicblog

SHADES OF LOVE – #NEW RELEASE #ROMANCE

I’m happy to announce the release of a new box set in collaboration with nine other authors. The box set may be pre-ordered now for $0.99. Release date is November 7. It is also in Kindle Unlimited so KU members can read for free!

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Shades of Love

Love knows no boundaries and bridges the gap between creed and culture.

Whether prince or pauper, beauty or beast, cupid entangles unsuspecting hearts. From the exchange of a glance to the throes of romance, follow these couples as they discover that love has no limits. Indulge your taste for adventure with ten diverse tales from familiar and exotic parts of the globe.

Shades of Love is brought to you by a select group of ten award-winning and best-selling writers, whose stories feature couples who close the cultural divide through their love.

Synopsis of

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CLAIMING LANA, Reana Malori. Sworn enemies or passionate lovers? When forced to work together, Jake and Lana find just what they need.

CALIENTE NIGHTS, Suzette Riddick. One Cuban. One African American. Will attraction win out?

THE BLIND SHOT, J.L. Campbell. Strangers in a strange land can’t help what happens naturally despite opposition to their love.

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST, Annamaria Bazzi. Italian and Lebanese cultures clash into love.

WOULD SMELL AS SWEET, Janae Keyes. A passionate thrillercan one stalker end the perfect romance?

POSTCARDS FROM HAVANA, Toye-Lawson Brown. A trip to Cuba and a return to home bring a couple to their destiny.

THIRD BASE, P.C. Zick. Puerto Rican and Italian cultures collide but can’t stop the passion.

THE BEST GAME, Hebby Roman. A return home starts the chase to make romantic dreams come true.

SMALL TOWN BOY, Caroline Bell-Foster. First loves reunite despite conflicting careers.

SOMETIMES MONEY AIN’T ENOUGH, Stacy-Deanne. A powerful woman finds out money can’t buy love.

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Reana Malori is an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author of sensual and contemporary romance. She weaves stories that pull the reader into her world and to share in her universe, even if only for a short time. Her stories feature women you’d love to hang out with and men who love them with everything they have.

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Suzette Riddick enjoys writing romance novels with real life situations readers can relate to. She’s an Amazon bestselling author of African American Romance. In 2013, she was nominated for an Emma Award and was a featured author in USA Today ~ Happy Ever After.

Website

J.L. Campbell is an award-winning, Jamaican author who writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, sweet romance, women’s fiction, as well as new and young adult novels. She is a certified editor, who also writes non-fiction.

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Annamaria Bazzi – Love is an important part of life, not just something to be experienced but also to be read. After thirty-one years of marriage, and still going strong, Annamaria Bazzi believes in the happily ever after. This strong belief transcends into her romance novels—every person deserves his and her own happy ever after. Annamaria writes contemporary romances to bring new love experiences to her readers. She also writes young adult sci-fi/fantasy and dabbles in paranormal short stories.

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Janae Keyes – Janae Keyes is an American mom, wife, and hopeless romantic living in Europe. She loves to explore various cultures coming together through the magic of love. Residing in a suburb of Brussels, Belgium, with her husband and daughter, Janae loves to share her passion for romance with others.

Website

Toye-Lawson Brown is an Amazon bestselling author of multicultural romance novels. In 2014 she was nominated by the B.R.A.B Book Club for Breakout Author of the Year.

Website

P.C. Zick – Bestselling and award-winning author, P.C. Zick, creates contemporary romances with a social consciousness. She describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. Strong female leads, handsome and heroic men, and descriptive settings grace more than a dozen published novels.

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Hebby Roman is a New York traditionally published, small-press published, and Indie published #1 Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her book, BORDER HEAT, was a Los Angeles Times Book Festival selection. She has been a RONE Finalist three times and in three different categories.

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Caroline Bell Foster is an internationally bestselling, multi award-winning British author of diverse romantic fiction and named as one of the most influential people in culture & entertainment in the East Midlands, England.

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Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is an award-winning author of sensual romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and women’s fiction books. She’s written Amazon Top 100 bestsellers, and her work has been praised and reviewed in USA Today numerously. Stacy’s books are full of passion, thrills, intriguing characters and so much emotion you can’t get enough! If you want something different and unpredictable then definitely check out her work.

WebsiteNewsletter

Synopsis of

A Perfect 10 with P.C. Zick

Source: A Perfect 10 with P.C. Zick

I’m featured on Don Massenzio’s blog today.

It’s the dog days of summer so it’s time for some sweet deals!

FREE downloads for the next two weeks for the books in the Behind the Love series

Behind the Altar – FREE August 14-16

Behind the Bar – FREE August 17-18

Behind the Curtain – FREE August 22-23

Behind the Door – FREE August 24-25 (New release)

Behind the Love -Social Media

 

 

Series Book Review: Behind the Love Contemporary Romances By P.C Zick | Cloe Michael’s Reads


Thank you, Cloe Michael’s Reads for the reviews of all four of the books in the Behind the Love series.

As you get ready for the Fourth of July, it’s time to load up the Kindles with plenty of exciting and romantic beach reads. To help you achieve that very goal, you can download Behind the Altar, Book One, for free June 27 and 28. Behind the Bar, Book Two, will be on sale for $0.99 cents.

Behind the Altar, Book One I could not put this book down I am not big on religion but it worked in this book because of the lessons learned in it.  I loved how Dean and Leah had a strong connectio…

Click to read the rest of this post:

Source: Series Book Review: Behind the Love Contemporary Romances By P.C Zick | Cloe Michael’s Reads

Click below to purchase one or all of the books in this series.

Behind the Altar, Book One
Behind the Bar, Book Two
Behind the Curtain, Book Three
Behind the Door, Book Four

BEHIND THE LOVE – CONTEMPORARY ROMANCES REDUX

Hello – It’s an exciting day for me. The past few months have been spent re-vamping my contemporary romance series, Behind the Love. Each of the first three novels, Behind the Altar, Behind the Bar, and Behind the Curtain have new covers and new content. All three are now full-length novels. And while working on them, I was also writing the fourth book in the series, Behind the Door, which is set to release May 16. Make sure you scroll all the way down this post to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card to celebrate the reveal of the new and improved Behind the Love series.

BEHIND THE LOVE SERIES

by P.C. Zick

Continue reading

P. C. ZICK – Still Waters Run Deep

This is such a lovely post from the creative and talented S.R. (Sarah) Mallery.

Source: P. C. ZICK – Still Waters Run Deep

Also, Trails in the Sand can be downloaded free April 18-21 in honor of the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the lives lost. Click here to download your copy.

VALENTINE’S DAY HAS NEVER BEEN SWEETER

99c-promoI’m excited to announce the release of a new boxed set of nine sweet romances featuring some adorable pets. This multi-author set contains all new stories never before released until today. And the best part? It’s only $0.99 to download on all the major online retail sites. Click here for the retailer of your choice.

My contribution to the set is Love on Trial, featuring a Boston terrier and a Jack Russell who fall helplessly in love while the people who give them a home are dueling lawyers trying a case on opposite sides of the aisle. It’s up to Clyde and Suzanne to find a way to bring them together. I had lots of fun creating this story set in Chicago, and it’s led me to start another individual series, Rivals in Love, about the Crandall brothers and sisters. The next one, Love on Board, is already in the works.

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About Valentine’s Pets & Kisses 2 – Cupid worked overtime to deliver this Valentine’s Day treat. Cuddle up with a heartwarming collection of dog tales, kitty and horse stories, and true love with these all-new sweet romances penned by USA Today and international bestselling authors.

vpinderVictoria PinderKeeping the Spy
A retired CIA spy returns to his hometown and finally works up the nerve to go after the girl he’s dreamed of since high school. Her beloved dog and the target on her back complicate this Valentine’s Day.

J.L. CampbellCupid’s Giftjcampbell
Heartbroken single parents, Melanie Peterson and Bryce Nevers, aren’t looking for love. Cupid has other ideas plans when he turns things upside down after Bryce’s goofy dog blasts through Melanie’s office, leaving behind mayhem and a reminder that love can show up in unexpected ways.

jkerrionJade KerrionNurtured
High-flying corporate lawyer, Nicole Lefton, has neither the space nor time for distractions, but a car accident saddles her with the unexpected company of a large dog and the attentions of a handsome vet.

P.C. ZickLove on Trial
Lawyers arguing a case on opposite sides disagree on most everything, except the love they both feel for their dogs, a Boston terrier and a Jack Russell terrier. Loneliness and their dogs bring them together in a surprising way on Valentine’s Day.

samichelleSydney Aaliyah MichelleYour Loyal Fan
A year later, Noah, Callie, and their little dog Nip are in relationship bliss, but a Valentine’s Day weekend in Los Angeles stretches their loyalties. Is their bond strong enough to survive the celebrity wedding of the century?

Caroline Bell FosterThe Kitty Effectcbellfoster
Stumbling across an abandoned cat and her kittens, Mateo and Willow have to embark on a crash course of parenthood in more ways than one.

tdchayesTina D.C. HayesSweethearts and Paw Prints
Kaylee fears losing the two guys she loves with all her heart: Carter to another woman and her Yorkie to his previous owner.

Jeanne BannonLove Bitesjbannon
Jack has a tried and true system for determining whether he will continue to date a woman. He brings his dates home to meet his dog, Phil. But none have yet to pass the Phil Test.

Grab your copy today! And Happy Valentine’s Day reading!