DOWNLOAD FLORIDA FICTION SERIES FOR $0.99 CENTS THIS WEEK

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ffs_boxset_final

 

Three novels in one package, these novels represent my love for Florida in all its crazy and complicated glory.

Here’s a review from author Uvi Poznansky that I treasure. I love it when others call me a storyteller. That’s my job, but it’s always nice to be recognized as such by someone else.

Review:  PC Zick is a unique storyteller. Her female protagonists are energetic fighters, tackling conflicts within their families and society. Their thoughts reflect what’s in her heart: a caring for a place (hence the name of the series, Florida fiction), a sense of awe when history is unraveled, and a deep passion for a cause, all of which propel them through the twists and turns of the plot, seeking a way to arrive at resolution. Writing in bursts of dialogue, and in short chapters that often alternate in time, she takes it upon herself to weave together political and social strands with familial ones, to create a rich, complex tapestry as the backdrop for her stories. That is why they ring true in the deepest sense of the word. Her dedication on the opening page of Tortoise Stew says it all: “For all the underdogs who fight for justice because it’s the right thing to do.”

In the first novel, Native Lands, the story alternates between two time frames: 1760, where we meet Locka—son of a native tribe in Florida, who suffers the loss of his wife and finds himself attracted to the beautiful Mali—and the present, where we meet Emily Booth, the mother of a difficult teen and the wife of a political candidate Daniel, and the columnist Barbara Evans, who writes about environmental issues. In both time frames, the author bases her writing on in-depth research to create detailed, convincing realities in a manner that highlights the contrasts between past and present.

3-D1Set on Florida’s panhandle and the east coast near St. Augustine, the second novel, Trails in the Sand, presents Caroline, a woman faced with challenges on two levels: her family and her environment. On the family level, she uncovers family secrets–murder, incest, and pregnancies—secrets that went unspoken for as long as three generations back. Going forward, these secrets threaten to unsettle the shaky balance between her, her husband, and his daughter, as they struggle to reach for each other and find forgiveness. On the environment level, they must pull their efforts together, to rescue sea turtles that are threatened by extinction due to environmental hazards brought on by society. In Zick’s writing, the family and environment issue are interconnected: the night scene on a beach near Cape Canaveral, when the sea turtle hatchlings make their way to the sea, is moving on both levels at once. It left trails in the sand, in a direction which for me, evoked hope for a future founded on understanding and acceptance.

TORTISE_webThe third novel, Tortoise Stew, explores further this notion of trying to reach understanding and acceptance even in the face of differences. “If we’re all shouting, who’s listening?” It presents Kelly Sands, a reporter investigating politically explosive environmental issues in the town of Calloway. The story opens with her staring at a bomb meant to scare her away from her investigation. Armadillos and gopher tortoise fall victim to an all out warfare surrounding the development of Florida, while a commissioner is murdered and his wife commits suicide. In this atmosphere of ruthlessness, how can cooler minds prevail, to form a sane solution?

Taken together, these three novels showcase Zick’s gift as a master weaver. They are smartly constructed, rich with detail, and offer both enlightenment and delight.

Click here to grab your copy.

 

 

Author Wednesday – Sharon Black

cropped-typewriter.jpgToday Author Wednesday features a guest post from author Sharon Black. She’s recently published her first novel, Going Against Type, a contemporary romantic comedy set in Dublin. I welcome Sharon and her post about the creation of her first novel.GoingAgainstTypeLarge

The Creation of Going Against Type by Sharon Black

I was a journalist. When I was younger, I worked as a features writer for a national newspaper here in Dublin. After taking a substantial break when my children were small, I then wrote for another national paper for a couple of years.

By the time I was ready to write my debut novel, it seemed natural for me to write about what I knew.

Going Against Type is set in the world of Dublin-based national newspapers. But because the setting was familiar, it was important to me that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

The story is about two rival newspaper columnists, who write under pen names. They fall in love, without realising that they are bitter enemies in print. They have good reason to keep their alter egos safe from each other. As their relationship develops, each of them is blissfully unaware of whom the other is. Until they are forced to reveal themselves….

The idea for the rival columnists came after I remembered one of the fabulous old Hollywood films that I adored when I was a teenager. (They were shown at odd hours on Irish TV – I’m not old enough to have seen them on the big screen!)

In Woman of the Year, starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey, she plays a high brow pundit, who rubbishes sport in one of her columns. Tracey is a sports columnist who leaps to attack her, and so they start to spar. In the film, however, they meet quite quickly and despite knowing who the other person is, they fall in love.

What I did in Going Against Type, was to turn the stereotypes on their head. It meant making my heroine the sports buff. At the beginning of the story, she is given a chance to write the new, anonymous sports column, Side Swipe.

My hero, Derry, is a fashion writer and also writes the back page gossip column The Squire for the rival paper. They fall in love, but they don’t discover that they’ve fallen for their bitter rival until half way through the book.

While that whole build up was really fun to do, it was also extremely challenging. I had to ensure  Charlotte and Derry’s columns were quite acerbic. That way, you could see a huge contrast between their views in the papers – their weekly banter – and how they were with each other. It also meant there was more at stake.

The hardest columns to get right were Charlotte’s. Paradoxically, she turned out to be a wonderful character to write. I personally know very little about sport, having never been sporty myself. But I admire people who are, and I believe team sports, in particular, are so important.

So to make Charlotte real, I had to do a lot of research. I read a lot of sports’ columnists, I checked all my facts, and then I tried to put myself into the head of a feisty, twenty-something woman, working in an area that’s largely dominated by men.
Her columns took a lot of writing and re-writing. I wanted them to be sharp, funny and very controversial. There was one thing that held me back a bit during early drafts. Initially, when I was writing Charlotte’s character, and the other female characters, I was terrified that I would inadvertently write bits of myself in.

It wasn’t something I wanted to do. Going Against Type is a romantic comedy. It’s light and escapist and fun. I couldn’t allow it to be even slightly about me. It’s just not that kind of novel. But because I deliberately made Charlotte very different from me, it meant I could write her freely, and that was fantastic.

A lot of people are surprised when they see that my hero is a gossip columnist and fashion writer. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but mainly these are areas in journalism that tend to be dominated by women. Quite apart from wanting to just shake things up, I wanted to write a strong male character, who is completely comfortable in his own skin, not to mind his fabulous tailor made suits! He is manly, yet completely relaxed with having a female boss and working in a features department, surrounded by women. Actually, he likes that a lot!

It sounds like a terrible cliché, but writing this book was a huge learning experience. I had written short stories down the years, and had some of them published. And I’d started so many books – but had never finished them.

This time, I armed myself with the tools: the nuts and bolts of novel structuring. And I knew I had a good story. I was determined to see it through. I’m so glad I did. I became an author, and I’m so grateful for that. And I’m very proud of my debut.

Sharon 254 bAbout Sharon Black:  Sharon grew up in Dublin. She studied history and politics at University College Dublin and then did post-graduate in journalism at Dublin City University. She has worked for national newspapers, including The Evening Herald and The Irish Examiner. She had short stories published in U Magazine and won the 2010 Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition. When she is not writing, she reads, walks, and sees friends. She co-founded a local book club fourteen years ago. She loves theatre, old Hollywood films, science fiction, and good stand-up comedy. She lives in Sandymount, Dublin, with her husband and their three children.

Links

Going Against Type by Sharon Black - 100Going Against TypeAmazon US

Going Against Type – Amazon UK

Going Against Type – Amazon Canda

Amazon Author Central

Florida Fiction Series – New Review

ffs_boxset_final I’d like to share with you a recent review from my Florida Fiction Series. I love it when others call me a storyteller. That’s my job, but it’s always nice to be recognized as such by someone else. It’s been a discouraging year where my book sales are concerned, but for some reason, I continue to write. And I continue to tell stories. I don’t know if my friends and family tire of it, but if they do they’re too polite to tell me. So for now, I’ll let someone else tell the story for me. From author Uvi Poznansky, here’s a review for three novels all created with the intention of telling the reader a great story.

PC Zick is a unique storyteller. Her female protagonists are energetic fighters, tackling conflicts within their families and society. Their thoughts reflect what’s in her heart: a caring for a place (hence the name of the series, Florida fiction), a sense of awe when history is unraveled, and a deep passion for a cause, all of which propel them through the twists and turns of the plot, seeking a way to arrive at resolution. Writing in bursts of dialogue, and in short chapters that often alternate in time, she takes it upon herself to weave together political and social strands with familial ones, to create a rich, complex tapestry as the backdrop for her stories. That is why they ring true in the deepest sense of the word. Her dedication on the opening page of Tortoise Stew says it all: “For all the underdogs who fight for justice because it’s the right thing to do.”

In the first novel, Native Lands, the story alternates between two time frames: 1760, where we meet Locka—son of a native tribe in Florida, who suffers the loss of his wife and finds himself attracted to the beautiful Mali—and the present, where we meet Emily Booth, the mother of a difficult teen and the wife of a political candidate Daniel, and the columnist Barbara Evans, who writes about environmental issues. In both time frames, the author bases her writing on in-depth research to create detailed, convincing realities in a manner that highlights the contrasts between past and present.

3-D1Set on Florida’s panhandle and the east coast near St. Augustine, the second novel, Trails in the Sand, presents Caroline, a woman faced with challenges on two levels: her family and her environment. On the family level, she uncovers family secrets–murder, incest, and pregnancies—secrets that went unspoken for as long as three generations back. Going forward, these secrets threaten to unsettle the shaky balance between her, her husband, and his daughter, as they struggle to reach for each other and find forgiveness. On the environment level, they must pull their efforts together, to rescue sea turtles that are threatened by extinction due to environmental hazards brought on by society. In Zick’s writing, the family and environment issue are interconnected: the night scene on a beach near Cape Canaveral, when the sea turtle hatchlings make their way to the sea, is moving on both levels at once. It left trails in the sand, in a direction which for me, evoked hope for a future founded on understanding and acceptance.

TORTISE_webThe third novel, Tortoise Stew, explores further this notion of trying to reach understanding and acceptance even in the face of differences. “If we’re all shouting, who’s listening?” It presents Kelly Sands, a reporter investigating politically explosive environmental issues in the town of Calloway. The story opens with her staring at a bomb meant to scare her away from her investigation. Armadillos and gopher tortoise fall victim to an all out warfare surrounding the development of Florida, while a commissioner is murdered and his wife commits suicide. In this atmosphere of ruthlessness, how can cooler minds prevail, to form a sane solution?

Taken together, these three novels showcase Zick’s gift as a master weaver. They are smartly constructed, rich with detail, and offer both enlightenment and delight.

Click here to grab your copy.

I hope you’re staying safe and warm on this treacherous weekend here in Pennsylvania. It’s a good chance to stay inside and read. Here’s two other box sets that might interest you. Heroes to Swoon For is available for $.99 cents and At Odds with Destiny is available to pre-order also for $.99 cents. Release date set for March 3.

Click cover to pre-order

47a53-heroes2bto2bswoon2bfor_3d_medium

Author Wednesday – Lorna Lee

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgWelcome to Author Wednesday and my interview with Lorna Lee, the author of  Never Turn Back, a work of historical fiction that is based on a true story about the life of Lorna’s grandmother. She’s also published her memoir, How Was I Supposed to Know? The Adventures of a Girl Whose Name Means Lost.

NeverTurnBack

Welcome, Lorna. I love something that one of my heroes claimed about her writing. Rachel Carson (Silent Spring) said she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Did this happen to you with this book?

Never Turn Back is a perfect example of the subject choosing me. The character is based on my maternal grandmother and her grim life. She and I could not be more different in personality. I remember her as a controlling, stubborn, mostly miserable woman who trudged through her days with a yoke of duty burdening her. She sighed a great deal. Conversely, I try to find the positive in people and any circumstance that comes my way. Her story, however, is a compelling one—one that my family urged me to tell (even as fiction because she kept too many secrets for me to weave a complete narrative based only on the selected stories she revealed). When I told her story to friends at social gatherings, amazement and intrigue were always the response. “Lorna, you have to write a book about her!” And so I did.

It sounds as if you didn’t have much choice. Is there a message you try to convey to your readers?

While the humorous voice of my memoir is so different from the serious tone of the novel, both books are about human perseverance through seemingly impossible circumstances. My grandmother and I certainly approached life differently in terms of our attitudes and had different challenges to face, but we both had multiple tragedies in our lives, with which we coped in our own ways. My books are about the unsinkable human spirit.

You’ve written a memoir and an historical novel. What are your plans for your next books? 

So far, I’ve written two books in two different genres. Either I don’t want to be pigeon-holed or I want to be known as a “genre-jumper!” I’m seriously contemplating writing pure fiction next. It would be a murder mystery with a humorous twist—quirky characters in outlandish situations.

That would be quite a leap, but I operate that way, too. I’m always trying to challenge myself as an author. Since you’ve published two books, you must have reviews, so what’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

Since Never Turn Back was my first stab at fiction (although based on a true story), getting feedback about not knowing which events or characters were real and which were fictional was high praise. I knew I succeeded in my goal at writing believable fiction.

We all get them, so we might as well talk about them. What advice can you give to other writers about receiving a bad review?

Some bad reviews are simply because the reader didn’t care for the book’s subject matter or characters. If that’s the case, remind yourself that, no matter how much you want to, you can never please all of the people all of the time. As writers, we must stay true to our characters and our stories. If the bad review is of your work (i.e., hard to follow plot or unnatural dialogue), see if there is anything you can learn from the review to improve your writing. As humans, we crave the accolades; but as wordsmiths and storytellers, we learn quite effectively from our mistakes if we are willing to keep an open mind.

Excellent advice. So tell us the one sentence pitch for Never Look Back?

“Meri Vaarsara had a dream and something to prove; she also had incredibly bad fortune and even worse timing.”

Very intriguing. I love the contrasts. How did you choose the title? 

My grandmother was a very stubborn woman. When she decided to leave her home and family in Finland as a young woman, she left and never turned back. When she left Paris to come to a very disappointing America, she never considered going back. Her pride stopped her. The title came from what must have been her life’s guiding credo. I knew the title before I started writing the first line of the book.

Is the book traditionally or self-published? 

This book, like my memoir, is self-published. Before I wrote my memoir, I knew nothing about the publishing aspect of writing. I thought that once you wrote the manuscript and got an agent to represent you, your work as a writer was done. Ha! When my memoir manuscript was nearing completion, I started doing my homework about publishing. I discovered that even if I could get an agent interested in my manuscript, I would have the lion’s share of marketing responsibility even though they would get the lion’s share of any royalties. Yes, there is more prestige associated with being traditionally published. But there is more freedom as an Indie author. If I have to do the marketing anyway, I decided to try self-publishing and avoid the inevitable waiting for rejection letters. My skin is too thin for all of that anyway.

I thought the same thing after I finished my first novel. I’ve gone both routes, and I’ll take the Indie route any day. I’m so glad you stopped by today. Your first attempt at fiction sounds very interesting, and I hope you’ll stop by again when you get that murder mystery written.

LornaAbout Lorna Lee:  In her former life as a sociology professor, Lorna published many academic and research papers. Creative writing is her new path since her premature disability retirement in 2006 because to Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome.

Never Turn Back is her second book and first novel. Her first book is a memoir entitled How Was I Supposed to Know? That book was awarded Best Memoir, 2012 by the Adirondack Writing Center in their Annual Literary Award Contest. In 2010, she was a finalist in the memoir genre of the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Contest with her short story, Monkey Business.

Lorna currently lives with the man of her dreams and the dog of her dreams in the home of her dreams in the Portland, Oregon area. She keeps herself busy by writing, quilting, walking, meditating, and blogging.

Links:

Blog: Lorna’s Voice 

Never Turn Back page on Lorna’s Voice

How Was I Supposed to Know? page on Lorna’s Voice

Never Turn Back on Amazon

How Was I Suppose to Know? on Amazon

 

Yippee, It’s Release Day for Heroes to Swoon For

88680-heroestoswoonfor_ad700by200I’m one of eleven authors in the contemporary romance boxed set, Heroes to Swoon For, so I can’t write an official review, but I can tell you about the other books I’ve read so far. I’m proud and humbled to be a part of such a talented group of romance writers. I only hope my first romance, Behind the Altar, can stand up to their caliber. And the best part? For a limited time, the entire box set is only $0.99 on Kindle, Kobo, iTunes, and Google.

Here’s a preview of the books, with my short commentary on the ones I’ve read so far. I hope you’ll get your copy and swoon through the holiday season with our heroes rather than stressing about the holiday egg nog. Cheers!

Aroused – J1Arousedade Kerrion

Recently divorced, Dr. Vera Rios is too busy being a single parent to look for Mr. Right. Along comes a man who cherishes her, adores her daughter, and helps her find her sexy groove. The only problem: Mr. Perfect is an escort, with far too many secrets of his own. Will love cost Vera her daughter’s safety?

Commentary: I loved Vera. She’s wounded and vulnerable but still manages to take care of her daughter. Her ex-husband has been created by Jade in the best tradition of jerky exes. The hero is certainly someone to swoon for as a male model, but the comedy of errors when Vera and Mr. Right meet is hilarious but with the ingredients to backfire in everyone’s face. Great romance with plenty of complications.

2Blazing Love TeaserBlazing Love – Chantel Rhondeau

Laura’s attempting to rebuild her life after grieving for her murdered fiancé. Fireman Thayne is the most eligible bachelor in Sayle—strong, loyal, and sexy as hell. He’s determined to show Laura how to love again, but an arsonist loose in Sayle ups the stakes, risking more than their romance.

Commentary: Who doesn’t love a heroic fireman? Thayne is so handsome that the main character Laura finds it difficult to believe he could even look at her let alone love her. I love that Laura isn’t model-perfect, but a real woman who is attractive for other reasons than her body. Thayne and Laura each carry wounds from the past but together they come together in love to fight the awful things happening in their town. I love both of these characters and rooted for their success despite some pretty lousy friends supposedly guiding them along the way. Here’s to a fireman and a vet’s assistant always keeping it hot!

love triangle, two young men and young woman on the beach at sunsetRoaring Hot! –Rachelle Ayala

Motorcycle racer Teo Alexiou cooks up a reality show to convince actress Amy Suzuki to play at being his girlfriend. When Teo and Amy find themselves caught in love’s grip, each suspects the other of acting. Their game playing explodes when Teo is injured on the track and left wondering if the reality show portrayed skillful acting or true love.

Commentary: How about a motorcycle racer with a billionaire father for a hero that makes you all swoony inside? That’s what Rachelle Ayala has created in Roaring Hot! I loved the story line with all its mix-ups and twists and turns. Amy is the actress who’s confused by her role of a lifetime and her introduction to the love of a lifetime. Either way both are hot, and the story takes the reader around the world. I loved the energy of this novel. It’s fast-paced, which goes with the racing part of the story, and fun to read.

 4TheRightPitchThe Right Pitch – Lyssa Layne

Colie Adger is trying to make it in the big leagues as an athletic trainer with the help of best friend Grant Adamson, a veteran pitcher on her team. Colie’s elated when big time pitcher Jace Richards, her former crush, comes back into her life. This time, he wants it all, with Colie front and center. Can Colie figure out her own heart and hit a homerun off the right pitch?

Commentary: What’s not to like about finely-tuned baseball players? Colie’s job is one to envy because of her close physical relationship to the players. It’s the dream for a young woman to have two baseball pitchers fighting over her–at least for me!
5Art of LoveThe Art of Love– Michele Shriver

After watching her parents’ marriage crumble, jewelry artist Chelsea Matthews doesn’t believe in love or happy endings.Sexy painter Hayden Shaw sets out to show Chelsea the art of love and prove to her that good guys do exist, but a gallery curator with an agenda of her own threatens both their happiness and their future dreams.

Commentary: I loved this book, and you can read my review of The Art of Love here.

6BehindTheAltarBehind the Altar – P.C. Zick

All seems perfect in Leah’s life until tattoo artist Dean rides his Harley into her heart. Dean, who’s been away from his home for ten years, finds himself irresistibly drawn to Leah’s natural beauty and genuine goodness, but Leah’s engagement to Dean’s brother stands in the way. The more they fight the attraction, the harder it is to stay apart.

Commentary: I’m not going to comment on my own book, but here’s a review from Amazon: Engaged to one brother but wanting the other. Such is Leah’s plight in this compelling story of forbidden love that is the first in an exciting new trilogy. The chemistry between Leah and Dean burns hot, and provides an interesting contrast to the backdrop of a church soup kitchen for homeless vets, which Is Leah’s other passion. With well-drawn characters, especially a villain that readers should be hating for a while, this book is a winner.

7LostAvalonLost Avalon – K.S. Thomas

Rockstar Blaise has it all with his brooding good looks, haunting voice and troubled lyrics of a soul gone lost. Only Blaise didn’t wind up brooding, haunted and lost by accident…
Avalon has been the girl next door since she was five. The band manager since she was sixteen, and the keeper of his secrets always. But Blaise has one secret even Ava doesn’t know.

Commentary: Lost Avalon is a fun romp through the rock and roller coaster of love. On the surface, it’s the story of a rock star about to fall apart unless his long-suffering friend can save him. But as the story unfolds, it’s more about facing the past in order to move forward. Ava and Blaise fight the past ravaged by alcoholism and mental illness. It’s not predictable, but it’s very romantic. It’s sexy yet tastefully presented in the artful hands of K.S. Thomas who is a talented story teller.

8SecondShieldSecond Shield – Stacy Eaton

When Agent Drew Bradley goes undercover to find an officer gone rogue, he finds Detective Sergeant Mackenzie McAllister, and she is nothing like he expected. Mack is the epitome of control, but when the rookie, twelve years younger than her, enters The Unit, the control she mastered slowly slips away. Can Drew solve the case before Mack loses her control completely?

Commentary: Coming Soon!

9Amber RulesAmber Rules – Melinda Curtis

For years, Amber was the main attraction in her father’s self-help infomercials.  Now, she must improve the mental game of the biggest bad-ass in the N.B.A., Evan Oliver. Too bad Amber knows nothing about basketball or life coaching. Too bad Even Oliver is determined to do things his own way, especially when it comes to teaching Amber a new set of rules.

Commentary: Coming Soon!

10Wild Irish RideWild Irish Ride – Jennifer Saints

Given a second chance at forbidden love, Alexi plunges headlong into the passion Jesse ignites. To Jesse, love is an overrated word for getting ones needs met, and he’ll gladly take Alexi on the ride of her life. Maybe then, he can get her out of his head. But the forces that tore them apart before are at work again and may cost them their lives this time.

Commentary: Coming Soon!

11HowYouRemindMeBonus Story: How You Remind Me – Julie Leto

Sexy guitarist Shaw Tyler knows lawyer Kate Schaffer’s personal fantasies and secrets. Trouble is, she doesn’t remember why. Kate used to live a wild and crazy life. After a scary black-out, she cleaned up her act. Problem is, who’s the man who acts like he knows exactly what she wants, and is she willing to find out if her past was a mistake?

Commentary: Coming Soon!

Book Review Friday – Starting Over

StartingOverI’ve been a fan of Michele Shriver’s writing since reading After Tenwhich I would call contemporary women’s fiction. She switched to writing contemporary romances during the Romance in a Month class, and the result was The Art of Love, which I reviewed a few weeks back. While writing The Art of Love about two college students, both art majors, finding their way to one another despite their differences.

One character from the book, the main character’s mother Liz, wouldn’t leave Michele alone so she wrote a second romance, Starting Over. I love all of Michele’s work, but I was particularly taken by this story because Liz, the plucky hero, is closer to my age and faces singledom as a vibrant woman in her fifties.

Liz faces the same dilemmas all women face as she grows older, but Michele does not wallow in the pity party of analyzing wrinkles, weight gain, and gravity pulls. Instead she emphasizes the beauty of the mature woman–beauty gained from living and learning and loving. Those things can’t be bottled by Oil of Olay or shot up in a botox treatment. Liz may have lived a few decades, but it has only enhanced her inner glow and aroused her passions to new heights.

When her new man comes for dinner the first time, the action in the kitchen both astounded me and gave me ideas! It’s refreshing to see a woman of Liz’s age still passionate about both her cooking and her sexual appetite.

Even though Liz has gained wisdom through her years of raising a daughter and divorcing the father, she still has many things to learn about love, and Michele Shriver takes us on that journey with her. It’s a lovely ride filled with bumps, love, sensuality, and humor. No matter your age, you’ll enjoy Liz and cheer for her ultimate success as a woman who has many more years left to enjoy what she’s learned.

Age is merely a number attached to our legal documents. It has nothing to do with how attractive we are or what we’ve achieved. Liz defies definition by her age, and that’s a good lesson for us all to learn. I thank Michele for creating such a well-rounded and passionate woman. Love never gets old nor does a little spiciness in the kitchen.

Starting Over will be officially released on Tuesday, December 9, but you can order yours now. It’s only $0.99 cents, and it’s a fantastic read by a lovely author. Click here to order your copy.

Native Lands Released Today!

It’s an exciting day for me–one eight years in the making. Native Lands is now a reality. It went from Connecting the Dots in its original form in 2006 when I participated in a Novel in a Month group. My month stretched out into 100 months, but I did take a break from it in 2007 and didn’t return to it until earlier this year when I retitled it Safe Harbors, but there are many books with that phrase in the title. Since the book is about Native Americans–the Timucuans of north Florida–I decided to go with Native Lands because it encompasses the themes of the novel. I hope you’ll read about the book and perhaps even decide to read it! Enter the Giveaway below for the first two books in the Florida Fiction Series. Native Lands is the third and final(?) book.

Native Lands by P.C. Zick
Native Lands is a gripping and entertaining thriller with depth, wonderful characters and well-planted
parallels between the two engaging narratives. There is a beautiful and warm feel of Native Lands and an excellent and uplifting moral that won’t lecture or patronize. A truly great read.

Christoph Fischer, Author
Native Lands is a novel rich in intrigue and history as a tribe of Native Americans, thought to
be extinct, fight to save their beloved heritage. They join with others willing
to sacrifice everything to save further destruction of the Everglades and St.
Augustine.
Forbidden loves, deceptions, and murder threaten to destroy
nature and families in a saga stretching from the 1760s to the present day.
Join Locka and Mali as they lead their tribe of Timucuans
away from the Spanish near St. Augustine in 1760 and settle into a new life in
the Everglades alongside the Calusa Indians. Their progeny grow up in the
Everglades, attempting to keep their bloodlines pure.
By 2010, Mangrove Mike, Joey Cosmos, and Rob Zodiac live
among the white people and learn that the human connection transcends the fear
of extinction of their people. Barbara Evans in the Everglades and Emily Booth
in St. Augustine are the glue as the different cultures combine forces to fight
a conglomerate of international interests.
It’s a dangerous journey as this oddly matched group attempts
to halt the destruction of the natural world they treasure. Cultural boundaries
established centuries ago are erased as love and nature seek the balance lost
during the battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier.
P.C. Zick is the
author of several contemporary novels. Native
Lands
is the third book in her Florida Fiction Series, which also includes Tortoise Stew and Trails in the Sand. She may be contacted through her website at
http://www.pczick.com.

Barbara Evans sat in the living room of her house on the western edge of Chokoloskee Island, leafing through past issues of Sierra magazine, searching for an idea for her next column. She listened to the news from the television, only looking up when the local weather presented NOAA’s prediction for an active hurricane season. Then the newscaster began a report that caused Barbara to put down the magazine and devote her full attention to the screen.

“Yesterday, wood storks in Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area attacked a young boy as his mother shot this video of the assault,” the announcer said.

Barbara watched as a boy, approximately ten years old, was crying as a wood stork’s beak poked at the Mickey Mouse portrait stamped on the front of his T-shirt. Another stork approached and began nudging the foam snout of the alligator hat on the boy’s head. A man ran into the frame of the video, yelling and scaring off the wood storks as the boy howled.

“Officers from Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission are handling the situation. Here to talk with us is the agency’s spokesperson, Larry Castle. Larry, what’s your agency doing to make sure the tourists are safe in the Everglades?”

“Along with the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we’re asking residents and visitors to our great state to keep their distance from wildlife,” Larry said, wearing a green shirt and hat with the logo from the state’s fish and wildlife agency. “They shouldn’t feed wildlife or make any attempts to capture or touch them.”

“The parents say the wood storks just came up and attacked their child,” the newscaster said.

“Wildlife usually keeps to itself unless tempted by food. We’re investigating, but the safest thing anyone can do is to enjoy wildlife from a distance with a zoom lens on the camera.

“Thank you, Larry. The family told us they are cutting short their vacation because of this unwarranted aviary violence. Governor Rick Scott offered the family a week’s stay in Miami to make up for the attack, but the family declined the offer.”

“My son may never get over this attack.” The mother, wearing a white visor with a Minnie Mouse label on the front, appeared on the screen. “His favorite hat is now in shreds in the swamp. It has been one horrible experience.”

The newscaster came back on the screen. “The video of the attack was recorded by the mother on her cell phone.”

Barbara ran her fingers through her short curly red hair, and with the other hand reached for her phone to call Stan Hogan, her editor at The Miami Herald.

“Stan, I’ve got to write the story about the wood stork attacking the family at Big Cypress,” Barbara said. “You’ve got to let me do it.”

“If I let you write the article, it’s off limits for your column,” Stan said. “You write an objective piece, but no editorializing. Agreed?”

“Then I can write a column about it in a few weeks.”

“No. You’ve been hired as a columnist. If you want to go back to reporting, then we’ll start you on covering the commission meetings in the communities around Lake Okeechobee.”

“Come on, Stan. You know I can write a good piece. I don’t know why you won’t let me.”

“That’s my final say on the subject. You write your column or you start working the Glades County beat.”

“All right, all right.” Barbara knew being assigned the rural beat near the shores of Lake Okeechobee amounted to a death sentence for a writer. “The column is better because I can ask, ‘why the hell was the mother recording the attack instead of protecting her child?’ The kid deserved getting attacked just for wearing that stupid alligator hat. Tell them to pull the column I wrote for this week. I’ll have the new one to you later this afternoon.”

“No ‘those tourists deserved it’ crap. You got me into a load of trouble with that last piece about the pigeons and doves at that wedding in Disney World. One of the copy editors should have caught the line ‘anyone who chooses to get married in the land of Mickey Mouse deserves dead doves floating down during the vows.’”

“I can’t help it if nature keeps biting back,” Barbara said. “Just be sure they pull my old column.”

 

P.C. Zick began her writing career in 1998 as a journalist. She’s won
various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction. She
describes herself as a “storyteller” no matter the genre.
She was born in Michigan and moved to Florida in 1980. Even though she now
resides in western Pennsylvania with her husband Robert, she finds the stories
of Florida and its people and environment a rich base for her storytelling
platform. Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply
her fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.
She writes two blogs, P.C. Zick
and Living Lightly. She has published
three nonfiction books and six novels.
Her writing contains the elements most dear to her heart, ranging from love
to the environment. In her novels, she advances the cause for wildlife
conservation and energy conservation. She believes in living lightly upon this
earth with love, laughter, and passion.

Works by P.C. Zick

Florida
Fiction Series
Tortoise Stew (Florida Fiction Series, Book 1) –
Politics, murder, and chaos in rural Florida reign supreme in a story where
love triumphs over it all.
Trails in the Sand (Florida Fiction Series, Book 2) –
Family secrets, an oil spill, and redemption create a roller coaster ride for
journalist Caroline Carlisle.
Native Lands
(Florida Fiction Series,
Book 3)
– A novel rich in intrigue and history as a tribe of Native
Americans, thought to be extinct, fight to save their beloved heritage.
Other Fiction:

A Lethal Legacy (Psychological
Suspense) – A fascinating study of
human expectations, failings, and redemption filled with lust and forbidden
lovers.

Live from the Road (Fiction takes the reader on an often humorous, yet
harrowing, journey as Meg Newton and Sally Sutton seek a change in the mundane
routine of their lives. Joined by their daughters, they set off on a journey of
salvation enhanced by the glories of the Mother Road.
Behind the Altar (Romance – Behind the Love Trilogy,
Book 1) – All seems perfect in Leah’s life until tattoo artist Dean rides his
Harley into her heart in this story of forbidden love.
Nonfiction
From Seed to Table (Blog posts) Gardening techniques, organic gardening, canning vegetables, and
recipes galore
Civil War Journal of a Union Soldier (Memoir nonfiction) – My great
grandfather’s journal from his days as a soldier. It’s a personal account of
war and all its sundry causes and effects from the eyes of a man who fought it.
Odyssey to Myself (Essays nonfiction): The people of
Morocco, Italy, Panama, and Chile come to life through the experiences of the
author as she absorbs the cultures so different from her own.

 

 

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Hosted by:

Author Wednesday – Carol Ervin

???????????????????????????????I’m pleased to introduce Carol Ervin to Author Wednesday. Carol’s first two books are a part of a historical fiction series. The Girl on the Mountain and Cold Comfort will be joined by the third in the series, Midwinter Sun, later this month. Today she’s stopped by to talk about her newest endeavor which takes her from historical fiction to science fiction. Dell Zero is the story of a society that uses drugs to control everyone. Dell-Zero - Ebook

Welcome Carol. I’m intrigued that you made the jump into science fiction. Tell us a little bit about Dell Zero and how it’s been received.

Dell Zero is the story of a society that uses drugs to control everyone. The main characters are Dell, a young (un-medicated) woman who has grown up outside the system, and John, an old-timer who is hundreds of years old and unhappy about living forever. One reviewer called the story bio-punk; another said dystopian. I think of it as futuristic. I like science fiction that’s based in reality, and I think elements of this story, such as character behavior, are true today.

Making it relevant to our society today even though it’s futuristic is an excellent way to draw in readers. What’s your one sentence pitch for your book?

In a society of humans medicated to live forever, only newborns like Dell think and act independently, and they will change everything.

How did you choose Dell Zero as the title? Has it been the title from the very beginning?

When I started Dell Zero, there was no Dell, just John, a disillusioned, confused man, hundreds of years old. Early-on, I added Dell to the story, and she took over. So the story that began as John 316 changed to Dell Zero. My sister, the book’s first reader, suggested the title.

I like it because it’s unique and easy to remember. Is the book traditionally or self-published? Why did you choose one over the other?

Dell Zero is my third self-published book. I love the opportunity to do it all myself, and I wouldn’t do it any other way. The self-pubbing tools offered by Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace are wonderful. I’ve proved I can be successful (at least in my own estimation), and I like not being handled by a publisher or agent. I also like formatting the books myself, and the ability through digital publishing to make changes at any time. However, I would not be self-published without the wonderful community of self-published authors on the Internet who help each other. I give a lot of credit to authors Victorine Lieske, Rachelle Ayala, and others who led the way and continue to share good advice.

I like all those things about being an Indie Author as well. There is a tremendous support system out there. It’s one reason I do Author Wednesday. I like giving other Indies exposure. Since this is such a departure from your previous works, tell us you conceived the plot.

Dell Zero: The idea of a society made immortal by drugs came to me on the road to a week-long fishing trip. The week was rainy, so I had a lot of cabin time, and of course I’d brought along my laptop. So any time we weren’t fishing, I was making notes, creating details of the society and exploring plot ideas. At the time I was also developing Midwinter Sun, the third book in my historical fiction series. All year I went back and forth between these two books. Both have two narrators, and both are in present tense.

I’m impressed that you could switch back and forth so easily. Tell us a bit about your writing rituals?

I’m a planner, not a “pantser,” and a heavy re-writer. I’m editing before I finish a sentence. I make tons of notes and then do four or five drafts, and I rely on feedback from trusted readers.

I’m a pantser until I get deep into the novel and then the planner in me takes over. You’ve now tried two very different genres. Are there other forms you’d like to try?

I’d like to try different approaches to narrative fiction. I wrote two books this year in present tense (Dell Zero and Midwinter Sun), and I liked that so much I’m not sure I can go back to past tense. All four books are in third person, and I’m ready to try first person. Midwinter Sun is a love story. I might write another love story in first person.

Tell us about your latest endeavor.

Midwinter Sun is the third book in the Mountain Women series, and continues characters and settings from the first two books. But unlike the others, it’s told from the point of view of two characters: May Rose, the main character of the first book, and Barlow, the man she rejected years ago. The story reunites these characters fifteen years later. It’s been fun, being in both heads and re-building their relationship.

What advice can you give to other writers about receiving a bad review?

If you have good feedback from a group of writers you admire and trust (or support from agent, editor, and publisher) and these people approve your work, then pay no attention to a bad review. There’s a huge range of reader preferences and expectations, and no book will ever appeal to everyone.

That’s excellent advice. How does your immediate family feel about your writing life?

My husband is very glad that I have stories to write, because he knows I would not be content as a retired person without something to keep my mind and fingers busy. I think my kids are proud.

I’m so glad you stopped by today, Carol. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you a little bit better. We’ve crossed paths before in our various writing groups, but I’ve never had the pleasure of chatting with you. I wish you success in all your writing endeavors.

carol.headshot.

From Carol Ervin: I’ve been a teacher and business owner, and now am happy to write full-time. (married, two kids, two grandkids). I grew up in a small town in Ohio, and have lived most of my life on a farm in West Virginia.

Click links below to purchase books and contact Carol
Dell Zero – Amazon
Cold Comfort – Amazon
The Girl on the Mountain – Amazon
Facebook
Twitter: @carolervin6

Author Wednesday – Cate Beauman

???????????????????????????????Today I welcome back the prolific author, Cate Beauman, who has just released her seventh romantic suspense novel in the Bodyguards of LA County series. This is Cate’s third appearance on Author Wednesday. Her body of work is impressive.05 The Bodyguards of LA County Series

Here’s what Cate has to say about Saving Sophie, the newest installment in her bestselling series. 03 Saving Sophie_3D

Stone and Sophie are as opposite as can be—or so it seems—and that’s why telling their story was so much fun! Readers met Stone in Justice For Abby. He’s a gorgeous bad boy, more interested in taking care of himself than worrying about anyone else. Stone’s a hard-ass. There’s no other way to say it, but everyone has an achilles’ heel. That’s what drew me to Ethan Cooke Security’s latest bodyguard. I kept asking myself what type of woman had the power to bring a man like Stone McCabe to his knees. Enter Sophie Burke, a shy jewelry designer dealing with lots of trouble, and you just might have your answer.

I hope you enjoy Sophie and Stone as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Cate

About Saving Sophie

When the only choice is to run…

Jewelry designer Sophie Burke has fled Maine for the anonymity of the big city. She’s starting over with a job she tolerates and a grungy motel room she calls home on the wrong side of town, but anything is better than the nightmare she left behind.

Stone McCabe is Ethan Cooke Security’s brooding bad boy more interested in keeping to himself than anything else—until the gorgeous blond with haunted violet eyes catches his attention late one rainy night.

Stone reluctantly gives Sophie a hand only to quickly realize that the shy beauty with the soft voice and pretty smile has something to hide. Tangled up in her secrets, Stone offers Sophie a solution that has the potential to free her from her problems once and for all—or jeopardize both of their lives.

Read an excerpt from Saving Sophie:

Sophie glanced around one last time at the town she’d called home for more than twelve years as Dylan merged south on the onramp towards Brunswick, knowing she would never come back to the place where she and her mother had made their fresh start.

“Your train leaves at nine. We should make it in plenty of time.”

“I’ve never traveled by train.”

“Me neither.” Dylan moved into the right lane, letting faster traffic pass. “Have you decided where you’ll go?”

She shook her head, even though she’d thought of little else since she woke this morning, knowing today had to be the day. “Somewhere big. Somewhere where he can’t find me.” She swallowed. “He’ll look. He’ll never stop,” she said, staring into the side mirror, waiting for the black Mercedes to rush up behind them and force them to pull over. “You have to be careful.”

Dylan huffed out an amused laugh. “That bastard doesn’t scare me.”

She wished he didn’t scare her either. “Be careful anyway.”

“I will, but he’s a coward.”

“No more than me,” she murmured, glancing down at the hints of bruised skin peeking out from under her sleeves.

Dylan tossed her a look. “Don’t go there.”

She sat back fully in her seat, unable to take her eyes off the mirror until Dylan eventually exited the interstate and drove toward the center of town, stopping in front of the Amtrak station as the train pulled up.

“Looks like you won’t have to wait.” She set the emergency brake and searched through her purse. “Here’s my license.” She handed over the Maine ID and paper ticket she’d bought and printed when Sophie gave her the green light from her kiosk at the mall. “We don’t look all that different with your wig, so this should get you your next ticket in Boston.”

“Thank you.” Sophie leaned over and gave Dylan a big hug. “Thank you so much. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without you.”

“Don’t look back, Sophie.” Dylan eased away, squeezing her hand. “Get out of here and never look back. Here are the phone numbers for the Stowers house shelters in Baltimore and LA I told you about—just in case.” She handed over the March copy of Trendy magazine with papers sticking out from the edges.

“Thanks. Please don’t forget to put flowers on my mother’s grave.”

“I won’t.”

She nodded and hugged Dylan for the last time. “Bye.”

“Bye. Take care of yourself.”

“I will.” Sophie got out, sliding her backpack on her shoulder as she made her way to the bored-eyed man at the ticket kiosk.

“Ticket and ID, Ma’am.”

Sophie handed over both, holding her breath, waiting for her plan to fall apart.

“Safe trip.” He gave them back.

“Thank you,” she murmured, letting loose a shaky exhale as she turned and moved toward the train, wanting to run instead of walk. She boarded the first available car and stared out the window as she sat down, watching Dylan pull out of the lot in the rusty hatchback, already missing the only person she’d had a connection with. She bobbed her leg up and down, struggling to keep her fidgeting at bay. Minutes passed, feeling like hours, until finally the doors closed. The train jerked forward, moving toward Boston—the first stop on her journey to freedom.

 

Cate profile picAbout Cate Beauman: Cate currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, their two boys, and St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. She is the author of the best selling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Before her career as an author, Cate worked in special education for twelve years.

“I’m a pretty lucky girl; one day I woke up and my entire life changed. I saw the light, so to speak, and decided I was going to be a writer. Now, four years later, I’m currently working on my eighth novel, Reagan’s Redemption, which I plan to release in early spring of 2015. I’m very grateful for the support and success I’ve had.”

 Click here to enter the E-Book Giveaway Contest

Contact Cate

 Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.com/Cate-Beauman/e/B00A05KHVM/

Social links:

Twitter: @CateBeauman

www.catebeauman.com

www.facebook.com/CateBeauman

www.goodreads.com/catebeauman

 

 

#Romance – Behind the Altar

Behind the Altar is here! I really did write the first draft of a contemporary romance in thirty days in the Romance in a Month class taught by Rachelle Ayala. I’m enrolled for the September class, but the next novel in the Behind the Love Trilogy is slow going.

I hope you enjoy my first venture into writing a romantic novel. Please scroll down to the bottom to enter the raffle for a paperback version of Behind the Altar.

Title: Behind the Alter: Behind the Love Trilogy (Book 1)
Author: P.C. Zick
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 16, 2014
~~BUY IT NOW~~
 

 

~~ABOUT THE BOOK~~
 

Forbidden Love – Book #1 in the Behind the Love Series by P.C. Zick

Leah Bryant’s life satisfies all her needs. Her engagement to Jacob Davis, minister of the Sunshine Christian Church, gives her the security she requires after living in a car during her teenage years. She runs a food kitchen out of the church for homeless vets who are living on the banks of Deer River. All is perfect until the day her future mother-in-law Geraldine tells her the church is shutting down the kitchen, and Dean””Jacob’s brother””rides his Harley into her heart. Leah’s world begins to crumble as she falls into Dean’s muscular and tattooed arms. Dean, who’s been away from his home for ten years, finds himself irresistibly drawn in by Leah’s natural beauty and genuine goodness. As they fight to stay away from one another, Leah and Dean keep finding ways to be together. The more they fight the attraction, the harder it is to stay apart. Will Leah go ahead and marry Jacob despite Dean’s haunting her every thought? Will Dean exact the revenge he came home to hand out? And will Geraldine manage to keep control over the church, Jacob, and Leah? It will all be determined in Behind the Altar, a romantic story of forbidden love.

˃˃˃ Homeless vets, deranged mothers, and a tattoo artist collide in this story of true love



How can the sweet and innocent Leah make sure her fight to feed the homeless in the small town of Victory, Florida, is successful? The arrival of Dean, her fiance’s brother, confuses the matter even more as the two are uncontrollably attracted to one another.

Can love really conquer all? Dean and Leah are about to find out.

~~CONTACT THE AUTHOR~~
 

Other Books on Amazon: http://amzn.to/XYOtoe

Website: www.pczick.com

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