#BookReview – The Heartstone Chronicles

The Heart Stone Chronicles, Book 1 The Swamp FairyColleen Chesebro has made a splash with Book 1 in her Swamp Fairy series, The Heart Stone Chronicles. Not only is it the first book in this series, but it’s her first published novel. And it’s a gem of a story.

All right, puns aside, this novel will fascinate and inspire young women on the cusp of adulthood. Set in the swamps of northwest Florida near Pensacola, Ms. Chesebro uses the setting of the swamp to create a magical story mixed with the reality of being a teen uprooted by the death of a mother and the abdication of a father.

Fortunately, Abigale Forrester, at the age of fourteen, has plenty of people rooting for her from her mother’s best friend in Chicago, where she’s left without either father or mother, and a dear sweet aunt in Florida where Abigale is sent.

It is in the rural setting of Florida where she discovers her true legacy and begins to understand the non-understandable. The book is fraught with the nightmares of an abandoned teenager, the bullies–both peer sand adults alike–and grown-up issues facing her aunt. Abigale is forced to become an adult before her time. Fortunately, when she moves to Florida, she discovers friends who are also facing these same issues. Together, they form a bond that resists the forces that try to destroy them.

But Abigale has a secret. She understands animals through a silent communication. And they understand her. Her nightmares are foretelling the future, and she can talk to the fairies in the swamp. All the reasons why and more are what gives this novel both its surreal and magical qualities.

I kept thinking while reading the book that Abigale’s situation in her everyday life could be the story of many young teens facing the sometimes rough world as they transition from child to adult. But with perseverance, faith in herself and her abilities, and the love of an extended family beyond the bonds of blood, she can survive. I highly recommend this book for its qualities of magical realism and its storyline of hope.

Well done, Colleen Chesebro. You’ve written an outstanding book of love for those who need it. Your story will lend a light to young women and men and show them that even the worst of situations can be conquered.

Blurb:

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

ColleenAbout the Author: Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy series called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy,” was published January 2017.

The book reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.

Colleen’s writing explores ecological situations in the multicultural world of today. She combines real-life historical events into her writing to create experiences that will continue in the hearts and heads of her readers.

A veteran of the United States Air Force, Colleen is also a retired bookkeeper. She has an Associates Degree in Business Administration, and another Associates Degree in the Arts, which she uses to combine her love of writing with her passion for all things creative.

Links:

Purchase: Amazon US

Blog – Colleen Chesebro – Fairy Whisperer

Blog – A Mindful Journey

 

GRAB A #FREE COPY OF NATIVE LANDS

 

nativelands1bigTo celebrate my love for Florida’s landscapes and people, I’m offering free Kindle downloads February 13-17. After you’ve read a little bit about the book and a review from my valued and talented colleague, Christoph Fischer, download your copy today. And happy Valentines Day to you.

Click here for your FREE copy.

Native Lands is a gripping and entertaining thriller with depth, wonderful characters and well-planted parallel 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.

Review of Native Lands by Christoph Fischer 

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.

Native Lands by P.C. Zick is a wonderful novel and a gripping thriller at the same time. Handling several plotlines and many characters with ease Zick has a story rich in plot and full of fabulous characters.

One narrative focuses on members of a native tribe in Florida from 1760 onwards. The instantly likable characters strive to preserve their heritage against the forces of the English and Spanish intruders. The peaceful and nature loving characters form a wonderful thread through the rest of the book that deals with more contemporary issues.

Journalists, politicians and business men crowd the stage in a cleverly plotted and excellently told thriller. Exploitation of nature, affairs, family secrets and murder are just some of the many spicy ingredients that make this novel so entertaining. I was warned that there would be a lot of characters in this book and that is true, but the narratives focus thoroughly on each party in turn and are easily discerned, the characters evolved and memorable enough to make it very easy to keep track.

There are some surprising connections and twist within the political plot which focuses on a controversial housing project and the outrageous plan which lies behind it, poachers, environmentalists and an election. As people are being bumped off the plot thickens and keeps the pace fast and captivating.

I loved the way in which the past and present story lines turn out to be connected and I loved the well-planted parallels between the two narratives and the warm feel of the book. This was an excellent and uplifting moral tale to me that did not lecture or patronise, a gripping and entertaining thriller with depth and wonderful characters.

Click here to download to your Kindle on February 13-14 for FREE! 

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Holiday News and Warm Wishes

 

Here we are once again, right in the middle of the holiday season. It’s been a transitional year for me as my husband and I head into an entirely new life. He’s retiring, and I’m not. We’ve been in the process of moving for six months, but I’ve still managed to write several books. It’s my release from a chaotic life.

Since it’s the holiday season, here’s my holiday offering to you – my sweet Christmas novella, Minty’s Kiss. This is my first work set in the Smoky Mountains, where I’ve recently relocated.

 

Following up on the Smoky Mountain Romance theme, I’ve written a full-length romance, which follows the same characters from Minty’s Kiss. Misty Mountain is now available for pre-ordering, with a release date of January 19, 2016.MISTY_MOUNTAIN_med

 

 

 

 

 

I’m also very excited about another project. Trails in the Sand, one of my Florida fiction books, is being made into an audible book and will be available soon. Trails in the Sand follows the saga of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as the main characters deal with disasters in their own lives. For the next three days, Trails in the Sand may be downloaded on Kindle for free.

Click here to get your copy.

 

 

 

#NEW RELEASE – BEHIND THE CURTAIN IS HERE

fe4da-behind2bthe2bcurtain2bby2bpc2bzickThe third and final book in my Behind the Love series released this morning. It’s almost bittersweet. I’m pleased to have written this series of stories about the women and men of Victory, Florida. They find love at first sight (Behind the Altar), through second chances (Behind the Bar), and in unexpected ways (Behind the Curtain).

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About Behind the Curtain (contemporary new adult romance) – When Lisa Williams returns to her hometown of Victory, Florida, with a producer of reality TV shows, not everyone is happy to see her, particularly her sister, Susie. Lisa finds herself at odds with everyone in town, even her close friend Tommy who tries to understand and support her dreams of becoming a star.

When Tommy is assigned to cover the show’s filming as a reporter for the Tampa Tribune, he finds himself at odds with Lisa who he’s beginning to think of as more than a friend.

Sally Jean returns to the Behind the Love series as Lisa’s best friend. But the show threatens to tear them apart as well when the producer wants to make Sally Jean the star rather than Lisa. As Lisa finds herself losing everyone in her life, Tommy struggles to remain her friend, hoping she’ll realize that her actor boyfriend Jet isn’t any good for her. If he can convince her of that, perhaps he’ll stand a chance at winning her fragile heart.

I loved writing this book. I say this about every book I write, but this time I loved it because I was so familiar with all the characters. I layered Lisa with much deeper feelings and aspirations. She’s been a peripheral character since the very first book. But in this novel, I could give her motivations and dig into personality.

Every since Sally Jean appeared in Behind the Altar, readers have been asking for her to star in her own book. I never thought she’d go beyond the paper cutout character I’d created. She’s the big-boobed blonde who’s troubled but kind. By the time I made her the best friend of Lisa in Behind the Curtain, I’d grown to love her and began writing some of her backstory. I gave her some depth, and one day, I feel ready to explore her role as the heroine of another romance series. I’ve set it up at the end of Behind the Curtain. It happened naturally and as it evolved, I realized she deserved her own story.

NewRelease Facebook

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter One:

CHAPTER ONE

Lisa watched as Susie, her baby sister, exchanged vows with Reggie on the front porch of Susie’s house. Standing next to her smiling new husband, Susie glowed. Reggie patted his new wife’s protruding belly, and the crowd of friends roared with laughter.

Lisa smiled. At least one of them had managed to find love.

Sally Jean greeted Lisa when she stepped off the front steps to mingle with the folks gathered in the yard. Lisa had known most of the guests her entire life, and Sally Jean had been her best friend in high school.

“She’s a beautiful bride,” Sally Jean said. “I’m so happy for the two of them.”

“Not jealous?” Lisa asked. “I thought you had a thing for Reggie.”

“I liked Reggie, but Dean always had my heart. You know that.”

Lisa looked at her friend, remembering those days so long ago when Sally Jean dated Dean Davis and Lisa was set to marry Sam Rollings. Both those relationships ended on the night after graduation ten years earlier. She felt sorry for Sally Jean sometimes, but Lisa knew she was just as messed up when it came to relationships as her friend. What right did Lisa have to judge her?

“But you’re over Dean, right?” Lisa decided she’d better ask because Dean’s pregnant wife Leah wouldn’t be too happy if Sally Jean still harbored feelings for him. Leah was Susie’s best friend, and by extension, a friend of Lisa’s as well.

“Leah didn’t give me much choice. I like her, but I have to tell you if Dean asked me to be his girl again, I’d be hard pressed to say no.”

“I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that happening.” Lisa watched Sally Jean’s mouth turn down, and she immediately felt sorry she’d opened her mouth.

“You’re right.” Sally Jean smiled. “That ship sailed a long time ago. Let’s get some champagne and forget everything but having a great time tonight.”

“What are the two most beautiful women at this wedding doing over here in the corner without drinks in hand?” Tommy Jackson handed each of them a glass of champagne as if he’d heard Sally Jean’s suggestion.

“You better not let the bride hear you say that,” Lisa said. “Thanks for the champagne, though.”

“Of course, I meant after Susie. The bride is glowing today.”

“And growing.” Lisa giggled before taking a sip.

“Either of you need a ride into town for the reception?” Tommy asked. The reception was being held at the Victory Tavern, owned by the groom. “I’m happy to be the designated driver for the night. I fly to Miami in the morning for a story, so it’s a one beer night for me.”

Tommy worked for the Tampa Tribune as a feature reporter. His recent series on homelessness in Florida started right in their hometown of Victory with the homeless vets living on the banks of the Deer River on the outskirts of town.

“Thanks, Tommy,” Lisa said. “But you’re not going to stay late are you?”

“Susie said I could sleep on her couch. I’ll drive straight to the airport from here, so you can stay as late as you’d like—I’ll bring you home.”

“That sounds like the perfect offer,” Sally Jean said.

“I think you’ve got yourself two designated drunks then,” Lisa said. The two women high-fived and then both reached up and kissed Tommy one on each cheek, which made the redhead blush a deep crimson on his very white face.

Later, after the toasts and too many glasses of champagne, Lisa sat at the bar of the Victory Tavern. Tommy sat next to her, drinking a glass of water.

“Ever wish it was you standing up there getting hitched?” Tommy asked.

Lisa sighed and took a drink of her wine. “Sometimes, but I think I need someone to stand next to me for that to happen.”

“What about that guy back in New York? Plane or something?”

Lisa laughed. “Jet. His name is Jet. We’re on and off, mostly off now, but he asked me to go out for dinner with him when I get to New York, so who knows what will happen. What about you? Ever wish it was you?”

“Sometimes, but every single woman I like ends up liking someone who’s going to end up hurting them. I hear about it when they come crawling back to me crying and telling me they didn’t know what a great guy I really was.”

“Do you give them a second chance?”

“Never. It’s made me leery of relationships and women in general.”

Lisa picked up her glass and offered it to Tommy as a toast. “Here’s to crappy choices.”

Victory, Florida, Lisa’s hometown, reeked of mostly bad memories for her. She left the day after her high school graduation, leaving her sister Susie, only thirteen, to cope with their mother and her subsequent cancer and eventual death. Lisa only came home when absolutely necessary. Despite that, she and Susie remained close, drawn together by the bond of their childhood fraught with a drunken father who liked to use a punching bag when soused. Unfortunately, that punching bag was their mother.

Ten years ago, Lisa’s future looked bright despite the dark cloud hanging over their house. She and Sam Rollings were the darlings of Victory, both beautiful and popular. They were going to be married after college, except life intervened, and Lisa left town after the mysterious death of her father. Only when Susie started to ask questions a few months back did the whole truth come out. To Lisa’s horror, she realized she’d been the one to tell Sam she wished her father dead. She said it after he once again beat her mother. Sam, wanting to be the hero in Lisa’s life, made sure her wish came true when her father walked into the path of Sam’s car. Only when Susie tried to uncover the truth did both of them learn what happened that night. Susie and Lisa decided to keep Sam’s role in their father’s death quiet because they wanted to move forward, not relive the past. And if Lisa felt any guilt at all, it was only because she wasn’t sorry her father was dead.

“It’s difficult to be back in Victory,” Lisa told Tommy. “Everywhere I look there are ghosts.”

Lisa saw those ghosts as they wandered the streets and echoes of Sam reverberated off the walls of the Victory Tavern as their friends enjoyed celebrating Susie and Reggie’s wedding.

“It’s sad the fearsome four couldn’t be reunited for the wedding,” Tommy said. “But then again, maybe it’s better that Sam and Trevor are elsewhere.”

Reggie, Dean, Sam, and Trevor—the four football stars who brought fame to the small Florida town when they won the state football championship ten years earlier—made quite a name for Victory. Trevor Carson was awaiting trial on an illegal gambling operation, and no one knew where Sam Rollings was.

“I didn’t mean to upset you,” Tommy said as Lisa stared sadly at her wine glass. “I probably shouldn’t have mentioned Sam’s name.”

“Just thinking about the night Trevor was arrested. And about Sam and all the rest. We had so much promise as we headed into our graduation from Victory High. The town held high expectations for all of us.”

“And most of you lived up to those expectations. Look at Dean—famous tat artist from Miami. Reggie is making a name for Victory all over the Tampa area now that he’s bringing in bands from around Florida. And you, Miss Lisa, are making a name for yourself as an actress in no less than New York City.”

“Some actress, advertising insurance for poor schumucks who can’t even afford a vacation. I would say I’m a resounding success as a failure.”

“Lisa, pick up your chin and stop feeling sorry for yourself.” Tommy downed his glass of water. “I need to get up pretty early. Do you want to leave now, or do you want to ride home with Leah and Dean?”

“Thanks a lot, pal. Really like the support. I don’t really want to ride home with you. Besides what happened to you not caring when you left tonight?”

“It’s getting late, and you’re getting drunk and depressed. You don’t want to ruin Susie’s big day, do you?”

Dean and his pregnant wife Leah walked up to them, and Dean pulled out a stool for Leah to sit.

“She can’t keep up with me these days,” Dean said. “Poor thing.” Dean rubbed Leah’s small belly and grinned at Lisa and Tommy. “You two look like you’re at a funeral instead of the wedding of two good friends and family.”

“Lisa needs a ride home,” Tommy said. “Got room for her?”

“Sure,” Leah said. “I’ll see these two get home safely, but I expect them to return the favor after the baby’s born.”

“What about Sally Jean?” Lisa asked. “You promised her a ride, too.”

“She wants to leave now, but this is your sister’s wedding, so stay. But I think you should attempt to put a smile on your face, if only for Susie’s sake. She deserves tonight without any drama. Maybe lay off the wine, too.”

“Yes, master.” Lisa jumped off her stool and bowed deeply to Tommy, who shook his head and walked away.

“What in the hell was that all about, Lisa?” Dean asked. “I thought you’d be ecstatic that your sister and Reggie finally got married after all these years.”

“I am. Just thinking too much about the past, that’s all. And Tommy said some mean things to me.”

“I’m going to get a beer,” Dean said. “Do you want something?”

“A glass of red wine, please. Tommy be damned.”

When he left, Leah looked at her best friend’s sister. “Want to talk about it?”

“Nothing much to say. Dean’s right though. I am happy for Susie. She deserves to be happy.”

“So do you. We all do.”

“When’s the baby due?” Lisa wanted desperately to change the subject. She knew when the depression started she’d slide down a slope with little hope of pulling herself out for a few days.

“I’ve got a little longer than Susie,” Leah said. “Early October—maybe we’ll have a pumpkin.”

“That’d be fun. Imagine the birthday parties you can have with jack-‘o-lanterns.”

“Susie will have to help me with that. I’m not much for decorating.”

Lisa looked over at her sister, standing next to Reggie. Susie glowed. Lisa picked up her glass and smiled to think of her baby sister as a mother. Lisa hoped she could live up to her role as aunt.

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DOWNLOAD FLORIDA FICTION SERIES FOR $0.99 CENTS THIS WEEK

Click here to download

Click here to download

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.

 

 

BEHIND THE BAR – #New Release in Behind the Love Trilogy

I’m thrilled to announce the release of Behind the Bar, Book Two in the Behind the Love Trilogy. Behind the Bar picks up right where Behind the Altar ended–at the wedding of Dean and Leah. This time it’s Susie and Reggie who must struggle to find out if their love can endure through a separation and rivals trying to drive them further apart. Reggie’s gambling and Susie’s struggle with her past push them further apart. Join the crew at the Victory Tavern, including Sally Jean, Charlie, and of course, the cheerleaders and best friends of Reggie and Susie–Dean and Leah.

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Click below for purchase links

Amazon Kindle

Paperback

Barnes & Noble Nook

Kobo

Apple iBook

 

 

 

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

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#NaNoWriMo – It’s that time of year

nanowrimoFor years, I’ve wanted to participate in the National Novel Writing Month. Each time November rolled around, I was busy with something else or in various stages of publishing another novel.

This year I published my last project, Native Lands, on October 29, 2014, which means by November 1, I was ready to embark on my next project, Behind the Bar.bb_PBOOK005 I’m one week into writing my second romance and the second in a series. It’s fun. I like having the challenge of meeting a certain word count every day. Every job during my career has involved serious deadlines, so I’m wired to work with that way. I have to set my own arbitrary deadlines for my writing now. That’s why I like Amazon’s new pre-order feature. If I set a publication date, they set the deadline I must have the manuscript uploaded to them.

So I’m a nerd. I admit it. I like looking at my word chart on the NaNoWriMo site. So far I’m ahead of the curve, and if I keep on doing what I’m doing, I’ll have a 50,000 word draft by November 24. We’ll see. I know that I’ll have something by the end of the month, and then I revise before sending out to beta readers.

I get discouraged many days about marketing, sales, and social media. I have no idea what works and what doesn’t. I fumble around in the dark searching for answers on the worst days. But I’ve found several communities of supportive Indie Authors, and I find their experiences helpful and inspiring, most of the time. The braggarts can be more discouraging than not, but I try to remember they’re probably bragging because they need it to boost their own writing egos.

I have many goals for my work in the coming year. I approach 2015 with a renewed commitment to my writing. I believe there’s a purpose to what I do and what I write. A strong premonition came over me today that I have not yet written THE BOOK, but every book I write now is leading me to that one. In a few months, I turn sixty. It’s made me reflective. In all areas of my life, I seek peace with where I am at any given moment. It’s been astounding to do that every time I get worked up about something or other. I stop and look around and see my surroundings. The other thing disappears.

ffs_boxset_finalIn my writing, I feel a shift. It’s been happening for two years, ever since I finished Trails in the Sand in a hotel in San Antonio. It was there that I realized my success as an author comes from how I feel about what I do. I was in tears at the end of the book because I loved the story. I didn’t need any outside sources to tell me what they thought of it. I was satisfied with what I’d created. It hit me the other day as I formatted my Florida Series Box Set. I was working on Tortoise Stewa book I wrote in 2005. Again that feeling came over me. I was satisfied with what I wrote. I set out to show a particular slice of life in Florida where land developers and environmentalists constantly clash. I accomplished it in that book, even though it might not be as popular as some of my other novels. It only matters that I embrace what I wrote.

I love it when serendipity comes slipping into my life. While I was in San Antonio, one of my former interns, wrote me that they were moving to San Antonio. She recently published a book of her essays in Naked Salsa. This month I’m accompanying my husband on another business trip to San Antonio. While there Crystal and I are doing a book signing together. “Wining and Signing” is Crystal’s name for the event.  I hope the beautiful city on the river survives the craziness that occurs when we get together.

 

I’ll keep you posted on my progress with NaNoWriMo. Who’s participating this year? Who has participated in the past?

TeaserReview

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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