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Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

We are just weeks away from the release of DARK SURF, the novel! The paperback has been finalized. The e-book conversion is taking a little longer than anticipated but it’s in the works. You’ll be the first to hear the release date when I announce it in September, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, let’s explore the Northern California brewpub scene. In my next posts, I’ll cover some of my favorite beers on my recent road trip up Highway 101 from the Monterey Bay to Crescent City, Calif. and beyond…

Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

Next month, I’ll announce the release date for DARK SURF and YOU will be the first to hear it! My team and I are putting the final touches on the paperback and are now beginning the process to create the e-book version as well. If all goes as planned, we expect to release DARK SURF in mid- to late-September.

As a loyal subscriber to DARK SURF Nightly, YOU will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a FREE, pre-release copy of DARK SURF! If you have friends or family who might be interested in subscribing to DARK SURF Nightly, please encourage them to sign up for the blog at http://www.darksurf.com/stay-in-touch/. ALL subscribers will be automatically entered into the drawing.

Winners will be notified via email in September, in advance of the public release of DARK SURF. Good luck!

Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

Many wildly successful authors—from Stephen King to J.K. Rowling to Stephenie Meyer—have received rejection letters. I, too, have received my fair share—though these days they’re actually rejection emails.

But what’s really cool is that many of these emails said some really nice things about DARK SURF! For a first-time novelist, I can’t tell you how great it is to get positive feedback from professionals working in the publishing industry.

Here are some of their comments about DARK SURF:

  • “I thought this was a well-crafted, imaginative piece… I thought the writing was strong and compelling, and would be open to seeing more work from this author in the future.”
  • “…an incredibly original take on the vampire genre…”
  • “We love the premise of this story and were excited to read it. The setting is wonderful, the dialogue natural and fun…”
  • “The writing in DARK SURF is lovely…”
  • “[T.C.’s] manuscript is very imaginative…”
  • “It is just such a crazy, innovative idea—really different. Also, sharks are awesome and I’m surprised there aren’t more suspenseful books out there about them!”
  • “I can definitely see that T.C. has strong writing and this particular piece has a new twist…”
  • “[T.C’s] dialogue is spot-on…”
  • “The writing is indeed compelling and the premise well-done!”
  • “…the plot is exciting …”
  • “I rather enjoyed reading it…”
  • “I like the story a LOT…”
  • “I love the premise!”

The premise is…

  • “a lot of fun…”
  • “intriguing…”
  • “original…”
  • “creative and the surfing details authentic…”
  • “entertaining…”

I can’t wait to hear what YOU think when DARK SURF is released this fall! I’ll share dates and details about the book release and book signing parties with you as they become available.

Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

Breaking news! DARK SURF will be published this fall!

My team is currently putting the finishing touches on the book design and cover design. The cover imagery was created by an amazing artist and I can’t wait for you to see it. I’ll give you, Dark Surf Nightly readers, a sneak peek before the book’s release!

Right now, my goal is to release DARK SURF in September and then have book signing parties in San Diego and the Monterey Bay in October. We’ll see how the production process goes for the paperback and ebook this summer, and then I can finalize those dates. When I have exact dates and locations, you’ll be the first to hear them!

It’s been an incredible journey to get to this point. I came up with the idea for DARK SURF on the Summer Solstice of 2010. The premise for the book was so much fun that I immediately developed an outline and began writing. It’s now been 3 years and 9 days since I finished the first draft of DARK SURF. In that time, a lot has happened! I began working with a fantastic literary agent in fall 2011. DARK SURF was optioned for a movie (super exciting!) in 2013. And, last but not least, I’ve completed a first draft of the DARK SURF sequel.

In late 2011 and 2012, we sent DARK SURF to publishers for their consideration. We had two offers but found the publishers were not a good fit. We reached out to more publishers again this spring. Alas, there were no takers. But that’s okay…I’m in good company. Literary giants like J.K. Rowling received rejection letters from 12 publishers for Harry Potter, and John Grisham received 25 rejection letters for his first novel.

What’s cool is that many of the publishers who read DARK SURF had some really great things to say about it, such as:

  • “…an incredibly original take on the vampire genre…”
  • “We love the premise of this story and were excited to read it…”
  • “The writing in DARK SURF is lovely…”

I’ll share more of their comments (anonymously, of course) with you in my next post.

So here we are today. I’ve been waiting 3+ years to share DARK SURF with you—and I finally get to do it! Thanks for joining me on this adventure. We’re about to reach a major milestone and I hope to see you there this fall!

Crave – food & drink

Limoncello is crisp, fragrant and the color of sunshine. It’s a great way to get a dash of summer brightness without the UV rays. Serve it after dinner or anytime really. (Or, if you want to make something a bit more wicked, try the Imperial Limoncello.)

Recipe – Limoncello

  • 10 Meyer lemons*
  • 750 ml vodka (preferably 80 proof; e.g. Skyy Vodka)
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  1. Wash the lemons with water and a vegetable brush to remove any dirt, residue or wax; pat the lemons dry.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the yellow peel from the lemons in long strips. (Try to make sure there is no white pith on the peel. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is bitter and will spoil your limoncello.) [Note: After the lemons are peeled, you can reserve them for another use. Or squeeze the lemon juice into an ice cube tray and freeze for future use.]
  3. Place the lemon peels in a glass jar. Pour the vodka over the peels and seal the jar. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 10 to 14 days at room temperature in a dark place. Do NOT shake.
  4. Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves (approximately 5 minutes). Remove sugar syrup from heat and let cool to room temperature. Pour sugar syrup over vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
  5. Using a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth, strain limoncello into a large glass bowl or pitcher. Discard the peels. Transfer limoncello into a clean empty 1.5 ml bottle (or several smaller bottles). Seal the bottle(s), refrigerate and chill for at least 4 hours.

* Regular lemons can be used in place of Meyer lemons. I’ve tried both but think the Limoncello made with Meyer lemons is way better!

Limoncello

Limoncello

Cocktail recipes for your Limoncello:

Crave – food & drink

Looking for a Limoncello with a kick? Try this recipe! It’s more concentrated so it’s not as sweet as regular Limoncello.

Recipe – Imperial Limoncello

  • 10 Meyer lemons*
  • 750 ml vodka (preferably 80 proof; e.g. Skyy Vodka)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  1. Wash the lemons with water and a vegetable brush to remove any dirt, residue or wax; pat the lemons dry.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the yellow peel from the lemons in long strips. (Try to make sure there is no white pith on the peel. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is bitter and will spoil your limoncello.) [Note: After the lemons are peeled, you can reserve them for another use. Or squeeze the lemon juice into an ice cube tray and freeze for future use.]
  3. Place the lemon peels in a glass jar. Pour the vodka over the peels and seal the jar. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 10 to 14 days at room temperature in a dark place. Do NOT shake.
  4. Add sugar directly to vodka mixture. Gently stir to dissolve the sugar. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
  5. Using a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth, strain limoncello into a large glass bowl or pitcher. Discard the peels. Transfer limoncello into a clean empty 1.5 ml bottle (or several smaller bottles). Seal the bottle(s), refrigerate and chill for at least 4 hours.

* Regular lemons can be used in place of Meyer lemons. I’ve tried both but think the Limoncello made with Meyer lemons is way better!

 

Cocktail recipes for your Limoncello:

Limoncello Cooler champagne cocktail

Limoncello Cooler champagne cocktail

Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

Since I finished writing DARK SURF in summer 2011, I’ve re-read it cover to cover countless times. As I mentioned in my last post, my goal is to make sure each and every one of those 100,000+ words is doing something useful. What’s been so awesome is that each time I re-read it, it’s FUN!

I can’t wait for you to read it! I hope to have some news for you about that in June. And you, Dark Surf Nightly readers, will be the FIRST to hear it.

Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

I’ve spent the past couple weeks re-reading DARK SURF cover to cover—a few times—to make sure each and every one of those 100,000+ words is doing something useful. Some words weren’t pulling their weight, so those darlings were killed.

What books have you read where you felt like every single word had a purpose? One book that stands out in my memory is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The story was not only captivating from beginning to end, but the writing was exceptional.

What’s the last book you read where you felt that each and every word had a unique and important role to play? Let me know at facebook.com/TCZmak.

 

Crave – food & drink

I’m stoked to see that Coronado Brewing Co. topped Coastal Living magazine’s May 2014 list of the 6 “Best Coastal Breweries”! (Wanna know my favorite beer there? Check out this post from last February.)

But if you’re reviewing the best coastal breweries, why stop at 6? I can name several others that should be on that list, like Pizza Port (multiple San Diego locations) and Peter B’s (Monterey), just to name a couple.

What’s your favorite coastal brewery? Let me know at https://www.facebook.com/TCZmak

Pulse – events & entertainment

Some things are very dark—so dark, they’re depressing. But they’re also important. Blackfish, the documentary about killer whales and theme parks, is one such thing. The movie is emotionally wrenching but it tells a story that needs to be told. If you can bear it, watch it. Then, decide for yourself if you want to spend your dollars to support theme parks that capture and imprison killer whales, and endanger human workers.

Seeing footage of a whale calf being removed from its mother and hearing the mother’s calls for her missing calf is heartbreaking. Watching full-grown whales confined to small pools is tortuous. Seeing the capture and enslavement continue today—knowing everything we know about intelligent, highly social species like whales and dolphins—is, in my humble opinion, inexcusable.

If you want to add your voice in support of whales and dolphins, sign the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans: Whales and Dolphins.