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Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

Want to win a FREE Dark Surf ebook (Kindle edition)? Enter our new Amazon Giveaway at https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/a9fc6b18396ed33b!

From now through May 4th, we’re giving away FREE Dark Surf ebooks to 5 lucky winners. So enter today for YOUR chance to win. And please share this #AmazonGiveaway link, https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/a9fc6b18396ed33b, with your friends & followers on social media so they can enter for a chance to win too!

With summer coming, it’s the perfect time to win a fun, fast-paced “beach read.” Check out what reviewers are saying about Dark Surf:

  • “Dark Surf by TC Zmak was an amazing story! I was hooked right from page one and could not put it down until the very end.” — Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
  • “This debut novel is so good—so insanely audacious—I actually stood up and applauded when I finished reading it!” — Paul Goat Allen for BlueInk Review

Dark Surf Cover small 144

Learn more about the Dark Surf story here: http://www.darksurf.com/books/

No purchase necessary. Ends the earlier of May 4, 2016 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules, http://amzn.to/GArules.

Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

The DARK SURF ebook is now only 99 cents!

Dark Surf Cover small 144

 

Haven’t read it yet? Get your copy today & see why this fun, fast-paced novel is earning 5-star reviews and winning awards. It’s available at your favorite online retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iTunes Store, and many others.

 

Already read it? Give the ebook as a gift to your family & friends so they have a chance to join the tribe before the DARK SURF sequel, RISING, is released later this year. (More on that in a future post!)

Book Buzz – DARK SURF Events

The Salinas Public Library has invited me to do a presentation during National Library Week!

I’ll be giving a talk on April 14th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the John Steinbeck Library, located in downtown Salinas at 350 Lincoln Avenue. I’ll talk about DARK SURF and my writing process, do a reading from DARK SURF, and hold a question & answer session. At the end of my presentation, I’ll hold a drawing for a signed copy of DARK SURF and then do a book signing, too.

Please come & join us!

The theme of National Library Week (April 10-16) is “Libraries Transform.” The campaign is designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professionals. Here are a few words from the campaign: “Why libraries are transforming: Because punctuation without imagination makes a sentence, not a story.” Exactly!

National Library Week

Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

The USA Regional Excellence Book Awards has named the DARK SURF novel a Finalist in the 2016 competition! It took second place in the Fiction category in the West region.

Here’s what they said: “Your book, Dark Surf, truly captured the spirit of the West region of the United States and the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you and your fine work.”

USA Regional Excellence Book Awards recognizes and rewards excellence in books that take readers into the heart of a “place.”  The award’s 5 regions are the West, Midwest, Southwest, Northeast, and Southeast. If a book delivers the experience of a locale and it is produced with excellence, then it is a perfect candidate for the annual competition.

This is the DARK SURF novel’s second award!

Book Buzz – DARK SURF review

The Californian, part of the USA Today network, just posted a book review for the DARK SURF novel! — “It’s an excellent vampire tale!”

Here are a couple snippets from book reviewer Joanna Brauer:

“This is an entertaining vampire yarn, with a unique twist … There is romance, betrayal, secrecy, murder, sun and surf.”

“Audience: Anyone who enjoys a thrilling vampire story, surfing, the Californian lifestyle, lovers of the natural world, and…Hollywood, I see a movie here, folks!”

Thank you, Joanna Brauer, for supporting local authors! And thanks to Features/Off 68 Editor Joe Truskot for stopping by my booth at the 2015 Salinas Valley Comic Con!

Read the full review at: http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/life/2016/01/21/book-review-something-their-blood-zmak-brauer/79064826/

You can find more reviews for DARK SURF, the first book in the DARK SURF series, at: http://www.darksurf.com/books/reviews

Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

In November, the 2015 Southern California Book Festival awarded the DARK SURF novel an “Honorable Mention” in the “General Fiction” category of its annual competition. I just received my official badge from the competition and here it is!

SCBF.dig.badge.HM2015

Each year, the Southern California Book Festival considers works in fiction, non-fiction, biography/autobiography, how-to, compilations/anthologies, photography/art, children’s, cookbooks, poetry, spiritual, young adult, business/technology, unpublished manuscripts, wild card, nature/animals and regional lit.

Submitted works are judged by a panel on:

  1. General excellence and the author’s passion for telling a good story.
  2. The potential of the work to reach a wider audience.

This is the DARK SURF novel’s first award!

Pulse – events & entertainment

Calling all COMIC CON fans!

I’ll have a DARK SURF booth at the 2nd annual Salinas Valley Comic Con at the National Steinbeck Center, One Main St., Salinas, CA 93901.

  • 12.19.2015 – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • 12.20.2015 – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Stop by & see me! Autographed and/or inscribed copies of the DARK SURF novel will be available for $15. It makes a fun & unique gift! Free bookmarks & bumper stickers too!

This year’s Comic Con theme is Imagination and Beyond. For info & tickets, visit http://www.steinbeck.org/pages/salinas-valley-comic-con-2015. #SVCC15

Crave – food & drink

Exploring Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone

I recently spent 2 nights in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone—home to 15+ wineries, a few brewpubs & taprooms, restaurants and more. Located just west of Highway 101, it’s right next to the beach (great for graysuits!) and easily walkable on foot from one end to the other. The Amtrak station is also located there, which makes it convenient for out-of-towners.

Below are a few of the highlights from our trip, which was way too short. I can’t wait to go back!

Funk Zone Wineries:

  • Kunin Wines, 28 Anacapa St. – 2014 Zinfandel (Paso Robles, $30) and Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley, Larner Vineyard, $38)
  • DV8 Cellars, 28 Anacapa St., Suite C – 2012 Overdrive Syrah (Larner Vineyard, Ballard Canyon, $38)
  • Santa Barbara Winery, 202 Anacapa St. – 2013 Reserve Chardonnay (Santa Rita Hills, $25) and 2012 Primitivo (Joughin Vineyard, $28)
  • Lafond Winery, 111 E. Yanonali St. – 2012 Lafond Vineyard Chardonnay ($40) and Syrah ($40).
  • AVA Santa Barbara, 116 E. Yanonali St. – Visit here for the chalk drawing in the tasting room. It’s super-cool! Below is just a fraction of it.
AVA Santa Barbara Tasting Room

AVA Santa Barbara Tasting Room

Funk Zone Brewpubs & Taprooms:

I noticed 2 things right away about the beers in Santa Barbara:

  1. Many of the stouts and porters I tried had a distinct smoky flavor—very different from the coffee and chocolate flavors usually found in these beer styles.
  2. The red ales here are light in color, body and flavor. They lack the roasty, hoppy characteristics that I love in San Diego red ales. (Sorry, SB.)
  • MO’saic Pale Ale – This super-hoppy American Pale Ale is made with Mosaic hops, accented with a small amount of Amarillo hops. 4.8% ABV, 38 IBU
  • Davy Brown Ale – This American Brown Ale blends caramel and chocolate malts with Northern Brewer and Cascade hops. 6.0% ABV, 29 IBU
  • Gimme that Nut Brown Ale – This American Brown has heavy vanilla notes; as it warms up, it tastes like root beer. 6.0% ABV, 32 IBU
  • Stagecoach Stout – This Oatmeal Stout has a midnight-black smoky flavor, with notes of tobacco. 5.6% ABV, 26 IBU
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company

 

  • Union Ale taproom, 214 State Street – I sampled the Bell’s Porter here—deep, dark, rich and very smoky.

Funk Zone Restaurants:

  • The Brewhouse, 229 W. Montecito Street – There are lots of beers to sample in this brewpub. My favorite taste of the night? The Monday night Prime Rib Special for $20—a carnivore’s delight.
  • Enterprise Fish Co., 225 State St. – The 2-lb. Lobster Special (with 2 side items) for $37.95 is delicious & a great deal (a $22 savings)! It’s available Monday through Thursday, or until they run out.
  • Metro Fine Foods, a.k.a. Metropulos, 216 E. Yanonali St. – The gyros ($9.95) are huge, fresh & meaty with a tangy yogurt dressing.

 

On the drive back up the 101, we also sampled a few brewpubs we’ve never tried before, including 2 in Goleta and 1 in Paso Robles.

Goleta Brewpubs:

  • M.Special Brewery, 6860 Cortona Drive, Suite C, Goleta – Don’t be thrown by the office park location. There’s good beer to be found here! I sampled the Dozer Special American Brown. This is a very tasty & very well-balanced brown! Most brown ales are too sweet and syrupy for my taste, but this has the perfect balance of malt & hops. Refreshing! My beer drinking buddy enjoyed the Session IPA, Greatland Special IPA and Lazy Eye Double IPA.
M.Special Brewery

M.Special Brewery

  • Hollister Brewing Company, 6980 Marketplace Drive, Goleta – Here, my IPA-loving buddy enjoyed The Pope IPA and Hippie Kicker IPA.
Hollister Brewing Company

Hollister Brewing Company

Paso Robles Brewpub:

  • Firestone Walker Brewing Company, 1400 Ramada Drive, Paso Robles – I’ve been to the Buellton location several times but this was my first time here at the newer location. I enjoyed the Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout, a full-bodied stout, 5% ABV and 27 IBU. The roasted flavors in this winter seasonal provide a deep, smoky flavor with notes of toffee and fig. It’s just the thing to enjoy by the fire on a cold winter night. The Onion Rings ($6) are thick-cut & double panko breaded, served with a side of ranch and Firestone Walker’s own housemade barbecue sauce. So decadent, so good! And the beers floating along the blue lights above the bar create a mellow ambiance.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Firestone Walker Brewing Company

 

Firestone Walker Onion Rings

Firestone Walker Onion Rings

Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

BLACK FRIDAY DEAL!!!

Get the DARK SURF ebook for only 99 cents with a special coupon code at Smashwords.com! That’s 67% off the $2.99 retail price.

  • Your coupon code is: LP72D
  • Valid Nov. 24 – Nov. 30, 2015

Visit https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/535860 OR visit Smashwords.com & enter DARK SURF in the Search box.

From there, you can buy the DARK SURF ebook for yourself or give it as a gift to a friend. It’s available in multiple formats, including epub, mobi (Kindle), lrf, and more. Happy shopping!

Book Buzz – DARK SURF news & goings-on

Breaking news from Los Angeles! Today the 2015 Southern California Book Festival awarded the DARK SURF novel an “Honorable Mention” in the “General Fiction” category of its annual competition!

Each year, the Southern California Book Festival considers works in fiction, non-fiction, biography/autobiography, how-to, compilations/anthologies, photography/art, children’s, cookbooks, poetry, spiritual, young adult, business/technology, unpublished manuscripts, wild card, nature/animals and regional lit.

Submitted works are judged by a panel on:

  1. General excellence and the author’s passion for telling a good story.
  2. The potential of the work to reach a wider audience.

This is the DARK SURF novel’s first award!

Dark Surf front cover

Dark Surf front cover