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Book Buzz

In the March/April 2018 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine, Paul Goat Allen has a very informative article on what it takes to earn a 5-star review. He has worked as a genre fiction book critic and written thousands of reviews for companies like, Publishers Weekly, the Chicago Tribune, and Kirkus Reviews. In this article, he offers 5 criteria that provide a glimpse into how a veteran book reviewer dissects and evaluates a novel.

BlueInk Review logoIn December 2014, Paul Goat Allen chose DARK SURF as one of 10 must-read self-published vampire fiction novels. He said in his review written for BlueInk Review, “This debut novel is so good—so insanely audacious—I actually stood up and applauded when I finished reading it! … This novel blew me away—one of the most imaginative vampire novels I’ve ever read.” Thank you, Mr. Allen, for that review and for this article!


Where will today take you?
Footsteps in Sand


Watching the Super Blue Blood Moon set over the Pacific Ocean on Jan. 31 was incredible!

Super Moon & Glowing Wave

Super Moon Crescent & Wave

Crave – food & drink

Recipe – Coffee Tequila Liqueur

  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1.5 cups instant coffee [e.g., Folger’s Classic Roast instant coffee crystals]
  • 4 cups (1 quart) silver tequila [e.g., Milagro silver tequila)
  • 1 vanilla bean

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.

Mix sugar and instant coffee together in a bowl, then add this mixture to the boiling water. Dissolve and bring to a boil again.

Add 4 cups of tequila and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. [Note: Watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t boil over.]

Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into a glass container or bottle. Add 1 vanilla bean. Store for 4 weeks.

Remove vanilla bean. Keep in large bottle or pour into small bottles.

Sugar & instant coffee mixture

Sugar & instant coffee mixture


Coffee liqueur cooking on stovetop

Coffee liqueur cooking on stovetop


Coffee liqueur in bottle

Coffee liqueur in bottle

Book Buzz – Awards

RISING wins Regional Fiction/West category in 6th annual Beverly Hills Book Awards

The 2017 Beverly Hills Book Awards® named RISING the 1st place winner in the Regional Fiction/West category!

Here’s what the awards program has to say: “Beverly Hills is synonymous with excellence, the best of the best. We want to celebrate the physical book in print that has always and will always be a part of our worldwide culture.” The awards program accepts fiction and non-fiction books in a wide range of topics and categories.

RISING is the second novel in the DARK SURF series.

BHBA Banner

Book Buzz – Awards

DARK SURF named a finalist in the international Book Excellence Awards

The 2017 Book Excellence Awards selected DARK SURF, the first novel in the DARK SURF series, as a Finalist in the “Fiction” category. The international competition is described as a “global celebration of literary excellence.”

BEA Certificate

According to the awards program, “receiving a Book Excellence Award is a tremendous honor that represents the hard work, dedication and commitment that went into creating a book. Books that have received a Book Excellence Award have been recognized for their high quality design, writing and overall market appeal.”

This is the 13th award for the DARK SURF novel!

BEA Finalist Seal 72 DPI PNG

Book Buzz – Awards

The Hollywood Book Festival names RISING a Runner-Up in Sequels!


RISING just received its 9th award, winning 2nd place in the Sequels category of the 2017 Hollywood Book Festival! I plan to attend the awards dinner in Hollywood on August 18.

Based in the capital of show business, the Hollywood Book Festival celebrates literature that “deserves greater recognition from the film and TV industries.” The festival considers published, self-published and independent publisher non-fiction, fiction, children’s books, young adult, how-to, spiritual, wild card, science fiction, biography/autobiography, sequels, genre-based, business, screenplays, and history.

Last year, DARK SURF won an Honorable Mention in General Fiction in this festival.

Fun fact: In 2013 (before it was published), DARK SURF was optioned for a movie. Ultimately, the team was unable to line up the financing to produce the movie. So, the rights are back in my hands, and now I have some good experience behind me for the next time an option comes along.

Book Buzz – Awards

DARK SURF and RISING win awards in the Pacific Rim Book Festival

Breaking news! In the 2017 Pacific Rim Book Festival, DARK SURF won 2nd place in General Fiction, and RISING was one of seven novels to receive an Honorable Mention in the same category!

Both books are set along the Pacific. DARK SURF takes place in San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz, Calif. RISING picks up where DARK SURF left off, transporting the characters to Oahu, Maui, and Kauai in Hawaii, as well as Catalina Island and the cities of Marina and Carmel on the Monterey Bay in Calif.

Pacific.RU.2017.web Pacific.HM.2017.web



Is there anything more amazing than a Hawaiian sunset? Hawaii is one of my all-time favorite places to go for writing inspiration—and it’s easy to see why.

I shot this image last week in Poipu Beach, Kauai in the middle of an ocean-view pool with my new waterproof camera. (Yes, I’ve determined that having a waterproof camera is essential for my coastal lifestyle.)

Poipu Beach, Kauai (June 2017)

Poipu Beach, Kauai (June 2017)

Book Buzz – Awards

RISING gets Honorable Mention in the 2017 Beach Book Festival

The 2017 Beach Book Festival, which spotlights the hottest reads of the summer, has recognized RISING with an Honorable Mention in General Fiction.

RISING is the second novel in the DARK SURF series. Last year, DARK SURF was the Runner-Up in General Fiction in the Beach Book Festival.

BBF 2017 Certificate