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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


Book Buzz – Awards

DARK SURF earns Honorable Mention in the 2017 New York Book Festival

The New York Book Festival recognized DARK SURF with an Honorable Mention in General Fiction in the 2017 awards program, which honors books worthy of further attention from the world’s publishing capitol.

Winners, Runners-Up and Honorable Mentions will be honored at a private awards ceremony at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan on July 15. Alas, I won’t be able to attend, but I’m stoked to be among the honorees!


Book Buzz – Awards

RISING receives Honorable Mention in the 2017 San Francisco Book Festival

The 2017 San Francisco Book Festival has awarded RISING an Honorable Mention in General Fiction. The annual festival honors the best books of the spring.

RISING is the second novel in the DARK SURF series. In 2016, DARK SURF was the Runner-Up in General Fiction in this festival.

2017 San Francisco Book Festival Certificate

Book Buzz – Awards

RISING is a winner in the National Indie Excellence Awards

NIEA winner

The 11th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards selected RISING as the winner in the “Regional Fiction: West” category. Here’s what they said: “Your book truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you and your fine work.”

The national award is open to recent English language books in print from small, medium, university, self and independent publishers. Established in 2007, the NIEA competition is judged by experts from all aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters.


Book Buzz – RISING review

RISING just earned a review rating of 5 out of 5 stars on Readers’ Favorite!

Check out what Readers’ Favorite reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds had to say:

Readers Favorite 5 Stars

“Rising is Volume 2 of the Dark Surf Series by T.C. Zmak. When the Rogues attacked the Nomads, they bit off more than they could chew. Jake and Leilani are on their trail, chasing Dean to stop him before he can build up his clan once again, and to save Skylar from what could be the worse decision of her life. She doesn’t know what secrets Dean is hiding, what lies he has told her, and nobody could begin to guess what she will do if she finds out. For Jake and Leilani, the war is on and the bodies are beginning to mount up. But there is a new enemy in sight, one that threatens their very existence. Can Jake and Leilani stop Dean before it’s too late? Is Tristan truly gone for good?

“Rising (Dark Surf Volume 2) by T.C. Zmak is another fantastic story, a great sequel to Dark Surf. Although it starts where Dark Surf ended, there is still enough information provided for those who didn’t read the first book to know what it’s all about. Things get somewhat more complicated as the cast list grows and the story stretches along the coast. The story is every bit as good as the first part, perhaps a little deeper, and with those all-important twists and turns that keep a reader hooked. It is a fast-paced story, one of those that you just can’t put down, especially if you have read the first book in the series and need to know what happens. The character development continues as we learn more about the main characters and the new ones we meet along the way. This is another page turner and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes the vampire/paranormal genre. Please read book 1 first to get the best experience from this story. Really looking forward to book 3 now; I can’t wait.”

Thank you, Readers’ Favorite & Anne-Marie Reynolds!

Read the full review at:

You can find more reviews for RISING and DARK SURF at:

Book Buzz – Awards

DARK SURF and RISING take 2nd place in the 2017 Los Angeles Book Festival’s Genre-Based Fiction and Sequels categories

The 2017 Los Angeles Book Festival selected DARK SURF as the Runner-Up in Genre-Based Fiction, and RISING as the Runner-Up in the Sequels category.

2017 LA Book Festival

The Los Angeles Book Festival is an “annual competition honoring the best of the world publishing community.” It considers major publisher, independent publisher and self-published works in the following categories: general non-fiction, fiction, biography/autobiography, children’s books, young adult, how-to, cookbooks, science fiction, business, wild card, compilations/anthologies, sequels (for books that are part of a series), photography/art, poetry, romance, and regional literature.

I’ve been invited to attend a private awards dinner in L.A. in April to celebrate with the other award winners!

Dark Surf Cover small 144



On my trip to Kauai in late February, something amazing happened. I no longer felt like a tourist! Kauai is one of my favorite places in the world, and it’s truly an author’s paradise. The scenery is breathtaking. The ocean is warm and inviting. Inspiration is everywhere—the sea, the land, the air, the flowers, the wildlife …

Here are a few highlights:

The Kalalau Trail is an 11-mile trail that leads from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach along the Na Pali Coast. This photo is near the beginning of the trail, hiking up the mountain and looking down upon Ke’e Beach.

Kalalau Trail

Kalalau Trail

Ke’e Beach is the beach at the end of the road. The water here is truly magical.

Ke'e Beach

Ke’e Beach

This misty shot of the Na Pali Coast, located on the northwest edge of Kauai, was taken aboard a Blue Dolphin Charters (excellent tour company!) snorkeling cruise. The cruise also featured a continental breakfast, lunch, drinks and plenty of wildlife. We saw humpback whales and lots of spinner dolphins. (Yes, they actually come out of the water and spin! So amazing to see up close!)

Na Pali Coast

Na Pali Coast

Wailua Falls is a waterfall that feeds into the Wailua River, and it was featured in the opening credits of the Fantasy Island TV show.

Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls

Kauai sunrises are spectacular. The air is cool, and the sky and water are painted in pastels. It’s my favorite time of day to walk on the beach (though sunsets are pretty incredible, too).

Kapaa Sunrise

Kapaa Sunrise