Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Cover reveal for the next Coleridge Taylor Mystery

Here they are, the title and cover of Coleridge Taylor Mystery book 4. Out Oct. 1.

No spoilers…but LIGHTS OUT SUMMER is set during six months in 1977 when two major crime stories dominated the front pages of New York’s papers. Son of Sam was halfway through his yearlong killing spree. And the 25-hour blackout in mid-July resulted in 1,000 businesses damaged or destroyed and more than 3,000 arrested.

Forty years ago today…

Frederick Cowan, who idolized Adolph Hitler, opened fire inside Neptune Moving in New Rochelle, killing five people and wounding five others with a semi-automatic rifle.
–Brought to you by LIGHTS OUT SUMMER, set in 1977, coming this October.

Forty years ago today…

Carmen Romano Lopez Portillo, wife of the President of Mexico, concluded a White House state dinner honoring the visit of her husband to the U.S. by playing a piano piece.
–Brought to you by LIGHTS OUT SUMMER, set in 1977, coming this October.

Camel Press Announces the October Release of A BLACK SAIL, by Rich Zahradnik: A Corpse Surfaces as Boats Fill the Harbor for NYC’s Bicentennial

Camel Press logo

Seattle, WA—On October 1, 2016, Camel Press will release A Black Sail ($15.95, 264 pages, ISBN: 978-1-60381-211-5), by Rich Zahradnik, book three of a mystery/thriller series featuring newsman Coleridge Taylor and set on the mean streets of Manhattan and surrounding boroughs in the ’70s. While covering Operation Sail in 1976, Taylor witnesses a heroin-laden corpse being fished out of the New York Harbor and concludes the woman was a pawn in a drug war.

Book 1, Last Words, won Honorable Mention in the mystery category of ForeWord Reviews’ 2014 Book of the Year Contest, was a Bronze Medal Winner in the mystery/thriller eBook division of the 2015 IPPY Awards, and a finalist in the mystery division of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. RT Book Reviews gave it 4 stars: “Hours of engrossing entertainment…. A thoroughly satisfying read.”

Book 2, Drop Dead Punk, was a finalist in ForeWord Reviews’ 2015 Book of the Year Contest, a Gold Medal winner in the mystery/thriller Ebook division of the 2016 IPPY Awards, and a finalist in the mystery division of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. ForeWord Reviews called it “fast-paced, deeply entertaining and engrossing.”

On the eve of the U.S. Bicentennial, newsman Coleridge Taylor is covering Operation Sail. New York Harbor is teeming with tall ships from all over the world. While enjoying the spectacle, Taylor is still a police reporter. He wants to cover real stories, not fluff, and gritty New York City still has plenty of those in July of 1976. One surfaces right in front of him when a housewife is fished out of the harbor wearing bricks of heroin, inferior stuff users have been rejecting for China White, peddled by the Chinatown gangs.

Convinced he’s stumbled upon a drug war between the Italian Mafia and a Chinese tong, Taylor is on fire once more. But as he blazes forward, flanked by his new girlfriend, ex-cop Samantha Callahan, his precious story grows ever more twisted and deadly. In his reckless search for the truth, he rattles New York’s major drug cartels. If he solves the mystery, he may end up like his victim—in a watery grave.

Says Zahradnik, “I love Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels about the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and have read all but one. When I looked ahead after Drop Dead Punk left off in November 1975, I realized I had the chance to put ships of sail in the next Taylor mystery. I lived near New York during the Bicentennial and remember the tall ship parade in New York Harbor—flickering images on TV up in Dutchess County. I needed to do a great deal of research on those craft, using newspaper coverage and books published at the time. Unlike Mr. O’Brian, I knew little or nothing about jibs, staysails, and ratlines. Lucky for me, there were only 16 ships—not an entire navy—and I’d be writing through the eyes of Taylor, who knows as much as I and cares a whole lot less. This was one of those times when I could bring in one of my oddball interests to dress the set, while still telling a story of heroin dealers and murder in the NYC of 1976. Taylor’s frustration at having to cover the Operation Sail events is typical of reporters who don’t think of features as serious journalism. His bad attitude helped propel the story.”

Rich Zahradnik has been a journalist for 30-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine, and wire services. He lives with his wife, Sheri, and son, Patrick, in Pelham, New York, where he teaches kids how to publish online and print newspapers. For more information, go to

A Black Sail is currently available for pre-order on After October 1st, it will also be for sale in both eBook and 5×8 trade paperback editions on, the European Amazons, Amazon Japan and select independent bookstores. Bookstores and libraries will be able to order wholesale through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, or by contacting Libraries can also order from Brodart Company. Other electronic versions will be available on, Kobo, and iBooks.

ABOUT Camel Press—Based in Seattle Washington, Camel Press is an imprint of Coffeetown Enterprises, Inc. We publish genre fiction: romance, mystery/suspense, science fiction, and fantasy—the books that grab you and hold you in their grip long into the night.

– END –


jakeI just came around the railing and thought I saw Jake at the bottom of the stairs. Or maybe expected to see him. For an instant he was there. Sitting. This keeps happening. A shadow across the bed. It’s Jake. It’s not. He’s on the other side of the front door as I unlock it. He’s coming into the office to check on me, as he always did. I turn my head. Dark, empty doorway.

This is what happens when you spend all your days and nights with a companion—person or pet.

In the five years since I quit journalism to stay at home and write, Jake has always been here. I’d not spent more 24/7 time with  anyone or anything else in my life since childhood. That’s why he’s haunting the corners of my eyes.

Jake’s been dead a month and a half. I didn’t do a Facebook post. I’m not much for the Facebook of the Dead thing. To each his own. No judgment. My letter of last instructions will specifically state that the second thing that must be done after my death is shutter, shut down, delete my Facebook account. I don’t want to haunt ZuckerbergWorld like some low rent, wise cracking Neuromancer. Not unless I can be Neuromancer. The first thing in that letter will name the pub where the Guinness will be on me.

I’m cheating, I guess, by writing something here about Jake. I had to somewhere. Dogs don’t get obits. This certainly is a violation of his life’s philosophy. Jake didn’t believe in bad news. Everybody should always be happy. Tails should always be wagging.

A post on a blog about a dog can end up being tired. Cliched. Everyone says the same things about their dog. Maybe. But from a writing standpoint, Jake was here the whole time, from the querying to getting an agent, from the submissions to publishers to getting a deal, from wannabe to a guy with four books done.

I should translate the look on Jake’s face in the picture above:

I have my leash on. We’re upstairs. As in the second floor. In the office. Idiot.

I am the only person Jake would ever call an idiot. After ten years total and five years 24/7, he had every right.

DROP DEAD PUNK named Finalist in Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards

March 7, 2016

DROP DEAD PUNK named Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalist

SEATTLE — Today, Camel Press is pleased to announce DROP DEAD PUNK has been recognized as a finalist in the 18th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. Here is the complete list:

Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd. In the next three months, a panel of more than 100 volunteer librarians and booksellers will determine the winners in 63 categories based on their experience with readers and patrons.

“The 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “The strength of this list of finalists is further proof that small, independent publishers are taking their rightful place as the new driving force of the entire publishing industry.”

Foreword Reviews will celebrate the winners during a program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida in June. We will also name the Editor’s Choice Prize 2015 for Fiction, Nonfiction and Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Publisher of the Year Award during the presentation.

About us: Based in Seattle Washington, Camel Press is an imprint of Coffeetown Enterprises, Inc. We publish genre fiction: romance, mystery/suspense, science fiction, and fantasy—the books that grab you and hold you in their grip long into the night.

About Foreword: Foreword Magazine, Inc is a media company featuring a Folio:-award-winning quarterly print magazine, Foreword Reviews, and a website devoted to independently published books. In the magazine, it features reviews of the best 170 new titles from independent publishers, university presses, and noteworthy self-published authors. Its website features daily updates: reviews along with in-depth coverage and analysis of independent publishing from a team of more than 100 reviewers, journalists, and bloggers. The print magazine is available at most Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million newsstands or by subscription. The company is headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan.


LAST WORDS wins Bronze Medal for mystery/thriller ebook in IPPYs


Last Words tied for the Bronze Medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the IPPYs, the awards given by Independent Publisher. Here’s the release:

(May 6, 2015 – Traverse City, MI) – The world of book publishing keeps changing, as technological progress brings instant access to news, knowledge and entertainment. All of this information overload can make us yearn for the old-school technology of the book — but how to find the best new reads? The 19th annual “IPPY” Awards will spotlight the year’s best independently published books at a gala celebration on May 27th during the annual BookExpo America publishing convention in New York.

Gold, silver and bronze IPPY medals will be awarded in 78 national, 24 regional, and ten e-book categories, chosen from nearly 6,000 entries from authors and publishers in all 50 U.S. states, eight Canadian provinces, and 34 countries overseas. The winners make up a reading list that is extensive and diverse, featuring new voices and viewpoints passionately expressed through soulful memoirs, insightful self-help books, and penetrating critiques of our social and political systems.

National category winners include breath-taking photographs from around the world, such as those of gold medalist Earth Is My Witness: The Photography of Art Wolfe (Earth Aware Editions); delicious recipes from cherished neighborhood restaurants like the ones in cookbook gold medalist Backstreet Kitchen, by Tracy Vaught and Hugo Ortega (Inwood Publishing); and charming drawings used to tell an intimate life story in Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir (Zest Books), by Liz Prince.

The Regional categories highlight books from all over the U.S., Canada, Australia, and for the first time this year, Europe. The inaugural non-fiction gold medalist is The Glow of Paris: The Bridges of Paris at Night (Marcorp Editions), a dreamy new take on the 35 bridges that span the Seine, all photographed at night. Gary Zuercher, an American businessman, pilot and commercial photographer whose wife is French, spent five years on the project.

E-books are the new frontier of publishing, and the gold medal-winner in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror category is Beowulf: A Bloody Calculus (East India Press), a refreshing take on cyberpunk that calls to mind sci-fi greats with a thoughtful allegorical streak. In another pioneering effort, one of this year’s Outstanding Books of the Year, Super Power Baby Project (Evie’s Book Club) portrays toddlers suffering from genetic disabilities and malformations — in exquisitely photographed settings and poses that bring forth all their beauty and joy of life.

Congratulations to all the medalists for their independent spirit and dedication to excellence in an always-changing world of publishing and bookselling. See the complete results listing at

The Independent Publisher Awards are presented by, “THE Voice of Independent Publishing,” operated by publishing services firm, Jenkins Group of Traverse City, Michigan.
For more details about the IPPY Awards, please contact:

Jim Barnes, Managing Editor & Awards Director / Jenkins Group

Ph: 1.800.644.0133 x 1011 /