Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Forty years ago today: Deputy inspector heads operation to catch Son of Sam

NYPD Chief of Detectives John Keenan held a City Hall press conference to name Deputy Inspector Timothy Dowd to head Operation Omega, the group tasked with catching the .44-caliber killer. Dowd took the place of Captain Joseph Borrelli, who had been running a smaller group and was to serve as Dowd’s deputy. The task force was to be based in the 109th Precinct in Flushing and more detectives were to be added to the effort.

A BLACK SAIL named 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist

SEATTLE —Today, Camel Press is pleased to announce A Black Sail by Rich Zahradnik has been recognized as a finalist in the mystery category of the 19th annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

As part of their mission to discover, review, and share the best books from small, university, and indie publishers (and authors), independent media company Foreword Reviews hosts its annual awards program each year. Finalists represent the best books published in 2016, and submitted to Foreword Reviews for award consideration, and were narrowed down by Foreword’s editors from over 2,200 individual titles spread across 65 categories. Follow these links for a complete list of finalists and the finalist page for A Black Sail.

“Choosing finalists for the INDIES is always the highlight of our year, but the choice was more difficult this time around due to the high quality of submissions,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “Each new book award season proves again how independent publishers are the real innovators in the industry.”

INDIES finalists are moved on to final judging by an expert panel of librarians and booksellers curated specifically for each genre and who will determine the books who will be named Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award winners. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice winners, and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—will be announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017.

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 www.richzahradnik.com.

A Black Sail is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com. After October 1st, it will also be for sale in both eBook and 5×8 trade paperback editions on BN.com, 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 info@camelpress.com. Libraries can also order from Brodart Company. Other electronic versions will be available on BN.com, 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 –

Jake

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.