Saturday, October 30, 2010

Notes from the Office: Mysteries

We're hours away from Halloween-day and there's nothing that says spooky like a good murder mystery. Thankfully, we have a good selection of those around here. In the next couple months, our two masters of mystery, Jeff Sherratt and Teresa Burrell, will be running a whirlwind signing tour throughout Southern California. Hitting bookstores in the Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, and San Diego counties, there will be no opportunity for you to miss them.

Sherratt's Detour to Murder, out just this month, has been hitting the blogosphere big time. Only moments ago, for example, it was a feature title on Death in the Stacks. The big treat of that post is the film trailer for Detour, the classic source of the novel. Check it out!

One of the premier organizations for mystery and thriller writers in the country is ITW (Internation Thriller Writers). Not only is it a fantastic resource for readers and writers alike, the bestower of the annual Thriller Awards, and the host of ThrillerFest in New York every summer, the organization is staffed by the absolutely hands-down nicest people ever. In the coming months, they're launching a Thriller Roundtable in which writers across America participate in a weekly online panel session on various topics relating to the genre.

We at ZOVA are so excited to listen in on these forum-like discussions, not only because they'll be featuring some really dynamic authors, but because three of our own writers will be joining in!!! The discussion starts this Monday, November 1st, and will be joined by our own Jeff Sherratt the following week, on November 8th. Be sure to join in. It's a wonderful opportunity to make your voice heard, and to ask all those questions you've been dying to have answered from all your favorite mystery aficionados!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


November is just around the corner. For all of you who thought about participating in the National Novel-Writing Month last year and didn't, now's your chance to get a head start. Of course, the name of the game is outputting 50,000 words in only thirty days, but there are all sorts of ways to prep for day one. Check out Wired Magazine's How-To wiki for step-by-step suggestions on what to do between now and November first. Only 30,000 of the 165,000 people who participated last year actually made it to the final page. (I know . . . only 30,000.) This year, be one of the few. The proud. The novelists.

Monday, October 18, 2010

ZOVA Signs New Authors

If you've talked to anyone on the ZOVA team recently, you know there's a lot going on over here. We have so many projects in the works, and it's all stuff we're genuinely excited about. This month saw the release of Jeff Sherratt's newest Jimmy O'Brien mystery, Detour to Murder - a fitting follow-up to our debut release from Teresa Burrell, The Advocate's Betrayal. We gave you a heads-up when we signed acclaimed writer and editor Mike Sirota for his upcoming novel Fire Dance, to be released this coming February. With several more secrets in store, it's about time we mentioned two of our most recent authorial acquisitions.


Author of about a dozen widely-selling novels in a variety of genres, Michele Scott is a powerhouse of a writer. Our 2011 calendar is busting at the seams with her upcoming releases, from children's books to a brand new adult series, as well as the next installment of her famous Wine Lovers Mysteries. We are delighted to be working with her - not only because her books are loved wherever they go, but because she is a genuinely delightful person to work with. Welcome to the team, Michele!


Steampunk pioneer and all-around awesome guy, Nick Valentino is a certified ZOVA favorite. (Not that we at ZOVA have favorites...) After publishing his debut novel Thomas Riley last year, Nick went on to conquer book festivals across the nation. He conquered us too. We're so riled up about his work, we'll be joining him for a special author/publisher panel at the annual Steamcon event in Seattle next month! Join us on the Nick Valentino band wagon. I promise, it will be a fun ride!

For more information about these and other developments on the ZOVA front, visit our website, newly updated with current details.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oh So Many Author Events

There's nothing like a new release to get you excited about the book industry. This past week saw the unveiling of the first book in Jeff Sherratt's film noir mystery series, Detour to Murder. Jeff shared a release date with the newest from Vince Flynn, Rick Riordan, and John le Carre. Join him at the Barnes & Noble in Torrance, CA, next weekend for the first public signing of the new release! It's the season to be reading, and there's so much to choose from. Be sure to put Detour at the top of your list!

We're also looking forward to hearing all the news from one of the mystery book world's biggest conferences, Bouchercon. Teresa Burrell and Jeff Sherratt are both up there this weekend. We're especially excited to hear about Teresa's panel appearance this morning on the "Continuous Conversation." If the event has made you interested in her most recent novel, The Advocate's Betrayal, then head over to the Borders in Mission Valley this Thursday - or on Friday to the Barnes & Noble in Palm Desert. You can pick up a copy of the book along with a freshly penned signature straight from the hands of the author herself.

All these events, and they still have time to write! How do they do it...?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Detour to Murder

Today is the official release of Jeff Sherratt's novel, Detour to Murder! The first in a new film noir series, Sherratt returns to his indomitable criminal defense attorney, Jimmy O'Brien, but drives the familiar character in a very new direction. Taking its cues from the 1945 film classic, Detour, starring Tom Neal and Anne Savage, the story follows Al Roberts, a man accused of murder, thirty years after he's imprisoned for the crime. Of course, faithful ZOVA blog followers have heard most of this already. What you really want now is to read the book!

In which case, you should place your order on the ZOVA Books website, where early orders will receive free copies of the Detour DVD along with their book. Or meet Jeff Sherratt at any one of his many southern California events in the coming months. You can take a look at his schedule at, or subscribe to his monthly newsletter for up-to-date news and reviews. Of course, there's his own blog to follow, facebook to 'like,' and any number of other forums, book clubs, fan sites and more to join, post, save, site, request, inquire of, or generally follow. Yep, that's how we do things nowadays!

For those of you who pre-ordered your copy of the book, it may take a little longer than usual to get it to you through Amazon or Never fear - it will arrive soon enough. And it will be everything you were hoping for and more!

Friday, October 1, 2010

An Interview with Teresa Burrell

While we're linking over to other online articles in honor of our authors, there's one more to add to your surfing queue. Nourishing Relationships, a blog for women of the Baby Boomer generation, has posted an extensive interview with Teresa Burrell on her career changes, life choices, and general philosophy of getting things done. It's a fascinating look into the life of our first mystery novelist. The questions they ask are probing and her answers are both enlightening and inspirational. Readers have already responded with questions of their own, so feel free to join in the conversation.

The Big Thrill

There's a long list of October releases over at the Thriller Writers' monthly ''Hot Off the Press" article, but one in particular stands out to us. That would, of course, be our own Jeff Sherratt's Detour to Murder, ZOVA's most upcoming release being loosed on the world this very month. The ITW website features a wonderful article on the book, the original film, Detour, and the complexities of merging the two together. You can read the whole article by clicking here, or just feast on the introduction below:

"Fans of Jeff Sherratt's mystery series have come to expect certain things from his novels. Jimmy O'Brien books are clever, gripping, and addictive. Known for their multi-layered suspense, Sherratt's novels immerse the reader in the politics, society, and industry of Los Angeles in the 1970s, all the while maintaining a style more reminiscent of 1940s who-dunnit narratives than anything else. They're classy, surprising, and endearing - in a murder mystery kind of way."

An now, of course, you want to read the rest of it. Here's the link again. We've got to thank Karen Dionne and the staff at ITW for welcoming us as a publishing house and, by extension, welcoming all of our thrilling authors. We are marvelously proud of them.