Friday, February 25, 2011

Discover Jimmy O'Brien...Again

This is a big month for Jimmy O'Brien fans - and Kindle users. ZOVA Books is reintroducing the original Jimmy O'Brien series to Kindle readers everywhere, complete with new covers and fully re-edited text. Even the exclusive e-book-only edition of Expectation of Murder has been redesigned - even given a new title - to celebrate the release of the full series on the Amazon platform. Print editions will be coming soon, but for now we're just excited about the new exposure the series is getting. Here are some sneak peeks, especially for those of you who are new to the series altogether:

Guilty or Else is the first in the original Jimmy O'Brien series. O'Brien is new to the courtroom, but no stranger to the criminal underworld of 1970s Los Angeles, having worked the circuit as one of LAPD's finest for several years. When Ernesto Rodriguez, a blue collar gardener, is arrested for the brutal murder of a senator’s beautiful secretary, ex-cop turned lawyer O’Brien is brought in. But Jimmy isn’t asked to defend the man. The judge wants the man put away fast, no trial. Something doesn't smell right to Jimmy O'Brien, so he starts digging. Launching into his own investigation, Jimmy O’Brien must navigate the labyrinthine plot that has put an innocent man in jail to await trial. From Downey to Sacramento to Las Vegas, the trail runs boiling hot with greed and violence.

This is a perfect introduction to the hardened criminal attorney, Jimmy O'Brien, especially at the throw-away price of $0.99. Of course, you'll want to follow it up with the next book in the series...

The Midnight Madonna, previously titled Expectation of Murder, explores two seemingly unrelated murders - the brutal stabbing of a convict behind prison bars, and the fake suicide of a wealthy meat mogul. The first murder is quickly swept aside, because who cares about the death of one more felon? But the second is quickly pinned on the rich man's young wife - a woman with a less than reputable past. When she calls Jimmy O'Brien to help her navigate the suspicions and accusations, he can't help but wonder if there's a connection between the two events. As he explores the histories behind these two men, he begins to uncover a corrupt ring of extortion and greed.

The last of the original Jimmy O'Brien series, The Brimstone Murders will have you guessing on every digital page. After the young man O'Brien is set to defend on a murder charge escapes custody in the middle of the trial, O'Brien will go to any length to track him down again. When the clues lead to a mysterious rehabilitation center in the California desert, O'Brien begins to wonder if he might be in over his head. But there are too many questions - and the stakes are too high for O'Brien to give up altogether. With the help of his associate, Rita, and his eccentric best friend and private detective, Sol Silverman, there might be a chance to uncover the truth before anyone else winds up dead.

If you first discovered the tenacious Jimmy O'Brien with the first of his film noir series, Detour to Murder, this is the perfect opportunity to find out where he came from.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Southern California Writers' Conference

This weekend, we headed down to the Southern California Writers' Conference to talk about the state of the publishing industry - where it is and where it's going. We met with several writers, both casually and on purpose, to discuss their projects, their hopes for their writing careers, and their experiences of the conference itself.

On Saturday afternoon, we answered a wide variety of questions on publishing, dealing with everything from the changes in big house publishing to the pros and cons of indie and self-publishing experiences. Of course we love boutique publishing best of all - because that's what we do - but the wide range of practices among small and mid-size publishers makes for an interesting discussion regardless.

Our own Mike Sirota spoke on Saturday morning about what he calls his "three writing careers," the third of which we launched just over a week ago with the release of Fire Dance. Michele Scott, soon to be releasing Happy Hour with us, did a series of probing one-on-one manuscript reviews. Overall, it was a great opportunity to meet with new and growing talent. We're excited to go back, and so thankful to Wes Albers and Michael Steven Gregory for allowing us to take part in the annual event.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The ZOVA Writers Workshops

This month, ZOVA is announcing the launch of its new writers' workshop program. In a continual effort to provide services and products that reflect our mission of giving opportunities to developing writers and artists, the writers' workshop will offer professional coaching in the craft of writing while building a virtual community of writers committed to improving and sharing their work.

The ZOVA Writers' Workshop is an eight week virtual course designed to develop your skills as an author. The course will walk you through a number of writing exercises and give you an opportunity to present your work to fellow students for critical feedback. Moderated by ZOVA Books' publisher, Molly Lewis, you will have the opportunity to hone your craft under the guidance of an industry professional with many years of writing and editing experience and education.

Beginning in March, the upcoming spring workshop will cover eight weeks of intensive instruction and workshop interaction. By the end of the course, you will have completed one short story, several smaller writing assignments, and a cover letter for the purpose of submission to a literary journal or other relevant press.

The workshop will be held virtually through email and Skype group text chat. For a full course description or for information on our one-on-one manuscript coaching packages, please contact 

Please note: The ZOVA Writers' Workshop is a collaborative creative program designed for building skills in a professional online setting. Participation in the ZOVA workshop programs is in no way related to our submissions process. ZOVA obligates neither itself nor its workshop participants in any form of publication partnership by working together in the workshop setting.