Monday, December 12, 2011

December Deal

We've mentioned it on Facebook and Twitter already, but for all you blog-followers out there, here's a brief heads-up that Michele Scott's novel Happy Hour is currently only 99 cents through the month of December. It's time to stock up on digital books for your holiday break, and nothing says "it's time to kick back" like a good dose of Happy Hour.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What to Give for the New Year

For Everyone:

There is one book that everyone should pick up before the start of 2012. And that is, without contest, Anna Lee Waldo's historical epic, Watch the Face of the Sky. We suggest this, of course, because the novel finds its way into the ancient Mayan city Chichen Itza, smack dab in the middle of the city's peak of power. Recently, we know the Mayan civilization best for its unique predictions about the year 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, and the beginning of a great change in the history of humanity - and possibly the end of the world as we know it. Anna Lee Waldo carefully explores these predictions in the later chapters of her medieval narrative, weaving them seamlessly into the simply-told story of the legendary Welsh explorer, Madoc, as he leads six ships across the Atlantic to the New World. This is three hundred years before Columbus, of course, but it's more history than fable. A timely release, you'll want to share this with friends and family alike. That is, before it's too late.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What to Give for Kwanzaa

For the Brave:
There's nothing that says "Happy Holidays" like a set of VMK Fewings' Stone Masters Vampire novels. Actually, the series is an excellent gift for any occasion, especially since vampires are so popular these days. A word of warning - or perhaps a word of invitation - these vampires are not of the sparkling variety. They're the good old tormented undead, the kind that remind us vampire literature marked the beginning of the horror genre. We'd call these classics, and we'd pair them with nothing less than a DVD of the original Nosferatu. Unless you're very generous, in which case round trip tickets to Cornwall would do the trick.

For the Literati:
Michael Blake's novel, Dances With Wolves, has long been considered a classic of historical fiction. Its sequel, The Holy Road, is unquestionably just as profound - if not more so - as a narrative of the decline and fall of a Native American tribe. As a book, the novel easily stands on its own. But following the release of the 20th Anniversary edition of the DVD of Dances With Wolves earlier this year, the two make for an excellent gift. Share the Academy Award winning film along with its literary sequel, and maybe - just maybe - you can borrow both.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What to Give for Hanukkah

For the dark soul:
While the most appropriate gift to pair with Edgar J. Rossi's gritty casino novel, One for the Road, might be some kind of vintage pistol, that might not go over so well at your next holiday party. A deck of cards would be just as appropriate, or a bottle of whisky, or a pack of cigarettes. Of course, it depends on who the gift is for. We might suggest that, in this case, you treat yourself.

For the philanthropist:
The Advocate's Conviction is really a good gift for anyone. While it's technically the third in Teresa Burrell's mystery series chronicling the legal thrills and chills of juvenile defense attorney Sabre Orin Brown, the book can easily be read independently of the series. It's also an excellent introduction to the struggles of foster kids and those who care for them. Bookmark this with a card marking your donation to CASA, IJM, or any other organization that works through or with the justice system to help the marginalized and oppressed, both at home and around the world. It really is the best gift you could possibly give, at any time of year.

Friday, December 2, 2011

What to Give for Christmas

Naturally, any Christmas suggestions from the ZOVA staff are going to involve our books in some way. But there are always ways to be creative with even the simplest of gifts. In that spirit, we've put together some gift ideas inspired by our publications.

For the foodie: 
Possibly the easiest gift in the ZOVA arsenal, Happy Hour is a book for every woman. Pair it with a bottle of wine (perhaps one of the bottles suggested in the back of the book, or mentioned in one of the more vine-inspired chapters) or a ticket to a local wine tasting event. The book is about four friends who share their lives over happy hour every month, so it would be appropriate - and more than a little clever - to get one for each of your friends so you can all read it together.

For the historian:
There are few events in American history more compelling than the story of the Great War. In Into the Stars, Michael Blake narrates several days in the life of one American soldier who finds help and friendship from a battered war horse after being trapped behind enemy lines. Many of the novel's themes are echoed in the upcoming Steven Spielberg film War Horse, which just happens to be coming out in theaters on Christmas Day. Pair the novel with two tickets to the movies, and you have a perfectly themed gift for your favorite history buff.

For your favorite kid:
You know those movies where the kid is at some turning point in his/her life and the wise mentor/father figure/pirate captain hands him/her a compass and says, "may you find your feet," in a stirring, emotionally charged way? Okay, maybe we're mixing our movie imagery here, but compasses have long been considered gifts of extraordinary significance. Jenny Bellington's classic fantasy adventure, East to Adonia, is an excellent gift for anyone from eight years old to eighty, and there's nothing else that goes better with your carefully wrapped navigational tools than a copy of this book. You could also pair the novel with a map, a mapping kit, or a magical mapping bag, but it may be that only crazy uncles have access to such wonders. Who knows.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

First Lines

The first day of any month is a day to celebrate, because firsts promise new beginnings, new experiences, new discoveries. We have a lot of hopes for our readers this December - that you'll enjoy whatever holidays you celebrate in a special way, appreciating the traditions you've carried with you till now, but also being open to new joys.

In honor of first things, here are some "first lines" selected from a few of our books. If they intrigue you, there's always a way to read more. But of course, we're also interested in hearing your favorite first lines. So please feel free to share along with us.

"Between the northern Welsh towns of Bangor and Colwyn Bay, an isolated family farm sat in a small meadow with rocky hills on three sides." - Anna Lee Waldo, Watch the Face of the Sky

"Like all nightmares, I wanted out." - V.M.K. Fewings, A Vampire's Dominion

"My head snapped back like the slide on a semiautomatic pistol." - Edgar J. Rossi, One for the Road

"Kat McClintock was late." - Michele Scott, Happy Hour

"My youngest brother is a bit of a weirdo." - Jenny Bellington, East to Adonia

"The fourteen-year-old girl struggled to break free from the bindings on her hands and feet." - Teresa Burrell, The Advocate's Conviction

"The bells of St. Paul's Cathedral rang loud and clear as they did every Sunday morning." - Clive London, Prince Albert and the Doomsday Device

"The scalp was red and thick, but what made it especially extraordinary was its great length." - Michael Blake, The Holy Road

"Outside the adobe walls of the sanitarium the eerie, primordial beauty of the southern California desert went ignored by the wandering inmates." - Mike Sirota, Fire Dance

"The bomb shelter was a large one, large enough to shelter a dozen men." - Michael Blake, Into the Stars