Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blue Ray Edition of Moonlight Falls, Errrrrrrr.....

Are your one of those movie fans who can't get enough of the same movie?
Do you rush out to by the Blue-ray version of your favorite flicks if only to get the extra special features like alternate endings, deleted scenes, and director commentary? When the "new" old Star Wars movies come out, did you pluck them off the shelf as soon as they arrived? Did you buy The Beatles Anthology or the MTV "Unplugged" music performance series???

Now the same "Uncut" experience is available in books.

Before you ask the obvious question: well, isn't that the same as an unedited version of a manuscript?
The answer is more no than yes. Often times novels run too long, or head in a direction that eventually the author decides not to go through multiple rewrites. Sometimes the ending is different from the one he inevitably decides to go with. More often than not, entire different points of views will get cut from the finished product.

Such is the case with my bestselling thriller, MOONLIGHT FALLS. The version published by RJBuckley in 2009 represents the sum total of a dozen drafts and edits. Also, three solid years of work. But now, two years later, I realize there is another version of that same book that is just as, and in some cases, even more exciting than what was eventually published. It's now been published by StoneGate Ink. It offers the reader about 100 new pages of material, most of it in the form of different points of view from many of the novels main characters.

As far as I know, StoneGate Ink is the first indie press to traditionally publish a novel like this, and I can bet you dollars to jelly doughnuts, it won't be the last.

Hope you check out MOONLIGHT FALLS UNCUT EDITION and see precisely what it is you are missing!

Get more Zandri novels: WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

So Many Words, So Little Time Left

"This year's runaway stocking stuffer...The Mayan Calender."

A very dear friend of mine reminded me just this morning that if the Mayan calender is indeed correct, we've only got about 12 more months on this planet before the whole thing goes Kaboom on December 21, 2012!!!

What this does NOT mean is that I will stop paying my bills.
It does not mean I will stop getting haircuts, or hitting the gym, or jogging my 3-5 miles everyday. It doesn't mean I will cease paying my taxes (although I do so while grinding my teeth), and it doesn't mean that I will stop stopping smoking or take up cocaine, fun as it all sounds.

What it does mean however, is that I am writing like a fiend again. My normal daily output when writing a new novel is five new pages per day. But lately that daily quota has risen to close to ten. In a word, I'm writing like it's the end of the world.

There are other things at play. Like my colleagues at Thomas & Mercer, Scott Nicholson, Lee Goldberg, and Barry Eisler have all astutely pointed out in their popular blogs, 2011 has been a "Golden Age" for writers and digital publication. I've sold hundreds of thousands of e-book editions of my books this past year and now with my new 7 book deal at Amazon, I expect to double those sales next year due to their "matrix" marketing system. Yes, Keanu, I took the red pill.

In the meantime, I want to write books. Not push them.
I no longer feel the pressure to constantly be barking up the social media tree in order to move a few books. I feel like social media has become more a place to say hello to friends and that's the way it should be. Yeah, sure, I'm still gonna taut my books, but the pressure isn't quite what it used to be when I was out there publishing with an indie house all by my lonesome.

Remember a little more than ten years ago when we were all listening to "We're gonna party like it's 1999?" and we were peeing our pants in anticipation of a global computer crash? Well, this year I'm going to write like its December 20, 2012...And if the Mayan calender ends up being wrong, I will have a whole new batch of novels to unleash on the world.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Video Games

"Lana Del Rey is a Gamer."

My sons play video games.
Ok, that's an understatement. Not only do my sons (Jack 21 and Bear 17) play video games, they own literally thousands of them. They also own every gaming system available, both TV adaptable and hand-held, and they collect retro systems from the '00s, 90's 80's and even an Atari "Pong" system from the 1970s. The games they purchase and play often arrive to our home in strange packages wrapped in brown butcher paper, postmarked Japan or South Korea and even China. These games will be designed and presented entirely in an Asian language that somehow my sons understand.

The games they play range from G-rated to Mature to Violent with names that have become entirely familiar in and around video gaming circles: Final Fantasy, Mario, Tekken, Street Fighter, and lots more, 

The gaming doesn't stop there.

As many gamers do, my sons are also into the tangental aspects of gaming like graphic novels, video anime, feature length straight-to-video movies, and more. They also maintain a special allure for Bruce Lee, who's early Kung Foo movies curiously follow a video-game-like plot-line of "level's" of battle or fighting, despite their predating practical video game development by a decade or more.

Lately my boys have been designing their own video games starting with humble miniature games in order to educate themselves to the complications and nuances of the art. One day they hope to make their mark on the industry with big games that will be distributed throughout the world.

I grew up with video games which back then in my early teens, were mostly located in video game parlors. Back when you could find records in record stores and books in bookstores. Nowadays it's getting harder and harder to find a video game parlor since just about every household owns some kind of video game system like a Uii or a PlayStation. Certainly just about everyone has access to the Internet. But I never really got into them since I more or less knew that once I was hooked, I would forever be dedicating half my life to sitting in front of a whole bunch of computer generated pixels.

But video games still fascinate me. Especially the ones gamers refer to as "Kill Games."
These first person kill games put you the player in the position of the chaser while you hunt down a series of victims which more often than not assume the form of Zombies (that way they can't ever really be killed). But there are other kill games in which you hunt enemy soldiers or bandits or rednecks driving fast cars. I was curious about what goes into the design of these games and designers who might become so obsessed with making them so realistic and life-like they might go to extraordinary lengths to create them. Like murder for instance. So fascinated in fact, that I decided to wrap a stand-alone thriller around the idea.

The plot I had in mind was not just a simple murder. But an elaborate hunt and chase which would culminate in a murder upon which the chaser would record the victim's screams prior to perishing. The screams would then be used in the design of a Violent First Person video game that would closely resemble the actual hunt and chase that inspired it. That in mind I created a video game designer who is a master of disguise and a serial killer. A man who never stays in the same city for very long and who operates under as many different aliases as he's had facial reconstruction and voice enhancement surgeries. He is a man who will stop at nothing to observe how another human being reacts to a hunt and chase, and he's determined to translate the experience for the video game as accurately as possible.

Even though my sons were able to provide me with almost all the research material I needed for the novel (minus the murder part!) it still took me almost three full years to write the psychological/suspense/horror thriller, SCREAM CATCHER. It's now coming at you in e-Book, trade paper and in a matter of a few weeks, audio, screams and all. It's my contribution to an entertainment genre that has not only fascinated me for a long time, but become an art form unto itself and a way of life for my sons. And even, a living.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Small Blogs Big Give Aways Blog Hop Event

Welcome to the Vincent Zandri Vox romance readers. To celebrate the release of Love At First Sight and celebrate my Amazon best selling romantic suspense The Remains I'm happy to have you wonderful readers here. The two books are included in the prizes. Hang out, take a look around and keep hopping. Good Luck to each of you that looks like a nice prize pack of books.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Your Modern Marketing Plan

If she were doing a book signing, I'd definitely buy a copy...then get back in line.

My agent just sent over some pretty detailed information for us, his authors in his stable, on how we might go about marketing ourselves in this the ever changing era of digital publishing. What's impressive about the marketing package samples he included with the email is that it's social media heavy. In particular is a bullet about tracking down the top 100 sites that are relevant to your book (be it a hard-boiled mystery, a true crime novel, or a non-fiction narrative about St. Peter and Paul), and then finding ways to either guest blog on them, be interviewed or if none of these, perhaps paying for an advertisement. The point is this: getting your book cover in front of YOUR AUDIENCE!

I like this way of thinking because....:

1. It allows you to focus in on a specific reading group. The old adage applies here. If you shotgun your promotion efforts all across the social media board without a rudder, it's possible no one will see it. But if you focus in on specific peeps who might belong to your tribe, then it's possible everyone sees it.

2. You only have to go as far as your computer to make this work. Whether you're sitting in your bedroom or in a gondola in Venice, Italy, you can become an effective marketer so long as you have an internet signal.

3. Cost. It's potentially free, that is you decide not to pay for advertising.

4. Your audience will grow exponentially so long as you have written a good book. In other words, if it's a good read, the people who frequent these sites will chat it up, and your next book....again if it's good...will probably do even better and so on, and so forth.

So, I applaud my agent here.

But here's where I'm a little sticky with the marketing thing. Much of the sample plan is rooted in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. It talks about driving/flying all over kingdom come and doing books signings. It talks about spending hundreds if not thousands on Bling. Yes, that's right. Bling. You know, T-shirts, pins, key-chains, pocket protectors for that nerdy engineer in your life. It talks about driving all over the place to do readings.

Here's my take on this, let's call it old fashioned approach: Unless you are already Stephen King, it doesn't work for shit. Not only will it not work for shit, it will end up costing you money. Book stores are dying while, at the same time, on-line purchases are on the rapid increase. However, if you can find a book store that will grant you a signing as a virtual unknown, it's likely you will sell only a few copies, if you are lucky. In the end, you will have put out gas money, dough for a hotel, plus incidentals like food, and booze...and believe me, if the signing is a total no-show-whiff, you'll want to have a couple of drinks later. You will wake up the next morning with a mustard on your new book cover T-shirt, hungover, and entirely in the red before the tour has even gotten off the ground.

But wait, can't you land a series of readings????
I'm sure you can try with the help of a publicist who might run you anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per month. But beware, unless you are the hot lingerie model pictured above or Tony Bourdaine with a highly popular cable television show that focuses on exotic locales you can only dream of seeing, you are not only going to be invited to speak without pay, it's very likely no one will show up. Again, it'll be another red letter day.

Hey listen, I love my agent. He just scored me a major deal and we have a lot going for us right now. All I'm saying is, folks, forget the old ways of marketing. They might work to a slight extent, but then I could probably pull out the old 8-track player and pop in that Casey and the Sunshine Band tape and let the good times roll. But it doesn't beat my Pandora account or my I-pod. Now there's progress.

What you need to do as authors, is focus on internet, on social marketing opportunities, your blog, your Twitter posts, your Good Reads, You Tube, and Google+ accounts and more.Seek out those 100 prime sites that will  help you focus in on your audience. If you hire a publicist, make sure she or he focuses almost entirely on online promotion and virtual tours for each one of your titles. Only when this solid foundation of internet marketing has firmly been established, and your e-book editions are selling in or around the 10,000 and less range consistently, should you begin to spend time on book signings and readings. What was once a primary marketing consideration is now of secondary importance.


Because e-Books are becoming the dominant form in which we read.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bri Reporting for the Vox: Screamcatcher

Howdy Voxers,

If you don't know from social media I am Vince's new full time publicist. Some of you might know me from Facebook or as a guest blogger here at the Vox. Anyways I'll be popping in with updates, invitations and news from time to time for Vince. With me on board that leaves time for our favorite author to write. So I hope you'll tolerate me. I promise to keep it fun and exciting.

To make good on that promise my first post will be the Scream Catcher blog tour and reveal of the new trailer.

What so different about this Zandri trailer compared to previous ones?

This one has Zandri written all over it from footage, editing, design and creation.

How is that possible? Did Vince invest in a sharpie and write Zandri on everything?

No his son's Jack and The Bear produced and filmed it. The whole idea was Vince's as well.

So sit back, not alone hopefully this is a Zandri trialer, and enjoy. Then check out the blog tour calendar of events below.

December 5:Guest Post@
December 7: Interview@
December 9: Review@
December 21: Review,GuestPost&Giveaway@
December 22:Review@
December 23:Guest Post@
December 23: Review@
December 24:Guest Post&Giveaway@
December 25: Spotlight&Giveaway@
December 26: Review&Giveaway@
December 28: Review @
December 29: Review@
December 30: Review@
December 31: Review@
December 31:Review@

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Boise has Babes

There is more to this career than writing, marketing, and reading. Travel is part of it. Which anyone who reads this blog knows I love to do. I spend more time in a plane than I do in my apartment. But in addition there is the presentation of my experience, knowledge and advice I'm invited to share at conferences.

Halloween weekend I was privileged to head back to that secret haven of literary genius Boise ID. I spoke on the industry, balancing life, the future of publishing and my career in general. My publicist Bri got some photos for the Vox. Unfortunately she was never around when I wanted a picture of one of the good looking women, usually married, that passed by. Wonder if she planned it. Anyways below are what she captured.

IBE was held in downtown Boise

Here I spoke from Backlist to Bestseller

On a round table with Don Jacobson, Tim Vandehey, and Maryanna Young discussing the future of publishing

Later there was an author mixture but most of those pictures we won't show. However, here is a few.

My bro (and Abe Lincoln lookalike) and the brains behind Stone House Ink Aaron Patterson.

Donna Fletcher Crow has been writing books for 30 years.

And that's Bri. Aaron celebrated by taking all Stone House's people out for dinner. Mmmm Lasagna

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How to Build an Author's Platform by Bri Clark

"Beauty and brains...Can you ask for anything more?"

I've known Bri Clark for a while now, and she has become one of the most savvy marketing pros around. She's also a hell of a writer, her new novels climbing the charts each day...She's packed in quite a bit of experience in her short 26 or 27 years and she's earned her stripes both as a author marketing consultant and fiction author...

I'm always proud to have her guest post for me...and here she is:

Author Platform: Keyword being Author
By Bri Clark
Let’s talk author platform, first by defining what exactly it means.
Author Platform: The marketing base on which an author builds, contributes to, and draws from throughout their career.
In my opinion author platform is not defined by your genre or publisher, but by you the author. Can you use the fact you are a Christian Fiction Thriller Author to build you blog, social media accounts, speaking engagements around. Go right ahead. However, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Do you know how many Christian Fiction Thriller Writers there are? A lot….huh? Same thing goes for paranormal romance writers. (that’s one of my hats) A freaking lot.
The point is you want to stand out and be noticed. Then retain those that have found you.
Now I’ll give you two examples of authors who did not limit themselves by their genre or genres.
First, my gracious host. Vincent Zandri. Take the title of his blog for example.
The Vincent Zandri Vox.
Two Points
·        His name is included in the title and the url. This is a must for SEO optimization.
·        Vox in itself tells you he’s a guy who isn’t typical. In fact, it almost acts as a warning in saying. Hey you are definitely going to learn in a way that is outside the box.
Second, myself.
Bri Clark the Belle of Boise
Two Points
·        My name is included in the title and url. This is a must for SEO optimization.
·        The Belle of Boise. I am a southern belle to the core. And I recently moved to Bosie ID. People here love hearing how I speak, my sayings and my heritage.
I believe I can speak for myself as well as Vincent that by keeping our core personalities of who we are as people, as authors the principle of the platform it’s much easier to build upon. My posts on my blogs are as varied from balancing a career and my daughter’s birthday parties, to how to write a proper blog post. Vincent’s range from general debauchery to his recent contract with a traditional publishing house.
The point is fair writers and authors if it’s you that’s your foundation you won’t find yourself floundering in this maze of a publishing world.
What’s your platform? What’s your opinion? I’d love to hear it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Very Good Reason to Skip the PhD by Calee M. Lee, my second Guest Post

I'm in the midst of driving my 17 year old son Bear back and forth to his GED exam, so you can image how author/publisher Calee M. Lee's guest blog hits home. Bear wants to be a writer and a novelist and with today's education system actually inhibiting learning on an individual level, he has chosen self-education above traditional. Not that this is entirely what my guest post is about, but it certainly struck a nerve. Calee is proof that not only do you not need a PhD to survive in indie world, taking the time to get one can cost you valuable writing and publishing time. She's made a success at both.

Here's her take on it:

A Very Good Reason to Skip the PhD

By Calee M. Lee

Remember the week that Amanda Hocking signed her major book deal? It was sunny and warm in southern California, and my email inbox was filled with rejection. I’d been a successful copywriter for years, but I was been missing my first love—story. I’d just finished a MA program in English Lit (to get back to reading and writing and talking about stories) and a PhD seemed like the next logical step.
Or not.
Once I realized I would not be attending grad school in the fall, my brain suddenly had a lot more available space. For what, I wasn’t sure, but when a friend posted a link to a Wall Street Journal article and I wound my way through the Internet’s maze of self-publishing blogs, I thought that perhaps I would get back into writing creatively after all.
Initially, my plan was to round up a crew of my playwright buddies, put together a collection of our 10-minute plays, and let the Internet do the rest.  That idea is still on my to-do list, but after thoroughly researching the market, making a number of soon-to-be-repealed proclamations to my husband, and remembering why those 10-year-old writing projects were still locked in drawers—Xist Publishing was born.
When I looked at my Kindle, I saw a list of new books for me, a New Yorker subscription, and a handful of children’s books either without pictures, or with images so poorly formatted that, while my daughter was hungry to get her grubby little hands on my Kindle, they weren’t the sort of thing I was excited to give her.  One afternoon, instead of doing laundry, I began writing a children’s story I’d been telling for years.  I called a friend. He agreed to illustrate it. The Queen and the Cats has been the #1 Christian Children’s Biography since it launched September 14th.
I called more friends and they agreed to let me publish their children’s books. I wrote more books. I spent hours learning InDesign. Books like Secret Agent Josephines ABCs and Caterpillars Dont Check Email went live on Amazon. Rinse. Repeat.
It’s still the Wild West for children’s ebooks and I’m more than curious to see what Amazon’s $79 Kindle and the Color Kindle Fire will do for my business. It’s no surprise that kids are embracing the technology, but ebook sales for children are still lagging behind print and I’ve yet to see a picture book reach the top 100 on the Amazon bestseller list. Of course, that may all change this Christmas or next. The fun part is being along for the ride.
Since there are so few voices in the indie ebook arena that are talking about kids, I’d love to know what the readers here think. Are you writing children’s books? Buying them?
I currently sell about 50% print, 50% ebook on Amazon, but when you figure in our sales of print copies to indie bookstores, ebooks really only take up about 10% of the pie. Any predictions on when that might change?

Calee M. Lee is the author of The Queen and the Cats: A Story of Saint Helena and Caterpillars Dont Check Email and the editor of We Love BUGS: 31 Classic Insect Poems for Kids.  She is the founder of Xist Publishing, producing books for the touchscreen generation.

Xist Publishing:
The Queen and the Cats:
We love BUGS:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mel Hagopian on Memory, or Lack Thereof....

My first guest post comes from rising star Mel Hagopian who discuses the persistence of memory (please excuse Mr. Dali) or, rather, the lack of persistent memory, or persistent lack of accurate memory or well never mind me, she lays it all out far better than I ever could.

For now, I give you, Mel:

I Remember It Well

We are all pathological liars. Our brains are designed to make us always "feel" as if our recollections are true, regardless of whether or not they actually occurred. In fact, science has proven that a memory is only as real as the last time you remembered it, and that the more you remember something, the less accurate the memory becomes.

Pretty powerful stuff. It brings to mind a song from the 1958 movie, "Gigi", where Maurice Chevalier sings, "I Remember It Well".  If you have never seen this charming musical interaction, it is between two "older" individuals, who do not agree on the details of their first date. Of course, with his undeniable charm, Maurice manages to agree with his former love, even though he openly disagrees. I love it. (Men, take a lesson from Mr. Chevalier.)

The subject of memory has recently become a topic of conversation between me and my British blogging counterpart, Sj. She is in the throes of promoting a new movie that deals with this very topic. Interestingly enough, as I write a book that is based on my parent's love story and family history, I have personally been thrown into a trip down memory lane.

As I sift through old family photos, some of which portray folks that are unidentified, yet related, I look to my ancestral past, recollecting my own memories of those who are now gone, and whose histories are a part of my life. I recall good times and bad, but , in the end, have discovered that I have modified those memories to fit the moment that I live in now. This is why my book is reality-based fiction.

Face it, memories are random, and often strange. Marcel Proust once wrote, "The past is never past. As long as we are alive, our memories remain wonderfully volatile. In their mercurial mirror, we see ourselves." Jonah Lehrer, in his book, Proust Was A Neuroscientist, writes that Proust believed that, "we must misremember something in order to remember it." In other words, our mind is constantly reincarnating itself. It is ongoing and ever changing.

Lehrer writes that, "scientists have discovered that our brain is full of neurons that never touch, yet are responsible for brain activity. The spaces between these neurons are called synaptic clefts, and the area between these neurons is subject to change." Brain research has gained much knowledge of how those spaces effect memory, and how a memory is created, but only time will tell why our memories are "purely fiction."

My brother and oldest sister recall a set of parents that barely resemble the two that raised me. In fact, upon reading the love letters that my father wrote to my mother back in 1940, my sister remarked, "I had no idea that our father had such love in his heart." She remembered a different father than I did. For me, my father will remain tall, dark, and handsome, with a smile that made women swoon.

Sigmund Freud coined the term, "Nachtraglickeit", to describe the phenomenon of transference. He surmised that we take memories of childhood trauma, and retell them at a later time in life, renamed with different characters, and through the eyes and ears of an older person.  We create another version of a story, to meet the needs of our current situations and issues. Our past is actually quite different, but our memories disobey logic.

Hans W. Leowald, M.D., an early 20th Century psychiatrist,  tells us that, "the ghosts of the underground that awaken, taste the blood of recognition and haunt us in ways not fully understood, gradually become ancestors, buried, and much less important." It really makes me think about my life, and question, "Who am I?"

The entire concept frightens me a bit.  Could Proust be correct? Should we, "Treat the reality of our memories carefully, and with a degree of skepticism"? Proust contended that there was no need to keep track of the lies of our memories, as, "Every memory is full of errors." Am I really full of unintentional deceit?

Science has also discovered that most memories are triggered by taste and smell, and that exposure to certain combinations of these two senses can actually trigger "moments bienheureux", or fortunate moments. Author Jonah Lehrer, cites them as, "the  blinding epiphanies that one experiences, like a beautiful apparition, and inspires an intense creative flare."

I happen to experience these "fortunate moments" on occasion, and revel in the rapture as they burn through my brain, carving new tattoos on my inner soul. Are these memories real? Of course they are. At least in my mind. And, who are you?
A figment of your own revisionist history?

Think about it. I do.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I'm buried!
Plain and simple...Finishing up a new book and getting ready to start all over with Thomas & Mercer plus write a new book for my bros at StoneGate Ink....On top of all this, I wanna help out as many new and established writers as I can. That said, I'm looking for a few good guest blogs. Write on any topic you want just so long as it's about the writing experience and in line with what you normally see at this thing.

First come first served dudes, so bring it on...

Send your blogs in RTF (I don't do DocX) to I will get on the action asap.

Thanks all....Now get writing!!!


Saturday, October 1, 2011



Scream Catcher
by Vincent Zandri

This is how your life ends: Not with a whimper, but a scream!

Jude Parish is afraid. The former violent crimes cop turned bestselling true crime author has a fear-filled demon lodged inside of him. A demon so real he can only imagine a slimy reptilian beast with scaly skin, black eyes, and razor-sharp fangs having taken up residence inside the place where his once confident and fearless soul resided.

Now, in the wake of his literary success, the ever anxious Jude is hoping to lead a quiet, peaceful life in the idyllic Adirondack vacation town of Lake George, New York with his new pregnant wife, Rosie, and Jack, his young son from a previous marriage. But when Jude becomes the accidental witness to a bizarre “kill game” in which the killer, video game designer and master of disguise, Hector “the Black Dragon” Lennox, insists on recording the screams of his victims prior to shooting them dead, the ex-cop’s life is turned upside down.

When Lennox is arrested by the L.G.P.D. and Jude is asked to act as the state’s “star witness,” he has no choice but to fight his demon-fear and take on the role. But what he doesn’t realize at the time, is that the killer’s arrest is actually the first level in what is a carefully designed and scripted first-person video kill game that will involve his entire family as “players” and “victims.”

How will the kill game end?

Like all violent video games, it will end in death. But it won’t be “Game Over” until Hector Lennox catches the screams of his tortured victims.


“Scream Catcher has the classic Zandri flair, short chapters, cliff hanging chapters, twists and turns, non stop action and page turning suspense. However, this had more drama, less quirky, quip dialogue and more of a psychological thriller plot. Masterful!!!!” –CMash Loves to Read Book Blog

“Readers will be held captive by prose that pounds as steadily as an elevated pulse… Vincent Zandri nails readers’ attention.—Boston Herald


Vincent Zandri is an award-winning, bestselling novelist, essayist and freelance photojournalist. He holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College and is a 2010 International Thriller Writer’s Awards panel judge. His novel As Catch Can (Delacorte) was touted in two pre-publication articles by Publishers Weekly and was called “Brilliant” upon its publication by The New York Post. Zandri currently divides his time between New York and Europe. He is the drummer for the Albany-based punk band to Blisterz.

To learn more about Vincent, please visit his website: WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reviews from the Heart: Concrete Pearl

Concrete Pearl: Reviewed by "Reviews From the Heart"

Reviews from the Heart: Concrete Pearl

I received this eBook of Concrete Pearl by Vincent Zandri compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review and this one had me hooked from the first page. Being sensitive to my readers this book does contain some profanity and sexual references that one may find common to construction crews dialogue but it does not take away from the value of a well written story.

The character of A.J. Harrison, the daughter of the Harrison's Construction company was a believable one considering she's been doing this kind of work since she begged her father to give her a shot since she was sixteen. Now struggling to maintain a hold on the company on the verge of bankruptcy and multiple fines already from OSHA, if she can't locate her missing subcontractor, James Farrel, she will more than likely lose the business from the amount of pending lawsuits that are building over the cancer cases of the children affected by the asbestos since inhaling the fibers for the nine months she's been working on the school.

When a lawyer, Damien Spain, shows up suddenly and begins offering her help, hired by James' wife, that things begin to take a twisted turn. This novel will hold the reader from the very first paragraph and is so well written, you finish before you realize it which to me is a definite sign of great writing. I award this book a 4 out of 5 stars. For more information about this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Concrete Pearl

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember 9/11 Today and Then Move On With Your Life

After a divorce or a breakup or a death to someone close to you, a professional therapist will almost always suggest that you try and recall the good things about that person, then move on. Obviously you will never forget and often be reminded of the individual who at one time was very close and special to you. But now that person is gone and they are never coming back to you. The bond is broken forever. Despite the immediate and sometimes agonizing pain, the loss means one thing and one thing only: it's time to reinvent your life.

Today is 9/11, the tenth anniversary of an event that we will never nor should we ever forget, when a Mickey Mouse organization called Al Qaeda comprised primarily of murderous Islamic extremists got very, very lucky, and managed to pull off the mass murder of the century. Since that time the country and much of the world has been tossed into economic turmoil, travel by airplane has become difficult and full of security hassle, many American lives have been lost on the fields of battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, we've tolerantly learned to live with degrees of fear defined by color coded bar charts, and we've tried in every politically correct way possible to understand why Muslim Radicals might hate us so much. We've even come close on occasion to apologizing for just plain being us. Well, I'm not apologizing. I don't say "I'm sorry" to bullies and homicidal maniacs.

Other things have happened in the past ten years. Good things.
Osama, the Al Qaeda chief thug, is dead. A man who lived by the gun and died by the gun. Another thug, Saddam Hussein has been tried and hanged. We now have active counter-terrorism organizations operating both inside and outside the U.S. and in turn, we are better able to protect and defend ourselves. The internet has exploded with social media sights like Twitter and Facebook spreading messages of freedom and democracy to citizens of Egypt, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, making it just a little more difficult in this day and age for a Mafia style thug like Saddam to rule over a country of frightened people. No we didn't uncover weapons of mass destruction in his country prior to entering into the second Iraq War, but that never disguised the fact that they did in fact possess them and had used them before in the form of poison gas on innocent Kurds and had been in the process of acquiring light water for their nuclear processing plants which were being reconstructed.

But it's ten years since 9/11.
Nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives on that day, and we shall never forget a single one of them. While it pains my soul to try and imagine the unspeakable sorrow and horrors each of these people went through on that sunny Monday morning, these days I prefer to think about the passengers of Flight 93 bound for San Francisco who decided to re-take their hijacked plane even though it was almost certainly going to mean sacrificing their lives in the process. But somehow they knew that given the choice of being a victim or a defender, they all chose defender. They are heros and saints.

So what shall we do over the course of the next ten years?

Move on. Remember what occurred all those years ago on September 11, 2001 and move on with reconstructing your life.

No more apologies for who or what we are as Americans. We have our faults but we are a strong people whose spirit will always be one of defending the right to be free.

Be tolerant. There will be many more people of the Muslim faith moving to America who are as far removed from the murderers of 9/11 as you and I are from Charlie Manson. They just want a fair shake at living the American Dream. So part of moving on is to move on with people you might have formerly harbored a distrust for.

Be vigilant. There as many domestic terrorists at work in the United States as there are foreign terrorists who want to kill Westerners, Christians, Jews and people of color. Yup, they want to kill little children too. Let's force them out of their rat holes and put these haters behind bars.

Work harder. No one single U.S. President can bear the unspeakable burden of creating jobs for us. As Americans we've always found a way to not only to make a living, but to create new industries. Lets stop complaining, stop collecting unemployment and other "entitlements" and get the hell back to work. Now!

Fight back. It's not only probable that another terrorist attack will occur in the US, it's inevitable. And when it does, we find out the party responsible, and we don't hold back. This time we retaliate with a "police action" not with one arm tied behind our backs, but with everything we've got. We take terror to the terrorists and eliminate every single one of them in as swift a manner as possible. We send a message to the world that we will not be bullied anymore.

Most of all, we must live and re-invent ourselves as free people who love not only our country but the entire world and beyond.

Let's take today to remember the past. Let's never forget! But then let's also pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off, and move on with life.


Friday, September 9, 2011

How To Keep Going the Next Day

Richard Moonlight doesn't always know precisely where he's going, but he somehow always gets there.

I'm often asked how is that I'm so prolific?
The answer is simpler than you might imagine. And it came to me not in college or MFA writing school, but instead by reading Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. It was inside a cold water flat five or six flights above a square in the Montparnasse district of Paris that the would-be Papa wrote some of his first short stories. Stories that would come to change the literary world as we knew it.

He was able to write his stories with confidence day in and day out by following one simple rule. He would write a certain amount of words everyday and then complete the session by ending in a place where he was sure to go on the next day.

While this took severe discipline it was also liberating to know that come the next morning, you wouldn't find yourself staring at a blank piece of paper knowing that the day before you shot your wadd, as it were.

So then, I'm not Ernest Hemingway. But I do write a lot of novels, and the way to do that is not only to sit your butt in the chair and write whether you feel like it or not (this is your job after all), but also to always make sure that you end in a place that will allow you to continue the next day. The best way to do this is to simply make some small notes right on the page below your last sentence. If your character is about to enter an apartment with his ex-girlfriend in order to steal a zip-drive containing secret nuclear information her new boyfriend is about to sell to the Iranians, you might make a note about what route they take in order to get to the apartment, and the steps they take in order to get there without being spotted. That should be enough to get you moving come the next morning. The rest of the chapter should reveal itself organically for you.

Thanks Papa for making my writing life just a little bit easier. I wish I could say the same for writing school.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Author Chris Redding Makes a Flyby at the Vox

"Classy title. Classy writer."

Chris Redding is a writer with a bucket list. But then, who doesn't have a bucket list? It seems I spend half my life in the air on the way to one foreign destination or another while dreaming about going to yet another destination even before I've landed in the first destination. Am I making sense here? Well, the talented author of "A View to a Kilt" (Get it?) certainly does. I owe her big time for picking up the slack at the Vox while I try and catch up from half a summer in Italy and while writing the first draft of my new Moonlight thriller, Blue Moonlight.

Time for you to fly, Chris:

Bucket ListChris ReddingWhen I was younger I never thought about a bucket list. Oh I had things I wanted to see. And because I spent the first few years of my marriage following my husband’s career around the world, I did see many things.I saw the Mediterranean Sea. That body of water was as beautiful as I expected it would be. There I was in the south of France on a gorgeous day. The next morning we had croissants so buttery that when you bit into them, the butter ran down your hands. Ah.One of the things I wanted to do was fly on the Concorde. My DH and I shared this dream, but alas, we had children instead of saving up for it. On July 25, 2000, Air France Flight 4590 took off while on fire and later crashed killing all 100 passengers, the crew and four people on the ground. This was the beginning of the end for the Concorde and it is unlikely we will ever see supersonic air travel in my lifetime.Why am I talking about this now?I recently went to the newly refurbished Intrepid, Sea, Air and Space Museum. For those who don’t know what this is, the Intrepid is an aircraft carrier that was originally used during World War 2. It was decommissioned in the 1970’s and later brought to New York City as a museum.You are tapping your foot. I see it. What does an aircraft carrier have to do with supersonic air travel?This museum complex was recently refurbished and now, on its deck, is a Concorde. (There were 20 made.)And I got to sit in it. No flying. No world class service, but I did get to sit in a seat and in the cockpit. And it was worth every penny I paid. Especially because I learned some interesting facts.I’m sure I will use them in a book.The Concorde was built by the British and French which is a feat in itself. After the accident, the planes were grounded until an investigation could ensue. When ii finished the British decided to bring the Concorde back into the limelight with a publicity tour. They planned on flying celebrities and other important people around Britain. Sadly they picked September 11, 2001 as their date. After that date, air travel was reduced. Companies didn’t want to pay for flying and at the same time computer and internet technologies made it easier for companies to do business with each other without flying. And the price of fuel had gone up. All these contributed to the demise of the Concorde. For me a sad day.But now I have had at least sat in one and dreamed about what it would be like to see the curvature of the earth from an airplane. Thanks for having me today, Vincent.A View to a Kilt excerpt:The trip downtown took ten minutes in the midmorning traffic. Miriam shivered at the cool breeze snaking across the parking lot of the Philadelphia Police Administration building at Fifth and Race Streets. She wasn’t dressed for the fall weather. Pulling her coat tighter around herself did nothing for her exposed legs. The chill percolated to her bones.Would she ever be warm again?Donner left her in an interrogation room and went to get coffee. The room, painted in a subdued green, had what Miriam presumed to be a two-way mirror on one wall. A tape recorder for her statement sat on the table. She couldn’t seem to stop shivering despite rubbing her hands up and down her arms. Standing, she began to pace. A urine smell wrinkled her nose. She jammed a lock of blonde hair behind her ear and caught a look at herself in the mirror.“Bedhead, big time,” she said to her reflection. Her crumpled dress added to the picture. She admitted she looked as if she could kill someone. Even her hot pink, sheath dress looked odd on her. How she looked was the least of her worries now. Doubling in pain, new tears streamed down her face. “Oh God, Joe. What were you into since I last saw you?”Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. When she isn’t writing, she works part time for her local hospital. Her latest book is A View to a Kilt.