My wife, Brandi Lynn Ryder, is in the finals of the Amazon.com / Penguin Books Breakthrough Novel Award!!! She's made it to the Top 3 out of a field of 10,000 from 50 states and 34 countries. The last stretch is determined by popular vote at http://www.amazon.com/abna. I'd REALLY appreciate your help!! The voting ends Thursday night, May 21st, at midnight EST, so timing is everything. No purchase needed; just an email address to register on Amazon, if you don't already have an account. Go to http://www.amazon.com/abna to vote!!
Please help this Bay Area writer!! She;'s been writing all her life, and has gone through so many ups and downs trying to get published. She's close; you can help her dream come true! Please. Thank you!
Eric Zachary Ryder
From the official press release:
SEATTLE & NEW YORK - (Business Wire) Three finalists have been selected from among several thousand qualified writers in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, the international competition in search of the next popular novel, sponsored by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Penguin Group (USA) (NYSE:PSO). From now through May 21, Amazon customers can go to www.amazon.com/abna and vote for their favorite work after reading excerpts from the finalists’ respective novels. The Grand Prize winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, who will receive a publishing contract from Penguin Group (USA) which includes a $25,000 advance, will be revealed at a ceremony in New York City on Wednesday, May 27, 2009.
Brandi Lynn Ryder, Napa, Calif., for In Malice, Quite Close
A Napa resident who grew up in the gold-mining town of Sonora, the author draws inspiration for her novel from her passions for Impressionist art and French culture. The novel opens in 1979 San Francisco, where an unlikely relationship forms between 15-year-old Karen, who longs to escape her abusive father, and wealthy art collector Tristan Mourault. Tristan gains Karen’s trust and she soon adopts a new identity as his daughter, sending the two on an extraordinary odyssey that spans 15 years and two coasts.
Tim McCall, vice president, director of online sales and marketing, Penguin Group (USA), commented: “I'm delighted with this year's finalists. They emerged from a field of very high-quality manuscripts that challenged our editorial teams to pick the best of the best. Each of our top three finalists can be very proud of their achievement. Now, it's up to the voters."
“The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is a way of introducing talented writers to readers with an enthusiasm for fresh new literary voices,” said Jeff Belle, vice president, U.S. Books, Amazon. “Customers now have a unique and important role in the contest by choosing the next breakthrough novel from three great finalists on Amazon.com.”
The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is co-sponsored by Amazon, Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace. For complete terms and conditions on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, finalists’ excerpts and to vote for the winning novel, please visit www.amazon.com/abna.
Brandi Lynn Ryder wrote her first story at the age of four and completed her first novel at nine, a 180-page typewritten tome à la the Hardy Boys, called Treasure Under the Nile, which included rave reviews (albeit, imaginary!) from the New York Times Book Review on the back of the cardboard cover. In school, she penned her class song, several plays, and had numerous poems and stories published in campus publications. But the novel is her first love, and she has written two: Like a Guilty Thing, and In Malice, Quite Close. The first secured her representation with the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency in 2001.
She graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State University, with Honors in English and an emphasis in creative writing. She lives in Napa Valley with her husband Eric, (a computer genius) and her cat, Murphy, to whom she is perhaps unhealthily devoted.
Other interests include: art, yoga, hiking, reading (of course!), philosophy, travel, fine food and wine. She loves to cook, primarily Italian and rustic French country dishes that take hours to make. If she had a cooking show on Food Network it would be: "2 hour and 30-minute Meals." She also maintains a website devoted to showcasing her work at, http://www.brandilynnryder.com.
Review of In Malice, Quite Close-- from Publishers Weekly:
Sophisticates of the contemporary art scene show a lethally sordid side in this superbly crafted murder mystery. The core of the narrative is the “apology” of Tristan Mourault, a debonair art collector who admits to abducting 15-year-old Karen Miller from her home in San Francisco in 1979 and moving with her to New York and later Devon, Washington. Renamed Gisèle, Karen becomes the impotent Tristan’s personal objet d’art, masquerading first as his lover and then his daughter. In 1994, shortly after a stash of anonymous nude portraits of her take the art world by storm, Gisèle is found dead in a swimming pool. Though a debilitating dose of sleeping pills suggests that her death was a suicide, Gisèle’s social circle suspects murder, and suspicion falls on several key people in her life: Luke Farrell, her philandering husband and a talentless painter who takes undeserved (and unwanted) credit for the nudes; Robin Dresden, a superior artist and a sexual Svengali who was once Gisèle’s lover; and smarmy Tristan himself. Lucid prose, snappy dialogue, and sharp characterization combine to limn a credibly realized world where life imitates art, facades are deceiving, and forgeries cast doubt on seemingly certain truths. The unraveling of the mysteries of who painted the Gisèle nudes and who is responsible for her murder turns on perfectly prepared surprises, unexpected twists, and well-orchestrated that will have readers guessing, like the characters themselves, until the final paragraphs.