2022 EVVY Award Winner!

2022 EVVY Award Winner!

On Monday, August 29, Driven: A Rita Mars Thriller, took the Silver Award in the Fiction, LGBTQ category. I want to thank all my readers who took the time to review my work, who sent messages of encouragement and who rolled up their sleeves to help get my book produced and promoted. I could not have asked for more caring support. 

About the EVVY’s

The CIPA EVVYs™ is one of the longest-running book award competitions on the Indie publishing scene, running for nearly 28 years. This annual contest is sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers’ Association (CIPA).

The CIPA EVVYs™ was founded by Evelyn Kaye twenty-eight years ago. Ms. Kaye was instrumental in bringing independent aspiring authors recognition for their literary endeavors. It is open to all types of independently published books from small presses that are too often overlooked by the giant publishing houses. The contest has grown to receive entries from as far away as England, Belgium, South Africa and Dubai. This year alone, the competition drew more than 400 entrants.

There are over 50 categories eligible to compete which allows a wide range of genres. The panel of judges is comprised of teachers, business leaders, critics, editors and, of course, readers. In this competition judges must follow strict CIPA qualification process.

Awards are given to the top three highest scorers in each category. To achieve an award is certainly an honor. 

The CIPA EVVY’s continue to be a leader in providing a pathway for independent authors to gain recognition for their work. 

Next in the Series: Blackwater’s Abyss

Next in the Series: Blackwater’s Abyss

Imagine being held against your will in a mammoth swampy area with little access or no way out. A legendary demon mule lurks behind loblolly pine and the remnants of forests long dead.

You were brought in through darkness so rich and deep that it feels more like traveling in a different space as you cannot determine sky or land. Walking the treacherous ground feels like you are entering a dangerous abyss.

You don’t know where you are, and if you try to escape, you face vast, treacherous ground, or the risk of being absorbed into a marsh hole. Even the forests have drowned here, losing their grip on the land through brackish water and changing tides.

The smell of death, and struggle is all around you, with muskrats, mosquitos, snakes and the like. This can be a hostile environment.

This is Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, with its 28,000 acres of brackish wetlands and ghost forests holding a gloomier story of untold mystery and menacing despair.

Blackwater embodies a darkness that earns its namesake. Waters blackened with tannins, dying forests, and black marsh mud that can swallow someone in just a few unfortunate steps make this an unfortunately perfect place to go and never be found.

Blackwater’s mystery is found in a network of hiding places for those escaping the law or toward freedom. Places to hide are abundant for hunters, trappers, and criminals alike, and it’s easy to imagine entering the dark vastness to hold someone hostage, for example, or to disappear from the public eye.

This includes people living in the horrors of slavery and seeking their freedom by using the area as part of the Underground Railroad. Dressed in disguise, people who were enslaved covertly traveled at night through snaking creeks into the deep darkness of the area, careful to avoid slave hunters and their dogs.

It’s not hard to imagine a cold, stark winter here, with the blackness of night covering a ghostly stillness that envelopes the loblolly pine and cordgrass, only to be interrupted by the sound of a bat flying overhead, or the black water’s subtle movement as a muskrat swims to its burrow on the marsh’s banks.

The area’s marshy guts are also home to bald eagle, peregrine falcon, Sika deer, fox, coyote, vole, and rats. Once a great source of timber, Blackwater’s wetlands, fields, and meadows are now interrupted by hammocks of loblolly pine and salt encroached forest, with mosquitoes and fireflies abundant in the heat of summer.

Blackwater makes the perfect backdrop for my second book in the Rita Mars Thriller series, Objects of Desire, being published in late 2022.

You can learn more about release dates and more of the series’ perilous plot twists and turns at www.valeriewebster.com.  

Our June Winner!

Our June Winner!

I am so pleased to announce the June Amazon gift card winner at  www.valeriewebster.com.  That winner of our monthly all-subscriber pool drawing is Charlotte Krasnoff. 

Charlotte is an avid reader and a fan of classical music.  She herself studied and played the cello for many years. Originally from the Jersey Shore, Charlotte moved to Denver, Colorado when her work in group therapy landed her a position as head of a community outreach program. In 2004 the Colorado branch of the National Association of Social Work named her Social Worker of the Year. At 92, Charlotte continues her calling in Boulder, CO; she has been practicing for over 57 years.  Congratulations, Charlotte!

The next winner could be you.  Sign up now.


Book Review: Pratibha Malav

Book Review: Pratibha Malav

“Driven,” by Valerie Webster is a page-turning story. The story revolves around Rita Mars, an ex-investigative journalist. Bobby Ellis, one of her longtime friends had a piece of important information to give to Rita but when she arrived he was dead.

Later learns that her friend didn’t commit suicide rather he was murdered. She gets driven and makes it her mission to find out the man that killed her friend.

The storyline moves at a fast pace and has the potential to keep the readers hooked on the story till the very end. The book comes with many characters- Rita, Bobby, Charles, Karin… Each character is vividly portrayed.

The suspense kept me glued to the story till the very end. I will recommend this book to all thriller lovers. I can’t wait to read more Rita Mars thriller stories…

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Rocky Mountain Writers WOTY Award

Rocky Mountain Writers WOTY Award

Each year the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) present a Writer of the Year (WOTY) award.  Here are 2022’s three finalists.

Amy Rivers is an award-winning novelist and writer of short stories and personal essays, as well as the Director of Northern Colorado Writers. She was recently named 2021 Indie Author of the Year by the Indie Author Project. She holds degrees in psychology and political science, two topics she loves to write about.

Karla M. Jay is the award-winning author of When We Were Brave, It Happened in Silence, and The Puppet Maker’s Daughter. She has wanted to write books since she was seven. Originally from the east coast, she makes her home in Salt Lake City. Over the years she has written in several different genres, ranging from humor to noir.

Pamela Nowak joined RMFW in 1993. She’s been contest chair, president, chaired five conferences, was 2010 WOTY, honored with the Jasmine Award and named an Honored Guiding Member. Pam currently presents workshops, judges contest, and critiques.

Voting is open now