Sunday, April 20, 2014

SPRINGTIME IN THE ROCKIES by Jackie Taylor Zortman

When the blog assignments were posted, way back in January, I immediately saw that I'd drawn Easter Sunday.  So, to those of us who celebrate it, this is a special holiday.  However, since I'm not certain that religion is an appropriate topic for the Oak Tree Press blog, I will simply focus on the happier element of it all, such as young children, bunnies and baskets of colored eggs and chocolate.

Where I live, at 8000 feet in the Colorado mountains, this can be an absolutely gorgeous and sunny day or a cold and blustery, snowy one.  Our third option is that "in between" segment of either mud (if it rains) or dust (if there's wind).  But we rarely get to enjoy spring and leap right from winter into summer.

Here in "the boondocks" we still have unpaved roads and no home mail delivery, in spite of the fact that it's a busy, bustling tourist town.  Those who are members of our city government will tell you that it's all about ambience and quaintness.  And nobody ever forgets that the original "True Grit" was filmed here or that it was the home of John Wayne, Debbie Reynolds and the late Dennis Weaver.  I'm proud to say that Debbie Reynolds shopped in my bookstore all of the time and Dennis Weaver and his wife were out and about with the rest of us, all over the place.  His wife still is.  But that's a bit off topic, so back to the subject at hand.

Therefore, with our weird weather at this time of year,  the Elk's Lodge's annual Egg Hunt can be outdoors in the park or forced inside.  But, either way, it goes on.  We swap this event bi-annually with the nearest town (10 miles away) called Ridgway.  There are always a lot of happy, albeit possibly quite dirty, little urchins running around on this particular Sunday.

Since the death of our oldest grandson, about whom my book WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW is written, my family no longer gathers together as a solid unit for a big feast.  So, it has become a rather somber and individual event that my husband and I do alone.  But we manage to do something that we both enjoy.  If the weather is good, we usually go up into the mountains to place flowers on what has become known as Pete's Place, the memorial site of our grandson's demise. 

So, whatever your family chooses to do on this day, I hope that you have much happiness, love and, most of all, peace.
 

My book is available at www.Amazon.com; www.BN.com & www.shopOTPbooks.com.
Contributing author to: Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides
E-mail:  jtzortman@ouraynet.com
Blog:  www.jtzortman.wordpress.com
Author Central: www.amazon.com/author/jackietaylorzortman
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/jackie.t.Zortman
Member of The Public Safety Writers Association

 
 
 
 
 

Friday, April 18, 2014

WEEKLY ROUND UP FOR APRIL 18, 2014

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone! Thank you for dropping in. Oak Tree Press has lots of news in our corral today. Be sure to check out our website, www.ShopOTPbooks.com, for a complete list of all the great books we have available. But now, for your reading pleasure, our authors have news, book signings, events, reviews, blogs and more to share with you as we head into the Round-Up…

Manic Readers has four Oak Tree Press books on their website in their Free Reads section. Here are the links:

“Choloma Moon” by Anne Schroeder
 
 
 



BERYL REICHENBERG, OTP children's author and illustrator, has a new review of her book “Ants on a Log.” DBR books calls it a "tasty treat for young readers" and says that the book "finishes with humorous irony which even young readers will appreciate." DBR books has reviewed several of BERYL's other books which can be found on their blog: http:www.dbrbooks.blogspot.com. For the full review, go to http://www.examiner.com/list/recent-book-by-beryl-reichenberg?cid=db_articles

 
 
LESLEY DIEHL has had two of her books reviewed by Delanna of Night Owl Reviews. “Dumpster Dying” received a perfect 5 and “Grilled, Chilled and Killed” received a 4.5. Simply awesome! These two books’ titles are among my very favorites of all time! To read the reviews, click the links below:
http://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Reviews/Delanna-reviews-Dumpster-Dying-by-Lesley-A-Diehl
 
 


HELEN OSTERMAN, author of “Locked Within” and the Emma Winberry Series has just published a short story available as a kindle on amazon.com. The title is Emma Winberry and the Flash Drive.” It’s priced at just $.99!







Only a few more days to win a copy of D. R. RANSDELL’s latest book, “Island Casualty!” Oak Tree Press is hosting a give-away on Goodreads. The contest runs from March 24 - April 24, 2014. There are 10 copies available. Click the following link under the descriptive blurb below for the giveaway. If you can’t wait for the giveaway and want your own copy now, simply click the book cover on the right sidebar of this blog under my Featured Blog Book of the week. 

When Andy Veracruz heads to Greece for a holiday, the mariachi player expects to spend afternoons swimming and nights making love. At an outdoor café, he meets a fellow traveler who accidentally leaves behind a package. Before Andy can return it, the man is found floating in the harbor, and Andy and his girlfriend are run off the road by whizzing bullets. To protect his friends, Andy starts doing undercover work by substituting in a bouzouki band, but further “accidents” call for drastic measures. The more Andy becomes entangled in the complicated web that connects the island’s inhabitants, the more he realizes he must rip apart the whole story before he’ll be free to go back home.
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/86694-island-casualty


ILENE SCHNEIDER asks do you need a break from cleaning your kitchen for Pesach? (Or from filling Easter baskets?) You can read about someone else’s pre-Pesach travails instead. Her popular book “Unleavened Dead” is on sale from now until April 22 for only $.99! http://tinyurl.com/l443azw.

 
 
 
 
THONIE HEVRON, author of the upcoming “Intent to Hold” is excited to announce that OTP will be publishing the first book in her Nick and Meredith stories. “By Force or Fear” is the first of three in the series. The second, “Intent to Hold” will be available on July 13th. “Intent to Hold” was the winner of the OTP Police Blotter contest held last year.

 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS

EILEEN OBSER, author of “Only You” will speak to students about memoir writing and read from her book at the Seventh Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival on April 23 at the Riverhead campus from 11:00am – 12:00pm. There will be an open reception and reading during the launch of East End Elements, the campus literary magazine, in the Lyceum Gallery of the Montaukett Learning Center. Excerpts from Only You” and an interview with EILEEN are in the publication.
Set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Only You (And You Alone) relates Eileen Obser’s personal experience growing up in Queens, New York – how the mores of that era and the dictates of the Catholic Church led to her unhappy, doomed-to-fail marriage at eighteen to a nineteen-year-old boy from their candy store crowd.  After much research of the period, which is reflected throughout the memoir, with the news of the day, the music and popular culture, newspaper, magazine and book excerpts, plus her own journals, diaries and photographs, and including interviews with family and friends, Eileen shows how two naïve, uninformed teenagers were influenced by social and religious pressures, to disastrous consequences.

The official release of “Only You” will be at the Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street in Sag Harbor on Sunday, April 27, at 2:00 pm. EILEEN will read and sign books. Refreshments will be served and live music performed by local, renowned singer Jim Turner (50s rock and roll, in keeping with the many songs cited in the book).

Another reading/reception for “Only You” is scheduled for Thursday, June 26, at 7:00 pm at the Connetquot Library in Bohemia where EILEEN has been teaching memoir writing for over six years. More readings will be scheduled at libraries, bookstores and other venues on Long Island. These will be posted on EILEEN’s website: www.eileenobser.com.

AMY BENNETT, author of “End of the Road” will be having a book signing at Barnes and Noble on Saturday, April 26 in her own home town of El Paso, TX. The signing will be from 2:00 - 4:00pm. The Barnes and Noble is located at The Fountains at Farah, 9521 Viscount, El Paso, TX. "End of the Road" was the winner of the OTP Dark Oak Mystery contest.







ROBERT RICHTER, author of “Something Like A Dream” is having a book signing at Hokes Books in Ogallala, NE on April 26 from 12:00 – 2:00pm. Stop in and get your own autographed copy. More to come from this series, folks!

 
 
 
 
 

MARILYN MEREDITH, author of the recently released “Murder in the Worst Degree” will be having the official book launch for the 10th book in the Rocky Bluff P. D. Series on May 17 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the Porterville Art Gallery.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
BONNIE KELLY author of Wild Justice” is being interviewed by Barbara Hodges on Red River Talk Radio on the Internet at 3:00pm on May 20.

 
 
 
 
 
 
BLOG CORRAL

JOHN DANIEL, author of “Hooperman: A Bookstore Mystery” is a guest this week on Patricia Gligor’s blog. Please stop by and say howdy! http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com

 
 
 
 
 
MARILYN MEREDITH is doing a blog tour this month and the person who follows along and comments on the most blogs will get to have their name used for a character in the next book! Go to MARILYN’s newsletter to see the complete list of blogs. But the following is what is on tap for the coming week. www.fictionforyou.com

SHARON MOORE, author of “Mission Impastable” continues her blogging 26 days in April as part of the A-Z Blog Challenge. She posts on food terms/cooking techniques/food names at http://www.sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com
 
 
 
 
 
DAC CROSSLEY, author of “Revenge of the Texas Ranger” asks you to take a look at his tribute to the women of the Texas revolution. He also reminds us that the days are marching across the April calendar. Don’t forget to enjoy them! Great advice! www.daccrossley.typepad.com







That wraps up the Round-Up for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Weekly Round-Up as much as I enjoy posting it for you. As always, if you have something you would like to submit to the Round-Up, send me an email at otpoffice@aol.com. Big or small, old or new. I would like to keep our corral full of news! Comments, questions or suggestions are welcome too. Have a great weekend, everyone.~ Suzi

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GARY BEST, THE COLLECTOR...

Okay, I admit it. I'm a collector. I collect things, I collect names, and I collect experiences. I haven't reached the pack rat stage of collecting, but I do collect. And it is the items that I collect that help me with my writing.  I like to have things around me that will let my mind wander and create the locales of a story, the people who inhabit the places in a story and even the conversations that they have.

My first attempt at writing was a published work about the experiences of a B-17 bombardier during WW II.  Because a fellow writer once told me, "you can't write about something you know nothing about," or words to that effect, I was stymied about the experience of flying in a Second World War bomber.  I had seen one up close and personal at air shows, and had even crawled through one at a museum. That wasn't enough.  I still didn't know what it was like to fly in one. Although I was perfectly happy to rely on the memories of Air Force veterans of that long ago conflict to share with me what it felt like to fly in a B-17 when it was being attacked by hordes of German fighter planes, I didn't know what it was like to be airborne in what was then called a Flying Fortress.

My opportunity came when a private foundation dedicated to preserving the war planes of the past brought a B-17 to town; a half hour ride, $425.00. I gulped at the price of collecting this experience, but my wife encouraged me knowing that I would forever regret it if I didn't take the available ride. I made a reservation, went to the airfield on the appointed day, signed a release form against accidental death and dismemberment, and climbed aboard.  Most of the other passengers got air sick and wouldn't leave their place on the floor of the plane. Once airborne, I wondered throughout the plane, crossing the eight inch catwalk over the bomb bay, sitting in the bombardier's seat and recording in my mind the sensations, the experience of flying in a sixty year old war plane for forty-five minutes; yes we were up more than the allotted time.
 
Afterwards, my wife asked, "Well, was it worth it?" "Oh yah." "How?"  "I now know what it smells like, what it sounds like on take-off, in the air, what it..."

Gary Best
Author, "Tink's Tank" to be released soon from Oak Tree Press!
______________________________________________________

Tink's Tank is a work of fiction with a prologue, epilogue and 24 chapters that chronicles the adventures of the crew members of a U.S. Eighth Air Force B17 during WW II. The characters who serve in the combat/flying positions of the plane are described through backstories of each. The narrator tells his tale in response to a request from his granddaughter who is enrolled in a college course about the history of WW II. He tells her about each of his fellow crew members, the people they meet during their war time experiences in England, the locale for most of the story. There is a love interest for the narrator that develops with a volunteer at the Red Cross canteen and an eight year old girl shares her knowledge about Peter Rabbit with the story teller, a friendship grows through the years as they develop a lifelong penpal relationship.

Crew members of Tink’s Tank find themselves involved in experiences in London and between themselves that shape and transform each as they fight to stay alive in air battles that test their courage and stamina as a crew. An assassination attempt, supported by the IRA, on the life of the famous English concert pianist Dame Myra Hess, bigotry directed towards the black ground crew chief, an emerging relationship between two of the crew members, sabotage, death and injury force their way into their lives as the crew of Tink’s Tank struggle to complete the thirty missions required for their tour of duty in the ETO. crew. It is more than a comingofage story and more than a story of the air war over Europe, for nothing happens in isolation of the people and events by which one is surrounded. It is the interactions and connections of events, people, fact and fiction that foment growth, change and deliverance from the past. Tink's Tank takes one on an adventure and returns the reader to postwar life through twists and turns in the epilogue.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Internet and You, Handle with Care


"Out of Control" mixed media ©Mary Montague Sikes
As writers, we enjoy expressing ourselves. We feel passionate about a subject, so we write about it.

Sometimes that can be dangerous, especially if we forget that what we write will be out there forever. So we must always be careful about what we say because it might very well come back to haunt us.

Every blog we write, every e-mail goes out into a world for many eyes to see. What to do?

1. Always think before you hit "send". Is this something I want the whole world to see?  Can what I have written somehow harm my image as a writer?

2. Think about your characters. Is what you have written something your heroine or hero would be proud to have written?

3. Do you have a sense of who people are you know from the Internet? Do you like some personalities and not others? What internet characteristics do you like? Dislike?

4. Approach your writing with a positive attitude. (I try to avoid anything political because while half the readers might like it, the other half probably will be unhappy or even angry with you.)

What about you? Do you think about the image you will portray when you write posts to your groups? On your blog?

(I decided to write about this subject after watching weeks of coverage about the disappearance of the airplane over/in the Indian Ocean. People's homes are searched and their computers dissected. I started to think about the serious importance of image for each of us and how easy it is to portray someone we do not want to be.)


Friday, April 11, 2014

WEEKLY ROUND UP FOR APRIL 11, 2014

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone! Thank you for dropping in. Spring is officially here! Oak Tree Press has lots of news in our corral today. Be sure to check out our website, www.ShopOTPbooks.com, for a complete list of all the great books we have available. But now, for your reading pleasure, our authors have news, book signings, events, reviews, blogs and more to share with you as we head into the Round-Up…

EILEEN OBSER would like to announce the release of her memoir “Only You.” The book launch will take place at the Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street in Sag Harbor on Sunday, April 27, at 2:00 pm, where EILEEN will read and sign books. Refreshments will be served and live music performed by local, renowned singer Jim Turner (50s rock and roll, in keeping with the many songs cited in the book).

Set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Only You (And You Alone) relates Eileen Obser’s personal experience growing up in Queens, New York – how the mores of that era and the dictates of the Catholic Church led to her unhappy, doomed-to-fail marriage at eighteen to a nineteen-year-old boy from their candy store crowd.  After much research of the period, which is reflected throughout the memoir, with the news of the day, the music and popular culture, newspaper, magazine and book excerpts, plus her own journals, diaries and photographs, and including interviews with family and friends, Eileen shows how two naïve, uninformed teenagers were influenced by social and religious pressures, to disastrous consequences.

During the Seventh Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival, EILEEN will speak to students about memoir writing and read from “Only You” on April 23 at the Riverhead campus from 11:00am – 12:00pm. There will be an open reception and reading during the launch of East End Elements, the campus literary magazine, in the Lyceum Gallery of the Montaukett Learning Center. Excerpts from Only You” and an interview with her are in the publication.

Another reading/reception for “Only You” is scheduled for Thursday, June 26, at 7:00 pm at the Connetquot Library in Bohemia where EILEEN has been teaching memoir writing for over six years. More readings will be scheduled at libraries, bookstores and other venues on Long Island. These will be posted on EILEEN’s website: www.eileenobser.com.

HELEN OSTERMAN, author of “Locked Within” and the Emma Winberry Series has just published a short story available as a kindle on amazon.com. The title is “Emma Winberry and the Flash Drive.” It’s priced at just $.99.

 
 
 
 
You can win a copy of D. R. RANSDELL’s latest book, “Island Casualty!” Oak Tree Press is hosting a give-away on Goodreads. The contest runs from March 24 - April 24, 2014. There are 10 copies available. Click the following link under the descriptive blurb below for the giveaway. If you can’t wait for the giveaway and want your own copy now, simply click the book cover on the right sidebar of this blog under my Featured Blog Book of the week.  

When Andy Veracruz heads to Greece for a holiday, the mariachi player expects to spend afternoons swimming and nights making love. At an outdoor café, he meets a fellow traveler who accidentally leaves behind a package. Before Andy can return it, the man is found floating in the harbor, and Andy and his girlfriend are run off the road by whizzing bullets. To protect his friends, Andy starts doing undercover work by substituting in a bouzouki band, but further “accidents” call for drastic measures. The more Andy becomes entangled in the complicated web that connects the island’s inhabitants, the more he realizes he must rip apart the whole story before he’ll be free to go back home.


ILENE SCHNEIDER asks a burning question… Do you need a break from cleaning your kitchen for Pesach? (Or from filling Easter baskets?) You can read about someone else’s pre-Pesach travails instead. Her popular book “Unleavened Dead” is on sale from now until April 22 for only $.99! http://tinyurl.com/l443azw.

 
 
 
 
SUPCOMING EVENTS

D.R. RANSDELL, author of “Island Casualty” and “Mariachi Murder” will have a booth at the
2014 U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Championships at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center on April 11 from 2:00 – 5:00pm. The event will feature more than 350 swimmers from 41 teams from across the nation. http://orovalleyaz.gov/aquatics

You can also visit D. R. RANSDELL at Bookman’s at Grant and Campbell in Tucson on April 12, 2014 from 1:00 – 3:00pm. Come and meet D. R. and get an autographed copy of one (or both!) of her fabulous books. http://ow.ly/vsnHi

BONNIE KELLY author of Wild Justice” rented a booth at Cowgirls and Conchos, April 12 from 10:00 – 4:00pm. It's in San Luis Obispo County. On May 20, KELLY is being interviewed by Barbara Hodges on Red River Talk Radio on the Internet at 3:00pm.

 
 
 
 
 
 
ANNE SCHROEDER will also be at this event in San Luis Obispo County on April 12, releasing her own western historical, “Cholama Moon.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AMY BENNETT, author of “End of the Road” will be having a book signing at Barnes and Noble on Saturday, April 26 in her own home town of El Paso, TX. The signing will be from 2:00 - 4:00pm. The Barnes and Noble is located at The Fountains at Farah, 9521 Viscount, El Paso, TX.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ROBERT RICHTER, author of “Something Like A Dream” is having a book signing at Hokes Books in Ogallala, NE on April 26 from 12:00 – 2:00pm. Stop in and get your own autographed copy. More to come from this series, folks!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MARILYN MEREDITH, author of the recently released “Murder in the Worst Degree” has some upcoming events to share with us.

April 14 at 10:00 am, she will be speaking at the Porterville Library for National Library Week.

May 17 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm will be the official book launch for “Murder in the Worst Degree” at the Porterville Art Gallery.

BLOG CORRAL

MARILYN MEREDITH is doing a blog tour this month and the person who follows along and comments on the most blogs will get to have their name used for a character in the next book! Go to MARILYN’s newsletter to see the complete list of blogs. But the following is what is on tap for the coming week. www.fictionforyou.com
SHARON MOORE, author of “Mission Impastable” wants you to chime in with your views! She wrote a meant-to-be-provocative blog post entitled “Dump Your Critique Group” at http://samwriteaway.blogspot.com/2014/04/dump-your-critique-group.html

SHARON also continues her blogging 26 days in April as part of the A-Z Blog Challenge. She posts on food terms/cooking techniques/food names at http://www.sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com (with some book plugs thrown in).

DAC CROSSLEY, author of “Revenge of the Texas Ranger” blogs about his home in Athens, Georgia, where trees are leafing out and the pine trees send their yellow greetings. DAC is guest-blogging this week on Marja McGraw's blog - http://blog.marjamcgraw.com.

 
 
 
 
 
 
ILENE SCHNEIDER, author of “Chanukah Guilt,” was tagged to answer four questions about her writing process. To read her answers and link to other authors' go to her blog at www.rabbiauthor.com

 
 
 
 
 
That wraps up the Round-Up for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Weekly Round-Up as much as I enjoy posting it for you. As always, if you have something you would like to submit to the Round-Up, send me an email at otpoffice@aol.com. Big or small, old or new. I would like to keep our corral full of news! Comments, questions or suggestions are welcome too. Have a great weekend, everyone.~ Suzi

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