Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekly Roundup July 24, 2015


It's Weekly Roundup time again at Oak Tree Press. We're so glad you've stopped by again. Please check out our bookstore for a complete list of all the great books we have available. Perhaps you're headed on a relaxing vacation and need a good book to get you there or help you enjoy your stay. You're sure to find an OTP mystery or memoir to interest you, no matter what kinds of stories you like.

Oak Tree Press had a great presence at the Public Safety Writers Association annual conference last weekend. Several of our authors placed in the association's writing competition. We'll have complete details in an upcoming blog post. But now, for your reading pleasure, we have news, book signings, events, reviews, blogs and more from our authors to share with you. 

~~~~~

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was."

~Ernest Hemingway

~~~~~ 


A reminder from Jeana: All OTP books are on Manic Readers!

Need help choosing a great book to read?
Check out our sample chapters on

We have plenty to choose from. Just click on a title and you will be directed to a free read! These sample chapters will be updated frequently and new releases will also be featured.




OUR WRITING CONTESTS ARE OPEN!
    There's still plenty of time to polish up your manuscript and get it in to our judges. Since 1999, we have been publishing the winners of our contests. In a heartbeat, you can go from an author-in-waiting to published author!
    We are looking for mysteries, romances, Westerns and hard-edged cop/true crime stories. Read about the guidelines at our website.

~~~~~

REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS

Susan E. Sagarra was interviewed earlier this week by Omnimystery News. The topic was her new mystery Cracks in the Cobblestone, and the interview delves into Susan's writing and research process for the novel as well as her writing life in general. She also talks about her work in progress, which has some interesting things in common with Cracks in the Cobblestone. You can read the full interview here. 

Cracks in the Cobblestone is a cozy mystery with some elements of the paranormal and suspense. The novel follows the stories of two independent young women beginning their adult lives in vastly different worlds. Amelia Thornton is the feisty 25-year-old owner of a school for young ladies whose husband vanishes along with large sums from the school and town coffers. Hardworking reporter Meghan Murphy encounters a strange presence at Mug’s Pub, her favorite haunt while on assignment. The untimely death of grieving detective Harrison Parker deepens the mystery of the missing husband and money. Unknowingly linked by a mutual obsession with the Titanic tragedy, the women cross paths to reveal a long-buried secret in the quirky town of Tirtmansic.



***


Book reviewer Kevin Tipple this week reviewed John Lindermuth's Fallen from Grace in his blog Kevin's Corner. Tipple praises the book, writing that Fallen from Grace "is an engrossing and complex mystery that quickly pulls readers into the world of Sheriff Tilghman. A world populated by fully developed characters in all walks of life that give rise to side stories and details. A world that is slowly changing before readers eyes as these are the waning days of the telegraph, gas lights, etc. A world that is full of history and mystery as well as the occasional funny moment. You can read the full review here.

About Fallen from Grace: As the 19th century winds to a close, Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman of the small Pennsylvania town of Arahpot ponders his biggest problems: finding a new deputy and convincing his true love, Lydia, to marry him. But an early autumn day finds Arahpot’s usual tranquility shaken when a stranger is fatally stabbed. Upon seeing the victim, Tilghman recalls witnessing a strained encounter between him and Valentine Deibert, an obese man with a wife half his age who had recently moved to Arahpot. The sheriff questions Deibert who denies knowing the victim. Tilgman is unconvinced, but lacks a connection until the widow arrives in Arahpot. Suddenly Sylvester is plunged into investigating two murders. As he works through an abundance of motivated suspects, Tilghman finds himself in danger. And worse -- Lydia is pushing her obnoxious cousin as a candidate for deputy.

***

Reviewer Jessyca Garcia, writing for Reader's Favorite, recently gave 4 out of 5 stars to Ann K. Howley's humorous memoir Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad. "I found all her stories funny and unique," Garcia writes. "I enjoyed reading about her life and recommend this book to anyone who has had a good deed backfire on them." The complete review is here.

Confessions of A Do-Gooder Gone Bad is a wry, humorous coming of age memoir about a well-intentioned “problem child” raised by conservative, evangelical Christian parents in Southern California during the sixties and seventies. As she naively stumbles through her youth and young adulthood, one misadventure after another, she also struggles to reconcile her ultra-Christian upbringing with women’s liberation, prejudice, protest, and poverty during this turbulent era, eventually gaining a different perspective of faith in a world more complicated, terrifying, and wonderful than she expected. 

***


Lorna Collins was featured this week at the Library of Erana blog in both the author spotlight and as a guest blogger. In the interview, Lorna talks about the books she has written, some of which are co-authored by her husband, Larry. She also describes the process of turning books into audiobooks, which she and her husband have done for the titles for which they have audio rights. One of those books is the OTP title Ghost Writer. You can read the full interview here.

Lorna's guest blog post is about the importance of research in writing and the process for completing it. Check it out -- you might find a few new tips for your own writing!  

 ~~~~~

RECENT

Ann K. Howley just returned from a fabulous and successful trip to the West Coast to promote Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad. On July 15th, Ann spoke to an enthusiastic crowd at the Live Oak Public Library in Arcadia, California. (Check out that big poster on the wall that the library made to promote the event!)

Then I had the opportunity to talk about writing a memoir and sign books for patrons of Barnes & Noble in Las Vegas on July 19th.  

And of course, one of the highlights of her trip was stopping by The Orleans after my book signing to meet Billie and fellow OTP author Joe Haggerty.


~~~~~

 
BLOG CORRAL

Dac Crossley took his own advice from a previous post on his Western Blog and started reading more books. He just finished reading The Firecracker Boys, which is about the father of the hydrogen bomb and his attempt use nuclear weapons to dig a harbor in Alaska.

The long history of that failure brought back some memories from my time at Oak Ridge National Lab. One of those memories is the topic of his July 23 blog entry. Dan is the author of three OTP books, Code of the Texas Ranger, Guns of the Texas Ranger, Revenge of the Texas Ranger.


~~~~~
BLAST FROM THE PAST

OTP author Denise Weeks, writing under her alter ego Shalanna Collins, was a top-ten semi-finalist in the East Texas Writers Guild's 2015 First Chapter Awards for published books for her young adult/fantasy novel April, Maybe June. Her novel, Nice Work, was the 2012 winner of OTP's Dark Oak Novel contest, and it is our blast from the past this week.

About Nice Work: Jacquidon Carroll has problems. She's diagnosed with diabetes and laid off from her job the same week, but that's nothing compared to being a suspect in the murder of her ex-boss. Jacquidon is convinced her replacement -- a young woman recruited from an Internet sex site -- is the real killer. To clear herself, Jacquidon steals information from the boss’s computer and the young woman's diary. The clues lead through a network of local sex clubs and the seamy underside of the BDSM (S&M) lifestyle. By the time Jacquidon gathers her evidence, the murderer is on the same page -- and intends to stop her.

~~~~~

That wraps up the Roundup for this week! We hope you enjoyed our news.

We look forward to your emails! If you have a news item you'd like to submit to the Weekly Roundup, please send the details to weeklyroundup.items@gmail.com. Photos welcome!

Big or small, old or new, your news helps us keep our blog updated and showcases the great books and talented authors we're so proud to have published. Comments, questions and suggestions are welcome too. Please do drop us a line!




  Oak Tree Press Facebook! Like us on Facebook! And click on the icons below to share the Weekly Roundup on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and other social media sites!


Billie Johnson, Publisher

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Weekly Roundup July 17, 2015

It's time again for the Oak Tree Press Weekly Roundup! As always, thank you for dropping in. Be sure to check out our bookstore for a complete list of all the great books we have available. Let one of our compelling novels brighten your day or help you unwind in the evening! We have a book to suit every taste.

As you may know from reading the Oak Tree Press blog, this weekend is the Public Safety Writers Association annual conference. Publisher Billie Johnson and no fewer than a dozen OTP authors are in Las Vegas for the conference, which is open to anyone writing crime and mystery fiction or non-fiction, technical writing for public safety magazines in print or online or anyone interested in writing. OTP authors will be participating in panel discussions and workshops, giving presentations and exchanging notes with fellow writers and readers. We'll have updates and more from this event in future blog posts.

But now, for your reading pleasure, we have news, book signings, events, reviews, blogs and more from our authors to share with you. 

~~~~~

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and 
the most patient of teachers."

~ Charles William Eliot, president of 
Harvard University (1869-1909)


~~~~~ 


A reminder from Jeana: All OTP books are on Manic Readers!

Need help choosing a great book to read?
Check out our sample chapters on

We have plenty to choose from. Just click on a title and you will be directed to a free read! These sample chapters will be updated frequently and new releases will also be featured.




OUR WRITING CONTESTS ARE OPEN!
    There's still plenty of time to polish up your manuscript and get it in to our judges. Since 1999, we have been publishing the winners of our contests. In a heartbeat, you can go from an author-in-waiting to published author!
    We are looking for mysteries, romances, Westerns and hard-edged cop/true crime stories. Read about the guidelines at our website.

~~~~~
AWARDS


Thonie Hevron, author of By Force or Fear and Intent to Hold, was awarded third place in the East Texas Writers Guild First Chapter Book Awards for her work in progress, With Malice Aforethought, a mystery thriller.
 

Thonie passed along this note about her win: "Jeana Lomprez, our lovely book promo department, put me on to the East Texas Writers Guild Book award, and I want to remind authors that OTP really does work for us. You may not see everything, but behind the scenes, Billie and Jeana are working. Many other publishers, but especially small presses, do not provide this kind of support. And it was my choice to enter the contest. I'm happy I did."

Contests like these always attract a large number of entrants. Standing out from the competition is truly an accomplishment.
Congratulations, Thonie, and thanks for the kind words! 

 ~~~~~
 


REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS


Doug Seaver will be the guest on “Books and Things with Tom” on Saturday, July 18, at 9:00 a.m EST. The show airs on Comcast and TVC Channel 12. Doug will be discussing his novel, The Fourth Rule, and chatting about his writing in general. The show also aired yesterday.

The Fourth Rule tells the story of one secret born when a Green Beret returns from Vietnam and disappears. Two decades later, the CIA approaches the soldier’s younger brother, Matthew Grant, to uncover what happened. Matthew denies knowing anything, but the CIA doesn’t believe him, and thus begins an intense struggle between the CIA, hell-bent on protecting its own and continuing its illicit clandestine activities, and a not-so-ordinary citizen, who has to risk it all to protect his secret and right a terrible wrong from the past. 

***


From July 15 through July 19, Jackie Taylor Zortman is the guest author on fellow writer Evelyn Cullet's Evey's Writers Blog. Stop by and read excerpts from her new release, Footprints in the Frost, as well as Evelyn's review of the book.

Footprints in the Frost was the 2014 winner of the Public Safety Writers Association Writing Competition and tells the story of homicide detective Max Richards, who has been assigned a challenging serial rape case. The complexities of the case monopolize his time on the clock and soon spill over into personal time he’d prefer to spend with his girlfriend, Sami, who owns a local bookstore. Together, they consider whether they can navigate a future together amid the demands of their jobs.


***




Nicola Furlong was interviewed on Sandra Robbin's Christian Romance - Southern Style blog, chatting about life and writing. The interview touches on Nicola's published books, writing projects, and quirkiest creative effort to date, Unnatural States. Nicola is the author of the mystery Teed Off! Find out more about Nicola's work at www.nicolafurlong.com.




 ~~~~~

UPCOMING



On Sunday, July 19, Amy Bennett will be at Treasure House Books and Gifts, 2012 South Plaza NW, in Albuquerque, New Mexico (Old Town Plaza, across from the church) from 1 to 3 p.m. She’ll be signing copies of her Black Horse Campground series and giving a short book talk. The series includes three mysteries: End of the Road, No Lifeguard on Duty, which was recently awarded The Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval, and No Vacancy.





***
 

Richard Paolinelli has been confirmed for a November 7, 2015, appearance at CampbellCon in Campbell, California. While primarily focused on sci-fi/fantasy, the convention will also feature pop culture and other artistic venues. Richard will be promoting his sci-fi work as well as his mystery-thriller, Reservations, due to be released by OTP in September.

Reservations is the first in a four-book series. This full-length novel -- Richard's first in the genre -- follows Special Agent Jack Del Rio as he tracks a killer in the four corners of the American Southwest.






~~~~~


RECENT

Debut authors' dinner
Last weekend, OTP authors Eileen Magill and Doug Seaver attended ThrillerFest in New York City. They joined other debut novelists at a special dinner on July 10, were introduced to some 300 conference attendees at breakfast the next morning and then had an opportunity to sign their books at lunchtime on Saturday, July 12.

Doug saw fellow OTP author Ken Oxman’s novel, Reluctant Assassin, in the bookstore (but missed the author himself if he was there).
Doug Seaver signs books at Thrillerfest

"From my perspective, ThrillerFest was a super event," Doug says. "I encourage other OTP authors to join the International Thriller Writers organization if they don’t belong."






  ***


Radine Nehring spent last weekend at the Harps Food in Rogers, Arkansas, talking with customers while introducing and selling her books. She reports that she sold 30 books, talked to a lot of nice people and made several good contacts, "including (as always) many who took my business and book cards and said they would buy a book later."

Gratifyingly, she also had several customers stop by and tell her that they had bought a book the last time she signed in the store (about two years ago). These readers either bought another book that day or mentioned that they had purchased one elsewhere.
 
These visits have also yielded invitations to a number of promotional opportunities such as book club visits and talks at meetings. Radine was at the store from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, and had this to say of her effort: "Hard work. Is it worth it? I sure think so."










  ***



Nicholas Checker took a trip this week to The Book Barn in Niantic, Connecticut, which continues to sell copies of his two novels, Druids and Scratch. After replenishing their supply of copies, he stopped at the East Lyme Public Library and signed the copies of both of his books that they have for borrowing. "A decent day it's been!" he said of the effort.




~~~~~

 
BLOG CORRAL


On Wednesday, July 15, Thonie Hevron's Just the Facts, Ma'am blog featured a discussion of community-oriented policing by Captain Craig Schwartz of the Santa Rosa Police Department.

On Sunday, July 19, retired LAPD Sergeant Hal Collier will talk about some of the crazy characters he's known through his 35-year career.



~~~~~


That wraps up the Roundup for this week! We hope you enjoyed our news.

We look forward to your emails! If you have a news item you'd like to submit to the Weekly Roundup, please send the details to weeklyroundup.items@gmail.com. Photos welcome!

Big or small, old or new, your news helps us keep our blog updated and showcases the great books and talented authors we're so proud to have published. Comments, questions and suggestions are welcome too. Please do drop us a line!




  Oak Tree Press Facebook! Like us on Facebook! And click on the icons below to share the Weekly Roundup on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and other social media sites!


Billie Johnson, Publisher

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Twelfth OTP Author Packing for Vegas! Mike Black!



 Mike Black is an accomplished author with many books to his credit. At OTP We are delighted to have published two of this titles.

Michael A. Black is the author of 18 books and over 100 short stories and articles. He has a BA in English from Northern Illinois University and a MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He was a decorated police officer in the south suburbs of Chicago for over thirty years and worked in various capacities in police work including patrol supervisor, SWAT team leader, investigations, and tactical operations. In 2010 he was awarded the Cook County Medal of Merit for his police service. His Ron Shade series, featuring the Chicago-based kickboxing private eye, has won several awards, as has his police procedural series featuring Frank Leal and Olivia Hart. He has also written two novels with television star Richard Belzer of Law & Order SUV and is writing novels in a popular adventure series under another name. His most current books are Sacrificial Offerings and Pope’s Last Case and Other Stories. His hobbies include the martial arts, running, and weight lifting. 

Mike's latest writing venture involves the legendary EXECUTIONER series, and of course, we are hoping he will find time to do another project with OTP!


Set in the era of the 1940s and 50s, this collection of pulp-style novellas follows the adventures of the mighty Doc Atlas and crew from the jungles of Central America to the frozen tundra of the North Pole. Whether they’re prowling the streets of Manhattan, investigating reports of a killer gorilla (with the purported brain of an executed criminal)  or a crashed flying saucer in a small town named Roswell, New Mexico, Doc and company always see the investigation through to the end. Written with historical hindsight, these tales combine the best elements of the pulp era with actual historical figures and events. 


Doc Atlas is a heroic character in the classic pulp tradition, but with some notable extra touches. First and foremost there is the talented writing style of author Mike Black; add to that the more richly drawn characterizations, the use of actual historical events and persons, then stir the whole works into a mix of exciting fantasy/adventure storylines—and the results are some crackerjack yarns that set a new standard for thrilling fiction. Not to be missed!

Wayne D. Dundee,
author of DISMAL RIVER, HARD TRAIL TO SOCORRO, and the Joe Hannibal PI series




Set in the latter half of the fabulous 1940s, Pope’s Last Case and Other Stories details the adventures of tough, hardboiled, ex-Private Eye Vince Pope and his lovely, rich, socialite wife, Laura. Vince, a veteran of WW II, has hung up his PI shingle in favor of a life of leisure, but old pals and new troubles keep interfering. Written as an homage to Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man, this collection of short stories deftly captures the mood and optimism of the country after the Second World War when men were men and the ladies were gorgeous. Join Vince and Laura as they confront gangsters, crimes of passion, crooked politicians, and even a serial killer in this thrill-packed collection of stories that also has the continuity of a novel. 

~ ~ ~

We also applaud Mike for his work as he program chair for the Vegas conference. His ideas are well-executed and make the conference a pleasure for all those attending!

Billie Johnson, Publisher

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Number ELEVEN Packing for Vegas..Steve Scarbrough!



Steve Scarborough is an author and retired Forensic Scientist with over 30 years experience in Law Enforcement with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (yes, the CSI) and the FBI. He is an accomplished technical writer with almost 30 articles in trade magazines and professional journals. He also has two published humor books, “Not Tonight Dear, I have a Computer” and “The Hired Defense Witness Jokebook.”  Along with classes at forensic conferences, he regularly conducts workshops teaching forensics and crime investigation to writers.

Steve lives in Las Vegas with his wife, two daughters and his two “adopted” daughters.


Steve Scarborough does more than simply provide a compelling mystery in SCRAFITTO–he also paints a picture of the exotic Costa Rican jungle so real you can smell the wild orchids and see the white faces of the mischievous  Capuchin monkeys.  Scarborough does an excellent job setting up Mitch Sharp as a reluctant hero, an ex-cop with anger-management issues who has taken up photography in the laid back Quepos community, as much to earn a living as to run away from his past. With a cast of authentic locals and unusual expatriates, the characters are distinctive and realistic.  With a series of gruesome attacks set against the backdrop of the  Pacific, Scarborough weaves a tale analogous to the Costa Rican jungle itself, full of hidden danger and deadly drama.

Holli Castillo,
Author of Gumbo Justice and Jambalaya Justice


Billie Johnson, Publisher



Monday, July 13, 2015

Our TENTH Author packing for Vegas!! Thonie Hevron

I am so looking forward to meeting Thonie Hevron!


Thonie Hevron was raised in Marin County.  After college, she worked in California law enforcement as a Meter Maid, Community Service Officer, Records Supervisor and Dispatcher for 35 years.  Retired, she uses her experience to write suspense novels based on the rich and textured lives of the people behind the badge.  A regular blogger on Just the Facts, Ma’am, Thonie posts stories from law enforcement veterans to accurately portray the police character for fiction writers.  Her first suspense/thriller,

By Force or Fear, which placed third in the Public Safety Writers Association 2012 Fiction Competition under the name Probable Cause. It is set in the Sonoma County Wine Country where she lives.  She shares her home in Santa Rosa, California with her husband, Danny, a senior  horse and two rescue mutts. Her second Nick and Meredith story set in Mexico, called Intent to Hold placed first in the “Cop Tales” contest held by Oak Tree Press. First prize was publication of the work. It debuted in 2014.  The third and final Nick and Meredith book, working title Possession for Sale  is in progress.  


In By Force or Fear..."The shocking end to a hostage situation brings a young Sheriff’s Deputy to the attention of an powerful young judge. His obsession grows as she pursues a violent killer in the Sonoma wine country. After losing almost everyone close to her, she finds out the judge’s attention isn’t as innocent as it seems. As she closes in on the murderer, the judge’s own trap snaps shut, nearly killing her and her partner."

"Thonie Hevron nails it with this story of a new detective and her senior partner as they hunt for a vicious killer. But the detective herself is being hunted, by the most unlikely of suspects. The story is set in Santa Rosa, CA and features authentic locations which bring realism to the narrative. Ms. Hevron, a law enforcement veteran, also shows her knowledge of police procedures and, most importantly, the impact that one unexpected event can have on an officer's life. I highly recommend this book for those who love a good mystery. Not only did I enjoy the book itself, but my own novels are set in Santa Rosa and I learned some new things about the area from Ms. Hevron's accounts."

Mike Worley
Author of the Angela Masters Detective Novel series



Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Ryan answers a call from his estranged wife in Mexico to help find her kidnapped brother. When he and his partner Meredith Ryan arrive, they find the crime is not as simple as they were told. Betrayed and caught by the police, they are expelled from Mexico. Returning to Puerto Vallarta by boat at night, Nick and Meredith battle nature, Federales, crime cartels and even Nick’s own family to rescue his brother-in-law. To complicate their mission, Nick must face the end of his marriage while Meredith hasn’t yet put her own nightmares to rest. 



Thonie...Can't wait to meet you in person!!

Billie Johnson, Publisher

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Weekly Roundup July 10, 2015


It's time again for the Weekly Roundup! As always, thank you for dropping in. Oak Tree Press has lots of news in our corral today. Be sure to check out our bookstore for a complete list of all the great books we have available. We're sure you'll find great titles to add to your summer reading list! But now, for your reading pleasure, our authors have news, book signings, events, reviews, blogs and more to share with you. 

~~~~~


A reminder from Jeana: All OTP books are on Manic Readers!

Need help choosing a great book to read?
Check out our sample chapters on

We have plenty to choose from. Just click on a title and you will be directed to a free read! These sample chapters will be updated frequently and new releases will also be featured.




OUR WRITING CONTESTS ARE OPEN!
    There's still plenty of time to polish up your manuscript and get it in to our judges. Since 1999, we have been publishing the winners of our contests. In a heartbeat, you can go from an author-in-waiting to published author!
    We are looking for mysteries, romances, Westerns and hard-edged cop/true crime stories. Read about the guidelines at our website.

~~~~~


REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS



John Wills's novel Healer was recently reviewed by Don Mulcare for the Catholic Writers Guild. Mulcare writes, "Healer reminds me of a Norman Rockwell print. Rockwell could transform the most ordinary, everyday events into the most extraordinary images. He filled his portraits with warm, happy, generous, uplifting people." See the full review here.

Healer tells the story of sixteen-year-old Billy Anderson, whose short life has been full of daunting challenges. Forced to live with his Aunt Staci, he flees to a life on the street. Everything changes when he receives the “Gift of Healing,” but will this gift be a blessing or a curse?



*** 


Tink’s Tank by Gary Best was recently reviewed by Bob Doerr for the Military Writers Society of America.

Doerr writes, "Gary Best in his World War II novel, Tink’s Tank, has given us an enjoyable and interesting look into a young man’s experiences as a B-17 bombardier during the war. . . . The bond that develops among the crew is insightful, and the main character’s off-duty life in England paints a realistic portrait of a young man trying to find something to hold onto in the midst of the terrifying realities of the war. I found myself cheering for the whole crew. I recommend this book to everyone who loves historical fiction and to anyone who simply enjoys a good book."

You can read the full review here.

About the book: It's a bombardier's nightmare: a bomb in his B-17 failed to drop and dangles below the bomb doors. Now it's his job to climb down into the bomb bay and try to manually release the bomb. The German fighters and exploding flak doesn't make the job any easier.

 ***
 

Channing Whitaker was interviewed by Omni Mystery News and it posted on their blog on Monday. You can read it here. Channing is the author of Until The Sun Rises: One Night in Drake Mansion.

Eighty years ago, a wealthy Midwest family returned home from a magic show, after which neither they, nor the magician, Malvern Kamrar, are ever heard from again. When several bystanders die in their mansion, the house is sealed. After nearly a century of rumors and haunted stories, the mansion is opened for a live TV event during which five contestants will spend one night in the house and win their share of a million dollars. A psychic, a high-tech ghost hunter, a Hollywood scream queen, a local woman, and a skeptic, fuel excitement as each tries to solve the mystery. Departing from the familiar haunted house tale, this story explores the very nature of belief in the supernatural, with consequences more frightening than any ghost story.
***
 
OPT author Robert Lopresti's upcoming novel Greenfellas was reviewed in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine's Jury Box column—a very nice mention. Reviewer Steve Steinbock says, "The dialog is crisp and the situations darkly funny." You can read the full review here.

While awaiting the release of Greenfellas – which will be out this month – Robert is celebrating the release of the anthology nEvermore! (published by EDGE). This collection of stories inspired by Edgar Allan Poe features Lopresti’s “Street of the Dead House,” as well as tales by Margaret Atwood, Richard Christian Mathesen, and the last story of the late and great Tanith Lee.

 ~~~~~

UPCOMING


On Saturday, July 11, Larry K. and Lorna Collins will be speaking to the California Writers Club of Long Beach on writing the perfect pitch. The meeting starts at 2:30 p.m., and they will speak at approximately 3 p.m.

Read about their books at www.lornalarry.com: 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, Murder . . . They Wrote, Murder in Paradise, Lakeview Park, The McGregor Chronicles, Snowflake Secrets, Seasons of Love, The Art of Love, An Aspen Grove Christmas, . . . And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe, the award-winning Directions of Love, Ghost Writer, and The Memory Keeper.


***

From Mary Montague Sikes: While the "Passenger to Paradise" books were in process, a series of paintings was being developed as well. Many of those paintings are currently on view at The Ward Center for Contemporary Art in Petersburg, Virginia. 

The grand opening reception and ribbon-cutting for the new facility took place on June 12. The work will be on view at the Friday for the Arts open house on July 10.

Some of the paintings were inspired by scenes in Jamaica, the setting for Hearts Across Forever. Others were created from photos taken as a hurricane moved toward the shores of an island in the Bahamas. Visits to St. Martin, Barbados, Trinidad, and Sedona, Arizona, were the motivation for other paintings in the series. Seeing a series of these paintings hanging on the walls of The Ward's beautiful new gallery space brings back many

memories. It's fun to be a "passenger to paradise" and encounter lovely spaces in our too often traumatic world. Thank you to The Ward Center for Contemporary Art for bringing new spaces for artists and art. Make art, not war. That would be a beautiful thing and offer many new journeys for all passengers to paradise. 
 












***




OTP author Amy Bennett will be at the Barnes and Noble at the Fountains at Farah, 8889 Gateway Blvd, West, Ste. 120, in El Paso, Texas from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 11. She’ll be signing copies of No Vacancy, the third book in her award-winning Black Horse Campground series.

On Friday, July 17, Amy will be presenting her books at the Alamogordo Downtown Merchants Association Art Walk from 6 to 8 p.m. The event takes place on New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico, and features entertainment, food trucks, and various artists presenting their wares.
On Sunday, July 19, Amy will be at Treasure House Books and Gifts, 2012 South Plaza NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Old Town Plaza, across from the church) from 1 to 3 p.m. She’ll be signing copies of her Black Horse Campground series and giving a short book talk.

In addition, Amy has been invited to participate in the second annual Celebrate Authors event sponsored by the Friends of the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Sunday, September 20. This event was created to showcase authors from the southern region of New Mexico and will be held at the Picacho Hills Country Club from 3 to 5 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.



***
 
 
While getting ready for the Public Safety Writers Association conference (July 16-19), Marilyn Meredith (aka F.M. Meredith) is working on her next Rocky Bluff PD mystery. At the conference, Marilyn will be giving a presentation called “All the Mistakes I’ve Made So You Can Avoid Them.”

Marilyn's latest books are River Spirits and Violent Departures. You can visit Marilyn at fictionforyou.com and her blog
 
 ***

Author Ann K. Howley (Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad) is doing a West Coast swing for a library talk at the Live Oak Library in Arcadia, California, on Wednesday, July 15 at 6 p.m. Then she's off to Las Vegas to visit the Barnes & Noble NW (Rainbow Blvd), where she'll talk about writing a memoir and sign her book on Sunday, July 19th at 1 p.m.




 
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On Saturday, June 13, Ronald Wendling and his wife held another of our annual wine tastings at their home on Page Lake in northeastern Pennsylvania. He placed his memoir, Unsuitable Treasure: An Ex-Jesuit Makes Peace with the Past on display for their friends in the neighborhood. In mid-July the book will be displayed again on the book table at the 26th Annual Montrose Christian Writers Conference in Montrose, Pennsylvania, where Ronald will have the pleasure of lunching with the many aspiring and accomplished writers from far and near who attend the conference each year. On July 28, he will be reading from the memoir at River Read Books in Binghamton, New York, and on August 9, he will be participating in a local community group scheduled to tell their stories at the Old Mill Village Church on the Green, which is located behind the bandstand in the town center of New Milford, Pennsylvania.   


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Nicolas Checker, author of the OTP novel Druids, has been invited to be a guest panelist at the annual Pi-Con Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, being held July 31 to August 2 at the Sheraton Hotel, Bradley Airport in the Windsor-Hartford area in Connecticut. Nicolas says, "I'm honored that my novel, via Oak Tree Press, has led to this and that cover designer, Katherine Loyd, has also been invited as a guest panelist.
 





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PUBLISHING NEWS

OTP children’s book author Beryl Reichenberg has just released a new picture book for youngsters. Lost in a Dark Forest is about a baby possum who falls off his mother’s back one stormy night. With the help of a forest fairy, a fruit bat and other creatures, he is finally reunited with his mother. This book is for chilren under the age of eight and is available at Amazon. Beryl, an artist and author, both wrote and illustrated the story. "The idea for this story came from my friend Kate," she says. "In the past, she has taken in baby possums, cared for them and helped return them to the wild. Possums are nocturnal and are seldom seen. But I do see them sometimes pass through my backyard.” 

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RECENT

J.S. Quelch held a book signing for Karl and the Kooltones and appeared with the band Woodshop at Mears Park in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, this week.

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BLOG CORRAL

On The Stiletto Gang blog, Marilyn Meredith wrote about Erle Stanley Gardner’s influence on her, and on the Make Mine Mystery blog, she asked herself, “Is It Time to Quit?”


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That wraps up the Roundup for this week! We hope everyone enjoyed our news.

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Billie Johnson, Publisher