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

Share this on FacebookLike us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/oaktreebooks





























 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Next 10 Days of my Blog Tour for Murder in the Worst Degree



Things I’ll Never Write

April12 Cheryl Malandrinos http://thebusymomsdaily.com/ 
About Some of the Cops on RBPD

April 13 Marja McGraw http://blog.marjamcgraw.com/ 
Inspiration for the Latest

How I Get My Ideas

April 15 Rebecca Buckley http://www.rebeccabuckley.blogspot.com  
Writing Friends

April 16 Kaye George http://travelswithkaye.blogspot.com/  
A Visit to Rocky Bluff

April 17 Jackie Houchin http://jackiehouchin2.wordpress.com/
How Rocky Bluff P.D. Became a Series

April 18 Stephen Brayton http://stephenbrayton.wordpress.com How I get Titles

April 19 Janet Greger http://jlgregerblog.blogspot.com/  Review

It's not too late to enter the contest either.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why Writers Need More Than One Pair Of Eyes...

...preferably on someone else.

There is a certain kind of myopia that develops in writers called "rose-colored glasses" effect.  What it means is that once a writer has written a story and gone over it a few, or several, times their vision suddenly conforms to what was written in the mind and imagination.  Not what actually appeared on the printed page.

It's a rather frightening affliction. Things become invisible.  Like certain words that appear over and over.  And over.  A misspelled character name.  The color of the character's eyes in chapter one changing in chapter eight.  A character getting discharged from the hospital twice without ever having been readmitted.

I discovered I had it when, after my first book, "End of the Road", was published and my husband, Paul, was reading it and discovered a mistake.  A BIG mistake.  No, I'm not going to tell you what it was and I'm not giving a prize to whoever discovers it, so don't feel you have to go hunting for it!  All I know is that, after several drafts and three rounds of text block corrections, I missed something that made me pound my head on my laptop keyboard until little key-shaped squared were imprinted on my forehead.

HOW did I miss it?  Well, it was simple.  I didn't see it.  I read right over it because I already KNEW what it was supposed to say, so my eyes "saw" what I was supposed to have written.  Not what I actually wrote.

Second time around, second book, "No Lifeguard on Duty".  FOUR rounds of text block corrections and it was amazing what my second pair of eyes--Paul--saw that I missed. Every time. Not to mention my inexplicable addiction to ellipses.  Let me impart some wisdom: ellipses are not your friends. Yes, I know I used them in this post already, but be warned--they are like those neighbors you invite in for coffee every day because they seem so interesting and helpful and then they take over your life... and every time you turn around, there they are! (See what I mean?!) Roughly half of the corrections I made had to do with corralling runaway ellipses. Bless Billie for her patience and sense of humor ("We could probably shorten the number of pages in the book by doing away with several of these ellipses. Otherwise, we might have to raise the cover price to pay for the extra paper!")

I am, ashamedly, glad that this isn't something that happens only to relatively new authors.  I've seen some mistakes from big name authors with an army of NYC publishing house editors that made it into published books (a character driving a Ford Silverado is one that has branded itself into my memory.  How did they miss THAT???)

It's good to have a fresh pair of eyes standing by after living with a manuscript day in and day out for several weeks or months.  It's preferable to have them on someone who is somewhat of a perfectionist, someone who is detail-oriented yet can see the big picture, and--most important--someone who wants you to succeed and be your very best.

Friday, April 4, 2014

I just experienced the thrill of seeing my first novel in print, originally titled “Sports Novel”.

Now I need to make public appearances to promote the book.  In pondering remarks to precede a reading, I figured readers might want to know two things:
-How I got the idea for the book
-How I got the title.

How I got the idea for the book.  I don’t remember how I got the idea to write this book; it was fairly long ago.  But I came up with a good story:

Traveling down the Mass Turnpike one day, I saw a billboard that displayed a biblical quote: “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.” -Kings.

That made a good story for how I came to write a book about a client who goes to a sports psychologist to find a sport he is good at.

How I got the title
Originally I called it “Sports Novel” to distinguish it in my own mind from other books I’ve written, such as “Musical Novel” “Facebook Novel” and  “Novel Rewrite.”  I knew I needed a pithier title for publication.  I came up with these alternatives:

• The Sports Cure
• The Sports Patient
• The Sports Therapist [or Psychologist]
• Sports Psychology for Dummies

I figured the last might run into copyright problems.  Then I thought of one more:

•  Sports Therapy for the Uncoordinated

I ran the names by my friends, and they voted overwhelmingly for the last one. 

When blurbs started coming in, one of them was from former Major League pitcher Bill (Spaceman) Lee.  He said in part that when he played against me, I was “mediocre at best.”  Well, more people consider themselves mediocre than uncoordinated.  If he was going to call me that, I would incorporate it in my title:

Sports Therapy for the Mediocre
-donald caplin


WEEKLY ROUND-UP FOR APRIL 4, 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…

OTP has two new Ebooks out this week. "Sweet Dreams..." and "Murder a la Christie"
Both are available on amazon.com for $2.99...

APRIL KNIGHT's "Sweet Dreams 50 Romantic Bedtime Stories for Big Girls" is a delightful collection of short stories.

SWEET DREAMS offers funny, tender, inspiring romance stories for busy women who don’t have time to read for long periods of time. Every story is different, takes less than 10 minutes to read and will touch your heart and make you smile. The stories are designed for women to read while they ride a bus, have a cup of coffee, let their children take a nap or just before they go to bed at night. The stories are about imperfect people searching for perfect love.  The stories are about young love, old love, lost love and re-found love. The characters are unforgettable and range in ages from early twenties to their seventies so will appeal to a wide audience.  This is a book people will not be able to stop reading and will talk about it at work the next day.


MARILYN LEVINSON's "Murder a la Christie"
I would like to share that within one small hour of her ebook being released MARILYN was tagged in a post on Facebook by MUST READ: Must Read wrote: "New $2.99 classic/cozy mystery for now available for Kindle: Marilyn Levinson's well reviewed "Murder a la Christie" in which the members of a Golden Age of Mystery Book Club starting getting knocked off one by one And Then There Were None style (3/29/14)"
“Murder a la Christie” got a great review by Sandra Murphy at Kings River Life Magazine. Sandra says she hopes it turns into a series!
http://kingsriverlife.blogspot.com/2014/03/murder-al-la-christie-by-marilyn.html

 
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 is running a promotion on the Ebook version of “Unleavened Dead” from April 7 – 22 in honor of Passover. It will only be 99 cents! Be sure to grab that up and tell your friends!
ILENE also got a nice mention from Carolyn J. Rose. “. . . recently departed from Unleavened Dead, an enjoyable "quiet" or "gentle" mystery - meaning very little, if any, gore or gunfire.”

 
 
 
SHARON ARTHUR MOORE got word that Mission Impastable” was in the book carousel on the national Sisters in Crime website! She reports that it was quite a thrill to see it there. I am thrilled for you! I am going to the website right now to try to catch this marvelous cover!  Huzzah!  www.sistersincrime.org
SHARON is blogging 26 days in April as part of the A-Z Blog Challenge. She is doing so on the topic of food terms/cooking techniques/food names at www.sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.comwith some book plugs thrown in!

 

 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS

 
BERYL REICHENBERG, author and illustrator of children's 
stories, will have her books and other art work featured in a group show at the Gallery at the Network during the months of April and May. Titled "Unique Expressions", the show will include her five OTP children's books and her fiber baskets and sculptures. The show will open on Friday, April 4 from 6:00 – 9:00pm. Drop by the gallery at 778 Higuera in San Luis Obispo and meet BERYL in person.
 
Then on April 9 at 3:00pm, BERYL will be teaching children how
to make a butterfly book that can be hung in their room at Whiz Kids Toy Store in San Luis Obispo. She will also be discussing her stories and her writing process. Children from seven to fourteen are invited. Contact the store for more information.
 
 
ANNE SCHROEDER will celebrate the launch of her new book, “Cholama 
Moon,” the first in a series of historical westerns, on Sunday, April 6 from 1:00 – 3:00pm at the Pioneer Museum, 2010 Riverside, Paso Robles. ANNE will give a brief author talk about her series. Refreshments and a raffle will be included. The event is open to the public. anneschroederauthor@gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
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 6 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm, MARILYN will be joining the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime for a book signing at the Coalese Bookstore.

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

DAC CROSSLEY, author of the Border Trilogy has a salute to springtime on his popular blog. I always love to read DAC's blogs...no matter what his subject is...he is so entertaining. Probably even when he doesn't mean to be. www.daccrossley.typepad.com

 
 
 
 
LORNA COLLINS, author of “Ghost Writer” blogs about her friend, Barbara Hodges, who is not only an author in her own right, she is also a friend to other authors. Find out how: http://lornacollins-author.blogspot.com/







As I mentioned up above, SHARON ARTHUR MOORE is doing the A-Z blogging challenge this month. A = Al Dente and All-Purpose Flour and B = Bard and Braise. Yesterday's letter was C for Chiffonade and Cut-In.  I am loving these! Check it out at www.sharonarthurmoore.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
 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

Like us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/oaktreebooks