Friday, June 28, 2013


Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone. As always, Oak Tree Press has a lot going on. Hear about some OTP authors time at the Southern California Crime Writers conference. We are also looking forward to the PSWA conference coming up soon in Las Vegas. If you don't have your summer reading list yet, grab your pen and paper and head into the Round-Up!

The California Crime Writers Conference was held last weekend. The event is sponsored by two great organizations, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

TERRY AMBROSE, “License to Lie,” would like to share a couple of articles from the conference featured on Sue Grafton's keynote article:

And Elizabeth George's keynote article: Scroll down on each of these articles to see TERRY's contribution.

Here is a link for the conference Jeri Westerson has posted on her blog. It is a nice timeline of events with photos from last weekend's conference in Pasadena. Jeri was part of the planning committee.  Several OTP authors attended--I hope a great time was had by all! 

LORNA COLLINS, “Ghost Writer,” also attended the Southern California Crime Writers conference. She says she is exhausted after a jam-packed weekend of speakers and panels. Catch it on her blog at: 

JACKIE TAYLOR ZORTMAN, “We Are Different Now,” has been busy promoting her new book. She tells me that her book has been selling well on both as the trade paperback and e-book and it's also for sale on  She has been featured on Venture Galleries, Manic Readers and Kittling Books and she has an author's page on Amazon's Author Central.

JACKIE is featured on the Oak Tree Press Authors Page on Facebook. Jeana Thompson, Promotions Manager, invites you to like the page. She updates every couple of weeks with a new author. Here is the link:

Kings River Life Magazine has a great group of Oak Tree Press reviews and giveaways up this week. Here are four books for your summer reading list! Featured books are MICHAEL BLACK, “Pope’s Last Case…and other stories,” MIKE BEFELER, “The V V Agency,” ROBERT WEIBEZAHL, “The Dead Don’t Forget,” and J. R. Lindermuth, “Sooner Than Gold.” at:

MARJA MCGRAW, “They Call Me Ace,” has a nice review up at Cozy Mystery Book Review. "I have to admit that Bogey Man, Chris Jr. and his family stole my heart. Although set is modern times Bogey’s is of the 1940s venacular made me imagine myself in the setting of an old Humphrey Bogart film. Their eccentricities and style made me laugh and I enjoyed every moment of this book." Read the whole review at:

HELEN OSTERMAN will be at the American Library Association Convention on Sat. July 29 at the Sisters in Crime booth. Mark your calendars! She will be handing out postcards and book marks for her new title, “Locked Within” which is the 5th in the Emma Winberry Series. Helen has a nice webpage:


From June 30-July 6, J.L. GREGER, “Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight,” will be the guest on Pat Gilgor's Getting to Know Your Blog. Be sure to check it out next week. What a great blog Pat has. I seen alot of familiar names there.

MARJA MCGRAW, author of the Bogey Man series, would like to share her blog about "The Family Curse" and how that can relate to characters in a book. The link is 

DAC CROSSLEY, author of The Border Trilogy, blogs about gambling in the Old West. He is also doing some research for a new novel - look at what he’s discovered. Dac also wants to welcome all of us to Summer. Thanks, Dac.

ILENE SCHNEIDER, “Unleavened Dead,” says her latest blog entry is mainly for those of you who are not on Facebook. Or aren't her "friend" there. (And if you're not, she invites you to become one!) I think I will go right now...

JOHN DANIEL, “Behind the Redwood Door,” has been interviewed on Cathy Cole’s blog. John mentioned that Cathy was gracious and generous. Be sure to read this interview at:

JOHN would like to invite you to see the happy reason he didn't post on his blog this past Saturday…he was too busy celebrating! Celebrating what? Check it out:

MARILYN MEREDITH, "Dangerous Impulses," asks How much of you is in your book(s)? She answered for her, what about you?  I made a mistake on Marilyn's blog address last week and want to apologize for that. So, I have it here, twice! Just go ahead and save it as a favorite! :)

MARILYN, author of the very popular Rocky Bluff P. D. series, also blogs about the PSWA conference coming up in Las Vegas. In the first year there were 12 attendees...this year, 57 (so far)! Marilyn is proud of what she's done being the chairperson for the conference. Oak Tree is proud of Marilyn, too. Way to go! Check out Marilyn's blog to read more about the conference. 

CHRIS SWINNEY, author of “Gray Ghost” and HELEN OSTERMAN, author of “Locked Within, An Emma Winberry Mystery” both received some love from the Authors Showcase at Venture Galleries.
These books will be out very soon. Check out the following link:

SHARON MOORE, author of the upcoming “Mission: Impastable,” has two blogs up this week. One is at her "Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time" named I Heart My Slow Cooker(s):
and the other is her anxiety-riddled post about waiting for the edits for her culinary mystery with OTP at "Write Away"

SHARON also posted at Pauline Wiles' blog with an easy spaghetti recipe. Definitely check it out for a dinner idea for this weekend! Here's the link:

CORA RAMOS, posts about her newly published book, “Dance the Dream Awake.” This book is a must read for this summer. And how about that cover? Beautiful!

I hope everyone enjoyed the Weekly Round-Up as much as I enjoyed posting it for you. As you can see, I did have time to update the cover slide show! I will also be changing the featured book each week. Boy, I think I am getting the hang of this! But please excuse a few kinks in the links! I do them all the same and some just do not want to cooperate. Also, the colors and types of font change out on me...if anyone has any tips, I sure would take them. A work in progress... Thank you all for the nice comments from last week's blog. I am no writer like you all are...I just play one on TV! LOL As always, if you have something you would like to submit to the Round-Up, send me an email at
Have a great weekend, everyone. ~ Suzi

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Who is Shari Markham? By PJ Nunn

Authors are asked all kinds of questions. One of the most frequent is, “Where do you get your ideas
for characters?” Or “Is your protagonist really you?” I’m still new at the author end of the game, having publicized other authors’ books for more than 15 years now (no worries, I’m still at it!), but I know exactly where I found Shari Markham, the protagonist of my new book, Angel Killer.

Years ago, when my children were still small and I was a high school administrator, I was also pursuing my graduate degree in counseling psychology with specialization in criminal justice. I served an intensive practicum and internship that required my counseling as many as 30 individuals a week, most survivors of child sexual abuse, and I also served as a liaison to the local police department in the Youth Criminal Investigations Division. Somehow or other I managed to get appointed to the county child welfare board and ultimately served the board for seven years, the final two as chairperson. Needless to say, I was busy and often completely overwhelmed with abuse issues, past and present.

There came a time when I couldn’t sleep because of the dreams that haunted me. Victims were everywhere and suspects got off all the time. The things that are perpetrated upon children, even in small towns, most people don’t want to know. And yet, as long as they’re hidden, how can we stop them?

I’ve always written, from the time I was a small child. Reading a good book gives opportunity to escape boredom or all manner of ills. For me, writing does the same. When I became pregnant with my fifth and last child, I had to cut back. I simply couldn’t continue working under that kind of stress, but you never forget. When I sat down to write, I didn’t know what the story would be. I created a character named Shari who, like me, worked for a while with child protective services, then opted to get her graduate degree in psychology and go to work for the police department, hopefully to make a difference.

So in some ways, I guess she’s like me, but she’s not me. One of the best parts of being an author is I can easily strengthen someone’s weakness. And I can exercise a measure of control over the outcomes one can never control in real life. Shari is part me, and part who I’d like to be. I hope she’s part you, too, and that you’ll find her engaging and very real. Perfect she’s not, but when she comes across a case in which wrong has been done to a child, she’s relentless in seeking justice and healing for the families involved.

Angel Killer is not a cozy mystery, as you probably have already deduced. It’s the first in a series of Shari Markham Mysteries. I hope you’ll meet Shari and her family and friends, and that you’ll like her enough to enjoy several more books to come!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Round-Up for Friday June 21, 2013

Welcome to the Round-Up everyone! Oak Tree Press has a lot of news to share this week. We have moving news, a new intern and also new releases. Oak Tree authors have a lot of news to share, as well. We have give-aways, speaking events, meet and greets and videos. We also have a lot of great reading material in our Blog Corral. So, sit back and hold on and head into our Round-Up!

At Oak Tree Press, moving prep has stepped up as the days have dwindled down…and now we are looking at a mere ten days left to be ready for the moving team’s arrival. We are hustling to complete a number of books before departure day, also. There’s not much room for error, but we are progressing. In fact, this week, we released two new titles: P. J. NUNN’s “Angel Killer” and our first entry into the Young Adult market, “Fall in Love with an Orange Tree or a Book.” This poignant novel by SHIRLEY HICKMAN portrays the strife in a teen’s life against the backdrop of immigration issues.

We would like to introduce a new addition to our Oak Tree Press family. CHRISTY DYER has joined us as an Acquisitions Intern. Christy has just graduated from Western Illinois University. She has a great love of books and reading…we think she will fit in just fine! Welcome to the OTP family, Christy! MARILYN MEREDITH, author of "Dangerous Impulses" and LORNA COLLINS, author of “Ghost Writer” have both interviewed CHRISTY on their blogs. Learn more about CHRISTY at www.marilynsmusings& and

DBR Books has posted an interview with BERYL REICHENBERG, children's picture book author and illustrator. The interview can be seen on Google+, as well as Beryl's website: Or you can click on the following link
DBR Bookspreviously reviewed Beryl's book, "The Mysterious Case of the Missing Birthday Cake" featured recently in the Round-Up.

BERYL’S  new children's picture book, Butterfly Girls,” has been reviewed by Vickianne Caswell. In addition, Vickianne has also posted an interview and a YouTube review of the same book. Calling the book, "well written and imaginative" she gave it 4.5 stars. To read the full review and interview follow the links below:
Website Interview

Website Review
Youtube Review

TERRY AMBROSE, author of “License to Lie,” conducted two workshops at the Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference. His workshops were titled "Creating dynamic characters through better dialogue" and "Creating Stronger Openings: A First Page Critique." He also participated on a panel titled, "Why you don't need a hammer to build a platform."

The following link is a promotional video from D. R. RANSDELL, all the way from Italy. Her book, “Mariachi Murder” has just been released. D. R. has been doing videos when possible. She just completed one in Orvieto, where she is teaching summer courses. D. R. has found that people are incredibly nice if you ask them small favors to help with promotion. This really surprised her, but she admits it's wonderful! For fun, here's her latest. The "tourist" is her brother. D. R. would like to credit SUNNY FRAZIER, author of "Fools Rush In," and her flash mob video or the idea (of doing a video) would have never occurred to her.

ROBERT WEIBEZAHL, author of the just released "The Dead Don't Forget," offers copies of his book to two lucky winners at a Good Reads Giveaway. The contest runs until June 25. Click the link to enter:

CAROL CRIGGER is giving away the Kindle version of “One Foot on the Edge,” the first of the China Bohannon series. Your chance to win ends June 23. This is one shot only, so don’t miss out and be sure to tell all your friends.  You don’t actually need a dedicated Kindle reader. Amazon gives free applications so you can read Kindle books on your phones, tablets, and of course, your computers. “One Foot on the Edge” can be found at   
CAROL welcomes you to post a review of the book on Amazon after you read it.

JACKIE TAYLOR ZORTMAN, author of the just released “We Are Different Now,” has been receiving a lot of positive feedback on her book. JACKIE's grandson, Pete, died in a tragic accident. Seeking solace in books, she found nothing available for greiving grandparents, so she sat down and began to write.  JACKIE feels that her grandson can live on inside her book, helping others with their grief. "We Are Different Now" is available on Amazon in paper and ebook formats. It is also availabe at Also, please check out JACKIE's blog at the following link:

HELEN OSTERMAN, author of the Emma Winberry series and the upcoming “Locked Within” has entered a contest with her story “The Night I Became Audrey Hepburn.” The contest is being held by Midlife Collage. Sounds like a great story, who doesn't love Audrey Hepburn? Good luck, Helen!


BERYL REICHENBURG, author of children's books, will be at the Coalesce Bookstore on Main Street in Morro Bay, CA on Saturday, June 22 from 2 pm to 4 pm to sign her Wildlife Series books, “Wild Africa, Elephant Families in the Wild,” “Wild Hippos” and “Backyard Birds.” She will also be demonstrating how to fold accordion books to children. Drop by and join the fun. 

QUINTIN PETERSON, contributor to Oak Tree's upcoming release, Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides” has an event to share. International Crime Month is an initiative featuring acclaimed crime fiction authors, editors, critics, and publishers who will appear together in a series of readings, panels, and discussions from four independent publishers—Grove Atlantic, Akashic Books, Melville House, and Europa Editions. Please join authors Wolf Haas, Quintin Peterson and Zane Lovitt for a reading and discussion of international crime writing. Thursday June 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm

CAROL CRIGGER, author of “Two Feet Below” and “Three Seconds to Thunder” will be at the Pack &Tack Swap meet, a fund raiser for a local mule club to raise money for riding trails. The event is Saturday, June 22nd, at Smart Gardens, which is located on the corner of Argonne and Bigelow Gulch. If you’ve never been to Smart Gardens, you’ll want to check the nursery out, even if you don’t care about the mules--but shoot, who can resist those long-eared beauties? CAROL will be there from 9 to whenever with her China Bohannon series and her westerns. Drop by if you get a chance. The Smart Gardens landscaping is gorgeous. 

HELEN OSTERMAN will be at the American Library Association Convention on Sat. July 29 at the Sisters in Crime booth. She will be handing out postcards and book marks for her new title, “Locked Within” which is the 5th in the Emma Winberry Series.


On June 28, J.L. GREGER, author of “Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight,” will be blogging on "Setting Priorities Better" at Southern Writing Magazine blog. The blog can be found with following link:
From June 30-July 6, J.L. will be the guest on Pat Gilgor's Getting to Know Your Blog.

JOHN LINDERMUTH, author of “Sooner than Gold,” has a blog up as a tribute to a writer who inspired him. Check it out:

JOHN DANIEL, author of "Behind the Redwood Door," is hosting Robin Winter on  his blog this week. John asks you to please drop by and meet a wonderful writer!

MORGAN ST. JAMES, author of “Who’s Got the Money,” was the guest blogger on Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog in the UK. The topic was "Location, Location, Location." When writing, locations are important whether the book or story is light and funny or technically detailed. Get it wrong and you have a problem. Visit the blog and read the article, use the following link:

DAC CROSSLEY, author of the upcoming “Revenge of the Texas Ranger,” blogs about a little memory of Texas summertime. Can you relate? It is always a pleasure to read Dac's blogs.

JAMES CALLAN, author of “A Ton of Gold,” is busy on the blog scene again this week and next. Please use the following three links to keep up with JAMES.

   On June 17, he had an interview on Sleuths and Suspects. You can read up on it here: at

   On June 24, JAMES will have an interview and discussion of his new novel, “Character: The Heartbeat of the Novel” on Marylou Writes --

On June 25, JAMES has a guest blog on Venture Galleries. Please visit and click on blogs.

SHARON MOORE, author of the upcoming “Mission: Impastable… (don’t you just love that title?) says that bugs are the food of the future! Yes! Bugs! What do you think about that? She guest-blogged about the value of eating bugs at J. L. GREGER’s site at SHARON also posted recipes and more on her own blog: 

That wraps it up for this weeks Round-Up. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoy putting it together for you. I am still working on getting a few glitches worked out but it is getting easier :) If you have anything to submit, please send me an email at
If you have any comments or suggestions, I am always available to discuss them. I will be working on updating the slide show and also the bookshelf on our blog page. Hopefully, I can accomplish these by next weeks issue but it all depends... Oak Tree Press keeps me hoppin'!
Everyone have a great weekend! - Suzi

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Postponing Armageddon

Postponing Armageddon

1.  Terry Pratchett competition runner up Latest Fantasy sensation due out June. Check out. #RT

2.       4 FREE chaps

Monday, June 17, 2013

Inspiration for my Two New Children's Books

Thanks to OTP for publishing two more of my children’s picture books. Both books were published this month and are about Monarch butterflies. Butterfly Girls is about two young sisters who find a butterfly chrysalis in their backyard and watch for the butterfly to emerge. The butterfly teaches the girls how to fly, and the girls spend many happy hours flying with their new friend. One day, the butterfly disappears, and the girls are deeply disappointed. They soon learn that the butterflies have migrated south for the winter and more will return in the spring.

When Caterpillars Dream is about a Monarch caterpillar and what she dreams while in her chrysalis becoming a butterfly. She dreams about the incredible journey she will take south for the winter once she emerges. In the course of this dream, she learns to trust her instincts. This book introduces children to the life cycle and migration patterns of Monarch butterflies in a fantasy format.

The inspiration for both books came two year ago when I gave my two granddaughters butterfly habitats, so they could watch butterflies grow from a tiny egg to a full-grown butterfly. I saw how excited they were to view this process and how delighted they were to let the butterflies fly away, once they had emerged from their chrysalis. I thought what fun it would be to actually fly with a butterfly and wrote Butterfly Girls for themAfter that, I became intrigued about what went on in the chrysalis and what caterpillars might dream while becoming butterflies. After researching the migration patterns of Monarchs, I decided to write When Caterpillars Dream as a fantasy with basic information about the incredible journey Monarchs take, flying south for the winter.

We have a Monarch habitat nearby where they congregate during the winter. I felt these two books might be a natural for sale at this habitat and at a local wildlife museum, as well as the normal bookstores, gift shops and children’s stores. And of course,  children (especially little girls ) love these amazing insects. I've learned it's always good to think ahead.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Round-Up for June 14, 2013

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone. Let me take a moment to thank SUNNY FRAZIER for giving me the opportunity to do this very important job. I also have to give her a pat on the back because you Oak Tree Press authors have a LOT going on! It has been quite an eye opener to compile all of the information this week. I hope I can continue to do as fine of a job as she has been doing. Please send me all of your happenings, big or small. If I miss a beat please let me know, you can reach me, SUZI YAZELL, at Also, here is a picture of me, so you all can put a face to my name...I guess that is appropriate since I have been corresponding with you for almost two years! With that said, on to the Round-Up!

MARILYN MEREDITH has received many 5 star reviews on Amazon for “Angel Lost” the 7th book in her Rocky Bluff P. D. series. Reading through these reviews, it seems that her entire series is a huge hit! LORNA COLLINS, OTP author of “Ghost Writer” says it is the best of the series – so far. Way to go, Marilyn!


ILENE SCHNEIDER, author of “Unleavened Dead” has a very nice review by Denise Zendel. Click the following link to give it a look:


CHRIS KULLSTROEM, author of "Deadly Roles," continues her series of seminars. The latest being,"Drawn to the Dark: The Social Benefits of Halloween.” Her website is

OTP would like to extend a heartfelt welcome to JOHN M. WILLS, author of the upcoming novel “The Year Without Christmas.” John would like to announce the launch of his blog which is dedicated to writing and related matters. I took a peek at his blog and it looks great! Welcome to the OTP family, John.

On June 13, JAMES CALLAN, author of "A Ton of Gold" had an interview on Paul Western-Pittard's site, "That Thing I Said." I took a look at the site, which is wonderful, but James' interview isn't posted yet. Please keep an eye out for it at:

On June 17, JAMES will have an interview as author of "Character: The Heartbeat of the Novel" on Mary Lou Writes at
Also on June 17, he will have an interview on Heidi Glick's blog. Wow, James, you have been busy!

MARJA MCGRAW, author of The Bogey series, is featured on the Kittling: Books, Your Scene of the Crime blog. It’s an in-depth interview with great questions. Please take a look at the following link:
Cathy at Kittling:Books also read and reviewed “Bogey Nights.” She said that she really enjoyed the book. Here is a separate link for that review:

BERYL REICHENBERG, children's picture book author, has two new books published by Oak Tree Press. "When Caterpillars Dream" and "Butterfly Girls" are both about Monarch Butterflies. Told in a fantasy format, these books include many facts about Monarchs and their migration patterns. They will delight children ages three to seven. Both books are now available through Oak Tree Press. Just look at these covers, so colorful, I think they are fabulous!

MIKE BEFELER, author of “The V V Agency,” gets a nice mention on the Boulder Bookshelf website


SUNNY FRAZIER, author of "Fools Rush In" has an interview over at Maria Ruiz' site on how a book goes from submission to production. Check out the following link:

ROBERT WEIBEZAHL, author of the just released "The Dead Don't Forget," offers copies of his book to two lucky winners at a Good Reads Giveaway. The contest runs until June 25.

Students from a local school went to visit Miss Liberty recently. Everyone received a "Liberty's Legion" lapel pin. “By joining Liberty's Legion, they will wear these pins on their own summer vacations and, as a band of ambassadors, just like Liberty, will encourage friends, relatives, and fellow travelers to come to Taylorville and view ‘the world's only statue of Abe Lincoln and a pig,’” said CAROL ALEXANDER. Carol's book, "The Big Squeal" is going to be available as paperback soon and is getting a lot of attention. The photo below is of the real Miss Liberty being visited by the children.


On June 15, J. L. GREGER and her canine companion, Bug, will be doing a question and answer period on J. L.'s OTP books, "Coming Flu" and "Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight" at the Menaul Book Exchange (9409 Menaul Blvd., Albuquerque).


 On Wednesday, June 19, WENDY GAGER, author of The Mitch Malone series, and three other local authors talk about our road to publishing at the Newaygo Area District Library at 6:30 p.m. in Newaygo, Michigan. For details, go to:

BERYL REICHENBURG, author of children's books, will be at the Coalesce Bookstore on Main Street in Morro Bay, CA on Saturday, June 22 from 2 pm to 4 pm to sign her Wildlife Series books, “Wild Africa, Elephant Families in the Wild,” “Wild Hippos” and “Backyard Birds.” She will also be demonstrating how to fold accordion books to children. Drop by and join the fun! 


JOHN BRANTINGHAM, author of  “Mann of War,” is downsizing his living space to open up space for more adventures:

On June 20, J. L. GREGER, "Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight," will be the guest blogger on the TBR blog. Her title is "Why is dieting like solving a murder?"

JOHN DANIEL, author of “Behind the Redwood Door,” wonders about how "historical" a historical novel has to be, on his blog this week. How far back in time do you need to set the story? check it out:

DAC CROSSLEY, author of The Border Trilogy, has a blog post about chigger mites. Also, old favorites of Dac's; the topic of his dissertation and his renewed interest at the Museum. But right now - when will chiggers appear? Let him know, if you would!

What stops writers from entering writing contests? Afraid of competition or is there something more at stake? SUNNY FRAZIER can't help but wonder--and write about the conundrum.

Also, here is a link to SUNNY's monthly blog for Novel Spaces. I love her title: Is that a cowlick in your bangs or are you just happy to see me?! Check it out, it is a great read:

JAMES CALLAN, author of “A Ton of Gold,” had a guest blog titled, "Quiet Time is Quite Important" on www.venturegalleries,com.

That wraps up the Round-Up! Our Oak Tree Press Authors are busy, busy, busy! Be sure to share the link to our blog so we can get the word out on our awesome authors and everything they have been doing. Have a great weekend everyone :)