Friday, November 29, 2013

WEEKLY ROUND-UP FOR NOVEMBER 29, 2013

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone! OTP hopes everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Thank you for dropping in on our blog. Oak Tree Press has lots of news in our corral today. Be sure to check out our website, http://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…



 
TERRY AMBROSE, author of “License to Lie” was one of the authors signing books at the Literacy Bash hosted by Romance Writers of America - San Diego Chapter on November 16. On November 21, he was interviewed by Authors on the Air host Pam Stack. The podcast can be heard on Authors on the Air. TERRY also interviewed New York Times Bestselling authors Phillip Margolin (about his latest release, "Sleight of Hand") and CJ Lyons about her new release, "Broken." The interviews are available at terryambrose.com.
 

BERYL REICHENBERG, author of The Mysterious Case of the Missing Birthday Cake,” is featured on Cathy Cole's website, Kittling Books. Normally Cathy features adult mysteries, but this time she has included a children's book about a missing birthday cake and how forest animals, working together, find the cake and the thief. Click on the link to read the whole article: http://www.kittlingbooks.com/2013/11/acorns-from-oak-tree-press-beryl.html.


CORA RAMOS, author of “Dance the Dream Awake” has a nice review over at King’s River Life magazine this week. Also getting a nice review is MARILYN MEREDITH and her book “Spirit Shapes.” Be sure to read the reviews and enter to win a copy of both books! Hurry, the winner will be chosen on November 30. http://kingsriverlife.com/11/23/the-latest-books-from-two-local-authors-marilyn-meredith-cora-ramos/

 
VELDA BROTHERTON, author of “The Purloined Skull,” is featured on The Authors Corner at the Mustard Seed with a nice review. Learn more about this great book and learn more about VELDA at this link: http://tinyurl.com/k2heuxh 

  
This week I have chosen a lovely Christmas themed book for the featured blog book of the week. "Daddy's Christmas Angel" by MARY MONTAGUE SIKES is a sweet book that you will not be able to put down. Click the book cover on the right side bar to order your copy today!                                                                                                               
 
In Daddy’s Christmas Angel, seven-year-old Kathleen Ryan connives to have her father meet her second grade teacher. However, the only commitment David Ryan wants is to his daughter, and Angie McAllister wants no commitment other than to her own independence. Will Kathleen’s schemes change both of their minds and lead to romance? This book is “Sleepless in Seattle” meets “Love Story”.
 
UPCOMING EVENTS

 
BERYL REICHENBERG, children's picture book author, is supporting Small Business Day on November 30 by participating in a raffle of one of her children's books at the Curious Cup Bookstore in Carpinteria, CA. She has another giveaway planned for her book “Butterfly Girls” with Goodreads.com for the end of the month, as well.

BERYL also has recently published a new book with CreateSpace, “A
Real Dragon,” with illustrations by Elise Hudson, a ten year old girl. Written by BERYL in verse, this story is about a young dragon who wants to learn how to breathe fire and roar like an adult with potentially disastrous consequences. See BERYL's website: www.berylreichenberg.com or www.Amazon.com for more information.
 
 
DAC CROSSLEY, author of The Border Trilogy has a book signing scheduled at The Globe in Athens, GA on December 1 from 3:00pm – 6:00pm. You can catch him again on December 14 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at Athen's premier book store, Avid Bookshop on Prince.
DAC is the spotlighted author this week on JEANA’s Oak Tree Press Author’s Page on Facebook. Take a look:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oak-Tree-Press-Authors/210979042259140#




ILENE SCHNEIDER, author of “Unleavened Dead” can be seen on December 12 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm at A Novel Idea, Chapter Two, Landis Marketplace, 631 E. Landis Ave., Vineland for a book sale and signing.
 
 
JOHN M. WILLS has a December 5 speaking engagement and will address the Lake Authors writing group and discuss his Christmas novel, “The Year Without Christmas.” He will also be signing copies.

Then on December 14, JOHN will be signing copies of “The Year Without Christmas” from 11:00am –1:00pm at the Winchester Book Gallery in Winchester, VA.



BLOG CORRAL

MICHAEL ELDRIDGE, author of the upcoming “Jack of Harts” has a brand new blog. Check it out and welcome MIKE to the OTP family at www.pianoman264.wordpress.com

DAC CROSSLEY, author of the just released “Revenge of the Texas Ranger,” wishes a very happy holiday to all, whether you're lighting candles or eating turkey. Or tamales! A new post on his blog tells of his adventures on a San Antonio weekend. www.daccrossley.typepad.com

ILENE SCHNEIDER, author of “Unleavened Dead,” has a blog post up about A Birthday to Remember: Why Nov. 22 reminds her of her cousin as much as it does of JFK. http://rabbiauthor.com


EILEEN OBSER, author of the upcoming memoir “Only You,” has written a holiday blog about a custom not heard about much these days, or ever. She hopes you enjoy reading it and that you'll leave comments. EILEEN wishes a very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and a Happy Hanukkah, too! http://eileenobser.com/blog/?p=553

JOHN M. DANIEL, author of “Hooperman: A Bookstore Mystery,” was a guest on Melodie Campbell's fine blog. He discussed a few opinions he has about how to write funny (something Melodie does so well). Please drop by and check it out: http://funnygirlmelodie.blogspot.ca/2013/11/john-daniel-brings-coals-to-newcastle.html

JOHN also appears on fellow OTP author JAMES R. CALLAN's blog, talking about choice and change in fiction. Check it out: http://www.jamesrcallan.com/blog/




JANET GREGER, author of “Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight” supports small business by posting a blog "Celebrate Small Business Saturday at an Independent Bookstore" on her blog.  J. L. Greger's blog








LORNA COLLINS, author of “Ghost Writer” has her husband, Larry, guest blogging on why he never intended to write science fiction—until now. http://lornacollins-author.blogspot.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, November 27, 2013

HOW TO GET BLURBS

 
Endorsements seem an important tool in selling books. With that in mind, I set about getting blurbs for my novel, “Sports Therapy for the Mediocre.”

When my sister-in-law had her book published, she wanted an endorsement from a Very Famous Person (VFP) who lived near me. Calls and emails to the VFP got no response. However, the VFP’s son was running for a local office here. My wife approached him and mentioned her sister trying to get in touch with his mother. The budding politician promised to help, and sure enough his mother wrote the blurb. (He lost the election.)

For my book, I thought of all the Famous People I knew. I wrote to each of them:

-Bill Lee, a former star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, whom I had played football with one time.
-John Irving, famous novelist, who was a few years ahead of me in my school.
-Frederick Buechner, a respected but not as famous novelist, a former teacher of mine.
-Michael Palmer, best-selling author, an acquaintance.
-My sister’s ex-husband, who has written well-received sports books.
-A cousin, who has written numerous best-sellers
-Riva Poor, business guru, author of “4 Days/40 Hours” books, a friend.
-George Segal, TV star, a friend of my parents

Out of this, I got 3 blurbs (Lee, Poor and Palmer, who has since died), and a couple of nice notes:
-John Irving sent a very encouraging letter, saying he rarely writes blurbs, but would be glad to read my book when he was less busy.
-Mr. Buechner, who said he’s 88 and doesn’t do blurbs.
-My cousin’s secretary, who said his eyesight doesn’t permit much reading, and he doesn’t do blurbs.

My ex-brother-in-law and George Segal didn’t reply.

If you need endorsements for your book, brainstorm people you know who might help. You don’t know who’ll respond (a Major Leaguer I met once in my life), and you may get some nice feedback.

PS: After writing this, I got an offer from a friend who knows a actor/singer’s bodyguard. He was sure I could get an endorsement from the FVP...if I gave his bodyguard some money. I declined.

Donald Caplin
author “Sports Therapy for the Mediocre”

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN LIFE INTERVENES?




Fate has recently decided to intervene in my life to the point where my personal muse is simply sitting exhausted in the corner with a perplexed look on its face, wondering how in the world to get my attention in order to inspire me to write.  First of all, my husband recently had to have shoulder surgery and before he was completely recovered, I had to have arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn medial meniscus.  There are 15 steps in the flight of stairs that stood between me and our office and the computers for a week or two.  But that wasn't to be the end of life deciding to step into my world and complicate it.

On Sunday the 17th, my daughter called to tell me that there had been an explosion in a silver mine eight miles up the mountain from town and that my 23-year-old grandson, Kyle, had been injured and was in an ambulance on the way to a hospital.  Kyle is both a hard-rock miner and a fireman and is my son's son.  My book "We Are Different Now" was written after I lost my oldest grandson, Pete, (son of my daughter) to a 100-foot fall from a mountain ledge in the pitch black of night on this very same road at Mile Marker #3.    So, as you can imagine, my world was completely upside down until I received a call from my daughter-in-law, several hours later, to tell me that Kyle was being released from the hospital and they were heading home.  Kyle had been unconscious twice from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Unfortunately, two of his comrades lost their lives in this accident and 22 men were injured.  There are heroic stories to be told about this event, but that's for another time.

As soon as that accident ended for our amazing first responders, there was an avalanche that trapped two people who were lucky enough to self rescue.  And on the very heels of that fiasco, a 60-year-old man   died in a restaurant on Main Street.

But fate was not yet finished cavorting with our little Colorado mountain town.  On Thursday of that same week, early in the morning, we received a reverse 911 call, which was rather frantic with the land line and both our cell phones all ringing at the same time.  A local 23-year-old woman, beautiful, sweet and tremendously talented,  had been missing since 1:30 p.m. the previous day and the search was on.  Unfortunately, her body was soon discovered were she had, apparently, fallen while hiking alone.  Her mother is getting ready to bury a daughter for the second time in a couple of years, which has to be an agony that borders on  unbearable.

So, my question is this.  What do you do when life intervenes and your mind is so busy that you cannot think of anything to write, nor do you have much time or the privacy in which to do so and writing is what you do?  The marketing of my book, for the most part, simply had to go on hold.  I'd really enjoy hearing your thoughts on this subject because I know that I'm not the only one that has had this experience.  So, I'd love it if you'd  leave a comment and tell me what you think.



"We Are Different Now"  by Jackie Taylor Zortman is available on www.Amazon.com, www.BN.com and www.shopOTPbooks.com.  She is also a contributing author to "Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides".


Friday, November 22, 2013

WEEKLY ROUND-UP FOR NOVEMBER 22, 2013

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…

Publisher, BILLIE JOHNSON, is pleased to announce that MARILYN OLSEN is now Senior Acquisitions Editor at OTP. To submit a query or check on a pending query, please email her at QUERY@oaktreepress.com

WENDY GAGER, is featured on fellow OTP author TERRY AMBROSE's website with a nice article about "Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides." Interesting title for an interesting collection of short stories by and about America’s public safety heroes. GAGER is among 30 professionals with ties to law enforcement and public safety who contributed to this Oak Tree Press title. This is the second anthology by the Public Safety Writers Association. Read what GAGER had to say about the book here:
http://terryambrose.com/2013/11/felons-flames-ambulance-rides/

This book is a real treat and has stories contributed by GAGER as well as OTP authors RON CORBIN, JOHN M. WILLS, JACKIE TAYLOR-ZORTMAN, STEVE SCARBOROUGH, THONIE HEVRON, MARTI COLVIN, HONORA FINKELSTEIN & SUSAN SMILY, JANET GREGER and more. Many prizes were also won by our OTP authors from the PSWA contest that was held earlier this year. The project was coordinated by our own MARILYN OLSEN. It is my pick for the BLOG BOOK OF THE WEEK. Just click the cover in the right side bar of this blog to order your copy today. It is also available in kindle format on amazon.com.

"Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides"
In 1995, New York State Police Captain Roger Fulton had an idea...The result was the Police Writers Club that included both officers and writers and offered an annual conference and writing competition. Five years later, the club’s members published CopTales 2000, an anthology that included the works of contest winners and other submissions.  

In 2007, the club changed its name to the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA), and is now a national organization providing an annual conference and a writing competition. The members submit a fiction or nonfiction work, published or not yet published with a 1,500 word limit.


Full of the kinds of stories for which cops, firefighters and other public safety folks are known. Some are sad, many are poignant, some are exciting and a few are just, well, hilarious.  We hope you will enjoy them all.
 
WALTER LUCE, author of The Donatelli Series, was a recent guest on MoneyTV with Donald Bailargeon. Mr Bailargeon says "it was a pleasure to meet and interview WALT. He read "Atlanta Exit" and enjoyed it thoroughly! He especially took note of the various personal characteristics of WALT’s own life which he imparted into the character of Turk Donatelli. "Atlanta Exit" is a real page-turner.” Here is a link to watch the video:




J. L. GREGER, author of the upcoming “Ignore the Pain” and her beloved dog, BUG, are spotlighted in the Joliet Herald News article:  Pet Story: Dog's life is a real page-turner.
Learn what BUG would say if he realized he played a supporting role in her medical mystery series. The upcoming book, "Ignore the Pain" is the third in GREGER's medical mystery series. The first two titles are "Coming Flu" and "Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight."


 
 
LESLEY DIEHL, author of “Dumpster Dying” and “Grilled, Chilled and Killed” is being interviewed on Monday, November 25th at 6:00 am on www.tipsylit.com
DIEHL is an author of cozy mysteries featuring sassy, country gals who enjoy snooping. Here are links to her website and blog: www.lesleydiehl.com http://anotherdraught.blogspot.com

 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS

ILENE SCHNEIDER, author of “Unleavened Dead” will be serving on a panel at the Cinnaminson Library, 1619 Riverton Rd., Cinnaminson, NJ on November 21 from 6:00pm - 8:30pm. The subject will be “Two Fiction Genres: Cozy Mysteries & Inspirational Women’s Fiction: Essential Elements of Each.”

SCHNEIDER can also be seen on December 12 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm at A Novel Idea, Chapter Two, Landis Marketplace, 631 E. Landis Ave., Vineland for a book sale and signing.

 
MARY MONTAGUE SIKES will have a book signing at the William and Mary Barnes & Noble in Williamsburg VA, 2:00pm - 6:00pm, Friday, November 22. She will focus on A Rainbow for Christmas” and Daddy’s Christmas Angel.” The signing was promoted by the Newport News Daily Press. SIKES blogged about her Christmas books and the event at Notes Along the Way this week. http://marymontaguesikes.blogspot.com
SIKES’ Animal Alphabet art show will continue on view at Prince George Gallery in Williamsburg until November 30.

 
 
SHIRLEY HICKMAN, author of “Sarah Darlin’” and MARILYN MEREDITH aka F. M. MEREDITH, author of The Rocky Bluff P.D. Series are giving a presentation on “How to Get Published” on Saturday, November 23 from 1:00pm - 3:00pm at the Porterville Art Gallery on Main St. Topics will be: “What Does it Take to Write a Book? Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing, Small Presses, What Comes Next?” Both authors will have copies of their books for sale.

 
 
DAC CROSSLEY, author of "The Revenge of the Texas Ranger" can be seen in San Antonio at The Twig Book Shop this Saturday, November 23 from 11:00 - 1:00. Get your signed copy of CROSSLEY's new book in The Border Trilogy
 
CROSSLEY will be making an appearance at the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation in Watkinsville in December. He would like to remind everyone about books making the best Christmas presents! He will send you an autographed copy of his book postage-paid! Send him an email through his blog at: http://daccrossley.typepad.com
 
 
JOHN M. WILLS, has a December 5th speaking engagement and will address the Lake Authors writing group and discuss his Christmas novel, "The Year Without Christmas." He will also be signing copies.
On December 14, WILLS will be signing copies of “The Year Without Christmas” from 11:00am –1:00pm at the Winchester Book Gallery in Winchester, VA. Two chances to get your autographed copy of this terrific Christmas time book!

BLOG CORRAL

MICHAEL ELDRIDGE, author of the upcoming “Jack of Harts” has a brand new blog. Check it out and welcome MIKE to the OTP family. I heard through the grapevine that MIKEY didn't have much action on his new blog...join me in showing him some love at: www.pianoman264.wordpress.com

JOHN LINDERMUTH, author of "Sooner than Gold" stops in on fellow OTP author HOLLI CASTILLO's blog. Follow this link: http://www.gumbojustice.blogspot.com/
You are always welcome to check in on LINDERMUTH's own blog at: http://jrlindermuth.blogspot.com/
 
 
 
JAMES CALLAN, author of “A Ton of Gold" has two posts for your reading pleasure this week. The first is a guest blog on The Character's Dialog Signature at The Author's Corner:   http://joannetroppello.weebly.com/blog.html

CALLAN's second stop this week is an interview at tipsylit.com at http://proseia.wordpress.com/ where he talks about writing with a co-author, the process of his writing and other topics.




LORNA COLLINS, author of “The Ghost Writer” blogs about The Elephant Parade leaving town, but it left indelible memories on Dana Point. Read about it and see photos here:
http://lornacollins-author.blogspot.com/

 
 
 
 
JOHN M. DANIEL, author of "Hooperman: A Bookstore Mystery," invites Melodie Campbell as his guest blogger this week. Campbell has been called Canada's Queen of Comedy. After reading her new book, "The Goddaughter's Revenge," JOHN is calling her the Goddaughter of Laughter! Stop by and read what Melodie expects from a comic mystery. http://johnmdaniel.blogspot.com
JOHN also shares a link to Cathy Cole introducing "Hooperman" on her blog at:
 
D. R. RANSDELL, author of “Mariachi Murder” is the guest blogger at The Authors Corner this week. Learn more about RANSDELL and how several friends of hers just knew they were "in" the book! Quite amusing, check it out here: http://www.mustardseedmarketinggroup.com/4/post/2013/11/guest-author-dr_ransdell-discusses-yes-thats-you-in-my-novel-authorscornerblog.html

 
 
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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Monday, November 18, 2013

Let's Support Small Businesses

As authors, we are aware that many independent bookstores and other small businesses have had a difficult time during the current economic climate. It is to our advantage to support these businesses as they provide additional sales opportunities for our books. Small Business Day is on November 30, and we have an opportunity to acknowledge the important part they play in promoting and selling our creations.

Many of us have self-published or rely on small publishing houses. This means that the big box stories do not normally carry our books. It is the “mom and pop”, little guy who are often willing to take a chance, especially if they are local stores. Whenever I need a toy for my grandchildren, a birthday gift  or a book for a gift or to read myself, I check out my local, independent store first to see what is available. In a recent newspaper article, one small businessman was quoted as saying that if we increase our purchases by only ten percent, that would allow him to stay afloat. For me, it makes sense to divert this small percentage of my purchases from the big box stores and chains to local, independent shops. 

There is an added advantage; these small stores are often in downtown areas of a town or city. Supporting them keeps our downtown areas viable and enjoyable.  Walking down Main Street and seeing shops closed or going out of business is disturbing when I realize that the local people flock to shopping malls and chains in search of elusive bargains and ignore these smaller businesses. 


So on Small Business Day and in fact, every day, let’s remember to support the little guy. We all win!

Beryl Reichenberg
Children's Picture Book Author
and Illustrator
New Oak Tree Press Books: 
Butterfly Girls and When 
Caterpillars Dream

Sunday, November 17, 2013

When is enough... enough?

As a relatively new mystery author, the last thing I have to worry about is carrying my series on for too long.  I should only hope to have this worry some day.

But I've talked to a couple of author friends who DO have this problem (?) and asked them, "When do you know your series has run its course?"

Short of their publisher telling them it's time to give it a rest, they have taken the problem of a sleuth growing too old to chase down criminals and taken them back a step in time to a prequel.  What this basically means is, the retired sheriff is back to being a rookie deputy, the veteran special investigator is back to being a fresh-out-of-the-academy patrol officer.  At this point, in the Black Horse Campground series, I've kept the main characters at an age where chasing down criminals is still as believable as being involved in a romantic triangle, so I have a lot of time to work with (although it occurs to me that Agatha Christie had no problem with having detectives that were already at or past retirement age when they adventured through several dozen books!)

The problem, of course, lies in the fact that after so many books and having grown with the character over a span of many years, many readers love taking a voyeuristic look at the character's private life before they made themselves into the character they love now... and that makes a monumental task for the writer.

How much of their character's private life do they reveal?  How far back do they go?  And what, after all this time, is there new to introduce about a character many readers feel they know as a personal friend?  And worst of all... how many times can you pull that off?

The two author friends I mentioned before have taken different tacks.  One did go back to a prequel, and then deftly shifted the series to another (younger) character's point of view.  The other is still on the fence about whether to go this route or allow their character to exit-stage-left gracefully and leave the readers with fond memories of the journey shared with this series. 

Whatever route an author chooses, one thing is certain: if they have successfully created characters with whom readers closely identify and come to care about, it's never easy to shift away from the here and now.  Many readers "grow up" with the character during the course of a series and sometimes it's just as hard to go back to the time when they were still finding themselves as it is to say it's time to take a bow and leave the stage to a younger protagonist.

What are your thoughts about the length of a series and how a character ages?