Friday, October 31, 2014

WEEKLY ROUND-UP FOR OCTOBER 31, 2014

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone! Happy Halloween! 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…
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Do you think your cover is the best? 
Would you like to enter it into a contest for only $10.00? 
We would love for our OTP authors to enter their covers. The link to enter is:



If you would like us to enter your cover for you, we would be happy to and then bill you for the entry fee. Please contact JEANA at bookpromodept@aol.com


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


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

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NANCY LI PETRI reports the October 25th costume launch party for “The Wooded Path” was a great success with about 40 guests attending and dancing until the wee hours. Many photos can be seen on Facebook, including the cake with book cover photo on it. NANCY and her husband’s costumes prove you really can put on “your Castle clothes” to launch your book. Signings of her author copies are ongoing with one scheduled for her neighborhood’s November 4 bunco gathering.
DAVE FREEDLAND had his new release “Lincoln 9” featured on Venture Galleries. Check it out at the following link and learn more about the book and also about DAVE. The reviewer, Charles M. Bozza gives it a great review. I have chosen "Lincoln 9" as my Featured Book of the Week! Click the cover on the right side-bar of this blog to order direct! 
http://venturegalleries.com/blog/authors-showcase-lincoln-9-dave-freedland/

http://tinyurl.com/Lincoln-9-DF






BERYL REICHENBERG’s children's books are now available for sale at the Studios on the Park in Paso Robles. BERYL has been teaching a class for children at the Studios once a month for the past nine months. Located at 1130 Pine Street, the Studios is a complex of artists’ studios where the public can visit, buy and talk with resident artists about their work. Both adults and children visit the complex. All of BERYL's books will be featured including her latest book, “Clowning Around.” "I have my books for sale at other art related venues, including The Gallery at the Network and the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Although I rely on traditional bookstores and book shops, I find that other venues give me wider exposure and are an important part of my marketing plan."
http://tinyurl.com/Clowning-Around-BR



ROBERT RICHTER's book "Something Like a Dream" is featured on the front page of the month's Mexconnect website! The book editor gives it a rave review! Check out this website which is some call the largest Mexico site on the web. www.mexconnect.com

http://tinyurl.com/Something-Like-A-Dream








CAROL ALEXANDER, as-told-to author of “The Big Squeal,” shares with us a few photos from her towns 175th Birthday Celebration. The weekend long party of Taylorville/Christian County, IL produced memorable "presents" for OTP author MISS LIBERTY the PIG. Joyce Taylor, a movie star in 1950s-60s Hollywood discovered the memoir, "The Big Squeal" at book signings. "I love 'The Big Squeal.' Give LIBERTY a hug for me," said Joyce in a note. 

In the photo to the top left is 'as-told-to' author CAROL, left, as she shares the spotlight with actress Joyce Taylor. In the photo to the right is Joyce, second from left, who went shopping for the  keepsake beverage mugs at Cottage Rose Gift Shoppe. With her are Joe Jordan, author of a new book on William Castle, one of Joyce's favorite directors; shop proprietor Sheila Yost and customer Marge Griffiths.
http://tinyurl.com/The-Big-Squeal



JL GREGER, author of "Malignancy" is a busy girl. She's visiting MARILYN MEREDITH's blog with a guest blog on "Novel Ideas" on November 9,  signing copies of "Malignancy" at the Menaul Book Exchange in Albuquerque on November 15, and participating in in the Balloon Museum Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair on November 16. The latter is a new event started by an author to increase book sales at Christmas. Authors in Albuquerque are eager to see if  this event attracts consumer attention. 

JL will also be at Under Charlie's Covers, her favorite book signing location in Bernalillo, with Bug on November 22
Bug is shown here!





UPCOMING EVENTS


MICHAEL ELDRIDGE, author of “Jack of Harts” will be at the Creative Arts Fair in Troy OH. October 30 through November 5. He has 3 book signings in or near Port St. Lucie FL and November 1 he will be playing piano for a cocktail party and displaying his books and CDs at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C website sales convention at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach FL.


JOHN M. WILLS, author of “Healer” will be participating in the Local Author Extravaganza at the Culpeper, VA Library on November 1 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. JOHN has another engagement in November, please see below.
http://tinyurl.com/Healer-JohnMWills









HELEN OSTERMAN, author of “Danger by Design” will be appearing at The Author Show on November 5. Helen says this is a great opportunity that other authors may be interested in. Check out the website at: 


ANN K. HOWLEY, author of “Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad” will be the featured speaker for the Peters Township Referrals group at their event at the Sharp Edge Brasserie in McMurray, PA on November 6 at 5:00 pm. Her presentation is called "Write a Memoir - and Try Not to Laugh." She will also be selling and signing books at this event.






KEN OXMAN, author of “Reluctant Assassin” will be speaking about his writing experience at the New Canaan Inn in New Canann, CT on November 10 at 11:00 am.

KEN will be at having a.book signing at Barret Bookstore in Darien, CT on November 29.

In December, Barnes & Noble in Norwalk, CT will have KEN come and speak at their Christmas Book Fair. 
THONIE HEVRON, author of “Intent to Hold” and "By Force or Fear" will be speaking to the Rohnert Park Rotary about the Writers Life on November 11.

I want to give a big Thank You to THONIE for a very nice email she sent to us. It feels so good to be appreciated! 

http://tinyurl.com/Intent-to-Hold

http://tinyurl.com/By-Force-or-Fear




TEKLA DENNISON MILLER, author of “Mother Rabbit,” will be the guest author at the TWRAHS book group reviewing her book. The event will be hosted by Connie Jacobs, Durango, CO on November 12.
http://tinyurl.com/Mother-Rabbit









JOHN M. WILLS, author of “The Year Without Christmas” will be the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Council of Catholic Women held at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception parish in Fredericksburg, VA on Monday, November 17, at 10:00 am.
JOANN SMITH AINSWORTH, author of “Expect Trouble” will join local authors in an Author Event Fundraiser on Wednesday, November 19, from 5:30 – 7:00 pm at the Urban Promise Academy, 3031 18th Street, Oakland, CA. Authors will read excerpts from their novels. JOANN will read from her paranormal thriller, “Expect Trouble.” Proceeds from the book sales will be donated to the Academy to purchase library books.







MARY MONTAGUE SIKES, author of "Jungle Jeopardy" is one of two visiting artists at New Town Art Gallery in Williamsburg, VA. During September, October and November, she will display her novels and the coffee table book, “Hotels to Remember,” in addition to her paintings. http://www.newtownartgallery.com/galleryevents/index.htm






BLOG CORRAL


TEKLA DENNISON MILLER, author of “Mother Rabbit” has been featured on the Author’s Spotlight on Morgan Bailey’s Writers Blog. http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/author-spotlight-no-382-multi-genre-writer-tekla-dennison-miller.

LORNA COLLINS, author of “Ghost Writer” blogs about why reading is important to her. Check out her blog at:  http://lornacollins-author.blogspot.com/







NICOLA FURLONG, author of “Teed Off!” had a recent guest post on FastFingers. NICOLA uncovered her Six Clues to Shameless Self-Promotion. Find out why funky shoes and orderly ducks are two of her keys to success. http://www.thefastfingers.com/authors-posts/author-nicola-furlongs-six-clues-to-shameless-successful-self-promotion.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
Share this on FacebookLike us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/oaktreebooks



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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thinking About a Critique Group?




By Thonie Hevron

Back in 2007, I joined Redwood Writers, a local branch (pardon the pun) of California Writers Club. At my first meeting, author Christi Phillips appeared to read from her new book, The Rossetti Letters. After her reading, she took questions. Someone asked her, if she had it to do over again, what she would change about the writing process. Her answer was quick and obviously well-considered. “Join a critique group.”

In those days, I was a fledgling author. I scribbled mostly with no sense of purpose. I’d written two novels, one of which I’d brought to an “open” critique group. It was a horrible experience. Poets and literary writers listened to my work—a suspense police procedural—and panned it. With little tact, they dismembered my chapter, eviscerated my characters, and dismissed my plot.

Well, I’m Norwegian and I don’t know any better, so I kept writing. The thing is every one of their comments was on target. When I calmed down enough to be objective about the novel, I realized they were right: my structure was haphazard, my characters were one dimensional with hidden agendas and the plot, well, let’s just say, the plot was a story I needed to tell, then package up and shove it on the top shelf of my closet. Which is what I did.

While the result (a critique) was why I attended, the experience lacked the positive solutions that I so desperately needed.

In the intervening years, I joined Redwood Writer, heard Phillips talk, and decided to give crit groups another try. A senior member of the writers club matched writers by genre. About 2008, I attended the inaugural meeting of the “Thrillerz” group. Of the five attendees, three are still active, committed members. We meet every two weeks with ten pages (hardcopy or later emailed pages) of our work. We exchange the pages to be read and critiqued by the next group night. Our ground rules are simple: make a commitment to be there (as reasonable as possible), present your pages, and respect others work.  

I’m a firm believer in critique groups, but they have to be the right one for you. The wrong readers can present even bigger problems than dangling participles.

  • Members who are defensive in this setting will not learn, nor will they be able to contribute to the betterment of the group.
  • The same goes for writers who have agendas or are competitive.
  • Overworking the work in progress (WIP) can be an excuse for writers who are afraid to move forward.
  • By their nature, crit groups have trouble seeing overall work structure, pacing, turning points, and story and character arcs. (Here is an argument for closed groups)
  • Not all opinions are equal. My schoolteacher friend has more clout when it comes to punctuation.
    We’ve had members in the past who I consider less credible than others yet I always take something away from their corrections. I have to remind myself that everyone has value.

With all these drawbacks, why would one want to join a group of people who tear your work apart? Simple, to improve your writing. Here are some of the reasons I keep coming back to my group, year after year and have two books published to show for it:

  • The need to clean up prose for punctuation, grammar, and context.
  • It forces me to make a commitment to other people that I will write and turn in 10 pages every two weeks.
  • Other readers can spot weaknesses like passive voice phrasing, excessive adverbs, and poor sentence structure
  • We share info on contests, publishers, our experience and much more. Most of our time is critiquing but when someone has something to share, it is welcomed. Three out of five of our current members have published.

A few more thoughts on choosing a critique group:

  • Decide whether you need an open or closed structure. Open means drop-ins are welcome (think poetry, short story and flash fiction); closed have only committed members (much better for novel-length works).
  • Does your work need to be exclusive to genre? My group has a tough time with different genres like romance (even with a mystery sub-plot) but we did fine with an author who wrote speculative fiction that was suspenseful. Go figure.

Deciding whether to do an online or in person group may be dictated by geography and/or time. Both have value; you can decide which will suit you better.

To find “in person” critique groups, I suggest you join a local writing club, attend a writing class or network with other writers. Online resources include ladieswhocritique.com, writersdigest.com, Critique Circle and Scribophile. Just be sure your site is reputable and doesn’t charge. Some of these are open critique circles who trade reviews/critiques with other writers. Be willing to check into the rules before you sign up.

I hope your experience is as productive as mine is. Thank you Billie, Susan, Andy, Fred, Julie, Ron, and Robin!

Friday, October 24, 2014

WEEKLY ROUND-UP FOR OCTOBER 24, 2014

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


***WINNER***WINNER***WINNER***

“Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad by ANN K. HOWLEY was awarded 3rd place in the Autobiography category at the Authors Zone Book Awards Ceremony on October 16, 2014 at the Rivers Club in Pittsburgh! 

Congratulations, ANN! This is beyond fabulous!




Shown here with ANN is Emmy Award-winning and legendary broadcast journalist, Eleanor Schano who was another winner that evening.

ANN also has an interview in Female First Magazine, which went online this week.

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NANCY LI PETRI is proud to announce the release of "The Wooded Path.” She will be celebrating her launch with friends and neighbors dancing under the disco ball at a costume party at her home in Mooresville, NC, on Saturday night, October 25th. 

"The Wooded Path" is now available on amazon.com and is my pick for the Featured Book of the Week. Simply click on the cover on the right sidebar of this blog or the following link to order now!
Author Anne Schroeder says "...Nancy's "The Wooded Path" is an edgy, thoughtful treatment of issues facing married women today, including friendships, self-growth and marital fidelity. An unflinching portrayal of women I felt I knew..." "...clever dialogue, and lots of real life issues pepper the page and make this a must-read for women struggling with middle age itch, the need for meaningful friendship bonds and the illusion that the marital grass is greener outside..."       

Author John Wills says "...it would make a great made for TV movie."

Author Janet Greger says "...The author’s stream of consciousness account of Laine’s quandary about the direction of the rest of her life, particularly her love life, reveals a lot about marriage and relationships in modern suburban neighborhoods..."
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NICK CHECKER had a great review for his new release “Druids” on amazon. http://tinyurl.com/Druids-NC

Nicholas, I'm on Chapter 9 of DRUIDS and loving it! Great story line, highly imaginative, and interesting well-developed characters, great pacing, and side bar stories between the characters that add depth and zest to the character interactions. Plus I'm intrigued by the Druids, the Living Energy, and Power Roots, and am eager to see where you go with these concepts. I've been a fantasy fan since I read my first Conan story in my early teens, and DRUIDS carries on the grand tradition very capably. I hope to be at the halfway point by the time I turn in tonight, so I need to get off the computer pretty soon. You'll have an Amazon review from me. I will also be ordering SCRATCH in the coming days - or did you say that SCRATCH is coming out in paperback soon? If so I'll wait because I much prefer to journey by book :-)
 ~ Gregg Zimmerman
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HELEN OSTERMAN, author of “Danger by Design” attended the Homer Township Author Fair this week. In the span of two hours, she sold 13 books, was interviewed by two newspaper reporters and was asked to speak at a women’s group. Not bad for one evening! 







BERYL REICHENBERG and her new kid's book “Clowning Around” were recently featured on Venture Galleries website. This site is for authors and readers. The newly released OTP book for young children up to the age of eight is about jealousy and the need to work as a team. When Charlie the Clownfish gets all the attention at the aquarium doing tricks for the children, the other fish in the tank become jealous. They devise a plan to keep Charlie from being the star, but the plan backfired. Ultimately, all the fish learn to work together to put on a fabulous show for the kids. Here's the link for Venture Galleries: http://venturegalleries.com/blog/authors-showcase-clowning-around-beryl-reichenberg/


BERYL will also be teaching another class of book making for kids at the Studios on the Park on Friday, October 24 at 3:30 pm.. This class will feature Halloween books, either a spooky bat or silly pumpkin. Children older than six are welcome to attend. 




~~~~~~~
Do you think your cover is the best? Would you like to enter it into a contest for only $10.00? 
We would love for our OTP authors to enter their covers. 
The link to enter is:

If you would like us to enter your cover for you, we would be happy to and then bill you for the entry fee. Please contact JEANA at bookpromodept@aol.com


~~~~~~~

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

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




UPCOMING EVENTS


MARILYN MEREDITH, author of “Murder in the Worst Degree” will be participating with the Central Coast Sisters in Crime on a panel about the age of E-Publishing at the Atascadero Library in Atascadero on October 25, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.








J. L. GREGER, author of the new release, “Malignancy” will be speaking on "Halloween: Time for Medical Thrillers” and doing a book signing at Rio Grande Retirement Center on October 28. Bug, the Japanese Chin featured in her novels, will accompany her, but he refuses to do paw print signings!








TEKLA DENNISON MILLER, author of “Mother Rabbit,” will be a member of a 3 person panel presenting for the Life Long Learning Lecture Series at Fort Lewis College, Durango CO on October 30 at 7:00 pm. They will explore artworks inspired by Sr. Helen Prejean’s book Dead Man Walking.  Panelists include Charissa Chiaravalotti and Dennis Elkins. TEKLA will comment on the film, and journalist and music critic Judith Reynolds, will chair the panel and focus on the opera.

On November 12, TEKLA will be the guest author at the TWRAHS book group reviewing “Mother Rabbit.” The event will be hosted by Connie Jacobs, Durango, CO


ANN K. HOWLEY, author of “Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad” will be the featured speaker for the Peters Township Referrals group at their event at the Sharp Edge Brasserie in McMurray, PA on November 6 at 5:00 pm. Her presentation is called "Write a Memoir - and Try Not to Laugh." She will also be selling and signing books at this event.







THONIE HEVRON, author of “Intent to Hold” and "By Force or Fear" will be speaking to the Rohnert Park Rotary about the Writers Life on November 11.








JOHN M. WILLS, author of “Healer” will be the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Council of Catholic Women held at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception parish in Fredericksburg, VA on Monday, November 17, at 10:00 am.








KEN OXMAN, author of “Reluctant Assassin” will be speaking about his writing experience at the New Canaan Inn in New Canann, CT on November 10 at 11:00 am.

KEN will then be having a.book signing at Barret Bookstore in Darien, CT on November 29.

In December, Barnes & Noble in Norwalk, CT will have KEN come and speak at their Christmas Book Fair. 




MARY MONTAGUE SIKES, author of "Jungle Jeopardy" is one of two visiting artists at New Town Art Gallery in Williamsburg, VA. During September, October and November, she will display her novels and the coffee table book, “Hotels to Remember,” in addition to her paintings. http://www.newtownartgallery.com/galleryevents/index.htm








BLOG CORRAL


LORNA COLLINS, author of “Ghost Writer” blogs this week about seeing Susan Boyle in concert. Read all about it at  http://lornacollins-author.blogspot.com/










ILENE SCHNEIDER, author of “Unleavened Dead” and “Chanukah Guilt” asks if you have ever wondered why there are 9 candles on the Chanukah menorah? She also blogs about her work-in-progress and has answers to questions you never thought to ask. She also gives you a chance to ask any questions she hasn’t answered! Check it out at: WHY NINE CANDLES FOR CHANUKAH?







J. L. GREGER, author of “Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight” and “Ignore the Pain” was featured on fellow OTP author AMY BENNETT’s Back Deck Blog with her new title “Malignancy,”  the third book in her medical mystery series. J. L. will be a guest at John Wills blog on October 24. 








DAC CROSSLEY, author of “Guns of the Texas Ranger” the first book in the Border Trilogy, welcomes autumn to the cabin at Freeman Ridge. As we prepare for another season. How long before we must build a wood fire in the little red stove? Today's blog asks questions about today's entrada. How far ahead can you see? www.daccrossley.typepad.com.








That wraps up the Round-Up for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Weekly Round-Up as much as I enjoy posting it for you. 

As always, if you have something you would like to submit to the Round-Up, send me an email at otpoffice@aol.com. 

Big or small, old or new. I would like to keep our corral full of news! Comments, questions or suggestions are welcome too.

Have a great weekend, everyone.~ Suzi Share this on FacebookLike us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/oaktreebooks



BE SURE TO CLICK THE ICONS BELOW AND SHARE THE ROUND-UP ON FACEBOOK, GOOGLE+, PINTEREST, TWITTER ETC!