Saturday, July 11, 2015

Weekly Roundup July 10, 2015

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


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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

You can read the full review here.

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


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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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



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



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


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


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

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Amy Bennett said...

Wow, we're a busy bunch! So sorry I'm not going to make PSWA this year, but I hope to next year (you can see I'm a bit busy this month myself!)

Nancy LiPetri said...

Great roundup! Congrats to Wills on the wonderful review. Wish I could drop in on every one of the others' events. And I want to read about those possums with my grandson!

John M. Wills said...

OTP authors are certainly a busy talented bunch who enrich readers' lives with wonderful stories.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Great round-up and shows how busy the OTP authors are. Aren't we a bunch of hard-workers? Patting self on back.

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

Another amazingly busy bunch of authors. Congratulations on that wonderful review, John. It's well earned. It's great to see how our flock has grown over the last couple of years and how seriously we all take marketing our books.

marta chausée said...

I'm dizzy, just reading it all. WOW! Great job, everybody. Everybody but me. :)