Welcome again to the Oak Tree Press Weekly Roundup! Summer is drawing to a close, and we hope you've enjoyed it. Time now to think ahead to shorter, cooler days and even the holidays. Looking for some great gift ideas? Books are always a hit with readers! You can browse our bookstore for a complete list of the mysteries, memoirs, romances, Westerns, and paranormal tales our award-winning authors have in store for you.
Thank you for stopping by this week. Here as always, for your reading pleasure, we have the week's news, book signings, events, reviews, blogs, and more from our authors to share with you.
"The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology, nor defense."
We're sharing our two latest releases again this week -- this time with updated links -- in case you missed them last week! The Sawtooth Complex by Susan Lang and The Crossing by C. Ed Traylor are both available now!
The Sawtooth Complex by Susan Lang is a fascinating novel that deals vigorously with the dilemmas of human life on the planet. Most characters are torn by contradictions, both personal and political. A few are avid developers; others seek a balance between humanity and nature. Several touching love stories develop and falter among them.
The true hero, Maddie Farley, is an inspiring and reluctant monkey-wrencher who lives most closely to the earth. The natural world she inhabits is invoked with poignant accuracy and love. Ultimately, nature itself blows up everyone’s world in a startling forest fire that overpowers the land and the people, laying waste to most everything. The writing about this thrilling climatic event is terrifying, spellbinding, very intense and powerful. And then a miracle occurs.
In the wreckage left behind, the author, who is no sentimental idealist or doomsday prophet, finds reason to hope. The story is engrossing, entertaining, and really makes us think. It’s a fine addition to our best environmental and human-humane literature.
About the author: Susan Lang was awarded a 2007 Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts for The Sawtooth Complex when it was a novel in progress. She is currently faculty emeritus at Yavapai College, and she founded and directed the Southwest Writers Series at Prescott College for 25 years. She was also founding director of Yavapai College's Hassayampa Institute.
Susan is the author of a trilogy published by University of Nevada Press about a woman homesteading in the southwestern wilderness during the years 1929 to 1941. The first novel in the trilogy, Small Rocks Rising, won the 2003 Willa Award. Her second novel, Juniper Blue, was released in 2006, and the third, Moon Lily, in fall 2008. Lang’s short stories and poems have been published in magazines such as Red Rock Review, Iris, and The Idaho Review.
C. Ed Traylor's The Crossing tells the story of Racheed Ul-Bashar, a Pakistani whose grandfather and sister are killed in an American drone strike in Pakistan. Driven by revenge, Racheed develops a minutely detailed plot, a synchronized strike on three American cities on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. He contacts Juan Rodrequs, a violent, ruthless drug cartel leader in Juarez, Mexico, who agrees -- for a price -- to help by moving terrorists and supplies across the border.
All goes well until Diego Garcia, a trusted ally and confidant of the cartel leader, is stopped in Illinois for a speeding violation while transporting 400 kilograms of cocaine. Facing significant prison time, Garcia becomes an informant for the FBI Terrorism Task Force to save himself. But unbeknownst to him, the other terrorists, or the task force, Racheed and his partner decide to enter the U.S. at a different location, forcing the FBI Task Force to scramble. Will they be able to eliminate the threat to some of America’s largest cities and most cherished attractions?
About the author: C. Ed Traylor retired from the Illinois State Police with the rank of captain after 29 years of service. During that time, he served as patrolman, investigator, investigative supervisor, bureau chief, and staff officer. He subsequently served as police chief of a small central Illinois town before returning to the ISP with an assignment as investigator on the Federal Health Care Fraud Task Force.
Traylor earned a B.A. in social justice from the University of Illinois-Springfield and graduated from the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Va. He lives with his wife, Pat, in rural Waggoner, Illinois. The couple has two daughters.
The Crossing was awarded second place in the Fiction Book, Non-Published category in the Public Safety Writers Association 2015 Writing Competition.
REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS
Rogue Wave is the next book in Helen's Emma Winberry mystery series. She says of the feature, "It's so exciting to see a rave review and the first chapter showcased." You can read the complete Venture Galleries synopsis and sample here.
In Sudden Justice, a Mexican drug lord expands his brutal enterprise into South Texas. An overbearing business executive entraps the women in his employ. A Southern patriarch and his son control a small Alabama town with an iron fist and a thieving hand. These situations have one thing in common. The perpetrators have found a way to operate outside the law, while the victims have nowhere to turn . . . or do they?
Bryce Daniels is a man who understands the pain and frustration of feeling helpless against the power of money and the arrogance that it breeds. Resurrected from a troubled youth after the death of his father, he is now a family man, engineering professor, and community theater actor with a flair for costuming. But behind these idyllic circumstances, he uses all his skills to help those who find themselves outside the rule of law. Daniels travels from the hills of Texas to the coastal wilds of Alabama to hunt a ruthless enemy while being hunted himself by an investigative journalist piecing together his vigilante activities. The ensuing roller coaster of events culminates in a dire threat to himself, his family, and the belief system he has built his life around.
Beryl Reichenberg is attending Cuesta College's Central Coast Writer's Conference in San Luis Obispo, California, on September 18 and 19. According to the conference website, the goal of the Central Coast Writer's Conference is "to make affordable interactive workshops teaching skill development in numerous writing genres." The two-day event consists of more than 50 writing workshops in many diverse genres, TV and screenwriting, writer critic sessions, author networking and many other speakers.
The conference culminates with its Book and Author Fair at the Sea Crest Hotel in Pismo Beach, California, on Sunday, September 20. The Fair is a major event for Central Coast readers of books and local libraries. Featuring more than 60 authors and reader-centric institutions, it is billed as "a celebration, a 'friend raiser,' rejoicing in the written word, the people who write those words, and the artists and illustrators who help to bring them to life."
Beryl is also giving away a copy of her children's book Lost in a Dark Forest to a lucky newsletter reader during the month of September. You can find out how to sign up here.
Marilyn Meredith (aka F.M. Meredith) will also be at the Book and Author Fair at the Sea Crest Hotel in Pismo Beach, California, on Sunday, September 20. Marilyn's Rocky Bluff P.D. series is ongoing, the latest of which is Violent Departures.
You can find out about all of her books and read her commentaries about writing and interviews with fellow writers at her website and blog.
Gary Best will be holding a book reading and signing on September 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Buddhamouse Emporium, 134 Yale Avenue in Claremont, California. He'll be showcasing his novel Tink’s Tank and his nonfiction project Silent Invaders; Combat Gliders of the Second World War. He'll also be talking the era in which these books are set and his other writing projects.
Tink's Tank chronicles the adventures of the crew members of a U.S. Eighth Air Force B-17 during WW II. The narrator tells his tale in response to a request from his granddaughter. 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.
Crew members of Tank’s Tank find themselves involved in experiences in London and situations among themselves that transform each as they fight to stay alive in air battles that test their courage and stamina as a crew. It is more than a coming-of-age story and more than a story of the air war over Europe -- 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 readers on an adventure and returns the reader to post-war life through twist and turns in the epilogue.
The festival will feature author presentations, small workshops, discussion groups, and meet and greets with distinguished local authors. The event is free and open to the public.
Ann has additional writing-related events coming up soon. Monday, September 21, is the first session of a four-week memoir-writing course she is teaching at the Community College of Allegheny County.
On Wednesday, September 23rd, she'll be at in in Washington, Pennsylvania, to give a talk about the fun of writing a memoir. The presentation, titled Your Life, Your Words: How to Write a Memoir, will take place at Citizens Library from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Virgil Alexander will be signing copies of The Baleful Owl, his latest book, at the Metro Center Barnes & Noble in Phoenix, Arizona, on September 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. Virgil is also the author of the award-winning Saints and Sinners and The Wham Curse.
In The Baleful Owl, the murder of an archeology student and attempted murder of a second pull Apache tribal officer Al Victor into what seems to him a senseless killing. The Arizona Antiquities Task Force brings deputies Bren Allred and Manny Sanchez into the case. They find themselves investigating a sophisticated high dollar artifact theft ring centered around the unique Baleful Owl effigy. The ruthless ring leader is not motivated by greed, but vengeance for imagined wrongs. Before the case is solved, one of the officers will be the unwitting target of the skilled assassin. The Baleful Owl is the third mystery in Virgil Alexander’s rural cop series. Mixed with the main story line is the natural and human history of the Southwest. The cultures of the native tribes, the rural ranchers and farmers, and Hispanic traditions are woven into the unique fabric of the contemporary West.
Amy M. Bennett has been invited to participate in the second annual Celebrate Authors event sponsored by the Friends of the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library on Sunday, September 20, 2015, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. 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. Tickets are $5, and refreshments will be provided.
Amy is a longtime resident of New Mexico and currently works as a cake decorator with Walmart in Ruidoso Downs, NM (this is her fifteenth year with Walmart). She's also a "vino slinger" with Noisy Water Winery in Ruidoso, New Mexico. She has been a "closet" novelist for over twenty years and has an impressive collection of rejection letters to show for it! Her first novel, End of the Road started as a project for National Novel Writing Month in 2009. It won the Oak Tree Press 2012 Dark Oak Mystery contest. Two additional novels, No Lifeguard on Duty and No Vacancy followed in what has become Amy's Black Horse Campground mystery series.
David Freedland will be a featured presenter at the California Association of Tactical Officers annual conference in Anaheim, California, which runs from September 21 to September 24. On September 22, David will be debriefing a barricade/hostage/homicide event that occurred in Irvine, California, in 2009. The individuals involved in the homicide will go on trial this coming November.
David is the author of Lincoln 9, which follows the career of Lieutenant Scott Hunter, the consummate cop who rises to the level of responsibility to lead a team of detectives on a mission aimed at connecting the clues and solving crimes. The story conveys the pressures associated with working within an organization that hires only 4% of its applicants, and whose efforts result in perennial accolades for achieving the lowest numbers of violent crime.
Tekla Dennison Miller is one of seven authors selected to participate in the Local Authors Extravaganza on Saturday September 26 sponsored by the Durango Public Library and Maria’s Bookshop, in Durango, Colorado. The extravaganza -- billed as a chance to interact with local literary talent and support the Friends of the Durango Public Library -- is one of several programs presented during the two-day Annual Literary Festival.
Tekla describes the event this way: "As an author I am to move from table to table filled with participants and describe one of my published works within 7 minutes in the hopes my performance will persuade the audience to purchase my work." She will be presenting Mother Rabbit, her most recent book.
Although Shiloh Museum of Ozarks History doesn't display or sell works of fiction, the museum director said "yes" to Radine Trees Nehring's request to showcase A Fair to Die For at a program in the Springdale, Arkansas, museum last Wednesday. Why? The speaker at the museum's popular Lunch Sandwiched In program on that day was Zoe Caywood, who, aided by her husband, was responsible for the rebuilding of historic War Eagle Mill from its burned-out early 1800s foundation. When the mill was standing again and its overshot water wheel turning, Zoe also guided the mill's developing popularity as a tourist destination and nationwide source for organic mill-ground grains and flours.
So, why the "yes" and the museum's welcome of a work of fiction? Radine's Oak Tree Press mystery novel is set partially at War Eagle Mill, and the mill's photo is on the book's cover!
After Zoe Caywood's talk, the program the director introduced Radine and her work as an author honoring Ozarks events and locations. A number of people then came to Radine's table to chat and buy copies of A Fair to Die For.
Additional details about these event will appear in future Roundups.
Lynda's first book with OTP, a children's book and a picture book as well titled, Blanket of Miracles, is forthcoming. She's published seven other children's books as well.
September 15: On M.M. Gornell's blog, she answers the question, "So Where Do Real People Fit in Your Mysteries?"
September 16: On Evelyn Cullet's Writers Blog, she talks about her inspiration for the book and gives a sneak peek.
September 17: On Linda Thorne's blog, she talks about the naming of characters in her mysteries.
September 18: On Betty Dravis's blog, she talks about how she started writing.
That wraps up the Roundup for this week! We hope you enjoyed our news.
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Billie Johnson, Publisher
Billie Johnson, Publisher