Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekly Roundup: October 2, 2015


Welcome again to the Oak Tree Press Weekly Roundup! We've been quite busy lately, releasing several new books recently and making these new titles available for Kindle as well. What are your favorite genres? Do you like ebooks or paperbacks? Memoirs or fiction? Mystery or romance?

Whatever your preference, you'll find something to interest you in our bookstore. We hope you'll take a look and discover the joy of an award-winning novel. We're proud of our authors and their work and are excited to be able to share their talents and creativity with readers everywhere.

Thank you for stopping by our blog for the roundup 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. 


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"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting."

~Lady M. W. Montagu

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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. 

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LATEST RELEASES

Just in case you missed it last week, we have got another pair of new releases available now: Sudden Justice by Les Hoffman and Reservations by Richard Paolinelli.

In Les Hoffman's 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. 

About the author: Les Hoffman is a retired research executive living in Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, a licensed professional engineer, and an amateur actor and boxer. He and his wife Cherie have three dogs to keep them company while they prepare for their next career -- grandchildren.  In his first OTP novel Sudden Justice, Les Hoffman couples his technical, stage, and fighting experience with a passion for American heroism.



Richard Paolinelli's Reservations takes place in a land deeply seeded in beliefs and legends, where someone is eliminating the leaders of the Navajo Nation disguised as the trickster Coyote. Whoever it is has the Navajo President squarely in his sights, and everyone else “seeing things.”

As the body count rises, the FBI sends in their best man, Special Agent Jack Del Rio, to put an end to the killings -- a white man who is not trusted nor wanted. A decorated hero for thwarting a terrorist attack in London, Del Rio finds himself in a completely different world among the three Reservations -- Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni -- located in the Four Corners of the American Southwest.

When the past and the present collide, only one leader shall remain.
 

Reservations, is the first in a four-book series that follows Special Agent Jack Del Rio as he tracks a killer in the four corners of the American Southwest.

About the author: After a 25-year career as an award-winning sports writer and editor for several newspapers in New Mexico and California, Richard returned to his fiction-writing roots with the release of, Maelstrom, a sci-fi novel. He recently released a nonfiction book titled From The Fields: A History of Prep Football in Turlock, California. His mystery-thriller, Reservations, is his first in the genre.


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AWARDS

End of the Road, the first book in Amy Bennett's Black Horse Campground mystery series, was recently awarded the Catholic Writer's Guild's Seal of Approval. End of the Road now joins No Lifeguard on Duty as the second of the books in the series to achieve this recognition.


In the novel, Corrie Black, owner of the Black Horse Campground, hopes for a successful summer season but the discovery of a long-time guest, shot dead in his own RV, along with $50,000 in cash missing, does not herald a good beginning.

Is the appearance of a mysterious biker with a shadowy past merely a coincidence? Despite opposition from former flame, Sheriff Rick Sutton, Corrie is determined to find out who murdered her guest. But will she find out before the murderer decides it’s the end of the road for Corrie?

End of the Road was the winner of the 2012 Dark Oak Mystery contest.







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REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS

Les Hoffman's Sudden Justice was featured at Venture Galleries as the Monday Sampler for September 28. The accompanying review was enthusiastic: "The story rings true as if it were happening while reading. Adventure, suspense and the good guy making things right gives an entirely engaging read!"

A sizable excerpt from the novel follows.

Also on September 28, Female First, a British pop culture magazine, featured Les in an article titled "A few things I'm pretty sure my readers don't know about me." Find out what he reveals here about his politics, his approach to life, the things that tug at his heartstrings, and how he currently defines success as a writer.



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On September 29, Gallup Independent staff writer Laura London published an interview with Richard Paolinelli's new mystery thriller Reservations.

 In the interview, Richard talks about the origins of the story, gives some background on the novel's protagonist, and his personal connections to the region in which the mystery takes place.

You can read the full interview here.








 

Amy Bennett's No Vacancy received a positive review on CatholicFiction.net. The book is the third in her Black Horse Campground mystery series.

Reviewer Rhonda Parkinson writes, "[The protagonist] is a likeable character, and her occasional flaws – including a stubborn streak – make her more believable. The campground community, both staff and long-term guests, are entertaining. . . . The relatively closed world of a semi-rural campground makes an excellent setting for a murder mystery: new characters (including potential suspects) appear all the time, while the locals provide a good source of secondary characters. The level of detail Bennett provides with respect to the police investigation makes it seem authentic and credible."

You can find the full review here.

In No Vacancy, a cryptic note is shoved under the door of the Black Horse Campground store as Corrie Black and her staff celebrate the first “no vacancy” day of the season. But is the note meant to be a warning . . . or a threat?
 

When a man suspected of writing the note is found dead in a cabin, it seems that the threat is averted. Until the man's identity is revealed. Someone from Corrie's past. Someone who knew a lot about the Black Horse family - a lot more than even Corrie knew.
 

With the help of Bonney County Sheriff Rick Sutton and former Houston PD Lieutenant J.D. Wilder, Corrie has to dig into the past, into secrets that her parents kept, to find out who is threatening her and the Black Horse Campground and what it is they want from Corrie. But the deeper she digs, the more she finds out things that could change her life forever . . . if not end it! 


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Carolyn Niethammer's The Piano Player received a great review in the Silver City Daily Press and Independent. The review isn't available online, but the reviewer had this to say about the main character: "Rosie teaches us about the gruelsome hardships, as well as the intoxicating highs of life in the early mining days of the West."

In The Piano Player, well-bred Mary Rose follows her dream to rowdy 1882 Tombstone and quickly discovers that her sheltered life has not prepared her for the challenges of being a piano player in The Bird Cage Theater. Help comes from her landlady, Nellie Cashman, proprietor of The Russ House. Though vastly different, the two women both must thrive in world outside of society’s norms.


Upon leaving Tombstone their lives diverge, but come together again with old friends to hike the treacherous Chilkoot Pass and seek their elusive fortunes in the 1898 Klondike gold rush. Together they deal with a lover who turns out to be a murderer, imprisonment in a Mexican jail, near death falling into the icy Yukon River and disappointment when their quest for gold is dashed. They postpone romance with the men who love them, until for one, it becomes too late.

The Piano Player was a finalist for Best Western Novel of 2015 in the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards.

  

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UPCOMING


Tekla Dennison Miller will be participating in the award-winning Pine River Library's 2015 local author's book display and sale in Bayfield, Colorado. The display/sale will be set up this week and be on display for approximately two months -- perfect for holiday shoppers. Each author will donate part of the proceeds to the Friends of the Pine River Library.


Tekla is the author of the OTP title Mother Rabbit. You can find out more about Tekla and her writing at her website.



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John M. Wills will be signing his books Healer and The Year Without Christmas at the Orange County Public Library's Local Author Book Fair being held on October 2 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the library's Wilderness Branch in Locust Grove, Virginia.

He'll also be signing at St. Matthew United Methodist Church's Annual Craft Fair in Annandale, Virginia, on October 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at the Culpeper County Public Library in Culpeper Virginia on October 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Healer won third place in the Fiction Book, Published category of the Public Safety Writers Association 2015 Writing Competition. John also won first place in the Flash Fiction, Non-Published category and second place and an honorable mention in the Poetry, Non-Published categories of that competition.

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Carolyn Niethammer will be a speaker at the Southwest Festival of the Written Word in Silver City, New Mexico, on Saturday, October 3, from 1:30 to 2 p.m.

As an author of five cookbooks, she is slotted to speak on food writing, but she made sure the organizers knew that one of the major characters in her new OTP novel The Piano Player was a well-known cook in the Old West.

The festival runs from today through Sunday, October 4.


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Nicholas Checker, will be speaking about his novel Druids at Geekend Weekend, a "casual relaxicon" being held in Groton, Connecticut, on October 3 and 4. The event will feature games, food, workshops, and more.

Druids is a medieval fantasy adventure of an isolated lad born with an eerie sense that earns him the suspicion and contempt of those who fail to see it as a gift. He joins two renowned knights -- both caught up in a terse gender rivalry -- while on a perilous quest to liberate a ruined land from a druid-lord’s deranged sorcery.

Rippling through a saga as tense as a nerve-wracking game of chess is the mysterious Cryptic Sense possessed by those destined to become druids. A blend of ancient beliefs like animism and the early science of alchemy -- and draped in the Native American spiritualism of Manitou -- the Cryptic Sense of this tale explores the tight bond between druids and nature.







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Beryl Reichenberg, OTP children's book author, will be attending the Santa Barbara County Education Office's yearly Breakfast with the Authors on Saturday, October 3. Each year the department organizes a breakfast to bring together children's book authors, teachers, and the public. 

The program includes talks by authors, book giveaways and book sales by a local bookstore. As an attendee, Beryl's books will be included in this sale. She says, "I look forward to meeting with other authors as well as teachers and the public. It's a good time to share notes, and hopefully some of my children's books will sell."

Beryl will also be delivering copies of her most recent books to EcoBambino in downtown San Luis Obispo. She reports,"As a result of my event at their anniversary celebration last week, the children's store has agreed to sell copies of Clowning Around and Squiggles on consignment."

Beryl will also have some of her art books on display at the Paso Robles City Library during the month of October. Making books has become a popular art form in the last few years.

Beryl belongs to a group of artists who make handmade books, and many of the forms she teaches in her children's bookmaking and paper craft classes are similar to those made by the group. Each year, the Paso Robles Library displays the group's books. Included in this display will be a sampling of the forms Beryl teaches in her classes.

Her upcoming children's paper craft and bookmaking classes will take place in cities along California's Central Coast: Saturday, October 10, at 2 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens; Saturday, October 17, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum in Santa Maria; and Friday, October 30, at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles. Details to come!

Beryl is also giving away a copy of her children's book Hopping to the Moon to a lucky newsletter reader during the month of September. You can find out how to sign up here.


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Lynda Bulla will be one of the featured authors at the Great Valley Bookfest in Manteca, California, on Saturday, October 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and will be held at The Promenade at Bass Pro (Highway 120 at Union).

The event will feature 50+ authors on eight stages, booksellers, seminars, writers workshops, arts, crafts, costume parade, cooking demos, and slam poetry performances. Lynda says, "If you come, look for me, visit my table, introduce yourself. I hope to find lots of OTP authors and fans."

Lynda's first book with OTP, a children's book and a picture book titled Blanket of Miracles, is forthcoming. She has published seven other children's books as well.


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Susan Sagarra, author of Cracks in the Cobblestone, will be attending West Newsmagazine's Better Living Expo on Sunday, October 11, at the Doubletree by Hilton St. Louis-Chesterfield in Chesterfield, Missouri. The free event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This year is the third for the event, which is billed as "a community tradition and the most significant marketing event serving West St. Louis County and St. Charles County." The event "serves as a one-stop, convenient setting for families, older adults and Baby Boomers to gather information and interact with businesses and community resources."



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RECENT

On September 14, Ronald Wendling read from his memoir, Unsuitable Treasure: An Ex-Jesuit Makes Peace with the Past and signed copies in the library of Saint Joseph's University, a Jesuit school in Philadelphia where he has taught for 43 years. Ronald reports that "questions from the audience ranged in subject from the changes that have occurred in discerning one's suitability for a life in the Jesuits to the quality of professional baseball in the Lake Erie cities of Buffalo and Cleveland when I was kid. The event preceded the arrival of Pope Francis in town for the World Meeting of Families by a little less than two weeks.

Ronald says that writing his memoir helped him work his way through a good deal of turmoil in his family of origin toward the compassion recommended by Pope Francis for those who have caused us pain. "As the best man at my wedding nearly 50 years ago recently remarked to me, 'your book ends up blessing the whole mess,'" Ronald recalls. 

Perhaps the best question asked at his reading was from a Jewish friend who found a way to attend it only because she was off work for Rosh Hashanah: Why is everyone so taken by Pope Francis's emphasis on mercy when mercy was what his religious tradition was all about in the first place?

At right is a photo of Ronald with Dr. Philip Smith, Professor Emeritus of History at Saint Joseph's University, and Christopher Dixon, Archival Research Historian for the University Library, who also scanned the photos for his memoir. Both men were in attendance at Ronald's September 14 presentation.

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ADVANCE NOTICE

Additional details about these events will appear in future Roundups.

Richard Paolinelli will be appearing on author David Clarke's online radio show Different Strokes For Different Folks on December 13. Richard's mystery thriller Reservations is one of OTP's most recent releases.




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Richard Marranca's interview with archaeologist and scholar Guy Hepp in Oaxaca, Mexico, will be published in the November/December 2015 issues of Minerva, a London-based international magazine of art and archaeology. Among the range of topics covered in the interview will be early communities in Oaxaca, the beginnings of settled life, music, and art. Richard is the author of the OTP title Dragon Sutra.
 







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BLOG CORRAL

This week, Marilyn Meredith wrapped up her 15-day blog tour for her new novel, Not As It Seems -- the latest in her award-winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. We've been covering this tour in the last two Weekly Roundups and today give you links to the last of her interesting stops on the tour:

September 26: On Libby McKinmer's blog, Marilyn talks about the important role Tempe Crabtree's heritage plays in the mystery series.
September 27: Marilyn talks with Marja McGraw about promotion and how it must begin before a book is even finished.
September 28: On Paty Jager's Writing into the Sunset blog, Marilyn reveals why she writes mysteries.
September 29: Marilyn's love of blogging and her personal approach to social media are the topics at Rebecca Camerena's blog.
September 30: On Margaret Mendel's blog, Marilyn talks about the changes she's seen in publishing during her long and successful career as a mystery writer.

Marilyn (aka F.M. Meredith) is the author of the Rocky Bluff PD mystery series published by OTP. Her most recent book in the series is Violent Departures.


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This week, Lesley A. Diehl blogged about themes in cozy mysteries and invited cozy mystery writers to contact her to discuss their techniques for inserting important themes into their stories.

Aware that readers like cozy mysteries because they usually provide a lighter read than thrillers, suspense or more traditional mysteries, she asks, "does that mean cozies cannot entertain more serious concerns even national and international ones such as environmental, social and political issues or even matters of regional and community importance? I think cozies can deal with serious stuff and not simply “fluff” without making the read dark or depressing."

You can read the full post here.

Lesley writes cozy mysteries featuring sassy country gals who enjoy snooping. Her most recent OTP releases are Grilled, Chilled and Killed and Dumpster Dying.








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GOODREADS GIVEAWAYS

OTP is about to get two new Goodreads giveaways under way. Ten copies of Sudden Justice by Les Hoffman, one of our most recent releases, and 12 copies of Karl and the Kooltones by J.S. Quelch are up for grabs by lucky readers.


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. 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.

This giveaway ends on October 4.

Karl and the Kooltones tells the story of Karl, a cynical, melodramatic, mildly paranoid, professional-engineer-cum-musician in the throes of a midlife crisis. Growing up on a farm in the post Woodstock Midwest, coming of age in The City as Disco rose and Punk fell, passing his prime in The Suburbs as a family guy and director of the band Karl and Kooltones, music is the common thread of Karl’s journey. His art imitates his life as he transitions from relatively innocent youth playing tuba in a small time polka band, to rebellious heavy metal guitarist achieving not-enough-to-quit-the-day-job success, to fading middle aged lounge singer still on a Don Quixote like quest to keep the dream alive. But the thread is unraveling. His third wife and true soul mate has died, he is hopelessly caught in the corporate meat grinder, and the band is sadly floundering.

This giveaway ends on October 11.

It's easy to participate in these giveaways by following the links above. You'll need to create a Goodreads account or log in with an account you already have (you're already on Goodreads as an OTP author or avid reader, right?). Then just enter your address to complete your entry. Winners will be notified at the end of the contest.

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NOW AVAILABLE FOR KINDLE

Several of our books, including some recent releases, are now also available for Kindle. Ebooks are perfect for budget-conscious or on-the-go readers who like to have a library at their fingertips. Remember: you don't need to own a Kindle device to read Kindle e-books. You can read on your computer, smartphone, or tablet by downloading the Kindle app from Amazon.


A Convenient Death at San Diego, by John J. O'Hagan. Move over Brother Cadfael. Father Ibarra is on the scene. It’s a new era, and in fact a New World. In the tumultuous and violent territory that is Alta California, young Father Juan Ibarra, a Franciscan/physician finds himself called upon to solve not just one, but two murders. This is not what he anticipated the life of a medical missionary would be. Was it an act of revenge by an outraged Spanish army officer? Perhaps a “falling out among thieves” or maybe simple retributive justice meted out by the people themselves?

While his medical skills are being put to tests he never imagined and he tries to sort out some very confused facts Father Juan finds himself swept up in the political, cultural, and sexual revolution which is having a convulsive effect on the territory. In all of this, he is drawn to the shamanistic practices and cures of the very people he had hoped to educate. Perhaps they have something to teach him about medicine.

Black Ice, by I.C. Enger. Black Ice delivers a buffet of possibilities into the unknown. Both chilling and thought provoking, it is a page turner with a bombshell ending you won't anticipate. Homeland Security Special Agent Jack Strickland and Brooke Breckenridge are thrown into a maelstrom of intrigue, murder and kidnapping by the discovery of a mysterious silver sphere lying quietly at the bottom of Three Cranes Lake.

This perplexing sphere becomes the center of a mystery involving an ancient Hopi Indian prophecy of the Blue Kachina and a remote cave hidden deep within the earth. The secrets discovered there are both frightening and wondrous. Throw in a troubled teen and suspicions of a leak within Homeland Security, and the fun and games begin.


Rogue Wave, by Helen Osterman. Emma Winberry and Nate Sandler, her significant other, plan a vacation on a sailboat on the Caribbean. Emma has misgivings about the trip and discusses it with her guardian angel who tells her there will be trials ahead. At the beginning of the sail, the ocean is calm and they relax.

While sailing from the island of Curaçao to Bonaire, they see a small uninhabited island with a lone palm tree. Emma notices a flashing light, as if someone is sending an SOS. They have no idea that Estrella Montoya, wife of a Venezuelan drug lord, is being held captive there. When returning to Curaçao, they encounter a violent storm. Nate is washed overboard by a rogue wave. Is he lost forever? How does Emma get involved with the drug lord and his family? Follow the characters through the world of storms at sea, piracy, drug lords, and heroism to the pulse-pounding conclusion.

Sudden Justice, by Les Hoffman. 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.

The Crossing, by C. Ed. Traylor. 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?


The Sawtooth Complex, by Susan Lang. The Sawtooth Complex 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. 




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

We look forward to your emails! If you have a news item you'd like to submit to the Weekly Roundup, please send the details to Nancy at weeklyroundup.items@gmail.com. Photos and your personal commentary about events, expectations, and outcomes are encouraged!

Big or small, old or new, your news helps us keep our blog updated and showcases the great books and talented authors we're so proud to have published. Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome too. Please do drop us a line!


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Billie Johnson, Publisher

5 comments:

John M. Wills said...

As always, I'm humbled to be associated with such a talented group of writers.

Amy Bennett said...

Thanks for letting me sit at the "cool kids' table"! Proud to be an OTP author!

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

Wowee! What a great bunch of authors! Great Round up!

Billie Johnson said...

Wow...what a busy group!! OTP authors are the best!!

And, Nancy, you d o a fabulous job with the Weekly Round Up!!

Nancy LiPetri said...

So much going on! Fun to see the new covers, new authors...eagle and kids' group!