Friday, November 13, 2015

Weekly Roundup: November 13, 2015

Welcome again to the Oak Tree Press Weekly Roundup! This week (November 8-14) was University Press Week and November 9-16 is Academic Book Week. Oxford University Press is one of the oldest academic presses in the world, with a history that stretches back to the earliest days of printing.

To mark these weeks of celebration, the press and its colleagues choose the top 10 books that changed the world from its catalog of thousands. Have you read any of them? Are there scholarly books from OUP that you'd add to the list?

Academic books can challenge us with new and complex ideas and theories, delight us with insights into historical lives, and impress us with exhaustive research on obscure and popular topics alike. These books aren't always light reading, but how fortunate we are that these specialized publishers allow us to reap the benefits of academic pursuits and hold in our hands the products of a enthusiastic scholar's devotion to a subject!

Our authors are devoted to their subjects as well, whether they be fiction or memoir. Research is part of every book, and it shines through in the mysteries, thrillers, romances, and paranormal tales written by our talented and award-winning authors. Please browse our bookstore and check out our array of good books that make great gifts to yourself or others.

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. Now is a great time to think about your holiday gift-giving and finding the special gift of a book -- perhaps even a signed copy -- for the reader on your holiday shopping list!


"A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading."

~William Styron


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. 


Carolyn Niethammer's recent novel The Piano Player was awarded third place in the published fiction category of the Arizona Authors Association's 2015 Literary Contest. The novel was also a finalist for Best Western Novel of 2015 and Best First Western Novel categories in the Western Fictioneers 5th Annual Peacemaker Awards.

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.


Jackie Taylor Zortmann's award-winning novel Footprints in the Frost was the featured Book of the Moment Club’s selection at Venture Galleries on November 10. Reviewer Evelyn Cullet writes "In Footprints in the Frost, the author interweaves a romance, a crime, police detection and court procedure into a story that’s skillfully written. The Colorado mountain setting is breathtaking. Although the crime is a large part of the story, the reader is immediately drawn into the two main character’s thoughts and actions."

Reviewer John Wills says, "Jackie Taylor Zortman expertly captures the flavor of scenic picturesque Colorado, as she describes the couple’s romantic escape to a mountain cabin. Her prose is beautiful, and the story has enough zip to prod the reader to turn the next page."

Marilyn Meredith concurs, stating, "One of the big pluses of this story is the wonderful Colorado settings. I needed to keep reading not only to find out if Max caught his man, but also if how the relationship between Sami and Max would turn out." 

You can read the full reviews here.

Footprints in the Frost was awarded a first prize in the 2014 Public Safety Writers Association Writing Competition.


Robert Downs's LaCour's Destiny was recently reviewed on Fictionzeal. The reviewer writes, "I liked that [the protagonist] was portrayed as a very determined individual; once she gets something on her mind, she will follow it through to the end. . . . I did enjoy the several twists captured within the story."

You can read the full review and the first chapter here.

In the novel, Sam LaCour hasn’t given up on men, even if they’ve given up on her, and she doesn’t give up on her colleagues either, even when a dead body turns up and she faints in front of the cameras, her family, and a television audience.


Ann Howley has been invited to participate in the Local Authors' Night event at the Barnes & Noble at Settler's Ridge in Robinson, Pennsylvania on Friday, November 13 at 6 p.m. Ann will discuss and sign copies of her coming-of-age memoir Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad. 

The memoir is a wry, humorous coming-of-age look at a well-intentioned "problem child" raised by conservative, evangelical Christian parents in Southern California during the sixties and seventies.

As she naively stumbles through her youth and young adulthood, one misadventure after another, she also struggles to reconcile her ultra-Christian upbringing with women's liberation, prejudice, protest and poverty during this turbulent era, eventually gaining a different perspective of faith in a world more complicated, terrifying, funny, and wonderful than she expected.


David Freedland will be participating in the annual Men of Mystery conference on Saturday, November 14, 2015, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California. David will be promoting his novel Lincoln 9. Authors are tasked with making a one-minute presentation on their mystery books to conference attendees.

Lincoln 9, 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 these 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. 

Readers who enjoy the challenges of attempting to solve crime dramas will appreciate the first third of the book, which provides opportunities for the suspect’s identification. In addition, it introduces a look behind the curtain of secrecy shielding the role played by Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams in the development of leaders. 



Beryl Reichenberg, OTP children's book author and artist, is wrapping up a three-session children's class on paper craft and bookmaking at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in San Luis Obispo, California. The class began ends this Tuesday, November 17th from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.

Beryl says, "We're going to tackle pop-up books. We'll look at various examples but the form I'll have for them to make is a simplified version, involving several paper cuts. The kids are very creative, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they make. I'll be giving them instruction sheets on how to make all the books we've covered in the three weeks and we'll bind them into a book as a reference. If there is time, I have an altered book form to teach them. The class runs an hour and half and some children finish faster than others so I always like to have a book form in reserve."

On Friday, November 20, Beryl will be in Paso Robles, California, at Studios on the Park from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for another children's bookmaking workshop. The children will be making a falling leaf book, and Beryl will be reading her new book Dancing with Leaves, which is due out at the beginning of 2016.

Beryl has published six children's books with OTP: Ants on a Log, Butterfly Girls, Camouflage, Clowning Around, When Caterpillars Dream, and The Mysterious Case of the Missing Birthday Cake.


Virgil Alexander will be a guest on Red River Radio's "No Limits" with Barbara M. Hodges on Tuesday, November 17 at 3 p.m. Central. Virgil's The Baleful Owl was recently published by OTP, and Saints and Sinners was a second-place winner in the Public Safety Writers Association 2014 Writing Competition. Virgil is also the author of The Wham Curse.

You can access the live podcast here, and the call-in number is (646) 595-4478.

In The Baleful Owl, the murder of an archaeology 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. 

Virgil will also be a presenter in the Hardscrabble Lectures at the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum in Miami, Arizona, on November 18 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

 He will be giving a talk on Arizona entrepreneur and "mining wizard" John B. "Jack" Newman. Newman became an influential figure in the Globe, Arizona, area in the late 1800s and early 1900s after immigrating to the United States from Europe in 1878.

 Virgil will give a shorter version of this presentation at the Arizona History Convention in April 2016.


Amy Bennett will also be Barbara M. Hodges's guest on Red River Radio's "No Limits" on Tuesday, November 17 at 3 p.m. Central. Amy will be talking about No Vacancy and the other books in her Black Horse Campground mystery series. She'll also be sharing information about her next book, At the Cross Road.

In No Vacancy, an ominous 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!e 

You can access the live podcast here, and the call-in number is (646) 595-4478.

You can even set up an e-mail reminder so you don't miss the show!


Ilene Schneider will join five other authors (Terri Brisbin, Traci Dunham, Patti Sheey, Carol Comegno, Janice Wilson Stridick) being featured at the first Meet the Author fundraiser hosted by the Woman's Club of Merchantville on Thursday, November 19, beginning at 7 p.m. The event will be held on the lower level of the Merchantville Community Center, 212 Somerset Avenue. The entrance is on side of building by the parking lot.

Each author will have the opportunity to talk about their work, sell and sign their books, socialize with attendees, and have a fun night, which includes refreshments and door prizes.

The entry fee of $10 will be donated to the charities and scholarships supported by the Woman’s Club. The program is open to the public and is both a pre-Black Friday gift-buying opportunity and a night out in support of worthy causes. ("Charities and scholarships, not starving authors," Ilene says.)

Ilene is the author of Chanukah Guilt and Unleavened Dead. In the latter, two members of Rabbi Aviva Cohen’s congregation are found dead -- victims, they say, of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. But Aviva has information that leads her to doubt it was an accident. Then, police suspect Aviva’s niece’s partner in a hit-and-run death. Aviva is sure the woman is innocent, even though her SUV has a body-sized dent on the hood.

As she looks into the two disparate cases, Aviva discovers they may be connected, and her amateur sleuthing takes a sinister turn that involves sexual abuse of teenage girls, money laundering, stolen identities, and an FBI investigation. Once again, her curiosity has put her life in jeopardy.


Tekla Miller will be a guest bookseller/local author at Maria's Bookshop in Durango, Colorado on Saturday, November 28. This date happens to be Small Business Saturday. Tekla will be promoting her book, Mother Rabbit, to local shoppers and readers.

Mother Rabbit is a collaborative memoir about Alyce Bonura, a woman like so many others in the 1960s, caught between living according to traditional societal mores and pursuing the promises of the feminist movement. Alyce’s stint as a Bunny Mother is set during a particularly turbulent era when even such a secluded environment as the Playboy Club is affected by the Vietnam War, the Apollo I tragedy, and back-alley abortions.

Her story pays tribute to the women who had the courage to break free from the oppressive standards of the day while also dealing with the universal dilemmas of single mothers including abuse, financial crises, the special difficulties of parenthood and the quest for self-fulfillment.



Amy Bennett, author of the Black Horse Campground mystery series, recently blogged about Ruidoso, New Mexico. She writes, "As I've stated many times, the Black Horse Campground and Bonney County, New Mexico are entirely fictitious and only exist in my imagination and on the pages of my Black Horse Campground mystery novels.

"However, in order to create the setting, I've relied on real-life places in and around Lincoln/'Bonney' county for my characters to live their lives. Here are photos of places that Corrie, Shelli, J.D., and Rick have visited or will be visiting in future books."

Take the tour here!

Lorna Collins continued her blog series about a recent trip to Hawaii with her husband Larry. This week she talks about the Home of the Brave Tour in Honolulu. "I highly recommend this tour if you are ever in Honolulu," she writes.

Read the rest of the blog post here to find out why.


Marilyn Meredith (aka F.M. Meredith) was featured on Nina Mansfield's Not Even Joking blog on November 11, where she talked about inspiration.

She says, "I write two series: the Rocky Bluff P.D. mysteries and the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries. In both, the locations inspire me greatly. The Rocky Bluff series is set on the coast in Southern California in a fictional town located between Ventura and Santa Barbara. The area itself has given me many plot ideas." 

You can read the rest of the post here. 

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 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


Amy Bennett said...

I always love reading about what our authors are doing! I hope some of you will visit my blog and see my little corner of the world. Thanks for a great job, Nancy!

John M. Wills said...

I sometimes feel exhausted following the journeys of Amy Bennett and Marilyn Meredith. These two ladies have enough energy to light NYC. Keep up the good work!

Nancy LiPetri said...

Applauding all these accomplished, busy authors!

Billie Johnson said...

How exciting to see all our busy author's...another great Roundup.

Thanks, Nancy!!

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Congratulations Carolyn and nice job Nancy. It looks like a busy week for all.

Jeff Zwagerman said...

Living and writing in the center of the country can make one feel that the writing life of others is passing you by. I enjoy the weekly ound-up, because it keeps me in the loop. Looks like a lot is going on and that makes me excited for my second book in the Zander series coming out later this month. Keep up the good work all!

Ann K. Howley said...

Big congratulations to Carolyn!

hou said...

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I always love reading about what our
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hou said...

Living and writing in the center of the country can make one feel that the writing life of others is passing you by. I enjoy the weekly ound-up, because it keeps me in the loop. Looks like a lot is going on and that makes me excited for my second book in the Zander series coming out later this month. Keep up the good work all!
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