Monday, June 29, 2015

Another Author Packing for the Conference! Number 8!

 Eileen Magill is the author of one of our latest releases, the spine-tingling HOUSE OF HOMICIDE! When I read Eileen's submission, I truly could not put it down! She really keeps the tension wound tight, and, honest to goodness, I totally figured wrong on the 'who dun it?' factor!

Eileen is an occupational health and safety specialist with a background in criminal justice, emergency medical response, and rescue.  She lives with her comedian sister (retired but still so darned funny), two rambunctious dogs, and a continual flow of spirits and entities in her house.  Though she's a California native, her heart is set in the Pacific Northwest.

A young widow...

Cindy is reeling from the loss of her husband, suddenly a single mother of two children and the sole caretaker for her aging aunt. She finds the perfect house to start anew.

A house with a past...

A rundown house in the Silicon Valley suburbs needs a lot of work, but Cindy is willing to take it on to get her dream house. Disclosure documents indicate that someone had died in the house, but they don't tell the whole story of the house's evil past.

A call for help from beyond the grave...

Cindy's dreams are invaded by a woman who shows Cindy the horrible murders that had taken place in the house. Her message to Cindy: Your family is next. When repairs on the house uncover the missing murder weapon, Cindy begins to believe that the strange woman is something more than just a dream. Using her journalism skills to research the property, the dark past of the house is revealed: a series of murders starting when the house was built more than 40 years earlier. But her meddling into the history awakens a killer's need to keep the past quiet, and Cindy is thrust into a struggle to find the killer before she and her family become the next victims.

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I am so looking forward to meeting Eileen in Vegas...what a thrill!

Billie Johnson, Publisher

Friday, June 26, 2015

Weekly Round Up June 26, 2015

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone! As always, thank you for dropping in. Oak Tree Press has lots of news in our corral today. Be sure to check out our website,, 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…
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 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: 


There is 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 in a heartbeat, you can go from an author-in-waiting to a published author! 

We are looking for mysteries, romances, Westerns and hard-edged cop/true crime stories.

See all the particulars on our web site;

From Helen Osterman..."Saturday, June 27th. Old Campground Festival in New Lennox, Il. United Methodist Church. Jeanne Meeks and I will be selling books. The sun will be shining. Come out and enjoy the day."

10 AM to 4 PM."

And from Douglass Seaver...
I will present my novel, The Fourth Rule, at ThrillerFest’s Debut Authors’ Breakfast in New York City on Saturday July 11. The onsite Barnes & Noble bookstore will be selling the book, and the event program will feature this year’s debut novels. If you’re attending ThrillerFest, please join us Saturday morning for breakfast!

Ron Wendling tells us...

  " On Saturday, June 13, my wife and I
held another of our annual Wine Tastings at our place on Page Lake in Northeast Pennsylvania. We placed my memoir (Unsuitable Treasure: An Ex-Jesuit Makes Peace with the Past) on display for our friends in the neighborhood.  In mid-July the book will be displayed again on the book table at a Writers’ Conference in Monrose, PA , where I 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 28th I will be reading from the memoir at River Read Books in Binghamton, NY. And on August 9th I 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, PA. "

A Review for Matilda!

Drue's Random Chatter
I actually give this story 3.5 stars. This is the perfect little story to read to a child who has difficulties taking naps. Matilda doesn't want to take a nap, but she finds out after she stops ti... (full review)

Beryl Reichenberg, OTP children’s picture book author, will be doing her monthly kid’s class at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum on Saturday June 27 from 3 to 4 PM. This month’s book is an altered book. “We will read one of my children’s books entitled, “Elephant Families in the Wild” and then altered it by folding and adding text and punched out shapes and drawing to make an entirely new creation. I’ll provide the books, punches, paper and other supplies and the children, and even some brave adults, can provide the creativity.” Beryl will also have her other books for sale as well. 

Going to Press this week!!!
A new title...already collecting great reviews!

"A very clever, extremely well-done romp that somehow manages to make the birth of a granddaughter, the Mafia and global warming all work brilliantly ensemble style. A fine, fun story that is not without serious depth and warmth. I loved it.”
--Ed Gorman, Writer of the Sam McCain series
“A funny, fast-paced crime story whose serious points pack the wallop of a forty-five.”
--Terence Faherty, Shamus-winning author of the Scott Elliott series.
"A hilarious, albeit chilling, eco-Mafia novel--a new species. Lopresti knows his mobsters, his New Jersey, and his science, and knows how to make it all sing.” 
--SJ Rozan, Edgar-winning author (as Sam Cabot) of SKIN OF THE WOLF
“Robert Lopresti's GREENFELLAS has a great concept and vivid characters, both criminals and commoners. There's snappy patter and a fast-moving story, and it's funny, too.  Elmore Leonard fans (and everybody else) should snap this up immediately.”
--Bill Crider, bestselling author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes mysteries


That wraps up the Round-Up for this week. I hope everyone enjoyed our news!

We look forward to your emails! If you have something you would like to submit to the Round-Up, send the details in an email to

Big or small, old or new, we want to keep our blog updated! Comments, questions or suggestions are welcome too.

  Oak Tree Press Facebook! Like us on Facebook! 


Billie Johnson, Publisher


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Packing for Vegas, Number 7, Dave Freedland

 Dave Freedland is a 34 year, decorated law enforcement professional, having served with the Irvine Police, and the Orange County (California) Sheriff’s Departments.  Following a competitive athletic career culminating with the award of “UCLA’s Most Valuable Gymnast,” he graduated first in his Sheriff’s academy class.  While serving with the Irvine Police Department he managed a variety of assignments including Detectives, Patrol, Internal Affairs, SWAT, and retired at the rank of Deputy Chief of Police.

As a Special Weapons and Tactics Team Leader, he supervised operations for numerous barricade and hostage incidents, and was the recipient of several awards including “Police Officer of the Year,” “Meritorious Service,” and “Unit Commendation.”  As a SWAT Commander, he was recognized for his contributions in establishing the country’s first countywide jurisdictional level counter terrorist unit incorporating SWAT, bomb disposal, and hazardous materials disciplines.

Freedland attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on an athletic scholarship, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.  He earned a Master’s Degree in public administration from Pepperdine University, and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
As a competitor in martial arts, he is a former Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national karate champion, and has trained in Japan, earning a 5th degree black belt in Japanese Shotokan karate.

Freedland's novel, Lincoln 9....

When Bethany Crutchfield failed to show for Sunday brunch, and her father’s phone calls remained unanswered, it became apparent that concern was warranted regarding her welfare.  Police officers from “America’s Safest City,” Irvine, California, discovered a gruesome homicide scene which established Bethany as the first in a series of murders that would ultimately span over a decade.
Lincoln 9 takes place in a city whose reputation for safety and affluence overshadows the fact that the relatively few annual homicides are among the most vicious and complex cases of human brutality ever to be solved.  This is a story of three such cases, combined into a fictional plot with fictional characters, but based upon real crimes and real police officers who risked their lives to bring justice to the perpetrators of these heinous acts of violence.

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.  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.

I'm looking forward to meeting Dave in Vegas!!

Billie Johnson, Publisher

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Headed to Vegas, Number 6

 Janet Greger may be packing, BUT has she had 'the talk' with Bug to explain that she will be away for a few days?  

JL Greger is no longer a biology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, instead she’s putting tidbits of science into her medical mystery and suspense novels: Coming Flu, Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight, Ignore the Pain, and now Malignancy. Besides writing, her favorite activities are spending time with Bug, her Japanese Chin dog, and traveling to exotic locations. She incorporates both of these activities into her novels. Bug is the only non-fictional character in her books.
You can learn more about her from her website: 

In Malignancy, men disguised as police officers shoot at Sara Almquist twice in one day. The real police suspect Jim Mazzone, a drug czar currently awaiting trial in Albuquerque, will order more hits on Sara. After all, Sara was the key to Mazzone’s capture in Bolivia while she was consulting on public health problems there. Thus when colleagues in the State Department invite Sara to arrange scientific exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, she jumps at the chance to get out of Albuquerque. Maybe, she should question their motives.

Sara Almquist couldn’t say no when invited to be the epidemiologist on a public health mission to
Bolivia. Soon she finds dangers lurk around every corner of the Witches’ Market and churches of La Paz as someone from her past pursues her.

Unfortunately, she can’t decide which of her colleagues to trust as she learns more than she ever wanted to know about coca production, the god Tio of the silver mines of Potosí, and Bolivian politicians.

Someone in this southwestern medical school doesn’t like women--two have been murdered already.

Linda Almquist suspects the deaths are connected to her investigation of Dr. Richard Varegos, a “diet doctor.” who’s alleged to be endangering the lives of his obese research subjects.

Maybe she’s wrong. The murders might be related to something in the past – something involving her boss the Dean. While Linda fears for her job, the police fear for her life.

Coming Flu offers a thought-provoking glimpse into what a 21st century epidemic in the United States would be like: the politics, the science, the devastation.  With the accuracy of events and realistic descriptions, you cannot help but pause to wonder, what would you do as friends died around you, the government revoked all your rights and experimental drugs were coming in short supply.  This book is hard to put down and even harder to forget.—S. Connell Vondrak, author of The Evidence is Clear and No Evidence of a Crime

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You may be wondering, like me, what is Janet up to now? Where will her next adventure take us?  I'm hoping that she will give me the 4-1-1 when we meet up in Las Vegas!

Billie Johnson, Publisher

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weekly Round Up June 19, 2015

GOOD WEEKLY! It's time again to join me under the Oak tree for the Weekly Round Up! We will be talking about all the events happening in the up coming week and where all the happenings will be! Another exciting week full of fun. So come and join me!

Quote of the Week:
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

A reminder from Jeana...all OTP books are on Manic Readers...

Everyone is invited to go to OAK TREE PRESS's page on Manic Readers to Oak Tree Press  You can click on the title  of your choice and have a free read of any of our books :)


There is 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 in a heartbeat, you can go from an author-in-waiting to a published author! 

We are looking for mysteries, romances, Westerns and hard-edged cop/true crime stories.

See all the particulars on our web site;

Ghost Writer is now available as an audio book!       Lorna tells us the copies are selling online. She says, "The book seems so much more powerful hearing it. The voice artist really loved the story, and it comes out in her performance."

"When unemployed computer programmer Nan Burton inherits a California beach cottage from her great-great-aunt, she’s delighted. But she’s in for a huge surprise: The house is haunted by the ghost of famous romance writer Max Murdoch (pen name Maxine DuBois) who insists Nan complete his last novel, threatening to keep her from sleeping until she agrees. The ensuing clash pits youth against the long-dead but still egotistical author with humorous and moving results."

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Bert  Silva's novel is now available on KINDLE!!*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Amy M. Bennett, author of the Black Horse Campground mystery series, will be signing copies of the third book in the series, “No Vacancy”, at Barnes and Noble in the Mesilla Valley Mall in Las Cruces, NM on Saturday, June 27 from 1-3 p.m.

She will be having another signing on Saturday July 11 at Barnes and Noble at
the Fountains at Farah in El Paso, Texas from 1-3 p.m. This is her second signing at a Barnes and Noble in her home town!
On Sunday, July 19, she will be signing copies and giving a talk at Treasure House Books and Gifts, 2012 South Plaza NW, Albuquerque, NM (Old Town) from 1-3 p.m.

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Thonie Hevron, author of By Force or Fear and Intent to Hold will be signing books at the Street Printing Festival in Sebastopol, CA on June 21 from 11-5pm. Admission is free.

 By Force or Fear by Thonie Hevron
"From the first paragraph, you know this is not a lighthearted read, but one that will be filled with fright and might. Meredith Ryan is a cop, just like the author was in her former days, and thus the setting of real life drama jumps off every page. Well written, the story weaves between several potent issues to a dramatic ending. Plus, I liked spending time with a woman who works in this risky arena, learning how she mixes her personal world with the constant threat of danger. Thonie Hevron has written a book with moments of terror, excitement and enough humor to release the tension. I think you will enjoy reading By Force or Fear."

—Linda Loveland Reid is author of Touch of MagentaSomething in Stone, and Past president of Redwood Writers.

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Book industry insiders Larry and Lorna Collins

​Presented by the Writers of Kern...​
June 20:  Larry and Lorna Collins discuss how the publishing industry has changed over the last ten years—and continues to change. Sharing their journey from the old model (agent to acquisitions editor for a NY publisher) through indie presses, to self-publishing, they will discuss the process and the requirements for those who choose this route.
Saturday, June 20
9:45 a.m. to Noon
Clarion Hotel - 3540 Rosedale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93308-6229
$10 entry ($5 members).
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ILENE SCHNEIDER. will be at the PUBLIC SAFETY WRITERS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE  in July, and then AUGUST 7-9: DEADLY INK, NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ,  Ilene has been chosen as FAN GUST OF HONOR Congratulations, Ilene!! 

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Liz Martinez will be making a presentation on writing, with a book signing afterward, at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, on June 26 at 2pm 

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Displaying Beryl's Newsjune-july 2015a 8.5x14_edited-12.jpeg
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Saturday, June 20, Marilyn Meredith will be the featured speaker at Tulare Kings Writers. She will share her thoughts on how to create and sustain a mystery series. This is in the Blue Room at the Tulare County Library, 200 W. Oak in Visalia, CA.


"Blast from the Past"  

"GRILLED, CHILLED and KILLED" By Lesley A. Diehl

In the second Big Lake Mystery, Emily Rhodes, retired preschool teacher and bartender turned amateur snoop, wonders if she is destined to discover dead bodies. This time she finds one of the contestants at the local barbeque cook-off dead and covered in barbeque sauce in a beer cooler.  She should be used to stumbling onto corpses by now and the question of who killed the guy should pique her curiosity, but Emily decides to let Detective Lewis handle this one, at least until she figures his theory of who did the deed is wrong, wrong, wrong. 


“Lesley Diehl’s new southern mystery has it all, suspense, intrigue, romance and a killer title, Grilled, Chilled and Killed.”
 website and blog

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That's our Round Up for this week!  

Remember....send your items to me me at

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Number 5 Ron Corbin

 Ron Corbin , may have the shortest commute of any OTP author attending the conference, since he lives in Las Vegas.

Ron served two tours in Vietnam as an Army helicopter and instructor pilot. He received numerous unit and individual ribbons for combat action, to include being awarded the Air Medal 31 times; once with “V” device for valor.

Honorably discharged in 1969, he joined LAPD as a policeman and pilot/instructor pilot for Air Support Division. Retiring after an on-duty helicopter accident where he received 70 percent burns, he finished his college education. He holds post-graduate degrees of a Masters in Elementary Education and a PhD in Security Administration (with an emphasis in terrorism threats to America’s nuclear resources).

For several years, Ron was a member of a team of private security specialists and special ops personnel who consulted to the Department of Energy in counter-terrorism. For some of this work, he was made an “honorary” captain for the New Orleans Police Department, and commissioned a Colonel and Aide-de-Camp on Louisiana Governor’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve Security Task Force.

Joining the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro) in 1993 as a crime prevention specialist, he became an authority in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) after completing training in this discipline at The National Crime Prevention Institute at the University of Louisville. His CPTED subject matter expertise led to him being interviewed in “Reader’s Digest,” “Sunset Magazine,” “PetroMart Business,” and Las Vegas Life” magazines. He also was responsible for publishing Metro’s in-house training journal, the “Training Wheel.”
Ron has been a contributing columnist to “Las Vegas Now” magazine, as well as a guest lecturer on Royal Caribbean International cruise lines, addressing citizens’ personal safety issues. He is the author of stories published in “True Blue--Police Stories By Those Who Have Lived Them,” “True Blue—To Protect and Serve,” as well as the anthology of patriotic stories published in “I Pledge Allegiance….”

Ron retired from Metro in 2011. He and his wife Kathy have three children, six grand-children, and live in Las Vegas, NV.

Beyond Recognition is the memoir of Ronald Corbin, a former Army combat helicopter pilot and Vietnam veteran who becomes a Los Angeles policeman, and eventually a pilot for LAPD’s Air Support Division (ASD).

Ron’s military training and unique combat flying experience as a “Slick” Huey pilot, and his wide background as an instructor pilot in various helicopters, is recognized by the ASD captain, but not without creating fierce jealousies.

After an aircraft accident that claims the life of a pilot trainee and puts Ron in the hospital, the LAPD assembles a Board of Inquiry. Ron’s detractors seek jealous revenge by feeding misleading statements to the Board investigators. The investigation evolves into a “kangaroo court,” but the Board’s exercise in “finger-pointing” quickly backfires as Ron exposes a “cover-up” that has corporate and City attorneys scrambling to settle.

Review Blurbs

--Albert Ellis, FBI Special Agent – Retired

“…You will not put it down until you have worked your way to the last page, and then still want to know more.”

--Keith Bettinger author of Fighting Crime With “Some” Day and Lenny and End

of Watch.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Number 4 in the Packing for Vegas Series, ILENE SCHNEIDER!

Attention: Rollie bag police....BOLO for a New Jersey woman gearing up to test the limits of her bags...

Rabbi Ilene Schneider, Ed.D., one of the first six women ordained as a rabbi in the US, hasn't decided yet what (or who) she wants to be when she grows up. now retired and writing full time, Ilene's last assignment was Coordinator of Jewish Hospice for Samaritan Hospice in Marlton, NJ, near Philadelphia
She is the author of three books. The first, the cozy mystery Chanukah Guilt (Swimming Kangaroo Books, 2007 and re-released by Oak Tree Press 2012), was nominated for the Deadly Ink Stasher Award for Best Mystery of 2007; was named as one of 2007's Top Ten Read by My Shelf; and was chosen as a  Reviewers Choice Book, by the Midwest Book Review. 
            The second, the non-fiction Talk Dirty Yiddish: Beyond Drek (Adams Media, 2008) was praised by The Jewish Weekly Forward, the oldest and largest independent national Jewish newspaper: "Such a breezy, engaging book, I should be so lucky to write. Ilene Schneider, mazel tov.”

You can read about Chanukah Guilt and Ilene’s other writings at, and can contact her at

UNLEAVENED DEAD, 2013 Winner, PSWA Novel Writing Contest!!

Rabbi Aviva is back – and never in better form – if never more stressed. The pressure of Passover preparations with a wedding the night before, Aviva’s complicated relationship with her ex-husband and turmoil in her niece’s life should be enough, but then people close to Aviva start dying in suspicious circumstances. And then the mob shows up. As always, Schneider gives us a wonderful picture of life in a Jewish community – Chaim Potok with a wacky sense of humor. – Donna Fletcher Crow, A Darkly Hidden Truth, The Monastery Murders 2


Oy vey, this book made me smile … Unleavened Dead is a book you don't want to miss. – Barb Goffman, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity award-nominated author of short stories including "The Lord Is My Shamus" 

Rabbi Aviva Cohen is a 50-something, twice-divorced rabbi living a fairly uneventful life in South Jersey. True, she has a family that is rather unconventional. And her first ex-husband is moving to her town. But her life takes a truly interesting and sinister turn when she agrees to officiate at the funeral of an unpopular land developer.
She doesn't expect to be told by two different people that he had been murdered. Nor does she expect that the first funeral will result in a suicide. Her search for the story behind the suicide (or was it murder?) will lead her to discover the truism "appearances can be deceiving" is accurate, while putting her life in jeopardy. 

Ilene has several panel assignments at the Vegas conference...and I am looking forward to some coffee-kletching with her myself/

Billie Johnson, Publisher