Happy New Year! 2016 has begun, and we have much in store for OTP readers and writers: new titles from your favorite authors and books from authors you may be encountering for the first time.
We'll be promoting all of our books, of course. And many of our titles will be available for Nook this year in addition to paperback and Kindle.
If you haven't already, please take a look at the list of our most popular books in 2015 and add them to your reading list for this new year. These bestsellers and all of our titles are available in the OTP bookstore, and we invite you to browse, share, read, and review.
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.
"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
Oak Tree Press is excited to announce the publication of our latest title, A Perception of Murder by Carl Tiktin.
Stuck in a mid-level job at an insurance agency, Evan Dorchester comes up with a way to beat the tedium of actuarial tables and legalese. He invents a shadow company, The Good Fortune Insurance Company and, under an alias as its rep, contacts his agency's corporate clients who have taken out insurance policies on key partners or employees. "What's it worth to you," he asks them, "to guarantee that the insured is deceased by a certain date?"
It's a wonderful prank that Evan delights in carrying out from the lobby pay phones at his office building. Then one day he gets the news that he's been found out, and the joke is now on him.
Praise for the novel:
A Perception of Murder is a masterpiece of the genre. The plot builds on itself cinematically as the main character spirals into complicity and danger like Brian Cranston's Walter White in "Breaking Bad." The arcana of life insurance is Tiktin's entrance into a such an intriguingly dark world with such richly formed characters and a perfectly pitched twist at the end that it becomes one of those works that one hates to finish. It is a joy to read. ~ John Weir Close, author of A Giant Cow-Tipping by Savages, award-winning editor at The American Lawyer, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times, and founder of The M&A Journal.
Author Carl Tiktin started studying theater and writing plays at the HB Studio in 1974. He had readings and productions at the studio, as well as Playwrights Horizons, New York Theater Academy, and the Direct Theatre. Then, he had two novels published by Arbor House: The Hourglass Man and Ron. His short stories have appeared in the GW Review, IdeaGems, The Avalon Literary Review, and Hippocampus Magazine. His novel Frigid, released in 2014, is available in eformat format from Amazon. His next novel, Our Marriage Counselor will be released later this year.
REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS
Eileen Obser was a guest on writer/publisher John Daniels's blog on December 19. She wrote about the sense of smell in writing and tied it into the holiday season. In the post, she quotes from Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses: “One of the real tests of writers, especially poets, is how well they write about smells. If they can’t describe the scent of sanctity in a church, can you trust them to describe the suburbs of the heart?”
You can read the full post here.
Eileen is the author of Only You. Set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the memoir relates her personal experience growing up in Queens, New York—her doomed-to-fail marriage at eighteen to a nineteen-year-old boy from their candy store crowd. Eileen shows how two naïve, uninformed teenagers were influenced by social and religious pressures, to disastrous consequences.
John H. Gibson was interviewed in the January edition of The Big Thrill Magazine, published by the International Thriller Writers. Interviewer Dan Levy begins the interview: "As it happens with many writers, author John Gibson’s love of thrillers began during a childhood spent soaking in the great spy stories and other thriller genres that made their way onto television screens and into movie theaters.
'And then Watergate happened and I was completely and hopelessly stuck,' said Gibson. 'Everyday after school, while my buddies were out playing basketball, I sat at the television, enthralled by the entire break-in scandal. I began to read thrillers that dealt with politics because of Watergate.'”
You can read the full interview here.
John is the author of the recently published Track Three. Come along for the ride when a popular and top-rated investigative journalist, Elliott Lawder, and Katherine Lambert, a street-wise black British street urchin, are thrown together by the untimely death of an NSA systems analyst. Follow the adventure of our hero and heroine as the story moves at break-neck speed from Washington to London to Brussels to The Netherlands as the two attempts to discover the answer to why every US security agency, including the NSA and the CIA, are trying to kill them. Track Three is a winner in the same thrilling tradition as John Gibson's first political suspense super thriller, Dummy.
Richard Paolinelli is offering a special promotion for his novel Reservations. Until January 15th, anyone who buys the Kindle version of the novel, leaves a review on Amazon, and sends him a link to the review via private message on Facebook, will be entered into a drawing for a signed print copy of the book.
Two copies in total will be given away to two lucky winners. There are no requirements on amount of stars or negative/positive reviews and the type of review will not be considered when drawing the two names of the winners.
Reservations is set in a land deeply seeded in beliefs and legends. 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.
Amy M. Bennett will launch a blog tour on Monday, January 18, for her upcoming novel At the Cross Road, the third book in her Black Horse Campground mystery series. She is actively seeking bloggers who are interested in hosting her on their blogs.
Amy says she can either "send a blog with a topic of my choosing or post on a specific topic, either writing related or personal, but preferably something specific instead of a general 'tell me about yourself' post." She's seeking blog appearances of all types for the tour, even those that are not writing related ("you never know what kind of a spin I can make on my books!" she writes).
Interested bloggers can contact Amy with their ideas via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radine Trees Nehring spoke to a large group of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute members and their guests at Bordino's, a popular restaurant in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on December 17. The event was widely publicized, and the member in charge of planning programs said attendance was about twice what is normal.
Radine had been asked to speak on cozy mystery writing, and expanded her topic to "We all need a little more cozy," suggesting that a cozy attitude (warm, snugly, comfortable) toward each other would be a very good thing for humanity in general.
After the event, the program chairman wrote "I can't recall a single speaker as well prepared." The talk was followed by lunch and book sales, as well as one-on-one conversation with the author.
Additional details about these events will appear in future Roundups.
Thonie Hevron's novel Intent to Hold, book two in the Nick and Meredith mysteries, has been chosen as a featured novel for May in the 2016 Copperfield’s/Redwood Writers Fiction Book Club.
Thonie will be reading, answering questions, and signing books at the Montgomery Village Copperfield’s, 775 Village Court, Santa Rosa on May 31st from 6 to 7 p.m.
NOW AVAILABLE AS E-BOOKS
Track Three by John H. Gibson (Nook, Kindle) Come along for the ride when a popular and top-rated investigative journalist, Elliott Lawder, and Katherine Lambert, a street-wise black British street urchin, are thrown together by the untimely death of an NSA Systems Analyst. Follow the adventure of our hero and heroine as the story moves at break-neck speed from Washington to London to Brussels to The Netherlands as the two attempts to discover the answer to why every US Security Agency, including the NSA and the CIA, are trying to kill them. Track Three is a winner in the same thrilling tradition as John Gibson's first political suspense super thriller, Dummy.
I Saw You in Beirut by J.L. Greger (Nook, Kindle) F, a mysterious source of leaks on the Iranian nuclear industry, sends an email from Tabriz. “Help. Contact Almquist.” As Sara Almquist is drawn into the plan to identify and rescue F from Iran, she is forced to remember and re-evaluate characters from her student days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and from her career as a globe-trotting epidemiologist. Which of her past decisions put her in jeopardy? Or is her current friendship with Sanders, an urbane state department official, the real reason she’s being attacked?
A Full Bubble Off Plumb by Jeff Zwagerman (Nook, Kindle) Going home after twenty years is never easy. It compounds itself, when the reason for going back home is to bury parents. Zander could have done the easy thing and let others help him in his time of turmoil and grief. He was powerless to follow that path, however. His father had said it best. He was like “a dog with a sock." Closing his parents’ estate and settling their affairs could have been done anywhere. Zander chose to remain, and make sure it was done correctly. He was, after all, “a dog with a sock.” Was there actually another reason?
In his search for some deeper truth, Zander reconnects with some old acquaintances from his past life. He has hopes that these old friends and neighbors might be able to ground him once again. Then Quentin Stryker forces his way into an already damaged existence. A Full Bubble Off Plumb is a story about walking away from the small insignificant irritations in life, before they take you beyond the point of no return.
Black Indian, Red Heart . . . (White Justice) by Frederick H. Savage (Nook, Kindle) Set in the Civil War era that takes the issues of slavery and injustice head on, this novel follows the story of Colton Sage, the son of a runaway slave and an Indian woman. He is born free into a world of unending prejudice and bias. He grows up to become one of the most notorious Indian outlaws in the land, the infamous "Black Bat from Hell." This is a no holds barred account of the events that led up to the Indian war of 1862 and the largest mass execution in US history. Not for the fainthearted, this historically engaging work of fiction is told with a series of cliff hanger chapter endings and a ‘can’t put it down’ storyline.
Marilyn Meredith began the year blogging about some writing advice shared from an article that appeared in the Public Safety Writers Association newsletter.
The author of the article, titled "The Cadence of the Written Word," wished to remain anonymous, but begins like this: "It’s certainly true that the hapless adverb has fallen out of favor with current writing stylistic preferences. This is due, in part, to how the written words sound. Nothing can ruin the cadence of a sentence faster than a misplaced or superfluous modifier. This brings us to the topic of this piece."
You can read the rest of the advice here.
Ilene Schneider welcomed J.L. Greger onto her blog this week to introduce the new Sarah Almquist thriller, I Saw You in Beirut. In the post, J.L. answers this question: Can you learn science from a thriller?
J.L. answers in part, "Yes, you’ll learn a bit of science when you read I Saw You in Beirut. Sara Almquist, the heroine, and several of the supporting characters are scientists who have worked in the Middle East. But don’t panic: the science tidbits in this thriller aren’t boring. They’re perfect for Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuits."
You can read the full post here.
Lorna Collins, following on the heels of recent blog posts about Christmas memories and the best Christmas present she ever gave, writes this week about the best give she's ever received -- a gift transformed in a sense.
She begins, "This week, in the afterglow of the holidays, I want to tell you about the best gift I ever received.
"The Christmas when I was five, Santa left me a mama doll. Mary Ann originally had curly light brown hair and wore a pale yellow silky dress. When I turned her over, she said, “Mama.” Her eyes opened and closed, and two tiny teeth and a red felt tongue showed through her open mouth."
But this is only the beginning of the story of her best gift. There's a touching twist in this sweet story -- find out what it is here.
Jackie Taylor Zortman treats her blog readers to a New Year's Eve sneak peek at chapter 13 of her award-winning novel Footprints in the Frost in which her characters celebrate the arrival of a new year. It's something different than her usual posts and will make you want to read more.
Check out the excerpt here.
Virgil Alexander recently hosted J.L. Greger on his blog to give some winter writing tips.
She writes, "I like to curl up in January and forget my writing. Big mistake! Do you lose energy during the cold days of winter? Maybe these tips will encourage you to make progress on your writing projects in January."
You can read the tips here.
Have you been entering the OTP Goodreads Giveaways? We have another one upcoming! To participate, you'll need to create a Goodreads account or log in (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.
We're giving away five copies of J.L. Greger's thriller I Saw You in Beiruit beginning on January 9th. You'll have to wait until then to enter, but once the giveaway begins, you'll have until December 16 to add your name to the drawing.
In I Saw You in Beirut, F, a mysterious source of leaks on the Iranian nuclear industry, sends an email from Tabriz. “Help. Contact Almquist.” As Sara Almquist is drawn into the plan to identify and rescue F from Iran, she is forced to remember and re-evaluate characters from her student days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and from her career as a globe-trotting epidemiologist. Which of her past decisions put her in jeopardy? Or is her current friendship with Sanders, an urbane state department official, the real reason she’s being attacked?
It's easy to get in on the giveaway by following this link.
That wraps up the Roundup for this week! We hope you enjoyed our news.
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Billie Johnson, Publisher
Billie Johnson, Publisher