Friday, March 11, 2016

Weekly Roundup: March 11, 2016

Welcome again to the Oak Tree Press Weekly Roundup! This week, Beryl Reichenberg added to our blog with a post about the process of donating some of her children's picture books to a rural school in southern India. What a story! Please check it out and post your comments or questions for Beryl and the OTP community.

Sad and late-breaking news last Friday that missed our Weekly Roundup was the death of author Pat Conroy at the age of 70. Conroy penned the widely read novels The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, among other well-known books, fiction and non-fiction alike.

The New York Times notes that Conroy "mined the people, the places and the trauma of his childhood and young manhood for his thinly fictionalized novels and a series of memoirs that captivated readers with their openly emotional tone, lurid family stories and lush prose that often reached its most affecting, lyrical pitch when evoking the wetlands around Beaufort, S.C." Indeed, the themes in his novels, though often dark, resonated with many, so much so that his most successful books found their way to the big screen.

Are you looking for a good book to read? Try browsing our bookstore, where you'll find thrillers, memoirs, mysteries, romances, children's books, and even some paranormal tales. We have something for every taste! Wanting some new characters to spring ahead with? Try one of our many mystery series and immerse yourself in an exciting new world.  

Thank you for stopping by 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.

"It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly."
~C. J. Cherryh

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We’re excited to announce our latest release! 

The Wicked and the Dead by Robert Weibezahl. Screenwriter Billy Winnetka likes to write about crime, not solve it. But when an old producer friend dies under suspicious circumstances, Billy's doubts about the cause of death are too troubling to ignore. True, Harold Clausen was embroiled in some shady business deals—and he might have been having an affair—but that's all par for the course in Tinseltown. Yet, as one by one more movie veterans are permanently cut from the picture, Billy suspects a more complex plot.

When an irascible cop named Goold dismisses his theory that all these deaths are linked, the curious writer enlists the help of Harold's erstwhile, guileless assistant, Tony, to help find the murderer. The pursuit leads to a cast of eccentric characters even a B-list screenwriter couldn't dream up. But the killer eludes them . . . until Billy and Tony themselves become his next candidates for the big sleep.

The first in the series, and back in print at last, The Wicked and the Dead blends elements of classic Los Angeles noir with a more light-hearted skewering of the insular world of the film industry. 

Robert Weibezahl is the author of two crime novels -- The Wicked and the Dead and The Dead Don't Forget -- featuring screenwriter-sleuth Billy Winnetka. Robert has also written a number of short stories, including the Derringer Award finalist "Identity Theft," which appears in the anthology Deadly by the Dozen. His two literary cookbooks/anthologies -- A Taste of Murder and A Second Helping of Murder, co-edited with Jo Grossman, were both finalists for the Agatha and Macavity Awards. A columnist for BookPage since 2002, his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Reader, Ventura County Star, Mystery Readers Journal, Bikini, Irish America, and many other national and regional publications.

Praise for the novel:

"Set in Hollywood in the ‘90s, The Wicked and the Dead is a fun read with engaging characters and a fast-moving plot that keeps you guessing till the very end!" ~Amy M. Bennett, author of the Black Horse Campground mystery series


Bert Silva's New York Scramble was reviewed on Kirkus Reviews in late February. The reviewer praised the book as "an engaging romp that fuses love, art, and seedy, midcentury New York."

You can read the complete review here.

New York Scramble starts off with a bang. "This is for you, Frank," the shooter said and fired his weapon at point blank range. The onetime boss of the New York underworld grasped his bloodied neck and fell.

This begins a curious story where a gangster and a freelance artist become acquainted through a mutual interest in---comics. A friend introduces Joe and Gilda to each other in Los Angeles. They venture to New York on a quest for success. He strives to sell cartoons to magazines. She, an actress, seeks roles on stage or screen. A producer Gilda knew in Germany is in the city to promote a major motion picture. His presence will prove to be disastrous for the couple. A shady psychiatrist, dealing in illicit drugs, creates another complication. More bad people become involved. And finally the police. 


David Freedland and his novel Lincoln 9 are featured in the March issue of the Mission Viejo Reporter. The editor for the magazine had attended Dave's recent book talk at the Mission Viejo Rotary Club and offered to feature Lincoln 9 in an upcoming issue.

Lincoln 9 was one of OTP's top sellers in 2015.

You can view the magazine here in PDF format (the article appears on p. 5). The photo on the left shows the article as well. 

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.


Denise Weeks was a guest on reviewer Kevin Tipple's Kevin's Corner blog on March 8. Her topic is pet peeves in mysteries. She writes, "Do you have pet peeves?  What are some of yours?  I wince when game show contestants can't add two one-digit numbers, I hate to see street signs that have misplaced apostrophes, and I go crazy when I see some of these tricks in mysteries."

Find out what they are and how Denise avoids them in her own mysteries here.

Denise's most recent novel with OTP is Nice Work. Jacquidon Carroll has problems. She's diagnosed with diabetes and laid off from her job the same week, but that's nothing compared to being a suspect in the murder of her ex-boss. Jacquidon is convinced her replacement -- a young woman recruited from an Internet sex site -- is the real killer.

To clear herself, Jacquidon steals information from the boss’s computer and the young woman's diary. The clues lead through a network of local sex clubs and the seamy underside of the BDSM (S&M) lifestyle. By the time Jacquidon gathers her evidence, the murderer is on the same page -- and intends to stop her.


Amy Bennett was featured in the Ruidoso News on March 3 in an article that covered the recent launch party for her latest mystery At the Crossroad. Reporter Gwyneth Marhanka writes, "Friends, family and fans with a taste for suspense and fine wine celebrated the launch of Amy Bennett’s latest novel, 'At the Crossroad' Sunday at Noisy Water Winery.

"Reading glasses were put on and wine glasses were filled up as mystery lovers poured over Bennett’s ongoing Black Horse Campground mysteries.

You can read the full article here.

In At the Crossroad, the fourth in Amy's Blackhorse Campground mystery series, trouble often comes in threes. It's no different at the Black Horse Campground. On his first day as detective with the Bonney Police Department, J.D. Wilder finds three cold case files on his desk -- three women who disappeared over a fifteen year period. It seems no one has ever taken the cases seriously or even properly investigated them. Then J.D. receives news that he's about to receive a visitor; a woman from his past who is in trouble and needs his help. Again. The timing couldn't be worse, since he's finally about to ask Corrie on a date, but then Corrie also has a visitor from her past show up, and Sheriff Rick Sutton has his hands full dodging his ex-wife, Meghan, who insists on digging up a painful past.

When three bodies are discovered that prove the missing women were murdered, J.D.'s investigation reveals that all of their visitors have some connection to the victims. But which one of them killed three women . . . and is prepared to kill again? When trouble comes to Bonnie County, Corrie, Rick, and J.D. band together to protect each other and their community. But can they solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again?



Sharon Ervin will be speaking at the Pittsburg County Retired Educators luncheon being held on Friday, March 11, beginning at 11 a.m. in McAlester, Oklahoma, and Sharon was featured in a March 10 McAlester News-Capital article about the event.

She writes, "Program chairs for retirement groups are always looking for speakers.

"I am speaking today to the luncheon meeting of Retired Educators here in McAlester, Oklahoma. Some of their group are particularly interested in maybe writing memoirs. 

"My research indicates many important books began as memoirs. John Steinbeck apparently wrote Of Mice and Men one "scene" at a time, eventually linking those vignettes to create a classic novel. To Kill a Mockingbird began the same way, also The Great Santini, along with many other major American novels. Research alone makes doing this program stimulating. It won't pay much, but there's a free lunch. 
"I do advise authors to be careful. Once word gets out, you will be approached. Be ready to say 'Yes.'" 

Sharon's most recent novel is Jingo Street. Max Marco, 36, murdered his first man when he was eight years old. New attorney Anne Krease, 24, grew up sheltered like a hothouse orchid. When naive Anne meets the semiretired “enforcer,” the chemistry between them is magnetic. Jingo Street is a love story, not a romance. It has an inevitable ending, not a happily ever-after one.


John Lindermuth's short story, "A Clue With A Double Meaning," will be in the March issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine and also will be included in the magazine's free weekly email on March 28.

The story takes place in Korea shortly after the war and involves a Catholic priest serving in a small village who offers himself as bait to nab a friend's killer.

John writes, "Interested readers can sign up for a paid subscription to the magazine or for the free weekly email here. OTP authors who write short stories should check out Mystery Weekly. The editors are great to work with and pay is on acceptance -- always a plus. 

John's most recent book is Sooner Than Gold. It’s the summer of 1898. The nation, just coming out of an economic slump, has been at war with Spain since April. And Sylvester Tilghman, sheriff of Arahpot, PA, has a murder victim with many enemies.

There’s Claude, found with a knife in his hand, and Rachel, a surly teen who say she intended harm. The gypsies claim the victim is the goryo who stole their young woman. If this isn’t complication enough, add in threats to his job, a run-in with a female horse thief; scary predictions by a fortuneteller, and the theft of Doc Mariner’s new motorcar, plus plenty of good eating, church-going and socializing.

Before all is over, Sylvester solves the crime and even comes closer to his goal of finally marrying longtime girlfriend Lydia Longlow.


Oak Tree Press authors will be attending the Tucson Festival of Books on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Arizona, this weekend, March 12 and 13. The festivities begin each day at 9:30 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. 

The festival features exhibits, author presentations, panel discussions, and of course, books!

OTP will be in booth 119, which is kitty-corner from the booth for The Arizona Daily Star, one of the main sponsors of the event. 

The following OTP authors will be attending the festival and present in the booth: 

Virgil Alexander
Amy Bennett

J.L. Greger
Sharon Arthur Moore
Carolyn Niethammer

D.R. Ransdell
Robert Richter

Also attending, but not present in the booth, will be Susan Lang and Channing Whitaker. Publisher Billie Johnson will be accompanied by Monica McLanahan, an editor and writing group facilitator and former bookseller from Oakhurst, California.

The festival enters its eighth year as the fourth largest literary event in the country attracting over 450 authors and over 130,000 participants during the weekend. All proceeds from the festival are donated to local non-profit organizations that support improved literacy in Southern Arizona . . . more than $1,250,000 has been donated since the festival began in 2009.


Richard Marranca will be reading from his recently published book The New Romantics: 10 Stories of Mystery, Passion, Travel and Vampires at the spring 2016 meeting of NJ Fulbright. The meeting will be held on March 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the second floor conference room at Eastern International College in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"Coffin of K" is a nicely crafted story with mythical roots, tragedy and renewal. After a long separation, the man and woman reconnect. I liked it a lot. It’s full of deep longing for authentic art and love. I would recommend this." --Peter Matthiessen, National Book Award Winner, author of Snow Leopard and At Play in the Fields of the Lord, co-founder of The Paris Review 

"The story about Roxana, the yogi and Alexander is full of joy, wonder, and mystical experience -- a meeting of East and West. It has an exotic location and the aura of history. When reading this, I wondered if this is a totally new creation or if you were working off of some ancient account. I suspect it’s both." --Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions and Tales of Wonder, who also appeared in Bill Moyers’s Wisdom of Faith (PBS)

“Reading Richard's stories always touch something deep inside me, a longing for the mystical in the ordinary, for a deeper meaning in our everyday lives. If you're ready to embrace the unknown, these stories will take you on a fantastic ride!“ --Xenia Melzer, author of the Gods of War series, published by DreamSpinnerPress

Children’s book author and artist Beryl Reichenberg will be teaching several bookmaking and paper craft classes for children during the month of March.

On March 12, from 3 to 4 p.m., she'll be at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum in Santa Maria, California, and the topic of the class will be leaves. The children will talk about the importance of trees and leaves in our lives, including releasing oxygen and taking up CO2, and providing food and shelter for us, animals, and other creatures, shelter.

She'll be teaching two pop-out card forms to accompany this subject. She'll also be reading her most recent book, Dancing with Leaves.

Then on March 18, she'll be at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, California, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m to show children how to make an exploding box.

Beryl writes, "I encourage adults to try their hand at the projects and help any of their children under six years old. I show kids how to make the basic card form and leave the decorations up to them. My samples are for information only and I encourage kids to use their own imagination and creativity. I try to develop projects that will appeal to all age groups and skill levels."

Beryl will also be selling and promoting her other children’s picture books at the event. Among her many titles for children are six titles from OTP: Ants on a Log, Butterfly Girls, Camouflage, Clowning Around, When Caterpillars Dream, and The Mysterious Case of the Missing Birthday Cake. 

You can read about her writing and art projects at her website.


D.R. Ransdell will be holding a launch party for her latest novel, Dizzy in Durango, on Monday, March 14, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at 5434 E. 9th ST. (near Broadway and Craycroft), in Tucson, Arizona. The festivities for the night will include the following:

5 to 5:30: Warm-up music with Cookie and Ellen

5:30 to 6:30: Book talk and signing

6:30 to 7:30: Mariachis for your pleasure! 

In Dizzy in Durango, the third in the Andy Veracruz mystery series, missing women, abandoned children, and a crazy mariachi fan add up to further trouble for Andy Veracruz. After a fellow traveler disappears, he can’t concentrate on vacationing. Worse, he’s saddled with two children who aren’t his, an angry would-be girlfriend, and a self-appointed younger brother who is more reckless than he is. No wonder he starts seeing double!


Ann K. Howley will be promoting her memoir, Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad, at two upcoming events in March.

On Thursday, March 17, she'll join several authors presenting their books at the Tea N Tidbits book selling and signing event being held at the Springdale Free Public Library from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Then on Thursday, March 24, she'll present a workshop titled Book Promotion and Building Your Brand at Carnegie Downtown & Business Library in Pittsburgh, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

The library describes the event as follows: "Whether you’re a new or veteran author, developing a promotion strategy and building up a professional brand with your customers is essential.

"In this interactive workshop, award-winning author Ann Howley will explore the best ways to promote your book and further your career as a published author."

Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad is a wry, humorous coming of age memoir about 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.


Amy Bennett will be at the Alamogordo Public Library's 116th Birthday Party on Saturday, March 19, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the library in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Alamogordo Public Library. Amy will be giving a book talk and signing copies of the mysteries in her Black Horse Campground series.

Amy recently published the fourth book in this series. In At the Crossroad, trouble comes in threes. On his first day as detective with the Bonney Police Department, J.D. Wilder finds three cold case files on his desk -- three women who disappeared over a fifteen year period. It seems no one has ever taken the cases seriously or even properly investigated them. Then J.D. receives news that he's about to receive a visitor; a woman from his past who is in trouble and needs his help. Again. The timing couldn't be worse, since he's finally about to ask Corrie on a date, but then Corrie also has a visitor from her past show up, and Sheriff Rick Sutton has his hands full dodging his ex-wife, Meghan, who insists on digging up a painful past.

When three bodies are discovered that prove the missing women were murdered, J.D.'s investigation reveals that all of their visitors have some connection to the victims. But which one of them killed three women . . . and is prepared to kill again? When trouble comes to Bonnie County, Corrie, Rick, and J.D. band together to protect each other and their community. But can they solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again?


Tekla Dennison Miller will be the La Plata County Colorado speaker at the American Association of University Women/Durango Book and Author Luncheon on Saturday, March 26 beginning at 11:15 a.m., at the Fort Lewis College's Vallecito Room in Durango, Colorado.

Tekla will be sharing the story of her sister as told in Tekla's book Mother Rabbit. The event is a celebration of Women's History Month, and all proceeds benefit AAUW scholarships and advocacy on behalf of women.

Mother Rabbit is a collaborative memoir about a woman like so many others in the 1960’s, caught between living according to traditional societal mores and pursuing the promises of the feminist movement. Alyce’s stint as the Bunny Mother is set during a particularly turbulent era when even such a secluded environment as Playboy is affected by the Viet Nam 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.


Additional details about these events will appear in future Roundups. 

Thonie Hevron has been invited to exhibit and sell her books at the Sonoma County Author Symposium at the Rohnert Park/Cotati Library on Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Robert Weibezahl will be moderating the panel "Mystery: Just the Facts" at Literary Orange on Saturday, April 2, at the Irvine Marriot in Irvine, California. The panelists will be Terrui Nolan, Barry Lancet, and Neal Griffin.


John Taylor will be participating in the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California, which is scheduled for the weekend of June 4 and 5. John reports that "Last year there were 160 booths and the festival drew over 50,000 attendees. This year there will be 200 booths."


We’re always adding OTP ebooks to the collections available for Barnes and Noble's Nook and Amazon's Kindle readers and apps. E-books 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 Nook or Kindle device to read e-books. You can read on your computer, smartphone, or tablet by downloading the Nook app from Barnes and Noble and the Kindle app from Amazon. Here are the latest releases for these platforms.  

At the Crossroad by Amy Bennett (Kindle, Nook). On his first day as detective with the Bonney Police Department, J.D. Wilder finds three cold case files on his desk -- three women who disappeared over a fifteen year period. It seems no one has ever taken the cases seriously or even properly investigated them. Then J.D. receives news that he's about to receive a visitor; a woman from his past who is in trouble and needs his help. Again. The timing couldn't be worse, since he's finally about to ask Corrie on a date, but then Corrie also has a visitor from her past show up, and Sheriff Rick Sutton has his hands full dodging his ex-wife, Meghan, who insists on digging up a painful past.

When three bodies are discovered that prove the missing women were murdered, J.D.'s investigation reveals that all of their visitors have some connection to the victims. But which one of them killed three women . . . and is prepared to kill again? When trouble comes to Bonnie County, Corrie, Rick, and J.D. band together to protect each other and their community. But can they solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again?

Beyond the Flames: A Family Touched By Fire by Heather S. Thomas (Nook). Just before midnight on July 5, 2000, Heather and Lynn Thomas received the phone call that every parent dreads, the call that tells them one of their own has come to harm. Andrea has been burned,” their neighbor said. “She’s being brought to the hospital by ambulance.” The Thomases rushed from their ranch via Idaho’s Highway 28 toward Salmon, twelve miles away, not knowing the extent of their daughter’s injuries and unaware they were beginning a journey which would leave them, their family, friends and community forever changed.

Bottom of the Ninth: A Chris Parsons Mystery by Peter Spring (Nook). While researching a murder, Boston Tribune reporter Chris Parsons discovers the victim was a fellow rower. As Parsons debunks the obvious explanations for the bludgeoning death of the well-heeled man, he is set on a dangerous course where the underbelly of the art and sports worlds become dangerously entwined.

Code Two 'n' a Half by William Wilhelm (Nook). Wilhelm, a police officer for the great city of Los Angeles from 1953 to 1973, says, "come along with me and share one cop’s view of one heck of an interesting career in the "City of Angels."


Danger By Design by Helen Macie Osterman (Nook). Senior citizen Net Petrone resides in a retirement complex. The previous owner of her apartment died of a heart attack, and to her son’s dismay, the woman’s will named a suspicious organization as heir. Her son is convinced there was a last minute change, and he is searching for that latest will. Net learns a number of widows in the complex joined this society for the betterment of the environment, and that the founder, Brother Rupert, has convinced several of them to change their wills and leave everything to the society. Those who do soon die of “natural causes.” Net attends a meeting and realizes that the guests are served a drugged tea, and she rejects the pressure to join the society. Net’s townhouse is broken into. She is convinced someone was looking for the will. She calls 9-1-1 and Rupert and his followers are caught and arrested.

Eagle Rising by Mary Montague Sikes (Nook). Still mourning her fiance, Rachael’s editor sends her to cover a New Age novelist in Sedona, where she meets Derek, who is also coping with grief. Mystery and intrigue leads them to the desert, but a greater force shows the way forward.

Fall in Love with an Orange Tree or a Book by Shirley Skufca Hickman (Nook). As they work in the orange groves, Elena Hernandez’s parents are suddenly taken away by uniformed men. Elena believes that Immigration has deported them back to Mexico. Only seventeen, she is left to care for her younger brother, Miguel and sister, Lupe. Elena dreams of graduating but may have to leave school to support her family. When a mysterious caller demands money for her parents’ return, Elena is afraid that Rodriguez, the labor contractor who hired her parents, is behind their disappearance. Should she go to the police and risk deportation or stay in the shadows and spend the rest of her life working in the fields?

Felons Flames and Ambulance Rides: Stories by and about America’s Public Safety Heroes by Marilyn Olsen (Nook). In 1995, New York State Police Captain Roger Fulton had an idea. The result was the Police Writers Club that included both officers and writers and offered an annual conference and writing competition. Five years later, the club’s members published CopTales 2000, an anthology that included the works of contest winners and other submissions. In 2007, the club changed its name to the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA) and is now a national organization providing an annual conference, a writing competition. This book contains the works of members of PSWA.

Ichabod Wolfe by Frank Fiordalisi (Kindle, Nook). "Don’t let the title or the vibrantly rendered 1860s Kansas setting fool you, Ichabod Wolfe is more than western or a detective thriller. Frank Fiordalisi vividly delivers the tale of one good man, from boyhood into middle-age, in a time before law and order was the order of the land.  Ichabod Wolfe is a character who will stay with you for a long time, a quietly smart man who keeps his head—and his heart—in the face of perversity and corruption, an investigator in the time before the certainties of fingerprints and DNA. A good yarn, a trial of justice, well told." --Rhonda Riley, author of  Adam Hope

Mission Impastable by Sharon Arthur Moore (Nook). Mix together two life-long friends and their newly formed business partnership as personal chefs; stir in a stolen jade dragon, adultery, family dysfunction, a nasty and very dead client, and a large helping of suspects; add a dash of an eccentric mother and a pinch of a couple of potential love interests; don’t forget the red herrings; move all the ingredients from the back burner to the front; let simmer until they begin to boil; skim off the guilty party after it bobs to the surface;and you have a no fail, delicious recipe for a culinary mystery series. For extra seasoning, check out the recipes at the end. 

Murder's Last Resort (A Maya French Mystery) by Marta Chausee (Nook). It is bad enough that a couple of deaths happen within days of each other at the Sapphire Silver Pines Resort in Orlando, FL. But it isn’t until the hotel manager, Hubert French, is arrested on suspicion of murder that his wife Maya begins her investigations. Threats, kidnapping, and a bullet wound aren’t enough to discourage her. She won’t just stand by her man, she will save him.

Intent to Hold by Thonie Hevron (Nook). Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Reyes answers a call from his estranged wife in Mexico to help find her kidnapped brother. When he and his partner Meredith Ryan arrive, they find the crime is not as simple as they were told. Betrayed and caught by the police, they are expelled from Mexico. Returning to Puerto Vallarta by boat at night, Nick and Meredith battle nature, Federales, crime cartels and even Nick’s own family to rescue his brother-in-law. To complicate their mission, Nick must face the end of his marriage while Meredith hasn’t yet put her own nightmares to rest.

Only You by Eileen Obser (Nook). Set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Only You relates Eileen Obser’s 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 na├»ve, uninformed teenagers were influenced by social and religious pressures, to disastrous consequences.

Pope's Last Case and Other Stories by Michael A. Black (Nook). Set in the latter half of the fabulous 1940s, Pope’s Last Case and Other Stories details the adventures of tough, hardboiled, ex-Private Eye Vince Pope and his lovely, rich, socialite wife, Laura. Vince, a veteran of WW II, hung up his PI shingle in favor of a life of leisure, but old pals and new troubles keep interfering. Written as an homage to Dashiell Hammett’s, The Thin Man, this collection of short stories deftly captures the mood and optimism of the country after the Second World War when men were men and the ladies were gorgeous. Join Vince and Laura as they confront gangsters, crimes of passion, crooked politicians, and even a serial killer in this thrill-packed collection of stories that has the continuity of a novel.

Sea-Duction by Douglas Danielson (Nook). Jake Mortensen's best friend is threatened by a mysterious assassin—and now he’s scared and can’t remember who might want him dead. Meanwhile, Jake’s boss wants him to look into the disappearance of a beautiful young woman. Jake tracks her to the ultra-secret Hedonist Society, and discovers their actual program is more blackmail than entertainment. To make matters worse, Jake is on the outs with his exotic Chinese-American girlfriend. And at the ocean, the monster surf is up—with an undercurrent that can kill you, if you let it.

The Sacrifice by Mark Bouton (Nook). When the newborn daughter of a Texas state senator is snatched from the hospital, FBI agents John Ransom, a crafty veteran, and Kathy Devereaux, a striking Cajun rookie, head the pressure-filled investigation to save the infant. The agents learn a Palo mayombre cult plans a human sacrifice. But there are other suspects...Evidence shows inside help in the kidnapping, adding more suspects to the list. Now the FBI must trick the bloodthirsty cultists and stop the ceremony before they do the unthinkable.

Vermont Bound by Walter Luce (Nook). Turk Donatelli, a poor, but ambitious boy from Vermont, jumped into the real estate development game in the Southeast. He made millions while still in his 20s—but not without some brushes with the Miami Beach Mob.

Turk tried walking away from it all, but his dwindling bank balance pulls him back into the high stakes — high risk world when mob-connected Niko Pappas recruits him for his Atlanta-area construction projects.

Soon Turk is caught in a triple bind, Can he walk the razor’s edge? Or is the FBI’s Witness Protection Program the next stop?

Violent Departures by F.M. Meredith (Nook). College student Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges. 

The V V Agency by Mike Befeler (Nook). Imagine a dash of Philip Marlowe wrapped in an urban fantasy. The V V Agency is a paranormal mystery that spoofs the PI subgenre and introduces the transvictus -- a unique shape shifter. Van and Vanna run a detective agency, but clients never see them together for a simple reason. A sexual encounter transforms one into the other, and nudity renders them invisible. This presents some interesting dilemmas for his and her love lives, but gives them a distinct advantage when doing detective work. In this, the first book in the series, Van and Vanna take the case of a woman suspected of killing her husband. 

The Year Without Christmas by John M. Wills (Nook). The Year Without Christmas tells the story of a small town family whose peace is shattered by a tragic accident that sends them plunging into the darkest times they have ever known. The members struggle with their new reality, as one of them goes missing and another faces a life-threatening disease. A tale about loss and unwavering hope, the novel demonstrates the power of love, faith and a family’s will to survive.


Dac Crossley blogged about books and movies this week on his Western Blog.

He writes, "When I was a boy down in south Texas I learned to love the movies. The fancy Rialto Theater, where you took your Friday Night Date if you could get one, was the only air conditioned spot in town. For me, the Rialto was more than a destination. I was one of those youths with long, long thoughts. Motion pictures offered me another dimension to my life."

You can read the complete post here.   


Lorna Collins blogged this week about her marriage, continuing a series of posts about how she and her husband have stayed together for more than fifty years. Following up on last week's post, Lorna talks this week about meaningful rituals.

She writes, "On our wedding night, Larry told me a story about his grandparents. They were married for sixty-three years before his grandfather’s death. (This photo was taken of his grandparents and their six children at their fiftieth anniversary celebration.)

"After his grandfather died, Larry asked his grandmother what she missed most.

'We always kissed goodnight and said we loved each other. Now that he’s gone, I’ve had a hard time getting to sleep without our goodnight kiss.'

Larry told me, 'I’d like to start doing the same thing in our marriage.' For over fifty years, we have done the same except when we’re apart."

You can read here about how this ritual has helped keep their connection strong.


Jackie Taylor Zortman posted an update this week on her Jackie's Mountain Memos blog. She ponders whether artistic creativity is a gift or part of a person's DNA.

"Since I’ve been a published writer for 22 years, when my daughter recently became a writer and her younger son suddenly announced he’d like to write a book, I started wondering if this trait is genetic.  Thus began my personal research into the subject."

Find out what her research revealed here. 

Jackie is also excited to announce that her prize-winning novel Footprints in the Frost is now available through Apple iBooks and can be downloaded here.      


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

I hope folks are able to get out to Tucson this weekend and meet some great OTP authors. I was originally planning on being there myself but a last minute change of plans prevented me from heading for Arizona. Maybe next year!!!

Amy Bennett said...

We're going to miss you in Tucson, Richard. It's always a blast to get together with fellow authors!

On another note, my appearance at the Alamogordo Public Library has been moved to a date in April. Details to follow.

And, as usual, thank you, Nancy, for keeping us up to date on everyone's activities!

John M. Wills said...

Authors are busy people ... first, writing their novels, and then, promoting. My kind of people.

Nancy LiPetri said...

Great roundup, and the blogs have been better than ever lately so I hope they're getting many visitors. Wishing the OTP group a great day at the Tucson Festival--wish I could be there!

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

Great to read about all this activity!

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

Nobody can say that the majority of we OTP authors aren't busy promoting our books. This blog has become jam-packed with how busy writing a book keeps the ones who write them, as well as those who publish them. Great job again.

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Nice picture of Morro Rock and your sailboat, Bert. I'm also glad to read that the proceeds for the Tucson Festival of Books is donated each year to local organizations that improve literacy. Thanks Nancy for a job well done!

Jeff Zwagerman said...

Doesn't it seem like spring amps up an already crazy schedule? Look at how busy everyone is on this blog alone. Great work everyone.

Eileen Obser said...

Lots of news again this week. It's great to just plug into the weekly blog and see what everyone is up to.