Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Bookstore on a Ranch by Carolyn Niethammer

The road to the bookstore at Singing Winds Ranch in the beautiful San Pedro River Valley
This is the story of what some publications have called “the bookstore at the end of the world.” All authors, whether they are famous or just beginners, know that their truest business partner is the staff of the independent bookstore. And there is no better friend for writers of books on western subjects than Winn Bundy, owner of The Singing Winds Bookstore outside the little town of Benson, Arizona.

To get to the bookstore, you turn off I-10 onto Ocotillo Road, a well-graded gravel lane and go about three  miles. looking carefully on your right for the small Singing Winds sign. After the turnoff, the road becomes narrower and dustier. In years past, if the gate was closed you had to open it, drive through, and then close it to keep in the cattle. Now the cattle are fewer and are penned up.
In 1956, Winn and her late husband Bob bought the ranch, around 600 acres, and a few years later began adding mesquite shelves full of books in a room at the end of their home. Winn commuted the 30 miles into Tucson to earn master’s degrees in history and library science. All the while, the bookstore grew. More mesquite shelves, more books. Today those shelves have taken over two rooms at one end of the house and hold around 10,000 volumes. You’ll find everything from the latest best sellers to timeless classics, mysteries to kids' books. Winn knows where each single title is located.

Winn Bundy, owner of Singing Winds Bookstore
The Singing Winds Bookstore, despite its remote location, is hardly undiscovered. Every reporter from a major newspaper who happens to be vacationing in Southern Arizona seems to find his or her way down the road to Singing Winds. The bookstore walls are lined with clippings from The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Arizona Highways, the Arizona Daily Star and The Arizona Republic. People talk about it on Trip Advisor, Fordor’s and Yelp. A writer from Travel USA called it “the most unique book-buying experience of my life.”

Several times a year Winn holds a book fiesta. The biggest is held on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Book lovers fill Winn's enclosed back porch (we call it an Arizona Room) and spill into her living room. Six to eight authors are offered a coveted opportunity to get up and talk about their work before a couple hundred book lovers. Everybody is in a good mood because if they have arrived early enough, they will have filled up on Winn’s chili, cornbread and fat, chocolatey brownies. After each author speaks, Winn isn’t shy about exhorting her guests to actually open their wallets and buy the books, preferably multiple copies. And they do.

These events have been going on for decades. You'd think since she's reached the age of 85, Winn might be thinking of slowing down, cutting back. Oh no!  She has now erected a large metal shed so she can accommodate even more folks at the book fiestas. People pitch in to carry the food from her kitchen out to the buffet line.

Winn has been a loyal fan of my work, carrying all my books on edible wild plants and Native American Indian women. She has given me the chance to tell the story of Annie Dodge Wauneka and two opportunities to read from my OTP novel  The Piano Player, much of which takes place only a few miles from the bookstore in Tombstone, Arizona, but 140 years ago. 

Winn seems indefatigable and has almost mythic status among Southern Arizona authors.  Though her daughters and other friends show up to help her with the events, turn your head and she’s on a ladder getting more napkins or paper plates. Winn claims the privilege of age to speak her mind and if you don’t like what you hear, tough. Mostly her mind is on books, though. Get her talking about the books on her shelves and what you’ll hear every time is: “You’ve got to read this one. This is a great writer. You are really going to love this.”

Singing Winds is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. most days, including holidays. The phone number is 520-586-2425.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Weekly Roundup: May 27, 2015

Welcome again to the Oak Tree Press Weekly Roundup! This week author Denise Weeks (Nice Work) contributed to our blog with a post about why to buy books. Our writers post each week, so be sure to follow along.

Don't forget to pick up one or two of our great reads for your Memorial Day weekend! Kick off summer with a good story. Our bookstore has many compelling stand-alone mysteries and mystery series, thrillers, romances, police procedurals, westerns, memoirs, and children's bookseven some paranormal storiesmany of which have been acknowledged as prizewinners or finalists for regional and national book awards. And we've got three new releases on offer if you're looking to be among the first to read and review a fresh title.

Whatever your tastes, you'll find a book to love in our catalog. 

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.

"Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short."
~Henry David Thoreau

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!
Just click on a title and you will be directed to a free read! These sample chapters are updated frequently, and new releases are featured. The lastest titles added include
O.I.S: Officer Involved Shooting 
Murder: A Way to Lose Weight 
A Portrait to Die For 



We're excited to announce our latest releases: A Frenzied Bid for Murder by Ellie Oberth, The Silent Journey by Michael J. Bellito, and Storm Crashers by Richard Wickliffe.

In A Frenzied Bid for Murder, Venice Sinclair decides to join her friend, Tanya at an auction at Lock & Go Mini-storage. Buying the contents of abandoned lockers provides inventory for Tanya’s two antique shops in Las Vegas: the higher end, Tanya’s Treasures and the more miscellaneous Junque in the Trunk. When the auctioneer whips open the rollup door on the first unit, Venice and the other bidders catch their breath. This storage room has been set up as a shrine! Tanya wins the bid. While they inventory their haul, Venice discovers a diary in the “shrine” unit. Of course she must read it, and soon Venice is convinced the diary reveals that its author was murdered. Venice’s friends are indulgent but skeptical as Venice starts to research the matter of the death. By the time they take her seriously, so does the murderer…and he is not pleased.

Praise for the novel: "As Venice reads the contents of Brenda’s diary, curiosity leads to obsession to find out more about the young woman and her death. A compelling mystery with an unusual theme and compelling plot threads." --Marilyn Meredith, author of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series 

About the author: A Chicago resident, Ellie Oberth’s love of mysteries began at an early  age with an introduction to the works of Agatha Christie. She’s a life-long member of Sisters-In-Crime National and has served on the Board of Directors of the Chicagoland Chapter—as Secretary in 2009 and as Treasurer from 2010-2011. These days, when she’s not busy writing, she’s travelling. Ellie pops up in the most unusual places. She’s been known to scour the beach at midnight with a flashlight, looking for a place to bury the body, or tramping through the deserted woods with the same goal in mind or . . .

You can read mor about Ellie at her blog.

The Silent Journey is a memoir of one man's journey through stroke and its aftermath. Michael J. Bellito had a stroke on August 17, 2012. It paralyzed his entire right side and left him unable to talk. He was only 62 years old, ready to start his 41st year of teaching. It changed his life forever. He could either give up trying or make every day a new day.

Praise for the book: "Mike is a master at blending humor with narrative storytelling, and in no book has he done that more beautifully than in this one -- where he brings readers with him through his journey through a stroke and back. His venture into the pure nonfiction genre is a beautiful reminder of the strength of the human spirit, the will to survive and the power of friends and family to lift you up in your darkest moments. It could have been a bleak story; instead, through humor where you can almost picture him chuckling, he tells it like it was and makes you smile, too." --Erin Brooks, editor

“A Silent Journey” is written with sincere emotion from an awe inspiring viewpoint. The deep-rooted level of details provided throughout are incredibly descriptive and meaningful. This is an amazing accomplishment from a humble man." --Emil Misichko, longtime friend and neighbor of the author 

About the author: Michael J. Bellito taught speech and English, including creative writing classes, at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois, for thirty-two years. He also taught at Harper College, a local community college. His first novel was Ten Again, a story about a young boy and his adventures with his boyhood friends. His second novel was First Time Around, a coming-of-age story about a young boy falling in love for the first time.

Micheal is also the author of Abner's Story, published by Oak Tree Press. He now lives in Wheeling with his wife, Joani.

In Storm Crashers, nature's most deadly force just got more terrifying. Alexandra, a single mother, hides in her home during a category-four hurricane. She's suddenly terrorized by dark figures who enter. They are the Storm Crashers: high-tech thieves who prey on their victims during storm evacuations. They must race the clock and are fearless -- until they come across the mysterious young mother who fights back.

Dan Holms, a disparaged investigator, and a rookie female detective are disciplined for believing Alexandra's story about "mystery soldiers." The Crashers want to silence the woman who has seen them, and a new Cat-5 is on the way. Holms and the officer unravel their origin with action and twists that could inevitably impact our national security. A story inspired by real crimes, and so unique and action-packed, it was optioned by 20th Century Fox.

You can view a book trailer for the novel here.

About the author: Richard Wickliffe is the author of three novels. Rich enjoys speaking about creative and unique crimes and has done so twice at the FBI’s InfraGard Counterterrorism conferences, to the U.S, Coast Guard, and on panels at seminars in Las Vegas dedicated to accuracy in crime writing. Rich’s writing borrows from the unique (scandalous, criminal, or satirical) environments of South Florida, where he resides with his family.

From the other side of his brain, Rich's art and photography have been seen in print, in Forbes Travel magazine and exhibited in Fort Lauderdale's Broward Art Guild. He has performed stand-up comedy which explains his odd mix of suspense and laughs.

He and his family are regular visitors to any coast with sufficient hammocks and blenders. Find out more at


Serita Stevens was interviewed on LA Talk Radio's The Writer's Block on Thursday, May 26. You can listen in here.

Serita's forthcoming novel is My Pagan Love.


Richard Paolinelli was featured in the Thursday Interview at The interview is a mix of imaginative questions about writing and other topics. For example,

"No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?

Yes. I’m very old school (my wife swears I was born about 150 years too late) and I’ve always felt that family trumps all. Now, if a family member had broken the law, I’d urge them to turn themselves in. But if a family member were in jeopardy I would do whatever it took to save them the law notwithstanding.

"No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Alive is just going through the motions. Wake up, eat, work, sleep and repeat until you die. Truly living is taking chances (even when the odds of success are very low), appreciating the people closest to you and, when you have reached the end of your days, looking back at your life without once saying “If only I had tried that but I didn’t.”

You can read the full interview here.

Richard is the author of Reservations. The novel is set near Gallup, New Mexico where the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni reservations are adjacent. Three tribal leaders have been murdered —murdered in a fashion that suggests the deeds were carried out by the Coyote, a legendary evil trickster feared by many Native Americans.

The tribal president contacts his old friend in the FBI for assistance in solving the crimes and preventing more murders. The FBI selects its star agent, Jack Del Rio, and dispatches him to New Mexico. Del Rio finds a situation tangled in political intrigue, and must work through those issues on his way to solving the mystery. Assisting him in his quest is Officer Lucy Chee. A romantic interest develops between the two. Del Rio identifies the murderer, but not without further bloodshed and loss.


Radine Trees Nehring's A Portrait to Die For was featured as the Monday Sampler on Venture Galleries. The acknowledgment features an excerpt. Reviewer Linda Pirtle provides a synopsis and quotes one reviewer of the book as saying, "What a great mix for Carrie’s latest adventure!  She and Henry have their hands full with suspicious characters aboard an excursion train, switched identities, Civil War treasures, stolen jewelry, rifled rooms, and a “safe house” incident. Did I mention a dead body?" 

At 8:20 the next morning Catherine sat in her car outside the workshop at Fred’s and wondered who was inside the building. There were two trucks parked in the lot. She supposed the newer pickup with the business name and logo on the door was Freda’s.

The other truck was unmarked. Maybe it was the older pickup she had seen here yesterday. She hadn’t paid much attention to it then, and wasn’t good at identifying trucks unless an automaker had displayed their company name and vehicle style prominently on the tailgate.


Well, nothing ventured. Daddy had said that. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” 

Zero hour. Catherine opened her car door and slid out, putting her cell phone in her pocket.

Twenty steps to the open shop door, and then Catherine was inside. It was very quiet. Should she say something? No, not yet at least.

Two steps. Lots of stuff, but no person, no sound, no movement but her own.

Two more steps.

Something on the concrete floor caught her attention. Blobs of oil? She stopped to stare, bent over to look more closely.

Drops of blood. Fresh enough to be red. Oh, dear God, NO.

You can read the full excerpt here.

Radine's novel was also acknowledged on the A Book and A Dish blog, which highlighted a recipe from the story. Blogger Martha A. Cheves writes, "Carrie's Hamburger Patty Surprise is another super-simple recipe already becoming popular with readers. See her son's reaction to it in A Portrait to Die For. That recipe is the back of the book.

"As you have probably discovered already, Carrie is not an enthusiastic cook, and -- due to life circumstances--never had cooked until she was on her own when past middle age.  All her recipes are "double simple."

In the novel, Carrie discovers two versions of a supposedly original portrait in a loan exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. When a reporter who interviewed Carrie at the museum disappears, Carrie must choose between her promise to stop crime-solving or work to find the woman--a college friend of her son's.  


Ann K. Howley's humorous essay titled "One Million Years BC (Baby Crap)" won the first place in the nonfiction in the Pennwriters 2016 Writing Contest. Ann's nonfiction essay "Milking It" was a first-place winner in the 2015 contest.

Ann is the author of Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad, 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.


The release of Radine Trees Nehring's latest novel, A Portrait to Die For, was announced in the April/May 2016 edition of Vitalsigns, the members-only newsletter of Mystery Writers of America.

In the novel, Carrie discovers two versions of a supposedly original portrait in a loan exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. When a reporter who interviewed Carrie at the museum disappears, Carrie must choose between her promise to stop crime-solving or work to find the woman--a college friend of her son's.  



Author and artist Beryl Reichenberg will again participate in this year's Festival in the Park, the centerpiece of Paso Artfest on May 28 in Paso Robles, California from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. She will host a booth where kids (and adults) can make a pop-out face card.

The event Beryl will provide the paper and supplies, and visitors provide the imagination and creativity. These cards require one cut and some folding. Beryl’s children’s books will also be for sale.

Her booth will be in the festival children’s area in downtown City Park on Spring Street. Artfest is for people of all ages and features art booths, food, music, kid’s activities, and much more. It is the highlight of Paso’s art community and a free event for all.

Beryl is also being featured at the Gallery at the Network in San Luis Obispo in a fiber show during the month of May. Anyone interested in seeing some of Beryl’s book art form should visit the gallery at 778 Higuera Street, Suite B, during business hours.
Beryl is the author many titles for children, including six from OTP: Butterfly Girls, Ants on a Log, Camouflage, Clowning Around, When Caterpillars Dream, and The Mysterious Case of the Missing Birthday Cake.


Marilyn Meredith will be participating in a book signing at Zaca Mesa Winery in Los Olivos from on Sunday, May 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. She will be joined by nine other authors from the Central Coast chapter of Sisters in Crime. The winery has set up a web page to announce the event.

Marilyn is the author of the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series and recently released the 12th book in the series, A Crushing Death. A pile of rocks is found on a dead body beneath the condemned pier, a teacher is accused of molesting a student, the new police chief is threatened by someone she once arrested for violent attacks on women, and Officer Milligan’s teenage daughter has a problem.

"I've followed F.M. Meredith's Rocky Bluff PD series for a while now, and as one does in a good series, I've become rather fond of the characters who populate this small police department. They're now a literary ‘family’ I like catching up with regularly, and I haven't been disappointed. Besides the ‘family comfort’ feeling I derive from F. M.'s books, she always tells a good story.--M. M. Gornell


Thonie Hevron's Intent to Hold, book two in the Nick and Meredith Mysteries, has been chosen as a featured novel for the 2016 Copperfield’s/Redwood Writers Fiction Book Club. On the club's upcoming Book Club Night on May 31st from 6 to 7 p.m, Thonie will be reading, answering questions, and signing books at the Montgomery Village Copperfield’s, 775 Village Court, Santa Rosa, California. 

Thonie co-chairs  the Spotlight Fiction Book Club, a collaboration between Copperfield's Montgomery Village bookstore and Redwood Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club. The Spotlight Fiction Book Club meets from 6 to 7 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month at the store in Santa Rosa. Each meeting features a book by one of the club's members.

The spotlight is on the author, but according to the club's website, "The books aren’t the only enticing feature. How about a chat with the authors? You can ask, 'How did you start writing?' or 'What made you pick this time in history for your novel?' or just, 'What about that ending, eh?'"

Intent to Hold, Sonoma County Sheriffs Detectives Nick Reyes and Meredith Ryan travel to Mexico to rescue his kidnapped brother-in-law. 

Along the way, they battle corrupt cops, natural disasters, and even family to save his wife's brother. A fast-paced read that will have you on the edge of your seat.


Ann K. Howley will be hosting her first Memoir Writers Weekend Retreat in western Pennsylvania's beautiful Laurel Highlands from June 3 to 5. The retreat will offer full attendance options, including an overnight, as well as Saturday-only spots.

Here's the agenda for the conference:

Friday, June 3, 2016

7:00-9:00PM - Drinks and appetizers

Memoir Talk #1: The Dream of Writing
Whether your dream is to write a bestseller or to "get that story off your chest," it's important
to think about what you want to achieve as a writer. You can only achieve your goals if you visualize them first. Before the weekend, each attendee should think about their short and long term goals and write them down.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

8:00-9:00AM - Breakfast

9:00-10:00AM - Memoir Talk #2: How to Retrieve Your Memories
When you write your memoir, you have to scan your memories for the story you want to tell. Guest speaker Wendy Duchene will discuss effective ways to jog your memory to remember the facts and details that make your story come alive.

10:00-10:45AM - Writing Exercise: Using methods suggested by Wendy, jog your memory and write a story about an experience from your past.

10:45-11:AM - Break

11:00-12:00PM - Story share and open discussion

12:00-1:00PM - Lunch

1:00-2:00PM - Memoir Talk #3: Build a Writing Portfolio: Where Can You Publish and Sell Your Personal Stories?
It's important for authors and writers to get writing credits. What publications and venues publish personal narratives? Discuss ideas on how to build your author brand and your writing portfolio.

2:00-4:00PM - Memoir Talk #4: Where Are You in the Writing Process?
Whether you've written 10 chapters or are still trying to develop your story line, every writer needs feedback and support. Attendees are encouraged to bring a writing sample. It could be a summary of your book, a sample chapter, a detailed chapter outline, or anything that you need help with. I want every attendee to have the opportunity to have their work evaluated in a constructive, encouraging, supportive environment.

4:00-6:00PM - Free time to write, read, nap, hike and absorb what you have learned so far.
Saturday, June 4, 2016 (continued)

6:00-7:30PM - Dinner

8:00-10:00PM - Movie and popcorn. I haven't picked out a movie yet, but it's got to be uplifting and about writing or writers.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

8:00-9:00AM - Breakfast

9:00-10:00AM - Memoir Talk #5: Achieving Your Writing Goals
Whether your dream is big or small, you need a plan to achieve your writing goals. We'll spend time talking about how to create a plan, and discuss the value of patience and rejection in achieving your


Ann and her husband are also organizing a 335-miles bike ride from Washington DC to Pittsburgh to raise money for the American Cancer Society. We are Team Do-Gooders Doing Good!

Ann is the author of Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad, 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.


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." There will be two authors per booth.

John's latest novel is O.I.S: Officer Involved Shooting. August, 2014. Oakland, California. A white police officer shoots and kills an unarmed black man. Protesters march and their rallying cries echo through the streets:  “Black lives matter! Hands up, don’t shoot! I can’t breathe!” Outside agitators swarm into the city to incite unrest. Police mobilize to prevent mob violence and looting. Rioting erupts. Oakland teeters on the verge of anarchy.

Buried under an avalanche of scathing criticism is OPD Officer Shane Barrow’s account of that fatal encounter.  A routine traffic stop escalates into a fierce life and death struggle between the driver and Shane for control of his holstered pistol, compelling Shane to shoot his attacker in a desperate fight for survival. But the Black Lives Matter movement scorns his version of the controversy and brands him as just another racist, trigger-happy cop guilty of murdering a defenseless black man.

This unjust persecution and relentless negative media coverage traumatizes Shane, cripples him with self-doubt, and sets the stage for a stunning conclusion with tragic consequences.


Mary Montague Sikes will be one of the alumni authors signing her books on Saturday, June 4, during the University of Mary Washington's Alumni Reunion weekend celebration at Lee Hall fromericksburg, Virgini Fredericksburg, Virginia Fre12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The signing will take place in Lee Hall on the university's campus in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Fans may bring books from home or purchase them on-site. Signing held inside the bookstore in Lee Hall.

In addition, Mary's sculpture and painting will be part of the Painting, Poetry and Prose: A Creative Encounter show taking place from June 4 to July 2 at the Bay School Community Arts Center in Mathews, Virginia. A reception will be held on Saturday, June 4, from 4 to 6 p.m. The show is part of an exhibition of writing and art presented by the Chesapeake Bay branch of the National League of American Pen Women.

Mary's most recent book is Evening of the Dragonfly. Threatening telephone calls and strange cars with dark-tinted windows plague artist/teacher Farrah Ferand. Recovering from the tragic loss of her mother, Farrah is trying to adapt to the life of a small-town art teacher when she encounters Dirk Lawrence, a mysterious stranger.

Her attraction to him is immediate and electric until Farrah discovers Dirk is part of the Lawrence and Pendesky investment firm that led to her mother's downfall a few years earlier. Farrah's not too perfect dating relationship with Tom Douglas, the town favorite football coach, worsens. An unexpected encounter leads to dates with Dirk and his help with the construction of a dream art studio in her rented house. But trouble looms with Tom who believes he and Farrah are engaged, and the entire town appears to be drawn in. Haunting dreams and lost memories overwhelm Farrah as she creates paintings for a one-person art show. Will shadows of the past ruin all hope for Farrah and Dirk?


J. L. Greger will participate in Page One Books's Local Author & Small Press Fair on Saturday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Authors are invited to bring their books to promote independently at the fairs, which are being held four times this yera.

The event will take place on the Page One Books front sidewalk underneath the shopping center's upstairs balcony, weather permitting.

J.L.'s latest book is Murder . . . A Way to Lose Weight. Dieting is hard. So is fitting into a new job where you aren’t wanted. In Murder: A Way to Lose Weight, Dr. Linda Almquist is trying to do both as she investigates two diet doctors who are endangering the lives of their obese patients. When she finds one diet doctor dead, she and the police suspect the other diet doctor. Maybe they’re wrong. The murders might be related to something in the past—something involving the dean of the medical school. While Linda fears for her job, the police fear for her life.


David Freedland will speak and sign copies of his novel Lincoln 9 at an event being held at Saddleback Church on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, at 9 AM. The event will be held on the Laguna Woods Campus 24262 Punta Alta, Clubhouse 5, in Laguna Woods, California. The speaking event topic is “Tactical Faith in a Contentious World.”

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.


Radine Trees Nehring recently attended the Books in Bloom Literary Festival, a yearly Arkansas book festival celebrated at the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs.  The event was held on May 15, from noon until 5 p.m.

These photos tell much of the story:

(1) John and I set up earlier than most other authors. My tent was located at the entrance to the area -- the prime location -- and I had lookers and customers by an hour before the noon opening time. 

(2) Barnes & Noble began set up around the time we were at our table. They put my Oak Tree Press books (A Portrait to Die For and A Fair to Die For) out right away since a couple of early arrivals asked for them. My novel A Wedding to Die For is set largely in the Crescent Hotel, and people bought that book in the hotel, bringing copies to my table for an autograph. John and I sold copies of my other titles from our table

(3) I spoke in the writer's tent at noon. There was quite a crowd around my table after that. Some came to continue the timed-out conversations and Q&A begun in the writer's tent.  Most brought books for me to sign.

(4) General view of the area including the hotel with gazebo and conservatory (where Carrie and Henry were married in A Weddng to Die For in the background.

And, that's it. Barnes & Noble sold at least 20 copies of A Portrait to Die For and an unknown number of A Fair to Die For."  (I had consigned copies of the former by prior arrangement.)

The event gets pretty quiet in late afternoon, but in general, was very well attended.

In Radine's most recent novel, A Portrait to Die For, Carrie discovers two versions of a supposedly original portrait in a loan exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. When a reporter who interviewed Carrie at the museum disappears, Carrie must choose between her promise to stop crime-solving or work to find the woman -- a college friend of her son's.


Additional details about these events will appear in future Roundups.

Richard Paolinelli will be on Red River Radio's No Limits show on August 16th at 3 p.m. PDT.

He will also be at the Sedona Book & Arts Festival in Sedona, Arizona, on Sept. 10 & 11. 



In addition to being available for Barnes and Noble's Nook and Amazon's Kindle readers and apps, our books are now for sale at All Romance and its partner site OmniLit. These sites run promotions at times, giving you a chance to fill your library at a reduced cost. We are also making OTP books available as iBooks through Apple's iTunes.

Our latest ebook venture is our storefront at Papertrell, a partnership with Hummingbird Digital Media. Readers can shop online or by using the My Must Reads app. Up to five devices can be linked to each individual Papertrell account.

These are our latest titles available through Hummingbird. 

Black Ice by I.C. Enger. Both chilling and thought provoking, the novel is a page turner with a bombshell ending you won't anticipate. Homeland Security Special Agent Jack Strickland and Brooke Breckenridge are thrown into a maelstrom of intrigue, murder and kidnapping by the discovery of a mysterious silver sphere lying quietly at the bottom of Three Cranes Lake.
This perplexing sphere becomes the center of a mystery involving an ancient Hopi Indian prophecy of the Blue Kachina and a remote cave hidden deep within the earth. The secrets discovered there are both frightening and wondrous. Throw in a troubled teen and suspicions of a leak within Homeland Security, and the fun and games begin.

Blessings, Bullets and Bad Bad Men by B.A. Kelly. An action-packed western following the adventures of gunfighter Jim Blessing who rides into a sleepy little town in 1870s New Mexico Territory named Las Flores. Blessing is thirsty, rich and single. When he wakes up the next morning, he's hung over, broke and married -- and he can't remember how he got that way. Then someone starts shooting at him. As he searches for a way out of his troubles, Blessing grows more deeply involved with Maria, his beautiful young Spanish wife, plus a young boy and his dog, and Morgan Price, the man who tried using blackmail to force Maria to marry him.

Code of the Texas Ranger by Dac Crossley. Old-time Texas Ranger Whitey Wilson is not welcome when he rides into the South Texas town of Kingsville. His old compadre, former Ranger Red Regan is sheriff and resents Wilson's interference. Both men courted Mabel Regan, who is now Red's wife, and jealousies erupt whenWhitey comes to town. What does Whitey want? The sheriff's job? Or his wife? Follow the further adventures of Red Rogan and Whitey Wilson as they rout out the criminal element in Kingsville.

Eagle Rising by Mary Montague Sikes. 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.

Eva Pennington by Walter Luce. Suspenseful, riveting, as brilliant, vivacious women take on the banking industry. Born unwanted because she is a girl instead of a boy, into a banking empire, Eva Pennington, at the age of twenty-three, inherits three banks, after her father commits suicide. While computerizing her banks, Eva realizes that women control ninety percent of the deposits in her banks, yet men make all of the decisions as to what to do with those deposits. She uses this knowledge to form a woman’s bank, securing huge deposits, and power, to become the largest banking institution in Florida. Eva’s motto, “Men, get out of the way. Women will lead, not serve.

Eva Pennington Trouble in Georgia by Walter Luce. While expanding her banking empire into Georgia, Eva clashes with devious Atlanta good-old-boys who think her ambitions are unseemly for a woman. But they’re desperate for Eva’s investment in their banks to avert financial calamity – a calamity created by their own poor management. Convinced they can out-smart Eva, the bankers try to secure her cash infusion without sharing control. As Eva and her team get to work on a hostile takeover, she finds she must put her romance with Dutch on a back burner and focus on out-maneuvering the bankers and escaping the violent intentions of the Georgia boys’ pals in the Ku Klux Klan.


Evening of the Dragonfly by Mary Montague Sikes. Threatening telephone calls and strange cars with dark-tinted windows plague artist/teacher Farrah Ferand. Recovering from the tragic loss of her mother, Farrah is trying to adapt to the life of a small-town art teacher when she encounters Dirk Lawrence, a mysterious stranger. Her attraction to him is immediate and electric until Farrah discovers Dirk is part of the Lawrence and Pendesky investment firm that led to her mother's downfall a few years earlier. Farrah's not too perfect dating relationship with Tom Douglas, the town favorite football coach, worsens. An unexpected encounter leads to dates with Dirk and his help with the construction of a dream art studio in her rented house. But trouble looms with Tom who believes he and Farrah are engaged, and the entire town appears to be drawn in. Haunting dreams and lost memories overwhelm Farrah as she creates paintings for a one-person art show. Will shadows of the past ruin all hope for Farrah and Dirk? 
Fallen From Grace by John Lindermuth. As the 19th century winds to a close, Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman of the small Pennsylvania town of Arahpot ponders his biggest problems: finding a new deputy and convincing his true love, Lydia, to marry him. But an early autumn day finds Arahpot’s usual tranquility shaken when a stranger is fatally stabbed. Suddenly Sylvester is plunged into investigating two murders. As he works through an abundance of suspects, Tilghman finds himself in danger. And worse -- Lydia is pushing her obnoxious cousin as a candidate for deputy.

Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides: Stories by and about America’s Public Safety Heroes by Marilyn Olsen. 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. Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides contains the works of members of PSWA.

Fall in Love with an Orange Tree or a Book by Shirley S. Hickman. 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? 
Footprints in the Frost by Jackie Taylor Zortman. This first-place award winning novel introduces homicide detective, Max Richards, and involves his life  both on the job and away from it.  When he is hand picked by the chief of police to work a long and complicated serial rape case involving five beautiful victims with whom he must spend much time, his life with girlfriend and bookstore owner, Sami Murphy, becomes extremely complicated.  Escaping from the city hustle and bustle to his beautiful and remote Colorado mountain cabin, the two of them attempt to relax and try to untangle the knots in their relationship.  What will happen to this couple who are tremendously bonded, but have to decide if their jobs and lives can meld permanently or if it  would be better to go their separate ways?   
In Franklin's House by Beverly Lauderdale. In an isolated, turn-of-the-last century house on a Northern California hillside, Kate steps into a deserted room that exudes a strange appeal. Based largely on her reaction, she decides to buy the Victorian and to move from Iowa with husband Dan, whose affair has rocked their marriage. Lost and far from her home and familiar things, Kate is drawn repeatedly to the room where she finds a diary written in 1906, and a delicate rose bud necklace. The diarist describes visits from her deceased husband, Franklin, a poet. Captivated, Kate can't resist donning the necklace, which, to her amazement provides a portal though which Franklin can enter Kate's world.

House of Homicide by Eileen Magill. 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 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. 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.

Ghost Writer by Lorna Collins. 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.

Ghost Music by Patrick Linder. Seattle Detective Marcus Brace is falling apart, both professionally and personally. But a brutal murder and a phone call from family long-forgotten force Marcus to face everything he’s been running from. When the killer begins targeting those around him, Marcus has no choice but to consider how sins from the past echo, like ghost music, to haunt those in the present. Finding help from new detective Ashlynn Rivers, Marcus is on a race to find not just a killer but also pieces of a family mystery that no one wants to acknowledge. 

Guns of the Texas Ranger by Dac Crossley. When Texas Ranger Ygnacio ("Nacho") Ybarra slips across the border into Mexico, he is surprised by bandits and taken to confront an old acquaintance, Pancho Villa. The revolutionary leader charges NAcho to assist in corralling a rogue outlaw, Chulo Valdez. But that bandit lures Nacho into an attack on his own Ranger Company. Guns of the Texas Ranger, volume one in the Border Trilogy, is a tale of Rangers Whitey Wilson and Red Regan and the girl they both love. And their search justice during the border wars, when only a small Ranger Company stands in the way of bandit raids. And how Ranger Nacho Ybarra prevented a war.


Gumbo Justice by Holli Castillo. New Orleans prosecutor Ryan Murphy likes her Tequila cold and her cops hot. Battling demons from her past and checking a self-destructive streak take a back seat to her ambition, and she's not above skating the line just a little to get what she wants. If she snags a detective in the process, well, that's just a little lagniappe for her trouble. Life should be good. Enter a demented psycho, with a plan to ruin Ryan's life before he ultimately kills her. Set against the backdrop of pre-Katrina New Orleans, Gumbo Justice is first in a series that follows the tumultuous life of prosecutor Ryan Murphy.


Hearts Across Forever by Mary Montague Sikes. Kathryn Calder's unexpected job assignment to Jamaica changes her life. From the moment she arrives, she is haunted by odd memories of a distant past. Is Flynt Kincade, the stranger she meets in an art gallery, part of that past? Kathryn senses he is, especially when dreams connecting her with Flynt grow vivid. A visit to Rose Hall Great House draws Kathryn into a scene from long ago when evil reigned in Jamaica and Annie Palmer, the white witch of Rose Hall, was part of the danger. Can a love affair from old Jamaica reach across forever and bring Kathryn and Flynt together?

Hooperman: A Bookstore Mystery by John M. Daniel. Hooperman Johnson works as a bookstore cop, catching shoplifters in the act. It’s a difficult job for a man with a stammer, but somebody’s got to do it, because Maxwell’s Books is getting ripped off big-time. The store is also fire-bombed twice during the course of the story. Set in the summer of 1972, the summer of the Watergate break-in, Hooperman is a bookstore mystery without a murder, but full of plot, full of oddball characters, full of laughs, and full of love, some of it poignant, some of it joyful. 

Ichabod Wolfe by Frank Fiordalisi. 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.

Intent to Hold by Thonie Hevron. 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. 

Is Everybody Happy Now? by Shirley S. Hickman. In1945 when World War II ended, Shirley Skufca was nine. Two years later, she moved with her teenager sisters and their parents from Crested Butte to Gunnison. Only 28 miles apart, the two Colorado towns had little in common other than their high altitudes, bitter winter cold, and snow-covered streets and buildings. Populated by Croatians, Italians, and a sprinkling of Germans, Crested Butte retained its Eastern European traditions, especially its Catholic faith. Miners were union men and staunch Democrats. In sharp contrast, Gunnison’s Anglo-Saxon ranchers boasted of generations living on the land and held fast to their Protestant faith and the Republican Party.

Shirley had never heard the words, culture shock, but after she moved to Gunnison, she was plunged into a world so different from the one she had grown up in, she wondered if she’d ever adapt to this new community. During the next three years, she struggles to adjust and encounters successes and failures, but with the help of her new friends, she finds acceptance and happiness. 
Jack of Hart: A Spaghetti and Rice Mystery by Mike Eldridge. Retired Italian homicide detective, Frank Borelli, has started a P.I. firm with retired Chinese call girl, Ming Li Chow. They call the company, Spaghetti Rice Investigations, with their motto is; “When No One Else Can help” Frank deals with his wacky Italian family and Ming Li has a 10 year-old son, who is the off-spring of the local head of the Chinese Mafia in Boston. Since retiring, Ming Li has achieved a double-black belt in Tai Kwan Do, taken courses in criminal forensics, and become extremely efficient in the use of many firearms and weapons. She is a force to reckon with. Frank brings 30 years of police work (22 as a homicide detective.) He is a crack shot with his Glock .45 automatic, has a black belt in 9-iron, and is a scratch golfer.

Jambalaya Justice by Holli Castillo. Set against the backdrop of pre-Katrina New Orleans, Jambalaya Justice is the second in the Crescent City mystery series. When a dead hooker is discovered in a crackhouse, prosecutor Ryan Murphy refuses to let the case languish into yet another unsolved homicide. And if she hides her involvement from her detective boyfriend, it’s only because he’s busy working late nights on a secret case of his own. When Ryan isn’t hounding the homicide detective for information or investigating the murder behind his back, she’s juggling her Strike Force cases, including a four-victim mob hit, a nasty domestic violence assault, and the armed robbery of a strip club.
Jingo Street by Sharon Ervin. 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. 

Jungle Jeopardy by Mary Montague Sikes. When Dana realizes Clifton is missing, she takes off for Costa Rica to find him. An apparent kidnapping turns into a jungle adventure that leads Dana and Clifton into the wilds of Guatemala where they discover an unexplored Maya cave, find pottery and walls covered with glyphs. Tyler Hunter wants to save Dana’s sister from prison, and to do so, he must find her grandfather’s hidden treasure. An archaeologist on sabbatical, Tyler intrigues Dana with his knowledge of the Maya. Dana has never doubted her sister’s guilt in the murder of their grandfather on the island of Antigua, but now an element of doubt begins to creep in.

The Last Casualty by Peter Spring. When Boston Tribune reporter Chris Parsons writes a story reuniting an ex-POW with his former torturer, he uncovers a decades-old betrayal powerful men in our government will do anything - even commit murder -- to keep secret.

The New Romantics by Richard Marranca. “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

Sudden Justice by Les Hoffman. A Mexican drug lord expands his brutal enterprise into South Texas. An overbearing business executive entraps the women in his employ. A Southern patriarch and his son control a small Alabama town with an iron fist and a thieving hand. These situations have one thing in common.  The perpetrators have found a way to operate outside the law, while the victims have nowhere to turn . . . or do they? Bryce Daniels is a man who understands the pain and frustration of feeling helpless against the power of money and the arrogance that it breeds Resurrected from a troubled youth after the death of his father, he is now a family man, engineering professor, and community theater actor with a flair for costuming. But behind these idyllic circumstances, he uses all his skills to help those who find themselves outside the rule of law. In Sudden Justice, Daniels travels from the hills of Texas to the coastal wilds of Alabama to hunt a ruthless enemy, while being hunted himself by an investigative journalist piecing together his vigilante activities. The ensuing roller coaster of events culminates in a dire threat to himself, his family, and the belief system he has built his life around.   

The Wicked and the Dead by Robert Wiebezahl. 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 lighthearted skewering of the insular world of the film industry.


Marilyn Meredith reflects on her recent blog tour on the Murderous Musings blog this week. She writes, "The purpose of a blog tour, of course, is to interest people in your latest book and hope they will buy it. I asked my publisher if sales had happened during the tour, but though some books were purchased, nothing to get thrilled about. Though she did report that there had been sale in the earlier books in the series.

"When planning a blog tour I tend to ask reliable hosts—those I can count on. However, to get my book and series exposed to new people, I try to ask bloggers I’ve never used before. Sometimes that works well, and others, not so much."
You can read the full post here.

Marilyn is the author of the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series.


John Lindermuth updated his Lindy's Lair blog this week in a post that talks about how ideas become a story.

He writes, "Writers are often asked, "Where do you get your ideas?" The answer is easy: ideas are all around us.

"You discover them in what your read, what you hear (writers are notorious eavesdroppers), in what you see, and so many other places. But an idea is not a story. An idea is the germ of a story. It's what gets you asking, 'what if...'

"The next step in the process is creating character(s), a plot and a story location. There has been argument over which is more important--character or plot. In my opinion, they're equally important. You can't have one without the other." 

You can read the full post here.

John is the author of Fallen from Grace and Sooner Than Gold.


OTP is giving away five copies of J. L. Greger's Murder . . . A Way to Lose Weight as a Goodreads Giveaway. It's easy to participate in this giveaway by following this link. 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.

Dieting is hard. So is fitting into a new job where you aren’t wanted. In Murder: A Way to Lose Weight, Dr. Linda Almquist is trying to do both as she investigates two diet doctors who are endangering the lives of their obese patients. When she finds one diet doctor dead, she and the police suspect the other diet doctor. Maybe they’re wrong. The murders might be related to something in the past—something involving the dean of the medical school. While Linda fears for her job, the police fear for her life.