Friday, June 10, 2016

Weekly Roundup: June 10, 2016

Welcome again to the Oak Tree Press Weekly Roundup! We hope you stopped by during the week to read the great post by Channing Whitaker (Until the Sun Rises). He poses questions about how much one's anticipated audience should influence the crafting of a novel and then answers these questions in the context of his own first novel and it's sequel, which is well under way. Please stop by and leave a comment or answer the questions he leaves for readers.

In the publishing world this week, Lambda Literary announced the winners of its annual Lambda Literary Awards. The awards "identify and celebrate the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender books of the year and affirm that LGBTQ stories are part of the literature of the world." The categories and winners are too numerous to list, but a full list appears at the organization's website. The winning books were published in 2015.

Speaking of award winners, our bookstore has 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. Looking for interesting characters, page-turning plots, and stories that stay with you beyond the last word? We've got them—and in the formats you're looking for, too!

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.

"No two persons ever read the same book."
~Edmund Wilson

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 



Radine Trees Nehring was recently featured in the UK Lifestyle magazine Female First. In an article title "About me and my books," Radine answers questions about her To Die For mystery series and her writing and personal lives. Here's an excerpt:

What about people who live or work in locations you have chosen? Are they generally okay with your plans?

More than okay. Quite often they become so enthusiastic during the beginning work on "their" novel that, when helping me with research, (and often allowing me in places where the public does not go), they begin getting so involved in the story that they make plot suggestions.Then we have a wonderful time together!

Do you model characters after people you know?

Not consciously, but I've had the opportunity to observe people in many settings for many years. My knowledge and interest in humanity--with all its variety and peculiarity--definitely does give reality and color to my book people. But, as for copying a real person into a

specific character, no, I don't do that.

You can read the full interview here.

The latest in Radine's mystery series is 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.



Kelly Moreno and his novel Duty to Betray was recently featured in article in the New Times, a news magazine for San Luis Obispo County along California's Central Coast. Staff writer Glen Starkey calls the novel "gripping" and "richly observed and insightful." He also uses the interview with Kelly to decribe the book's path to publication.

He writes, "The novel was certainly a long time in the making. He started it in the 1990s, worked on it for years, brought it to a number of writers’ workshops, and even shopped it around, and while early drafts got some interest, a lot of publishers felt a core element of the story—AIDs and a psychologist’s 'duty to warn' others if a patient is a danger—was passé. Moreno abandoned the novel." 

You can read the full post here.

Duty to Betray centers on the legal requirement of mental health professionals to keep patient disclosures confidential. Yet the law also requires them to “warn and protect” anyone their patient is likely to harm. A Duty to Betray plunges Dr. Ricardo Ruiz, a young psychologist just beginning his career, squarely into the middle of these two seemingly irreconcilable legal obligations.

Set inside the famed Camarillo State Hospital on California’s Central Coast, A Duty to Betray draws the reader into this legal, ethical, and ultimately moral dilemma when Mr. Tran, one of Dr. Ruiz’ patients, reveals a potentially lethal secret during therapy. Cat and mouse confrontations between the two thrust the “tell — don’t tell” conflict into sharp definition since Dr. Ruiz knows that, either way, his decision will have deadly consequences. 


John Lindermuth was recently interviewed on Amy Metz's A Blue Million Books blog. In the guest post, John covers a wide range of topics, promoted by Amy's questions. He talks about his books and life as a writer, the books he's published, and his hobbies and things he likes.

He writes, in part, "I showed a talent for drawing early on and by age 10 was taking lessons from a local cartoonist until he decided there wasn't anything more he could teach me. At some point thereafter I started writing stories to go with my drawings. That's when I discovered I enjoyed writing as much as drawing and as I began high school started thinking about a dual career. In fact, I'd just enrolled in art school when I got my draft notice in 1961. I had some small success with articles and short stories while in the Army and later, but didn't publish my first novel until after I retired from the newspaper business in 2000."

You can read the full post here.

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


Lorna Collins and her husband Larry will be speaking to the Orange County chapter of California Writers Club at the Orange Public Library in Orange, California, on Saturday, June 11, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Their topic will be writing the perfect pitch and will take the form of a mini-workshop. The event is open to both members and non-members, all of whom are invited to bring their "elevator pitch" for critique. 

Lorna is the author of Ghost Writer. 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.


C. Ed Traylor has two upcoming signing events for his novel At the Crossing. On Saturday, June 11, he'll be at the Doyle Public Library in Raymond, Illinois, from 4 to 7 p.m. Then on Wednesday, June 15, he'll be at the Henderson County Public Library in Biggsville, Illinois, from 10 a.m to noon.

In the novel, a routine traffic stop in the Illinois heartland uncovers a sinister secret – a sweeping terrorist plot endangering the lives of thousands of Americans. The Crossing focuses on Racheed Ul-Bashar, a Pakistani whose grandfather and sister are killed in an American drone strike in Pakistan. Driven by revenge against the United States, the obsessive Racheed develops a minutely detailed plot, a synchronized attack that will hit three American cities on the anniversary of September 11. He obtains contact information of Juan Rodrequs, a violent, ruthless drug cartel leader in Juarez, Mexico, who agrees – for a price ― to move terrorists across the border and supply all materials needed for the attacks.

All goes well until Diego Garcia, a trusted ally and confidant of the cartel leader, is stopped for a speeding violation in Illinois.  There, 400 kilograms of cocaine are discovered, concealed in his vehicle, and he is facing significant prison time.  To save himself, Garcia, becomes an informant for agents of the FBI Anti-Terrorism Task Force.

Unbeknownst to the other terrorists, the informant, or the FBI Task Force, Racheed and his partner change plans at the last minute and enter the U.S. at a different location. This unexpected move forces the FBI Task Force to scramble. Will they be able to eliminate the threat to some of America’s largest cities and most cherished attractions?


Amy Bennett will be signing copies of her Black Horse Campground mysteries, including my latest release At the Crossroad, on Sunday, June 12, from 1-3 p.m. at Treasure House Books and Gifts, 2012 S. Plaza Street NW, Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Treasure House is a true treasurea bookstore featuring only books about New Mexico or by New Mexico authors! Stop by if you’re in town and enjoy an afternoon browsing this gem of a bookstore and visiting with the owners and the author!

In the photo above, Amy is with fellow New Mexico mystery author, David Thurlo. He and his late wife, Aimee, authored more than 75 books in a variety of genres, most set in the Navajo Nation. We are mutual fans! They met
at an event promoting Amy's No Vacancy last year.

In At the Crossroad, 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?


Mary Montague Sikes's sculpture and painting is part of the Painting, Poetry and Prose: A Creative Encounter show taking place through July 2 at the Bay School Community Arts Center in Mathews, Virginia. 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.

In 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?


Additional details about these events will appear in future Roundups.

Carol Alexander along with Miss Liberty, the only pig author on, will be featured at the annual Assumption Fest in Assumption, Illinois, on Friday June 24 from 5 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, June 25, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The event will take place at the Assumption Public Library.

Carol will be reading from Miss Liberty's book The Big Squeal.


Amy Bennett posted on her Back Deck Blog this week with some thoughts about writing and selling books inspired by a comic strip brought to her attention by fellow OTP author Ilene Schneider.

Amy writes, "I'll be the first to admit that I, like almost every writer who has been published, had dreams that my first book would hit the top of the best-seller lists, thus propelling me to super-star author status (much along the lines of Stephen King, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts) or, at the very least, allow me to quit the 'day job' and make a living off my writing.

"Four years later, I'm still very much working a 'day job'. . . and I'm still writing. No, my first book didn't hit it big. Neither did the next three books. And my fifth book, due out in a few months (and still untitled), probably won't either. So why keep writing? Why keep promoting? Why keep trying to sell my work?" 

You can read the full post here

Amy is the author of the Black Horse Campground mystery series. Her latest book in the series is At the Crossroad. 


Lorna Collins updated her blog this week with a post losing her father at a young age and witnessing strife and tragedy in the lives of others.

She writes, "Life isn’t fair. That’s just how it is. It doesn’t always make sense. In fact, it often doesn’t make sense. Don’t bother asking, “Why?” There simply isn’t always an answer. Actually, there usually isn’t a satisfactory answer."

You can read the full post here. 

Lorna is the author of Ghost Writer.


Jackie Taylor Zortman posted on her Jackie's Mountain Memos blog this week about the suspicions readers often have that the characters and occurrences in a novel are lifted directly from the author's personal lives.

She writes, "As writers, we are told write what you know. That’s what most  would do anyway because what else are you going to write about?  However writing what you know appears to create  suspicions  you’ve actually written your secret autobiography and the protagonist is your husband.  I find this astounding because who in their right mind would do that without simply saying it was a biography?"

You can read the full post here.

Jackie is the author of We Are Different Now and Footprints in the Frost.


John M. Wills introduced readers to his next book on his website this week. The Storm is set to be published by OTP this summer. John shares a trailer for the book. You can watch it here.

John is the author of Dancer, The Year Without Christmas, and the award-winning Healer. 


That wraps up the Roundup for this week! We hope you enjoyed our news.
We look forward to your emails! If you have a news item you'd like to submit to the Weekly Roundup, please send the details to Nancy at

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Nicholas Checker said...

Oak Tree Press and its authors are like centrifugal force -- always keeping things moving around the right (write) way!!!

Amy Bennett said...

Looks like we're off to a busy summer! Great job, everyone!

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

Busy, busy authors.

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

Another blog well done, Nancy. It looks great, as always. And to my fellow busy authors, good job, as well.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks as always for your outstanding post, Nancy! It's nice to be part of such a busy group!!!

Dac said...

I always look for the post on Saturday morning, Nancy. Over here in Georgia we're three hours ahead of you.

David Freedland said...

Great work Nancy! The layout is always pleasing to the eye. BTW, my event which you posted on the blog, was a big success. I sold some books and got great feedback. The event organizer sent me a text, "A lot of guys are saying they really loved your talk yesterday. Bob [ } one of our security guys bought your book. He was awake reading it till two in the morning ..."

Eileen Obser said...

Another good week of news from OTP! Thanks, Nancy.

Jeff Zwagerman said...

The heat of the summer combined with hot writing and promoting skills of OTP authors will make for months and months of entertainment for everyone.

Janet Greger said...

Busy, busy. Oak Tree Press is a hive for busy bees.

Nancy Jacoby said...

Thanks for reading, everyone! Thanks for the compliments on the layout. I definitely try to make it easy on the eyes, and I'm happy to hear that I'm succeeding. I'd love to use the follow-up about your event in the next Roundup. I'll e-mail you!

Nancy J.

Nicholas Checker said...

Thanks again, Nancy for an excellent Round-Up ... and wishing our beloved publisher, Billie Johnson, a speedy recovery from her sick bed.

jrlindermuth said...

Great job, Nancy. This demonstrates once again, writers must do much more than sit at a desk, staring into space and dreaming of being discovered.