Saturday, September 17, 2016

Weekly Roundup: September 16, 2016

Welcome again to the Oak Tree Press Weekly Roundup!

OTP publishes 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. Browse through our bookstore and find a great new book to read, review, and share with friends! 

Free samples of our book are also available at Manic Readers.

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.


"After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world."
~Philip Pullman

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CONTESTS

Our 2016 writing contest is open! We're accepting entries in four categories: Cop Tales, Dark Oak Mystery, Timeless Love (Romance), and Wild Oaks (Western).

Three winners are selected from each genre. The grand prize winners in each category receives a publication contract for the release of their novels in both paper and ebook editions. Second-place winners will be published in our ebook catalog. Third-place winners receive a selection of Oak Tree Press books valued at more than $100. 

The entry fee is an affordable $25, and the deadline for entry is September 30.

You can find the complete rules, information, and instructions for entering the contest here
 

LATEST RELEASES

We're excited to announce the release of our latest titles. Well of Rage by Lynn Hesse and An Unexpected Corpse by Cathy Strasser! 

In Well of Rage, Carly Redmund, a Mobile, Alabama, police recruit is about to mess up her first major crime scene. Her training officer, J.C. Grey, orders her to give up the evidence found in the bottom of a well, a high school class ring. She does.

Grey tucks the ring in his pocket. What happened to the bag-it-and-tag-it evidence procedure? Carly is left guarding the crime scene tape as a news van pulls in and the crew sets up. She overhears the female reporter tell the cameraman that the bones in the well might be Terence, a missing African American kid from the ‘70s, and that heads need to roll at PD, the racist SOBs.

Why hasn’t Carly read about this case?

As she remembers the initials TWW inscribed on the inside of the ring, Grey walks back and tells the rookie to keep her mouth shut, and he’ll handle everything, including the report. That doesn’t make any sense. Rookies handle the grunt work. Grey is hiding more than the ring.

If he doesn’t put the ring in the property room, Carly will be blamed. She could lose her job. Worse, she could be charged with withholding evidence. Carly is in big trouble.

What Carly doesn’t know is that a white supremacist group is involved -- and also mayoral candidate Derrick Grey, Officer Grey’s brother. While dealing with her own personal demons, Carly must learn to survive in a hostile environment, develop friends fast in a new city, and solve a cold-case murder to bring justice to a grieving mother.

Praise for Well of Rage:

"Well of Rage is a fast-moving, suspenseful story of a determined police recruit taking on Mobile’s most powerful politicians and her own department to solve a decades-old murder. This one is a page-turner and readers are going to want to hear more from Officer Carly Redmund." - Jaclyn Weldon White, author of Whisper to the Black Candle and Sidetracked

"Lynn Hesse fires your imagination with multi-dimensional characters, scandalous secrets, and a moody vibe. The compulsively readable story offers unexpected plot twists leading to stunning revelations and a satisfying conclusion. The author’s eye for detail makes this a winner that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished." - Marie Carrera, marketing consultant

"Well of Rage is dynamite! Fast-paced and action-packed, it probes the depths of racial hatred that still persist by tying newfound bones to an unsolved murder and rips off the veneer of patriotism that clothes modern-day hate groups. Authentic and convincing, Well of Rage draws on Hesse’s own experience as a detective. A great read." - Jennie Helderman, award-winning author of As the Sycamore Grows

"Well of Rage draws the reader in with a plot in which a dark secret from the past shapes the present. Sharply honed characters, some with a desire to uncover the truth—some who need the secrets of both the past and present to remain buried—drive the story through a gripping series of events to a satisfying conclusion. A page-turning and enjoyable read." - Author Ruth Gresh, Atlanta Writers Group facilitator
 


About the author: Lynn Hesse, first-place winner in the 2015 Oak Tree Press Writing Contest, Cop Tales, launched her award-winning debut novel, Well of Rage, at the 2016 Decatur Book Festival. The novel is based on her law enforcement experience and centers on how “isms” separate us.

Her short story “Murder: Food For Thought” was published in a 2009 anthology by Wising Up Press and was adapted into the play We Hunt Our Young, produced at Core Studio Field Showcase, Emory University, and Core Studio Luncheon Time Series, 2011.

Lynn’s short play Bam, Karma was produced through Cafe Medusa at Seven Stages Theatre in Atlanta in 2012 and was performed in 2013 in conjunction with Material Witness, an art exhibition at Agnes Scott College sponsored by the Georgia chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art.

In 2015, Lynn taught a creative writing course for women at Lee Arrendale Prison in Alto, Georgia. Her fiction and short plays center on reframing traumatic events and exploring the role that forgiveness plays in the healing process. A personal interview focused on Lynn’s role as a police officer, as exemplified in the video Blue Steel, is available in the Women’s Studies Archives, The Second Feminist Movement, at Georgia State University.

Lynn belongs to the following organizations: Atlanta Writers Club, Georgia Writers Association, International Women’s Writing Guild, Public Safety Writers Association, International Association of Women Police, Sacred Dance Guild, Dancing Flowers for Peace, Alternate Roots, Atlanta InterPlay-SoulPrint Players, and Beacon Dance.

In An Unexpected Corpse, the second book in the White Mountain Mysteries series, the investigative team of State Troopers Cliff Codey and Mike Eldrich are summoned once again to the scene of a murder out in the "North Country" of New Hampshire—that sparsely settled area north of the Franconia Notch. A midnight distress call comes from an old acquaintance of Cliff's named Duane, reporting he's found a body during a late-night hike. While not the brightest bulb in the pack, Duane has no trouble determining the man is dead after observing the large gunshot wound to his chest. Complicating things further, the body is lying in the field of the town's nastiest family, famous for their temper and tendency to fight at the slightest provocation.

Cliff and Mike set out to identify the victim and his killer while being both helped and hindered by a host of local characters. They need to keep a sharp eye on the information they're given, since several suspects have secrets they don't want to share. And as so often happens in the North Country, who you know can be as important as what you know in solving a crime.


About the author: Cathy Strasser is an occupational therapist and author. Her short story “Afterward,” published in the Chrysalis Reader, was nominated for the 2007 Pushcart Prize. Cathy has had short stories published in several anthologies and magazines and was a finalist in the “Family Matters” competition of Glimmer Train magazine. Her first book, An Uncertain Grave, is a humorous hiking mystery set in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and was published by Oak Tree Press in 2014.

Cathy belongs to the New Hampshire Writer’s Project and the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She lives in Sugar Hill with her husband and is currently working on the third book in the White Mountains Mystery series. Her website is www.cathystrasser.com.



AWARDS & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 


Jackie Taylor Zortman has been invited to become a regular blogger on the book review and writing-related website Venure Galleries, which gets 30,000 views a month. Jackie reports, "I am very excited about this opportunity that will also help me market my books to a huge audience."
Jackie is the author of the award-winning Footprints in the Frost. The 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? 
Jackie is also the author of We Are Different Now.

REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS




Tara Willis was recently featured on The Authors Show. She is the author of Carry Me Home.
In the novel, The children in the poverty-stricken Montoya family is barely surviving after the passing of their invalid father. Together, they wage a daily war against the ravages of extreme poverty, racism, and a system bent on separating and destroying them. Nine months after her husband’s death, his widow makes the difficult decision to accept an advantageous marriage proposal from a close friend, for the sake of her nine young children.
Her eldest, thirteen year old Celina, is hurt and angry about the remarriage which appears, to her, a betrayal to her dear father’s memory. Just as the young family is growing close, a stranger from the past appears and reveals the shocking secret Celina’s mother has kept for many years; a secret that will test the Gonzalez family’s love for each other and leave them changed forever.
 
Serita Stevens was also recently featured on The Authors Show. She is the author of the forthcoming Pagan Love.
In the novel, it's 60 AD. Rome has occupied Britain and conquered the tribes there forcing them to pay taxes and homage the Roman gods.  When half-Roman Brita, the niece of Queen Boudicea, begins searching for her long lost father she is told by her Druid master that she must find the raven. Colliding with Quintus, a Roman centurion who has come to Britain not only to help with the conquest but to find his missing uncle, Brita receives hints from Sully -- her talking cat and other omens -- that she is meant to be with this man. She resists. But when the tribal king dies and the greedy Romans refuse to acknowledge a woman's rule, Boudicea refuses. She is publicly whipped and her daughters raped. The furious queen calls all the local tribes to revolt.

Quintus tries to save Brita, but despite longing for him, she insists she must be with her tribe. Only when her betrothed is murdered by the Romans, and the revolt -- despite several successful battles -- seems hopeless, does Quintus convince her to travel west toward the Stonehenge where his uncle had last been seen. Escaping the evil machinations of the cannibalistic Druids who will destroy the Romans at any cost, the pair escape even as they pledge themselves and return to Londinum only to find that while the city has been destroyed by the queen and her rebels, the general has ordered more men to the island and vowed to have her head. Brita and Quintus help Boudicea in her last hours before finally, themselves, fleeing back to Rome, determined to tell the story of the revolt.
UPCOMING

Beryl Reichenberg will be presenting a children's paper craft and bookmaking class in Central Coast towns. On September 16, she'll be at Studios in the Park in Paso Robles, California from 3:30 to 4:30.
The children will be making a summer fun book. Beryl plans to "focus on summer vacation with a small accordion book form with some printed covers to color and encourage the children to write about what they did for fun during the summer."
Of these outreach opportunities, Beryl explains, "I need to be where the kids and their parents are and made contact. Conducting classes are a perfect opportunity to gather email addresses for my monthly newsletter to past brochures and to increase my name recognition in the local area."
Then on Thursday, September 29, from 3 to 8 p.m., she’ll be selling and signing her children’s books at the NightWriters’ booth along with other writers from that organization at the Central Coast Book Fair in the Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo, California.
Beryl is the author of six children's books with Oak Tree Press. 


Marilyn Meredith will be giving a presentation titled "Creating Memorable Characters" for the Tulare Kings Writers group on Saturday, September 17, at 10 a.m. at the Arts Consortium in Visalia, California.
 
Then on Thursday, September 29, from 3-8, she’ll have a table at the Central Coast Book Fair in the Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo.
Marilyn is the author of the popular Rocky Bluff P.D. series. The 12th book in the series, A Crushing Death, is her most recent. In the novel, 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.  
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Serita Stevens will be presenting a seminar called "Rewriting and Polishes" at the September Writing Intensive being held on Sunday, September 18, at the Screening Room in Suite M101, 5757 Wilshire Blvd. (Between Curson & Masselin), Los Angeles, California.

You can get complete details here.
Serita is the author of the forthcoming Pagan Love. In the novel, it's 60 AD. Rome has occupied Britain and conquered the tribes there forcing them to pay taxes and homage the Roman gods.  When half-Roman Brita, the niece of Queen Boudicea, begins searching for her long lost father she is told by her Druid master that she must find the raven. Colliding with Quintus, a Roman centurion who has come to Britain not only to help with the conquest but to find his missing uncle, Brita receives hints from Sully -- her talking cat and other omens -- that she is meant to be with this man. She resists. But when the tribal king dies and the greedy Romans refuse to acknowledge a woman's rule, Boudicea refuses. She is publicly whipped and her daughters raped. The furious queen calls all the local tribes to revolt. 
Quintus tries to save Brita, but despite longing for him, she insists she must be with her tribe. Only when her betrothed is murdered by the Romans, and the revolt -- despite several successful battles -- seems hopeless, does Quintus convince her to travel west toward the Stonehenge where his uncle had last been seen. Escaping the evil machinations of the cannibalistic Druids who will destroy the Romans at any cost, the pair escape even as they pledge themselves and return to Londinum only to find that while the city has been destroyed by the queen and her rebels, the general has ordered more men to the island and vowed to have her head. Brita and Quintus help Boudicea in her last hours before finally, themselves, fleeing back to Rome, determined to tell the story of the revolt.
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Mary Montague Sikes will be teaching a watercolor and acrylics) class called "Painting, Fun and Free" at Gloucester Arts on Main in Gloucester, Virginia on Friday, September 23, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact Kay Van Dyke at 804-824-9464 for more information.

During fall 2016, she'll also be teaching the acrylic class "Painting Like Georgia (O'Keeffe)" and "Painting, Fun and Free" at the Williamsburg Center for Contemporary Art in Williamsburg, Virginia.
 

Mary's most recent novel 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?





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Nicolas Checker will present a dramatic reading of his novel Scratch on Saturday, September 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic, Connecticut, as a means of encouraging kindness and decency to wildlife and domestic animals. Connecticut State Representative Diana Urban will be the guest of honor and speaker at the event.

Scratch is a chilling tale of loyalty, friendship, and courage set in the mysterious world of feral cats. It also contains reflections of how cultures too often misread and mistrust one another, leading to ends that might have been avoided. 

White Saja, a renowned tomcat of the wild woodlands, returns to his old haunts to rescue his onetime clan from a gruesome fate. It leads him on a fearful quest into the brooding Dark Woods where he and a reluctant rival must seek the aid of a dread creature whose very name has long invoked terror in them all. Enter the pages of Scratch and discover unrelenting adventure!







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Lynda Bulla will be promoting her books at Fairytale Town in Sacramento during the weekend of September 24 and 25. Fairytale Town is a 2.5-acre children’s play park and outdoor children’s museum that brings fairy tales and nursery rhymes to life.

Lynda is the author of the forthcoming The Blanket of Miracles. Liv has a tummy ache and asks to use the special blanket. The blanket has been used by her mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother, and great-grandmother to help soothe measles or heal a broken heart. Once wrapped in its familiar warmth she hears the special story that accompanies the blanket. The story and the blanket work miracles to cure the tummy ache. A hug and cookie are all that remain to complete the healing.

What makes an old tattered and torn, multicolored, woven blanket so special? Liv feels the love woven into the fabric as she hears the family story and the history of the Blanket of Miracles as told by her Nana. The blanket dates back several generations and comes from another country. This special bi-lingual English/Spanish story captures the sense of family and tradition and, most of all, love.

This story is based on a special family’s history of events and a real blanket. Because of its age, the blanket isn’t used on a daily basis but is still retrieved when there is a need. Whether for a headache or a heartache, the love in the blanket is still strong and palpable, waiting only to envelop the user with its warmth.

English with Spanish translation.



RECENT


Mary Montague Sikes presented an art class called "Creating Paintings with Texture and Design" at the Art League of Hilton Head in Hilton Head, South Carolina on September 6-8, 2016.





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Beryl Reichenberg held two paper craft and bookmaking classes for children recently. One at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum on September 10, and one at the Atascadero Public Library on September 14. The children made summer fun books and flag pop-out cards at these events.


 








ADVANCE NOTICE

Additional details about these events will appear in future Roundups.

Marilyn Meredith will have a table at the Great Valley Bookfest in Manteca, California, on Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Then on Saturday, October 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., she'll be selling her books at the Taste the Arts festival in downtown Visalia, California. 


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Amy M. Bennett will be presenting her books at the first Our Lady of Guadalupe Fall Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday, October 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Bent, New Mexico.

Amy will also have a book signing
on Sunday, October 2 from noon to 2 p.m. at Treasure House Books and Gifts, 2012 S. Plaza NW in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Then, on Saturday, November 12, she will be participating in the first El Paso Writers League Book Festival from 1 to 6 p.m., at the El Paso Public Library Dorris Van Doren Branch (west side) at 551 E. Redd Road, El Paso, Texas.


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Lynda Bulla will have a table in the children’s pavilion at the Great Valley Bookfest on Oct. 8, in Manteca, California. 











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That wraps up the Roundup for this week! We hope you enjoyed our news.
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7 comments:

Dac said...

Wow, great blog! Good work, Nancy.

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

Good job, Nancy. There's lot of good info in this week's blog.

Lorna Collins - said...

Nice work, Nancy!

Nancy LiPetri said...

Thanks for the update on our busy authors. So much going on!

Amy Bennett said...

Thanks for the great job you do on the Roundup, Nancy, and congrats to our new authors! My to-read list has gotten longer, along with my to-do list!

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Beryl Reichenberg said...

Congratulations to the authors with new releases. I also was interested in Lynda's children's book about the magic blanket. Good job everyone. Beryl