Friday, September 30, 2016

Weekly Roundup: September 30, 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.


"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book."
~John Green

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LATEST RELEASES

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

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.



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.

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. The story and the blanket work miracles to cure the tummy ache. A hug and cookie are all that remain to complete the healing.


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. This special bi-lingual English/Spanish story captures the sense of family and tradition and, most of all, love.


About the author: Lynda Bulla is the author of seven children’s books: The Old Clock on the Wall, Katydid, The Churkendoose, Freedom Rings, The Little Drop of Water, Tony Is a Hero, and Under the Big Yellow Leaf. Her desire for children to learn through storytelling is driving her passion to write "books with character." Storytelling is a lost art that is missing from many busy families today. In simpler times, children learned how to cope with life from the stories told at dinner tables and around the campfires. Now those hours are filled with TV and video games, without the interaction of children and adults exploring the unknown together.

Lynda hopes that her books will be used as dialog starters to help children cope with the many problems that they encounter as they move through this world. Lynda lives with her husband on a ranch in a small farming community in California's Fresno County, where the open fields have inspired many of the settings for her stories. 
 





AWARDS & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Ilene Schneider was invited to do a presentation for Literary Gladiators on YouTube. You can check it out here. Eileen has also posted a transcript at her blog.

Ileen is the author of the Rabbi Aviva Cohen mystery series. The most recent book in the series is Unleavened Dead. Two members of Rabbi Aviva Cohen’s congregation are found dead, victims, they say, of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. But Aviva has info that leads her to doubt it was an accident. Then, police suspect Aviva’s niece’s partner in a hit-and-run death. Aviva is sure the woman is innocent, even though her SUV has a body-sized dent on the hood.

As she looks into the two disparate cases, Aviva discovers they may be connected, and her amateur sleuthing takes a sinister turn that involves sexual abuse of teenage girls, money laundering, stolen identities, and an FBI investigation. Once again, her curiosity has put her life in jeopardy. 

Ilene is also the author of Chanukah Guilt. Her third novel in the series, Yom Killer, is forthcoming from Oak Tree Press.






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Nancy LiPetri reports that her novel, The Wooded Path, is new on the shelves in the Book and Table bookstore in Valdosta, Georgia. The bookstore is owned by Oak Tree Press "alumnus" Mike Orenduff.

Nancy was also a recent guest blogger on PJ Nunn's BookBrowsing blog, where she posted about the good things that come with a bad review.

She writes, "It had to happen sooner or later. A real stinker of a review got posted for my novel. After all, I had made countless reminders to the online community, book clubs with whom I’d discussed the story, and anyone else I knew read it, about the value of reviews no matter how long, short or critical (honesty is the best feedback, right? And any boosts Amazon promo). So, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for."

You can read the full post here.  

In The Wooded Path, Laine McClelland is wondering whether she is normal. When the mysterious disappearance of a Bunco friend, Paula, shakes her Lake Norman neighborhood, her seemingly perfect world is suddenly filled with dark thoughts, dangerous temptations and surprising confessions. What is normal once you realize life’s short, anyway?

Was her marriage ever enough? She finds herself risking it all . . . and afraid of what really happened to Paula.


  

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Janet Greger's latest novel, Murder . . . A Way to Lose Weight, was named a finalist in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards mystery category. The winner will be announced in November in this competitive field.

In the novel, 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.

Janet is the author of several mysteries, many of them award winners, with Oak Tree Press.

JL Greger recently wrote and published a collection of short stories, The Good Old Days? about childhoods in the 1940, 1950s, and 1960s. These tales are snapshots of  major historical events and societal problems in the idiosyncratic way of memoirs.

Although the quirks of characters in these tales are amusing, one aspect of several of these vignettes—child and spousal abuse in so-called “nice” homes—is not funny. Perhaps these tales will cause you to redefine the good old days.














UPCOMING


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.

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 appear as a poison expert in the second episode of  the Discovery Channel's series True Nightmares. The episode is called "Tea Cup Murders," and it details the English history of poisoning with Graham Young.
 
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.

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

Lynda is the author of 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. 

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. The story and the blanket work miracles to cure the tummy ache. A hug and cookie are all that remain to complete the healing.

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. This special bi-lingual English/Spanish story captures the sense of family and tradition and, most of all, love.


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Amy M. Bennett, author of the Black Horse Campground mystery series, 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. The festival will feature arts, crafts, and food by local residents and parishioners and will be held on the church grounds of Our Lady of Guadalupe on US 70 east in Bent, New Mexico.

Amy will also have a book signing on Sunday, October 2, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at Treasure House Books and Gifts, 2012 S. Plaza NW in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico.


The latest book in the series is At the Crossroad. 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?



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Janet Greger's will be signing copies of her novels at the Balloon Fiesta on Sunday, October 2, at Under Charlie's Covers used book store in Bernalillo, New Mexico. Murder . . . A Way to Lose Weight, will be featured.

In the novel, 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.

Janet is the author of several mysteries, many of them award winners, with Oak Tree Press. 





 

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John Wills will be participating in a panel discussion about publishing on Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Riverside Writers Parade of Prose at the Salem Church Library in Fredricksburg, Virginia.

John's most recent novel is the award-winning Healer. Sixteen-year-old Billy Anderson’s short life has been full of daunting challenges. A birth defect and the death of his parents force him to live with his Aunt Staci.

That situation becomes untenable for Billy and he chooses to live on the street. One day things change dramatically when Billy receives the “Gift of Healing.” Not only does Billy’s own life take a dramatic turn, but his new gift also affects those around him. Is this gift a blessing or a curse?

John is also the author of Dancer, The Year without Christmas, and the forthcoming The Storm.

 

RECENT


Dac Crossley sold his Oak Tree Press novels at the recent Poets and Nature Gala sponsored by the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Natural History (Dac is president). He was master of ceremonies at that session, where four Georgia poets read their reflections on natural history. He reports that he took advantage of the opportunity to offer his novels.

Dac is the author of Code of the Texas Ranger, Guns of the Texas Ranger, Revenge of the Texas Ranger, and the forthcoming The Hand of Lou Diamond.

 


ADVANCE NOTICE

Additional details about these events will appear in future Roundups.

Nancy LiPetri will sign copies of her novel, The Wooded Path, at the Book and Table bookstore in Valdosta, Georgia, on Friday, December 23.





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John Wills has several upcoming promotion events scheduled. He'll join 19 authors at at book-signing event at the Culpeper Library in Culpeper, Virginia, on Saturday, October 29, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a total of 20 authors at this event.

Then on Saturday, November 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. he'll be signing his books at the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Craft Fair, held at the American Legion Post #290.

 

Finally, he'll be signing his books at a local authors reception at the Porter Library in Stafford, Virginia, on Tuesday, November 15, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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J.L. Greger will be participating in holiday shows in Albuquerque. She will be signing books at the Annual Balloon Museum Holiday Art, Craft, and Book Show on Sunday, November 13 and at the Cibola High School Craft Show on Saturday, November 19. Both events will take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


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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 weeklyroundup.items@gmail.com.

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4 comments:

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

Woo hoo! Glad to see the Roundup back!

Amy Bennett said...

The Roundup looks great and everyone is so busy! I love this time of year! Everyone, keep up the good work and props to Nancy for pulling it all together!

Dac said...

Yes, the Roundup looks good! Lots going on. Good work, Nancy

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Thanks Nancy for all your hard work. WE all appreciate all that you do. Beryl