Friday, October 7, 2016

Weekly Roundup: October 7, 2016

Welcome again to the Oak Tree Press Weekly Roundup!

Have you been following the National Book Award news? The shortlist was announced this week, and it's a good one! Have you ever tried to read all the nominees for one year or another? It's a challenge I've wanted to try. I'm currently reading Karan Mahajan's The Association of Small Bombs (Viking Books/Penguin Random House) and enjoying it immensely. I need to hurry and finish, though. It's due back at the library tomorrow and can't be renewed because another reader as requested it—the price of reading what's hot, I guess!  

OTP publishes award-winning stories as well: compelling stand-alone mysteries and mystery series, thrillers, romances, police procedurals, westerns, memoirs, and children's bookseven some paranormal stories. You don't have to wait to read them! Browse our bookstore for these and all of our great titles 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.


"A good novel, one which entices the author as much as it beckons the reader."
~W. J. Raymond

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LATEST RELEASES

We're excited to announce the release of our latest title: The Blanket of Miracles by Lynda Bulla! 

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. 
 



REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS

Beryl Reichenberg was featured in an interview in the SLO NightWriters newsletter Spotlight section for October 2016. In the interview, she introduces herself and talks about her writing projects past and current—for example,

"NW: How does your family support you in your
writing?


"BR: Charlie, my husband, is my in-house editor. He once
worked for McGraw Hill. His experience is of tremendous help, especially with proofreading my manuscripts and discussing story ideas.


"My four grandchildren, ranging in age from six to eleven,
are my biggest inspirations for stories. Sometimes I ask them to
read my manuscripts and offer suggestions from a child’s
perspective. They are my biggest fans."
 

You can read the full interview here, beginning on p. 11.


AWARDS & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Thonie Hevron was a recent guest blogger at Premeditated Fiction, where she wrote about how law enforcement writers make their fiction sound more like literature than a police writer. This compilation of interviews with her fellow police writers features OTP's own Joseph Haggerty.

Thonie writes, in part: "The transition from law enforcement report writer to novelist is an evolution that required years for me. If you’re a cop and that’s your goal, have patience. It can be done.

"Here are some comments I’ve culled from those authors who have been there."


You can read the full post here.

Thonie is the author of By Force of By Fear, Intent to Hold, and the forthcoming With Malice Aforethought.    


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.

She'll also be promoting her books at the Taste the Arts festival in downtown Visalia, California, on Saturday, October 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 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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Lynda Bulla will be promoting her books at a table in the children’s pavilion at the Great Valley Bookfest in Manteca, California, on Saturday, October 8

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.

 

*

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.





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Beryl Reichenberg, children’s book author and artist, will be doing her usual round of kid’s paper craft classes in cities along California's Central Coast to promote her children’s books this month. Starting on Saturday, October 8, from 3 to 4 p.m., she'll be at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum for its pirate celebration. Beryl will demonstrate how to make a folded book form with a treasure map.

Beryl explains thatthe museum has been very supportive of my books and classes. It is one of the best children’s museums along the Central Coast with many learning displays and fun activities for kids. I’m happy to donate my time and enjoy teaching both kids and adults.”


On Wednesday, October 12, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m, Beryl will be at the Atascadero Library from 3:30 to 5 p.m. for a Halloween-themed class showing children how to make a pop out face card. She explains, “Usually, there are 20 or so children and I often have them come in two separate waves. I do not like to teach more than ten children at a time. I also encourage parents to participate by making their own project."

Finally, on Wednesday, October 19, and again on Wednesday, October 26, Beryl will be teaching classes for the Paso Robles Department of Recreation at Centennial Park in Paso Robles. Halloween is the theme at these classes as well, and the children will be making exploding box and spooky bat family projects. The classes run from 3:30 to 5 PM. She writes, “Most of my classes are free, but at the Recreation Department, there is a $15 fee for supplies and both sessions."

Beryl also has two art pieces in the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art’s CraftMaker’s exhibit, titled “Falling," which opens on Friday, October 7. The show runs until mid-November. The Museum is at the Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo and is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Beryl has published six children's books with OTP.




 

AUTHOR NEWS

Ilene Schneider was on three panels at the Creatures, Crime, and Creativity conference in Columbus, Maryland, on September 30 to Oct. 2.

Ilene 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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Dac Crossley belongs to the Southern Scribes, a group of writers centered in Athens, Georgia, that works to promote their books in a variety of venues. Here they are, waving their banner, as they gear up for the fall season.

Dac writes western novels published by Oak Tree Press.  He sent the photo, explaining that he’s "the good-looking guy on the left end, waving a copy of Code of the Texas Ranger."


His other books are Guns of the Texas Ranger, Revenge of the Texas Ranger, and the forthcoming The Hand of Lou Diamond

   


BLOG CORRAL

Ilene Schneider updated her blog with an "anti-travelogue" about her recent trip to Seattle, Vancouver, and Alaska.

She writes in part, "I discovered a problem when I began to write my travelogue: a written description of a trip, even complete with pictures, is boring. Remember those old film strips teachers would show in class? Boring. Remember going to dinner at some elderly (to you) relatives’ house and later having to sit through an interminably long slide show of their vacation? Boring. Remember bringing home a new boyfriend or girlfriend and having your parents pull out all your baby pictures? Boring. Not to mention embarrassing. . . .

"So instead of a travelogue, here are some life lessons I culled along the way. In no particular order." 

You can read her full post here.

Ilene is the author of the Rabbi Aviva Cohen mystery series, which includes Chanukah Guilt, Unleavened Dead, and the forthcoming Yom Killer.


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Jackie Taylor Zortman updated her Jackie's Mountain Memos blog this week with a post called "The Way We Were." She writes, in part, "Fall has arrived in the southwestern Colorado mountains where I live and, as expected, it has been spectacular.  It’s dwindling now and nearly over since we’ve had a couple of snows and some pretty low nighttime  temperatures, some dipping down into the 20’s. For whatever reason, I either become slightly depressed or really restless as this season slowly ebbs into winter.

Very recently, a friend of ours suddenly had to have a pacemaker put in when his pulse rate unexpectedly dropped to 32.  As men usually do, when we first communicated after he was home from the hospital, he treated the whole situation as nothing to get excited about. But he did say something that really caused me to sit down and think. As we were discussing aging bodies, he said, “We should start out old and grow younger. Wouldn’t it be great to live, laugh and love again?”

You can read the full post here.

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



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

Dac said...

A little late getting to the OTP blog this week. I'm president of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Natural History, and we had our big annual Gala last night. I discovered that my dinner jacket managed to shrink while it was hanging in the closet!

A quiet week ahead, so a chance to catch up on the latest writing project -- "Bucky," a novel.

Cheers,

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

Boy, I'm more than a little late reading the OTP blog this week. It has actually slipped my mind until I got on Goodreads to update my current reading and saw the blog there. Another great job, Nancy. Most of us have been super quiet, so I know you don't have lots of news to work with, but we'll soon do better.