Thursday, March 31, 2016

Murder in the Worst Degree Free on Kindle by F. M. Meredith


Free on Kindle from April 1 through April 5.


Murder in the Worst Degree was both a challenge and a fun book to write.

A challenge because a writer friend gave me the title and I had no idea how it would fit with the book I was conjuring in my mind. In fact, I was nearly through with the book and beginning to think I needed to come up with another title. But then everything seemed to come together, and the title worked.

It was fun to write because I included a lot of things I was familiar with:

The old guys who hang out at McDonald's.

Some one with dementia.

SeaBees

Small beach towns

Earthquakes

And of course, the lives of the police officers and their families undergo changes.

Blurb for the latest RBPD mystery, Murder in the Worst Degree: The body that washes up on the beach leads Detectives Milligan and Zachary on a murder investigation that includes the victim’s family members, his housekeeper, three long-time friends, and a mystery woman.

Bio: F. M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith is the author of over 35 published books. She enjoys writing about police officers and their families and how what happens on the job affects the family and vice versa. Having several members of her own family involved in law enforcement, as well as many friends, she’s witnessed some of this first-hand.



The more of you who download the book the better.

And why am I doing this--to interest others in the latest book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series:

A Crushing Death.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Monday, March 28, 2016

Two 2015 Memoirs: by Ronald C. Wendling

In my own 2015 memoir, Unsuitable Treasure:An Ex-Jesuit Makes Peace with the Past, I explain the high school pleasure I took in, of all things, translation. Placed in an academic program that required me to take two ancient languages and one modern, I found myself astonished that two words looking and sounding extremely different could stand for the same object. The Latin domus and the French maison, for example, both referred to a house not that much different from the one I was growing up in, and the word amor captured an experience of those dogged old Romans (see photo at left, taken in Sicily in 2012) resembling what I was feeling for my high school sweetheart. And when I translated such seemingly foreign words into their English equivalents and ordered them into an English sentence or paragraph making grammatical sense, I was unconsciously importing the objects and ideas of another culture into my own and in that slow, painstaking way, broadening my world.

Only much later did I realize that translation had been for me the start of a long process of assimilating alien worlds through language and struggling to find where I stood in relation to them. This is where I feel connected with Ta-Nehisi Coates, a much younger writer than I who sets about locating his identity in Between The World and Me, a title he borrows from a poem by Richard Wright. Coates discovers who he is by remembering the streets and schools of West Baltimore, which taught him how essentially defenseless the black body is and how black men and women must acquire the skills to protect theirs. He lovingly remembers Howard University, where he assimilated the traditions of black thinking and writing that made him proud of his color but where he also lost a black friend shot by a black Washington, DC police officer. He also remembers New York City where he “translated” into his world realities that increasingly enlarged his horizons: African drummers in Union Square, Korean fried chicken, and black boys with Chinese-American girls. Then there was Paris with its baguettes, espressos, Le Jardin du Luxembourg and the Musée Rodin.

Like James Baldwin before him, however, Coates discovers that France has a history and a public policy in some ways the same but largely different from the country of his origins. America’s accepted history and policy, he writes, is that of dreamers who, as Baldwin also says, “think they are white”—in other words, that they are not unavoidably part of and one with blacks. From Baldwin’s and Coates’s point of view, our country cannot accurately be said to have a race or racist problem. Only the dreamers think that way because they refuse to accept that our history from the cotton fields to the jobs programs of the contemporary prison system is one that has, intentionally or not, turned the black body into an ongoing financial windfall, an endless refinancing of the American dream. This imaginary and self-justifying denial is a form of forgetting that Coates’ memoir, his remembering, seeks to counter. It is also the chasm or distance that Coates identifies in his title as between the world and him.

For the dreamers to stop forgetting they would have to acknowledge the vast human cost of slavery, of ongoing efforts to gerrymander votes, of the redlining practices that encouraged the development of our suburbs.  But we dreamers will do no such thing because to do so would be to compromise our separate status and place us in the ranks of the merely human—of those who can be broken.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Weekly Roundup: March 25, 2016

Welcome again to the Oak Tree Press Weekly Roundup! Once again we had interesting content additions to our blog by our authors. Ronald Wendling (Unsuitable Treasure: An Ex-Jesuit Makes Peace with the Past) posted this week how the self-disclosure in his memoir affected his friends. We're currently scheduling additional author contributions for Wednesdays and Sundays on our blog, so please keep an eye out for these extras and post your comments and questions.

While you're here, please check out our award-winning authors and browse their books in our bookstore. Our thrillers, memoirs, mysteries, romances, children's books, and even some paranormal tales will provide plenty of choices to round out your to-read list or personal library.  

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.


"We read to know we're not alone."
~William Nicholson, Shadowlands 
 

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
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.







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LATEST RELEASES

We’re excited to announce our latest release, A Crushing Death by F. M. Meredith.

In the 12th of the Rocky Bluff P. D. mystery series, 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 Detective Milligan’s teenage daughter has a problem.

Marilyn Meredith (aka F. M. Meredith) is the author of 35 plus published novels including the Rocky Bluff P. D. crime series. She draws on the many years she lived in a beach community much like the fictional community of Rocky Bluff situated between Ventura and Santa Barbara.

She has many relatives and friends in law enforcement and uses them for research both for the work they do and their family lives. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and is and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America.

You can learn more about Marilyn's mystery series and other writing at her website and her blog.








REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS

David Freedland was featured on The Authors Show website this week. Host Linda Thompson talks to David about his debut novel Lincoln 9, one of OTP's bestsellers in 2015. David provides details about the main character, the title, and the messages he wanted to share in writing the novel. He also talks about his writing influences as well as his professional experiences, which provided background and a source of realism as he was writing the novel.
 
You can listen to the full interview here.

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.


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Radine Trees Nehring's upcoming novel A Portrait to Die For was reviewed on Michele Bodenheimer's Miki's Hope blog recently.

Michele writes, "What an interesting book--a definite mystery--but kind of laid back--no real drama. . . . I did enjoy this book and think you may as well--just don't expect the usual that mystery novels usually entail."


You can read the full review here.

In A Portrait to Die For, Carrie discovers two versions of a supposedly original portrait in a loan exhibition at Crystal Bridges of American Art, where she does volunteer work. When the reporter who interviewed Carrie at the museum is abducted, Carrie must choose between honoring her promise to stop crime-solving--or work to find the woman who was her son's college friend. 
  






UPCOMING

Richard Paolinelli has some exciting news about the upcoming publication of one of his short stories. He writes, "I have written an original Sherlock Holmes story, "A Lesson In Mercy" (6,000 words) that will be a part of a new anthology of Holmes stories to be published in May of this year by Belanger Books.

"The publisher runs a Kickstarter campaign first and will need to raise $500 to get the book published and if they are able to get to $1,000 then my story will be included. They have several different levels ranging from $5-$250. No matter what level of donation chosen, you will receive a copy of the book, Beyond Watson, in one type of format or another and some of the levels you will get multiple format copies (print & e-book). There are additional items offered depending on how much a person signs up for. They have reached every Kickstarter goal in the past so it seems likely that they will make this one and my story will be included.

"Needless to say I am very excited to be a part of this, especially as one of my favorite sci-fi authors, Jack McDevitt, is also a part of this project and the other writers are well-known Holmes authors. In addition to the credit, I am hoping it will lead to people coming over to check out my other books too."

Richard is the author of Reservations, a mystery/thriller, 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. 






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John Lindermuth's short story, "A Clue With A Double Meaning," appears in the March issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine and will be included in the magazine's free weekly email on March 28.

The story takes place in Korea shortly after the war and involves a Catholic priest serving in a small village who offers himself as bait to nab a friend's killer.

John writes, "Interested readers can sign up for a paid subscription to the magazine or for the free weekly email here. OTP authors who write short stories should check out Mystery Weekly. The editors are great to work with and pay is on acceptance -- always a plus. 

John's most recent book is Sooner Than Gold. 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.






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Tekla Dennison Miller will be the La Plata County Colorado speaker at the American Association of University Women/Durango Book and Author Luncheon on Saturday, March 26 beginning at 11:15 a.m., at the Fort Lewis College's Vallecito Room in Durango, Colorado.

Tekla will be sharing the story of her sister as told in Tekla's book Mother Rabbit. The event is a celebration of Women's History Month, and all proceeds benefit AAUW scholarships and advocacy on behalf of women. 


Mother Rabbit is a collaborative memoir about a woman like so many others in the 1960’s, caught between living according to traditional societal mores and pursuing the promises of the feminist movement. Alyce’s stint as the Bunny Mother is set during a particularly turbulent era when even such a secluded environment as Playboy is affected by the Viet Nam War, the Apollo I tragedy and back-alley abortions.

Her story pays tribute to the women who had the courage to break free from the oppressive standards of the day while also dealing with the universal dilemmas of single mothers including abuse, financial crises, the special difficulties of parenthood and the quest for self-fulfillment.









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Marilyn Meredith (aka F. M. Meredith) will be speaking to the Central Coast Sisters in Crime on Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m. at the Nipomo Library in Nipomo, California. Her topic will be planning a blog tour. 

On March 31, she'll appear on Patricia Stoltey’s blog where she'll introduce her latest novel, A Crushing Death.


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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C. Ed Traylor will be signing copies of his novel The Crossing at the Farmersville Public Library in Farmersville, Illinois, on April 2, from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m.

In The Crossing, a routine traffic stop in the Illinois heartland uncovers a sinister secret – a sweeping terrorist plot endangering the lives of thousands of Americans. Racheed Ul-Bashar, a Pakistani whose grandfather and sister are killed in an American drone strike in Pakistan is 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? 


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Thonie Hevron will be exhibiting and selling her books at the Sonoma County Author Symposium at the Rohnert Park/Cotati Library on Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. What an honor to be in such esteemed company!

Thonie is the author of By Force or By Fear and Intent to Hold. In the latter, 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.







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Lorna Collins's husband Larry will launch his latest book, The McGregor Chronicles: Book 3 – Alien Invasion at The Cottage Gallery on Los Rios in San Juan Capistrano, California, on April 2 and 3 between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Please stop by and say hello. April Walsh will be singing between 11:30 and 3:00 on Saturday.

Enjoy refreshments and see the work of all the wonderful artists in the gallery, and while you're in San Juan, visit the mission.

In the novel, space freighter co-captain, Matt McGregor, is worried. His father’s ship, the McGregor-7, has not returned from the Triangulum Galaxy. A cryptic message from the Federation Battle Cruiser Majestic warns of an attack and an alien virus. Matt, his bride, Tracy, along with older brother, Marc, sister, Maddie, and Federation Investigator, Jake Stevens, push their modified freighter to its limit to reach the far galaxy.

Once there, they discover political intrigue, ghost ships with dead crews, a seemingly unstoppable epidemic, and an intelligent alien species. Are the aliens responsible for the virus? Can the outlawed nanomedical robots in the bodies of Matt’s crew save them? And what is the fate of his parents and their ship?

The gallery always carries our books The Memory Keeper and Ghost Writer.


The audiobook version of the first book in this series is also now available.





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Robert Weibezahl will be moderating the panel "Mystery: Just the Facts" at the two-day literary festival Literary Orange in Irvine, California, on April 2. The panelists will be Terri Nolan, Barry Lancet, and Neal Griffin.

Robert's most recent book is The Wicked and the Dead. 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 light-hearted skewering of the insular world of the film industry. 

Robert is also the author of The Dead Don't Forget.

 
 

RECENT

March 11, Sharon Ervin spoke to an attentive group of 60 retired teachers about writing. She writes, "As I've said before, program chairs are always looking for speakers. One of those called two days later. Would I do 'the exact same program' for a church luncheon group of 60 or so on Tuesday April 5. I hand out bookmarks to an audience. The bookmarks have my contact information and list the titles of my eleven published novels.

"My only immediate remuneration is a free lunch, but each time I speak to a group, my books' Amazon/Kindle numbers improve and my titles get checked out of the local library. Speaking is easy and enjoyable. Sometimes I carry books to sell, but prefer to wait for someone to ask. I try to be a subtle shill."


Sharon is the author of Jingo Street.


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J. L. Greger spoke to Croak and Dagger, the Albuquerque chapter of Sisters in Crime, on March 22. The topic of her talk was "The science in fiction isn't necessarily SciFi."

Janet is the author of Coming Flu, Ignore the Pain, Malignancy, and I Saw You in Beirut.






 




ADVANCE NOTICE

Additional details about these events will appear in future Roundups. 

C. Ed Traylor will be signing copies of his novel The Crossing at the Bunker Hill Public Library in Bunker Hill, Illinois, on April 14, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.







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J. L. Greger has been invited by Treasure House Books and Gifts to participate in a group book signing for festivities honoring the history of Old Town Albuquerque on April 16. 










NEW IN EBOOKS

OTP is expanding the venues through which its titles are available to purchase in ebook formats. 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. We are also making OTP books available as iBooks through Apple's iTunes. E-books are perfect for budget-conscious or on-the-go readers who like to have a library at their fingertips.

A Convenient Death at San Diego by John O'Hagen (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Move over Brother Cadfael. Father Ibarra is on the scene. It’s a new era, and in fact a New World. In the tumultuous and violent territory that is Alta California, young Father Juan Ibarra, a Franciscan/physician finds himself called upon to solve not just one, but two murders. This is not what he anticipated the life of a medical missionary would be. Was it an act of revenge by an outraged Spanish army officer? Perhaps a “falling out among thieves” or maybe simple retributive justice meted out by the people themselves?

While his medical skills are being put to tests he never imagined and he tries to sort out some very confused facts Father Juan finds himself swept up in the political, cultural, and sexual revolution which is having a convulsive effect on the territory. In all of this, he is drawn to the shamanistic practices and cures of the very people he had hoped to educate. Perhaps they have something to teach him about medicine. 

American Caliphate by William Doonan (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Archaeologists Jila Wells and Ben Juarez reluctantly return to Peru to join Professor Beckham’s distinguished team at Santiago de Paz pyramids. Jila is still haunted by the prior dig which ended in a near-fatal ambush. But the ruins hide a document that will shock the Islamic world. Details found in an ancient diary tell of an illegal expedition to Spanish Peru, intending to bring the word of Allah to the pagan Americans. As the archaeologists brace for the ravages of El Niño, Jila and Ben hurry to complete their excavations. But they’re not the only ones interested in this project. Other forces are determined to keep the document hidden.



Angel Lost by F. M. Meredith (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). As plans for her perfect wedding fill her mind, Officer Stacey Wilbur is sent out to trap a flasher, the new hire realizes Rocky Bluff P.D. is not the answer to his problems, Abel Navarro’s can’t concentrate on the job because of worry about his mother, Officer Gordon Butler has his usual upsets, the sudden appearance of an angel in the window of a furniture store captures everyone’s imagination and causes problems for RBPD, and then the worst possible happens—will Stacey and Doug’s wedding take place?




The Baleful Owl by Virgil Alexander (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). The murder of an archeology student and attempted murder of a second pull Apache Tribal Officer Al Victor into what seems to him a senseless killing. The Arizona Antiquities Task Force brings Deputies Bren Allred and Manny Sanchez into the case. They find themselves investigating a sophisticated high dollar artifact theft ring centered around the unique Baleful Owl effigy. The ruthless ring leader is not motivated by greed, but vengeance for imagined wrongs. Before the case is solved one of the officers will be the unwitting target of the skilled assassin.




Behind the Redwood Door by John Daniel (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Guy and Carol Mallon own a used bookstore on the north coast of California, a land of rocky shores and redwood forests, with a rich history of gold, lumber, Native Americans, and hardy entrepreneurs. They are content with their small-town life until Pete Thayer, their friend and the publisher of the local alternative newspaper, is stabbed to death behind their favorite tavern.

Urged on by Pete’s girlfriend, River Webster, Guy begins to poke around, uncovering a past festering with power politics, a newspaper war, a multigenerational family feud, marijuana traffic—and murder. Guy’s investigation takes him from the town square to the harbor to the forests and into the mountains, where he must confront evil in the form of a bully nearly twice his size.



Black Ice by I. C. Enger (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Black ICE delivers a buffet of possibilities into the unknown. Both chilling and thought provoking, it 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 (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). 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.


Black Indian, Red Heart . . . White Justice by Frederick H. Savage (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). The story is is a story set in the Civil War era that takes the issues of slavery and injustice head on. The main character, Colton Sage, is the son of a runaway slave and an Indian woman. He is born free into a world of unending prejudice and bias. He grows up to become one of the most notorious Indian outlaws in the land, the infamous ‘Black Bat from Hell.’ This is a no holds barred account of the events that led up to the Indian war of 1862 and the largest mass execution in US history. Not for the fainthearted, this historically engaging work of fiction is told with a series of cliff hanger chapter endings and a ‘can’t put it down’ storyline. 

 


Cold Water by Ed Draugelis (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). The thirst for truth can be murder… J. Mason Christopher, Vietnam veteran and Washington D.C. patent attorney, travels to Cold Water, Indiana, a church town where his daughter supposedly killed herself while investigating the town's recent rash of suicides. Christopher believes it was murder and determines to find the truth. With the aid of his ‘Nam buddies and local businesswoman Lady McPherson, Christopher digs into the church’s control of the community, and learns that corrupt Pastor Kelly Baines is exploiting the town's water system. When Christopher’s team closes in, Pastor Baines counters his pursuers with increasing ruthlessness until the novel’s explosive end.



Dig The Grave First by April Knight (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Cameo Easton is a completely honest person. She never lies, she pays her taxes, and obeys all the rules. So why does she have a human skull hidden in the detergent box in her laundry room and a body buried in her flower garden? When Cameo’s brother, Drake is tragically killed in a car accident, she inherits his house in the quiet suburbs of Seattle. While planting flowers in the back yard she discovers a human skeleton. She decides not to call the police until she discovers the identity of the body in her yard. She begins investigating her nice friendly neighbors and discovers none of them are what they appear to be. Little old ladies have dark secrets, a mysterious Scotsman carries a gun and her brother’s best friend has a bigger secret than she ever dreamed. There is no one she can trust. Cameo risks everything to uncover the terrible truth and finds she might be in love with a killer and she has to choose between mercy and justice.



Dog Island by G. Thomas Gill (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Cornelius “Corney” Graham, part-time EMT and full time beach bum, is jarred from his insular life on Dog Island when a boat floats up on his island. The pilot is dead and the passenger, beautiful Lisa Cataldo, is wounded. Corney searches the boat for more potential victims, but finds instead a bundle of cash and a stash of cocaine. Impulsively, Corney destroys the drugs, and decides not to call the police. All is well until the drug smugglers come to Dog Island in search of their property and the woman who robbed them.





Evening of the Dragonfly by Mary Montague Sikes (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). 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? 


Footprints in the Frost by Jackie Taylor Zortman (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Max Richards 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?


A Full Bubble Off Plumb by Jeff Zwagerman (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Going home after twenty years is never easy. It compounds itself, when the reason for going back home is to bury parents. Zander could have done the easy thing and let others help him in his time of turmoil and grief. He was powerless to follow that path, however. His father had said it best. He was like “a dog with a sock”. Closing his parents’ estate and settling their affairs could have been done anywhere. Zander chose to remain, and make sure it was done correctly. He was, after all, “a dog with a sock.” Was there actually another reason?

In his search for some deeper truth, Zander reconnects with some old acquaintances from his past life. He has hopes that these old friends and neighbors might be able to ground him once again. Then Quentin Stryker forces his way into an already damaged existence. A Full Bubble Off Plumb is a story about walking away from the small insignificant irritations in life, before they take you beyond the point of no return.


Greenfellas by Robert Lopresti (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Sal Caetano is a happy man. He’s the brains behind a New Jersey Mafia family and he expects to be made the boss soon. But everything changes on the night his first grandchild is born and he hears a news report claiming that by the time she grows up climate change will have wrecked the world. For Sal this is unacceptable and he decides to use all of his Mafia skills to save the environment. Hey, how hard can it be? Pretty hard, it turns out. Turns out the mob doesn’t want to change. Neither do the politicians he talks to. Soon Sal is fighting for his life with rivals inside and outside his own family; not to mention the FBI which holds a grudge against him. And all he wants to do is save the world. Greenfellas is a comic crime novel with issues. 


LaCour's Destiny by Robert Downs (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Sam LaCour hasn’t given up on men, even if they’ve given up on her, and she doesn’t give up on her colleagues either, even when a dead body turns up, and she faints in front of the cameras, her family, and a television audience.








Lingering Spirit by Marilyn Meredith (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). After her police officer husband is killed in the line of duty, Nicole Ainsworth struggles with the changes forced on her life. Her efforts to focus on her daughters and cope with her grief are kept off-balance by images of Steve, her deceased husband who seems to be trying to communicate with her. Eventually, Nicole finds that Steve isn't the only one watching over her, and discovers a second chance at happiness.







Night Watch by Mary Montague Sikes (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). From the moment Lily’s plane lands in tropical Trinidad, things go awry. She planned for rest, relaxation and photography, but instead faces mistaken identity, a gun running operation and danger. At the airport, Kyle mistakes Lily for someone named Katherine. Later, Lily enjoys the ocean view room only to see Kyle watching men stealthily unloading cargo from a small boat. Lily’s resemblance to Katherine puts her in danger and Kyle attempts to protect her. With her life in peril, Lily discovers a deep kinship with her doppelganger and a growing attachment to Kyle.



No Sanctuary by F. M. Meredith (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Officer Stacey Wilbur works with Detective Doug Milligan investigating the death of a popular minister’s wife, is given an undercover assignment to catch a pedophile, is offered a new job, and learns a church isn’t always a sanctuary








A Rainbow for Christmas by Mary Montague Sikes (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Meg, her niece and brother set out on a wagon train headed for Denver where Meg's fiancè in an arranged marriage awaits. When a senseless murder claims her brother's life, Meg determines to push on. However, when she meets handsome Cade Russell, the wagon master, her conviction to enter a loveless marriage wavers. Will Meg honor her father's wishes and marry John O'Sullivan, whose dowry will save the family farm from foreclosure? Meg has difficult choices to make. 




Rogue Wave by Helen Osterman (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Emma Winberry and Nate Sandler, her significant other, plan a vacation on a sailboat on the Caribbean. Emma has misgivings about the trip and discusses it with her Guardian Angel who tells her there will be trials ahead. This makes Emma more uncomfortable. At the beginning of the sail, the ocean is calm and they relax.

While sailing from the island of Curaçao to Bonaire, they see a small uninhabited island with a lone palm tree. Emma notices a flashing light, as if someone is sending an SOS. They have no idea that Estrella Montoya, wife of a Venezuelan drug lord, is being held captive there. When returning to Curaçao, they encounter a violent storm. Nate is washed overboard by a rogue wave. Is he lost forever? How does Emma get involved with the drug lord and his family? Follow the characters through storms at sea, piracy, drug lords, and heroism to the pulse pounding conclusion.


I Saw you in Beirut by J. L. Greger (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). F, a mysterious source of leaks on the Iranian nuclear industry, sends an email from Tabriz. “Help. Contact Almquist.” As Sara Almquist is drawn into the plan to identify and rescue F from Iran, she is forced to remember and re-evaluate characters from her student  days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and from her career as a globe-trotting epidemiologist. Which of her past decisions put her in jeopardy? Or is her current friendship with Sanders, an urbane state department official, the real reason she’s being attacked?



 Is Everybody Happy Now? Growing Up After World War II by Shirley S. Hickman (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). In 1945 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. 

The Sawtooth Complex by Susan Lang (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). The Sawtooth Complex is a fascinating novel that deals vigorously with the dilemmas of human life on the planet. Our willy-nilly destruction of the exquisite natural world is set against the efforts of some people to protect and care for the biology that sustains us.  Most characters are torn by contradictions, both personal and political. A few are avid developers; others seek a balance between humanity and nature. Several touching love stories develop and falter among them.

The true hero, Maddie Farley, is an inspiring and reluctant monkey-wrencher who lives most closely to the earth. The natural world she inhabits is invoked with poignant accuracy and love. Ultimately, nature itself blows up everyone’s world in a startling forest fire that overpowers the land and the people, laying waste to most everything. The writing about this thrilling climatic event is terrifying, spellbinding, very intense and powerful. And then a miracle occurs. In the wreckage left behind, the author, who is no sentimental idealist or doomsday prophet, finds reason to hope. The story is engrossing, entertaining, and really makes us think.

 
 Sudden Justice by Les Hoffman (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). 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.


Track Three by John H Gibson (iTunes, All Romance/OmniLit). Come along for the ride when a popular and top-rated investigative journalist, Elliott Lawder, and Katherine Lambert, a street-wise black British street urchin, are thrown together by the untimely death of an NSA Systems Analyst. Follow the adventure of our hero and heroine as the story moves at break-neck speed from Washington to London to Brussels to The Netherlands as the two attempts to discover the answer to why every US Security Agency, including the NSA and the CIA, are trying to kill them.



 
BLOG CORRAL


Lorna Collins continued her blog series about how she and her husband have stayed together for more than fifty years. Following up on installments one, two, and three, she explains this week about how communication has been a key to their happiness.

She writes, "When we were first married, I expected Larry to know what I needed by osmosis. I figured if he loved me, he’d figure it out. Didn’t happen.

"I tried hinting. That didn’t work either.

"I finally figured out guys were just clueless.

"Fortunately, early in our marriage, we attended a couple’s retreat. The leader asked, 'Are you mind readers?' We shook our heads. 'Then how can either of your know what the other needs or wants? You have to tell each other. Men don’t do subtle. They need direct answers.'

"I hadn’t thought about it in those terms. How could he know my needs if I didn’t tell him?"


Find out here how this retreat and Lorna's own reading and research strengthened the communication in her marriage.

Lorna is the author of Ghost Writer.

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Jackie Taylor Zortmann updated her Mountain Memos blog this week with a post about words. She writes, "Writers love words.  Words are the tools by which we tell our tales.  All of us who write sit surrounded by dictionaries, thesauruses and the Chicago Manual of Style ready to grab should we need information.

"However, once in awhile, a certain word comes along that instantly conjours up an unpleasant event from the past."

Read the rest of Jackie's thoughts here. 

Jackie also wrote about a contest she recently won. She writes, "My fellow Oak Tree Press author, Marilyn Meredith, who also writes as F. M. Meredith, did a recent blog tour for one of her latest books and I won a contest for following her all the way.  As a winner, she made me a character in her newest release A Crushing Death.

"I can now tell you it’s both fun and kind of weird to read your name as a character in a book."  

You can read the full post here. 

Jackie is the author of the award-winning novel Footprints in the Frost and the non-fiction book We Are Different Now: A Grandparent's Journey through Grief.

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Dac Crossley posted in his Western blog this week about how a planned trip to Texas brought to mind a favorite song. He writes, "My mother would grin and say, 'Who’ll go into San Antonio with old Ben Milam?' Mom never got very far away from the history of Texas.

"This weekend I want to see some Spring wildflowers, visit some of the old sights, and just get the feel of San Antonio and Texas under my toes once again. See the Alamo. Hear some music.


"Maybe somebody will perform my favorite Western Swing tune, 'San Antonio Rose.'" 

You can read the full post here.

Dac is the author of Code of the Texas Ranger, Guns of the Texas Ranger, and Revenge of the Texas Ranger
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