Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Trip Back in Time to Old Tombstone

By Carolyn Niethammer

This Saturday I will drive 72 miles from my Tucson home to Tombstone and for a few hours do a bit of time travel to the 19th Century. My new Wild Oak novel, The Piano Player, begins in 1882 Tombstone when Mary Rose gets a job playing piano at The Bird Cage Theater. It only takes Mary Rose a few days to learn she has left behind her old life as a pampered only daughter and she must forge a new identity as Frisco Rosie.

 I will be signing books outside the original Bird Cage Theater. The business has a most interesting history. It opened in 1881 and a year later The New York Times called it “the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.”

 When Tombstone’s brief arc began to fall after a series of floods and fires in the silver mines, the owners walked away from The Bird Cage in 1889 and locked the doors. The building was not unlocked until 1934 and inside was a perfectly preserved museum of those colorful days.

Today the western-clad guide who does the orientation delights in pointing out the numerous bullet holes in the entryway. Also just inside the door is a 12-foot tall painting of the bare breasted Fatima, a belly dancer who appeared at the Bird Cage in 1881. The knife gash below her bellybutton has been partially repaired.

The merchants and residents who keep the Tombstone legend alive are a dedicated group. It was William Faulkner who wrote, “The past isn’t dead, it isn’t even past.” That is certainly the case in Tombstone. When I told the owners of the Bird Cage that my fictional Frisco Rosie had become involved with one of the real life members of The Bisbee Five, he was interested in which one. Never mind that it was more than 130 years ago that these outlaws had been tried, hanged and buried in Boot Hill. They are as real as his current neighbors. It was a good thing that I am up on my Tombstone history so that I was able to engage in the discussion of that day when all of Tombstone showed up to watch the Bisbee Five meet justice.





Sunday, August 24, 2014

Marilyn's Musings: Today is My Birthday! One of Many!

Sounds like you had a great Mom...very caring, very thoughtful and a pretty nice life.
Me too. We can count ourselves quite fortunate.
Happy Birthday and many many more.
With Love, Bonnie

Organizing Your Novel

Are you an architect or a gardener?


I’ve had several conversations with authors regarding how they organize their writing process. It’s interesting to discover that no two writers are alike regarding how they navigate the various stages of planning, writing, re-writing, and editing. The spectrum is broad, and ranges from those who are structured, i.e., outlines, full character descriptions, etc., to those like myself who kind of fly by the seat of their pants.

That’s not to say I have no structure. Indeed, I have a good idea about who my main character(s) is/are, and what the story is about, and if one is needed, a sub plot is created. But one thing I never completely determine ahead of time is the ending. As I write the novel, different endings pop into my head. I quickly jot them down and by the time the manuscript is ready for the ending I usually have a couple to choose from.

I think not being tethered to an ending is preferable to needing to write to a pre-determined ending. In my case, I’m able to take the story down different avenues, and even include characters I may not have initially thought about. The only problem occurs when an author has more than one ending that would fit perfectly. Then how does one choose between the two?

Structure is good, though sometimes it can restrain creativity. I rather like being a free-spirited author, one who prefers non-traditional methods. I think author George R.R. Martin said it best. “I think there are two types of writers, the architects, and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they're going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there's going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don't know how many branches it's going to have, they find out as it grows. And I'm much more a gardener than an architect.” 



Friday, August 22, 2014

WEEKLY ROUND-UP FOR AUGUST 22, 2014

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone! Thank you for dropping in. Oak Tree Press has lots of news in our corral today. Be sure to check out our website, www.ShopOTPbooks.com, for a complete list of all the great books we have available. But now, for your reading pleasure, our authors have news, book signings, events, reviews, blogs and more to share with you as we head into the Round-Up…

Only a few days left to enter the yearly Oak Tree Press writing contests! We have many categories to choose from: Dark Oak Mystery, Wild Oaks Western, Mystic Oaks Paranormal, Timeless Love Romance and Police Blotter. Novels must be 60,000 – 80,000 words, submitted electronically in a rich text, double spaced format, entry fee of $25.00 and submissions must be received by September 1, 2014. Grand prize in each genre is publication in paper and ebook formats! For complete information (including prizes, contract highlights, distribution and promo info) please visit www.oaktreebooks.com
___________________________________________________



TEKLA DENNISON MILLER, author of “Mother Rabbit" http://tinyurl.com/Mother-Rabbit was #1 on the Top Ten Best Sellers list for August 10 – 16 at Maria’s Bookshop in Durango, CO. Roger Cottingham, Community Relations Manager for Maria’s Books is very pleased with the book signing event. Congratulations, TEKLA! I have chosen this memoir written about a former Playboy Bunny Mother as my pick of the week. mariasbookshop.com 

"Mother Rabbit" and "The Piano Player" by CAROLYN NEITHAMMER have been added to the Barnes and Noble national distribution data base. This is impressive in the fact that not just any book gets into Barnes and Noble! Congratulations, ladies! 


BILLY BEASLEY, author of “The River Hideaway" http://tinyurl.com/TheRiverHideaway informed me that his book signing at Barnes and Noble on August 16 was a huge success. They ran out of books in 45 minutes! While I was on Facebook checking out the pictures for the event I came across a wonderful review of the book: 
"Billy...I bought your book on Amazon for my Kindle and couldn't put your book down until I finished it 2 days later... Your book is such a beautiful, hopeful, "love conquers all" story.... I don't want to let the characters go and I wish more of the world was color blind... Thanks for such an uplifting, positive experience!,
Write more, okay???! 
- Melinda Beck Walker


CAROL ALEXANDER, author of “The Big Squeal” http://tinyurl.com/The-Big-Squeal says that MISS LIBERTY, a perfect specimen of porcine splendor, graciously declined an invitation to attend the famous Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Did she fear an accidental detour to the swine barn and the auction block? Being a cautious pig, MISS LIBERTY stayed home in her leafy haven. She did send her "as told to author" CAROL to represent her at Family Day on Sunday, August 17. CAROL found many networking opportunities and even sold a copy of the Second Edition of "The Big Squeal" to a Queen! Pictured here, Deborah S. Tuttle, the newly crowned Ms. Illinois America 2014, confided that her daughter Tiffany wants to adopt a pet pig. Deborah fell in love with "The Big Squeal" at first sight and plans to show it off on her travels.


"An Uncertain Grave" by CATHY STRASSER went to the printer today. Be sure to look for it on amazon soon! 


A stray hiker reports finding a partially decomposed body on Mt Lafayette in the “North Country” –  the top third of New Hampshire around and the Franconia Notch –  where the rugged terrain and sparse population provides the space and isolation to keep any number of secrets. Cliff Codey and Mike Eldrich – New Hampshire State Troopers with the Investigative Services Bureau – set out to solve the case in spite of the weather, reticent locals, and a bored, nosy New York reporter and his ambitious girlfriend who compete with the troopers to discover the victim’s identity.  As the investigation widens, both teams contend with a variety of local residents who have secrets they don’t wish to share. A shadow from Cliff’s past soon intrudes on the current investigation, complicating matters further. All these threads combine as the killer prepares to take action to keep his secret and himself safe.


UPCOMING EVENTS

ANN HOWLEY, author of “Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad” has several events lined up to celebrate the launch of her book:

August 23 - Book Signing at Next Chapter Bookstore and Bistro, Northville, MI 11:30am
August 26 - Book signing at the headquarters of Herbein + Company in Reading, PA.
September 6 - Book Launch Celebration at Metamorphosis Center, McMurray, PA 5:00pm



NICK CHECKER, author of the upcoming "Scratch" will be reading from his novel at the Grand Re-opening of the Monte Cristo Book Shop, 38 Green Street, New London CT this Sunday, August 24 at 4:00 pm. Richard Zack, a local classic guitarist will be playing background music to the reading. "Scratch" is an allegorical tale of loyalty, friendship, and courage set against the backdrop of the eerie world of feral cats. It will be published this fall. 







CAROLYN NEITHAMMER, author of the newly released “The Piano Player”  http://tinyurl.com/Piano-Player-Niethammer will be signing copies of her book at the Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona, where the novel is set, on August 30 during the Showdown in Tombstone weekend. This is the original building that functioned in the 1880s! Very exciting and I am sure a very cool place!








SHARON SMITH, author of “Murder on a Stick" http://tinyurl.com/Murder-on-a-Stick invites you to dinner at Nina's or W.A. Frost on September 3, and then join her at Subtext: A Bookstore (165 Western Avenue North, St. Paul, MN) at 7:00 pm for her book launch party. SHARON has launched three books her and she would like to show her appreciation by having a good turnout. The party includes a reading, followed by a Q & A session. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served.
 
Then on September 6 from noon – 2:00 pm, SHARON will be at Once Upon A Crime Mystery Books (604 West 26th Street, Minneapolis, MN). This event includes a book signing and a chance to talk to SHARON. Plenty of treats will be served.



TEKLA DENNISON MILLER, author of “Mother Rabbit” http://tinyurl.com/Mother-Rabbit will be the guest author at a Lansing, MI book group reviewing her book on September 10. The event is hosted by Denise Quarles. “Mother Rabbit” is a memoir written about Alyce Bonura who was a Playboy Bunny Mother in years past. 

Alyce Bonura was a single mother who took a position as the Bunny Mother of the Chicago Playboy Club to not only flee from a negative relationship but to pursue a career that guarantees financial freedom and upward mobility. Unfortunately, all was not what was assured or expected.


MARILYN MEREDITH aka F. M. Meredith, author of "Murder in the Worst Degree" book 10 in the Rocky Bluff PD series http://tinyurl.com/Murder-in-the-Worst-Degree will be appearing on a panel Wednesday, September 10 at the Burbank Library, Buena Vista Branch at 7:00 p.m. with the L.A. chapter of Sisters in Crime.







JOHN M. WILLS, author of “Dancer” http://tinyurl.com/Dancer-Wills will be signing copies of his books at the 1st Annual Book Fair at the Wilderness Branch Library on Friday, September 12 from 1:30 – 4:30.  He will also give a short talk about his writing experience.








DALE LOVIN, author of the upcoming “Strangers, Lovers and the Winds of Time” is planning his book launch for September 13 from 3:00 - 6:00 pm at HearthFire Books in Evergreen, CO.  The initial launch will be followed by an evening party and celebrated with a local non-profit that will benefit from the sales of the book. “Strangers, Lovers and the Winds of Time” is a sequel to “The Mirror in the River.”







MICHAEL ELDRIDGE, author of “Jack of Harts” http://tinyurl.com/Jack-of-Harts will be at the Ohio River Book Festival in Huntington, WV on September 19 & 20

Michael Eldridge’s debut novel in his Spaghetti and Rice Mystery series, “Jack of Harts,” is a front-runner right out of the gate. Strong characterization, and suspenseful plot twists combine to deliver a most satisfying reader experience. Former Chinese prostitute turned private investigator Ming Li Chow teams up with retired homicide detective Frank Borelli to do battle with the local Columbian drug cartel. Add kidnapping, money laundering, and the friendship of two 11 year old boys to the narrative, and you have a real page-turner. I look forward to the second novel in this series with much anticipation. - Linda Ginter-Brown, PhD


BLOG CORRAL

JOANN SMITH AINSWORTH, author of “Expect Trouble" http://tinyurl.com/Expect-Trouble has three upcoming events planned:

8/25/14 - "Ask an Author" Goodreads.com event. Mondays 4:30-5:00 pm PT.

8/29/14 - Venture Galleries author showcase http://venturegalleries.com/

9/3/14 - Author guest on AJ Nuest's Writer Wednesday on Street Team http://ajbooks.blogspot.com/






DAC CROSSLEY is pleased that “Guns of the Texas Ranger” http://tinyurl.com/Guns-of-the-Texas-Ranger is now in the corral at amazon.com. The Border Trilogy is now complete! His latest blog is about automobiles and horses. And troubles!

www.daccrossley.typepad.com








ILENE SCHNEIDER, author of “Unleavened Dead" http://tinyurl.com/Unleavened-Dead welcomes OTP author CAROLYN NEITHAMMER (“The Piano Player”) as her blog guest this week. As a follow-up to the posting about Wyatt Earp’s Jewish (common law) wife Josephine Sarah Marcus, she is writing about the women who adventured into the Yukon during the Gold Rush. Check it out at: WOMEN IN THE YUKON







That wraps up the Round-Up for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Weekly Round-Up as much as I enjoy posting it for you. As always, if you have something you would like to submit to the Round-Up, send me an email at otpoffice@aol.com. Big or small, old or new. I would like to keep our corral full of news! Comments, questions or suggestions are welcome too.


Have a great weekend, everyone.~ Suzi 
Like us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/oaktreebooks


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Notes from Scandinavia

A couple of weeks ago, I returned from a trip to Scandinavia. We had only a few days in Sweden and Denmark and the bulk of the trip was in Norway. Besides the spectacular scenery of fjords, forests, waterfalls and lakes, Norway has its own delight for a writer of children’s stories. After all, Norway is the land of Vikings, trolls, reindeer, moose, goats and sheep. 

As usual, I brought some children’s books (translated into English). I also looked for story ideas for future children’s picture books. Books about trolls. Scandinavian myths and Vikings were everywhere, although those translated into English were harder to find. Still, I came home with a goodly number to read and share with my grandchildren. 

One cute book from Sweden is a delight. The story takes place in the 1600’s and is about a pig who was sold to the Swedish navy. He ended up on the Vasa, a ship that went down near Stockholm in 1649 on her maiden voyage because she was top heavy. Poor piglet destined for a ship’s dinner, nearly drowned in the city’s harbor only to survive by clinging to a piece of the mast. This ship has since been raised from the bottom and is in a museum. It  is now made more famous by being immortalized in a children’s book about a pig. I’m drawn to this story because it is based on real events, yet told from a novel view point with delightful drawings and story line. I look for children’s books where learning and fun are combined in unusual ways. 

On trips, I am also on the alert for new story ideas. In Norway, I met a goat farmer who told us about his own experience about saving one of his flock from a snow storm. Although I often use real-life events in my own kid’s stories, I look for ways to make them my own by adding story elements or other characters to give them a wider appeal. 

This new story idea is in its formative phase, but I am thinking of making the main character a small boy. The goat will be young, frisky and inquisitive, a gift from the boy’s father that the boy is now raising. The farm will be the same farm I visited. Bordered by steep cliffs in a small meadow with a trickling stream, the story will have sod covered, small cabins where the family stays and makes goat cheese. My little goat may even end up on one of these sod covered roofs eating a snack. My next job is to learn more about Norwegian goat farming.

I’m often asked where I get my story ideas. My answer, “I find them all around me.” My next trip is to South Africa where I’m sure I’ll find plenty to write about. 

In the mean time, I'm busy setting up my files for my new OTP children's picture book, Clowning Around. It's about a clownfish so energetic and talented that he makes the other aquarium fish jealous. 



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hijacked by the Daughters of Confederacy!

I’ve always enjoyed speaking to various groups and I especially enjoy speaking to writer’s clubs.I was invited to speak to a women's writing group called the Nite Writers. I got lost and arrived fifteen minutes late. I finally found the meeting hall and rushed into the building and hurried into the room where the meeting had already started. I introduced myself to the woman who was conducting the meeting and took my place at the podium.
            I spoke for twenty minutes about writing and about the books I’d had published. I’d never had such an unresponsive audience.  I’d always prided myself on my ability to make my audiences laugh but this was a group of forty stoney-faced elderly women who never cracked a smile.
I knew I had failed miserably, no doubt the worst reception in my career. I thanked them for their time and said I wished them all success in their writing.
The woman who had been at the podium when I arrived stood up and said, “Oh, we aren’t the writer’s group, we are the Daughters of the Confederacy, the Nite Writers meet down the hall.”
“But why didn’t you tell me I was in the wrong room?” I asked as I grabbed my bag of books and my coat.
“Oh, we didn’t have a program planned tonight so when you came into the room we just figured it was dumb luck and we’d listen to whatever you had to say,” she said.
I ran down the hall, found the room where the Nite Writers were meeting and explained I was the last Yankee taken prisoner by the Daughters of the Confederacy.
The leader of the Nite Writers shook her head and said, “Sadly, you aren’t the first speaker they’ve hi-jacked. In the future we’re going to meet our speakers in the parking lot.”
This October I have plans to speak at two libraries, a book club and a senior center.
I’ve learned my lesson, when going anywhere to promote my book, I will confirm the directions, arrive early and make sure I am  in the right place and watch out for the Daughters of the Confederacy!

- April Knight
www.cryingwind.com
akinightscribe@gmail.com




Friday, August 15, 2014

WEEKLY ROUND-UP FOR AUGUST 15, 2014

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone! Thank you for dropping in. Oak Tree Press has lots of news in our corral today. Be sure to check out our website, www.ShopOTPbooks.com, for a complete list of all the great books we have available. But now, for your reading pleasure, our authors have news, book signings, events, reviews, blogs and more to share with you as we head into the Round-Up…

Only a few weeks left to enter the yearly Oak Tree Press writing contests! We have many categories to choose from: Dark Oak Mystery, Wild Oaks Western, Mystic Oaks Paranormal, Timeless Love Romance and Police Blotter. Novels must be 60,000 – 80,000 words, submitted electronically in a rich text, double spaced format, entry fee of $25.00 and submissions must be received by September 1, 2014. Grand prize in each genre is publication in paper and ebook formats! For complete information (including prizes, contract highlights, distribution and promo info) please visit www.oaktreebooks.com
___________________________________________________

The following two books will be rolling of the presses soon!

“An Uncertain Grave” by CATHY STRASSER

A stray hiker reports finding a partially decomposed body on Mt Lafayette in the “North Country” –  the top third of New Hampshire around and the Franconia Notch –  where the rugged terrain and sparse population provides the space and isolation to keep any number of secrets. Cliff Codey and Mike Eldrich – New Hampshire State Troopers with the Investigative Services Bureau – set out to solve the case in spite of the weather, reticent locals, and a bored, nosy New York reporter and his ambitious girlfriend who compete with the troopers to discover the victim’s identity.  As the investigation widens, both teams contend with a variety of local residents who have secrets they don’t wish to share. A shadow from Cliff’s past soon intrudes on the current investigation, complicating matters further. All these threads combine as the killer prepares to take action to keep his secret and himself safe.


“A Duty to Betray” by KELLY MORENO

In “A Duty to Betray,” Dr. Ricardo Ruiz finds himself in a complicated legal dilemma when his sexually promiscuous AIDS patient, Taylor Tran, refuses to tell his lovers of his condition. Moreover, as Dr. Ruiz considers warning others of his patient’s illness, Mr. Tran starts plotting to make Dr. Ruiz his next victim. As their battle with each other approaches a fatal pitch, however, both men realize one can die long before one is dead.  The question in the story—as in life—is whether or not this discovery is made in time.



UPCOMING EVENTS
 

EILEEN OBSER, author of “Only You” (http://tinyurl.com/Only-You-Obser) has been interviewed by Linda Frank, producer of “The Writer’s Dream” on LTV, a Long Island television station on August 14. Be sure to send us a link, EILEEN!
 
There will be a book reading and signing of “Only You” at Canio’s Bookstore in Sag Harbor on Thursday, August 21 at 5:00 pm. Noted jazz pianist Amanda Trees of New York City will play rock and roll before and after the reading (631-725-4926.)



KEN OXMAN, author of “Reluctant Assassin” http://tinyurl.com/Reluctant-Assassin is pictured here at the Norwalk Library after speaking to a full house. KEN also shares his book proudly on display at Barnes and Noble in Norwalk, CT. KEN will be at Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT today, Friday August 15.



MICHAEL ELDRIDGE, author of “Jack of Harts” http://tinyurl.com/Jack-of-Harts will be at the Kirby Pines Retirement Community in Memphis, TN on August 15 at 6 p.m. There will be a cocktail party with refreshments. Stop by and meet MIKEY if you are in the area.









ANN HOWLEY, author of “Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad”  http://tinyurl.com/ConfessionsOfaDoGooder 
has several events lined up to celebrate the launch of her book:

August 16 - Book Launch Party at Millrace Village, Northville, MI 5:30pm
August 23 - Book Signing at Next Chapter Bookstore and Bistro, Northville, MI 11:30am
August 26 - Book signing at the headquarters of Herbein + Company in Reading, PA.
September 6 - Book Launch Celebration at Metamorphosis Center, McMurray, PA 5:00pm


BILLY BEASLEY, author of “The River Hideaway” 
http://tinyurl.com/TheRiverHideaway will be having a book signing on August 16 at 3:00 pm at Barnes and Noble at 850 Inspiration Drive in Wilmington, NC. Come by and see what all the fuss is about, meet BILLY and get a signed book!








CAROLYN NEITHAMMER, author of the newly released “The Piano Player”  http://tinyurl.com/Piano-Player-Niethammer is planning a Tucson launch of her book on August 26. 

CAROLYN will be signing copies of "The Piano Player" at the Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona, where the novel is set, on August 30 during the Showdown in Tombstone weekend. This is the original building that functioned in the 1880s. How cool is this!?




TEKLA DENNISON MILLER, author of “Mother Rabbit” 
http://tinyurl.com/Mother-Rabbit will be the guest author at a Lansing, MI book group reviewing her book on September 10. The event is hosted by Denise Quarles. “Mother Rabbit” is a memoir written about Alyce Bonura who was a Playboy Bunny Mother.







JOHN M. WILLS, author of “The Year Without Christmas” http://tinyurl.com/Year-w-o-Christmas 

and “Dancer” http://tinyurl.com/Dancer-Wills 

will be signing copies of his books at the 1st Annual Book Fair at the Wilderness Branch Library on Friday, September 12 from 1:30 – 4:30.  He will also give a short talk about his writing experience.





BLOG CORRAL

ILENE SCHNEIDER, author of “Unleavened Dead” http://tinyurl.com/Unleavened-Dead asks what is more important: real success or the illusion of success? Read her thoughts about how to promote yourself so you seem like a big fish in a big pond when you're a tiny bit of algae in a puddle. Oak Tree Press Blog: APPEARANCE IS ALL








LORNA COLLINS, author of “Ghost Writer” http://tinyurl.com/Ghost-Writer-Collins is talking about saying I Love You on her blog this week. http://lornacollins-author.blogspot.com/










DAC CROSSLEY, author of “Guns of the Texas Ranger” http://tinyurl.com/Guns-of-the-Texas-Ranger blogs about summer rushing along at his new cabin with a new computer.









That wraps up the Round-Up for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Weekly Round-Up as much as I enjoy posting it for you. 
As always, if you have something you would like to submit to the Round-Up, send me an email at otpoffice@aol.com
Big or small, old or new. I would like to keep our corral full of news! Comments, questions or suggestions are welcome too.

Have a great weekend, everyone.~ Suzi 

Share this on FacebookLike us on Facebook!
 www.facebook.com/oaktreebooks

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