Friday, December 2, 2016

The Santa Claus Machine by G. B. Pool



In order to modernize his image, Santa builds a series of Santa robots that are sent to stores around the world. They are programmed to tell Santa’s stories and record children’s wishes. An unscrupulous sales manager at the largest department store chain in America along with their computer engineer, kidnap the real Santa and hide him in an ice cave. They reprogram the Santa Claus Machines to encourage children to ask for more and more toys. When Santa learns about the change, he becomes disheartened and thinks he might have to cancel Christmas.


Bio:

A former private detective and once a reporter for a small weekly newspaper, Gayle Bartos-Pool (G.B. Pool) writes the Johnny Casino Casebook Series and the Gin Caulfield P.I. Mysteries. She also wrote the SPYGAME Trilogy, Caverns, Eddie Buick’s Last Case, The Santa Claus Singer, Bearnard’s Christmas and The Santa Claus Machine. She teaches writing classes: “Anatomy of a Short Story” (which is also in book form), “How to Write Convincing Dialogue” and “How to Write a Killer Opening.” 

Website: www.gbpool.com.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Recipes by the Book: OakTree Authors Cook

A few years ago, one of my fellow Oak Tree Press authors, Ilene Schneider,  suggested we do an author’s cookbook and feature recipes from our books.  We got it started and somewhere along the way, it got side-lined.  Just recently, Ilene and authors Lorna Collins and Mary Montague Sikes decided to grab the bull by the horns and make sure we got it published.  As it turns out, we have two editions.  One is full color inside and out, and sells as a paperback SPECIAL EDITION for $24.99.  The second edition has  the same beautiful color cover but is black and white inside.  It sells for $14.99.  Both are available at http://www.amazon.com. It has 132 pages and is a 6×9 trade paperback.  Buy: http://tinyurl.com/pcejv9d.



The gorgeous artwork for the cover is done by author Mary Montague Sikes.  The authors who contributed recipes are:  Amy Bennett, Holli Castillo, Lorna Collins, Lesley A. Diehl, Michael Eldridge, Nicola Furlong, J. L. (Janet) Greger, Shirley Skufca Hickman, Ann K. Howley, Marilyn Levinson, J. R. (John) Lindermuth, Nancy LiPetri, F. M. (Marilyn) Meredith, Sharon Arthur Moore, Radine Trees Nehring, Carolyn Niethammer, Eileen Obser, Beryl Reichenberg, Tanis Rush, Ilene Schneider, Anne Schroeder, Mary Montague Sikes,  Denise Weeks, Robert Weibenzahl, John R. Wills and Jackie Taylor Zortman.
Amazon describes our book this way: ” Not only are the Oak Tree Press authors wonderful writers, they are also great cooks.  Meals often appear in their books.  This cookbook assembles the best of their recipes along with author profiles and a bit about their books.  Special thanks for the owner of Oak Tree Press, Billie Johnson, for her support and encouragement.”
With the holidays upon us, remember that books are great gifts, both as hostess gifts on Thanksgiving and for Christmas or Hanukkah presents.  Hope you’ll keep it in mind as you prepare your holiday shopping list.  Buy it and enjoy or wrap it up and give it to someone who likes to cook or just loves books.

I borrowed this from Jackie Taylor Zortman's post. I have a recipe in this book too!
Marilyn

Monday, November 28, 2016

And Yes, More Ideas for Christmas Giving (Books, of Course)



Aunt Madge is staying briefly in Ocean Alley's Silver Times Assisted Living apartments. That's what happens when you stand on a stool to hang garland and lose your balance. Madge's broken wrist and ankle are healing enough that she hopes to join her family at her Cozy Corner B & B for Christmas. The body that falls into her apartment in the wee hours one morning kind of changes things.

Does the killer think Aunt Madge knows something she shouldn't? Will Madge follow the advice she regularly gives Jolie -- to accept that she may not ever know all the answers? It's not looking like it.

Even as she's on the prowl for a killer, Aunt Madge harnesses her friends to make the holidays -- and beyond -- happier for children who end up with broken bones and other ailments.




Newspaper reporter Paul Bradley discovers the body of Springfield Union Mayor James Rodgers prone on the municipal executive's City Hall office floor. The nearly seventy-year-old mayor has been shot twice in the chest. Suspects of the deed are plentiful of the openly womanizing administrator. A string of short term affairs and numerous one-night-stands over sixteen years since his return to his old hometown is just the tip of the iceberg. Numerous other relationships during his prior military career compounds the investigation.

Added to this, his contentious relationship with City Manager Kurt Buckwald and other political rivals as well as potential enemies from a presumed Black Ops career in the Air Force finds Detective Steve McCandless with a larger pool of suspects than he could imagine for the first murder in this small Kansas town in more than thirty years.

Who done it and how to prove it makes for page-turning excitement in this latest murder/mystery from author Michael Schafer.

Western history buffs and fans of the California Missions will enjoy Maria Ines, an impressively researched and vivid depiction of the Salinan Tribe of the Central Coast. Maria Ines is an Indian girl born under Padre Serra's cross at Mission San Miguel who witnesses the political intrigue and greed of Spanish, Mexican and Yanqui invaders who plunder California, destroying everything she loves.

Purebred Dead, a Mary McGill canine mystery. 

It’s the night of Santa Louisa’s annual Victorian Christmas Extravaganza. Mary McGill, chairwoman of the event, stands on the library steps making sure all is going as planned, waiting for the Posada to arrive at the crèche set up on St. Theresa’s front lawn. But the manger isn’t empty. Two children have discovered a man laying in it, very dead, a small puppy beside him.

The children saw a shadowy figure run out of the crèche, dressed in a mediaeval robe. Are they in danger? No one can be sure but they must be protected until the murder is caught. Mary agrees to help. She is sure the puppy is a clue, but to what? Dogs, and dog breeders are plentiful in Santa Louisa. Mary knows nothing about dogs. She’d better learn, and fast, because the local owner of the pet store is also dead and she and the children seem to be the chosen next victims. 
 
Published by Severn House

Recommended by Library Journal, Publishers Weekly and Book list, among others
Available in hard cover, soft cover and ebook

Read 1st chapter and find buy links through www.kathleendelaney.net

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Even More Christmas Book Giving Ideas!



There's romance, there's intrigue, there's murder, but best of all there's Eve Appel, a gal into high end fashion who's not afraid to get her hands dirty.When Jenny McCleary leases her property to be ravaged by the annual mud bog races, the small rural town of Sabal Bay, Florida, is divided into warring camps: environmental activists versus monster truck fans. 

Jenny, who frequents the consignment store owned by Eve Appel and her friend Madeleine, doesn’t seem to mind when Eve and Madeleine join the protesters the day of the races. During the race, Eve catches Jenny’s airborne head after it is tossed into the air by the wheels of a truck. 

Now every protester is a suspect in Jenny’s murder. . Even without the disembodied head, Eve has her hands full. The town resents her role in the protests and is boycotting the consignment shop on wheels. She is torn between two men—GQ-handsome, devoted PI Alex and tall, dark, and exotic Sammy. Jenny’s sweet and needy teenage daughter is dating a petty criminal. Will Eve and Madeleine ever be able to move into their new digs? Not unless the town forgives them. And not if whoever decapitated Jenny gets to Eve before she and her sleuthing buddies solve the mystery. Book 4 in the Eve Appel Mystery series.

Who should read it:
Entertaining for women of all ages and those guys who like their women sassy.



Crystal Creek Christmas by Laura Haley-McNeil

A snowstorm paralyzes Crystal Creek’s cattle operation. Jake Whitloch joins the cattle rescue, but finds a woman who consumes his thoughts despite the diamond sitting on her finger.

Noelle appreciates her rescuer, but her deadly secret will endanger the family who opened their home to her.

Laura Haley-McNeil

Risking Her Heart, Book 5 of the Crystal Creek Series, Coming Soon
Steeling Her Heart, Book 4 for the Crystal Creek Series


Kindle Kobo  Barnes & Noble iBooks





THE SLEUTH SISTERS would make a great Christmas gift for a sister or other female relative. 

Not only is it a best-selling, award-winning mystery, but you'll introduce her to a series that focuses on sisters and the bonds between them--some good and others less than good.

Barb (the responsible one), Faye (the caring one), and Retta (the fun-loving one) are as different as sisters can be, but they start a detective agency in mid-life, each for her own reasons. They seldom agree on how to run it, but they come together when trouble arises,as sisters do. 

One reviewer comments: "If you have sisters, you have to read this book!"

Link-

https://www.amazon.com/Sleuth-Sisters-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B00IJZZLV6



Mojo For Murder: A Bertie Bigelow Mystery

Do you believe in magic?

There’s a hex on Charley Howard’s Hot Links Emporium, and Charley, a.k.a. the Hot Sauce King, is furious.  He suspects the Jamaican psychic who’s been “advising” his gullible wife Mabel is a phony, and he asks choir director Bertie Bigelow to do a little amateur sleuthing to help him prove it.

But Bertie’s already got all the drama she can handle.

The high-profile concert she’s doing with The Ace Of Spades, an ageing (but still sexy) rap star, has Metro College in an uproar.  Her on-again, off-again flirtation with attorney David Mackenzie has hit a dead end, and her best friend Ellen Simpson has been seduced and abandoned for the third time this year.

When a Chicago Zoning Commissioner is rushed to the emergency room after filling up on the Soul Food Special at Charley’s restaurant, Bertie is forced to take action. She doesn’t need a crystal ball to know that there’s trouble on the horizon.

On the South Side of Chicago, a murderer lies in wait for Bertie Bigelow.  To solve this case, she's going to need all the mojo she can get.

Will Bertie get her mojo working in time? 

When it's cold and snowy and you're trapped inside with cabin fever, what more could you ask for than a romantic adventure in the Southwestern desert? If you can't get there in person, travel in the pages of a book with a couple of spunky women, a handsome helicopter pilot, and a precocious cat.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure

A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert.... 

Reviewers give it a 4.6 star average: “The story has it all – action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship....” 

“Great balance of history, romance, and adventure. Smart romance with an “Indiana Jones” feel.” 

 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Power of Words by A B Plum




The Power of Words
“Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words can never harm me.”

Remember this childhood ditty?

Remember how old you were when you knew it was a lie?

Words hurt. They can break the heart and wound the soul. Once said, they can’t be unsaid (though, mercifully, sometimes we can forget them).

The most obvious example of words used as missiles of mass destruction was during the presidential election. Too often, those of us listening to the vitriol spilled across the airwaves couldn’t believe our ears. Parents around the country covered their children’s ears.

For us writers, the bad ‘rap’ words have gotten in the past few months threatens to tarnish our only creative tool. But . . . new words come into the English language every second of the day.
Here are a few I’ve discovered recently. Do you know what they all mean?

Vlog –makes sense blogs and video would collide.

Yogalates – makes more sense than tai’lates, right?

Glamp – for those averse to roughing it outdoors, only seems natural someone would find a way to make sleeping in the wild glamorous.

ROFL – not really a word, IMO, except it is now ubiquitous—maybe even usurping LOL and IMO.
Squee – added this year to the OED, it’s meaning is obvious, IMO, even without an exclamation mark. It’s the new poster child as an example of onomatopoeia.

YODA – whether originally from Sanskrit or Hebrew or from the mind of Steven Spielberg or a screenwriter, this one sounds like Buddha and yoga—both sources of tranquility. Thanks to this link http://www.starwarsselect.com/wordorigins.html for this insight.

Who knows? Maybe next election, Yoda-like words will prevail.

And BTW, words can also soothe, comfort, and heal. Not to mention inspire and entertain—all reasons to read, read, read.
*****
ABOUT AB

Scary comic books, nineteenth century American literature (especially Poe, Hawthorne, and James), plus every genre in-between have influenced AB’s writing. Teaching adolescent boys and working with high-testosterone Silicon Valley tekkies opened up new insights into neuroanatomy and behavioral psychology. She lives in the shadow of Google, writes and walks daily. She participates in a brain-building aerobic dance class three times a week.

Find her blogging every second Tuesday:  http://thestilettogang.blogspot.com/    

Go here to buy The Early Years on Amazon:  amzn.com/B01MPY736B

Look for The Lost Days, Book 2 in The MisFit Series coming mid-December.

ABOUT The Early Years, Book 1 in The MisFit

“No monster comes into the world full grown. Even a monster has a childhood.”

Unlovable from birth? Eerily different? Eleven-year-old Michael Romanov retaliates against the verbal sticks and stones hurled at him by his older brother, guaranteeing his icy mother’s descent into hell.


.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Book Gift Ideas for Christmas or Hannukkah




Ryan longs to have a mother. The shy little girl is going to be an angel in her school’s Christmas play and creates a strategy about the costume to get her father to meet the pretty second grade teacher. However, the only commitment David Ryan wants is to his daughter, and Angie McAllister wants no commitment other than to her own independence. Can the magic of the season clear the way for a little girl's Christmas wish to come true? Think “Sleepless in Seattle” meets “Love Story” and place a young Meg Ryan in the role of Angie.

Mary Montague Sikes, artist, author, and photographer
Do you have a young adult or middle grade reader who has run out of Harry Potter books but loves to read fantasy or contemporary fantasy?  Or perhaps you know someone a little older who still enjoys timeless romps? Then a short, faster-paced fantasy/adventure that charms young adults as well as grown-ups who have never lost that sense of wonder will make a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer.  APRIL, MAYBE JUNE by Shalanna Collins (award-winning fantasy author), the book that won the 2010 Golden Rose mystery/fantasy grand prize, is for you.

April Bliss (yes, she gets teased for her name) is a precocious teen girl genius with a sister who is a year and a half older and even smarter. Of course April knows she's smart and funny--but not necessarily in the ways that she believes she is. Her life has been on an even keel until the day the police show up at their mansion and their family is thrown into chaos. Never mind that June finds a magic ring and (even though she HAS read The Hobbit) puts it on and comes under its influence, or that April finds a magic book that shows her alarming pictures. They need to rescue their cousin Arlene from a renegade coven of evil witches--or is that a double-cross?

"April is a delightful narrator, both witty and unintentionally funny, one of those kids people sometimes say were 'born old,' but young and earnest and energetic too.  She is fiercely loyal to family and takes this loyalty to its logical conclusion in a twisty magical plot full of both humor and terror."--Pamela Dean, author of THE SECRET COUNTRY YA fantasy series






Agatha and Anthony finalist Fighting Chance

  • Young adults-- Fighting Chance could be called a cross between The Hardy Boys and The Karate Kid: It’s a young adult mystery laced with action and adventure, but it’s also a coming-of-age story about a teenager growing into adulthood while studying a martial art.

  • Mystery and martial arts fans of all ages—There’s plenty to keep adult mystery readers guessing in a book Kirkus Review describes as “a smartly crafted mystery filled with suspense and intrigue.” And martial arts enthusiasts should enjoy the action scenes written with help from a fifth-degree black belt.
 Description:
When seventeen-year-old Matt Foley’s coach and mentor is killed in a sparring match at a tae kwon do tournament, the police decide it was a tragic accident. Matt’s not so sure. With help from a few friends, including the attractive but puzzling Graciana Cortez, Matt learns the coach’s opponent, Bobby Davis, is a brutal, highly skilled martial artist, the central attraction at an illegal fight club. Now, Matt’s convinced someone hired Davis to murder the coach. But who would want to harm the coach, and why do it at a tournament? Matt’s efforts to find the truth pull him into some dangerous conflicts. To improve his self-defense skills, he joins a Krav Maga class taught by a man who becomes his new mentor. Matt suspects that he’s going to need those skills, that some day he’ll have to face Bobby Davis himself. –by B.K. Stevens




The Good Old Days? A Collection of Stories is the perfect gift for anyone, who wants to initiate a lively family discussion over the holidays.



The Wooded Path makes a great gift for those who enjoy page-turning contemporary fiction.  Women readers say the characters, especially the group of bunco friends, are so relatable. Male readers say they appreciate the accurate detail about Lake Norman, NC, and the peek into what their wives might really be thinking about marriage.

Blurb:  The disappearance of a woman after a nighttime boat ride rattles her lakeside neighborhood and leads others to reevaluate their own lives and relationships. One finds herself risking her seemingly perfect life…and afraid of what really happened to their friend.




Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Few More Books that would make Terrific Christmas Gifts!

Actually, books make great gifts anytime!



SCRATCH, written by Nicholas Checker and published by Oak Tree Press, is a perfect Christmas gift in that its rousing adventure features gallantry and loyalty on the part of something people cherish dearly ... their pets. It is set in the mysterious world of feral cats where a legendary figure must rescue two warring clans from a far greater threat menacing them both. It is available via Amazon.com or through Oak Tree Press!



Of course I have lots of books--but Seldom Traveled is a good introduction to the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series--and especially for those who like mysteries with plenty of action, and some Native American mysticism.

https://www.amazon.com/Seldom-Traveled-Tempe-Crabtree-Mystery/dp/1594264333/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477778030&sr=8-1&keywords=seldom+traveled+by+marilyn+meredith




If you love dogs and/or gentle mysteries, then meet Doodle, the cheeky canine who has charmed readers of all ages. Best-selling author of the Goose Creek series, Virginia Smith, calls Bad-Mouthed, “the perfect blend of mystery, suspense, and laugh-out-loud doggy observations."

A dog's Christmas.

Who knew chasing a rat in the middle of a Christmas pageant could cause so much trouble? Certainly not Doodle, the obedience-impaired labradoodle who works for "the boss,” Josh Hunter of Hunter Bed Bug Detection, nor Molly, the boss's ten-year-old daughter.

 Doodle's antics during the pageant draw the attention of a popular video-blogger, who asks to do a feature on his sniffer-dog skills. But when the blog airs, pretty much the opposite of what Molly and the boss expected, the boss's phone rings off the hook with distraught customers who think Doodle’s bed bug “finds” can’t be trusted.

 Throw in a handful of threatening letters, some lost dogs, and a devastating fire, and Molly and Doodle have their hands—well, in Doodle's case, his paws—full finding out just who's been naughty and who's been nice.

". . .warmhearted and funny but never superficial," writes Mary Jo Rabe on Amazon.com about the Doodlebugged books. "I haven't met a fictional character in a long time that I enjoyed melding my mind with as much as Doodle."

 – Susan Kroupa

author of The Doodlebugged Mysteries: “. . . the perfect blend of mystery, suspense, and laugh-out-loud doggy observations.” –Virginia Smith, best-selling author of the Goose Creek series








The Black Horse Campground mystery series by Amy M. Bennett is for readers who enjoy mystery, romance, humor, and the joy of being around good friends!
“End of the Road”—“No Lifeguard on Duty”—“No Vacancy”—“At the Crossroad”





Amy M. Bennett