Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Storm - John M. Wills

My guest today is award-winning author John Wills. I have had the pleasure of editing his recent books, including this current release. I asked him what inspired him to write this book. Welcome, John.

Hi, Lorna. I wanted to let your readers know about my latest novel, The Storm. Here’s a brief synopsis: Anna’s life in the small town of Heavenly Harbor, Michigan, seems idyllic. Married ten years to her childhood sweetheart, Mark, she wants for nothing, except a baby. Unfortunately, her husband doesn’t share her enthusiasm. Anna has been secretly keeping a journal. She’s recorded her suspicions about Mark’s reluctance to share her dream and his possible infidelity. As she is about to confront him, lightning strikes, literally, causing her to lose her memory. The Storm will not only damage Anna physically, but possibly destroy her marriage as well—and Mark’s secret life is about to implode.
I was inspired to write this story because I’ve had people in my life who’ve suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. I’ve witnessed the steady progression, sometimes developing slowly, however, it may also have a sudden onset. The destruction the malady causes is beyond description. After a while, the victim hardly realizes what is happening. Sadly, however, those close to the patients suffer immeasurably. Their once-vibrant loved one disappears before their eyes. In the final stages, it’s not unusual for the victim to be unable to recognize family and friends.

So, while I was pondering a story involving memory loss, I thought it would be interesting if it centered around a young person. Rather than Alzheimer’s, I thought an injury-induced case of amnesia would make for a compelling story. Thus, the making of Anna’s story began.

I did my research with respect to injuries resulting from lightning strikes—how they affect the physical and mental well-being. And I wanted the protagonist to be likeable, believable, and strong. Anna is that person, and her tenacity after her injury makes her character even more powerful. The injury transforms Anna’s character, once a one-dimensional teacher and wife, into a strong determined woman who knows what she wants and how to get it.

Of course, what would a story be without at least one antagonist readers dislike right from the beginning? We have such a character in Vicky, a personal trainer at the local health club. Her chicanery and outright lack of morals wreaks havoc upon Anna’s marriage. Add to the mix a couple of great cops, and the recipe for a great novel is ready to serve.

Early reviews have been outstanding and I look for more to be posted. Now excuse me as I need to start the wheels turning and come up with a tale for my next book.

Thanks, Lorna, for allowing me to introduce my newest novel—The Storm.

John M. Wills is a former Chicago police officer and retired FBI agent. He is a freelance writer and award-winning author in a variety of genres, including novels, short stories and poetry. He has published more than 150 articles relating to officer training, street survival, fitness and ethics. John also writes book reviews for the New York Journal of Books and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. His book, Women Warriors, is available online and at the National Law Enforcement Memorial Gift Shop in Washington, D.C. John’s books include The Year Without Christmas: A Novel, Healer, and Dancer. Visit John at: https://jwillsbooks.com/.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Oak Tree Authors Cook!

Thanks to Jackie Taylor Zortman for blogging on this subject. https://jtzortman.wordpress.com/ 

I used much of her blog to create this one. I appreciate her efforts as well as her contribution to the book itself.

A few years ago, fellow Oak Tree Press author, Ilene Schneider,  suggested an authors' cookbook to feature recipes from our books. She compiled the recipes, and I edited and formatted the manuscript, but other projects got in the way. Recently, Ilene I decided to resurrect the cookbook. It is now available in two editions. One features a full color interior and sells as a paperback SPECIAL EDITION for $24.99. The second has a black and white interior. It sells for $14.99.  Both are available at http://www.amazon.com. Both are 6×9 trade paperbacks.
otp-cookbook-ebook-coverThe gorgeous artwork for the cover is an original pastel painting called "Wine and Cheese" by author Mary Montague Sikes.  The following authors contributed recipes 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.
The Amazon description  of the book is: ” Not only are the
Back Cover of OTP Authors Cookbook
Back Cover of OTP Authors Cookbook
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.”
Books make wonderful holiday gifts. Consider them for hostess gifts and for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah presents.  Please keep all our books, including this one, in mind as you prepare your holiday gift list.  Buy a copy for yourself, and wrap copies to give to someone who likes to cook or who just loves books.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

About Ichabod Wolfe

Today my guest is Frank Fiordalisi, the author of Ichabod Wolfe. I asked Frank to share his inspiration for his debut novel, Ichabod Wolfe. Welcome, Frank.

Writing Ichabod Wolfe

American history fascinates me. The most critical times in bygone days serve as signposts and testament to the courage and character of our nation. The Civil War may have started when Fort Sumter was fired upon in 1861, but war began years before. The rapid westward expansion of the country had a monumental effect upon the politics of slavery and states’ rights. While policies were argued in Congress, guerilla-style battles raged between slave and free states. The Kansas-Missouri border conflict became the prelude to the War Between the States. Actions taken by passionate men resulted in what historians refer to as “Bleeding Kansas.”

Ichabod Wolfe is set in those times. The exploits of men like William Quantrill, “Bloody Bill” Anderson, John Brown, and the Jayhawkers fill the pages of nonfiction and fiction alike. They tell of violent and often heroic deeds. But what was it like for the non-political farmers and shop keepers who wanted peace, security and better times for their children?

I didn’t sit down to write a “western novel.” Rather, I began to write a fictional story of a thirteen-year-old orphan who happened to live in Kansas in 1860. Ichabod Wolfe led me farther west, and the story became a western. The protagonist’s decision to follow the Santa Fe Trail in order to seek his fortune caused me to doubt his wisdom. However, like a pair of new Levis, it became more comfortable in time. Ichabod Wolfe is a story of success in violent times, rather than heroics.

Nothing changes with the passage of time. The same emotions and needs drive us now as they did our ancestors. We all desire success, recognition, someone to love, and for love to be returned. We all live with failures, regrets, guilt, and rejection, as did Ichabod Wolfe. He was a good man living in violent times. That is who he was and that is how I tried to tell his story.
Frank Fiordalisi was born in NYC and attended St. John’s University where he received a B.S. degree in Pharmacy. After teaching high school science, he returned to the practice of retail pharmacy. He later moved to Miami, Florida and joined the Miami-Dade County Police Department, where he served in a number of assignments, retiring as a Detective Sergeant after twenty-nine years of service. He has a daughter, Jacqueline, and a son, Francis. He currently lives with his wife, Christine, in Gainesville, Florida.