Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Acorns from Oak Tree Press: Amy M. Bennett's End of the Road

I'm back from a relaxing week spent in the Mule Mountains of Cochise County, Arizona, so it's time to return to one of my favorite features. It's the aim of "Acorns" to introduce you to some fine crime fiction offered by Oak Tree Press, a small publishing house with a big heart.

This week I'm featuring Amy Bennett and her book, End of the Road. Let's find out about this book and its talented writer!


The book...

Available Now!
The annual spring motorcycle rally in nearby Ruidoso, NM, brings several bikers to Bonney County and the Black Horse Campground, including J. D. Wilder, who appears in the middle of the night and has little to say about himself.  

While Corrie doesn't feel particularly threatened by the appearance of the dangerously attractive and mysterious guest, Sheriff Rick Sutton, Corrie's friend since childhood and old high school flame, is positive that J. D. is nothing but trouble.

But when an elderly long-time guest, Marvin Landry, is found shot to death in his own RV, with his disabled wife, Betty, locked in the bathroom and fifty thousand dollars missing from the RV's bedroom, there are suddenly a number of other guests who might have had reason to commit murder--from Betty's suspiciously secretive son to year-round guests who have a hush-hush business they were offering to Marvin.  Soon Corrie can't tell who she can and can't trust... and it could just as easily be the end of the road for her!


The author...

Amy M. Bennett
Amy Bennett was born Amy Romero in El Paso, Texas in 1967.  A 1985 graduate of Father Yermo High School, she attended UTEP for two years before marrying and moving to Alamogordo, New Mexico.  Except for a six-month stint in Mt. Kisco, New York, she has lived in New Mexico for the last 25 years and worked in Ruidoso for the last eleven years as a cake decorator at the Walmart Supercenter in Ruidoso Downs and as a retail clerk at Noisy Water Winery in mid-town Ruidoso for the last two years.

Amy has written short stories and a few novels throughout her life but her only publishing credits are two humorous pieces published in Reader's Digest (in 1998 and 2010.)  In 2003, she first heard about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) but did not get up the courage to participate until November of 2004.  She enjoyed the challenge of having to write 50,000 words in 30 days, despite the fact that the upcoming holidays made it an extremely busy time for her to find time to write (in addition to holding down a full-time job, she also homeschooled her son, a niece, and two nephews).  

In 2009, she began the draft for what eventually became her first mystery novel, End of the Road, but was unable to get past the 30,000 word mark.  She set the draft aside and a year later, she and her husband, Paul, visited Gruet Winery in Albuquerque while participating in the New Mexico Wine Growers Association passport program.  While searching for something to buy in order to receive a “passport stamp” for the promotion, a series of mystery novels caught her eye.  “The Pot Thief” series by J. Michael Orenduff featured a character, Hubert Schuze, who lived in Old Town Albuquerque and drank Gruet Winery's champagne with his huevos rancheros.  While Amy's characters did not achieve that level of quirkiness, she was intrigued that the author included real-life locales and products.  She had included a local winery in End of the Road, mainly because she liked the wines, and wondered if it would be necessary to request permission from the winery to use its name in a work of fiction.  An e-mail query regarding this matter to Mike Orenduff answered her question and also put her in contact with an author who would become a mentor and friend.

In the spring of 2012, Poisoned Pen Press sponsored a first-mystery contest.  Amy entered the contest, but did not win.  On Mike's advice, she entered the 2012 Dark Oak mystery contest... and won!  Since then, she has been learning a lot about what it means to get a book published (hint: writing “The End” doesn't mean you're finished!) and working on the second book in the series.

When not writing (that is, physically sitting down at the laptop), Amy spends her time working at Walmart, decorating cakes, and at Noisy Water Winery, slinging some of the best vino in New Mexico.  When not on the clock, she enjoys her home in Bent, New Mexico with her husband of 25 years, Paul, and 19-year-old son, Paul Michael, surrounded by her husband's family and still makes monthly trips back to El Paso where her family still resides.  The second book in the Black Horse Campground series, No Lifeguard on Duty will be published in spring of 2014 and she is working on the third book, tentatively titled No Vacancy.



  1. Cathy - Oh, another new author to try. Thanks. And this story looks like an interesting read too.


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