Writer's Notes

Thankfulness: Jackie Zortman

Even though I missed posting this before Thanksgiving, I am thankful to Thonie for giving me this slot the day after. If you could see the disarray my house and life are in right now, you’d be amazed that I can still remain thankful, in spite of all the challenges.

Zortman coverJackie Taylor Zortman

Even though I missed posting this before Thanksgiving, I am thankful to Thonie for giving me this slot the day after. If you could see the disarray my house and life are in right now, you’d be amazed that I can still remain thankful, in spite of all the challenges.

As I write this, our neighbor, who is a contractor, is working on repairing a small porch outside our TV room door that has almost fallen down over last winter. It’s been up there since 1991, so I can’t complain. Living in the Colorado mountains at high altitude means we often have wet, heavy snows that take a toll on wooden structures from time to time. All the local carpenters are so busy at this time that none of them want to take on such a small job. Therefore, I am super thankful to have Rod fixing that while the weather is still warm, sunny and gorgeous and before the snow flies this year. He’s a great neighbor, as is his wife, Karen and we are blessed to have them so close.

On Monday, Tuesday and possibly Wednesday, we are having new carpet installed throughout the house. So, today we have moved all the small things, antiques and electronics that they will not move. In our chalet-style home, everything either has to be moved up a flight of stairs or down one. I am very relieved that task is now over. Our home looks as though we are either coming or going. I am thankful that at our age (my husband is 80 and I’m not far behind) we are still physically capable of doing such tasks.

I am thankful to have had Billie Johnson as my very first publisher and am sad to know she recently passed away. She taught me so very much about the book business and published my first two books.  Both of them turned out beautifully and she was so easy to work with. All of the former Oak Tree Press authors pitched in to help one another when any one of us presented a problem via the list-serv. Nobody was ever jealous or competitive. We OTP authors all became friends, some very close friends, and most of us remain in touch today.

When Billie’s illness prevented her from publishing our books, in stepped  Mike Orenduff of Aakenbaaken & Kent (A & K). I am so very thankful that he immediately agreed to publish the second editions of both my books, as well as my manuscript for my latest and, at that time, unpublished book, SNOW ANGEL. Many A & K authors today are from Oak Tree Press and are able to remain together.

Mike did an excellent job on my book SNOW ANGEL, designed the cover and published it quickly, all things considered in his busy life. It’s available as both a Kindle and paperback on Amazon and also as a paperback on Barnes & Noble. I learned that covers greatly influence book sales and love both of mine as created by Mike.

I have connected to author friends with various other houses who are well established and successful and will jump in to help in any way possible. That’s a special gift and I am thankful that I have met and grown to know and love each one of them.

Toss in my wonderful husband, Richard, my three children, five grandchildren and the latest and greatest gift of all, our very first great-granddaughter with her beautiful blue eyes, quick smile and happy personality and you have a huge basket of things for which I am extremely thankful and forever will be.  Like Thonie, there have been some bad times through it all and I truly feel that Divine Intervention helped us get through those horrible weeks and months. But we made it and I am thankful for that huge blessing.

I hope we all have a wonderful holiday season and much success in 2019. Thanksgiving means we will put the Christmas tree up, so that’s what I will do next, hopefully on new carpet and with a strong and sturdy porch outside. Let it snow! God bless us every one.



Jackie Taylor Zortman is the author of non-fiction book We Are Different Now, first place award-winning fiction novel Footprints in the Frost (Detective Max Richards Book 1) and award-winning novel SNOW ANGEL (Detective Max Richards Book 2). She has written numerous short stories and articles for various publications for the last 26 years.

She is a Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. A contributing author to the anthologies Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides, American Blue, The Centennial Book of the National Society of Daughters of the Union and Recipes by the Book, Oak Tree Authors Cook.  She also writes poetry, genealogy and history and has won 10 writing awards.

She lives in a bustling quaint tourist town high in the mountains of Colorado with her husband and Siamese cat. When the deep snows of winter blanket the terrain surrounding her home, it becomes the perfect spot in which to write.



SHORT BLURB-SNOW ANGEL by Jackie Taylor Zortman

In this second Detective Max Richards book, he and his sister inherit their mother’s estate and find an old forgotten and dusty wooden box on a shelf in her bedroom closet. It reveals a secret about her they never knew and connects them to an abandoned Victorian house in Colorado where Max and his wife already own a remote cabin. During the Christmas holidays, they fly to Snowflake to investigate the abandoned old house. Following their tire tracks in the snow, the local police chief introduces himself and quickly becomes part of their tight-knit circle of friends.

What was that hidden secret and how did it change the lives of her children and lead them in directions they never dreamed they would follow?

Find out at:




By Thonie Hevron

Mysteries to keep you reading through the night.

8 replies on “Thankfulness: Jackie Zortman”

Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. No tree for us anymore. Hubby can’t help with that anymore, but I do put up some decorations here and there. Because we share out home with granddaughter and her family, there’s not much room for a tree anymore.

Marilyn, We had a quiet Thanksgiving with just the two of us this year, but it was still wonderful. We finally went to an artificial tree a few years back. Richard hated doing the lights, so we bought a pre-lit job. Sharing your home with your granddaughter and family makes Christmas special, even without a tree.

Lovely post, Jackie, and what a great attitude. I was sorry to hear about Billie, and glad to hear that Mike stepped in. I’m thankful for so many authors, mystery writers in particular. They’re such a wonderful and helpful group of people. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Welcome to Thonie's world!

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