"In this action-packed, emotionally charged historical novel titled Tree Soldier, J.L. Oakley takes us back to the era of the Great Depression...Tree Soldier will draw you in and keep you turning the pages."
"A masterfully wrought masterpiece that both instructs and inspire."
JL Oakley grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, listening to her mother's stories of life in early 20th century Idaho. Several of them were about the boys from "New Joisey" occupying a side camp up the creek from her uncle's ranch. Desperate boys from back East, they were members of the Civilian Conservation Corps doing reclamation projects in the rugged area of the Salmon River. From these stories came TREE SOLDIER, set in 1930s in the North Cascades Mountains of Washington State.
TREE SOLDIER won best historical fiction in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards and the grand prize (August 14 2012)at Chanticleer Book Reviews. It is a Bellingham Reads (Bellingham WA) and Everybody Reads (Asotin County Library & Lewiston, ID for November 2013!
A long time resident of Bellingham, Washington, when not she's not writing, she's delving into local history, looking for little surprises that tell a larger story of her area and the nation's past, fodder for more novels or non-fiction pieces. She can be found in her garden conversing with chickadees or teaching history hands-on to local grade school students. She churns excellent butter (don't forget to wash it!) and can spin up a storm.
A recipient of the 2013 Mayor's Award for writing and history, she is currently a Humanities Washington speaker, speaking on the CCCs in that state from 1933 to 1941. TIMBER ROSE, prequel to TREE SOLDIER, is close to publication.