Thanks, Marilyn for this opportunity to be on your blog.I’ve been focused on my writing now for ten years and have thirteen published books.I enjoy writing and talking about my books.A question people often asked me is, “Where do you get all the ideas for your stories?”
I explain that after nearly thirty years in a career that focused on criminal investigations and counterintelligence operations and then eight years in financial planning, I started my writing career with a plethora of ideas. The stories were all there in my mind.The difficult part was not coming up with a new story, rather it was disciplining myself to write them.
While I have no shortage of ideas to plot out, sometimes current events come along and present a situation that begs to be used.This is what happened in October 2016, a month before the national elections, and as I began my planning for a new Clint Smith book.
I realized that I had never seen (or at least recognized) such a politically polarized national …


Meredith, thank you for the generous opportunity to visit your blog.
I’m Avery Daniels, author of the Resort to Murder mystery series.  My amateur sleuth, Julienne, works in a luxury resort and the plan is to have each book based in or around a resort.  When I was developing the idea for my cozy mystery series, I thought writing about resorts would be fun for both myself as the writer and for the readers. 
Perhaps some will remember the old television series “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” which lasted eleven seasons and fed our thirst for living vicariously through the lives of those who live extravagantly.That was my initial thought with Resort to Murder series, providing a vicarious thrill at various resorts in each book.I knew I would love such a concept myself and crossed my fingers that others felt the same way.
Friends would jokingly say the research was why I picked the theme for the books, but I had no idea what all was involved with resorts.I ended up getting a textbook…

Fringe Benefits # 3 in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

Here we are with the newly edited and new cover of Fringe Benefits. As with the first two, the publisher and I decided to not to up date it--so it's a bit back in time. 
Everyone knows that I highly respect members of law enforcement, however this is a bad one every now and then--and the main character in #3 of this series is definitely one of the bad ones.
I did know one stinker--though he wasn't as bad as Cal Sylvester. Actually, it was fun to write this character. 
If you do read it, be sure and write a review--would love to get some new reviews.

Official blurb:
Cal Sylvester, an officer in Rocky Bluff P.D., despises his rookie partner Gordon Butler. However, Cal thinks Butler's wife is hot and he pursues her romantically. Their affair heats up and Cal is hooked on the gorgeous Darcy, but Darcy wants more than love and passion--she wants fine things and high times which are beyond Cal's means. Cal realizes the life insurance on his wife would be the perfect sum to me…

Why Moriarity?

by  Michael Kurland
A British online magazine asked me why Moriarty was my hero. In part I replied:  I am the author of five (so far) novels casting Sherlock Holmes's nemesis Professor Moriarty as my hero. “Antihero perhaps?” you ask. No, certainly not. Hero.

One reviewer of my most recent Moriarty, Who Thinks Evil, said that she enjoyed the book but she wasn't planning to read any more because she couldn't accept Moriarty as a good guy. Well, I sympathize with her view but it doesn't hold up under what biblical scholars call a textual analysis. Moriarty is given more than a passing mention in only two Holmes stories, and even in these cases he is kept offstage. We have only Holmes's word that Moriarty is “the Napoleon of crime,” and perhaps Holmes is biased. He provides us with a narrative that is, at best, inconsistent.
As Moriarty himself explains it (as excerpted from my story “Years ago and in a Different Place”), “...Holmes had the temerity to describe me as …

Quick Editing Tips

First off, if you are self-publishing do not leave an extra space between paragraphs. Indent for paragraphs. Take a look at a book on your shelf and see how it looks inside.

Read books in the genre you are writing in.

Start your book with something exciting happening to your main character(s).
Make sure the reader can tell right away who the main character is. Don't wait for several pages to introduce him or her.
Don't begin with pages of back story, the back story can be added in appropriate places along the way.

Eliminate most exclamation points. Don't ever put one in the narrative. And if the dialogue is exclamatory enough, you don't need the exclamation point.
In most cases, stick to "said" and "asked" for dialogue tags--better yet, use action and description as a dialogue tag. Example: "Get out of my way." Pete shoved the big man in the aisle.
Use the word all right--not alright.
All pronouns refer back to the last person or thing men…

All the Jobs in My Past

Right now, besides being a wife, mom, grandma etc., I am a mystery writer and speaker, and I do program plans and designs for people starting new residential facilities and I've also done supported living programs.

I began working as a baby sitter a the early age of ten. Yep, 10 years old. Babysat babies, kids and even a girl with developmental disabilities who was the same age as me.
Once did inventory at May Company in downtown L.A. Worked at the phone company there too as a file clerk, then became an information operator. Was an information and long distance operator off and on for several years in Oxnard.
Taught for 10 years in a pre-school for kids with developmental disabilities. Also taught in day cares and other pre-schools.
Became an administrator for my own residential facility for women with developmental disabilities and did that for 23 years. At the same time I developed a training program for administrators to become licensed, and later continuing education classes a…

The Problem of Titles by Judy Alter

Delia Jackson is a “difficult” character in Murder at the Bus Depot, the fourth Blue Plate Café Mystery. Indeed, café owner Kate Chambers finds herself often using the phrase, “dealing with Delia.” She can’t figure out if Delia is evil or confused, naïve or cunning—or maybe just bewildered by a world she doesn’t understand. Struggling with the first draft, I decided “Dealing with Delia” was the perfect title, because it aptly described so much of the action. But it wasn’t perfect. The titles of the first three books in the series followed a pattern: Murder at the Blue Plate Café, Murder at Tremont House, and Murder at Peacock Mansion.  “Dealing with Delia” didn’t fit. With wise counsel from seasoned writers, I went back to my original title, Murder at the Bus Depot. Titles are always a problem. Sometimes the title comes before the story and gives the author the story. Other times, the title comes out of the blue midway through the first draft—those titles are particularly gifts. And som…