Showing posts from 2008

Saying Goodbye to 2008

Hubby asked if we were going to stay up to see the New Year in--I said I'd try, but would probably be in bed long before midnight.

I thought back about all the New Year's Eves we've celebrated. We've gone to fancy dinners and dances in many different places. One I remember most was on the Hueneme Navy Base in the Bard mansion that was reported to be haunted. Don't remember seeing any ghosts, but do remember having a nice dinner and dancing all evening. (Haven't been able to get my husband on the dance floor for years.)

Another New Year's Even I remember well was when hubby was in Vietnam so I offered to babysit all the neighbor kids for the night so their parents could go out. I don't remember exactly how many, but there was a bunch, and it was like a crowded slumber party.

When my kids were young, the big refreshment for New Years Eve was always root beer floats.

When my husband and I had our residential care home, root beer floats along with lots of snick…

Best Intentions Go Astray

Yep, I had every intention of doing more work on the new Rocky Bluff P.D. book.

First, though, I read my email, took care of stuff that needed to be done. I did a couple of loads of wash, changed the sheets on the bed, cleaned one of the bathrooms. Started to write, but husband sat down and asked me some questions. He went after the mail and came back with some things that needed to be taken care of.

After I did that, decided I'd go ahead and do all the bookkeeping for the end of the month. Once I finished, though I should just go ahead and set up the books for next year and do some stuff to prepare for doing income tax. When I'd finished it was time to cook dinner.

Made the best potato soup for supper--everyone liked it.

By that time, I was through for the day.

Hubby and I watched a DVD, he left to go to church, and I'm headed to bed.

Wanted to write about how easy it is to not do what you intended.

Tomorrow I hope to at least do a couple of pages though I do have a hair appoint…

More About the Two Young MenThat Were Stabbed

My granddaughter reported that the son of her senior pastor was stabbed to death and his best friend, also a son of a preacher was stabbed at the same time but expected to live.

Because these two young men, both 21, were sons of preachers, my first thought unfortunately was that they were someplace they shouldn't have been. There is a general feeling that preacher's kids are wilder than most. And of all people, I shouldn't believe that. After all, two of my granddaughters are preacher's kids or PKs as they are often referred to in the church world.
The oldest is the mother of three great kids, works with the church kids, volunteers for everything at the schools her kids go to, and she and her husband take in strays--and I'm not talking about animals--stray teens who have no where else to go.

The other daughter is also grown, worked all through high school and is still working, helped her husband build their home, and is expecting her first child.

One of our pastors a…

Tough Times, Book Review

Do your know someone who is hurting? Someone who has just received dreadful news? Someone who lost a loved one?

It seems as though bad things happen during the holiday season. About a week before Christmas my daughter told me that her best friend, the friend who had helped her most when my daughter’s husband was killed in a dreadful accident had just learned she had incurable lung cancer and only has a short time to live.

Right after Christmas my granddaughter emailed me asking for prayer for her pastor’s family–their oldest son had been killed horribly by someone he didn’t even know.

We lost our son to cancer several years ago and his birthday was three days after Christmas. Because I do know where he is and that I’ll see him again, I don’t mourn like someone without such an assurance might–however, I do miss him and can’t help feeling sad.

When I read Tough Times it touched my heart. This little book would be the perfect gift for anyone who is having a difficult time. In a simple but co…

Great New Interview.

This one is all about what was behind Kindred Spirits: Marilyn

Coming Soon, No Sanctuary

First on the scene of a traffic accident that turns out to be murder, Officer Stacey Wilbur calls Detective Doug Milligan. Despite her former vow to never date anyone on the Rocky Bluff P.D., she and Milligan are romantically involved. Finding time to be alone together isn’t easy.

The murder victim is the wife of a popular Rocky Bluff minister, and several suspects immediately come to the forefront, the minister himself, his nosy secretary, the choir director, and a nerdy stalker. Stacey helps Doug with the murder investigation, but the Chief asks her to go undercover as a prostitute to expose a pedophile which leads to a surprising job offer.

Stacey must make two major decisions that will change her life forever, and a third that nearly causes her to lose her life.

That is one of the blurbs for my new Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel, No Sanctuary.

Because I am a regular church goer, I want to clarify that I am not making fun of churches. Churches, temples, synagogues are where sinners go to…

Local Indians Create a New Gathering Place

We live very close to the Tule River Indian Reservation. With the advent of their casino (small by most Indians casino standards) life for these Native Americans has been a change for the better. The reservation is tucked away in a narrow valley between huge mountains. The reservation has more acreage than any other California reservation. However, much of it is inaccessible and includes part of an old growth Sequoia forest.

The Indians now have their own health clinic, a modernized recovery center, day care, their own police force and fire department. Off the reservations they own and operate an air park at the Porterville airport where they do all kinds of air plane repair and other industry. They have plans for a hotel and a new casino in that area.

Something else they have done off the reservation is built a gas station and mini-mart which is state-of-the art–the nicest gas station and mini-mart I’ve ever seen. It’s built off the main highway to Springville, where I live. The gas i…

Best Christmas Eve Ever!

We do our big celebrating of Christmas on Christmas Eve. First we eat--had a great dinner, turkey turned out perfect. Those who celebrated with us were middle daughter and her husband, youngest son, his wife and daughter and a young woman who lives with them, and three grown grandsons.

One of these grandsons has not had a Christmas at home in six years. His mom sent him lots of gifts and everyone else had given him gifts. He was so happy! And it made all the rest of us happy too.

Today, we are having another dinner, but not as many people--the one addition will be granddaughter's boyfriend--and we're having a standing rib roast--and leftovers.

I did everything the easy way this year.

Later in the afternoon we'll head over to another granddaughter's who has three kids and visit for awhile. While there we'll also get to see her sister who is expecting her first child in February which will bring the number of our great-grandkids up to 11!

I am truly blessed this Christmas…

Countdown to Christmas

I have a feeling no one is reading blogs during the holiday season. Since writing a blog is a way of putting off what I really should be doing--working on my next book--here I am.

I've only two gifts left to wrap, one I didn't plan to buy and one for someone I didn't know was coming to our Christmas Eve celebration.

Because I'm the cook, I'm preparing all things easy--a turkey (yes, baking a turkey is easy), Stove top dressing, instant mashed potatoes (the ones that are flavored), granddaughter is making the green bean casserole, gravy from a jar, green jello salad with Kool-Whip and crushed pineapple. Pies from the bakery.

Christmas Day we'll have left-overs and I'm cooking a standing rib roast--also easy.

Oh, I do know how to make all those things from scratch and have many, many years--but this time I want it to be easy for me. The older I get, the less I feel like doing things that are work.

I'm blessed that I'll have lots of family around and that …

Reflections About My Son, Mark

When I was having children, you had no idea what you were going to get until the child was born. After two girls, my husband and I were thrilled when three days after Christmas, our first son, Mark was born.

We'd had to change our Christmas plans because I was overdue. My parents, grandparents, sister and her family all came to our house on Christmas day for the first time ever. I was huge and uncomfortable but still managed to cook the big dinner.

The 28th was night Perry Mason came on TV--my very favorite program. Labor pains started in earnest right during the show. Hubby was timing them and as they neared five minutes apart, he begged me to let him take me to the hospital. Nothing doing--I stayed until the end.

Mark was a fun kid. He was adventuresome and made friends with everyone. We lived near the beach and one summer he was always up and gone before day break. It took me awhile to find out he was going out on a fishing boat and earning money fileting the catch for the fisherm…

Big Sale at Mundania Press

If you've been wanting to buy a Mundania book, (the last three books in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree books are from Mundania: Kindred Spirits, Judgment Fire, and Calling Back the Dead, now is a great time to
do so! Until January 1st, you can get 25% off your purchase of books
through the Mundania store. At checkout, just include the coupon
code SANTA and you get your discount!


Christmas Celebrations

The older I get the harder it is to do all things people do for the Christmas season.

Though I decorated, we didn't put up a tree because last year the cat's completely undecorated it and broke all the glass balls. I gave out Christmas cards to everyone at church rather than mailing them. (Did mail out to those who were missing.) For my other friends, if they sent me a card, they received one in return.

The weather has been very cold, lots of snow on the mountains and that helps with the Christmas spirit.

Hubby and I attended our church's Christmas party last weekend, which was, as usual, lots of fun, good food, and a wild time as we played our usual game where we bring ornaments, open them one at a time, or choose to steal one we like better.

Tonight, we're going out to dinner with my writing critique group, another Christmas tradition.

Tomorrow afternoon, we're going to my good friend and fan, Sheri's home, where I'll get to enjoy her Christmas decorations and…

The Unseen, A Book Review

The Unseen
T. L. Hines

Wow! This is one of the most unusual books I’ve read in years. Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down.

Lucas is an unusual hero. He knows very little about himself, and what he does know is suspect. Uncomfortable around people, he’s created his own world by spying on others who work in offices all around the city. He sleeps in crawl spaces, on the commuter trains, and has secret places all over the city.

When he learns there are others doing much the same as he, though they like to watch people in their own homes, he thinks he’s finally found kindred spirits. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out like that.

The book takes a whole new twist, when he finds out how easy it is to get into and spy on residents of their homes. He also finds out that things are happening that he just can’t ignore and feels compelled to stop. And guess what? He also learns that he’s being watched too.

The book may make the reader feel a bit paranoid–could someone be doing what Lucas and othe…

Report on My Art Gallery Signing and more

The more I write about these appearances, the more I realize I'm somewhat of a Pollyanna. If you don't know what that means, you are much younger than I am--which most people are.

Pollyanna was a fictional character who always looked on the bright side of everything. If she broke her leg, she'd say gaily, "It's so wonderful that I only broke on leg."

My first stop on Friday was Coffee Etc. where I picked up my first batch of cookies. Luwana, who owns the shop with her husband, is a great cook. The cookies were fantastic! From there hubby drove me down the hill to Porterville and the Art Gallery. My table was set up in the back of the room (took care of it the night before) and I greeted everyone, put the cookies on the refreshment table and settled myself for the long day ahead.

A long day was right--hardly anyone came in despite all sorts of publicity by the Art Club and me. I sold one book and that was to one of the artists. I did meet lots of people--the art…

Moving Right Along

The paper came out today and had a nice paragraph about me being at the Porterville Art Gallery Saturday--but didn't mention that I'd be there tomorrow, Friday, as well. So I quickly sent out some emails to let people know that I'd be there then too.

We have the car loaded with all the junk I must take to do this: a table, chair, tablecloth, and all my books. We're to set up at 3:30 this afternoon. In the a.m. I'll stop at Coffee Etc. and pick up cookies that Lawana is making for me.

This morning, the reporter from the Visalia Times-Delta called and we had a great time talking about my books and writing etc. He was enthusastic and it was a fun conversation.

I also worked on the chapter of my book that my critique group heard and gave me suggestions for last night. They do such a good job finding mistakes and holes that need to be filled. When we were done, it was so foggy outside you couldn't see. Fortunately, one of our members, Brent Gill, drove ahead of me all …

Interesting Developments

Since I did my stint in the back room of Jenuine Junque a couple of interesting things have happened.

First, Sabrina Ziegler, the young reporter I wrote about who came to interview me, did a very nice piece about all the activity in Springville on Saturday, which appeared in the Monday a.m. edition of the Porterville Recorder. It was on the first page, continued on an inside page where she'd written several paragraphs about my appearance. For someone who just graduated from high school, she did a wonderful job of writing.

We took some time off on Monday and went to see the movie, Australia. (Great movie, by the way, but a warning, it's three hours long so don't buy a huge drink.) When I got home, I had a message on my answering machine from a reporter from the Times-Delta, a newspaper in the next largest city after Porterville, Visalia. He wanted to know if I'd be interested in being interviewed for an article they are doing on local authors. (Of course!) I wasn't un…

Success in the Back Room of the Antique Store

I had no idea how it would go for me to have a booksigning in the back room of an antique store. To bolster my chances for success, I gave my book to the local newspaper editor along with information about my event. She praised the book, Kindred Spirits, called it my best ever and there was information about the book signing.

To help more, I sent invitations out to all my friends in Springville (where I live and the antique store is located), plus a lot of Internet advertising.

What really helped, I think, was a lot was going on in Springville yesterday. The Zonta Club was having a big arts and craft sale in the Memorial Building along with a tour of large homes all decorated for the holidays. Others took advantage of extra people in town and also had big sales going on in their stores or out on the sidewalk.

And yes, a lot of people on tour did stop by the antique store and pop into the back room. However, more people came because of my invites and the article in the paper.

The hot cider…

What's the Point of All This Social Networking?

A minute ago I just wrote on someone's Facebook wall--nothing important, but she'd written something on my wall and I was responding. Was it anything important? No. I'd written about Christmas shopping and the other person wanted to know if I'd had fun wrapping the presents. I wrote back to tell her I hadn't done it as yet, because I'd decorated the house instead.

Then I sent another message to someone I knew telling her about a book I'd finished and enjoyed by an author we both know and like.

What does this all have to do with writing or promoting books? Not a whole lot.

In the meanwhile I was thinking about what I needed to cook for dinner. I'd just finished signing a bunch of Christmas cards I intend to hand out at church (saving on postage that way), and instead of going into the kitchen, I decided to peek at my e-mail.

While pondering if I was just wasting time, I decided that talking to people via email or on face book or twitter was one way of feeli…

What's Happening in My Writer's Life

I'm not exactly writing at the moment. One reason is because I've been sick since before Thanksgiving. No, nothing serious, just this icky cold that has been going around and hanging on and on and on.

Instead of creating, which I'm aching to do, I've been continuing to promote Kindred Spirits, the latest in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. It's been encouraging because I continue to get excellent reviews for the book. I have to book events coming up, this Saturday I'll be in a back room of a delightful antique store called Jenuine Junque in my little town. It's a big day for Springville with arts and crafts being sold all over town, as well as a home tour. Besides having my books for sale, I'll be serving hot cider and cookies.

The following week, I'll be in the Porterville Art Gallery on Friday and Saturday from 10 to 5 both days along with the artists and craftsmen serving their wards.

I will have a new Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel, No Sanctuary, com…

Great Idea for a Christmas Present

House of Dark Shadows, by Robert Liparulo

This is the perfect book for a boy who is a reluctant reader. When fifteen-year-old Xander King is forced to move away from his friends and interests into a backwoods town in northern California he isn’t the least bit happy. An up-and-coming film maker, he sees things a bit differently than any of his family. When his parents decide to move into a dilapidated vacant house with too many rooms to count, Xander is the first one to pick-up on the fact that something weird is going on with the house.

Xander and his younger brother, David have an eerie experience when they are transported from a spot in the house right into the school they’ll soon be going to. Things begin to get downright scary, when the boys learn that there are other weird things that go on in the house, including a monster-size man wandering the halls.

Once a reader gets into the story, he’ll have to read all the rest in the series because there are too many unanswered mysteries wh…

Another Terrific Review for Kindred Spirits

Reviewed by Dawn Dowdle"Deputy Tempe Crabtree is working to make sure everyone evacuates due to the huge forest fire.By the time she heads to Vanessa Ainsworth's house, the first is too close for her to go further.So she heads back to town to check on her husband, Hutch Hutchinson who is minister of the local church.He has set up a temporary shelter for fire victims.She searches for Vanessa there."She gets called back to Vanessa's house which has been consumed by the fire.A body and a dog are found in the remains.It appears they died in the fire.Vanessa is identified, but it is soon learned that they both died from being shot before the fire arrived."Tempe often has an uphill battle with her work.First because she's a woman, and second because she's part Native American.She is sent to talk with Vanessa's cousin because she is also Native American.She finds herself deeper and deeper in this investigation.Can she discover the…

Still Hanging On

Yes, my cold is still hanging on, but I managed to get a few things done today and among them, I went over the galley for No Sanctuary, the next in my Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series. Thrilled that I found a new publisher for that series--since my last one decided publishing wasn't the business for her.

I'm thrilled with my new publisher--could partly be because I also count her as a good friend.

I spent part of the day doing a lot of posting on websites both talking about No Sanctuary and the latest PSWA newsletter on their website:

On Saturday, I'll be spending the day at an antique store called Jenuine Junque in Springville. A lot is going on that day, sort of the kick-off for Christmas in our little town. A tour of holiday decorated homes, gifts being sold in the Veteran's Building and in the patio of the coffee shop, the lighting of the Christmas tree in the park--and me. I'll be playing hostess in the back room of the store from 1…

Still Recovering

On the way to Camarillo I read Stephen Baldwin's book about his new found faith which was co-written by Mark Tabb (I've written about Mark previously) and on the way home, I read The Shack. Fascinating read. Saved my husband from my back seat driving.

Don't know what this stuff is that I have, but it sure does hang on. Stayed home from church--didn't want to pass on my germs. Family brought me dinner from the Mexican place.

I managed get a huge and difficult project done this a.m. that I've been working on for several days. Also got some end of the month stuff done. Spent the afternoon in bed and will be crashing again soon. Tired of blowing my nose.

I need to be tackling a new Rocky Bluff P.D. book but so far only have some wispy ideas floating around in my head. Hopefully, I'll feel more like doing some real work on it tomorrow.


Thanksgiving Redux

Oh, my, I truly am thankful for my family--especially after this Thanksgiving.

I woke Thanksgiving morning sick! We managed to pack our things and get on the road by 9. It was a bit foggy, rained some, but we arrived in Camarillo--though our Magellan certainly took us on the scenic route-- in plenty of time for our Thanksgiving dinner. Fortunate for me--and everyone else--daughter Lori had everything organized and cooking away. First time I haven't had to cook Thanksgiving dinner in years. Certainly worked out for the best.

Those who joined us for the feast were Lori's family, husband and two adult sons (one was home from the Aspen Police Academy, in two weeks he'll be graduated), the other is an electrician and their daughter, Alyssa, a sophmore in high school. Our eldest daughter, Dana and hubby Mike, arrived with their always present companion, Archie, the golden retriever. Son, Matthew, his wife, and daughter, Jessica, were with us too.

The food looked wonderful. Unfortun…

Kindred Spirits is Marilyn Meredith's best work yet.

I’ve enjoyed reading Marilyn Meredith’s work for a number of years, beginning with her “Two Ways West,” which was based upon the true story of the trek made by the Crabtree and Osborn families who ended up in Springville.

From this historical fiction she branched out, with a range of titles including the Tempe Crabtree mystery series, set in the community of “Bear Creek,” which bears a resemblance to Springville.
Marilyn and I have talked about writing from time to time. I told her once that my own attempts at fiction had been blocked by my failure to understand the concept of theme.

“Oh, I don’t worry about all of that,” she told me. “I just write stories that people might like to read.”

That’s true, and Marilyn’s prolific list attracts readers with online books and paperbacks. She’s also a teacher of writing and lectures at writer’s conferences throughout the country.

I settled in one recent evening to enjoy Kindred Spirits, Marilyn’s latest novel, expecting a good read and to wonder who…

Latest Review for Kindred Spirits

I was thrilled to receive this review:
"I recently had the pleasure of reviewing KINDRED SPIRITS, the seventh title in Marilyn Meredith‛s well-received Tempe Crabtree series. Tempe must deal with the history and culture of the Tolowa tribe in this latest case involving an artist found dead in her studio after a forest fire. Husband Hutch is a Christian minister whose views on Indian culture and spirituality have sometimes been problematic, causing tension in his and Tempe's marriage. But in this novel, Hutch becomes more supportive of Tempe‛s work and her views on life and religion. "I enjoyed this book mainly because of the unique characters involved in the story. Meredith's knowledge of Native American history and a plot involving several suspects added much appreciated depth of the story. If you'd like to read my full review of the book, please visit and search under 'Authors' for Marilyn Meredith."Mary V. Welk

What I've Been Thinking About

First, I never intended to write in my blog nearly everyday--but that's what I've been doing lately. Partly because I wrote two book reviews that I wanted to post, but other things come popping into my mind.

Because I'll have a new book in my Rocky Bluff P.D. series I've been thinking about ways to promote it. Of course once I have a copy of the cover, I'll be making business cards. I've been thinking about where to have a book launch in my town, and where it should be. Because the book is called, No Sanctuary and about two churches, two ministers and their wives, and murder, I'm toying with the idea of having it in the fellowship hall of my church. Of course this is dependent upon whether or not the pastor is willing. We'll see. Haven't broached the subject with him as yet.

I have an author friend who was once the pastor at our church (when he was very young with a wife and three little girls) and when he first began writing I helped him--almost ever…

Blast From the Past

Today I received an email from youngest daughter asking me if I remembered a friend of my eldest son's from long ago when both were in grammar school and Cub Scouts named Lydell. I not only remember Lydell, I also remembered his last name, Marsh.

As it happens, this now grown-up man plays keyboard for a Christian Rock Band that's been playing at my daughter's church. He told the pastor he thought he knew her, called her the carrot-top (she has red hair) and said he played at our house all the time when he was growing up.

Lydell was a skinny black kid. We lived in this marvelous mixed racial neighborhood during the 60s and 70s. I ate chitterlings for the first time at his house when visiting his mom.

Of course we were all poor, but we'd all managed to buy houses for little down. I was PTA president at the grammar school for two years. I remember one of the black mom's telling me, "All you white PTA ladies look alike." Made me laugh.

Our kids didn't see col…

The Frugal Editor by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Oh my goodness, how I wished I’d purchased The Frugal Editor when I first started hearing about it. The author, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, also wrote The Frugal Book Promoter, my own copy is dog-eared and highlighted and I’ve given copies to my author friends.

Today I was fortunate to read The Frugal Editor for the first time. Every author, published or not, should have a copy of this guide to editing. Not only are the usual problems with editing covered: from the proper use of pronouns, how and when to use quotation marks and ellipses , when to use lie and lay, to finding your writing idiosyncrasies–and yes, we all have them–also included are many amazing ways to use your word processing program to help with your editing.

The book is easy to use and one of the most comprehensive instructions to editing I’ve ever seen. I should have had this one in hand when I edited my last book. It might have helped me to prevent the gremlins that crept into the galley.

I highly recommend The Frugal Edit…

Book Review of Billy

Billy, by William Paul McKay & Ken Abraham, published by Thomas Nelson

Though I’ve read other books about Billy Graham, Billy takes an entirely different look at Billy Graham through the eyes of a good friend and fellow evangelist, Charles Templeton. Unfortunately Templeton loses his faith and tries to convince Billy that he’s naive to continue believing in the Bible as truth.

The story begins with Billy reveling in a baseball win at high school and follows him as he attends his first revival meeting–the beginning of his search for what he should do in life. While attending college he meets the love of his life, Ruth.

Billy’s faith develops and grows as he becomes a successful evangelist while at the same time, as Charles also becomes a successful preacher, his faith is shattered. While at Forest Home, a mountain top retreat, Charles does his best to shake Billy’s faith and nearly succeeds. Billy calls out to God and God speaks to him.

From the retreat, Billy goes on to have his first…

Book Promotion and Etc.

I'll begin with the Etc.

After I finally was able to print out the writing job I'd been paid for (Word was giving me a hard time with page numbers--it was like a gremlin was at work busily changing numbers like crazy) and getting it ready for mailing, I headed down to Porterville to take care of some business. I was so frustrated I needed to get away from my computer for awhile. (I have three more writing jobs pending plus a ghost writing gig that may or may not come through. I need to get started on a new Rocky Bluff P.D. book. I do have ideas racing around in my head.)

Today I'm headed to Russo's Books on Ming in Bakersfield for a book signing from 12 to 2. As I've stated before, bookstores are my least favorite places for promotion. However, I love Russo's and lovely independent store. I try to do at least one signing there a year. I've sent out lots of email notices and a few snail mail letters. We'll see how that works out.

Next weekend I'll be wi…

Email and Me

Every day I do all the many things everyone else does, just to get going.

Part of my schedule is reading emails. I get work through my emails: I work for a ghostwriting company and I always receive my jobs through email and I usually do all my back-and-forth interviewing for the ghostwriting the same way. I'm still doing program designs for people wanting to get into the residential care business--and I'm continuing on as the newsletter editor for one of the organizations for that industry. Besides getting queries for the program designs via email, that also is how I receive most of my news about the industry.

Of course email is the major way of keeping up with the writing industry as well as major promotion.

Though I still go out and do lots of personal promotion--more than half of my promotion is done online.

This Saturday (the 15th) I'll be at Russo's Books in the Marketplace on Ming Ave. in Bakersfield. Though this date was set during the summer, I went to their websit…

Veteran's Day

Hubby and I have spent this Veteran's Day much like most others. Though he is a veteran of 21 years in the Seabees--and I'm a 21 year veteran as a Seabee's wife--though extremely proud of his time spent serving his country, he doesn't talk about it much. He's not one of these vets who hangs around the VFW talking about the war years.

Though he spent time in other countries: Spain, Cuba, Bermuda, Greenland, Alaska and three tours of duty in Vietnam during the war, once he got out of the service he moved on. He finally devoted his time to being a dad to his five kids, learning how to fix washing machines etc. for Sears, and after 15 years of that, moving with me and the one teenager left at home to Springville, where together we owned and operated a home for six developmentally disabled women. We did that for 23 years.

Now, in our senior years, he mostly does chores around this old house of ours and goes with me on book selling trips and mystery conventions. We've …

Gone Again

We're headed to Temecula in the morning to attend the Erle Stanley Gardner Mystery Festival and with good friend and fellow author, Sunny Frazier, give two presentations. We'll be talking about promotion in the morning and alternate means of getting published in the afternoon.

While I'm gone, I'll have my Blackberry with me for emails, but I don't take a computer which means no blogging.

I don't mind taking a break from blogging. Sometimes it consumes my day, and right now I have two books to finish and need to start planning two more. May do some of that while we're driving to Temecula--and maybe not since the traffic is horrendous going in that direction.

The first night we'll be spending with one of our granddaughter and her family. It's a good time to catch up with them. They have two delightful children: Peyton and Garrett, 6 and 2. Peyton does those Irish dances and competes and she's a Brownie. Garrett is all boy.

The second night we'll g…

To Blog or Not to Blog

I read a lot of blogs and post on several regularly–including this one, which is my own. Sometimes it’s hard to come out with something interesting to say. Since today is election day, I could talk about the election, but I made up my mind and voted absentee ballot a long time ago. No matter who wins, things are not going to be mixed right away after the new president takes office.

I wasn’t thrilled with either of the candidates. Unfortunately, the old saying, “politics corrupts” is all too true. In order to even run for office, a candidate has to make concessions, often concession that even he doesn’t believe in.

But no matter, that’s not my point here, I’m supposed to be talking about blogs.

I try to put something on every day. I have no idea whether that’s helpful or not, but I have a lot of followers though I don’t know if that means they read my posts or not. I glance through the posts of people I’m following and most of what they have to say isn’t very interesting–I hop…

Murder in Los Lobos by Sue McGinty

Marilyn: Sue, I've known you for a long time and we're friends through Sisters in Crime Central Coast chapter. I know you've been writing short stories and children's books. I've read your new mystery, Murder in Los Lobos, and loved it.

Sue: Thanks, Marilyn. I really treasure our friendship and all the direction, guidance and inspiration you've given me over the years. You're definitely on my short-list of heroes. As you say, I've written short stories, mostly mysteries as well as a passel of freelance articles. I've also completed a middle-grade novel set in the WWII timeframe, SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR. It's kind of a cross between Nancy Drew and A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN. At this writing, it's still "pre-published" as they say.

Will you please tell me what inspired you to write this story?

Sue: A combination of several things. At the risk of betraying my technical-writer background, here's a numbered list.

1) After meeting an ex-nu…

Adult Members of Our Houshold in Costume

Believe it or not, these are the adults who either live with us or in the rental next door--all relatives but one.

Jumpsuit is Chris, our grandson who is living with us for awhile, Holly, a Playboy Bunny for the evening, is granddaughter's friend, Jessi, granddaughter, playing a very sexy cop, Elaine, daughter-in-law is a lady boxer, note the pink boxing gloves, and my son, a very scary gladiator. The muscles are his.

Hope they have a safe and sane time. The younger ones all have dates. They're headed for a Halloween party at a club.

Glad I'm not going with them. Years ago when our kids were all still at home and young, we had lots of Halloween parties. The house we lived in then had a great party room. We moved all the furniture against the walls, put all the goodies on the ping pong table, and danced away the night.

The days are long gone for this old lady. Hubby and I are going to watch a movie on DVD and Ghost Whisperer. Tomorrow I've got a book festival in Bakersfield…


Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays. When I was a kid it was a time to gather as many free goodies as possible. I grew up during WWII and candy wasn't easy to come by. Sugar was rationed, so even the baking of cakes and cookies was limited. My grammar school went all out for Halloween. Everyone wore their costumes to school and we paraded around the school yard. (I have old movies to prove it.) Then we returned in the evening for bobbing for apples, other old fashioned games and lots of goodies.

When I had my own kids, the oldest ones took the younger ones trick-or-treating, and I had the great fun of handing out the treats. Some years I dressed as a hag or something else scary. My favorite was when I made a scary looking box and the kids had to reach inside for their treat.

One of my nephews dressed up like a skeleton with a skull mask and a skeleton hand to give out the candy. He scared everyone so much that he didn't have to hand out much candy, instead the kids …

Ode to Tony HIllerman

Tony Hillerman passed away this last week. He will be missed both as a person and a writer.

Though I was never fortunate enough to meet Mr. Hillerman, I read all of his books. Of course his books about the Navajo and other Indians had an influence on me--and was part of the reason I created an Indian heroine.

What he wrote gave me an interest in the Native American culture that I'd never had before.

What I've learned is that in many ways, Indians are much like all the rest of us. There are good and bad among them, they love and hate, care for one another and sometimes do things they are sorry for later.

I went to school with only one person of Native American heritage--and back then it wasn't popular to have Indian blood. My fellow student is now a professor and an expert on Native American culture.

When we first moved to the foothills of the Sierra, I had no idea we lived near an Indian reservation, nor anything about it or the people who lived there. As time went on and I lea…

This and That

Just got home from Las Vegas. No, I didn't go to gamble, hubby and I went to first, celebrate our 57th wedding anniversary and stayed with my sis and her hubby. Went to dinner, visited, watched old family movies and talked and talked.

Second, I had a booksigning at Cheescake and Crime in Henderson NV. That's is a wonderful bookstore! Didn't have many people at the signing, but those who came were greatly appreciated. Two PSWA members, a wife, and the president of Epic, as well as my sis and her husband. Instead of giving the talk I'd planned, we sat around a table and visited--talked about writing and all sorts of interesting topics.

While traveling I read David Morrell's Lessons From a Lifetime of Writing. Wonderful book on the craft of writing, in fact one of the best I've ever read!

I'm exhausted, but wanted to post a bit today.


A Delightful Morning

This morning I gave a presentation to the Anthropology class at Porterville College. The first time I did it, the professor asked me to talk about the Tule River Indians. Those are the Native American group that I borrow from for my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries.

I say "borrow from" because I've changed the name of the actual tribe in my novels. I certainly don't presume to be an expert. As I told the professor, I'm writing fiction. However, I went and talked to the young students and had a great time.

Because my latest book is about the Tolowa people, I offered to come and tell his class this year what I knew about them. He was enthusiastic as he said he didn't know much about them.

As usual, I gave everyone in the class a copy of Deadly Omen , the first book in the series. It has a lot about a Pow Wow and quite a bit about the local reservation--but, like I said, I borrow from it rather than give an actual depiction. (Igave the professor a copy of Intervent…

Book Fair in Chowchilla

To Benefit Central Valley Writers Workshop
and Friends of the Chowchilla Library
Published authors from Springville (of course that's me) to Modesto will be available to sell and sign their books on Saturday, November 22 from 10:30 to 2:30 in the Chowchilla Library, corner of Kings Avenue and 3rd Street .
Pleasure reading, informative, and suitable for gifts, they include: Fiction and non-fiction; mystery to romance; Children's books; biographies and how-to books
Join us to meet our local authors. Support and encourage their writings.

Hope to see some of you there!

And I'm also on the following blog today:

Soap Box Time

(I wrote this on another blog I'm on, but I think it's important enough to repeat on my own blog.)

I'm back on my soap box once again. On DorothyL, the premiere list for mystery fans and authors, they've been discussing the fact that Bouchercon has voted against discriminating against small press as far as allowing their authors to serve on panels. (They won't let self-pubbed or those who paid to be published however unless they've won a prestigious prize.)

Left Coast Crime on the other hand will not allow any author published by a non-MWA approved publisher be on a panel. Though going to mystery cons is an enjoyable experience, they are very expensive. If you can't be on a panel, your books will not be in the book room. If you're not on a panel of course no one will be able to purchase your book. For an author, part of the reason to go to a con is to let people know about your book.

I've decided to only attend mystery cons and writers conferences wher…

New Review, Interview and Contest

If you have time I'd love for you to go to: read the review, interview and enter the contest.


Blog Tour and More

This where I'm visiting this week:

Oct 13 14 15 16 17

I just returned from the WOW conference in Scottsdale AZ and have tons of work to do--as usual, but it was a terrific conference. A highlight for me was meeting and introducing thriller writer, David Morrell (First Blood-Rambo and many others).

Of course I met many, many more lovely and great people. Becca Buckley should be commended for putting on a "Wow" of a conference.

The big thing I heard from all of the speakers--except the New York publishers--was things are changing. Small presses are blooming, ways of selling books are changing.

Since I just got home have mountains of work to do so that's it for now.


Moving Right Along

Here's a new book trailer for Kindred Spirits.

It's really a lot of work to promote a book. Blogging is great, but you must keep putting new content onto your blog to keep it interesting so people will want to come back.

It's also important to post on the listserves that you belong to, so people remember you and your book.

I've sent a lot of books off to folks for review and so far have only received three reviews. Two were wonderful, one was okay. The okay one kind of gives away the end, and also let me know that the reviewer doesn't understand that there are different kinds of mysteries, some are not puzzles, some the detective or sleuth knows or suspects who the murderer is but has to find a way to prove it--more or less what happens in Kindred Spirits.

My calendar is full of book signings, book and craft fairs, in fact, something is happening every weekend except for Thanksgiving weekend and including the first weekend in D…

New Review Found on DorothyL

"Finished Marilyn Meredith's KINDRED SPIRITS, and was sorry it ended.

As always, I enjoy entering Tempe Crabtree's world. In this book, not only is there a murder--in the midst of one of those awful California fires we hear so much about--it's all tied up with
the Tolowa Indians and what our ancestors did to eradicate them. Not a pretty part of our history, but important for us to learn, I think.

Their story repeats, with even more devastation, what also happened to the Plains Indians in my area. (I was born in Oklahoma--Indian Territory--and now live next to one section of the
Cherokee's Trail of Tears.)

I continue to be amazed at how much truth, be it history, or current problems, that we can learn through reading fiction. I often speak of the importance of reading fiction in our learning
process. For example, many novels hold the voices of our past, even when the material substance of those voices has vanished.

That's certainly the case in thi…

Next Stop on Blog Tour and the Reagan Library is where I am today.

Tomorrow I'll be here:

We just got back from what my eldest daughter called a field trip. She and her hubby and mine all went to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. What a beautiful place! The setting is gorgeous as is the view. We toured the museum, went aboard Air Force One, saw a replica of the rose garden at the White House, visited Ronald Reagan's grave. Most exciting though was they had the actual Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln.


Going on Another Blog Tour

First Review for Kindred Spirits

Reviewed by Cheryl Malandrinos on The Book Connection.

Murder, ghostly visions, and a quest for justice are woven together to create an engaging story in Kindred Spirits, the latest in Marilyn Meredith's Deputy Tempe Crabtree series.

A forest fire rushes through the mountains of Bear Creek as Tempe searches for local artist Vanessa Ainsworth. When Vanessa's body turns up inside her burnt out studio with a bullet hole, Detectives Morrison and Richards seek Tempe's help in finding out who could have behind what might have been a perfect murder.

Even though Tempe and Hutch's marriage is on the rocks, Tempe takes a trip to Crescent City to visit with Vanessa's family and friends to see if she can find any clues to who might have wanted Vanessa dead. Tempe's involvement in the case puts her in danger, but she knows she'll never be rid of the ghostly visions haunting her until she brings Vanessa's killer to justice.

In this installment of the Deputy Tempe Crabtre…