Showing posts from November, 2008

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…