Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another Review, but this time not so good

I have a wonderful interview at, an absolutely fabulous blog--following it is a review by the host of Smell of Death. Unfortunately, he didn't much like the book.

As an author, I must accept the bad reviews along with the good--and just be thankful the writer took the time to read the book and review it. I found it interesting that he didn't think what went on with the families was realistic and that's what I feel I've done the best job with. After my many years of living, being part of a huge family, knowing so many police officers and their families, I thought I did a good job of portraying what goes on. Oh, well.

That's the way it always is though--one book will bring in all sorts of diversified reviews.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Anothrer Wonderful Review for Smell of Death

This review is written by Claudia Elliott, the editor of the Sierra Messenger, our local paper.

"I’ve enjoyed a number of Marilyn Meredith’s novels, but her latest—Smell of Death—is the first I’ve read from her Rocky Bluff PD Series.

Actually, Meredith—who lives in Springville—writes the Rocky Bluff PD series under the name of F.M. Meredith. Smell of Death is the fourth book in this series, with each story in this series set in a small town on Ventura County coast. Meredith’s published books include mysteries, Christian horror, and historical fiction.

I settled in to read Smell of Death on a recent Saturday morning, expecting I would have the day to myself. Reading fiction is a pleasure I don’t take often enough. Alas, the day did not go as planned and I was only about a third of the way through the book when something came up and I had to put it down.

Going about my business I continued to think about the characters Marilyn had introduced…unlike those in the Tempe Crabtree series, these were new to me. Police Officer Stacey Wilbur—a single mother. Detective Doug Milligan (did I sense a love interest developing between him and Wilbur?). Officer Felix Zachary and his wife, Wendy; Officer Abel Navarro and his wife, Maria; and Officer Gordon Butler (uh-oh, he has a crush on Stacey Wilbur, too).

By the time my reading was disturbed, the beach-front community had two murders and a missing child—and the busy PD was handling a number of other cases, too. I had to wonder what more could happen.

Back from my errands I grabbed the book and settled down to satisfy the curiosity that had been building. I wanted to know “who done it” and I wanted to see if the various characters would resolve their problems and issues as the story unfolded.
I was satisfied on both counts. With the understanding of both the job side and the human side of law enforcement personnel, Meredith’s characters are believable and the storyline demonstrates the kinds of issues they face.

The nuts and bolts of a police procedural are woven seamlessly with the involvement of the major characters in a number of sub-plots playing out over what amounts to about two weeks in Rocky Bluff. It makes for what is simply a great read—with enough twists and turns to avoid being predictable, and with characters you will continue to think about after the mysteries are solved.

Leaving hope, of course, that another Rocky Bluff PD story will find its way out of Marilyn’s active imagination very soon!"

Thank you so much, Claudia.

Anyone interested in reading more about Smell of Death, go to my website, or

And this week's virtual book tour stops are:

Feb 18 (guest post)
Feb 19
Feb 20 (review and guest post)
Feb 21 (interview)
Feb 22


Thursday, February 14, 2008

First Review is in for Smell of Death

I absolutely love this one!

"Full of suspense, realistic, and sprinkled with a light touch of romance, Smell of Death by F.M. Meredith is a sure hit for crime fiction fans.

The latest in Meredith's Rocky Bluff P.D. series, finds Officer Stacey Wilbur called to the home of Darlene Brantley. Upon entering the home, Wilbur finds Brantley dead, and in a strange twist of events, Brantley's mother is also found murdered on the same night in her own home. While Wilbur assists Detective Doug Milligan in solving these crimes, other members of Rocky Bluff P.D. are on the lookout for the Barefoot Burglars and engage in a search for a missing toddler, hoping to catch the person responsible before another child disappears.

F.M. Meredith is the pseudonym for Marilyn Meredith, who writes the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. I read the newest book in the Deputy Temp Crabtree series, so I was already familiar with Meredith's work before reviewing this title. Smell of Death certainly lived up to what I expected.

Meredith's experience with crime fiction shines through with this latest novel, as multiple cases plague the members of Rocky Bluff P.D. And while they are working hard to solve these crimes, they are also working on their personal lives. This gives a realistic and complete picture of the people of Rocky Bluff P.D. Stacey Wilbur is a strong and intelligent protagonist who juggles her career and single motherhood, all the while wondering if she should break her long-standing rule of not dating members of Rocky Bluff P.D. when she and Doug Milligan begin working more closely to solve the Brantley murder. This book does an excellent job of showing, through well-defined characters, the impact that life on the police force has on its members and their families. The touch of romance between Stacey and Doug is just the right thing to lighten up some of the heavy stuff going on in this book.

Smell of Death by F.M. Meredith is an engaging, well-written, and gripping page turner, that will leave you hungry for the next book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series." --The Book Connection

A review like that makes my heart soar. Fitting for Valentine's Day.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Conferences and Conventions

Epicon is coming. Hooray! Hooray!

I go to a lot of writing conferences and mystery conventions. In fact, I just returned from Love is Murder which is held annually in Chicago. Yes, it was cold! They had a huge snow storm which began right when we arrived. Ours was the last plane to get in that evening. After boarding the hotel shuttle, we sat back and marveled at the snow and how brave people were to drive in it.

We had a great time, met lots of new people and saw old friends from other conferences. And that more or less explains why I go to cons. It certainly isn’t to make money. I didn’t sell one book in Chicago–not that I didn’t try, but the competition was far too great with some of the biggest names in the mystery field in attendance and on many panels.

Epicon is a totally different kind of conference geared for those of us whose books are available as e-books as well as in print. And again, there are many people I’m anxious to see again who I’ve made connections with over the years. I’m also sure I’ll make new friends. I’m giving a presentation on Bringing Characters to Life and one on Promoting your Trade Paperback. I enjoy doing this, sharing what I know, and others usually contribute.

One of the outstanding events at Epicon is unique to any con I’ve ever attended and that’s the awards ceremony. Jeff Strand, the life-time emcee, is far more entertaining than any Hollywood celebrity. The Epicon awards ceremony is better that any award ceremony you may have seen on TV. My husband loves to attend the awards ceremony.

Will I sell lots of books? Probably not. Does it matter? Not really.

I’m sure each of us Mystery Turtles who attend Epicon will give a report of what happened. Frankly, I can hardly wait.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

This Week's Stops on My Virtual Book Tour

Here's all the places I'm going to be during the coming week:

Feb 11 (guest post)
Feb 12 (review)
Feb 13 (interview) and (podcast)
Feb 14
Feb 15

I also have a new video for Smell of Death.

I'm just back from a trip to the Central Coast and a joint talk at the library with the CC Sisters in Crime. The weather was spectacular, somewhere in the high 70s.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What I Learned at Luv is Murder

I’ve been entering my notes into the computer about what I learned at the mystery writer’s conference Luv Is Murder in Chicago.

Snow is beautiful coming down and piled high on cars in the parking lot–but hard to get around in. Also I’m certainly glad I don’t have to shovel out my driveway, sidewalk and porch in order to go somewhere.

The people in Chicago who love mysteries are very friendly. I already knew the mystery writers were. Because author and friend Mary Welk invited hubby and me to her home at the end of the conference for a nice visit, I got to see a bit of a neighborhood in Chicago. Certainly different than anything I’d imagined–looked like a Christmas card.

I learned how to murder someone in various ways that I’d most likely get away with it from Dr. Emoehazy–a fun person.

I was on a horror panel with some fascinating authors including Rob Walker who would like to see more monsters return to horror fiction. He also gave us some insight into how he gets inside the heads and minds of the terrible people he writers about. Scary stuff! Beautiful and young, Michelle Gagnon admitted watching scary movies with her 11-year-old daughter. (Then I admitted that all five of my kids would watch scary movies with me, and then they all slept with me–that was even scarier.)

I learned multi-published author, Carolyn Haines, likes to throw snowballs. Hubby joined her and several others in a snowball fight in the courtyard of the hotel.

William Kent Krueger is still a really nice guy even after winning a zillion awards.

Fellow Mystery Turtle Blogger, Morgan Mandel, Karen Syed, Echelon Press Publisher, and Terri Stone gave me tons of new Internet promo ideas.

Sue Smiley and Honora Finkelstein taught a lucky few of us how to make delicious curry which we taste tested. Can hardly wait to try it at home.

I also learned I’m still star-struck when it comes to some of the more famous authors like Lee Child and Tess Gerritsen who gave some wonderful presentations.

Luv is Murder was great fun and worth it despite getting up at 4 a.m. to catch a 7 a.m. plane that didn’t leave until after 10 a.m.

Next on the agenda is heading over to the coast and joining some fellow Sisters in Crime at the Arroyo Grande library at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 9th. Maybe I’ll see some of you there.