Showing posts from August, 2012

Deranged by Lonni Lees, a review

I had the good fortune to meet Lonni Lees at this past PSWA conference. When I saw she'd written Deranged, described as a novel of horror, I was curious and bought it.

This is a tale of true horror with an intriguing twist--one I don't dare giveaway.

Charlie Blackhawk is a sick, unbalanced serial killer created by his horrific childhood. The reader is allowed into Charlie's psyche as many of the chapters are from his point-of-view.

The story is also about Amy a disturbed twelve-year-old who has frightening dreams and visions that seem all to real.

Sabrina, also twelve, attracts the attention of Charlie Blackhawk who fantasizes about her and begins to stalk her.

A sometimes brutal tale, author Lees has managed to create a multi-layered story that comes together in a most surprising and satisfying ending.

Recommend to those who aren't put off by explicit violence.  Frankly, I couldn't put it down once I got started.


The Inspiration for Killed in Kruger by Denise Hartman

I had a job with a nature photographer doing writing and graphics. He was a college president before he retired to do photography and loved challenging me to expand my horizons. When he went to do a photo safari for 16 weeks all over the southern tip of Africa, he challenged me to come during some part of that trip.
I did a ton of research for the trip setting up self-safari camping sites for him and reserving rondavels in National Parks in three countries. I signed up for some email reports from some of the sites and started receiving all kinds on things relating to the Southern tip of Africa. I became intrigued by odd animal behavior and strange news from the parks. 
A couple in South Africans befriended my boss and let him stay in their home. When I was in Johannesburg I stayed there too. They were like a pair from a SWAT team when it came to getting in and out of their home compound. They’d both been robbed numerous times. He had worked in the police force at one time. They planned …

The Mysterious Life of an Author

This is my workspace, fortunately you can't see how truly messy it is and can be. I'm fortunate to have a big room with cupboards and bookcases and a long table that I pile projects I'm working on and object that I want to remember to take with me for the next place I'm going. This where I actually write, edit, and do email and Facebook and promote online, etc.

Since I'm going to write about my life as an author, you're going to find out I'm not mysterious at all. Because I'm a wife and homemaker I do all the things connected with those two identities too. Though I must confess, I no longer do major housework. I pay one of my daughters to do it. I still do the laundry, cook and grocery shop.

On the writing side, lately I've been working on the promotion for Raging Water the latest in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. It is available now from the publisher, in all different formats and of course from Amazon and Barnes an…

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon, a review

The Last Temptation by Gerrie Ferris Finger, a review

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep, it is my birthday. I'm at the age where I'd just as soon forget them. I've had way too many. The first birthday party I can remember, was when I was 5.  I'd just been a flower girl for auntie's wedding so I wore the same dress. I'm not sure if it was this one or not, but I'm about the same age here.
For that party I got to be a fairy princess and I know that my aunts and mom worked really hard to make the whole affair like a fairytale.

This was my wedding day, I was just 18.

Me, now 19, and first child, Dana. We had four more kids, eighteen grandkids, and 12 great grands with another due anyday.

 Me at last year's birthday celebration. I've had a great life with many, many blessings.


Ongoing Characters in the RBPD series by F. M. Meredith

On DorothyL, a great mystery list with both readers and writers, a big discussion has been going on about whether or not to have a list of characters in the front of a book. Some thought it absolutely necessary. Others pointed out that in a mystery series it might give away s surprise. I talked to my publisher and she said it would be an added expenses--especially if she had to go back and do it in previous books in the series.

Instead of doing that, I thought I would list some of the ongoing characters here: (Some I'm leaving out because they would ruin a plot surprise.)

Doug Milligan, a RBPD police office who is upgraded to detective.

Ryan Strickland, another officer with a reputation of a womanizer who undergoes a major change through the series.

Stacey Wilbur, one of only a few female officers in the series. She was widowed and has one child. Major events happen to her over the series.

Abel Navarro, another officer, who has a big extended family that often affects his job.


The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, A Review

The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall is absolutely delightful. I know that's an odd word to use for a mystery, but I was delighted by so many aspects of this book.

The detective, Vish Puri, is most unusual. To give a bit of insight into his personality, he's called Chubby by his wife and relatives. Though supposedly trying to lose weight, he absolutely loves food which is described each time he is tempted. The setting is India and along with the mystery, the reader is given insight into Puri's view of the customs of his world.

His first mystery is to find the scoundrel who crept into the room of the man withe the longest mustache and snipped one half of it off before almost being caught. But it isn't long before he is involved in a murder case where he was present when the victim died while eating butter chicken.

Despite the light moments of the tale, Puri find himself in dangerous territory as his investigation leads him into the path of organized cri…

No Bells, by F. M. Meredith, #8 in the RBPD series

Image is the direct link to get this book at a bargain price.
This may be my favorite book in the series--I really love Gordon Butler--and so do some of the series' fans.
Rather than say much myself about the book here are some reviews. The first is an email from a fan who read No Bells,

Hi Marilyn:
I stayed up late last night to finish No Bells.  As to be expected, I really liked it.  It is a refreshing change to read--even if it's fiction--things from the police dept and police officers families points of views.
Thank you for another great read!
Best Pat

"Fans of F. M. Meredith’s long-running Rocky Bluff Police Department mysteries will be happy to learn the newest book may be the best yet. In No Bells, Gordon Butler gets his first leading role in this clever ensemble series. Butler is like Joe Btfsplk, the cartoon character in Al Capp’s Li’l Abner, a poor sap for whom things never quite work out. Meredith’s plot – …

ANGEL LOST #7 in the Rocky Bluff P.D. Series

Image is the place to get this book if you want a bargain.Scroll down through Dark Oak Mysteries, and books are in alphabetical order.

Angel Lost's idea began when the image of Jesus appeared in a carpet store window in downtown Porterville on a nightly basis. For about three weeks, crowds gathered to view the unusual sight. I happened to pass by one evening when the crowd, busily taking pictures, was so huge two policemen had been assigned to the scene to keep people out of harm's way. (The store is located on a busy street.) This went on until someone discovered the image was caused by a light from a store across the way. Some rearranging of what was in the window and the image disappeared.
In Angel Lost the image of an angel in a furniture window captivate the religious and the curious of the beach town of Rocky Bluff. In the meantime, Officer Stacey Wilbur is distracted by wedding planning. Yes, she and Detective Doug Milligan are finall…

AN AXE TO GRIND #6 in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series

Detective Doug Milligan and his partner question suspects in the murder of a stalker including the stalker’s target, her boyfriend, father and brother, as well as the stalker’s step-father. The investigation leaves little time for Doug to see his fiancĂ©e and fellow officer, Stacey Wilbur.

Stacey handles a molestation case which involves the son of a friend. She and her mother talk wedding plans, though all must wait until Doug’s renter, Officer Gordon Butler finds another place to live.

When Doug disappears while tailing a suspect, Stacey sets out to find him, hoping she can reach him time.

If you want a bargain price, you can order an Axe to Grind from the publisher's bookstore, look for Dark Oak Mystery and titles are alphabetical.

Review snippets of Axe to Grind:

Right from the start, like Meredith does with all the books in this series, the reader is instantly drawn into the world of the Rocky Bluff P.D. Gordon Butler, who is usually t…

DON'T TURN AROUND by Michelle Gagnon, a review.

When I read the book I had no idea it was categorized as a YA. I loved it from beginning to end. I supposed I should have realized it was a YA because of the lack of bad language and explicit sex scenes. What it did have was a unique and believable plot that gripped me from the very beginning.
The heroine, sixteen year-old-Noa, wakes up on an operating table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm with no idea what’s going on. Her escape is heart-pounding—and it doesn’t take long for her to realize she is being relentlessly pursued. Her computer skills help keep her alive. She teams up with another computer genius, Peter, whose life is also beingthreatened.
Continually on the run, these two begin to unravel a most horrendous secret that involves medical experimentation and foster kids. The action is totally non-stop and I couldn’t put it down.
Highly recommended for all ages.
(In the back of the book, Ms. Gagnon talks about how poor our foster care system is. I've definitely …


Yes, I live in New Jersey. I’m not from here, but I’ve lived here long enough to have some Jersey Girl tendencies. (For the record, I am perfectly capable of pumping my own gas.) Jersey Girls are tough. Tougher than almost anywhere. Not physically tough, or rugged, but you don’t want to mess with them.
And none of those ladies on The Real Housewives of New Jersey are anything like my friends. None of us live in houses that big. I don’t begrudge anyone a big house. Anyone can spend their money on what they want.
I’ve been in a book club for more than ten years and in that time there has been far less drama then in one episode of RHofNJ.
We don’t have alliances or change friends like we do our underwear. You watch a series of reunion shows and the ladies who hated each other last year and bff’s this year. Next year who knows.
Nope, for us it’s been the same core 4 people. We have different political views and different views on raising our children. Despite this we all get along.
Do you have…