Showing posts from March, 2012

Introduction to Bruce Thomason

I began my law enforcement career in Beaumont, Texas when I was 20 years old. I was working in a grocery store to pay my tuition at Lamar University and give me a little spending money. A lieutenant on the police department that I knew through church told me one day about an opening for a dispatcher. The job paid the amazing sum of $300 per month! Considering the fact I was only making a buck an hour, this sounded like serious money.
I worked my first shift as a dispatcher on April Fool’s Day in 1967. That night, I went home with the certain knowledge that I had found my life’s calling. A few months later, I was sworn in as Beaumont’s newest patrol officer, and the real excitement began.
Three years later, I was an experienced patrol officer looking for a new challenge. I moved into the detective division, where I learned how to conduct criminal investigations. My teachers were experienced detectives who knew just about every bad guy in town, including the cars they drove, their associa…

Another Really Early Day Up and Going

Once again we rose before the crack of dawn. Daughter Lisa is driving us over to the Hanford Amtrak train station. This time I am traveling alone, but by train. I'm headed to Left Coast Crime in Sacramento. The reason I'm going on the train is because when I was looking for airline travel, if I left from Bakersfield I had to fly either to Phoenix or Los Angeles and from either place to San Francisco, then some other odd ball spot before reaching my final destination of Sacramento. This roundabout jaunt was really expensive and took all day.

When I checked the train schedule, I could leave a bit after 6 and arrive in Sacramento around 12:30. And believe me the ticket was much less. And guess what? They even have a senior discount.

A few years back I rode the train to Sacramento a lot when I was doing lobbying for the California Residential Services Association. It's not high speed rail. Whenever a freight train comes along, the passenger train has to move over and wait on a…

Some Facts About No Bells

No Bells is now available as a trade paperback from Amazon. When checking for it, be sure to look for No Bells by F. M. Meredith. Last time I looked it had a special price.

About the cover. When writing this one I had no idea what the cover should look like. Of course it would have the title and the name I use for this series, F. M. Meredith. Always this series has the Rocky Bluff P.D.'s badge.

All of the Oak Tree Press' mysteries have the Dark Oak label.

But note the background--the artist did good. The hand. Obviously the hand of a corpse and a female hand at that. Perfect.

When the cover was sent to me for approval, the lettering was in red, not yellow. It was okay, but I asked to see it in yellow. Comparing the two, the yellow definitely works best.

In each of my Rocky Bluff P.D. mysteries, all of the members of the department and their family members make appearances, but usually one or two are spotlighted. In No Bells, Officer Gordon Butler is the featured cop. Over the …

A Bizarre Tale from the September 11 Attacks on the Twin Towers

The Woman Who Wasn't There The True Story of an Incredible Deception 
by Robin Gaby Fisher and Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr.
What Tania Head told everyone was on September 11th she stood in the 78th floor Sky Lobby of the World Trade Center when Flight 175 crashed right into it. From there she wove a remarkable story of her near fatal injuries and the wonderful man who saved her.
She shared her story and her miraculous escape with many, including those in a survivors' support group. Her charismatic personality and her desire to help others who were suffering post-traumatic symptoms charmed everyone. 
Because of her amazing story and strong presence she helped make some significant changes for the survivors.
Tania Head's story was a figment of her imagination but it is amazing how long it took for the deception to unravel.
As I read through this fascinating tale, I couldn't help but wonder if this woman suffered from a dual personality or just a grandiose delusion brought on by an …

Planning for Next Adventure

Next up is Left Coast Crime in Sacramento.

This time I'm riding the train. Still means getting up far too early, because the train leaves from Hanford, an hour and a half traveling time. But I'll have more room to sit, will be able to get up and move around, and I plan to take some snacks with me that I can eat on the way.

The only problem I foresee is if the train is late. I'm supposed to be on a panel that afternoon. (But who knows, the problems I encountered before and on the way to San Antonio I didn't expect.)

I am looking forward the con as they are always fun and I'll see many, many authors that I know and I hope I'll make friends with some more and also readers. And yes, I'll be armed with my business cards.

Right now, I have to decide what clothes to take. Taking what I took to San Antonio might work--but it might be a lot cooler in Sacramento. Next up, look at Sacramento's 10 day weather forecast.

Promotion Opportunities When Out and About

Authors are always being told that they must promote--and we know there are many ways to do that. Goodness knows I've written about many of them. Speaking engagements to service and social groups, writing groups and libraries, craft and book fairs, on line promo through blog tours and social media. But there are other opportunities around us that we should take advantage of.

On my last airplane trip to the Epic conference, just getting from one place to another, took so much of my energy I really didn't do much of anything promo-wise.

While I was at the conference, I handed out my business card (with the cover of my book on one side, pertinent information on the other) to everyone new I came in contact with. This was not limited to the attendees, I also handed out my card to people in elevators and that I met in the hallways. No, I didn't pounce on them, but I smiled at everyone. Among those who smiled back, several asked about my badge and what kind of conference I was at…

Bookstores at Conferences and Conventions

Something that was too bad at Epicon was the bookstore. Unfortunately it was hidden away at the side of the banquet room. Barnes and Nobel brought a few of the authors' books. We'd been given instructions on what to do to get the bookstore to order you books. Though several of us followed the instructions to a T, our books weren't among those for sale.

My publisher brought copies of three of my books, but the bookstore wouldn't carry those, even though that was something that had been promised. At my publisher's instructions, I gave the books away to people I met.

To be perfectly frank, I've had books at Barnes and Noble, both at Epicons and when giving a talk--and guess what, I've never been paid for the books sold. So giving them away to people I know will read them is probably every bit as effective if not more.

To bring people into the bookstore, it seems to me it would've been smarter to have the store set up in the main room and then (this is a b…

My Epic Award and Congratulatory Bouquet

You can see my award for Lingering Spirit in this photo along with the flowers my eldest daughter sent to me today.

I've certainly had a great time showing it off to everyone.

I plan to take it with me to book festivals and craft fairs along with copies of Lingering Spirit.

Can you guess I'm thrilled?

It was something I never expected to happen and I certainly told everyone at the conference that though I was a finalist I certainly didn't expect to win. Thankfully, my publisher felt differently.

I've been floating around on a cloud for days now.

Nothing Like Airports to Make you Feel Your Age

Our trip to San Antonio and the Epicon started out bad right from the beginning. On Wednesday evening our water well developed a geyser. Hubby had to stay home to deal with it. We have to have water.

Disappointed, but still determined to go--after all, I had airline tickets, hotel room and paid for the conference. I was up at 2 and by 3:30 a.m. had driven to daughter, Lisa's, who kindly drove to the airport. I felt like we were really early, arriving about 5:15 a.m. I thanked her, grabbed my luggage and headed inside.

I was able to use the computer gizmo to print out the boarding passes, two. I headed to the already crowded security screening area--took out my computer, all my toiletries in the little baggie, took off my sweater and shoes, the thing I hang around my neck and put everything in the little bins, hoisted my suitcase up on the conveyer belt, put in the boarding pass to get on the first plane, and stepped confidently up to the x-ray machine. Well, I have no idea what di…

A Resolution Changed

This was supposed to have appeared on an earlier date, but didn't, so I've posted it now. Many of you know the outcome of this, but it's a prequel to the post for tomorrow.

Hubby and I had made up our mind that we weren't going to fly anymore. Neither of us are up to running to catch a plane at the places we have to make changes. The seats are uncomfortable. The waiting is a pain. And the worst is to fly from the closest airport means getting on the road by 4 a.m. Which means getting up at 3. Ugh!

Fitting everything into two carry-ons is what everyone is doing now because of the charge for check-in baggage. And you ought to see the sizes of some of those carry-ons. Not ours though, we've learned to pack well and still have plenty of changes of clothes.

And of course, coming home means the same problem, getting up before the crack of dawn to catch the airplane.

And there are always problems. Delays can mean missing your next flight and several times we've have …

Murder Unscripted, Review by Carl Brookins

Murder Unscripted by Clive Rosengren ISBN: 9781935797197 a 2012 release from Perfect Crime Books 111 pages, Trade Paper
Eddie Collins is a sometime Hollywood actor and a part-time investigator. He’s cast in the old style; a loner, divorced, he views the world through plain, cracked lenses. Nothing rose-colored here. He’s an authentic character, one you’d be likely to encounter on Sunset Boulevard. If you made the connection and bought him a drink, Eddie might tell you a story. Like this one.
When the scene opens, Eddie Collins is costumed as a cowboy, perched on a fake rock, chewing on yet another piece of chicken. He’s doing a TV commercial for an enterprise called Chubby’s Chicken. A telephone call to his office sends him, on behalf of his client, a bonding company, to the set of a murder. It turns out the deceased actress is Eddie’s former wife.
The novel benefits hugely from the author’s background. He’s aformer theater, film and television actor who has appeared in nume…

How the Rocky Bluff P.D. Series has Evolved

When I wrote the first book in the series, Final Respects, I had no idea that it would continue on.

When I began writing it, I had several ideas I wanted to incorporate into the plot: children paying in a mortuary, how what was going on with the family affected the job and vice versa, how the death of a popular police officer would affect many, and the fact that the officers are busy working on lots of cases at once. I began developing the characters and really began to know them. The book is dark with more explicit images than later books.

Once I'd finished, I knew I had to know more about what was going on with these folks and Bad Tidings came next. The focus was on the police detective in this one, the man who had to deliver bad tidings to many people and received one of his own. There are two murder cases in this book to keep both police detectives in this small department busy.

Next came Fringe Benefits. The main character in this offering is a very bad cop. Gordon Butler has…

And More Has Been Added to My Personal Appearances

This is what's fun, when people call you and want you to give a talk somewhere. That happened twice this week and fortunately I had the dates free.
As I've said in other posts, I've been trying to keep most of my jaunting around close to home these days.
We're heading to Sedona AZ because of a dear friend's 90th birthday. I added the appearance as I like to do something writing/promo related on all my trips.
It's nice when something like this happens. Two things to look forward to, plus we enjoy going to Sedona.

A Sale of Stone, A review

Another Swedish author, Edwardson, has spun a twisted tale of intrigue that is wrapped around historical events.

Don't expect another Girl With the Dragon Tattoo style of writing, Sail of Stone is much slower paced with pieces of the puzzle developing through tales of the past and unusual settings whose descriptions often are as important as what is happening.

Chief Inspector Eric Winter becomes entangled in a curious case of a missing person who is searching for his father or may or may not have died in World War II. At the same time, female detective Aneta Djanli is caught up in a suspected abused wife case which as it unfolds, seems to be as much a threat to Aneta as to the woman who now seems to have disappeared.

 As both cases unfold in different locations, the reader is treated to wonderful descriptions of landscape, food and drink almost as intriguing as the solving of the mysteries. 

Marilyn Meredith

Equity of Evil by Rudy A. Mazzocchi

EQUITY of EVIL – The Construction of a new Medical Thriller based on True Events By Rudy A. Mazzocchi
As a start-up entrepreneur in the medical device industry since the mid-80s, I’ve been privileged to have the opportunity to see the newest innovations in healthcare and work with some of the most brilliant researchers, scientists and physicians in the industry throughout the world. It’s allowed me to witness technologies that could easily be viewed as “science fiction”, ranging from controversial developments with embryonic stem cells to designing the first electronic, auto-focusing implantable lens for inside the eye; (for the Terminator or the Six Million Dollar Man – depending upon your generation)! 
Logging in millions of miles on numerous airlines, while chasing new technologies and the proper funding to move them forward, provided me long hours to read hundreds of novels. It finally got to the point where the written stories were less exciting than the brutal and thrilling realit…

Coming Appearances for Marilyn Meredith

Epicon on Friday, March 16, Giving a Presentation on Blogging and Blog Tours in San Antonio, TX.

From Thursday, March 29, to April 1 I'll be in Sacramento attending Left Coast Crime. Hopefully I'll make it on time to appear on my panel about Writing for Small Presses. (Traveling by train, so nothing is assured.)

April 19th at 6:30 p.m. I'll be speaking at the Kingsburg Library, 1399 Draper St., Kingsburg CA--about all sorts of writerly subjects.

April 21 at 1 - 4 p.m. will be the official book launch for No Bells at the Just Off Main bookstore on Oak St. in Porterville.

May 12th at 3 p.m. I'll be appearing with Lorie Ham and James Gracia Jr. at the Gillis Library, 629 West Dakota Ave., Fresno.

June 1, 7 p.m., I'll be telling folks at the Well Red Coyote Bookstore in Sedona AZ Write What You Don't Know.

July 7, 10:30 a.m., I'll be showing the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime how to Brainstorm for a Mystery in the Yosemite Falls Restaurant (back room) on Ashland …

Calendar Getting Crowded

Looking over my calendar, I have a feeling everything is going to pile up all at once.

On Thursday hubby and I are heading to Epicon (the conference for e pubbed authors and publishers) which is being held in San Antonio TX. We're really looking forward to it. We were in San Antonio once before and loved it, and we'll be seeing lots of old friends.

Something always seems to happen while we're gone though--everyone sends me emails asking me to do something for them which I can't while I'm away from my home computer. Oh, I can take care of many small things, I have my Blackberry and I always take my ACER computer with me.

But, I've been in touch with a couple of people who want me to do program designs for them--and that's when they'll probably send me all the information I need to get to work.

Other things like that always seem to crop up while I'm away from home.

It doesn't matter though, since there will be nothing I can do about it, I plan to …

Patricia Gligor, Author of Mixed Messages

Marilyn, thanks for inviting me to be here today. 
I’ve always been an avid reader of mystery/suspense novels and I’ve written many short stories through the years. I did attempt two novels prior to Mixed Messages but I lost interest in the characters and the plot before I came close to finishing either novel. My dream had always been to be a published novelist but I was beginning to wonder if that would ever happen. The thought of sustaining a story for seventy-five to eighty thousand words intimidated me!
Then, one day, shortly after I’d moved into a new apartment, I went for a walk in the neighborhood and spotted an old Victorian. I remember standing there, gazing up at the house, captivated. I’ve always loved old houses; they have so much character. Every old house has a history; people have lived there and, in many cases, died there. I never missed an episode of the show, “If Walls Could Talk,” when it was on TV. The stories of the people who had lived in those homes fascinated me.…

Linking Promo with Social Stuff

Recently received an invitation to the 90th birthday celebration for my good friend Willma Gore. Willma is a fellow author and I learned more about writing from her than any book or writing conference. I was in the same critique group she belonged to for many years.

She moved from the local area but not so far that I couldn't see her periodically. Later she moved to Sedona AZ a fairly long way from where we live in California. She's come here to stay with us a couple of times and we've been over there twice including last summer. I was sure that would be our last in-person visit.

When I received the invitation to the birthday party I really wanted to go. It's a heck of a drive though and I wasn't sure hubby would be interested. I also thought it would be great if I could do some promotion along the way.

First I put out the question on Facebook if anyone knew of a bookstore or library or writing group that might be interested in having me for a speaker.…

Some Like it Hot, Review by Carl Brookins

Some Like It Red Hot By Robin Merrill Acacia Publishing, Inc ISBN: 978-0-9774-306-4-2 2008, Trade Paper, 276 pages
Lotsimina Hannon (Lotsi to her intimates) is forced by an evil corporate empire to retire before her time.Lotsi, for want of something else to do, decides to start a whole new life.What better way to do so than buy an old RV and a new motorcycle and hit the road?The fact that she’s never in her life driven either a large recreational vehicle or a high-powered motorcycle is no deterrent.
Since she’s looking for a little excitement inher new life, she heads to Las Vegas, home of opulent RV parks, saunas and hot tubs.And men.Oh yes.Older and retired, but far from sedentary, Lotsi has the heart and the attitudes of a much younger woman.You might say the fires are low but still burning.All it takes is a delectable hunk with the wit and the knowledge of the desires of the more mature woman, and a certain level of experience, to bring those embers to a raging inferno.It a…

Wonder, a Book Review

WONDER by R. J. Palacio
I absolutely loved this book! Yes, I know it’s a YA and I’m a senior citizen, but the August (Auggie) Pullman, the young hero cast a spell over me from the first page.
Auggie was born with a terrible facial deformity. Despite many surgeries to make it possible for him to live, nothing could be done to fix how he looks. He’s been sheltered by his family who love him and try to protect him every step of the way, including home schooling.
When the book begins Auggie is about to start regular school. What a brave step for this kid to take—and none of it is easy.
This is story about strong family love, friendships and betrayal, and bullying. I couldn’t help but pull for Auggie every painful step of the way.
The author did a great job showing us Auggie’s feelings and the members of his family and some of his friends.
Highly recommended to anyone who loves a great tale about the human spirit.

Bridge to a Miracle, Movie Coming in the Fall of 2012

Jackie Carpenter said, "I had never written any books prior to God giving me these two.  I never dreamed they would be picked up by a producer, but I should have known considering the fact that I did not write them. God used me as His tool to write these books and HE has huge plans for them.  This Movie 'Georgia Justice' coming in the Fall of 2012 will be another tool that God will use to "Rescue Millions".  I am very involved in the Production process.  I am soaking it all in like a sponge."

My name is Jackie Carpenter and I was living the perfect life until June 27th, 2008, 2:00 a.m. when my telephone rang and it was my daughter-in-law screaming into the phone with these words: “Mrs. Jackie, the man died and they have charged Jason with Felony Murder” that’s when my world was rocked and would continue to grow steadily worse for the next 10 months.My youngest son Jason, 28 years old (husband, daddy to his six year old little boy, homebuilder and part-…

Why I Love San Joaquin Chapter of Sisters in Crime

Saturday was the March meeting of the San Joaquin Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

I was one of the founding members--and I've belonged ever since. We've met in various places, seen people come and go--though some of the ones who sat around the table talking about starting a SinC chapter are still around.

I enjoy belonging for many reasons. The monthly newsletter has evolved into a truly newsy publications that alerts members to the next meeting and speaker, a review of the previous meeting, writing news, book reviews, and conference information.

The speakers are always varied and top notch from authors to professionals in all different law enforcement fields, coroners, field trips to hear crime expert Dr. Eric Hickey speak about serial killers, psychopaths and other interesting individuals along with details about their crimes. We made a field trip to the museum to see a Sherlock Holmes exhibit and once we went to the hanger where the police and sheriff's helicopters resided …