Friday, March 30, 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 associates, and the types of crimes they liked to commit.

After 19 years on the job, I left my home, my friends and coworkers to accept a job as the new police chief in West Carrollton, Ohio. The department was small, with a low crime rate and a stable city government. It was the perfect place to learn how to be a police chief. 

Five years later, I was ready for my next challenge. In 1991, I was selected as the chief in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. With a beautiful beach and plenty of nightclubs and restaurants downtown, Jacksonville Beach is inundated with visitors, as many as 100,000 on certain festival weekends. It’s never boring!

After all these years, I still get a kick out of helping people be safe, and feel safe.

My Writing Inspiration

People have asked what motivated me to write crime novels. My first response is . . . duh! Police work is all I’ve known since I was 20 years old. My only other work experience was bagging groceries and stocking shelves in a neighborhood grocery store. Let’s see now. Which would be more interesting? “Drop the gun, dirt bag!” or, “We need a cleanup on aisle five!” The choice was clear!

But seriously, I love reading stories, and I’ve always enjoyed writing, which to me is all about creating pictures with words. Those two loves came together a few years ago as my wife, Jackie, and I discussed what to get our three beautiful grandchildren for Christmas. They have just about every video game ever created, and they’re not into clothes, certainly not as presents under the tree, anyway. So what to do?

Then one day, the idea suddenly popped into my head. I’ll write a Christmas story with the three of them starring in it as kids with super powers? From that light bulb idea, Santa’s Super Rescue, or How Beezle T. Claus Tried To Steal Christmas, was born. We read it to them on Christmas Day, and they absolutely loved it!
Jackie had been after me for years to write a book about my experiences in law enforcement. When I shared stories with her over the years about the screwy characters I encountered, both cops and suspects, she would alternately laugh at the absurdity of criminal behavior and gasp at the cruel ways humans treat each other.  

The honorable characters in the Detective Clay Randall Thriller Series reflect the integrity and professionalism of the vast majority of cops in this country. The books also include a few bad cops that are found in law enforcement agencies in spite of our best efforts to weed them out before they dishonor the badge. 

As I wrote the books, the strangest thing happened. The characters became real to me, and it literally felt as if I were sitting in the corner merely recording the action and dialogue taking place in front of me. I know I’m saying something that all of you have felt.

I’m looking forward to retiring in a few months. When that happens, I’ll spend a lot more time in the corner recording the adventures of Clay Randall and his fellow cops!



Body Toll

Body Toll is an action-packed cop thriller set in the oceanfront community of Jacksonville Beach, Florida. In a city known for its beautiful white sands and vibrant downtown, a vicious murderer is on the prowl for his next victim. As the body toll rises, Detective Sergeant Clay Randall and his team work around the clock to catch the elusive killer before he strikes again. The author has created a fast-paced tale of murder and mayhem that gives the reader an intimate glimpse into the mind of a serial killer. Climb into the police car, strap on your seatbelt, and get ready for a rollercoaster ride guaranteed to leave you breathless as you witness a classic battle between good and evil.


The Six O’clock Rule

A midnight shootout on the beach starts the action off with a bang in this explosive story of illicit drugs and bizarre multiple murders. As Detective Clay Randall and his team begin to unravel clues, two names keep popping up: rogue ex-cop Roy Connor, and his high profile boss, defense attorney Tony Savoy.
Filled with plot twists and double-dealings, the investigation takes an unexpected turn as the trail leads inside police headquarters. The Six O’clock Rule, an intensely powerful follow-up to Body Toll, puts friendship to the ultimate test as the lines between right and wrong become blurred.

The second book in the series, The Six O’clock Rule, won several awards in 2011:

·         Finalist - National Indie Excellence Awards
·         Finalist – Readers Favorite in Fiction-Suspense
·         Gold Medal – Readers Favorite in Fiction – Thriller.

My website, www.brucethomason.com, has information on my books as well as information about my career and a FAQS page that answers some questions I’ve been asked.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

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 another track--and this happens a lot. Sometimes you ride the train as far as Stockton, then have to change to a bus. No matter how you get there, the train and bus makes lots of stop for other passengers.

But it'll be a lot better than trying to rush through airports to get to the next connection on time.

I've written this ahead of time in anticipation of what will happen. When I get back, I'll report how it really went.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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 years, Gordon has not had the easiest of road to follow. You'll have to read No Bells to see how he fares in this one.

As I've said in other posts, Gordon has a new love who also shares the name of a good friend of mine. The reason is because her daughter entered a contest for her mother's name to be used in my next book which happened to be this one.

I do hope you'll try No Bells and write a review.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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 overactive imagination? The clues are all there though no diagnosis is made. 

Definitely a fascinating read about a multi-faceted personality who managed to pull off an amazing ruse.

(This book was given to me by Simon and Schuster.)


Monday, March 26, 2012

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.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

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 attending. Perfect. My cards were in my badge holder, and I whipped one out and gave it to whoever I was chatting with.

On the way home, I was still so high from winning my Epic award, I chatted about it to those who would listen and handed out my card. Sometimes it happened when I was in line waiting to board the plane. My seatmate on the real long flight to Bakersfield was a friendly soul and seemed tickled to get my card. He planned on giving it to his wife, an avid reader.

I hand out my card in the doctor's office, especially to people I see reading a Kindle or other reading device.

Does this help? I don't know, there's no way to track whether this practice results in sales--but it certainly can't hurt.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

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 biggie) a sign in the lobby and outside the door advertising the book store and the fact that the authors were available for the book signing.

This has been a problem at every Epic I've been to except a couple. Sometime it absolutely can't be helped, but when it's possible, yes, non-con goers do visit.

I remember a writers conference I went to in Arizona once. The bookstore was in the patio area of a hotel. I sold a lot of books, one in each of my series, to one of the people staying a the hotel. She bought other people books too and was thrilled to have them autographed. Others also perused the books and purchased one or two.

On the other side, one of the conferences I'm involved with has its bookstore right in the same room as the conference--and that works well too. The bookstore is open and available every day of the conference. The attendees buy lots of books.

Back when we could check luggage on an airplane, I always took books to sell at conferences and conventions. I've quite doing it now because I'm sticking to two carry-ons.

Next up for me is Left Coast Crime--I have no idea if the bookstore will have any of my books. Doesn't matter, I will have lots of business cards with the covers of my books and buying information on them to hand out to everyone new I meet. (Tomorrow I'll be writing about that.)

Friday, March 23, 2012

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.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

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 did it, but I got pulled out to be patted down. I didn't even have tissues in my pockets. Finally I was released.

Went to gather up all my belongings and the boarding pass for the first plane was missing. The security people looked for it, but it had disappeared. At the desk for the gate a new one was printed out for me.

Plane to fly to Houston was fairly good sized. No food despite it being a 3 hour flight though they served beverages a few times--which of course means a trip to the tiny bathroom.

My troubles increased when I arrived at Houston. Discovered my next gate was miles away and I had about 15 minutes to get there. I hurried as fast as I could with my two carry-ons knowing I was probably not going to be able to make it. When I'd dashed down two very long corridors, turned a couple of corners all of a sudden I faced an escalator. No way can I do escalators with my carry-ons. I have to hang on.

Something happened to me right then. My heart started pounding and I began to sweat. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. My thought was, "I'm going to die and no one will know where the heck I am."

A lady who was waiting with two people in wheelchairs asked, "Are you okay?"

I said, "No."

She grabbed another wheelchair and stuck me in it. I told her I was probably going to miss my plane. She got on her walkie-talkie and called someone to come for the other people and rushed me to the elevator (which I'd failed to see--but it wouldn't have helped me really since I couldn't move fast enough). At the next floor was a train and she put me on that and made another call. When we got off, a cart was waiting for me. The drive looked at my boarding pass and told me to climb aboard and he put my stuff on the cart. He drove me to my gate where everyone was already going in. If I hadn't had all the help, I never would have made it in time.

I had a chance to calm down on the next 30 minute flight to San Antonio. I found the place for transportation and decided to take a taxi. The taxi dropped me off at the hotel, but not in the right place. I had to walk around the block to find the entrance to the hotel.

Fortunately, once I found the front desk, everything well okay from there. Ran into good friends right off who described the layout of the hotel. Went to my room, dropped off my stuff, and headed for the restaurant for a very late lunch. (No food all day, remember?)

I have to tell you, I felt everyone of my almost 79 years during that rush to catch my airplane.

The rest of the weekend was wonderful and I was back to feeling much, much younger--as I do most of the time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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 to stay overnight in not so wonderful hotels provided by the airlines--and once we had to remain in the airport overnight. Impossible place to sleep unless you are much younger than we are.

But and this is a big one, when I learned my book Lingering Spirit was a finalist in supernatural romances at the Epicon (Convention for e-published authors and publishers) and the con was being held in San Antonio TX, I changed my mind. We went once before to an Epicon in San Antonio and we loved the hotel and the surroundings. Plus, I learned my publisher--who had submitted the book--was attending. And another plus, we'd get to see friends we hadn't seen for awhile.

Do I think I'll win the Eppie? Probably not. I've been a finalist many times and have yet to win. Though it would be nice to bring home the trophy, I won't be broken-hearted if I don't get it. I'll get so much more out of going that it really is okay.

I'll also be giving a presentation on blogs and blog tours while I'm there.

Despite the inconvenience of flying, I'm looking forward to the trip.

After that, we'll not fly anymore--maybe.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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 a  former theater, film and television actor who has appeared in numerous theatrical films and television dramas. Rosengren uses his considerable experience to infuse the novel with authenticity, but he never slides into the bitterness or the whining of too many journey-actors who made a living but never reached starring level. Eddie Collins has come to terms with his career and that’s why he’s become more of an investigator than an actor.

“Murder Unscripted,” is a short, fast, read, well-plotted and intrinsically solid. The characters are enjoyable to follow and the final emotional twists are logical and just right for the character and the tone of the story. I hope to see much more of Eddie Collins in the near future.
--
Carl Brookins www.carlbrookins.com http://agora2.blogspot.com, Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky 
 
 

Monday, March 19, 2012

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 the bad luck to be assigned this guy as his training officer. And from there, things go from bad to worse. The series is still pretty dark at this juncture and doesn't lighten up for the next one either.

Smell of Death came to me when my police officer son-in-law complained that movies and books didn't really depict how bad the smell of death is. Officer Stacey Wilbur plays an important part in this book as she gives a helping hand to Detective Doug Milligan while he's working on three important cases, the gruesome murders of a mother and grandmother as well as a missing toddler.

Along the way, Officers Abel Navarro and Felix Zachary have played supporting roles.

The series takes on a slightly lighter tone in No Sanctuary which is about two churches, two ministers, two wive and one murder. Though Stacey Wilbur is called upon to play a huge role in catching a child molester. A romance begins between Stacey and Doug Milligan.

The lightness continues in An Axe to Grind. Though it begins with a headless corpse, it does have a few humorous cop moments. Stacey and Doug Milligan have become quite serious about one another. Doug's investigation into the murder of a stalker leads him into dangerous territory.


Angel Lost takes us to the planning of Stacey's and Doug's wedding that almost doesn't happen, but also the investigation of a man who exposes himself to women jogging on the beach. Officer Gordon Butler plays in important part in the climax of this tale and I thought it was time to give the guy a starring role.

In No Bells Gordon has found the woman of his dream. The problem is she's one of the primary suspects in a murder case. Because the detectives are sure they've found the killers, Gordon must do an investigation on his own.

And that's more or less how my gritty police procedural series has become more of a cozy police procedural. It doesn't have the classic features of a cozy, of course, no hobbies or recipes, but there also isn't any bad language and the bedroom door is shut.

When No Bells is available, you'll have to tell me what you think.

All the books are available as e-books, the last four are also trade paperbacks.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

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.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

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

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Equity of Evil by Rudy A. Mazzocchi


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 reality of what I was facing on a daily basis. 

While on a cruise with my wife, refusing to check out another novel from the ship’s library, I made an off-handed comment that “I would rather write one than read one”… and she challenged me to do so. I was amazed how easily the initial chapters flowed across the screen of my laptop, the majority from the foundation of personal experiences and related business opportunities. Stepping back, objectively, and re-reading my own words, I struggled with how to define what I just wrote. Scouring my bookshelves, I pulled out a copy of Robin Cook’s first novel “COMA”. A medical thriller… that was it… I decided to see if I could write my own.

It was therapeutic and the process was very similar to establishing a new company. Starting with a design concept, the research, development, manufacturing, and then striving to get it to the market… it was second nature. I had no expectations, until it became a finished product. Then I had to “do what I do” and attempt to make it as successful as possible. So with a Literary Agency, Publicist and Publisher all in tow, the readers will now decide if EQUITY of EVIL is worth reading or something that stimulates others to go “write their own”! Regardless… the second novel is well underway and I’m enjoying the process all over again.

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAYkQEQBnLk
BLURB:
Equity of Evil is the debut Medical Thriller by Rudy A. Mazzocchi. This bold novel involves some of the world's oldest and most emotional—therefore controversial—issues, including abortion, human trafficking, and the pirating of human organs. At the core of each matter is man's predisposition to control and take ownership of the human spirit for the sake of profit and personal gain. The reader is dragged through a dark and brutal new world where life becomes the equity of evil.

Book description:

A Venture Capital Fund makes a risky investment to start a challenging new business that appears capable of reaching profitability with modest capital requirements. The real challenge: optimizing one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the world — abortion.

Founding Partner, Roman Citrano, a successful entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, soon struggles with what he believes is his choice to establish the controversial new company. He soon realizes that he and others are but pawns on a massive, ugly chessboard being manipulated to benefit a far larger, illicit market in human organs for transplantation. Unknowingly, prime, hyper-enriched organs are spawned from the aborted fetuses and grown like hydroponic vegetables.

An unfolding world of deceit, rape, human trafficking and assassination becomes deeply personal as Roman's sole love interest secretly uses one of his new abortion services to terminate her untimely pregnancy. When she disappears, his frantic search becomes a hellish nightmare that grows worse by the hour.

Based on true events, this bold novel involves some of the world's oldest, most emotional and controversial issues. At the core of each matter is man's predisposition to control and take ownership of the human spirit for the sake of profit and personal gain. Such control and manipulation over the will of others is the most horrendous equity of evil.
Rudy A. Mazzocchi - BIO

Rudy is best known as a medical device and biotechnology entrepreneur, inventor, and angel investor, with a history of starting new technology ventures throughout the U.S. and Europe. He’s 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.

Authoring more than 50 patents, he has helped pioneer new companies involved in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, neurosurgery and even embryonic stem-cell development. Through these efforts, he has become the recipient of many technology and business awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Healthcare and the Businessman of the Year Award.

Combining these experiences and opportunities, with thousands of hours of travel and long evenings in hotel rooms, he found the initiative to start writing a collection of medical thrillers based on true events, the first of which is entitled Equity of Evil.

Purchase info:

Title: Equity of Evil
Author: Rudy Mazzocchi
Author web site: http://www.rudymazzocchi.com/
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
url: http://twilighttimesbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60619-236-8
Genre: medical thriller
Format: ebook in pdf, ePub, Kindle, Mobi, PRC, etc.
Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; BN.com Nook; eReader; Fictionwise; Kobo Books; OmniLit; Sony eBookstore, etc
Release date: March 5, 2012
Price: $6.95
Pages: 310
Chapter excerpt:
http://twilighttimesbooks.com/EquityofEvil_ch1.html

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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 in Fresno.

From July 12 - July 15 I'll be at the PSWA conference in Las Vegas, NV.


 August 4, 9 to 2 p.m., Nipomo Library Friends Fair, 918 W. Tefft Ave. Nipomo CA

And that's it (so far) until October 20 and 21, the Springville Apple Festival where I'll have a booth.

Marilyn



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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 just have fun, learn something at the conference, do a good job giving my program on Blogging and Blog tours, and do a lot of visiting while I'm there. Everything else will have to wait.

So there!

Monday, March 12, 2012

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. As I looked up at the Victorian, I found myself wondering what those walls would say if they could talk. 

Intrigued, I wanted to find out more about the house and the area so I went to the Cincinnati Historical Society and immersed myself in research. Little by little, I began to come up with plot ideas and possible scenarios. The people who would live in the house and in the neighborhood, the characters for my book, came to me gradually. I drew upon my own life experiences and I took bits and pieces of the lives of people I knew or had read or heard about. A physical characteristic here; a personality trait there. I jotted those ideas down on scraps of paper and it wasn’t long before I had a huge pile, which eventually became a chapter by chapter outline. 

I fictionalized the house in my mind and on paper to fit the story I wanted to tell, which
had slowly evolved. I constantly asked myself questions. What if, in the midst of my main character’s personal struggles, a serial killer is on the loose? What if she has reason to believe he’s after her? 

I got so involved in the lives of my characters that, not only did I manage to sustain the story to complete Mixed Messages, but my characters wouldn’t let me stop there; they had so much more to say and do! As a result, I’ve written the second book for my Malone mystery series and I have no intention of stopping there. My characters won’t let me!

Blurb for Mixed Messages

It’s estimated that there are at least twenty to thirty active serial killers in the United States at any given time. There’s one on the loose on the west side of Cincinnati.

It’s the week of Halloween and Ann Kern struggles with several issues. Her primary concern is her marriage which, like her west side neighborhood, is in jeopardy. Her husband is drinking heavily and his behavior toward her is erratic. One minute, he’s the kind, loving man she married and, the next minute, he’s cold and cruel.

Ann dismisses a psychic’s warning that she is in danger. But, when she receives a series of ominous biblical quotes, she grows nervous and suspicious of everyone, including her own husband.

As the bizarre and frightening events unfold, Ann discovers a handmade tombstone marked with her name, pushing her close to the edge. Will she be the Westwood Strangler’s next victim?

Patricia’s Bio

Patricia Gligor lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. She enjoys reading mystery/suspense novels, touring and photographing old houses and traveling, especially to the ocean to see lighthouses. She has worked as an administrative assistant, the sole proprietor of a résumé writing service and the manager of a sporting goods department for a local retail chain but her passion has always been writing fiction. Mixed Messages, the first
novel in her Malone Mystery Series, will be available on April 17th at Amazon.com and postmortem-press.com in both print and kindle versions.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

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. Nothing. Then I found a group near Sedona and wrote to them. Unfortunately their meeting day was nowhere near when we'd been passing through.

I finally talked to Willma and she suggested I ask Kris Neri who owns the Well Red Coyote Bookstore if she had an opening. Hooray! I'll be giving a presentation on "Write What You  Don't Know" the Friday night before the party. Looking forward to it almost as much as going to the party.

Now if you haven't figured it out already, that's how you should plan things. Try to work your promotion around other events you'll be doing, especially if they are far from home.

If you happen to be in Sedona AZ on Friday, June 1, come on over to the Well Red Coyote Bookstore at 7 p.m. and say "hi."


Saturday, March 10, 2012

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 in  her 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 also may be said that starting a relationship in a hot tub can get things off to a quick start.

Then of course, murder and associated chicanery intrudes and Lotsi is forced into a game of clues, a game that soon turns deadly.  What’s worse, Lotsi becomes a target of the killers even while desperately learning to ride the motorcycle and speed out of trouble.

Smartly written, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, author Merrill presents a romp through the RV culture with pokes at aging  baby boomers that is just askew enough to keep you reading and chuckling all the way along.  While the story is realistically presented with enough straight and freaky characters to keep readers guessing, this frank romantic mystery is not aimed at fans of the realistic or the noir.  A fun read.  I hope the author is able to bring us further adventures of the mature.
--
Carl Brookins www.carlbrookins.com http://agora2.blogspot.com, Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky

Friday, March 9, 2012

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.

Marilyn

Thursday, March 8, 2012

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-time pastor as well) had been “falsely accused of Felony Murder”.  This is something that could happen to anyone on any given day.  June 27th, 2008 just happened to be “MY DAY”!

What do you do when:
·       Man cannot help you
·       Money has no value
·       And your Innocence is not enough

I found the answer to these questions while traveling through the valley of the shadow of death for 10 months.  This is where I grew my faith strong enough to move a mountain and receive a Miracle.

The 1st Book:
“The Bridge”
Between Cell Block A and a Miracle Is: Psalm 91

Describes what our family was  forced to endure for ten long months, always believing that the truth would emerge and surely Jason would never have to go to a Murder Trial!
   
 Then we came to the stunning realization this was not a dream it was an absolute NIGHTMARE coming to life!

The 2nd Book
Georgia Justice: Journey To Faith
Exposes what I suffered mentally, physically and emotionally for ten months.  There was a war going on and “my sanity” was at stake.

Two months after the Verdict God spoke to me and asked; Jackie, “What was the worst part of this ordeal?”  I said, “God that was when Jason was in Cell Block A with the worst of humanity!” 

HE then asked me “What was the best part of this ordeal?”  I said, “God, that was when you walked down that aisle with a great big MIRACLE.   

HE asked, “What was that bridge that joined the worst to the best?” 

I said, “Oh God, that was Psalm 91  my Life Support, and HE said, “now lets start writing!  HE dictated, I typed, and before  I knew it there was a book out there: The Bridge: Between Cell Block A and a Miracle is: Psalm 91.

One year later I heard that same familiar voice speak to me again.  I did not want to write another book.  I do not like writing.   I have never been inspired to be a write.  But HE said, “Jackie, The Brdge covers The Trial, The Tragedy and The Triumph, what about The Tears?  Once again, HE dictated, I typed and another book was born: Georgia Justice; Journey to Faith.

I started traveling doing interviews. One of those interviews led to a producer being spoken to by the same familiar voice, but this time telling him to produce these two books into a Movie.

We will be starting the filming in 3 weeks.  We have seen God’s Hand over and over again.  BUT WE HAVEN”T SEEN ANYTHING YET!  Come the Fall of 2012 there will be a movie out there “Georgia Justice” a movie that will RESCUE MILLIONS!

I am totally involved in the Project and I cannot wait to see it come to fruition!  To God be the Glory!


From Morass to a Miracle
The Unlikely Ending of Son’s Felony Murder Trial
NEWNAN, GEORGIA -- A successful, fulfilled life suddenly torn apart by a totally unforeseen tragedy was put back together again by a totally unforeseen intervention – a miracle!

Jackie Carpenter, a loving mother and grandmother, church organist and successful businesswoman, had it all and would have given it all up in a moment to rescue her youngest son facing trial for felony murder. But the only thing she had to give up was her doubts – and that led to a miracle!

The story of a false charge that crushed a family is told in dramatic fashion by Jackie Carpenter in The Bridge: Between Cell Block A and a Miracle is Psalm 91  But the story of the miracle that follows is one readers will never forget.

Carpenter’s youngest son, Jason Veitch, is a contractor who was building eight homes in a new subdivision and was losing thousands of dollars to copper theft. Following the advice of a police deputy, Jason stood guard one night at a home under construction. When encountering three intruders, his shotgun accidently fired and killed a man. Subsequently some shady actions by the police deputy led to trumped up charges of felony murder.
When her son was arrested and charged with felony murder, Carpenter busied herself researching everything. “I became an attorney, a police officer, a judge, a juror, a forensic expert,” says Carpenter. “Then two weeks before trial, I realized that everything I researched was to no avail. There was nothing else that I could do to help Jason. So I turned Jason over to God and a miracle happened.”

Psalm 91, God’s Shield of Protection! It Saved My Life. Carpenter turned to the Book of Psalms for comfort and guidance, and throughout the trial shared with family members copies of stories taken from the Psalm 91 book. The Bridge takes readers on a journey of utter helplessness through valleys of fear and doubts to a path of faith that led to a miracle. The book offers hope to the hopeless, help to the helpless, rest to the restless, and life to the lifeless. “Ten long months we lived in the very pit of hell where Satan viciously attacked our family continuously,” recalls Carpenter, “Day after day after day after day. But at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, 2009 on the third floor courtroom of Coweta County Courthouse, the judge announced, “The jury has reached a decision” and to Jason, “please rise.” And God showed up!”

The lessons of The Bridge include:
·         Don’t Blame God; Trust God when bad things happen
·         Surviving tragedy without losing faith
·         God still performs miracles today
·         Finding peace in the Valley of the Shadow of Death
·         Prosecutors are Big and Powerful but God is Bigger and More Powerful
In addition to working as a contractor, Jason today is Pastoring a church full-time.  Jackie has returned to her job as office manager of an MRI company but also finds time to share her journey from a cellblock to a miracle.


Jackie Carpenter: Businesswoman, Volunteer and Reluctant Author

Jackie Carpenter never intended to become an author. And neither did she ever expect to be a resource for persons facing a crisis in life. But Jackie took the crisis in her life, and subsequent miracle, and wove it into a dramatic and heart-wrenching story – The Bridge: Between Cell Block A and a Miracle is Psalm 91.
And the Reluctant Author followed up with still another book, Georgia Justice: A Journey To Faith – a remarkable guide on how to build faith when overcome by doubt, depression and tragic events.
A native of Newnan, GA, who has lived in Ellaville, GA, since 1993, Carpenter is married with two married sons and four grandchildren. Until tragedy struck, Jackie Carpenter was living a busy and fulfilled life working as office manager for husband Larry’s medical imaging company in Ellaville, GA, as church organist, assistant Sunday School teacher, social activity director for a senior adult Sunday School class, and as wife, mother and grandmother.

Jackie designed her dream home four years ago, turned her sketches over to an architect, and son Jason Veitch built it for her. Placed in the middle of a wooded area, the home is round with an indoor pool that serves as a centerpiece. She enjoys scrapbooking and designing, and she and husband Larry have traveled all over the world. A canine lover, she also is mom to three dogs.

Then on June 27, 2008, everything changed. “I had no problems of any kind,” recalls Jackie. “No health problems, no financial problems, no kids-out-of-control problems. Life could not have been better, and then the call came at 7 a.m.; it was Steph, my daughter-in-law, crying and screaming into the phone: ‘Jackie, the man died, Jason has been arrested, taken to jail and charged with Felony Murder. They also may arrest my daddy’.”

The tragedy led to a walk of faith, fueled by the discovery of the Book of Psalms, that ended in a miracle. The story of the faith walk, discovery, and miracle is told in The Bridge, a compelling can’t put down book that offers a way out for individuals drowning in sorrow, grief, fear, anger or shame. The story of how a tormented mother made a critical decision that allowed God to deliver a miracle is told in Georgia Justice. “God took The Bridge and used it to touch so many hurting people,” says the author. “He put me on four television shows, numerous radio interviews, in newspaper articles, and put my book in hospitals throughout America where it can be picked up by people in need. He has great plans for this Reluctant Author and those plans included using me so He could also write Georgia Justice.”

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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 and we got to learn all about the ways they fight crime.

Most of all I enjoy seeing the friends I've made over the years--my sisters and a few mister sisters.

This is one place where I can talk about writing, blogging, promotion, and social sites to people who actually know what I'm referring to and have information to give back to me.

When I go to a writers' or mystery conference I know I'll probably run into one or more of my sisters and will always feel at home.

And those are just a few of the reasons why I love my chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Marilyn