Saturday, March 30, 2013

Let This Novel Help you Lose Weight

 Janet Greger is my guest today and her topic is something that will interest many of us. Janet, tell us about your new book

First off, I want to thank Marilyn for hosting me.

I always think it’s easier to write about others than about myself. As I write this blog on my new mystery/suspense novel Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight and its prequel Coming Flu, I feel like I’m talking about myself. I guess that shows how totally immersed I became into the characters and setting as I wrote these book. 

What happens in Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight?
Someone in this southwestern medical school doesn’t like women. Two have been murdered already. Linda Almquist suspects the deaths are related to her investigation of Dr. Richard Varegos, a “diet doctor.” He is alleged to be recklessly endangering the lives of his obese research subjects. Maybe she’s wrong. The murders might be related to something in the past – something involving her boss the Dean. While Linda fears for her job, the police fear for her life

Why do I care?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate that one-third of American adults are obese and one third are overweight. That means most Americans are interested in (or should be interested in) weight control and how diet advice is developed.

The “diet doctor” in Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight is investigating whether he can help obese subject lose more weight (and keep it off) if he alters their gut flora. Sounds strange to you? But it is an active area of research on weight control.

Will I like the characters?    

I was a researcher and a research administrator at universities. In this novel, I tried to give readers a behind the scenes view of a medical schools – the excitement of scientific research and the infighting and pecking order among brilliant and not-so-bright faculty and staff. You like some characters immediately; you’ll learn to appreciate or to distrust others as you get to know them. Just like in real life. 

Linda Almquist, who seldom even smiled, laughed.
Richard Varegos had done it again. He had arranged books and a computer on the front counter of the hospital pavilion for a photo shoot. In the resulting glossy, full-color flyer, he sat with at his make-believe teak desk in his supposedly marble-walled office. She read the flyer’s title: THE DIET DOCTOR HAS ANSWERS FOR YOUR WEIGHT PROBLEMS.

Was there no end to his ego?

Will I see any of the characters from Coming Flu?

Sara (the protagonist of Coming Flu) is back nagging and pushing her more introspective sister Linda (the heroine of Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight). Lovable Bug (Sara’s Japanese Chin dog) and Lalo (the kid who’s too smart for his own britches) also reappear.

For more information on my books, Bug, and me, please check out my website ( and blog ( called JL Greger’s Bugs.

How does this novel help me lose weight?
Who knows, maybe you’ll lose weight when you read about the adventures of Linda Almquist in Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. Linda did and you can too if you follow her secrets. Eat less and exercise more. Of course you won’t have the same incentives (I hope) that she did.

Thanks for stopping by.
JL Greger

Bio: J. L. Greger , as a biologist and professor emerita of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, enjoys putting tidbits of science into her novels. She and the real Bug live in the Southwest. Coming Flu (paperback and ebook formats) is available on Amazon 
Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight should be available on Amazon or from Oak Tree Books ( by April 10.

Friday, March 29, 2013

One of My Favorite Characters, Ryan Strickland

Ryan Strickland is one of my favorite characters because he has probably changed more than any character in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

In the first book, Final Respects, despite being movie star handsome, Ryan has few redeeming qualities. He appears at every accident and crime scene and loves to talk to reporters and have his photo appear in the paper. He’s known for keeping a scrapbook of all the clippings in which his name or likeness appears. Most of his fellow officers have little respect for him.

Worst of all, he has a big secret he never reveals.

Surprising everyone, Ryan is of great assistance to the wife of a fallen police officer.

I don’t want to say anymore so I don’t spoil Final Respects for someone who wants to read the series from the beginning.

What I will tell you is that Ryan matures and develops into a far more decent person from book to book. He also is given the perfect job for him, that of the Public Relations Officer for Rocky Bluff P.D. Because the department is so small, he still has regular duties as an policeman.

At first his fellow officers are suspicious of the changes in Ryan, but as time passes, they begin to realize he really has become quite a different person.

In the latest book, Dangerous Impulses, Ryan is faced with a challenge he’s not sure he’s capable of facing, one that could ruin the new life he’s made for himself and his marriage.

That’s all I can say without spoiling what develops. It was great fun to write.

Of course there is murder and mayhem in Dangerous Impulses that all the usual officers of the Rocky Bluff P.D. must deal with, along with a new hire.

That’s probably enough hints along with the ones I’ve dropped in the other blogs along the way.

April 1 I’ll be here:

The last stop on this tour.

Now a bit about Dangerous Impulses:

An attractive new-hire captivates Officer Gordon Butler, Officer Felix Zachary’s wife Wendy is befuddled by her new baby, Ryan and Barbara Strickland receive unsettling news about her pregnancy, while the bloody murder of a mother and her son and an unidentified drug that sickens teenaged partiers jolts the Rocky Bluff P.D.


The person who comments on the most blog posts on this tour may have a character named after him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel or choose a book from the previous titles in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series in either paper or for Kindle.

Rocky Bluff P.D. Series:

Though each book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series is written as a stand-alone, I know there are people who like to read a series in order. From the beginning to the end:

Final Respects
Bad Tidings
Fringe Benefits
Smell of Death
No Sanctuary
An Axe to Grind
Angel Lost
No Bells
Dangerous Impulses

F. M. Meredith’s Bio:
F.M. is also known as Marilyn Meredith, the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. She first became interested in writing about law enforcement when she lived in a neighborhood filled with police officers and their families. The interest was fanned when her daughter married a police officer and the tradition has continued with a grandson and grandson-in-law who are deputies. She’s also serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and has many friends in different law enforcement fields. For twenty plus years, she and her husband lived in a small beach community located in Southern California much like the fictional Rocky Bluff. She is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Epic, and Mystery Writers of America.

And I’m on Facebook and Twitter as MarilynMeredith

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Update on my Blog Tour

Like Rocky Bluff, this tour has been a bit on the rocky side.

Some of the problems I faced:

When I asked for the name of my host's blog, I should have asked for the URL. Just putting in the name gave me some startling results. For one blog I ended up reading some love sick teens diary that consisted of more information than I need to know--and a liberal sprinkling of language I'd rather not read. I did find the proper one but had to make changes on my blog and some people never did find me that day.

One host totally forgot or misinterpreted what I'd asked for and no post appeared on the blog. A lot went on in this person's life during that period so I totally understand.

A couple of blog dates had to be changed--not hard to do--but it meant making changes on this blog.

One thing new, though I haven't had as many repeat visitors on the blogs on my tour, I've had a lot of new people I've never seen before. (I tried to find some people I hadn't used before as hosts and ones I know have different visitors than I have.)

And the question everyone asks, "Did the tour result in sales?" I won't know that until I get my quarterly royalty report.

Will I do another tour? Sure, why not. I think it's fun. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jean Henry Mead Interview

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jean Henry Mead.

Marilyn: Tell us about your new novel.

Jean Henry Mead: No Escape, the Sweetwater Tragedy is a Wyoming historical mystery/suspense novel based on actual history. While researchng another book, I came across the 1889 murders of a young couple who operated a road ranch on their homestead land,.I was mystified when I learned that six wealthy cattlemen, who hanged James and Ellen Averell, got away with it because they spread lies that the Averells were operating a bawdy house and rustling cattle. I researched the event on and off over the years while writing other books. 

Then  George Hufsmith's non-fictoin book was published and I was able to fill in the missing details. Hufsmith was commissioned to write an opera about the hangings and wound up spending 20 years interviewing residents in the area who knew the truth about the murders. Because I didn't want to end the book sadly with their deaths, I also wrote about a single woman homesteader who lives nearby. I was surprised to learn that some 200,000 single women filed on homestead land of their own.

Marilyn: When did you first get published? And what was the book?

Jean: My first book, published in 1981,consisted of interviews with Wyoming VIPs including the governor, U.S, senators, sportscaster Curt Gowdy and Dick Cheney. I had previously worked as a news reporter in California and Wyoming, so interviewing had been part of my job. 

Marilyn: Did you market it differently than you do today?

Jean: Yes, in those days the publisher did most of the marketing and promotions, and I drove around the state conducting autograph parties,when gasoline was cheap. I also sent notices to newspapers in the towns where I would be appearing.

Marilyn: What is your favorite means of promotion?

Jean: The Internet is a great way to reach readers around the world, so tweeting, Facebook,  Goodreads, blog posts and guest blogging have been good sources to promote my books. But I've received my best results by placing my out of print books in the Kindle Select Program and offering them free for a few days. The drawback is that some people who download free books delight in giving authors one star reviews, no matter how well written they happen to be. So a writer has to decide whether sales or book rankings are more important.

Marilyn: What is your writing schedule?

Jean: I'm at the computer by 8 a.m. and first check book sales and answer email. I then read the previous day's chapter and begin writing. Because I worked eight years as a newspaper staff writer, there's no such thing as writer's block. Journalists simply sit down and write. Rewritng and editing come later.

Marilyn: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Jean: Read, travel, play tennis, take photographs, bowl, visit with friends and family, and I'm learning to play golf,

Marilyn: Where is your favorite place to be?

Jean. An RV resort in southern California. A golf course meanders through the middle of the complex and there are tennis courts, swimming pools, a restaurant, store, chapel,, and club houses where all sorts of activities take place, as well as friendly fellow RVers.

Marilyn: Who are your favorite authors?

Jean: The books of Sue Grafton, Agatha Christie and Dean Koontz taught me to write fiction and I now read a variety of authors, so I don't really have a favorite.

Marilyn: Do you have a ritual for writing? Music you listen to? A favorite drink or snack?
Jean: I prefer silence but after working in a noisy press room, I could probably write in the midst of a traffic jam. I usually start the day with a cup of chai tea topped with whipped cream.

Marilyn: If a movie were to be made of you latest book, who would you like to see star in it?

Jean: Probably Gwyneth Paltro as Susan, the single woman homesteader, and Gina Davis as Ellen Averell, the woman called "Cattle Kate." As for the men, Robert Downey, Jr. as Jimmy Averell and George Clooney as Michael O'Brien, the veterinarian (love interest). I would like to sit in on that set. :)

Marilyn: What’s next for you?

Jean: The fifth novel in my Logan & Cafferty series is titled A Murder in Paradise, which takes place in a California RV resort. I've already done the research. :)

Thank you for hosting me here today, Marilyn. If anyone is interested in learning more about No Escape, the Sweetwater Tragedy, they can clink on the following link:

Bio: Jean Henry Mead is a national award-winning photojournalist as well as the author of the Logan & Caffetty mystery/suspense series featuring two 60-year-old feisty women amateur sleuths who drive around the West in a motor home solving murders. She also writes the Hamilton Kid's mystery series and a variety of nonfiction books.

 Marilyn: Thank you for coming to visit today and answering all my questions.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Catching Up With My Blog Tour

 In case  you've fallen behind, here are the last places I've been and where I've yet to go on this tour for Dangerous Impulses.

March 15
March 28
and I am also on Dru's Book Musing on March 28

  March 29
Yes, this one is going to be right here on this blog.                            
and last but not least:
 April 1 

And you might like to take a look at the book trailer