Tuesday, December 31, 2013
In Calling the Dead Deputy Tempe Crabtree calls back the dead for the first time in order to find out the truth about a murder and a suicide.
This experience is what opens the door into the supernatural and is the reason she sees spirits in future books.
There are some characters in this tale based on real people. One is the principal at the grammar school. She is fashioned after a teacher who taught children, their children and their grandchildren. Still alive, she is an icon in the town I live in. Still spry, energetic and the town historian. She was instrumental in the creation of our local museum.
I run into her from time to time in the local beauty salon and I know I'm going to hear an interesting tidbit either about something that happened in the past, or more recently.
And remember the code is HOLIDAY.
Since this is the last day of the sale, tomorrow I'll be back to blogging about other things.
And thank you everyone who took advantage of this sale.
Monday, December 30, 2013
In Judgment Fire Tempe discovers why she hasn't embraced her Native American heritage.
Though all of the Tempe Crabtree mysteries have some reference to Indian legends and rituals, from the beginning, Tempe hasn't known much about them, or even seemed to want to learn.
Nick Two John has been the one person who has relentlessly given Tempe bits and pieces of knowledge about what it means to be an Indian, but she hasn't accepted it as much as one might expect.
Now there are only two days left for this sale:
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Deadly Trail is called book 0 by Mundania. I prefer to call it the prequel.
It was the first one written in the series and the introduction of Pastor Hutch, Tempe's son, Blair, Nick Two John and the Bear Creek Inn, which I merely called The Inn in this book.
The book was first published by Hard Shell Word Factory.
To by it at Mundania's 40% discount, put in the code HOLIDAY.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Only a few more days to take advantage of Mundania's big 40% off sale.
All of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries are available through Mundania.
One of my favorites is Dispel the Mist.
One of the characters in Dispel the Mist is the Hairy Man, a Big Foot type legend who lives in the mountains above the Bear Creek Indian Reservation.
The drawing on the cover, is a replica of the pictograph that is actually in a rock shelter on the Tule River Indian Reservation, which is the inspiration for all of my tales that end up on the Indian Reservation.
Though I've never had an encounter with the Hairy Man, Tempe does in Dispel the Mist.
If you've never read this book, now's the time. All you have to do to get the 40% discount is enter the word HOLIDAY in the place for a code.
This offer will be over on December 31, so hurry!
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Monday, December 23, 2013
My parents needed plenty of time to bring out the presents. Even though we didn't have much money, they always managed to give us the most wonderful gifts.
Years later, when my husband and I had kids of our own, some Christmas Eve's were also spent at my parents' home and we spent a lot of the night before Christmas putting together complicated toys. And when Christmas Eve was at our own home, we had the same dilemma of figuring out directions to complicated toys. And with five kids, there was always something that took half the night to do.
Now, as grandparents and great-grandparents, we have new ritual. I always serve dinner on Christmas Eve. Sometimes we've had Chinese food, once it was pizza. Some of the grandkids who are close come to eat and receive and give gifts. This year, two great-grands will be with us.
I'm going to serve Honey-baked ham--because I love it and it's easy and I know there'll be leftovers. I'm going to make scalloped potatoes and a broccoli salad to go with it.
Because I've had some heart problems and a procedure, I didn't go Christmas shopping at all. Our gift to each family is a check which they can spend as they wish and I also sent an assortment of Wolferman English muffins to each home.
Share with us what you do on Christmas Eve.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
|Junie Lee Mattice|
That's when Kindred Spirits was conceived.
A Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Junie appears in Kindred Spirits as two characters--her personality was so bold and strong, one character wasn't enough to embrace her.
When the book was finished and published, I traveled back to Crescent City where a celebration was given for Kindred Spirits in a local bed and breakfast. Junie and I sat side by side and autographed copies of the books for those who attended. And we both spoke at the luncheon that day.
We spent more time together and spoke again at the Crescent City library.
When we hugged goodbye that evening, that was the last time we were together. Junie Lee Mattice passed away this October. She was a wonderful woman and a great spokesperson for the Tolowa people. She is missed by her large family and all of her friends, including me.
Since Mundania Press is having a sale of 40% off all books in every format, if you haven't read Kindred Spirits yet, this would be a good time.
Of course it is also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and other places books are sold.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
How did I have the audacity to pick the photo? I’ll avoid obvious answers and just say I’m no expert, but I’ve looked at lots of covers and have opinions.
A good cover is like a good title. It suggests the topic of the book and is catchy. I like bright primary colors for thrillers and adventure books, pastels for romances, and dark moody colors for horror and mystery novels because the colors convey a message.
Those of you who are sophisticated in your choice of covers have probably concluded that I’m very traditional. Now look at the cover of my new medical thriller.
Ignore the Pain is set partially in Bolivia, and the heroine Sara Almquist is an epidemiologist serving as a public health consultant there. But this is a public health assignment gone awry. At one point Sara is chased across the roof of Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz, Bolivia and peers down at the Witches Market below. Thus cover needed to suggest Bolivia and a woman adventurer.
I looked at hundreds (maybe even thousands) of pictures of scenes in South America, None seemed right. They were too pretty and gave no hint about my protagonist. Then I saw this photo with the colors of the Bolivian flag drawn across the face of a blue-eyed woman, like Sara. This woman looked like she had guts.
Time will tell whether I chose a cover photo that helps to sell the book.
Bio: JL Greger is no longer a biology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; instead she’s putting tidbits of science into her novels.
JL lives with Bug, her Japanese Chin dog and the only non-fiction character, in her novels. Her website is at http://www.jlgreger.com. Her blog JL Greger’s Bugs is at http://www.jlgregerblog.blogspot.com.
Amazon sell links:
Coming Flu: http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Flu-ebook/dp/B008WDL84O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372715303&sr=1-1&keywords=Coming+Flu
Monday, December 16, 2013
By Sally Carpenter
As a kid my career ambition was to star in my very own TV show—without having to pay any dues first or wait tables, of course.
My dream was fueled in my high school, which had a working TV studio. The senior TV production class produced short programs that aired to the local elementary schools. “Sesame Street” had just started at this time, so our studio had a puppet stage to use in the shows. I loved that class. We took turns acting with the puppets and running the camera.
In fact, this class was where I wrote my first published piece. The company where the school bought its puppets mailed out a newsletter that published puppet plays. The newsletter accepted a short play I had written. My “payment” from the company was a free puppet (I chose a rabbit) that I gave to the school to use in the programs.
Several decades later I finally realized my dream by landing a job as a page at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood. The pages gave the studio tours in the daytime and ushered the audiences for the sitcoms shoots in the evenings. Some of the shows were filmed on other lots, so I also worked at Sony (formerly MGM), CBS Radford, Fox and smaller studios. I met some fun people, worked hard, saw a few celebrities, and had a great time.
I was never a TV actor but I could write a character who was—former teen idol Sandy Fairfax, star of the hit ‘70s show, Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth. Like many actors whose star burned out after cancellation, when Buddy ended after four years, Sandy’s career faded and he fell into the bottle.
Now it’s 1993. Sandy quits drinking and attempts to make a comeback—but dead bodies keep getting in his way. He manages to juggle sleuthing among his rehearsals and family issues.
With this character, I can use my knowledge of the TV industry and live out my dream of being a star—without getting up early for a 5 a.m. call at the studio or going to auditions.
In “The Sinister Sitcom Caper,” Sandy’s the guest star on “Off-Kelter,” a corny family situation comedy, and the lowest rated TV show of the 1993 fall season. Before rehearsals barely begin one of the actors drops dead at Sandy’s feet. He investigates, enlisting the aid of two of his new cast mates: a dwarf and an animal actor.
During his snooping, we meet Sandy’s ex, his parents and his teenage son, all with their own “situations” going on. During rehearsals Sandy also encounters a beautiful choreographer—could this be love?
Will Sandy solve the murder before the Friday night taping of “Off-Kelter” or will the elusive killer cancel our hero before the final credits?
Sunday, December 15, 2013
This could easily be a neighborhood in Rocky Bluff, California as it climbs the hillside. No two houses alike.
In this photo, the sky is blue, what fog there was in the early morning has burnt off b the sun.
What a pleasant place to live.
That is until the body comes ashore in the surf.
Yes, that's how Murder in the Worst Degree begins.
The pub date for the book is March of 2014, but I'll be dropping little hints about it right here on my blog between book reviews and guest author posts.
And if you haven't read the latest yet, Dangerous Impulses, be sure and get it an catch up with what's going on with the Rocky Bluff P.D. and their loved ones.
Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith
All print and e-books are on sale for 40% off until December 31st. All you have to do is put in the code HOLIDAY!
If you've bought someone an e-reader for Christmas, what a great way to load up on some books for them to read.
This is a good place to start to find the books that you want. Here's a list of the Tempe Crabtree mystery series from the beginning.
Deadly Trail (prequel)
Calling the Dead
Dispel the Mist
Bears With Us
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and some great reading.
Friday, December 13, 2013
The Christmas season is upon us and the economy is in the tank. When I was a cop we used to say that a bad economy was job security for us. However, for the general public and police officers and their families, this is also the season to become a victim. A few thoughts from an old crime prevention officer come to mind to make the holidays happier and safer for you and your families.
When going to the mall to shop during the Christmas season, if the mall provides a parking valet – use it. Don’t walk across a crowded parking lot with arms full of bags and packages. Let the valet go out and bring your car curbside for you to load with your purchases near the door of the mall. The few extra dollars you spend paying and tipping the valet will pay bigger dividends for the holidays than life insurance or medical insurance policies.
If you must walk across the parking lot, shop with a companion so you are not alone. If you must walk alone, keep your cell phone in your coat pocket so it is easily accessible if you need to dial 911. If your car has an alarm system, keep the keys in your hand so you can press the alarm button and sound your car alarm if approached by a suspicious person. Also, walk with your car keys points protruding between your fingers. If attacked you can use these to scratch, poke, and yes, stab the attacker about the face.
Once you are done shopping and are in your automobile, make sure you lock your doors for the ride home. From a well lighted part of the mall, use your cell phone to call home so family members know when to expect you.
If you need cash from an ATM, do not go alone – even if it is a drive up ATM. Have your passenger keep surveying the area, to make sure you are not being approached by someone intent on robbing you. If a person does approach you, leave the area immediately. If you have an automobile alarm system, hit that red button and sound that alarm to scare him away and call passerby attention to your dangerous situation.
Make sure you get your receipts and your credit cards back after making each purchase. Keep track of purchases and check them against your incoming bills to make sure no one has obtained your credit card number and made purchases against your account.
Secretary - Shields of Long Island
Secretary - Public Safety Writers Association
Author of: Fighting Crime With "Some" Day and Lenny
Author of: End Of Watch Author of: Murder In McHenry Winner of 19 writing awards
Thank you, Keith, for this timely advice.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Since I just sent off the corrections needed on the first galley proof for Murder in the Worst Degree it will be a while until it will be available for purchase. The target date for publication is this coming March.
At this stage, I can't even envision a cover.
For those of you not familiar with this series, Rocky Bluff is a fictional beach town located between Santa Barbara and Ventura. And though it might have some similarities to Carpenteria, it's located farther south so it is in Ventura county. Despite the fact that it isn't a real place, it seems very real to me. I can see it in my mind's eye and of course I visit each time I write or think about one of the books.
The series centers around the men and women who work for the Rocky Bluff Police Department and their families. I like to think of them as an ensemble cast and hope that readers are like me and want to know how things are progressing in their lives.
Though every book is complete in that whatever crimes crop up will be solved by The End, the characters and whatever problems they are facing continue on.
If you're wondering about the title, a friend from Nipomo suggested it for me and I decided to start writing and see what happened.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Indian Paintbrush once had a different title. This is the first book of mine ever published way back in 1982. At that time it was called Trail to Glory--a name the publisher chose. Indian Paintbrush is a more fitting title as there are references to the flower all through the book.
An historical family saga, Indian Paintbrush, is based on family genealogy, my mother's side of the family. When my sister did the genealogy, I was amazed by how brave the women all were and able to support themselves when necessary in a time when women relied on men.
To write the story I had to do a lot of research about places and people I knew nothing about. I learned about early Wisconsin and the Menomenee Indians and made up a whole story about a young girl who disappeared. (The family legends about this were so far-fetched, I thought my version sounded far more realistic.)
I learned a lot about relatives I actually knew, like my great-aunt and my grandparents, even a big secret that never surfaced until my sister's search into genealogy. (And my grandparents were long gone before this book came out.)
The story is as accurate as it can be, but much is fictionalized.
This is the book that I rewrote and rewrote before it was accepted by an editor at a big New York publishing house.
I am tickled to have it revived and able to be once again read. I hope you'll enjoy it.