Showing posts from June, 2014

Murmurs of Insanity, a Review

Murmurs of Insanity, a Moriah Dru/Richard Lake Mystery by Gerrie Ferris Fingers, is a fascinating and complicated trail littered with all sorts of intriguing characters including some who are missing: a young teen, an artist and his girlfriend. 
Along the way, the trail becomes littered with strange articles and ultimately some bodies. Full of excitement and strange goings-on, Murmurs of Insanity is one of those books that will keep you wondering and turning pages as you follow the investigations.
One thing you can always count on with any of Gerrie Ferris Fingers mysteries is full-bodied and unique characters, a thick sense of atmosphere and plenty of surprises. Definitely an enjoyable read.
The cover is great--and unlike many covers, it definitely has meaning for the book.
(I was given an ARC of this book with hopes that I'd review it. All my reviews are objective and what I really think. If I don't like a book, I don't bother to review it.)

Pepper Oneal Confesses

Tell Me I Didn't Just Do That
I have this problem. And I freely admit that I need help. Not therapy, just help. I have this terrible habit of writing in my head. What’s wrong with that? you ask. Nothing—unless you’re me. Or someone like me. Honestly, I think what I really need is a keeper.
When I write, I am consumed by the world, characters, and lives that I’m in at that moment. I can totally tune out the outside world—also known as reality—and focus my whole brain on my work. The house could burn down around me, but dang it, I’m going to finish this scene! That’s bad enough, but worse is that even when I am not at the computer, I continue to write—in my head. Which wouldn’t be so terrible, except while I am totally consumed by the scene I am composing, I am not paying attention to the world I actually live in. And that can be painful, not to mention dangerous.
Now my family and close friends know this about me, and they recognize the symptoms. So if they see me wandering aroun…

Lessons in Courage from Novels

By JoAnn Ainsworth
Maybe you’re like me in this way. I learn life lessons from book characters who show courage in the face of adversity. When a heroine gets herself out of hot water, I say to myself, “I should try that.”
My stories are about people going about everyday life. Something slams into them that knocks them of kilter. It could be a scheming person or a physical threat or Mother Nature acting up. Whatever the cause, my heroines must respond. There’s no getting away from it. Just how she’ll respond is something I often don’t know until I start writing the scene.
It’s one of the aspects I like best about writing. I know the crisis I’m going to throw at the heroine, but I don’t always know how she’s going to face it. Will she crumble?  Will she fight back?  Will she take another direction or turn a blind eye? I know where I want the story to go, but that character might not be the one to take me there.
The answer comes from the heroine herself.  Depth is built into her charact…

Kings River Life Magazine

This year, Kings River Life Magazine celebrated its fourth anniversary and it's been quite a ride so far. About four and a half years ago, I was let go from my job at a local newspaper for creative differences and I didn't know what I was going to do next. While I was working at that newspaper I had been told several times that no one would read articles on several topics I wanted to write about. So I got this idea--why not start an online magazine made up of just those things! Some of the things she told me no one wanted to read about were book reviews, local history, local bands and theatre, and pets--most of these have become the foundation of KRL so I think perhaps she was wrong!
Over the past four years, KRL has changed a great deal and expanded far beyond our home area of the San Joaquin Valley of California. While we still have some local focused articles, especially in the area of entertainment, at least half of our issue each week is focused on articles that can appe…

Trying the Free Book Route

I’ve been reading about all these authors putting a book in their series on Kindle for free, and all the many downloads which resulted in sales of the other books in the series. What made me decide to try it was Sheila Lowe’s article she wrote for this very blog.
Because I’ve never been happy with the sales for my Rocky Bluff P.D. series—not because of the money but because I felt like it should have more readers, I thought I go ahead and try this.
I chose to put Angel Lost up for the free offering because I’ve always loved this book. I enjoyed writing it and according to the reviews, readers enjoyed it too.
So from June 20 to 24 at midnight, anyone who is so inclined, can down load Angel Lost for free:

Here are some of the reviews:
In ANGEL LOST, author Marilyn Meredith has created a thrilling adventure that wea…

An Interview of Kate White, author of Eyes on You

When did you decide that you’d like to write mysteries? I knew I wanted to write mysteries from the moment I read my first Nancy Drew book. I was enthralled by the genre. I guess I was about 11. 
What inspired this particular mystery?
Because I was the in the magazine business for many years (including editor in chief of Cosmopolitan for 14 years), most of my books take place in New York and involve the magazine world. But I'd never written a book about someone who was super successful in her career and I wanted to do that. There are definite perils to being a powerful woman. Sometimes it can be murderous--in a figurative sense. So I wanted to write a book about a successful woman who found herself in a truly terrifying situation, one that was worse than a bad case of office politics.
What do you like best about writing mysteries?
I love the plotting part. My goal is always to write whodunits that make readers stay up late and feel satisfied at the end but annoyed they didn't fig…

Editing Check List

Editing Checklist by Janet Greger
Thanks Marilyn for hosting me today. Perhaps writing on this topic for your blog is a bit presumptuous. You’ve written so many mysteries, but I finished the first draft this week of my next book Malignancy this week. Now what?
Checklist of things to do Remove common flaws. Most of us make some errors repeatedly when we write. Unfortunately, many of us don’t even notice them when we proofread our manuscripts. I use some words too much: that, just, very, some, and since. I misspell “from” about one-quarter of the time. I sprinkle in hyphens too liberally.
I use my edit option for “Find” and do a search and change mission first. I’m not being logical to do this first, but it allows me to focus on the flow when I do the next edit.
Check facts for accuracy one more time. When I visited Cuba last November, the tour guide bragged that Cuban researchers had recently patented a vaccine against lung cancer. I checked. She was right, so I built my next novel Maligna…

Creating Memorable Characters by John Lindermuth

The average person is rarely concerned about technique when reading a novel. But they’ll know when it isn’t there.

Technique is the business of the writer. It consists of such varied ingredients as character, plot, dialogue, style and point of view.  Think back to the last novel you enjoyed and considered what it was made it memorable.
Most times that element will be character.
You can’t have a credible plot without believable characters.
So how does a writer create memorable characters? You might describe his/her appearance, job, eccentricity, desires, and other such aspects of personality. Yet all of these are no more than statistics. Statistics are generally dull and don’t stick in the mind.
The secret is the one ingredient too often overlooked.
Whether your favorite is Emma, Hannibal Lector, Scarlett O’Hara or Ishmael, they all share one thing in common. They inspire emotion in the reader. It doesn’t matter if that emotion be love or hate, pity or envy. The important fact is they…

My Next In-Person Appearance

Anyone who reads my blog has already figured out that hubby and I love to travel over to the coast. Because I belong to the Central Coast Sisters in Crime, I have opportunities to join them in various events.

We are traveling over to Santa Maria June 27th and staying overnight in the Santa Maria Inn. Also one of our favorites. Last time I went was with our daughter Lisa and we stayed in the newer part of the Inn. I'm hoping this time we'll get to be in the older and more historical part--the haunted part.

On Saturday, June 28th, we'll drive down to the Lompoc Library where I'll be on a panel with other SinC members talking about different phases of publishing. My topic will be e-books. I'm sure I was chosen for this one because I've been published in e-books long before most anyone had a clue what that meant. Things have changed so much since I first started talking about e-books and how they would change the way people read. (I was right.)

I've never real…

Free Promos--Do They Work?

Sheila Lowe, forensic handwriting analyst and mystery author

When my Forensic Handwriting Mysteries series was first published I spent a tremendous amount of time and money traveling all over the country, publicizing the books at conferences, book signings, and other activities. The cost amounted to about $10,000/year for the first four books, but I figured it was an investment and counted on a good ROI.
The books continue to sell well, but not well enough for my (second) editor at Penguin to offer me a new contract after the fourth book. I probably should have hung on to many of those promotional dollars.
Three years went by after the publication of the prophetically named Last Writes(the saga of that name is another story). Last summer I decided to self-publish my next novel, What She Saw, a standalone story of suspense about a young woman with amnesia in which my series characters play an important, but secondary role. The book was well received, garnering 40 four and five star revie…

My Writing Process Blog Tour

I'd like to thank author, Holli Castillo, for inviting me to participate in the
 "My Writing Process Blog Tour." She asked me to answer four question, here they are with my answers.

1. What am I working on?

I'm finishing the rewriting/editing of my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, and beginning to formulate the ideas for my next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series.

2. How does my work differ from others of their genre?

Both series are mysteries, but they are nothing alike. In the Tempe Crabtree series, the heroine is a Native American resident deputy sheriff in a small mountain community in the Southern Sierra. Sometimes Tempe resorts to Indian spiritualism in order to solve crimes. (Central California). 

The Rocky Bluff P.D. series is a police procedural that focuses on the men and women in the department and how what goes on at the job affects their private lives, and what happens in their private lives affects the job. It is set in a small be…