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Showing posts from August, 2014

Yes, Once Again I'm Planning Promotion

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The next book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, River Spirits, is due out the end of September. And no, it's not to soon to be planning promotion.

My blog tour will be the month of November, excluding Thanksgiving day. I don't expect anyone to read my blog or anyone else's Thanksgiving day. I've already got all the other days filled with willing blog hosts. I've decided the titles of my posts except for those who told me what they wanted me to write.

Why did I plan it for November when the book is coming out the last of September? I know from experience that no matter what the publishers expects--things don't always go as planned. Too often I've had to have book airlifted to me--too big of an expense--because of a planned event.

I've written about six of the new posts. I also know from experience that it's far better to get as much done as possible because who knows what will happen between now and then. Life is full of the unexpected.

No…

The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson

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What inspired The Dancing Boy?
The book grew out of the scattering of multiple seeds. I wanted to write a mystery in which locations played a significant part. To me this meant British Columbia, Canada, and Western Washington, specifically the islands of the San Juans, areas where I’ve spent a great deal of time and for which I have an enduring fondness.
In addition, I wanted to base the mystery on a social issue that would resonate with the mystery-reading public. Human trafficking is a huge world-wide problem, involving the horrifying exploitation of women, children and males forced into slave-like situations. I decided to use that as the device to propel the story. But which segment of the trafficking would I use?  That was decided by the decade-long war in Afghanistan and that country’s abominable practice of using young males for sex.
One aspect of this practice dates back to ancient Greece and perhaps even before that.  Pre-pubescent boys were trained as dancers to entertain men an…

How a Biography Became a Novel by Carolyn Niethammer

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Every author knows the thrill of ripping open a box that holds copies of your new book. Holding your first book is akin to experiencing your first kiss. Recently the mail carrier brought such a box to me – it was my tenth book, but The Piano Player was my first novel. It was also the first of my books in which I had a major say on the cover. This book did not start out as a novel. Thirty years ago, my husband was a young journalism professor at the University of Arizona and one of his classes was The Tombstone Epitaph. The owner of that venerable paper, founded in 1880, had given it to the journalism department to use as a lab paper. The students would drive down from Tucson and do some reporting, then put it together back on campus. The professor not only guided them, he was also the paperboy. So every other week I’d go with my husband to Tombstone to deliver the paper, and I would wander around while he tended to business. During those wandering afternoons, I ran across the histor…

Today is My Birthday! One of Many!

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I planned to ignore my birthday as much as possible--but since I didn't have a new post for my blog, thought I'd do a bit of reminiscing about my prior birthdays.

When I was a kid, mom did a great job of planning birthday parties, even with a theme of some sort. Since my childhood was a loooooong time ago, the themes were nothing like they are today, but she did a fantastic job.

When I was five, she planned a fairy birthday party, and I was the queen. I wore the long dress I'd worn for my auntie's wedding and had a crown and scepter. I know the little girl guests all got crowns too. Because I had boy cousins, we had another celebration at a nearby park that they were invited to.

Another I remember was when I was a bit older, with a Mexican theme, and we celebrated on our patio--which was later turned into a room. I suspect that might have been when I was 9 or 10.

One teen party, with many best friends from school, we traveled to Chinatown on the streetcar.

I'm not …

The Astral Gift, Revisited

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The Astral Gift is the first mystery I wrote and was published. 

It has had an interesting publishing history. The first time it was published, different cover, it came out in mass market paperback from a company that turned out to be crooked. (I've had lots of experience with publishers who weren't on the up-and-up. This one printed 50 books which I managed to sell right away--and that was the end. The publisher disappeared.

Next came an e-publisher, near the beginning of the e-pub era. We had some problems and I got my rights back. Oak Tree Press picked it up, but it has just been sitting there so I decided it was time to tell people about it again.

The idea developed because I met a young woman who had suffered childhood sexual abuse--from there I imagined what ways she might have escaped mentally from the abuse--and ideas tumbled in. 

Astral projection plays a big part in the story--and no, I've never experienced such a phenomena, nor do I want to, and you'll see why i…

And It All Hit At Once

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Truly, it's not as bad as it sounds, but it seems the old saying, "When it rains, it pours" is all too true.

I've been working on my next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery and it's been coming along great. Words, plot ideas, characters just tumbling out. 
The edits for River Spirits, my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery arrived yesterday. Something like that I need to work on in the morning when my brain is fresh--but I also had a paid project that I needed to finish. That had to come first.
This a.m. hubby had to be at the surgical center in town by 8:15. Because he was going for eye surgery, I had to take him. I brought along my iPad. If I was going to be sitting, I planned to get some work done--and I did. I figured out what topics to write about on my blog tour for River Spirits and actually wrote four of them.
Because all I'd eaten was a piece of toast, didn't seem fair to eat much since hubby couldn't eat or drink, as three plus hours went by, I began t…

Give Me Some Suggestions for Promo of Next Tempe Book

Since my next Tempe Crabtree mystery is off to the publisher for editing, it's time I got serious about the promotion.

I've always done some sort of launch party--but my last one wasn't as great as I'd hoped for. Of course I had a few loyal folks who turned up, served some delicious snacks, but I'd like to do something different for my next one. 
Because this one revisits the Hairy Man--what do you think about having homemade Hairy Man cookies? Maybe the Gingerbread variety? If you came to such a party, what would you like to hear about?
Another thing I've always done in the past is a Blog Tour. I'm wondering whether or not to do another one. I do enjoy doing them and I have had an upturn of sales during and after--but it is really a lot of work. And if I do decide to do one, should I give a prize to the person who comments on the most blogs? In the past, I've given the winner the opportunity to be a character in the next book. Should I do that again?
G…

Free Books in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series

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The first three books in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series were published in mass-market paperback, long before the days of print-on-demand. Sadly my publisher died, and I received all the books. In an effort to downsize, I'm giving away copies of these books--I only ask that you send me $3 for postage for one and $6 for two or three.

It's easy enough to do, you can either send me a check to Marilyn Meredith PO Box 526, Springville CA 93265 with which book(s) you want with your name and mailing address, or you can use PayPal: mmeredith@ocsnet.net

Book Review: Deadly Omen by Marilyn Meredith The Madera Tribune By Lee McKay

A teenage woman is murdered minutes before she is to be crowned Princess of the Pow Wow. The autopsy reveals that she was pregnant.

In this Native American setting, Tempe Crabtree, the resident deputy of a small community in the southern Sierras, moves full speed toward finding out who killed the girl, until her sergeant and two detectives from the Dennison su…

Alas, My Camping Days Are Over--But My Memories Are Still Fresh

What brought on this topic, you ask?

This past week our church family, which includes several of my relatives, camped out in the mountains. There are several wonderful campgrounds not too far from where we live--once you've driven the winding road to get there. I know they had a wonderful time.
Was I envious? Of the fellowship and the good food, yes. Of sleeping on the ground in a tent with no shower or real bathroom, absolutely not. No, I'm not above all that--did it plenty years ago. My old bones would rebel--and making numerous trips to an outhouse in the dark in a place inhabited by bears no longer appeals.
Over the years, I've done all sorts of camping.
As a kid, I tent camped with my family three weeks at a time at Bass Lake. The food wasn't wonderful--my dad cooked and he liked to throw everything together in the frying pan. Sometimes it was edible, at others, not so much.
When I was a Camp Fire Girls leader, we tent camped a lot--in the mountains, at the beach,…

What's Up Next for Me?

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Though I can't really know exactly what's up next, but this month I went to the Nipomo Library and sold and gave away some books. Everything else on my calendar has nothing to do with the book business until September. 
On Wednesday, September 10, I'll be traveling to Burbank where I'll be on a panel about cozies at 7 p.m. at the Buena Vista Library. I've been to that library to do a panel once before and it has a wonderful meeting room. Anyone in that area, do mark your calendar, I'd love to see you.

So what will I be doing the rest of this month? I'll be working on my next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel. It's moving right along and as usual, I'm having fun finding out what is happening with the men and women who serve on the Rocky Bluff Police Department on the job and at home.
I'm also waiting for the edits of my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery which I've titled River Spirits and once again the Hairy Man is playing a substantial role. I …

Jex Malone, A Review

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Jex Malone is a YA mystery but a delight for anyone to read.
Jex is spending the summer in Las Vegas with her father who is a police detective and she is not at all happy about it. The prospect of a long, hot and boring summer begins changes drastically when Jex makes friends with three teens in her neighborhood. 
One of the reasons Jex’s parents divorced was because of a case of a missing girl that the detective became obsessed with and could never solve. When Jex and her friends find the case file, they decide to do their own detecting.
Their snooping takes brings an unexpected romance to Jex, and takes all of them on an adventure that could ruin Jex’s relationship with her father and be life-threatening to all of them.
What I liked best about this tale is how realistically the authors depicted the teen characters. Of course they would think they could solve a crime a seasoned police detective couldn’t. And they do, because they are foolishly brave, don’t follow the rules or consider la…

The Difference Between Interview and Interrogate

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The simple answer is the one being interviewed can leave at any time, when being interrogated, can't leave.

The moderator of this panel was: Pete Klismet.

Panelists: Joe Haggerty, Frank Hickey, Dave Cropp, George Cramer, John Schembra

D. C. The techniques are similar. You interview witnesses. When you focus on a person or a subject, he/she is a person of interest.

J.S. You interrogate a suspect and interview people who can offer information.

P.K. In interview can be done anywhere, and interrogations is usually an effort to get a confession. An interrogation is raised to higher level of intesity.

J.H. Write the person's name done even if they say they saw nothing. When you interview someone on the street it is a conversation with a purpose.

J. S. When taking a statement, record everything in details so what the person said can be brought up in court. Be a good listener, be attentive. Listen to how things are said. Knowing when to clarify.

G.C. You need good salesmanship. Act l…

Aspects of Firefighting and Arson Investigation

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Marilyn Olsen moderated this informative panel. Those participating were:

Rick Wickliffe, Michelle Perin, Robert Haig, Sam Bradley



Bob Haig said he looks back on his career fondly because he met so many wonderful people, though it was a dangerous job, He writes to demonstrate the heart of firefighting.
Rick Wickliffe investigates arson for insurance companies. Most arson fires are set to cover a crime or for revenge.
Michelle Perin said the firefighting culture embraces all different personalities, many heroes. 
Sam Bradley said firefighters are people with a lot of heart.
When someone plans an arson fire, they will move all their good stuff out first and substitute with junk. 
People have committed suicide by arson.
Unfortunately, while the fire is being fought, many clues are lost.
EMTs also don't have much training on evidence preservation.
Once in awhile a firefighter turns out to be arsonist. (Happens sometimes with volunteer firefighters needing work.)
When investigating a f…

The Medical Side of Wounds and Forensics

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This PSWA panel was fascinating, and could have continued even longer.


The moderator was Thonie Hevron, Panelists: Janet Greger, Rayne E. Golay, Gloria Casale, Sam Bradley and Steve Scarborough


People are more accepting of science.
Poisons that don't leave a trace: Monk's Hood--numb's mouth, affects the liver, will die withing 24 hours , up to 5 or 6 days.
Jimson Weed is another poisonous plant. (The group actually listed many that are common like castor beans.)
Other ways of dying: Asphyxiation, Strangling, Carbon Monoxide, Physical Wounds, Hypothermia (People can survive in cold water or weather)
A person was shot 7 times, with a 22, didn't die until the bullet hit something vital.
PTSD starts in the field. Stress debriefing is needed and ongoing care.Associated with veterans, but any incident out of the ordinary (trauma) can cause PTSD: growing up with domestic violence, alcoholic parents, multiple vehicle accidents.  This was an excellent panel! I learned a lot. Great fo…

Tunnel Visions by Kurt Kamm, A Review

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Being a fan of Kurt Kamm’s writing, I was delighted to have the opportunity to read his latest. You can always count on his books to be accurate when it comes to anything that has to do with public safety and the fire department.
In this latest offering, Kamm takes on one of the biggest threats to Southern California, a terrorist attack on Southern California’s water supply. If you aren’t familiar with the major source of Southern California’s water, you need to read this book. Kamm has all the facts, and when you read how vulnerable the water supply is, you’ll realize how realistic and scary this book is.
This is Kamm’s best offering to date. Having grown up in Los Angeles, I know the area and one of the chilling scenes is how difficult it can be for emergency vehicles to get through traffic when there is a bad situation going on.
The chilling history of the Sylmar Tunnel Disaster of 1971 is skillfully woven into this most compelling thriller. Kamm has done it again, he’s written a pag…