Showing posts from November, 2014

Review of the Deepest Dark by Joan Hall Hovey

The Deepest Dark by Joan Hall Hovey
This is the story of an ordinary woman—the fact that she is a writer made even more intriguing for me—who find herself in the worst possible situation. Abby Miller is in the throes of depression because of the death of her husband and daughter in a traffic accident. Unable to write or find peace, she decides to go to the cabin on Loon Lake where the family enjoyed their last vacation together. She neglects to let anyone, not even her sister, know where she’s gone.
Three prison escapees are loose in the area and have already killed an elderly couple. When they stumble upon Abby who is all alone, they take her hostage. Of course the excitement and tension ramps up—making this reader read quickly. My heart beat quickened right along with Abby’s.
To me the best part of this tale is the strength and intelligence Abby uses to survive—despite all the odds being against her.
Yes, The Deepest Dark is definitely a thriller.
Hovey did a great job ramping up the su…

What Next for Tempe? by Marilyn Meredith

As I am finishing up my blog tour for River Spirits and finally drawing to a close on my next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, it's time to start thinking about the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree tale.

As most authors know--we spend a lot of time thinking about our characters and what should be happening in their personal lives as well as what puzzles, mysteries, and adventures will next confront them.
All I know at this point is Tempe's son Blair will get married. Since the wedding is going to take place in Morro Bay, something ought to happen there. I love Morro Bay and would love to use it as a setting.
Blair is marrying a girl with Ethiopian blood--along with some Italian--how much of the Ethiopian culture should I include?
Will there be a murder in Morro Bay? Something that Tempe becomes involved in? If so, why would she since she'd not a part of law enforcement there?
Should Tempe be thinking about retiring? 
The last two books have had ghosts, spirits and other such entities …

Where the Bones Came From by Velda Brotherton

A mysterious man who lives in a cave above the small town. A farmer whose dogs dig up bones he believes are human. They aren’t, but what if they were? A prominent member of the town with a huge opinion of himself plus a temper. Twin tornadoes that hammered the place twenty-five years earlier. Could these things be put together to create a mystery novel?
As I began to envision the crime for my novel originally titled Dry Bones, I was inspired by several stories I’d written none of which sprung from a major crime. Writing feature stories and a historical column for a small town paper, I seldom ran into murder most foul, but I did run into likeable and unlikeable characters I could use.
Was the cave man crazy, dangerous, or just weird? Would he be able to kill? What had happened to the city council member’s first husband? After he left she married my prominent resident who certainly had the temper needed to commit such a deed. He had stormed the newspaper office more than once over a stor…

First Came the Character by Lynn Chandler Willis

The character of Gypsy Moran had been dwelling in my brain for years. I knew his personality inside and out; I knew how he'd react to certain situations. I knew the wise cracks that would roll off his tongue. I knew what he'd look like and how his voice would sound.

But I had no where to put him. I tried a beach setting with swaying palm trees and white sand—he'd make a great beach bum—but it didn't click. I tried the tough streets of Jersey but I couldn't get the lingo right. I tried glittery Las Vegas and actually gave that one some consideration. Everyone loves a Vegas P.I., right? Still, there was something missing.

Vegas might work as a secondary setting, but my heart wasn't in placing Gypsy and whatever story developed from him in sin city. There had to be somewhere the character belonged.

I found it the first time I saw the movie No Country For Old Men. The setting of that movie hit me in the face like the proverbial ton of bricks. My private investigator h…

Sense of Place by Susan Van Kirk

Thank you, Marilyn, for hosting me on your blog today.
I have to admit I was a huge fan of the television series Friday Night Lights, whose 63 episodes aired from 2006-2011. It told the story of a high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. Running for six seasons, FNL centered around a coach, Eric Taylor, his wife, Tami, and a group of football players whose talents, decisions, and circumstances led them to a wider life beyond Dillon or a narrower life staying home. When it ended, I felt like I had lost a group of friends. Why?
After much thought, I believe the town, its culture and expectations, and its human relationships reminded me of “a sense of place.” I understood and felt comfortable in that small town and with its characters—some with a huge sense of decency and selflessness, and others guided by narcissism and selfishness. It felt familiar.
A good book is like that too. Reaching the last page, I hate to leave that place and time.
For Robert Frost a s…

Fourth Week of Blog Tour for River Spirits

Yes, we are already to the 4th and last week of the blog tour for River Spirits.

Nov. 22
The Author’s Life (Mine)
Nov. 23 \
How Real are my Main Characters?
Nov. 24
Food in my Series
Nov. 25
Why I Keep on Writing
Nov. 26
Use of Cop Lingo/or Not
Nov. 27  Thanksgiving
Nov. 28
Deputy Tempe Crabtree as a Mystery Series
Nov. 29
The Hairy Man
Nov. 30
Dec. 1
What Makes a Mystery Writer, particular way of look at things? Looking for Clues? Why? Writing Obsession.
 It will take a few days to let anyone who is trying to catch-up and then I'll figure out who made the most comments through out this blog tour. I will announce the winner on t…

An Interview with Kimberlee Larsen Clarke and Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer

How did you first get involved with Thumper and the Fern Lake Mysteries?
Kimberlee: I’ve had nightmares and migraine headaches all my life and never knew what might be the cause until last year when I returned to Fern Lake, and learned that my father was murdered when I was a baby and that I witnessed the murder. I met an author writing a book about my father’s murder. We joined forces with a homicide detected and while we pursued the cold case murder, Brett and I fell in love.
The cat at the lodge was called Black Cat, but my little girl renamed him Thumper. Looking back over the incidents, he actually helped up solve some of the mysteries surrounding my father’s death. We suspected a number of people, but solving the case was less than successful. I stayed in Fern Lake, restored my family’s old Victorian mansion and bought a book store.
What is the setting for Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer?
 Kimberlee: Just recently, my grandmother invited us to a family reunion at her Texas horse …

Third Week of Blog Tour for River Spirits

Week #3 for River Spirits Blog Tour:

Nov. 15
The Supportive Mystery Writing Community
Nov. 16
Where I Get My Energy
Nov 17
Avoiding the Jessica Fletcher Syndrome
Nov. 18
Promotion Tips
Nov. 19
Where Do the Minor Characters Come From?
Nov. 20
What Might be Next for Tempe
Nov. 21
Excerpt and links
I do hope you are enjoying this tour as much as I am.


Outbreak...Breakdown, A Forensic/Medical Author's Take on Ebola and the CDC

Outbreak… Breakdown A Forensic/Medical Author’s Take on Ebola and the CDC
My book, Louisiana Fever, involves the spread of a bleeding disease known as Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever. This is a real disease that, like its close relative, Ebola, is caused by an infectious virus.  And having researched this thoroughly (and having come from a forensic/health background) I feel compelled to weigh in on the Ebola outbreak.

When I was plotting Louisiana Fever, I figured I ought to have a character in the book that was once an infectious disease specialist at the CDC.  It seemed like a logical idea because the CDC is this country’s unquestioned champion against virulent organisms, an organization staffed with experts that know every nuance of tropical viruses and how they can be controlled.
To make sure my writing about the CDC would have an authentic ring to it, I asked the public relations office of the CDC if I might be given a tour of the place.  “Sorry,” I was told.  “We don’t give tours.”…

Report on Book Sales at the Porterville Art Association Boutique

This was the first time I got to use this new display rack, and I love it! It left so much more room for me to have my cards and guest book.
We had a great Friday. Lots of people were downtown shopping and came into the art gallery to see what was going on. I sold a lot of books. Saturday was rather dead, though I did sell books--6 right after the doors opened and 4 more just before they closed. 
It was a great venue! Table and chairs provided. Surrounded by beautiful art on the walls, and lots of wonderful crafts. Everyone was friendly.
And something else that is important at these things--a really nice bathroom. Don't laugh--many of the outdoor venues only have port-a-potties.
I do pay membership dues to the PAA, and that's why I get to join them.
This year I've done several in-person events like this--and each one had their pluses and minuses.
I'll probably keep on doing them because I love talking to and gaining new readers.


The main sources of ideas for novels are the imaginations of the authors. But what revs up their imaginations?
Pet peeves, news headlines, travel, special interest columns in Sunday papers, and people encountered daily are all sources of novel ideas. The list is endless.
The ideas for MALIGNANCY, my medical thriller released in October, came from two sources: my trip to Cuba in 2013 and my pet peeve that there are so few woman protagonists in thrillers and suspense novels. The women who populate suspense and thrillers are often young action heroines, like Lara Croft or Super Woman, or old women, like Miss Jane Marple. That leaves out women from thirty to sixty-five. According to the US Census in 2000, about fifty percent of females in the U.S. are between thirty and sixty-five.

In other words, authors should populate their novels with more smart, fit women in their forties and older. Characters who could be played by Helen Mirren, Sigourney Weaver, Salma Hayek, Marcia Gaye Hardin, and …

Second Week in the Blog Tour for River Spirits

The is the schedule for the second week of the River Spirits blog tour along with the topics:

Nov. 8
A Day in the Life of Kate Eileen Shannon
Nov. 9.
My Relationship with Tempe Crabtree
Nov. 10
How Tempe Got Her Name
Nov. 11
Where My Inspiration Comes From (after writing so many books)
Nov. 12
How Long Will the Series Continue?
Nov. 13
My Writing Process
Nov. 14
Why it’s Okay to Take a Break from Writing
I hope you're following along on my tour.

On Technical Genre Fiction by Glenn Parris M. D.

What could be easier to sell than a good conspiracy? Unfortunately, the public seems to be only too willing to accept the worst of celebrities, politicians and our institutions. I say “unfortunately” only in the context of the real world that we live in, but as creators of fiction, this trend is a bonanza. As mystery and thriller writers, we fuel the fire. This genre probably leads every other, with the possible exception of romance, in books, television and movies. The adage, “write what you know” certainly holds true if you want to suspend disbelief about a story. As a physician, I find that wrapping a good lie in some truth and solid medical methods is the best way to reel an audience in. Everyone wants a peek behind the curtain, regardless whether you’re writing police/detective thrillers, or medical/science novels. One of the most fascinating phenomena that I’ve noticed about writing in the medical thriller genre is the fact that readers rarely question the aspects of the story th…

In-Person Launch for River Spirits by Marilyn Meredith

Since we no longer have a book store, this time I thought I have the official in-person book launch for River Spiritsat the Porerville Art Association's Holiday Boutique on November 7 from 10 to 8 and November 8 from 9-5.

The address is 151 North Main St., Porterville CA.

Beside having the opportunity to purchase an autographed copy of Spirit Shapes (what a great Christmas gift for the person who has everything) you'll also be able to see all the wonderful gift ideas displayed by the many talented artists of the PAA.

I'll be glad to tell you anything about my latest book, or about writing and getting published.

Besides River Spirits, I'll also have copies of my other books in this series and in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series on hand for perusal and purchase.

Hoping to see a few of you there.


About House of Shadows by Misha M. Herwin

“House of Shadows” was inspired by a real place and a real house. When I was a child I lived with my parents in a housing estate at the bottom of a hill on which stood a large old mansion. For most of my childhood it was empty, the windows black and ghostly looking out over the surrounding countryside could be glimpsed from behind the trees. There was also an overgrown drive which I passed regularly on the bus on my way home from school.   How could an imaginative child resist the temptation to weave stories around such a mysterious and menacing place?
And so it began.  I must have been about eleven when I sketched out my first idea and over the years, the story changed and developed as I did until finally, after many, many drafts and re-edits “House of Shadows” came into being.