Showing posts from August, 2016

How much of THIRST is real? by Katherine Prairie

I’m often asked how much of Thirst is real, and each time I’m delighted with the question because it means I’ve done my job!  My story id eas are inspired by newspaper headlines, real life events over which I overlay a simple question of “what if”.  For Thirst , it was the Columbia River Treaty, a remarkable agreement between Canada and the United States signed in the sixties, that stirred my imagination.  The treaty is an exemplary model of international co-operation, and so are the more recent agreements on joint U.S.-Canada security that arose in large part because of 9/11. However, times have changed and with less than ten years left in the treaty’s term, people on both sides of the border want the treaty renegotiated with environmentalists, Native American Tribes, Canadian First Nations and residents of the Columbia River Valley pushing to have their voices heard. So far, the peaceful process has barely made a blip on the newsworthiness radar, but what if it change

Personal Appearances, so Far--Marilyn Meredith

Though, I'm not the speaker, I'll be taking books to the next San Joaquin Sisters in Crime, September 3rd. On Saturday, September 17th at 10 a.m. I'll be speaking to the Tulare Kings Writers about Creating Memorable Characters. It will be at the Arts Consortion on 400 North Church St., entrance on School Ave. On Thursday, September 29th, from 3-8, I'll be participating in the Central Coast Book Festival in Mission Plaza at San Luis Obispo. Saturday, October 8th, I'll be in Manteca at the Great Valley Book Fest all day. On Saturday, October 15th, I'll be joining a group of authors at The Taste of the Arts in Visalia. November 4th and 5th I'll be at the Porterville Art Gallery Holiday Boutique with my books. The Gallery is located on Main St. in Porterville. Of course I'm available for other open dates. Love to give talks about my books, all aspects of writing and publishing. Leave a message in a comment and I'll contact you.

No Electricity--Eeeek!

Yesterday, while I was getting ready to leave for a meeting--and working away on the computer, the screen went dark. I realized the lights were off too. Sent hubby and grandson-in-law out to check the electric boxes--all was fine. I called the electric company--their number for emergencies and everything else--got an automated system and answered all the questions, and was given a service number. Then it was time for me to go to my meeting. During the meeting I messaged my granddaughter and asked if it was fixed yet--the answer was no. Told her to ask her grandpa to call again. We have lunch at this meeting and I ordered one of the specials--a Reuben Sandwich and soup. The soup came in a tiny bowl crammed with enormous chunks of veggies one of which was an obviously burned broccoli. It looked terrible. The sandwich was no better. I love Reubens, but this had big hunks of corn beef, hardly any sauerkraut, unidentifiable cheese, and scant dressing--couldn't tell what

Once Again, my Birthday has Rolled Around, Marilyn Meredith

I am at an age that birthdays aren't all that important--except for the fact that I am still here, in good health, and enjoying many, many blessings. God has been good to me. I have a huge, supportive family--and so many little ones to love. Here I am at one of my many birthdays--believe this one was the last biggie! I know the setting is my youngest daughter's home. Some interesting facts about my birthday: I share it with a good friend, Lorna Collins, who has so many personality quirks like mine that it's rather amazing. I don't really like surprises--and have disappointed those who have tried to give me surprise birthday parties. Not because I figure it out, but because I always have things planned out and I think whatever is going on is going to mess up my plans. (Terrible, I know.) As far as birthday presents go, there is nothing that I need or want--except maybe for more people to try my books. (Hint, hint.) You can find Seldom Traveled

Deadly Jewels by Jeannette de Beauvoir

This was an amazing read. The tale begins with the heroine, Martine LeDuc, taking a Grayline tour of her Montreal, to remind herself why she loves her city. Intertwined throughout the story is the tale of a German spy, during World War II--and important part of the whole story about the crown jewels of England being hidden away in Montreal for safety during the war years. Being from the US and never having visited Canada, I was fascinated with what I learned about Montreal--making me want to visit while being drawn into this fascinating mystery. The history of a part of the Holocaust, Nazis during World War II, and a touch of magic add to the complexities of this mystery. There are many twists and turns and plenty of surprises, including the reveal at the end, which was totally unexpected. I highly recommend Deadly Jewels. I was given this book in exchange for an unbiased review--and I am so glad I had the chance to read it. Marilyn

What's Going on Towards Seldom Traveled

If you go   you'll see Seldom Traveled is already offered for sale on the Amazon site. The official release date isn't until August 19 when I should be able to order my author copies. This is the official blurb: The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a raging forest fire. Deputy Tempe Crabtree is threatened by all three. With all the fires raging in California, this is a most timely mystery. However, my tale is fiction, what is happening to people all around the state is far too real. Families have lost their homes, some their pets, and many have been terrorized by the flames advancing as they are fleeing. This book was written long before our latest rash of fires--so though it's not on


Thanks Marilyn for inviting me to your blog and to write about my new release American Nights on August 17. American Nights is the 6 th in the Moriah Dru/Richard Lake mystery/thriller series. Dru is a former policewoman turned child-finder (Child Trace, Inc.) and Lake is an Atlanta homicide lieutenant. Another major cast member is Portia Devon, a juvenile judge and Dru’s best friend since kindergarten at Christ the King Catholic school in Atlanta . Dennis Caldwell (Webdog) is Dru’s IT guru. She believes she’d never solve a case were it not for his computer wizardry. Pearly Sue Ellis is a newly-minted, gun-toting Child Trace investigator straight from South Georgia , eager to get her first field trial. She does. She succeeds, Pearly Sue style. Commander Haskell is head of the Atlanta Police Department’s Major Case Squad, Lake ’s boss, and a friend to Dru. When with the APD, he had mentored her as a fast tracker. In this book, a Saudi Arabian prince had gone to college

Coming Soon, But When? by Marilyn Meredith

Seldom Traveled , the latest in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series,is due out this month. The question is, when? I've heard nothing so I'm getting a bit nervous. My blog tour is scheduled to begin on September 3rd and I do hope books will be obtainable by then. I'm holding off on setting up a book launch because I want to make sure I have books to show and sell. Once the book is ready, I have to purchase my copies.  Is this not knowing unusual? Not at all when you're published by a small press--but that doesn't make it any easier. I have plenty to keep me busy until that time, but then the rush will be on to get the word out. I'm proud of this book, it truly fits in with what is happening all around the state of California right now--forest fires and wild fires. Here is the official blurb: Deputy Tempe Crabtree The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a

An Open Letter to Police Families by Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D.

  L iving Through Troubled Times: An Open Letter To Police Families by Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D. adapted from the forthcoming second edition of I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know (anticipated date of publication 2018). Feel free to download and share this excerpt, but please provide the appropriate credit. These are troubled times for police officers and their families. There's an almost endless stream of bad press about law enforcement along with the unthinkable assassinations of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, numerous anti-police protests, lethal mass shootings, and the increased threat of terrorism. Dash cams, body cameras and cell phone cameras have charged the atmosphere and changed the way officers work. In light of all that is happening, the job looks more dangerous and appears more brutal than ever. I've been counseling police officers and their families for thirty years, through good times and bad. This letter and the ideas offered is my way to

Great Tips on Dialogue from the PSWA Conference

Mysti Berry provided those of us who attended the PSWA conference some great tips about writing effective dialogue--here are a few: You can make dialogue stronger. Dialogue should move the story forward, reveal character and underscore the theme. People don't necessarily say what they mean. Dialogue isn't 100% the same as human speech. Find the core of the conflict. Differences in the perception of power. More power says less--who has the power in the conversation? Play with power in the dialogue. Everyone lies. When two people are speaking, there should be a back-and-forth rhythm.  Characters shouldn't address one another by name.  And I'll add something about dialogue tags: Though said and asked are better than any fancy attributes--better still have the character do something,make an action the dialogue tags. No one sits perfectly still while talking. During a conversation, people seldom give a long speech--if they tr

Report on the Public Safety Writers Association's Latest Conference

Simply, it was great! One of the best! For the first time we had a pre-conference writers' workshop which went well. After the registration, many attended the opening reception where old-friends chatted and met new attendees. This year Joe Haggerty and Steve Scarborough shared the job of master-of-ceremony and they did a great job. Our first presenter was Mysti Berry who gave some excellent tips on writing effective dialogue. Next, a terrific panel, comprised of police, CSI, a fireman, and a doctor, was on murder and the difference between real life and how it's depicted in books, TV and movies. An eye-opening presentation on the 2001 Anthrax Attacks and investigation was given by Retired FBI Agent, Scott Decker.  A panel on promotion with several mystery authors who shared lots of ideas for marketing and promoting books. On writing true crime came next and gave some insights about dealing with individuals and agencies as well as writing compelli

A Philly Cop and a World of Trouble by Jane Gorman

Philadelphia Detective Adam Kaminski doesn't want to solve murders far from home. I would say he’s more of a reluctant hero. But a good man doesn’t walk away when he sees bad things being done, and Adam Kaminski is a good man. I created Detective Adam Kaminski to solve a murder in Warsaw in my first mystery, A Blind Eye . I had a firm grasp of the story, the setting, the motive and the many other characters in the book. Early on, I thought of making a Polish journalist (and father of the dead girl) the hero of the book. But even as I drafted it out, I knew I needed someone else. An outsider. Adam Kaminski is the ultimate outsider in all of his books. From the unknown setting of Warsaw, to the challenging environment of Washington, D.C., to being kept on the outside of an investigation in his hometown of Philadelphia, Adam does what he thinks is right. Regardless, sometimes, of the consequences. Inspiration for Adam Kaminski came from a number of places. As a fan of Aga

Who Says Writing Has to be a Lonely Venture?

 by Chanah Leora Wizenberg Have you always wanted to write? Did you stop writing and want to get back into it? Are you writing now but feeling too lonely and isolated? Has procrastination taken over? Is your inner critic running the show? Are thoughts like,” I want to write but..”I don’t have time,” “I have young kids,” “I have older kids.” “Work, chores, cooking dinner, running the house,”  Or, “I don’t know what to write about,” “I don’t know if I can write.” and, “There is no money in it.” That list can go on and on keeping you on that hamster wheel.  You know, all you have to do is stop and get off. Let me ask you something. Do you make time to watch your favorite tv show? Do you make time to work out? How about eating? Maybe even, sitting down with your family to enjoy your meal? I bet you make time to take your shower every day and my personal favorite, do you take the time to have your coffee in the morning? Well, if you can make time for these things in ad