Showing posts from October, 2016

What I've Learned Over the Years by Marilyn Meredith

Much of what I've learned is colored by the fact that I'm a Christian, but I don't think what I have to say will be offensive to anyone.

Worrying doesn't help or change anything.
Smiling can change someone's day.
Be nice to everyone around you--even if they aren't nice to you.
Children in your life can lift your spirits.
Do the best job you can with anything that you do.
Refrain from gossiping.
Help out where and when you can.
Plan your day, but don't get upset if it doesn't work out the way you hoped.
Don't worry about what others think about you.
If you want to do something, do it. Don't let negative comments from others hold you back.
Be sure to let those you love know that you love them.
Enjoy each day to the fullest because you'll never get it back.
When life gets tough, pray. 
Thank God for your life and everything in it. 
Me and eldest daughter with just a few of the grands.

WHAT ARE THE ODDS? by Lois Winston

In fiction authors know to steer clear of circumstances that are considered too coincidental. Readers and reviewers will call them out on it. However, in real life coincidences often occur fairly frequently. For instance, when my husband and I lived in Philadelphia, every few months we’d drive up to New York City for a weekend of museum hopping and Broadway shows. On countless occasions we’d wind up bumping into people we knew from Philadelphia.
Considering the population of Philadelphia and how many people are on the island of Manhattan on any given day, what were the odds of this happening even once, let alone half a dozen times over the course of three or four years? Still, it’s not a trope I’d ever use in a book. Truth might be stranger than fiction, but coincidence stretches the suspension of disbelief too thin for most readers.
However, coincidence did play a role in the creation of Literally Dead, the second book in my Empty Nest Mystery series. An unbelievable coincidence in my…

Report on .99 cent sale of Spirit Shapes

My intent was to have Spirit Shapes free on Kindle for a week. The publisher was agreeable, but when he set it up, Amazon had changed its rules and the only thing I could do was to have the price lowered to .99 cents.

This caused a big problem because once the publisher said yes, I promptly advertised through many of the places that promote free e-books. I back-tracked as much as I could, but I'm sure I missed some. Fortunately, I hadn't paid too much for the advertising.
And of course I advertised the deal myself everywhere I could--and at first the numbers on Amazon went down and hovered at 3 figures for a while--but not as much happened as I'd hope for. 
Of course I hoped readers would buy it at the lowered price because it is the perfect Halloween story complete with a haunted house, ghosts and evil spirits, Unfortunately, it didn't happen as I'd hoped.
Why does anyone lower prices on a book? Because Spirit Shapes is part of the Tempe Crabtree mystery series, t…

Report on the Great Valley Bookfest

On the Friday night before the actual bookfest, we (daughter Lisa and I) were invited to enjoy the Author's Reception. And enjoy we did. We sat with Bob and Carol, long time friends, though I don't get to see them often. Talked to lots of interesting folks. Ate some great food, but most exciting of all was seeing William Kent Krueger. Not only is he one of my favorite writers, but when Mayhem in the Midlands was still the best conference going--hubby and I became friends with him and his wife. We looked forward to seeing them every year.

Kent was the super star of the event. If you haven't read him, try Ordinary Grace, his stand-alone. I love his mystery series too, and he may be one of the best when it comes to setting. 
We headed back to the hotel looking forward to sleeping in those wonderful beds. I slept for about two hours, had to get up to go to the bathroom. On my way back to bed, my heart started beating so fast it made my ears hurt. This has happened before. I ha…

And even more books for Christmas Giving!

Or you could treat yourself!

The Good Old Days? A Collection of Stories is the perfect gift for anyone, who wants to initiate a lively family discussion over the holidays.

Only Two Days Left to Get SPIRIT SHAPES for only .99 cents!

Today and tomorrow--October 21 and 22, are the last days to get a copy of Spirit Shapes for only .99 cents.

This book is perfect for the season--lots of scary stuff.
Ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house. Deputy Tempe Crabtree's investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons and angels at war.
This is one of my favorites in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series--I had a great time writing it and I hope you'll enjoy reading it. 

Girl on the Brink: Recognizing Signs of an Abusive Relationship

 by Christina Hoag

Girl on the Brink: Recognizing Signs of an Abusive Relationship  My new YA novel Girl on the Brinkrelates the story of an abusive relationship. Abusers tend to follow a set pattern of behaviors, and when you’re familiar with what they are, they’re recognizable. When you’re not familiar with these red flags, you can misread them or dismiss them too easily. In my novel, the main character Chloe experiences all the following behaviors in her relationship with Kieran. In honor of October being National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, here they are: 10Key Signs You Are Dating an Abuser 1. Rushed relationship. He presses for an exclusive commitment almost immediately. He claims to have never loved anyone like this before. 2. Jealousy. He’s jealous of any guy you even speak to and says his jealousy shows how much he loves you. He’s possessive, calling constantly, dropping in out of the blue, and gives you little room to yourself. 3. Controlling. He checks up on you, interrog…

Never Giving Up by Marilyn Meredith

When you read about all the things that have happened along the way with my publishing history, you may think I was a bit crazy to keep on going. 
First off, though I did plenty of writing before hand, I didn't become a published author until 1982. Raising a family, serving as PTA president two times, plus other offices, and being a Camp Fire leader for 10 years,  and working as a pre-school and day care teacher kept me quite busy.
Once that book was published, I though it would be easy going from there on. Boy, was I wrong. Here's a list of things that happened, not necessarily in the right order
1. Editor for the first publishing house quit and the new editor wasn't interested in my next offering.
2. Next publisher turned out to be a crook--yes really, he was put in jail for gambling away author's royalties.
3. Who'd expect that I would get mixed up with another crooked publisher--this one absconded with all the author's funds and disappeared.
4. And I manag…

SPIRIT SHAPES only .99 cents starting October 16!

Though this was supposed to be free, Amazon changed their requirements and it can only have the price lowered, so--
Yes, Spirit Shapes, will only be .99 cents on Kindle from October 16 through October 22. This would be a great way to introduce yourself to the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series.
Ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house. Deputy Tempe Crabtree's investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons and angels at war.
Try it, it's a perfect mystery for the season.

What Are The Good Old Days? by J.L. Greger

I’d describe this collection of stories as historical fiction loosely based on actual recollections of childhoods in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.
But then I’d say: These tales address major historical events and societal problems (including child abuse) in the idiosyncratic way of memoirs. They are snapshots of events from one individual’s viewpoint, and the narrator for each story is different. Some are humorous; some are not. They vary in length from four to fifteen pages.
If you’re a sophisticated reader, publisher, or bookstore owner, you’re thinking: Are you sure they’re genre fiction? Memoirs are non-fiction.
The problems of defining literary genres.
Publishers think genres are a way of classifying fiction in order to target marketing of books to receptive audiences. Fine. What if a book or a collection of stories fits into more than one genre?
So-called literary experts say “genre fiction” (as opposed to literary fiction) is plot-driven. That bothers me. I thought the plot was pret…


Alison Leigh Powers, Super Sleuth, middle-reader mystery series includes The Secret of the Strange Staircase, The Mystery of the Missing Miniature Books (an Independent E-Book Awards Finalist), The Mystery of the Octagon House (EPPIE Award Winner, Agatha Award Nominee, and an Independent E-Book Award Finalist), The Mystery of the Missing Arabian, and The Secret of the Equestrian Park—currently available in electronic formats and in paperback under the title Super Sleuth: Five Alison Leigh Powers Mysteries.
The first part of the book is fiction, and the manual is non-fiction.   In Divorce, Gilly, 11, tells how she copes, some days not at all, with the impending divorce of her parents. Her younger sister, Honey, gets into serious trouble, and her two older sisters complicate matters. Mom gets a boyfriend and Dad gets a girlfriend.   In her Manual and Advice on Coping With Your Divorce, Gilly gives advice about w…

10 Things About Deputy Tempe Crabtree by Marilyn Meredith

For those who don't read my Deputy Tempe Crabtree here are 10 facts about her.

1. Tempe is an Indian (Native American), a member of the Yokut tribe.
2. She is married to a pastor, Hutch Hutchinson.
3. She has a grown son who recently married.
4. Her best friend is Nick Two John, another Yokut, who introduced her to her heritage, and in his own way, helps her figure out mysteries. 
5. She once called back the dead, which has had a residual effect, making her sensitive to the spirit world.
6. She is the resident deputy of the mountain town of Bear Creek and its surroundings.
7. She is often called upon by the major crime detectives of Tulare county to help with murder investigations--especially if there is any tie to the Bear Creek Indian Reservation.
8. Her use of Indian mysticism while trying to solve a crimes is not something her husband approves of.
9. She is brave, and often pushes herself to help someone even if it is a threat to her own life.
10. Through the years, she has le…

“The Short and the Long of It: Turning a Short Story into a Novel” by Maria Alexander

Have you ever written a short story and thought it would make an even better book? I started writing short stories long before I ever tried to write novels. Both of my current books are based on short stories I wrote. Mr. Wicker, which won the 2014 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, was based on an unpublished short story of the same title, as well as a screenplay. My latest book, a young adult novel called Snowed, is based on my flash fiction piece, “Coming Home.” First published in 1999, it was reprinted several times, turned into a one-act play by Los Angeles Women in Theatre, and even produced as a podcast.
But how do you take a small idea and turn it into a big one? One that transforms a few hundred or thousand words into a book-length page-turner? In both stories, the protagonist was fairly isolated, dealing with a major problem on his or her own. To create a book-length idea, I had to involve other people in the drama and give them stakes in what happen…

Nicholas Checker and his novel SCRATCH.

Delighted to announce that my  Oak Tree Press novel, SCRATCH, had a feature presentation recently at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature facility in Mystic, CT, with Connecticut State Rep. Diana Urban (strong proponent for animal welfare) as the guest speaker.

 And, on October 29th, at Bank Square Books, Mystic, another presentation of SCRATCH -- for Alley Cat Allies' National Feral Cat Month -- is coming. 

SCRATCH is a chilling tale of loyalty, friendship, and courage set in the mysterious world of feral cats ... one that also gives cause to consider the way we humans conduct ourselves too. Hoping to see great attendance and, more so, for the adventures contained within this tale to evoke further thought on the part of readers.
Nicholas Checker Author of two Oak Tree Press novels:Druids and Scratch

About the Cover of SPIRIT SHAPES

This is the perfect cover for this story.
Blurb: Ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house. Deputy Tempe Crabtree's investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons and angels at war.
The girl in the middle of the swirling ghostly images and cloven feet of demons, is one of the ghosts in the haunted house. Much of the story revolves around her past. 
Yes, this is a mystery, but it is also a ghost story.
Don't forget, starting October 16, Spirit Shapes will be free on Kindle, through October 22. 

Count down to free Amazon download of Spirit Shapes