Showing posts from 2017

Getting Behind--and it has nothing to do with Christmas

The house is decorated as much as it's going to be--Christmas cards have gone out. The presents I'm giving are on the way. So what's the problem, you ask?

It seems that there is far too much to do in too short a period of time. And I confess, I'm much slower than I used to be.
My mind works best in the a.m., so that's when I try to get things done. But, like today, things come up like doc appointments and errands to run. 
What I need to do is finish a program plan for an in-house day program--almost done, probably two or three more hours.
I'd also like to finish the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery I'm working on and start doing some research for the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.
I have done no Christmas promotions, I never even had a launch for a Cold Death here in Springville. I've decided to do something here in January--but I need to plan that.
I should be promoting my latest short story that's on Amazon, so I'll do that here and now.

This is …

How Things Have Changed in RBPD by Marilyn Meredith

Slowly but surely, I'm moving my Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series to Aakenbaaken & Kent Publishers.

I have my latest mystery in the series with them now, Unresolved.

The publisher and I decided we'd start with the first one in the series--Final Respects. I received the text block to check it for typos, etc.
First thing I noticed was the overabundance of exclamation points! I took them all out.
Then came a lot of things that have changed over the years.
All my police officers had mustaches of one sort or another. You seldom see a mustache on a law enforcement officer these days. But back when I was writing the book, all the officers i knew and saw had a mustache. And with their dark glasses on, they tended to all look alike.
My detectives smoked--and they smoked in their office in the police department. Something that would not happen today.
No, I didn't change any of that--because it would make problems in the plots of later books.
Despite all that and other things I no…

The Suburbs Have Secrets--Thanks Mom!

When I was a pre-teen and still dreaming about becoming a published author, my mother used to suggest I write a story like Peyton Place. For those of you too young to know what I’m talking about, Peyton Place was a blockbuster book about small town scandals and secrets that later became a TV series. It was the 1960s version of Desperate Housewives and Pretty Little Liars. My mother loved the idea of a novel about a fictionalized version of our street where everyone had some kind of dirty little secret.
Flash forward a couple years, and Murder She Wrote became a Sunday night staple in our home. Once again, my mom – who we discovered was a savant when it came to solving crimes before Jessica Fletcher – suggested that I write a small town  mystery story where everyone had secrets.
Interestingly, she never thought of writing the story herself. She only thought I should write one. Apparently, I was to be the conduit for her imagination. But, that’s an issue for another day (and maybe a l…

Ideas for a New Book Keep Flooding in

And I need to be finishing the one I'm working on.

I'm guessing this is what happens with many writers--none of us have enough time in the day to do what we need to do, much less what we'd like to do.
The older I get the less time there seems to be in a day. When I was a kid, there was so much more times and it seemed like the days moved far more slowly.
I've always been an early riser, even when I worked late night shifts at the telephone company. The big change is now I go to bed far earlier than I ever did, sometimes as early as when I was in grammar school. Not all that long ago, I always needed an evening. No matter how late I worked, I had to have at least an hour of an "evening", when I did what I wanted.
When I had little kids, my "evening" was after the little ones went to bed.
Now my evening starts right after dinner. That's when I settle down with hubby and watch some TV. I may read at the same time, but it's still my "evenin…

20 Things about my Sleuth – Delanie Fitzgerald of Falcon Investigations


Thank you so much for letting me visit your blog today. I write mystery novels and short stories. The Tulip Shirt Murders is the second in the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series. She is a private investigator who lives in Central Virginia. And I’m often asked about what my protagonist is really like. Here’s my list of twenty Delanie facts.
1.Delanie is a redhead like 1-2% of the human population. She has grit, determination, and a spunky spirit. 2.She drives a Mustang, and she calls it “Black Beauty.” 3.She used her share of the money from her father’s estate to open Falcon Investigations. 4.Delanie chose the name for her company in honor of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. 5.My private investigator graduated from VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) with a degree in business. 6.Though she prefers the comfort of jeans and T-shirts, Delanie has a wardrobe full of outfits and shoes to create just the right look when she’s sleuthing. 7.Her partner is computer guru (and hacker), Duncan …

Growing Up During World War II

When President Roosevelt gave his radio message about the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor, I listened with my family. I was 8 years old and lived with my father, mother, and sister in Los Angeles.

We had black-out curtains on our windows, and an inner room (hall) where we could have a small light and we had a stash of food and board games to play. 
There were air raids--at night all lights had to be out including headlight on cars. If you were driving during an air raid it was quite an adventure--at least we kids thought so.
Food and gas were rationed. My father rode his bike a long, long way to work to save gas stamps so we could go on vacation in the summer. 
We had air raid drills at school--no under the desks, but on the first floor of our two story brick building. (Not safe at all.)
Our family went to the movies nearly nearly every Friday night, watched all the war movies and horrible news reels--which got worse and worse as the war came closer to the end. There were also some grea…

My Favorite Writers' Conference, PSWA!

Yep, this is the conference to go to if you're a mystery writer and like to be sure you've got all the law enforcement information right. Or if you want to know about other kinds of public safety, like emergency rooms, homeland security threats, insurance fraud, arson, undercover work, public health, and on and on, this is the conference to attend. There are special speakers and panels.
The conference welcomes mystery writers and others who are willing to share their writing, editing, and promotion expertise. New writers are also welcome, and there is a before conference workshop for a small fee.
Because this is a small conference, you have the opportunity to make friends with all these experts. You also won't have to choose one panel over another because there is only one track.
I've been to many writing and mystery conferences over the years, but this one is my absolute favorite for many reasons.
The conference is held in the Orleans Hotel in…


Death of  a Deceiver will be free from November 26-30. 
This is a great way to get introduced to Deputy Tempe Crabtree as she investigates the death of someone on the reservation.
The Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series contains many mysterious adventures--some on the Bear Creek reservation and many others in the outlying areas of the Central Sierra.

Christmas Book Idea #8 Deadly Feast

Thought it might be fun to promote Deadly Feast the day after we all had wonderful feasts. Yes, my Thanksgiving dinner was delicious and not the least bit deadly.

In this mystery, friends,neighbors, and the local deputy and her husband, are stranded in one house during a flood that ook out the one and only bridge into town. They are staying in a big house and have plenty of provisions--but all is not well.
As I've said before, this was intended to be an early Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, but didn't quite fit for that series. But I liked the story, so changed the two main characters.
I've written about torrential rains taking out bridges and roads in about three books. Why? Because I live in an area where this has happened more than once. Only once was I affected when I'd gone to a party and it poured so hard it caused a mud slide that closed the main road, and we had to take a most round-about way to get back home.
And of course, I heard all sort of stories of when …

Christmas Book Idea #7, UNRESOLVED

Unresolved is the latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. I write this series as F. M. Meredith.

And though it is the last book in the series, the story itself is complete. You may wonder about the title--never fear the mystery us solved.
This series has a large cast of ongoing characters:
Detective Doug Milligan and his wife, Officer Stacey Milligan, and her son, Davey, and Doug's daughter, Beth.
Officer Ryan Stickland, his wife Barbara, her three sons, and their baby daughter.
Detective Felix Zachary and his wife and daughter.
Sergeant Abel Navarro, his wife Maria and their daughter.
Chief Chandra Taylor, fairly new to the RBPD, single.
Of course this new book brings in other folks who live in the small beach community of Rocky Bluff-some good, some bad.
Each novel is written as a stand-alone, but things change in the characters' lives from book to book.
#13 in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Unresolved Blurb:
Rocky Bluff P.D. is underpaid and understaffed and when two dead bod…

Christmas Book Idea #6 The Astral Gift

A bit of history about The Astral Gift.

After writing my two historical family sagas, I wondered what I should write next--the answer came easily--a mystery. Mysteries were what I loved to read.

The Astral Gift is fiction, of course, I don't know anyone who can astral project nor have I done it, except in dreams. 
The heroine in the story has some resemblance to a young woman I know well who did suffer abuse as a child.
The setting is much like the beach community of Oxnard California back when I first lived there.
The policeman in my story has similarities to the police officer I knew best at the time, my then son-in-law. 
The day care center is much like one I worked in though it was in Ventura. I plucked various personality traits from some of the teachers who worked alongside me. None lived in a mortuary. I just like mortuaries.
I do hope some of you might like to try this mystery which is also a bit of a romance. Or perhaps you know someone who would enjoy it for Christmas.

Christmas Book #5, A COLD DEATH

A Cold Death is the latest in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. Never fear, if you've never read an books in this series, each mystery is solved by the end. Of course the main characters are the same, though they do indeed change with time, as we do.

In this mystery, Tempe is called to a summer camp, closed for the winter, by the caretakers. The owner and his wife have descended upon the place along with a group of their friends. A severe winter storm has arrived and Tempe has been called to try and get the people to leave.
She and her husband, Hutch, arrive and discover the unwanted guests are unusual and also unmovable. One of the group dies and Tempe realizes she was murdered. The storm increases, and no one can leave. 
Writing this, and looking back at some of my others, I realize how much of an influence Agatha Christie had on me.

Available on Kindle and in trade paperback.…

Christmas Book #4, Two Ways West

This is the story of my father's side of the family, mainly the Crabtrees and the Osborns and how and why they traveled west. This is an historical family saga based on genealogy done by my sister many years ago. Once I read through it, I knew I had to find out more and add to it.
When I was writing, my father and his sister and many of his cousins were still alive, and I was able to ask many questions and hear all the family legends. Of course, much more research was needed, in some cases difficult but a most rewarding task. Two Ways West is the end result.
The book itself has gone through an arduous journey, first published by a not so honest publisher and a second one, and disappeared for a long while. Thanks to Lorna Collins who resurrected it, reedited it, and made it once again available.
This book is for anyone who enjoys historical fiction. It is available in both trade paperback and on Kindle.
My husband and I now live in the area where my father's ancestors settled,…

TRAIL TO GLORY, Christmas Book #3

Have relatives who like historical family sagas?

Trail to Glory is based on the genealogy of my mother's family. Some have compared it to books in the Little House on the Prairie series. Great compliment, but probably because it truly depicts ho difficult life was back in the early days.
One thing different about this book, is how the women faced horrendous hardships. Some had to find a way to support themselves after the death of a spouse.--so resourceful and strong. 
Though the story is based on the truth, I must admit that there is plenty of fiction. The closer it get to our time period, the truer it is.
This was my first published book--but since then it has been re-edited.
I hope you'll try it or gift it to a friend. Available in trade paperback and for Kindle.…

Legal Thriller about Teen Sexting Entertains and Educates

by Pamela Samuels Young
People often ask me where I find the ideas for my legal thrillers. My first book stemmed from a discrimination case I was working on.  I then went on to address social issues like sexual harassment in the workplace, child sex trafficking and gender discrimination. I can still remember the exact moment I decided to tackle teen sexting.
I was talking to a long-time friend and law school classmate who is a criminal defense attorney. He started lamenting about yet another teen client charged with distributing child pornography as a result of sending a naked selfie.
“What are you talking about?” I said. “Kids can be prosecuted for that?”
I was absolutely floored when he explained that prosecutors were not just charging kids as young as 13 or 14 with distributing child pornography as a result of sexting, but requiring them to register as sex offenders if convicted. As soon as I hung up the phone, I knew this was a subject I wanted to write about.
When I started researchi…

Book for Christmas #2 DEADLY FEAST

While checking the edits for Deadly Feast, and getting reaquainted with this book, I realized what a big influence Agatha Christie had on me without my knowing it.
Obviously this is a mystery, and when I began it, I thought it might be a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, but when I got to the end, I knew it didn't fit the series. This is the second book that I did this with. 
Because I liked it, I did some rewriting, changed the names of the characters and the setting. Still a small town, this one is in the gold country--much like Coulterville to be exact. Coulterville is right on the old '49 trail. 
I really did have a good time writing this book--and rereading it. I hope you'll enjoy it too.


While investigating a murder, Leslie York, the resident deputy of the mining town of Copper Creek, finds herself stranded on the wrong side of the creek when it turns into a raging torrent. Others driven from their homes by the flood gather, but one of them turns up dead. When Le…

Buying Books for Christmas by Marilyn Meredith, #1

Gifting a book for Christmas is always a good choice.

I'd like to recommend some of mine.

I'll start with Lingering Spirit, a romance with a touch of the supernatural.

Of all my books, this is truly my favorite. Partly because it was inspired by a tragedy that happened in our own family. However, though there are some similar events, the book is fiction.

All of my books are free of bad language--as I like to say, the characters might swear, but I don't quote them.

The book is available for Kindle and as a trade paperback.


Death of a Deceiver, a short story by Marilyn Meredith

Death of a Deceiver is a short story featuring Deputy Tempe Crabtree and takes place on the reservation. 
I'm not known for writing short stories, but I did this one for an anthology long, long ago.
If you are a fan of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, I think you'll enjoy this. If you've never read a Tempe mystery, this is a good introductions.
Only .99 cents on Kindle.

And yes, dear Lorna Collins did this one for me too--and her hubby designed the cover--isn't it great?

Planning Ahead by Marilyn Meredith

Planning ahead is something I do a lot. I know quite well that no matter the great planning, things can happen that one never expects. Big events like sickness and death, and the small ones like car trouble and unexpected company. Despite all that, I like to make future plans though the older I get the more aware I am that major changes may come along.

Next up for me is a book club meeting on Saturday, I'm going as a guest author, in Modesto. That's a long drive and rain is expected, so daughter (my driver) and I will leave early. You may scoff at the thought of rain being troublesome, but we in Central California haven't had a measurable amount of rain for months. People seem to forget out to drive in the rain, probably because of lack of practice.
I have another book club to visit on Thursday of next week, not quite as far away.
And some fun stuff is coming up too. My eldest daughter and hubby are visiting on Tuesday and our youngest daughter and hubby are coming on Sat…

Two Ways West by Marilyn Meredith

Two Ways West is the companion book to Trail to Glory. Two Ways West is based on the genealogy of my father's side of the family.

At the time I was writing the book, there were still some old relatives alive who shared stories they'd heard about the adventures of our ancestors.

This book has had quite a history. It was first published by a company run by a father and son. Though the book was well-edited and looked great, the father had a gambling problem and gambled away all the money he made and ended up in jail.

The second publisher wasn't much better, different problems, but the book soon went out of print.

Though most of my family members have copies, I lost mine, and figured that was the end of Two Ways West.

Along came good friend Lorna Collins who decided that all my books should be alive and available.
She's worked long and hard at it, and now Two Ways West is once again ready to be ordered.…

Trail to Glory, an historical family saga

Newly resurrected, Trail to Glory, is based on the maternal side of my family's genealogy.
When my sister did our family genealogy many questions came to mind. Though we'd heard plenty of  family legends, some of them seemed a bit improbable or didn't fit with the history of the place during the particular time period.
What was particularly amazing to me was the strength these women had during great adversity, and often having to support themselves and their family at a time when not many jobs were available to women.
To write this family saga, I had to do plenty of research, but the research gave me some great ideas to add to the plot.  
This is the first book I ever had published--and it happened in 1982. The acceptance letter came after nearly thirty rejections and many rewrites.
If you like historical family sagas I hope you'll try this one. It's available for Kindle and trade paperback--and the print is large and easy to read.…

EARS FOR MURDER by Sue Owens Wright

What a fun cozy mystery, though don’t expect all the usual elements of a cozy because this one has much more going for it.
Elsie “Beanie” MacBean is a writer and the owner of a basset hound named Crusher. A huge machine that Beanie has dubbed “The Masticator” rips through 100 year old Jeffrey Pines in the area where she has a cabin in South Lake Tahoe. Seeing what developers are doing to the surroundings, brings pain to her  Native American roots.This is only the beginning of Beanie’s problems.  While taking Cruiser, her basset hound and her daughter’s basset, Calamity, on a walk through the woods, they come upon a corpse wrapped around the base of a tree. An arrow is sticking out of his neck. Beanie calls the local sheriff and the investigation begins.
Interesting characters, some of whom may or may not be suspects, cross Beanie’s and the dogs’ paths. When someone shoots an arrow into Beanie’s back door, an obvious threat, she heightens her investigation.
Some of the things I like…

Cup of Demons by Marilyn Meredith

Perfect for Halloween Reading!

Another of my books has been resurrected from the past, thanks to good friend Lorna Collins and her husband, Larry.
Years ago, I loved horror movies--especially those where the heroine or hero battled against evil. Seldom did the main characters turn to their religious beliefs for help. Believe me, if I were confronted by the devil or his demons, I'd certainly call on the Lord for help.
And that's what inspired me to write Cup of Demons. It has all the elements of a chilling horror novel, with demons and even an encounter with the devil. 
As an aside, the location is very much like the small foothill community of Springville where I live, and anyone who lives here will recognize  some of the settings. 
I'm hoping some of you who enjoy a bit of a scare in their reading will try a Cup of Demons.
This is the link for the Kindle version.…