Showing posts from 2017

Golden Hour by M.K. Graff--a review

I loved, loved this book! I wasn't sure I would when I began reading,  I'm not sure why, except I haven't been a big fan of English mysteries, but this one grabbed me right from the beginning.
Yes, it's a thriller and is told from the points-of-view from many of the characters including a stalker, the main character, Nora Tierney, her love interest and detective, Declan Barnes, the murder victim who restore art, the villain and others--but it all works.
The author does a great job of letting the reader know the feelings of each character and what drives them.
When Nora realizes she may have someone shadowing her every move--the reader knows exactly how she's reacting.
There are plenty of twists and turns, many surprising, and couple that are downright shocking.
If you want to read a true page-turner, pick up Golden Hour by M.K. Graff.

--Marilyn Meredith

Blog Tour for A COLD DEATH by Marilyn Meredith

Yes, I'm doing it again for my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

September 18 A Breakfast Date Supplied the Ideas for A Cold Death
September 19 Coming Up with Titles
September 20 A Lesson Learned Late in Life         
September 21 Finding a New Way to Kill Someone Off
September 22 Multi-Tasking in Writing and Life
September 23 Aging of Characters in the Series
September 24 How Tempe Crabtree has Changed Through the Series
September 25 My Journey as an Author
September 26 What About Killing Off a Main Character?
September 27 Deputy Tempe Crabtree and the Food She Eats
September 28 http://www.lindathorne…

A COLD DEATH is here!

Yes, the latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery is now available!
Here's the blurb:
Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her husband answer the call for help with unruly guests visiting a closed summer camp during a huge snow storm and are trapped there along with the others. One is a murderer.

Now comes the rest of the work--promoting the book.
Time to order my copies of the books and business cards with the cover on it.
I need to let Barnes and Nobel  in Bakersfield know that it can be ordered from the publisher, Mundania Press, because I have a book signing scheduled there on September 9th at 2 p.m.
I have some other in-person events too--Branches and Books in Oakhurst on September 23, from 1-3.
And once again I'm headed to Manteca for the Great Valley Bookfest on October 14, from 10 to 4.
Yes, I'm doing a blog tour too and you can find out all about that on my blog on the 20th.

On Kindle:…

Reflections on My Birthday Month

August has always been special to me because it it the month I was born. I do not plan to celebrate the whole month, not even sure how I'll celebrate. What I do know is that I have a meeting to attend that morning.

At the age I am I have much to reflect on. Born at the end of the depression, and World War II during my growing up years, I still had a wonderful childhood. I was surrounded by loving family: great parents who worked very hard, two sets of grandparents, one aunt on my mom's side, one aunt and two uncles on my dad's side--and their spouses, and 6 boy cousins, and 3 girl cousins. 
I always had a great imagination, tried a lot of new things, did well in school, married right after graduation, moving from the West Coast to the East Coast--big city to a tiny southern town. What a culture shock! I survived. Had my first child there. Returned with husband and daughter to L.A. 
Got my first real job with the telephone company--not an operator--but filing of all things.…

Writing Today's Novel Combining Technology by Jamie Cortland

The genre has already been decided upon; the plot has been outlined, the location and whatever needs researched has been done. The era the book takes place in is set, and the character sketch is complete.
In the past decade, the world has changed greatly though. In order to write a novel set in the present day I needed to consider crime lab techniques for one, driver-less cars, cloning perhaps, drones, and of course, robots. Since Judy Garland's Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, “Star Wars”  and “The Terminator,” robots have been on the horizon. In the Wizard of Oz, ”The heartless Tin  Woodsman”,  technically a cyborg, wrestled with a common problem  faced by all robots, the inability to feel and the desire to combat rust.  
With my overactive imagination. I have always hoped that robots would remain in the world of fantasy. Not so. We now have robots that belong in the realms of horror and those that are suited for children and Disneyland. To give you an example following are just a…

Formula for Writing a Mystery or Whodunit? by Mar Preston

Did you know there was a formula to writing a mystery or a whodunit?
It may not be apparent, but there are rules that determine how satisfying your finished story will be to readers. You may have read dozens and dozens, maybe even hundreds of murder mysteries already. If you are an avid reader of the mystery genre you already know these rules at some level of consciousness.
Writing a mystery is hard. Plotting isn’t easy. People remember strong characters and situations. They often forget plots. They'll say something about my books, “Oh, yeah, it’s the one where Mason and that guy, you know…the lawyer.” They don’t know the head-scratching anxiety I went through to come up with that lawyer who play a critical role in getting my protagonist the next clue
Writing your first mystery will help you figure out whether you’re an outliner or seat-of-pantser. The important thing is that you just get going and start putting lines of words on paper before your idea cools. If it’s all up in your …

First Born's Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Dana!

We recently had lunch with our girls. Dana is the one on the left, then Rick with youngest daughter, Lori, middle daughter, Lisa, and of course, my hubby and the girls' dad.

Dana was my very first, and I knew nothing about babies. Because she was born in Cambridge Maryland, 3000 miles away from my family, I relied on a Good Housekeeping Book about raising a baby.

She has always been as much a friend as a daughter.

I was the leader of her Blue Bird and Camp Fire Group all through high school until all the girls graduated. I had as much fun and learned more that they did.

When planning for her wedding, believe me we had little money, she made her own dress and most of the bridesmaids' dresses and the flower girl's. The theme was daisys and we picked them from a neighbor's yard. I cooked all the food for the reception, and a neighbor made the wedding cake. Everything turned out beautiful.

Dana is now the mother of two grown children: Patrick works f…

Last Library Presentation--at least as far as I know

On August 12th at 11 a.m., I'll be finishing my circuit of the outlying areas in the Fresno Library system by visiting the Caruthers Library, 13382 So. Henderson Rd., Caruthers.

Because the audiences have been small at these venues, I'm not expecting anything else--just happy that anyone comes.
Because the librarian who booked me comes to them all, I'm sure he's bored to tears hearing my spiel over and over. No, it's not always exactly the same because I try to gear it to those who've come, but of course when I talk about my books it's going to be more or less a repeat of what he's heard before.
It will be a relief to be finished so I have my Saturdays free for something else, but I've enjoyed every visit. I've missed a couple of my San Joaquin Sisters in Crime meetings and a Tulare-Kings Writers meeting, it will be nice to get back into the normal groove. 
Of course I'm up for any library who'd like me to come and give a presentation. Y…

Busy Times: Writing and Promoting

My latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, A Cold Death, will be coming out this month. Exactly when I don't know for sure.

However, as usual, I'm planning a blog tour for the book in mid-September.
I also have other events planned which will happen whether or not I have copies of the new book because I have so many other books.
Still to come: 
In September, I'll be at the Bakersfield Barnes on Noble on September 9 at 2 p.m. 
On September 23 at 1, I'll be at Branches Books and Gifts on Highway 41 in Oakhurst.
And in October, I'm headed to the Great Valley Bookfest on the 14th from 10 to 4.
That's it so far, always looking for new places and people to talk to though. We'll see what happens.
Of course once I get the cover, I'll be putting it up everywhere, and getting new business cards. 
In the meantime, I've been working on my next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, have the theme and a tentative title, and also writing posts for the blog tour. 
Though I do so…

The Power of Identity by Donna Urbikas

Author Wesley Adamczyk’s Polish language book, Kwiaty Polskie na Wygnaniu, Rebis, Poland, 2015 (Polish “Flowers,” referring to children, in Deportation) is a beautiful collection of children’s drawings, poems, letters and remembrances of their homeland, Poland, right after their escape from the Soviet Union’s slave labor camps and the Gulag from 1941/1942 and beyond.  These sickly, malnourished, orphaned children ranging from ages 5 or 6 and upward—younger ones mostly died during their imprisonment and escape—could think only of the warmth and freedom of their family life in their beloved Poland.  It was a freedom harshly disrupted by the Soviets when hundreds of thousands of Poles were deported from Poland starting in 1940, like my mother and sister.  The world needs to be reminded that it wasn’t only the German Nazis who invaded Poland.  These children’s identity was clearly with Poland.  Adamczyk himself was one of those children who later lost his mother to illness in Tehran and …

San Luis Obispo Nightwriters Visit

It's been a long time since I visited the SLO Nightwriters. That will change as I head over there for a presentation on August 8, at 6 p.m. The location is the Untied Church of Christ of San Luis Obispo, on 11245 Los Osos Valley Rd. in San Luis Obispo.

My topic will be "How to Write a Mystery". 
After a brief talk (with handouts) on the various kinds of mysteries and ways to write one, we'll embark on planning one of our own.
I love doing this--folks come up with the best ideas. I've done it many times, with readers and writing groups, and with school kids, 3rd grader through seniors. Little kids have the wildest ideas, high schoolers like to use school staff for their characters--easy to tell who they like and who they don't.
In any case, it's a fun event. If you're in the area do come out and see what we're up to.
And as usual, I'll have some of my books with me, especially my two latest ones in each series.

Both books are available from the…


When I decided to write a mystery series, one of the things that I was determined NOT to do was to write the same book all the time. In my Nora Tierney English Mysteries, American children’s book author Nora has solved murders in Oxford and the Lake District.  However, all three, starting with The Blue Virgin, through The Green Remains and The Scarlet Wench, have been “Whodunits,” as I’ve wanted to explore what would made a person feel it’s reasonable to take another human’s life.
When it came time to plot the fourth, The Golden Hour, I wanted to do more than vary the setting. I decided to veer into new territory for me, and instead wrote a “Cantheystophim” mystery, featuring a psychopath named Viktor Garanin, whose life’s goal is to destroy the English people. There are scenes in Brighton, Cornwall, and Oxford with a hefty dose of action taking place in Bath.
The theme of this book revolves around “what is family and home.” We see Nora and her partner, DI Declan Barnes, deciding whe…

Heading to Selma CA for Another Library Visit

Yes, once again I'm going to give a library presentation. This time at the Selma Library, 2200 Selma St., in Selma, Saturday, July 29, 11 a.m.

I've never been to this library before. It's always fun to see a new library. They are set up different--I've been to huge libraries, teeny one is a store front in a strip mall, beautiful new buildings and interesting historic libraries. 
What will I talk about? I never seem to have any trouble. I like to find out who my audience is--if there is one--if they are aspiring writers or strictly readers. If they like mysteries? I talk about what they are interested in and of course some explanation of what my books are about.
Yes, I always have books available if someone would like to buy one or two. Sometimes I sell a few at other times none at all. So why do I do it?
Because I'm letting people know about my books, what I write, and why I write them.
And, I like doing it.
If you are in the area, do stop by
By the way, I look a b…

Why Private Passions Aren't Merely Writing Distractions!

By Vicki Weisfeld
The most frequent lament I hear from people who write (or want to) is “not enough time,” and I get that. A chronic time shortage has forced me into becoming a miner and a recycler. Whatever else I’m doing besides writing has to contribute in some way to my creative output. My interest in family history may seem too particular for this purpose, but it’s helped me in at least three ways.
Research Any topic you delve into deeply can improve your research skills. Perhaps you’re interested in botany or in the behavior of sharks. Whatever you know about them lurks somewhere in your brain, ready to be laid on the page when your fiction requires it. Meanwhile, the techniques of factual, photo, and geographic research, such as those I’ve developed working on my family history, have made the research I do for fiction both more creative and efficient.
Empathy The kind of family history I create is not merely a “tree of facts.” It tries to answer the question, What were their liv…

A World of Writing Inspiration by Maggie King

Where do I get my inspiration? That’s the top question I get from readers. The short answer: everywhere. Frequently ideas are a collage of memories and characters from my life (or someone else’s life) to which I add a hefty measure of my fertile imagination. If the resulting story was a painting, it would resemble a Picasso. In my acknowledgments for Murder at the Book Group, #1 in my Hazel Rose Book Group series, I thank my interesting family and friends for gifting me with story ideas for years to come. And let me add my well-honed eavesdropping habit to this gratitude list while I’m at it. It doesn’t matter if I understand the context of what I hear—in fact, it’s better if I don’t.
Social media is a gold mine of inspiration, a modern day gathering around the water cooler. It seems like everyone has something to say (some way too much). And, as I’m a fiction writer, I don’t have to worry about “fake news.”
Advice columns give me wonderful ideas. Consider the letter from the woman whose…