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Showing posts from March, 2017

BONDING by Sharon Ervin

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On one overly warm Sunday afternoon, I phoned and invited two 18-year-old granddaughters––cousins to each other––to go "alley walking" with me. These girls are intense, good students, and keep to tight schedules even in the summer. Puzzled by my invitation, they agreed.
No cell phones allowed, except mine, which was off.
As we ambled along, talking and seeing all the interesting stuff one sees in back yards, Molly asked me to tell her "my plan for this walk." 
"No plan,” I said. “We'll walk until we get tired, then we'll turn toward home." She scowled. “I mean, what’s our schedule? ” “No schedule. No structure. No plan,” I said. “We’re just going to walk and talk and see stuff.”
Along the way, I pointed out the back of the large frame house where their great, great grandfather lived when he came to McAlester (Oklahoma) on horseback with one of his brothers.
“The house was called ‘The Batch,’” I said. “He was 21 years old, just a few years older than you…

STEALING WORDS by Lea Wait

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My name is Lea Wait, and I am a thief.  

I steal words.  

I’m a stealthy thief. I don’t steal more than one, or possibly two, at a time, so tracing their origins would be impossible, even for me. I steal them from friends and relatives and CNN commentators. I reach out and boldly take them from overheard conversations at grocery stores or farmers’ markets or coffee shops. But, worst of all, most of the words I’ve stolen have come from those in my own profession. I steal them from other writers.

I steal them for the same reason a jeweler might steal a jewel:  they are so beautiful I can’t resist taking them and making them my own.

I carry a notebook, as most writers do, and it is in that notebook that I capture those precious, fleeting words. Often they are sensory words. Images. Words I recognize, I admire, but that I don’t always use myself. Or that I suddenly see, or hear, in a different way. That remind me of smells or sights, or tastes that fit in scenes in the book I’m writing…

DANCER, A Novella by John M. Wills

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Thank you for hosting me today, Meredith. I always enjoy visiting your blog. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce your readers to something a bit different than my usual offerings. As some of your readers may know, I write novels with police themes that highlight moral dilemmas and tough ethical decisions. My stories feature strong protagonists who find themselves in untenable situations and who struggle to extricate themselves. Most do so, albeit with much difficulty, and the stories generally have satisfying endings.
Dancer, however, is a departure from my other works. First, Dancer is a novella rather than a novel. What’s a novella? Consider it a long version of a short story, but much shorter than a novel. The story features the same elements as a novel, only in a more concise form. A novella is a perfect beach read or for someone who can’t take the time to read an entire novel.
Dancer is the story of a college girl who is down on her luck. Sherry can’t keep up with her b…

EQUALITY: NOW MORE THAN EVER by Paul Alan Fahey

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Thank you, Marilyn, for having me here today and letting me share news of my new anthology with your readers. Though I often write short stories and novellas with a mystery bent, I sometimes veer off the path and dabble in literary fiction and nonfiction. Today I’d like to tell your fans and followers a little about my new nonfiction anthology, Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality? The project began with a pretty simple idea. I wanted to create a book around the central concept of equality and open a dialogue on a topic that seemed more important today than ever. I knew what equality meant to me. It meant after almost forty years I could marry my partner, Bob, and attain a measure of fairness that had eluded us for most of our lifetime together. But what did others think about when they thought of equality? Did they think of equality across a spectrum: racial, social, political, religious, marital, and gender? I wanted to find out the answer to that question. T…

Mrs. Odboddy, Undercover Courier by Elaine Faber

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A review of Mrs. Odboddy, Undercover Courier by Elaine Faber
(Previous book was Mrs. Odboddy, Hometown Patriot.)
The story is set during World War II. Agnes Odboddy, the heroine, is an elderly widow with an overactive imagination. An invitation to accompany the president’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt on a goodwill trip is forefront in her mind until Colonel Farthing worth of the nearby Army base brings her to his office in a most unorthodox manner. He sends Mrs. Odboddy on a mission to deliver a package to President Roosevelt, not an easy task.
Before she even begins the trip, the enemy tries to discover and steal the package. Accompanied by her niece, Katherine, the two women begin their trip by railroad—a trip filled with danger. Mrs. Odboddy realizes she is being shadowed by a man—a man whom she suspects of being a spy and a murderer.
She and Katherine encounter others on their trip who may or may not be a threat to both of them. Mrs. Odboddy takes a harrowing detour, and when she a…

My New Rocky Bluff P.D. Mystery by F. M. Meredith

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To be perfectly honest, I didn't think the latest Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery would be published. The publisher of Oak Tree Press had a serious illness and all production halted. I was in the middle of writing the next book so continued on, unsure if it would ever be seen.

I really thought the last one published might be the last book of the series.

Michael Orenduff, the author of the wonderful Pot Thief Mysteries, offered to publish those books by OTP authors who were ready to go through his publisher, Aakenbaaken & Kent. I know Michael so I contacted him. We actually have a bit of history--we were once both nominated for the Best Mystery Award at the Epic conference and sat beside each other at the ceremony. I didn't win, but I did get to touch his award. I also had the opportunity to see and visit with Mike and his wife at other conferences.
The title of the book is Unresolved. The mystery is solved--the murderer discovered and arrested, but there are still a loose ends tha…

SECRETS BEHIND THE BIG PENCIL by Helen Dunn Frame

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A scandal that began in the 1970s and lasted ten years inspired me to write Secrets Behind the BigPencil. Investigators indicted more than one hundred employees of an international organization that resulted in about thirty-five convictions. As my ex-husband worked for the actual organization although he was not involved in anything illegal, I knew many of the players. I collected newspaper clippings and made notes as I interviewed several people. Back then, the Internet was merely a glimmer in some nerds’ eyes.
While I had written many articles and columns and edited newsletters books, and more, I had never written a novel. Originally, I wrote the book using the real entity, sticking to the facts like a journalist, including far too many characters. No one wanted to publish it. Over the years, it laid dormant as I honed the genre. I shipped my files when I decided to spend most of my time in Costa Rica. Over the years, I painstakingly combined several actual people into one character…

50 SHADES OF CABERNET--Maggie King

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Cabernet is the star in 50 Shades of Cabernet, an anthology of wine-themed mysteries created by 18 authors. The stories range from light-hearted puzzles to darker, heavier tales of deceit and murder.
My contribution to 50 Shades of Cabernet is “Wine, Women, and Wrong”:
Tommy Bradshaw has two items on his bucket list: to solve a murder mystery and to marry Camille Pettit. Fat chance of either happening. Then, when Camille attends a wine-tasting fundraiser and the wine merchant is found in the parking lot, impaled by a hunting knife, Tommy gets his chance to play one of the Hardy Boys. In the process of finding the stabber, Tommy is besieged by women: the glamorous and sexy oenophile who’s hell-bent on seducing him; and the cop who would love to woo him away from Camille. In addition, Tommy finds that detecting isn’t as easy as it is in books.
“Wine, Women, and Wrong” took me out of my writing comfort zone (assuming I’m ever in one!) While I normally write in first person from the point …

WHY I WRITE: ADVICE FOR NEWBIES

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I’m often asked when I began writing. I have always been a writer, beginning with my parodies of nursery rhymes when I was about 8. My first nationally published work was a eulogy of John F. Kennedy accepted by IngĂ©nue Magazine when I was 15. I was a publication major in college, concentrating on journalism, and my goal was to be the first woman editor of the New York Times. Despite a bit of a detour, I continued writing, but most pieces were academic or newspaper columns or reports or other forms of nonfiction (although some people consider grant applications to be a form of fiction). Then, during a lull in my paid employment history, I turned my hand to fiction. I’ve been a voracious reader most of my life, and I discovered how much I enjoyed writing as well as reading fiction.


I now have 3 fiction books in print, all in the Rabbi Aviva Cohen Mystery series: CHANUKAH GUILT, UNLEAVENED DEAD, and YOM KILLER. I was fortunate enough to find traditional (i.e., royalty-paying) small press…

On Being Empowered

Frankly, I've never really thought what that meant for me until this past week when women were encouraged not to go to work or do what they usually do for one day, and parade down the street.

I can't even imagine. I've always done what needed to be done, every day it needed to happen,  When something came up and no one else was doing it, I figured out how and did it. 
I tried all sorts of things I didn't have a background or education for and succeeded--that's being empowered. 
One thing led to another. Being PTA president taught me how to run a meeting, Robert's Rules, and speaking in front of others.
When I became a Camp Fire Leader I learned how to cook all sorts of things outdoors, including a turkey under ground, how to backpack and camp in the wilderness, plan all sorts of trips, and help my girls earn enough money to rent a Greyhound bus and take a five day trip to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. 
Because I thought I could, I interviewed for a job as a t…

AN AUTHOR'S DAY OFF by Margaret Mendel

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My second novel PUSHING WATER, a tale that takes place in Vietnam in 1939, had just been published earlier in the week. The PR end of publishing a novel was next on my agenda. But before I got involved with what that entailed; the blog guest posts, interviews and talking up the new novel with strangers on the street (just kidding), it was time for a needed break.
It was a perfect winter day. So I decided to go to the Orchid Show at the NY Botanical Garden. The sky was brilliant. Not a cloud anywhere. The wind had died down and patches of snow dotted the landscape making it a lovely day to stroll through the gardens. 


This year marked the 15th instillation of the annual orchid show. The exhibition, always a beautiful spectacle, displays hundreds and hundreds of specimens from all over the world.
I had every intentions of taking a day off from writing, but authors never stop writing, not really. Even when they are not at the computer or sitting with pen and paper in front of them, th…

Moving Right Along

My next Rocky Bluff P.D. is going to be a reality!

Wondered for awhile, but I've chosen the cover so that's a big step in the publishing process.
It's a bit different than some of the Rocky Bluff P.D. offerings but I always think that.
I've also been busy doing other things--normal for me and I'm sure every other author.
Attended the latest San Joaquin Sisters in Crime meeting--it was all about necrophilia. Yucky subject, and probably not one I'll ever use in a story, but it was interesting to learn it's far more prevalent than you might think--it's seldom mentioned in the newspapers except as a sex crime. One thing about the speaker, Dr. Eric Hickey, he can talk about the grossest subjects and still make his audience laugh.
Have done the planning for other events that I'm going to go to, next Saturday March 11, I'll be participating with 40 other authors at a big Literary Fair at the Sierra Vista Mall in Cloves from 10 to 8.
The following weeke…

THE STORM by John M. Wills

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The Storm is a bit different than other books I've read by John M. Wills. It's a story of betrayal and the difficulty of forgiveness. 
The heroine, Anna, is out for a run in a secluded area and is struck by lightning during a sudden storm. She isn't discovered right away, and when she awakens in a hospital, she has no idea who she is. 
Her husband, Mark, who has been unfaithful, regrets his actions. The woman he's been seeing isn't ready to let him go and causes major problems as he tries to help Anna recover from her injuries and to regain her memory.
As with all of John's books, there is a spiritual element.
When it doesn't seem like things will be resolved in a happy ending. there is a shocking twist.
I did enjoy The Storm, and recommend it to others.
Marilyn


I Should Have Been a Chef by Judy Alter

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Mysteries, historical fiction—I’m proud of all the books I’ve published but somewhere along the line I missed my true calling. I should have been a chef. When I was in my late fifties, I had this epiphany that I wanted to go to a culinary school. A little research convinced me I was too old and decrepit for the tough physical demands of the cooking life. My feet and hips were already falling apart, and who knew how long my knees would hold out? Reluctantly I gave up that dream. I learned to cook almost literally at my mom’s knee. At a young age, I was making peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. Once when a girlfriend and I were cooking something—who knows what?—a childless friend of Mom’s came by. The kitchen was a mess; I hadn’t learned yet the art of cleaning up as I go, which is now almost a religious practice with me. The friend asked Mom quietly, “How can you let them make such a mess?” And Mom said, “If I don’t, they’ll never learn to cook.” Another time I made a chocolate ca…

Next Rocky Bluff P.D. Mystery

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The next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery is slow in coming because the publisher has had health issues. Fortunately, another publisher has stepped in and offered to publish my next book in the series.

I've had it edited and sent it off. I've been contacted by the cover artist--so it shouldn't be too long now.
I was a bit concerned that this one might not get published at all. This made me sad because two friends had won the privilege (?) to have characters named for them. Both wanted to be villains--and they are.
The title is Unresolved because some things are left hanging--though of course the culprits are discovered, but I don't go into trials or how they they turn out.
Recently, I learned that the latest RBPD mystery out, A Crushing Death has some glaring typos. I'm disappointed, and there isn't anything I can do about it now with the publisher's problem. The only thing I can think of is that when I sent back the corrections, they didn't all get made.
Life …