Sunday, October 23, 2016

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 had Lisa get me an aspirin and I took it. Usually that calms things down--but it didn't. Then I got a dull ache in my upper back. Scared me. Lisa called 911, the 911 operator told me to chew another aspirin which I did, but it didn't help.

4 Firemen and 2 EMTs arrived. They took my blood pressure, high, and did an EKG, erratic heartbeat. They convinced me I should go to the ER. By the time I was in the ambulance I felt better. Arrived at the hospital, more tests. Blood test showed my magnesium very low--doc said due to taking Nexium. Gave me magnesium tablets and a prescription for more.

(I gave my Seldom Traveled cards to the EMTs and nurses in the hospital.)

We got back to the hotel around 2:30 a.m. Got up next in about 3 hours, went after the prescription, and headed to the book festival. Got set-up and sat there, not really feeling too well. But was tickled when Kent's wife came by and we had a nice conversation. 

I did sell two books and handed out lots of cards, but after lunch I knew I really needed to leave. I hate bailing on something like that, but looking back, I should have given up and not gone at ll. 

We headed home, sleepy as could be. Stayed awake by playing games.

Went to bed not long after getting home. Rested most of Sunday, and yes, I feel much better.

Marilyn, who hates to give up.

Friday, October 21, 2016

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. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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 Brink relates 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:
10    Key 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, interrogates you about where you went and who you were with, monitors your email and phone. He wants you to ask him permission to do anything.
4. Unrealistic expectations. He puts you on a pedestal, expecting you to be perfect and fulfill his every need, and will tear you off the pedestal when you aren’t perfect.
5. Isolation. He tries to cut you off from family and friends.
6. Blaming. He faults others for his own mistakes and makes others responsible for his feelings: “You make me mad,” not “I'm mad.”
7. Hypersensitive. He’s thin-skinned, taking minor slights as major insults and blowing them up into more than they’re worth.
8. Verbal abuse. He criticizes you, calls you names, embarrasses you, uses your vulnerabilities against you.
9. Mood swings. He goes from normal to raging almost instantly.
10. Minimizes. He minimizes the harm he’s done to you: “You’re making a big deal out of that?” He promises to never do it again or get help. He goes on a charm offensive with gifts after an abusive incident.

Christina Hoag is the author of Skin of Tattoos, a literary thriller set in L.A.’s gang underworld (Martin Brown Publishers, August 2016) and Girl on the Brink, a romantic thriller for young adults (Fire and Ice YA/Melange Books, August 2016). She is a former reporter for the Associated Press and Miami Herald and worked as a correspondent in Latin America writing for major media outlets including Time, Business Week, Financial Times, the Houston Chronicle and The New York Times. She is the co-author of Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence, a groundbreaking book on gang intervention (Turner Publishing, 2014). She lives in Los Angeles. For more information, see


The summer before senior year, Chloe starts an internship as a reporter at a local newspaper. While on assignment, she meets Kieran, a quirky aspiring actor. Chloe becomes smitten with Kieran’s charisma and his ability to soothe her soul, torn over her parents’ impending divorce. But as their bond deepens, Kieran becomes smothering and flies into terrifying rages. He confides in Chloe that he suffered a traumatic childhood, and Chloe is moved to help him. If only he could be healed, she thinks, their relationship would be perfect. But her efforts backfire, and Kieran turns violent. Chloe breaks up with him, but Kieran pursues her relentlessly to make up. Chloe must make the heartrending choice between saving herself or saving Kieran, until Kieran’s mission of remorse turns into a quest for revenge. Available from Fire & Ice, the YA imprint of Melange Books in ebook and paperback.

Monday, October 17, 2016

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 managed to find another who never kept track of royalties--and of course I didn't receive any.

5. I signed on with the first electronic publisher--there was no such thing as an e-reader, and the manner to purchase it was much too complicated.

6. Two of my publishers died.

7. Two other publishers decided not to continue on with their businesses.

8. I've not become famous nor do I make much money.

I can hear you big question now--"So why don't you give up?"

My answer: Because I love to write and because I love the characters in both my series. If I don't write the next book, how will I find out what happened to them? Besides, I'm not the type to give up. I'm a writer and I'll not be discouraged.


 This is the latest in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series--and I've been with this publisher the longest:
And you can find all the Deputy Tempe Crabtree books there in many formats. It is also available at  and

Saturday, October 15, 2016

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.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

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 pretty important in The Sun Also Rises, although perhaps not as much as the characters, and I’m pretty sure it’s an example of literary fiction. Oh well. Let’s not argue that point.

Let’s stick to the classification of The Good Old Days? What is historical fiction? It’s plot-driven fiction in a historical setting. However, it can overlap with other genres (such as romances, mysteries, thrillers, sci-fi, and horror). Again let’s not get sidetracked.

The stories in The Good Old Days? are definitely examples of historical fiction.

Then why did I mention memoirs? Because I interviewed dozens of people about their childhoods to get ideas for these stories. However, I turned my notes into fiction as I added plots, developed characters, and changed details. My tales are not memoirs, although they have the idiosyncratic tone of memoirs.

By now, you’re bored with this literary discussion. Please note I was much briefer than most writers as they debated the differences between narrative memoirs and historical fiction. Gee, I hate trying to fit into a box defined by someone else.

Blurbs don’t really work for short story collections. So, I’ll include the first page of one of the short stores.

I Still Want…

“I still want a hula hoop.” The chipmunks—Alvin, Simon, and Theodore—screeched slightly out of harmony on the Saturday morning cartoon show. There were lots of things I still wanted, too: the winter to end, Mom to get well, and anyone to talk to me.
When I was eight, neither of my parents spoke much to me. They avoided me, except at suppertime. Then Mom stared at the black cat clock, with its red eyes rolling back and forth and its tail swinging, while Dad and I silently ate supper. When I put down my fork, Mom sent me outside in warm weather and to my bedroom in winter. Dad seldom protested her decision. He only hung his head.
As soon as I exited the kitchen, Mom usually screamed or cried, often both, as Dad droned on about what the doctor said and how she should eat more, stop smoking, drink less, and get out more. I agreed with Mom. Dad’s litany was boring. Anyway, most nights after about an hour of hysterics, he went out to the garage to tinker on his carpentry projects.
For about fifteen minutes after his departure, Mom slammed doors in the kitchen before she shuffled to the bathroom. The next ten minutes were the most important of the evening to me. If I managed to open my bedroom door, slide down the hall to the kitchen, and sneak through the living room to the garage while she was in the shower, I was free…

To read the rest of the story:

Author: J.L. Greger usually writes thrillers and mysteries, such as Murder…A Way to Lose Weight (winner of 2016 Public Safety Writers Association [PSWA] annual contest and finalist in NM/Arizona Book Awards contest) and Malignancy (winner in 2015 PSWA annual contest). The Good Old Days?: A Collection of Stories is a new adventure for her. Please visit her revised website:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


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 what she learned so that others won't have to go through the same heartbreak, and thoughts of suicide.


Lauren, 9 1/2, who comes from Scotland, has elective mutism, but that doesn't stop her from having adventures, which she tells us about in four stories of her encounters with thieves, bears, forest fires, white water, biting horses, stolen art and ghosts from April to August. 

VOLUME ONE: LAUREN MACPHEARSON AND THE SCOTTISH ADVENTURE In April, in Scotland, Lauren stays the weekend with her father, where he works, sees the Company's cat, Ginger, catch her own special brand of "mice," and watches a pain-in-the-neck eat crow pie. 

VOLUME TWO: LAUREN MACPHEARSON AND THE COLORADO ADVENTURE In June, Lauren flies to a Colorado Dude Ranch to meet cousin Andi, Aunt Daisy (her deceased mother's sister) and Uncle Bill. She meets up with bears, forest fires, white water--and, worst of all, a three-year old boy. 

VOLUME THREE: LAUREN MACPHEARSON AND THE JUMBLED CUPBOARD ADVENTURE In July, in Mirasol, California, where Andi and her family live, the girls go to Summer School. Lauren is fascinated with the stuffed cupboard of a teacher, Mrs. Utamaro. So stuffed that things keep falling out of it. A beautiful poster on the inside of the cupboard door is of a wave. The original print hangs in a local museum. Or does it? 

VOLUME FOUR: LAUREN MACPHEARSON AND THE GHOSTLY ADVENTURE In August, while Lauren continues her visit with cousin Andi in Mirasol, she learns that her cousin is psychic. The ghost of the woman who died next door won't let Andi rest until her murder is solved. Genres: Middle Reader / Mystery / Detective.

WOLF CASTLE by gay toltl kinman

Wolf Castle is an eerily beautiful castle settled on the Pacific coast of California. Built by an eccentric Baron who dabbled as a naturalist and scientist, it has seen its share of tragedies. The old Baron died in a mysterious fire, and the young wife of the current Baron, Gregor von Reiner, died unexpectedly only a year ago. 

Wanting his son, Tom, to have a proper education and some womanly influence, the Baron sends his solicitor to England to find a suitable governess. Lavinia Fergusson Cathcart, 17, is a beautiful, red-haired, high-spirited young woman who is ready for whatever adventures wait for her in the year 1899. 

A trip to another country is just the sort of new life she wants. Lavinia finds the brooding chill of Wolf Castle somewhat intimidating, and the reaction to her presence in her first days is unnerving. The Baron goes pale when he sees her, Tom's cousin Paul—really his mother's cousin—almost attacks her, and the servants seem wary. But her pupil, Tom, is a lovely boy, She identifies with his loss because she too has lost parents. The mysteries of the castle, the tensions between the Baron, the staff, and the dashing and intriguing Cousin Paul are disturbing. Lavinia begins to feel that her life depends on finding out the secrets the castle holds before the wolves come out.

A note from Marilyn:

Gay is a good friend--we've roomed together for several writing conferences and mystery conventions. We even traveled to New York for the Edgars one year and then on to Malice Domestic, what and adventure--did all sorts of things new to me. 

Since I've stopped flying, I haven't seen Gay for awhile and I miss her upbeat spirit.

She's written some great books--and the Super Sleuth series would certainly make a great Christmas gift.