Thursday, March 28, 2013

What’s Next for F. M. aka Marilyn Meredith

Today I'm hosting friend and fellow mystery writer Marilyn Meredith, whose newest book is shown below. She's been busily engaged in a blog tour the past few weeks, and she's now huffing and puffing toward the finish line. The photo shows her at one of her many talks to readers and writers. Welcome, Marilyn.

While I’ve been on this tour, I’ve been writing the next book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. I’ve also been reading chapters from the next in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series to the critique group I’ve belonged to for thirty-plus years. I’ll be doing the final editing soon and send it off to the publisher. And guess what that means? I have to start planning the promotion.

There is a lot that can be done on the Internet to let people know about a new book—almost too much.

Will I do another blog tour? I don’t know, maybe I’ll come up with something different. Anyone have any bright ideas?

Of course I’ll be continuing to promote Dangerous Impulses until that time. I’ll attend any craft and book fairs that come along, and of course I’ll be at the annual PSWA conference in July.

I plan to do a speaking engagement at our local library and anywhere else that I’m invited.

On a personal note, we have two grandsons getting married this spring, one the last weekend in May and the other, the first weekend in June. And we’re hoping our granddaughter can come visit with her new baby.

No matter what, I’ll be busy, I know. The good thing is that it’s busy with things I love to do and events I look forward to participating in. We’ve been blessed with a large family, so there is always something going on. (Anyone who is my friend on Facebook knows it isn’t always good stuff.)

I want all of you who have faithfully followed me along on this tour, I truly appreciate your interest and response. If you decide to try Dangerous Impulses I would be delighted if you’d write a review on Amazon, or just send me an email,

I’ll be contacting the winner of the contest by email and posting the results on my blog in the next couple of days.  Looking forward to seeing you, perhaps in person and if not, on Facebook.

Thank you, Chester, for hosting me near the end of my tour.

F. M. aka Marilyn

Now a bit about Dangerous Impulses:

An attractive new-hire captivates Officer Gordon Butler, Officer Felix Zachary’s wife Wendy is befuddled by her new baby, Ryan and Barbara Strickland receive unsettling news about her pregnancy, while the bloody murder of a mother and her son and an unidentified drug that sickens teenaged partiers jolts the Rocky Bluff P.D.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring on the Way

I needed to look up something recently in my files of Nashville Magazine, which I edited from 1963 to 1969. In reading through several issues, I came across my last-page feature called "Loose Ends" in the February 1964 magazine. With all the weird weather we're having now (including snow flurries this afternoon), I thought the article, written one month past forty-nine years ago, made to order for the current situation. As you'll see, my writing tended to be a bit more poetic half a century ago.

IT WAS A SOGGY, gray winter morning as I drove into town, along streets lined like a football field with the thin shadows of light poles reflected on the pavement. The city mirrored a forlorn countenance, its colors flat, its buildings drab and water-streaked. A swirling exit from the new expressway stood chaste and deserted in the morning chill. 

A ragged Negro, bent beneath the burden of his years, hobbled across an intersection, his tattered umbrella a comic foil against the rain. Traffic flowed past, tires squishing noisily through the downpour, each car tightly sealed against the outside world like a secluded island moving in the gray fog of dampness.

This was the city at its seamiest, I thought. Denuded trees, yellowed grass, slate-gray skies. Instead of open, friendly faces, the sidewalks were sparsely populated with stooped figures, their darkened faces withdrawn, shrouded against the weather. A dull, gray, wintry day. A wet, murky city. A place for introspection, a time for seeking new perspectives beyond the gray horizons of the present.

These same showers, differing only perhaps in their degree of warmth, coming a few scant weeks from now will stir this same muddy ground into a rebirth of momentous proportions. The same wan landscape will burst forth with new color, and these same downcast faces will turn upward with new brightness. For such is the magic of Spring. 

It seems that all of life is geared to a similar cycle of cold, murky depths followed by the lightness and brightness of hope renewed. At least that is what makes the fight worth fighting.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Old Car Keeps 'Em Interested

I had a fun time Thursday talking to members of the Stones River Woman's Club at Nashville's Marathon Village, the restored plant and offices of the old Marathon Motor Works that built a popular touring car between 1910 and 1914. We met in the former showroom where I stood near a blue 1914 Marathon with yellow wheels, the same one depicted on the cover of my fourth Greg McKenzie mystery, The Marathon Murders.

I told the ladies how I came to write the book after a suggestion from neighbor Kathleen Mays, whose father had worked on the assembly line in 1914. Since I'm a mystery writer, I looked at the place from a different point of view than most visitors. I found the company's history fascinating, but I concentrated on the dark side, with an eye to anything that might have led to murder.

I found it in Marathon officials' actions that ultimately led it its downfall. The owners made some crucial changes to put a successful company on a fatal decline. They fired the engineer who designed the car and brought in some people who didn't know anything about making automobiles.

What put them in bankruptcy was things like charging too little for their products and selling cars "out the back door," which kept the money off the books.

That was where I found my plot. I had an assistant treasurer disappear and be accused of embezzling funds. His family had no luck trying to refute the charges but never believed he took the money. When his body was found five years later, sitting in his car in an abandoned barn west of Nashville, there was nothing to indicate what had happened or where the money might have gone.

Now, ninety years later, during restoration of the Marathon office building, papers in an envelope bearing the assistant treasurer's name and addressed to the attorney general are found hidden in a wall. The construction foreman plans to bring them to the long-dead official's grandson but never arrives.

My PI's, Greg and Jill McKenzie, are hired to locate the foreman and recover the papers, but they soon find him dead. The woman's club members seemed to enjoy hearing about the book, and several bought copies. It was an enjoyable event for me, since I like nothing better than talking about my books.

To learn more about them, visit my website at

Friday, March 8, 2013

Submerged, a Terrifying New Thriller

My guest today is Cheryl Kaye Tardif, the international bestselling author of Submerged, a terrifying new thriller that will leave you breathless. Born in Vancouver, BC, Cheryl is an award-winning, best-selling Canadian author who now lives in Edmonton, Alberta. She writes mystery, paranormal, suspense and thriller novels set in Canada. You can learn more about her at her website.
Having worked for over twenty-five years in advertising, promotion and sales, Cheryl is noted for her for her book marketing and promotion skills, which she makes available for other authors. For more information on this aspect of her career, check out her Shameless Promoter - Book Marketing Blog.

Her new thriller Submerged is a tale of two strangers submerged in guilt, brought together by fate. Here's what Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of 15 Seconds, said:

"Submerged reads like an approaching storm, full of darkness, dread and electricity. Prepare for your skin to crawl." 

After a tragic car accident claims the lives of his wife, Jane, and son, Ryan, Marcus Taylor is immersed in grief. But his family isn't the only thing he has lost. An addiction to painkillers has taken away his career as a paramedic. Working as a 911 operator is now the closest he gets to redemption—until he gets a call from a woman trapped in a car.

Rebecca Kingston yearns for a quiet weekend getaway, so she can think about her impending divorce from her abusive husband. When a mysterious truck runs her off the road, she is pinned behind the steering wheel, unable to help her two children in the back seat. Her only lifeline is a cell phone with a quickly depleting battery and a stranger's calm voice on the other end telling her everything will be all right.

Here are some more reviews:

"From the first page, you know you are in the hands of a seasoned and expert storyteller who is going to keep you up at night turning the pages. Tardif knows her stuff. There's a reason she sells like wildfire—her words burn up the pages. A wonderful, scary, heart-pumping writer." —M.J. Rose, international bestselling author of Seduction

"Tardif once again delivers a suspenseful supernatural masterpiece." —Scott Nicholson, international bestselling author of The Home

"From the first page, Cheryl Kaye Tardif takes you hostage with Submerged—a compelling tale of anguish and redemption." —Rick Mofina, bestselling author of Into the Dark

"Cheryl Kaye Tardif's latest novel SUBMERGED will leave you as haunted as its characters." —Joshua Corin, bestselling author of Before Cain Strikes

"Submerged will leave you breathless—an edge of your seat, supernatural thrill ride." —Jeff Bennington, bestselling author of Twisted Vengeance

Click this Kindle link for the ebook edition of Submerged. It is also available in paperback.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Read an Ebook Week

This is Read an Ebook Week, and I have plenty to recommend for you. My two Post Cold War political thrillers started out at $3.99, but they've been reduced to $2.99. So break out your Kindle and order BEWARE THE JABBERWOCK and THE POKSU CONSPIRACY.

Poksu takes place in a part of the world that has always seemed mysterious, the Far East. I got my first taste of the area as a young first lieutenant in the Air Force. That was early 1952 and Japan was still digging its way out of the mire of World War II. I arrived at Yokohama on a troop ship and was transferred to a processing station. I had little chance to see the area with only a brief visit to the adjacent town. It had lots of broken English signs luring GI's into businesses.

After a few days and getting my assignment to the Directorate of Intelligence at Fifth Air Force Headquarters in Seoul, I lugged my B-4 bag and my portable typewriter onto the train and we headed southwest. One of the last stops before we crossed over to the island of Kyushu was the most memorable. I'll never forget hearing the conductor calling out, "Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Hiroshima!" This was a little more than six years after the A-bomb drop. We were in the city for only about fifteen minutes, but I got off and looked around the area. There was little visible of more than one story.

Our destination was the town of Fukuoka, home of an Air Force base from which I was flown to South Korea. My first view of Seoul was of a city with many buildings destroyed, streets in disrepair, other structures bearing holes left by bullets as well as artillery shells. Fifth Air Force was located in the former medical school of Seoul University. The main building housed offices. The DI was on the second floor, down the hall from the Joint Operations Center, which worked in cooperation with the Army, and the Tactical Air Control Center. I spent many off-duty hours in the TACC watching airmen move tokens representing aircraft, enemy and friendly, over a flat map of North Korea that covered most of the room. Using earphones scattered about the perimeter, I listened to radio transmissions from the pilots.

One of my Korean War mementos that sits on my desk is a brass plate with my name in embossed letters. It has a Korean scene on the back. The ingenious Koreans who made them used brass from artillery shells left by troops sweeping through the area. Djuring an R&R (Rest and Recuperation) visit to Japan, I brought back solid silver candelabra, beautiful cloisonne vases, and a set of Noritake china.

The Seoul that appears in The Poksu Conspiracy is the one I visited in 1987, a burgeoning metropolis that hardly resembled the town I knew in 1952-3. My protagonist, Burke Hill, also visits Chiangmai, Thailand, a unique city I toured during that Far East trip in 1987.

Scenes in  Beware the Jabberwock that take place in Hong Kong involve locations I also visited during my month-long Far Eastern tour of 1987.

Click these links to read about Beware the Jabberwock or The Poksu Conspiracy.