Saturday, April 11, 2015

New Release: Violent Departures

I'm thrilled to have author Marilyn Meredith as my guest today as part of her blog tour for her new release. I'm in awe of Marilyn, who writes two mystery series and is active in her church and in numerous writing groups. Somehow, she manages to juggle all of that and still spend quality time with her family. I've asked her to write about how she keeps track of all of her characters and what's gone on with them in previous books. Here's what she had to say.
Keeping Track of Characters and What’s Happened

I know the ongoing characters in my Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series quite well, including what they look like and what’s happening with them. I know how they will act in certain situations. Actually, I know more about them then I do my own family members—because I know how my characters think.

I must admit, I’m not so good at remembering what kind of cars they drive. Sometimes I have to make a search in other manuscripts to find out.
I’ll make a confession here, after I’ve written the first draft of a manuscript, I always find inconsistencies and ideas that I didn’t complete. (Sometimes I don’t find them at all, and hopefully the editor does. Unfortunately, a few times it’s been a reader who pointed something out to me.)

My ways of doing things have changed through the years. When I’m starting a new book now, I begin by jotting things down in a notebook, including new characters’ names and descriptions. I write down the main plot—at least as much as I know at the time and situations I plan to put my ongoing characters into.

While I’m actually working on the book, I keep a timeline of what’s happening each day. This helps a lot. I started doing this when in one book I wrote, I skipped a whole day—a person doing a pre-pub review caught it—thank goodness.

I know there are all kinds of computer programs to keep track of all this, but at this stage in my life, I don’t feel like learning how to use another program.
So that’s the answer to the question—it may not be the best way, but this is what works for me.

F. M. aka Marilyn Meredith

Marilyn and her husband, Hap, in church

F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Besides having family members in law enforcement, she lived in a town much like Rocky Bluff with many police families as neighbors. 

Violent Departures:
College student, Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.

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Because it has been popular on my other blog tours, once again I’m offering the chance for the person who comments on the most blog posts during this tour to have a character named for him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery.

Or if that doesn’t appeal, the person may choose one of the earlier books in the series—either a print book or Kindle copy.

Tomorrow I’m answering the question, After So Many Books, How Do You Get Fresh Ideas? At

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Step into Springtime and a Mystery

As Ann Kern starts her new business as an interior decorator, the temperatures have risen, tulips and daffodils are in bloom and there’s a feeling of endless possibilities in the air. She has no idea that her world is about to be turned upside down.

When Janis Riley, a woman for whom money is no object, contacts Ann to redecorate her house, she is elated. But the initial visit with her first client leaves her with mixed emotions. Why did Janis react so strangely to seeing a photo of Davey, Ann’s six-year-old son?

But Ann has bigger problems. Her husband, David, a recovering alcoholic, has lost both his mother and his job and Ann worries that he’ll start drinking again. To add to her concerns, their next-door-neighbor, Dorothy Baker, is severely depressed but Ann’s efforts to help her are rebuffed.

Ann is terrified when she wakes up the day before Easter to find Davey gone. Another child, Kelly Kramer, has been missing since December. Where are the children? And what, if anything, can Ann do to get her son back?


“Ann wasn’t sure how much more she could take. So many questions. Policemen, plain clothes detectives, all traipsing through their apartment, asking her the same things over and over again. The faces and the questions were all starting to blur together. Her head throbbed and her whole body ached.
She couldn’t stop the thoughts that rushed through her head. There were so many sick, demented people in the world today, people who used and abused children. Pedophiles. Child pornographers. Child traffickers. What if one of them had her son? If I have to lose Davey, God, please let it be to someone who will love and take care of him. Not to someone who will harm him.
Her own questions kept playing on and on in her head too, haunting her. Where could Davey be? Did someone climb into his window and abduct him? The window she had left open all night. How could she have been so careless? So stupid? I want my little boy back!
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Happy Easter!