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Preview: Marilyn's Musings

Marilyn's Musings

Award winning author discusses her day-to-day life as an author, mom, grandma etc.

Updated: 2017-11-24T14:52:27.582-08:00


Christmas Book Idea #8 Deadly Feast


Thought it might be fun to promote Deadly Feast the day after we all had wonderful feasts. Yes, my Thanksgiving dinner was delicious and not the least bit deadly.

In this mystery, friends,neighbors, and the local deputy and her husband, are stranded in one house during a flood that ook out the one and only bridge into town. They are staying in a big house and have plenty of provisions--but all is not well.

As I've said before, this was intended to be an early Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, but didn't quite fit for that series. But I liked the story, so changed the two main characters.

I've written about torrential rains taking out bridges and roads in about three books. Why? Because I live in an area where this has happened more than once. Only once was I affected when I'd gone to a party and it poured so hard it caused a mud slide that closed the main road, and we had to take a most round-about way to get back home.

And of course, I heard all sort of stories of when different bridges were washed away.  

This is what we authors do, use real events that will give us a great plot for a story.

Deadly Feast is available for Kindle and as a trade paperback.

Christmas Book Idea #7, UNRESOLVED


Unresolved is the latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. I write this series as F. M. Meredith.And though it is the last book in the series, the story itself is complete. You may wonder about the title--never fear the mystery us solved.This series has a large cast of ongoing characters:Detective Doug Milligan and his wife, Officer Stacey Milligan, and her son, Davey, and Doug's daughter, Beth.Officer Ryan Stickland, his wife Barbara, her three sons, and their baby daughter.Detective Felix Zachary and his wife and daughter.Sergeant Abel Navarro, his wife Maria and their daughter.Chief Chandra Taylor, fairly new to the RBPD, single.Of course this new book brings in other folks who live in the small beach community of Rocky Bluff-some good, some bad.Each novel is written as a stand-alone, but things change in the characters' lives from book to book.#13 in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Unresolved Blurb:Rocky Bluff P.D. is underpaid and understaffed and when two dead bodies turn up, the department is stretched to the limit. The mayor is the first body discovered, the second an older woman whose death is caused in a bizarre manner. Because no one liked the mayor, including his estranged wife and the members of the city council, the suspects are many, but each one has an alibi. #13 in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Unresolved Blurb:Rocky Bluff P.D. is underpaid and understaffed and when two dead bodies turn up, the department is stretched to the limit. The mayor is the first body discovered, the second an older woman whose death is caused in a bizarre manner. Because no one liked the mayor, including his estranged wife and the members of the city council, the suspects are many, but each one has an alibi. Available for Kindle and as a trade paperback..  [...]

Christmas Book Idea #6 The Astral Gift


A bit of history about The Astral Gift.

After writing my two historical family sagas, I wondered what I should write next--the answer came easily--a mystery. Mysteries were what I loved to read.

The Astral Gift is fiction, of course, I don't know anyone who can astral project nor have I done it, except in dreams. 

The heroine in the story has some resemblance to a young woman I know well who did suffer abuse as a child.

The setting is much like the beach community of Oxnard California back when I first lived there.

The policeman in my story has similarities to the police officer I knew best at the time, my then son-in-law. 

The day care center is much like one I worked in though it was in Ventura. I plucked various personality traits from some of the teachers who worked alongside me. None lived in a mortuary. I just like mortuaries.

I do hope some of you might like to try this mystery which is also a bit of a romance. Or perhaps you know someone who would enjoy it for Christmas.

This is another book my friend Lorna Collins re-edited, and re-pubbed it for Amazon.

It's available from Amazon for Kindle and also as a trade paperback.


Christmas Book #5, A COLD DEATH


A Cold Death is the latest in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. Never fear, if you've never read an books in this series, each mystery is solved by the end. Of course the main characters are the same, though they do indeed change with time, as we do.

In this mystery, Tempe is called to a summer camp, closed for the winter, by the caretakers. The owner and his wife have descended upon the place along with a group of their friends. A severe winter storm has arrived and Tempe has been called to try and get the people to leave.

She and her husband, Hutch, arrive and discover the unwanted guests are unusual and also unmovable. One of the group dies and Tempe realizes she was murdered. The storm increases, and no one can leave. 

Writing this, and looking back at some of my others, I realize how much of an influence Agatha Christie had on me.

Available on Kindle and in trade paperback.


Christmas Book #4, Two Ways West


This is the story of my father's side of the family, mainly the Crabtrees and the Osborns and how and why they traveled west. This is an historical family saga based on genealogy done by my sister many years ago. Once I read through it, I knew I had to find out more and add to it.

When I was writing, my father and his sister and many of his cousins were still alive, and I was able to ask many questions and hear all the family legends. Of course, much more research was needed, in some cases difficult but a most rewarding task. Two Ways West is the end result.

The book itself has gone through an arduous journey, first published by a not so honest publisher and a second one, and disappeared for a long while. Thanks to Lorna Collins who resurrected it, reedited it, and made it once again available.

This book is for anyone who enjoys historical fiction. It is available in both trade paperback and on Kindle.

My husband and I now live in the area where my father's ancestors settled, long, long ago.

TRAIL TO GLORY, Christmas Book #3


Have relatives who like historical family sagas?

Trail to Glory is based on the genealogy of my mother's family. Some have compared it to books in the Little House on the Prairie series. Great compliment, but probably because it truly depicts ho difficult life was back in the early days.

One thing different about this book, is how the women faced horrendous hardships. Some had to find a way to support themselves after the death of a spouse.--so resourceful and strong. 

Though the story is based on the truth, I must admit that there is plenty of fiction. The closer it get to our time period, the truer it is.

This was my first published book--but since then it has been re-edited.

I hope you'll try it or gift it to a friend. Available in trade paperback and for Kindle.


Legal Thriller about Teen Sexting Entertains and Educates


by Pamela Samuels YoungPeople often ask me where I find the ideas for my legal thrillers. My first book stemmed from a discrimination case I was working on.  I then went on to address social issues like sexual harassment in the workplace, child sex trafficking and gender discrimination. I can still remember the exact moment I decided to tackle teen sexting.I was talking to a long-time friend and law school classmate who is a criminal defense attorney. He started lamenting about yet another teen client charged with distributing child pornography as a result of sending a naked selfie.“What are you talking about?” I said. “Kids can be prosecuted for that?”I was absolutely floored when he explained that prosecutors were not just charging kids as young as 13 or 14 with distributing child pornography as a result of sexting, but requiring them to register as sex offenders if convicted. As soon as I hung up the phone, I knew this was a subject I wanted to write about.When I started researching the topic, I was stunned at the large number of sexting cases occurring all across the country. In some communities, sexting was so rampant, schools have found dozens of students trading naked selfies.Armed with this knowledge, I set out to write an entertaining legal drama about a sexting case, but also to educate the parents and grandparents about this epidemic.The result was my eighth mystery, Abuse of Discretion. In the book, 14-year-old Graylin Alexander is charged with possession of child pornography and quickly finds himself embroiled in a legal nightmare.It’s my hope that after reading Abuse of Discretion, parents and grandparents talk to their children about sexting and become more aware of what they’re doing on their computers and cell phones. When the police show up at their door, it’s way too late.One message that I wanted to communicate in Abuse of Discretion is that we can’t just sit back and blame our kids for this epidemic. Our society sends very mixed messages our children. On the one hand we want our kids to abstain from sex, yet their daily lives are inundated with it. Sexual images are everywhere: on TV, in music, in movies, in advertising, even in cartoons. Our teens watch popular shows like The Bachelor and see a guy making out with three or four nearly naked girls in less than an hour. So when they hit puberty and start exploring their own sexuality, of course they don’t think it’s any big deal to send a naked selfie. We shouldn’t punish them with life-altering criminal penalties for being too immature to understand the consequences of their actions.The reality is that the law needs to catch up with technology. Pornography laws were intended to protect children from sexual predators, not used against them. About twenty states have changed their laws so that a child caught sexting would not face the same legal consequences as an adult. It’s time for all states to update their laws.I must add that not all teen sexting cases should be treated with a lighter hand. There have been cases where a girl or boy was bullied into sending a naked selfie and committed suicide after their picture was posted all over the Internet. Those cases should be treated much more severely.So far, I’ve achieved my goal of shining a bright light on this topic. Readers tell me that they love the entertaining, fast-paced story. But more importantly, they thank me for opening their eyes to this problem and vow to engage in open and honest conversation with their kids about the dangerous consequences of sexting.Bio:Pamela Samuels Young is an attorney and award-winning author of eight legal thrillers. Her most recent courtroom drama, Abuse of Discretion, tackles a troubling sexting case that gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile justice system. Pamela is also the recipient of an NAACP Image Award for Outsta[...]

Book for Christmas #2 DEADLY FEAST


While checking the edits for Deadly Feast, and getting reaquainted with this book, I realized what a big influence Agatha Christie had on me without my knowing it.

Obviously this is a mystery, and when I began it, I thought it might be a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, but when I got to the end, I knew it didn't fit the series. This is the second book that I did this with. 

Because I liked it, I did some rewriting, changed the names of the characters and the setting. Still a small town, this one is in the gold country--much like Coulterville to be exact. Coulterville is right on the old '49 trail. 

I really did have a good time writing this book--and rereading it. I hope you'll enjoy it too.


While investigating a murder, Leslie York, the resident deputy of the mining town of Copper Creek, finds herself stranded on the wrong side of the creek when it turns into a raging torrent. Others driven from their homes by the flood gather, but one of them turns up dead. When Leslie begins to suspect the victim's death was murder, she suddenly finds herself in peril, struggling for life in the angry floodwaters.

It's available as a trade paperback and for Kindle.



Buying Books for Christmas by Marilyn Meredith, #1


Gifting a book for Christmas is always a good choice.

I'd like to recommend some of mine.

I'll start with Lingering Spirit, a romance with a touch of the supernatural.

Of all my books, this is truly my favorite. Partly because it was inspired by a tragedy that happened in our own family. However, though there are some similar events, the book is fiction.

All of my books are free of bad language--as I like to say, the characters might swear, but I don't quote them.

The book is available for Kindle and as a trade paperback.



Death of a Deceiver, a short story by Marilyn Meredith


Death of a Deceiver is a short story featuring Deputy Tempe Crabtree and takes place on the reservation. 

I'm not known for writing short stories, but I did this one for an anthology long, long ago.

If you are a fan of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, I think you'll enjoy this. If you've never read a Tempe mystery, this is a good introductions.

Only .99 cents on Kindle.

And yes, dear Lorna Collins did this one for me too--and her hubby designed the cover--isn't it great?


Planning Ahead by Marilyn Meredith


Planning ahead is something I do a lot. I know quite well that no matter the great planning, things can happen that one never expects. Big events like sickness and death, and the small ones like car trouble and unexpected company. Despite all that, I like to make future plans though the older I get the more aware I am that major changes may come along.

Next up for me is a book club meeting on Saturday, I'm going as a guest author, in Modesto. That's a long drive and rain is expected, so daughter (my driver) and I will leave early. You may scoff at the thought of rain being troublesome, but we in Central California haven't had a measurable amount of rain for months. People seem to forget out to drive in the rain, probably because of lack of practice.

I have another book club to visit on Thursday of next week, not quite as far away.

And some fun stuff is coming up too. My eldest daughter and hubby are visiting on Tuesday and our youngest daughter and hubby are coming on Saturday. Since both live far away and we don't get to see them often, we're eagerly awaiting their visits.

On Friday evening we've been invited to a "reveal" party. For those of you who don't know what that is, family and friends of our granddaughter Jessi will find out whether she is having a boy or a girl. Even she and her hubby won't know until that time. 

And of course Thanksgiving is coming and we usually have it at our house and I don't think this year will be any different. I cook the turkey, the dressing, and the sweet potatoes. Others contribute too. I have lots of help.

And to add to the fun, I'm still promoting all my re-releases, and planning ahead for next year too.

Yes, I am writing too. I do that regularly.

How big a planner are you?



Two Ways West by Marilyn Meredith


Two Ways West is the companion book to Trail to Glory. Two Ways West is based on the genealogy of my father's side of the family.

At the time I was writing the book, there were still some old relatives alive who shared stories they'd heard about the adventures of our ancestors.

This book has had quite a history. It was first published by a company run by a father and son. Though the book was well-edited and looked great, the father had a gambling problem and gambled away all the money he made and ended up in jail.

The second publisher wasn't much better, different problems, but the book soon went out of print.

Though most of my family members have copies, I lost mine, and figured that was the end of Two Ways West.

Along came good friend Lorna Collins who decided that all my books should be alive and available.
She's worked long and hard at it, and now Two Ways West is once again ready to be ordered.

Trail to Glory, an historical family saga


Newly resurrected, Trail to Glory, is based on the maternal side of my family's genealogy.

When my sister did our family genealogy many questions came to mind. Though we'd heard plenty of  family legends, some of them seemed a bit improbable or didn't fit with the history of the place during the particular time period.

What was particularly amazing to me was the strength these women had during great adversity, and often having to support themselves and their family at a time when not many jobs were available to women.

To write this family saga, I had to do plenty of research, but the research gave me some great ideas to add to the plot.  

This is the first book I ever had published--and it happened in 1982. The acceptance letter came after nearly thirty rejections and many rewrites.

If you like historical family sagas I hope you'll try this one. It's available for Kindle and trade paperback--and the print is large and easy to read.

The story begins in Wisconsin, moves to South Dakota and onto California including Delano, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and Oxnard.

A multitude of thanks to Lorna Collins for making this possible and to her husband, Larry, for the beautiful new cover. 


EARS FOR MURDER by Sue Owens Wright


What a fun cozy mystery, though don’t expect all the usual elements of a cozy because this one has much more going for it.Elsie “Beanie” MacBean is a writer and the owner of a basset hound named Crusher. A huge machine that Beanie has dubbed “The Masticator” rips through 100 year old Jeffrey Pines in the area where she has a cabin in South Lake Tahoe. Seeing what developers are doing to the surroundings, brings pain to her  Native American roots.This is only the beginning of Beanie’s problems.  While taking Cruiser, her basset hound and her daughter’s basset, Calamity, on a walk through the woods, they come upon a corpse wrapped around the base of a tree. An arrow is sticking out of his neck. Beanie calls the local sheriff and the investigation begins. Interesting characters, some of whom may or may not be suspects, cross Beanie’s and the dogs’ paths. When someone shoots an arrow into Beanie’s back door, an obvious threat, she heightens her investigation. Some of the things I liked best about Ear for Muder are a heroine of “a certain age” who is intelligent and not reckless,  the basset hounds, the wonderful descriptions of the best parts of Lake Tahoe, the touch of romance, and a compelling puzzle with a satisfactory solution. This is a smart cozy, with a touch of humor, but no silliness.  I loved it.Marilyn MeredithSue Owens Wright is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. She is an eleven-time finalist for the Maxwell, awarded annually by the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) to the best writer on the subject of dogs. She has twice won the Maxwell Award and earned special recognition from the Humane Society of the United States for her writing. She writes the acclaimed Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series, including Howling Bloody Murder, Sirius About Murder, Embarking On Murder and Braced For Murder, which is recommended on the American Kennel Club’s list of Best Dog Books. Her nonfiction books include What’s Your Dog’s IQ?, 150 Activities for Bored Dogs, and People’s Guide to Pets. She has been published in numerous magazines, including Dog Fancy, Mystery Scene, AKC GAZETTE, Fido Friendly, The Bark, and Animal Fair. Her work also appears in several anthologies, including PEN Oakland’s “Fightin’ Words,” along with Norman Mailer and other literary notables. Her newest novels are The Secret of Bramble Hill and Ears for Murder.Website URL: www.sueowenswright.comBlog URL: URL: for Murderbuy link: The Secret of Bramble Hill buy link:[...]

Cup of Demons by Marilyn Meredith


Perfect for Halloween Reading!Another of my books has been resurrected from the past, thanks to good friend Lorna Collins and her husband, Larry.Years ago, I loved horror movies--especially those where the heroine or hero battled against evil. Seldom did the main characters turn to their religious beliefs for help. Believe me, if I were confronted by the devil or his demons, I'd certainly call on the Lord for help.And that's what inspired me to write Cup of Demons. It has all the elements of a chilling horror novel, with demons and even an encounter with the devil. As an aside, the location is very much like the small foothill community of Springville where I live, and anyone who lives here will recognize  some of the settings. I'm hoping some of you who enjoy a bit of a scare in their reading will try a Cup of Demons.This is the link for the Kindle version.'s the trade paperback link:Paperback is now on Amazon! Cup of Demons: Marilyn Meredith: 9781978475342: of Demons [Marilyn Meredith] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Is the inheritance Maginel received from her great-grandaunt, Marcelene, a gift or a curse? Marilyn[...]

Jingle and His Magnificent Seven by Randy Rawls


Oh, my goodness, how do I write a review for this wonderfully hilarious and exciting book. If I were going to put it into a category it would humorous thriller. Yes, it is indeed a thriller, what else could you call a book that is filled with mid-Eastern terrorists out to do great harm? However, when the main character, PI Nep Thomas, is challenged by one of Santa’s elf’s to help recover Santa’s naught list that thanks to a bad elf has offered to the terrorists. What possible use could terrorists have for Santa’s naughty list? A very good one.  Though the premise may be a little far-out, author Rawls has come up with some plausible explanations for all that happens—and plenty does. The tale is filled with great characters, good, bad and surprising, as well as the kind of action one expects in a thriller. To say much more would spoil the joy of the surprises in this delightful book. This is a fun and enjoyable read, guaranteed to make you chuckle now and then and want to keep turning pages. Highly recommended.Here's Randy Rawls bio:Randy Rawls was born and reared in Williamston, North Carolina, a small town in the northeastern part of the state. From there, he says he inherited a sense of responsibility, a belief in fair play, and a love of country. As a career US Army officer, he had the opportunity to learn, travel, teach, and hone talents inherited from his parents. Following retirement, he worked in other ventures for the US Government. Every job has in some way been fun. Even the dark days of Vietnam had their light moments, and he cherishes the camaraderie that was an integral part of survival in that hostile world.Today, he has short stories in several anthologies, and a growing list of novels to his credit. As a prolific reader, the reads across several genres and takes that into his writing. He has written mysteries, thrillers, an historical, and two fantasy/mystery/thrillers featuring a Santa Elf. The count is now at fourteen and growing. He is a regular contributor to Happy Homicides, a twice annual anthology of cozy short stories. He also has a series of short stories featuring a cattle-herding burro. Wherever his imagination will take him, he follows. www.randyrawls.com link for Jingle and his Magnificent Seven:Amazon:Barnes & Noble: Marilyn Meredith.[...]

The 12 Slays of Christmas Recipe Book


The 12 Slays of Christmas Recipe Book Have Yourself a Scrumptious Merry Christmas! Companion to our Christmas-themed cozy mystery boxed set, The 12 Slays of Christmas, this recipe book is filled with family favorite foods the authors love to make during the holidays. We've got Hungarian Kolach, Brandy Alexander Pie and Christmas Yam & Cranberry Surprise just to name a few! And we're donating the sales from this book to help pets displaced by hurricane Harvey and Irma, and to a no-kill animal rescue shelters. This is a great gift idea and helps rescue animals in need.  All the recipes are from the 12 Slays of Christmas ebook boxed set stories—minus the poison—of course! ALL PROCEEDS GO TO HELP ANIMALS.  You can order this book and our 12 Slays of Christmas ebook of stories by 12 Authors at  or on these links:  Amazon: 12 Slays of Christmas Recipe Book a great idea for Christmas gifting!)[...]

12 Slays of Christmas


12 Slays Titles and blurbs1.  Baby Its Cold Outside.  Abby VandiverIt's a family affair. Cousins, Brigitt and San finally start their dream business - an event planning company! And what better time to open then at Christmas. But it looks as if the only event they may be hosting is a murder investigation after a body is found in their basement.2.. The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year.  Judith Lucci Faced with the recent death of her husband Medical Examiner Kinsey Zee and her black lab Solomon investigate a death by bear mauling on the Massanutten Mountain only to learn her holiday wouldn't be so bad after all.3.    Stollen Time: A Pineapple Port Novelette. Amy Vansant                            When a Pineapple Port resident is found face-down in her Christmas fruit stollen, Charlotte knows this case won't be cake. Was it an accident? The ungrateful granddaughter? Or the person who baked the stollen?4.  Death by Rum Balls.  Colleen MooneyGuests to a neighborhood Christmas party all have something to hide and the hostess has been spreading everything except good will. When a couple are discovered poisoned right before everyone sits down for dinner, all the guests are suspects and have reasons they want the hostess to pay. 5 The Worst Noel. Amy ReadeIt's Black Friday, and Lilly Carlsen finds a body who's been strangled with a strand of pearls from her inventory on her biggest shopping day of the year. Lilly is a single mom with two teenagers, has a sister with Juniper Junction's finest and her mother is showing signs of dementia, but her life gets more complicated when her ex-husband shows up out of the clear, thin mountain air. 6. The Case of the Curious Biscuit Nell Goddin PI Molly Sutton expected Christmas in Castillac to be quaint and charming. But apparently murder doesn't take vacations... 7. Devil in A Black Suit. Colleen Helme                                                           Ramos’ job as the right-hand man to a mobster used to be easy until Shelby, a mind-reading soccer mom, joined the organization. With all the trouble she gets into, he’s constantly putting his life on the line to save her. But this time, it could be a deal with a deadly enemy that gets him killed. 8.  May Your Days Be Cherry and Albright. Larissa ReinhartIn this Rashomon-style Christmas mystery, while Cherry Tucker suffers from flu-induced visions of murder, Maize Albright’s on the hunt for a missing granddaughter whose criminal stockings have long been filled with coal. 9. Frankincense, Gold, and Murder. Kim Hunt Harris Salem is celebrating Christmas in true Trailertopian style, but her festivities take a downturn when she finds a murdered neighbor. It won’t be a jolly Christmas if her snooping for the killer leads to her becoming the next victim. 10. Christmas Chocolates and Crimes.  Cindy BellAlly and Charlotte expected the holidays to be filled with chocolates and good times. What they didn’t expect is to be solving murders and crimes. 11. Home for the Holidays. Summer PrescottWhen a down-and-out young veteran finds himself homeless for the holidays, he lands a job as a mall Santa, and finds himself in a situation much [...]

National Dictionary Day by Lois Winston


Noah Webster was born on this day in 1758. If his name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you have one of his dictionaries sitting on a bookshelf. Among his many accomplishments, Webster was an author, editor, lawyer, and political writer. Known as the “Father of American Scholarship and Education”, his Blue-Backed Speller taught generations of American school children to read and spell. If you’ve ever wondered why English words are often spelled differently in the United States than they are in Great Britain, you have Noah Webster to thank. He disliked the complexity of English spelling rules and streamlined them for American use. Thus, for example, we have “color” instead of “colour.”As an author, I owe much to Noah Webster. His dictionary sits an arm’s length from my desk, and I use it often. But Webster is also important to authors for another one of his accomplishments. He helped establish the Copyright Act of 1831, which extended copyrights from fourteen to twenty-eight years with an option of renewal for another fourteen years. Today authors have even greater protections, thanks to the Copyright Act of 1976, but Noah Webster got the ball rolling.Today is also National Dictionary Day, which was established to honor Noah Webster’s most famous contribution. He published his first dictionary in 1806. A year later he began work on a more comprehensive dictionary, which took him twenty-seven years to complete. During this time, he learned twenty-six languages, including Old English and Sanskrit, to help him in his evaluation of the etymology of the seventy thousand words included in this massive endeavor. Twelve thousand of those words had never before appeared in a published dictionary.So happy birthday, Noah Webster! I couldn’t have written Scrapbook of Murder, my latest Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, without you.Scrapbook of MurderAn Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 6Crafts and murder don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but normal deserted craft editor Anastasia Pollack’s world nearly a year ago. Now, tripping over dead bodies seems to be the “new normal” for this reluctant amateur sleuth.When the daughter of a murdered neighbor asks Anastasia to create a family scrapbook from old photographs and memorabilia discovered in a battered suitcase, she agrees—not only out of friendship but also from a sense of guilt over the older woman’s death. However, as Anastasia begins sorting through the contents of the suitcase, she discovers a letter revealing a fifty-year-old secret, one that unearths a long-buried scandal and unleashes a killer. Suddenly Anastasia is back in sleuthing mode as she races to prevent a suitcase full of trouble from leading to more deaths.Buy Links:Kindle Kobo iTunes Nook Bio:USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots f[...]

Friday the 13th--and Fun News Ahead


If possible, I'll have a new release of an old book ready in time for Halloween! It'll be tough, because it's been edited and I must approve the changes. It's a fairly long book--and I have a lot on my plate right now. 

Back to the book, it's called Cup of Demons and it falls into the horror category, but it also has Christian elements. This is a great scary book for the season.

And yes, good friend Lorna is doing the heavy work getting it ready for publication, and her husband has come up with a great idea for a cover. I can't thank they enough.

All this is happening because I got my rights back for several of my books--now we'll see how well they do the second and sometimes third time around.

Don't forget that my historical family sage, Trail to Glory is available on Amazon now for Kindle and also as a print book.

The Astral Gift is back again too, freshly edited. This one is a mystery with some interesting supernatural overtones.

And of course, my all time favorite, Lingering Spirt, a romance, but a most special kind of romance. This one one best book in it's category from Epic.

Hoping some of you will try these books.


Trial to Glory--Revived!


Trail to Glory was my first published book. Though I am known for writing mysteries, this is an historical family saga based on the genealogy of my mother's ancestors.

My sister did all the genealogy research and presented everyone in the family with a booklet with all the data she'd discovered. Back then, there was no or any other such Internet resources--in fact, not Internet at all.

While reading her research, so many questions popped up. I wondered why people moved from one place to another, what happened to those who seemed to disappear. Of course, over the years, we'd heard lots of family stories: about a twin girl who disappeared in her teens, never to be found, her brother who in his grown-up years became a gambler, though nothing more was shared.

I decided to try and figure out what actually happened to all these people. To do this I researched the places and time periods these people lived. Of course, I didn't find out the answers, but I did learn enough to come up with some great fictional ideas. Who knows? Maybe there was more truth than fiction is some of my stories.

In the book, as time draws closer to the years when some of the people were still living, I was able to hear some first-hand accounts. One of my nephews interviewed by grandfather and his notes gave me some much needed information. And of course, there were all the family stores and anecdotes.

My main purpose, though, in writing this book was to show how brave these people were under some very trying circumstances. 

One again, I must thank my friends Lorna and Larry Collins who were determined to bring this book back to life. It wouldn't have happened without a tremendous amount of work from both of them.

Trail to Glory is available for Kindle and also as a trade paperback.


ENDGAMES by Richard Paolinelli


The third and final book of the Jack Del Rio political mystery-thriller series, Endgames, is set to be released by Tuscany Bay Books on October 30th. The explosive conclusion to the series, and sequel to Reservations and Betrayals, sees the FBI’s star in counter-terrorism battle an international conspiracy to overthrow the United States government. The book is currently available for pre-order, along with new releases of the first two books of the series under the Tuscany Bay Books banner. There will also be an all-in-one print and e-book edition of the series at the following links:             RESERVATIONS: BETRAYALS: ENDGAMES: 3-in-1:  A native of Turlock, California, Richard Paolinelli began his writing career as a freelance writer in 1984 and gained his first fiction credit serving as the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics sci-fi/fantasy series, Seadragon. His sports writing career spans stops in New Mexico, Arizona and California. He won the 2001 California Newspaper Publishers Association award for Best Sports Story. In 2013, Richard retired as a sportswriter and decided to return to his fiction writing roots. He released two short stories - The Invited and Legacy of Death - as well as a full-length sci-fi novel, Maelstrom. In 2015, Richard completed nearly two years of research and interviews and published, From The Fields: A History of Prep Football in Turlock, California.One month later, the first book of the Jack Del Rio series, Reservations, was published. In 2016, Richard was one of a dozen authors selected to participate in, Beyond Watson, an anthology of original Sherlock Holmes stories and was one of 20 writers involved in the Holmes Anthology, Holmes Away From Home, released in December. Perfection's Arbiter, a biography of National League Umpire, Babe Pinelli, was released in October. The second book of the Del Rio series, Betrayals, was released in November. In 2017, Richard returned to his science fiction roots with the January release of the award-winning novel, Escaping Infinity, for which he has been named as a finalist for Best Sci-Fi Novel for the 2017 Dragon Awards. The third book of the Del Rio series, Endgames, was released in October._____________________________________________________Richard PaolinelliAuthorEscaping Infinity (Tuscany Bay Books)Perfection's Arbiter (Tuscany Bay Books)Beyond Watson (Belanger Books)Holmes Away From Home (Belanger Books)From The Fields (Tuscany Bay Books)Reservations (Tuscany Bay Books)Betrayals (Tuscany Bay Books)Endgames (Tuscany Bay Books)Maelstrom (Tuscany Bay Books)WebsiteFacebook page [...]

A Cookbook is Resurrected


Through the years, I've always had to cook for a big family and crowds.

I raised five kids and we always had other kids there at dinner time, and sometimes friends of ours. 

When each of my children married, I always prepared all the food for their wedding receptions.  When my mother had her 80th birthday party 100 people came and I prepared most of the dishes for that event too.

Hubby and I bought, lived in, and ran a six bed facility for developmentally disabled women for over twenty years. Besides cooking meals for them, we often had grandkids living with us, and sometimes their friends stopped by at dinner time.

At this time, a granddaughter, her husband and two kids, plus my son and his wife, share our home. I usually do the dinner time cooking, but sometimes we trade off. 

And of course, there are the many church potlucks--and I always bring a dish.

When I had my residential care home, I created a simple cookbook to share with other providers, and I used many of the meals that I made. I like to cook, but I get bored making the same recipes all the time.

Now the cookbook has been resurrected, and as I was looking over the recipes I realize that many of them cook easily been done in a crockpot.

If you have a lot of folks to cook for, you might want to try one of these recipes.

Once again I must thank Lorna for going to all the work to do this cookbook. And that's her dining room table, mine never looked that good.


And Another Has Returned by Marilyn Meredith


Though it was a hard decision to make, I asked for my right back for all of my books from one of my publishers--the one who published my Rocky Bluff P.D. mysteries and a couple of others.

One of those is Lingering Spirit.  This one is quite different than any of my other books--it's a love story with a touch of the supernatural.

I could have never done any of this, but good friends Lorna and Larry Collins did all the work. Lorna did everything to get it back on Amazon as an e-book and trade paperback.

The new cover is absolutely stunning, don't you think?

Lingering Spirit also won an Epic award.

This is when I was presented the award--and believe me, it was a huge surprise.


Now What? by M. Glenda Rosen (aka Marcia G. Rosen)


Now what, indeed!There are numerous options for authors today to get their books in print, but many people have a room full of good-looking printed books they wrote and wonder, “What do I do now?” From traditional publishing, self-publishing, independent publishing, and university presses to e-books, it’s important that you be sure your publisher will pay attention to your requests and needs and will offer the expertise and experience to help you publish your book the way you want. However, it is also essential for you as an author to realize that publishing is only the beginning. You need an aggressive and comprehensive marketing plan incorporating traditional and social media options and opportunities.Who is going to read your book? Who will buy it? Oh yes, of course some friends and family. All traditional and self-publishers will tell you, “You need to market your book. YOU need to promote it, tell your story, and create a buzz about it.”I know you’re a writer. You’re a creative person. You really don’t want to do this. However, more and more, it’s a proven fact that writers do have to promote their books. No matter how wonderful, interesting, and compelling your book might be, you still have to let the reading world know it exists. Any publisher or literary agent will agree with me. Unless you market your book, chances are it will fall through the cracks of literary chaos. Following are a very few of the many options now available. Marketing Options/Opportunities for AuthorsInitial Concepts for “Creating a Buzz”Marketing includes everything from getting your book reviewed to doing book signings or seminars. It’s also important to have a website for your book. It’s like that old question that advertisers asked: “Do you know what happens when you don’t advertise?” Answer: “Nothing.”Public Relations provides information and can be a way to get free publicity through articles, book reviews and interviews in print or electronic media.Advertising is when you pay for placement in the media such as a Facebook Author Fan Page, a Google ad or even local media, which is far less costly than national media. Authors can now also pay for reviews in publications such as Kirkus Indie Review, Goodreads and San Francisco Reviews. Search Google for reviews and event contest options.Traditional Marketing ActionsAuthor Book Launch·         Schedule book launch event, time/place and details.·         Develop invitation list and sign-in sheet and have books on hand to sell.·         Send releases to media, announce on website, and email personal contacts.Author Public Relations Actions·         Develop “pitch” letters for speaking opportunities.·         Develop press release to get calendar listings for signings and speaking dates.·         Submit online calendar listings on websites in target market.·         Arrange to speak at target-appropriate conferences.·         Develop sell-sheet with your book cover, about your book and author.Online and Social Media Actions·         Consider a Blog [...]