Please Welcome F.M. (Marilyn) Meredith to Acme Authors Link
F.M., also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. She first became interested in writing about law enforcement when she lived in a neighborhood filled with police officers and their families. The interest was fanned when her daughter married a police officer and the tradition has continued with a grandson and grandson-in-law who are deputies. She’s also serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and has many friends in different law enforcement fields. For twenty plus years, she and her husband lived in a small beach community located in Southern California much like the fictional Rocky Bluff. She is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Epic, and Mystery Writers of America.Webpage: http://fictionforyou.com/
And on Facebook and Twitter as MarilynMeredith
Marilyn's Shares Her Writing Journey With Us Today -Looking Back Over My Years as a Writer
by F.M. Meredith
Sometimes it’s a good idea to look back over your accomplishments and disappointments in order to see how far you’ve come.
My first book (an historical family saga) received nearly thirty rejections before finding a publisher. (This was back in the days of typewriters, carbon paper, submitting full manuscripts in a box with another pre-addressed and stamped box inside.) I knew nothing at all about promotion and expected the publisher to do it all. One thing I do know, the distribution was good because people spotted it in markets and drugstores. The editor who bought it left the publisher—a big setback.
The second book (also an historical family saga) was accepted by a publisher that turned out to be a crook—and guess what, I self-published with another company that also turned out to be dishonest. I bought a lot of the books and managed to sell them myself, but never received a single royalty.
I changed genres and wrote my first mystery, The Astral Gift. This poor book found a home first with another crooked publisher (back then, there were lots of them preying on writers), 50 books were printed and the publisher disappeared. The Astral Gift had two more publishers after that.
Somewhere in this time period, I found another publisher who wanted me to make my submission camera-ready, long before print-on-demand companies, I struggled but managed to complete the project only to learn the publisher died.
When I wrote my first Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, it was accepted by an e-publisher before anyone had a clue what this meant, nor were there any e-book readers. This was an unsuccessful venture. I’ve already written about what happened next, the series went through two more publishers until finally begin published by Oak Tree Press.
My other series about Deputy Tempe Crabtree has had a similar rough path to publication and staying published. An agent told me she wouldn’t represent me unless I changed Tempe’s name. She thought it too unusual. I found another agent who loved the name but accomplished nothing in four years. I struck out on my own and sold the book to a small independent Press, Golden Eagle. Four books were published, and then the publisher who’d become a friend, passed away unexpectedly. Hard Shell Word Factory republished the series as e-books, including a prequel. The publisher sold the company and all this series was picked up by Mundania Press both as e-books and trade paperbacks.
None of it has been easy. Would I do it again? Only if it were in this time period of computers and the Internet. Today, self-publishing is much easier with far better results. There are many legitimate small presses out there looking for good books to publish. It is easy to contact authors for a recommendation of their publishers. You can find out about all the best ways to promote through the Internet and get lots of advice and support from fellow authors.
This is the briefest of histories, there were other books and other mishaps along the way, but this is what I remember the most clearly
. One thing that I mustn’t forget is I learned a lot along the way, some from other agents I had, much from writers’ conferences, writing magazines and books, but the very most from the members of the critique group that I joined over thirty years ago.
Now a bit about Marilyn's latest, 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.The person who comments on the most blog posts on this tour may have a character named after him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel or choose a book from the previous titles in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series in either paper or for Kindle.
Rocky Bluff P.D. Series: Though each book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series is written as a stand-alone, I know there are people who like to read a series in order. From the beginning to the end:
Find F.M. (Marilyn) Meredith at:
On Facebook and Twitter as MarilynMeredith
Please leave a comment to welcome F.M. (Marilyn) Meredith to Acme Authors Link.
About the Author:
|J. W. Nicklaus|
J.W. Nicklaus attests to living somewhere between the city closest to the Sun and upon the precipice of Hell—but the winters are mild in Arizona
. An avid reader and peerless amateur philosopher, he is “DNA and energy. I am cellular and soulful. I am shadow and light. I am carbon and water . . . and I am stardust. As are we all.” His singular ambition is simple: to leave the world a slightly better place than when he came into it.
The Many Essences of Christmas Past by J.W. Nicklaus
A small boy sits in a living room, awash in the low-tech fidelity of late 1960′s television. The CBS Special Presentation
intro plays as his five-year-old eyes soak up what will become in his world, and many others, one of many Christmas season classics. Warm pajamas and blinking lights upon the tree don’t prevent the night from ending, but rather allow all the senses to coalesce into the makings of a wistful childhood memory.
There is no one particular Christmas memory I cling to. Frankly, I’m not a huge holiday person—I don’t even decorate, for any of the holidays. Not one. But I do retain the many essences of seasons past. See, I don’t live in a place where a child can recollect Currier and Ives type holidays. Snow doesn’t fall Three Feet From Hell. No need for horse-drawn sleds or warm woolen mittens, scarves, or snow boots. The weather can turn cold, yes, but not like northern and eastern winters do.
The Light, The Dark & Ember Between (if you like this story, click on cover to purchase for gift giving!)
My brother and I grew up being told the same legend of how Santa gets into the house and puts presents under the tree; as we all know, he comes down the chimney. Well, we didn’t have one, but we did
have a faux, cardboard hearth. It was set up each year, close to the silver tree (yes, I said silver). I’m not sure what it was made of, but I remember it was shiny, and I recall at some point being able to help assemble it. We always got to help decorate it, although I’d bet that like most children we’d place a few ornaments on the tree then lose interest.
There was a cotton-poly thing we’d place under the tree to represent snow. When you live in a desert the holidays become more about symbols than actualities where matters of nature are concerned. And sitting underneath the tree was a small lamp with a multi-colored screen which slowly rotated in front of the light, casting shades of red, green, yellow, and diffused light upon the tree.
These trappings, albeit egregiously man-made, were the essence of what Christmas portended. With all the decorations, lights blinking (those big-fat ones—remember those?), tinsel gently moving and shimmering with the air current, and the television event for the evening—Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman
, or maybe Santa Clause is Coming to Town
—about to stun us with it’s state-of-the-art stop motion animation . . . how could a child not
remember such things?
I submit to you that the simple reason why we retain not just these memories but their nuances is . . . magic. Especially as children, we’re fascinated by the illusion and sleight-of-hand which life and holidays bring us. There is no shortage of magic in the innocence of youth. We take these moments and build upon them, hopeful that someday far in the future we can instill higher definition memories and warm thoughts which our children will call to mind every so often.
As children we latch onto the mystery of it all; as adults, we need
Once a small town success and happy family man, Hagren Roose finds his slide backwards at once abrupt and wrenching. His small-town mentality sets him on a journey of his own making, of which he has no control--and only he can atone for.
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|Blessing or Curse|
by Morgan Mandel
Since I'm in the last legs of finishing up Blessing or Curse
before sending it off to my editor, Helen Ginger, I thought I'd share something about it, and a small excerpt, which may change in the editing process, maybe not.
What Blessing or Curse
is:Blessing or Curse
is the sequel to the science fiction thriller, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse
. This book can be read as a standalone or part of the projected three-book series.
In the first book, the emphasis is on a 55-year old widow, who takes the young pill turning her back to 24. All should have been wonderful, but then she makes a discovery which has her fleeing both from the villains and the law.
Blessing or Curse, the new book, is chiefly a romance, with a smattering of science fiction, since no one yet has invented a Forever Young pill. It's broken into five separate stories depicting how the pill impacts the lives of five test market subjects, and whether or not their choice was the right one. These participants come from differing ethnicities, ages and classes, yet all have a reason to be young. The loved ones of these characters are also at some point in the stories impacted by the test subject's age reversion.
Here's the lineup of stories:
Desperation forces Consuela to order the Forever Young pill to cure her husband, Diego, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease; but will the cure become a curse? Ezekiel, an African-American male with E.D. difficulties, sends in for the young pill to prevent his lady love, Luana, from discovering he can’t get it up. Will the pill draw her closer or drive her away? Strawberry blonde model, Sherri’s popularity is fading with her looks. The pill can bring her fame and fortune, but what about love? Overweight Chicago Police Officer Walinski must pass a new physical or lose his job, along with his canine partner. Will the young pill provide security, when danger lurks in the line of duty?
Downtrodden going-on-sixty housewife, Dee Dee Marshall, suspects her husband of infidelity, and will do anything to keep him, even take an experimental pill. What she really needs is self-confidence.
A Sneak Peak at the Consuela and Diego's Story:
First Trial Run - Albuquerque, New Mexico Ah, the wonderful love they’d shared. Why must it end this way? “Diego, eat,” Consuela Morales said, holding out a spoonful of puree to her shrunken, wheelchair-bound husband. His dry parched lips remained obstinately shut, his gray eyebrows furrowed. He wanted to die and she didn’t blame him. God help her, sometimes she wanted him dead too. Till death do us part seemed a long time to live with half a man.
Placing the spoon into the jar with a klunk, Consuela gazed morosely at her husband. Mamacita, God rest her soul, had warned her not to marry a man twenty years older, but the ripe, chestnut-haired Consuela had paid no heed, choosing passion over common sense. Diego of the raised eyebrows, straight black hair and cocky mannerisms had fevered her blood, making her come alive as no other man could.
She remembered the exact moment he’d strode into the basement of her friend, Isabella’s brownstone. As their eyes met, her heart raced beneath the confines of her ample breasts, almost drowning out the background sounds of New Year’s Eve TV reveling. Quickly averting her eyes, she whispered to her friend, Isabel, “Who is that studly guy?” Isabel glanced at the new addition and frowned in concentration. “Oh, that must Diego, Alessandro’s cousin. He broke up with his girl and asked if he could come with tonight. He’s hot, if you go for father figures.” “My father never looked that good his entire life. That man steams. I need to cool off some.”
Hope you enjoyed the Sneak Peak. If all goes well, this book will be available on Kindle in December, fingers crossed!
If you prefer humorous romance, check out Her Handyman at
Excerpts, Buy Links, All Venues of Morgan's Books:
For thirty years I worked in classrooms of grade one through eight, both general education and special education, in all content areas. I was blessed with what one of my principals called the “Golden Ticket,” or certification that covered all of that and more. Today’s teachers are not as fortunate: they are asked to narrow their credentials to fewer years, and most recently, to one area of specialization. It’s a little like medicine … very few family doctors, many specialists who seldom meet with or converse with each other. As a result of this narrowing, students as young as eleven may see as many as seven different teachers in a day. This was common at the high school level when I went to school, but is now filtering down to upper elementary grades.
While there, I didn’t sit idly by and watch the changes occurring in my profession; rather, I wrote about them, and noted the repetitive cycle of such changes… phonics to whole language back to phonics; arithmetic to modern math back to basic algorithms… science text books to collaborative experiences back to individual multiple choice standardized tests … because I was there for thirty years, I was able to witness and participate in the full cycle of educational change, from beginning to the extreme opposite and back around to where we had started.
Every three years throughout these changes, I listened as budgets were debated and contracts were negotiated. And I realized that the sways of the economy had a different effect on teachers related directly to whether they were young, or confidently established, or peacefully finishing their careers. And I took note of those differences, and arrived at a rational assessment of how the budget fluctuations impacted public education.
I took these observations and submit them to a professional scholarly journal, the Phi Kappa Phi Forum. I worked as their Education and Academics columnist for a term of three years, and then, by invitation, beyond. When I retired I resurrected those columns and self-published them as a small book, realizing that the cycle would repeat again, and again, and knowing what to expect would help those caught in the maelstrom of change to confidently hang on and move forward. You can read those columns and their chronicle of change in the book titled Teaching Volume I: Education and Academics at the Turn of the Century.
Of course, while all the financial arguments and educational reform requirements were evolving, students were moving through the system with their teachers. One receives only one year of first grade, and one year of second, and so on, regardless of where the budget swings land. And so I wrote a second book, lighter in tone and featuring the teachers and students, the social side of education, and collected those in a book titled Teaching Volume II: Stories Reflecting the Classroom. A little prose, a little poetry, a bit of humor and some of sentiment make those pages lighter reading and a pleasant counterbalance to the serious tone of the first book. Friends who have read them have suggested that they be available to new teachers, to parent
I keep hearing that even though popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter exist, blogs are still an excellent way to gain followers for whatever you wish to market, including books. That being the case, I thought we could share blog links and, if you'd like, also mention something about your blog(s).
If some of you are like me, you probably contribute to more than one of them, so let's keep it to four for each person. After that, I'm afraid our readers may get glassy eyed.
Here are mine:
Double M's Take on Books, Blogs, Dogs, Networking & Life - http://morganmandel.blogspot.com/
My personal blog about what the title says. I also hosts guests from time to time. This used to be a daily blog, but now I try to get a blog in once a week, since I've been busy working on my Forever Young-Blessing or Curse manuscript.
Acme Authors Link - http://acmeauthorslink.blogspot.com/
My group blog, where I post every Wednesday. The members here write romances and mysteries. We post writing tips and share our writing lives, and at times host guests.
Make Mine Mystery - http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/ - My posting days are the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, but lately I've also been doing all the Mondays, since we're short a few members.
As you can guess from the title, our members all write mysteries and our focus is on that genre. At times we host guests.
The Blood-Red Pencil - http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/ - My posting days are the 1st and 2nd Tuesday of the month. This blog is comprised mainly of freelance editors and some authors like myself. We offer editing and writing tips and also host guests occasionally.
Your turn. Tell us about your blogs and don't forget to include the links.
|Make Mine Mystery|
|Acme Authors Link|
By: Morgan Mandel,
Today, I'm inviting everyone to leave links for your group blog, your own or others. There are many great ones out there, and we need to get the word out.
I'll start with mine -
Acme Authors Link - http://acmeauthorslink.blogspot.com/ - where I blog every Wednesday -
A great group of romance and mystery authors sharing experiences as authors in our genres and writing tips in general.
Make Mine Mystery - http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/ -
As the name implies, we're mystery authors. Our posts reflect that, as well as observations on the writing craft.
The Blood-Red Pencil - http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/
A group of editors and authors, who share tips on writing and editing.
All of my group blogs also host guests on occasion.
Those are mine. What are yours?
Morgan Mandel's current romantic
suspense, Killer Career
, is 99 cents onKindle
Her debut mystery, Two Wrongs,
will soon be re-released on Kindle
and Smashwords starting at
Soon to come - A thriller -
Forever Young-Blessing or