Tag Archive for: Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series

So How is Your 2016 Going?

Mine is starting fine. I’ve learned through the many years that I’ve been on earth that my attitude has a lot to do with how things are going. Of course, I have my frustrations. Hubby and I both are feeling our age which has made some things we used to enjoy doing now impossible like taking long trips on airplanes, dancing, driving into and through big cities.

However, we’ve made up for it in other ways. If we really want to visit someone who lives somewhere the driving will be difficult, we ask the daughter who lives closes to us to do the driving. She loves to drive and it gives her a break from all she does as a preacher’s wife.

Instead of dancing, we enjoy watching all kinds of movies and TV series together with the aid or our Roku.

My biggest joy is spending time with family–and we have a big one. Lots of grands and great-grands to enjoy.

And I’m still able and enjoy writing and reading.

At the end of 2015 one of my publisher put out a list of which books did best: http://otpblog.blogspot.com/2015/12/otps-most-popular-books-in-2015.html
Two older books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series ended up on that list.

As a Christmas gift, I offered a free Kindle copy of either of my series to 25 readers, and I’d like to offer the choice of one of my series to anyone on this list, either the Rocky Bluff P.D. series or my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. I’ll send a Kindle copy of your choice to the first 5 who contact me via email. mmeredith24@ocsnet.net

You can check our the books on my website; http://fictionforyou.com/

Wishing you all a great year and plenty of good reading.

Marilyn who also writes as F. M. Meredith

Here are the latest in each series:

My Upcoming Author Appearances, by Marilyn Meredith

No longer do I head off to far-away places that need to be reached by air. (I may ignore that decision if something intriguing enough should arise, but that’s how I’m feeling now.) Most of the in-person appearances I’ll be making in the next few months are driveable.

Last Saturday was the first one of this year, a local authors’ day at a lovely library several cities away. A fun time and I connected with a friend and fan who recetly moved to this city and  met many other delightful readers.

On March 14th, from 2-4, I’m participating in a peanl about how mysteries have changed sine the days of the Maltese Falcon at a wonderful used bookstore–the Book Barn in Clovis. The reason for the Matlese Falcon is that is the book for the Fresno Library’s annual Read-a-thon.
Because I’m a board member of the Public Safety Writers Association, I’m headed to Ventura for their annual board meeting the following weekend. Not a book selling event, but important for the organization–with a bit of fun thrown in. Plus, I have a daughter who lives nearby and we’ll squeeze in some time with her and her family.

The last weekend of the month, we’re off to Santa Maria, where we’re staying in the Santa Maria Hotel–this is where all the movie stars stayed on their way up the coast in the good-old days. The lobby, dining room and bar area are full of nostalgia (there’s even a bank of private telephone booths), We like to stay in the older part of the hotel–the rooms are smaller, but each one is unique and they are the actual rooms the stars stayed in–some even with name plates on the doors.

On Saturday, the March 28th, I’m speaking to the Central Coast Sisters in Crime, 10 a.m. at the Nipomo Library. My topic: How to Create and Sustain a Mystery Series. I belong to this chapter but don’t get to go over there often enough. I’m looking forward to sharing and seeing everyone.

On April 2nd, I’m participating in a Mystery Authors’ Symposium at 6:30 p.m. in the Fig Garden Library in Fresno.

My official book launch for Violetn Departures is on April 16th at 6 p.m. in the Porterville Library–and there’s going to be cupcakes!

And that’s about it until July 16-19 when we’ll be in Las Vegas for the Public Safety Writers Association’s Annual Conference. Love this conference where mystery writers can share and learn from all sorts of law enforcement officers, firemen, and other public safety personnel. I’ve become friends with so many of this group who are willing to share their expertise.

As time goes by, I”m sure I’ll be booking other dates for appearances–but that’s it for now.

For all you readers out there, do attend author events in your local area, it means a lot to those of us who do these.

Looking forward to meeting and introducing both my series to new readers.

Marilyn Meredith aka F. M. Meredith


The Rocky Bluff P.D. Mystery Series


The Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series

Cozy Police Procedurals?

Is there such a thing?

That seems to be the category given to both my series by reviewers. And in some ways I suppose they are right. The following is what fits and what doesn’t:

Both series are set in small towns. Deputy Tempe Crabtree solves crimes in the mountain community of Bear Creek, and on the Indian reservation as well.

Tempe is a female sleuth–though she is in law enforcement. She is also Native American.

Her sidekick is her preacher husband.

She doesn’t have any animals.

In the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, there are many characters–and the spotlight shifts from one to another. Two of the main characters are Detective Doug Milligan and his wife, Officer Stacey Milligan. One of the readers’ favorites is Officer Gordon Butler who has bumbled his way through several books and his love life has been dismal up until the latest books

Rocky Bluff is a small Southern California community. The police department doesn’t have much in the way of modern equipment. Most crimes are solved the old fashioned way, asking lots of questions and putting the clues together.

Pets do not play an important part in the series.

Neither series has any “bad language” and though there is romance, I always close the bedroom door.

Next Wednesday evening, September 10th at 7 p.m., I’m appearing on a panel with some cozy writers at the Buena Vista Branch of the library in Burbank, CA. I certainly hope I’m not a disappointment to any readers who come who are fans of the cozy genre.

The latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery is Spirit Shapes. Coming in October is River Spirits.

The latest Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery is Murder in the Worst Degree.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Christmas Greetings

In the spirit of Christmas, I’m going to give a copy of one of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries to one of the commenters on my post today. The person I choose at random may pick the following list of books. For the first time in ages, I actually have a print copy of each one.

I’ve listed them in order, earliest book to latest.

Deadly Trail
Deadly Omen
Unequally Yoked
Wing Beat
Calling the Dead
Judgment Fire
Kindred Spirits
Dispel the Mist
Invisible Path
Bears With Us
Raging Water
Spirit Shapes

If you are unfamiliar with the series, Deputy Tempe Crabtree is a Native American resident deputy in the mountain community of Bear Creek in the Southern Sierra. She has a large area to patrol and it’s adjacent to the Bear Creek Indian Reservation. She’s married to the minister of the local church. The fact that she sometimes uses Indian rituals in order to help solve crimes has at times caused some friction in an otherwise happy marriage.

Through the years she’s learned more and more about her ethnic heritage usually through the tutoring of Nick Two John who runs the Bear Creek Inn with his significant other.

This is a great opportunity for someone to get acquainted with Tempe and Bear Creek.


To learn more about each book visit http://fictionforyou.com/

Or check them out on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or other Internet booksellers.

One More Blog Tour Over, Phew!

I just finished a blog tour for my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Spirit Shapes.


Because it takes a long time to both arrange the tour stops and write the blog posts I started about two months ago. This particular tour had a bunch of problems and hitches. Did I learn anything, yes.

One is to make sure the person who volunteers to host actually has a blog they know how to use.

It also helps if the blog host puts the blog and all photos etc. up ahead of time and dates it for the time it’s supposed to appear. Not everyone does this and sometimes he or she forgets.

I learned to send an email a day or two ahead of time to remind the person so that he or she didn’t have to scramble at the last minute.

Even though I asked each person to tell me when they received my material and the did, I had a couple tell me they never heard from me.

I am not being critical because goodness knows that I screw up at times too.

A month with a blog every single day is too long. I’d planned to skip the weekends, then I ran into blog hosts who wanted to have me on a weekend. I also had someone tell me weekends get the most hits, but I’m not sure that’s true.

Going on a trip while you’re on a blog tour complicates things. And of course I did. I drove to Portland OR with my publisher and was on the road and in hotels for 6 days. I took along my iPad and when I could get wifi I tracked the blogs and made comments on them and promoted as best I could.

It also helps if your computer doesn’t die while you’re on a blog tour. Mine got infected by a virus when I downloaded what I thought were updates to Windows. The computer was in the shop for over a week–drove me a bit crazy. The tech worked on it, brought it back home, worked on it some more, then worked on it remotely. It’s fixed, though there are some changes that I haven’t completely gotten used to yet.

One thing that always surprised me is when I go to the blog of the day and read the post I’ve written (sometimes finding a typo) I’ve forgotten what I wrote and it’s fun to read it again.

So, though I had fun, had a lot of followers along the way and one of them will have her name used for a character in my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, I am relieved it’s over. Has it resulted in sales? I have no idea. Couldn’t see much difference in the Amazon ratings. I think I’ll have to wait for the royalty report to see if it helped.

Will I do another blog tour? I’m not sure. There may be other things that aren’t so time consuming that are more profitable. But then again, I kind of like doing them.

And here’s a link to a trailer for Spirit Shapes:


From an exhausted, Marilyn

Showing Off My Cover for Spirit Shapes

Don’t you love it? The artist, Ana Winson, always seems to design the perfect cover for the book.

She explained that the light wolf stands for good and the dark wolf for evil. The spirit shape in the middle is key to the story, but you’ll have to read it to find out why.

Here’s the blurb:

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.

I had a great time writing this book and now I’m busy planning the promotion.
I’ve been working on a blog tour, more later, and I’ve set up some in-person events.
The book isn’t available yet, but will be soon.

Figuring Out What to Write Next in a Series

I’m going to refer to my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series and how I come up with the next book to write.

For those of you who are not familiar with Tempe, she’s a resident deputy in the large area surrounding Bear Creek, a small village in the Southern Sierra. (Sierra means mountain.) It’s in the central part California.

Tempe is part Indian, one of the Bear Creek Indian tribes. (There is no such thing, but the Bear Creek Indian Reservation that appears in the story is much like the Tule River Indian Reservation. The Indians who live there call themselves Tule Indians but most of them are Yokuts.)

 Because of Tempe’s experience using an Indian ritual to call back the dead, she is sometimes visited by the ghosts of those who have passed on. Not a comfortable experience. 

Tempe is married to Hutch Hutchinson, the local preacher. He doesn’t approve of some of native ceremonies she’s participated in, though he’s become more tolerant through the years.

Tempe has an Indian friend named Nick Two John who she often consults when she can’t figure something out. At times, Hutch, has experienced a bit of jealousy over his wife’s friendship–but now he and Two John are friends.

I’ve written about murders in and around Bear Creek and even on the reservation. I’ve taken Tempe away from the area to investigate crimes.

While thinking about what I was going to write next I thought it might be fun to write about a haunted house.
When I began writing more ideas popped up concerning devil worship, evil spirits, old crimes, and of course, murder.

The book, Spirit Shapes, is done and at the publishers awaiting the editing process.

While waiting, I’m working on the next in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

Readers, what do you expect in an ongoing series?

Writers of series, where do you get your ideas for the next book?


Available now as a print book and ebook.

Our Pets Through the Years

From the cat who literally swallowed the canary (and then threw it up on
your aunt’s antique Persian rug) to the dog who ran away, we at the Stiletto
Gang put our collective heads together and thought: what could be better than
walking down memory lane with thoughts of some of our favorite–and
not-so-favorite–pets? Join us for the next two weeks as we reminisce about the
animals we loved and those who loved us.

When my sis and I were kids we always wanted pets but weren’t good about caring for them. Looking back, one of our favorites was Mumpsy, the cat. We had many dogs, but the best one was Copper, a mixed collie that had once been a “star” at Paramount Studios. My dad  (who worked at the studio as a plumber) rescued him, from what he never said.

With my own family, we had many animals, more than I can actually remember. We had lots of cats and kittens. We once had a dog that the mama cat would leave to babysit the kittens. Yep, she’d haul all of her kittens out of the box and line them up next to the dog. When she came back, she’d collect them and return them to the box.

Another cat would bring me lovely gifts, usually while I was asleep. I’d awake to a dead bird, mouse or lizard next to me on the pillow. Yuk!

Probably the most unusual  pet was son’s snake, that escaped. For several weeks it was missing. I didn’t dare tell my friends or they would never have come to visit. One day while housecleaning, I tipped up a chair and there was the snake, wrapped around the bottom. 

We’ve had wonderful dogs over the years. One, a German Shepherd, Bos’n, moved with us from the beach to the mountains. Was he ever delighted to have 2 acres to protect after only a small yard on a city block. We acquired a female pitbull during that same time period who was the most placid dog I’ve ever seen. She was the best dog with children. She had a huge litter of puppies, 12 and they all lived. Finding homes for them was no problem at all.

Now that we’re older, we have two inside cats. (Except when they escape and run out.) Both these cats are neutered males and huge. Sundance looks like a Siamese (though he’s not) and his brother, Butch is dark gray and white.

Outside we have a group of feral cats (thanks to people dropping them off–an ongoing problem) that my husband feeds and waters. We’ve caught some and had them fixed–but then they disappear.

Our eldest daughter has a dog we’re fond of and have gone on motor home travels with him–a golden retriever named Archie. He probably lives one of the best lives of any dog I know. He gets taken to Pet Mart on a regular basis and is allowed to pick out a new toy of his choice. He spends time at a dog park and has many friends. Every Wednesday night he goes on a long walk with my daughter and her husband and a couple of girlfriends who are also goldens.

That’s just a smattering of our pets.  And no, none of my pets help me write.

I don’t often include pets in my mysteries though in Bears With Us, there is a large dog named Killer who is anything but and a whole slew of bears, though they certainly aren’t pets. In my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Raging Water, a friend of mine is a major character along with her two little dogs, Blondie and Chloe.


The Super Bowl and Me

First, let me tell you I am not a football fan, at least not professional football. I love high school football games if some kid I know is playing. We went to all of our grandson’s games when he lived with us and loved cheering him and his team on.

I certainly wasn’t looking forward to Sunday’s Super Bowl because I’d been asked to speak to the Tulare County Historical Society after their annual meeting which began at 2 p.m. I didn’t expect many would be there–and those who came I figured would bail out after the meeting part.

Well, I was wrong on both counts! The meeting room was full. Though the meeting itself was concise and over in about a half hour, no one left.

What a great audience. They all listened intently, laughed in the proper places, and asked a lot of great questions. Since it was the Tulare County Historical Society I talked about my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries since they are set in the county–though in a fictional place. In the books I use a lot of the actual history of the area, again fictionalized. I write about the Giant Sequoias, the nearby Indian Reservation and people who live around recognize what I’ve borrowed for my books.

And to make it even nicer, two of my biggest fans were there and raved about my books.

Afterward, many came to my table at the back of the room to ask me more questions and buy books.

On our way home we stopped at our favorite Thai restaurant. We were the only customers (though several came in for take-out) and we watched the Super Bowl while we ate. When we left it was half-time–but we didn’t turn it back on when we got home.

It was a great day, far better than I expected.