Tag Archive for: Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery

One of My Favorite Places in California by Marilyn Meredith

This is a great shot of Morro Rock in Morro Bay. I’ve visited this area many times and always find something new to enjoy and love. Besides all the beautiful vistas, there are some great restaurants with fabulous seafood.

Here’s a photo taken through the window of one of the restaurants.

Because I love the area so much I decided to write a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery set in my favorite beach town. Most of the Crabtree mysteries are set in the mountains, much like where I live.
When her son who lives in Morro Bay plans his wedding there, of course Tempe and her husband, Hutch join in the festivities.

The tale spills over into the nearby towns including San Luis Obispo.

There is much Indian lore in the area–and of course much of it centers around the mystery itself.

Do any of the rest of you write about places that are special to your heart?


A New Type of Book Event by Marilyn Meredith

Recently I received an email from a woman in a neighboring city who is planning a book event in her home. She mentioned the writers she’d invited and asked if I’d like to be a part of what she and another author were planning.

Of course I said yes.

The plan is that there will be advertising in the local newspaper and cards about the event spread around the city and the various towns we writers come from.

On the day of the event, she’ll have a banner in her front yard that says, Neighborhood Book Store.

Inside her lovely home, the authors will be situated in various rooms in her house–there are many.

Because I can’t attend the meeting she’s having with the various authors, I stopped by to meet her and see her home.

In her large kitchen will be wine and snacks which we writers will bring. A couple of husbands will supervise this part.

The event will be held the first weekend in December and sounds like a lot of fun. Whether we’ll have many customers remains to be seen.

Has anyone tried anything like this?

Most Fun Book Launch Ever

One of my friends who is also a big fan of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series kept begging to be a character in one of my books. “I don’t care if I’m a murderer or if you kill me off, please put me in a Tempe book.”

I finally obliged her. I didn’t use her name, but I put all the rest of her in–her personality, her looks, her passions, her house,  and her dogs. The character Miqui Sherwood is really my friend. Miqui and her dogs are an important part of the story.

The book was at the publishers and ever so often, my friend would call, “Is the book here yet?”

We planned a  book launch at our local Inn (there’s one in the book) that had just reopened. I made postcards for us both to send out and big posters for the Inn to display. I got a piece into the newspaper and promo was on the radio about the launch.

In the meantime her doctors gave her the devastating news that she had a rare form and most difficult type of cancer with a 50/50 chance of cure. She began radiation and chemo treatments. The book came and she began reading a copy. I couldn’t help but wonder if she’d be feeling well enough to enjoy the launch.

Her last chemo treatment was the morning of the launch. She arrived soon after I’d set up the parlor of the Inn with my books and a delicious cake decorated like the book cover. I need not have worried, she looked and felt amazingly good.

Most of the people who came were her friends. I talked about her part in the book. She said she was amazed by how much I knew about her. And by the way, she loved the book and her party. She signed the books right along with me.

After the launch was over, a bunch of us stayed at the Inn and had a lovely dinner.

It was great event in many ways, and most of all that my friend had such a good time.


Raging Water
Blurb: Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s
investigation of the murder of two close friends is complicated when relentless
rain turns Bear Creek into a raging river. Homes are inundated and a mud slide
blocks the only road out of Bear Creek stranding many—including the murderer.

I know there are some
people who like to read a series in order, but let me reassure you that every
book is complete. Though the characters grow through each book, the crime is
always solved. Here is the order of the books for anyone who wants to know:
Deadly Trail, Deadly Omen, Unequally Yoked, Intervention, Wing Beat, Calling
the Dead, Judgment Fire, Kindred Spirits, Dispel the Mist, Invisible Path,
Bears With Us, Raging Water.

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published
novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the
latest Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M.
Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel us No Bells, the forth from
Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in
Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety
Writers of America. 

Marilyn borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern
Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area.

Sneak Peek of My New Cover

This is the cover for my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Bears With Us, due out mid August.

When I was asked by the cover artist what I wanted on the cover, I said a stylized Native American looking bear. Did I have a picture in my mind? No, but this particular artist has done all my covers and she has always been able to come up with something that fits the story and looks like a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

I was on vacation when the publisher sent me a picture of the cover–I was and am ecstatic. She definitely nailed it.

In this particular book, the mountain community of Bear Creek is plagued by bears. Though there is a fish and game warden, he can’t be every place at once and Tempe finds herself having to chase bears out of people’s homes. Of course there’s plenty more to keep her busy, but for awhile the bears are her biggest problem.

I’ve been fortunate with all my covers lately. Both publishers have artists who really aim for giving a hint of the book and trying to interpret the author’s vision.


My Mind’s Meanderings

I don’t have any kind of theme for this post.

I’m still following the news about Japan, tragic and scary. However, I have a friend on Facebook, a Japanese gentleman who I don’t really know, who makes the most positive statements about his country and his state of mind such as: “The government is taking care of it.” “It’s almost time for the cherry blossoms and all will be fine.” He also has a cat and has posted photos of it. I like reading what he has to say.

We have friends, a writing couple that we’ve spent quite a bit of time with, who this week flew to Osaka Japan for a reunion with American and Japanese people who built the Japanese version of Universal studios. Her posts about their trip and visit have also been on the positive side.

Hubby and I with our son and daughter-in-law went to our local Indian Casino for the Friday night buffet because I’d heard they had crab legs. I love crab legs. Even though this Indian reservation and casino are often in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, I don’t venture out there often because both roads to get there are too darn scary. The one we take goes around sharp curves and over rises and dips that make your stomach lurch like an elevator that drops too fast. The Indians and people going to and from the casino drive like they are racing to get there or home. Son drove and he drives in L.A. traffic all the time so this drive doesn’t faze him at all. The buffet was great, best clam chowder I’ve eaten anywhere, but the crab legs came with no tools to crack the legs or poke the meat out. What a struggle. Daughter-in-law, who doesn’t eat fish, laughed while we ate and said she should have brought a video camera. When we go a next time, we’ll take our own tools.

From the buffet we went into the casino itself and son insisted we try the machines. Right up front I have to say I don’t like to gamble. I don’t understand the point of putting hard-earned money into a machine and pushing buttons. Son put $10 in and made me sit down and try. It was a penny machine and sometimes I won and sometimes lost, when I got it back up to $9. 98 I cashed out. Hubby did the same thing with $5. I used to like the old-time one armed bandits, at least I understood what I was doing while losing my money.

I’m the program chair for the Public Safety Writers Association’s conference http://policewriter.com coming in July. I’ve been working on panels because we promise everyone who wants to be on a panel that they will be. Not easy to do if they don’t fit for the panels that we’ve come up with. Now I can understand why at some conferences I’ve attended in the past I ended up on some panels with topics that had nothing to do with the kind of book I wrote.

Though I’m really trying to work on my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, it seems I’m spending a lot of time writing blogs–like this one.

And that’s what’s on my mind at the moment.

What’s occupying your mind?


Excerpt from Kindred Spirits and Contest

This is the first chapter from Kindred Spirits:

Chapter One

Before Deputy Tempe Crabtree could see evidence of the forest fire, she could smell it.

Smoke was heavy in the air and got thicker as she drove up the highway into the mountains. Monday was one of her days off, but when something happened in her jurisdiction she was often the first responder. Her instructions from the sheriff’s sub-station in Dennison were to make sure everyone who lived in the path of the fire started in the higher elevations of Bear Creek canyon had obeyed evacuation orders.

As resident deputy of the large but sparsely populated area around the mountain community of Bear Creek, Tempe’s job usually consisted of making traffic stops, arresting drunk drivers, solving problems among neighbors, and looking for lost children or cattle. Along with the highway patrol, Tempe was the law in the community located in the southern Sierra where the foothills turned into mountains.

The last estimate Tempe had heard about the fast moving fire in rugged country was that it covered more than 1100 acres. She was stopped at the staging area by a highway patrolman she knew by sight though couldn’t remember his name.

Though his uniform still had sharp creases, large circles of dampness crept from his underarms. Opaque sunglasses covered his eyes. He put both hands on the open window of her Blazer as he bent down to speak to her. “Where’re you headed, Deputy?”

“My orders are to check out some of the houses in the path of the fire. Make sure everyone’s out.”

“Be careful you don’t put yourself in danger. It’s one fast-moving fire. It’s in a rough area where they haven’t been able to get in any personnel yet. They’re doing lots of water drops. All the roads are closed from here on up.”

“Thanks for the warning. I know some of the folks who might not have received the word yet.”

Tempe drove by the private airstrip that had been taken over as the fire command post. Men and equipment, fire engines, water tenders and bulldozers were being dispatched from there as well as truckloads of hand crews.

Leaving her window down, Tempe drove around the traffic cones that temporarily blocked access to the road. She planned to stop at the Donaldsons’, but they were loading horses into a trailer, obviously on their way out.

The higher she drove on the winding road, the darker the sky, the thicker the smoke, the harder it was to breathe. Ashes showered on her white Blazer. She passed fire trucks and men heading upward to fight the fire. In her heart she was thankful her son, Blair, was already back on the coast for his last year in college or he’d be on the fire lines. Fighting fire had been his first love since the age of sixteen when he began hanging around Bear Creek’s fire station.

Tempe stopped at several homes hidden down winding trails or perched on hilltops, surrounded by pine and cedar trees and underbrush. Most homes were deserted with signs of hurried evacuation.

Loaded pick-up trucks drove down the hill, some pulling horse or cattle trailers, not getting out any too soon from the looks of the black sky and the large amount of falling ash.

She had one more place she wanted to check. A beautiful home and separate studio built of sugar pine stood atop a knoll surrounded by Chaparral and a thick pine forest. Tempe had been there once on a domestic abuse call. The owner, a well-known artist, Vanessa Ainsworth, now lived alone since her boy-friend had been served with a restraining order. If Vanessa wasn’t gone already, Tempe hoped to help her collect her animals and paintings and carry some of them out for her. When Tempe made the last turn before Vanessa’s she was halted by a horrifying sight.


Contest Rules:

I will give away an autographed copy of Calling the Dead, the sixth in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series to two people who leave a comment on this post or email me privately (mmeredith@ocsnet.net). All names will be put into a hat, or like container, and two drawn out for the books. I will not do the drawing until Wednesday, September 24. Good luck!