Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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

Monday, September 1, 2014

Visiting the Scene of the Crime

Last month I went home to Idaho for a few weeks. We visited family and spent some quality time sitting around a campfire making s'mores and talking about the old days with friends.

On our way home, we decided to take the scenic route back. Our first afternoon took us past the road to Sun Valley. The area is know for it's amazing skiing and celebrity visitors, but for me, it's the fictional home of an unpublished manuscript my agent has been shopping. I love the small town feel of the area and the easy access to outdoor activities, although I'm more of a cross-country skier than downhill.

We passed a gas station that used its small advertising area to proudly proclaim they carried the largest selection of grasshoppers in the area. You know you're in prime fishing country with that type of sign. :)

Great trip and lots of pictures to remind me why I love this story so much.

What's your favorite place to visit?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


by Bethany Maines

The other night I dreamed that fellow Stiletto Gang author Linda Rodriguez rewrote the back-story on the main character of my Carrie MaeMystery series – Nikk Lanier.  Nikki is a twenty-something red-headed linguistics major turned superspy with an overbearing mother and a steady boyfriend who works for the CIA. 
Notice how none of that background involves a whirlwind marriage and divorce from a blonde lawyer and the adoption of an African orphan?  But by the time my dream Linda was done that’s what Nikki had.  And in my dream, I kept thinking, “Maybe I could make the divorce work, but what am I supposed to do with a baby?  I can’t just send it back!”  And then I woke up in a cold editorial sweat trying to figure out I was going to jam all these changes into Nikki’s next adventure that I’m 30,000 words into with no place to add in a spare baby.

What I love is that in my dream, never once did I question why Linda was rewriting Nikki’s backstory, and it certainly never occurred to me that I could just reject the edits.  Nope, once Linda wrote it down, it was set in stone.  Never mind that Linda and I have never actually met in person or done any writing together what-so-ever.  In my dream, the changes were done and that was that.  The other odd thing about my dream was the very real dual reality of Nikki’s reality.  Linda may have written it, but I couldn’t send the baby back to the orphanage because Nikki would be upset, and what would her friends think? 

But once I woke up, calmed down and then stopped laughing, it occurred to me to wonder.  Do other authors dream about other authors?  Do they dream about their characters?  Is my brain off the deep end or just averagely crazy? We may never know the answer to that one…

Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery series and Tales from the City of Destiny. You can also view the Carrie Mae video or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rambling Mind

I admit I’m a celebrity-watcher. Growing up I had my favorites and follow their careers until they left the limelight. Then as I got older, I never thought that these celebrities get older until I see those dreadful words “dies at.” How did that happen? Recently so many actors that I enjoyed watching on the big screen and/or on the little screen are passing on and I feel so sad because I’ll never *see* them again, this despite not seeing them now. It was just the thought that they were living out their lives not in the limelight.

In a different scheme of things, September is almost here which means the start of the new TV series and I can’t wait for the return of the shows I watch.

  • Is Red Liz’s father? Who really is her husband?
  • Will Castle and Beckett get married? Who really was in that car? 
  • What will become of Reece and the gang? 
  • What is going to happen to Booth? To Bones? 
  • Criminal Minds - I'm hoping they go easy on the gore.
  • Who will win the next Amazing Race?

As for the new shows coming, I want to check out:
  • Madam Secretary
  • Black-ish 
  • How to Get Away With Murder
  • Gracepoint (America’s Broadchurch)

With the new season forthcoming, what show are you waiting for their return? What new show interests you?