Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How much of THIRST is real? by Katherine Prairie

I’m often asked how much of Thirst is real, and each time I’m delighted with the question because it means I’ve done my job! 

My story ideas are inspired by newspaper headlines, real life events over which I overlay a simple question of “what if”.  For Thirst, it was the Columbia River Treaty, a remarkable agreement between Canada and the United States signed in the sixties, that stirred my imagination.  The treaty is an exemplary model of international co-operation, and so are the more recent agreements on joint U.S.-Canada security that arose in large part because of 9/11.

However, times have changed and with less than ten years left in the treaty’s term, people on both sides of the border want the treaty renegotiated with environmentalists, Native American Tribes, Canadian First Nations and residents of the Columbia River Valley pushing to have their voices heard. So far, the peaceful process has barely made a blip on the newsworthiness radar, but what if it changed? What if slow simmering tension erupted into violence? 

They often say that truth is stranger than fiction, and the intriguing history of British Columbia’s Slocan Valley, an idyllic location just north of the Montana border provides a rich background for Thirst that I could never have imagined. The Valley has long been considered a sanctuary for those seeking refuge or solitude including the Russian Doukhobors, American draft dodgers and war veterans alike, but it has also been at the heart of violent Sons of Freedom protests and a silver rush that drew thousands of hopeful miners.

Much more than a realistic scenario in a good location is needed though for a believable story – characters are a key element.  I work to create characters who might be people you encounter in your every day lives, and I want their actions to seem reasonable. Whether it is revenge, greed, or something as basic as the need to protect ourselves, motives drive us forward and dictate our actions. So, in Thirst I ask a second question: What would it take for someone to kill or turn their back on their ethics or values?

While our values and beliefs hold us to a certain behaviour, there is more to each of us, aspects of our personality that contribute to our actions.  How do we explain why someone might run into a burning building while everyone runs out, for example? You might expect bravery from a firefighter, but often it’s a stranger passing-by who will fight to save a victim from a burning car or house, an action they later explain as instinct in a split second decision made without thought of their own safety. Most of us don’t know exactly how we will react to a situation until we’re faced with it.    

I’ve had readers say that they feel for one character or another in Thirst, that they aren’t sure what they would have done in the same situation. That’s where I want to be – in the gray area, that uncomfortable spot between right and wrong where we all find ourselves from time-to-time, those spots where a single clear answer isn’t available.

I’ve raised the stakes of course, to make those decisions even more difficult, especially for my RCMP officer Nathan Taylor, but no one gets off easy.  Geologist Alex Graham makes more than her share of choices in tough situations, and so does Dr. Eric Keenan, and just like real life, some of those choices are wrong.

For me, this is what makes writing interesting and why I’ve chosen to write suspense thrillers. They give me the room to explore the world around me and meet fascinating characters on complex journeys. I can well imagine sitting down over dinner with Alex Graham and having her share this story while I sit on the edge of my chair, wine glass in hand. I can’t wait for her next adventure!



Brief bio and links for Katherine Prairie

Katherine, a geologist and IT specialist, stepped away from the international petroleum industry to follow her passion for writing. An avid traveller with an insatiable curiosity, you never know where you’ll find her next! But most days, she’s in Vancouver, Canada quietly plotting murder and mayhem under the watchful eye of a cat. She is an award-winning presenter and the author of the thriller THIRST.


Buy links for Thirst:







Sunday, August 28, 2016

Personal Appearances, so Far--Marilyn Meredith

Though, I'm not the speaker, I'll be taking books to the next San Joaquin Sisters in Crime, September 3rd.

On Saturday, September 17th at 10 a.m. I'll be speaking to the Tulare Kings Writers about Creating Memorable Characters. It will be at the Arts Consortion on 400 North Church St., entrance on School Ave.

On Thursday, September 29th, from 3-8, I'll be participating in the Central Coast Book Festival in Mission Plaza at San Luis Obispo.

Saturday, October 8th, I'll be in Manteca at the Great Valley Book Fest all day.

On Saturday, October 15th, I'll be joining a group of authors at The Taste of the Arts in Visalia.

November 4th and 5th I'll be at the Porterville Art Gallery Holiday Boutique with my books. The Gallery is located on Main St. in Porterville.

Of course I'm available for other open dates. Love to give talks about my books, all aspects of writing and publishing.

Leave a message in a comment and I'll contact you.

Marilyn

Friday, August 26, 2016

No Electricity--Eeeek!

Yesterday, while I was getting ready to leave for a meeting--and working away on the computer, the screen went dark. I realized the lights were off too.

Sent hubby and grandson-in-law out to check the electric boxes--all was fine.

I called the electric company--their number for emergencies and everything else--got an automated system and answered all the questions, and was given a service number. Then it was time for me to go to my meeting.

During the meeting I messaged my granddaughter and asked if it was fixed yet--the answer was no. Told her to ask her grandpa to call again.

We have lunch at this meeting and I ordered one of the specials--a Reuben Sandwich and soup. The soup came in a tiny bowl crammed with enormous chunks of veggies one of which was an obviously burned broccoli. It looked terrible. The sandwich was no better. I love Reubens, but this had big hunks of corn beef, hardly any sauerkraut, unidentifiable cheese, and scant dressing--couldn't tell what it was supposed to be. I ate a couple of bites of the corned beef and gave up. Yes, I complained--and I didn't have to pay except for my coffee. Left a good tip, not the waitresses fault. This is the first time I've had a bad meal in that restaurant.  

Drove home around noon, fully expecting to get  right to work. No such luck. Learned hubby called again, and daughter-in-law followed up and got to speak with a person. 

I was hungry, didn't want to open the refrigerator so I ate a piece of birthday cake.

A man from the electric co. came--verdict, blown transformer. Had to go back to town to do paperwork and order transformer. Around 4:30 a crew and 3 trucks arrived. Electricity back on by the time we got home from having dinner. Hooray!

It was hot yesterday, but not as hot as it has been.

I certainly learned how much we rely on our electricity--and the biggest thing is we have no water when the electricity is out because we are on our own well.

So that was yesterday's excitement. No writing done at all.

Marilyn



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Once Again, my Birthday has Rolled Around, Marilyn Meredith

I am at an age that birthdays aren't all that important--except for the fact that I am still here, in good health, and enjoying many, many blessings. God has been good to me. I have a huge, supportive family--and so many little ones to love.


Here I am at one of my many birthdays--believe this one was the last biggie! I know the setting is my youngest daughter's home.

Some interesting facts about my birthday:

I share it with a good friend, Lorna Collins, who has so many personality quirks like mine that it's rather amazing.

I don't really like surprises--and have disappointed those who have tried to give me surprise birthday parties. Not because I figure it out, but because I always have things planned out and I think whatever is going on is going to mess up my plans. (Terrible, I know.)

As far as birthday presents go, there is nothing that I need or want--except maybe for more people to try my books. (Hint, hint.)

You can find Seldom Traveled , the latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery at Amazon, but in all different formats at the publisher: 





Monday, August 22, 2016

Deadly Jewels by Jeannette de Beauvoir


This was an amazing read.

The tale begins with the heroine, Martine LeDuc, taking a Grayline tour of her Montreal, to remind herself why she loves her city.

Intertwined throughout the story is the tale of a German spy, during World War II--and important part of the whole story about the crown jewels of England being hidden away in Montreal for safety during the war years.

Being from the US and never having visited Canada, I was fascinated with what I learned about Montreal--making me want to visit while being drawn into this fascinating mystery.

The history of a part of the Holocaust, Nazis during World War II, and a touch of magic add to the complexities of this mystery.

There are many twists and turns and plenty of surprises, including the reveal at the end, which was totally unexpected.

I highly recommend Deadly Jewels.

I was given this book in exchange for an unbiased review--and I am so glad I had the chance to read it.

Marilyn 



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What's Going on Towards Seldom Traveled



you'll see Seldom Traveled is already offered for sale on the Amazon site. The official release date isn't until August 19 when I should be able to order my author copies.

This is the official blurb:

The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a raging forest fire. Deputy Tempe Crabtree is threatened by all three.

With all the fires raging in California, this is a most timely mystery. However, my tale is fiction, what is happening to people all around the state is far too real. Families have lost their homes, some their pets, and many have been terrorized by the flames advancing as they are fleeing.

This book was written long before our latest rash of fires--so though it's not on the dedication page--I dedicate this book to all those who have been threatened by these fires.

Marilyn 

Monday, August 15, 2016

HOW AMERICAN NIGHTS GOT ITS TITLE by Gerrie Ferris Finger



Thanks Marilyn for inviting me to your blog and to write about my new release American Nights on August 17.

American Nights is the 6th in the Moriah Dru/Richard Lake mystery/thriller series. Dru is a former policewoman turned child-finder (Child Trace, Inc.) and Lake is an Atlanta homicide lieutenant. Another major cast member is Portia Devon, a juvenile judge and Dru’s best friend since kindergarten at Christ the King Catholic school in Atlanta. Dennis Caldwell (Webdog) is Dru’s IT guru. She believes she’d never solve a case were it not for his computer wizardry. Pearly Sue Ellis is a newly-minted, gun-toting Child Trace investigator straight from South Georgia, eager to get her first field trial. She does. She succeeds, Pearly Sue style. Commander Haskell is head of the Atlanta Police Department’s Major Case Squad, Lake’s boss, and a friend to Dru. When with the APD, he had mentored her as a fast tracker.

In this book, a Saudi Arabian prince had gone to college with Portia Devon. Prince Husam asks Portia to convince Dru to find his wife, Reeve, and daughter, Shahrazad (Shara) on the quiet. Dru will not consider such an assignment without sharing the case with Lake. They are lovers and partners. He helps her in her cases; she helps him. That’s just the way it is, she tells Portia. After a take-it-or-leave it message, the prince gives in.

Portia tells Dru that the prince is a great storyteller and is partial to reciting tales from Thousand and One Nights, aka, Arabian Nights. One of his favorites, she told Dru, was Ali with the Large Member. Despite being a devout Sunni, he had no problem telling this risqué tale to crowds of men and women.

At a dinner to introduce himself and his story to Dru and Lake, he strikes Dru as charming but unbelievable. The meal is typical Saudi fare, but Hasam has added alcohol because, “When in America, you do what the American do.” To Lt. Lake, Hasam is too elusive in explaining his reason for finding his missing family. Besides he’s incredibly good looking and hit the Top 10 of the world’s most handsome men.

Prince Hasam tells of falling in love with Reeve Cresley, of turning his back on his possible ascendancy to the power structure of the Saudi kingdom for the woman he loves, their marriage and fathering a four-year-old daughter. He talks of his king’s disapproval of him marrying and siring an infidel. But then he says some cousins in the royal family are pressuring him to return to his homeland, renounce his American family, marry his betrothed, Saudi Princess Aya, and become an heir to kingship. Dru thinks she’s fallen into a fairy tale.

Dru talks to Reeve’s parents, Lowell and Donna Cresley, who do not seem disturbed that Reeve is missing with their granddaughter, Shara. They hate the prince and are generally disagreeable themselves. Dru senses Lowell is an unfaithful husband and an alcoholic. He is a prominent heart surgeon. Donna is a medical charity maven. Webdog, in researching the couple, finds Lowell’s made medical mistakes, and Donna sponsored a child that her husband unsuccessfully operated on.

The Cresley’s are murdered and Husam is suspect number one, although as the story progresses, other viable suspects emerge. After the murders, Dru and Lake discover where Reeve and Shara had been hiding—in a house in the Cresley’s ritzy gated community. The Cresley’s were taking care of the home while the residents were abroad. After the murder of her parents, and fearing Husam will find her and Shara, Reeve takes Shara to Boulder where she meets up with Thomas Page, a colleague and lover.

As U. S. visa resident, Prince Husam is a partner in a New York law firm. Reeve is a scientist who works for NASA in the planetary division in Boulder. The couple spend little time living together. Husam goes off to Paris to see his Saudi princess, Aya, and Reeve is in an affair with Thomas Page. As Dru remarks, nobody in this tale is faithful.

Through Web’s internet digging and his connection to Interpol, Dru learns that a French biographer is writing a book on the royal family. A revelation will change Husam’s life.

And that’s all I’m going to tell you. Other than there are several Arabian Nights tales in the book told by Hasam. He is quite a charmer and the tales are as bawdy as modern stories.

That is how, my dear friends, American Nights got its title.

--Gerrie Ferris Finger


Bio and links Gerrie Ferris Finger:

Retireed journalist for The Atlanta-Journal Constitution,Gerrie Ferris Finger won the 2009 St. Martin’s Press/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel for The End Game. The Last Temptation is the second in the Moriah Dru/Richard Lake series. She lives on the coast of Georgia with her husband and standard poodle, Bogey. www.gerrieferrisfinger.com

@gerrieferris
Buy link for Running with Wild Blood by Gerrie Ferris Finger:
Buy link for American Nights: