Monday, December 17, 2012

Meet Tempe Crabtee and Marilyn Meredith

Today is a special treat for us. Our new friend and fellow author Marilyn Meredith brings Tempe Crabtree to tell us about Raging Waters, the latest in her mystery series. Welcome Marilyn and Tempe!
Where are you from, Tempe? I’m the resident deputy of the community of Bear Creek and its surroundings in the high country of this part of the Southern Sierra. (Central California foothills and mountains.)
Tell us a bit about Raging Water. As usual, I have many issues to deal with: a burglar who sneaks into people’s houses while they are sleeping, the murders of two women who happen to be friends, the rising water of Bear Creek that is flooding the low-lying homes along its banks, finding places for displaced people to stay and be fed, and finally, a mud slide that cuts off the town from the rest of the world.
What made you choose law enforcement as a profession? My first husband and the father of my son was a Highway Patrolman. When he was killed in the line-of-duty, going to the police academy to become a deputy seemed like the logical path for me to take. My long-lasting assignment in Bear Creek has worked out wonderfully.
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with it? Yes, I would, especially now that I know how satisfying it has been for me. The one thing I might do differently if I started again, would be to learn more about my Native American heritage right away.
What is your biggest fear? I’m not sure. The nature of my job is that I have to ignore my fears. I’ve been threatened by everything from murderers to bears. At those times, any fear I may have had was pushed away while I figured out the best way to confront the problem.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? That’s a hard one to answer. I don’t have a whole lot of time to read. I do enjoy reading about Joanna Brady, J.A. Jance’s female sheriff.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Probably that from my husband, Hutch, who is also a pastor, to ask God for help, though I must confess, I also get a lot of good advice, though I don’t always understand it, from my Indian friend, Nick Two John.
Now it's Marilyn's turn: Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, [or both] have had a major impact on your writing? Tony Hillerman is the first author who interested me in writing about Indians. The writer I learned the most from I met early in my writing career, Willma Gore. We were in the same writing critique group for years and she taught me more than anyone or any writing conference I ever attended.
With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? Because Raging Water is the latest in a series, I didn’t do a whole lot of research for this particular book. I have done much in the way of research along the way for others books before this one. I’ve researched lots of legends that are passed on by the Indians on the nearby reservation and I borrow a lot from them.

For the book before this one, Bears With Us, I did a lot of research about the bears in our mountains and learned a lot from my son-in-law who is a police officer in a similar mountain community and spent the end of summer chasing bears out of homes.

We’ve experienced flooding conditions where I live (the town that I based Bear Creek on) and I know what happens and has happened in the past. The two murders are based on something that actually happened to two women here—though they were never declared to be murders.

Marilyn brought an excerpt from Raging Water:
Miqui Sherwood woke from a sound sleep. A floor board creaked. She raised her head and listened. No, she wasn’t imagining things. There it was again. Someone was in her house. Neither Cleopatra nor Blondie stirred from their comfy spot tucked beside the bend in her knees. No wonder, her two darling pets were both old and hard of hearing.
Maybe it was that raccoon again who had sneaked in through the doggie door. No. It took more weight than that to make a floor-board creak.
Someone was in the house. She’d heard from several of her friends, that they’d been burglarized but didn’t know when it happened. Well, she knew, because it was happening to her right now. Crap.
She eased out of bed as quietly as possible. What should she do? She didn’t own a gun, didn’t know how to use one, and wasn’t sure she would if she did have one. She scooped up her dogs and plucked her cell phone off the nightstand.
With her heart thumping madly, she tiptoed across to the other side of her large master bedroom and opened the door to the walk-in closet. Besides her clothes, this was one of the places she stored many of her holiday decorations, and since she still had her Christmas decorations out, the back was fairly empty.
Her Christmas decorations. She prayed the intruder didn’t share a fondness for any of her collectibles handed down to her from her mother and grandmother, priceless and irreplaceable. She adored each and every one.
Cleopatra and Blondie squirmed in her arms, letting her know they wanted down.
Miqui yanked a blanket off a shelf and put it on the floor. Carefully, she set the dogs down. Within minutes they both emitted soft snores, already back to sleep. So much for being any kind of protection.
Her bedroom was at the end of a long hall. She thought she heard the door to one of the spare bedrooms open. Good heavens, why was she waiting to make a phone call? She punched in the home phone number for Deputy Crabtree, the resident deputy of the mountain community of Bear Creek. Calling 9-1-1 would take longer, and someone else might be sent. She knew the deputy lived close by. It seemed as though it took forever for the phone to start ringing.
Two rings later, a sleepy sounding female voice answered. “Crabtree.”
“This is Miqui Sherwood,” she whispered. “I think there’s someone in my house.”

Thanks for offering us a bit of your story, Marilyn. Can you tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? What influenced your decision to submit to them? Mundania Press is my publisher. I’d heard about them for a long time. When my former publisher died, I approached the publisher at a convention cocktail party and asked him if he’d be interested in picking up the series As they say, the rest is history. It’s been great, because I never have to send in a query or a synopsis. When I have a book done, I submit the manuscript as an attachment.
Tell us a bit about their submission process. How long did it take from query to release? On the Mundania website, they have explicit guidelines on how to submit. When I turn in a new manuscript, it takes about 9 months for the whole process. The book is edited and sent to me, I approve or change the edits. A galley copy is sent to me and I have to make any corrections and send them in. From that point it isn’t long before the book becomes an e-book and then a trade paperback.

That sounds easy—but when I began, my first book was rejected nearly 30 times before it was accepted. Then it was two years before publication.
To learn more about Marilyn Meredith and the stories she creates go to: http://fictionforyou.com and http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com
To purchase Raging Water go to:
or any of the usual places.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Meet Lisa Scott and Belle Books

this morning . . .
Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome Lisa Scott who brings Kate Riley, from No Foolin’, a November 2012 release from Belle Books publishing.
Where are you from, Kate? Willowdale, North Carolina. A small town in the western part of the state.
What is No Foolin’ about? I’m a small town girl who poses as a movie star’s girlfriend to hide the real reason he’s in town. (He was desperate and so was I—I need cash to save my late Mama’s house from the tax man. But tricking the press we’re in love is one thing. Convincing each other we’re not gets harder each day. This job is much more than I bargained for.
What did you think the first time you saw Teague Reynolds? Hot damn, what’s a guy like you doing in a place like this? And why didn’t I slap on some mascara this morning?
And your second thought? That cocky, hot guys can’t be trusted.
Did you think it was love at first sight? I’d call it lust at first sight, but I wasn’t going to fall for a guy like him again. He’s the triple hot fudge sundae of men—irresistible, bad for a girl’s heart, and gone before you know it.
What do you like most about Teague? Despite his reputation—the press has dubbed him T-Rex for the way he stomps all over hearts—Teague is actually vulnerable, sweet, and kind. And damn, can that man kiss.
How would you describe him? Gorgeous, cocky, but also caring, and tender. And did I mention hot?
How would Teague describe you? Oh, he’d probably say I’m feisty, and occasionally a pain in the ass, which I can’t deny. But he also knows I’m strong and confident. Just maybe not when it comes to matters of the heart.
What made you choose nursing as a profession? I get things done. I take care of people, things, and problems. Seemed like a natural fit. Plus summers off as a school nurse is nice.
What is your biggest fear? That my mama was right. Some people are meant for love.
How do you relax? Hanging with my girlfriends at the Jelly Jar diner, dancing on Saturday nights at The Hideaway.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Oh, I’ve got a few favorites, but I’ve always admired Princess Leia’s spunk. She’s brave and feisty and distrusts men as much as I do. And I also have experience wearing a smokin’ gold bikini. You’ll have to read the book to find out.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Mama always told me when life knocks you down, you get back up again and carry on.
It's Lisa's turn: What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? I love Jenny Crusie and Jill Mansell’s romances. The movie Overboard, with Goldie Hawn, is a perfect blend of humor and romance. I want to make people laugh and sigh.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? What influenced your decision to submit to them? My story was not typical at all. I wrote this book with Harlequin in mind, and sent in a query. When I didn’t hear back for months, I figured they weren’t interested. I had the book loaded on Amazon to self publish, when Harlequin asked to read the full. So I took it down. Ultimately, they passed. So, I loaded it back onto Amazon. Then a writer friend asked why not consider sending it to Belle Bridge? (I’d been doing some audiobook work for them.) Stupidly, I didn’t realize other publishers besides Harlequin took category length books. So, after a head slap, I sent it to the editor I’d been working with on the audiobooks. She made an offer half an hour later. That was a thrill.
What about the submission process to Belle Books; how long did it take from query to release? From query to release? About 14 months. I’m so excited this is the home I’ve found for my book. They’re a fabulous publisher and a great fit for me. For those who don’t know, Bell Bridge Books is a publishing company created by several romance writer friends, including Deb Dixon and Deb Smith. They feature books located in the southern United States.
We did a little research and learned: No Foolin' is the first in Lisa's Willowdale Romance series. Belle Books will release her second novel in this fun series early in 2013. Much luck, Lisa!
To learn more about Lisa Scott and her many stories, go to: www.readlisascott.com
To purchase No Foolin’, go to: Amazon.com, BN.com, or www.bellebooks.com