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Spirit Shapes CoverQuestion: Deputy, what can you tell me about the murder in the so-called haunted house?

Deputy Crabtree: Not a whole lot at this point. A murder victim, a male in his late teens, was discovered in the upstairs of an abandoned house.

Question: Who made the discovery?

Deputy Crabtree: Ghost hunters.

Question: That leads me to the question, did you find any ghosts?

Deputy Crabtree: The house is full of ghosts and evil spirits. Whether you believe in such things or not, in this case I can assure you they are very real.

Question: Fascinating, so how can you be so sure? Does the ability come with being a Native American?

Deputy Crabtree: Not necessarily, but since I once successfully called back the dead in order to find out the truth about a murder and suicide, I’ve been extremely sensitive to the presence of spiritual beings. 

Question: What about your husband? I know he is a preacher, does he share this ability?

Deputy Crabtree: No, and for his sake, I’m glad. It’s not a pleasant experience, and in the case of this particular haunted house, it is almost painful.

Question: Goodness, I certainly didn’t expect that answer. In what way is it painful?

Deputy Crabtree: The house is not only inhabited by ghosts, but also evil spirits. I’m afraid it’s hard to explain and I hope you never have to experience it. 

Question: Are you on your way to solving the case?

Deputy Crabtree: I certainly hope so, though at this point there is nothing more I can tell you except that I have been doing all the things the detectives in charge of the case have asked me. 

Question: One more thing, please. Will you be able to rid the house of whatever is haunting it?

Deputy Crabtree: That is not my job, however, if I can find out anything about the ghosts that might help them move on, I will.

Question: Thank you for your time, Deputy, and good luck.

Deputy Crabtree: I’ll need something much stronger than luck.

About Spirit Shapes:

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.

Marilyn at MayhemBio:

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. She borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area, including the nearby Tule River Indian Reservation. She does like to remind everyone that she is writing fiction. 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. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and follow her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/ 

Contest: 

The person who comments on the most blogs on this blog tour will have the opportunity to have a character named after him or her in the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Tomorrow I’ll be visiting here: http://marywelk.com/

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to The Dark Phantom Review! It’s nice to have you here.

Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about your book, and what inspired you to write such a story?

Smell of Death is the fourth in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series. In each book, different member of R.B.P.D. are spotlighted. In this book, Officer Stacey Wilbur is the main character. I wanted to let the readers know how a small, female police officer is able to stand on her own among all the men she works with. As for the story itself, in movies and on TV, no matter how gruesome the murder, the viewer can’t imagine how horrible the smells are. Also, my police officer son-in-law used to always say that movies and TV crime show weren’t realistic because in real life, there is never just one case going on at a time. In Smell of Death Rocky Bluff P. D. is searching for a missing toddler, investigating a stalker and some strange burglaries and in the end, some of them intertwine.

How would you describe your creative process while writing this novel? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline? How long did it take you to write it?

I usually have a fair idea of where I’m going when I’m starting a novel. I always develop my characters first before deciding what is going to happen to them and why. Of course, once I start writing, the characters often take off on their own. It usually takes me about six months to finish a book. I always run my manuscripts by my critique group—and sometimes I let them sit for quite a long while before going back over them.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? What seems to work for unleashing your creativity?

Actually, I’ve never really had writer’s block. I have too many ideas squirming around in my brain waiting to get out. I try to stop writing each day at a place where I know what will happen next. Makes it much easier to get started again.

How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?

For this book, I sent it to the publisher who did the third in the series, Fringe Benefits, Tigress Press.com. Before sending a query off to anyone first make sure your manuscript is as good as it possibly can be. Have someone edit it for you—and that someone needs to know what they are doing. Be sure your query has absolutely no typos or spelling errors. Publishers are looking for a reason to reject you because they have so many submissions. Keep your query short and to the point, tell what the book is about in one paragraph, why you were the one to write the book, and any publishing credits.

If you’re young enough and have time, try to find an agent first. All the things I said in the above paragraph pertain to agents too.

What type of book promotion seems to work the best for you?

I’ve been thrilled with the virtual book tour. The last one I did brought my Amazon numbers way down—and that’s a good thing. I also have a monthly e-newsletter that I send out that keeps readers informed about what I’m doing. And I’ve learned if I can talk, I’ll sell books. Which means library appearances and places where I can give a presentation work better than a regular book signing.

What is your favorite book of all time? Why?

I don’t really have a favorite book of all time. There are lots of books I love—but often it’s the one I’m reading at the moment. I have favorite writers like Jan Burke, Wm. Kent Krueger, James Lee Burke, but there are many more.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?

My website is: http://fictionforyou.com and all my books and first chapters are there. Plus you can order most of my books directly from my website. http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/ is my personal blog where I’m liable to talk about most anything.

Do you have another novel on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects.

In August, the next in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, Kindred Spirits, will debut. I will be sending my next Rocky Bluff P.D. novel off to the publisher as soon as I go over it one more time. It’s titled, No Sancturary.


Thanks for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here!

Thank you for letting me chat.

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Judgement Fire
By Marilyn Meredith
Mundania Press
ISBN: 1-59426-484-8
Copyright 2007
Trade Paperback, 140 pages, $10.00

Judgement Fire is a sharp little mystery that will keep readers guessing until the end for the culprits.

In the small town of Bear Creek, a mountain community in the southern Sierra, a battered woman is murdered. Is the killer her abusive husband? Or maybe her own son, who publicly claimed he hated her?
Or perhaps her nosy and suspicious-looking neighbor, who supposedly used to be the woman’s high-school ‘enemy’? Or was the whole thing a mistake, and it was her husband the meant target?

As Tempe Crabtree, a young and level-headed police officer with a long black tress down her back, sets out to hunt the killer, she is simultaneously drawn back to her own origins and Native American heritage and uses her roots as a way to help her memory and find the killer.

The prose is crystal clear and the author doesn’t waste time with unnecessary internal dialogues or descriptions. No word is wasted; there’s no clutter, no melodrama. The pace moves quickly and the ‘spiritual’ segments don’t slow down the story. On the contrary, I found that they make the protagonist quite unique. This is a short, enjoyable novel and one that I gobbled up overnight. This is the latest Tempe Crabtree mystery from award-winning author Marilyn Meredith.

–Mayra Calvani

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