Monday, November 1, 2010

Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ Marilyn Meredith

Invisible Path is the ninth or tenth book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, depending upon how you look at it. Mundania Press, the publisher of several of the books, says its number nine, but I’ve actually written ten books starring Tempe. The first four books were published as mass market paperbacks by a small, independent press which is no longer in existence. That publisher didn’t want the very first book, Deadly Trail—and I found another publisher for that one. The interesting twist is the publisher was bought by Mundania, they just haven’t put it on the Mundania site yet.

Members of several lists I’m on have discussed when a series should end. I haven’t even thought about it. Tempe, her husband, Hutch, and son Blair have been with me so long I feel like they are a part of my family. When I’ve finished one book, I’m anxious to begin another to see what is going to happen to them next.

We live in an area much like the one Tempe lives in—the one big difference being, I moved Bear Creek about a thousand feet higher in the mountains for several reasons, the primary reason being Bear Creek is fictional. I didn’t want the town to be just like mine, partly because businesses come and go where I live—they are much more stable in Bear Creek. I also wanted to be able to change the geography somewhat, which I couldn’t have done if I’d stuck with the real place. The reason I most like to tell people though, is I wanted better trees.

Trees play an important part in several of my Tempe stories. In the actual place I live, the main natural trees are oaks. Oaks are great, but higher in the mountains are all kinds of conifers including the magnificent Giant Sequoias—and they play a part in Invisible Path.

The Tule River Indian Reservation is also close to where I live and has a big influence on all of the Tempe books. I can look out the window of my office and see the huge mountains which are part of the reservation. In my books, the reservation is the Bear Creek Reservation. Much of the action in Invisible Path happens on various parts of the reservation. Though many of the Indians on the rez will recognize places I describe in the book, like the town of Bear Creek, I’ve made some necessary changes to assist with the plot.

What I always remind anyone who asks me about the town or the reservation in my books, I am writing fiction. Though the people who inhabit my books certainly seem real to me—and I hope to the reader too—I am telling a fictional story. Though I certainly borrow from real life situations, I am not writing about any real people.

About the author ~ 

Marilyn Meredith is the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series as well as the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

One of the first authors to embrace e-publishing she has several books that are available in both e-format and trade paperback, among them, the award ABOUT THE AUTHOR     winning mystery Guilt by Association

Christian horror is another of the genres she writes in-The Choice, Deeds of Darkness, and Cup of Demons are prime examples . 

She also has a chapter in the best seller, "THE PORTABLE WRITERS' CONFERENCE" from Quill Driver Press.
Also a writing teacher, Marilyn has been a featured speaker at several writers' conferences. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, EPIC, and the Public Safety Writers Association.

Her latest book ~ 

Invisible Path 

A popular young Indian man is found near the recovery center at the far end of the Bear Creek Reservation. While investigating, Deputy Tempe Crabtree learns the victim wasn't quite what he seemed, and crosses paths with a militant para-military group who pique her curiosity and end up being a threat.

Read an excerpt ~ 
“Jesus, I need to talk to you.”
My grandma was the only one who could get away with pronouncing my name like Jesus in the Bible. My friends say it like “Hay-soos.” Grandma didn’t like it when she heard someone say my name like that. She usually corrected whoever it was by saying, “My grandson is not Mexican, he is Indian. His name is Jesus Running Bear.”
I don’t know what inspired my mother to give me such a name, and she wasn’t around to ask.
Grandma fixed her small dark eyes on me. When she smiled her eyes became crescent moons. She wasn’t smiling now. Whatever it was she wanted to say, it had to be important.
I put down the bowl I’d gotten out of the cupboard. Breakfast would have to wait.
“You’ve been thinking about something a lot. Something that’s going to give you problems.” Grandmother’s face was round, weathered, and brown as a nut. Her gray hair was pulled straight back and arranged in a bun. Wiry strands escaped and poked out around her ears and the nape of her neck. She wore a man’s red plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, over a pair of faded blue jeans. Beneath the baggy clothes, she was slim and muscled. Her toes peeked out from a pair of worn leather sandals.
I loved my grandma; after all she was the one who raised me after my mother left me alone while she went on a three day drunk. My uncle found me and brought me to grandmother’s house where I’ve been ever since. No, I don’t miss my mother because I don’t even remember her. I only know what I’ve been told about her—not much of it good.
I wasn’t sure what kind of problem Grandma meant. Sure, I’d been going down to the beer joints with my cousin and friends even though I knew she didn’t want me drinking. Maybe that’s what this was about. I respected my grandmother, but I hadn’t obeyed her warning about never touching alcohol. She hated alcohol. Grandfather had died from drinking too much. Maybe my mother was dead too. No one had heard from her in years.
“Come. Sit down.” She motioned to the chair where I usually sat. In front of her was a cup of tea. “We’re going to find out exactly what is going on with you.”
I sat on the edge of the seat. She was going to do some weird Indian stuff. We were Miwok—though we didn’t live on or near a reservation. We lived in a small town in the foothills above Modesto which is in the Central Valley of California. Frankly, I didn’t know much about my heritage except what my grandma told me.
She was an amazing woman, and could do so many things. I was proud of most of what she did. She knew how to gather herbs that could cure most sicknesses. She wove beautiful baskets that she sold at Pow Wows and to tourists in gift shops in Yosemite and other places.
When I was a kid, she took me on camping trips into the back country. She could out hike me even today. But I wasn’t crazy about all the Indian stuff she did that I didn’t understand.
Grandma stared into the cup and began speaking in her native language. That’s what she always did when she was concentrating on something.
She lifted her head and fixed her eyes on me again. “You’re looking for a girlfriend. That’s it, isn’t it?”
Well, sure. What young guy isn’t trying to find a girl? But for once I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut.
Again, she peered into the cup. “I see all kinds of women. Be careful not to choose the wrong one. If you do, you’ll be miserable.”
She stared and her eyes looked funny, like she was seeing something far, far away.
I squirmed, wondering where this was leading. Maybe she already had someone picked out for me.
“I see a pretty girl with a nice figure. She has long straight hair, clear down to her waist. She’ll wiggle her plump bottom and you won’t be able to think. Women have power–especially young pretty ones. Don’t you so much as give her more than a passing glance. If you do, you’ll be miserable your whole life.” Grandma didn’t look up.
In my mind I could see the pretty girl walking down the street, her shiny black hair swinging back and forth like her hips.
After a few minutes my day dream ended when Grandma said, “There’s another one. Short and skinny like I was when I was young. But beware, she’s nothing like me. This one is sneaky. She’ll act like she cares for you when she has lots of other men.”
Interesting. This was more fun than I’d expected.
“I see another one, curly headed and laughing. She’ll welcome you to her bed.”
This was sounding better and better, and I risked a smile.
“Take my warning, grandson. Don’t marry her. She knows nothing about being a wife or taking care of children. She only knows how to have fun. She only wants to party, party, party. She’s not for you.”
I was beginning to wonder if there was anyone Grandma would see in that teacup who was good enough for me.
“Ah, there’s the one you must look for. She’s a sweet girl, with dark brown wavy hair and a dimple in one cheek. She knows and respects the old ways.”
“Where is she? Does she live around here?” I was ready to introduce myself to this wonderful woman.
“No, she lives far away. It may take a long, long while before you meet her.”
That wasn’t such good news. “How will I find her?”
“The path lies straight ahead. Sometimes it will be invisible, but it’s always there.”
Grandma’s discussion about my future seemed to be over.
She picked up the cup and dumped the dregs in the sink. Wiping her hands on a tea towel that had been draped through the handle of the old refrigerator, she asked, “Are you ready to eat?”
* * *
I almost forgot about Grandma’s predictions, because I started drinking more and more with my buddies. I became an embarrassment to her and my other relatives, and I didn’t care.
Other Books by Marilyn ~

Visit Marilyn on the rest of her tour ~ 

Tuesday, November 2
Book spotlighted at Book Tours and More
Wednesday, November 3
Guest blogging at Kurt Kamm’s blog
Thursday, November 4
Guest blogging at Mystery World of Pat Brown
Friday, November 5
Guest blogging at Mysteryrat’s Closet
Monday, November 8
Book reviewed at Ohio Girl Talks
Tuesday, November 9
Book spotlighted at Noir World of GK Parker
Wednesday, November 10
Guest blogging at Authors & Appetizers
Thursday, November 11
Guest blogging at A Writer’s Jumble
Friday, November 12
Book reviewed at The Book Connection
Monday, November 15
Book Club Discussion at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, November 16
Book Club Discussion at Literarily Speaking
Book reviewed at Musings of an All Purpose Monkey
Wednesday, November 17
Book Club Discussion at Literarily Speaking
Thursday, November 18
Video Trailer featured at Down Under Views
Friday, November 19
Guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress
Monday, November 22
Book reviewed at C.N. Nevets.QST
Tuesday, November 23
Book reviewed at Thoughts in Progress
Guest blogging at Writing Daze
Wednesday, November 24
Guest blogging at Review from Here
Friday, November 26
Book reviewed at My Favorite Things