Follow by Email

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Changing Horses in Midstream/SJ SinC October meeting

Our speakers will be Terry Shames and Susan Shea. Susan Shea and Terry Shames will be our speakers in October.  Their topic is “Changing Horses in Mid-Stream.” 

As you remember Linda O. Johnston spoke about juggling career, life and multiple series in August.  She said the most important thing is flexibility.  Our talk in October is the second part; how to be flexible with regards to agents, publishers, publishing formats (very hot topic!) or series and still pursue your passion.
Susan Shea is currently Secretary of National Sisters in Crime as well as President of the NorCal Chapter.  Terry Shames is currently Vice President of NorCal Chapter.  

Terry Shames
Terry Shames writes the best-selling Samuel Craddock series published by Seventh Street Books. A Killing at Cotton Hill won the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery of 2013. The Last Death of Jack Harbin is a finalist for a Macavity Award for Best Mystery, 2014. A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge launched in April, 2015. Terry writes a Wednesday blog on her website, The Necessary Death of Nonie Blake, comes out in January, 2016.

Susan Shea

SUSAN C. SHEA spent more than two decades accumulating story material before creating her best selling mystery series featuring a professional fundraiser for a fictional museum in San Francisco: MURDER IN THE ABSTRACT, THE KING’S JAR, and MIXED UP WITH MURDER (spring 2015). Currently the president of the northern California chapter of Sisters in Crime and on SinC’s national board, she’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, and blogs on CriminalMinds.

Photo credit: Charles Barry

Scene of the Crime
Yosemite Falls Restaurant On Ashlan, West side of 99 EARLY START at 10:00 am
SATURDAY Oct 3, 2015. – Please come early by 9:45 am so we can start on time.
Members $15 Visitors $20
**NOTE: We will be served a choice of California Burger, Soup & Salad Combo, or Spaghetti & Meatballs.
RSVP by Wednesday before the meeting
If you can, we highly encourage you email your reservation instead of phoning it in, Thanks.
NOTE: please put your lunch choice on subject line
Do not log on to the website, simply send email to the above address.
IF YOU CAN NOT EMAIL Please call 559-431-0360
with your name & choice of lunch.

Dial carefully, there is no greeting announcing SJ SinC

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Since I'm the one in charge of this blog for the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime chapter, I thought I'd use it for one of the stops on my blog tour for my latest book, Not as it Seems. It will serve in two ways, besides a blog stop, it may introduce others to our chapter's blog.

The frustrations I’m going to write about aren’t the normal ones of everyday life.  I’m a wife, mother and grandmother so have all the duties, fun and joy that go along with these titles. Though I’d like to be, I’m not the kind of writer who gets up in the morning, starts writing, takes a break for lunch andcontinues to write through the afternoon. That’s impossible for me.

For one thing, I do the laundry, grocery shopping, most of the cooking, take care of the bills, and have lots of visitors. I also have some other regular duties: doing newsletters for two different organization, teaching Sunday School, writing posts for my own blog and three others that I’m on, and attending various meetings. Once in a while I get a paying job which, for obvious reasons, I take care of immediately.

The frustrations I’m discussing here are sometimes related to fun things that took me away from my desk.

If I’m even gone one day, chores pile up. When I’m gone for several days, all sorts of things need my attention—the kind of things that I need to have my home computer in order to take care of them. No writing can be done while I’m doing that kind of work.

My biggest frustration lately has been the need to change my email address. This came about because I received messages from people letting me know I’d sent inappropriate messages to them. Yes, it looked like they came from my email—but were signed my different names. At the advice of my provider I changed my password. That didn’t help. I still got more complaints.

Next step, change my email address. I’ve done it, but it didn’t take me long to realize I also needed to change it on groups I’m on, my two publishers, and places like Amazon and other places that I received notifications from.  I’ve done as many as I can think of, but I’m sure there are more that haven’t as yet crossed my mind.

No doubt I’ll miss something because of this. But tell me, what joy can people get from doing sending out stupid emails under someone else's address? And I also wondered why those who received these dumb emails just didn’t delete them.

I suspect this kind of thing happens to everyone, but it seems that my time for writing constantly gets infringed upon in one way or another. Right now because of my new book, Not as it Seems, I’m also working on the promotion—like this blog tour. I do enjoy it, but again, it’s taking time away from the book I’m writing.

For those who are interested, Not as it Seems  is the latest in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series.

--Marilyn Meredith

Not as It Seems Blurb:

Tempe and Hutch travel to Morro Bay for son Blair’s wedding, but when the maid-of-honor disappears, Tempe tries to find her. The search is complicated by ghosts and Native spirits.

Character Naming Contest:

Once again, I’ll name a character after the person who leaves a comment on the most blogs.
Tomorrow I’ll be stopping by Wild About Fiction and I wrote about keeping a series fresh.

Bonnie Hearn Hill and me at a S.J. SinC Meeting

Marilyn's Bio:

Marilyn Meredith now lives in the foothills of the Southern Sierra, about 1000 feet lower than Tempe’s Bear Creek, but much resembles the fictional town and surroundings. She has nearly 40 books published, mostly mysteries. Besides writing, she loves to give presentations to writers’ groups. She’s on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and a member of Mystery Writers of America and three chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Dead Bird Boss's Wrap Up by Kris Lynn

In 2010 I joined the San Joaquin Valley Sisters in Crime mainly because fellow critique partners told me to enter the Dead Bird Contest associated with ‘the Sisters”. I did and won the Baby Bird. This year I agreed to be the 2015 Dead Bird Boss and it was a great experience. It afforded me the opportunity to connect with members of our chapter of Sisters in Crime and to work with those who have taken on this role before. A lot of bonding all the way around. I was told that as “the Boss” I had a lot of latitude to run the contest so I did make a few changes, specifically requiring online submissions only. 

To help the transition from paper submittal by mail or hand-delivery to the new digital process, I created The Society of the Coveted Dead Bird website with directions and encouragement. The site is more than a place to find out about the contest rules, theme and how to submit a story. It is the start of a portal for all lovers of mystery – readers and writers – to find out about the world of short mystery writing. More info on this as time goes on.

The Dead Bird Awards Presentation went off very well. All except the 2nd Place winner were present. The trophies were adorable. I designed certificates for the winners and one for all who entered the contest so the Society could honor them as well. Kudos for all who take the time to write a mystery and then send it in. I know it takes a lot of courage.

This year all the stories were good. I enjoyed every one of them! The race was indeed close. 

The contest’s theme was “Death of the Party” and here is the guest list to the deadly affair:

1st Place - JoAnne Lucas for “Of Oaks and Obligations”  A fancy dinner party with lots of champagne, and a pretender to the throne who shouldn’t pretend – if he wanted to stay alive, that is.

2nd Place - Chelle Martin for “Last Dance”  A Barn Dance with murder-minded hoedowners.

3rd Place - Terrance Mc Arthur for “Golden Potato”  The after effects of a filling and chilling Thanksgiving Dinner.

Best Hook - Linda Boettcher for “The Writer”  On the way to the party someone messes with the Writer’s novel, and someone is dead.

Baby Bird - Kaitlin Campos for “Red Velvet Drowning”  A birthday party pre-empted by a post-funeral celebration of life.

JoAnne Lucas, Kaitlin Campos, Mary Taylor, Terrance McAruthur

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September SJ Sinc Meeting

Our speaker will be author June Gillam.

June Gillam enjoys exploring social issues through the criminal actions of folks who suffer personally from the impact of forces too large for individuals to control. Her Hillary Broome series takes on possible effects of superstores on small market owners, conceivable impacts of patriarchy on women in family businesses, and next, House of Eire will explore the effect of developers on the economies of small countries.

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent thriller- wry, dark, and timely, April 10, 2013

June Gillam's suspense thriller

"House of Cuts" will have you on the edge of your seat experiencing a whole gamut of emotions!

 I picked this up recently and was delighted to find not only a great story in the classic vein of thrillers with well-drawn female protagonists, but a novel that manages to address larger issues of the Zeitgeist, reflecting them through the anxieties, phobias and even manias of its characters.

Gillam brings small town California to vivid life.

The corporate transformation of the local economy becomes a theme that echos out of the personal experiences of every-day people struggling to hold on to their sense of community.

 Hillary Broome and the killer become strange, distorted mirrors for one another as well as the society they share.

The past haunts the present through metaphor and MURDER, and

Gillam deftly weaves her background stories into a larger narrative that works as both a classic thriller and a wry commentary on the unraveling of Norman Rockwell America in the new millennium!

I'm looking forward with great anticipation to the next Hillary Broome novel and to more of Gillam's fast-paced, elegantly written prose and vividly rendered characters.