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Happy Wednesday, Booklovers!

It's time for our weekly coffee chat! Today's guest is romance writer, Barbara Meyers, and we need to warn younger readers up front that her books are rated 18+. Any of her links may lead to adult content, too mature for those under eighteen.

Welcome, Barbara! How do you take your coffee?

With ½ a Sweet and Low and cinnamon powder.

Ally: Unique. While I serve, please show readers your bio.


Barista by day, romance novelist by night:  When not writing fiction, Dr. Seuss-like poetry (for adults) or song lyrics, Barbara Meyers disguises herself behind a green apron and works part-time for a world-wide coffee company.

Her novels are a mix of comedy, suspense and spice and often feature a displaced child.

Barbara is still married to her first husband, has two fantastic children and one almost perfect dog.  Originally from Southwest Missouri, (she blames her roots in the Show Me state for her somewhat skeptical nature) she currently resides in Central Florida.

And something unique/unusual that isn't in your regular bio: "
I quite often believe I am sheltered by a cloaking device which renders me invisible."

Social Media Links:

Web Site: 
Facebook Author Pages:
Samhain Author Page: 
Amazon Author Page:

Ally:  Tell us how you chose your genre, what influenced that choice, and what about it makes it especially appealing.

BARBARA:  I chose contemporary romance because it’s what I like to read and I’m too lazy to do research for historical or any other genre. I like contemporary because it gives me the flexibility to go in a more  comedic or suspenseful direction, or to combine those two sub-genres as I did in FANTASY MAN.

Ally:   I know you're bringing a new release with you today. What type of marketing do you do around release day? Online parties, in-person book signings, Tweets, blog tours, etc?

BARBARA:  Oh, I’m terrible at marketing. But I’m trying to get better. I’m on Twitter all the time now. Some of my fellow Samhain authors and I just did a Facebook party with all kinds of cool prizes. It was a blast. Two excerpts from chapter two of FANTASY MAN were posted on my blog in late January. Commenters can still enter to win a copy just by posting a comment. I’ll be doing a Twitter contest soon, which is to reply to my post with a fun or factual fantasy. Cleverness will count and a copy of FANTASY MAN is the prize. I’ve got lots of ideas. Just need more time to implement them. If you follow me on my FB author page and/or Twitter, you’ll hear about everything I’m doing and where I’ll be, which is mostly Central Florida. Sorry you missed it but I just did a booksigning on February 6th.

Ally:  What's the last book you read (other than your own) that impressed you and why? Memorable, believable characters, intriguing plot, author's voice/style, or something else?

BARBARA:  ASHES by fellow Samhain author Sophie H. Morgan. Everything about this book impressed me, even though it isn’t what I normally read. Sophie created a kick-ass heroine and a cast of intriguing supporting characters, plus a truly wonderful hero. I am a sucker for really good writing and Sophie’s writing just blew me away. ASHES is the first book in a series and I know I will be reading every one of them the minute they are released.

Ally:   What's the best piece of advice you've received about writing? And the worst? Why?

BARBARA:  BEST: I have a quote from Calvin Coolidge above my desk. It starts with, “Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.” And another one from a Writer’s Digest about how wanna be writers give up easily and successful writers never do. I truly believe persistence wins every time.  If you give up, your big success could have been just around the corner, but you’ll never know.

WORST: “It’s all about marketing.” While this may be true, it’s depressing. I’d like to live in a world where it’s all about writing a really good book.

Ally:  Quick answer questions:

  • a. morning or night writer:  morning
  • b. last movie that made you cry:  The one with that Shalene? Woodley actress where she had cancer and her boyfriend died. No idea of the title. (I don’t watch a lot of movies and I rarely cry.) (Ally comment: The Fault in Our Stars?)
  • c. favorite spring flower (I'm looking ahead!):  I’m not a gardener! Um, lilies? Tulips?
  • d. If you could visit any well-known fantasy world (adult or children's fiction), where would you be?  Alice in Wonderland maybe?
  • e. Something you've never done, but would love to:  zip lining

Ally:  Thanks for chatting with us today. Let's show readers your book now...


One lie of omission could turn her wildest dream into a world of hurt.

Quinn Fontana never thought witnessing two murders would lead to her first taste of freedom. But when her overprotective brother puts her on a plane for L.A. to hide until it’s time to testify, she can’t stop the shiver of anticipation.

If her life is going to be cut short, she plans to live it to the fullest. And that includes seducing her intended protector—her brother’s best friend and star of her private fantasies.

When security consultant Reif Callaghan awakens after a rowdy night out with his coworkers to find a warm, willing woman in his bed, he’s almost past the point of no return when he realizes it’s Quinn. And he’s come way too close to debauching his best friend’s little sister.

Her enticing offer—one night, no holding back, no regrets—is a temptation he can’t resist. Until he realizes she’s been hiding a piece of vital information that could cost not only their one chance to turn fantasy into reality, but their lives.


Warning: Contains fantasy-come-true sex, get-it-out-of-their-system sex, angry-as-hell sex, and on-the-run sex. Also, accidental ferret-napping. Asthmatics are advised to load up on antihistamines before reading.

Buy Links (18+ DO NOT CLICK unless you are over eighteen):

All Romance Ebooks:

Thank you for joining us. Come back soon!


Maxie Gwenoch, LA-based media star, VP for International Planning for the multi-national gossip conglomerate, SNAP, has finally agreed to marry Jean-Louis Kandesky, a 500-year-old Hungarian vampire a leader of the family that owns SNAP.
Is marriage a big change? Not as big as the fact that Maxie is now a vampire, as well. When munitions from the Kandesky Enterprises weapons plant in Slovakia turn up at the bombing of a Royal's house in England, Jean-Louis and his "brother," Nik, are hot on the trail of shadowy terrorist groups dealing in international weapons sales. Are the Kandesky arms being sold to terrorists groups? Should Maxie use her new-found vampire strengths to ferret out the scum?

KOBO and B&N available soon.

Beta readers say “Best yet!”

For more about this book and author, read the Coffee Chat from December 9, 2015.

It's time for book talk!

This week's guest is Elsa Winckler, who writes contemporary romance, coastal, and she says it can get a little spicy with a romantic heat rating of 3. So for you younger readers, we'll be marking the buy links as 18+.

Good to see you Elsa. What can I get you to drink?

I drink coffee in the morning to wake up - milk with sugar but for the rest of the day, I like tea - made with leaves not bags :)

Ally: Since it's morning, and I already have the coffee pot on...I'll pour, while readers check out your bio.


I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 39 years, 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty's Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong.  And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous!  My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

Something unique you don't normally include in your bio:  "
I’m grandmother to three gorgeous boys."

Author contact links:

Personal Facebook page:
Author Facebook page:
Twitter: @elsawinckler


Ally:  When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer? Do you write part-time or full time?

ELSA:  I’ve always loved to read and I loved writing essays at school but I only thought about writing once all three of our kids left home. I entered a competition in a magazine and was fortunate enough to win - the prize was having my story published. I retired more or less at the same time and am so incredibly grateful and blessed to be able to do what makes me happy at this stage in my life. I write full time and love every minute of it!

Ally:  How do you set up a new character and choose their romantic counterpart? Character sheets, scribbled notes, or do you just start writing? How do you decide on characteristics and names?

ELSA:  I sometimes get an idea from an article, sometimes something happens (I stopped in the road to help a tortoise across the road and immediately thought, what if …) - I have a book in which I list the characters, their character traits, their likes and dislikes and then I start writing. I have a vague idea of the direction of the story, but the magic only happens once I start writing.

Ally:  What is the setting for this book? What part does the setting play? i.e. Is it merely nice background or part of the story?

ELSA:  Touched to the depths is the fourth story about the Cavallo brothers. They are South African boutique hotel tycoons with hotels in South Africa and the The Seychells. I live in South Africa and the stories I write are usually set against this backdrop. Apart from the fact that it is a beautiful country with mountains, wide open spaces, dense forests, interesting people we also have daily challenges - a corrupt government, for instance and a president who has no idea how to lead and but who is enriching himself as fast as he can. In this story the brothers are hesitent to get the police involved when Hannah’s life is in danger because the police in South Africa are basically useless - also because of corruption. I’ve been to the Seychelles once and would love to go back again - it is a gorgeous setting for any story!

Ally:  What is your next writing project?

ELSA:  I have several deadlines for Afrikaans stories but I hope to start a new series in English during the second half of 2016 - I have some ideas but nothing concrete yet.

Ally:  Quick answer questions:
  • a. manicure or pedicure:   I can’t choose, I love both    favorite color of polish: It’s called Petal for your thoughts - a bright red :)
  • b. last meal you cooked: Roast leg of lamb for Christmas
  • c. favorite party drink: Dry rosé wine
  • d. favorite snack food: Small rice cakes with cheese
  • e. best Valentine's Day you remember: I’m one of the fortunate people who is married to my soul-mate - March next year we’ll be married for forty one years. He doesn’t do the grand romantic gestures but shows his love in his own way - I get coffee in bed every morning, roses on Fridays, so basically everyday is Valentine’s day! (Ally Note: Wow, you're a lucky lady.)

Thanks so much for sharing time with us. Before you go, please tel us more about your book...


Zoe Sutherland can't stand the pushy, arrogant architect David Cavallo. He was just too damn sure of himself, too handsome, too…everything. Maneuvered into working as the interior decorator on his latest project, a glamorous new hotel, Zoe can't keep her mind on the job. And worse, the strange man won't give her access to the hotel's floor plans. How is she supposed to finish the design when she doesn't have the plans? And when the obnoxious man distracts her with every smoldering look, every touch...

David has one goal: get rid of the pesky interior designer. Since he's been forced into close proximity with the beautiful Zoe, everything's gone downhill. And to make matters worse, she's only out to further her own career—and he's not about to give her the hotel's plans so she can steal his ideas. He needs to get her out of his system, and sleeping with her seems like the best way to do that. When it comes to women, he's found the best way to handle them is to love 'em and leave 'em. But something strange is happening...because after a night of loving Zoe, he's finding it harder than ever to leave…

Buy links (18+ reminder):
All Romance:
Barnes and Noble:

Hope to see you next week for another Coffee Chat!

Every Wednesday we welcome another author to sit down and chat about his or her books and the writing process. Today's guest is Dani-Lyn Alexander, an author of Young Adult Fiction.

Nice to see you, Dani-Lyn. How do you take your coffee?

With just milk, thank you.

Ally: You're making this so easy. :) Let's get started by showing readers your bio.


Dani-Lyn Alexander lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac and has an addiction to chocolate.

Something unique/unusual about you:  In the Harry Potter sorting quiz, I ended up in Hufflepuff.

Social Media:


Ally:  What made you choose to write YA fiction? Are there unique elements involved that triggered your imagination?

DL:  The first book in this series was written for a character I had in my head that wouldn’t leave me alone. I knew he’d be a Death Dealer but little else. Reluctant Prince was written for that character, Jackson Maynard, who turned out to be a nineteen-year-old boy who’d already lived for centuries. I’ve always been a huge fan of YA fantasy and alternate realms.

Ally:  Every author struggles with marketing. What is the most successful promo you've tried? What was the least? Do you use swag? How?

DL:  I am terrible at marketing. That said, I’ve found twitter to be somewhat helpful, and facebook groups help a little. The best thing I tried was midlist, but they changed it (which figures) lol. I ordered a hundred bookmarks as swag. After sending one to each of my street team members, I put the rest in a cabinet, where they are still taking up space since I have no clue what to do with them. If anyone would like one, just leave a comment or pm me on facebook, I’d be happy to share!

Ally:  The best writing advice you ever received.

DL:  Just sit down and write your book.

Ally:  What are you working on now? Can we expect new releases from you in 2016?

DL:  I am writing the third book in the Kingdom of Cymmera series, Battle for Cymmera, which is due to release in November of 2016.

Ally:  A few quick answer questions:
  • a. one New Year's resolution: Write more.  Are you likely to keep it? Probably not, but I’ll try hard.
  • b. favorite after five drink: Peach Tranquility Tea.
  • c. high heels, sneakers, or sandals: Sneakers
  • d. a place you'd love to visit: Rivendell
  • e. a favorite animal: Wolf
Ally:  Thanks so much for joining us today! Before you rush off to start writing again, please show us the book you brought today...

Lost Princess
Kingdom of Cymmera Book Two


Ryleigh Donnovan’s life changed forever the day she met Jackson Maynard, a Death Dealer, and followed him home to the kingdom of Cymmera. Now she is trying to care for her sister while saving a realm she knows nothing about…
Jackson has reluctantly accepted the throne of Cymmera, in place of his father. But his world is in turmoil, the kingdom under constant threat of attack. Worse still, Jackson suspects there is a traitor among his court. A powerful prophet has suggested a way to protect the realm, but that solution may drive Jackson and Ryleigh apart forever…
When a magic relic goes missing, Ryleigh has no choice but to journey in search of it. When Jackson discovers Ryleigh is missing, he must make a choice that will either claim their destiny, or bring an end to the only home he’s ever known.

Trailer Link:

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble:

Hope to see you again soon!

Welcome, Booklovers!

Every Wednesday I bring out my coffee mug and chat with another author about books, the writing process, and ask a few personal questions.
Pull  up a chair and join us. This week's guest is Caitlin Jones, an author of YA gaslamp fantasy.

Good Morning, Caitlin. What would you like to drink?

CAITLIN:  Not a big coffee fan- makes me very jittery when writing. I do enjoy black teas though, particularly Twinings’ English/Irish Breakfast, with a bit of milk and honey. I’m also a fan of Starbucks’ London Fog, with steamed half-and-half.

Ally:  We're all about first choices here, so that Twinings is coming up. While I pour, tell readers a little about yourself.


Caitlin E. Jones is an author, freelance editor, and lover of all things Victorian and fantastic. A homeschooled student through most of her young life, she was raised in South Louisiana, where the myths roam wild and the colorful characters roam wilder still.  She is currently in pursuit of a degree in History, and is always on the hunt for more stories.

And something unique about her: 
Expanding upon the “South Louisiana” bit, not only did I grow up in the South, but I grew up on a very rural farm. My childhood was spent around gardens, hay-bails, herds of cattle, chickens, goats, and all manner of other animals. I milked my share of goats and ate my share of dirt by the time I was twelve.

Author contact links:

Ally:  Tell us about your paranormal world and the creatures that inhabit it.

In Chimehour, I developed my paranormal world by drawing very heavily from Irish and English folklore. The story’s plot almost hinges around the Veil, an invisible barrier that separates humans from magical beings. My main character, Stanley Brigham, is the medium between both sides on account of his Second Sight. The creatures were likewise drawn from folklore, ranging everywhere from ghosts to leprechauns. I also adopted some of the more underused creatures from Ireland, such as the dullahan, which I used for one of my favorite side characters in the whole book.

Ally:  What or who inspired you to become a writer?

CAITLIN:  I can’t really give a specific moment in time when I wanted to become a writer, since I was one of those kids who took printer paper to make picture books and held council with my imaginary friends often. However, I realized that I wanted to tell stories around seven, on a trip to a world’s fair with my Brownie troop. I almost lost my group in the India section because I got caught up listening to this woman they had brought in to tell different versions of fairy tales from India. “You tell wonderful stories,” I told her before leaving, and went home to Google different versions of Cinderella from around the world. Something about all of this stuck in my head, and it’s probably the first time I knew I wanted, not just to write, but to reach people through storytelling.

Ally:  How do you choose and name your characters?

CAITLIN:  I don’t really choose my characters; I think they choose me sometimes. My writing is a very character-driven process, so I let them talk to me before I try to pick  anything. Naming is sometimes a matter of research (at least it was in Chimehour), but also a matter of letting my cast talk. I try to veer away from the overly common and silly-sounding, as neither feel natural enough to me.

Ally:  What is your next writing project? Tell us a little about it.

CAITLIN:  Well, Chimehour has two sequels that I have drafted and am in process of editing through. They’re different animals from this novel, complete with few new main characters and villains that I cannot wait to share with my readers! I get to take this series to new locations, involve other monsters, and bring Stanley’s internal issues to a real boil. After that though, I’m very eager to start my next big project, which is a steampunk something centered around superheroes. Already geeking out about it.

Ally:  Let's get to know you a little better with a few quick-answer questions.
  • a. Favorite comfort food: Chinese food.    
  • b. Have you or will you see the new Star Wars movie?: Saw it twice in theatres. Will be watching again.
  • c. Something unusual in your handbag:  “Tea with Dragons” perfume.
  • d. Favorite color of nail polish: Blue.
  • e. Favorite accessory (earrings, scarves, shoes, handbags, etc.): I’m a scarf person, despite my state’s lack of scarf weather. I like scarves.

Ally:  Thanks for chatting with us, Caitlin! There's only one thing left to do. :) Tell us about your book, Chimehour...

                         RELEASING May 6th, 2016


A 1901 outbreak turns the Dublin population into a violent, undead hoard. Afterward, seer Stanley Brigham, and his companion, Vincent Cammish, are returned to the isle by a local spiritualist to investigate the outbreak’s cause and suspected magical mastermind. Armed with little and knowing less, they soon open up a world of old magic and dark forces.

Sample available now.

Buy links:

trailer link:

Hope to see you soon! Thanks for stopping!


Welcome to this week's Coffee Chat!

Paty Jager, a mystery and historical western romance writer, and I will be talking about books, the writing process, marketing, and maybe a few other things. :)
I have my usual black coffee. Paty is drinking mint hot chocolate. Grab your favorite drink, pull up a chair, and join us!

Let's start by taking a look at Paty's author bio.

BIO:  Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

All Paty’s work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story. She recently returned to the genre of her heart- Mystery.

Something unusal about Paty:
I’ve participated in a Powderpuff Demolition Derby, and I broke a finger and put a rib out when I was determined a horse couldn’t buck me off twice.

You can learn more about Paty here:

Blog: Writing into the Sunset 
Newsletter: Paty’s Prattle:
Paty’s Posse:
Twitter:  @patyjag 

Ally: Now that we know who you are, let's hear about the mystery you brought with you. Talk about your Native American sleuth, her interesting grandmother, and why you chose these characters. Is this an ongoing series?

PATY:  Shandra Higheagle was kept from her Native American Heritage by her step-father and her mother. Her Nez Perce father died in a rodeo accident when Shandra was four. She visited her Nez Perce grandmother once as a teenager and came away knowing she had a connection with her grandmother, even though her parents told her it was an old woman’s tale. When her grandmother dies, Shandra is asked to attend the Seven Drum ceremony after the funeral. At the ceremony she feels her grandmother, and then as Shandra becomes embroiled in a murder, her grandmother comes to her in dreams showing her clues to solve the murder. 

I have always had a fascination with Native Americans, particularly the Nez Perce. Before the white man came west, the Chief Joseph band of Nez Perce summered and wintered in the county in Oregon where I grew up. I’ve always felt they should have more of a presence in the county. They do now, holding powwows and setting up cultural centers. But it wasn’t always that way. I could go on and on about the Wallowa Nez Perce. Shandra’s roots are in this band who resides on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington State.

And to answer the question of is this an ongoing series? Yes! I have four books out in this series, three more to be released in 2016  and at least that many more ideas jotted down.

Ally:   How long does it take you to write a book from first concept to submission to publisher/editor? How much revision/rewriting do you do prior to submission?

PATY:  I would say three months.  I am a self-publishing author. It usually takes me a couple of months with life interruptions to write a book. But if I don’t have interruptions I can write a book in a month. Once I’m happy with the manuscript, I send it to my critique partners who then make comments. I get it back, go through it working in their suggestions or thoughts, then I send it off to two beta readers. When it comes back from them if they have valid comments, I fix those and then I go through it with an editor’s eye (I was an editor for a small press for several years), then I send it off to a proof reader and a copy editor. When it comes back I fix anything they found wrong, go through it one more time looking for errors. When it is as perfect as I can get it, then I format the document for the various ebook vendors and a print book. After that I upload the files to the appropriate vendors.  I’m also part of an author cooperative, Windtree Press, I upload books to be sold from their website as well.  

Ally:  What new writing project will keep you busy the next few months?

PATY:  At the moment I am starting a new historical western romance series called Letters of Fate. The hero receives a letter that changes the course of his life and brings him in contact with the heroine who steals his heart.

After that is finished, I’ll be writing the next Shandra book. I’m still tossing around titles but it will be set partly at a New Mexico art show with her current love interest, Ryan Greer a Weippe County Detective, suspected of killing Shandra’s ex-lover.

Ally:  Since all of us are also in the marketing business, what are your favorite methods? What's the most unique thing you've tried?

PATY:  I like to blog and do FB parties. They are the most fun and get me the most exposure without costing a lot of money. I like to make unique swag. I make a beaded book thong that is different and relates to the book for each book I make in print. For one reader conference I made ereader covers with my website stitched on the inside.  I really need to make more of those…

Ally: One last thing, before we show readers your book: a few quick answer questions.
  • a. favorite color of nail polish - Purple
  • b. last song you played on any media – Close Your Eyes by Meghan Tranor
  • c.  a book you've read more than once and would read again – Nora Roberts; Born of Fire, Born of Ice, Born of Shame
  • d. an item on your bucket list – visiting all 50 of the U.S. States
  • e. a famous fictional character you'd love to meet: Mrs. Polifax  (Ally comment: Oh, my, wouldn't that be a lively time!)
Ally:  It's been a pleasure meeting you, Paty. I hope you'll be back to tell us about Shandra's future adventures. In the meantime, we better get caught up on the series... 

Double Duplicity: A Shandra Higheagle Mystery

Book one of the Shandra Higheagle Native American Mystery Series


On the eve of the biggest art event at Huckleberry Mountain Resort, potter Shandra Higheagle finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She’s ruled out as a suspect, but now it’s up to her to prove the friend she witnessed fleeing the scene was just as innocent. With help from her recently deceased Nez Perce grandmother, Shandra becomes more confused than ever but just as determined to discover the truth.

Detective Ryan Greer prides himself on solving crimes and refuses to ignore a single clue, including Shandra Higheagle’s visions. While Shandra is hesitant to trust her dreams, Ryan believes in them and believes in her.

Can the pair uncover enough clues for Ryan to make an arrest before one of them becomes the next victim?

Start your journey in the Shandra Higheagle Mysteries for FREE!

Windtree Press:

Thanks for visiting today. I hope you come back soon...

Welcome, Booklovers, to the first Coffee Chat of 2016!

This week's guest is mystery writer, Marilyn Meredith, with her latest book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series.

Welcome, Marilyn. What may I fix you to drink?

I drink Chai latte that I make in my Keurig.

Ally: Coming right up! Please show readers your bio, while I pour.


Marilyn Meredith is the author of many published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Not as it Seems from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Violent Departures, from Oak Tree Press. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at and her blog at

Something unusual about Marilyn: "
I’ve written all my life, but my first novel wasn’t published until after I was a grandmother."

Author contact links:

Facebook: Marilyn Meredith
Tweet: marilynmeredith

Ally:  What inspired you to write the Tempe Crabtree series?

MARILYN:  Because we live near an Indian reservation I though having a female resident deputy who was Native American would be something different that I’d enjoy writing about. I became friends with a young woman who grew up on the reservation, a female resident deputy, and went on a ride-along with the only female police officer in a nearby town. Parts of these three women and their lives came together to become Tempe.

Ally:  What are future plans for the series? Do you already have other books outlined? Is there a set number of books planned or what will determine the end of the series?

MARILYN:  I don’t have a set plan about the future of the series. I don’t outline, I get an idea for the next book, often when I’m writing the latest. More ideas flow and I keep notes. Often I’ll have to do research about some aspect of what I plan to write.  No, I don’t have a set number of books planned. I suspect I’ll continue writing about Tempe until I am no longer able to write.

Ally:  What is your current writing project?

MARILYN:  I am working on the next Tempe Crabtree mystery right now. The title is Seldom Traveled.

Ally:  If you couldn't live in California, where would you like to live and why?

MARILYN:  I can’t imagine living anywhere but California because nearly all my family lives here. I’ve lived for short periods in Virginia and Maryland when my husband was in the Navy.

I grew up in Los Angeles, lived for over twenty years in Oxnard, and we’ve been in the foothills of the Southern Sierra since 1951. If I absolutely had to move, it would be to Nevada or Arizona so I’d still be close enough to spend time with my family.

Ally:  Let's try a few quick answer questions.
  • a.  Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I never make New Year’s resolutions.
  • b.  A favorite comfort food? Chocolate of any kind.
  • c.  Perfect vacations: mountains or beach? I live in the mountains, so beach, preferably the central coast.
  • d.  Favorite color? Any shade of blue.
  • e.   A movie you’ve watched several times? Gone With the Wind

Ally: It's always a pleasure to chat with you, Marilyn. Keep the books coming, and I hope you'll visit again. Please show readers Tempe's latest adventure--number fourteen, I believe...


Native American police office,
Tempe Crabtree, and her husband, Hutch, travel to Morro Bay, California, for son Blair’s wedding.

When the maid-of-honor disappears, Tempe sets out to find her. The search is complicated by ghosts and Native spirits.

Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble:

Thanks for joining us for coffee! I hope to see you next week.

It's been a busy holiday season! In addition to releasing Cross Keys: Unity on Christmas Day and visiting with friends and family, I've chatted with the Guardian Witch characters in Olde Town (Riverdale) and with the elves in Elvenrude about New Year's Resolutions. Some of them shared their own wishes/goals for 2016!

Olde Town (Guardian Witch series):

Arianna: Other than trying to keep Rayne from inadvertently burning the house down? :) I recently went through my family trunk and found a photo of my parents on their boat. It got me to wondering exactly what happened to them. I've been thinking about looking into that...

Andreas: Plans are already drawn for a hotel in Olde Town that caters to Otherworld clientele. Building and managing it will be a new challenge for me.

Ryan: Definitely a larger home. Claris tells me our family is growing again. :)

Gabriel: An extended trip to London is top on my list. And I need a new girlfriend. Maybe it's time to get serious this time.

Elvenrude (Cross Keys series):

Kam: I'm loving the security business. Since we can pick and choose our jobs, Seth and I almost always have joint assignments. It gives us a chance to explore the world together. I can't think of a thing I'd change right now!

Seth: Don't tell Kam I said this, but I'm hoping a child is in our future. Maybe not this year, but in the next two or three.

Rhyden: I've been working with King Trystan to set up guilds in Cyrilia. I hope to have them well-established before the end of next year. Oh, and getting married, of course.

Esty: The wedding. Next December 18! Mother and I have already chosen the silk for my dress.

And my own:

To keep writing. I hope to introduce new characters, Maggie and Josh, in another paranormal series. And maybe this is the year I'll do something with the thrillers! :)

Whatever your specific goals and resolutions, we wish you and yours a terrific and successful 2016, filled with many wonderful books.  Happy New Year!


A race to the edge of annihilation...

Despite an ongoing rebellion in their Elven homeland, Kam and Seth have scheduled their long-awaited promise ceremony for the night of the Winter Solstice. A deadly explosion in New Orleans has left the fate of criminal Jermon Lormarc uncertain, the rebellion escalates into kidnappings and arson, and the widespread theft of ancient human artifacts forces the Elven king to reveal secrets kept for thousands of years.

When a spirit woman predicts a catastrophic end to Jermon's quest for artifacts, Kam, Seth, and Prince Trystan of Cyrilia set out on a worldwide hunt to stop him. Back in Elvenrude, Kam's sister Esty and Seth's cousin Rhyden, having recently ended their relationship, track the rebels while fighting an attraction that won’t be ignored.

Everything is on the line. No one can hold back. The future…or nothing…awaits…


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While everyone is spending time with family and friends,
the residents of Olde Town wish you a very happy holiday!

          Christmas Eve in Olde Town

Twas the Night Before Christmas, and all through Olde Town,
Not a creature was stirring nor making a sound.
The werewolves were running all night through the woods,
The demons were hiding their faces in hoods.

The elves all were dancing; the dwarves were so merry,
The nymphs were excited and so very cheery.
With Andreas at the Club, and Ari on patrol,
The town was all settled, snug in the cold.

When out of the sky with a light pure and bright
Came a dragon so bold glowing gold and pure white.
Ari dashed through the park, stopped on a dime,
If the dragon was hostile, she wouldn't be there in time.

The children were gathered in the town square
Singing and dancing, their thoughts without care.
When what did their wondering eyes behold
But the dragon that stories had once foretold.

With scales of pure gold, and eyes oh so green
They knew in a moment it was the Dragon Queen.
She'd come to bring presents, to those old and young,
To recapture the stories that once had been sung.

Of a beautiful princess who had fallen in love
With a handsome dragon from the clouds far above
And every Christmas she brought back her joy
By sharing her gifts with each girl and boy.

When Ari arrived and Andreas stopped by
The queen pulled out a bag and undid the tie.
She dropped all the toys at Ari's feet
So they could surprise every child with a treat.

Then blowing snowflakes out of her nose,
The dragon winked boldly, or so the story goes,
And spreading her wings, she rose to the sky
"Merry Christmas to all, and I bid you Good-Bye!"

                                               Ally Shields (2013)