Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Twelve Question Tuesday- Nancy LiPetri

Today, I am re-posting the Twelve Question Tuesday of writer Nancy LiPetri in celebration of the release of her novel, The Wooded Path, which is now available.

1.  Please tell me the three most important things people should know about you. 

I have a sense of humor you may not pick up on right away, and amuse myself by having characters say and do things that keep my friends guessing about the real me.

Nature is one of my greatest passions, right up there with my kids and hubby and writing—I’m a shameless ‘bird nerd’ since moving to NC nine years ago, have had my yard certified as a wildlife habitat, and am always looking forward to exploring the next trail, park or beach.

I really enjoy working out, not only to try to stay in shape and ward off everything that stole my mother’s golden years from her, but because being a regular in group pilates, yoga and spin is my big social break away from my home office where I talk to my dog and cats all day. Thank goodness for Facebook friends, too!

2.  Are you a dog person or a cat person? 

Although my recent Facebook photo posts are my daughter’s German Shepherd, son’s puppy and my own sweet old golden retriever, when forced to pick, I’m first a cat person. We have two I find endlessly exquisite. Have always lived with a cat and always will. Besides, there are reasons my wonderful golden is nicknamed Marley Money-Pit Inconvenience.

3.  Tea or coffee?

Tea. Have been fortunate to get spoiled with longjing direct from China, thanks to hubby’s travel. Coffee with creamer is just a weekend treat.

4.  Boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, or commando? (Either what you prefer or what you prefer on others.)

Boxer-briefs. They show more shape than boxers, yet leave something to the imagination.

5.  What was the first thing you ever wrote?

I kept a diary all through childhood and into college. People always knew to get me a new one for Christmas, you know, the kind with the little lock and key. Guess it’s no wonder my first novel has a “Dear Diary” character. The first multi-page story I remember writing was about horses (I was into The Black Stallion series at the time, in elementary school).

6.  When did you finally decide to call yourself a writer?

Well, I’ve been a copywriter all my adult life, so have called myself a writer for decades. Always wrote for a hobby, too. But not until signing with Oak Tree Press did I call myself an author.

7.  Which of your works are you most proud to have written?

The Wooded Path because it made one of my early readers say exactly what I hoped for, that it’s intriguing and fun and made her say, “Hey, that’s me!”

8.  What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?

 Having teenagers. Giving up the control over what’s dearest to you….  I know I sprouted gray hairs when they began to drive. 

9.  How did you end up getting published?

Becoming an empty-nester finally got me the time to complete and polish a manuscript (I know other authors get it done amid the chaos of a really busy life, but I lose hours of reality when I write, and was afraid of letting too much slide), and then over months of querying publishers I received enough positive response to keep trying until I found the right match: Oak Tree Press.

10.  Would you be food or fighter if the zombie apocalypse were to happen?

Fighter! Been wanting to try out this kickboxing on someone. Elbow strike!

11.  What is the most daring thing you have ever done?

Hmmmm, what daring thing could I share? Getting married before we both had graduated and had “good” jobs, not knowing where life would take us.

12.  Would you rather be rich or famous--and you could only have one-- and why?  The fame would be based on something good, not something like being the best serial killer or anything like that.

I’m a practical girl, and I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy all the attention and lack of privacy that comes with fame, so have to choose rich. But I wouldn’t change my comfortable lifestyle…oh except for maybe buying myself and my daughter more horses…and land for them…and a hot stable hand to help us….

Blurb for The Wooded Path available now:

Ever wonder if you’re normal? Laine McClelland sure does. When the mysterious disappearance of a bunco friend, Paula, shakes her Lake Norman neighborhood, her seemingly perfect world is suddenly filled with dark thoughts, dangerous temptations and surprising confessions. What is normal once you realize life’s short, anyway? Was her marriage ever enough? She finds herself risking it all…and afraid of what really happened to Paula.

Nancy LiPetri lives on Lake Norman, North Carolina, the setting of The Wooded Path. Originally from landlocked Iowa, she has enjoyed living on both coasts as well as in her husband’s native Chicago, taking her family and copywriting career with her and gathering inspiration for her fiction along the way.

Visit her on Facebook. And to find out what it’s really like on Lake Norman, visit her at

Buy The Wooded Path at http://www.amazon.com/Wooded-Path-Nancy-LiPetri/dp/1610091620/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415337044&sr=8-1&keywords=nancy+lipetri

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Setting the Stage for Suspense by Janet Greger

Today, please welcome the guest blog of fellow writer Janet Greger, "Setting the Stage for Suspense."
Are the settings in your novels as insipid as the description of Prince Charming in most fairy tales? Do you describe a couple of physical characteristic, but don’t mention anything about the personality of the locale?

Curiosity draws readers to certain locations. I bet many readers purchased a copy of Clavell’s Shogun before they traveled to Japan and reread sections of The Da Vinci Code before they visited Paris or Scotland. I dislike winter, but Smilla’s Sense of Snow made me want to visit Greenland.

I’m hoping readers, who want to “see” more of Cuba than vintage American cars, will read my new medical thriller Malignancy. I juxtaposition the past and present of Cuba. For example, in Malignancy you’ll learn about cutting edge research being done in Cuban medical centers as Sara Almquist, an epidemiologist and my protagonist, sets up scientific exchanges among Cuban and U.S. scientists. It’s not far fetched; one group of Cuban researchers has patented a vaccine against one type of lung cancer. You and Sara will slip into La Floridita Bar, made famous by Hemingway, in Old Havana to meet a mysterious Cuban. Is he just a physician or is he a spymaster? As you and Sara discover historic quirks in Colon cemetery, you might bump into Sara’s past.

Some locations breed intrigue. The steamy and seamy sides of New Orleans have been featured in many novels. Think about: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, Jambalaya Justice by Holli Castillo, and The Pelican Brief by John Grisham. These novels would not have resonated with readers if they were set elsewhere.

I think Bolivia is one of those mysterious, volatile places. The country is for the physically fit - much of the country has an altitude of over ten thousand feet. Bolivia has arguably some of the most colorfully dressed indigenous people in the world. You’ll see them with Sara Almquist in Ignore the Pain, as she climbs the narrow stone steps to the roof of Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz and looks down on the Witches’ Market. If that doesn’t sound exciting, please note henchmen of a drug lord are chasing Sara. You’ll also get a different view of coca, the source of cocaine, as you watch Sara question miners at the infamous silver mines of Potosí. She’s there on a public health mission, and Bolivia is a textbook-lesson on public health problems.

Other locations breed nostalgia for a happier or perhaps simpler time. Western fiction can be set in a number of states in the US (Kansas, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, or New Mexico), but generally the setting is the same – a spare, dry land that exudes loneliness. The protagonist generally looks like the land. He’s spare, often almost gaunt, dry with little to say, and independent because he has to be to survive on the land.

What’s the personality of the locales in your novels? Have you used them to set the stage for suspense?

Blurb for Malignancy. Men disguised as police officers shoot at Sara Almquist twice in one day. The Albuquerque police suspect Jim Mazzone, a drug czar who Sara has tangled with several times, will order more hits on Sara. Thus when colleagues in the State Department invite Sara to arrange scientific exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, she jumps at the chance to get out of town and to see the mysterious Xave Zack, who rescued her in Bolivia again. Maybe, she should question their motives. 

Malignancy is available at Amazon: http://amzn.com/1610091779,

Malignancy is the sequel to Ignore the Pain.

Ignore the Pain 
Sara Almquist couldn’t say no when invited to be the epidemiologist on a public health mission to assess children’s health in Bolivia. Soon someone from her past in New Mexico is chasing her through the Witches’ Market of La Paz and trying to trap her at the silver mines of Potosí. Unfortunately, she can’t trust her new colleagues, especially the seedy Xave Zack, because any one of them might be under the control of the coca industry in Bolivia.

Ignore the Pain (paperback & Kindle) is available at Amazon: http://amzn.com/1610091310.

 JL Greger is no longer a biology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, instead she’s putting tidbits of science into her medical mysteries/ thrillers. She and Bug, her Japanese Chin dog, live in the southwest of the Untied States.

Her novels include: Coming Flu, Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight, Ignore the Pain, and Malignancy. You can learn more about her and her writing at her website: http://www.jlgreger.com and blog JL Greger’s Bugs: http://www.jlgregerblog.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Today, my good friend and prolific author Marilyn Meredith explains why and when she prefers the term Indian to Native American.  

by Marilyn Meredith 

When I received the edits for River Spirits, I was nicely reminded that “Native American” is now the politically correct term to be used.

I do know that, but I also know that the Indians I’m writing about and the ones I know prefer to be called Indians. So in River Spirits I use Indians when they are talking about themselves. Non-Indians are the only ones who use “Native American.”

I can’t speak for native people in other places in the United States, but I’ve heard that many like to be called by their tribal association such as Navajo, Cherokee, etc. The Native Alaskans I met when I visited, preferred either Native or Eskimo.

Many of the Indians on the reservation I write about are a mix from other tribes, though most are related to the Yokuts—a name that is representative of many smaller tribes. These are the people who first inhabited the southern Central Valley of California.

In the interest of being respectful to the people of the Tule River Indian Reservation, the reservation name I’ve changed to the Bear Creek Indian  Reservation, I will continue to call the people who live there Indians.

And as an aside, though there is a resemblance between the real reservation and the one in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree books, the one I’m writing about is imaginary. My comment to some of the Indians who’ve said to me, “You’re the lady who writes about us” is “I’ve borrowed a lot from you, but I’m writing fiction.”

Blurb for River Spirits:

While filming a movie on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation, the film crew trespasses on sacred ground, threats are made against the female stars, a missing woman is found by the Hairy Man, an actor is murdered and Deputy Tempe Crabtree has no idea who is guilty. Once again, the elusive and legendary Hairy Man plays an important role in this newest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.


Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest River Spirits from Mundania Press. 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 http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/

Contest: The winner will be the person who comments on the most blog posts during the tour.

He or she can either have a character in my next book named after them, or choose an earlier book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series—either a paper book or e-book.

Tomorrow I’m visiting Carrie Padgett at http://livevicarrieous.com

My topic: What most people don’t know about the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series.