Monday, March 28, 2011

Having problems finding your writing voice? Check out 2 distinct voices in today's blog.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I couldn't wait til Monday for this post. See how Trixie "sweet" talks Mitch Malone.

Mitch Malone Mondays - Bobbye Terry

Mitch, here. I’ve got a lot in common with Trixie Frye and I can’t wait to get to the questions. She is filling in for her author, Bobbye Terry. Kind of the same way I fill in for W.S. on Mondays. Trixie Frye has her hands full with her sister, Roxie. Let’s get started on the questions and see what’s up in her kitchen, err book.

Trixie, your story, “Buried in Briny Bay” was just released. What is up with that sister of yours? You can’t just kill people if you are unlucky in love.

Trixie: Mitch, you have no idea how full my hands really are. Roxie is like fast drying quicksand. She grabs you and holds you captive until you get sucked in. But, truth be told, my sister didn’t kill anyone and I’m going to take on anyone that says she did. It’s just a mite peculiar the victim was the same woman who took Rox’s first boyfriend away from her and married him. Of course Georgia was also the same woman who got pregnant by Roxie’s husband who was later found mowed down by a tractor-trailer while coming home for leave from the Army. All coincidence, honestly. I’m as sure of it as I am the bay will flood this spring. Bodies may be stacking up, but I tell you my baby sister is innocent and I’m going to prove it. As long as no one else dies.

You can’t spend your whole time bailing out your sister. What keeps you out of trouble?

Trixie: I own this diner called Happy Daze Diner and I get people the house special, icebox lemon pie and some sweet tea. Hubby Floyd Frye, my very own couch potato when he’s not working as a barber at his shop, keeps an eye out for me, not that it really means all that much, seeing as he has his glued to the TV screen for any sports event from Monday Night Football to panning for gold . Of course even at work he can watch TV, which does make me ponder how good his haircuts really are. Never mind, enough about Floyd. He’s an albatross only I should bear.

Icebox Lemon Pie? Huh? I’m a doughnut connoisseur myself but I’d be willing to try the pie. What makes it so special?

Trixie: Now I can’t give away the secret of my house special. Let’s just say it makes you sassy, satisfied and sweeter than sugar.

Not sure sweeter is better for me. It seems that you and Roxie may be an interesting pair to watch. Something bad happens. I’ve read some of the descriptions and other than you keep finding dead bodies it seems pretty humorous. Do you mind people laughing at your antics?

Trixie: (Rolls eyes) People gotta do what people gotta do, but anybody raised in the South, especially female, knows the only way to stay sane is to joke a little. I mean, honestly, why cry when you can poke fun at yourself? But believe me, we’re as serious as a man on the opening day of hunting season about out sleuthin’.

Wow, that is pretty serious at least when it’s deer hunting season in Michigan. “Buried in Briny Bay” is published in an electronic format and is billed as a novella? That mean you only have half a story? How does a novella work?

Trixie: Now darlin’, everybody knows that it’s not the quantity of the goods but the way they make you feel. This book wallops a heaping tablespoon of goodness in every chapter. Plus it’s just the right size for a good night’s read.

I might enjoy a novella. I’m pretty busy on the crime beat and don’t have time for big books. If I wanted to get your books, where would I go?

Trixie: Bobbye and her publisher, Turquoise Morning Press, have made sure they’re available just about everywhere. But to help you out, because I am a southern lady, I have some of the links below:

Turquoise Morning Press

Thanks for stopping by Trixie. I can’t wait to stop at the Happy Daze Diner. You made my mouth water with that lemon pie but I’ll take mine with a beer instead of sweet tea. That’s a northern thing! Don’t forget to check out the book and some other adventures of Trixie and Roxie at

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mitch Malone Mondays - Marilyn Meredith

Mitch Malone here and I'm going to try and clean up my act a bit. I don't have a lot of soft spots but I do for today's featured author, Marilyn Meredith, also known as F.M. Meredith. Marilyn gave a great cover quote for my first adventure, "A Case of Infatuation". Marilyn just released another Rocky Bluff PD Mystery. Marilyn, you accomplish so much with at least two books every year and you are kinda up there in years. To what do you attribute your stamina too?

Marilyn: This question made me laugh. Yep, I am in my late seventies (eek, that sounds old) but inside I feel the same as I always have. I’ve always liked to accomplish things, you even say that’s what drives me. I’m an early riser and that’s a good thing because that’s when my brain functions the best. By late afternoon I’m busy cooking dinner and once everyone’s eaten, I’m done with anything that takes a brain power.

You have some great characters in your books. Tell me how you came up with idea for Rocky Bluff PD?

Marilyn: My police officer son-in-law (who was killed in the line of duty 20 years ago) is the one who got me interested in writing about people in law enforcement and their families. The town of Rocky Bluff is partially based on the beach community we lived in for over 20 years though I moved it farther up the coast between Ventura and Santa Barbara. I wanted it to be a small town with a police department that doesn’t have much money and mostly relies on old-fashioned police work to solve crimes. And of course a lot of the focus in the books is on the personal lives of the police officers and what goes on in their family life.

I interview a lot of police officers and fraternizing between officers is often frowned upon. How do you handle the relationship between Stacey Wilbur and Doug when they work together?

Marilyn: In earlier books, Stacey vowed never to date a police officer. When she began working with Detective Doug Milligan her resolve melted away. In "Angel Lost" the coming wedding between Stacey and Doug is primary to the story. Because it is a small department, and Stacey being the only female officer for awhile, the issue of fraternization between officers has never come up. And as I like to remind people, Rocky Bluff P.D. is my department and I can do it anyway I want. (Smile.)

Gordon Butler is a character that I can relate to. Sometimes I have strings of incredibly bad luck. Is there any relief for me, err him?

Marilyn: Gordon Butler is one of my favorite people. Poor guy, he can’t seem to do much of anything right and adds a bit of comic relief to the more serious stuff that’s going on in Rocky Bluff. He’s a by-the-book officer which sometimes adds to his problems. He ends up being a bit of a hero in "Angel Lost." In 2012, the next book in the series will feature Gordon.

Do you have actual angels? Do the angels help the police solve crime?

The title, "Angel Lost", has two meanings which I can’t really tell you because it would give away too much. But there is only one angel who appears in a store window at night and though it’s important, whether or not it’s real is not for me to decide. After you read about the angel, let me know what you think. And no, the angel doesn’t help solve any crimes—but it is important.

Why do you say the book is written by F.M. Meredith instead of Marilyn since everyone knows you by that name?

Marilyn: When I wrote the first book in the series I thought that if I used my initials people wouldn’t know I was female. The majority of the first books were written from male point-of-view. When the first book came out the publisher put my picture on the back cover, so I might as well have just used my regular name.

Thank you, Mitch for taking the time to interview me, this has been fun.

I think my author had the same thought when doing her book, but I don’t want to say anything. Glad you could take the time from your busy blog schedule to be interviewed by yours truly. If you want to see more information about "Angel Lost" or the other books penned by Marilyn, check out her website at:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mitch Malone Mondays - JQ Rose

Today I'm interviewing JQ Rose. Her debut book, "Sunshine Boulevard," was just released.

Thanks so much, Mitch, if I may call you Mitch, for taking your time to interview me. You have a reputation as a hard-hitting journalist with your byline on the front page nowadays. It is a pleasure to be here with you.

"Sunshine Boulevard" is a strange name for a mystery. Why would you name it that?

Think sunny Florida, the location of the story. The action takes place on Sunshine Boulevard, the main boulevard circling the Citrus Ridge Senior Golf and Retirement Resort.

In your book, there is a TV reporter. I'm not a big fan of TV reporters. Does this one get the story or is she scooped by a newspaper reporter like myself?

Oh yes, Heather is a TV reporter who is right on the scene of every death reporting all the information about the decomposing yellow bodies and the acrid odor. She tries to help her viewers understand what is going on, but of course, there is no explanation. A killer? An environmental problem? A new virus? Nobody knows for sure what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard. It is a mystery…of course. Sorry, there’s no way she’s letting a newspaper reporter get in on the information first…nope, no way, Mitch.

This book takes place in Citrus Ridge Senior Golf and Retirement Resort? I can't believe there was a big mystery there? Aren't they just boring places where people drive around in golf carts all day?

To the contrary, Mr. Malone. The people living in these retirement communities aren’t in God’s waiting room. It’s an active, vital group of seniors and boomers who know how to enjoy their retirement. Dances, golf, bowling, well, alright there is shuffleboard, bocce ball, and horseshoes, but very competitive. The golf cart drag races are exciting…no, I’m kidding there!

Jim and Gloria Hart are snowbirds who annually migrate to Florida for warm sunshine, fun, and golf with friends in snow-free winters. However this season, Jim Hart, a volunteer First Responder in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge, is drawn into the investigation of the mysterious deaths. Even in the midst of the unfortunate demise of the residents on Sunshine Boulevard, the Harts try to enjoy get-togethers with friends. They don't realize that their friends are getting together for their own kinds of affairs with each other. The neighbors are in a dither over the deaths, but perhaps more intrigued by the gossip about the affairs and why the naked lady was found lying in the geranium bed.

Now that you got your first book out there, what are you working on next? Something happening in a cemetery maybe? Will they all be about retired people?

A cemetery sounds intriguing. Hmm I wonder if that would work in my next story. I am working on a mystery/romance this time with a professional woman and a cop. No, not a woman from the oldest profession. I wrote a short story with the same characters as in Sunshine Boulevard. It’ll probably show up at Muse It Up Publishing as a free read sometime. I am polishing a non-fiction book for girls and will submit it to a publisher soon. I am researching a story for girls about the first woman to drive cross country before there were any roads. It’s fun having all kinds of writing projects.

Where can my readers find out more about you and your book?

"Sunshine Boulevard" is available through my publisher’s bookstore at

Please visit me at my website
And drop in at my blog to keep up with current news and topics at

For a fun scare go to the book trailer at

You heard it here first. Check out Sunshine Boulevard for no other reason than the creative use of flamingos. Yup, I said flamingos! Okay, there is another reason. Seems she is giving away a book to the lucky person who comments on one of her blogs this week. Leave a comment and it could be you. (Leave an email so she can notify you.)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mitch Malone Mondays - Stephen Brayton

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Stephen Brayton. Brayton has written two mystery/sci-fi books and I must say they look intriguing. Let's get to the questions and get all the dirt.
Stephen, pleasure to have you on the blog. I'm filling in again for the author, W.S. Gager, who seriously could do this now she has finished my latest adventure but for some reason she thinks she deserves a break. I see that in Night Shadows you have a Des Moines cop and an FBI agent team up. Do these two get along?

Not at first. I know in a lot of cases, the locals and the Feds work well together, but I take a traditional view where the homicide investigator, Harry Reznik, doesn’t like the intrusion of the agent into his case. Also, the agent, Lori Campisi, is a bit of an odd duck in Harry’s view. She’s unemotional and doesn’t provide too many details. Even when they discover the truth, of course Harry is skeptical about the supernatural element into the case, even when confronted with it time and again.

I've never been to Des Moines before but I think it is similar to Grand River where I write up all the crime stories. Are there a lot of homicides to keep Harry Reznik busy?

In my research, I discovered Des Moines isn’t New York or Los Angeles with almost daily murders. Des Moines has about a dozen homicide investigators and about that many murders per year. However, they say ‘write what you know’ and I know Des Moines fairly well, and not many stories, either mystery or paranormal, are set in Des Moines . I thought it would be something different to add to the Midwestern flavor. Plus, for a metro of about half a million, there are some unique areas. I like to use real setting in my stories and to not always have the scenes take place in one area. I use Des Moines and the Quad Cities in my second book, Beta, due out in July. Beta deals with a private investigator/martial artist who is on the trail of a kidnapped eight year old girl. The story concerns a serious subject matter, but I temper it with some humorous scenes. It’s definitely not for children, but I hope I’ve written it in such a way that it won’t make adults turn away.

Now I've had some experience with female FBI agents. One really got under my skin but I got the last word in. How does Det. Reznik get along with Lori Campisi?

Harry is a cynical but professional investigator. When we meet him, he’s stressed over the series of murders over a few days. These are not the run of the mill shootings or hit and runs. The killings are pretty gruesome and the medical examiner and the detectives are stymied because they have no clues and no suspects. Plus, he soon learns his wife is pregnant. Now, in walks an FBI agent wanting to assist on the cases. She is a little different from the normal type of agent. She doesn’t talk much, offers no opinions until she has something she believes is solid. When she does reveal the truth, Harry thinks she’s crazy. However, he is soon faced with nowhere else to turn except to trust her.

Wow. Your FBI agent sounds just like the one I met in A Case of Infatuation but mine never really comes clean. Enough of my problems. I don't believe in things that go bump in the night. I understand that some out-of-this-world villain appears in your book. Tell me about that?

One night at work, I’m listening to a radio show that usually discusses many supernatural topics, UFOs, Bigfoot, with a little science thrown in every now and then. This particular night the host and his guest were relating people’s encounters with shadow beings. Sometimes, story ideas just hit me and I run with them. I thought, “What if these shadows were real and started killing people?” Reznik’s name popped into my head and soon afterward, Campisi’s. The plot, with only a little tinkering, fell into line. I had to conduct a lot of research, including finding a dimensional portal. This took awhile until a friend suggested a particular art exhibit. Keep in mind, the places in the book are real and you can actually visit the art exhibit I use for the climactic scene.

What’s next for your characters? Will there be another book that features the pair or will one of them be flying solo, like me. I always work alone.

I have an idea for a three book series featuring Reznik paired with another ‘silent type’ investigator in traditional serial killer mysteries. I’m still working the outlines for those. As for Campisi, I’ve thought about having her in a solo adventure, but I like the interplay between her and Reznik. I’d like to keep them together because I enjoy his cynicism and the frustration she gives him. Night Shadows deals mainly with a personal connection to Campisi. In the sequel, I’d like to center on Reznik and his family’s past. For a third book, I’d like to have Campisi actually move to Des Moines , which would really irritate Reznik. In this one, I have them fighting a sewer monster and vampire who may or may not be real.

I think I could get both Reznik andCampisi to give me the exclusive on all the killing. Maybe I could make an appearance in Book 2. If you interested in seeing more of Night Shadows and his other works, check out