#2020EventSchedule #BuildingALocalReadership #CentralFloridasFabulousWildlife #SpringTea

My favorite part of marketing is building a local readership. I’ve shared things about this many times, so many (most?) of you know this. I have this year’s dates scheduled, and know what I’ll be doing for January and February, though the rest are still To Be Announced. (Gotta see how many new slide shows I can put together, and which of my older programs have received requests for “reruns.”) But for those of you in this area, here is what I have so far. (NOTE: If you are a regular attendee, mark your calendars for the following dates, and stay tuned as I figure out which programs are going where.)

2020 Event Schedule

January

  • January 11Enterprise Museum – #CFFW – “Alligators & Crocodiles” 1:00 – 3:00pm FREE, no reservations required (Donations to museum gratefully accepted)
  • January 25Enterprise Museum – Book Release Open House – 1:00-4:00pm, Book reading at 2:00pm, hourly drawings for free signed books, FREE, no reservations required (Donations to museum always gratefully accepted!)

February

  • February 8Enterprise Museum #CFFW slide presentation “Furry Critters Part 2” 1:00-3:00, FREE, no reservations required (Donations to museum happily accepted)
  • February 22DeBary Hall – Springtime Tea – 11:00am, includes lunch and custom teas, reading, and book signing afterward. Call for reservations and price.

March

  • March 7 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
  • March 28 – Enterprise Museum – TBA

April

  • April 11 – DeBary Hall – TBA
  • April 18- Enterprise Museum – TBA

May

  • May 2 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
  • May 9 – DeBary Hall – TBA
  • May 23 – Enterprise Museum – TBA

June

  • June 6 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
  • June 13 – DeBary Hall – TBA
  • June 27 – Enterprise Museum – TBA

July:

  • July 11 – DeBary Hall – TBA
  • July 25 – Enterprise Museum – TBA

August:

  • August 8 – DeBary Hall – TBA
  • August 15 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
  • August 29 – Enterprise Museum – TBA

September:

  • September 12 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
  • September 26 – Enterprise Museum – Autumn Tea – 11:00am,  includes lunch and custom teas, reading, and book signing afterward. Call for reservations and price.

And here are the flyers I have so far:

January 11 – Enterprise Museum:

January 25 – Enterprise Museum

February 8 – Enterprise Museum

So happy to be getting 2020 underway with such fun programs, and a Release Party, of all things! My first, and I’m super excited about it! Hope to see many of you there, and at some of the other programs I’ll be presenting through the year! Happy New Year, folks, and may 2020 be our best year yet! 

#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare @marciameara

Another week gone by, another chance to share photos from my Inspiration Board. In addition to Florida rivers and wildlife, my Inspiration Board is filled with  photos of the mountains of North Carolina, not only because my Wake-Robin Ridge series is set there, but because it is truly my favorite place on earth. Who could not be inspired by scenery like this? Rhododendrons in bloom, rolling hills in the distance, and light streaming down from the heavens above. *Happy Sigh* Hope it inspires you, as well.

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#SwampGhosts Meet the Author Eco-Tour

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Off for an afternoon on the fabulous St. Johns River with a group of folks from a local book club. I really love doing all of these events here in central Florida, but a river cruise has got to be right at the top of the list. What could be more fun than a relaxing ride on the St. Johns, watching the birds and gators and manatees? Sharing it with fellow book lovers, that’s what!

You guys have a great weekend, and tomorrow, I’ll be letting you know what’s in store for the weeks ahead. Write on!

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#ExcerptWeek – #FindingHunter No. 1

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You guys with books to promote should really take advantage of #ExcerptWeek, you know. But as long as it’s this slow, I’m going to fill in with excerpts of my own, so be forewarned. This is the first scene of Chapter 2 in my latest book, Finding Hunter, which is Book 2 of the Riverbend series. Hunter Painter is a quirky, shy man, who carries a lot of secrets close to his heart. Some of them are tragic, and some pertain to how he feels about Willow Greene. Namely, that he’s loved her since high school, and never had the nerve to tell her, or anyone else, before confessing to his best friend. He has just hung up the phone and realizes he’s agreed to lunch at her house. Blind panic is all he feels. (And in this book, there is a poem at the start of each chapter that relates to the prologue, and hints at a mystery to come.) Enjoy!
*********

Before, I never thought about taking a life. Not once.
Now, the thought fills my mind day and night, and
I wonder how I’ll hide that terrible need,
As an old car swings to the shoulder,
And stops.
~ Traveling Man ~ 

~~~
Doomed
~~~ 

8:15PM Friday, December 28, 2012

“OH, MY GOD, Biscuit. What have I done?” Hunter Painter flung himself backward on his bed, and stared at the ceiling in shock. His dog immediately took this dramatic event as an excuse to leap onto the bed and begin administering first aid. This mostly consisted of lots of very warm, very wet licks to Hunter’s face.

“Stop, Bisk! If you’re staying up here, lie down and be still.”

The smooth-haired collie lowered himself, head on paws, concerned eyes watching every move Hunter made, in case more attention was needed. But it seemed the drama was over, except for some muttering and grumbling.

Hunter scratched his tan and white companion behind the ears as he replayed the phone conversation in his mind. He had only intended to test the waters, just wanting to see if he could handle a one-on-one conversation with Willow and not turn into a gibbering idiot. Like a moon-drunk fool, he had confessed to Gunnar Wolfe that he had been in love with Willow since the eleventh grade, and Gunn had urged him to call her. After a week of long, hard thought—and fortified by three cold beers—he had decided he would.

Of course, he had only meant to thank her for inviting him and his brothers to Gunn’s wedding. Just that. “Hi, great party, thanks, goodbye.”

He figured that would be enough for a start. When had he lost control?

“Soon as she said hello, that’s when,” he muttered. “Never, ever thought she’d ask me over. How in God’s name will I handle that? Can’t be in the same room with her, even in a crowd, without breaking out in a cold sweat. Don’t know if I can do this, Biscuit. Can’t just waltz into her home, tour her garden, and have lunch with her, like we’ve been hanging out together for years. She screws up my brain, you know. Years and years gone by, and still—one smile from her and everything in my head short-circuits.” Continue reading

#ExcerptWeek – #WakeRobinRidge No 2

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I promised a couple more today, and I always try to keep my promises. 🙂 This is a continuation of the scene I posted earlier, another page or so along. Ruth worked up all her courage, and crept downstairs, shotgun in hand, hoping she can defend herself against her ex by finding him before he finds her. Enjoy. Or not. 😉

****
Stepping down onto the living room floor, Ruth scanned the room. She was alone, unless he was hiding in the pantry. Possible, but it didn’t feel right. She was sure she would have heard him moving around inside, opening or closing the pantry door. As she stood peering into every corner, a faint noise wormed its way into her awareness—a soft thumping near her kitchen window.

Whirling to her left, she aimed her shotgun at the window, then froze, her brain slow to comprehend what she was seeing. A shape hanging outside the window jerked feebly in the moonlight. A cat? No, a rabbit. A rabbit spun slowly on a length of twine, hind feet scratching faintly against the glass, leaving black, clotted smears sliding down the pane.

Nausea rolled through her as the full horror of what she was looking at registered. The bastard had slit its belly open and hung it up to bleed out against her window. In a silent agony of black and gray, the rabbit swung back and forth under the silver moon. Her breath caught on a sob, and all hope fled. She knew without a doubt—could see in her mind’s eye—that Lloyd was going to gut her just like that rabbit.

This is it. He’s gonna to kill me tonight. Oh, God, he’s gonna to cut me open and kill me.

*****
Wake-Robin Ridge

#ExcerptWeek – #WakeRobinRidge No. 1

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If no one else decides to play this week, that’s okay. You’ll just get a whole lotta ME. Hahaha. Today, I’m going to dole out a few short bits and pieces from my first book, Wake-Robin Ridge. I feel I’ve learned an awful lot about writing since I published this one two and a half years ago, but it formed the beginning of what is becoming a fun series, and I still get lots of emails from folks who enjoyed it. Here’s a pivotal scene from Ruth’s story, which takes place nearly 50 years before Sarah Gray moves into the cabin, and begins to uncover the shocking events from the 1960’s. Enjoy!
*******

RUTH CRIED OUT in her sleep, thrashing in a sweaty tangle of bedding. She was dreaming of fists and boots and terrible pain. Over and over a singsong voice called, “Ruuthiee … Ruuuthieeee … “

Her eyes flew open and she lay gasping in terror, waiting for the echoes of Lloyd’s voice to fade. It was only 2:00 A.M., but she knew falling asleep again would be impossible. After a moment, she sat up, and reached for her robe. As she pulled it on, she saw that Penny had crawled out from under the quilt and was standing in the center of the bed. His body was rigid, and he was shaking all over as he stared at the window. He whimpered in anxiety, and just like that, Ruth knew it was all over.

Lloyd had found her.

Wake-Robin Ridge

#ExcerptWeek – #Harbinger, A Work in Progress

Starting #ExcerptWeek with the opening pages of my current WIP, Harbinger, book three of my #WakeRobinRidge series. This is a totally unrevised or edited draft, and will probably be shorter and tighter by the time it makes the book, but I thought it might be fun to share something no one else has seen (except my wonderful beta readers). Enjoy!

Early June, 1994
North Carolina Mountains
~~~ 

With a loud whoosh, the doors on the big, yellow bus pulled closed, and it rumbled away down the graveled, two-lane highway, leaving the shrieks and laughter of the last few kids hanging on the air behind it. Sissy Birdwell stood on the dusty berm, waving goodbye to friends she wouldn’t see again until the fall, and watched the bus disappear around the curve. 

Reluctant to start the mile-long trudge up the narrow, red dirt road toward her home, she kicked aimlessly at a few pebbles and twigs. Part of her was happy her mother had finally agreed she was old enough to walk home alone. After all, she was eight years old now, and certainly able to find her way to their house, which sat at the very end of the uphill track. But part of her shivered at the thought of the lonely, winding road ahead, which curved up and up through the thick woods until it reached their clearing near the top of the ridge.

She would never tell her mama this, but in her heart, the dark beneath the trees scared her. She was afraid of bears. And coyotes. And snakes. And lots of other things that might decide they wanted to share the road with her on an early June afternoon. But nobody in the whole Birdwell family would understand that. Not even the women. They’d been part of these mountains forever, and she was sure nothing scared them at all.

Squaring her shoulders, she scolded herself soundly. You’re the one who said she was a big girl. Mama woulda been here to meet you, if you hadn’t begged. Standin’ here bein’ scairt, is dumb. Dark’ll catch up with you, if you poke along too much, an’ that wouldn’t be no fun at all. Even for a big girl.

With that thought in mind, she trudged up the drive toward home, refusing to look at the dusty trees and bushes that crowded close on either side. Instead, she pictured the litter of sweet, new pups their hound had presented them with last week, and tried to guess if any might have opened their eyes today. Continue reading

Hive Magazine Features My Review of Lee Child’s Make Me

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Dancin’ Like a  Bulldog Puppy, Here!

Last October, I was contacted by Vanessa Burton of the soon-to-be-launched eMag, Hive. She asked if I’d be interested in contributing my Bookin’ It review of Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher book, Make Me, saying she really loved my writing style. I was flattered, said sure, and just remembered today to go looking for it. And sure enough, there it was, on Hive’s Culture page. (Me? Culture? *Snort*)

Seeing my review in the mag was a bright spot on this gray morning, so I thought I’d share it with you.  Here’s a screen cap for a quick look, but you might also enjoy checking out the mag, too.  Hive

Ain’t Life surprising at times?

NOTE: In no way am I advocating writing magazine reviews/articles on a regular basis, without being paid for them. This was a one-time thing for me, and I enjoyed the “reprint” of something I’d already written, but I believe writers should be paid for their work, even their reviews, with only rare exceptions.

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Don’t Forget! #DeBaryHallHistoricSite #MeetTheFloridaAuthors

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DeBary Hall Historic Site will be hosting a “Meet The Author” event this Saturday, 12/12/15 from 10:30am – 2pm. The event will include local author Bill Belleville, an accomplished writer whose book The Peace of Blue, won a Florida Book Award; Roger Fulton, a naturalist and outdoor writer; Marcia Meara, the author of Swamp Ghosts and a number of other popular novels; Jim Robison, retired reporter and editor and author of 11 books about Central Florida history; and Ed Winn, author of a number of books about Central Florida’s history and folk stories, including his research and writing on the ancient tribes of Florida. ‪#‎MeetTheAuthor‬ ‪#‎FloridaAuthors‬ ‪#‎OrlandoAuthors‬ ‪#‎OrlandoEvents‬ ‪#‎DeBaryEvents‬ ‪#‎DeBaryHall‬ The authors will discuss, sign and sell their works in the site’s 19th century hunting lodge. The event is free.

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Come Say Hi! #MeetTheAuthor #DeBaryHall

Meet the Authors at DeBary Hall

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DeBary Hall Historic Site, 198 Sunrise Blvd., will host a free “Meet the Authors” event from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.  Five Central Florida authors will discuss, sign and sell their works in the site’s 19th century hunting lodge.

Participating authors will include:

BILL BELLEVILLE: A Maryland native specializing in nature and conservation. He has written seven creative nonfiction books, including River of Lakes: A Journey on Florida’s St. Johns River and Losing it All to Sprawl. He also has contributed to nine national anthologies and authored more than 1,000 articles and essays. Belleville has traveled overseas as a writer for the Discovery Channel and scripted documentaries for NPR and PBS.

ROGER FULTON: A naturalist and outdoor writer who has published several successful management books and a series of trail guides for Florida, New York and Vermont. His definitive publication, Safe in the Woods, offers outdoor safety and survival tips.

MARCIA MEARA: Marcia published a book of poetry and her first novel, Wake-Robin Ridge, at age 69. Since then she has published three more novels – Swamp Ghosts, A Boy Named Rabbit,  and Finding Hunter. Her philosophy is that it’s never too late to follow your dream.

JIM ROBISON: A retired reporter and editor who has written 11 books and more than 1,600 newspaper columns about Central Florida history. He is chairman of the Seminole County Historical Commission, a past present of the Sanford Historical Society, and a board member of the Friends of Wekiva River and the Seminole County Historical Society.

ED WINN: A retired insurance executive who has published many books about Central Florida’s history and folk stories. They include My Florida Soul: Florida History with Humor, Thank You, Lord, for Laughter, and I Never Had Enough Money to Leave Town. Winn has given talks across the state about his research and writings on the ancient tribes of Florida.

Works of other local authors also will be displayed and sold at the event.

Reservations are not required. For more information contact Kayce Looper at 386-668-3840 or klooper@volusia.org.  

(NOTE: I’ll be there for the entire event, so stop by if you’re in the area. Would love to meet you!)