#ReblogAlert – #WakeRobinRidge Reviewed by Sally Cronin on Smorgasbord

 

 

Nothing like waking up late, wandering out to the ol’ computer, and finding a review of my first book, Wake-Robin Ridge, posted on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord blog! What a great way to jumpstart my day. I hope you’ll check it out and will enjoy seeing what Sally has to say about this one. (I sure did, but then, it’s MY book she’s lauding. 😀 )

Do stop by if you get a chance, though.  It would make the rest of my day just as lovely as the way it started! 😀  Thanks!

To read Sally’s review, go HERE

#WritingRambles #amwriting – Writing “What You Know?”

Good Morning, Folks!

It’s a lovely, sunny Sunday in central Florida, after a drizzly, gray Saturday. Happily, yesterday’s weather didn’t stop anyone from attending my talk on Owls at the gorgeous DeBary Hall Historic Mansion.

In fact, we had four extras show up, but had plenty of open space at the back of the room to accommodate them at a safe distance from everyone else. And as you can see from this week’s header image above, I’m still in an owlish kinda mood. (This is a barred owl, btw, my favorite of all.) And talking about these wonderful birds yesterday, gave me the idea for this post today. 

We’re often encouraged or advised to “write what we know,” and in general, I tend to do that, as all of my books are set in the southern part of the United States (just as *I* am), and feature the kinds of people I’ve known all my life. (Except for the serial killer in Swamp Ghosts. I confess, I’ve known some unpleasant folks over the years, but none that I know of have ever gone so far as to kill people and feed ’em to the local alligators! 😉 )

But, in general, I do write people I understand and who speak in a manner I’m familiar with. I also go a step farther by including habitats and wildlife I’m familiar with, too. I like to set up a scene so that readers will feel like they’re “there” along with the characters. For me, this can include describing a canoe trip on the St. John’s river, or a walk through a Florida wetlands area, or a slippery climb down a rock face beside a North Carolina waterfall. I think many of us do this when setting up a scene, and if done well, I believe (hope!) it makes it all more real to readers. But I want to take it a step farther today.

Here’s my question for you: do you ever include things from your real life that only your friends or family would likely recognize? Maybe as a private joke, or maybe simply because whatever it is happens to fit well with what you’re writing? I do, even though I don’t set out with that in mind. It’s just that as I’m typing along, I think of a familiar item or happening, or even a line of dialogue, that is part of my life in one way or another, and find myself including it.

For example, in Swamp Ghosts, one of my secondary (but pretty important) characters is Lester Purvis who drives an ancient, primer red and gray, 1967 VW bus. I’m very familiar with this bus, as is everyone who knows Mark and I, because it’s parked in our garage. My husband has had it since the early 80s, and, like Lester, has always planned to restore it to its former glory. (He drives it for short errands on the weekends, and can’t stop at a traffic light without someone pulling up beside it and yelling out to ask if it’s for sale.) You would be staggered to know how much he’s been offered for it, even with all the body work it needs. Apparently, being the last year they made VWs with the split windshield gives it some serious collectability. 


(Taken many years ago. Nothing much has changed.)

The VW is one of the more obvious personal tidbits I’ve tucked into my books, just for fun, but I find myself drawing on small events and funny moments from my own life fairly often. I’ve also mentioned a real person now and then, like my friend Bev who owns the DeBary Nursery, where my character Willow Greene likes to buy plants for her herb garden. Heck, even the barred owl that greets Sarah on her arrival at Wake-Robin Ridge is taken from my life. Everything is fair game, I figure, as long as it doesn’t violate anyone’s privacy, and it actually fits into the moment I’m writing about. (Bev was thrilled, btw. She sells my books at her shop and one of her customers who’d bought a copy of Finding Hunter from her returned to get Bev’s autograph after reading the scene! 😀 )

So, your turn now. Have you ever included something of this nature in your own books? Maybe as a little nod to a friend or family member? Or just to make yourself smile as you’re writing? Tell us about it in the comments below, since, as always, inquiring minds wanna know. Especially if you’ve ever included any private jokes or situations that only some would recognize. 

Thanks! And have a beautiful, peaceful, productive day! 🙂

Trick or Treat! The Tale of #Boojum and Hootin’ Annie

Happy Halloween, Everyone! 

Since I’m still not quite ready for Prime Time, as they say, I’m going to share a link with you that was posted on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo blog a bit over a year ago, when she was doing a feature on Living Lore. It’s an excerpt from Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4: The Light, which I’m wrapping up today, if all goes well. (A big “if” lately.) The tale of Boojum and Hootin’ Annie is part of Appalachian folk lore, and I hope you’ll enjoy hearing Rabbit’s version, as told to his dad while carving pumpkins. Here’s the link to the post as it appeared on Sue’s terrific blog. Check it out and share, if you like. And Happy Halloween! 

Living Lore: Marcia Meara’s ‘Rabbit’ tells the tale of Boojum and Hootin’ Annie

New – #WakeRobinRidge Memes #wwwblogs

Took some time away from Irma Issues to make a few basic, but long overdue, memes for my books. Thought maybe I’d share them here, in case any of you wanted to pass them along. My next batch are going to be artsier, but this is a start.

 Also wondering how many of you use images like these when you tweet, or post on FB? I know Mae Clair does, because she created some truly beautiful graphics for her Point Pleasant series. How about the rest of you? Just curious.

#WakeRobinRidge by @marciameara #Excerpt

WRRnewsmall

Still trying to catch up after so many interruptions this fall, so not back on my normal posting schedule. Since we have no guest blogger today, I thought maybe I’d just share an excerpt from my first novel, Wake-Robin Ridge, available on Amazon for the permanently low price of $.99.

“Wake-Robin Ridge, where ghosts walk,
ancient legends abound, and things still go bump in the night.”
~~~
EXCERPT

A slow, cold mile later, he could see the faintest hint of dawn through the trees just ahead, and knew he was approaching the clearing. The trick was to get close enough to see without being seen. He found a spot behind some thick but low-growing bushes. It was a perfect place to hunker down and wait. In the gray light of early morning, he pulled out his favorite filleting knife and a small whetstone, spat on the stone, and began to slide the knife back and forth across the surface. Falling into a rhythm, eyes half closed, he continued to hone the knife, metal caressing stone again and again. His excitement rose as he thought about the damage the razor-sharp edge was going to do, slicing deep into tender flesh, and releasing spray after spray of coppery-scented blood into the air. He smiled, already hearing the terrified pleading and the screams that would follow.

The soft noise of blade on stone kept him company as time passed. At last, morning broke in full, and spilled pink and gold daylight into the world, but his thoughts were not on the beauty of the new day opening in front of him. Instead, his hatred morphed into a cold fury as he thought about the full extent of the treachery committed against him, and the bloody revenge he planned to extract.

Lloyd crouched low in the bushes, peering at the little cabin in the clearing. This is what she chose to do with his money? Hide out on a deserted hillside in a stinkin’ little wooden shack that looked like it should have belonged to the Beverly Hillbillies, before they struck it rich? God, he could kill the bitch. “Oh, that’s right,” he said. “I’m going to.”

~~~

Download Your Copy Today!
Wake-Robin Ridge Book 1

#ABoyNamedRabbit Kindle Countdown is LIVE, Finally!

WRRnewsmall  ABNRSmall

I guess when they say 8:00am, they mean their time, not mine, so I apologize to anyone who tried to buy the book earlier and found it at the regular price of $4.99. I promise, it’s $.99 now, honest, so head right on over and grab your copy. Another $.99 will get you Book 1 in the series, and you can then read them back to back.  I’m just sayin’ . . . .  😀

Wake-Robin Ridge Book 1
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2

#ExcerptWeek – #WakeRobinRidge No 2

coverat25%

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

coverat25%

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