Monday, April 28, 2014

Author Rock Star Roundup

This is a round up of what my author rock stars have been up to.

J.A. Konrath talks about Suffering Fools.

Are you a writer?

Do you leave comments on forums, blogs, and/or social networks?

Read more

Bob Mayer talks about Desert Survival.

Watch Lawrence of Arabia five times in a row. Are you ready for the desert?

Read more.

Hugh Howey says that the e-book revolution hasn't even started.

This is only the beginning, folks. Very few people appreciate where this is going.

Read more.

Friday, April 25, 2014

How I Do My Research

Before I ever knew I’d be writing police procedurals, I lived in a neighborhood full of young police officers and their families. We all partied together and I had coffee with their wives and heard all the gossip.

My daughter married a brand new police officer and he always stopped by for coffee after his shift and told me what all that happened that night. He also told me details about crimes, details that didn’t appear in the news. Later he took me on a ride-along. I began taking notes and soon knew I had to write a book about some of this material.

We moved to another area and I went on three ride-alongs there. I had the opportunity to hear and see what went on in a small town.

I kept on writing, and it wasn’t long before I was writing the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. I joined what was then called The Police Writers Club. Later it became what is now known as the Public Safety Writers Association. I was the program chair for their conference up until this year when I turned it over to someone younger. During that time I became good friends with many of the officers. This friendship has given me the opportunity to ask many questions and I’ve always gotten great answers.

Once I put on the PSWA listserve that I wanted a vice crime that was funny. Yes, I got a terrific one. The man who wrote me privately gave me all the details of a crime that was exactly the type I was looking for and went into the book I was writing. Of course I dedicated the book to him.

That doesn’t mean that my books are correct in every way. What I like to tell people is, “Rocky Bluff P.D. is my police department and I can do it the way I want.”

Though the bad guy always gets caught, I don’t continue on with the court and trials. I also don’t deal much with forensics as the department is small and most of their forensic evidence has to be sent off to a bigger department to be analyzed.

Though I always have at least one murder in my books, there are other crimes, and the focus is often on what is happening in the police officers’ personal lives and how that may be affecting the job.

That of course is a simplified version of my research.

Thank you, Chris, for hosting me today.

Marilyn aka F.M. Meredith

Blurb for the latest RBPD mystery, Murder in the Worst Degree: The body that washes up on the beach leads Detectives Milligan and Zachary on a murder investigation that includes the victim’s family members, his housekeeper, three long-time friends, and a mystery woman.

Bio: F. M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith is the author of over 35 published books. She enjoys writing about police officers and their families and how what happens on the job affects the family and vice versa. Having several members of her own family involved in law enforcement, as well as many friends, she’s witnessed some of this first-hand.



Once again I am offering the opportunity to have your name used for a character in a book if you comment on the most blogs during this tour for Murder in the Worst Degree.

You will find me tomorrow here:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Barnes and Noble Taking On Water

For the record, I am not happy to see them go under. I'm a big believer of competition. That's how the consumer wins, if they have choices as to where they can shop.

In mid-January, Daniel Fidler worked his final day at what was Barnes & Noble Inc. ‘s store in Chestnut Hill, Mass., putting in a few extra weeks stripping out books and bookcases after the store closed at the end of the year.

Read the rest here.

Friday, April 18, 2014



Financial crimes investigator Seamus McCree returns in this thrilling sequel to Bad Policy. With his house in Cincinnati in ruins, Seamus retreats to the family cabin for some well-earned rest and relaxation. But his plans for a quiet, contemplative winter in the wilds of Michigan's Upper Peninsula are thrown out the window when he discovers a naked woman on his porch during a blizzard. The mystery woman is suffering from hypothermia, frostbite, high fever, amnesia—and rope burns on her wrists and ankles.

Snowbound at the cabin, without transportation or phone coverage, Seamus struggles to keep the woman alive and find a way to get an SOS message out. What he doesn't know is that a domestic paramilitary organization is hunting for an escaped female prisoner—and closing in on his isolated refuge.


An arc of smoothed snow on the stoop formed a single angel wing. Someone had recently opened the door to the screened porch. Squatting down, I flipped up the headlamp’s red filter and spotted prints of bare feet.

Now I knew I was going nuts. Occasionally holding conversations with a disappeared Abigail was one thing, but phantom footprints meant my imagination was reaching a new level of desperation. Get a grip, Seamus. No one walks around barefoot in this weather. At the thought, my arms reminded me they were freezing from my nosedive into the snow. My teeth started chattering.

I knelt to inspect the tracks: all faced forward; no departures. Must be guys from one of the nearby camps playing a trick. Peering into the swirling snow, the track of partially filled footprints disappeared down the driveway.

A frisson of disquiet struck me. Although only sixty-five yards away, the house and garage were invisible with their lights off. What if it wasn’t a joke? What if someone found this cabin and took refuge? I yanked open the screen door and tromped in, ignoring the scrape of snowshoe claws on the porch floor. I peered in the glass door to the cabin proper. No one had lit the fire preset in the wood stove.

A shiver running from my toes to the top of my head reminded me I needed warmth. A book could wait for morning. Turning from the door, I caught a flash of two bare legs dangling below the chair hammock attached to a porch rafter. I laughed so hard my sides ached and my lungs hurt from the frozen air.

In a place where winter lasts half the year, jokes and jokers get odd. The jerks must have stepped a blow-up doll onto my porch to make the footprints and posed it in the swinging chair. They had concealed their tracks well. In this dark, I couldn’t figure out how they did it, but I’d find the evidence in daylight.

Fine. Like pink flamingos mysteriously congregating in front lawns of townies about to return from vacation, this babe was definitely going to show up in someone’s sauna in the near future. Might as well drag it to the house so it’ll be close at hand for future revenge. I grabbed the plastic legs to haul the thing from the chair.

The legs were real.


Facebook (Author Page): (
Facebook (Personal Page):
Twitter (@JMJAuthor -

Barnes & Noble:
Barking Rain Press:


JAMES M JACKSON authors the Seamus McCree mysteries, BAD POLICY (March 2013) and CABIN FEVER (April 2014), published by Barking Rain Press. BAD POLICY won the Evan Marshall Fiction Makeover Contest whose criteria were the freshness and commerciality of the story and quality of the writing. Known as James Montgomery Jackson on his tax return and to his mother whenever she was really mad at him, he splits his time between the Upper Peninsula of Michigan woods and Georgia’s low country. Jim has also published an acclaimed book on contract bridge, ONE TRICK AT A TIME: How to start winning at bridge (Master Point Press 2012).

Monday, April 14, 2014

DV Berkom


I stuffed the NVGs into my Gore-Tex jacket, making sure the lanyard was secure around my neck, and glanced out the opening at the rapidly darkening sky. I didn’t dare look at the ground.

It was a long way down.

The jumpmaster knelt on the side of the ramp, held onto the aircraft, and stuck his head outside, searching for the drop zone


What if the parachute doesn’t open? I thought.

Then Quinn will deploy the reserve chute, I told myself. You’ll be fine.

But what if that one doesn’t work? I argued.

Then you’ll be dead, so stop worrying.

I kept my gaze trained on the light above us. Red meant wait, green meant go. At this point I wished it would change to green already. Obviously, I had committed to the jump, since I was strapped to Quinn and Artemis.

Okay, committed might be too strong a word. Maybe trapped or forced to jump would be more appropriate. Either way, I couldn’t turn back now.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, reminding myself I was doing it for Lauren and Abby. Maybe if I thought of it as a dream, I’d be better able to function. Yeah, that was it. A dream.

“One minute!”

My eyes flew open. The jumpmaster held up one finger. Panic raced up my spine.

Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea. “Thirty seconds!”

No. Definitely not a good idea. My body froze as the voice in my head screamed at me to turn back.

The light turned green. The jumpmaster struggled to his feet under the weight of his gear, thrust out his arm and pointed off the ramp. It was time to go.

Quinn muscled me forward.

Oh, Jesus God. I’m going to be the first one out.

I looked down as my feet reached the edge of the ramp. The wind howled past me through the gaping maw of the opening. It was dark. And cold.

And terrifying.

Every fiber of my being wanted to dig in my heels and throw myself backward onto the plane.

“Can’t we rethink this, Quinn? I can’t—I really don’t want to go.” The panic in my voice was annoying.

“Too late, Kate,” Quinn yelled into my ear as he prodded me toward empty space. “Just fall forward.”


The wind tore the rest of the words from my mouth.

Description for A One Way Ticket to Dead:

After years of running from her ex—a vicious Mexican drug lord—and his subsequent death, Kate Jones is ready to bury the past and try to piece together a new normal. But first there’s a loose end to tie and it involves digging up old ghosts that are best left alone.

Unaware her actions have attracted the notice of a powerful enemy Kate is plunged into a deadly fight for survival, as both her life and the lives of the children of a man she once loved hang in the balance. And, with the possibility of an informant inside the DEA, she doesn’t know who she can trust.

From the emerald green shores of Seattle to the lush Yucatan jungle and unforgiving Sonoran desert, Kate Jones must once again face her past...and hope she survives.


DV Berkom is a slave to the voices in her head. As the author of two bestselling thriller series (Leine Basso and Kate Jones), her love of creating resilient, kick-*ss female characters stems from a lifelong addiction to reading spy novels, mysteries, and thrillers, and longing to find the female equivalent within those pages.

Raised in the Midwest, she received her BA in political science from the University of Minnesota and promptly moved to Mexico to live on a sailboat. Many, many cross-country moves (and several years) later, she now lives just outside of Seattle, Washington with the love of her life, Mark, an ex-chef-turned contractor, and writes every chance she gets.

Buy Links:
Amazon (worldwide link)
Barnes & Noble:
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page:


iBookstore Artist Page:
Smashwords Author Page:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Update on my Author Rock Stars

Via PassiveGuy, who was linking to an article from about a convention speech by bestselling sci-fi author Tracy Hickman to a room full of writers.

If you read further down you have a link to Tracy Hickman's reply.

Read here.

Barry Eisler talks about the CIA Torture Report.

Read here.

Survival Friday: excerpt from The Green Beret Survival Guide SurvivalFinal.

Open wounds are serious in a survival situation, not only because of tissue damage and blood loss, but also because they may become infected.

Read more.

Monday, April 7, 2014

To the Moon, Nittany Lion

It’s not unusual for engineering students to enter competitions. They regularly build bridges, concrete canoes, submarines, solar houses, even Rube Goldberg machines. But an 80-member team of Pennsylvania State University students is hard at work designing something that is unusual: a Moon lander.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Victory for Harper Collins, but Not for Authors

In March, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, sitting in Manhattan, handed a victory to HarperCollins in its lawsuit against Open Road Integrated Media over the e-book publishing rights of Jean Craighead George’s award-winning children’s novel, Julie of the Wolves (1972). This “victory” for HarperCollins, however, highlights for authors one of the perils of pursuing the traditionally published route: desperate publishing corporations will stop at nothing to make sure “its” authors go down with the ship.