Oct 16, 2008

Kindred Spirits by Marilyn Meredith, Interview & Giveaway

Thanks to Cheryl at Pump Up Your Book Promotion and Marilyn Meredith for sending this great mystery book, Kindred Spirits, my way. Keep reading to learn about the giveaway.

Kindred Spirits is part of the Tempe Crabtree Series, and Tempe is a deputy in Bear Creek, who is part Native American and married to a Christian minister Hutch Hutchinson. Her police counterparts in Dennison don't seem to take her seriously, even though she takes care of business in Bear Creek and beyond.

The main case in this mystery is the death of Vanessa Ainsworth, formerly the wife of Acton Ainsworth, a major furniture shop owner and philanthropist. While a wildfire rages in Bear Creek, displacing many residents, Deputy Crabtree and firemen discover a body--Vanessa Ainsworth--after having contained much of the fire. Crabtree is on the case even when her legal counterparts push her to the sidelines. She's quickly sent to speak with Vanessa's family and friends in Crescent City, which is when the real twists and turns begin. You'll meet some intriguing characters along the way, including my personal favorite, the trench coat, VW bus driving Lanny Hargrove.

The twists and turns in this novel will keep you guessing most of the way, but even if you figure out who the killer is before Tempe and the other detectives do, the way Meredith meshes in Tempe's troubled marriage and her questions about her heritage will keep you interested. What worked best for me about this novel is the evolution of Hutch from the beginning to the end; he grows even more compassionate and grows to understand the importance of Tempe's drive to find the truth. He also learns to open his heart to issues and situations he normally would disapprove of, fear, and dismiss. Tempe is easy to love and her drive to discover the truth is addicting.

I'd like to thank Marilyn Meredith for taking the time to answer a few questions about her writing process, and to thank Cheryl at Pump up Your Book Promotion for sending Kindred Spirits and putting me in contact with Marilyn Meredith. Without further ado, here's Marilyn:

1. Was there a great deal of research involved in terms of the Tolowa and the other Indian tribes and the tinges of discrimination found in the novel?

The book came about because I met a Tolowa woman four years ago when I was giving a workshop at a writers conference in Crescent City. We spent a couple of hours together before a booksigning event held in the Gushu Galleria--a real place that's in the book.

In merely a few minutes as she told me about herself, her life as an Indian, some of the history of the Tolowa and a few legends, I knew I had to write a book that included some of this information. My first thought was Tempe has to meet a woman like her.

I grew up in California and never heard anything about the Indians like I was hearing from her. However, I do live quite near our local reservation, have met quite a few Yokuts, and had researched their history so was well aware of the discrimination and prejudice the Indians have faced.

I also did more research about the Tolowa as I was writing, but Junie Mattice, the Tolowa woman in Crescent City was my major resource for Kindred Spirits.

2. What character do you most identify with and why?

I don't identify with any of the characters in the way that you mean. As I'm writing, I get inside the head of whoever I'm writing about. I know Tempe Crabtree better than I know anyone in my family because I know how she thinks. Tempe Crabtree lives inside my head whether I'm writing about her or not.

I've lived for a long, long time, had many experiences--good and bad--and I do draw on them as well as the emotions that go along with them.

3. Could you explain the significance of your title, Kindred Spirits, in terms of the plot, characters, or themes in the novel?

Kindred Spirits just seemed to be the perfect title. Some titles reveal themselves almost immediately as this one did. I recognized Junie as a kindred spirit not long after we began talking to each other. We kept in contact via email through the years and I told her what I was writing and she answered questions I had. The book launch was held in Crescent City and she signed books right along with me. It was a special time for both of us.

In the book, Tempe realizes she is a kindred spirit to the two Tolowa women in the Crescent City part of the story. And then, I also thought of the ghost of the murdered woman as being another kindred spirit. There are several books with the same title, which I knew, but Kindred Spirits was definitely my only choice.

4. Do you have a set writing routine? Do you get up early and start writing or do you write when the mood hits?

When I am working on a book (which is nearly always) I try to work on it at least three or four hours a day--and mornings are best--unless I'm on a roll, then I might just keep plugging away.

5. Do you have any advice for writers just starting out?

Learn the writing craft by going to writers conferences, reading books on writing, reading the kind of books you hope to write, then write, write, write.

6. What are your favorite rewards for reaching your writing goals and why?

I always feel terrific once I've actually finished a book, had it edited and send it off to a publisher. Of course then it means I have to get busy on the promotion.

7. Are you working on any other projects, and if so would you care to tantalize my readers with a few hints?

My next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery is scheduled to come out a year from now. It's titled “Dispel the Mist.” Tempe has an encounter with the Hairy Man, who is similar to Big Foot. I loved writing that book.

Want to win a copy of the latest Tempe Crabtree novel, Wingbeat, which is a book about a hidden marijuana farm and the murder of a long lost granddaughter that keep Tempe busy, while her husband has troubles of his own--when the description of a man who exposes himself to school children sounds just like Hutch.

1. Leave a comment here about what you found most interesting about the book or the interview

2. Blog about the contest on your own blog or spread the word in another way and leave me a comment with a link to where you posted it.

If you don't have a blog or another way for me to contact you, PLEASE leave an email address or you will not be counted for the contest. Thanks!

Deadline for the contest will be Oct. 22 at Midnight EST.

Also Reviewed By:

Bermudaonion


81 comments:

hondaray6 said...

I find it interesting to hear about 2 tribes I have never heard of. Being from Maine we have locals, the Penobscots and Micmacs from Canada. I'd love to read this story. Thanks for the chance!
hondaray6 at hotmail dot com

hondaray6 said...

I blogged you here:
http://dun4fun-hondaray6.blogspot.com/

hondaray6 at hotmail dot com

Serena said...

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the book and contest.

Carolyn Jean said...

Hey! I'm not entering the contest but what a great review and interview. I love books like this that get deep into a character. And I never get sick of hearing about how writers work. Thanks!

Serena said...

Carolyn: Thanks for stopping by to check out the review and interview. It was a fast-paced read. I love a good mystery now and then.

cpullum said...

Wow I would love to read this book that will keep me guessing!!! That really catches my attention!!

Carla
cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

Marilyn said...

Thanks for this great review and interview--it was great fun answering the questions.

And thank you to everyone who stopped by and took the time to visit!

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Serena said...

CPullum: You are entered into the contest!

Marilyn: It was my pleasure!

BillieJohn said...

Great interview!

And the cover is done on a book due out in a year...zowie! That is something for me to aspire to!!

Rebekah E. said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the amazing interview. I love books that takes twists and turns and that is what this books sounds like. I love to be guessing through book and still be surprised at the end.

Helen Ginger said...

I especially liked this: "Tempe Crabtree lives inside my head whether I'm writing about her or not."

I think it's so true. Once a character takes up residence in a writer's head, the best thing to do is to just listen and go with him or her. You might have to nudge them once in a while, but usually they tell you what they want you to know or where they want to go.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hey, Serena. I'm just dropping in to say hi and let you know I've posted about this at Win a Book. No need to enter me.

Great interview!

Anna said...

Great review and an enjoyable interview! I think Lanny Hargrove sounds like an interesting character. And I'm intrigued by the Native American themes. The book in the giveaway sounds interesting, too.

--Anna
http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com
diaryofaneccentric[at]hotmail[dot]com

Anna said...

I've added it to the sidebar on my blog!

--Anna
http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com

Serena said...

Billie: It certainly is something to aspire to.

Rebekah: I was enjoying the ride of this book, and I think the whole series is probably just like it.

Helen: I know its true for me...I've had characters in my head that would not let me sleep until I got up to write down their story...2 hours later I wasn't tired.

Susan: Thanks for posting the contest as usual.

Anna: You are going to love Lanny! Even though he is a minor character in the book, he is hilarious.

Jackie Houchin said...

I liked how the title, "Kindred Spirits" tied in to the plot lines and the author & researcher.
I review books for several print magazines and also post some on my Valleynews.com web page.

EXAMPLE:
http://valleynews.com/TheValley/Stories/Reviews/General-Reviews/Story~527274.aspx

ALSO:
http://valleynews.com/TheValley/Stories/Reviews/General-Reviews/Story~498902.aspx

EMAIL: Photojaq@aol.com

Serena said...

Jackie: Thanks for stopping by and entering the contest.

Jackie Houchin said...

On the previous posting, the word at the end of http lines should be - General - The last three letters was cut off.
Thanks!

darbyscloset said...

Twists and turns...sounds like a great mystery read, right up to the very ed!!! Also I like the info about the trbes....something to learn from as well!
Thanks
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Serena said...

Darby: Thanks for checking out the book and the interview. Good luck in the contest.

My Kingdom for a Book said...

I was interested in this book for SO many reasons. I love the Native American woman married to a Christian husband, and I'm interested in the interaction there. I was interested because it's set in California where I lived for 6 years. I was also interested because of the Native American aspect--I agree with Marilyn that they don't really talk about it that much in California.

Thanks for the giveaway!

busweet(at)gmail.com

bethany said...

Wow, that was a wonderful review and interview, great work. I could see that book being hard to read, for sure.

windycindy said...

Love the book's cover! I enjoy reading a good mystery. Please enter me in your delightful drawing. Many thanks.....Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Dawn M. said...

I'm a big fan of Native American mysteries and this sounds like a great series. Thank you so much for introducing me to a new (to me) author! :0) Winning a copy of Wing Beat would just be the icing on the cake.

Thanks!
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

katayoun said...

nice review, i like to read mysteries with interesting people with life other than solving mysteries in them and i crabtree sounds very interesting. i don't know much about indian culture or any of the tribes and the series looks like they show a bit of that in addition to the mystery part.

Nicole said...

oo i want to enter this!!
thanks!!!

Nicole

www.thegiveawaydiva.blogspot.com

Serena said...

My Kindgom for a Book: Thanks for entering the contest. All of those aspects and more will keep you reading.

Bethany: I wouldn't say Kindred Spirits is hard to read per se, but it does touch upon a lot of topics that may be hard to hear. I'm glad you liked the review and interview.

Cindi: As always it is good to see you on the blog. I'm happy the cover intrigued you and that you like mysteries. I like to play amateur detective sometimes when I'm reading.

Katayoun: Right you are. you'll learn about the tribes and see how the mystery is resolved.

Nicole: I can enter you, but you didn't answer the question about what in the interview or review you liked. Tsk Tsk! LOL

Serena said...

Dawn M.: I'm glad to introduce a new author to you and good luck in the contest.

Becca said...

I like the idea that the books would introduce me to a culture that I don’t really know that much about and the fact that she was inspired by someone she actually met makes it that much more interesting. And the next book is going to have the Hairy Man! I love that stuff. I’ll have to look for it when it comes out.
rebecca.bradeen(at)verizon(dot)net

Serena said...

Becca: Thanks for stopping by and checking out the review and interview. Here's wishing you good luck in the contest!

bermudaonion said...

Thanks for the link. I've linked you back.

Shana @ Literarily said...

Great review and interview. I love a mystery that has other engaging story lines to supplement the suspense and add additional layers to the story.

Marilyn sounds like a fascinating woman. I loved reading about the woman who inspired the story and also her advice for aspiring writers - she makes it seem so do-able!

No need to enter me in the contest Serena but I certainly enjoyed this post!

Serena said...

Shana:

Thanks for stopping by and reading the post and interview. I was happy to learn that a real person inspired Marilyn to write the book. I love when real life mixes in with fiction.

Nicole said...

ohh hey serena sorry about that!
what i liked about the interview was that you got to dig deep into the author's head and to find out what they were thinking as they wrote the book. It sounds like a good book and I love any book that has twists and turns and unexpected plot changes!!!

Serena said...

Nicole: Thanks for stopping by again to answer the question. I appreciate it.

Anita Yancey said...

I find it interesting that Marilyn Meredith's next book will have a character simular to Big Foot. That would be something to read. But Kindred Spirits has definitely spured by interest. I would love to read it as well as her next book.
Please enter me.
ayancey@dishmail.net

Serena said...

Anita: I think it will be interesting to read about the hairy man-bigfoot in the next book. Thanks for entering the contest.

Ruby (Mouth) said...

The next book that is coming out with the man who could be Big foot sounds like a great book and I love good character developement.


angelleslament @ gmail.com

Serena said...

I love books that mix legends and reality.

naida said...

great review and interview!
it sounds like a good book.

i'm currently reading a book sent to my through Pump Up Your Book Promotion as well :)
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

agordon10 said...

1agordon[at]roadrunner.com

l;ove mystery books

Dar said...

I like how she gets in her character's heads to write about them-the interview was really great and the book sounds good. I added it to my giveaway post Serena:
http://peekingbetweenthepages.blogspot.com/2008/10/some-giveaways-to-note.html

zoe hunter said...

I love a good mystery..and since this includes a pot farm, it sounds intriguing..thanks for the contest.

Tonya said...

The book sounds very interesting. The plot sounds great and I am sure it is a great read.

Sandy said...

would love to see or read more about the relationship between the husband and wife with such different backgrounds


mrs.mommyyatgmail.com

Violet said...

I like a good mystery novel and this one sounds like one. Do enter me.

toughturtles said...

very interesting subject sounds good

Serena said...

toughturtles: Thanks for stopping by and reading the review, but you won't be entered into the contest without answering the question and leaving an email address.

idahomom said...

I love to read and mysteries are my favorite. This looks like a great read.

sweetsue said...

I love the fact that the sheriff is a woman married to a minister-that's an odd combination.Also, I love a good who-done-it!

Serena said...

IdahoMom: Thanks for stopping by, but you failed to leave an email address so I can contact you if you win. If you don't provide one, you will not be entered.

violetcrush said...

Hi
Here is my email id: elizascott2005@yahoo.co.in

You are in my google reader, so i figured I wouldn't have to leave an address :)

danosor said...

I love a good mystery novel.

Serena said...

Danosor: I don't have a way to contact you if you win. Please leave an email.

redron said...

It sounds like a great read. I love stories about the Indians and their customs

Christina said...

I love "cozy mysteries" and I haven't run into a Native American storyline before. It sounds interesting.

susan1215 said...

It sounds like a great mystery book

Serena said...

For those of you entering the contest without emails or ways for me to contact you if you win, you will not be entered into the contest.

yadgirl said...

A hidden marijuana farm is a new concept.

Sue Farrell said...

I like the fact that a culture other than mine is being examined so that I can learn something of the Indian people as well as enjoy a good mystery.

farrell@crosslake.net

vboackle said...

this looks like a good mystery.

fancyfeet48 said...

The next book that is coming out with the man who could be Big foot sounds like a great book

- Marybeth I. said...

I love mysteries and would love to win this.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for hosting Marilyn this month. I enjoyed this book as well. I've read the last two books of this series and I love the Native American history portion and how Tempe and Hutch deal with their diverse backgrounds.

Cheryl
Pump Up Your Book Promotion

rb said...

I like the cover! oooh..scary eyes :P

Serena said...

Cheryl: I was happy to host this book.

Good luck to all the entrants!

tatertot374 said...

Thank you for having this. Looks and sounds like an excellent read. Thank you!
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

Anonymous said...

I like to read about other cultures.

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

kygirl said...

The title Kindred Spirits had my attention, I am one of those peope that sometimes judges a book by the cover. After erading the interveiw I am so gonna get this book.

Lexigurl said...

I think it is interesting how much one person can change your life.

Icetwofire said...

This would be such a great book to read, I am very interested in Native American cultures, thank you

klp1965 said...

THIS SOUNDS VERY INTRIGUING i would love to read it :)

Sahm Lee said...

I loved the interview and discovering new tribes that I hadn't heard of before! Thanks for the contest!

airalynn(@)gmail . com

blueviolet said...

I enjoyed the interview and found it especially interesting that she didn't just rely on the story of the murder but she created interesting characters who grow and change throughout. The characters are crucial to the enjoyment of a book and I appreciate her efforts to make them that way.
doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
Elizabeth

Serena said...

Good luck to all the entrants!

Erica G said...

I want to see if I can figure out who did it!

babychooch (at) gmail {dot} com

Serena said...

Erica: THanks for entering the contest. We are getting down to the wire. I can't wait to see who wins tomorrow!

purango said...

In the interview I found it interesting to read about the different tribes. I have a great interest in the various native American tribes. garrettsambo@aol.com

masonsgranny59 said...

ty 4 the interesting giveaway!

lilyk said...

I find the Native American culture in the book interesting.

Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reading in Seattle said...

What a great interview! I always like learning a bit about the author and what inspired them to write the book - in this case, a person she met!

:) Wendi

Your interview has been added to

About the Author - An Author Interview Index
!