Saturday, March 30, 2013


 Oak Tree Press is publishing my new mystery/suspense novel Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight in April. To get everyone in the mood I’m having “A Diet of Murder Blog Tour.”

Here are the first five stops:

March 29: A Diet of murder. This guest blog gives organizational advice from Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. It’s at Stephen Brayton’s Crimespace (

March 30: Let this novel help you lose weight. This guest blog is about the science in Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. It’s posted at Marilyn’s Musings (

March 31: Setting priorities. This guest blog is an appraisal of my publicity efforts for Coming Flu. It’s posted at Oak Tree Press Blog (

April 2: Lose Weight with Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. There are five reasons for reading this novel. See them in Lauren Carr’s blog (

April 3: A big portion of Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight This guest blog contains practical diet advice. (I taught nutrition classes for more than 25 years at universities.) It’s posted at Killer Craft & Craft Killers (

           More stops are coming. Bug says it’s time for a walk. He’s tired of watching me at the computer.

           JL Greger

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What Bugs Guest Blogger: MARILYN MEREDITH?

I'm delighted to introduce my guest Marilyn (alias FM) Meredith. I think you'll quickly see she's
a wonderful writer and a caring person. On Friday, we'll be back to blogging about science and writing.

What Bugs Me
Janet asked me to write about a big issue that bugs me and how I’ve incorporated the issue into my novels.

I had to think about this a bit, but it dawned on me that what had bugged me is the foundation of why I wrote the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series.

In movies, TV and books that have police officers as characters, with few exceptions, too many are either dumb, on the take, alcoholics, perhaps even evil, and womanizers with shaky, if any, family ties. Even the female officers seemed to be seriously flawed, have an addiction, or never be able to sustain a healthy relationship with anyone. (One big exception is Blue Bloods, a fairly TV new series.) But when I started writing the RBPD series, this is how most cops were depicted.

I’ve had several law enforcement officers in my family and am friends with even more. What I’ve seen is that most of them are like the rest of us: they do their jobs to the best of their abilities, have interesting personality quirks, love their wives and families and have problems like all the rest of us.

What I wanted to depict in my mysteries were characters who were more like the men and women in law enforcement that I know. Yes, I’ve known some stinkers and I’ve written about them in a highly fictionalized manner.  I’ve also incorporated the publicity hound, the only female on the force—different gals—and that changes in my latest, Dangerous Impulsesthe cop who uses his job as an advantage, the fellow who has a psychological problem that needs treatment, the police widow, the by-the-book cop, and the officers who are facing all sorts of family problems. Of course, I’ve thrown in a few not so likeable characters here and there.

Trying to avoid stereotypes, I believe I’ve created officers who the reader will enjoy following and cheering on, as they confront crime and their own personal issues. The books are primarily mysteries, but the readers always knows what’s going on in the officers’ families—some issues are bigger than others.

From reviews, I know that one of my readers’ favorite characters is Gordon Butler.  He’s had quite a time of it. His wife was stolen by his training officer, he’s wrecked brand new police cars, and he yearns for a romantic interest. Though he is definitely a rule follower, things don’t seem to work out for him. While he was looking for a place to rent, one of my fans said she thought about letting him sleep in her extra bedroom.

I’ve been fortunate in being a member of the Public Safety Writers Association where I’m friends with many law enforcement officers. I’ve had help from them with plot ideas, and I’ve also been able to observe them and know how diverse they are in personality and looks.

One thing I always remind people, Rocky Bluff P.D. is a fictional police department that resides in my imagination, so I can do things the way I want. As one reviewer said, “Most crimes are solved the old-fashioned way interviewing anyone connected to what’s happened, lots of footwork, and the collection and sorting of clues.”

Now a bit about Dangerous Impulses

An attractive new-hire captivates Officer Gordon Butler, Officer Felix Zachary’s wife Wendy is befuddled by her new baby, Ryan and Barbara Strickland receive unsettling news about her pregnancy, while the bloody murder of a mother and her son and an unidentified drug that sickens teenaged partiers jolts the Rocky Bluff P.D.
Buy link: 


The person who comments on the most blog posts on this tour may have a character named after him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel or choose a book from the previous titles in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series in either paper or for Kindle.

Rocky Bluff P.D. Series:

Though each book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series is written as a stand-alone, I know there are people who like to read a series in order. From the beginning to the end:

Final Respects
Bad Tidings
Fringe Benefits
Smell of Death
No Sanctuary
An Axe to Grind
Angel Lost
No Bells
Dangerous Impulses

F. M. Meredith’s Bio
F.M. is also known as Marilyn Meredith, the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. She first became interested in writing about law enforcement when she lived in a neighborhood filled with police officers and their families. The interest was fanned when her daughter married a police officer and the tradition has continued with a grandson and grandson-in-law who are deputies. She’s also serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and has many friends in different law enforcement fields. For twenty plus years, she and her husband lived in a small beach community located in Southern California much like the fictional Rocky Bluff. She is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Epic, and Mystery Writers of America.

And I’m on Facebook and Twitter as MarilynMeredith

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

GUEST BLOG: When the Past Comes Back with a Bang

Today, I'm taking a break from the weight control theme and welcoming a guest blogger Lauren Carr. Her new novel Blast from the Past was published in January of this year. Her mysteries get great reviews. Maybe it's because she includes Gnarly her dog in her books. You think? Maybe it's because they're action packed books.

Lauren Carr Speaks about Her Writing

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title.  ~Virginia Woolf

What are you most afraid of revealing to your friends? Most likely, it is the revelation of something from your past. Maybe it is something you did or the way you used to be in your immature youth. Maybe it has to do with the family that you have left behind and moved on away from.

The past plays a major part of the story in my latest Mac Faraday mystery, Blast from the Past.

On the surface, it is about Archie Monday, the late Robin Spencer’s assistant. In the opening, the reader learns that in her past, she had witnessed a horrible murder, which changed the course of her life. Leaving everything behind, she was put into the witness protection program.

There are other characters in Blast from the Past who are encountering elements from their pasts.

Retired homicide detective Mac Faraday became a multi-millionaire upon the death of his birth-mother, world famous mystery author Robin Spencer.  In his present, he has the resources to do anything he wants. However, when the mob comes to town and bodies start dropping, Mac’s past comes back like a lover he couldn’t leave behind. With pride, this millionaire free to sit back and order another drink, strapped on the gold badge of detective and his service weapon and went out to catch the murderer who dared to come to his town.

For Mac Faraday, the past is something that he embraces with pride. You will embrace it too when you read Blast from the Past.

Lauren's Bio
Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award.

Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. It’s Murder, My SonOld Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder, have all been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Blast from the Past is the fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series. The next installment in the Mac Faraday series will be released in October of this year.

Released September 2012, Dead on Ice introduces a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The second installment in the Lovers in Crime series will be out in 2013.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. 

We'll be back with a blog "Don't Save Leftovers by Adding to Your Waist" on Friday.

JL and Bug

Friday, March 8, 2013


My next novel MURDER: A NEW WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT is out later this month. So I’m discussing the problem generated by obesity during the next two months with occasional interruptions for guest blogs.

$$$$$ Money is an incentive to lose weight
A new study (to be presented by researchers from the Mayo Clinic at the American College of Cardiology on March 9, 2013) reports a not very surprising finding.
Dieters, who receive financial rewards, are more apt to follow their weight loss regime carefully and to lose more weight than dieters not receiving monetary rewards.
Experts have long postulated the success of dieters on commercial weight loss programs reflects partially the greater commitment of those dieters to weight loss because of their financial investments.

$$$$$ Obesity costs money
We’ve all heard many times that obese adults are more prone to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Now researchers suggest obesity-related health costs in the US are more than $190 billion annually or almost 21% of health care costs in the US (Journal of Health Economics 31 [Jan 2012]: 219-230).

Figures such as these are so large – it’s hard to grasp their significance. The authors Cawley and Meyenhoefer put it in personal terms.
Obesity raised medical costs by $2,417 per person per year (in 2005 dollars).

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation puts a positive spin on these dire numbers (F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America issued in September 2012). If overweight and obese adult Americans reduced their average BMI (body mass index) by only 5 percent, the foundation estimates billions of dollars in health spending would be saved — about 7% of total health expenditures.

What is a BMI?
Body mass Index (BMI) is the most common measure of obesity. It is calculated:
                             (weight in pounds)                              X 703
(height in inches) X (height in inches)

Adults with a BMI of >30 are considered obese. Adults with an index of >25 but less than 29.9 are overweight.

I suspect most readers won’t bother to do the calculations so let me give you examples. You are obese (or overweight) if, you are:
5’ 2” and weight more than 164 (136) pounds
5’ 5” and weight more than 180 (150) pounds
5’ 8” and weight more than 197 (164) pounds
6’ 1” and weight more than 215 (179) pounds

$$$$$  Save yourself and your country (Medicare and Medicaid) money and lose weight if you are obese or even overweight. Next time we’ll talk more about the health benefits of weight loss.

JL and Bug

PS: Bug and I both tried to lose weight in 2012. Bug succeeded; I didn’t.