Spotlight Thursday: Marilyn Meredith

I’m so pleased to welcome Marilyn Meredith to Live Vi-Carrie-ous today. Marilyn is a writing friend and fellow San Joaquin ~ Sister in Crime. She’s here to talk about her newest release, River Spirits.

Marilyn Meredith



Welcome, Marilyn! Please, tell us about River Spirits and your Deputy Tempe Crabtree books. 





River Spirits
River Spirits by Marilyn Meredith

What Most People Don’t Know About the Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series

I wrote two other books in the series that became other books. Why? Because Tempe changed and became a different person. Both are available as e-books on Kindle with the names of the characters and the places changed. One is called: Deadly Feast and the other, The Devil’s Foothold. If you read them you’ll notice definite similarities, but I’m sure you’ll see why they aren’t part of the series anymore.

Though Tempe is a combination of three women I know, some of the other characters in the series are also based on real people. Except for one, no one has ever recognized him or herself. Nick Two John looks very much like an Indian I saw at a local event, long ago. I have no idea if his personality is anything like Nick’s. In another book, a fictional principal of the local school has the personality of a very popular teacher. I’ve used many real people as characters, mainly their personalities rather than their looks.

The one exception is a friend of mine who begged me to put her in a book. I didn’t use her real name, just how she looks and how I think she would’ve acted in the situations I put her in. She’s Miqui in Raging Water and plays an important role in the latest, River Spirits. All of her friends say I captured her essence.

Though I’ve known many preachers over the years, Tempe’s husband is not based on any particular one. Some readers have thought him too straight-laced, but I’ve tried to keep him true to his beliefs. Because it is important to have conflict in any book, one of the things I’ve enjoyed about Tempe and Hutch’s relationship is that though they love each other deeply, they often clash over her use of supernatural aspects of her Indian heritage. His reason? He’s worried about her soul.

I’ve based Tempe on the fact that where I live we have a resident deputy, which means the deputy lives and works here. Of course there are other deputies that come and work at times, but for the most part, the policing is done by the resident deputy. Tempe used to drive a Bronco, but now she drives a truck because that’s what our real deputy drives and I had the opportunity to look inside and check it out.

Tempe does many things that I doubt our resident deputy will ever do. We’ve only had two murders in the area the entire time I’ve lived here, far more have happened in my fictional town of Bear Creek.

The Bear Creek Indian Reservation often plays a big part in the series—and much of the action happens there in River Spirits. Yes, I’ve been to the rez I’ve based my fictional one on many times, but it’s not my favorite place to drive. In the books, there is only one road in and out.  There are two roads to the Tule River Indian Reservation, both narrow and curvy. Though I’ve borrowed a lot from the real reservation, there are some differences—because my reservation is fictional.

What some may know if they’ve read Dispel the Mist or Invisible Path, there is a legendary Big Foot character called the Hairy Man that roams the mountains surrounding both reservations.

Sounds fascinating! Tell us a bit more about River Spirits:

While filming a movie on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation, the film crew trespasses on sacred ground, threats are made against the female stars, a missing woman is found by the Hairy Man, an actor is murdered and Deputy Tempe Crabtree has no idea who is guilty. Once again, the elusive and legendary Hairy Man plays an important role in this newest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

And tell about yourself, please.

I’m the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest River Spirits from Mundania Press. I’m a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. I live in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit me online at and my blog at

Anything else we should know about?

I’m having a contest for this blog tour. The winner will be the person who comments on the most blog posts during the tour.

He or she can either have a character in my next book named after them, or choose an earlier book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series—either a paper book or e-book.

Tomorrow I’m visiting John Lindermuth,

My topic: The history of the real Indians I borrow from.

Thanks for stopping by, Marilyn!

Thanks for having me.

Links to buy River Spirits:

From the publisher, all formats:

For Kindle:

Amazon paperback:

For Nook: