Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mothers and Fathers

A Mother

My upcoming murder mystery stars Kam McBride, a busy, married-to-her-job, thirty-something living in Seattle. When she receives a mystery letter announcing she's the administrator of an assumed dead man's estate, she hasn't a clue who he is or why she'd be tapped for the job.

Eileen McBride, Kam's mother, wheels in to provide the 411 on Salvadore Vasco, the missing and assumed dead man. Eileen has multiple sclerosis and is wheelchair-bound. She keeps herself busy with geneology, so, of course, she knows who Vasco is--a distant cousin on Kam's father's side of the family. It surprises Kam that her father had Basque blood in the primarily Irish mix of relatives. Kam is ready to tell the Probate Court that someone else could take charge of the estate.

Remember Eileen's hobby (geneology)? She tells Kam to travel to the remote high desert country to handle the probate. Does she expect vast wealth from Vasco? Mining rights or some other less tangible valuable? Not at all. Eileen wants any old family records, photos, or personal effects to include in her already multi-volume family history.

Eileen, then, sets off the entire sequence of events by asking her daughter to go out of her way and spend time she doesn't have for a favor.

Kam can't say no and does what her mother asks. This is the bond between mother and daughter. When one needs something, the other does their utmost to provide it.

Watch for the "Missing, Assumed Dead" release in July.

A Father

Four or five years ago, I decided to write some of my father's stories about growing up in West Texas during the Depression Era. The first story was about going on a cattle drive when he was ten or eleven. Once published, he started telling me more and more. I wrote just as fast as I could and soon had seven of Little Eddie's almost true tall tales published. Okay, what's another thirteen or fourteen? Piece of cake.
What came out of all this is "Tales of a Texas Boy," which has been a modestly good seller since I self-published it back in 2007. It's now available in several ebook and print formats.

Like Kam's mother, my father was the igniting spark to accomplish something just because. This was what I'm truly thankful for on my father's recent 89th birthday. I captured his tales and put them in “his book.” He's proud of the book, as am I. I'm also very thankful that I decided to write the stories in Eddie's voice. The tales are, after all, all his.

This day, between Mother's Day and Father's Day, I'm happy to have written books that honor each parent. After all, without our mother and father, we wouldn't exist. The role might be as small as being a DNA donor, on up to having a parent be your best friend throughout your life or theirs. Most of us experience something somewhere between those extremes, but whatever is it, we are formed and informed as to who we are by our parents.

Get a free copy of Tales of a Texas Boy from Smashwords. Use Coupon KS95E at checkout.

Releasing July, 2011 from MuseItUp Publishing

When Kameron McBride receives notice she’s the last living relative of a missing man she’s never even heard of, the last thing she wants to do is head to some half-baked Oregon town to settle his affairs. But since she’s the only one available, she grudgingly agrees.

En route, she runs afoul of a couple of hillbillies and their pickup in an accident that doesn’t seem . . . accidental. Especially when they keep showing up wherever she goes. Lucky for her, gorgeous Deputy Mitch Caldwell lends her a hand, among other things. Her suspicions increase when the probate Judge tries a little too hard to buy the dead man’s worthless property.

Working on a hunch and trying to avoid the Judge’s henchmen, Kam probes deeper into the town’s secrets and finds almost no one she can trust. With Mitch’s help, she peels away the layers of prejudice, suicide, murder, and insanity. But someone in town doesn’t like her poking around, and when they show their intentions by shooting her through the police chief’s office window, the stakes are raised. Kam must find out what really happened to her dead relative before someone in this backward little town sends her to join him.

And she thought Oregon was going to be boring.


On her way to Vasco's land, Kam wrecks her car when an animal jumps across the road. She begins the long walk back to town when a couple of scruffy men in a pickup confront her. She doesn't trust them and tries to leave, but they clearly want to do more than give her a ride.

Kam gasped and jumped down the embankment toward the creek, stumbling through the underbrush. She heard the pickup tires screech and glanced back. Scruffy had gotten out and headed down the slope behind her. She moved faster, gripping her hair spray. A strap broke on her sandal, and she kicked it off. Ignoring the brambles poking into her legs through her jeans, she moved as fast as she could, the terrain preventing her from flat out running.

She heard the crashing of bushes behind her and put on more steam. She knew the pickup would have reached her car by now, but she’d be coming up on the passenger door, slightly downhill from the driver’s side. She switched the hair spray to her left hand and pawed into her purse for the keys. Finding them, she dropped the bag on the ground to free her hands and kept moving.

When she reached the Chrysler, the driver had already skidded down the embankment and was standing on the driver’s side. Thin compared to the other man, but his arms were solid muscle under the tats. She rushed to the passenger side, jerked open the heavy door, dived in, slammed the door and hit the lock button on the key fob.

The driver pounded the window with his fist. The scruffy one had caught up and pulled on the passenger side door handle. Kam hit the panic button on the fob. The deep and seriously loud Chrysler horn went off with honking bursts. Both men jumped back from the car.

The driver yelled, “I’ll fetch the rifle.” He scrambled to climb up the embankment.

Kam’s heart almost stopped. Even the shatterproof windows wouldn’t stand up against a hunting rifle. She looked around the car wildly, her breath coming in sharp rasps, and then launched herself over the console and into the rear. Sweat ran from her armpits, soaking her blouse. She ran her shaking hands across the top of the seat back hunting for the latch. She hoped the Chrysler had fold down back seats. If she could just reach the tire iron, she’d have a weapon. If this stupid car even had one that is.

She felt the latch pin, grasped it and pulled it up. It clicked. She grasped the seat back in both hands and pulled it down. On her belly, she crawled halfway into the trunk searching for the spare tire well.


Arlene said...

What a heart pounding, thrilling excerpt. Missing, Assumed Dead (fantastic title) promises to be a fantastic read. Another month or so, oh yeah, I'll find out.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Excellent title. Sounds like a real winner, Marva. I hope sales skyrocket. Best of luck. I'm really looking forward to reading your book, and the stories about your dad.

Unknown said...

I've read the Texas series. Very entertaining as well as enlightening of the time period. I really enjoyed it.

Missing, I'm sure, will be a real winner for you. I'm counting the days till release. May your sales skyrocket.

Roseanne Dowell said...

Wow, had me on the edge of my seat. Looks like another for my to buy list.

J.Q. Rose said...

Truly you expressed the special bond between mother and daughter. Sometimes we begrudgingly do something our moms want and vice versa and not always because we feel guilty if we don't. It's because of that bond of love which makes us want to make the other happy. Loved your post.

Charlie said...

How exciting. this book is definitely an intriguing mystery. Best of luck to the book. I know it's going to do great. Thanks too for sharing a wonderful post about mothers and daughters. Families are a many faceted jewel.
C.K. Volnek

Cellophane Queen said...

It was fun to write this post. What could be better than a reminiscense along with a promo?