Blog Tour

The Ice Bucket Challenge is a lot like a blog tour. In a Writers' Blog Tour, one writer tags two or three more. It only works if people hand off the baton. I'm excited to participate in this tour because it gives me a chance to read the work of four new writers.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a crime novel set in the San Francisco Bay area just after WWII, Mary Adler has the book for you. In the Shadow of Lies A Mystery Novel by M.A. AdlerIn the Shadow of Lies is a mystery with a social conscience. Oliver Wright and two unlikely allies join forces to solve a series of race-related crimes. The book lived in Mary’s imagination for many years, with stops in Pittsburgh, teaching gigs, law school, and finally a return to California, where she had done her research into the tense, postwar years. Mary invited me to join a blog tour, but first, please check out these links to learn more about Mary and her work: and

Marylee MacDonald's Writing Process
I’m going to answer the following questions:

What am I working on?
I’m working on a historical novel about a young artist who goes to Baja California in 1769. Dreaming of bringing back the first pictures of California (this is a 100 years before the Gold Rush), Noël lands in San Jose del Cabo to find a mission under quarantine and his home in Paris halfway round the world.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t know that it does. Historical fiction always seeks to place readers in an unfamiliar world. The job is to make that world real, but the characters familiar.

Why do I write what I do?
I started off writing a novel about Junipero Serra and Gaspar de Portola, the founders of the California missions. Like Mary Adler, I grew up in California, and I suppose it’s still my spiritual home. In my peripheral vision I heard about this French astronomer, Chappe d’Auteroche, who led an expedition to Baja to observe the Transit of Venus. Then, what captivated me, were Noël’s pictures, done “fresh and on the spot.” I felt compelled to learn more about him, and so for the past five years, I’m been over in the archives in Spain and France digging up old documents.

How does my writing process work?
I show up every day. I would rather be writing than doing anything else. If I’m trying to draft a long piece of fiction, I just put the blinders on and don’t allow myself to get distracted. If you’d like to learn more about my current writing, please visit my Authors Guild website at

That’s it for me. I’m handing off the baton to three fine writers. Here’s a chance for you to preview their work. Pete has recently published his first novel, but there will be more to come. Judith’s novel will intrigue readers who remember Achilles and want to know more about Troy and its Hittite neighbor. And, Louise has a fabulous blog about real Southern women. Follow the breadcrumbs, and you’ll not only meet new authors but have some fantastic reading.

Next Week’s Lineup

P.J. Wetzel has been writing fiction and poetry since first grade. His poetry and debut novel have both won awards. The novel, first of six in an epic fantasy/sci-fi series, Out of Crystal Ice, Out of Crystal Ice by P.J. Wetzelwas released by All Things That Matter Press in July 2014. A retired NASA Ph.D. earth scientist, he calls coastal North Carolina home, and he divides his time between the serious pursuit of hiking (He hiked the entire Appalachian Trail twice in 2012) and the equally serious pursuit of writing.

Web site/blog:

Judith Starkston writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire. Ms. Starkston is a classicist (B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz, M.A. Cornell University) who taught high school English, Latin and humanities. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Arizona with their golden retriever Socrates. Hand of Fire by Judith StarkstonHand of Fire is her debut novel.
About Hand of Fire:
The Trojan War threatens Troy’s allies and the Greek supply raids spread. A young healing priestess, designated as future queen, must defend her city against both divine anger and invading Greeks. She finds strength in visions of a handsome warrior god; will that be enough when the half-immortal Achilles attacks? Hand of Fire, a tale of resilience and hope, blends history and legend in the untold story of Achilles’s famous captive, Briseis.

An excerpt from Hand of Fire, book reviews, ancient recipes, historical background as well as on-going information about the historical fiction community can be found on Starkston’s website
Follow Judith Starkston on Facebook at
Visit Hand of Fire on Goodreads

Louise Canfield wrote short stories and feature articles for local newspapers prior to attending college. She was a professor of biochemistry for 30+ years, retiring from the University of Arizona in 2010. She is the author of over 100 scientific publications, including books, journal articles, and scientific reports in the field of nutritional biochemistry. She is currently writing a novel and two short stories about the lives of women in the rural south, a lifelong interest. Sketches of southern women as well as essays and poetry are posted on her website, A wife and proud grandmother, she is also an amateur pianist and loves knitting, quilting and reading. She, her husband and Jake, a greatly over-indulged Boston Terrier, divide their time between The Woodlands Texas and Lake Claiborne, Louisiana.

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Published on August 25, 2014 13:38 Tags: historical-fiction, mystery, science-fiction
Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)    post a comment »
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message 1: by M.a. (new)

M.a. Adler Marylee,
You are a wonderful writer. You wrote a better short bio/blurb for me and my book than I have been able to do for the past many months.
I look forward to reading your book and discovering the new writers you have added to the tour.

message 2: by Marylee (new)

Marylee MacDonald Oh, that's very nice of you to say, Mary. It's easier to see the forest from afar.

message 3: by D.M. (new)

D.M. Denton I love your comment on historical fiction, Marylee - very true, and, also, about 'showing up'. Enjoyed all the post. Wishing you lots of fulfillment and success with your writing. Diane

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Writing and Caregiving

Marylee MacDonald
My novel, MONTPELIER TOMORROW is about a mother and daughter trying to resolve old grievances, while caring for a dying man. The book won a Gold Medal for Drama from Readers' Favorites' International ...more
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