Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Please welcome author Minnette Meador

Hello, and welcome, Minnette.

We're here in honor of your new release, The Belle Stalker, an Urban Fantasy Thriller. Here's a blurb:

The police have done all they can, but it isn’t enough. When Belle finds the mutilated body of her lover strewn across the furniture she knows only her ex-husband, Homicide Detective Mike Cranston can stop the maniac who has been dogging her steps for over a year. The only problem is the man who stalks her...is not a man at all. Belle plays a dangerous game and only hopes that Cranston can stop the monster before it’s too late.

This sounds really interesting.


Mike knew it was time for him to start tying the threads of the case together in his patented “connect the dots” style, but this one had him stumped. He stared at the body for a long time. Something had his hackles standing at attention, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.

From the position of the body and the condition of the furniture under it, it was obvious someone had meticulously staged the murder. This had the signature of a very experienced serial—maybe a pro. The idea made his cheeks hurt. If this was the same man who attacked Belle last year, she was in trouble. Big trouble.

The Belle Stalker – Chapter Four

TODAY’S PRIZE: Special “Tea with Minnette” – A cyber visit with the author to talk about anything and everything. Leave a comment for a chance to win (and a chance to win grand prize as well – Kindle or Portland Tote)

(Don’t forget: If you send your name and address to Minnette, she will send you a stack of signed swag. Just drop her a note at: mmeador@minnettemeador.com )


It's funny how you perceive something one way and it turns out to be something else. This is what I came away with after an interview with Detective Austria from the Portland Police Bureau Homicide Division.

Located in the Justice Building in downtown Portland, the 13th floor (yes, I said 13th) was like any other business; cubicles, large open windows in all directions, and people going about their daily routine. Only these men and women were occupied with catching and prosecuting murderers. In addition to investigating homicides, the Homicide Detail investigates officer involved shootings/use of deadly force, felony assaults, kidnapping, custodial interference and missing persons. As you can imagine, these are very busy people. It was humbling to say the least.

Detective Austria was an amazing man; 17 years with the bureau, skilled, confident, kind, soft spoken. Originally from Hawaii, he has worked his way up through the ranks of the PPD to become one of two lead detectives in the division. I was honored to be speaking with him about his craft. This man is a professional through and through.

To explain what it is like to research homicide, I'll try to lay out what is involved in an investigation based on my interview. I am taking some literary license here and will be dramatizing it a bit, hoping to get all the details right based off of our conversation. From a creative point of view, this process helps me absorb the information so I can incorporate it into my writing. The following is what went on "behind the scenes," so to speak, and didn't get included in my novel, THE BELL STALKER. I'm hoping it will be an amazing journey and I'm delighted to have you along...


Dispatch receives a phone call from a cell phone somewhere in the SW Portland.

"911. What is your emergency?"

The woman on the other end of the line is frantic. "My friend... John, my friend... he's dead... in my apartment."

"Stay calm, ma'am. What is your address?"

Between sobs, the woman gives the address and the dispatcher recognizes it as a high rise in the Park Blocks of downtown Portland. She signals her partner to radio the closest uniformed officers to respond to the scene and keeps the woman on the line.

"Ma'am, how do you know he's dead?"

"There's blood everywhere... he's... he's all cut up... Please hurry... Please."

"Where are you right now?"

"I'm in the apartment... in the kitchen."

"We have dispatched officers to your location. I need you to get out of the apartment. Is there a neighbor you can contact?"

"Yes... no... I don't know."

"Leave the apartment now and knock on a neighbor's door. Can you do that?"

"Yes... yes, all right."

There is shuffling over the line and the dispatcher hears a knock. After several seconds, she hears muted voices over the line.

"Ma'am, are you all right." A few seconds more. "Ma'am?"

"Yes. I'm all right. I'm next door with my neighbor."

"Good. Now I want you to stay on the line with me until the officers arrive. What apartment are you in?"

A muted conversation, then, "11B."

"Thank you. I will make sure they find you as soon as they arrive."

(Note: We didn't talk a lot about what the first officers on the scene do since it wasn't vital to my story, so this may be a bit sketchy. Thanks for your patience. Some of this is based on previous experience.)

Three cruisers pull up outside the building and uniformed officers get out. The first officer on the scene pushes the button on his radio.

"Dispatch, what do we have?"

"Female reports body of friend "John" in her apartment, 11D. We have sent her to a neighbors, apartment 11B to wait. Female reports the body is covered in blood and cut up."

"Roger, dispatch. Call the manager and have them let us into the complex."

"Already have. The security guard is waiting at the front door for you."

A guard stands at the glass door of the high rise, alert. Five more cruisers arrive. Having arrived first, the officer takes the lead and goes through the door with two others close behind him.

"Elevator?" he asks the guard. The man points down the hallway toward the back of the building.

When five more officers arrive, the lead orders two to the front and two to the back of the building, and the other to take the stairwell to secure the area. The original three officers take the elevator to the eleventh floor.

The long hallway is lighted by dim sconces when the elevator doors open. They can see an open door at the end of a line of them. Unholstering their guns, they make their way slowly to the apartment.

Once there, they lean against the door jam and call through the open door.

"This is the police. If anyone is in there, come out with your hands up or we will shoot you." There is no response.

They enter the apartment and scan the scene. There is a small open kitchen to their right with the light on. Otherwise, the apartment is dark. Making their way down a hallway, they enter a sunken living room lighted only by the kitchen. Laid over the couch and across the coffee table is a man about 6' tall in dark clothes.

The lead officer signals the two others to search the rest of the apartment. He approaches the man and reaches to feel for a pulse, but then realizes the man's throat is missing. Stepping back from the body, he is careful not to step in the pool of blood around the corpse, making certain he does not touch anything. The other two officers come back and report that the apartment is clear. The lead officer posts one outside the door of the apartment and takes the other with him to question the witness.


"Ma'am, I need to ask you some questions. What is your name, address, and phone number." She mutters them through her sobbing. "Please tell me how you happened to find the body."

"I was coming home from a late night at work. My door was unlocked when I got to the apartment and I thought my roommate had forgotten to lock it. I went in, turned on the kitchen light, and then saw the body..." A moment of breakdown. "Then I called 911."

"Do you know who the victim is?"

Terrified eyes. "Yes," she whispers. "It's my friend John. John Ian. But it's impossible. He called me when I was downstairs in the garage. He called me."

"That's ok, ma'am. When the detectives arrive, they will ask you some more questions. In the meantime, just remain calm."

He has the officers with him put up police tape and cordon off the hallway and the apartment. He then calls Homicide to speak with the detective on duty filling him in on the details. Homicide is already on their way.

If you would like to read the next three installments of this article, follow these links:


And here are some more links:
http://youtu.be/avY8W6i0rw4   Audio Excerpt
http://minnettemeador.blogspot.com/p/books-by-minnette.html   Written Excerpt
http://minnettemeador.blogspot.com/  Blog URL

RESPLENDENCE PUBLISHING (all eFormats except Kindle & Nook):




All Romance eBooks:

Prize: Minnette will be giving away a small Kindle ($79) plus a Portland Tote filled with goodies to one randomly drawn commenter, along with daily prizes.  She will do the drawing herself for the daily winners.  The Kindle and tote bag are limited to US and Canada only;  if an international winner, an Amazon GC will be substituted; ALSO:  PLEASE NOTE:  Any reader who sends their name and address to Minnette will be sent a stack of signed swag. Just drop her a note at:

Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/10/virtual-book-tour-belle-stalker.html


Thanks for being my guest, Minnette! I'm a big fan of your work, and this sounds like another winner.


marybelle said...

A quick thank you & then I'm off to read the next installments. It must be scary for the police not knowing what they will find when they arrive. Well, I'd be scared.


Yami Neko said...

Hey Minnette! Thats rather interesting, I know how it is when my guys walk up to a crash scene. Its nice that he took time to sit down and discussed what happens for your book.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Minnette today!

Minnette Meador said...

Good morning, everyone! A special thanks to Travel the Ages for hosting us today. You guys rock! :o)

I'm sure it really gets their adrenalin going, Marybelle! But they are very well trained so I think they handle it beautifully. I think that's what makes Cranston a little quirky. It's got to be hard to do that for a living.

Thanks, Yami. My DH used to be a fireman so I know what you mean. It was amazing how cooperative they were. I was so grateful.

Anonymous said...

I love the different places research takes us to! And tea time with you... how cool is that? I would do that anytime!

Minnette Meador said...

Thanks, Teri! I LOVE the research side of my writing. If nothing else, it gets me out of my cave. LOL

Karen H in NC said...

I think reading about the background and research of the book is nearly as interesting as the reading the finished product.

RoyalCheryl said...

Minnette, Thank You for all that you do for your fans. Travel the Ages will be a big success. I can't wait.

Christine A. said...

I can't wait to read this book Minnette. Congrats on the release.

your1chef at aol dot com

Laura said...

I have a tremendous amount of respect for firefighters, police officers, EMTs, etc. I think it takes a special kind of person to do all that they do. (I don't think I could do it.)


Sheila Deeth said...

I remember when I was following your interviews, constantly amazed and delighted at how much you could tell us. When I started reading the Belle Stalker I could feel how authentic it was.

Bama said...


Minnette Meador said...

Me too, Karen. There were some stories he told me that were simply hairraising! :o)

Thanks, Cheryl - They do much more for me. I love my ladies (and gentlemen)!:o)

Thanks, Christine - I can't wait for you to read it! :o)

I'm with you, Laura. I went on a ride along with the local police as well and it really opened my eyes. They are everywhere watching everything and you don't even know they're there!

Thanks, Sheila! That's what I live for! ~grin~

Yami Neko said...

That is awesome. I might have some questions for your DH if I can ever get this book/story moving.

booklover0226 said...

What a great and interesting post and wonderful excerpt. I can't wait to read The Belle Stalker.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Minnette Meador said...

Ask away, Yami! I would LOVE to spend 24 hours at a fire station and that on my list of research to do. :o)

Thanks, Tracey D... Just so everyone knows I do my homework! And what amazing "home" work it is! :o)

Yami Neko said...

LOL, thanks Minnette, I gotta get to where its at, but yeah, I'm trying to see if its going to work in or not.

Catherine Lee said...

As a librarian, I'm trying to expand my reading interests...it's a goal for 2012. I'm usually more of a non-fiction reader, but I want to be able to recommend some high-interest fiction to our library patrons. It would also be nice to win a Kindle--so I can promote them to our patrons!

Happy Holidays! Thanks for the great holiday giveaway.

Catherine Lee

Minnette Meador said...

WTG, Yami! Keep writing honey.

Hi, Catherine... That's a fabulous goal for 2012! I've been trying to read more myself. Writers really have a hard time reading just because of the time constraints, but I've read more in the last couple of months than I have in a long time. If you're interested, take a look at my books on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/cqzramt - I'm pretty disperse in my genres (you can ask anyone here) so you might be able to find something you like. Good luck on your reading journey! Minnette :o)

Kathryn Merkel said...

What a cool opportunity to get a different perspective on the subject. I find crime investigation very interesting.

drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

Leanne109 said...

Very cool Minnette! I learned something new :) Sorry I'm so late posting. I seem to be having a hard time working and coming home and going on the computer again lol I hate to miss your posts, they are always interesting. Thanks for sharing!
PS If you have some of that swag left I'd love some :D

Historical Writer/Editor said...

Thanks for dropping by everyone. Minnette is such a great writer.

Minnette Meador said...

Hi, Kathryn! I've loved it so far. The police in Portland are wonderful and so easy to interview! I felt like a pest, but they didn't seem to mind. It was a blast!

No worries, Leanne! You are welcome anytime... I hope you're feeling better! :o)

Minnette Meador said...

Oh, gosh ~blush~ ~kick dirt~ You are such an angel! :o)

Julee J. Adams said...

Very cool--love me some police procedurals! How exciting that you actually did the research, rather than just depend upon previous sources.

Thanks for sharing!

tammy ramey said...

Hi Minnette,
sorry i'm so late today, comupter is a pain. i'm not sure how long i'll have it so i will just say Hi.


Civil War Horror (Sean McLachlan) said...

Great post! Kudos for researching your stuff so thoroughly. I find research one of my favorite parts of writing.
Yeah, it's kind of humbling when you meet someone whose job literally involves life-or-death decisions.

Anonymous said...

This tour is so much fun!! :-) Thanks Minnette!!

lisagoneaussie (at) gmail.com

Minnette Meador said...

You are welcome, Julee... I think doing my own research helps me empathize with my characters more... plus, it's damned exciting! :o)

Hi, Tammey! I'm so glad you were able to come over...

Hi, Sean... I'm so glad you could come over! I'm in the middle of your book and simply love it! I'll be sending a review your way soon...

Thanks to everyone who came over yesterday and especially the fabulous Travel the Ages blog for putting up with us!

And the winner of today's prize is...

Catherine Lee!!! Congrats girl! Drop me a note at mmeador@minnettemeador.com and we can make arrangements for our tea.

We'll see you at the next stop at:

Minnette Meador said...

Thanks, Lisa! Hope you can follow us for the whole thing. Lots of great things coming up! :o)

Nancy said...

Please enter me in this contest. Thank you. npl42011@hotmail.com

cait045 said...

I would love to read this new author for me. Great tour.

Minnette Meador said...

Got you in there, Nancy! Thanks so much for coming over!

Thanks, Cait! I'm so glad you found us! Welcome~!

Historical Writer/Editor said...

It was so great having you here, Minnette. Thank you, and best of luck with your new release! Thank you everyone else for dropping by and reading a little bit about this terrific author and her work. -Laura

mike draper said...

This seems like a book I'd enjoy. Wonderful interview.
Mike Draper