Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel us No Bells, the forth from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and follow her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/
Marilyn borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area.
Here's an excerpt from Raging Water.
(This begins right after an unknown person has shoved Tempe into the raging river.)
Tempe plunged into the water with a loud splash. Freezing cold, it took her breath away. She sank into the wet darkness. Her arms flailed and she kicked, trying to make her way to the surface. The swift river pushed her down. She had to fight to lift her head out. She swallowed muddy water, and coughed. She struggled to keep her nose up as she was thrust along.
Moving swiftly downstream, Tempe tried to turn and see who shoved her, but all she could do was fight to stay afloat. Swimming wasn’t an option.
Maybe, if she worked hard enough, she could make her way back to the bank. The dark, dirty water swirled around her, splashed her face, pulled at her. Branches snagged her clothes.
Aiming her body in the direction of the bank, she attempted to swim in a dog-paddle fashion, kicking her legs as fast as she could. Maybe she came a bit closer to her goal, but the river continued to carry her downstream at a scary speed. If she kept going like this she might end up in the lake, but chances of her getting there before she was sucked under and drowned were slim. She had to make it to shore.
It was hard to keep her head above water. She felt like she’d swallowed at least a quart of the muddy, nasty tasting liquid. Kick, kick, kick, and pulling hard with her arms as she moved achingly slow toward the bank. The river thrust her along in the debris.
A log came so close she thought she’d be caught up by it. She pushed her feet against it and propelled herself away and a bit closer to the side. The river didn’t flow quite so swiftly there.
She lifted one arm and stroked, then the other arm, pulling against the water as hard as she could. A tree root poked out of the water and she aimed her body toward it. Crashing into it, she grasped it with both arms and hung on tight. Resting for a moment, she saw that even though most of the root was submerged, if she could hang on to it, she could use it to make her way to the side.
Pulling with all her might, muscles screaming, sopping clothes dragging against her, she moved her hands up the root. When she thought she was close enough to hoist herself onto the bank, what she’d thought was a root pulled free. She let go before it sucked her under.
Once again the river took over, pushing and rushing her along. Every muscle in her body ached. The only good thing was that she was driven closer to shore. She could see a bend in the river. Maybe this could be her chance.
If she could maneuver herself closer to the side, before the water rounded the curve, perhaps….
Drawing on her only bit of reserve strength left, she kicked even harder than before, aiming toward the bit of land jutting in front of her. This had to work. She didn’t have much energy left. It would be so easy to relax, stop fighting, and let the river take her.
No, she wasn’t giving in.
Paddling furiously, she headed toward the curve. When she was only feet away, she pulled with each arm until she felt the muddy bank. She tried to scramble up the side, but the slick ooze caused her to slide back into the water. The river tried to recapture her.
She knew this was her last chance.
* * *
Raging Water Blurb: Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s investigation of the murder of two close friends is complicated when relentless rain turns Bear Creek into a raging river. Homes are inundated and a mud slide blocks the only road out of Bear Creek stranding many—including the murderer.
I know there are some people who like to read a series in order, but let me reassure you that every book is complete. Though the characters grow through each book, the crime is always solved. Here is the order of the books for anyone who wants to know: Deadly Trail, Deadly Omen, Unequally Yoked, Intervention, Wing Beat, Calling the Dead, Judgment Fire, Kindred Spirits, Dispel the Mist, Invisible Path, Bears With Us, Raging Water.