JOSEPHINE (JO) MELE – World Travel – Memoir and Cozy Mystery Author

Josephine (Jo) Mele is a world traveler, tour guide, magazine editor, and life-long mystery reader. Author of: The Odd Grandmothers, a memoir of three generations of her Italian immigrant family, and The Travel Mystery Series: Bullets in Bolivia, Homicide in Havana. Mystery in Monte Carlo, Bandits in Brussels, Death on the Danube, Corpse in the Castle, Sicilian Sanctuary, and she is about to release Incident in India. Jo lives in Contra Costa County and is a member of Sisters in Crime and the California Writers Club.

Mark Twain is credited with saying, “Write what you know.” I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around the world with my job as a tour director, and I am an avid mystery reader. I decided to blend the two. The teacher in me feels the need to share what I’ve learned about the culture, history, and people of places I’ve traveled to. I love to cook and eat, so food plays an important part in each book, to the dismay of my critique group, who often call for a lunch break after I read.

In my cozy mysteries, I spotlight a current event or problem the locals face. In Bullets in Bolivia, large corporations were taking control of the water; human trafficking was the theme in Sicilian Sanctuary.

June Gordon, my protagonist, has one job; to come back with the same number of people she left with. Fate often has other plans, and June finds herself tripping over bodies, rescuing victims, helping the police, or fighting off the bad guy. She’s known at police stations and emergency rooms around the world. I never know what June will get us into, and after eight books, I’m getting a little afraid of traveling with her. Today, she has me in India, saving a young girl from an honor killing. Yes, I’m a pantser.

I recently spoke at a book reading. At the Q&A session, a precocious ten-year-old asked how long I’d been writing and why I chose to self-publish. I told her I’d been drafting short stories about my extended family for a long time, and my writing teacher and friend Camille Minichino suggested I put the stories together in a memoir. I wrote The Odd Grandmothers and decided to publish it on Amazon in 2019. I wanted to get my books out quickly and not wait years for an agent to sell my book to a publisher. I didn’t want the honor of being the oldest person to publish my first book. Self-publishing is the route I chose.

My relatives loved the memoir and said they’d learned things about our family history they never knew.

My sister said, “I remember some of this much differently.”

Thanks for taking the time to read about my adventure into writing. If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me at jomele@comcast.net. My books are available at Amazon or at Reasonable Books in Lafayette, CA.

8 Comments

  1. Violet Moore

    My twin sister and I remember childhood events and even a few later events differently. It reminds me of what a memoir writing workshop instructor told the group. “Memoirs are creative nonfiction.”

    Reply
    • Jo Mele

      I was surprised to hear that happens with twins too. My sister was two years younger and would say,”DId you make that up? I don’t remember it.”

      Reply
  2. Michael A. Black

    Wow, your books sound fascinating. Your protagonist really gets around. Best of luck to you with your writing.

    Reply
    • Jo Mele

      My mother always warned me as I was leaving on a trip to “not talk to strangers.” If she only knew!

      Reply
  3. Pamela Ruth Meyer

    My goodness, Jo, you have blended so many different parts of yourself into your writing! It must feel greatly fulfilling to complete yourself this way. Best of Luck on your continuing adventures with June.

    Reply
    • Jo Mele

      I wanted my grandchildren to remember that I was once young and always adventurous.

      Reply
  4. ana manwaring

    Wow! These sound like my kind of book! I just ordered books 1 &2 from Amazon. I can’t wait to get reading and armchair traveling!
    Ana

    Reply
    • Jo Mele

      Thank you. I hope you enjoy reading my books, traveling to unusal destinations, and love the food.

      Reply

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LISA TOWLES – Salt Island is Here – Check it Out

SALT ISLAND, author Lisa Towles’ 10th novel, is available now from Indies United Publishing and sold in three formats on Amazon, with an audiobook forthcoming soon.

In this riveting international thriller series, heroine Mari, an ex-CIA and determined private investigator finds herself thrust into a perilous world of high-stakes corporate espionage and personal redemption. With her newly formed partnership with Derek Abernathy put to the ultimate test, Mari faces a daunting challenge that forces her to confront powerful ghosts from her past.

When billionaire CEO Jack Darcy’s reputation and IPO deal are jeopardized, Mari is thrust into the heart of the storm. As Jack’s glamorous wife goes missing, media attention intensifies. Mari must navigate the treacherous waters of Thryve, Jack’s acclaimed environmental startup.

But a journalist has learned Darcy’s dirty little secret and is hell-bent on exposing it to the world at large.

While Derek goes underground to investigate a series of mysterious deaths on a California farm, Mari’s journey takes her on a path of self-discovery. Haunted by the shadows of her past, Mari unravels the secrets of her missing father—a former CIA operative—and the startling revelations about his double identity and hidden life. Her search leads her to the British Virgin Islands, where painful truths about herself, her father, and her future come to light.

As time slips away and Mari stands exposed and alone, the weight of her choices becomes unbearable. Will she risk everything to uncover the truth, or will the powerful forces working against her succeed in burying it forever?

Salt Island is the second installment of Towles’ E&A Investigations series, following Hot House (June 2022). Switch, the series finale, will be forthcoming in 2024.

Buy Salt Island:: https://a.co/d/9Iz1r53

Follow Lisa Towles: https://linktr.ee/authortowles

 

1 Comment

  1. ana

    I loved this book! One of my favorites. Mari and Derek are a great team. This is book 2 of the E & A Investigations series. Don’t miss Hot House, the first. Another thrilling read. I couldn’t put either of them down.
    5 stars for each!

    Reply

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MICHELLE CORBIER – Medical Doctor / Author / Publisher

Born in Illinois, as a military dependent, Michelle moved between San Diego, California, and Charleston, South Carolina. She enrolled at the University of California Santa Cruz before attending Michigan State University, where she completed a Pediatric residency program. After over twenty years in clinical medicine, Michelle now works as a medical consultant.

As a member of Crime Writers of Color, Sisters in Crime, and Capitol Crimes, her writing interests cover many genres—mystery, paranormal, and thrillers. If not writing, you can find her outside gardening or bicycling.

Murder in Gemini – When not practicing medicine, Dr. Myaisha Douglas writes mysteries. But murder intervenes when the sister of a friend suddenly dies. Myaisha suspects murder. Her writing group investigates the homicide, hoping to publish a true crime story. The investigation becomes deadly when Myaisha uncovers an important secret behind a necklace.

I write mystery, thrillers, suspense, and fantasy stories. The location varies, but I prefer to write at a desk. Long term, it protects my back. Anyone considering a long-term career in writing should use supportive equipment to protect their musculoskeletal health. Carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and back pain cause serious discomfort.

A window is necessary for my writing. It allows my mind to wander and stimulates creativity. I write piecemeal as ideas arise, primarily on weekends and evenings. Once I get in a groove, I can’t be distracted. It’s not uncommon for me to write for ten to twelve hours straight. My routine is unscheduled and directed by inspiration. Breaks never last over two weeks.

Editing is challenging—not because I don’t like it. I prefer editing to composing an original manuscript. The first step in my process is what I call free writing. Whatever comes to mind goes on the page. After I finish the WIP, I go back and construct a cohesive narrative. The critique group receives the manuscript. I’ll work on the WIP and send it to my developmental editor. Once the editor comments, I review the manuscript again and discuss it with my critique partners. I use ARCs to get feedback and complete another comprehensive review before sending it to the copyeditor. The proofreader is the final step before publishing. Currently, I am working on a standalone suspense thriller.

Before I decided to publish, I joined Capitol Crimes, a chapter of Sisters in Crimes. Serving on the educational committee for SIC gave me insight into the publishing business that otherwise would have required years of experience. I also found my critique group through Capitol Crimes. Crime Writers of Color brought me a support group and resources important to any author.

I write stories I want to read. Therefore, my protagonists are carefully designed—no matter how flawed. As a physician, I work with people. While I never base a character on a specific person, they provide ideas about how characters behave—mannerisms and colloquialisms.

The plan is to continue writing good stories with enduring characters. My characters could be your friend or neighbor. If the stories make you smile, cry, or laugh, I’m satisfied. Books should evoke emotions.

Last year, I started a publishing business and intend to invest time and effort into its success. Longevity is key for the writing career I desire. Publishing has taught me valuable skills and introduced me to inspiring people. I’m enjoying the journey.

I belong to Capitol Crimes, Sisters in Crime, and Crime Writers of Color.

https://www.MichelleCorbier.com
web@MichelleCorbier.com
https://books2read.com/u/bzVMrG

 

3 Comments

  1. Paty Jager

    Your book sounds interesting. I’m happy to know that my need to be at my desk so I’m treating my writing like a job is also good for my back. Sending you success vibes for your book and your publishing business.

    Reply
  2. Michael A. Black

    Interesting blog, Michelle. i’m glad you’re taking care of your back by writing at a desk. I assume you use a computer, which is a good thing considering nobody can read a doctor’s handwriting. 😉 (Pardon the bad joke, but I couldn’t resist.) You’ve now joined the annals of other writer/physicians like Arthur Conan Doyle and Michael Crichton. I wish you much success. Good luck.

    Reply
    • Michelle

      Thank you, Michael. Pun appreciated. Happy writing, and reading.
      Michelle

      Reply

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