Welcome to Kings River Life's sister site;
Kings River Lite:

KRL is a California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal.
Kings River Lite regularly offers a "bonus" review or article, beyond the full issues that go up weekly over at KingsRiverLife.com.

Be sure to follow the River and enjoy brand new articles throughout the week by following both sites. You can subscribe via the sidebar, like Kings River Life, and/or circle KRL for updates. Don't miss our timely & topical issues every Saturday, and check in here for updates and new articles if KRL Magazine is ever down.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Violent Departures by F.M. Meredith

by Diana Hockley

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Marilyn Meredith’s (aka F.M. Meredith) novels are always good value and this one didn’t disappoint. A teenager disappears in the blink of an eye from her car in her grandmother’s driveway. The search is started immediately, because this girl wouldn’t just “run off” the way so many police departments appear to like writing off missing teen girls. Besides, the engine of her car is still running and all her things are still on the front seat, including her cell phone!


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Fortunately, a car not normally seen in the neighborhood is observed speeding off, giving the detectives the first clue. Classmates and the girl’s boyfriend are questioned and investigated.



Image source: Oak Tree Press

The leading character, Detective Milligan, is a likable person who, having moved with his wife into a new house, has to suspend disbelief and accept a ghost! Along with his work partner, Detective Felix Zachary, Milligan finds his attention required not only in the urgent inquiry into the disappearance of Veronica Randall, but other cases as well.

The feature of this novel is the solid, in-depth, and interesting police work, the believable characterizations, and the terrific twist at the end. I certainly would never have guessed “whodunit”!

This is another goodie in the stable of Marilyn Meredith, which is well worth seeking out and purchasing!

To enter to win a copy of Violent Departures, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Violent,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 4, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.


Diana Hockley is an Australian mystery author who lives in a southeast Queensland country town. She is the devoted slave of five ratties & usually finds an excuse to mention them in her writing, including her recent novel, The Naked Room. Since retiring from running a traveling mouse circus for 10 years, she is now the mouse judge for the Queensland Rat & Mouse Club shows. To learn more, check out her website

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cantua Crossing By Mary Martin Benton

by Marilyn Meredith

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

The story opens in 1871 with rancher Harry Caldwell greeting a rider coming onto his property. Tolbert Hughes brings the message that another stage has been robbed by the Vasquez gang. Tolbert’s Aunt Cora Belle was on the stage, but is now missing. Caldwell and Cora Belle have a bit of romantic history, and he sets out to find her.


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Set in California’s Central Valley, most particularly in and around Visalia, Cantua Crossing is an intriguing adventure loaded with little known historical tidbits. Yes, there is a mystery to unravel as Caldwell tries to find out where and why Cora Belle has disappeared. There is also the matter of some missing money and who the rightful owner is.



Image source: Mary Martin Benton

As Caldwell makes his way on horseback to locate the woman, he finds the Vasquez gang hideout, is imprisoned, falls for a beautiful senorita, hunted down by the bandidos, and is in a gunfight.

All is not as it seems, many obstacles are put in his way, but nothing deters Caldwell from his mission.

To enter to win a copy of Cantua Crossing, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Crossing,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 27, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.


Marilyn Meredith is a Springville, CA mystery author of the Tempe Crabtree series and writing as F. M. Meredith, the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Be sure to visit her website; fictionforyou.com

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Ultimate Writer's Workbook By Serita Deborah Stevens


by Lorie Lewis Ham

Details at the end of this post on how enter to win a copy of the book.

According to the author, Serita Stevens, The Ultimate Writer's Workbook for books and screenplays is based on her years of teaching at USC, UCLA and other schools as well. The book includes tips on writing both fiction and non-fiction.


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This book does an excellent job of covering almost everything a beginning writer should know, and makes for a great refresher for the more seasoned writer. Unlike most writing books, this one doesn't focus on just one type of writing--it shares tips about writing just about every genre, as well as writing different types of non-fiction books, and screenplays. It takes you from the very beginning, through dealing with writer's block, to sending out queries, to publicity for that final published piece of work. It also includes resources on self-publishing, which has become very popular, and much easier, over the last several years. And it has the value of being a workbook and including a lot of helpful examples.



Image source Motivational Publishing

Not only does Serita have a lot of teaching experience behind her, she also has an impressive list of writing credits, which include numerous screenplays, over 30 books, and short stories.

So if you always wanted to be a writer and didn't know how to start, or maybe you're going back to writing and could use a refresher course, or you want to try writing something different, don't miss this very informative and helpful book!

To enter to win a copy of The Ultimate Writer's Workbook, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Workbook,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 20, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.


Lorie Lewis Ham is KRL's editor-in-chief/publisher. She has published in many venues through the years and has 5 published mystery novels. You can learn more about Lorie's writing on her blog Mysteryrat's Closet.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Murder with a Twist: A Nic and Nigel Murder By Tracy Kiely

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Nicole and Nigel Martini are in New York for Christmas, but also (and more importantly for the Martini family) to celebrate Nigel’s cousin Audrey’s twenty-fifth birthday. It seems that the party may be put on hold, however, as Audrey's Lothario husband has once again gone missing and she is threatening to cancel the event. The last thing Aunt Olive Beasley will tolerate is the humiliation of uninviting socially prominently New Yorkers to the Christmas party, so she orders former NYPD detective Nic to find Leo and drag him home. Nic may have retired after being shot on duty (and marrying former playboy Nigel Martini), but she’s lost none of her professional skills and quickly discovers Leo is up to his neck in debt and organized crime.


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A classic movie buff, Nigel restores and preserves films in Los Angeles, and his charming lackadaisical attitude perfectly balances out Nic's far more grounded personality. That she accepts his impulsive adoption of a two-hundred-pound bull-mastiff puppy (he thought it was a better choice than the piranha) is a sign of their love—and how Nigel brings out her hidden lighter side. Nic can handle and stare down shady crime figures, but when it comes to her husband's former playboy ways and his social-climbing aunt, it's obvious where Nic feels more comfortable.

"So why are we having dinner with your aunt and uncle again?"
"For the good company, of course."
"Is that a new catering company?"
"No."
"Then try again."



Image source: Midnight Ink

The author of the delightful “Elizabeth Parker” novels that celebrate her obsession with Jane Austen, Tracy Kiely's modern twist on the Nick and Nora detective duo proves to be similarly charming and clever. Although it’s definitely a case of opposites attracting one another, playboy Nigel and grounded Nora have an undeniable love and smoldering chemistry when together. Their witty banter is fast, sexy, and feels entirely natural. Nic’s interrogation of menacing New York crime figures intersperses with obligatory Martini family events that are just as perilous (to Nic's sanity, at least).

The novel is original, well-written, and absolutely fun to read, speeding toward a conclusion that is as satisfying as it is unpredictable. This debut series by a skilled writer seamlessly blends humor, danger, and romance with compelling family drama and secrets.

To enter to win a copy of Murder with a Twist, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Twist,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 13, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & to indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:



Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).