Wednesday, June 22, 2022

SPIRITUAL ADVISOR OR FORTUNE TELLER? Find out in Reversal of Fortune!


Bernadette Wolfort billed herself as a spiritual advisor and displayed diplomas from the University of Las Vegas for a BA in Social Work, and a Doctor of Human Services from Caldwell University and a certificate declaring her to be a minister in the Universal Life Church in the small home where she lived and conducted business.

What kind of people paid her to advise them?

1.   A college professor from Santa Barbara University who was depressed by his wife’s infidelity.

2.  A big-name realtor who paid a lot to rid herself of a curse put on her by her ex-husband.

3.  A female doctor from Ventura who wanted help because of discrimination by the male doctors. 

T  The 70-year-old gentleman who wanted his girlfriend back.

5.   The Bunco player who visited Bernadette because she was a good listener.

6.    The owner of a construction company who thought Bernadette was a babe and treated her to dinner out whenever she’d agree.

7.     A teenager who wanted help with a family problem and only had $100 to pay for the fortune teller’s advice.

Ms. Wolfort’s other clients paid far more money for the woman’s advice. When she’s discovered murdered, it is up to Detectives Doug Milligan and Felix Zachary of the Rock Bluff Police Department to investigate the case and find out who the killer is. But as they begin interviewing people, they discover even more suspects than those Ms. Wolfort’s customers.

In my latest mystery, Reversal of Fortune, you can find out all about how the investigation turned out. What about you? Have you ever gone to a fortune teller either to learn about the future or receive help with a problem? Years ago, a friend who was a new widow asked my husband and me to go to a restaurant that besides a special dinner was offering a few minutes with a fortune teller. We joined her and enjoyed a lovely dinner. The three of us sat in a booth, my husband, me and then our friend. We offered no information about ourselves. The fortune teller predicted that in the near future my husband and my friend would be going on a lovely romantic trip. It was obvious she thought my husband and my friend were married and we didn’t bother to correct her. And no, there was no romantic trip for any of us, but we did have a good laugh.

In order to write Reversal of Fortune, I did some research and found spiritual advisors/fortune tellers who advertise on the Internet. I also learned that despite the fact that people pay huge amounts of money for advice from these charlatans and when disappointed, often go to the police. The police usually don’t do much about what’s happened. After all the “victim” chose to consult the fortune teller. If too many complaints are made, the fortune teller may be asked to take her business elsewhere.

I’d like to hear from any readers of this blog if they’ve had any experience with a fortune teller and how it turned out. F.M. Meredith is also known as Marilyn Meredith. If you’re interested in reading Reversal of Fortune, it’s available in paperback and on Kindle.

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Monday, June 20, 2022

Book Spotlight: Six Things You Might Not Know about Steve Brock

  1. My wife and I are both animal lovers. A few years ago, after a tragic incident with a stray dog and her puppies, we decided to do something tangible about the stray population in our area. We formed a 501.c non-profit corporation dedicated to assisting people who couldn’t afford veterinary care for their animals. We held local fundraisers and formed a partnership with a local vet clinic to assist us. Over the next several years our organization paid for spaying, neutering, vaccinations, and other veterinary services for many elderly and low-income people in our area. We also purchased dog houses and pet food for those who couldn’t afford it.
  2. I had intended to pursue a career as a writer after graduating college. I prepared for it by taking all the writing courses my high school offered. Instead, shortly after high school I met a young lady and fell in love with her. That put my writing aspirations on hold indefinitely. I didn’t get to college until twelve years later, even then I was attending part-time at night. The fact that I’m sixty-one years old and just now writing my first novel is that young lady’s fault. Since we’ve been married now for forty-two years and brought up two fine young men in the process, I don’t complain about it too much.
  3. I’m a history buff. I think it is fascinating to learn about how our civilization has developed over the centuries. I subscribe to the adage; Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it. I think there are all too few of us these days who credit history with the value it provides. I hope to bring my love of history to my writing, entwining historical fact with fiction in an interesting way.
  4. Perhaps in some measure due to my appreciation of history, I am a fan of blues music. I didn’t really discover blues in its purest form until I attended a local blues festival several years ago. I attended not knowing how I would like it, but I found I enjoyed it very much. After that, I came to realize that much of the popular music I preferred as a young man had roots in the blues. I have continued to attend blues festivals since that first one. I have even traveled to Memphis, TN to experience the annual International Blues Competition. It was such fun, not only listening to the music but also sampling the local cuisine. Chicken and sausage gumbo is served everywhere in Memphis, and I really like it. Even something as simple as a cheese and sausage platter is just different in Memphis than it is anywhere else.
  5. I have had the pleasure of being part of a large family although I only have one sibling myself. My wife has four sisters and a brother, and they have all continued to live locally. After we got married her family accepted me as one of them and I consider them my sisters and brother as well. The family has always been close and we have family gatherings for just about every holiday and some birthdays as well. Now, with all the children and grandchildren not to mention the spouses, the family has grown to over fifty persons altogether. It has grown too large to have a comfortable gathering in most homes, particularly in the winter when outside activities are limited. It is for that reason that my wife and I have a house that is way too large for just the two of us. We can host family gatherings at any time of year and that is something that is important to us.
  6. When I was attending college, I was also raising a family and working full-time. I had no choice but to take college classes in the evening. That worked out just fine most of the time. The college had a great many nontraditional students, most like me were older people who didn’t attend right out of high school. One thing that was required for me to qualify to graduate was a physical education class. There were several options such as golf, tennis, racquetball, and bowling. The problem was none of these classes were offered in the evening. Also, since they were daytime classes, they met either two or three times a week. I couldn’t work that into my schedule and for a while didn’t know what to do. After some research, I found another local university offered a class that would fulfill my PE requirement and it was held in the early evening only once a week. It was a pistol marksmanship class. I couldn’t have predicted how much I enjoyed that class. I found target shooting to be an activity I would continue long after that class was over. I do not hunt, and as an animal lover, I couldn’t shoot any animal for sport. I do enjoy target shooting, however, and I am proud to say many paper targets have met their demise at my hand.

About the Author:
I've been an author in search of a novel for just about forty years now. Writing was the first thing I ever wanted to do seriously. Over the years I've done quite a variety of things. My first real job, the kind where you have a schedule and get paid hourly, was as a cook at the local Sonic Drive-In. I've been a machinist, a forklift driver, a production worker, a computer programmer, an IT guy, an installation manager, a software trainer, and an education department manager. Those are just the employment highlights. Through it all, I was a husband and father, and I attended college at night to get my bachelor's degree in technology management.

Before all that started, I wanted to be a writer. It just didn't work out that way. Maybe that's ok, I've had a good life and I have a wonderful family that I am proud to have. I don't regret any of what I've done to support my family over the years. The desire to write has persisted, however, and I took a look at my odometer one day and it read 61 years old. None of us know how high our personal odometer will go, but I knew if I was ever going to be a writer, now was the time,


I'm bringing my lifetime of experience to my novel writing. Many of my characters are loosely based upon people I've known in real life. Some of my plot elements are also influenced by real-life experiences as well. As of this writing, my first novel, Half Moon Lake, will be published on Amazon in a few weeks. I have begun work on my second book as well. I hope you will take time to register your email address so I may keep you apprised of announcements and special offers. I'd be thrilled to count you as one of my first dedicated readers.


Steve Brock’s latest novel is Half Moon Lake.


You can visit his website at or connect with him at Twitter.


Saturday, June 18, 2022

TV Series Review: The Chelsea Detective

Adrian Scarborough stars as DI Max Arnold, a recently separated police officer who lives on a shabby houseboat while hoping that he’ll get back together with his wife Astrid. He's clever, determined, and perhaps most importantly, he doesn't care about wealth or status when it comes to getting justice. Raised by a local bookshop owner, he's a life-long Chelsea resident – but not part of the elite class of people who make up most of the neighbourhood. He may live in an upmarket area, but crime knows no boundaries and the dark and disturbing elements of the city manifest themselves. Max’s job is to bring criminals to book and see that justice is done. He is partnered with Sonita Henry as DS Priya Shamsie, who is a new mum, back on the beat, and with her own issues at home, most of which are of her own making.

Should you watch it? Definitely! If you enjoyed Midsomer Murders, Grantchester, or any detective series of that ilk, this is right up your alley. The stories are interesting and keep your attention. Nothing seems outlandish or far-fetched and a viewer is not asked to suspend their disbelief. The cast is diverse but there is no shoving it down your throat. The Chief Forensics Officer is played by Sophie Stone, a deaf actress. I really liked how the producers handled this angle because I have seen other shows where there is much fiddling about with sign language and then translating which stretches things out and makes an audience restless. In this series, the actress performs brilliantly and quite naturally asks Max to slow down because she can’t catch everything he is saying.

Adrian Scarborough is one of those actors that ease into the character perfectly. He is a pleasure to watch. The character is no-nonsense, gets on with the job, can be unimaginative at times, but is very appealing. His aunt is played by the inimitable Frances Barber, also a pleasure to watch. She is hilarious. For me, the only sour note was the relationship between Max’s wife Astrid (Anamaria Marinca) and Max. I found Astrid quite bland, and it was hard to believe they had been married. There was just no chemistry. Even much ado about the ownership of a coffee machine failed to convince me. However, a strong supporting cast make this series eminently watchable, and I was delighted to discover that there will be a season two!