Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Don't Miss My New Thriller "Blood Gold" Now Available!

He fought terrorists in Afghanistan. Now he fights a war on the home front.

An old map and a treasure trove of precious gold are all it takes to trigger conspiracy and murder. When Marine Gunnery Sergeant, Michael Drake, returns home from Afghanistan, his wealthy father entrusts the map over to him for safekeeping—then vanishes. Now Michael becomes the target of his father’s sex addicted wife, a corrupt sheriff, and a sociopathic drug lord. From Lakeport California to a ghost town in Rogues Hollow, there’s no shortage of greed, lust and murder. Michael Drake, a near amputee, suffering from survivor’s guilt, is on a mission to find his father and protect the map. To win he must outwit ruthless conspirators. If suicide bombers, IED explosives, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can’t stop the twenty-four-year-old Marine, nothing can. Now on Kindle and in Paperback

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Self Published - A Smooth Operation

Dangerous Presence a Thriller
 by M. G Cronkite
Cover Art by Josh Thornbrugh 

It’s a mixed feeling to reach that final page in your novel and quietly know in your heart you have come to the end of your story. You have loved every twist and turn, every character you’ve created, every scene. But now the time has come to say goodbye, at least for now—to move on and perhaps write a sequel. The time has come to publish—self publish, that is.

 And, that’s exactly what I did. Dangerous Presence, my very first novel is now published to Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Direct.

I followed The Smashwords Style Guide, by Mark Coker. I won’t say it was easy. There were times when I found the guidelines confusing. But then I’m not overly techie, either. I worked hard to get it just right, and I found once I had all the puzzle pieces fit together, it was a smooth operation.

I published to Smashwords. It took a few days to be accepted into the Premium Catalog. But once I was, I uploaded my novel to Amazon Kindle Direct and found the process to be easy and quick.

Dangerous Presence:
Psychologist, Jacquelyn Kincaid’s five-acre garden estate becomes deadly ground when blatant sex acts in a hot tub fuel a serial killer’s lethal vendetta. In her quest to prove her kid brother innocent of the murders, Jacquelyn fights for his life and finds herself butting heads with the law, all the way up the bureaucratic ladder to the FBI.

Buy here at Smashwords: Dangerous Presence

Or Buy here at Amazon:   Dangerous Presence

This video, which I just discovered, may be helpful to anyone who chooses to format their own manuscript and upload to Smashwords. (part 1 of 3)

This video is chuck full of good info for the e publisher. It also gives you the pros and cons on whether to format your own manuscript to Smashwords or hire a professional (very reasonable) and have it done. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Self-Publishing - The Beginning Stages

I will be working each day, going through the process of what it takes to self-publish my first novel. I will be learning many new things.

I want to publish my work to the highest professional level. It may take some real groundwork, but after I self-publish my first novel, I know it will get easier.  I'm excited about this. I will  post each step on my blog as I go along. At the present time, I'm gathering my resources. All the information I need is out there, it's just a matter of discovering it.

I'm reading, Let's Get Digital, by David Gaughran. This is one of the best e-books written on self-publishing. You can download this book on your Kindle CloudReader. It's Free. Here is the link:
Lets-Get-Digital How To Self-Publish and Why You Should

In my search for answers, I've come across this wonderful video, The Publishing Process, by  Steven H. Jackson. If you are interested in self publishing you can't go wrong here. It starts with the basics and moves right through to the finish line. It is helpful, and I value it. 

Right now I am at stage one -- writing the last few chapters of my novel, Dangerous Presence. When I finish, I will jump into the editing stage. See you soon.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Dangerous Presence a Thriller
 by M. G Cronkite
Cover Art by Josh Thornbrugh 
Who says you can't judge a book by its cover?

When Josh Thornbrugh, my writer friend from Writer's Village University, creates a book cover it immediately grabs your attention. This talented man  knows how to intrigue you with  just the right amount of mystery.

Josh is a science fiction writer. I share a writing group with him at Writer's Village University and have the pleasure of critiquing his chapters in the novel he is writing, entitled, Beyond the Gates of Ovrigmark. Never a dull moment in this exciting sci fi.

The Hemingway Hall group at WVU consists of seven active members, and Josh has somehow found the time to make  book covers for all of us. We are so fortunate to have this gifted man in our Hemingway Hall group. Thank you, Josh, and thank you for my beautiful book cover.

To me, the beauty lies in mystery, and of course that's what Dangerous Presence promises. Lots of mystery.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What I do When I'm Not Writing

Meeka -  16x20 Oil

Pensive Lady 20x24 Oil
Lansing 20x24 Oil
Who has more fun then artists and writers. Life is never boring.

This abstract was created from paint  on my pallet from other paintings.  A couple of folks wanted to buy it. HA! One never know.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Circles, by Ruby StandingDeer

A Must Read

Review by Yvonne Rupert
Gorgeous language, an inspiring story, and unforgettable characters--Circles has it all. I fell for this book in the very first chapter when we're introduced to Feather Floating, and I didn't fall out from under its spell even after I had read the final word. I found myself "thumbing" back through the pages to read particular passages just like I return to my favorite poems.

This book was written to be savored. I knew from the first page that this story would require a careful read by me because the story carries a depth that can only be reached by a deliberate read. You don't rush through a poem. Likewise, this book is not to be rushed. It unfolds gently and beautifully as you travel through the pages.

The sheer beauty of the language is as majestic as the images the author paints. Each stroke of her pen is tender and loving. A deep respect and a profound understanding of these characters and their journey is clearly evident from start to finish.

If you are looking for a book with exquisite writing and gentle, yet profound wisdom, then Circles will emanate with you. Read it, savor it, and pass it on to another reader. I passed it on to my 15 year old because it is the special type of book that speaks just as clearly to her youthful imagination as it does to my more weathered one.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Upper Deck

Excerpt from Dangerous Presence
by Marlene Cronkhite

#34 The Upper Deck

By late afternoon, I merged into the left lane at La Colinga Avenue and waited for the light to change. Home was just a mile up the hill. I was anxious to tell the family about my meeting with Sam. I couldn’t shake the feeling that with all the evidence mounted against Nicolas, he just might slip back into his old lifestyle. It would give him emotional strength to know his uncle supported him one hundred percent.

As I idled at the signal, I noticed Steve’s gray unmarked police car parked across the street in front of the Upper Deck Lounge, a local hangout of law enforcement. I pondered whether to make a quick stop. It wouldn’t hurt to try and persuade Steve to release the killer’s poem to the press as Sam suggested. Odds were he’d politely inform me to stay out of police matters. But knowing his admiration for my uncle, the detective just might go for it.

I caught the green arrow, turned left and made a sharp right into the parking lot.


You never had to look too far to find a policeman at the Upper Deck. The place was crawling with cops. I caught sight of Steve sitting in a rear booth. The high-backed cubicle partially blinded my view, and I couldn’t make out who he was talking to. I presumed he was comparing homicide notes with his partner Joe.

It didn’t take long for him to level a gaze at me from across the room and signal me to join him. He smiled as I approached.  “Hey, Jacquelyn, nice surprise.”

Then I saw her. Joe turned out to be thirty something, mounds of blond shoulder length hair, and lusty features, much like the latest model from Victoria’s Secret. Maybe it’s a woman thing, but as she gazed up at me, I could’ve sworn I detected a “who the hell are you,” look in her eyes.

I stood in front of their table wishing I could disappear. “Sorry, am I interrupting something?”

Steve smiled. “Of course not.” I felt a twinge of jealousy as he initiated an introduction. “I don’t think you’ve met special agent Kisha Strums, have you?”

I reached to shake her hand. “No, don’t believe I have. Hello, I’m Jacquelyn Kincaid.”

“Nice meeting you,” she said in a throaty tone. Pleasant enough, but there was something in her weak handshake and cold eyes that warned of clear and present danger.

“Kisha is with the FBI. Her home office is headquartered in Los Angeles. She’s part of the intelligence team assigned here  to profile the Red Ribbon Ripper murders.”

“Red Ribbon…what? Kind of a tongue twister, isn’t it?” After I spoke I realized my words agitated Kisha, even more than my presence.

She hugged a coffee cup between both hands and rolled her eyes in Steve’s direction. “We put a lot of thought into naming our killer, didn’t we Steve.”

Our killer? I could barely contain myself as I thought of my kid brother’s life in the hands of this babe.

Steve cleared his throat, the familiar twitch forming at one corner of his mouth. “Won’t you join us, Jacquelyn?”

“Thanks, no. Just passing by and saw your car. Had a few things I wanted to talk over, but it can wait.”

“Oh, but, I insist.” Maybe it was her elusive smile, but somehow I knew her invitation was not a prelude to a friendly powwow. “Since you’re here, there’re a few questions I’d like to ask.” She paused, arching her brows. “About Nicolas Reed, I understand he’s your brother?”

I sat down next to Steve, feeling my muscles tighten. “Yes, he’s my brother. What about him?”

“Well, no offense, but I’m sure you are aware that Nicolas is the prime suspect in our…”

“Yes.” I interrupted. “ I’m aware he’s a suspect.”

“No need to get defensive, Doc. I assume it is okay to call you Doc, or would you prefer Mrs. Kincaid?”

I couldn’t ignore my growing dislike for this woman. “Doctor Kincaid, will do just fine.”

Steve squirmed in his seat. “Maybe you ladies would feel more comfortable if we took this up at a later time.”

“Nicolas has nothing to hide.” I kept my gaze steady with hers. “What is it you want to know about him?”

“All right, I’ll cut to the chase.” Her tone had a sudden air of authority. “Is it not true that Nicolas had a nanny when he was a child?”

It took a moment before I saw where this was leading. I felt a chill as I recalled the killer’s words. ‘taunted nannies, made them cry, broke their necks, made them die’ “He had a baby-sitter, if that’s what you mean.”

“But, what about Nanny Kay?”

“Nanny, who?”

“Let me be clear, Doctor Kincaid. The FBI is very thorough. We have ways of tracking whole life spans.”

“How fortunate for you.” I wanted to smack her.

“So, tell me then, wasn’t Nanny Kay fired for locking Nicolas in a closet?”

I stared at her, my pulse hammering.

“In fact,” she went on, “isn’t it true that Nanny Kay was so abusive that the whole ordeal left Nicolas with a thinking disorder? You were ten, Joel eight, Nicolas five?”

I was stunned, not only at her gall, but also at how much she knew about my family history.

“Knock, knock, Doctor Kincaid—mind responding to my question?”

Although my heart raced, and my hands grew sweaty, I was determined not to buckle under her pressure. “Well, since you’ve probed so thoroughly, and you have my family’s personal history under a microscope, what more can I say?”

“Oh, much more. You were a preteen. You were old enough to understand. It all happened right after your mother deserted your father and left him to raise three kids alone. In fact, you know perfectly well that Nicolas is really only your half-brother, the bastard child of your mother’s indiscretions... ”

“Okay, that’s enough.” Steve broke in. “This has gone far enough. Kisha, don’t you have some reports to follow-up on with Agent Jack, back at the department?”

Her lips drew into a horned pout. “But Steve, this is what I was sent here to do. Nicolas fits the aspects of my profile, perfectly. He clearly connects to my…”

“Put a plug in it, Kisha. This is not the time or the place.”

She slid from the booth, reached for her white blazer and stared at me. “Perhaps we can talk later.”

Much later, I thought, relieved she was leaving.

Her voice was cold as she spoke to Steve. “I want to go over some things with you and Joe back at the precinct, so don’t be long.”

After she left, there were a few moments of awkward silence, then Steve reached for my hand. “I’m sorry you had to undergo that. It was uncalled for. This is Kisha’s first assignment. The other agent she came down with has given her free reign to profile this case. It may have gone to her head. She was offensive, and there’s no excuse for it.”

I held back tears. “She’s a piece of work, all right.”

We were silent for a few more moments. Then I gazed at Steve. “You’ve known all along haven’t you?”

“Known what?”

“That Nicolas is my half-brother?”

“So, what does it matter?”

“Nicolas doesn’t know. It was sealed in the divorce decree. I wanted to tell him, but I promised my father to keep it quiet.”

“Your father was a good man. He wanted to give Nicolas every chance.”

“I’m going to tell Nicolas. He should know.”

Steve nodded. We sat quietly for a while longer.

“How did your meeting go with Sam?” He finally said.

Was I hearing right? I hadn’t told a soul about my trip. “How did you know I went to see Sam?”

He reached in the pocket of his leather jacket, plucked out a cell phone and placed it in my hand. “That last call you made was a dead giveaway.”

“My God, you stole my cell phone?”

“Calm down. I didn’t steal it. You left it in the ladies room at Lucia’s Restaurant last night. The maitre d’ brought it to me right after you rushed out the door. I’m surprised you didn’t miss it.”

“Well, what gives you the right to hack into my calls? You’re no better than that bimbo FBI woman.”

“Sometimes it pays to snoop.” He raised his eyebrows and leaned towards me. “Besides, you shouldn’t be so careless with your phone. And why did you leave in such a hurry last night, anyway?”

“A reporter had been stalking me. But in the end I got the best of her. She came into the ladies room and…” I choked back tears, “oh, damn… .”

He reached for my hand and squeezed lovingly. “This whole thing with Nicolas is wearing you down. You’ve got to give it up.”

“In case you don’t know, there’s a sociopath running loose out there. My brother is the accused. My brother is innocent. So please don’t lecture me.”

“Okay, I won’t lecture you. What did Sam have to say?”

“He believes Nicolas is innocent. He suggested we release the killer’s poem to the press in order to draw him out into the open.”

“Not a bad idea. But releasing the poem might cause panic in the community.”

“Oh, and you think the name, ‘Red Ribbon Ripper’ floating around, won't cause panic?”

“Come on, let’s go into the bar area, I’ll buy you a drink. You look like you could use one. You can tell me all about your meeting with Sam.”

© 2012 Marlene Cronkhite