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I’m a Bookaholic

December 20, 2016 by in category A Bit of Magic by Meriam Wilhelm, Reading tagged as , , , ,

I am a confessed Bookaholic.

For as long as I can remember I’ve cherished every opportunity to get lost within the pages of a good book. Nothing is sexier to me than the sound of cracking open the spine of a crusty hardback and nothing more enjoyable than being introduced to a character I never knew existed.

I understand that the reason I so love to write is because I am enamored with and made whole through reading. Even if it’s only ten minutes a day spent looking for a clue, discovering a new land or getting lost in the emotions of another, I’ll find the time. I can always count on a book to bring me comfort, challenge my status quo or add magic to an otherwise drab day.

It may sound strange to some, but I enjoy reading two or three books at one time. Never bored, I’m constantly seeking out new words, phrases and ways of illustrating ideas through language. So you can be sure that I was a bit distressed when a friend shared with me that she thought I was being lazy by spending so much time engrossed in a particular story.

I was initially stunned, then a little baffled and then just plain fired up – motivated to take on a new quest.

Reading is not being lazy. What better way is there to develop vocabulary, validate life choices, challenge intellectual abilities, open new worlds, contemplate conflicting ideas or find unique topics to engage others in conversation?

Reading rocks my world and encourages me to pry open doors that have threatened to close due to years of aging. I’ll take an enticing mystery, a melancholy love story or an adventurous travel sequel to any evening mindlessly sitting in front of the television, and I like television!

I hope over the upcoming holidays you find a moment to dream a little, travel through time or expand your world through a good book. And if you happen to stumble upon a friend enamored with the pages of a hardback, paperback or manuscript – take a moment to ask them what they’re reading. You might like what they have to share. But whatever you do, please don’t presume that they’re just being lazy.

About Meriam Wilhelm:



  The one thing I know, after all my years as an elementary school principal, is that there is magic everywhere and in everyone. When I retired after 35 years in education, I longed to share all that I had learned and created several parenting books on topics from bullying to homework strategies. While I miss those enchanting moments with children and their parents, I always wanted to let my imagination run wild as I sought out my own magic and wrote about it. In short, I was lured into the world of fiction writing where I soon created my first series, The Witches of New Moon Beach. The first book, Morning Magic is currently FREE  on Amazon.

Inspiration isn’t hard to find as I have lived in Redondo Beach, California all my life and New Moon Beach might have more than a passing resemblance to my hometown. Every day I walk on the path that runs along the beach, sometimes with my sisters, but most often with my thoughts as I plot out my next book. I am long married and mom to three great grown kids. When I’m not writing or walking on the beach, you’ll find me sewing, reading or traveling and taking pictures.

Feel free to check out my website:  or contact me by email:

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Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

April 6, 2016 by in category Events, Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Reading tagged as , , ,

by Linda O. Johnston

Sorry to say that, once again, I’ll be missing this month’s OCC meeting. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is the same weekend, and I’m doing things there both days.

Of course they’re predicting rain, maybe even thunderstorms, for both Saturday and Sunday. During almost any other time I’d be thrilled about that. Not next weekend, though.

I’ve been attending the LATFOB for many years, starting when it was held at the UCLA campus. Now it is at USC, which in some ways is more convenient for me since I can take the Metro there rather than drive.

There are a lot of interesting-sounding speakers and panels this year, although I probably won’t hear any of them. I’ll be busy signing at a couple of booths for mystery writers, helping to staff the booth promoting the Mystery Writers of America, and volunteering at the romance writers’ booth. It’s always fun to walk around and see what else is going on, too. And buy a few books? Why not!

I always think it’s fun to attend any kind of book event, and the LATFOB is always huge and enjoyable. I’m sure it will be this year, too–depending on the amount and timing of any rain.

And as an author, I find it very helpful and productive to attend these kinds of events and meet potential readers and other authors. How about you?

I hope the OCC meeting goes great–and I hope to get there again soon. And in the meantime, even if you attend OCC this weekend, you can always head up to the USC campus on Sunday to check out the LATFOB.

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Reader Events Rock!

May 6, 2011 by in category Events, Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Reading tagged as , ,

by Linda O Johnston

I just returned home from a trip east to attend three wonderful events for readers and writers.

The first was Malice Domestic, for fans and writers of traditional, cozy mysteries. I did my first Malice Go Round, which is speed-dating for fans. Lots of authors in groups of two visit about 20 tables packed with fans and told them all about their respective series in two minutes or less each. Exhausting! But definitely fun.

I attended panels and meetings and dinners at Malice, and was also on a panel called Tales with Tails with other authors whose stories involve animals. It was all delightful!

Then it was time to head for Oakmont, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh, for the Festival of Mystery presented annually by the Mystery Lovers Bookshop.

Before the actual Festival was the librarians’ tea. It was really enjoyable meeting librarians and book club members there–with lots of goodies to eat, too. My mouth was usually too busy chatting to eat much, though.

And the Festival? What an amazing event! About 50 authors were delightfully swarmed by lots of fans in book-buying mode. We got to introduce ourselves and chat with readers and sign a bunch of books, and all this in a town that’s out of the mainstream–which means that many people had to come a distance to attend.

Didn’t hurt that I still have family in Pittsburgh. I got to see my father and aunt while I was there.

So now I’m looking forward even more to RWA National. How about you?

Have you read the new Lauren Vancouver, Pet Rescuer series? The first book BEAGLEMANIA was released in March 2011. It’s a spin-off from the Kendra series, and Lauren was introduced in HOWL DEADLY.

Linda O. Johnston

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Book Festivals

October 6, 2009 by in category Events, Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Reading tagged as , ,

There’s nothing like a good book fair for fun!

On Sunday, I attended the West Hollywood Book Fair in–you guessed it!–West Hollywood, California. I was on a panel called Ghosts, Ghouls & Goblins: Exploring the Supernatural in Mystery Fiction. Several of us on the panel write both paranormal fiction and in other genres, so it was enjoyable to discuss our decisions about what paranormal elements to include, and which stories to include them in.

I also signed books at the Sisters in Crime/LA booth, and I helped to staff the Mystery Writers of America, Southern California Chapter, booth, to tell people what MWA is about. Yes, I belong to MWA and SinC as well as RWA. Each organization provides something different–and valuable.

At the times I wasn’t otherwise scheduled, I sat at the Arfriend booth with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Lexie and Mystie. Lexie stars in my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries–or at least her counterpart, also named Lexie, does. It’s a natural thing to take her along to promotional events where dogs are permitted. Mystie goes along for the ride whenever possible, and she steals the scene as she chases sunbeams, real or imaginary.

Arfriend, BTW, is a wonderful organization that acts as a resource guide for human and animal friends. Check out its website:

And, yes, I brought my own dog-sitter along for when I couldn’t pay complete attention to my pups. Fortunately, my husband Fred is a good sport and excellent pooch minder.

So… what book events have you attended lately? Which have impressed you most?

Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston is the author of 16 romance novels and several novellas, including a Nocturne Bites that is also in a current print anthology AWAKENING THE BEAST, with more Nocturnes upcoming. She also writes the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime and will soon start working on the spin-off Pet Rescue series.

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So Many Book Events, So Little Time!

July 6, 2008 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Reading tagged as , ,

I’ll be at the Romance Writers of America National Conference at the end of this month. Will you?

I also attended Malice Domestic this year, which I have done for the last several years. It’s for cozy mystery authors and fans, and it’s held near Washington, D.C. Right afterward is the Mystery Lovers Festival in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, just up the river from Pittsburgh, where I grew up. Of course I go there annually, too. It’s a good excuse to visit family. I was dismayed, though, that Malice conflicted this year with the L.A. Times Festival of Books, which I wound up missing. They’re different weekends next year, though, so hopefully I’ll get to both.

This year the Romantic Times BOOKClub annual conference was also in Pittsburgh, a couple of weeks before Malice. I’d considered attending, but figured I’d be better off, time and money-wise, choosing one.

As a mystery writer as well as a romance writer, I find there are a lot of really appealing conferences annually. Next year’s Left Coast Crime, in February, is in Hawaii. I’m definitely tempted. This year’s Bouchercon is yet to come, in Baltimore–near Glen Burnie, where my husband and I have a vacation home. But I’m unlikely to make it this year because of some other travel plans. I did attend the Printers Row Book Fair in Chicago since it coincided with my future daughter-in-law’s bridal shower in the area–an excellent excuse! It’s always great when there are additional reasons to choose a particular event. However, I won’t get to the West Hollywood Book Fair this year since that’s the weekend my older son is getting married.

Some day, I want to attend ThrillerFest. And to attend the Edgar Week celebrations of the Mystery Writers of America in New York City. And then there are the fun-sounding mini-conferences held by RWA chapters all over the country. And by Sisters in Crime chapters. And–

Well, for this week, at least, I’ll take a deep breath and be glad to stay home!

Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston is the author of 14 romance novels as well as the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime–and has 2 Silhouette Nocturnes and a Nocturne Bites upcoming!

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