Joan Merrill's Comments

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At 7:57am on August 23, 2009, Preetham Grandhi said…
Hi Joan , I want to introduce you to my debut novel "A Circle of souls" which is a murder, mystery, psychological thriller and a tale of justice and hope. Do visit to read more about the book. Make sure you sign up to win an autographed copy of the book. You can also read more reviews by clicking on the More Reviews button at the website. Thanks for your time in advance.

Best regards

Preetham Grandhi

Early Endorsements for “A Circle of Souls”

Linda Fairstein, NYT Bestselling Author: "A fascinating debut - this novel takes the reader to the darkest places in the human soul, from a writer with the authenticity to lead us there. A stunning thriller and an important read."

Judge Judy Sheindlin, star of the Judge Judy Show: "The seminal work of this fine author kept me glued to my chair until the adventure was over and the mystery solved. A great read!"

Book Synopsis:

The sleepy town of Newbury, Connecticut, is shocked when a little girl is found brutally murdered. The town s top detective, perplexed by a complete lack of leads, calls in FBI agent Leia Bines, an expert in cases involving children.

Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Gram, a psychiatrist at Newbury s hospital, searches desperately for the cause of seven-year-old Naya Hastings devastating nightmares. Afraid that she might hurt herself in the midst of a torturous episode, Naya s parents have turned to the bright young doctor as their only hope.

The situations confronting Leia and Peter converge when Naya begins drawing chilling images of murder after being bombarded by the disturbing images in her dreams. Amazingly, her sketches are the only clues to the crime that has panicked Newbury residents. Against her better judgment, Leia explores the clues in Naya s crude drawings, only to set off an alarming chain of events.
In this stunning psychological thriller, innocence gives way to evil, and trust lies forgotten in a web of deceit, fear, and murder.
At 4:59am on December 22, 2008, Sheri Fresonke Harper said…
I hope you have a merry Christmas and happy holiday season :) Sheri
At 1:55am on August 9, 2007, Lyn LeJeune said…
Keep up the writing. Are you writing a mystery about jazz. I'll go to your site and see. My book, The Beatitudes, is a paranormal thriller set in New Orleans. It will be out in the fall and I am donating all royalties directly to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation. Libraries support the infrastructure of a great city, so I have started The Beatitudes Network to promote awareness of the importance of public libraries in NOLA.
The blogsite describes the Network, has excerpts from The Beatitudes, recipes, and more. Merci mille fois. Lyn Lejeune.
Writers, please pass the word…’s for a good cause….don’t let the libraries of New Orleans or the US go the way of The Great Library of Alexandria.
At 3:03am on July 30, 2007, Harry Shannon said…
Joining Sisters in Crime and MWA are good suggestions. So is getting a solid freelance editor to get the ms. together. I recommend Leya Booth ( reasonable and very smart. Good luck!
At 8:57am on July 22, 2007, Alan Cook said…
Hi Joan,

I have at least 5 copies of my new book, HONEYMOON FOR THREE, to give away to Crimespace members. Let me know if you are interested. I will need addresses of the winners. My email address is By the way, there's a scene at the Space Needle.
At 5:10am on July 20, 2007, Elizabeth Zelvin said…
Joan, are you SURE you don't want at least to try to find a publisher? You might be interested in joining Sisters in Crime and their Guppies chapter to hear about all the different routes others are taking. Chris Roerden is one of the best editors I know. Her book Don't Murder Your Mystery won an Agatha and is nominated for a Macavity. Her email is If you contact her, feel free to say I sent you. :) Liz
At 5:22am on July 10, 2007, Brianna Martini said…
Hi Joan please email me and I'll be glad to help you.
At 2:45am on July 10, 2007, Joan Merrill said…
Thanks. Will do.
At 1:20am on July 10, 2007, Morgan Mandel said…
Hi Joan,
You could e-mail Robert Walker at and see what his rates are for an entire book. He's an English teacher, also has many mystery books published, and does editing. I used him for one of my submissions.
You could mention I gave you his name, so he'll know where you're coming from.
Morgan Mandel
At 7:58am on July 9, 2007, Joan Merrill said…
Done the critque group, thanks, and have had others critique, as well; now need a bona fide editor. I'll contact Joan Hollier...thanks for the suggestion!!
At 7:36am on July 9, 2007, Sylvia Dickey Smith said…
As a matter of fact, I know a great editor. Her name is Joan Hollier, email at (remember to use the symbol @ for at. I removed it to protect her from spam. )She's great. I also agree with Marilyn, before hiring an editor, join a critique group and be sure it is as perfect as you can get it first. Good luck!
At 6:57am on July 9, 2007, Marilyn Meredith said…
IF you can find a critique group that's one way to work on your manuscript. I've belonged to the same critique group for about 23 years. There are three of us who are published and two who are not, but I value the suggestions and corrections made by everyone--and I enjoy watching their work improve.

Rewriting is a real part of the writing process--probably the most important.

At 6:53am on July 9, 2007, Pari Noskin Taichert said…
Hey, there, Joan,
I think self-publishing is a really difficult way to go if you want others to read your work. This is mainly due to the marketing once the thing is published.

Anything else I would say has already been tackled by others on this comment wall.

Btw: last Sat (not yesterday), Alex brought this up at Murderati and got quite a few comments. You might want to check out the blog for June 30 to get some other viewpoints. As I recall, there was a good discussion in the comments section.
At 6:40am on July 9, 2007, Kathryn Lilley said…
Hi Joan! My two cents only--without having read your manuscript, I would say that it's worth the effort to find an agent and a publisher, before you go the self-published route. I know it's difficult! However, an agent and publisher can launch your book and career in a way that is difficult for the self-published author! Best, Kathryn
At 6:34am on July 9, 2007, Joan Merrill said…
Sure, I could send out copies to several publishers, wait to see if I get any bites before going the print on demand route. That sounds easy enough. Is it?
At 5:02am on July 9, 2007, Burl Barer said…
For some reason, the "p" in paid got lost in my comment. It was "p" and not "L"

At 5:01am on July 9, 2007, Burl Barer said…
Joan -- it is no more work to submit your manuscript for publication (in fact, less work) than it is to self-publish. If no one wants it, and you insist on making it available, then self publish via Lulu etc. Have more faith in your work. Real publishers have real editors that don't cost you a cent, and you get aid! It's a better deal. Honest,

At 11:37am on July 8, 2007, Michael W. Sherer said…
I'm in your neck of the woods. Maybe I'll see you at an MWA meeting sometime.
At 9:05am on July 7, 2007, Pari Noskin Taichert said…
Hey, Joan,
Welcome to Crimespace. Tell me about that icon of yours.

BTW: I want to tell you that Tony Hillerman is one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life. We both live in Albuquerque and I've had the chance to spend time with him on several occasions. Each one has been an utter joy.
At 2:27pm on July 6, 2007, Sheri Fresonke Harper said…
Joan, I'm glad you joined. This really looks like a cool place to network and make great contacts.

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