Maria E. Schneider

Biography

Maria writes cozy mysteries, fantasy, paranormal mysteries and has just completed a ghost story.

Visit Maria at her blog: www.BearMountainBooks.com.

Smashwords Interview

How does one get grave dirt out of clothes?
We writers…are weird. We have concerns that normal people just never have to deal with. It’s the way our minds work (or overwork. Or don’t work…)

When your characters go wandering around graveyards (Adriel in Under Witch Moon, for example) you just might need to know how to get graveyard dirt out of clothing. It’s not ordinary dirt, you know. I mean…it has…stuff in it. It’s not like you’re going to want to toss a cotton shirt that has grave dirt into your compost bin, I don’t care HOW long you leave it there to compost! And if you do clean it…even if all the stains DO come out, well, you see the problem here??? You aren't really going to WEAR the thing again...unless you have to visit said graveyard a second time, and do you want to leave the thing hanging in your closet just in case??? What if some sort of ghost attached itself to the shirt??? Or pants? Yeah. In the middle of the night, if there are ANY unexpected sounds coming from that closet, you'll shoot it so full of holes, none of your clothes will be wearable!

It's probably best to burn it, bury it and just buy a new one.

I had the opportunity to chat with author Frank Tuttle recently about plot issues. If you kill an almost-vampire, is it murder? I mean the guy is in the middle of dying, but he’s not going to die, he’s going to vamp. And once he vamps, you’d have to kill him to keep yourself alive and avoid becoming dinner, right?

Frank, being Frank, had this to say:

You know, you do pose a very real legal concern. As I understand it, one can be charged with homicide if one shoots a man to death who has jumped from the 100th floor and is passing by your floor, the 50th, down to a certain death. Yes, the falling man was doomed anyway. But legally, the shooter committed murder — which I assume would also apply to vamp-bitten humans who have yet to turn.

Too bad all the best lawyers are vampires themselves!

So, if a writer you know asks you an odd question or two, don't take it to heart. We're probably just researching for a novel.
Red or White Wine with that?
I was recently reminded of a time I was invited to a cookout. It was suggested I bring the wine. Okay, I am not the right person to ask because I don’t drink wine, but when the hostess asks you to bring wine, you do the best you can. When I asked what the main dish would be, she replied, “Hotdogs. New York hotdogs.”

Erm. Is it just me or do writers attract weirdos? I mean, people even weirder than writers???

I muttered about New York and just why did any hotdog require wine? But being a writer, I know how to research. Plus, I have an uncle who claims to be a wine connoisseur. Well, it turns out, uncle is a FRAUD. All he did was sputter when I asked what kind of wine to pair with hotdogs. He may have even called my mom to complain about my attitude.

Hmph.

But, never fear! I have a buddy who drinks French wine. He is more geek than connoisseur. He speaks French, at least to the extent where he can show off. He knows fancy phrases, the ones people throw out at parties to show how knowledgeable they are. No one understands the phrase, but we all nod knowingly. It's quite possible that all these years he’s been telling us that eating green peas puts hair on your chest. Still, he was my best bet so I sent him an email. I asked if he could he recommend a dinner wine to pair with hotdogs. --NO, it isn’t my party. I don’t even eat hotdogs!

Luckily, my geek friend is more into research than I am. He does not like any question to go unanswered. Nothing like passing the homework on to someone more obsessed than myself!

Friend suggested Scotch straight up to get through the party. As for wines, he asked if maybe she meant she wanted to soak the hotdogs in wine. Or beer.

No, I assured him. She wanted wine to drink.

Well, he came through. For hotdogs, “boxed wine is the only way to go. Doesn’t matter if it is red or white. Get a rose and you’re covered. If you want upscale wine for your hotdogs, get a four or six pack of wines with tops that screw off.”

He didn’t include any helpful French phrases for the party. Not that I’d get them correct. As for the outing, I decided to bring hamburger patties because I don’t actually like hotdogs, and if I brought wine, I'd have nothing to eat AND nothing to drink. Yeah, yeah. So I might not get invited again. I’ll probably get over that.

Maria is the author of the humorous Sedona O'Hala mystery series, Catch an Honest Thief and the Moon Shadow urban fantasy series.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Maria E. Schneider online


Where to buy in print


Books

Ghost Shadow
By
Series: Moon Shadow Series. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 74,490. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2015. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Shadow is stuck In Between, dead, but not gone. Martin insists she isn’t dead and doesn’t belong here, but so far as she can tell, the trip was a one-way ticket. If Adriel and Lynx insist on trying to help her, how can she refuse? But if magic can’t find her living body, how can one stubborn cat do the impossible? is there really enough magic in the world to bring her back over?
Executive Affairs
By
Price: Free! Words: 5,950. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2015. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Executive Affairs contains two Sedona O'Hala short stories, Executive Affairs and Executive Gardening. These shorts are based on the characters in Maria's popular Sedona O'Hala humorous mystery series. Executive Lunch is the first novel in the series. Sedona must solve a few crimes while fighting her way up the corporate ladder; mostly she dangles from her fingertips just trying to survive.
Soul of the Desert
By
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 81,750. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2014. Category: Fiction » Literature » Western
This story is an adventure of a boy on the run from the mafia. Which is worse, the guns of New York or the dangerous desert of New Mexico? All Bo has to do is find a way to stay alive. Soul of the Desert was shortlisted in the CWA's Dagger Debut competition in 2003
DragonKin
By
Series: Dragons of Wendal, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 62,190. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2014. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Drissa needs a place to hide, and she needed it yesterday. Wendal, with its rumors of inhospitable shifters, unknown terrain and wild magic, is not a territory many want to explore, making it the perfect place to disappear. Now, the last thing Drissa needs is to adopt more trouble, but what can she do when it hatches at her feet and then insists she drag it and a half-dead stranger to safety?
Under Witch Curse
By
Series: Moon Shadow Series. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 81,240. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2014. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Zandy, the wily coyote, is back in town, and he’s out for blood. Someone had better find him fast because the body count is rising. With White Feather to help, Adriel expects life to get easier, but the relationship comes with surprises. This time, Adriel might just need more than solid ground beneath her feet and the wind at her back.
Dragons of Wendal
By
Series: Dragons of Wendal, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,070. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(4.00)
Learning new magic isn’t as easy as Zoe expected, especially when the mages at Gorgon University seem dead set against teaching. Add in some necessary late-night sneaking about, and Zoe is almost certain to be kicked out. As for exploring the intriguing mysteries across the border in Wendal, well, it has more teeth than she ever imagined. Reader's Choice Award 2015
Under Witch Aura
By
Series: Moon Shadow Series, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 90,110. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
(5.00)
There’s an ill wind blowing, and it’s touching every witch Adriel knows, including White Feather, who is far more important to Adriel than just any warlock. Adriel will do what she must to keep those she loves safe, but if she lures the enemy away, will she be able to save herself? Her only hope is to use earth magic to hide from the very air she breathes as she hunts down an untenable evil.
Snitched, Snatched
By
Series: Dragons of Wendal, Spanish/English. Price: Free! Words: 7,900. Language: English. Published: October 7, 2011. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
When a spell goes wrong, can Zoe unwind it before it’s too late? This e-book contains the short story, “Snitched, Snatched” in English and also the fully translated Spanish version. (Translation by Gustavo Bondoni)
Executive Sick Days
By
Series: Sedona O'Hala Mysteries, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 80,830. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(5.00)
Book 3: Sedona O'Hala Mysteries. Steve Huntington had a way of offering jobs that were too good to be true. Mark Huntington made offers too good to turn down. Sedona had a habit of being caught in the middle; somewhere near bad guys with guns and family members she was trying to avoid.
Under Witch Moon
By
Series: Moon Shadow Series, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 92,310. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2010. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(4.40)
Under Witch Moon is the first in an urban fantasy series: When dead bodies start turning up Adriel has no choice but to talk to White Feather, an undercover cop. Unfortunately, Adriel is a witch and White Feather isn't convinced she's innocent of wrongdoing. She's going to have to talk fast--and set spells even faster if she expects to survive.
Ίχνη Φαντασμάτων (Haunting Clues)
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,230. Language: Greek. Published: July 22, 2010. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(5.00)
Ο Μαξ αναλαμβάνει να απομακρύνει τα φαντάσματα από μία πολυτελή έπαυλη. Για να αντιμετωπίσει τους νεκρούς, όμως, πρέπει πρώτα να ξεσκεπάσει τα μυστικά αυτών που είναι ακόμα ζωντανοί.
Executive Retention
By
Series: Sedona O'Hala Mysteries, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,630. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(4.00)
After solving one case of corporate crime, Sedona expected to get her peaceful life back. Problem: She is still a manager at Strandfrost, and there is still rampant jealousy over her promotion. Is the danger of being railroaded by her not-so-illustrious colleagues worse than taking a new undercover job from Steve Huntington? Book 2 in the Sedona O'Hala series. "Executive Lunch" is the first.
Tracking Magic
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 32,620. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(4.50)
"Get Smart" meets "Ghost Busters!"-- A humorous urban fantasy. Five case files from Max Killian Investigations: Max is hired to expel a ghost from a mansion, counteract an ancient curse, investigate a graveyard mystery and figure out which secrets are worth dying for. All in a day's work--assuming he survives!
Executive Lunch
By
Series: Sedona O'Hala Mysteries, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 77,420. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2009. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(4.20)
Sedona is given the opportunity of a lifetime: play an up-and-coming executive with all the trappings of wealth with someone else footing the bill. The catch: find out who is stealing company funds before the criminals find out that their program is being debugged. Sedona runs into danger, the corporate glass ceiling, and an occasional chance at romance in her quest.
Catch an Honest Thief
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,730. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2009. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(4.50)
An Indiana Jones-style caper across the desert of New Mexico; high-tech gadgets, a mystery and a romance. Alexia must protect the crystals that power the city of Haven. Going undercover and stealing the crystals seemed like a great idea--until a real thief showed up. Confessing her duplicity might help Chris, the attractive new security chief, but it would cost Alexia everything she holds dear.
Sage: Tales from a Magical Kingdom
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,310. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2009. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(5.00)
Sword and Sorcery meets Agatha Christie: Three novellas introduce the Kingdom of Sage and those who protect its boundaries. Toil, Trouble and Rot: Sage is under attack from a deadly and mysterious enemy. Dungeons and Decay: Find out how far a mother will go when her child is in danger. Call to Arms: Every hand is needed when a ghost invades the kingdom demanding old wrongs be righted.

Maria E. Schneider’s tag cloud

action adventure    adventure    african american    amateur sleuth    anthology    caper    chicklit    comedic mystery    comedy    coming of age    contemporary fiction    contemporary mystery    cozy    cozy mysery    cozy mysteries    cozy mystery    cozy series    crime    crime fiction    detective    dragonkin    dragons    dryad    ebook    elves    english and spanish    ethnic stories    family sagas    fantasy    fantasy adventure    fantasy detective    fantasy short story    female sleuths    female slueth    fiction    ghost    ghost stories    ghost story    ghosts    greek    greek translation    gryphons    hawks    hawkshifter    humor    humor and comedy    humorous mysteries    humorous mystery    humorous romance    humour    humourous mystery    lantino    life adventure    mages    magic    magical    max killian    moon shadow series    mysery    mysteries    mystery    mystery humor    paranormal    paranormal fantasy    paranormal mysteries    paranormal mystery    paranormal romance    paranormal suspense    quest    romance    romantic caper    romantic comedy    romantic mystery    sedona ohala    shape shifters    shapeshifter    shapeshifters    shifters    short stories    short story    sleuth    sorcery    southwest    spanish stories    spanish translation    spells    suspense    sword and sorcery    translated short story    trolls    urban fantasy    values christain    vampire    warlock    werewolf    werewolves    western    witch    witch detective    witch slueth    witch spells    witchcraft    witches    women sleuth    womens fiction    young adult   

Maria E. Schneider's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Maria E. Schneider

  • Smashwords Style Guide on Aug. 30, 2009

    Good stuff and essential reading if you want to upload a book! Thanks for writing down the details in such a compact form.
  • The Timing of Love on Sep. 12, 2009
    (no rating)
    Well written horror/dark fiction flash fiction.
  • If Only on Sep. 12, 2009
    (no rating)
    Cuuuuute. Good formatting (although there is a stray number 2 at the end?) and good editing. Bit of silliness here; nothing wrong with that.
  • On the Great Wall of Texas on Sep. 12, 2009

    This is a very well-written, political irony piece. I admit, it grabbed my attention--which side of the issue...there's some...let's call it global warming thrown in for good measure. I imagine it was written to make people think a bit--It resonates. But if you don't like polarizing issues, this may not be for you. Cleverly done piece.
  • Close Shave on Sep. 12, 2009
    (no rating)
    I don't like horror, but this is well-written and well-formatted. It is, as the description promises, rather gross (not an overdone thing, just horror.) It is...every boy's nightmare.
  • You Better Run on Sep. 12, 2009
    (no rating)
    A quick read, kept me turning the pages. There's some minor issues with characters talking followed by a capital: "Blah, blah." She said, instead of-- "Blah, blah," she said. Sometimes an action other than speaking also follows the speaking part, "Blah, blah," she walked away. It wasn't noticeable until the last page. The story moves along quickly so the minor anomalies are easy enough to ignore. I'd classify this as horror, rather than suspense. If you like a good vampire scare, this qualifies.
  • DEAD(ish) on Sep. 13, 2009

    This story was okay, although I'm not fond of changing POV in a novel...and less so in a short story--but that is a personal preference. The cursing got in the way--too much of it, distracting. The formatting/editing was of good quality in this read.
  • Fatherly Love on April 02, 2010

    Nary a wasted word or wasted moment, this book grabbed me from the first page and drew me in to the very interesting mystery that unfolded. At first I thought Barker, a used-to-be-a-reporter, might be one of those loser investigators who drank too much and ended up with luck and too many hangovers, but the story came through. While Barker threw back more than a beer or two, he had the better qualities of my favorite pulp fiction heroes. He's a stubborn sleuth, intent on earning his pay and solving his case. He may be the cliched loyal tough guy, but he follows his heart when it comes to loyalty. This is a fast-paced, well-written tale, perfectly formatted and proofed. Well-done. Highly recommended for an entertaining afternoon read.
  • The Ultimate in Women's Self-Defense. on May 16, 2010

    Self-defense is comprised of two parts--mental and physical. The author rightly spends significant time discussing the mental preparedness. Why? Because some women will never practice the physical techniques described in the book. Many women will never take a class. This book has several chapters dedicated to things ANY woman can do to prepare for an attack: Think about ordinary objects as weapons. Be aware of your surroundings. Have a PLAN in case of a break-in or an attack. Think about things you can do to prevent all of the above. I've had some training, and this book was a VERY GOOD refresher. There were several ideas I hadn't heard or thought of. This is a good book for any woman thinking about taking a self-defense or karate class. It's hard to walk into a karate class because it's a CLASS with other people who will witness your clumsiness, your lack of aptitude...and in general, can be kind of embarrassing. This book pretty much lays out the types of exercises you'll be doing, the things you will learn and why. If you want to practice at home before joining a class, it provides plenty of instructions. If you, like me, want reminders or refreshers, it's an excellent guide. If you're elderly, young, disabled, small, weak--this book has techniques, ideas--and confidence builders. On the downside, the pictures demonstrating the techniques are at the END of the book, rather than with the instructions. I didn't know this and had some trouble picturing which defense/technique was being described. Since I've had some training I was always able to figure it out, but the pictures are worth a thousand smacks to the side of the head. There were a few sections where the bolding of paragraphs ran on longer or wasn't there (chapter headings) but that really only meant nice DARK text! I know that in training, repetition is everything, but especially in the intro and first two chapters, some of the info was repetitious; some chapters could have been tighter. Later in the book the reminders/hints/repetitions were much more natural and the pace picked up. There are some heartwarming tales, some harrowing tales, some good examples and some that didn't quite capture a real life situation. I suspect that the author has never walked alone in a dark parking garage--or maybe I'm just terrified of dark parking garages. He did the job though, in this example and others--providing good examples and reminders that can be readily applied. I enjoyed the sections near the end where three other experts gave their advice. Even though the advice mimicked that in the book, it was interesting to read the advice/experience of other instructors. Much of self-defense is a mindset and the strength of this book is the reminder to take self-defense seriously. It is in the idea of empowerment, the teaching that you can fight back, that you can be better prepared and that we all should be prepared.