Saturday, February 28, 2009

Barbara Strickland

Being a police officer's wife definitely takes a certain personality. You have to realize that you may not have your husband around for important occasions such as yours and the kids' birthdays, or on Christmas or New Years Eve. It's easy enough to celebrate on a different day.

I had three boys with my first husband, Al Bertalone. When we first married I had no idea the danger that he would be in every single day. We had a wonderful marriage. I loved cooking for him, taking care of his sons and his home.

Because so many of the wives had no idea what their husbands' jobs were like, I started the ride-along program and encouraged everyone to go with their husbands. I was in the police car when Al was shot to death. Horrifying!

You might think I would have avoided marrying another police officer. I really didn't have time to think about it. Chief McKenzie assigned Ryan Strickland to help me and he took care of so many things. The more I was with Ryan the more I realized I'd completely misjudged him. In the past, Al and I used to call Ryan a publicity hound. If he could figure out how to get his face in front of a camera he did.
(Ironic, because now his job is the p.r. man for the Rocky Bluff P.D.)

Ryan became very important in my life. Of course he didn't replace Al, he's a completely different man. When Ryan proposed, I didn't hesitate. I've never been sorry.

Really, I can't imagine not having a man in my life. I pray for Ryan's safety every day and night.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Ryan Strickland

Marrying Barbara Bertalone was the best thing I ever did. Barbara wasn't really the kind of woman who attracted me, but while I was helping her out after her husband was killed in the line of duty, I realized she had so much to offer a man like me.

I'm the p.r. guy for Rocky Bluff P.D. A perfect job for me, I like being in the spotlight. I kept a scrapbook with clippings that mentioned my name or had my photo. Don't have to do that anymore because Barbara has taken over.

One more thing about Barbara, she's a wonderful cook. I have to go to the gym twice as much now that I'm eating all her wonderful meals.

She and Al had three boys. She's a wonderful mother. I had no idea I'd like being a father-figure, but it's actually fun going to all the kids' games whenever I can.

The one thing about my new life I'm not thrilled about is going to church every Sunday. Barbara is a devout Catholic and she would like me to go with her as much as possible. I have to admit, I figure out ways to get out of going.

Rocky Bluff is pretty quiet most of the time--but when we do have some excitement, everyone in town wants to know all about it--and that's where I come in. Love doing TV interviews.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Detective Frank Marshall

I'm the senior detective of the Rocky Bluff P.D. That sounds far more important than it is. All it means is I've been holding the job far longer than Detective Doug Milligan. When my former partner retired, Milligan was the obvious choice to take his place. The young man displayed all the attributes to be a detective. He's intuitive and never gives up.

My biggest challenge was giving up cigarettes. I smoked all the time until it became politically incorrect--and unhealthy. Now I'm addicted to chewing gum. Something about taking out the pack of gum, unwrapping a stick, folding it up and putting it my mouth has kind of taken the place of lighting up.

My wife, Gwen, is mighty happy I finally kicked my nicotine habit. She tells me I smell and look better. Good thing she loves me, don't think she's noticed how bald I'm getting.

Being a detective is a great job. Don't know what else I would have done with my life.

Detective Marshall

Monday, February 16, 2009

Author Poking Her Nose In

Plans for the physical launching of No Sanctuary happens the last Saturday of the month, February 28th from 1 to 4. The place is the fellowship hall of the Springville Baptist Church on Bogart Drive in Springville. Bogart is off Highway 190 about one mile south of the town of Springville.

I've been having fun planning for it--including ordering crime scene tape. From the tape I've planned the color scheme of yellow and black.

We're having refreshments--including delicious cookies from Coffee Etc. and smoked salmon from Alaska sent to me from my friend in Wasilla.

There'll be some surprises, and of course, I'll have copies of No Sanctuary for you to peruse and purchase if you so desire.

Hope to see some of you there.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mallory Cookmeyer

Even as a young girl, I wanted to be a wife and mother. I had this dream of becoming the wife of a minister, of reaching out to the underprivileged, helping those in need.

I met my future husband, Paul, when we were both going to college. He was extremely handsome and had this remarkable charisma. Always interested in everyone and what they were doing, he was the most popular man on campus--and it didn't even faze him.

Fortunately for me, once we began dating, he wasn't interested in anyone else even though the young women did everything to entice him away from me.

After we married, Paul worked as an assistant pastor to a large church in Santa Barbara. When he learned that a tiny non-denominational church in the beach community of Rocky Bluff was searching for a pastor, he immediately applied. He only had to preach for them once before he was hired.

It wasn't long before the church knew it had to expand and after a year of intensive fund raising, our new church buildings was constructed and we moved in.

Things were wonderful for awhile. I was kept busy helping with everything that was going on. Lately, though, I've felt empty and unneeded. There are so many women ready to do anything for my husband. I don't like to feel jealous because I know my husband loves me. But lately, he doesn't seem to have any time leftover for me.

Sorry, I didn't mean to unburden myself like this.

Mallory Cookmeyer

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pastor Paul Cookmeyer

I'm the pastor of the Rocky Bluff Community Church. I'm proud to say we have the largest congregation of any of the protestant churches in our small beach community.

My wife, Mallory, is beautiful, intelligent and has been a great partner to me as we built up our church from a small store-front chapel downtown to the great facility we have now.

I'm proud of the work we've done in Rocky Bluff. We have a large youth ministry with many of our young people coming to us from all over the city. We've have a food ministry and supply groceries to anyone in need.

Preaching is what I love to. My goal is to allow the Lord to speak through me so that as I bring the Word to my congregation that souls will be fed.

Though Mallory and I have no children, over the years we've had many children to minister to.

Despite the fact that my life may seem perfect, like anyone else's, problems crop up from time to time. Relationships don't remain the same, misunderstandings occur, friendships are shaken.

No matter what, I keep my faith in the Lord.

God bless you all,

Pastor Paul

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No Sanctuary Live and Well

Yes, that's right! No Sanctuary is now available for ordering on and also at Oak Tree Press's site.

If you want to find out what happened to Doug, Stacey, Abel and Maria and the rest of the folks who inhabit the beach community of Rocky Bluff.

Woo hoo! As the creator of the town of Rocky Bluff and the RB Police Department, I'm excited.

Oh, yes, you can read the first chapter on my website:

F.M. Meredith
aka Marilyn Meredith