Guest Author: Julie Howard

perf5.000x8.000.inddCrime Times Two is now on sale for 99 cents!

When divorce is out of the question, can murder be forgiven?

Blurb from “Crime Times Two”

Meredith knows three things: First, the man in the library begged her to help him. Second, he was afraid of his wife. Third, now he’s dead.

While the evidence first points to a natural death, Meredith is certain there’s more to discover. People are tight-lipped in this small mountain village, and the man’s wife isn’t talking either. Then a second death occurs, with remarkable similarities. It’s time to talk about murder.

As a slow-burning relationship heats up in her own life, Meredith struggles with concepts of love and hate, belief and suspicion, and absolution and guilt. Nothing is clear cut…

She must decide: Is guilt, like evil, something you can choose to believe in?

 Armchair travel to Idaho

I met a New Yorker several years ago, who upon discovering I lived in Idaho, paused and then asked, “That’s a state, right?”

This isn’t a rant against people from New York. I get it. Idaho has been one of those small states that stays out of the news, that people fly over enroute to somewhere else, and just quietly lives and lets live. At least, that’s the way it used to be. Word’s gotten out and now my state is the fastest growing state in the country (by percentage, of course).

If you haven’t been here before, I’d like to play tour guide today. It’s vacation time, so sit back and enjoy a virtual flash trip to my beautiful northwestern state!

I’ll start with Coeur d’Alene and surrounding areas. This is a much more forested and “wet” area, with a myriad of lakes, streams and rivers. While most of Idaho is crisscrossed with rivers and dotted with hidden lakes, the northern part of the state is known for its lush nature.  Coeur d’Alene, named by French traders, translates into heart of an awl, or sharp-hearted, or more basically “shrewd.” They found the native Indians there, the Schitsu’umsh, (now known as the Coeur d’Alene tribe) savvy traders for goods and so the name stuck. The large lake is pristine and quiet, with the town walkable and filled with fun shops to explore.

One of my favorite times there was when we took our kids on a fifteen-mile ride on theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Hiawatha trail, an old rail line through the high Bitterroot Mountains that has been converted to a bike/walking trail. Years later, we still talk about this adventure through ten tunnels and seven tall trestle spanning deep chasms.

Farther south, about midway through the state is a vastly wild expanse once crossed by Lewis and Clark. These famous explorers nearly gave up as they struggled to find a route through this area. Still sparsely populated, the region is inviting to hikers and campers with adventurous spirits. One of my most memorable trips ever was a stay in an old fire service lookout station. Imagine staying in a glass house (really just one small room) five stories up at the peak of the tallest mountain. We looked down on eagles flying and even fire lookoutairplanes. Incredible!

In Ketchum, which is right next door to the famed Sun Valley ski area, we enjoy the annual running of the sheep festival in the fall. This is an event celebrating the Basque ranchers who have a long history in Idaho and still raise sheep here. In this event, hundreds of sheep are herded right down the middle of the main street, as the ranchers move their animals to lower ground for the winter. It’s quite an event where people line Ketchumthe streets several deep to watch this wall of sheep move through town.

I live in Boise, so I saved the best for last. I love living in this city, the largest in the state, where there are all the pleasures of an urban area, but with wilderness lurking at the edges. The foothills border the town, offering numerous hiking trails, along with close camping options. The Boise River runs through the middle of town and the city wisely created trails along its path. Of course, the metro area is packed with restaurants, events, microbreweries, theaters, universities, and there is a lovely winery region too. Having lived in larger cities, the bustling urban part of Boise isn’t its unique appeal as much as its proximity to some spectacular scenery.boise

There is one more area, of course, and that’s the fictional Idaho town of Hay City, which is the setting for my three Wild Crime books. If you’d like to get more glimpses of another side of Idaho, Crime Times Two is now on sale for 99 cents!

Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour.


Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild, editor of the Potato Soup Journal, and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. Learn more at

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