Monday, September 19, 2016

Seldom Traveled

My dear friend and one of my favorite authors, Marilyn Meredith, is launching the next book in her Detective Tempe Crabtree mystery series, Seldom Traveled. Detective Crabtree is one of my favorite characters, and I love this series. Tempe is a Native American. This is one of the reasons I’m fascinated by her. For this post, I asked Marilyn to tell us a bit about the real reservation and the Tule River Indians who live near her. Marilyn and I met at a conference ten years ago and have remained friends since then.
What Eagle Mountain Casino has done for the Tule River Indians

Lorna asked me to write about how the casino on the reservation has changed the lives of the Indians who live there. For those of you who might not know, the Yokut Indians and others who live on the reservation have been the models for the Indians in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree books.

The reservation was established in 1873 and covers 85 square miles of rugged foothill and mountains of the Sierra. Where the residents live, work and play is in a narrow valley. Though picturesque, for many years, life was hard. There was no electricity until the 1960s, and no jobs. The only employment available was in nearby Porterville which had to be accessed by a vehicle—and not many jobs were available to Indians.

In 1996, Eagle Mountain Casino was established. Along with the casino came many jobs, not only for Indians but also for people from the nearby area. Revenue from the casino made it possible for many new developments like a Health Center, Child Care Center, Education Department, a new Fire and Police Department, and more.

Eagle Feather, a gas station and large convenience store was built on Highway 190, along with a large automotive shop to maintain the casino buses. Eagle Feather 2 is located halfway between Porterville and the Pacific Coast.

The Tule River Aero Industries is located at the Porterville Airport and does major engine and airframe repair and has a sales department. The tribe also has a print shop, and owns and operates the Oak Pit Steakhouse in Porterville.

The tribe generously contributes to many different local charities and youth groups.

Though life may still not be perfect on the reservation, the casino has definitely made major improvements not only for the Indians but also for all of us who live nearby.

Seldom Traveled
The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a raging forest fire. Deputy Tempe Crabtree is threatened by all three.

Buy directly from the publisher in all different formats:

Marilyn Meredith has had so many books published, she’s lost track of the count, but it’s getting near 40. She lives in a community similar to the fictional mountain town of Bear Creek, the big difference being that Bear Creek is a thousand feet higher in the mountains. She is a member of Mystery Writers of American, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, and is a board member of Public Safety Writers of America.

New Contest:
Winners will be randomly picked from those leaving the most comments on the blog posts. Each winner can choose one of the earlier books in the series as either a print book or e-book.


  1. Thank you, Lorna, as you know I love to stop by your blog and I'm thrilled to be a guest once again.

  2. There are lots of jokes about Indian casinos but I think the casinos have been good for Native Americans. Here in New Mexico, like in California, the casinos provide employment and income for Native Americans. They also add variety (food and entertainment) to the local scene. Thanks for your comments.
    I'm eager to read this new chapter in Tempe Crabtree's life.

  3. Thanks for commenting, Janet. This casino is small compared to others, but it has been a real book both to the Indians and the surrounding communities.

  4. There are a number of Reservation casinos in the valley and foothills. Interesting to hear about the one in Porterville.

  5. Terrell, ours is small compared to the others, but there's nothing much else to do around here--and they do have good shows. Frankly, I don't hardly ever go there, the drive is scary. The reservation is at the end of a very winding 2 lane road.

  6. My husband worked at the Palace Casino sort of in the same area (Lemoore, CA) for 5 years. That was over ten years ago, but I heard the stories about how some of the casinos had helped the reservations. Interesting post.

    1. The Tule River Indians really had nothing before--were prejudiced against and they were off in a remote area, not much chance for a decent job. That's all changed.