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Award-winning author traces roots to Howard County

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Howard County native Jerlyn Stone displays some of her novels. She is currently working on her fifth book in the “Tara” crime mystery series.

By Patsy Young

None of the hurried customers would notice her selecting tomatoes at the produce section of Wal-Mart. She appears to be a mild-mannered everyday housewife with the only thing on her mind being the next meal for her loving husband of 44 years.

She could be thinking of the beautiful sunsets reflecting in the water from one of the four lakes a few miles from her home where she and her husband love to camp and fish or that ’55 Chevy they admired at the last antique car show they attended.

However, she is probably thinking and planning the next move made by Homicide Detective Tara Woods and her partner Matt Dobbs in solving the latest grisly murder in Manhattan, a borough of New York City. 

Tara is the heroine of Jerlyn Stone’s series of “Tara” crime mysteries. Four books, Taunting Tara, Teaching Tara, Tangle with Tara (first place winner in the 2018 Texas Authors Association Contest) and Terrorizing Tara are  in print and e-book on Amazon and other online stores such as  Barnes & Noble and Wal-Mart. Jerlyn is currently working on the fifth book in the series, Trusting Tara.

When asked where she gets her ideas for the “Tara” series, Jerlyn said, “I start with the letter ‘T’ and build the story around the book’s title.” Janet Evonivich, Nora Roberts and James Patterson are authors who have been an inspiration to her.

It is hard to believe that award-winning author, Jerlyn Stone, who writes under the name Jeri Lynn Stone, has never been to New York City. For the setting of the 13th police precinct where Tara and her partner Dobbs are detectives, Jerlyn does a lot of research on the internet and Google aerial maps to give her information about the neighborhoods and even restaurants where they eat. The locations and characters are profoundly realistic in her novels.

Jerlyn has four siblings and was born in Mineral Springs, where she went to school until eighth grade. Her parents, Henry and Elsie Redman, moved the family to Ashdown and then on to Lapel, Indiana where she completed her senior year. 

In 1975 she moved to Nashville and married. She and her husband will celebrate their 44th anniversary in October at their home in Nashville.

She was employed with Poulan/Weedeater/Husqvana, working her way up to being a Quality ISO Coordinator. She recently retired after 41 years with the company.

  At an early age Jerlyn’s mother instilled in her the love of reading. They would make weekly visits to the library in Mineral Springs and Nashville to check out books, anything from children’s books to romance and mystery.  Jerlyn began writing novels during her late teens. Besides her “Tara” crime series, she also writes romantic suspense novels. Shadow’s Justice is one title available on Amazon.

   Jerlyn has attended major writer’s conferences throughout the years to learn her craft and has met thousands of well-known published authors.  She is a speaker for writers clubs and is a book cover artist.  She is a founding member of the Diamond Writers Association in Murfreesboro and the Texas Writers Association.