Sunday, August 20, 2017

Best. Blog Tour. Ever.: Day Four

It's the last day for the Best. Night. Ever. blog tour. It's also the last day to enter the giveaway. Check out today's blog tour stops:

Jennifer Lane
Ro
Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Enter my giveaway:

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Best. Blog Tour. Ever.: Day Three

The blog tour for Best. Night. Ever. rolls on. Time is running out to win your free copy, so be sure to enter. And don't forget to check out all the blogs celebrating our book's release:

Anna Simpson
C.D. Gallant-King
Jacqui Murray
Tyrean Martinson

Enter my giveaway:

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Best. Blog Tour. Ever.: Day Two

It's release day for Best. Night. Ever. If you haven't yet, be sure to order your copy! And check out all the blogs celebrating our book's release:

Cathrina Constantine
Jamie Ghione
Kelly Hashway
Mason Canyon
Tamara Narayan

And don't forget to enter my giveaway:

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Best. Book Tour. Ever.: Day One

Today kicks off a week-long celebration and some of my closest blogging friends are here to party with me. Check out each of these great blogs and show them some love! And don't forget to enter my giveaway, also linked at the bottom.

Beverly McClure
Sandra Cox


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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Read All About My Publishing Journey

I'm so excited to have a new blogging friend! Jessica Therrien is an author and a publishing house owner, so if you're looking for a publisher, check her out.

Today, I get to be part of a special segment Jessica hosts on her blog called "My Publishing Journey." Through this project, Jessica gets insight from different authors on our individual journeys, whether we chose self-publishing or traditional publishing. Authors spend years trying to decide which path they want to take but through this series, you can get insight into what each option looks like post-publishing. Check out the post and be sure to follow Jessica!



Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Cover Reveal: Secrets We Keep by Kelly Hashway

Kelly Hashway is officially my hero! She is the busiest writer I know, hands down. Today she's showing off the cover for her upcoming novel Secrets We Keep, which releases October 2nd. I can't wait to read it! Scroll down after you see her awesome new cover to read all about the book.






Blurb:

Madison Kramer’s life is finally coming together. With her boyfriend and publicist, Trevor, by her side, her career as a best-selling author is sure to really take off.

But one thing hasn’t changed. Death follows Maddie wherever she goes, and a night that should have been nothing but celebrating the New Year in the arms of the man she loves, turns into the scene of another murder.

The bodies are piling up, and the murder suspect wants Maddie’s help in freeing his name. Her secret past continues to come to the surface, putting her life at risk in a deadly game where Maddie doesn’t know whom she can trust.

*Cover by Uplifting Designs*


Bio:


Kelly Hashway fully admits to being one of the most accident-prone people on the planet, but that didn’t stop her from jumping out of an airplane at ten thousand feet one Halloween. Maybe it was growing up reading R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books that instilled a love of all things scary and a desire to live in a world filled with supernatural creatures, but she spends her days writing speculative fiction. Kelly’s also a sucker for first love, which is why she writes romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she’s not writing, Kelly works as an editor, and also as Mom, which she believes is a job title that deserves to be capitalized.


Links:

Monday, August 07, 2017

Mystery Monday: Mary Pinchot Meyer

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...



After John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a photo emerged of a mystery woman. Nicknamed "The Babushka Lady" for her headscarf, the woman is believed to have photographed the assassination before disappearing. She is visible in photographs and videos of the event, but perhaps what was most notable were reports that during the shooting she remained standing, camera in front of her face, as everyone around her took cover.


The Babushka Lady

There has been much speculation as to the Babushka Lady's identity, including one woman who claimed it was her. But one of the most intriguing theories was that the Babushka Lady is Mary Pinchot Meyer, a neighbor and rumored romantic partner of JFK.



But what is most intriguing about Mary Pinchot Meyer isn't that she might have been present at the assassination. It's that she was murdered less than a year later.



Mary Pinchot Meyer was a respected painter living in the Washington, D.C. area. The future POTUS and his wife moved in next door to Mary and her husband in 1954. Although it's unclear what their relationship at the time was, Mary and her husband divorced in 1958 after one of their children was struck by a car and died.


Mary and her husband, Cord Meyer. Image source: Smithsonian Magazine

After her divorce, Mary and her two surviving children moved to Georgetown, where she began her painting career. According to her accounts, her affair with JFK began in 1961, following a visit to the White House.



A month before his assassination, the President wrote a letter to Mary, inviting her to "leave suburbia" and come to see him.



The four-page letter read: "Why don't you leave suburbia for once — come and see me — either here — or at the Cape next week or in Boston the 19th. I know it is unwise, irrational, and that you may hate it — on the other hand you may not — and I will love it. You say that it is good for me not to get what I want. After all of these years — you should give me a more loving answer than that. Why don't you just say yes." It was signed "J." The letter was retained by Kennedy's personal secretary and sold at auction in 2016.



On October 12, 1964, Mary finished a painting and decided to go for her usual morning walk along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath. A nearby mechanic reported hearing, "Someone help me, someone help me," followed by gunshots. The shooter was never caught. A black man named Ray Crump matched witness descriptions and was apprehended a quarter of a mile from the scene. He was soaking wet.



However, there were things that didn't add up. No traces of blood were found on Ray, despite evidence that Mary had been shot at close range. There was no forensic evidence leading him to the crime. He was acquitted of all charges and to this day, the murder remains unsolved.

Do you think Mary Pinchot Meyer's murder was connected to the JFK assassination?

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

IWSG: My Pet Peeves

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means hundreds of us will be posting about our insecurities. If you haven't yet, join in. You'll be glad you did!



Each month we have a question. This month's question is:

What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

It's hard to read once you're a writer. You start picking at everything you see. You eventually miss the days when you could just kick back and enjoy a good book.



It's not just books, either. Eventually, you find yourself picking apart the plots of every movie and TV show you watch.



Once you've written enough books and attended enough workshops, you develop a VERY low tolerance for weak characters. If I don't understand why your character is doing the things he/she is doing, I'm likely going to put the book down without finishing it.



If your book is a mystery, and I can see the ending coming, I'll definitely call your writing "lame" and stop reading.



If I get all the way to the last page and there are loose ends you never tied up, I will actually be angry at you.



But my biggest peeve currently in books? The Gone Girl phenomenon. I loved that book, don't get me wrong. But if I pick up one more book that promises to be perfect for "fans of Gone Girl," only to find it's in fact nothing like Gone Girl, I'm going to swear off reading for a year.



Okay, maybe not.

What are your reading pet peeves?

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Mystery Monday: Johnny Gosch

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...



At one time, newspaper delivery was a booming business. It was the perfect job for a pre-teen who couldn't yet get a traditional job. In some communities, these children would even roam neighborhoods on foot, pulling newspapers around in a wagon or cart.



For 12-year-old Johnny Gosch, that newspaper route was in his hometown of West Des Moines, Iowa. His father normally helped him with his route on Sundays but on the morning of September 5, 1982 at around 5:45 a.m., Johnny headed out alone with the family dachshund.



Witnesses reported seeing Johnny, as well as two or three other carriers, in the early morning hours. One witness said he saw a man in a blue Ford Fairmont talking to Johnny. When Johnny turned to ask if someone could come "help this guy," the guy in the car took off at top speed.


Police drawing of man in the car. Image source: Who Took Johnny?

According to the police report, a neighbor reported hearing a wagon behind his house just before Johnny was seen speaking to the man in the car. Soon after, two young newspaper carriers spotted Johnny and said hello. This was the last anyone saw of Johnny.




Around the same time, a neighbor reported hearing a car door open. He looked out his window and saw a Ford Fairmont in the same area where Johnny was last spotted. The car started up and took off at a high speed, rolling through a stop sign without stopping. Johnny's abandoned wagon, filled with newspapers, was on the sidewalk. Johnny was nowhere to be found


Johnny's wagon. Image source: Who Took Johnny?

From the start, police failed to take the case seriously. They dismissed it as a runaway, despite the strange witness reports. Some say the naïveté of the time made it difficult to consider that someone might take a child off the street.



Over the years, many theories have emerged, mostly falling under the heading of "sex trafficking." The primary reason for this theory is the large number of young boys who disappeared from that general area around that time. This includes Eugene Martin, a Des Moines newspaper delivery boy who disappeared in 1984.



Johnny's mom has become an interesting character in the case over the years. She's convinced he's still alive and claims that in 1997, he visited her at her home and informed her he was afraid for his life before disappearing again. Many have expressed skepticism that this visit ever happened.



Do you believe Johnny Gosch is still alive?


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Friday, July 28, 2017

Best Books of July

Since it's the last Friday of the month, it's time to tell you all about the great books I read this month.




I couldn't wait for this first book to come out. I knew from the second I saw the cover, I'd love it! Beth McMullen is new to middle grade, but not to fiction. She's the author of the Sally Sin adventure series. Sally Sin is a spy mom, which means Beth is pretty experienced with the spy stuff.



In Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls, a 12-year-old girl is shipped off to boarding school against her will. Not one to sit quietly, Abby soon tries to escape...only to learn her boarding school is actually a secret spy school. Unfortunately, she also learns her secret agent mom is missing, which puts Abby on the fast track to becoming a spy herself. This is such a fun, action-packed read with a spunky heroine I know girls will love!

I remember when Rachele Alpine sold the next book I read this month. The second I read the premise, I fell in love! Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for a missing persons story and this one has all the right elements.



A Void the Size of the World introduces us to Rhylee, a girl who has always lived in the shadow of her perfect sister, Abby. The icing on the cake, though, was when Abby ended up with the guy Rhylee always wanted. A stolen moment with Rhylee convinces him to break up with her sister, who disappears the same night. The haunting mystery of what happened to her, combined with Rhylee's ongoing guilt, makes this such a suspenseful read. Most of all, though, Rachele's writing just carries you to the end. You won't be able to put this one down!

You can't help but smile when you look at the cover of the next book I read this month. In fact, covers like Mari Mancusi's latest make me a little sad that I read on my Kindle. I miss the days when you got to look at the cover every time you picked up a book you were reading!




In Princesses, Inc., a 12-year-old girl and her friends form a babysitting group to raise money to go to Comic-Con. If you ever babysat as a youth, you know how unpredictable things can be! What is unique about these babysitters, though, is that they dress up like princesses to entertain the children--in true comic-con style! I love the fact that Hailey is a writer and that the girls learn to raise the money they need by forming a business. A fun book, but also very inspiring to young girls.

I couldn't wait to read this next book. I've read enough Phyllis Bourne books now to know she never disappoints. Her latest book is a sequel to a book I reviewed here not all that long ago. And the cover is just as eye-catching as the first book in the series!



In Between a Honeymoon and a Hot Mess, we meet Hope, a feisty but frustrated woman who recently called off her engagement. While attending her sister's wedding in Vegas, Hope runs into "the one that got away"...and wakes up married to him the next morning. The chemistry between Hope and Julian is irresistible but what sets Phyllis's books apart is her voice. She has a hilarious, engaging voice that makes you fall in love with every word she writes.

Ashelyn Drake is Kelly Hashway's pen name...and both Kelly and Ashelyn are super prolific! This month, she released a contemporary romance that was the very type of book I loved when I was an aspiring romance novelist.



It Was Always You introduces us to Aria and Nate, a couple who have been best friends since high school. Normally once you enter "the friend zone," there's no coming back, but one night changes all that for this couple. I love friends-to-lovers stories, and this one doesn't disappoint. This book actually makes you realize why friends make the best romantic couples. You'll fall in love with these characters and this story!

What is the best book you read this month?


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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cover Reveal: Reignited by Ashelyn Drake

Another great Ashelyn Drake book is coming on October 9th...and today I'm participating in her cover reveal. This one is a steamy romance about a reunited couple. Ashelyn (a.k.a. Kelly Hashway) is a longtime blogging friend and I always get excited to see that she has a new book out! After checking out her new cover, be sure to scroll down to read all about it!





Blurb:

It’s never too late to reignite an old flame.

She’s the woman he’s always wanted.

He’s the man she’s always dreamed about.

Now at their ten-year high school reunion, there’s nothing stopping Harper Webb and Mason Shaw from reigniting those feelings and having each other at last. At least until the weekend ends.

They fit together in every way. But their lives are in different places. Can they make a fantasy weekend into something more?

*Cover by Uplifting Designs*

Bio:


Ashelyn Drake is a romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. She also writes speculative fiction under the name Kelly Hashway.


Links:




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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Best Blog Tour Ever!!!

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while may know that I wrote a book with six other Simon & Schuster/Aladdin M!x authors. That book is coming out August 15.



I'm hosting a release blitz to get the word out. This is an easy tour--just copy-paste a blurb and/or excerpt with the book cover to help give us a shout out! You can post anytime between August 14-20. Sign up below...but first, check out our book trailer!



Best. Night. Ever. Release Blitz

Sign up for the BEST. NIGHT. EVER. release blitz, to be held August 14-20. You sign up and I'll send you all the info. via email. Just cut, paste, and post on your chosen date. Thank you for all your help!


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Monday, July 24, 2017

Mystery Monday: Arnold Archambeau and Ruby Brugier

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...



It was an exciting time for Arnold Archambeau and Ruby Brugier. He was 20, she was 17, and they were parents to an infant. Since they were still so young, they liked to drink and hang out with friends, which was exactly what they were doing on the evening of December 12, 1992.


Arnold and Ruby

Arnold was driving Ruby and her cousin Tracy home from a party that night when the car flipped and ended up in a ditch. After the accident, Tracy came in and out of consciousness. She remembers seeing Ruby in the car with her one minute and gone the next. She doesn't remember seeing Arnold at all. Finally, paramedics arrived to remove Tracy from the parked car. Arnold and Ruby were nowhere to be found.


Source: Unsolved.com


Three months later, a driver saw a body in the frozen ditch where the accident had occurred. The body was identified as Ruby's. Her glasses and shoes were missing, but she was fully clothed. Arnold's body was found about 15 feet away, submerged in water. His body wasn't as decomposed as Ruby's.



Just before the bodies were discovered, a witness reported seeing two men near the ditch. The men were never tracked down. A local resident also said he saw Arnold at a New Years Eve party. Was it possible one or both of the two survived the accident only to meet foul play later?

Or did they fall into the icy pond near the ditch and drown, only to be found once spring came and the water thawed?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

2017 Pitch Wars Mentor Blog Hop!



This post is specifically for the many talented authors entering Pitch Wars this year. I'm so excited to be a Pitch Wars mentor for the first time ever. I'm only accepting middle grade entries. But I can't wait to read them!

About Me:

I spent more than a decade as an aspiring author before finally getting an agent in 2009. My first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, debuted in 2014, followed by my second book, 25 Roses. In August, my third middle grade will debut--a novel I co-wrote with six other authors called Best. Night. Ever. I also write the Piper Morgan chapter book series. In addition to writing children's books, I'm also a freelance branded content writer, so basically I write all the time. I worked in information technology for 13 years before leaving to be a full-time writer.

What I'm Looking For:


  • Fun contemporaries--I'm a sucker for a girly-girl heroine who loves fashion and hanging out with friends.
  • Comedies--I don't have to laugh out loud (although that would be great), but a fun, lighthearted read gets me every time.
  • Spooky tales--I live for spooky stories, especially if they involve ghosts.
  • Magical realism--Contemporary stories with magical elements also draw me in.
  • Suspense/mysteries--When I read adult books, I love Gone Girl-type suspense novels. I'd love to see a more innocent version of this in a middle-grade format.
Here are some of my favorite middle grade books:

     
  

Check out the other Pitch Wars mentors below:


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