Friday, March 10, 2017

And Then the Murders Began

It started as an innocent tweet from author Marc Laidlaw:

Laidlaw's Law states that any book can be improved with a simple change. Replace the second line of the book with, "And then the murders began." It works with the Bible:

And Little Women:

Neil Gaiman even joined in:

But it can really be applied to any novel. Try it with the book you're reading now. Sometimes it doesn't work as a second line, but when you finally insert it, it's gold!

I wondered if it would work with my own books. Here's 30 Days of No Gossip. Doesn't really work so well...

And 25 Roses. A little better?

It seems to work best of all for little Piper.

Give it a try! Add the phrase to the book you're reading or writing now...or add it to one of the famous openings 
on this list, then copy and paste the results below!

My next Piper Morgan book, Piper Morgan Makes a Splash, comes out April 4, 2017. Sign up if you'd like to help out by posting on your blog about it!

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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Cover Reveal: Beep and Bob: Too Much Space by Jonathan Roth

Chapter book have a special place in my heart, as you probably know! It's at that age that children often develop an independent love of reading that carries them into adulthood. Today's cover reveal introduces a new chapter book series that I know an entire generation of kids will love! Beep and Bob is Jonathan Roth's debut book...and it's still so early, it's not even on Amazon yet! But you can scroll down to add it to Goodreads and read more about it. Here's the fun cover!


After failing to purposely fail the admissions exam, nine-year-old Bob finds himself sent to the most prestigious (and hazardous) school in the solar system. Despite such space horrors as infinite darkness, black holes and girls, Bob survives with the help of an even more helpless little alien named Beep.

Add it on Goodreads


Jonathan Roth writes and illustrates for kids. Look for BEEP AND BOB, a fun new chapter book series coming in 2018, from Simon and Schuster/Aladdin. Repped by Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary.


My next Piper Morgan book, Piper Morgan Makes a Splash, comes out April 4, 2017. Sign up if you'd like to help out by posting on your blog about it!

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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Introducing Spring Break Mistake by Allison Gutknecht AND Sydney Mackenzie Knocks ‘Em Dead by Cindy Callaghan

Today I get to introduce TWO books on one blog. It's release day for two Aladdin authors: Allison Gutknecht and Cindy Callaghan. Check out the fun covers and read all about them below!


A tween is forced to use her photography skills to track down a missing classmate during a class trip in New York City in this M!X novel from the author of The Bling Queen.

After years of suffering through the most boring spring vacations ever, Avalon Kelly is ready for a week of adventure. On a hash-tagged whim, she entered the PhotoReady app’s spring break getaway contest to NYC—and won!

But right away, this trip of a lifetime isn’t turning out as planned. Avalon’s best friend isn’t one of the PhotoReady winners, which means that not only will Avalon have to venture to the Big Apple by herself, but she’ll be assigned a stranger as a roommate. The perky and talkative Sofia seems pleasant enough, but snooty Kensington—who was placed in Room 609 at the last moment due to a mix-up—is a whole other story.

Just when Avalon is about ready to abandon the trip entirely, one of the fellow contest winners, the cute and mysterious Tate, disappears from the group, and the Room 609 girls must band together, using the clues within their photographs, if they have any hope of tracking him down. Will the hunt for Tate and the view of New York City through her camera lens be enough to convince Avalon to stick it out for the full week?

Buy Links:


Allison Gutknecht grew up in Voorhees, New Jersey, with three fewer siblings than Mandy Berr. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she earned her Master’s degree in Children’s Media and Literature from NYU. Allison lives in New York City with her rambunctious toy poodle, Gypsy, and her literate cat, Folly. She is a massive fan of polka dots.


WebsiteFacebook Twitter


West Coast girl Sydney Mackenzie moves to Delaware after her parents inherit a cemetery—and becomes involved in a mystery surrounding the Underground Railroad—in this M!X novel from the author of Lost in London, Lost in Paris, Lost in Rome, and Lost in Ireland.

Sydney Mackenzie is an aspiring actress and average less-than-popular California Girl. So when her parents drop the biggest bombshell ever—they have inherited a cemetery called Lay to Rest, which means a move to boring Delaware—Sydney is NOT happy. And to make matters worse? Their “new” house is actually right on the cemetery grounds—and it isn’t exactly California chic.

But after settling in, Sydney discovers that the creepy old house might have more history than she once thought. And someone—or something—is encouraging her to delve deeper into a decades-old mystery that dates back to the Underground Railroad. Will Sydney’s filmmaking skills and the help of some new friends be enough for her get to the bottom of the mystery of her new home?

Buy Links:


Cindy Callaghan is the author of the middle grade novels Just Add Magic, Lost in London, Lucky Me, Lost in Paris, Lost in Rome, and Lost in Ireland, all with Aladdin M!X. Cindy’s first book, the much-loved Just Add Magic, is now a breakout Amazon Original live-action series. Cindy holds an MA and MBA, and has over twenty years of business experience. The Delawarian (by way of Los Angeles (USC)) is a Jersey girl at heart. She lives in Wilmington, and escapes to her PA mountain retreat whenever time will allow.


My next Piper Morgan book, Piper Morgan Makes a Splash, comes out April 4, 2017. Sign up if you'd like to help out by posting on your blog about it!

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Monday, March 06, 2017

Mystery Monday: William Tyrell

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

For today's mystery, we take you across the globe to Kendall, New South Wales, Australia to look at the disappearance of this three-year-old boy:

William was visiting his grandmother's house on September 12, 2014 with his mom, dad, and five-year-old sister. This photo was snapped just before William's disappearance, while he and his sister were coloring.

Soon after, the kids decided to play outside. Their mom and grandmother watched from the back porch. At some point, the mom decided to go in to make a cup of tea.

The house where William Tyrell was last seen

When the mom came out, William was gone. He ran from the back yard to the front, roaring like a tiger. When he got to the front yard, he went silent. When they went to the front yard to look for him, he was gone.

An extensive search was conducted but after two years, no sign of what happened to William Tyrell has been found. The police recently released information on some cars seen near the house. His mother saw two cars parked across the street that morning, both older models. One was a white station wagon and the other was a dark gray sedan--both were parked across the street with the driver's windows down, and both were unoccupied.

Artist's rendering of the cars across the street

Approximately an hour and a half before his disappearance, a green or gray sedan was seen slowly driving past the house as William and his sister rode their bikes in the driveway. The car did a U-turn in a neighbor's driveway and left.

At 10:30, around the time of his disappearance, a four-wheel drive was seen leaving his street. A few minutes later, witnesses saw it speeding down a nearby street.

An odd factoid about this case: the parents have insisted on remaining anonymous. They say it's to protect his siblings, who they don't want to become known as being related to the missing child. It's an odd choice, though, and it's piqued the public's curiosity. Were their children all adopted and revealing their identity might bring that to light? Are they public figures? This is all the public has seen of them:

Image source: The Daily Telegraph

Hundreds of people have been questioned in the case, including known pedophiles and a friend of William's grandmother. The disappearance may never be solved, but it is one of the most high-profile cases in Australia's history.

What do you think happened to William Tyrell?

My next Piper Morgan book, Piper Morgan Makes a Splash, comes out April 4, 2017. Sign up if you'd like to help out by posting on your blog about it!

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