Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Kick-Ass Girls of YA Blog Hop

Today I'm participating in a fun blog hop hosted by Fire & Ice YA Books. The challenge? Write a blog about a kick-ass woman in young adult fiction--either one that currently exists, one we're creating, or one we'd like to see.

I'm cheating a tad kick-ass heroine is from a middle grade book. But it fits because I'd like to see something like this portrayed more often in YA. It is an issue that affects so many young girls and women: weight. 

I've chosen Celeste, the 13-year-old heroine of this book:

In Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies, Celeste has a dilemma. She's always been an overeater, relying on oversized clothing to disguise her excess weight. When her mom signs her up for a modeling challenge for overweight girls, she launches a plan: lose weight so she'll no longer qualify for the pageant.

Why is Celeste a kick-ass heroine? Because she resists delicious cookies and battles a real-world problem so many of us face every single day. 

Anyone who can fight the battle to be healthy and WIN is my total hero. If you write YA, please, please, please create heroines like Celeste!

Below is the linky list. Be sure to visit the other blogs participating today!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mystery Monday: Update on Tara Grinstead

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

A little more than a year ago, I detailed the mysterious disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a beauty queen and teacher who vanished from her home in 2005.

To sum up the story, Tara returned home from a barbecue late one night and was never seen again. Her car was found in the driveway and the clothes that she'd worn that day were found on her bedroom floor.

I cover quite a few unsolved mysteries here with no resolution. This is one of those cases where there has been a resolution...finally. I feel that even though we don't have all the information, there are a few things we can learn from the recent arrests in Tara's case.

In May of this year, Ryan Alexander Duke (above) and Bo Dukes were arrested for the 2005 murder. Ryan is believed to be the murderer, while Bo was arrested for unlawfully concealing Tara's death and destroying physical evidence in connection with the death. Both were former students at the high school where Tara taught.

Most of the details are still under wraps, but prosecutors have stated that Ryan killed Tara with his hands and removed her body from the premises. We also know he's charged with breaking into her house--although it's still unclear whether he broke in to rob her and she surprised him or he intended to murder her all along. Authorities have been searching a pecan grove for her remains. The pecan grove is part of Bo Dukes' uncle's farm.

The most surprising thing about these arrests? Neither of these men was ever on anyone's radar during the full decade of investigation and speculation. Since these arrests, I've realized that no matter how many theories we devise for mysterious disappearances, the answer is likely something we've never even considered.

Have you ever been surprised by the outcome of a mystery?