Friday, February 10, 2017

How to Write at the Beach Today in 3 Easy Steps

For most of us, the view outside today looks something like this:

If you're LUCKY, it looks like this:

It's difficult to enjoy the moment, especially when you can't go outside because it's so cold. We know warmer days are coming, but it can seem like they're so far away. In just a few months, we'll all be missing cooler temperatures:

But if you're dreaming of warmer days, there's something you can do right now to help. If you're a writer--or you do something that requires shutting out outside noise--this is especially effective. After a few minutes, you'll swear that if you look up from your computer screen, you'll see this:

Here are three easy steps that will put you right on that sand.

Step 1-Put on your favorite pair of headphones.

2-Close your eyes.

3-Push play on the below video, available on YouTube.

Works like a charm every time. (Well, once you get past the ad!)

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Cover Reveal: Lies We Tell by Kelly Hashway

Kelly Hashway is a popular woman in the blogosphere. Today, I'm helping her reveal her latest book cover to the world. Scroll down to read all about it!


Madison Kramer thought her past was behind her. With a new name and a career as a best-selling author, what could go wrong?

She never expected Trevor Lockhardt to walk into her book signing, offering his services as her publicist, or that she’d end up falling for him. But what she really didn’t expect was a stalker sending her messages, both written and in the form of dead bodies.

Madison can’t escape her parents’ murder any longer. But is it their killer coming to finish what he started fifteen years ago? How long can she keep her past a secret before her lies come back to get her?

Add it on Goodreads.


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.


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Introducing Me & Mom vs. the World by Jo Whittemore

Today is the book birthday for a middle grade author whose career I deeply admire. Jo Whittemore is a novelist and writing coach who has been publishing steadily since 2006. She has middle grade books with Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins. Her latest is a re-release of a book I reviewed in 2015 called Colonial Madness. Scroll down to read all about it and buy your copy!


Formerly titled Colonial Madness, a mother-daughter duo take part in a bizarre family challenge in hopes of winning a fortune in this “light, fun read” (Booklist) that’s Gilmore Girls meets The Westing Game!

Tori Porter is best friends with her mom, and most of the time it’s awesome. Not many girls have a mom who’d take them to a graveyard for hide-and-seek or fill the bathtub with ice cream for the world’s biggest sundae. But as much as Tori loves having fun, she sometimes wishes her mom would act a little more her age. Like now.

Thanks to her mom’s poor financial planning, they are in danger of losing their business and their home. But an unusual opportunity arises in the form of a bizarre contest run by an eccentric relative: Whoever can survive two weeks in the Archibald Family’s colonial manor will inherit the property. The catch? Contestants have to live as in colonial times: no modern conveniences, no outside help, and daily tests of their abilities to survive challenges of the time period.

Tori thinks it’s the perfect answer to their debt problems, but she and her mom aren’t the only ones interested. The other family members seem to be much more prepared for the two weeks on the manor—and it doesn’t help that Mom doesn’t seem to be taking the contest seriously. Do they stand a chance?

Buy Links:


Jo Whittemore is the author of the tween humor novels, Front Page Face-Off, Odd Girl In, D is for Drama, Colonial Madness and the Confidentially Yours series. She also penned The Silverskin Legacy fantasy trilogy. Jo is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and is one of the founding members of The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels. When she isn't writing, Jo spends her time with family and friends in Austin, dreaming of the day she can afford a chocolate house.


Monday, February 06, 2017

Mystery Monday: The Oakland County Child Killer

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

Every Monday, I'm presenting a new mystery. Today's mystery was requested by the lovely Denise.

***Warning: Today's mystery involves the deaths of children.***

The 70s were a time of awakening for many Americans. At the start of the decade, people innocently believed nothing could happen to their children. One by one, news stories emerged that shattered that innocence. In the mid to late 70s, residents of Oakland County, Michigan had their awakening.

The terror began on February 15, 1976, when 12-year-old Mark Stebbins left a party to walk home and was never seen again. His body was found four days later.

Ten months later, 12-year-old Jill Robinson left home on her bike after an argument with her mom about making biscuits. Jill had an inexplicable fear that she would be shot. It was such an issue, her mom even took her to a therapist to discuss it. Her body was found four days later...she'd been killed by gunshot.

Days later, on January 2, 1977, 10-year-old Kristine Mihelich left home to purchase a magazine at a convenience store near her home. She disappeared while walking back from the store. Her body was found 19 days later in a town seven miles away.

The final victim, Timothy King, disappeared on March 16 while on the way to buy candy at a drugstore. As he left the store, two witnesses saw a man with sideburns and long, shaggy dark hair approach him. His body was found six days later in a ditch.

In all four cases, the children weren't killed immediately. They had all been washed and their fingers and toes had been manicured. The cause of death was either suffocation or strangling, except in Jill Robinson's case. She was the only victim who had been shot.

Although there were many suspects, the murderer was never caught. Witnesses in the Timothy King abduction said the perpetrator drove a blue gremlin that looked like this:

As far as the police know, the Oakland County Child Killer never struck again. Was he arrested on another charge? Did he die? Did he simply stop committing crimes?

Or could he possibly have continued to harm children, only in a different area of the country?