AND THE EARTH MOVED by Zanna Mackenzie is free!

02/26/2015 09:09


Romantic comedy meets celebrity murder mystery.



by my author friend Zanna Mackenzie

is free this week only!

I read this book and loved it!  Think Lizzie Hart, only British.  

Get it here for free!


And The Earth Moved

Amber Reed CCIA Mystery Book One



Can a barmaid convince a secret agent she can help him solve a celebrity murder mystery?


Book Blurb:

Amber’s making up the horoscopes for the local paper and wishing for some excitement in her life when she gets a phone call offering her just that. It could change her life forever and plunge her into a world where she’s quickly (and scarily) out of her depth.

The call? Heartthrob actor Ennis McKarthy, her old uni boyfriend, begs her for a favour. His brother Joel has been found is dead - in very suspicious circumstances.

Desperate to keep the story out of the newspapers and solve the mystery of his brother’s death as fast as possible, Ennis has called in the specialists in the shape of the CCIA. The Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency has just the man for the job – their top agent Charlie Huxton.

But Ennis, stalked by journalists and paparazzi, doesn’t trust a stranger to handle the case on his own and keep quiet about what he might discover so he pleads with Amber, wanting her to shadow Charlie throughout the investigation.

Much to Amber’s surprise Charlie eventually agrees, leaving her wondering why. What’s he up to?

Charlie and Amber delve into Joel’s death and soon have their hands full with questioning potential suspects and the victim’s irate ex-girlfriend. Then they discover they’re battling something far more dangerous than they could ever have expected…and it’s not just their growing attraction for each other.

Maybe Amber’s life is about to get too exciting…



“What kind of excitement are Gemini’s going to have this week?” I ponder, tapping my fingers against the keyboard.

I’m a third of the way through making up the horoscopes for this week’s local paper. Aries are going to get news of a fantastic job opportunity. Capricorns will receive some kind of windfall. But what about Gemini? I always like to give my Madam Zamber horoscope column an upbeat feel – after all, nobody reads their star signs to get depressed right?

My fingers hover over the computer keys as I debate on Gemini’s fate. I’m a Gemini so this one better be especially good; it’s been a rough week.

My phone, nestled somewhere in the depths of my bag, starts playing a chart tune at full volume. When I eventually find it I check the caller display and see Ennis’ name.

Ennis and I haven’t spoken for a while but I know he came home last week after he’d finished working on his latest movie, he sent me a text. He probably wants to meet for a coffee and a catch up. It’s strange; to me Ennis is, well, just Ennis. I don’t think of him as a heartthrob actor, just my ex, my university boyfriend, who I meet up with for a chat whenever he’s in Palstone.

Time for a little break from the horoscopes. I hit the answer button.

“Hi, how’s things?” I ask, leaning back in my chair.

There’s nothing but silence on the other end of the line.

“Ennis?” I sit up, instantly concerned. “Are you there? Is something wrong?”

His voice is so quiet I can barely hear him. “Joel’s dead,” he says.

“What?” I shout, leaping to my feet and earning myself a look of curiosity from the other two members of staff at The Palstone Courier.  I lower my voice. “How? What happened?”

“We don’t know yet,” he replies, his voice heavy with emotion. “But the police are saying he died in suspicious circumstances.”

I gulp. “You mean murder?”

“Look, Amber can you please come over?” Ennis says. “Now? Please? I need to ask you a huge favour.”

I grab my jacket and bag. “On my way.”


Find the book on Amazon UK


Find the book on Amazon USA



Author bio:

Zanna Mackenzie lives on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.

Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!

Find out more about Zanna on her blog, on Twitter via @ZannaMacKenzie or on Facebook at


Find out more about Zanna at:



Goodreads -

Amazon Author Page -





Interview with Laura Chapman, author of THE MARRYING TYPE

02/25/2015 09:17


I'm thrilled to welcome my author friend


to the blog today!


Laura is the author of the new book


just released yesterday!


Laura and I love to do "interview swaps", and this is half of our latest one (read mine here).

We each throw in a few questions, and then both of us answer all of them.  Find our other swap here and here.

The Interview

Who is your favorite supporting character in this book?

My instinct is to say Eric Warner, but because he can kind of count as a main character I’ll go with Rhett Smyth, known simply as Smyth. He’s one of Elliot’s longtime friends, and he adds plenty of humor and heart to her world. If I ever met Smyth in a bar or at a party, I have zero doubt we’d be besties for life.


What was the biggest lesson you learned between writing your first book and this one?

This is a lesson every author has to learn, and it is maybe the toughest, but I realized that not every person is going to like my book or me. No matter how many times I write and re-write a scene, I will never please everyone. That doesn’t mean I write entirely for myself, but I do try to make myself happy with the results. And I think of my target audience member and wonder if she or he will like it. I should mention that while I’ve come to realize this is the truth, and I sound super Zen about it, I’m still working on accepting this. I still have first day of school moments where I panic about whether or not the other kids will like my book.


When do you find yourself most inspired as a writer?

This is going to sound gross, but I do a lot of thinking in the bathroom. In the shower, yes, but also during bathroom breaks. When I’m deeply engrossed in a project, I find that I can resolve just about any issue or moment of writer’s block during the one or two minutes I spend in the restroom. It’s a good thing I tend to drink a ton of coffee and water while I’m writing so I have a reason to take those breaks.


Where do you do most of your writing?

I’m a nomadic writer by nature, but I try to spend at least an hour or two of every writing day at my desk. I use the Pomodoro Technique at my desk, which forces me to be organized and essentially GSD (get sh*t done). In November, I followed a funny little nomadic writing pattern on Saturdays. I’d spend the first 90 minutes of my day at Starbucks, then I’d spend the next 90 minutes at Barnes & Noble, followed by 90 minutes at Panera, finishing with 90 minutes at the library. I did this about four times, and these were huge production days for me and a lot of fun. And because Caroline shared a photo of her office with me, here’s one of mine.


Why should everyone drop what they're doing and pick up a copy of the book this second?

Short answer: Because I love this book. Longer answer: I love this book, because it’s the story about someone getting her groove back after being knocked down repeatedly. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, it’s a story about a young woman growing confidence and getting a second chance at her first great love. And with the wedding and reality TV show moments, it also lends itself to plenty of humor. I hope people will enjoy cheering for Elliot Lynch as much as I had fun telling her story.


Thank you so much to Caroline for featuring me on your blog. If you pick up a copy of The Marrying Type, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.



Be sure to enter this Rafflecopter for your chance to win one of three novel-inspired prize packages.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Book

Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it).


With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress.


Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.



Buy the Book!


Barnes & Noble


Marching Ink


About the Author

Laura Chapman is the author of The Marrying TypeHard Hats and Doormats, and the Autumn and Tuck series, which appear in Merry & Bright and A Kind of Mad Courage. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Until she fulfills her dream of landing a British husband or becoming a Disney princess, you can find her in a bar penning her next novel.



Stay Connected with Laura









JC Miller Blog Tour stops here!

02/24/2015 08:59


The To-Do List by JC Miller is available now!


Scroll down for a giveaway!

I can't wait to read this one--love the main character's George Costanza moment in the excerpt below!


Book Description

Between unending housework and thankless efforts to appease a loutish husband and acid-tongue teens, Ginny Cooper’s to-do list never seems to get done. Her guilty pleasure—fantasizing about her husband’s demise—her weakness—the drive-thru at Arby’s. On the job as head librarian at the county’s obsolete library, tedium reigns. One afternoon Ginny innocently stumbles upon a dating website, where the rabbit hole awaits.

Who is Ginny Cooper? She is every woman who knows the exact number of calories in a Snickers bar, every woman who has ever struggled with her weight. She is every woman who has grappled with the gray areas, every woman who has wanted to escape her own life. At times the reader will want to reach between the pages, shake her, and talk some sense into her. But Ginny will have to navigate her own road. And through it all, we root for her.

Ginny’s childhood memories of her fading hometown provide a bittersweet backdrop for The To-Do List.



She is attuned to Cal’s last-minute routine, his footfalls in the hallway, the clatter of the garage door opening, closing. Just to be certain, she pulls back the curtain, peers out the window and watches his car pull away.

Once he is gone, the air is lighter; the muscles of her jaw relax. She glances at the tabletop and spies her to-do list, carelessly left in plain sight—thankfully unread. Ginny folds it and slips it into her pocketbook for safekeeping. Her thoughts return to the pink box, repulsive and compelling.

No. She is not that desperate. She will not dig through the trash.

But Ginny is prepossessed. She takes a stealthy glance, finding the doughnut intact, unsullied by coffee grounds or leaks from last night’s takeout boxes. Her teeth sink into the supple, yielding surface, and there is a moment of bliss, a moment of relief—a moment of vengeance.


Author Bio

JC (Jeanne) Miller, M.A., is an educator and founding member of JAM, an editorial-consultation team. An avid reader, aspiring traveler and table tennis enthusiast, she resides in Northern California.

Social Media Links


Twitter: @JCMillerWriter


Buy links for THE TO-DO LIST


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow the tour to Karen’s Korner tomorrow!


And the winners are...

02/10/2015 08:27


My giveaway is over, and the winners are listed below!

If your name is in the list, I will be emailing you today to tell you the good news!


Thanks to all who entered the giveaway.  Congrats to the winners!


a Rafflecopter giveaway






Enter my giveaway for some awesome Lizzie Hart Mysteries swag!

02/04/2015 09:17


In honor of the release of 




I'm giving away Amazon cash, 

signed books, mugs, and ebooks!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


You can enter multiple times, so come back everyday for extra chances to win!




Available here:

Amazon    Barnes & Noble     iBooks

Book Description


Lizzie Hart hoped her first day back at work after nearly being killed would be uneventful.  No such luck.  Before she can finish her morning coffee, Lizzie and her co-workers find a dead body on the rooftop of their office.  Media vultures that they are, the Liberty Chronicle employees are psyched to have first-hand news to report.  Lizzie, however, is devastated when she realizes that the victim is her ex-boyfriend’s brother.


When evidence begins piling up against one of Lizzie’s friends, she reluctantly dons her detective hat once again, determined to find the real killer.  She’s not thrilled about chasing another psychopath around, but she’ll do anything for a friend.  Lizzie’s love life is rapidly becoming a hot mess, too.  Her latest attempt at sleuthing isn’t leaving much time for her budding romance with town hunk Blake Morgan.  Add that to the fact she’s hiding a secret so big it could rock the very core of their relationship, it’s no wonder that Lizzie’s in a tizzy. 


Poor Lizzie ends up juggling a murder investigation, a wacky Wiccan coven, and two men vying for her attention—all while nursing injuries left over from the last time she decided to play Nancy Drew.  It’s a good thing she always has a few tricks up her sleeve.



It's Launch Day for THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC!

02/03/2015 09:57


I'm excited to announce that today is the 

official launch day for






The Lizzie Hart Mysteries series.


Get it here:

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo


Book Description:


Lizzie Hart hoped her first day back at work after nearly being killed would be uneventful.  No such luck.  Before she can finish her morning coffee, Lizzie and her co-workers find a dead body on the rooftop of their office.  Media vultures that they are, the Liberty Chronicle employees are psyched to have first-hand news to report.  Lizzie, however, is devastated when she realizes that the victim is her ex-boyfriend’s brother.


When evidence begins piling up against one of Lizzie’s friends, she reluctantly dons her detective hat once again, determined to find the real killer.  She’s not thrilled about chasing another psychopath around, but she’ll do anything for a friend.  Lizzie’s love life is rapidly becoming a hot mess, too.  Her latest attempt at sleuthing isn’t leaving much time for her budding romance with town hunk Blake Morgan.  Add that to the fact she’s hiding a secret so big it could rock the very core of their relationship, it’s no wonder that Lizzie’s in a tizzy. 


Poor Lizzie ends up juggling a murder investigation, a wacky Wiccan coven, and two men vying for her attention—all while nursing injuries left over from the last time she decided to play Nancy Drew.  It’s a good thing she always has a few tricks up her sleeve.



In honor of the release, I'm doing a big giveaway!  

Enter to win some awesome swag!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



UNCHARTED TERRITORY by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is available for pre-order today!

01/08/2015 09:00


#1 AMAZON bestselling author Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is back with the third Angela Panther novel, a hilarious and heartwarming paranormal cozy mystery adventure: UNCHARTED TERRITORY.


I've read the first two books in the series, and I can't wait for this one!  

I've already pre-ordered mine--you can get yours here!

Just when psychic medium Angela Panther thinks she's got her gift figured out, the universe smacks her in the head with a curve ball. 

When an unidentified fourteen-year-old boy takes a dive off an interstate overpass, Atlanta Detective Aaron Banner asks Angela to find out if it was suicide—or murder. But the young boy's spirit has other plans for her: help another lost soul and forget about him. 

Fortunately, Angela's never been good at taking orders. 

With the help of her dead-but-not-gone mother, Fran, and her newly single best friend, Mel, Angela sets out to discover the truth about both the jumper and the girl he wants to help. 

And boy, is she out of her league. 

Armed with little more than their double lattes and a tiny pink bottle of wannabe pepper spray, Angela and Mel must venture into the dark underbelly of Atlanta to solve two mysteries. Will they be able to help the dead finally rest in peace?


Other books in the series:


In UNFINISHED BUSINESS AN ANGELA PANTHER NOVEL, #1 AMAZON bestselling author Carolyn Ridder Aspenson introduces her now trademark blend of witty dialog and hilarious banter in the first book of her hilarious and heartwarming paranormal chick lit, cozy mystery, Angela Panther series.  

Buy it here and here.

When Angela Panther's mother Fran Richter wakes her up in the middle of the night ranting about stolen Hershey Bars, Angela thinks her mother's got a screw loose. And then it hits her. Her mother is dead. Just a few hours before, Angela watched as the funeral home staff nearly dropped her mother's body off the gurney while sliding her into the hearse. So maybe she's the one that's nuttier than a fruitcake?

But Fran keeps popping in and with a volcano full of drama already brewing at home—crazy or not—Angela's grateful for her mother's presence.


It's the other ghosts Angela can do without.


Seems Fran's return opened a portal between Angela and the other side and ghosts are hitting up the reluctant psychic medium for help. From the naked British guy juggling balls in the coffee shop parking lot to the woman desperately trying to save her sick child, Angela must find a way to balance her own life with the unfinished business of the dead. 



In UNBREAKABLE BONDS,   AN ANGELA PANTHER NOVEL, #1 AMAZON bestselling author Carolyn Ridder Aspenson continues the snarky dialog and hilarious banter found in her first book, Unfinished Business, An Angela Panther Novel.

Buy it here and here.

"Be careful what you wish for because karma has a way of biting you in the butt." That's what Angela Panther's mother always said.


And boy was she was right.


When Angela first discovered her gift to gab with the dead, she fought it tooth and nail. But the second she decided it wasn't so bad, tragedy hit and the universe decided to teach her a lesson.


Now Angela's unable to chat with the other side and she's kicking herself for complaining.


When her best friend Mel suspects her husband of cheating, she turns to Angela to help confirm her suspicions. They concoct the perfect plan to get the goods on him but to make it work, they'll need help from Angela's mother, Fran. 


There's just one tiny little problem...Fran's dead.


But some bonds are unbreakable and Fran won't let a little thing like death get in the way of helping her daughter. 



Booktrope Editions author Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is the Amazon and Barnes & Noble best selling author of Unfinished Business; An Angela Panther Novel, Unbreakable Bonds; An Angela Panther Novel, the contemporary romance novella The Inn At Laurel Creek and Santa's Gift, a Cumming Christmas Novella. 

An avid fitness buff, Carolyn writes a monthly health and fitness column for Northside Woman Magazine as well as regular weekly news articles for various Atlanta area media outlets including the Forsyth Herald, the Milton Herald, the Revue and News, and the Johns Creek Herald. Her works have also been published in Countyline Magazine and various Internet publications. 

A native of Indiana, for over eighteen years Carolyn called the northwest Chicago suburbs home. She now resides in the Atlanta area with her husband, three kids, two dogs and cat. 













The Stupid Movie That's Actually Really Awesome

11/25/2014 12:52


I'm back again for a second turn on the Stupid Movie Blog Tour!


I hate to call this movie “stupid”, because I love it so much.  But, for an almost-40 soccer mom to sit and be enthralled by a movie about a high school musical, I admit, is kind of stupid.  Anyway, I considered using “Her” as my stupid movie, because let’s face it, Joaquin Phoenix falling in love with Siri is a stupid plot (my husband had honestly thought it was supposed to be a comedy until about 30 minutes in), but I’m sure I’d get all kinds of backlash about calling an Oscar flick “stupid”.  So, my pick is GET OVER IT.

Stupid hijinks aside (such as Martin Short singing “Camptown Races” dressed as a hobo and Carmen Electra cast as a stripper—a stretch, I know), GET OVER IT has a lot of really good actors in it.  Ben Foster is the lead, and even though he’s best at playing creepy sociopaths, he is lovable as the jilted boy next door.  Kirsten Dunst, while not the best actress, is a staple of feel-good high school movies.  Martin Short is hilarious, no surprise, and Colin Hanks steals several scenes as the laid-back best friend.  Ben Foster’s parents are played by Swoosie Kurtz and Ed Begley, Jr., who play perfectly off of each other.  Sisqo (remember “The Thong Song”?) can’t act worth a crap, but he is adorable.

It’s fun to watch the many meltdowns Ben Foster’s character Berke goes through during the movie.  At the beginning his soul mate, Allison, dumps him, and as he is angrily trudging home, the nonsense starts with an impromptu parade following him down the street, complete with singer Vitamin C lip-synching “Love Will Keep Us Together”.  


Allison of course finds a new boyfriend, Stryker (Shane West), who is everything Berke is not, including being the lead singer of a boy band and being British.  (“Striker, I'd be careful with that accent if I were you. Because you're beginning to sound a lot like Mary Poppins.”)  It’s hilarious to watch Ben Foster’s trademark anger simmer the entire movie as he watches these two together.  The plot centers around the fact that he joins the school musical in order to be around Allison in order to win her back.


Enter Martin Short, Dr. Desmond Forest Oates the drama teacher.  

He’s written a musical based on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, because “Bill Shakespeare was a wonderful poet. But Burt Bacharach he ain't.”  He’s egotistical, he’s delusional, he’s mean, he’s a failure, he’s…absolutely the best thing about this movie.  He wrangles a bunch of high schoolers into a troupe of actors (sort of) by opening night through his unusual teaching style:  “It's just not very good. I could lie to you, but I would do you a disservice, because it's—it's just bad.”


The problem with most high school movies where they have to train for some big event, once they get closer to the event, they start learning how to be better people and acting right.  They pull together and somehow become stars in their particular field.  And frankly, the movie gets boring because there’s little conflict.  Well, not in this movie.  Nobody learns anything, and the musical is horrendous.  

You know that song "Pocket Full of Dreams"? 
Down here we call it "Pocket Full of Ass".


Unlike a lot of other movies, the final scene is one of the funniest.  I won’t spoil it for you—find a copy and watch it for yourself.  And if you’re worried about being made fun of for watching a stupid movie—GET OVER IT!


Oh, and if it couldn't get better, then this happens:

Just made your day, didn't I?  You're welcome.


Mark is up next on the Stupid Movie Blog Tour!


The Stupid Movie Blog Tour--A Night at the Roxbury

11/12/2014 10:28


When Deb Nam-Krane announced her Stupid Movie Tour, I immediately called "A Night at the Roxbury".  I've lost track of how many times I've watched it.  

Pure comedy gold.


It isn’t often that a Saturday Night Live skit premise is solid enough to carry an entire movie, but when it is, the results can be glorious.  Or stupid.  Or both, but mostly stupid, which was probably the point in the first place.  SNL exists to find the silly in everyday life, point it out, and make us laugh about it.  A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY is nothing if not silly and funny.  They weren’t going for an Oscar nod here, people.  They were going for crazy, stupid fun.  Nailed it.

Thanks to the Butabi brothers, every time I hear the song “What Is Love” by Haddaway, my head automatically starts nodding to the beat.

So, to make the leap from five-minute skit to 82-minute feature length film, we need a plot, other than two guys going around annoying women.  We find out that the Butabis aren’t jerks (like they’ve been portrayed in the SNL skits), they’re just horribly bad with women and have absolutely no game whatsoever.  Steve’s best lines seems to be “’Sup?” and “Hey, hot lady”.  They think once they’re able to get into the Roxbury, their luck will change.  Now we have our plot (sort of)—the brothers decide to do whatever they have to do to get into that Holy Grail of nightclubs. 

They try several different tactics to get in.  They try to schmooze and joke with the bouncer (Michael Clark Duncan).  “You two are brothers?”  “No…YES!”  No luck.

They try to follow “The King of ’21 Jump Street’” Richard Grieco in without being noticed.  No luck.  They try to make themselves appear cool in the line by telling their Emilio Estevez sighting story.   No luck.

Finally, they resort to bribery, although they’d probably have better luck if they didn’t try to give him a bunch of dollar bills and coins.  “George Washington and…George Washington.  Roosevelt…”  Again, no luck.

Enter Richard Grieco.  (Best.  Cameo.  EVER!)  Grieco runs into the back of their van with his unlicensed racing car, and in order to avoid getting the cops involved, he offers them a favor.  What do they choose?  VIP access to the Roxbury, of course!

The best lines and gags are definitely in the first 30-45 minutes of the movie.  After that, they really have to get going on the plot, so it's maybe not quite as much all-out fun as the beginning.  However, the cast is full of hilarious actors, which makes the movie fun to watch.  Of course, there’s Molly Shannon as “the girl next door”, but Stifler’s mom ultimately ends up with Steve.  There’s also Loni Anderson, Dwayne Hickman (Dobie Gillis), Lochlyn Munro, Colin Quinn, Elisa Donovan, Eva Mendes, and many others trying to steal scenes from Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan.

Anyway, of course you have to have to obligatory break up/get back together “black moment” in every movie.  For a little something different, they do it between the brothers, not between them and their love interests.  It’s way funnier to see two grown men crying over the loss of each other.  Anyway, just in time, Doug crashes Steve’s wedding (a la John Cusack in “Say Anything”) and saves him from marrying Molly Shannon’s character.  The brothers kiss and make up.

To top it all off, the Roxbury club owner brings the Butabi brothers in as partners in his new club, they finally win the respect of their father, and they both get the perfect girl.  And they didn't learn a darn thing from it, so they're still the clueless losers they always were.  All is right with the world.  Score!

Head over to Sarah Woodbury's blog on November 14th for the next stop on the tour!


Halloween. To a mystery writer, it's like Christmas.

10/31/2014 09:49


In case you were wondering, 

here's what I've been up to this month.

Dead Bodies
Ah, Pinterest.  The one website where you can find a recipe for mom's chicken and dumplins right next to a how-to for how to make a realistic-looking dead body.  
Step One:  Take some old clothes and stuff them.  I have been saving packing material, old blankets, and other assorted "clean" trash for a month.
Step Two:  Add fake blood and wrap in plastic.
Step Three:  Secure with duct tape, strategically placing it to look like there's a body in there.
Voila.  One dead body, evidently realistic enough to disgust (and quite possibly frighten) my husband, who told me I was sick in the head and complained that I did all of this in the middle of our kitchen floor.  
Side note:  Wrapping up a "dead" body isn't nearly as easy as serial killers in movies make it look.  I was sweating and cursing by the time I got done, and that body only weighed at most 25 pounds.  I'm sure I left behind hair, fingerprints, epithelials, sweat, and plenty of other DNA evidence for the CSI's to find.  However, the process, morbid as it was, gave me some great insight for future mystery novels!
Halloween Party
We always have a killer (too soon?) Halloween Bash at our house every year.  Normally we have around 100 people, most of them in costume and ready to party.  We have bounce houses for the kids, games, a costume contest, candy, a bonfire, and Halloween treats galore.
And, by "Halloween treats galore", I mean "Caroline crosses the line with gory food sculpture".
Exhibit A:  Flayed Head Cheeseball
Exhibit B:  Zombie/Dismembered Body Cupcakes
Yep, definitely crossed the line there.  And yes, those are cut-up, bloody Barbie dolls poking up out of that delicious icing.
And of course, my costume went along with my dessert theme.  The hubs was Beast, because my little princess was Belle.
Pumpkin Patch Field Trip
There's nothing quite like an hour bus ride with 50 second-graders.  I went with my daughter's class to Trunnell's Farm Market, and we had a blast.  It was truly one of the best pumpkin farms I've ever been to.  The view is gorgeous.
The kids and I got lost in the "easy" corn maze, so we opted not to do the "hard" maze.  We're going back tomorrow for the "Pumpkin Smash", which is how they get rid of their leftover pumpkins.  After that, we'll be hitting the haunted houses, and my big kid is taking his girlfriend with us.  I don't know if this mom is ready for my boy's first "date".
Haunted Trail
Every year, my church puts on a "Haunted Trail" at one of our church family members' homes.  Yeah, we Presbyterians don't mind a little scary fun once in a while.  Anyway, hubby and I were in charge of one of the stations, which we decided would be an Ebola checkpoint.  Remember those dead bodies?  They actually had a purpose besides just being a sick craft project for me:
They were part of Dr. Caroline's triage center.
I would have people lie down on the cot, and then this freak show...
...would reach through a hole in the plastic sheeting and grab them.  I think we actually got one lady to pee her pants a little.
Lovely couple, no?
Finally, the big day is here!  We'll be going to our town's annual trick-or-treating extravaganza that's done around our quaint town sqare.  (It may or may not bear a striking resemblance to one of the scenes in the upcoming second book in The Lizzie Hart Mysteries series, THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC.)
It's said that 1500-2000 kids attend this event, and let me tell you, the lines for the candy can get a little long.  However, it's totally worth it, just to be able to see all of those kids in costume having fun.  After all, that's what Halloween is all about!
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