Posted in A Stone's Throw, Books, Contest

Can you Make a special Sandwich or Judge one?

What's the Secret Ingredient in the McKinney's PB&J Recipe-I’m sponsoring a special, fun contest in my April newsletter. Here’s the info:


April’s contest will appeal to all you cooks out there. For a chance at a $5 Amazon gift card or the ebook version of A Stone’s Throw, submit a recipe that you think will rival the McKinney’s PB&J sandwiches. The top recipe will win the prize mentioned plus be included in my next book. Two other runner-up recipes will also be included in my next book. Here is how the recipe is described in A Stone’s Throw:

“I make the peanut butter with fresh nuts and my special recipe. The jelly is preserved by us. Dad has canned varieties of other fruits and jams in the garage. It’s one of his hobbies.”

“I hope you like the sandwiches. I use sourdough bread spread with a small amount of jellied preserves over the peanut butter. There are a few secret ingredients in the preserves, but my dad doesn’t allow me to reveal them. Our family are peanut butter connoisseurs.”

Alicia bit into a triangular sandwich wedge. It was quite tasty, with a slightly sweet flavor. “Very good,” she told him. “I don’t eat much peanut butter, but this is better than any Skippy I’ve tried.”

To enter the contest, like my author Facebook page at and comment with your recipe on the pinned post on the top. Only newsletter subscribers are eligible to win. To subscribe to the newsletter, sign up at or comment with your email on this post, and I will manually subscribe you. I will also need two judges for the contest. Judges will not be able to enter the contest, but they will receive a complimentary ebook or $5 Amazon gift card. Judges also must be subscribers to the newsletter. If you’d like to be a judge, please contact me at and list why you think you are qualified to judge. If there are under 10 entries, only one judge will be selected.

All recipe entries must be received by April 15. Judging will take place between April 16 and April 29th and the winner announced in the May newsletter. In the case of duplicate entries, only the first will be considered for any prize. Only one entry per subscriber. Facebook, WordPress, and Mailchimp are not associated or affiliated with this contest.


Posted in Monday Blog

Illness Hates to be Excluded from Celebrations

fever-310721_1280Lying in bed with a 101-degree temperature a few days before Easter, I had some time to contemplate the strange perversity of illness that hovers around holidays, parties, vacations and other celebrations. Have you noticed that many people tend to get sick near or on these special days?

This year, illness was an uninvited guest in our home for Christmas and Easter. And, of course, once illness enters a house, it spreads itself to the whole family. Spraying Lysol all over won’t help. Washing your hands every five minutes won’t help. Keeping your toothbrush or towels separate won’t help. The germs just collect in the air and insinuate themselves into every person in the house.

So if you think it’s fun being home on holiday with the family, you’ll love it even more being home with them when everyone’s sick. If you have one bathroom, it’s way worse.

While I was fighting the flu-like virus that had contaminated my home, I pondered why it showed up near the holiday. What is it about special days that attract illness?  I realize there’s no real explanation for this, as holidays, parties, and vacations fall on random days that, like any other day of the year, are open to death, disease, and accidents. While being sick was no picnic, at least we were all alive (even if we felt like we were barely).

I remembered our trip to Disney World back when Hurricane Sandy hit our area. We had planned the trip to celebrate my daughter’s 8th birthday at the end of October, but booked it for early November. Hurricane Sandy hit right before Halloween. Although there was some minor damage to our home and we lost power for a day, some family members lost theirs for over two weeks including my 85-year old mother. With everything in such a state of chaos, we weren’t sure we should go. Adding to our pre-travel jitters, I had to make room for my mother. I set her up in her granddaughter’s room and asked my neighbor and some relatives to check on her while we were away.

hollybelledisneyAfter all the stress before our vacation, I expected something else had to go wrong. Luckily, we had a wonderful flight to Florida and four magical days in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. My daughter had her hair styled at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and dressed up as Princess Aurora; we had meals with the characters; even went up in a hot air balloon and on a safari in the Animal Kingdom. But on the night before our last day there, we ate at an outdoor buffet. My daughter woke up the next morning vomiting. I followed suit a few hours later. We were both hit with a bad case of food poisoning.

Needless to say, we had to cancel our last day’s plans to visit Hollywood Studios. My daughter had been looking forward to going on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Ride that my husband and I had told her about. We had taken it on a trip to Disney before she was born. Even worse, we were too sick to travel home and had to book another flight and stay an additional night at our hotel on Disney property. I had hoped to be compensated for some of the money this cost us through the travel insurance I had signed up for, but it ended up having so many complicated clauses, that we picked up the tab for almost everything. The worst part was that, out of the wonderful time we all had together, my daughter remembers her food poisoning attack the clearest and now has no desire to ever go to Disney again.

hollycruise2015-08-29 15.26.18When we took a 4-day Carnival cruise to Canada two years ago and then a trip last summer to the New York Renaissance Fair and the Hudson Valley, I kept my fingers crossed that we all stayed well. It turned out luck was on our side. No one got sick on or before either trip, and the weather was perfect. Cool and a bit windy in Canada and sunny and beautiful upstate.

There’s really nothing one can do when illness shows up near a holiday or special event. Weddings get postponed. Honeymoons are ruined. Birthday parties rescheduled. Like the weather, you just can’t predict when the bolt of illness will strike you down. But when illness passes you by and crashes someone else’s holiday, party, or vacation instead, enjoy it that much more because illness hates being excluded from celebrations and will join yours again when you least want or expect its company.


Posted in Authors, Books, Feature Friday

Feature Friday 25 – Carnival of Dead Girls by Carissa Ann Lynch


Carn2#FeatureFriday with @limitlessbooks @carissaannlynch

Carnival of Dead Girls

by Carissa Ann Lynch

Flockdale Files Book #3

Genre: Thriller

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Nothing interesting happens in the podunk town of Lamison Point—until a freak show rolls through…

Carn1When a traveling carnival stops in the sleepy countryside, sixteen-year-old Josie Crowley is psyched to go with her new friend, Freya. But what started out as a fun-filled night of games, candied apples, and ferris wheel rides quickly spirals into a gut-wrenching encounter with one of the carnival attractions.

Once the excitement is over, Lamison is missing one of its residents…

When Freya is nowhere to be found, Josie suspects the carnival has something to do with her disappearance. Her goal to track down the elusive show leads to an alarming revelation—there is no record of it ever existing. And as she digs deeper, Josie is led to a mysterious town with a tainted past—Flocksdale.

Buried in Flocksdale’s sick, twisted history is where Josie may find the truth…

Creepy clowns, disfigured freaks, and a terrifying haunted house are the least of Josie’s problems…now she has to deal with a group of real-life monsters, otherwise known as the evil Garrett family and new, rising generation of hell-bound freaks.

If Josie is pulled into their world, she may become another member of a carnival of dead girls, where she goes in, and never comes out…


Available in the Kindle Unlimited program!


Check out the Flocksdale Files Series!

Have You Seen this Girl #1:

House of the Lost Girls #2:

||| CARISSA ANN LYNCH: Author |||

Besides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea. I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books. My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked. My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything! I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor.




Limitless Publishing: 


Posted in Authors, Books, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Harper Lin

cozycatpicToday’s Cozy Chat is with Harper Lin who I spoke with about her Cape Bay Cafe mysteries.
Hi, Harper.  Thanks for joining me for a Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

capebaycafemysteryCan you tell us a little bit about the Cape Bay Cafe Mystery series? What gave you the idea for it?

I don’t live near the beach, but always thought it would be fun to. I also love cafes. Whenever I travel, the cafe scene in a city or town is very important to me, so this series is really fantasy fulfillment for me, to live in a friendly small town, running a cozy cafe where all the locals congregate—except for all the murders, of course!

Sounds like fun and a great theme for a cozy mystery series.

Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

It’s easier to write a mystery when you plot it out first. Write down who the killer is, what their motive is, and a few other suspects and their possible motives. Sometimes I can’t plot out everything beforehand because the characters need to develop and discover as they go, but I do put down the bare bones of the story first.

I like that advice. I’m more of a pantster than a plotter, but I definitely agree it’s important to have some basic plot points and a character outline for a mystery. In my mystery, A STONE’S THROW, as well as its sequel which I hope will be published soon, I had an idea who I wanted to be the bad guy (or gal as the case may be), but I did change things toward the end.

What are you currently working on?

harperlinbook1harperlinbook2There is a fourth book in the series called “Latte, Ladyfingers, and Lies.” I also have two other books coming out in my other series, “The Wonder Cats Mysteries“, and “The Patisserie Mysteries“. 

Wow! You write a variety of mysteries. I’m partial to the cat one. I must add it to my TBR cozy pile.

Do you write any genres other than cozies?

No, but I really want to write a young adult series. Perhaps a YA mystery series!

YA books are very popular right now. It would probably do well.

Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

I always read a lot, and I started writing for fun. Then I went down the self-publishing venture after lots of help from other writers and by hiring professional editors. 

As a new author, I’ve found other writers tremendously helpful. They are so eager to share their experience, and the networking and support is very motivational.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

I love yoga. Sometimes I bake, but I don’t have as much time for that as I used to since I am busy writing all the time. Of course, reading is a big one!

I used to enjoy yoga. Now I’ve just been walking and doing Leslie Sansone videos when I can’t walk outside. The stretching is very important.

I also know what you mean about writing taking up so much time, and most authors are avid readers, as well.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

I hope my books are entertaining. Readers tell me that the stories help them relax after stressful days at work, so I’m glad I’m able to entertain them.

Books can be very relaxing, especially cozies. Even though they feature murder and other crimes, some of the characters almost become friends.

Thanks so much for joining me today and best wishes to you on all your series. I’m including some of your contact information for readers who want to connect with you.

Sign up Harper’s Newsletter to hear about new book releases & deals.
Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Books, New Releases

Look Who is in the Author Spotlight – Krysten Lindsay Hager!

authorspotlightWelcome to the Limitless Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors from Limitless Publishing. Today, I am chatting with Krysten Lindsay Hager from
Dayton, Ohio.

Author pic

Thanks for joining me in the library lounge, Krysten.  Please have a seat and make yourself comfortable.


How long have you been publishing with Limitless? What titles have you published with them? Have you self-published any titles or published with another publisher? Please give details.

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I have been with Limitless since 2015. My YA books with Limitless are: Next Door to a Star (Star Series: Book One) and Competing with the Star (Star Series: Book Two.) It deals with a teen handling a move to a beautiful beach town and trying to fit in with the new teens there—including one famous former TV star. It’s funny and very real with the emotions and drama they go through.

I also have a middle grade/younger YA humor series called, the Landry’s True Colors Series. It’s with the publisher Clean Reads. That series is about friendship, dealing with frenemies, growing up, modeling, self-esteem, and self-image.

Very nice. Can you tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

In all my work I use humor and my books deal with the issues teens and young women face today like self-esteem issues, friendships, frenemies, self-image, relationships, celebrities, and fame.

The Star Series includes the YA book, Next Door to a Star, and the second book in the series, Competing with the Star, which just released this week. This series follows a teen named Hadley Daniels who has just moved to a beach resort town in Michigan and found herself living next door to (and befriending) a former teen TV star. We follow Hadley’s journey as she learns to be true to herself, find real friends, and deal with her first love. When writing the second book, I started to think about how I would have felt as a teen if my boyfriend had a crush on a famous star who was now showing an interest in him!

In the Landry’s True Colors Series, it’s about an eighth grader named Landry Albright who enters a modeling competition and finds herself “unfriended” after she makes it to the next round and her bffs do not. Landry’s journey deals with handling the self-image and self-esteem issues many of us face as young teens, how to handle frenemies and bullies, first love, and the anxiety of school, friendships, and modeling. There are three books out in that series right now: True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, and Landry in Like.

Both of your series sounds great. I think you know I have a pre-teen daughter, and those topics are definitely ones she is interested in or will be soon 🙂

How would you describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I hope to finish the third Star Series book and fourth Landry book and also finish my adult novel and two other YA projects.

Boy, sounds like you are very busy. Good luck with all of that.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

I began writing to reach out to those readers who thought they were the “only ones” who felt the way Landry and Hadley do in their insecurities and anxieties. I want readers to know they are not alone in those feelings.

I think that’s very important for teens (and anyone) to know, and writing books with those themes are a great way of reaching them.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Focus on writing the book you want to read and not writing for the market. The work will reflect your passion and be better for it. And you can never learn enough about this business.

Both of those points are so true. That’s what’s so fascinating about being an author. You learn so much about yourself through your writing and about others when you interact with readers and fellow authors.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

I think all writers have the challenge of letting a publisher see what they can do. Most of the conferences I went to recommended building up your name by publishing articles and short stories to get writing credits and to get your name out there.

That’s a great way to break into the field. I started with pet articles in cat magazines and veterinary journals. I don’t write that type of book, but I do always try to include pets in my fiction.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

Yes, I am a big supporter of writing classes, publishing seminars, conferences, and workshops. I have taken so many of them and started attending them right after graduating from high school. They are so valuable. I learned so much about writing and the publishing industry from the many classes, conferences, and workshops I have attended over the years. There really isn’t a shortcut to publishing, so you need to gain knowledge just like you would in any other career field.


What hobbies and interests do you have besides writing?

I love reading, exploring new towns and places, watching movies, and Detroit Lions football.

A nice variety of interests.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

When I signed my first contract, I saw an author post, “I love being a writer, I hate being an author, it’s hard and scary.” I read that on Facebook and wondered, “What am I in for?” I love coming up with story ideas and creating characters, but the business side can get overwhelming and will take over your entire day and then you realize you had no time to write.

I am finding that myself right now. Writing is the easy part of being an author compared to marketing, promoting, blogging, keeping up with social media, speaking, autographing, etc. It’s all fun and exciting, but it’s very time consuming especially since most authors have full-time jobs.

KLMCan you  please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.







Amazon author page:

Excellent. Well, it’s been wonderful chatting with you, Krysten, and best of luck with all your forthcoming books and series.



Posted in Cats, Monday Blog

10 Fascinating Reasons to be crazy About Cats

oliverstripey  According to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), there are over 30 million households with cats in the United States. Although this figure is lower than the number of dog households, more cats are owned per household than dogs. Here are the statistics:

Why are pet cats so popular, but even more important, why are people so crazy about them? Below are 10 fascinating reasons, but there probably are a ton more.

1. They provide comfort when you’re sad or sick. Your cat can’t catch your cold or flu, so he or she doesn’t mind getting up close with you while you are ill. I’ve always considered my cats furry nurses. Their purrs are quite soothing, and if you’re depressed, there’s nothing like some funny cat antics to brighten you up.

2. They’re good for your health and state of mind. Read this article that shows why cats are beneficial to your heart health and can aid in alleviating other medical and mental maladies.

3. They saved the world. Some believe that if it hadn’t been for cats, the Bubonic Plague would’ve wiped out the world. Read this interesting article by Lisa J. Lehr on that topic:,-People,-and-the-Black-Plague—Those-Who-Kept-Cats-Survived&id=161249

4. Many cats have become Internet stars or celebrities. I’m sure you’ve seen the number of cat photos that proliferate on social media. I was stunned at some posts with cat pics receiving 10,000 + likes. Cats such as Grumpy Cat, Little Bub, and others have risen to fame with their own websites, merchandise, and nationwide tours.

2015-11-11 17.08.05-15. They’re written about extensively. Besides all the non-fiction articles and books about cat breeds, medical issues, and other feline topics, there are multitudes of cat mystery books, cat series, cat science fiction, and other cat fiction. There is even a Cat Writer’s Association founded by Certified Animal Behavior Consultant and bestselling author, Amy Shojai(I’ve been a member of this wonderful organization for many years).

stripeycontest6. They’re funny and smart. People who really know cats appreciate feline humor and their cunning yet cute manipulative ways. It’s also true that cats can be trained if you know the tricks to persuading them to participate. Check out Gregory Popovich’s  popular Las Vegas Show, Comedy Pet Theater and Acrocats.

7. They’re masters of relaxation and stretching exercises. Take a look at this video featuring yoga wth cats. 

handsomeoliver8. Their beauty inspires artists and photographers alike. Da Vinci said of them, “The smallest feline is a masterpiece.”

9. Cats make great substitutes children, but some people consider them better than babies. Consider this comical comparison from “Little Meows.”

10. Cats are now being found in cafes throughout the world. Read this article written by Kelly-Jane Cotter about this new feline fad and add one to your trip’s next itinerary.

Besides cafes, cats have always been popular in libraries. Here’s a map showing library cats around the world.

There’s a whole island devoted to them in Japan.

Amsterdam even has a boat that serves as a tourist attraction and cat sanctuary:

For some reasons, women are stereotyped as cat crazy even though men can be wild about them, too. If you’re a cat crazy lady, you’ll enjoy Allia Zobels’ books: “Women Who Love Cats Too Much” and its recent sequel, “Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much.” If you’re a man, you should like Michael Showalter’s book, “Guys Can be Cat Ladies Too.”

For the furry finale to this blog post. Here are some additional photos of my own feline obsessions, Stripey and Oliver. Feel free to comment with photos of the cats you’re crazy about and why.2016-01-18 08.32.58olivercat



Posted in Uncategorized

Have You Subscribed to the Newsletter for My Fans?

FREE AUTOGRAPHED BOOK2I recently mailed the second Ruff Drafts newsletter to subscribers. It is separate from my Ruff Drafts website/blog. It features information about my author appearances, new releases, sneak peeks and other exclusive content. The second issue contained a short story that took place after A Stone’s Throw and before the to-be-published sequel. It also featured information about the monthly contests and special end-of-year contest that all subscribers will be eligible to enter for gift cards and giveaways. The winner of the autographed book or $10 Amazon gift card will be announced in the April issue, so there is still time to enter and possibly win this prize.

If you have read or are interested in reading A Stone’s Throw and its sequel or my other upcoming books, I would love to include you on my fan mailing list. All you need to do is fill out the pop-up form at or sign up on my Facebook author page: You will then need to confirm your subscription by clicking on the link in the email you receive. If you have any problems, you just need to send me an email at and I will subscribe you myself.

My April newsletter will feature the winner of the book or gift card (winner’s choice) and information about the new April contest. I will also be sharing information about my upcoming talk and book signing at Barnes and Noble in Carle Place on April 12th and a few other surprises.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post, and I hope to see you on my fan newsletter list soon.