Contest giveaway!

All you have to do is like my author page to enter to win a free autographed copy of Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills. Click here: Facebook, then send me a private message with your email address so I can contact you if you win. That’s it! The winner will be announced on Facebook on March first. Endorsed by moms, teachers, and librarians, SKYLAR ROBBINS: THE MYSTERY OF SHADOW HILLS (Teen Mystery Press, 2013) will teach your kids higher-order thinking skills, how to stand up to bullies, and that being smart is cool.

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Skylar replies to her readers

In a recent interview, 5 Skylar readers who became her secret agents (to participate interactively in the next book, THE MYSTERY OF THE HIDDEN JEWELS) answered several questions. One was, “If you could ask Skylar a personal question, what would it be?”
3 of her fans answered:
Does she ever wear dresses?
How many adventures in total have you solved?
Will she be my friend?

Here is how Skylar replied:
Does she ever wear dresses?
Yes! When I go to a party, a dance, or out to dinner I almost always wear a dress, or a skirt and a cute matching top. But when hunting for clues, I usually wear jeans. You can get pretty dirty searching a dusty attic or a forgotten garden for evidence. Black fingerprinting powder gets all over your hands and can really mess up your clothes. So casual is best when you’re working a case.

How many adventures in total have you solved?
I’ve been working on cases since I was a little kid, helping my Grampa. He was a cop before he went undercover, and he taught me everything I know about solving crimes. So my adventures are really too many to count. But stay tuned. After the Mystery of the Hidden Jewels, I get tangled up in the Mystery of the Missing Heiress, which–believe it or not–is even more dangerous! After that, it’s the Curse of Koma Island. I almost don’t get off of the island alive.

Will she be my friend?
Of course I will. Anyone who enjoys mysteries, adventure, hunting for clues, and solving crimes is a definite friend of mine. And if you filled out the S.A.A.F. (Secret Agent Application Form) and have a code name, you have already proven that you have mad detective skills and have my back. Get ready for our next case. It’s going to be a wild ride!
Love, Skylar

Enter to win!

Win your free copy!

Win your free copy!

Win a free copy of my book, Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills on sweeps4bloggers.com. Contest ends next week; click here to enter now.

Here’s what a mom said last week on Amazon, after reading Shadow Hills to her five children: 5.0 out of 5 stars. A Book that assists in lessons, communication, and building memories for our family! November 25, 2013

This review is from: Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills (Paperback)

Just finished reading Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills to my 5 children, by Carrie Cross. I love that there was inspiration to do activities with the family. We took the time to make amulets – or necklaces from rocks we searched for. We are planning some fun art projects too. I also love that the book took a turn into a positive lesson that I would want to teach my kids anyway. We were able to stop after reading the book and discuss what we learned about friendship and deciphering what a true friend is or is not. My children learned something about following fads as well. All wonderful lessons that I as a mother often wonder how I will be able to reach my children and teach in a way that they would “get”. This way we were able to do it together as a family all while building our own communications skills.

This book is rated 5 stars by me and the kids 🙂 Thank you Carrie! We are looking forward to reading your future adventures!!!

 

Interview with Bookingly Yours

Bookingly Yours recently asked me to write a 500-800 word guest post about my inspiration for the Skylar Robbins mystery series:

book cover

book cover

I’ve devoured books since discovering Goodnight Moon as a young child, and when I was four years old I decided I wanted to write. My first “book,” Blackie the Little Black Dog and the Flying Washing Machine (composed in crayon), was surprisingly never published. But I’ve written ever since, inspired by a variety of disparate authors. Many of my favorite books were those I read as a ‘tween. All-time #1 fave? Judy Blume’s, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. Others include Harriet the Spy, Happy Hollisters mysteries, The Secret Garden, and Zipha Keatley Snyder’s, The Changeling and The Velvet Room. My current influences are Lee Child, Deb Caletti, Sarah Dessen, and Ayn Rand. The series I’m writing features an intelligent thirteen-year-old sleuth named Skylar Robbins, similar to Nancy Drew, but more modern, quirky, and fun. Skylar is rational, independent, and smart, like Ayn Rand’s heroes and heroines. As in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels, Skylar Robbins is the brave, strong-willed protagonist in each book, although every mystery is it’s own separate entity that picks up where the prior novel leaves off.

The initial seedling of inspiration for Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills–the first book in the series–occurred when I was six. My parents decided we needed to move into a bigger house, and we looked at an ancient fixer-upper in Santa Monica canyon. While playing hide-and-seek with the little girl who lived there, I discovered secret passageways and hid inside little closets that opened into other rooms. I never forgot that house and later wondered, “What if there were clues or coded messages hidden in those secret passageways?” And the idea for the Skylar Robbins mystery series blossomed.

I’m an only child, and when I was a young girl I spent a lot of time creating scenarios to act out by myself or with a friend. In middle school we liked to experiment with witchcraft. My friends and I would cook up love potions out of witchy ingredients like peaches, candle wax, and 7-Up, and mutter spells while we flushed burning scraps of paper down the toilet. Truthfully, we weren’t surprised when our spells didn’t have any effect on the cute boys in our class.

But what if they had?

This thought was another nugget of inspiration for the Skylar Robbins series. What if a rational teenage sleuth grudgingly agreed to cast spells with an odd classmate in an abandoned garden–and the witchcraft actually started to work? What if their incantations gave the school bully a serious illness? Or enabled them to grow something unbelievable from seeds they found in a dank cave on the beach at midnight? Imagine the look of horror on that brainy detective’s face when the unimaginable happened. What would that do to a smart 13-year-old who was brought up to believe that there is always a logical explanation for everything? I decided to start fireworks by pairing up this practical sleuth with a feisty teen witch who started to convince her that magic could actually work. And then I lit the fuse.

The Mystery of Shadow Hills inspired several of its beta readers to buy detective tools, and a group of sixth-graders in Oregon even started their own detective agency. Ten of them use the secret codes and detective skills they learned from Skylar to solve mysteries and crack cases at their school. I hope the Skylar Robbins series will continue to inspire readers to use their brains to look for clues, solve problems, and have fun in creative ways. Please stay tuned. Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels comes out next June.