If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’ve been a little obsessed with prison reviews for the past week. For all you who don’t follow me, I’d hate for you to miss the fun, so here are three funny prison ratings for a Thursday pick-me-up.
3. False Advertisement
Hey, I’d expect a little more music at a place called Sing Sing too…
2. Looking on the Bright Side
I have to give this guy credit. He’s looking for silver linings.
Am I the only one who’s struggling to buy what Joseph S. is selling? Sounds more like the plot to a Hallmark edition of Prison Break. Also, I wouldn’t mind having a friend named Red who could hook me up with rock hammers whenever the need arose.
A new year is upon us, and that means new books to add to our already toppling TBR piles. Here are the three I’m most looking forward to in 2021.
3. Three Missing Days– Colleen Coble
The first two books in this series have been amazing, so I’m waiting on tenterhooks for book three of the Pelican Harbor Series. April 6, 2021
2. Network of Deceit– Tom Threadgill
Tom Threadgill’s books are thrilling and completely wonderful. I feel like I’ve been waiting for Network of Deceit forever. Maybe because I can barely remember a time before 2020… February 2, 2021
Night Fall– Nancy Mehl
Nancy Mehl’s books are so good that once I get my hands on them, they don’t last as long as I’d like them to. I’m beyond excited for the first book in the Quantico Files series. And isn’t the cover amazing? March 30, 2021
I was recently walking with a friend on the Cowboy Trail in Norfolk. Right next to the river, I might add. Every time twigs snapped, I knew for certain a serial killer was hiding in the woods. Usually, squirrels were the cause of my near coronary episodes. Still, there are too many bodies discovered in garbage bags in the river to let my guard down completely. And on the way back, a rather suspicious looking dude was standing on the river bank staring into the void. My friend commented that the guy had probably just thrown someone into the water. Perhaps, I’m passing my paranoia to others, but I’d like to think I’m making them more aware and thus better prepared for dangerous situations.
2. Going to the Circus
I’ve never felt safe at the circus. Why, you ask? I can sum it up in one word… Clowns. There is something inherently sinister about the creepy plastic smiles and forced laughter of clowns. I mean, they’re hiding secrets so dark Dateline hasn’t even steeled their nerves enough to interview these beings. Maybe you think I’m crazy, and you’re entitled to your opinion, but if John Wayne Gacy taught us anything, it’s that murder and body disposal aren’t out of a clown’s wheelhouse. And when those clowns were standing on street corners all over the country a few years back, I was honestly shocked that so many people seemed surprised. Why be surprised when clowns do horrifying things? It’s just typical clown behavior.
This will come as no surprise to my faithful readers. But let’s be honest, a lot of joggers either end up dead on the side of the trail or they have the misfortune of finding a body near said trail. I’m pretty sure that as soon as your sneaker hits the sidewalk wherever you plan to jog, your chances of finding/becoming a dead body increase exponentially. If you choose to take such a risk, bring pepper spray or a baseball bat and make sure you’re in a location with cell phone reception. You’ll thank me later. 🙂
Since Monk landed in a Top Three Thursday post a while back, I thought I’d narrow down my three favorite episodes. Share your favorites in the comments!
3. Mr. Monk Visits a Farm- Season 5 Episode 14
For some reason this episode makes me laugh out loud more than any other. Maybe it’s Monk’s constant references to ‘Fields of Reefer’ and his over the top fear of getting high by exposure. Or maybe it’s the fact that the poor man has literally no business on a farm. Either way, this one’s a gem.
2. Mr. Monk and the Kid- Season 3 Episode 16
This episode tore me apart. When Monk took little Tommy in after he discovered some severed fingers, the OCD detective bonded with the boy in a way that surprised me. And the grief when he had to return Tommy to foster care made my eyes sweat.
Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty- Season 4 Episode 16
Can you imagine being on a jury with a man who notices literally everything? It would stress and wow me in equal measure. Also, the way he convinced the other jurors to see things his way was impressive.
As morbid as it sounds, I want to fill you in on some danger zones. Places I’m convinced are hot spots for either murder or victim disposal. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
3. Dumpsters in Back Alleys
I’d recommend avoiding creepy alleys in general, but don’t go near the dumpsters. This was a lesson Batman and his parents learned the hard way.
Some people find boating or tubing down the river relaxing. Maybe it is. But keep an eye open for dead bodies. I mean, have you done a tally of the corpses pulled out of rivers on Dateline? It’s unsettling.
3. Jogging Trails
I’m sure you saw this coming, but jogging trails top my personal list of dead body hang outs. I’m not sure if people get murdered while jogging or if they just drop dead from the sheer craziness of it all. Maybe it’s just a prime dumping ground after the deed is done. But if my carcass ever turns up on a jogging trail, tell the police that I was murdered elsewhere and dumped. I’d never visit a place like that on purpose, because I have no desire to find a dead body.
Did you ever watch that show Mostly True Stories: Urban Legends Revealed in the 90s? Please tell me I’m not the only one. It simultaneously creeped me out and intrigued me. Truthfully the reenactment of creepy stories might be one of the reasons I look at things based on how easily they could kill me. Here are three urban legends that gave me chills.
3. The Babysitter’s Phone Call
With the children tucked into bed on the second floor, the babysitter plops onto the couch downstairs to watch television. The phone rings, and the caller tells her to “Check the children.” Thinking it’s a prank call, the babysitter goes back to watching her show. When she continues receiving the strange calls, the babysitter calls the police, who inform her they will trace the next call. The stranger calls again. After she hangs up, the police return her call, advising her to leave immediately. She runs out of the home and the police meet her. The calls were coming from inside the house. An unidentified prowler was contacting her after killing the children upstairs.
Not a fun story to hear when your only source of income is babysitting…
2. Embalmed Alive
A girl has a special event on the books, and she has to dress to impress her date. But, like most of us, she’s on a budget, so she hits the thrift store. She finds the perfect dress and when the big night finally arrives, she feels confident in the flattering ensemble. Several times during the evening, she’s overcome by a dizzy feeling, and her escort takes her outside for fresh air. Finally, she gets sick and runs to the restroom where she dies. The investigation showed that her dress had been used as the funeral dress for another woman. Before the burial, it had been removed from the corpse and taken to the thrift store. The dress had absorbed the formaldehyde from the corpse and seeped into the pores of its new owner.
I still won’t shop at thrift stores. Not because I’m proud, but I don’t want an embalming dress.
Tanning Bed of Death
As her wedding day approaches, a young woman decides she’d look loads better with a sun kissed glow. The tanning salon staff inform her there are time restrictions in place for her safety. Undeterred, she sets up appointments all over town. Yep. She’s going to be a knockout. The day of her wedding, her mother enters the bridal getting ready room (obviously, I’m not married, or I’d have some idea what this is really called.) She finds her daughter dead on the floor, a sickeningly sweet smell hovering around her. When the M.E. investigates, he finds the woman has been cooked from the inside out.
In case you were wondering. . .I’m perfectly happy being pale as Elmer’s paste.
What are the Urban Legends that have stuck with you? I’d love to hear them!
Do unsolved crimes bring out your inner Sherlock Holmes? Me too! Here are three cold cases that make me wish I could dig into police evidence rooms and get to work.
3. The Lizzie Borden
Since Lizzie was acquitted, there must have been some reasonable doubt. But who killed Andrew and Abbie Borden? And why? I wonder if there’s a way to get my grubby mitts on the court records…
2. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Wouldn’t we all like to know what happened to this airplane and the 239 passengers on board? A man named Mr. Boyer believes he found the wreckage in Cambodia via satellite. The expedition team failed to reach the site due to its remote location. If I were more outdoorsy, I might try looking through the jungle myself.
3. JonBenet Ramsey
I remember this case unfolding on the news when I was just a kid. The fact that someone killed this poor girl for who-knows-what reason and got away with it made my already anxiety-ridden mind all the more uneasy. I know the detectives ruled out the family members, but that leaves very few suspects. Of course, conspiracy theorists say JonBenet isn’t really dead and she became Katy Perry. So that’s weird.
In honor of my debut novel, The Purple Nightgown, that is set to release March 1, 2021, I want to share my top three favorite books in the True Colors series so far. I haven’t read all of them yet, but I’m working on it. That being said, this list may change as time goes on. I’ll also drop a cover image for The Purple Nightgown at the bottom, so you can share in my excitement!
Stories in the True Colors series follow historical true crimes, so if history and killing is your thing, this series would be a perfect choice. I had the honor of writing a book based on a blog post I wrote in January. Here’s the web address in case you’re interested in a little research before diving in.
In Boston, 1886, Harriet Peters commissions Sarah Jane Robinson to make her a new dress. Both widows are struggling to make ends meet, and they strike up a quick friendship. Harriet feels sorry for Sarah Jane, who has suffered so much loss in her life. But Harriet’s friend, Dr. Michael Wheaton, has concerns that death seems to follow Sarah Jane in mysterious ways Still, Harriet can’t imagine any deceit in her friend, who she comforts through the deaths of her daughter and nephew.
Will Harriet’s trusting nature lead to her own demise as a persistent stomachache starts to plague her?
2. The White City by Grace Hitchcock
While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.
Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?
The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock
On Blackwell Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.
With her late father’s fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. Do any of Edyth’s friends care that she disappeared?
At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?
And here is the cover image for The Purple Nightgown. It was a blast to write, and I’m hoping you enjoy it. 🙂