Monday, October 17, 2016

Speaking about Online Safety at the AAPC In Meridian ID

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month, and on Thursday, October 13, 2016, we had a great discussion at the Meridian AAPC meeting, talking about everything from using public wireless connections to protecting our kids from online predators.

Since my critically-acclaimed novel, WHO R U REALLY?, is about an online predator, I'm often asked to speak with groups about online safety. Cyber safety does not just apply to our kids. It applies to all of us. Back in 2014, I was asked to partner with the national campaign Stop.Think.Connect., and I'm pleased to offer additional resources to the groups I speak with because of this association.

If you're interested in scheduling me to come and speak with your group, click here to take a look at some of the content I offer during my presentations. Then shoot me an email at margokelly1 @ outlook . com (without the spaces) to schedule an event.

Stay safe online.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Radio Interviews in Boise ID

I had so much fun visiting local radio shows yesterday morning. A big THANKS to Kevin Murphy and Melissa Dawn of the "Murphy & Melissa in the Morning" show on KHITS 107.1 radio. (They are so funny! They had me in stitches before we ever began the on-air interview.) After we finished that interview, I headed over to 94.9 The River and discussed my book UNLOCKED with Tim and Misty on the "River Morning" show. Tim and Misty are book lovers! YAY for reading. And I'm so glad I didn't accidentally belch during either interview. Below are some pictures for your viewing pleasure. At the bottom of this post is the audio file from the interview with Tim & Misty, so take a listen!

Click on the audio button below to listen to the interview with Misty & Tim on 94.9FM The River.

My most profound statement during the interview (feel free to quote me) ... "If you want to be a writer, you need to write something." Wow. That makes me sound really smart. ha!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Author Day at the Boise Public Library

The terrific people at the Boise Public Library pulled out all the stops for the "Author Day" event held on October 8, 2016. They had multiple panels of authors sharing details about writing, marketing, and publishing. At the end of the day, local authors read from their works. I look forward to their next event for writers and readers and book-lovers of all sorts.

Monday, October 10, 2016

4 Happy, Thoughtful Things

Since it's the morning after the Presidential Debate and all over social media people are pointing fingers and saying mean things, I've decided to post four happy inspirational quotes ... because instead of me telling you how to vote (which I would VERY much like to do), I want you to research the facts and know for yourself the truth behind the candidate you want to vote for this year. It matters. SO MUCH. Don't sit back and say you're not going to vote because you don't like the options. Research it and make a decision.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Fall 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! 

I'm Margo Kelly, and I'll be your hostess for this leg of the hunt. I write thrillers, and I'm excited that my second novel, UNLOCKED, has been born into the world! Somewhere along this scavenger hunt, I've shared exclusive content related to UNLOCKED, and clear down at the bottom of this post, I'm giving away a signed hardback copy of it (exclusive to readers of this post) along with a super cool flashlight key chain! Yup. That's right. 

(So be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of this post before you hop off to the next site in the scavenger hunt!)

By the way, you are currently hunting on TEAM GOLD.

This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors ... and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt.

Add up the clues, and you can enter for the prize -- one lucky winner will receive:
one book from each author on the gold team! 

But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon on Sunday, October 9, 2016!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM -- but there are five other teams, each with a different set of books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 9, 2016, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


I am happy to introduce you to the author I'm hosting for the hunt:
Erica Cameron

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, asexual, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She is also the author of The Dream War Saga, the Assassins series, and the upcoming Ryogan Chronicles, plus co-author of the Laguna Tides novels.

Find out more information by checking out Erica's website or find more about her book here

Kindra’s moral compass has never pointed north, but that’s what happens when you’re raised as an assassin and a thief. At sixteen, she’s fantastic with a blade, an expert at slipping through the world unnoticed, and trapped in a life she didn’t chose. But nothing in her training prepares her for what happens when her father misses a target.

In the week-long aftermath, Kindra breaks rank for the first time in her life. She steals documents, starts questioning who their client is and why the target needs to die, botches a second hit on her father’s target, and is nearly killed. And that’s before she’s kidnapped by a green-eyed stranger connected to a part of her childhood she’d almost forgotten.

Kindra has to decide who to trust and which side of the battle to fight for. She has to do it fast and she has to be right, because the wrong choice will kill her just when she’s finally found something worth living for.

 from Erica Cameron

-- YASH has ended, and so the exclusive content has been removed. See you next YASH! --

* * * * *

Now don't forget to enter the YASH contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me and 19 other authors on TEAM GOLD. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on team gold, and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

But before you go, you'll need to know that my favorite number is 11, and there are 11 chances in this exclusive Rafflecopter giveaway for you to win a signed hardback copy of UNLOCKED and a super cool flashlight key chain! (This contest is separate from the YASH contest. Only visitors here are eligible.)


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author: KATHLEEN BALDWIN

Happy Book Birthday to Me --- UNLOCKED is Available Now!

I'm thrilled to say that you can now find my second novel, UNLOCKED, at your favorite retailer. Here are some quick links:

Barnes & Noble

And below are a gazillion pictures from the book launch party we had for UNLOCKED at the Barnes & Noble in Boise, Idaho.

Happy Book Birthday to BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES by Yvonne Ventresca

Black Flowers, White Lies | Release Blitz |

We're excited to be celebrating the release of BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES by Yvonne Ventresca this week! Check out the book's details and teaser, and be sure to enter the giveaway below.

Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication: October 4, 2016

Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

Excerpt from Black Flowers, White Lies

I take the stairs down. Once the stairwell door closes behind me, the basement seems darker than ever, as if the electricity is off. The light on my phone helps guide me to the laundry room. I flick the switch. Nothing happens. Not even the one good light turns on.

Maybe Norma’s in the middle of fixing the lightbulbs. She could have turned off the circuit breaker or something. But when I open the dryer, the drum light turns on as I dump the clothes into the basket. The electricity is working after all.

The light from the dryer illuminates the space and some­thing catches my eye. I focus my phone on the wall to my left.

“No.” I back up, banging into the open dryer door.

One word is scrawled in red capital letters across the wall: DAUGHTER. A bloody handprint drips in the space underneath.

I grab the basket. A cat T-shirt falls, but I don’t stop. I need to escape, fast. The elevator takes forever. The doors slide open. I expect demons, monsters, ghouls. It’s empty.

On our floor, I race to our apartment, fumble with my keys. My hands tremble too much to open the lock. “Blake!”

When he opens the door, I drop the basket to grab his arm. “Come with me.”

“El, what’s going on?”

I can’t speak on the elevator ride to the basement.

“Seriously, are you okay? You’re scaring me.”

“I’ll show you.”

I turn my phone light on when we leave the elevator and pull him into the dark laundry room. I illuminate the wall but can’t bear to look. “See?”

He’s quiet. I figure he’s as frightened as I am.

“See what?”

I turn my head and shine the light where the red scrawl was minutes before.

There’s nothing.

“Why are we in the dark?” Blake asks, flipping the laun­dry room switch.

The lights come on. The sudden brightness makes me blink as I stare at the blank wall.

About the Author

Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES will be published by Sky Pony Press in October 2016.

Her debut YA novel, PANDEMIC, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. In PANDEMIC, a teen struggles to survive not only a deadly outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons. Ventresca's other works include the short story “Escape to Orange Blossom,” which was selected for the dystopian anthology PREP FOR DOOM, along with two nonfiction books, PUBLISHING (Careers for the 21st Century) and AVRIL LAVIGNE (People in the News).

Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca |


Prize pack includes a three panel rustic chalkboard with a $25 Amex gift card, a $25 Sephora gift card, and a signed copy of Black Flowers, White Lies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 3, 2016

Book Review: HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH by Emily Ross

Half in Love with DeathHalf in Love with Death by Emily Ross

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A well-written mystery! Emily Ross did a terrific job of building the plot and developing the characters in this story set in the 1960s. Life was so different without the Internet and cell phone technology (but that was not the point of this story).

One thing that struck me throughout this story was that oftentimes teenagers don't trust adults enough to confide in them. Why is that? What are adults doing wrong in that realm? If you're an adult, it's something to ponder and ask yourself if the teenagers around you would WANT to talk to you. And if you're a teenager - ask yourself if there are any adults in your life that you thoroughly trust. Why or why not?

Emily Ross is a talented wordsmith. Some of my favorite lines from the book include:

"Darkness was erasing the green from the grass, the blue from the sky." (page 7)

"I knew about the Hi-Ho Club where Tony took Jess sometimes. I'd never been in it but I'd imagined myself there, imagined the colored lights, the sparkling dresses, the love swirling all around." (page 31)

"I missed winter so much. Here, the closest thing to snow was the cold stars that sprinkled the sky." (page 62)

"When I returned with her, things would be different. Maybe she would even be different. Maybe she'd be a person you could talk about without saying 'if only.'" (page 143)

HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH was a finalist in the International Thriller Awards, and I believe it earned that honor for its expertly layered suspense. I needed to keep turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next and how the story would be resolved.

I look forward to the next book by Ross.

View all my reviews