featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, February 23, 2015


paper boat
photo by 
Sergio Fabris
Today we welcome back national bestselling and award-winning author Joanna Campbell Slan who’s got some tips for passing the time indoors while the weather outdoors is frightful. Joanna is the author of the Kiki Lowenstein scrapbooking mystery series and also writes the Cara Mia Delgatto Mysteries, featuring characters who recycle, upcycle, and repurpose items to turn trash into treasure. Learn more about Joanna and her books at her website

Crafty Things to Do When the Weather Outside Is Frightful

Snow, snow, snow. The weather report sounds like a broken record. And as I write this, the Boston area is bracing for yet another blizzard-blast, adding more flakes to the growing mountains of white fluff.

I remember those winter days when we couldn't even get out the front door because the snow was piled so high. The smell of diesel wafted over the neighborhood as the husbands vroom-vroomed from behind their snow blowers. While my son would cheer at the words, "Snow day!" I would groan, wondering, "How am I going to keep him busy?"

The same situation occurs in my newest book—Shotgun, Wedding, Bells—and Kiki Lowenstein's children are going crazy. Because Kiki has a criminal to track down, her good friend Laurel Wilkins helps out by babysitting Anya Lowenstein (age 13) and Erik Detweiler (age 5). Laurel is a kid at heart, so she comes up with these terrific ideas for indoor fun:

Snow candy – You need good, clean snow for this. So the badder the weather the gooder the treat! Scoop up enough to fill a cake pan. Stir together 1/4 cup butter to 1 cup maple syrup in a sturdy pot. Bring to a boil, watching constantly. (This is a job for grown-ups, of course!) After it bubbles for six minutes, pour it over the snow. The candy will harden. Once it is cool, break it into pieces and enjoy. Alternately, you can use 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 cup brown sugar for your mix.

Newspaper sailboats – Grab some newspapers out of your recycling bin. Or grab some paper out of your printer. I could explain it, but instead, go here http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Paper-Boat and follow the directions! Now fill a bath tub with warm water and sail your boat.

Fashion show – Throw open your closet doors and invite the kids to play dress up. Be sure to take lots and lots of photos.

How will you entertain yourself while the snow piles up outside? I suggest you order a copy of Shotgun, Wedding, Bells. Along with this e-book comes a second e-book, your free copy of Tear Down and Die, the first book in my new Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series with 48 five-star reviews on Amazon. As a special bonus, if you send an email to Sally Lippert, my assistant, at SALFL27@att.net , she'll send you a FREE e-copy of Ink, Red, Dead (Book #3 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series). Meanwhile, stay safe and stay warm!

Shotgun Wedding Bells
In Shotgun, Wedding, Bells, a very pregnant Kiki Lowenstein and her fiancé Detective Chad Detweiler are trying to race the stork to the altar. But their vows are interrupted by a shoot-out. With the help of her nanny, Bronwyn Macavity, Kiki vows to track down the man who ruined her wedding and put her family at risk. Even a big belly bump won’t stop this intrepid amateur sleuth!

1 comment:

Joanna Slan said...

Thanks for having me, Anastasia.