Sunday, July 12, 2020

Library Haul 2019 (July 12 - 18)



Library Haul


Here's the list of books/manga/manhwa/yaoi manga I picked up this week at the library:

Hardcover:

1.  Hidden Salem - Kay Hooper
2.  American Demon - Kim Harrison
3.  Eygpt -

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Cate Conte's Witch Hunt Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway

 


I am so excited to have Cate Conte here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Cate and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Witch Hunt Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Cate!





Witch Hunt (A Full Moon Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717600
ISBN-13: 978-1496717603
Digital ASIN: B083TQX2CT



Murder isn’t always crystal-clear especially when the prime suspect discovers she’s a witch.

Violet Mooney owns The Full Moon crystal shop in quaint North Harbor, Connecticut. Still grieving her beloved grandmother’s recent unexpected death, she takes comfort in her fat orange cat Monty and her work. Not everyone in town is thrilled with her business, however. When disagreeable town councilwoman Carla Fernandez picks a fight over Violet’s "voodoo shop," the two have a very public confrontation. Of course, when Carla turns up dead, Violet gets little sympathy from the police as suspect #1.

But the shock of two policemen showing up at her door pales in comparison to the sudden appearance of her estranged mother Fiona and a surprise sister, Zoe. What Fiona reveals will rock her world and her sense of self — and reawaken her long-dormant mysterious power. Good thing. She’s gonna need it.





About Cate Conte

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. Cate is the author of the new Full Moon Mysteries for Kensington and writes the Cat Cafe Mystery series for Minotaur Books. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

Author Links

Webpage Twitter GoodReads Facebook - Instagram

Purchase Links - Amazon - B and N - Kobo

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/028877921065

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/witch-hunt-a-full-moon-mystery-by-cate-conte








 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Library Haul 2019 (Jun 28 - July 4)



Library Haul


Here's the list of books/manga/manhwa/yaoi manga I picked up this week at the library:

Hardcover:

1.  The Sinner - J.R. Ward
2.  The Final Deception - Heather Graham
3.  No Stone Unturned - Andrea Kane
4.  In Cold Chamomile - Joy Avon
5.  The Stolen Letter - Paige Shelton

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Lena Gregory's Grave Consequences Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway

  GRAVE-CONSEQUENCES-BANNER-184



I am so excited to have Lena Gregory here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Lena and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Grave Consequences Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Lena!




GRAVE-CONSEQUENCES


About the Book

Cass Donovan is reminded that you can’t believe everything you hear, especially when it comes from the dead.

When stories begin circulating of a centuries-old ghost haunting the Bay Island lighthouse, Cass is caught up in mystical happenings of her own, with countless voices from the beyond all clamoring for her attention with dire warnings. But before she has a chance to learn whether there’s a connection between the rumored ghost and her restless visitors, the lighthouse keeper mysteriously falls to his death, and Cass’s reputation for communing with the dead lands her right in the middle of the police investigation.

Cass knows the victim was no saint, as he made little effort to hide his philandering ways from his wife or anyone else, and often acted out with no thought for the feelings of others. But had he finally gone too far, or were there more menacing motives behind his murder? As Cass begins building a list of suspects, including the man’s supposedly grieving wife and a mysterious new woman in town, she also turns her ear to those otherworldly voices, hoping for a clue. And as she begins to close in on the culprit, she realizes too late that if she’s not careful, she’ll soon be communicating with the dead in person.





lena-gregory-portrait


About the Author

Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island. She recently relocated to Clermont, Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, jigsaw puzzles, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Newsletter: http://lenagregory.us12.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=9765d0711ed4fab4fa31b16ac&id=49d42335d1.

Website: http://www.lenagregory.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lenagregoryauth/

Purchase Links – AmazonB and NKobo 


Giveaway

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/028877921062

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:


https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/grave-consequences-a-bay-island-psychic-mystery-by-lena-gregory

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Kirsten Weiss's Hostage To Fortune Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway



I am so excited to have Kirsten Weiss here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Kristen and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Hostage To Fortune Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Kristen!






Hostage to Fortune: A Tea and Tarot Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: misterio press (May 21, 2020)
Number of Pages: 250
Digital ASIN:





Abigail and Hyperion uncork a murder

Tea and Tarot room owner Abigail Beanblossom is used to running interference for her socially-awkward former boss, tech billionaire Razzzor. So when he invites her on a stakeout to investigate the sale of counterfeit wine from his latest venture – an upscale winery – she barrels on in. But the two stumble across the corpse of a wine merchant, and new wine in old bottles is now the least of their problems.

Good thing amateur detectives Abigail and her partner, tarot reader Hyperion Night, have a nose for murder. Their investigation takes them from elegant wine cellars to chic tea parties on the California coast. But just as the investigation starts to get its legs, Abigail discovers there’s more than wine at the bottom of this crime…

Hostage to Fortune is book 2 in the Tea and Tarot cozy mystery series. Start reading this hilariously cozy caper today!

Tearoom recipes in the back of the book.





About Kirsten Weiss

Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.

Now based in Colorado Springs, CO, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.

If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Tea and Tarot, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.

Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com

Feel free to follow her on Twitter @KirstenWeiss, on Tumblr at kweiss01, on Pinterest at KirstenWeiss, or on Bookbub, get in touch on Facebook, post a picture of this book to Instagram and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

Author Links

Twitter: @KirstenWeiss

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kirsten.weiss/

Instagram: @KirstenWeissAuthor

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/kirsten-weiss

Book Series: Sensibility Grey Steampunk Suspense, Tea and Tarot cozy mysteries, the Pie Town cozy mysteries, the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum cozy mysteries, the Doyle Witch and Doyle Cozy mystery novels, the Riga Hayworth paranormal mysteries.
Purchase Links

Kindle

B and N

Apple Books

Kobo

Google Play





Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/028877921053

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/upcoming-great-escapes-book-tours/hostage-to-fortune-a-tea-and-tarot-cozy-mystery-by-kirsten-weiss








 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Kate Young's Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway

 


I am so excited to have Kate Young here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Kate and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Kate!






Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721470
ISBN-13: 978-1496721471
Digital ASIN: B07W4MRDKR





On Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, a killer is serving up a two-for-one special.

After their mama’s passing, Marygene Brown returned to Peach Cove Island to help her sister Jena Lynn run the family diner, renowned for its homemade peach desserts. But Mama is never too far away—her sassy spirit haunts the island, and more specifically Marygene. Lately Mama has been warning her that the dead will seek her out to solve their murders, an idea Marygene is far from peachy keen on.

But that prophecy appears to be coming true when she goes skinny-dipping off the island and swims right into a woman’s charred corpse floating in the waves. And when Marygene and her brother Sam come upon a second burned body in a wine cellar at an event they’re catering, it appears they have a double homicide on their hands. It soon turns out the victims have more in common than their charred remains, and Marygene will need to double down to find a killer who has no aversion to playing with fire. Good thing Mama has her back.

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen! 






About Kate Young

Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Author Links

Website – https://www.kateyoungbooks.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKateYoung/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KAYoungBooks

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527572.Kate_Young

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kate-young-b3339e9c-d2e4-482d-a637-5afd7b064d73

Purchase LinksAmazonB and NkoboIndieBound







Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/028877921055

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/southern-sass-and-a-crispy-corpse-a-marygene-brown-mystery-by-kate-young








 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Suzanne Trauth's Killing Time Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway

 


I am so excited to have Suzanne Trauth here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Suzanne and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Killing Time Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Suzanne!





Killing Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 2, 2020)
Number of Pages: 215
Digital ASIN: B07W8ZX8JV




With Halloween just around the corner, Dodie O’Dell is making preparations to transform the Windjammer Restaurant on the Jersey Shore into a haunted house, while the Etonville Little Theatre is staging Dracula. But casting the titular Transylvanian is proving challenging. The amateur actors in the company are not shy about chewing the scenery, but who among them can convincingly sink their fangs into a victim’s neck? When a mysterious newcomer with a transfixing Eastern European accent lands the part, rumors that he might be an actual vampire start to take flight — not unlike the bat who’s recently been spotted in the town park.

But everyone’s blood really runs cold when a stranger is found in the cemetery with a real stake in his heart. Dodie decides to put her Halloween theme menu on the back burner and stick her neck out to bring the killer into the light of day. She’d better keep her wits about her, though — or Dodie may be the next one to go down for the Count.

Excerpt

“It sure looks haunted,” Edna murmured to no one in particular, to the cast of Dracula in general. They were grouped around her on the sidewalk that ran past the old Hanratty place that Carlos and Bella had rented. I’d never been inside though once I’d driven by it when I first moved to Etonville on my way out of town. The house stood on half an acre of scruffy lawn with patches of dried dirt, surrounded by a few straggly trees—minus leaves at this time of the year—and no neighbors. The nearest houses were on a side street some distance away. The three-story building looked as if it might collapse at any moment, its outer walls covered with weathered, gray shakes, the steps to the front door supported by concrete building blocks. There was no handrail. Light leaked out of windows on the first floor. Curtains covering small, circular panes on the third story—an attic room?—quivered. Was someone up there watching us? I shivered. A turret rose upward from the right side of the structure, giving the house a smidge of outdated dignity. A drain pipe dangled loosely from the gutter.

“Let’s go.” Penny corralled actors and nudged everyone forward to the front door. There were six company members, Renfield saying he’d be along later, plus Penny, Lola, Pauli, and me. Strength in numbers.


We crept across the porch cautiously, aware of the creaking beneath us as the flooring shifted with each individual’s footsteps. Penny put out a hand to knock on the door. Before she could hit knuckles to wood, it flew open. “Welcome everyone!” Bella stood in the doorway, a silhouette backlit by muted foyer lighting.

Behind her Carlos stood silently, observing the group huddled in his entryway, like deer caught in headlights.

Lola took the lead, moving graciously into the house. “Thank you. So nice of you to invite us to your home.”

I’m not sure what the members of the Etonville Little Theatre were expecting. Given the exterior and location of the Hanratty homestead, I anticipated something out of a late-night classic horror film.






About Suzanne Trauth

Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former theatre professor at a university. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Dramatists Guild, and League of Professional Theatre Women. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

Author Links

Webpage: www.suzannetrauth.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuzanneTrauth/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzanneMTrauth

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6187623.Suzanne_M_Trauth

Purchase Links

Amazon B and NKobo

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/028877921052

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/killing-time-a-dodie-odell-mystery-by-suzanne-trauth

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Terry Ambrose's Secrets Of The Treasure King Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway

 

I am so excited to have Terry Ambrose here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Terry and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Secrets Of The Treasure King Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Terry!





Secrets of the Treasure King (Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Satori (April 29, 2020)
Print Length: 261 pages
Digital ASIN: B085DC4ZVS





The Seaside Cove rumor mill is buzzing about the captain of The Treasure King. He claims to know the location of the San Manuel, a four-hundred-year-old sunken Spanish galleon with a cargo worth millions. And now, he’s dead, the victim of a speargun attack.

When the police ask B and B owner Rick Atwood to consult in the investigation, he has mixed feelings. Consulting for the police is not the problem. He’s done it before. The problem is his eleven-year-old daughter, Alex.

Alex is fearless, precocious, and fueled by a strong sense of girl power. She’s also convinced the cops will never find the killer without her help, so she launches her own investigation — and quickly becomes a candidate for Seaside Cove’s youngest felon.

Now, unless Rick can solve the case with the clues Alex found illegally, his daughter might face charges of breaking-and-entering, the treasure of the San Manuel will be lost to pirates, and a killer could get away with murder.





About Terry Ambrose

Terry Ambrose has written and published fourteen mysteries. His Seaside Cove Mystery series new releases have risen to the Amazon genre Top 100. In 2014, Con Game, Terry’s second thriller in the License to Lie series received the San Diego Book Awards Best Mystery/Thriller award. Terry also writes the McKenna Trouble in Paradise mysteries and organized an anthology written by bestselling mystery writers to benefit a literacy nonprofit in Hawaii.

Author Links

Website: https://terryambrose.com

Facebook: https://facebook.com/suspense.writer

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suspensewriter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6447968.Terry_Ambrose

Twitter: https://twitter.com/suspense_writer

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/troubleinparadiseinc/

Purchase LinkAmazon – 





Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/028877921050

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/upcoming-great-escapes-book-tours/secrets-of-the-treasure-king-seaside-cove-bed-breakfast-by-terry-ambrose








 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Nancy Cole Silverman's The House that Vanity Built Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway


I am so excited to have Nancy Cole Silverman here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Nancy and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join The House that Vanity Built Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Nancy! 







The House That Vanity Built (A Misty Dawn Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (May 12, 2020)
Hardcover: 242 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115981
ISBN-13: 978-1635115987
Digital ASIN: B084BN2B37





Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood psychic to the stars, knows the dark and sometimes glamorous streets of Los Angeles are full of secrets, broken promises, and dashed hopes.

When a young woman comes to her door because she’s lost her engagement ring and is afraid to tell her fiancé (the son of one of the world’s biggest cosmetics empires), Misty senses it’s no accident.

Together Misty Dawn and her psychic charge, Wilson Thorne, must not only sneak behind the walls of the Conroy Estate (aka The House That Vanity Built), but go beyond the veil where the luminaries have laid plans to seek revenge.

Murder, lust, and a quest for a fountain of youth are hidden inside a family’s secret, one that threatens to upend the young woman’s life, and quite possibly, Misty’s as well.






About Nancy Cole Silverman

Nancy Cole Silverman spent nearly twenty-five in Los Angeles Talk Radio, beginning her career on the talent side as one for the first female voices on the air, and later on the business side, where she retired as one of two female general managers in the nation’s second-largest radio market. After a successful career in the radio industry, Silverman turned to writing fiction. Her crime-focused novels and short stories have attracted readers throughout America. Her Carol Childs Mysteries series (Henery Press) feature a single-mom whose “day job” as a reporter at a busy Los Angeles radio station often leads to long nights as a crime-solver. Her most recent series with Misty Dawn is centered on an aging Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, who supplements her day to day activities as a consultant to LAPD and the FBI. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a thoroughly pampered standard poodle.

Author Links – FacebookGoodReadsTwitter: @NancyColeSilve1

Purchase Links – AmazonB and NKobo

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/028877921051

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/the-house-that-vanity-built-a-misty-dawn-mystery-by-nancy-cole-silverman








Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Jill Grime's The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook Blog Tour with a Spotlight, Guest Post and Q and A




I am so excited to have Jill Grime here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Guest Post and Q and A.

Thanks Jill and PR by the Books for allowing me to join your The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Jill!


5 Must-Have Items for Your College Freshman

You’re making a list and checking it twice…because especially if this is your FIRST kid heading off to college, you want to be sure you’ve included every critical item.

· Twin XL (Extra Long) Sheets? Check.

· Command Strips in every shape, size and strength? Check.

(Much bigger deal for girls vs. guys, but this is the only way to hang stuff on walls.)

· Dorm Bed Risers? (I highly recommend the ones with extra outlets.) Check.

Chargers, fan, laundry bag, clothes, shoes, coats…the list goes on. And on. And ON. What could possibly be missing? From my perspective as a seasoned move-in mom and a university doctor, here ‘s my list of the top five forgotten items:

1. Small Tool Kit: Hammer, screwdrivers, wrench set, pliers, scissors, tape measure and level. This should be last in, first out, because you’ll often need these immediately to assemble and disassemble dorm room furniture or fix a stuck drawer. Pro tip: Add in a couple garbage bags; trash piles up as soon as you start unpacking.

2. Backup Prescription Glasses: especially for the kid that ALWAYS wears contacts! Why? Because if you get a bad stye or “pinkeye” (viral conjunctivitis), or more commonly, you accidentally fall asleep in your contacts or get something in your eye that scratches your cornea- you CANNOT wear contacts for several days to a week or more. And seeing clearly tends to help grades. If you always wear glasses, the backup pair is for when yours break or disappear. And inevitably, it happens during midterms or finals.

3. Small Lock Box: If you take prescription medications for ADD, this is a must. These stimulant pills sell for $5-10 each (a felony if caught!!) and dorm rooms are rarely private and/or consistently locked. Please remove the temptation for others and keep your meds safe. Lock boxes also work well for pricey jewelry, your passport, and while we’re at it, your backup glasses.

4. Heating Pad: Okay, not critical, but a great way to guarantee your popularity! Seriously, few students have these, but those that do tell me “EVERYONE borrows it” for aching muscles, back spasms and “cramps”. Bonus points: in cold climates they can double as an electric blanket (just don’t fall asleep on top of one, as this can cause burns.)

5. Solid Air Freshener: Plug-ins are rarely allowed in dorms, but you can place a solid or gel freshener in your closet (by your shoes) and tuck another under your bed. Extra-strong odors? Bamboo charcoal bags are a pricey option, but they work incredibly well. Choose a neutral or “fresh” smell, not “flowery” or “citrus” as you don’t know your roommate’s sensitivity to different scents. Bodies, dirty clothes, third-hand smoke and old dorms all get very smelly. Unless you are moving into a brand-new dorm with a neat-freak roommate, these fresheners can be lifesavers. Or at the very least, roommate-savers.

Bottom Line: Add these five items to your list for a smoother move-in and a healthier, safer semester! (If you’re flying, pack the glasses and shop for the rest when you arrive.) Good Luck!

Social Media

Facebook: https://twitter.com/jillgrimesmd?lang=en


Promotion Links

Author website: https://jillgrimesmd.com/the-ultimate-college-student-health-handbook/

Buy links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-College-Student-Health-Handbook/dp/1510751033



Virtual Book Tour Q and A

1. What inspired you to write The Ultimate College Student Handbook?

Around ten years ago, I started making personalized first aid kits as high school graduation gifts. Initially I included one index card with “cheat notes” about which medications to take when, but this expanded steadily as I tried to include answers to common texts that I received from these kids throughout the year. Before long, I was up to a twenty page booklet, and I realized I really needed to expand to an actual book. I’m continually delighted when parents tell me their now “grownup” kids are still asking for “first aid kit refills” even several years after their college graduation!


2. What is the best advice that parents can give their child before going off to college for the first time?

College will likely be the best years of your life so far...BUT there will still be bad DAYS and even weeks thrown in the mix. Many students have such high expectations that when the first disappointments hit (especially not making the club/Greek org they wanted, their first bad grade, not liking their roommate) it feels twice as devastating. Also, at first, join everything! Don’t wait for the “perfect” group. This is your chance to explore everything from political to service to quirky art clubs, and a wonderful time to meet people with totally different backgrounds and perspectives. As you settle in, you will quickly figure out which ones you enjoy and which ones you should drop.

3. What do you think parents should send in a college student’s first aid kit?

Please see the bonus DIY first aid kit section for the full shopping list and instructions, but start with a mid-range priced oral digital thermometer (around $8-12), an ACE wrap, “good” bandaids for fingers/heels, Tylenol, Advil, topical steroid cream (hydrocortisone), antibiotic cream/ointment (like Neosporin), a copy of your health insurance card and the date of your kid’s last tetanus shot (plus ideally a copy of all their immunizations).

4. What are five unexpected items that every college student should pack for college?

a. Prescription glasses if you have them! (even though they only wear contacts, BRING THEM because with pink eye or any other eye problem, they will need their glasses and frequently students tell us it never crossed their mind to bring them to campus.)

b. Heating pad- doubles as a heated blanket in cold climates, plus great for female menstrual cramps or back pain in anyone.

c. Old fashioned reusable ice bag

d. Small lock box for medications (especially if on ADD meds)

e. Small tool kit (scissors, hammer, tape- invaluable on move in day!)

5. What are some of the most common medical issues that college students have? Any advice on how to prevent these things?

Challenging to summarize- but here are a few highlights:

a. Infections (Colds, flu, strep throat, mono, food poisoning, “stomach flu”, STDs):

i. Hand washing (full 20 seconds with soap! We can thank COVID that now everyone actually knows this!)

ii. Flu shot each year.

iii. Condoms/barriers every single time if sexually intimate in any fashion.

b. Injuries (Sprains, fractures, concussions, lacerations and scrapes):

i. Stop rushing! Bike accidents, trips, falls are all far more common when students push it till the last minute (too many snooze buttons) and race to class.

ii. Intoxication is the other common culprit- mostly alcohol and pot.

Pro tip: becoming a more “awake” intoxicated person (by adding caffeine or nicotine) does NOT improve your reflexes nor decrease your chance of injury. You’re still an intoxicated person with impaired reflexes and judgment.

6. Any tips for getting over homesickness?

See second question above! GET INVOLVED with “everything” that might interest you initially, and volunteer for leadership positions like on dorm councils or freshman rep spots in club executive boards. The more involved you are (and the less time you spend in your dorm room), the less homesick you will be. Also, limit your social media browsing, because FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is quicksand, and seeing all your old friends looking “insta-perfect”-ly happy on all their posts (the same as you do on yours, by the way!) makes you feel left out.

7. Do you have any tips on how to prevent the Freshman 15 weight gain?

The “An Ounce of Prevention” topic goes into more detail, but briefly:

1. Recognize the cause:

a. College socializing initially revolves around high calorie, convenience/delivery foods like pizza and cookies

b. Liquid calories are the biggest culprit- from Starbucks lattes or sodas to beer, margaritas and vodka shots.

c. Activity level drops dramatically from high school for most students- especially dancers, traditional athletes (football, basketball, track) and marching band.

2. Be proactive with prevention:

a. Join intramural sports (great for socializing too!)

b. “Count” liquid calories and balance with increased activity

c. Have accountability- weigh or try on a pair of non-stretchy shorts or jeans every Sunday night

d. Plan study breaks around walking with a friend (rather than playing games on your phone or grabbing a candy bar)

e. Consider twice/month personal training sessions at your university gym (many offer great student pricing!)

8. How can students take care of themselves mentally? Do you have any suggestions for managing stress?

Anxieties are super common- from fear of using public bathrooms (often leading to constipation and stomach pain) to text anxiety and/or fear of public speaking. Much to say, but again, a few highlights:

1. Do NOT wait till you crash and burn to seek help!! This is true whether it means going to tutoring for a class you’re struggling with or to counseling to figure out strategies to help with public speaking or other fears. Trust me, professors know the most successful college students by their first names, because those are the kids that show up for tutorials.

2. Insomnia may be the most common warning sign- go in and talk to your doctor if you cannot fall asleep or if you wake up early and can’t go back to sleep. It’s virtually impossible to deal with anxiety if you can’t get a decent night’s sleep.

3. Daily aerobic exercise (30 minutes of anything that elevates your heartrate- walking, biking, elliptical, zumba, basketball…) is equivalent to a low dose of an antidepressant! So important to help relieve stress.

4. Many students consciously or unconsciously try self-medicating with alcohol or pot...which makes things worse. Bottom line: although these substances are sedating in their immediate action, they actually exacerbate insomnia (cause poor quality, unrestful sleep) and often very significantly worsen anxiety.

9. Anything else you would like to add?

There are a few topics I included because students can’t be concerned about what they don’t know is a potentially serious issue- like when back pain and shortness of breath with no injury might be a partially collapsed lung, or chest pain in someone taking female hormones (like birth control) could be a potentially lethal blood clot in your lungs. Rest assured these events are far less common, but we never want to miss one.

Additionally, I really hope parents will take the time to read “Smoking, Vaping, and What You Might Not Know About Pot” because trust me, things have changed in twenty or thirty years, and I’d like everyone to be on the same page. Ditto for the chapters on tattoos, piercings, STDs and sexual assault. My hope is to spark mature, informed discussions about these topics to best prepare our kids for the college environment and beyond.




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