(Revamping the blog. Please excuse the odd headings. Working on it!)

Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Milk Carton Murders 37

My vision of Lamont, the town of The Milk Carton Murders
(Photo is really Bastrop, TX, although my book is set in western NY State.)

SETUP: The three girls whose twenty plus-year-old remains washed up in coffins at Wiscoy Creek have been identified as Lisa Appleton, Rachel McKenzie and Samantha Briggs. Samantha was a foster child at Dave's house when he was a kid who he knew as Sally, and it was the last place Dave seen her alive. Last time Pepper tells Dave of the stuffed dog found in the coffin with Samantha. Turns out Dave had given it to her before she disappeared. We pick up a little bit ahead in the same scene. Pepper speaks first.

And now the snippet:

“Samantha put something inside the stuffed dog at some point, between the back stitches—a piece of balsa wood. We figure it survived because it was surrounded by fiber fill, basically encased in plastic.”

“Balsa wood? That’s what my pine wood derby car was made out of.”

“And when did you make that?”

“It was pretty soon after she came to us—May or June, but why do that?"

Pepper looked him straight in the eye, “Because it was a soft wood to carve into I imagine. She wanted to leave us a message, Dave; for the person she hoped someday would find her.”


I wonder what it said? Don't you hate that?

The link to the other Weekend Writing Warriors is here. You're bound to find something to pique your interest.

The Sunday Snippet writer's on Facebook are here. Between the two there is something for everyone. Thank you for any comments you leave me. Much appreciated!
When three small coffins are unearthed near the Wiscoy Creek during a routine dredging operation, it’s the last thing DAVE ROBERTSON, of the Lamont Weekly Times, expected. Pinned to the skeleton’s clothing are pictures from milk cartons of missing girls.

Dave is stunned to find that one of the girls is Sally―a foster child his parents had cared for through the Friends of Foster Families (FFF) program. Cold case files reveal the girls disappeared over 20 years ago. Knowing his house was the last place he saw Sally alive, he can’t help but suspect his dad.

How can he write the biggest story of his career if his father turns out to be the killer? If the voice in his head would shut up and let him remember, he might figure it out before he loses his mind and his dad is charged with murder.

Full blurb and snippet recap here.



  1. Oh my God, what a great little twist! Write faster, Cindy! I can hardly wait to read this. :-)

    1. Thanks Teresa.:) I'm actually in editing mode, and I want to change the ending.

  2. Hi Cindy; I remember this story; so many plot twists and this one is especially intriguing.

    1. Thanks Debbie. I'm glad it's memorable!

  3. hahaha, I do hate that! But of course that's what makes great mysteries, and this one absolutely qualifies. I think about this story during the week, so I'd say you have a gripping tale here. I've been invested in this story from the beginning!

    1. How kind of you to say. Hopefully it won't e too much longer until you can read the whole thing.

  4. Oh goodness...what message did she leave? You are a tiny bit cruel Cindy...leaving us hanging like this!

  5. Bravo, Cindy. This snippet is so interesting and filled with mystery. The poor thing left a message in her stuffed dog. Wow. Just wow.

  6. You are so mean to leave us hanging like this. Great snippet!

  7. I've ben waiting to read this whole story for EVER, Cindy! No pressure . . . but edit faster! :)

  8. That's perfectly creepy, Cindy. :D This is such a great story.

  9. AnonymousJuly 20, 2014

    That's really sad :( The little girl hung on to a shred of hope, but in the end it didn't make a difference ;___; I like crime shows like Law and Order: SVU. I like it so much I've watched all 300+ episodes several times XD Curious what it said, but I'm a bit afraid it's going to break my heart :$

  10. What an amazing sad tale and in your hands, the story comes alive. You've left us with a cliff hanger. Thanks a bunch.

  11. Balsa wood in a pine wood derby?

  12. I love this story (well it's sad of course, but a terrifically well crafted mystery), glad to see snippets from it return. Now I'm totally intrigued as to what message the little girl left...excellent excerpt.

  13. That's a great piece of prose... it leaves so many places open to you for exploring, plus reveals important stuff at the same time.

  14. I wonder what it says too but I'm not sure piper would let Dave hang like you are letting us haha.

    By the way, from a computer with firefox your post appears at the very bottom of the page with all the widgets listed at the top.

  15. Thanks Linda, I'm playing with templates and obviously that one wasn't working well. :)


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Available in paperback and eBook formats

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Now Available At:

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Carried by over 20 college/university libraries across the county, according to daily updates by worldcat.org, including Columbia University, Oklahoma State, Texas A & M, and Yale University Law Library.


APRIL 2nd,11-1 PM
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APRIL 16th, 2 PM
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APRIL 19th, 7 PM
Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historical Society,
Tonawanda Indian Community Center- Akron, NY

MAY 14th, 1 PM
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May 17th, 6 PM Warsaw Public Library - Warsaw, NY

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More to announce as they are confirmed.

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