Carrie Cross is an avid reader who fell in love with books as a little girl after listening to Goodnight Moon at bedtime. Carrie discovered her passion for mysteries while reading Nancy Drew and The Happy Hollisters series, and Judy Blume’s unputdownable coming-of-age novels like Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret and Deenie.
A dancer since age six, Cross took three years of ballet and nine years of jazz dance, until a horrific car accident at age 18 put her in the hospital for five weeks with a broken neck, a broken hip, and severe head trauma resulting in coma. After a year of rehabilitation, Cross returned to C.S.U.N., earning a degree in Speech Communication. During college, Cross pursued a modeling career and was a note-taker and sign language interpreter for the hearing-impaired.
During an interview she was asked, "Where do you get your inspiration?"
"When I was six years old, my parents decided we needed to buy a bigger house. We looked at a creepy two-story in Santa Monica Canyon, and I played hide-and-seek with the little girl who lived there. There were closets and secret hiding places with doors that opened into other rooms. Later, I wondered, "What if there was a clue hidden in one of those closets?" And the idea for the Skylar Robbins mystery series was born.
Cross's influences include YA authors Deb Caletti, Kara Thomas, and Sarah Dessen, as well as Robert Crais and Lee Child. She lives in Southern California with her graphic designer husband Ed--creator of the Skylar Robbins book covers--and their affectionate rescue cats Tiki and Kona. When she isn't writing, favorite pastimes include boating, watching Food Network, playing Words with Friends, driving her Porsche "like a Grandma," trying new recipes and restaurants, and traveling to exotic islands.
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills
Middle Grade, Mystery
Thirteen-year-old sleuth Skylar Robbins plans to become a private detective like her grandfather. Stuck at her bullying cousin Gwendolyn’s Malibu estate for the summer, Skylar brings her fingerprinting kit, portable spy tools, and her journal for taking notes in secret code. She had no idea how dangerous the next eight weeks would prove to be.
As soon as Skylar gets to Malibu, mysterious things begin to happen. She discovers a hidden garden behind a rusted gate in Gwendolyn’s huge back yard. Her new friend Kat, who claims to be a witch, recognizes magical elements throughout the garden and declares it the perfect place to perform spells.
“We are going to grow gems.”
“Grow what?” There was no way I heard her right.
Kat’s eyes gleamed. “Gems. You know, rubies, emeralds, sapphires? Gems!”
Ignoring the rising tide, they sneak down to the beach at midnight and search three caves for magic seeds to plant in the abandoned garden. Practical Skylar didn’t believe in magic. Until their spells appear to be working.
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels
Middle Grade, Mystery
A deserted mansion perches on a steep hillside, overlooking a rocky canyon. Tattered curtains hang behind broken windows, and a turret stretches toward the sky. Three years ago the owner disappeared suddenly, leaving behind a house full of secrets: A mysterious note, tantalizing clues, a hidden floor, one piece of a treasure map, and a missing fortune in diamonds.
Armed with her detective kit, and with the support of her BFF, Alexa, and a team of secret agents, Skylar Robbins embarks on a new and dangerous mission. Can she outwit a gang of older bullies and find the hidden jewels before they do? Or will the perils of middle school--like battling ruthless rival Emelyn Peters--get in her way?
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels is an Amazon #1 Bestseller in Children's Detective Books, was voted Book-of-the-Month by LASR readers, won a 5-star Reader's Favorite award, and was a Top Ten Finalist for an Author Academy Award in the YA/Middle Grade category.
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Missing Heiress
Middle Grade, Mystery
Xandra Collins was rich, famous, and missing. After inheriting a fortune, she vanished without a trace, leaving her 100-year-old mansion abandoned. A frightening enemy had been stalking the wealthy heiress. Thirteen-year-old detective Skylar Robbins moves into the deserted estate with her family, and vows to crack the case. Skylar teams up with her BFF Alexa, and Daniel Gannon—the most brilliant boy in middle school—to solve the mystery of Xandra Collins’s disappearance.
Secret codes and mystifying clues lead to a hidden key. Skylar and Daniel must outsmart Xandra’s enemies and brave life-threatening waves to locate the lock and solve the mystery. Can the team determine how the heiress went missing…before Skylar suffers the same fate?
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Missing Heiress won the 5-Star Reader's Favorite award, and the coveted Literary Titan’s 5-star award and seal. "Cross’s characters are credible and finely drawn, her Santa Monica location is perfect, and her plot is suitably twisty and filled with suspense. Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Missing Heiress is most highly recommended." A favorite of both boys and girls, ages 9 to adult.
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol
Middle Grade, Mystery
Thirteen-year-old sleuth Skylar Robbins is about to take on her most dangerous case yet. The challenge: braving a savage enemy while solving the mystery of a strangely frightening idol.
Skylar's new high-tech detective gadgets give her intelligence an extra edge. A canister of Invisi-powder is vital when she and her assistant detective, Alexa, suddenly need to disappear. Earbuds and a small high-powered microphone make up a Soundtrap: perfect for eavesdropping on her crush while he plays My Secret Kiss, or on the boys in the next hut while they devise a terribly risky plan. Her Supalight, visible from half a mile away, enables Skylar's crew to message her during a midnight attack. Night vision goggles might save her life when she's chased through a dark jungle with her brilliant partner, Daniel Gannon.
Fierce island natives will stop at nothing to prevent the teens from discovering the true meaning of the idols. Will Skylar's team survive to return to middle school? Or will this field trip be their last adventure?
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol won the coveted Literary Titan 5-star Gold Award and seal.