Category: Holidays

Summer Kickoff

people have different rituals to mark the coming of summer. It could be ice cream, or the first day at the beach–or unlimited reading.

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Sunken Death Release

This New Year’s Eve will be especially exciting for me. First, because 2022 HAS to be better than 2021 was, right? We’ll be getting COVID under control, either through vaccinations or growing immunity, and soon we’ll have more options open for socialization and entertainment—at least I hope so. And there will be a ton of fabulous new mystery novels ready for publication, including Emilya’s Behind the Lie, coming February 8! The second reason I’m excited for 2022 is because book 2 in my Fin Fleming Sea Adventures Thriller series of books is coming out on January 31.  I love the main character in this series. Fin Fleming is a very accomplished underwater photographer, but she has trouble achieving the recognition she deserves because someone stole her work and then accused her of plagiarism. She also struggles with self-esteem and feelings of abandonment.  All the books in the series are rollicking adventures and mystery/thriller books, but the real underlying theme is Fin’s struggle to find acceptance and a sense of family. You’ll have to read the books to find out what sets her heroine’s journey in motion. Here’s the back cover copy for Sunken Death: A few months after a death in her […]

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Poison Them with Love

These holiday seasons seem just as much about food and sitting down with family and friends as they are about gifts or any religious significance.

As I looked at my bounty of treats that included a metric ton of Christmas chocolate and even an authentic Jamaican Rum Cake baked by a friend from her grandmother’s recipe, my thoughts turned, as they are wont, to murder weapons. Specifically, poison.

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A Good Book for Christmas

Christmas at our cottage in northern Wisconsin has become one of the rare occasions when I allow myself the luxury and pure enjoyment of reading–actually turning the pages, I mean. Let me set the stage: Outside, snow is falling. The Christmas tree is lit and a fire is blazing in the hearth. At my elbow is a cup of steaming spiced tea. The dog is curled up next to me on the sofa. So what am I planning to read this year? Five books in two weeks. Here’s my list.

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What’s Your Holiday Tradition?

I love Christmas. And I start preparation the day of Thanksgiving. Long before it was known as Black Friday, I used to pack up the kids, go to a toney café for hot chocolate and baked goodies and then go shopping for one new Christmas ornament for each of us. That way, they would have enough to decorate their first tree after they grew up and moved out. Here’s a photo of the ornament my grandson picked out a couple of years ago. So I asked the Miss Demeanors: If you celebrate the holidays, what is the first thing you do after Thanksgiving in preparation for the season? Connie Keenan, that’s a tricky question for me because I am terrible at planning ahead. The most organized thing I do after Thanksgiving is make turkey soup. I would love to get my tree up and decorated the day after Thanksgiving. I’d also like to get in on all those Black Friday sales. But what I usually do is nothing. Then, when the pressure builds, I go out and buy gifts.  Tracee I love your ornament tradition! What a nice memory.  In our household, the weekend of Thanksgiving we decorate for Christmas. […]

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The Holidays, Translated by Catriona McPherson

I’ve been discussing holidays with friends online recently. Partly that’s because I planned a trilogy of books ( the Last Ditch Motel series) that all opened on US holidays – book one the 4th of July, book two Halloween, book three Valentine’s Day – only I’ve just signed the contract for books five and six (of a trilogy) and I’m scared of running out. But partly it was sparked by the fact that THE MIRROR DANCE begins as Dandy Gilver is headed to a park with her female servants in tow on the afternoon of the August Bank in 1938. They’re going to watch a Punch and Judy show and eat buns. Guess whether the performance goes smoothly and they’re all home in time for supper or whether the puppeteer is murdered in his booth with fifty people watching and no way for the murder to have arrived or left again. Go on, guess. Anyway, I was talking about it and an American pal (anonymous for reasons you will find out in a bit) said, “August Bank? Didn’t he win a Tony award last year?” which made me laugh hard and feel grateful all over again for having funny friends. […]

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Classic horror movies

There is still time left in the month to get your fill of horror movies before Halloween, hopefully saving a favorite for the big day. Here are my top classic horror movie picks guaranteed to make you sleep with one eye open.

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Is there a cycle to the writing year?

< Labor Day weekend is over (and surely all the school's across America have started). Clothes are being eyed for a stint in the attic or under the bed, and sweaters are a necessity in the early morning in even the southern states. For me, this is the start of a new cycle. New Year's Day is a date on the calendar, but fall signals something deeper. >

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