Tag Archive for: Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving Like No Other

By Lois Winston

In Little Women Louisa May Alcott opens with Jo March grumbling, “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents.” This year, for many of us, Thanksgiving won’t be Thanksgiving without family gathering around the dinner table. Such is life in the time of Covid. 

 

In past years, the day before a normal Thanksgiving would find me in the kitchen, either my own or one of my son’s kitchens, baking apple and pumpkin pies and prepping for the next day’s marathon of cooking. However, this Thanksgiving will be unlike any previous Thanksgiving. We won’t be hosting a houseful of relatives or traveling out of state to spend the holiday with either of our sons and their families. 

 

Turkey dinner for two? Hardly seems worth the effort or the expense. Besides, turkey leftovers are great the next day, but even with the smallest bird, we’d wind up with way too much leftover turkey. In the past I’ve tried freezing leftover turkey, but I’ve found it doesn’t freeze well. It always becomes too dry, no matter how much gravy I soak it in. So I’ve placed an order for two turkey dinners to be delivered from one of our local restaurants.

 

As for those pies, If I bake them, we’ll eat them, and neither my husband nor I need all those extra calories. I’ve discovered Covid Weight is worse than the Freshman Fifteen! Or maybe it’s that I’m older, and my metabolism has slowed down. Either way, with only one person with whom to split the calories, I’m nixing the pies.

 

As much as I’ll miss spending time with my family this Thanksgiving, Anastasia Pollack, the reluctant amateur sleuth of my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, is thrilled to be ditching some of hers. She’s sailing off on a cruise in A Sew Deadly Cruise, the ninth and newest book in the series. She certainly deserves a relaxing vacation after all the murder and mayhem I’ve dumped on her in the eight previous books and three novellas.

 

There’s just one problem: I write a mystery series. You can’t have a mystery series without mysteries, and in Anastasia’s life, that usually means at least one dead body—often more. Being the devious author that I am, since I gave her a respite from her most annoying relatives, I dumped more than one mystery and several dead bodies onto the cruise ship. 

 

Of course, Anastasia is not happy with me, but what else is new? We’ve always had a tension-filled relationship. After all, before I dragged her into a starring role in my series, she was a happily married, middle-class wife, mother, and crafts editor at a women’s magazine. With a few strokes of my keyboard, I killed off her duplicitous husband, plummeted her into debt greater than many Third World nations, and permanently stuck her with the communist mother-in-law from Hades. I have to admit, her anger is justified.

 

A Sew Deadly Cruise

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 9

 

Life is looking up for magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack. Newly engaged, she and photojournalist fiancé Zack Barnes are on a winter cruise with her family, compliments of a Christmas gift from her half-brother-in-law. Son Alex’s girlfriend and her father have also joined them. Shortly after boarding the ship, Anastasia is approached by a man with an unusual interest in her engagement ring. When she tells Zack of her encounter, he suggests the man might be a jewel thief scouting for his next mark. But before Anastasia can point the man out to Zack, the would-be thief approaches him, revealing his true motivation. Long-buried secrets now threaten the well-being of everyone Anastasia holds dear. And that’s before the first dead body turns up.

 

Craft projects included.

 

Buy Links

Paperback

Amazon 

Kobo

Nook

Apple

 

USA Today and Amazon bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.


Find more about Lois and her books at her website where you can sign up for her newsletter. You can also find her at her Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers blog, Bookbub, Pinterest, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

Gay Yellen: A Writer’s Thanksgiving

The twining path…


Like a double helix, a writer’s journey can follow a twisty trail. One strand—the rational, professional one—involves studying the works of others, honing your own craft, unlocking a door to publishing, and eventually (hopefully) connecting with readers.

The second strand can be an emotional mind-trip filled with unsettling questions. Is my work good enough? Why is that writer so successful? How can I be successful, too?

This emotional trip is the tricky one. It’s easy to find lists of writers deemed better or more successful by certain measures. What should matter to a writer is how they respond to such information. With admiration… or envy? 

Author-envy can eat a writer alive and stifle creativity. On the other hand, clear-eyed respect for another’s success may lead to the discovery of what it takes to improve. Heartfelt admiration—and gratitude—can move us closer to our own dreams.

What makes writers so special?

When I became a full-time author, I was overjoyed to find the camaraderie and the willingness to help one another that thrives in abundance in the writing community. It feels like family here.

Successful writers form personal bonds, share professional tips, read and critique each other’s books, and genuinely root for one another. The Stiletto Gang is an example.

Here, authors come together to trade insights, bits of book news, and offer glimpses into our personal lives, as well as our professional wins and woes. And we introduce our own followers to the rest of authors in the Gang. Countless other bloggers do the same in other spaces.

It’s hard to find a profession that embodies such an open and welcoming ethos. Can you name another enterprise whose members so willingly share their secret sauce with the competition?
Gratitude.

I deeply appreciate my writing community, from the veterans who teach to the newbies who are eager to learn. I’m grateful to the people who manage our writers’ groups and who continue to support their members.

This year, when Thanksgiving celebrations may not be like those we know, there’s all the more reason to appreciate the things that continue to sustain us. So, here’s a huge thank-you to writers everywhere who generously share their knowledge and platforms and public spaces with colleagues.
And special thanks to readers…

Dear readers, please know that you are the most important part of our community. Thank you for reading our books, for leaving your reviews on our book sales sites, and for recommending them to your friends. We could not keep our writing spirits up without you. You brighten our lives.

What about you? What are you thankful for this year?

Gay Yellen was a magazine and book editor before she began the award-winning Samantha Newman Mystery Series, which includes The Body Business and The Body Next Door. Book #3 in the series is slated for release in 2021.


Gay would love to hear from you, here, on Facebook, or at her website, GayYellen.com.


Welcome to the Holidays!

We here at the Stiletto Gang love our readers and hope that you’re all healthy and happy this holiday season. We’ve put together a list of our recent works to inspire you during the gift shopping free-for-all of Black Friday.  Aside from some fantastic sales many of the gang are offering giveaways and free books. So do a little shopping, but don’t feel guilty if you snag a few presents for yourself as well!


Thank you for being our friend! 





Julie Mulhern

CONNECT AT: www.juliemulhernauthor.com

Fields’ Guide to Abduction
Poppy Fields is a Hollywood IT girl with big problems. Bodies are popping up like daisies, the Mexican police have taken her passport, and, when she runs for the border, a cartel makes her their unwilling guest. Surrounded by trained killers, Poppy will need charm, intelligence, and a killer Chihuahua if she hopes to escape. #FREE on your favorite e-reader
GET NOW: Amazon

Paula Gail Benson

CONNECT AT: www.paulagailbenson.com
Love in the Lowcountry
These 14 tales by members of the Lowcountry Romance Writers take place in Charleston, S.C., during the winter holiday season. My story, “Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest,” is about Mel, an English graduate student who is better at literature than life. She is unexpectedly thrown back in time to 1936, where she meets the subjects of her thesis, Dorothy and DuBose Heyward. What she doesn’t anticipate is for her fellow grad student Will to follow her. Can Mel and Will make it back to present day Charleston in time to spend Thanksgiving with Will’s young daughter?
BUY NOW: Amazon

J.M. Phillippe

CONNECT AT: www.jmphillippe.com

The Christmas Spirit
Charlene Dickenson didn’t think that some minor stalking of her ex-boyfriend would lead to her untimely death. And she really didn’t think that because she died in a Christmas-related accident, she would end up in the Hall of Christmas Spirits. But a Christmas death means that Charlene must discover if she has what it takes to be a Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, or Future—helping mortals transform their lives like Ebenezer Scrooge—or end up like Jacob Marley and spend the rest of her existence in chains.  Only Charlene has no intention of letting unknown forces control her life…death… after-life.  Charlene figures that with a little ingenuity and pluck, she can surely figure a way out of this situation.  But finding out how to win may just mean giving up everything she loves.  Stuck in a place where the Christmas music never ends and the holiday treats will never make you full, Charlene is going to have to figure out how to let go of her mortal life and embrace the Christmas Spirit.
BUY NOW: all locations

Barbara Plum

CONNECT AT: www.barbaraplumauthor.com





Crazy Daze & a Knight
Hop off the fast track. Buy a boat. Write the great American novel.
Forty-four-year old Susanna Walker knows about taking risks and dreaming big. Mother of two grown kids. Former CEO of a Silicon Valley PR firm. Ex-wife of a still present, former compulsive gambler, Susanna ignores their objections to her life and refuses to accept she may be perimenopausal. As with all well-laid plans, hers quickly derail when the hunk from the boat next door drops by and invites her to supper on his vessel, Camelot. The boat’s name, his boyish appearance, and the medieval armor leave Susanna a bit dazed.
Against all reason, she agrees to inspect the armor more closely whle he puts the touches on fresh pasta, shrimp, and a cheeky Chardonnay. When she wakes the next morning, her clothes neatly folded on the chair next to her bed, she’s butt naked. And mad. He suckered her with his knight-in-shining armor disguise. But does he think he can steal her underwear without consequences? Unfortunately, the Bold Knight rejects the consequences and issues his own challenge.
BUY NOW: Amazon

Bethany Maines

CONNECT AT: Goodreads

The Second Shot
A drunken mistake in college cost US Marshal Maxwell Ames the affection of Dominique Deveraux and six years later, he’s determined to fix the slip-up. But there’s just one tiny problem—someone wants the Deveraux family dead. Dominique Deveraux never expected Max to reappear in her life, let alone apologize, but as Dominique investigates the mysterious attacks on her wealthy family Max quickly becomes far more than her one time college classmate. Now, Max and Dominique must dodge mercenaries and bullets as they try to make sure that they’re the only ones who get a second shot.
BUY NOW: all locations

GIVEAWAY: Get a free Christmas ebook at…
http://bethanymaines.com/free-e-book/

Kay Kendall

CONNECT AT: www.AustinStarr.com

After You’ve Gone During
Prohibition a small Texas town’s deadly secrets are revealed by a sheltered, yet enterprising young woman. Plus puzzling disappearances and lethal grudges, twenty-three-year-old Wallie MacGregor uncovers it all. Evils of the outside world change her life when her father’s rum-running brother Rory lands on the MacGregors’ doorstep. Absent for decades, Rory says he’s fleeing enraged bootleggers. His tales of adventure—and the natural charisma of a born ladies’ man—charm Wallie. Yet, this long-lost brother appalls her father, a respected judge. Soon a family tragedy gets deemed an accident by the local sheriff. Yet Wallie believes she sees a crime scene showing foul play. Annoyed that no one agrees with her, she sets out to prove her theory. She snoops into her family’s past and finds gangsters, flappers and floozies. When her daring lands her in danger, she wonders if she’s really meant to be a female version of Sherlock Holmes, her literary hero. Then again, she knows she must persist.
BUY NOW: Amazon

GIVEAWAY: Win either a paperback or E-book copy of After You’ve Gone.
Enter to win by commenting on & liking the author’s page at
www.facebook.com/KayKendallAuthor

Sparkle Abbey

 CONNECT AT:  www.Sparkleabbey.com and www.MaryLeeAshford.com

Two #Giveaways – Latest Books – The Dogfather (Sparkle Abbey) and Risky Biscuits (Mary Lee Ashford)

Who knew the world of designer purses could be such a dog-eat-dog business?

When a local, designer handbags store owner is found dead, the police first believe it’s an unfortunate accident. But the evidence doesn’t lie. Before you can say “wiseguy,” Bow Wow Boutique owner, Melinda Langston’s, former fiancé and undercover FBI agent, Grey Donovan, is the prime suspect. Now the two are working side-by-side to prove Grey’s innocence— nothing personal, just business. Or is it? Suspects are piling up, family secrets are exposed, and no one is who they appear to be, including Mel’s newest employee. Time’s running out. Mel better sniff out the killer before she and Grey end up sleeping with the fishes.
The Dogfather BUY NOW: Amazon
Risky Biscuits BUY NOW: Amazon

GIVEAWAY: Winner’s choice of any print or e-book Sparkle Abbey book AND a Mary Lee Ashford book.  To enter simply sign up for either Sparkle Abbey OR Mary Lee Ashford’s newsletters.
www.Sparkleabbey.com and www.MaryLeeAshford.com

Cathy Perkins

CONNECT AT: www.cperkinswrites.com
In It For The Money
Holly Price traded professional goals for personal plans when she agreed to leave her high-flying position with the Seattle mergers and acquisition team and take over the family accounting practice. Reunited with JC Dimitrak, her former fiancé, she’s already questioning whether she’s ready to flip her condo for marriage and a house in the ‘burbs.       

When her cousin, Tate, needs investors for his innovative car suspension, Holly works her business matchmaking skills and connects him with a client. The Rockcrawler showcasing the new part crashes at its debut event, however, and the driver dies. Framed for the sabotage, Tate turns to Holly when the local cops—including JC—are ready to haul him to jail. Holly soon finds her cousin and client embroiled in multiple criminal schemes. She’s drawn into the investigation, a position that threatens her life, her family and her increasingly shaky relationship with JC.

Debra H. Goldstein

CONNECT AT: www.debrahgoldstein.com
 

Two Bites Too Many
Things are finally looking up for Sarah Blair following her unsavory divorce.  Settled into a cozy carriage house with her sassy Siamese cat, RahRah, she has somehow managed to hang on to her law firm receptionist job and – if befriending strays at the local animal shelter counts – lead a thriving social life. For once, Sarah almost has it together more than her enterprising twin, Emily, a professional chef whose efforts to open a gourmet restaurant have hit a real dead end…

 When the president of the town bank and city council is murdered after icing Emily’s business plans, all eyes are on the one person who left the scene with blood on her hands – the twins’ sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle.  Determined to get her mom off the hook ASAP, Sarah must collect the ingredients of a deadly crime to bring the true culprit to justice. But as neighbors turn against her family, can she pare down the suspects before another victim lands on the chopping block.
BUY NOWAmazon • Barnes & Noble

One Taste Too Many

For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder!

Married at eighteen, divorced at twenty‑eight, Sarah Blair knew starting over would be messy, but things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by her twin sister’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah, her Siamese cat, wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and her sister wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!
BUY NOW: Amazon • Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY: a print copy of One Taste Too Many to U.S. readers sign up for my blog via www.debrahgoldstein.com

Shari Randall

CONNECT AT: Facebook
Drawn and Buttered is the third book in a wonderfully satisfying cozy mystery series set at the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack in coastal New England.

The Lazy Mermaid’s business has slowed to a snail’s pace—until a monster lobster claws his way onto the scene…

With high season behind them, ballerina on-the-mend Allie Larkin and Aunt Gully are finally lying low. But then an unexpected guest arrives at the lobster shack: a crustacean so huge he’s dubbed Lobzilla around Mystic Bay and on social media. Soon, with everyone showing up for a peek in their tank, Allie and Aunt Gully have more on their plate than they can handle. Meanwhile, another local establishment finds itself in hot water. In exclusive Rabb’s Point, a strange burglary breaches the elegant home of Royal Parrish. Allie takes it upon herself to help with the investigation but, before she can get to the bottom of the case, another alarm sounds: the Lazy Mermaid’s Lobzilla has gone missing and is on the loose! And bodies are beginning to pile up. . .

“Delightful…Full of New England coastal charm…and clever sleuthing [that] will keep you turning the pages.”—Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva mysteries
BUY NOW: Amazon

T.K. Thorne

CONNECT AT: www.tkthorne.com
House of Rose
When rookie patrol officer Rose Brighton chases a suspect down an alley, she finds herself in the middle of every cop’s nightmare—staring down at a dead body with two bullet holes from her gun . . . in his back.

He’s dead and now she has to explain it, which is going to be a problem because what happened was so strange, she doesn’t understand it herself. Rose must unravel the mystery of what happened and who she really is—a witch of the House of Rose. If she doesn’t figure it out fast, there will be more bodies, including her own.
BUY NOW: all locations

Turkeys everywhere

by AB Plum aka Barbara Plum

The political junkie in me really, really, really wants to write a blog this month with
a political slant.

The common sense adult in me demands I holster my
trigger finger. Three repetitions of the adverb in the first sentence wakens my
Inner Editor screaming one question.

Why?
What insight do you, she screeches, bring to the
on-going political debacle?

Ooops, my editor’s less-than-neutral noun reflects the
political slant’s inherent volatility.

My Inner Editor returns to reason.

Thanksgiving approacheth. Why stir up gastric acids
even before the turkey and dressing, the green bean casserole, corn pudding. two
kinds of cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole (with gooey marshmallow
topping), whipped potatoes, baked Brussel sprouts, creamed onions, pumpkin, Bourbon
pecan, chocolate, apple, cranberry-pear, coconut custard, and lemon meringue
pies are served?

Why not write about the First Thanksgiving?  Inner Editor suggests.
Something with a light-hearted touch?

All right, I like humor. Stuffing my darker side down
into my mental vault, I return to the keyboard.

What’s the difference between
Election day and Thanksgiving day?
On Thanksgiving, you get a turkey for the day. On Election day,
you get a turkey for four years.
OMG, my Inner Editor groans. You’re the turkey. Get
your head on straight. Thanksgiving doesn’t have an audience for anything that smacks
of politics.

So, I forget the humorous twist. The posturing Washington
turkeys aren’t funny. They’re ridiculous.

Consider a historical perspective, advises my Inner
Editor, sharpening her red pencil. Be sure to include a hook or your reader
will stop reading after the first line.

Exactly why I want to lead with: something hooky.

Unfortunately, most of the Thanksgiving hooks are
really myths. Deconstructing those myths leaves the early founders (Separatists—not
Pilgrims—debunking one of many myths) tarnished. 

Reframing those stories—learned in
kindergarten and earlier when we dressed kids in paper bags with a feather duster
tails—probably borders on political incorrectness.

Okay, so go with a few historical facts (i.e., not fake
news).
Whew. We do have a couple of facts:
  • ·       
    In 1863 Abraham Lincoln declared the 4th
    Tuesday in November officially as Thanksgiving. (By proclamation vs executive
    order).
  • ·       
    FDR, in 1939, capitulated to changing the
    date to the 3rd Thursday in November. (To increase shopping days
    until Christmas. Whether sound economics or flack from various groups forced a
    date of the 4th Thursday in November, we may never know).
  • ·       
    Mashed potatoes didn’t show up on the first
    menu around 1621. Fact, potatoes weren’t a staple of New England at that time.
    Ditto for sweet potatoes—a Southern staple.
  • ·       
    Venison rather than turkey provided the
    protein.
  • ·       
    The Separatists (known much later as
    Pilgrims) didn’t sport buckles on their shoes.  Or on their hats. Buckles became fashion
    accessories decades after the original “pilgrims” left England. In
    the New World, they were too poor for such frippery. Since they provided their
    own medical care, public assistance was a moot point.

·       
AOBTW, the indigenous inhabitants of the
new world most likely celebrated “the first Thanksgiving” long before
the pilgrims immigrated. (I said in the beginning I wanted to write with a
political slant).

My Inner Editor isn’t happy, but it is her right to
pursue happiness elsewhere. And for all my border-line bah-humbug ‘tude, I am
thankful to live in this contradictory place where none of us is above the law.
****

In Silicon Valley. AB Plum reads too much political stuff and switches to writing
mysteries to “find justice”. She writes romantic comedy because love
transforms us.














Many Thanks!

Welcome to the Stiletto Gang Black Friday Gift Guide!

We here at the Stiletto Gang love our readers and hope that you’re all healthy and happy this holiday season. We’ve put together a list of our recent works to inspire you during the gift shopping free-for-all of Black Friday.  Aside from some fantastic sales many of the gang are offering giveaways and free books. So do a little shopping, but don’t feel guilty if you snag a few presents for yourself as well!
Many thanks from all your friends at The Stiletto Gang!


Sparkle Abbey

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunes

The Dogfather

Who knew the world of designer purses could be such a dog-eat-dog business?

When a local, designer handbags store owner is found dead, the police first believe it’s an unfortunate accident. But the evidence doesn’t lie. Before you can say “wiseguy,” Bow Wow Boutique owner, Melinda Langston’s, former fiancé and undercover FBI agent, Grey Donovan, is the prime suspect.  Now the two are working side-by-side to prove Grey’s innocence— nothing personal, just business. Or is it? Suspects are piling up, family secrets are exposed, and no one is who they appear to be, including Mel’s newest employee. Time’s running out. Mel better sniff out the killer before she and Grey end up sleeping with the fishes.
Holiday Giveaway!
Winner’s choice of any Sparkle Abbey book.  Sign up for the Sparkle Abbey Newsletter between now and November 30th to be entered to win.  www.sparkleabbey.com


Debra H. Goldstein

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboIndieBound

One Taste Too Many

For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder! Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by her twin’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah, her Siamese cat, wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and her sister wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!

Holiday Giveaway!

Get free One Taste Too Many swag! Go to Debra’s blog and sign up for a chance to win!  www.debrahgoldstein.com/blog


Bethany Maines

Pre-Order on: AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo

Blue Christmas

$0.99 – Release Date: 12/4/18
Drunken TV news cameraman Jake Garner thought he was tackling an intruder. But no, Jake just took out the gorgeous dog sitter. Mortified, Jake does what any man would who has just been dumped right before Christmas would do—give the offended party all his ex’s things. Meanwhile, Blue Jones is determined to do whatever it takes to get her grandmother the best cancer treatment possible, even if that means some high-rise burglary from one of her worst dog-sitting clients, the failure to walk, feed or book a pet-sitter for a three day weekend, Grace Lorra. But Blue didn’t count on Grace’s ex, Jake, showing up and drunkenly handing over all of Grace’s belongings— including her adorable French Bulldog, Jacques. It takes no time at all for Blue to fall in love with Jacques, but Blue also finds herself wondering if it would be so bad to return to the scene of the crime to reconnect with Jake. But as Christmas draws closer, Grace pressures Jake to return the dog and Blue is targeted by mysterious assailants. Can Jake find Blue and Jacques before her stalkers do? And can Jake and Blue stop these mystery men without also getting Blue arrested for theft? For Blue, Christmas has never been quite so dangerous. For Jake, Christmas has never been quite so Blue.

Holiday Sale!

Shark’s Instinct & Shark’s Bite

Buy Now: Amazon
Books 1 & 2 of the Shark Santoyo Crime Series– $0.99 each
When twenty something Shark got out of prison and made a deal with Geier, the boss of his old gang, he knew he’d be walking into trouble, but he never expected to meet the teenage crime savant Peregrine Hays. The knife-wielding beauty may fuel his dreams, but Peregrine has secrets of her own, and soon Shark is swept up in a whirlpool of murder, revenge, and love. Both streetwise and hardened by dark pasts, Shark and Peri are the perfect match as they battle crooked federal agents, sex traffickers, and gangs in search of vindication. But when Shark is faced with an enemy that knows him better than anyone else, he and Peri learn that their options may be staying together OR staying alive…


Lynn McPherson

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & Noble

The Girls’ Weekend Murder: An Izzy Walsh Mystery

It’s 1953 in the quiet New England town of Twin Oaks, and busy homemaker Izzy Walsh is enjoying her annual girls’ weekend. While off to a promising start, the weekend quickly goes awry when murder interrupts the fun, and the hostess is accused of the shocking crime. Izzy soon realizes it is up to her to save her innocent friend and bring the true killer to light. She must use her keen intuition and quick wit to uncover the dark truth before the killer brings her investigation to a dead stop.

The Girls Whispered Murder: An Izzy Walsh Mystery

Izzy Walsh is once again drawn into a dangerous mystery when a popular local chef is found murdered and clues begin to turn up everywhere she goes. Izzy is determined to help, but when a party of suspects begins to crowd the menu, it becomes hard to choose just one.


Cathy Perkins

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo

In It For The Money

Holly Price traded professional goals for personal plans when she agreed to leave her high-flying position with the Seattle Mergers and Acquisition team and take over the family accounting practice. Reunited with JC Dimitrak, her former fiancé, she’s already questioning whether she’s ready to flip her condo for marriage and a house in the ‘burbs.
When her cousin Tate needs investors for his innovative car suspension, Holly works her business matchmaking skills and connects him with a client. The Rockcrawler showcasing the new part crashes at its debut event, however, and the driver dies. Framed for the sabotage, Tate turns to Holly when the local cops—including JC—are ready to haul him to jail. Holly soon finds her cousin and client embroiled in multiple criminal schemes. She’s drawn into the investigation, a position that threatens her life, her family and her increasingly shaky relationship with JC.

Holiday Giveaway!

Giving away the new Holly Price box set! Sign up for my newsletter (on my website) – winner selected from new subscribers!


 J.M. Phillippe

Pre-Order on: Amazon

The Christmas Spirit

$1.99 – Release Date: 12/4/18
Charlene Dickenson didn’t think that some minor stalking of her ex-boyfriend would lead to her untimely death. And she really didn’t think that because she died in a Christmas-related accident, she would end up in the Hall of Christmas Spirits. But a Christmas death means that Charlene must discover if she has what it takes to be a Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, or Future—helping mortals transform their lives like Ebenezer Scrooge—or end up like Jacob Marley and spend the rest of her existence in chains.  Only Charlene has no intention of letting unknown forces control her life…death… after-life.  Charlene figures that with a little ingenuity and pluck, she can surely figure a way out of this situation.  But finding out how to win may just mean giving up everything she loves.  Stuck in a place where the Christmas music never ends and the holiday treats will never make you full, Charlene is going to have to figure out how to let go of her mortal life and embrace the Christmas Spirit.


AB Plum

Buy on: Amazon

Ready or Not

Thirty-seven-year-old cyber-sleuth Karen Sullivan convinces herself that the first obscene phone call is a fluke. Unnerving, but nothing to worry about. All kinds of creeps slither out at night. But the next call, and the next, and four more chip away at the perfect façade she presents to the world. The caller spews out more and more details. Dark, vile details. Chilling details known only to Karen and a dead man. When the caller threatens to contact her ailing father, she decides—against all reason—to confide in her best friend. Her friend’s brutal murder convinces Karen she’s the predator’s next prey. The collision of the past and present forces her to seek help from the last person she should trust.

Holiday Giveaway!

The Boy Nobody Loved 

A brilliant, psychologically wounded boy–reviled and bullied by his family–plots revenge. Who can blame him thinking of murder?
CLICK HERE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!


Shari Randall

Against the Claw

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBound
Injured dancer Allie Larkin is still back home, lending a hand at her aunt’s Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack. Now that the famed restaurant is branching out into catering, Allie’s help is needed more than ever – even on the lobster boat. The last thing she expects to find once she’s out on the bay, however, is the dead body of a beautiful young woman. When days pass and not even the police can ID the corpse, Allie takes it upon herself to learn what happened. Her search takes her all the way from the piers to the secluded estates of Mystic Bay’s elite. But how can she crack the case when everyone seems dead-set on keeping their secrets beneath the surface? 

Curses, Boiled Again!

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-MillioniBooksIndieBound
Welcome to Mystic Bay, where the fish is always fresh, folks are ever-friendly, and murder is on a roll. Allie Larkin was living her dream as a ballet dancer when a bad fall put her out of business. Now she’s back home helping her Aunt Gully get her Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack off the ground. Nothing would help Gully more than winning the local food festival’s Best Lobster Roll contest. The competition is sure to be killer – especially when one of the contest judges dies after eating a roll from one of Gully’s biggest competitors. Soon all eyes fall on Gully as prime suspect. Allie isn’t about to let her aunt go down for a crime she never could have cooked up. Can Allie, along with her devoted crew of friends, family, and customers, find a way to trap the killer and claw herself out of this hard-boiled murder case?


Linda Rodriguez

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Plotting the Character-Driven Novel

Great plot springs from character and the motivations each character has for taking or not taking action. In Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, Linda Rodriguez turns her sought-after writing course on using depth of character as a springboard to a strong plot into a book designed to help the aspiring writer who wants to tell a story made compelling by the truth and complexity of its characters. She provides examples of actual documents she has used in creating her own award- winning books to demonstrate the methods she teaches.

Holiday Giveaway!

Rivka’s Place by Linda Rodriguez features CJ, battle-scarred escaped convict, Rivka, tiny Holocaust survivor with a big heart, and a choice between love and hate when violence invades their sanctuary in a neighborhood that looks out for its own. Which way will CJ move when everything he cares about is threatened?  Visit www.lindarodriguezwrites.blogspot.com to enter to win!


Judy Penz Sheluk

Buy on: Amazon

Past & Present: A Marketville Mystery #2

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present…
Soon after forming Past & Present Investigations, Calamity (Callie) Barnstable gets her first client: a woman seeking the truth about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, who came to a “bad end” in 1956. But Anneliese’s past has a way of winding its way into Callie’s present, and not in a way anyone, least of all Callie, could have predicted

Holiday Giveaway!

Win a Kindle copy of Past & Present, book 2 in the Marketville Mystery series OR an audiobook copy of A Hole in One, book 2 in the Glass Dolphin Mystery Series (must be an Audible member). Winner’s choice. Email judy@judypenzsheluk.com for a chance to win!


T.K. Thorne

Buy on: Amazon • Barnes & NobleKobo

House of Rose

Murder, mayhem, and a little magic occur when police officer Rose Brighton chases a suspect down a dark alley. Without warning, her vision wavers, and the lone suspect appears to divide into two men—the real suspect, frozen in time, and a shadow version with a gun. Confused by what she’s just seen, but with no time to second guess it’s meaning, Rose shoots the real suspect in the back. Forced to lie to detectives, she risks her job and her life to discover the shocking truth of who she really is—a witch of an ancient House, the prey of one powerful enemy, and the pawn of another.  House of Rose, set in the Deep South city of Birmingham, Alabama, is the first book of the Magic City Stories.

Thankful

With Thanksgiving right
around the corner, I’ve been thinking about gratitude. I’m one of those “glass-half-full”
people who likes to live in the now and focus on the future, but at times like
this, a look back feels right.

It might be a cliché to
be thankful for family, friends, health, and home. The horrible fires in
California and the loss of life and home, however, are a reminder of how
quickly both can be lost. 

Here is Washington state, our fires rarely rate a
mention on even regional news. I remember the fear of watching the fires on the
ridges around our mountain cabin. Packing a “go” bag for the dogs and me each
night. Waiting for the firefighter’s knock, the order to “Get out.” Feeding the
refuges who were burned out of other valleys and took shelter in ours. 

But we
had warning, time to prepare, while the residents in Paradise had only minutes
to flee.  

So today, I’m grateful
for the ebb and flow of both good and bad things that have happened throughout
my life. Some blessings have been given and others hard-earned. The tragic or
sorrowful things have taught me resilience, faith, and provided opportunities to learn
and grow. Painful losses and situations showed me by contrast how valuable and
cherished the good things are. 

And the good things are wonderful. 

Next week, as I look
around the chaos of my kitchen and laugh over the antics of kids and dogs, I
know I’ll take time to be thankful. Thankful for family, friends, food on the table, a job I
love, and the time and support to pursue creative outlets.
I leave you with a long-distance
hug and a reminder… be thankful.

An award-winning author of financial mysteries, Cathy Perkins writes twisting dark suspense and light amateur sleuth stories.  When not writing, she battles with the beavers over the pond height or heads out on another travel adventure. She lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.  Visit her at http://cperkinswrites.com or on Facebook 

Sign up for her new release announcement newsletter in either place.

She’s hard at work on sequel to The Body in the Beaver Pond, which was recently presented with the Claymore Award. 

Holiday Gift Guide

Dear Readers,

It’s Thanksgiving and that means that the commercial holiday known as Black Friday is upon us. Today we have a great list of books to give or GIVEAWAYS to snatch up for yourself. So if you’d prefer to stay in your jammies and read or just order books from the comfort of your own home, then we have the reading list for you! Peruse our holiday book list and pick up all your favorites!
Thank you to all our readers – we hope that you’re all warm and safe and that your To Be Read pile is within easy reach!


The Stiletto Gang



Black Friday Gift List

Sparkle Abbey

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiTunes

Barking with the Stars

Lights! Camera! Murder!
It’s a star-studded event and tongues are wagging. Laguna Beach pet therapist, Caro Lamont’s, ex-husband Geoffrey is spreading rumors and snuggling up to the biggest stars, including Purple – the temperamental diva, who’s the lynchpin of the celebrity line-up. All too soon, Caro is losing clients, her reputation, and patience with Geoffrey’s shenanigans. More trouble is unleashed when the high-strung headliner is found dead and Geoffrey was seen leaving her hotel room. With a potential killer on the loose, Caro is hounded by questions about who had reason to want Purple out of the picture and though all the evidence points to her ex, Caro believes the police are on the wrong trail. Even if her sleuthing puts her in the doghouse with Detective Judd Malone, Caro must dig up the truth before the real killer gets away with murder.

Juliana Aragon Fatula

Buy at: Bower House BooksMany Blankets Press

The Colorado Sisters and the Atlanta Butcher (forthcoming)— Atlanta billionaire and big game hunter, Reggie Hartless is found murdered, butchered, and frozen.The Colorado Sisters work undercover to solve the homicide and to unravel the legend of the Ute curse.

In Crazy Chicana in Catholic City, Fatula writes histories so terrifying they feel as if they were written with a knife. She writes with craft and courage what most folks are too ashamed to even think about, let alone talk about. Her fearlessness is inspirational. This is the kind of poetry I want to read; this is the kind I want to write. — Sandra Cisneros
In Red Canyon Falling on Churches, Fatula’s poems are gifts from the desert: nopales, chile ristras, and coyote tricksters offered with reverence to the earth and ancestors. Aztec goddesses speak, as do memories of star filled nights, and the love that remains from those we have lost in a tri-lingual, tri-cultural Chicana Azteca voice that reveal desert ways, the men, the women, tamales, beer, y la muerte. – Adela Najarro

Debra H. Goldstein

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleWalmart

Should Have Played Poker

When attorney Carrie Martin’s mother reappears twenty-six years after abandoning her family, she leaves Carrie with a sealed envelope and her confession she once considered killing Carrie’s father. Before Carrie can find answers about her past, her mother is murdered. Although instructed by the detective assigned to her mother’s case – Carrie’s former live-in lover – to leave the sleuthing to the professionals, the investigative efforts of Carrie and her co-sleuths, the Sunshine Village Mah jongg players, quickly put Carrie in danger and show her that truth and integrity aren’t always what she was taught to believe.

Kay Kendall

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunes
Kay Kendall’s Rainy Day Women is the second book in the Austin Starr Mystery series. In 1969, during the week of the Manson murders and Woodstock, the intrepid amateur sleuth, infant in tow, flies across the continent to support a friend suspected of murdering women’s liberation activists in Seattle and Vancouver. Then her former CIA trainer warns that an old enemy has contracted a hit on her. Her anxious husband demands that she give up her quest and fly back to him. How much should Austin risk when tracking the killer puts her and her baby’s life in danger?
Learn more: AustinStarr.com or follow Kay on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KayKendallAuthor

Bethany Maines

Buy on: Amazon $9.99

The Carrie Mae Mysteries Boxed Set

The Carrie Mae Mysteries – 5 stars, 2 books, 2 short stories, 1 low price
Q: What do you get when you cross Avon Ladies with Charlie’s Angels
A: A world-class intelligence organization run by women who really know their foundation. You get CARRIE MAE.
These make-up ladies aren’t just selling lipstick – they’re packing heat and saving the world. Join Nikki Lanier and her team of kick-ass friends as they take on gangs, drug smugglers, arms dealers, and internal politics, all while looking fabulous or at least trying to remember clean underwear. Featuring the short stories Supporting the Girls, Power of Attorney and the novels High-Calbier Concealer, Glossed Cause.

HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY!! Shark’s Instinct

Fresh out of prison and fresh out of luck, twenty-something Shark wants back into The Organization. But when Geier, the mob boss with a cruel sense of humor, sends Shark to the suburbs to find out who’s been skimming his take, Shark realizes he’s going to need more than his gun and an attitude to succeed. With the clock ticking, Shark accepts the help of the mysterious teenage fixer, Peregrine Hays, and embarks on a scheme that could line his pockets, land him the girl and cement his reputation with the gang—if he makes it out alive.
FREE DOWNLOAD!

Julie Mulhern

The Deep End

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKobo
Swimming into the lifeless body of her husband’s mistress tends to ruin a woman’s day, but becoming a murder suspect can ruin her whole life.
It’s 1974 and Ellison Russell’s life revolves around her daughter and her art. She’s long since stopped caring about her cheating husband, Henry, and the women with whom he entertains himself. That is, until she becomes a suspect in Madeline Harper’s death. The murder forces Ellison to confront her husband’s proclivities and his crimes—kinky sex, petty cruelties and blackmail.
As the body count approaches par on the seventh hole, Ellison knows she has to catch a killer. But with an interfering mother, an adoring father, a teenage daughter, and a cadre of well-meaning friends demanding her attention, can Ellison find the killer before he finds her?

Cold as Ice

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKobo
Ellison Russell’s life resembles a rollercoaster ride. And rollercoasters make her ill. Her daughter Grace has a crush on a boy Ellison doesn’t trust and she’s taken to hosting wild parties when Ellison goes out for the evening. Worse, the bank which represents Grace’s inheritance from her father may be in trouble.

When a meeting with the chef at the country club leads to the discovery of a body, Ellison can’t afford cold feet. She must save the bank, find the killer, and convince Grace (and herself) that powerful women don’t need men to rescue them.

Cathy Perkins

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiTunes

Double Down

Every family has challenges. The Kaufman’s might include murder.
Murder isn’t supposed to be in the cards for blackjack dealer Maddie Larsson. Busted takes on a new meaning when her favorite customer, a former Poker World Tour champion, is murdered. His family claims—loudly and often—Maddie is the gold-digging murderer. She better prove she’s on the level before the real killer cashes in her chips.

If the victim’s body had been dumped five hundred yards up the road, Franklin County Sheriff’s Detective JC Dimitrak wouldn’t have been assigned to the Tom Tom Casino murder case. Instead, he’s hunting for suspects and evidence while dealing with a nemesis from the past and trying to preserve his own future. He better play his hand correctly and find the killer before an innocent woman takes the ultimate hit.


J.M. Phillippe

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Perfect Likeness

Perfection can haunt you.
Quick-witted 24-year-old Allyson Smart is the perfect woman — in her dreams. In real life, Ally has to deal with the clumsiness of her size-16 body, the good intentions of her over-achiever best-friend, and the condescending attitude of her too-cool little sister. But when the fantasized version of herself shows up in her bathroom mirror, calling herself Allison (with an i because she says it’s prettier), Ally discovers how cruel perfection can be. In this contemporary fantasy novel, Ally learns that perfection really can haunt you.

HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY!! Plane Signals

Round one winner of the New York City Midnight 2017 Short Story Challenge, Plane Signals by J.M. Phillippe features a guy, a girl, and the four inches of space their arm rest shares at twenty-thousand feet. Is he interested or is it just the airline shoving him into Meagan’s personal space? If only she had some…Plane Signals.
FREE DOWNLOAD!

AB Plum

The Reckless Year

Buy on: Amazon
Against all reason, ruthless Silicon Valley tycoon Michael Romanov, becomes infatuated with a totally unsuitable, but bewitching woman. Her loser boyfriend leaves no doubt money and power can’t derail real love. He laughs at titles, prestige, and good looks. Threats and bribes don’t work. He refuses to step aside.
Will Michael stop at murder to sweep his first love off her feet?

The In-Between Years

Buy on: Amazon
In exchange for saving you from kidnappers and probably death, what if your father grooms you to become a murderer?

What if he promises to make the risks you’ll take worth a small fortune?

How long would you hesitate?

HOLIDAY CONTEST!!

Sign up HERE for a chance to name two characters in The Broken-Hearted Many, Book 5 in The MisFit Series, releasing in early 2018.

  • Deadline for signing up: Midnight (PST), November 30, 2017.
    One winner randomly selected. 
  •  Winner announced on my Stiletto Gang blog, December 12, 2017. 
  • Names submitted must avoid slandering or defaming living or dead persons, avoid racial and ethnic slurs and cannot be pornographic.

Author reserves the right to decide if submitted names meet all guidelines.
One submission per reader, please.

Linda Rodriguez

Buy on: Amazon

Plotting the Character-Driven Novel

In Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, Linda Rodriguez turns her sought-after writing course on using depth of character as a springboard to a strong plot into a book designed to help the aspiring writer who wants to tell a story made compelling by the truth and complexity of its characters. She provides examples of actual documents she has used in creating her own award-winning books to demonstrate the methods she teaches. Great plot springs from character and the motivations each character has for taking or not taking action. With this book, you will learn to create an exciting and complex plot, building from the integrity of the characters you create.

Judy Penz Sheluk

The Hanged Man’s Noose: A Glass Dolphin Mystery #1

Buy at: Barking Rain Press
Small-town secrets and subterfuge lead to murder in this fast-moving, deftly written tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone amok.
Journalist Emily Garland lands an assignment as the editor of a magazine based in Lount’s Landing, a small town named after a colorful 19th century Canadian traitor. As she interviews the local business owners, Emily learns many people are unhappy with real estate mogul Garrett Stonehaven’s plans to convert an old schoolhouse into a mega-box store. At the top of that list is Arabella Carpenter, the outspoken owner of the Glass Dolphin, who will do just about anything to preserve the integrity of the town’s historic Main Street.
But Arabella is not alone in her opposition. Soon, a vocal dissenter at a town hall meeting about the proposed project dies. A few days later, another body is discovered. Although both deaths are ruled accidental, Emily’s journalistic suspicions are aroused. Putting her reporting skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella to discover the truth behind Stonehaven’s latest scheme before the murderer strikes again.

Skeletons in the Attic: A Marketville Mystery #1

Buy at: Audible
What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there.
Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville – a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.
Callie’s not keen on dredging up a 30-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?

HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY!!

Sign up for Judy’s newsletter by November 28, 2017 11:59 p.m. EST for a chance to win an audiobook copy of Skeletons in the Attic from Audible.com OR an e-book copy (Kindle, Kobo or Nook) of The Hanged Man’s Noose (Winner’s choice). Three winners will be randomly selected and announced (first names only) on my post, Monday, December 4th. SIGN UP HERE

T.K. Thorne

Noah’s Wife

Buy on: Amazon
“. . . a novel of epic sweep, emotional power, and considerable beauty.”—Ron Gholson, The Blount Countian
Na’amah wishes only to be a shepherdess on her beloved hills in ancient Turkey—a desire shattered by the hatred of her powerful brother and the love of two men. Her savant abilities and penchant to speak truth force her to walk a dangerous path in an age of change—a time of challenge to the goddess’ ancient ways, when cultures clash and the earth itself is unstable. When foreign raiders kidnap her, Na’amah’s journey to escape and return home becomes an attempt to save her people from the disaster only she knows is coming.

Angels at the Gate

Buy on: Amazon
“A fantastic story about the mysterious woman who, until now, was simply a shadow among biblical heroes…The story is so compelling that I could not wait until I could read the next part of the adventure.” —San Francisco Review
ANGELS AT THE GATE is the story of Adira, destined to become Lot’s wife, the woman who “turned into a pillar of salt.” A daughter of Abram’s tribe, Adira is an impetuous young girl whose mother died in childbirth. Secretly raised as a boy in her father’s caravan and schooled in languages and the art of negotiation, Adira rejects the looming changes of womanhood that threaten her nomadic life and independence. With the arrival of two mysterious strangers, her world unravels. She alone can solve the mystery of what happened to her father and the abduction of one of the strangers.

Plimouth or Plymouth?

by Paula Gail Benson
In school, I learned that the
Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.
On the map, there is an oceanfront
town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, which is a lovely place to spend a carefree
summer day.
Within the town of Plymouth,
Massachusetts, there is a living history Museum called Plimouth Plantation.
Why is the Plantation name spelled
differently from the town’s?
According to a United States History Project webpage, the definitive
journal detailing the organization of the colony by William Bradford had “Of
Plimouth Planation” written at the top. “Plymouth” is considered the more
modern spelling.

Visiting Plimouth Plantation gives
modern guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in 17th century culture,
both from the colonists’ and Native Americans’ viewpoints. The museum was
established in 1947 by Henry Hornblower II (1917-1985), who worked in his
family’s business of finance, but had a love for American history and
archaeology that grew from his boyhood spent in the family’s Plymouth summer
house. He became determined to present the story of the Pilgrims and the
Wampanoag People with the greatest accuracy and integrity possible.

From
its humble beginnings, the museum has grown to include a replica of the
Mayflower (known as the Mayflower II and now residing in Mystic Seaport being
restored for the 400th anniversary of the crossing to take place in
2020–Queen Elizabeth II is expected to be in attendance for the celebration);
recreations of an English village and
Wampanoag
Homesite; a visitors’ center (featuring a café where foods from the 17th
century are served), craft center (where artisans use tools, materials, and
techniques to create items that might have been used by the early colonists),
barn with native and historical animals, and grist mill. All these venues are
open to the public with interpreters and other guides.

This summer, I had the
opportunity to spend a morning at Plimouth Plantation. As we approach
Thanksgiving, here are a few pictures of the buildings and depictions of how the early settlers and
Native Americans lived.

Visitors’ Center
Nye Barn

Craft Center

Wampanoag Homesite

The Wampanoag Homesite features Native Americans demonstrating skills used by their ancestors. On the day I visited, they were cooking rabbit over the fire.

 Here are photos of the English village and interpreters.

The Grist Mill is at Jenny Pond. Visitors can watch the grinding and purchase corn meal.

May you all find joy in your celebration of Thanksgiving this year!

FAKE NEWS, FOX NEWS, REAL NEWS, THANKSGIVING

By AB Plum

Thanksgiving is always a tough subject for me. Both my parents died—twenty years apart—on the holiday. A good friend also died in between that timeframe. I was an adult, but roasting turkey can still stir up some tough memories. Sometimes all the food porn in every magazine out there gives me a tummy ache and a conscience twinge for serving so many different—and rich—dishes.
But this blog isn’t a sermon. Instead, I want to share a story that someone sent my husband recently. Skeptic that I am, always on the lookout for fake news—especially from Fox News—I did a little research on the story. I think it’s real news and perfect for Thanksgiving—a reminder of how much we have to be thankful for.
Maybe you’ve read about this project or seen the pictures, but I hope you’ll check out The Fallen: 9000 Silhouettes on Normandy Beach. WARNING: Content sadly joyful. NOT A BUMMER.
Happy Thanksgiving!
********************

AB’s latest book, The Reckless Year is the fourth in her dark, gritty psychological thriller MisFit Series. It was released in early November. Quite frankly, she often questions why she wrote this noir series …. but believes darkness does lurk in the human heart. However, she’s grateful for an overly active imagination and how much she’s learned from writing about a psychopath from his birth to falling for his first love.



Incoming

By Bethany Maines 

The holidays are coming. I can feel them barreling toward me with the speed of one of those fancy Japanese trains that float on magnets and go like three hundred miles an hour. Of course, the train type doesn’t really matter. Amtrak or coal trains will both kill you just as dead.

Yes, death and trains. That’s the holiday metaphor I went with. That should tell you all you need to know about how I’m feeling about this upcoming season.
I think one of the most unfair parts about being an adult is that we no longer get to enjoy the seasons like we did as children. For adults, time compresses until you’re blinking through the seasons like you’re in an H.G. Wells time machine.

And with that as a backdrop it’s easy to go down the trail of “Why put up holiday decorations when it’s just going to be over in a minute?”
But I’m putting my foot down. Christmas will be enjoyed. There will be décor. I might even décor it up pre-Thanksgiving. Holiday rules be damned. And I’m banning guilt. Didn’t buy someone a present? Well, presents aren’t obligatory. Didn’t bring a potluck dish? How fortunate that some other mom showed off and made extra. Decided not to do the holiday shuffle between in-laws and stay at your house in the morning? Tough cookies, Grandma. The stockings are still up, the munchkin will still get sugar-high, you can wait the extra hour.

You know what else I’m going to do over the holidays? I’m going to read at least one book. I used to enjoy doing that before I tried to have kids, see my husband periodically, and write all the words into new books. I’m going to pick out something awesome, probably fluffy, and enjoy the crap out of it.

That’s my 2017 Holiday Manifesto. Who’s with me?