Let Grab a Cup of Tea and Get Cozy with Babs Emodi!

Babs has written several books on sewing and now is stitching together a cozy Christmas crime that will keep you trying to unravel the clues to solve the crime along with her characters, the Seadside Sewists.

Let it Sew, Let it Sew, Let it Sew                                  by Babs Emodi

Valerie Rankin and the Seaside Sewists just want to sew for Christmas, but until they find a killer, the buttonholes and zippers will have to wait. Who knew there were so many secrets in Gasper’s Cove Nova Scotia?

What quirky Christmas tradition does your character do every year?

Every year Valerie Rankin puts a carrot and a glass of ginger ale out on her coffee table for Santa and his reindeer. She used to do this with her dad when she was little, and later with her own children. This year was her first Christmas on her own. The dog ate the carrot, drank the ginger ale, and chewed a hole in the plastic cup.

What was your favourite or most memorable gift you got as a child?

My favourite gift was a treadle sewing machine I got when I was fourteen. My father had gone back to school that year. I am sure money was too tight for a real sewing machine. My mother had the man across the street paint it; he covered it with flowers. Beautiful machine. I still have it.

Can you share an enticing (50 words or less) snippet that isn’t in the blurb?

“If my hunch was right, that pair in there had made me, and the whole village, suffer for no good reason. I found the level of deception hard to take in, even if I only knew half the story, although the way it looked to me, as I lurched across the parking lot to the well of the basement door, half the story was bad enough.”

What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

My favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas. Of course. I so admire the skills of the costume designers who used the same fabrics to make two totally different outfits for Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney. Vera-Ellen’s dresses have high necklines, covering her thin frame, and Clooney’s are cut low, and on the bias, to flatter her hourglass figure. Very clever.

How does this story connect with your other books or series? Since both Valerie Rankin and I have both only recently returned to Gasper’s Cove, this is the first in a series. Expect to hear more from the Seaside Sewists.

Meet the Mysterious Ava Mallory

Ava Mallory

I hope you are starting to catch the holiday buzz. I know I am! (Hallmark, bring it on)
Ava is next on our list of authors that have written a Christmas Cozy for the Anthology, Clues, Christmas Trees and Corpses

Rebel Without a Claus            by Ava Mallory

Traveling nurse Mercy Mares is looking forward to spending a quiet holiday season at home. Unfortunately, her favorite curmudgeon and former neighbor has volunteered her to help with the annual Christmas Jamboree.

Within hours of learning she has been pegged to play Mrs. Claus with her least favorite person reprising his role as Jolly Old St. Nick. After a heated exchange at a committee meaning, Franklin “Claus” McGee vanishes, and all eyes are on her.

Mercy prides herself on being able to think on her feet, but will those skills help her locate Santa Claus and clear her name before anything else goes horribly wrong?

What quirky Christmas tradition does your character do every year?

Mercy and Nubbin, her favorite curmudgeon, exchange gifts but in the traditional way. Nubbin will deny it if asked. He doesn’t want people to know he’s a softy and Mercy doesn’t want to embarrass him with a big show, so they hide each other’s gifts in odd places. The gifts he gives her leave her scratching her head. They’re odd things at first but as time passes, she comes to understand why he gave it to her. For instance, one year he gave her a box of nails. He hid them in her winter coat. While she was following clues to catch a thief, the suspect caught on to her. She searched her coat pocket for her phone and found the gift-wrapped box of nails. She sprinkled them all over the floor. The suspect stepped on them and injured his foot. He stopped chasing her. That’s a great gift!

What was your favorite or most memorable gift as a child?

My grandmother gave us new handmade blankets for Christmas every year. I still many of them. Those that became tattered, I used to make quilts for my kids.

Can you share an enticing (50 words or less) snippet that isn’t in the blurb?

“So what if he falls asleep every five minutes! Let him do what he wants. As long as he’s not bothering you, what difference does it make?” Nubbin asked. “But he’s in my bathroom. On my toilet. Sans pants.” Nubbin shrugged. “Hmm, you’re right. You should do something about that.”

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

My answer always raises eyebrows, but here goes… My favorite Christmas movie is Remember the Night starring Fred MacMurry and Barbara Stanwyck. I believe it’s from the 30s or 40s. It has everything: crime, comedy, redemption, and heartache. (I’m a classic movie buff.)

How does this story connect with your other books or series? This is a companion novella to my longest cozy series – the Mercy Mares Mysteries. It features Nubbin, a fan favorite, and my favorite amateur sleuth.

It’s my turn, and that’s just ackward!

Victoria LK Williams

The Toy Puzzle by Victoria LK Williams

The toys are gone!

All the toys the town has gathered for the local toy drive have disappeared without a clue. Leigh-Ann sets out to catch a thief and make sure the kids have a merry Christmas. Clues and gossip are easy to find at the Tattletale Café!

What quirky Christmas tradition does your character do every year?

Since this series is set in Florida, Christmas looks different than the pretty snow-covered postcard pictures. And that also means the activities are a bit different too. Two of the traditions Leigh-Ann looks forward to are parades; one is a boat parade and the other a golf cart parade. The boat/golfcarts are decorated for the holidays and in the evening, they join in the appropriate parade to show off and compete for first prize.

What was your favourite or most memorable gift you got as a child?

A barbie fashion show. What I remember most is we were not home in NY for Christmas; we had come to FL to visit my aunt and uncle. My brother and I were so scared Santa wouldn’t find us! But he did (we even got a telegram from Santa to tell us to be good and he would be there on Christmas eve). But back to the gift-I can remember my dad and uncle spending hours on Christmas day putting it together and hearing some rather nasty words about Barbie and all her stuff! But they finally got it together-and it lasted about half an hour before falling apart!

Can you share an enticing (50 words or less) snippet that isn’t in the blurb?

Liz and Nora looked at each other. It was clear they hadn’t thought beyond the fact that the toys were stolen. But on instinct, they both began making plans for what needed to be done next. These women weren’t the head of committees for nothing. They spent the next few moments making notes and plans for how they could start collecting toys so that not all the children would go without. But while their thoughts were going on how to be constructive and replace the missing toys, my thoughts went down a different path. I wondered what could be done to find the missing toys and bring the heartless person to justice.

What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

I have to cheat! I have loved How the Grinch stole Christmas since I was a kid. For me that was the official start of the holiday season. My son loved it too (year-round-you’d never believe how many times I read that story to him! My new favorite is The Christmas Train. It is a new one, Hallmark I believe, taken from the book of the same title by David Baldacci.

How does this story connect with your other books or series? This story is the first of 6 novellas in the Tattletale Café Series. Like all my cozies, it takes place in South Florida, USA.

Click to pre-order your copy. Don’t forget, the book isn’t available after January 1st, 2022

Time to Chat with Joann Keder

Grab a cup of coffee for our morning chat with Joann. It’s such a great way to start the day. Joann is also part of the Cozy Christmas Anthology, Clues, Christmas Trees and Corpses.

Marry Christmas                                                        by Joann Keder

Chloe is living her worst nightmare: planning a Christmas wedding for her impossible cousin, Nova. When she and her friend, Doris hear there’s been a murder at the wedding venue, they’re determined to find the killer before Nova’s big day. The more they dig, the more they are convinced the killer is a member of the wedding party who may kill again. The clock is ticking for them to solve the mystery before anyone else is killed!

What quirky Christmas tradition does your character do every year?

Doris uses a blow torch to caramelize a nice Christmas ham. Not the kind designed for kitchen use, but the one her late husband used while restoring their ’78 Pinto.

What would be a great gift for your character?

Doris would love a fancy “mixin'” bowl so she could create goodies at home when she wasn’t at work. Chloe would definitely enjoy a trip somewhere tropical where she could sip on drinks with little umbrellas while she reads a bodice-ripper novel by the pool.

Speaking as your character, what is your (their) favourite thing about Christmas?

(Doris) “Never did enjoy the holidays much until Chloe and her dad began inviting me over. Now, we do a themed holiday dinner. This year is my turn to choose, so I’m going with a Western theme. Can’t wait to see how my holiday jello turns out when I mold it in a boot!”

Your story is set in Piney Falls, Oregon. Why did you choose that as the setting for your book?

It’s a fictional town used in “Piney Falls Mysteries” on the Oregon Coast. During summer months, it would be a very scenic place to get married. I thought it would be a great way to marry (see what I did there?) my Piney Falls series and Pepperville Stories by bringing an Iowa character to Piney Falls for a wedding.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Oooh, I love this topic! My goal is to have one of my books made into a streaming series, so here’s what you can expect to see: Doris is played by Kathy Bates, Chloe is played by Emma Watson, and the larger-than-life character of Nova would have to be played by Anya Taylor-Joy. A girl can dream!

Click to pre-order your copy. Don’t forget, the book isn’t available after January 1st, 2022

Let’s Hear from Patti Larsen!

It’s time to find out a bit more about the authors who are involved in our Christmas Cozy Antholoy.

Patti Larsen wrote the story Deck the Halls and Murder
The annual Christmas parade and tree lighting is interrupted when a corpse—rather than Santa—takes center stage. With her father’s investigation into the original crime under question, Fiona Fleming pursues the truth while trying to hang onto her holiday spirit, all without spoiling her chances at a date with Sheriff Crew Turner.

Speaking as your character, what is your (their) favourite thing about Christmas?

Fiona Fleming has been away from her home town for over a decade, so the opportunity to spend the holidays with her family, to rekindle her love for Christmas while decking the halls of her inherited bed and breakfast has become her new favorite thing.

If you had to describe your character in three words, what would those three words be?

Stubborn, impulsive and hilarious

Your story is set in Reading, Vermont. Why did you choose that as the setting for your book?

I’ve always loved New England, thanks to trips taken with my family when I was a child. When Fiona told me her hometown was a cute little retreat in a small mountain valley, I jumped at the chance to spend time there (twenty books and counting!).

Can you share an enticing snippet that isn’t in the blurb?

Fiona’s first Christmas home was meant to be delightful, not deadly. But when someone digs up the past—literally—and hangs it for everyone to see on the town’s Christmas tree, finding a body in the boughs (killing her holiday spirit) is the least of her worries.

How does this story connect with your other books or series?

Deck The Halls and Murder falls between books four and five of the Fiona Fleming Cozy Mysteries, covering Fee’s first Christmas back in her old hometown.

Victoria LK Williams

Meet My Co-Authors!! part 2

It’s October first and that means in one month, Clues, Christmas Trees and Corpses will be available for purchase. But I won’t wait…it’s on pre-order now. And after January the book goes away, so don’t miss out.

Need some more incentive to add this Cozy Mystery Anthology to your reading list? Then lets get on with the introductions! Here are the next ten authors and a short blurb about their stories. In random order, let me introduce you to…

The Secret Santa Mystery                                            by R.B. Marshall

Security expert for a British bank by day, horse trainer at night, Izzy Paterson is a multi-tasking, dressage-riding computer whiz with an addiction to strong coffee and a penchant for CSI on Netflix. So when the Secret Santa at her office Christmas party hands her a perplexing riddle, she just can’t ignore the mystery.

Claus of Death                                                             by Moira Bates

Deep in the heart of Texas, where mayhem and mysteries roam—spend the holidays with the people of Baseless. Julia Jane Melvin is forty-something and fierce, and she’s throwing the party of the year in an attempt to get Baseless on the map—literally. She’s even hired “Santa to the Stars,” Ike Cumberland of Muleshoe, Texas. Poppy Price is a rising food-star, so she easily won the bid to cater. People come from miles around for her creations—and she is best friends with Julia’s son—no one else would do. When they promise attendees it will be an evening to remember, they mean it.

Poison and Poinsettias                                                by Aubrey Elle

Instead of enjoining a quiet off-season, Madis Harrah and her landscapers arrange a holiday plant sale just before Christmas. As if that’s not enough chaos, her best friends are due to marry in the old conservatory at the estate. Flowers are delivered, and as Madis and her crew store them near the wedding site, they realize Zarsettia’s Poinsettias has brought something else along—a dead body! Someone has poisoned the owner of the poinsettia farm, and all three employees are suspects. Is there a chance Madis can figure out who the killer is before the Christmas wedding plans come undone?

Malbec and Mistletoe                                                   by Daisy Linh

It’s been a long 12 months for Jasmine Mai, but Christmas is looming, and nothing’s going to ruin the party she’s had planned at her winery, Simpatico Wine Estate. So when her groundskeeper collapses in the middle of her cooking class and is rushed to hospital, closely followed by a slew of other mysterious similar illnesses in the community, something doesn’t feel as Christmas-y as she wishes. While everyone else is juggling Christmas puddings and parties, Jasmine finds herself on a one woman mission to catch what evil is lurking in her town. That is…if it doesn’t catch her first. Join Jasmine in this stand alone Christmas novella set in the world of the Barossa Valley Mysteries and meet the chaotic but loavable charaters who live there.

Peppermint Twist                                                         by Mary B. Barbee

When travel journalist Sophia Adams learns that she has a special Christmas assignment in the small town of Breeze, Washington, she couldn’t be more excited. But after coming close to hitting a young man with her rental car on the way into town, she worries that this might not be the Christmas experience she was expecting.

Convinced that a visit to the Amish bakery the next morning would fix everything, the investigative reporter quickly notices that, despite the delicious treats, there isn’t a whole lot of peace on earth happening in Breeze.

Armed with her camera and pen in hand, Sophia discovers that the small town contains wonderful Christmas lights, spectacular camera shots, edge-of-your-seat action …and a peppermint tea that is simply to die for.

 A Corpse Wrapped in Tinsel                                       by Benedict Brown

When (semi-)famous detective Izzy Palmer is dragged along to a London department store to see Santa by her eccentric best friend, she expects whiny kids and bossy parents, not a dead Mrs Claus wrapped in tinsel. Charged with getting to the truth, Izzy must face off against caroling police officers, the most handsome Father Christmas south of the North Pole and three elves who all claim to be the killer. It’s not the Christmas present she was hoping for, but at least this case comes

The Purloined Poinsettia                                              by Cathy Tully
Christmas is coming, and office manager Larraine Moore is looking forward to her duties on the Decorating Committee at her church when the order of poinsettias is cancelled. Together with her boss, Dr. Susannah Shine, they follow the trail of purloined poinsettias down a candy cane lane of clues that leads to murder.

Rebel Without a Claus                                                  by Ava Mallory

Traveling nurse Mercy Mares is looking forward to spending a quiet holiday season at home. Unfortunately, her favorite curmudgeon and former neighbor has volunteered her to help with the annual Christmas Jamboree.

Within hours of learning she has been pegged to play Mrs. Claus with her least favorite person reprising his role as Jolly Old St. Nick. After a heated exchange at a committee meaning, Franklin “Claus” McGee vanishes, and all eyes are on her.

Mercy prides herself on being able to think on her feet, but will those skills help her locate Santa Claus and clear her name before anything else goes horribly wrong?

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder                      by Wendy Meadows

Carol finds herself at the center of a crime she did not commit in a town she is a stranger to. She must work with the Scrooge-incarnate Chief of Police, Brogan Peterson, to find out who killed William, a storeowner, before anyone else is targeted. Carol is a tough woman, but could her own need for mystery put what is precious to her in the firing line?

The Toy Puzzle                                                            by Victoria LK Williams

The toys are gone! All the toys the town has gathered for the local toy drive have disappeared without a clue. Leigh-Ann sets out to catch a thief and make sure the kids have a merry Christmas. Clues and gossip are easy to find at the Tattletale Café!

There is the first ten quickie blurbs for ten of the stories! Just a word of warning to my USA readers; there are several international writers in the anthology, and they may write in “the Queen’s English” so don’t be thrown of by a few spelling differances-they are correct. Below you can see the complete list of Authors and their Christmas Cozies. Have you read any of their other work?

 A Corpse Wrapped in Tinsel                                      by Benedict Brown

Cards, Capers and Christmas Miracles                        by Emily Selby

Christmas is Canceled                                                 by Carly Winter

Christmas in Cherry Hills                                             by Paige Sleuth

Claus of Death                                                             by Moira Bates

Deck The Halls and Murder                                         by Patti Larsen

Ho, Ho, Homicide!                                                        by MP Smith

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder                       by Wendy Meadows

Jingle Bones                                                                  by Rosie Meleady

Let it Sew, Let it Sew, Let it Sew                                   by Babs Emodi

Malbec and Mistletoe                                                   by Daisy Linh

Marry Christmas                                                          by Joann Keder

Peppermint Twist                                                         by Mary B. Barbee

Poison and Poinsettias                                                 by Aubrey Elle

Rebel Without a Claus                                                 by Ava Mallory

Sleigh Bells Wing                                                         by Hillary Avis

The Four Chickens of Christmas                                  by Beth McElla

The Purloined Poinsettia                                              by Cathy Tully

The Secret Santa Mystery                                            by R.B. Marshall

The Toy Puzzle                                                            by Victoria LK Williams

Keep an eye out for the next post: each of the authors will be answering you and getting to know you.

Victoria LK Williams