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.

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