Don't Get Mad, Get EvenThe cold is slithering inside my coat, winding around the tiny gaps by the buttons, crawling up my sleeves, searching, searching for bare skin. Brrr. Shivering, I stamp my feet on the snowy trail and pull my earmuffs closer to my head, trying both to warm up and—even more important—to drown out the caroling that seems to float on the wind up here.

It’s not easy being an elf who hates the cold, hates Christmas, heck, hates everything about Christmas Town. It’s especially not easy being the prodigal elf, returning home from the great big world out there. But that’s who I am, Robbie the elf, and I’m about to apply for a job at Santa’s workshop.

To be honest, I’m a little nervous about the interview. Chances are, they’ll hire me without doing any background check. Because I’m an elf. Because it’s the busy season, two months before Christmas. Because, ultimately, they know me.

Or at least they think they do. They know the Robbie who was a mediocre student as a teenager, who didn’t pay much attention in elf class, who was itching to see the world. But they don’t know who I became in that outside world. Robbie the burglar. Robbie the ex-con. Robbie the elf bent on revenge.

I really hope I’m right and they don’t check on me before giving me a job, because I need a job in Santa’s factory in order to find my old girlfriend. After I got out of the joint, I wanted to thank her for squealing on me to the cops. But I’m no detective. Couldn’t find her anywhere. But Santa will know where she is. He can find anyone. I just need an in, and this job will give it to me.

I pull open the door to the workshop’s human resources office, gag as the smell of gingerbread assaults me, and head inside, hoping for the best. What happens next? You’ll need to read my story to find out.

Barb Goffman is giving away one (1) copy of DON’T GET MAD, GET EVEN. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the author. Contest ends June 17; U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Barb Goffman is the author of a bunch of crime stories, mostly about families, collected in the recently released book Don’t Get Mad, Get Even (Wildside Press). Barb’s short stories focus on families because the people you know best are the ones you’ll most likely want to kill. Or, at least that’s been her experience. Don’t Get Mad, Get Even contains fifteen stories, ranging from funny to dark, from amateur sleuth to police procedural. It has all of Barb’s award-nominated stories and five new ones, including one about Robbie the elf (does he get the job?).

Barb has been nominated for the Agatha Award five times, the Anthony Award twice, and the Macavity Award once. Her story “The Lord Is My Shamus” (available in Don’t Get Mad, Get Even) is currently up for the Anthony Award, to be given out at the Bouchercon mystery convention in September. In her spare time, Barb serves as a co-editor of the Chesapeake Crimes series (Wildside Press) and as program chair of the Malice Domestic mystery convention.

She’s an avid reader and a doting mom of a very cute dog. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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