Franki Amato from “Rosolio Red” by Traci Andrighetti
Ciao, y’all. Franki Amato here, coming at you for Christmas from The Crescent City. Because my best friend and boss, Veronica, is giving me time off from my PI job at Private Chicks, I’m staying in NOLA instead of going home to Houston for the holidays. What I’m not planning to do—watch my landlady, Glenda, dance in the senior stripper revue “Let It Show, Let It Show, Let It Show” at Madame Moiselle’s on Bourbon Street. What I am planning to do—cook up a special present for my sugarplum, Bradley (hint: It’s not a fruitcake!). Anyway, my mom’s calling, so I’ve gotta run. I sure hope everything’s okay with the family . . .
Aunt Stella from “Christmas, Spies & Dead Guys” by Jennifer Fischetto
Since I’ve been dead, I can’t enjoy the holidays like I used to. No more extra spiced eggnog or my sister’s awful, mushy asparagus. I guess the last one is a plus. I don’t mind too much though. Now I get my jollies in other ways. Like hiding the silverware right before dinner or putting rocks in my brother-in-law’s stocking. It’s the little things that make this ghost chuckle.
Amy Ridley from “Christmas Canapés & Sabotage” by Janel Gradowski
I’m Amy Ridley. I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life, so I’ve dealt with lots of cold weather. One of my favorite ways to stay warm is with a mug of hot chocolate. One of the simplest ways to make this yummy treat is to warm milk over low heat then stir in chunks of chocolate candy bars, like Hershey or Dove, until melted. You can customize it by adding in things like cinnamon, vanilla extract, a shot of espresso or even a bit of rum. Pour into a mug and enjoy!
Ambrose Tate from “A (Gingerbread) Diorama of Death” by Gin Jones
Call me Tate. I’m a retired lawyer, although my landlord Helen Binney keeps ignoring the “retired” part of it, dragging me into murder investigations. I’ve been thinking about inviting her to Christmas dinner with my extended family. Otherwise, I’ll spend the whole day worrying that she’ll get herself into trouble. On the other hand, I have to consider whether she’ll bring that trouble with her. Most people could safely enjoy a holiday event, but Helen couldn’t even judge a gingerbread house contest recently without almost getting herself killed. Maybe I could hire a bodyguard. Not for her. For my family.
Jamie Winters from “Motion for Mistletoe” by Kelly Rey
My daily life doesn’t change all that much during the holiday season. It’s still glamour all the time: traffic jams, layaway, and to-do lists. Especially to-do lists, memorializing things I’ll never find time to do or money to buy, or even my most heartfelt wishes, like a driver’s license for Maizy or a laundry accident that leaves Curt shirtless. Maybe it’s not my heart involved in that one.
Christmas wishes are the granddaddy of them all, and my wish this year especially is for peace, for you and yours, and for everyone. Happy holidays.
Bronwyn Sinclair from “Sleighed at Castle Rock” by Anne Marie Stoddard
Hey, y’all–Bronwyn Sinclair here with a major case of the humbugs. Amelia is out of town, and I’m helping Kat run a Christmas themed music festival and Battle of the Bands competition at Castle Rock–in July. My elf costume is itchy, the eggnog is curdling, and now someone’s slipped mistletoe in one of the judge’s drinks. It looks like it’s up to me to catch the culprit and send them jingle bell rockin’ all the way to jail before the festival is ruined. What would Ame and Kat do without me?
Barb Jackson from “The Blonde Before Christmas,” by Anna Snow
I’m Barb Jackson. Christmas is my favorite time of the year, the snow, the decorations, giving gifts, murder. . .
Okay, so the murder part isn’t exactly part of Christmas, but when you’re a private investigator, you never know what’s going to pop up of any given day. It just so happens that last Christmas, my best friend Kelly and I discovered the dead body of the local mall Santa. Let me tell you, that was one case I’ll never forget. . .
Tessie King from “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by T. Sue VerSteeg
Holidays are always shared with family. Unless I find myself frozen, quite literally, in my work. A raging ice storm and a packed house of cranky patrons stuck with me at the Royal Palace wasn’t exactly how I’d pictured my first Christmas at the helm. There just weren’t enough apple-tinis to go around. I was at least comforted to know that my BFFs were stuck with me, along with one hot, handsome snowboarder. Plans for a festive party to thaw out the frozen Christmas spirit get shoved to the backburner when someone tries to kill me by locking me outside in the storm. I suddenly found myself hot on the trail, you know, once I was able to move again. Was it wrong that I found a silver lining when the ruckus brought the hunky Fed back to town? Enjoy an apple-tini for us! Or two.
Cozy Christmas Shorts is a holiday short story collection, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, September 2016.
Eleven holiday themed cozy mystery short stories by New York Times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors! Short holiday bites perfect for enjoying while waiting in holiday lines or binge-reading over a cup of hot cocoa.
**The authors are donating a portion of proceeds from this collection to Toys for Tots!**
# # # # # # # # # # #
About the authors
Traci Andrighetti is an enthusiast of luscious Italian liqueurs, risqué Italian recipes, and embarrassing family encounters, all of which informed the writing of her holiday story.
Jennifer Fischetto writes while staring at the multi-colored lights on her tree and envisioning snarky ghosts.
Janel Gradowski has spent almost every Christmas Eve stuffing herself with holiday treats at her family’s Christmas parties. The experiences provided some of the inspiration for her story
Gin Jones loves gingerbread, mysteries and cold weather, all of which inspired her holiday story.
Kelly Rey loves the first snow and the coziness of a long winter evening spent by the faux fireplace with a good book.
Anne Marie Stoddard loves holiday music and drinking cranberry mojitos that aren’t poisoned with mistletoe. Like Bronwyn, she hates itchy elf costumes and curdled egg nog.
Anna Snow is a wife, mom, lipstick junkie, and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Barb Jackson Mysteries.
T. Sue VerSteeg absolutely loves the glisten of fresh snow on Christmas morning. But it needs to be gone by the next day and replaced by sand, sun, and 80 degree temps. A Midwestern girl can dream, right?
All comments are welcomed.
Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a digital copy of your choice of any one book published by Gemma Halliday Publishing and written by one of the Cozy Christmas Shorts authors. The giveaway ends December 25, 2016. Good luck everyone!