Sharing My Christmas Reads

I love this post.

Joanne Guidoccio

christmasreading2After surviving a grueling (but gratifying) November where I focused exclusively on my NaNoWriMo project, I needed to destress and start preparing for Christmas. To get into the mood of the season, I decided to look for Christmas novellas that can be easily read in one sitting.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to look too far.

Over the past year, six author friends–two Canadian and four American–have released delightful reads that transported me from the west coast of Canada, across the American Midwest and Southwest, to the eastern seaboard.

biggarnovellaWill a Christmas wish give a lonely author a family?

Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.

Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that…

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A Highland Ghost and a Viking Ghost for Christmas

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Jo-Ann’s December Newsletter

Did the Battle Butler do it? – Xmas Whodunit Plans Part 6

Introducing  Hemmings, The Battle Butler

Tom Hemmings  is a specialized butler. He runs a one-man catering / bodyguard service called “Hemmings,” which caters to small events, such as The Murder Club’s Xmas dinner.

Handsome in a manicured way, and outrageously cocky, he provides the latest appetizers with a side of surveillance, par none. The question is: who hired him for protection? And why? What is his relationship with the murder victim Damien Black?

And yes, he does resemble a famous person.

2 truths and a lie: ???  Anyone want to create some?



The Christmas Whodunit Party Series:

Part 1 – Setting and Victim – small town, Murder Book Club dinner, 

Part 2 – The Femme Fatale – Sadie Sugarland

Part 3 – The Other Writer – Reginald Van Froth

Part 4 – The Nosy Neighbor – Agatha Weebly

Part 6 – The Battle Butler – Hemmings

To recap we now have a setting, a victim (Damian Black),  femme fatale (Sadie Sugarland)  writer (Reginald Van Froth)  nosy neighbor (Agatha Weebly) and butler (Hemmings).


Want a 99 cent (USD) Christmas smile?

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I Messed Up Christmas – Release Day

A Christmas story sure to make you smile, for only 99 cents USD.

~magical mayhem for the holidays~

Single mom Abby Jenkins runs a detective agency out of a haunted teahouse in the Pacific Northwest town of Sunset Cove, and while she finds tackling the usual supernatural suspects easy, she can’t face Christmas. She wants this one to be perfect for her kids. With a yuletide to-do list longer than Main Street, a jealous Viking-ghost boyfriend with existential issues, and unreliable witch powers, she’s in a twisted-tinsel, holiday funk, when the mayor asks her to find a missing angel. The statue, which sat on top of the Christmas tree in the town square for the last hundred years, symbolizes all that’s good about the holidays: love, peace and joy. Abby drops everything to look for the stolen angel.

Will she find Christmas along the way?

More Information

For more information about the launch and review contest, check out my newsletter here.

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Crab Dip to Die For- Murder Party Planning – Part 5

In a large area set up four stations for appetizers to encourage the murder party guests to mingle. During the first part of the evening, appetizers will be served.

Crab Dip to Die For

This is one of my favorite appies.


1 pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonaise

1 4 oz. cans crab (they shrimp works well too, but I haven’t tried it)

1 jar tangy seafood cocktail sauce (I use Cross and Blackwells)

2 cups shreeded mozzarella cheese, diced tomatoes, green onion and green pepper


  1. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise.
  2. Put the mixture in the bottom of a serving dish.
  3. 3. Layer the seafood on top of this mixture
  4. Cover with the seafood cocktail sauce.
  5. Add cheese.
  6. Add diced veggies.
  7. Enjoy

I received this recipe from a colleague in 1995 and have been using it ever since. I like to serve it with an assortment of crackers.


The Christmas Whodunit Party Series:

Part 1 – Setting and Victim

Part 2 – The Femme Fatale

Part 3 – The Other Writer

Part 4 – The Nosy Neighbor

To recap we now have a setting, a victim (Damian Black), a femme fatale (Sadie Sugarland) a writer (Reginald Van Froth) and the nosy neighbor (Agatha Weebly).

Buy Links:

A Highland Ghost for Christmas

I Messed up Christmas


Crab and appetizer pictures are from Pixabay. Arrangements are done on Canva.

Christmas Whodunit Party – Part 4 – Enter Agatha the Nosy Neighbor #Mondayblogs

I’ll start with the new addition to the party and then I’ll summarize the rest of the party plans.

4 – The Nosy Neighbor – Agatha Weebly

Agatha Weebly is an enlderly, spinster who knits knockers for the local hospital and is obsessed with Agatha Christie mysteries. One of the founding members of the The Murder Club she prides herself in knowing everyone’s secrets.

2 Truths and a Lie

Truth: She hates Damian Black’s books. To her mind they have too much sex and violence and too little well honed mystery to be allowed on a book shelf.

Lie:  hmmmm

Truth: Her real name is not Agatha.

My Questions to You:

What is Agatha Weebly’s first lie?

What is her motive for killing Damian? After all no one would commit murder, just because they didn’t like the story:)

Murder Party Summary to Date:


Christmas 2017, small seaside town in the Pacific Northwest, in the home of a member of the Murder Book Club


1 -Damian Black (Murder Victim)

He kinda looks like this guy.

Internationally acclaimed, mystery author Damian Black , a middle-aged, trust-baby, boomer with an insatiable appetite for fine wine, expensive toys and loose women is found dead in the attic with a pate knife in his chest. His book, The Secrets of Deadman’s Island, was September’s choice for The Murder Book Club.

A scar runs from the corner of his right brow down to his chin, giving his otherwise movie-star-perfect face an air of rugged masculinity. When asked about it, he lies.  Sometimes he tells a story about an African safari. Other times it’s a stand-off with Russian spies. He’s a writer and he’s good at making up stuff.

He also lies about his finances. Though his income is large and he appears wealthy, the truth is his appetites are larger than his bank account and creditors are always hunting for him.

An immaculate dresser, he styles himself after his favorite detective that is the star of his most successful mystery series.

When he’s nervous he lisps.

2 – Sadie Sugarland (the Femme Fatale)

Sinfully seductive Sadie Sugarland is loved by all men and hated by their wives and girlfriends. With a reputation that would make romance writer blush, she sashays her way around social gatherings marking her territory with broken hearts. Some say she once was a high class Madame in Paris. Others say she is the spawn of the devil. Whatever her background, one thing is clear, Sadie knows all the pillow secrets in town.

Sadie’s 2 Truths and a Lie Card

(The 2 truths and a lie cards are used when party members mingle.)

Truth: Sadie has piercings in her most of her private places and a tattoo of a fox on her lower back.

Truths: Sadie …

from Brent: Sadie is a corporate spy, or any other information she can sell for money. Her pillow talk has been extremely profitable.

from Anna: Other truth – Sadie has an alternate persona. That of wife and mother Susan Smith. She’s head of the PTA and has a girl scout troop. Her daughter is also involved in dance, piano lessons and martial arts. Her son is a computer geek, a Tai Kwon Do student, and a boy scout. Susan has a chocolate chip cookie recipe which she refuses to divulge, wears yoga pants even when she’s not doing her yoga, and complains about the dog that insists on eating garbage and leaving hair all over her furniture. She lives in a pretty yellow house with a white picket fence with her husband Desmond, an air traffic controller who has no idea about her other life.

Lie: Damian Black asked Sadie to marry him.

 3 – Reginald – The Other Writer

Reginald Van Froth is an intellectual wantabe: big on ideas and big on talk, but small on reality. His socks seldom match, but he can yatter about the latest scientific discovery at length and provide footnotes. He’s been a member of The Murder Club since it’s inception and fancies himself as a writer of thriller novels. He’s been working on his first book for six years, and the only person he’s shared his manuscript with is Damien Black, the murder victim.

First Truth: He’s an expert on murder

Brent’s additions:

Second truth: He hasn’t written a word of his own prose. He’s involved, under aliases, in various online writers’ communities, and has access to the work of unpublished authors under the guise of a beta reader. His novel is really an amalgamation of plagiarised content — with character names, locations, and a few other details altered to disguise their work as his own.

Lie: Damien Black was about to demand that his agent take on Van Froth, and write a glowing blurb for the inevitable book jacket.

The Christmas Whodunit Party Series:

Part 1 – Setting and Victim

Part 2 – The Femme Fatale

Part 3 – The Other Writer

Part 4 – The Nosy Neighbor

To recap we now have a setting, a victim (Damian Black), a femme fatale (Sadie Sugarland) a writer (Reginald Van Froth) and the nosy neighbor (Agatha Weebly).

Buy Links:

A Highland Ghost for Christmas

I Messed up Christmas