Tag Archives: Jennifer Fischetto

Christmas with Cozy Mystery Characters by Gin Jones

cozyshortsFranki 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!**

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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!

A Day in the Life with Rosa Mancini by Jennifer Fischetto

One Garish GhostHi, I’m Rosa Mancini—matriarch of my wonderful family, co-owner of Mancini Deli (over on Park Place in South Shore Beach), and murderabilia collector. Yes, I’m aware that’s bizarre, but let me explain.

My husband is a regular man. He isn’t much affected by life’s morbidity. Well, except for what the rest of us place at his feet, but for the most part, he goes about his day slicing meats, taking orders, and making sandwiches. Then there’s our middle child, our son. The responsible one.

Please don’t tell my two daughters I said that.

Our son graduated college and entered the police academy. He’s currently an officer and just bought his own house. We’re very proud of him. My eldest daughter works at the deli part-time, is married, and has given us the sweetest granddaughter. Well, she’s a teenager now, so maybe ‘sweetest’ is the most accurate term on most days.

Then there’s our youngest daughter, Gianna.

When she was eight-years-old, she fell in the deli’s walk-in freezer, hit her head on the floor, and passed out. It was so busy that day we didn’t realize she was missing. When we found her, she was so cold and stiff, I feared the worst. According to the paramedics, she died for one minute and thirty-two seconds in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital. To this day, eighteen years later, I still shudder when I think how we almost lost our little girl. But everything turned out fine. She had a mild concussion and sprang back immediately.

There was one change though. Gianna could suddenly see and communicate with ghosts. And for reasons we’re still not sure of, the ghosts pass to the other side through the freezer. She stopped talking about them to her father, siblings, and me some years ago. I believe she was trying to spare us the weirdest of it all, but I know she still sees them. Luckily Gianna has a great sense of humor and can handle it all.

As for me, I collect murderabilia—items that once belonged to a murder victim or their killer. Yes, I realize it sounds like a gruesome hobby. It all started years ago when my sister, Stella, died. I was convinced she’d been murdered while taking a bath, but it turned out that she simply slipped getting out, hit her head on the edge of the tub, and slipped under the standing water. It started a fascination with me though.

Now don’t look at me like that. I don’t wish people dead. And I’d never want to see a bloody body, but their possessions intrigue me. The things they leave behind. I used to collect items locally, but when my husband bought us a computer, it opened up a world of collectibles. Online I’m knows as Clarice. Yes, I’m quite proud of myself for picking that name. I am very grateful I’ve never come across a real life Hannibal Lecter though.

As for the family as a whole… Well, we like to scare one another. It’s not malicious. It’s all in good fun. The kids love it especially. One will stand outside the bathroom door, nose pressed against the wood, wait for the other to open, and then whisper, “Boo.” Just the other day, my husband and I were out, but my eldest and granddaughter were at our home. Our son snuck inside and down to the basement. He screamed at the same time he blew the circuit breaker, shutting down all the lights. My daughter had a few choice words for him, but my granddaughter laughed and thought it was fun. I’m not sure when we started this tradition, but being scared sure gets your adrenaline pumping.

So next time you stop in Mancini Deli, if you hear a scream, it’s probably one of my children scaring another. And if you see Gianna talking to no one, just ignore her. Of course, if you happen to come across any murder items, you know where to find me.

You can read more about Rose in One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam, the first book in the new “Dead by the Numbers” mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 26 for the chance to win a signed print copy of ONE GARISH GHOST & BLUEBERRY PEACH JAM (US residents only, please) or an e-book (open to everyone)–winner’s choice.

Jennifer Fischetto is the National Bestselling Author of the Jamie Bond Mysteries. Unbreakable Bond, her adult debut novel, has received a National Reader’s Choice award nomination. She writes dead bodies for ages 13 to six-feet-under. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, singing (off-key), and watching an obscene amount of TV. She also adores trees, ice cream, thunderstorms, things that sparkle, and horror movies—the scarier the better. She lives in Western Mass with her family and is currently working on her next project.

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