Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday In Crimson

Congratulations to "Cris", the winner of Patricia's giveaway.  Thank you to all who participated!

Shelby rose with caution, telling herself that as long as she didn’t make any sudden movements, she’d be okay.
            Odd that no one had noticed she’d passed out in this office. She’d heard someone leave, so the party must have ended a short while before. She followed the glow of twinkling colored lights into the main reception area. That they’d been left on at all was curious. The tree was still lit in all its glory. A giant balsamic fur, it was traditionally decorated with the same glass ornaments and icicles, and a gorgeous tree topper that had been used for decades.
            The hallway beyond was dark. Her purse was still in her office or she would have her Smartphone, which had a built-in flashlight. Maybe she should call Edgar Siefert. The older security guard would have a good laugh at her predicament, but she preferred being teased to having her neck broken by a fall down the stairs. The phone—where was it? Shelby could see the bulky outline of the reception desk. Relieved, she was heading straight for it when her foot tangled with something on the floor. She tried to catch herself, but her other foot got caught as well and she flew forward, landing with a jolt on her hands and knees. The room tilted crazily. She shook her head to clear it, then squeezed her eyes shut when pain exploded through her temple. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It took a moment for her equilibrium to adjust.
Crawling around to see what had tripped her, Shelby froze, the breath caught in her throat.
            “Oh, Lord!” she croaked hoarsely, unwilling to believe her eyes. For before her, the Christmas lights danced across a ludicrous scene: Santa Claus lay sprawled on his back next to her, eyes open and staring, mouth slack behind the fake beard and mustache.

            Welcome to HOLIDAY IN CRIMSON, the first of two related holiday books from Entangled Publishing’s Dead Sexy imprint.  NIGHTMARE IN CRIMSON will follow in early December. I, um, took the opportunity to kill Santa twice. A little black humor to contrast with the red and green of the season.
            If you’re thinking I’m a grinch, that I’m a bah-humbug kind of author, you’d be wrong. Christmas has always been a big deal holiday to me. It’s the time of year I see long-lost friends and get to play with all the sparkle and wear all the glitzy I want.
            When I was a kid, I was allergic to everything, including Christmas trees. I remember we had this poor little table fake tree (the fakes weren’t pretty in those days), and Mom and I did everything we could to dress it up and make it look real. And in my heart, I knew that, given the chance, I didn’t care if it killed me – I was going to have a REAL Christmas tree when I grew up.
            And so I did. Not only real pine trees, but parties to decorate them. In the early, lean years, I bought plain bulbs, glitter and glue, and made my friends personalize an ornament each. I still have the ones that didn’t break from...well, let’s just say sometime in the last century :)
            Every year, I would find one special ornament to add to the tree, so eventually, the tree was decorated with memories.
            We write what we know. So my heroine Shelby is Ms. Christmas like me. She decorates trees in this order – lights, ornaments, tinsel (one strand at a time!). But finding Santa dead and thinking if anyone finds out, she’ll be suspect number one, kind of ruins her festive mood. It takes my hero Rand to make her appreciate a very strained holiday season.
            So tell me your holiday memory for a chance to win a digital copy of one of my backlist romantic suspense titles.
            Happy Holidays!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 21st. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.



  1. When we lived in Southeast Asia in my teens, we used to travel to warm & exotic places for the holidays (because, clearly, it was too cold in our subtropical climate, haha)... so I have many a memory of spending Christmas scuba diving, lying on a beach in the Pacific or Indian Ocean, and gorging on some kick-ass hotel Christmas buffet. Good times :).

    1. Ooops, forgot: stalkers00(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. We were in the military and I have memories of bows on the grill odour truck and tiny Christmas trees in our camper when we had to move over the holidays. It was an adventure trying to make holiday seem normal. Trishleroy49 at gmail dot com

  3. So many holiday memories... I loved as a kid waking up and seeing my grandparents in the kitchen. My grandmother would ask me to help and one by one the rest of the family would come in to eat... we then would check our stockings... after we would go and see what was under the tree... later in the day our other relatives would show up and we would have more gift opening followed by an early dinner... I miss those times.
    Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Holidays All!

  4. Cris -- sounds like a tough life :) I've never actually wanted to that FOR Christmas, but after is a different story. Now you have me thinking about a nice Pina Colada :)

    Trish -- I'm pretty weird, I guess, because that actually sounds like fun to me. My late husband and I used to camp. Actually, we met at a camp on Presidents weekend. Then again, that was a girl's camp with bunks. But we had to bring sleeping bags because it was cold. I've always loved the outdoors, even if I'm a city girl, so your adventure seems pretty neat.

    Colleen -- Sounds like you had a big family. I've always wondered what it would be like to have that kind of family experience during the holidays. I'm an only child, my maternal grandmother lived in NYC, and there would have been no way my paternal grandmother would have been cooking in our kitchen. We usually went to her house for Christmas dinner.

    Happy Turkey day, everyone, and remember to give thanks for all the good things in your lives!

  5. Every Holidays, my sisters and I would tell our Mom that we are cooking dinner. We try to cook Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner but always found ourselves on the other side of the kitchen. Every holidays, my mom somehow ended up dominating the kitchen and she liked to complain that she always prepare the holiday dinners. I think for some reasons, although my Mom complains about cooking, I think she loves the craziness of cooking the Holiday dinners.


  6. I like decorating the Christmas tree.


  7. I enjoy Thanksgiving more than I do Christmas. My father died on Christmas morning when I was 8 so it's never been my favorite holiday. Actually Halloween is my favorite. The one thing I do enjoy about the holidays is getting together with my family for a big meal. My mother is 91 so who knows how many more holidays we will all have together so we try to enjoy every day.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  8. Kai -- I can believe your mom loved making holiday dinners. I don't particularly like cooking very often, though I can cook. But I love making holiday dinners. The downside, of course, is that they're a lot of work.

    BN -- I don't have trees anymore, but I loved decorating them when I did.

    Linda -- So sorry to hear that. Getting together with family is the best part of the holiday.