Barb’s guide to surviving Christmahannukwanzadan Solstice….You’re welcome
#6: The Office Party. (here)
#5: Waiting in lines. (here)
#4: Visiting Santa. (here)
#3: Mall Christmas Music (here)
#2: Presents (for writers, of course!)
It’s been another tough year for writers. Sure, we
tell lies about our imaginary friends make up stories, but it really works best if our worst fears stay within their 85K word count instead of becoming POTUS.
Frankly, as the holidays approach this year, that special writer in your life needs more from you than pretending (again) to read their book or even buying it on Amazon. (Buying it yet again if you’re their mom.) They need you to go beyond reminding them about personal hygiene, putting on pants before they go out, or if they’ve been arguing with their characters out loud. (Again.)
Right now, your special writer needs some love. And what better time to show you care than the holiday season? Luckily, there are a lot of absolutely senseless gifts to gladden the heart of any writer. Last year I offered writerly-gift suggestions–
Practical gifts are out, of course, because if writers were practical…well, they certainly wouldn’t be writers. [see:It’s (still) not personal… It’s the (writing) business.]
In addition to all those mentioned in last year’s writers gifts post here, I’ve got a few more essentials.
- Peace and Quiet. There isn’t a writer alive who doesn’t
want to scream “STFU World!”express their desire for some version of the Cone of Silence. Until science catches up to TV though, you might try getting your writer away from it all. If you think outside the grid, peace might actually be cheaper than you might expect—
“Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.”—Ogden Nash.
Inspiration and comfort comes in many forms. Some are very good.
Some are good and quick.
- Cool Tech. You know you want it.
- The well-dressed writer. Mwa-ha-ha-ha. Okay, there are a metric ton of T-shirts and other apparel items bearing writerly admonitions. But let’s face it. One of the enormous advantages of being a writer is that you never have to get dressed up. Or get dressed, for that matter. If any writers get up, pull on a clean and pressed outfit, and do their hair before they sit down to write…well, I don’t know them, but I do hope their new live-in lover lasts past that first week, because I’m pretty sure the grooming won’t. So instead I’ll add in a few de rigeur grammar nazi items, and a baby outfit because you can never start their programming too young.
- Stocking stuffers. If your writer
has been very good pretty goodhasn’t actually been arrested this year:
- Genre-specific. —
For the historical fiction writers plus general literary boo-boos:
For your favorite horror writer:
Of course, there is a fabulous gift that every writer dreams of but may be too shy to ask for themselves. It’s the one thing that every person they know could do for them. It’s easy, and (in these days of below-subsistence-level book pricing) it’s even cheap. You can buy their book, read it, and then—here comes the gift part—write a review. Just tick off some stars, say a few words about almost anything at all (but the book is a good place to start) and you’re done. You don’t have to write a gift tag or wrap anything. Believe me, your writer will think it’s the best present you could ever give. (Unless you happen to be on the nominating committee for the Booker prize, of course. In that case, you might want to go with the two best words ever written.)
What’s the best gift for writers you’ve ever given or received?
[NOTE FROM BARB: Please come back over the next few days for the number one reason that the holiday season sucks. Ho Ho.]
BLURB: The 12 Slays of Christmas, a twelve volume set by
Have Yourself a Merry Cozy Mystery Christmas!
A 12-book, Christmas-themed, boxed set with Recipes!
We’ve got twelve new, never-before published, Christmas-themed cozy mysteries in a boxed set from twelve cozy authors! Holiday murder and mischief abound, but not to worry we’ve got our share of amateur sleuths!
And to make everyone’s holidays bright and merry, the authors of The 12 Slays of Christmas, in addition to sharing our Christmas whodunit stories with our readers, are donating the proceeds from our boxed set to an animal rescue shelter. C’mon! Buy a book, rescue a dog! (or cat!)
Can’t you just feel Christmas in the air? So, put on your winter mittens, dust off your holiday recipes, start humming those carols, and have yourself a Merry Christmas with a little murder, a whole lot of fun, and a gift of love to our cozy pet partners in crime solving!
What’s in the Boxed Set:
Abby L. Vandiver – Baby, it’s Cold Outside
Judith Lucci – The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year
Amy Vansant – Stollen Time
Colleen Mooney – Death by Rum Balls
Amy Reade – The Worst Noel
Nell Goddin – The Case of the Curious Biscuit
Colleen Helme – Devil in a Black Suit
Kim Hunt Harris – Frankincense, Gold and Murder
Larissa Reinhart – A View to a Chill
Cindy Bell – Christmas Chocolates and Crimes
Summer Prescott – Home for the Holidays
Kathryn Dionne – Murder at the Holiday Bazaar
Bonus – Recipes from the Authors.
And we love hearing from our readers, so stop by our website at 12slaysofchristmas.com and see what we’re up to. You can find out more about the authors, our 12-book boxed set, and how you can donate to a rescue shelter.
My Review: 5 out of 5 stars for The 12 Slays of Christmas, a twelve volume set by
I have to admit the truth. I haven’t read every one of the twelve full length cozy mysteries included in this delightful holiday-themed set. But the ones I’ve finished so far are absolutely perfect for curling up for a long winter’s read even if the weather outside isn’t frightful. The quality varies, as do the themes and settings. But all have been charming so far, with several as absolute standouts. In fact, at the holiday give-away price, you could read one of these books for $.99/£.99 and not only would that give you the other eleven for free, but you’d get the holiday recipies as a bonus. So I’ll just mention two that I particularly enjoyed, and urge each of you to help yourself to hours of cozy mysteries, and help needy dogs and cats as well.
- The Worst Noel by Amy Reade. I’ve been a fan of Amy Reade’s writing since her atmospheric gothic, Secrets of Hallstead House. In her contribution to the collection, Amy gives us a letter-perfect cozy mystery. Wikipedia defines a cozy mystery as “…a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.” True to the definition, sex, profanity, and violence are “behind the door” and only gently referenced. Reluctant sleuth Lily Carlsen is a single mother of two young teens who has spent years building her reputation as a successful jewelry designer and shop owner in her small Colorado town. She’s counting on the holiday sales season, so the the last thing she needs is to stumble over a dead body in her shop on Black Friday—especially when the victim is another shop owner who had been arguing with her. With mounting threats from her past, danger to her family, and her growing attraction to a new man with secrets of his own, Lily faces the worst Christmas of her life.
- A View to a Chill by Larissa Reinhart. It took me a few chapters to figure out what was going on in this nonstop rollercoaster hilarious tale. Author Larissa Reinhart gives no quarter to anyone who hasn’t already been following the two protagonists of her ongoing mystery series, Maizie Albright Star Detective and Cherry Tucker Mysteries. But if you love southern settings with plenty of sweet tea and eccentric characters, the meetup of these two heroines is epic. Not only did I race through the pages, but I immediately headed over to Amazon to download the first book in the series.
This collection really is the best kind of holiday present. All of these authors have donated their creativity and efforts to make The 12 Slays of Christmas absolutely entertaining, and also to help needy shelter pets. They deserve more stars than I have to give.
**I received this book from the publisher or author to facilitate an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
- Book Title: The 12 Slays of Christmas, a twelve volume set by
- Genre: Cozy Mystery Collection
- Publisher: Media Web Publishing, Inc.; (December 5, 2017)
- Pages: 1357 (!)