Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Festive Mayhem (+ Giveaway)

If you’re looking for a good mystery with a little holiday twist, look no further. Today I’m delighted to be participating in the FESTIVE MAYHEM Book Blast featuring 10 talented authors with stories of mystery, crime, and suspense with a holiday flair.

◊ Genre: Mystery Anthologies
◊ Publisher: Marla Bradeen (October 26,2020)
◊ eBooks
◊ File Size: 1232 KB
◊ Print Length: 159 Pages


Ten crime writers of color have teamed up to offer you the gift of escape this holiday season. From Christmas crime capers to Thanksgiving thrillers, historical hard-boiled to contemporary cozies, mystery fans of all genres will find something to love in this limited-time collection of exclusive, never-before-published seasonal short stories.

What you’ll find inside:
• “The New Year’s Hex” by Carolyn Marie Wilkins. Carrie McFarland finds her New Year’s plans derailed when a psychic vision pulls the 1920s African American amateur sleuth into someone’s evil scheme.
• “Pipe Dreams” by S.G. Wong. In this hard-boiled Crescent City short story, infatuation and passion drive Minnie Chen straight into danger as she tries to best the City’s most glamorous private detective in a reimagined 1930s-era Chinese Los Angeles.
• “A Christmas Tip” by Elizabeth Wilkerson. A surprise Christmas bonus becomes too tempting for Philadelphia nursing assistant Brianna Byers to resist—even if accepting requires some skillful skirting of the law.
• “The Stranger in the House” by Stella Oni. This London House Mystery prequel stars Elizabeth Ojo, a Nigerian housekeeper at a posh guest house, who finds her Christmas intersecting with that of a mysterious resident in trouble.
• “What Lies Inside” by Kia Dennis. A tormented university professor falls deeper and deeper into a destructive obsession in this harrowing tale of love and longing.
• “A Pub, Bed & Breakfast & A Dead Body” by Forest Issac Jones. A dark past becomes the deadly present when North Carolina police detective Ike Coates and his intrepid young partner are tasked with determining the cause of a suspicious death.
• “A Deadly First” by Delia C. Pitts. Thanksgiving takes a fatal turn when New York private eye SJ Rook finds himself thrust into his first murder case in this darkly atmospheric tale of noir.
• “The Holiday Murder Mélange” by Myra Jolivet. This Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis short story follows the Creole P.I. around the San Francisco Bay Area on her quest to figure out who killed a man outside of her office.
• “Those Holiday Blues” by Jennifer J. Chow. Jasmine, aka “Jazz,” can’t escape the tragic past when an old boyfriend asks to meet on the anniversary of his mother’s death.
• “Holiday Holdup” by Paige Sleuth. In this Cozy Cat Caper Mystery Short, Imogene Little gets tangled up in a Christmas Eve bank robbery orchestrated by none other than Santa Claus himself.

To entice you just a bit more, here's an excerpt for your reading pleasure.  

What Lies Inside 
By Kia Dennis

I WATCHED THE SNOW fall, shimmering against the strings of white lights twisted around lamp posts and coating the Happy Holiday banners still waving days after the New Year. The incongruity of that snowy picture yards in front of me and the stench of urine and garbage that surrounded me, permeating my tweed blazer, did not escape me.

It was the tragedy of love reducing a man of my station and distinction to loitering in a darkened alleyway. Yet, here I stood, waiting for her. Waiting. I’d been waiting for the entirety of my forty-seven years, although I’d only recently realized this truth.

I’d led a life of contentment if not happiness. I could not say I loved my wife, but Muriel, though given to sickliness, was an adequate partner. She tended to our two-bedroom ranch and adorned my arm at faculty functions with all the grace I’d foreseen in the pretty graduate student she’d been ten years earlier.

That chilly final Monday in October, I left my home for campus, irritated that Muriel’s recent malady kept her from making my luncheon for the day. I took the twelve-mile drive as I did each weekday.

My pique subsided as I turned onto the campus road, gliding by the impeccably manicured campus lawns. Tenure had not only bestowed job security but a reserved parking space on the faculty level of the garage. I positioned the sedan between two bright yellow markings and strode briskly from the parking garage to the red brick building that housed the English department lecture halls and offices.

My thoughts traversed the lecture I would give in just a short time. I would not have even noticed her had the greasy haired ruffian on rollerblades not almost run me off the sidewalk.

He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.

Tolstoy. It had happened this way before. The words of the great long-dead author leaping to my mind. I felt the import of the moment profoundly.

She glided down the steps of the science building, dark luminous curls atop her head, a colorful battered backpack slung over her shoulder and jeans faded to white at the knee. She laughed at something the painfully plain girl walking with her said. The sound was a siren call on the wind. She didn’t see me that day, though I stood rooted to the concrete sidewalk unable to move until she’d faded from view.

Oh how I tried, those first days, to push her from my mind. The futility of the effort was apparent as the need to see her grew stronger and stronger with each passing day. I looked for her every day thereafter until her pattern became my own.

This anthology is only available for a short time, so grab it now before it’s gone. It would be criminal to miss it! 

FESTIVE MAYHEM is available at the following sites:





About the Authors


FESTIVE MAYHEM features a collection of never-before-published short stories authored by 10 mystery, crime, and suspense writers of color: 

Carolyn Marie Wilkins
S.G. Wong
Elizabeth Wilkerson
Stella Oni
Kia Dennis 
Forest Issac Jones
Delia C. Pitts
Myra Jolivet
Jennifer J. Chow
Paige Sleuth


Be sure to enter the giveaway below. If the widget doesn’t work, just click HERE to enter. You can read more about this fascinating book by visiting the other stops on the Book Blast.


Thanks for stopping by today. Don’t you just love a good mystery with a holiday theme?


Monday, Oct. 26 – Just Jemi – Review
Rockin’ BookReviews – Feature
Nesie’s Place – Excerpt
Writer’s Gambit – Review & Feature

Tuesday, Oct. 27 – First of All – Review & Excerpt
CelticLady’s Reviews – Feature
BookishRantings – Excerpt

Wednesday, Oct. 28 – I Found This Great Book – Review & Excerpt
Book Reviews by Pat Garcia – Review
Thoughts in Progress – Excerpt
Author Deborah A. Bailey – Excerpt

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  1. I have now seen this anthology featured on two of my favourite blogger's sites. It does look excellent. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, and I'm glad you're intrigued by the collection! We definitely had fun putting it together, and we hope it provides some much-needed holiday escape for mystery fans.

  2. Anthologies can be great, Mason. They give you a chance to try different authors and to dip in and out of stories. And this one looks like fun. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Margot! I agree that anthologies can be a great way to discover new authors. I'm grateful to have my story included with this talented bunch.

  3. Thank you so much for the inside look into Kia Dennis's amazing story! We so appreciate you spotlighting Festive Mayhem today and for all of your work coordinating this week's wonderful book blast.

  4. Thanks for sharing about Festive Mayhem!

  5. Thanks so much for featuring Festive Mayhem and sharing an excerpt from "What Lies Inside"

  6. Thank you for featuring Festive Mayhem and for showing the love for Kia Dennis’s outstanding story!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.