Festive Mayhem: Excerpt & Giveaway

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

Genre: Mystery Anthology
Publisher: Marla Bradeen (October 26,2020)
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’s 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.

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:





A Christmas Tip by Elizabeth Wilkerson

BRIANNA,” A VOICE YELLED. Brianna ground her teeth and checked her watch. Thirty-two more minutes before the end of shift. God give me the strength.

“Coming,” Brianna answered. She loaded the last of the dirty plates into the dishwasher, then walked to the living room. Her client lounged in her favorite zero-gravity chair watching Wheel of Fortune, her favorite zero-content TV show.

“I’m cold. Fetch me a blanket and one of those microwave heating pads. For my knees.”

Brianna gathered the cashmere throw on the floor next to her client’s chair and tucked it in her lap. She returned to the kitchen, nuked a heating pad for forty-five seconds, and wrapped the burning pad in a kitchen towel before laying it on her client’s legs.

“Anything else before I leave?” Brianna asked. 

Through the leaded glass living room window, the snow fell thick and heavy. Buses were certain to be delayed if not canceled altogether. Brianna didn’t want to risk getting stranded in Rittenhouse Square fighting to get an Uber. She held her breath, hoping her client wouldn’t come up with some outrageous ask this late in the day. 

The twelve-hour shifts were grueling marathons, but Brianna didn’t mind signing up for them. She got paid extra for taking longer shifts since so many of the other aides called out during the holiday season. All Brianna knew was that more hours meant more money. Simple as that.

The client glanced out the window and then back to her TV show. Without looking at Brianna she said, “I want some ramen. The good kind. The Japanese kind.”

Time calculations absorbed Brianna’s thoughts. How long would it take her to boil water and get the noodles cooked and plated? Probably about fifteen minutes. Seven minutes to eat. Another five minutes to clear the dishes and start the dishwasher. She’d be right up against the end of her shift. While the snow would still be coming down, thick and wet. The streets would be a sloppy mess.

“And cheese. A slice of American cheese.”

Brianna rolled her eyes. Here we go, the beginning of the unreasonable demands that would only get weirder and more time-consuming. I better nip it in the bud.

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


Enter the giveaway here!!

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

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, Oct. 26 – Just Jemi – Review
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Feature
Nesie’s Place – Excerpt
Writer’s Gambit – Review & Feature
Tuesday, Oct. 27 – First of All – Review & Excerpt
CelticLady’s Reviews – Feature
Bookish Rantings – 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

14 thoughts on “Festive Mayhem: Excerpt & Giveaway

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