For a limited time, only you can get this collection of SIX cozy and historical mysteries for just 99 cents! But hurry because the price goes up in just a few days! Plus, be sure to enter to win a $15.00 Amazon Gift card too!
In this collection you’ll get these fantastic holiday mysteries:
Murder Takes the Train by Katherine Brown
The quaint, mountain town of Riverbend Junction has only one train in and one train out for transportation. The town hasn’t been home for two of the three Belle sisters since they moved away several years ago, but when they return home for Christmas a murder derails the train and all of their plans for getting back to their regular lives. Can the women put their heads together to track down the killer or will they find themselves steam-rolled into a murder charge?
The Children’s Party by Lexie Conyngham
Edinburgh, 1828: Mrs. Fettes, competitively charitable, needs help to run a New Year party for poor children. But when things don’t go according to plan, it’s her daughter Hippolyta who has to solve the mystery and save the day – and the dog.
Feliz Navi-dead by Katherine Moore
Jingle-bells and jealousy. A treacherous treat. Can Eve save her friends’ lives from being wrecked?
A Dash of Deceit by Carmen Radtke
‘Tis is the season to be jolly, and Eve Holdsworth intends to make the most of her first Christmas in her new home. Helping her friends at the “Green Dragon” with baking and selling mince pies and gingerbread on the Christmas market is the icing on the cake – until a cantankerous customer is poisoned, and fingers point at everyone close to Eve. She has to cook up a plan fast if she wants to take the heat off her friends and unmask a clever culprit … “A Dash of Deceit” is the second cozy Eve Holdsworth mystery set in the idyllic British countryside, after “Let Sleeping Murder Lie”.
A Mistletoe Mystery by Donna Schlachter
Can sisters Holly and Ivy Christmas discover who seeded their spruce trees with dwarf mistletoe? And are the neighboring ranch brothers, Tom and Bob Jolly, behind this? Or victims as well?
A Christmas Wish Before Dying by C.H. Sessums
Vangie Guillory’s hands are full getting The Mystery Book Nook ready for the final shopping event of the season. The last thing she needs is to find out her best customer was involved in a hit-and-run accident. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg when the old man begs her to help him with one last wish before his time runs out.
The door says “J.D. Pierson, Investigator,” but since her Dad lost his way in a bottle of gin, the chair at his desk is empty. If Jenny’s going to keep the doors open, she’ll have to have to kick off her heels and step into the shoes of the greatest investigator in all of Texas.
For a limited time only, get the first FOUR books in this cozy/historical mystery series for just 99cents each, OR get all FIVE books for FREE if you’re a KindleUnlimited subscriber.
“Sessums’ work here is gripping. The storyline riddled with feel-good moments as well as moments of foreboding. Not all is as it seems and the pages just keep turning until you’ve found out all there is to know. This is a first-rate series and I am looking forward to the next adventure!” ~~ Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★
C.H. SESSUMS is a pen name for USA Today Bestselling Author Olivia Hardin. While Olivia writes all manner of romance, C.H. scribbles out cozy mysteries set in her beloved state of Texas. Whether exploring urban legends from all over the lone star state or solving capers set in far-off times, mystery meets history in all of her stories.
In real life, C.H. lives in gorgeous East Texas with her hubby and their two rescue dogs. Every weekend all four of them pile up into their bunkhouse to watch classic movies and listen to old-time radio.
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Writing historical fiction is a lot of fun, especially because I get to dig into some interesting stuff. In the upcoming, The Missing Daughter Mystery, Jenny and her dad travel up north and there’s need to make a long-distance call to Texas… but how did that happen?
Now I’m old enough to remember long-distance calls and how expensive they could be. I even had a little card with numbers I could use to get special rates on calls when we were out of town… but how did folks make long-distance calls early in the early, early days?
These calls were all made by transferring through lots of different operators. Usually, the first transfer would be to the “rate-and-route” operator who would determine the best route for the call to be directed through. It’s a complicated process and could take a lot of time. For an idea of how it works. click below and listen to a fantastic Dragnet episode when Joe Friday has to make a long-distance call on a case. It’s super interesting!
Start reading The Missing Daughter Mystery today! —-> HERE
Back when the hubby still owned his classic Cessna 172, we loved to take short trips to airports and airstrips in the neighborhood of wherever we were living. Lots of times these were connected with grabbing a bite to eat or as pilots say, “Grabbing a $100 hamburger.”
We no longer have our airplane, but I still have fond memories of some of the fun places we visited. One of my favorites was Wisener Field here in Mineola, Texas. Now let me just say, I adore EVERYTHING about Mineola. It’s one of my favorite historic downtowns and we drive over often to watch a movie at the “oldest continually operating movie theater” there too.
Wisener Field got its start in 1917 when a U.S Army Signal Corps pilot flying a biplane, searched for and found a suitable landing spot in a former orchard in Mineola. Known as Massangale’s meadow, a very young boy watched that touchdown and became enthralled with airplanes and flying.
Young Henry Wisener eventually became a pilot in WWI and then developed an aviation business on what is now called Wisener Field.
I make mention of the Wisener airport in my upcoming release, The Missing Daughter Mystery which you can get on preorder HERE.
Want to know more about it? Click below to watch fun video with a tour of the airstrip. My husband and I have spent much time with the lovely and effervescent Lupita Wisener featured in this clip.
A recent reader said in her review that she found Jenny’s enabling of JD’s drinking “cringe-worthy.” And I’ll be honest, she’s absolutely right. Jenny Dee does enable her dad.
The truth is, there’s a lot of me in Jenny, including the way she handles her dad’s drinking. My dad was an alcoholic… Never physically abusive, but just a pleasant, happy drunk. And for most of his life, when we were growing up, he managed to keep the drink in one hand and a wrench in the other. He worked hard, super hard as a diesel mechanic and never let his drinking get in the way of putting food on our tables. In those days Mom worked evenings and I can remember me and my sisters heating Daddy a plate of dinner each night as soon as he got home so he wouldn’t pass out with an empty stomach.
Several years ago under my “romance pen name” I wrote a story about two alcoholics. One recovered, the other working her way towards recovery. To prepare for All the Wrong Reasons, I decided to read Alcoholics Anonymous ( The Original Text of the Life-Changing Landmark). Originally published in 1939, this book provides a description and definition of alcoholism as well as a step-by-step explanation of how the twelve-step program works. It then relates story after story told in first person by members of the group.
Post-Prohibition Era diagnoses of alcoholism were grim. Some believed it might be an allergy of sorts to which some were more susceptible than others. Most medical and psychiatric experts believed the condition was incurable and terminal. Those with limited resources were resigned to state hospitals or charities like the Salvation Army. If you had financial support you might get more aggressive treatment including the “purge and puke” method with barbiturates and belladonna.
Still most of the time those resulted in relapse and eventually death associated with the condition. In the beautiful story, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when the doctor notes that the father’s death certificate will read pneumonia and alcoholism as the cause, the mother begs him to leave the word alcoholism off for her children’s sakes. It’s a heartbreaking scene.
Eventually, though, a group of alcoholics, starting with Bill W. and Dr. Bob began to experiment and find success by applying the theories of The Oxford Society to their illness. A Christian fellowship movement, The Oxford Society’s tenants were described by their founder as follows: “All people are sinners”; “All sinners can be changed”; “Confession is a prerequisite to change”; “The change can access God directly”; “Miracles are again possible”; and “The change must change others.”
Many of the beliefs of The Oxford Society were adapted for the problem of the alcoholic and although the two groups diverged in the later 1930s, many of the edicts of the twelve steps have some connective tissue to The Oxford Society.
I relied on the stories of the “anonymous” contributors of the book when creating the relationship between JD and Mr. Killough. And when you read The Christmas Kettle Caper in the Mysteries of Christmas Past anthology, you’ll get a little more of that very special relationship.
Unfortunately, in 2018 my own dad died without ever having beaten his addiction to alcohol. Interestingly, his death happened just a few weeks before I released All the Wrong Reasons, the story for which I’d researched so much about the disease. I’ll always say my Lord’s timing is perfect because I know without a doubt that my understanding of his struggles with drink is what helped me deal with the impact of his death.
So there’s a little snippet of history plus a lot of personal history.
Have I mentioned how humbled I am that you’re reading this and my books? From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
I followed Blake to the second floor where he turned immediately to the first room on the right. But when he slipped his key into the hole we realized quickly the door was already unlocked. Giving me a warning glance, I nodded and grabbed tight to my reticule, my handgun inside, then waited as he slowly eased the door open.
The lights were on and we heard movement coming from what I assumed to be the bedroom. I followed Blake as he made his way in that direction and I had to wonder if he had his own weapon.
Suddenly the door swung wide and I was surprised when my eyes met the doe-eyed ones of the woman from the funeral. Hers widened in terror as she backed into the frame and put a hand to her chest, clutching a handful of her black cotton mourning dress.
“Who’re you?” she asked on a pant, then, “I’m not a thief. I have a key. I’m not doing anything wrong.”
“Is that so?” Blake said, tone laced with accusation, “Then maybe you’ll tell us who gave you that key and why you’re in a dead man’s apartment?”
We all paused a moment, a three-way standoff, then the girl dropped her face into her hands and began to weep bitterly, shaking and wailing. Blake and I stood there staring at her before he glanced over his shoulder with an expression of panic. “You might have been a tad more gentle,” I scolded as I stepped in front of him to put an arm around the crying woman so I could lead her to the couch to sit.
NOTE: This is an unedited excerpt, so please forgive any errors.
When a top insurance agent dies in a boating accident, it’s a tragedy, but when the books for that agent turn up short twenty-thousand dollars, doubt becomes the name of the game…
Order today: https://books2read.com/b/b5ZwO6
Today’s “Sessums Snap Snippet” is super cool because it’s connected to my C.H. Sessums books AND my Olivia Hardin books!
This handsome couple is Marcella and Guy Chadwell... but they're not nearly as innocent as they look. In 1917 Marcella Raspberry went to work at a department store in Port Arthur, Texas.
She was a very poor but rebellious girl who liked to drink beer and had several tattoos.... pretty shocking for the earlier twentieth century. She noticed a regular customer at the department store always had a purse full of cash, had a car and chauffeur. When she learned the woman owned a bordello, Marcella decided to rent a house on the west side of Port Arthur where she installed several “ladies of the night” to work for her.
In 1921 Chadwell came into her bordello, swept Marcella offer her feet, and married her! Guy’s rich father had given him a speedboat for his 21st birthday so when Prohibition hit, he used it to run bootlegged liquor on Johnson’s Bayou in Louisiana... and if you've read my small town, beach romance Love & Found as Olivia Hardin, you might remember that Simoneaux Bayou is the fictional version of JOHNSONS Bayou! (if you like romance you can check those books out here -----> Love & Found.)
In 1925 Guy was shot when he got into an altercation with police, but rumors said his death was part of a plot cooked up by a competitor named Rusty Woodyard... and interestingly enough, Rusty's wife was a bordello owner too!
Marcella gave her husband a grand funeral before his body was taken back to Cameron Louisiana for burial. And she kept her bordello open for 25 years until authorities finally shut her down. A young Steve McQueen even worked for her bordello as a bouncer years before his acting career.
Marcella lived to the ripe old age of 94 and is said to have cared little about what people thought of her… with one exception...
She almost always wore long-sleeved dresses to cover the tattoos on her upper arms!
Today's Snap Snippet was a surprise to me! I just happened to run across this fantastic story on the Facebook page for the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur, Texas. If you're ever in that area, be sure to check it out. I'm proud to say my hubby was the founding director of the museum which chronicles the story of my beloved hometown.
So Christmas came late for me and my mom, sister, nieces and nephews. But despite COVID and other life issues, we all managed to gather for a full day of fun this past weekend in Lufkin, Texas. If you've never been there is so much to do! Check out the Lufkin Convention & Visitor's Bureau for all the fun you can have in this cute town.
We met first for lunch and gift exchanging (in the pics above you'll see a fantastically cute gift my sis made for me... perfect for a writer!) After that, we headed to the Ellen Trout Zoo where we saw lions... no tigers or bears, but a rhino, lots of peacocks and two gorgeous bald eagles.
Our final stop was the Naranjo Museum of Natural History.I was almost afraid we would have to abandon the hubby there because he was a kid in a candy store exploring his educational roots (he majored in anthropology, paleontology and zoology!) The museum was really well done because they provided both advanced information as well as more basic text for children and those without a Phd.
Then on Sunday, we had a huge surprise that was the icing on the cake for my "final" Christmas weekend of this holiday season... we had snow! Now, this might not seem a huge deal to some, but I grew up in a part of Texas that rarely had snow and even when we moved here to East Texas, that sort of weather has been rare. It was a lovely event that was perfect for a lazy Sunday where we could all just veg out in front of the fireplace, then venture out in short bursts to enjoy the beautiful white landscape.
In about 2010 the hubby and I began the sometimes fun, sometimes exhausting, oftentimes ill-planned, converting of our old storage building into what we now affectionately call “The Bunkhouse.” It took quite a while to get it fixed up right, but when we did we discovered how much we LOVED being in there.
That began our almost weekly forays into “stay-cationing.” We would take the pup(s) (then it was just the little corgi, but now we have a second bigger dog) and would spend the night in The Bunkhouse over the weekends. We would tune out most of the world, light up our Amazon Firestick to stream movies and series. A lot of those were mysteries and I thought I’d share a few of my absolute favorites with you.
We caught a few episodes of this even before the Bunkhouse, watching it on PBS. Then when we began streaming I discovered they were ALL available on the Acorn Channel, so we went back to the beginning and watched them from the start. These are fascinating because they take place in war-time England so you get a fascinating mix of the history of that time combined with the mystery. And the relationship between the main character Foyle and his driver/assistant Samantha Stewart is so much fun. Their tenuous relationship grows through the seasons until he becomes almost like a father to her. I highly recommend checking it out.
The great thing about Midsomer Murders is that it’s a long-running series that you can stream for free (with commercials) from IBDb. Barnaby is a Detective Chief Inspector in the cozy county of Midsomer where they seem to always have some interesting murder investigation. These are fun episodes with lots of little quirky twists and turns along with a cast of suspects. Grab the popcorn and start binging this one today.
If you’re interested in something really different, check out this Russian mini-series. Set during WWII, this one is part war movie and part mystery, with undertones of intrique and romance throughout. You won’t know who the good guys and the bad guys are until the very end. Yes, this one is actually in Russian with English subtitles, but highly entertaining. There’s only one season available now, but a second has been produced and I’m just sitting on pins and needles waiting for it to become available on Amazon.
This is a brand-new favorite the hubby and I found just a month or so ago. It only has one season (so far) but it recently got picked up by PureFlix for the second season. The coolest thing? It was produced in connection with the church my husband and his sons attended when they were young. There is a strong Christian theme to these episodes, but the mystery is there too and it takes place in Texas! What more could you ask for?