Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rachel McMillan | Spread the Christmas Joy

My favourite holiday is Christmas. I love it. From November 1 onward I am all Christmas all the time. Indeed, I get Christmas brain and it takes over my head and makes me walk around in a marshmallow fuzz, my ears jangling with chimed jingle bells on repeat mode.

I have several traditions with my family: decorating the Christmas tree, singing carols at the piano (we’re THAT family), but I also made a few Christmas traditions of my own from a young age: my annual Christmas reads.

These are stories that I revisit every holiday season, hopefully while visiting my mom and dad and sitting by their twinkling tree with a cup of something hot in my hand and homemade fudge at my elbow.

First and foremost Vienna Prelude by Bodie Thoene. Every Christmas, I re-visit Elisa and Murphy in the years preceding WWII. Elisa is a beautiful violinist hiding her Jewish heritage. Murphy is a brash reporter for the New York Times. Their love story is one of my all-time favourites. The hallowed silent nights of the Alps that gave birth to the famous carol, the bustling Viennese outdoor Christmas markets and the music!--the unending music---make this the perfect holiday read.

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle is an easy Sherlock Holmes story to find online. In this seasonal case, Holmes and Watson investigate the disappearance of a priceless jewel. It’s fun to see Holmes at Christmas-time. Watson (married and living away from 221 B Baker Street) visits to wish his friend “the compliments of the season” and stays for a whimsical mystery. Fun fact: my Christmas novella’s title A Singular and Whimsical Problem is taken from a line in The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle- like me, my fictional lady detectives read it every Christmas.

Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott which are basically the equivalent of mac and cheese with an egg nog chaser. They just fit like a cozy sweater. Within their pages, we meet young Rose Campbell and experience her trials and triumphs and eventual romance. There are Christmas scenes aplenty in 19th Century New England.

I am hoping that you will consider adding A Singular and Whimsical Problem to your annual Christmas reads. As such, I am happy to offer a giveaway (one digital copy) on Emilie’s fabulous blog! Check it out on amazon, nook, kobo and goodreads.
It’s Christmas 1910 and lady detectives Jem Watts and Merinda Herringford are ready to deck the halls. Unfortunately, their landlady Mrs. Malone has taken the opportunity to visit her sister and the domestically challenged duo is forced to do their own housekeeping! To add, a client and a case of a missing cat leads them down a rabbit hole with a surprisingly dark end. Will they have a happy Christmas after all?

Rachel McMillan is currently spending too much time watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Her Christmas prequel to the Herringford and Watts series publishes just in time for the holidays. Rachel lives in Toronto with an extensive collection of Masterpiece Theatre dvds. Find her at her blog, instagram, twitter and facebook

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