Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas Memories

We all have lots of Christmas memories. Some stand out in our minds more than others. As a writer, I've included a few of mine in my second Malone mystery, Unfinished Business.

My Dad, Mom, brother, me (with Cathy) and my maternal grandfather

The book takes place at Christmastime and there’s a scene where the main character, Ann, and her older sister, Marnie, are remembering a Christmas from their childhoods: the year they decided to search their parents’ house, looking for their presents. 
More than anything, Ann wanted a Cabbage Patch doll for Christmas and, in a hidden compartment in the closet of the master bedroom, she found it. At first, she was thrilled but, as you can imagine, finding the doll put quite a damper on her Christmas. She ruined her own surprise.
That scene was a fictionalized version of what happened to me when I was a child. I wanted a Patty Play Pal doll more than anything in the world and, like Ann, I searched our house and found the doll hidden in my parents’ closet. 
On Christmas Day, I had to pretend to be surprised when I unwrapped the doll but I’m pretty sure my mom and dad knew the truth. Needless to say, that was the first and last time I ever went looking to see what Santa (or my parents) had gotten me for Christmas. (By the way, since my name is Patricia, I named the doll Cathy.) 

The Westwood Strangler is dead. Or so everyone believes.
Ann Kern is busy preparing for her favorite holiday. She’s especially looking forward to her sister’s annual Christmas visit. But, several things threaten to ruin her festive mood.
The National Weather Service issues a severe winter storm warning for the Cincinnati area, predicting blizzard conditions, and Ann worries that her sister and her new boyfriend won’t be able to make the drive from South Carolina.
Then, a woman is found strangled in Ann’s neighborhood and everyone, including the police, assumes it’s the work of a copycat killer. However, when two more women are murdered in their homes, the police announce their conviction that the Westwood Strangler is responsible.
When Ann hears the news, the sense of safety and security she’s worked so hard to recapture since her attack on Halloween night, shatters. If the intruder who died in her apartment wasn’t the Westwood Strangler, who is? And, who will be the next victim?
To read more about the book and/or to order it in print or eBook: 
http://tinyurl.com/qah7lzj

I hope everyone makes some wonderful Christmas memories this year! Merry Christmas!

8 comments:

  1. Great memory, Pat! And a lesson learned. :) Loved the book and it would make a wonderful Christmas present for someone.

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks, Marja! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas too!

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  2. I never looked for hidden Christmas presents but I know one of my brothers did. Whether he found any I don't remember. I have lots of Christmas memories but the one that stands out the most is stringing freshly popped popcorn for the tree. It was more fun trying to eat it without Mother seeing me than actually putting it on the string.

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    1. Pat,
      I guess we both did a couple of "sneaky" things at Christmastime when we were kids. LOL
      Merry Christmas!

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  3. It's great that you were able to put that Christmas memory into your novel. When I was a child, Christmas was always a religious time for my family. We used to visit churches on Christmas Eve. There were 5 of them in my neighborhood, all beautifully decorated, and at the last one, we'd stay to attend Midnight Mass.

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    1. That was a beautiful Christmas Eve tradition, Evelyn.
      Merry Christmas!

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  4. Hi Pat,

    Holiday memories are the best. It was this time last year that our youngest grandchild had an operation that restored his proper sight. It seemed like a miracle.

    As to Christmas in my own writing, my YA novel STACY'S SONG ends with an inspiring holiday scene full of romance and hope for the future.

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    1. Jacquie,
      That's fantastic news about your grandson! A holiday miracle for sure.
      Although I may put my characters through some difficult situations, I always end my Malone mysteries with Hope.
      Merry Christmas!

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