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:

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