Author’s Guest Post
I’m thrilled to be a coveted stop at Diane Reviews Books on the tour for Sleigh Bell Tower. Thank you very much for this opportunity. Today, we’re hearing from Nana D, everyone’s favorite grandmother. Let’s hear what news she brings us…
Yep, I’m the mayor of Wharton County, and it’s my responsibility to ensure everyone in my jurisdiction behaves properly. As much as I love my grandson, Kellan has been misbehaving this year, and Santa Claus is only gonna bring that boy some coal. Pish! Even that might be too much, even though he could use it to keep warm this winter. There’s a chill in the air this Christmas season, and I suspect it’s only partially because of all those Peppy Schnappy Blast cocktails he’s been drinking lately. If you’re a lush like him, stop by Simply Stoddard to imbibe a holiday treat. But be careful, there’s a crazy killer on the loose… and someone bites the dust at Braxton’s Campus Holiday Party!
So… what’s the reason I want to slap Kellan’s bottom silly, you ask? He and April, she’s our sheriff, have been living in sin! Those two hooligans moved in together earlier this year, and they aren’t married. Not even engaged. What’s this world coming to? How will my citizens trust that I can keep our towns safe and respectable if my own family is crossing the lines. I’ve got no choice but to lay down the law again! But between us chickens, I am thrilled to death that my favorite grandchild—don’t tell him I said that—is so happy with April. I didn’t much like her in the beginning, but now that I see she gives him a hard time just like I do, I’m considering a change of attitude about her. Anyone who keeps Kellan in line is brilliant in my book.
Anyways, I’ve been giving them a lot of grief lately, especially since April is Jewish and I know very little about that religion. I’m all for variety and diversity, which is why I insisted they must celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas this year. Do you know what those two whackadoodles decided to do about exchanging holiday presents? They merged the concept of giving a gift on every night of Hanukkah with the Twelve Days of Christmas song. Wait until you see what they came up with this year! So many birds in that song, I’m a bit worried about Kellan’s interpretation. He can be a tad old-fashioned and a hot mess of weirdness… so be ready to laugh your bum off this holiday season.
All that said, I’m also determined to punish Marcus Stanton this year… he’s been even worse than Kellan. One day in the future, I’ll tell you what he did to me years ago, and why he suffers my wrath, but for now, I’ve got a plan to teach him the lesson of all lessons. And if you breathe one word of this to him, you’ll be on my naughty list too! Have a Merry Christmas, friends… and please, if you can, donate to the needy this year. It’s been a rough one, and you never know when someone could use a helping hand.
About Sleigh Bell Tower
Sleigh Bell Tower: Murder at the Campus Holiday Gala (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
8th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher : Next Chapter (December 20, 2021)
Hardcover : 276 pages
ISBN-13 : 979-8763163933
Paperback : 276 pages
ISBN-13 : 979-8763164046
Digital ASIN : B09JZCSRXB
When Bell Towers decides to build their newest boutique hotel in Wharton County, Braxton establishes a hospitality program as part of their university expansion. Despite the Ingram and Lynch family ties to prominent citizens, a dispute over the proposed landsite pits citizens against each other.
One takes matters into their own hands and slays the hotel magnate during the campus holiday party. As the list of suspects increases, long-lost family members are anxious to keep their secrets from being revealed, complicating Sheriff Montague’s ability to determine the murderer’s true motive. Even Kellan is forced to cast doubt on his friends and colleagues when it becomes obvious someone he knows committed the ultimate crime.
April and Kellan are also celebrating their first Christmas and Hanukkah together, exchanging gifts based on the classic Twelve Days of Christmas song. While they trim the tree, light the menorah, and experience all the traditional holiday festivities with the kids, Nana D delivers her sarcastic brand of humor and endlessly tortures the town. Among Eleanor’s surprise news, Augie’s new girlfriend, and Myriam’s hilarious demands, Kellan’s dealing with unexpected holiday drama.
The poor guy simply wants to spend the merry season with his family before he’s forced to trek to Scotland to fulfill his promise to the late Constance Garibaldi. What kind of quest has the psychic sent him on now?
About James J. Cudney
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.
Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.
Blogger & Thinker
I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.
Genealogist & Researcher
I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others, and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.
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Thank you so much for sharing the guest post today. Nana D appreciates you. Happy Holidays!