Kassandra Lamb is a retired psychotherapist/college professor turned mystery writer. She spends most of her time with her characters in an alternate universe, the magic portal to which (i.e., her computer) is located in Florida, where her husband and dog catch occasional glimpses of her. Learn more about Kassandra and her books at her website.
An Ice-Skating Rink in Florida for the Holidays... What Could Go Wrong?
I love holiday-themed stories! So around Book 3 of my Marcia Banks and Buddy series, cozies about a service dog trainer and her sidekick mentor dog, I decided to incorporate some holiday novellas into the series.
Most of the books focus on the military veterans for whom Marcia trains her service dogs, but I decided the holiday stories would focus on the tiny fictitious town in which she lives, Mayfair, Florida.
I had so much fun writing this story! It features some of Mayfair’s quirkiest residents, especially the two elderly matriarchs—Edna Mayfair, the sister of the now deceased founder of the town, and Sherie Wells, Marcia’s next door neighbor and head of the only African-American family still living in what is barely more than a ghost town.
The story opens as these women, with Marcia’s later-regretted encouragement, are establishing a local Chamber of Commerce, in order to plan a Christmas extravaganza for the purpose of attracting tourists to the town.
And the first thing the new Chamber decides to do is build an ice-skating rink—in Florida. What could go wrong with that?
The titles of the books in this series are all variations on classic book or movie titles, so I tentatively titled this one A Mayfair Christmas Carol. I’m a pantser, as in, I write by the seat of my pants, so I don’t always know where a story is going until it goes there. But as this story unfolded, that turned out to be the perfect title for it.
The ghost of Christmas past definitely gets stirred up for the Mayfair founding family when a thirty-year-old skeleton is unearthed during the excavations for the skating rink.
Marcia’s hunky, almost-live-in boyfriend is the detective assigned to the case, and as usual, Marcia (pronounced Mar-see-a, not Marsha) drives him crazy by butting into the investigation. It wasn’t my initial intention (remember, I’m a pantser), but the story ends up exploring the darker side of the history of Mayfair.
But don’t worry, it has a happy ending, as one of the town’s matriarchs receives a Christmas present beyond her wildest dreams.
A Mayfair Christmas Carol
A Marcia Banks and Buddy Christmas Novella
Mayfair’s newly minted Chamber of Commerce has gone off the rails. They’ve decided to build an ice skating rink—in Florida—for a Christmas Extravaganza. Excavation for the rink is barely started when a decades-old skeleton is uncovered, and its secrets threaten more than the town’s Christmas plans.
Feeling responsible since the let’s-attract-more-tourists idea was hers initially, service dog trainer Marcia Banks is determined to help her police detective boyfriend solve the mystery, whether he wants her help or not. Maybe she can wheedle more out of the townspeople than he can.
Will she and her Black Lab, Buddy, keep the ghost of Christmas past from destroying what is left of Mayfair’s founding family, or will her meddling make things worse?
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