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Thursday, November 21, 2019


When Donnell Ann Bell isn’t playing games (or reading a book) she’s hard at work on book two of her recently released Cold Case Suspense series. She began her writing career at the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Pikes Peak Parent Newsmagazine before turning to fiction. An award-winning author, including a two-time Golden Heart finalist, her books have been Amazon digital bestsellers. Black Pearl is her latest release. Learn more about Donnell and her books at her website

Family Traditions Come In All Kinds
When Lois invited me to blog about family holiday traditions, I almost passed. I come from a middle-class family where both parents worked full time, my dad traveled as part of his job, and the holidays often ran together between the hustle and bustle of preparation and the harried return of the workweek.

As I sat back and thought about what I could possibly share, I did recall something (not a holiday tradition necessarily), my recollections are more like every day of the week activities. We may have been an on-the-go, schedule-heavy family, but upon entering our house, you could count on three things: love, laughter, and somewhere on the premises, one or all of us were playing a game.

Whether it was chess, Scrabble, Twister, Volleyball, Monopoly, Clue, every card game on the planet, puzzles, charades, the list goes on, a competition was brewing. And what was really amazing was our love of games went from a family-sharing event to a friend-sharing event. Our house was constantly filled with people who just dropped by to see what was shakin’ at the Barnes’ house.

I can honestly say I don’t remember being bored. I also don’t remember a whole lot of privacy either.

But as I contemplate further, I realize game playing might in fact BE a family tradition. When I married and had kids of my own, guess what came naturally? You could count on love, laughter, and somewhere in the house a competition was brewing.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Black Pearl
A Cold Case Suspense

A cold case heats up when a 9-1-1 call puts police at a Denver murder scene pointing investigators to the abduction of a Colorado teenager fourteen years before. The connection? A calling card—a single black pearl—is found on the newest victim. Is the murder a copycat? Or has a twisted serial killer, thought dead or in prison, returned to kill again?

The hunt for a multi-state killer is on and brings together an unexpected team: a Denver Major Crimes police lieutenant; an FBI special agent who investigated the previous murders, a rookie FBI agent with a specialty in psychology; and the only living victim of the Black Pearl Killer is now a cop.

For Special Agent Brian DiPietro, the case is an opportunity to find answers. For Officer Allison Shannon, the case will force her to face down the town that blamed her for surviving when another did not. And for both DiPietro and Shannon, it’s a chance to find closure to questions that have tormented them both for years.

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Peg Brantley said...

Love this, Donnell!

While my mom, sister and I would love to play games, the men in my life somehow opted out. I don't remember playing games with my dad, and my husband's game of choice is golf.

I have a new game now that I'm loving... mahjong. And a granddaughter who's interested in learning, so maybe...

Have a fabulous holiday season!


Donnell Ann Bell said...

Oh, mahjong. I'm new to this game, Peg. I've just started playing a new game called Catan. And I do play golf, but it's a card game my daughter taught me. That's the beauty of games. They're always around and they always bring togetherness. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friend!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction, blogger at Handbags, Books...Whatever said...

Hmm, family traditions. My sisters and I watched White Christmas every Christmas Eve. Every Christmas Eve, we went to my grandmother's house and got caught up with almost every relative. Eating the divinity my mom made with our next door neighbor.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Oh, Divinity. My favorite Yes, Christmas specials were always a must:) Jimmy Stewart in It's Wonderful Life. Sounds like a perfect tradition, Vicki! xo

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Lois, thank you for having me today. Reading through all your amazing crafts. Next you'll be telling readers how you built a yacht out of string macaroni:)

Skyewriter said...

Sounds a lot like my family - both growing up and bringing up my own kids, and now that they have families of their own, they carry on the game tradition. We do have one favorite card game, Toledo Run, that we play all the time when we are together. Even once in the waiting room of a hospital. Julie was born on Thanksgiving weekend so ALL my kids were together so when Rebecca went into labor everyone headed over to await the arrival, armed with a deck of cards. The nurses on the delivery floor were quite amused to find the room overflowing with people enthusiastically playing Toledo Run.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

A deck of cards is probably the greatest game invention, don't you agree, Skye?