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Friday, December 18, 2020


Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers, educational writing, marketing consultant work with authors, and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her eight cats. Learn more about Jodi and her books at her website.   

Seasons Greetings! I started prepping for the holidays back in July of 2020 by playing carols loudly in our home, streaming holiday reruns, and setting up a small tree in the corner of my office. I love the holidays, but this was to get myself in the mindset to write a holiday book for my series. While I’ve always enjoyed the research part of any of the writing that I do, this book was special in that I got to go back in time to learn about the origins of the tiny village where I reside, the Underground Railroad, and delve into many sites, articles, and books on different cultures and religions that hold celebrations and events in December.


It was interesting to see the role Ohio played in the Underground Railroad, especially along the Great Lakes leading to Canada. In my research, what I was most inspired by was that other people didn’t work to save the enslaved people, they saved themselves. This idea wasn’t emphasized in history class in school. The bravery, determination, faith, and resolve that I read about left me with the utmost respect. I learned so much from reading books like Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and Under the Quilt of Night, both written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by the brilliant James E. Ransome. Yes, I am aware these are kids’ books, but stories with illustrations always draw me in. I read them in combination with books like A Drop of Midnight: A Memoir by Jason Diakite and it helps me connect with the material more than my high school history book that was taught to me by white men. 


While I don’t fancy myself to be much of a history buff, I do love those cold case shows and books that involve a dated murder to solve. There’s something about getting justice for those that never received it that appeals to me. What I found most interesting about writing a cold case story was how all of my characters remembered the past so differently while being positive their version of the truth was the correct one. Talk about things we can all relate to! 


Yuletide Cast of the Iron Skillet takes Jolie and Ava on their first cold case adventure when they stumble upon tunnels dug below the village of Leavensport, a buried skeleton, a bag of teeth, plus an unexpected villain redeems himself and the double-wedding everyone was waiting for gets turned upside down!


Welcome to Leavensport, Ohio, where DEATH takes a DELICIOUS turn!


Yuletide Cast of the Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet Mystery, Book 5.5


Holiday folly—LITERALLY! Alongside a murder comes another new little addition to the human race in Leavensport, Ohio. Not to mention a broken-off engagement, a double wedding, and buried bones in the village chapel cellar. The Martinez family is back in town to observe Nochebuena with Ava as the Tucker family gears up for their Christmas feast. Leavensport community center is abuzz with preparations for the village multi-cultural shindig until the discovery of an old unresolved crime casts a dark shadow over the town. Will Jolie and Ava solve their first cold case in time to save the holiday celebrations—and will they both survive it?


Buy Link 


Jodi Rath said...

Thank you for having me on your blog, Lois!

bn100 said...

opening presents
bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Missy Smith said...

My favorite part is at the end of the day when it is dark and quiet outside and the only lights are from Christmas lights. It so peaceful.

Jodi Rath said...

Opening presents is always fun! The lights are fun to put up and to look at!

CRYSTAL said...

This book is my kind of book looks like a fantastic read. Would love to read and review the author's books in print format. Book sounds quite intriguing.

Kara Marks said...

I love seeing Christmas through the eyes of my grandsons. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

Jacolbie Riggins said...

Some. This book sounds awesome. What I love most about this season is just the Christmas atmosphere. With Christmas music, movies, decorations and family. Love it.


Char Kudela said...

Watching the grandkids opening presents and the look on their faces when it is something they really wanted

Jodi Rath said...

Thanks for all the amazing comments, everyone! Char and Kara, I loved your view of the holidays through your grandkid's eyes. I have little nieces and nephews and I love buying gifts for them and watching them open them and their eyes light up then we all get to play! There are so many cool toys the kiddos have now that weren't around when I was a kid--so I'm kind of selfish in wanting to buy toys for the kids so that I can play the games too. LOL!


Jodi, it's always a pleasure to have you stop by for a visit.

http://mypalbuddee.blogspot.com/ said...

I love a good mystery story, and this sounds like a good read.
Vivienne K. Munn
Author of the My Pal Buddee series