First of all...

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Festive Mayhem Book Blast Giveaway!

If you’re looking for a good mystery with a little holiday twist, look no further. Today I’m participating in the FESTIVE MAYHEM Book Blast featuring 10 talented authors with stories of mystery, crime, and suspense with a holiday flair. Read on for an excerpt from one of the short stories and my review. 

◊ Genre: MysteryAnthologies
◊ Publisher: Marla Bradeen (October 26,2020)
◊ eBooks
◊ File Size: 1232 KB
◊ Print Length: 159 Pages



Ten crime writers of color have teamed up to offer you the gift of escape this holiday season. From Christmas crime capers to Thanksgiving thrillers, historical hard-boiled to contemporary cozies, mystery fans of all genres will find something to love in this limited-time collection of exclusive, never-before-published seasonal short stories.


What you’ll find inside:
• “The New Year’s Hex” by Carolyn Marie Wilkins. Carrie McFarland finds her New Year’s plans derailed when a psychic vision pulls the 1920s African American amateur sleuth into someone’s evil scheme.
• “Pipe Dreams” by S.G. Wong. In this hard-boiled Crescent City short story, infatuation, and passion drive Minnie Chen straight into danger as she tries to best the City’s most glamorous private detective in a reimagined 1930s-era Chinese Los Angeles. (see the excerpt below)
• “A Christmas Tip” by Elizabeth Wilkerson. A surprise Christmas bonus becomes too tempting for Philadelphia nursing assistant Brianna Byers to resist—even if accepting requires some skillful skirting of the law.
• “The Stranger in the House” by Stella Oni. This London House Mystery prequel stars Elizabeth Ojo, a Nigerian housekeeper at a posh guest house, who finds her Christmas intersecting with that of a mysterious resident in trouble.
• “What Lies Inside” by Kia Dennis. A tormented university professor falls deeper and deeper into a destructive obsession in this harrowing tale of love and longing.
• “A Pub, Bed & Breakfast & A Dead Body” by Forest Issac Jones. A dark past becomes the deadly present when North Carolina police detective Ike Coates and his intrepid young partner are tasked with determining the cause of a suspicious death.
• “A Deadly First” by Delia C. Pitts. Thanksgiving takes a fatal turn when New York private eye SJ Rook finds himself thrust into his first murder case in this darkly atmospheric tale of noir.
• “The Holiday Murder Mélange” by Myra Jolivet. This Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis short story follows the Creole P.I. around the San Francisco Bay Area on her quest to figure out who killed a man outside of her office.
• “Those Holiday Blues” by Jennifer J. Chow. Jasmine, aka “Jazz,” can’t escape the tragic past when an old boyfriend asks to meet on the anniversary of his mother’s death.
• “Holiday Holdup” by Paige Sleuth. In this Cozy Cat Caper Mystery Short, Imogene Little gets tangled up in a Christmas Eve bank robbery orchestrated by none other than Santa Claus himself.


This anthology is only available for a short time, so grab it now before it’s gone. It would be criminal to miss it!

My Review:

These writers decided to come together and create this short story collection in spring at the start of the pandemic and I am so glad that they had the foresight to put this together.  All the mysteries are brand-new and holiday-themed, perfect to read here and there as nighttime starts earlier and earlier. The rating system of cozy, cold, or chilling was very handy and allowed me to choose stories to match my mood or enhance my mood.  I really appreciated that at the end of each story I could click on the author's website and see their other books and upcoming releases. 

Below you will find an excerpt from Pipe Dreams: A Crescent City Short Story by S.G. Wong. Pipe Dreams was one of my favorite stories in this because that strong 1930's noir setting is so distinct and such a departure from the mysteries I usually read. The story was compelling and I need to know more about Minnie.

I think this book is a perfect way to transition from the spooky season to the holiday season!

FESTIVE MAYHEM is available at the following sites:





About the Authors


FESTIVE MAYHEM features a collection of never-before-published short stories authored by 10 mystery, crime, and suspense writers of color: 

Carolyn Marie Wilkins
S.G. Wong
Elizabeth Wilkerson
Stella Oni
Kia Dennis 
Forest Issac Jones
Delia C. Pitts
Myra Jolivet
Jennifer J. Chow
Paige Sleuth


Be sure to enter the giveaway below. If the widget doesn’t work, just click HERE to enter. You can read more about this fascinating book by visiting the other stops on the Book Blast.


Thanks for stopping by today. Don’t you just love a good mystery with a holiday theme?

Here is an excerpt of one of the stories: Pipe Dreams: A Crescent City Short Story 

By S.G. Wong

AS SHE WATCHED LOLA Starke cross the floor of the mah-jongg parlour, Minnie supposed she oughta be grateful even if it was late and she was tired. This was research after all and Starke was the only gumshoe she knew personally, if only tangentially. Though Minnie was certain she couldn’t name a more unlikely looking shamus this end of the west coast. Hells, maybe even in the entire country. Weren’t private dicks supposed to be a seedy lot? Failed coppers unable to stay off the sauce? Big men with crooked noses and uncertain teeth, and the fluid scruples to match?

Minnie thought of her research project so far. She couldn’t dig up a single instance that contradicted these preconceptions—except for the striking woman in a column of dark green silk she was now watching from the corner of her eye. Gods, Starke sure knew how to wear a dress. It helped that the get-up in question likely cost more dough than Minnie made in a month, even with the generous salary she got working for her uncle. Must be nice to be a trust fund baby.

Pretending to wipe down a few final ashtrays behind the bar, Minnie watched as Starke bade Uncle Sammy a good night at the doors of his office and smoothly glided through the maze of tables toward the doors. Heads popped up in her wake like a gods-damned gopher convention. What was it about Starke, Minnie marvelled. Pretty girls were a dime a dozen in Crescent City and beautiful ones walked down every street. And yet.

Not a single person at the tables tonight could resist staring after her. Sure, Starke was tall. What gwai wasn’t, compared to most Chinese? It’s not like there weren’t plenty of foreigners in the City, though. They came when the Chinese staked their claim during the 1820s gold rush, and either clawed their own riches from the earth or died trying. A hundred years and change later, foreigners were still dazzled by the City’s gilded reputation. Tourists, business people, politicians, artists—they all flocked here to steal a little of the glamour the film studios made such good cabbage selling. What made Starke so damned special?

Minnie shook herself. Eyes on the prize, Chen. She had a shamus to tail.

Scurrying out the back and into the shadowed alleyway, she made for her motorized scooter, hidden behind a stack of wooden pallets near the door. Minnie slammed on her helmet, fiddled with the straps beneath her chin as she pushed the moto down the alley toward the front of the mah-jongg parlour. As she neared the street proper, she slowed until she could peek around the corner of the building.

Stop by the other blogs on this tour!  

Monday, Oct. 26 – Just Jemi – Review
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Feature
Nesie’s Place – Excerpt
Writer’s Gambit – Review & Feature

Tuesday, Oct. 27 – First of All – Review & Excerpt
CelticLady’s Reviews – Feature
Bookish Rantings – Excerpt

Wednesday, Oct. 28 – I Found This Great Book – Review & Excerpt
Book Reviews by Pat Garcia – Review
Thoughts in Progress – Excerpt
Author Deborah A. Bailey – Excerpt

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Marla Bradeen/Paige Sleuth, Mystery Author said...

Thank you so much for the review and feature! I loved S.G. Wong's story, and I'm so glad you did too.

Jennifer J. Chow said...

Thanks for featuring Festive Mayhem! So glad you liked it, especially S.G.'s story!

Mason Canyon said...

Great review. I can see from the excerpt why you enjoyed the book so. Thanks so much for being a part of the Book Blast.

Delia Pitts said...

Thank you for featuring Festive Mayhem today! I agree with you in wanting to learn more about Lola Starke!!

Delia Pitts said...

Thank you for featuring Festive Mayhem on your blog today. We really appreciate your support and informative review. I agree with you in wanting to know more about the intriguing Lola Starke!