A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Friday, December 28, 2012


The authors of Not Your Usual Suspects share their holiday season with you! We wish all our readers, friends, family and colleagues - and people who are all of these *g* - the very best wishes for the season, and a sled-ful of luck, love, peace and success in 2013. We hope to share it all with you.

Today we think back on the joy of exchanging Christmas greetings....

So we're all struggling back into routine after the Christmas holiday over-indulgence :). What's the best Xmas greeting you received, this year or ever? Ever heard of anything outrageous, mis-spelled or just plain rude? LOL Any special Christmas messages or hugs? Tell us about it here!

Julie Wachowski

Holiday Cards & letters are really fun for me. I go a little crazy. Every year I do something different. One year, I did a card titled “Merry Noelemon” and created Pokemon cards of each member of our family, complete with descriptions hinting at what everyone had been up to that year. The year I had to have a serious surgery, I turned our Holiday letter into a medical claims invoice.  Last year, I created a fake Facebook account for my cat (click pic to enlarge). 

This year, I’m trying to decide if my inspiration should be a Superpac election ad or Fifty Shades of Grey….hmmmm. Hard call.

Jean Harrington

A secret kiss at a Christmas party--one I've never forgotten.

Anne-Marie Becker
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Can't think of anything to add on this theme other than the classic song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"!

Shirley Wells
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As a kid, the Christmas ritual was always the same. Having spent a month writing to Santa and telling him about The Greatest Toy Ever without which my life wouldn't be complete, I crept into my sister's bedroom on Christmas morning, full of excitement, to tell her "He's been, he's been!" (She's 5 years older than me and would have managed to sleep until at least 5am if it hadn't been for me. Ha!) We opened the presents in our stockings and then waited and waited until we'd made enough noise to drag our parents from their bed in readiness for the big present opening session. (I'm going back a lot of years so it wasn't that big. :))

And there it was. I tore the paper from The Greatest Toy Ever! Clever old Santa, eh?

But before I could even look at it, it was time for breakfast. Then, while my eyes lingered longingly on The Greatest Toy Ever, it was time for church. Oh, the horror. I just knew that there would be far too many carols to be sung. As soon as we returned, I raced to The Greatest Toy Ever only to be told we were going out again. This was okay because it was time to visit my paternal grandparents where my sister and I were spoiled rotten. I'd delay playing with The Greatest Toy Ever for that. Aunts and uncles gathered and a jolly time was had by all.

When that was over though, it was time to visit my maternal grandparents. Here, you have to imagine the grimmest Christmas scene ever written by Dickens. My mother had countless sisters and brothers and my grandparents, with so many children to raise, had opted for a very strict regime. Children, they believed, should be seen (rarely) but never heard. The dozens of adults crammed themselves around a beautifully decorated table in the dining room and enjoyed a long, drawn out meal. My sister and I, along with countless cousins, ate in the kitchen and if the noise levels became audible, an adult soon put us straight. The visit went on and on and on and all I could do was think about The Greatest Toy Ever waiting at home for me. Later there were games to be played, although the children still had to be on their best behaviour. I wanted to go outside and play with the farm cats or generally roll around in the mud, but that wasn't allowed. I was restricted to being inside. I would have been happy rearranging the decorated tree but that wasn't allowed either. No, those hours consisted of being polite to aunts and uncles and great-aunts and -uncles whose main topic of conversation was how tall us kids had grown.

Eventually, however, it was time to pile into Dad's car and set off for home where The Greatest Toy Ever waited. It was late though and I was told it was time for bed. The day was over and I hadn't played with my present. Life was so cruel. :)

All these years later, I still love Boxing Day. Christmas Day is busy, hectic and a lot of fun but Boxing Day is bliss. I start the day with a long, long walk with the dogs, return home for mulled wine in front of a roaring log fire and then please myself. I may watch TV or I may read. I'll definitely eat lots of Christmassy food (the sweet stuff). Bliss!

On Christmas cards I've received: 
1. Polite Notice: Christmas is Cancelled. Apparently YOU told him you'd been GOOD all year. He died laughing.
2. Only accountants know the true meaning of Christmas.

From Clare: ignoring the implied insult because I'M an accountant *lol*
pic credit (chimney): vintage imagery from plan 59 

Elise Warner

The best Christmas greeting is an Anniversary card from my husband. He proposed while we were listening to Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait (our song but impossible to hum.) We married on Christmas Day.

Julie Moffett

My favorite Christmas quote is from Dr. Seuss: "And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"

Entries collected and posted by Clare - any pictures that haven't been provided by the authors have been chosen by me, and any queries about them can be directed here.


J Wachowski said...

You guys really know how to have fun at Christmas time. I'm putting mistletoe shooting on next year's "things to do" list! (Can I use rubber bands?) :)

Shirley Wells said...

Secret or not, I am dying to know all about Jean's 'kiss'. Sounds wonderful. :)

Clare London said...

Doesn't that secret kiss sound lovely? I just released a novella based on a man chasing up a secret - but unidentified - kiss from many years ago. But hopefully Jean knows who and why... maybe she'll let us know *next* Christmas :)

Clare London said...

That mistletoe-shooting really caught my eye, too :)

Elise Warner said...

I vote for the secret kiss? Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Jean Harrington said...

I love all these comments. Happy New Year to all my writing friends. Jean

Clare London said...

Same to you, Jean, thanks for taking part and have a wonderful 2013 :)

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