Thursday, 4 December 2014

"A Very Postal Christmas" by Kelli Sue Landon

Title: A Very Postal Christmas
Author:  Kelli Sue Landon
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Blurb: A Christmas Party is planned for some different postal workers, including a White Elephant gift exchange. Most employees are reluctant to join in, since they are so grouchy, but organizer Angel Noel miraculously gets everyone to gather around the tree, share stories, open gifts, and have some good food. While arguing over each other's gifts, the partiers soon find out that the big boss, Krissy Winters, is dead in her office. She died from blunt force trauma. A champagne bottle to the head is what caused her violent death. 

Rumor has it that Barry Jingles was sleeping with her. Could he be the murderer or is it short-tempered clerk, Ginger Snap? Rolly Jolly and Candie Cane hated Krissy with a passion! Grouchy mail carrier Jack Frost is also a suspect along with Star Spice, the meanest boss around. Which postal nut did it? Investigator Charles Chestnut is called in to solve the mystery!
Kelli Sue Landon is a short story writer and mystery novelist. Her novels include Sudden Moves, Nightmare at Camp Forrestwood, Summer Shack: A Killer Vacation, The Henderson Harbor Killings (Summer Shack Prequel), and Stranded in Time (1970's time travel). She works for the U.S. Postal Service and is from Peoria, IL USA

WebsiteTwitter - @kellisuelandon, Facebook
Amazon link Paperback - $6.99, Kindle - $0.99

1) You had the idea for "A Very Postal Christmas" for two years before you started writing it. Why did you wait so long to start? 
Well, the first year was a totally different story, but had the same characters. I lost all holiday inspiration after Christmas, so I quit writing it.  I switched to a different post office before Christmas 2013 and my new co-workers loved this idea and the more we talked about the funny names and people who I based the characters on, new plot points came up in the conversation. I started it later in December last year again, but stopped because of the holiday inspiration being lost again. Now, this year with the start of Nanowrimo, I started this old idea a third time on Nov 1!  I was determined to get this book out by December!

2) What encouraged you to start writing "A Very Postal Christmas"? 
Everyone at work joked about me writing a book about the post office - so many co-workers have stories in that place. Anything from theft to affairs, they have it at the post office! 

3) Where did the idea for the story come from? 
I figure, what better time to write a story about the post office during the most hectic time of year, when everyone is crazy? LOL!

4) Tell us a little about your favourite character in the book. 
The main character, Angel Noel. She is not based on anyone in real life (only a few of my characters are), but she is the person who does her best to give everyone a good Christmas. From reading about the characters, the reader understands that they never have a good holiday. Angel's name is the perfect name for her character!

5) What do you usually do around Christmas? Do you have any yearly traditions? 
Me and my husband run around all day, going to our families homes. My parents are divorced, so we go to both houses (my mom cooks early), then later, go and visit my husband's extended family (Cousins and aunts) who are all together. We end up eating twice, but the meals are spaced out. The second house, which is my father's, is mainly for visiting. As for my  husband and I, we open gifts that morning that we get each other. HIs mom and dad travel to Texas to see my brother-in-law and his family, so when they get home, we have Christmas with them around New Years Day. It's a busy day, so we are worn out by the time we get home.

Excerpt from book
         Angel and Brandy walked back in from the parking lot after Brandy calmed from the fight. 
         “We’re going to have a Christmas party on Christmas Eve! Isn’t that fun?” Angel told her.
         “Wait a minute,” Brandy stopped walking, “you mean I have to have a party with Cookie?”
         “No, no, Brandy, you don’t have to interact with her. I am going to bring everyone together here in a few, to discuss the whole thing. It will be fun! Something different for us!” She smiled.
         Brandy nodded. “So am I in trouble?”
         “I tell you what. If you go along with this party, you will be fine. I think that’s a good rule for everyone.”
         Brandy sighed. “I guess.”
         “Hey,” Star approached Angel, taking her by her sleeve and leading her toward the break room. “What happened with hot-head Brandy?”
         Angel told her it was just a little spat between girls and explained the party. “She’ll be okay.”
         “I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Cookie was terrified.”
         “Terrified? Come on! It’s just a little crush on Damien.”
         “Angel!” Star clapped her hands together. “This is serious! What if Brandy kills her? That’s how scared Cookie was! She was crying!”
         “Well, we’ll keep them separated. It can’t be that bad. They don’t even interact here. One’s always making labels while the other one is up here in the register room.”
         “We don’t call it that anymore, Angel. It’s the paddle cage.”
         “Whatever. I will take care of it. I think between me and Nicholas, we’ll do okay.”
         “Hey.” Eve approached them. “Are you going into the break room?”
         “Why?” Star asked her.
         Eve shrugged. “I was just going to tell you that I would like to help with the party, Angel. I can’t wait! So exciting!”
         “Thank you Eve!” Angel was thrilled as Star stood there, her mouth agape. “I’m going to call a meeting soon and we’ll discuss the details.”
         Eve left them, as she entered the break room.
         “Now Eve is willing to contribute! Oh Star, I think this might bring everyone together.”
         “In harmony?” Star said with sarcasm.
         Scrooge! Angel thought as Star walked away.

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