Wickeds, who is likely to show up unexpectedly at your main character’s Thanksgiving celebration? Will they be welcomed unreservedly or will the appearance cause tension among the other guests?
Sherry: I’m writing the ninth Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery and Rosalie DiNapoli’s nephew showed up in the first scene. All I know about him right now is he’s about Sarah’s age, an international businessman, and Rosalie is very fond of him. So he’s the unexpected guest at the Thanksgiving table this year. I can’t wait to find out more about him.
Edith/Maddie: In the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, David Dodge’s estranged brother Currie popped up in Taken Too Soon, book six (releasing Sept 2020). Quakers in the day didn’t do anything special for Thanksgiving, but David’s family would, so we’ll see if Currie is invited! Down on Cape Cod (I’m writing Murder at the Lobstah Shack, book #3, now), Mac’s great-aunt Bessie is about to make an appearance – and cause some trouble while she’s doing it.
Liz/Cate: In the Cat Cafe series, we know a lot about Maddie’s mother’s family, but not much about her father’s. While her dad is an accomplished, respected pillar of the community, his family may have some skeletons in the closet…he has a brother he hasn’t seen in many years who might turn up on the island.
Barb: Oooh, that’s intriguing, Liz. Throughout the Maine Clambake Mysteries, Julia’s boyfriend Chris has said many times, “My family’s not like yours.” We find out some of what that means in Steamed Open, and there’s more of the story coming in Sealed Off. I think the unexpected guest at the Snowden family Thanksgiving table is Chris’s brother Terry.
Julie: Barb, I can’t wait to learn more about Chris’s family! Intrigue… In the Garden Squad books, Pete, Lilly’s first husband, would likely show up hat in hand at some point during the day. I want to write a Thanksgiving dinner book with the unexpected as part of the intrigue. It’s such a fun holiday, usually. But boy, can cans of worms be open when certain folks show up.
Jessie: I am feeling a little sheepish at all the holiday merrymaking In all your books, ladies! Since my Beryl and Edwina series is set in England, Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday. Even though Beryl has spent her life rattling around the globe she still notices the holiday and would welcome just about anyone who would like to celebrate with her!
Readers: Tell us a story of an unexpected guest. It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving, and gathering or outing will do. How did it turn out–happy surprise or the opposite?
In general, our gatherings are so informal that we don’t have a “guest list.” We have a list of people who may or may not show up. I’ve found that as long as I have plenty of food and drink, things go just fine.
You are my hero. If I could entertain that informally I would entertain more often.
Please note this doesn’t apply to those times I’ve hosted family holiday dinners. Those are bit more…stressful. 🙂
The unexpected guest I remember wasn’t one that came at Thanksgiving, but rather on Christmas afternoon.
Mrs. Crumblehome was the wife of my dad’s first partner on the police force. He had passed away and her daughters were grown (and boy did I have a huge crush on daughter Beth as a kid), so we kind of got adopted as her family for Christmas. The first time she came over and had gifts for us kids was unexpected but it became a tradition. And her gifts were always really thoughtful and heartfelt. Nothing fancy or anything just stuff to make the holiday that much more special in our memories. And she always brought us these coffee cans packed with tiny little gifts like candies and such.
She was such a great lady too. It was such a shame when she began to decline and then passed away. I was grown by that time so it had nothing to do with her Christmas gifts by that point. She was just part of our extended chosen family members.
To be honest, I don’t always remember her like I should because since my mother’s passing, Christmas doesn’t play all that big a part in my life other than being the uncle and/or cousin that sends the youngsters in the family a few books for presents. So this post was a nice way to make sure that I remember Mrs. Crumblehome once again.
I love this story. I love the relationship, the holiday connection, and the name Mrs. Crumblehome.
A couple members of my sister-in-law’s family may join us for Thanksgiving. They’d be very welcome if they do come.
Our Thanksgivings are an expanded web of family. I love it.
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