Guest- Clara McKenna and a Giveaway!

Jessie: In New Hampshire where the star magnolias have begun to bloom!

I am so pleased to welcome Clara to the Wickeds today. She is one of those writers who delves into such interesting realms in her work. I enjoy her characters, her settings, and her company. I also adore her covers, the most recent of which is her topic for today! According to Clara, writing a Christmas book the year round was both a challenge and a delight. She is offering the choice of one of her first four Stella and Lyndy books to a randomly chosen commenter.

American heiress Stella Kendrick and her husband, British aristocrat Viscount “Lyndy” Lyndhurst, prepare to celebrate their first Christmas together as newlyweds in Clara McKenna’s latest historical mystery set in England’s New Forest region at the turn of the 20th century…

Taking on the responsibilities that come with being Lady Lyndhurst, Stella is eager to embrace yuletide traditions in the Edwardian English countryside and use her strong social influence for good. Her world becomes so consumed with starting a horse farm charity for the holidays that she barely notices the usual oddities attached to her upper-crust lifestyle. At least, not until items vanish from her bedroom and maligned housekeeper, Mrs. Nelson, becomes seriously ill—only to be found dead in the cold on Mistletoe Lane . . .

Cheery spirits are dashed following the sudden death, especially once Stella questions whether her own staff knows what—or who—killed the woman. Her suspicions mount when another person dies under strange circumstances during New Forest’s annual Point‑to‑Point Boxing Day race. Then there’s the case of Morrington Hall becoming plagued by false identities, secret affairs, and disgruntled employees . . .

Now, with two murders unfolding before their eyes in late December, Stella and Lyndy realize they can’t fully trust anyone except for themselves while investigating. Because as disturbing answers come into focus, identifying the criminal responsible and surviving into the new year would be the greatest gift of the season . . .

Here are the pre-order buy links:

Readers, do you like to read holiday-themed novels even out of season? Do you ever enjoy holiday foods, activities or music at any time of year?

53 Thoughts

  1. Reading a holiday-themed book out of season is no problem for me. However, I prefer to eat holiday-themed food in season.

  2. I love reading winter holiday books in the summer heat. Stuffing, mince and pumpkin pies – definitely need to be eaten in-season.

    1. Thank you, Edith. With my love of Christmas, I’ve accumulated books on the history of the holiday over the years. I pulled them all out and that stack sat on my desk for quick reference for about eight months!

  3. I do read seasonal books any time of the year. I do wish they sold some of the Easter candies year round like the Cadbury mini eggs. I eat pumpkin pie several times during the year. My dad used to grow pumpkins and would cook them up and freeze them and then would feel like make a few pies just because. I get mine from a bakery. Thank you for this chance at your giveaway.. pgenest57 at aol dot com

  4. I love holiday-themed books any time of the year! But I do keep Christmas music and certain foods for the season, it helps me to look forward to it and keep it special.

    1. Yes, Kathy, I agree about the music. When I was writing this book and needing to capture the spirit of the season, I would play Christmas music while I wrote.

  5. I absolutely love holiday foods and especially reading holiday stories. Thanks.

  6. I am not a season reader so I like reading Holiday books any time of the year. I am a read in order person so if Christmas is the next book and it’s May I don’t care. 🙂 I could eat Holiday goodies any time as well. 🙂

    1. Luckily, Stormi, if you’re not caught up with Stella & Lyndy, you still have time until “the next book” comes out at the end of October. (wink!)

  7. I love holidays. Since most cozies come in a series, I read the series straight through without even thinking about what holiday it is in real life. Most foods are kept for the actual holiday. But there are a few Christmas items that are so special that I keep them displayed all year. They make me happy and I just don’t want to wait a whole year to see them again.

    1. I love that you don’t hide away the holiday items that make you happy! I have a Santa that I got when I lived in Finland that lives on top of a bookshelf year round too.

  8. Congratulations, Clara, on your upcoming new historical mystery set at Christmastime! I am an avid mystery reader, and have several shelves in my home library dedicated just for Christmas themed mystery books. I definitely must read MURDER ON MISTLETOE LANE…Your historical mysteries are fascinating and don’t disappoint! The cover art is fascinating, and your description has me anxiously waiting to read it already! Thank you for sharing your writing talents with us eager readers!!! Luis at ole dot travel

  9. So excited for another book! I love this book series, and I’m excited to see a Christmas one coming up! Yay!

  10. I enjoy Christmas themed stories in books, movies, basically any was they can be told. I can listen to holiday music all year. It’s so happy and full of hope and faith. And Christmas food can be enjoyed anytime of the year. I congratulate you on a new Christmas story released at this time of the year and thank you for being one who writes them all year long.

    1. Thank you, Laurie. Even though the book is a murder mystery, I definitely tried to interweave the hope and spirit that is Christmas through the story. Stella wouldn’t have it any other way!

  11. Either I read holiday themed books as they come out, or I save them for the appropriate season. There seems to be no in between for me. (No need to enter me in the giveaway since I have all the books in the series. I plan to get to book four … soon. Honest!)

  12. I read holiday themed books year round. Makes me happy to read them any time! I also cook pumpkin pie year round. We love pumpkin pie in our home.

    Thanks for the chance!

  13. Yes, I do enjoy reading holiday books out of season. Christmas stories are particularly special, since it is such a magical season to me. Yes, it is true that it feels more special when I read them around the time of the holiday, but that doesn’t mean that they are not enjoyable all year long.

  14. Welcome back to the Wickeds, Clara. I love the cover! I will read holiday-themed mysteries at any time, but I prefer to keep food, decor, and music to the season. It keeps it special for me, and marks the progress of the year.

  15. I’m in the process of writing an Edwardian-era story set at Christmastime, but not in England however, I’m happy to add your story to my TBR.

  16. I am fine with reading holiday themed books out of season. I usually don’t eat holiday themed food out of season unless I am especially craving a particular recipe.

  17. I love reading winter-themed stories in the dead heat of summer. It’s almost an act of hope!. As for holiday foods. Absolutely. I often make marinated cheese (a family tradition at holidays) and pumpkin pie, and gingerbread throughout the year.

  18. I enjoy reading holiday books any time of the year. I don’t listen to holiday music or eat holiday foods until the holiday season.

  19. Congrats on the new book! I don’t mind reading out of season, but I prefer to keep my cooking seasonally appropriate (whereas The Hubby likes a good pot roast any time of the year – too heavy for me in the summer!).

  20. Sounds fascinating. I don’t care what season a book is set in. I don’t bake much, but pumpkin pie is my specialty and I’ll make it anytime. I only hold out Christmas music for the holidays. However, one year we did keep the tree up all year.

  21. I love the holiday season so I can read about it any time of year. The foods are great too—especially pumpkin pie—so I buy up the cans of pumpkin that go on sale in January so I can have pie all year long.

  22. I looooove Christmas- themed mysteries all the year! Simply love them— as much as I love your characters 🙂

  23. I love reading Christmas books all year around. I do not consider any food just for Christmas. I would fix anything at any time. Christmas music, I do only listen to beginning Thanksgiving Day. My husband loves it anytime. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

    1. I usually wait until the day after Thanksgiving for Christmas music. The one exception is the soundtrack to “It’s Christmas, Charlie Brown”. I could listen to that all year!

  24. YES, YES, YES! Love reading holidays stories any time of the year. After all who can’t use some Christmas spirit and thoughts of snow in July and how about an Easter egg hunt in November to spice up the turkey dinner. LOL I have spells where holiday music hits me as the music to listen to and I might even turn down the a/c to make it feel like winter while cleaning house to “Jolly of St. Nick”. As senior citizens we have decided to eat what we want when we want and refuse to let a calendar dictate when we can have dressing, ham or pumpkin pie. Make the batch of Christmas candy or holiday cookies when they sound good to you is are rule now.

    Had an appointment with two specialist 2 1/2 hours away today and out ran the brewing storms to get home before they hit or dark met us in the driveway, but I had to get on line and enter this fabulous contest before bedtime after seeing it earlier on my phone. Either no time or limited service prevented me from entering earlier.

    Shared and would LOVE to be the very fortunate one selected to receive a choice of one of the first four Stella and Lyndy books. Thank you for the chance to win, read and review!
    2clowns arkansas dot net

  25. I confess I never read Christmas themed books except in Nov through early January. I love the seasons and the books just add to my enjoyment of the particular season. It seems I am in the minority on that. Maybe I should give Christmas in July a try! I’ll add these books to my “want to read” ever expanding list.

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