Release Day Mittens

News Flash: Alicia Kozak is our lucky winner! Congrats, Alicia, and please check your email.

Edith/Maddie here, from a suddenly chillier north of Boston.

Perfect mittens weather, you might think. Well, it’s not quite that chilly yet, but we’ll get there.

And I admit I’m a confirmed mittens gal, having chronically cold hands (Hugh claims I have no circulatory system). I can’t wear gloves. They just make my poor isolated fingers freeze. Believe me, I’ve tried gloves of all kinds.

No, we’re here to celebrate today’s release of Christmas Mittens Murder, the novella collection that includes my “Murderous Mittens” novella!

I’m delighted to share the collection with the acclaimed and popular Lee Hollis and Lynn Cahoon. Here’s the blurb for my novella:

A quiet Christmas in north of San Francisco Colinas, California, at her twin sister’s charming B&B is exactly what Cece Barton needs during the holiday hustle of Los Angeles. But the morning after a lovely evening at the local wine bar, Cece learns that the bar’s proprietor, who sells mittens in her spare time, has been found dead. Her horrified twin becomes one of the main suspects. Can Cece, with the help of visiting farmer-sleuth Cam Flaherty from Massachusetts, unmask the merry murderer before this becomes a holiday from hell?

So, yes – the novella actually debuts my new Cece Barton Mysteries. “Murderous Mittens” introduces the town of Colinas, twin Allie and her family, the wine bar called Vino y Vida, and the opportunity for Cece to move north to Colinas from her home in Pasadena.

Additional yes, that’s Cam Flaherty from the Local Foods Mysteries (originally written as Edith Maxwell books) mentioned in the blurb. Cam is visiting California farms to pick up some new techniques. When my editor at Kensington suggested I might want to include Cam, I jumped at the chance. (For readers who haven’t read the Local Foods series yet, Kensington has re-released them as Maddie Day ebooks.)

As I might have mentioned before, I like the novella length, which is approximately a third of a novel. I don’t hesitate when my editor asks if I can fit writing one into my schedule.

In the novella, Cece’s adorable nephews bake Christmas cookies with their dad. In further celebration of release day, I baked some mitten-shaped cookies.

I used my grandmother Ruth’s English Butter Cookie recipe, which I copied onto a recipe card in high school, now well-used, and my brand-new mitten cookie cutter. And the cookies came out crisp, sweet, and buttery.

I wish I could share the cookies with all of you, but instead I can send a US commenter one of my special new wine tote bags! (If you don’t drink wine, you can carry anything in it. How about a baguette and a bouquet of flowers?) Wine not included…

Readers: What’s your favorite holiday sweet? What do you think of novellas? And are you a mittens or a gloves person when the weather turns cold?

86 Thoughts

  1. Congrats on the new release. I enjoyed all three books in the anthology. It was fun meeting CeeCee and her crew. I’m looking forward to reading her series. Novellas, short stories, full-length books… I like them all. As for gloves vs mittens, I have to have my fingers free to hold/do stuff soooo – gloves 🧤!
    Very cute bag. Thanks for the chance to win.

      1. I have always loved hot chocolate when it’s cold out. I am a person who likes to wear gloves in winter.

  2. Congratulations on your book release. Favorite holiday treat, hmm, I don’t know. I prefer gloves, but they must be insulated. Novellas are cool, but I have to admit that I tend to read the stories by the authors I know.

  3. Happy book birthday, Maddie/Edith! Awww, those mittens-shaped cookies are cute and sound tasty.

    I am glad to have met Cece, her twin Allie and CAM (spelled her name right this time!) in this novella. It’s been a while since I visited Sonoma in person but I liked virtually travelling there in this story.

    As for mittens vs gloves, I am the opposite of you. My hands are naturally warm all the time, so I prefer to wear gloves. Also, I can use my smartphone while wearing gloves (the fingertips have sensor pads). I can’t do that if I wore mittens!!

  4. My favorite holiday sweet is anything chocolate. I enjoy novellas now and then, especially when I want something I can read in one sitting. I’m a glove person because I like to b3 able to use my fingers, but on really cold Wisconsin days, I opt for mittens because they are warmer.

  5. My favorite holiday sweets, I have two, are my grandmother’s sugar cookies and the hard Christmas candy she made every year. She called it cracked ice as that is what it resembled. I still carry on this tradition with the sugar cookies (also my daughter’s favorite) but I have let the candy go. All sugar and white syrup, not at all healthy.
    I do read novellas but only by authors I am familiar with. I do read books from “wicked authors”. Although I prefer full length novels, I will pick up this collection. I do thank you “wicked authors” for all of the enjoyment I find in reading your books.
    Always gloves as I find them so much more efficient to handle things.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win the cute bag.

  6. Happy Release Day Edith!

    I’m very excited for everyone to read the introductory story to feature CeCe Barton!

    To answer your question, I’m a gloves person. I wore mittens as a young child of course but probably not since I got to my teenage years.

    Oh wow, I LOVE that new bag…so cool!

    And while I’m happy to get to know CeCe, I have to admit to at least part of my excitement for this story is to get an update on Cam Flaherty since you know I loved the Local Foods series so much. And that reminds me that I need to get copies of the Local Foods books to introduce my friend Ann to her as well!

    So here’s a toast to CeCe hitting store shelves and officially becoming a member of the Edithverse!

  7. Congratulations on your book release! I love sugar cookies, cutting out different shapes (now I want some mitten shaped ones!) and loading them up with colored sugar or frosting. I’m a gloves person who ends up taking her fingers out of the fingers and making fists inside the glove part when they get cold. So I guess I’m really half and half lol!

  8. Congratulations! I am a mittens person too. Gloves just don’t keep my hand warm. I love making sugar cookies too – especially near Christmastime. Thanks for the chance to win. I loved Murder Uncorked! aprilbluetx at yahoo dot com

    1. Three cheers to you on the new release, Edith! My wife loves to bake sugar cookies at Christmas. I “help” her by eating the ones that break. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

  9. Congratulations on the novella, Edith. I read an ARC and it’s a cute collection. I’m partial to sugar cookies at Christmas. And I wear gloves, because I need my fingers separate, but I’ve done the fist my hands inside the gloves thing, too.

  10. Congratulations! My friend makes the best chocolate pecan pie, but only for Christmas. I love novellas, and I am a gloves girl. Thank you for this chance!

  11. I wear mittens as gloves just don’t keep my fingers warm. I like pecan balls at christmas time and peppermint stick ice cream as well. I’m not a fan of novellas – not enough time/space to get to know the characters.

  12. Congratulations! I like peppermint pie around the holidays. I enjoy reading novellas, and I am a mittens girl!

  13. Yay! Congrats! I enjoy the occasional novella. It’s a good way to keep up with favorite characters/series and sometimes be introduced to new ones. I especially like these holiday themed collections.

  14. Congratulations on your latest book release. My favorite holiday treat is coffee with steamed eggnog and freshly ground nutmeg. I make it too often to admit.

  15. Congratulations on your latest novella, dear Edith/Maddie!!!!!!!!!!!! How wonderful to have a new Christmas-themed cozy to read!!! My favorite cookie at Christmas is a Pecan Tassie (a mini pecan pie, really). I love novellas, so please keep them coming…and this one is so important, since it introduces us to Cece Barton, my new BFF! I also have cold hands and cold feet when it gets cold here in San Diego (and it does!), but if needed, I prefer gloves over mittens, since I am constantly doing something with my hands. Thank you for yet another brilliant story to share with us readers!!! Luis at ole dot travel

  16. Congratulations on the new release! I enjoy reading novellas during the holidays, just the perfect length for a busy time of year. I have so many traditional holiday sweets that I enjoy making and eating, but probably the most treasured one is my grandmother’s Million Dollar Fudge recipe. I share your cold hands issue, and my best solution is wearing mittens overtop my gloves.

  17. Congratulations on the new book! My favorite Christmas sweet is a recipe I found for chocolate covered peanuts and marshmallows. I wear gloves so I can hold things.

  18. My favorite holiday treat whether at Halloween time or Christmas would have to be sugar cookies, which I love making with my daughter and two granddaughters.
    As far as mittens or gloves, gloves unless out playing in the snow with grandchildren, then mittens!

  19. Woot! What a fabulous book – congratulations.

    Your butter cookie recipe and mine are almost duplicates – mine uses 3/4t baking powder. Mine is from my German grandmother. I wonder if it was a common recipe to the time considering how little sugar is used compared to “modern” recipes.

    Gloves for me. I like my fingers separate and snow doesn’t stick to leather the way it sticks to yarns. An important consideration when you’re a kid having snowball fights!

    1. You bet.

      My mom used to roll them out using powdered sugar instead of flour, but now I find that too sweet. And the colored sugar puts some sweetness back in.

  20. I enjoy Christmas cookies. They are really butter cookies that my mom use to make. Now I make them. The bag is cute and can use it for wine and bread. Congratulations on the new book. I enjoy enjoy novellas. As for gloves vs mittens. I prefer gloves because it is easier for me to carry things.

  21. Congratulations on the new book. I enjoy the butter cookies I make at Christmas time . I shape them into trees and wreaths. The bag is cute. I could use for bread and wine. I prefer gloves as it is easier for me to carry things and find my keys. Lol

  22. I can’t wait to read the new book and meet Cece!

    As for Christmas treats, I look forward to my sister’s cookies every year. She makes an assortment including oatmeal chocolate chips, frosted lemon ricotta and two varieties of refrigerator cookies our grandmother used to bake – spiraling checkerboard. In addition, I have started to celebrate the Icelandic Christmas Eve tradition of Jolabokaflod – hot chocolate and a good book.

    For me it’s fingerless mitts until it’s really cold, then gloves

  23. Looking forward to reading the new book. My favourite Christmas treat is my mom’s whipped shortbread cookies. I wear gloves walking the dogs but also wear mittens for other activities.

  24. Congratulations on the new release! Favorite sweet would have to be the Christmas cookies from the Christmas cookie platters I make each year. I love novellas because they are a great way to try new to me authors or to enjoy the writings of authors I already like.

  25. Just got a call from Aaron’s Bookstore saying your new book has arrived. Time for a drive. 😁 My hands are always cold (except when driving with my very indulgent heated steering wheel) so it’s mittens for me. The very best: Eddie Bauer “boxing glove” mittens. Hands never get cold.

  26. I look for all things peppermint when we start getting into November and December. Love it!

    Congrats on the novella release. (No need to enter me in the giveaway.)

  27. Congratulations on the new release!!
    I am a gloves person myself. I need to use my fingers freely. I’ve never read novellas before but I think I’d like them. I could read more stories in the same amount of time as one novel. My favorite holiday sweet is pumpkin rolls. I love to eat them but I have never made one. I’ve always been afraid that they would break apart when I try to roll them up into the roll to slice it.

  28. My favorite Christmas treat is definitely the cookies! Yes, I love novellas, and I love reading them during the various holiday seasons, like Halloween and Christmas for this time of year. Novellas are great way to introduce me to a series that I have not yet read. Mittens are better than gloves!

  29. Congrats on the new release. I love Hot Apple Cider as a real “holiday” treat. But in the colder months, Hot Cocoa is a real treat. And I am definitely a mittens girl.

  30. Congratulations on the release of “Christmas Mittens Murder” and your novella “Murderous Mittens”!

    My favorite holiday treat for taste has to be the Three Day Coconut Cake. It reminds me of the one my Mom made other than she did all the coconut grating from a fresh coconut and baked a from scratch cake for it. Me, over the years found that you can buy fresh frozen grated coconut and that a box cake works very well with this cake. For memories, my choice would be cut out decorated cookies because they bring back so many fond memories of my brother and I decorating them almost as fast as Mom could bake them.

    I love novellas! There’s often times that I want to read a story, but with events of life just don’t have the time to settle down with a full length book.

    Love mittens that have the flap to uncover the fingers when they are needed quickly for a tasks outdoors and you don’t want to take them off. If I wear gloves they have to have the stuff on at least one finger where you can grab something cause I’m not going to pull of five fingers to get the gloves off just for 2 seconds something or other.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  31. Congratulations on your release. I enjoy hot chai since it is soothing. I must wear mittens as my hands freeze immediately. Novellas are so enjoyable and special.

  32. My favorite holiday treat is chocolate, just like every day of the year. I am partial to See’s candies, and the HQ and candy factory is in my home town. I pass it every day going to work.
    I don’t know that I have ever read a novella. I am more than willing to give it a try.
    I can’t stand mittens, sometimes I can bear gloves, but living in the San Francisco Bay Area means they are not usually necessary.
    Although I like to give them as gifts, since they come in so many fun graphics, I can’t stand the feel of socks!

    Karen 94066 at

  33. Apple sweets. Apple crisp, apple tart and applesauce. I have always worn mittens since they are the only way my hands don’t freeze. I have read and enjoyed novellas very much. They are unique and captivate my interest.

  34. Hot Almond Milk with honey warms my body and soul. Biscuits which I adore for fall are digestives. Together this is sheer bliss. Wearing mittens since I was young due to extreme temps. Nothing else works. Novels before bed are wonderful. Ellie- rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

  35. Congratulations on the book birthday of your novella! That is a great way to introduce your new character Cece Barton. And how fun to be able to include Cam Flaherty in the story! I love chocolate and cookies of all kinds so it is hard to pick a favorite. I am a mitten person but my husband drives me crazy by wearing only work gloves, never insulated ones. In Ohio it isn’t as big a problem because it doesn’t get that cold usually. But when we lived in MN I was worried he might get frostbite. Fortunately he never did.

  36. Congratulations on your book birthday! I am having trouble getting my post to appear so this is brief.

  37. I love Butter Cookies and Pumpkin Pie, I prefer to wear gloves and I always love Novellas because it is the best way to be introduced to new authors. Also I go through these quickly when on a plane or waiting. Thank you and enjoying all the new novels coming out this fall and winter.

  38. My favorite holiday treat is Christmas cookies. I love novellas when I want to read something short and sweet. Definitely gloves.

  39. I love sugar cookies as well as seven layer cookies. I love novellas. They are great when you only have a short amount of time to read. I am a glove person. It is easier to hold onto the walker and drive the wheelchair. Happy book birthday. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

  40. I’m definitely a mittens person. I feel they keep my hands warmer. I enjoy reading novellas, especially during the holidays when there isn’t enough time to get caught up in a full length book. My favorite Christmas sweet is the Christmas cookies we back during the holidays.

  41. Hi Edith,
    I’m a mitten wearing girl.🥰 Congratulations on your wonderful book! I love the cover!
    My favorite Christmas treat is Sugar cookies.

  42. My favorite Christmas cookie is Mexican Wedding Cookie, I wear leather gloves with fur inside but mittens do keep your hands warmer I do like novellas they are shorter when you have less time for a long story. Thank you

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