The holidays are all about traditions. How we decorate, what we serve for meals, even what sorts of gifts we give...so much of it is based on how we were raised and the traditions we've established with our own families. Slippers for Christmas? I love 'em, and look forward to getting my new pair every year.
This year, I'd like to suggest a new tradition: books for New Year's. OK, I admit it, I have an ulterior motive. On December 31, New Year's Eve, my latest adventure will hit the shelves. It's called "Panic Button," and it isn't about Christmas at all. In fact, it's about a button charm string, and now that I come to think about it, charm strings are all about tradition.
Back in the late 1800s and the early 1900s, young girls made charm strings. They were strings of buttons and tradition said your charm string couldn't have two of the same button on it. Consequently, girls traded buttons and buttons were given as gifts and brought back as vacation souveniers. Legend said you needed 1000 buttons on your charm string, and when you got that last one, you'd find your Prince Charming.
Fast forward to today and my shop, the Button Box, where a customer brought me a charm string to appraise. Appraise? Those of you who know me know I love buttons. I wanted to buy the charm string, but my customer refused. Why? She insisted the charm string was cursed.
I'm ever practical, and didn't believe it for a minute--that is until the customer ended up dead, strangled with the charm string.
OK, so it's not exactly Christmasy, but there's plenty of tradition in the story! And that New Year's Eve custom of giving books...I think it's worth starting a new tradition!
Leave a comment to win a copy of "Panic Button" or any of the other Button Box mysteries. Last week, I heard from a few readers that they were having trouble commenting here on Killer Characters. If you have a problem, send your comment to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll include those comments in the drawing, too. Merry Christmas!