Monday, December 7, 2015

Counting down to Christmas



By Lizzie Turner from the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries
      by Erika Chase




You’d think that my being a reading specialist and having to deal with children, their parents, and teachers on a daily basis would mean I’m organized. Right. I am. On the job. But in my personal life, well, something just always seems a bit out of synch.

Take the fact that this is December 7th, 18 days until Christmas day! My good friend, and coincidentally a teacher, Sally-Jo Baker has done all her shopping, wrapped the gifts, sent out her Christmas cards and started baking and freezing cookies. Already! And it’s only the 7th. And to top it all, she has a wedding on her mind, too.

Do I feel inadequate next to Sally-Jo? Well, it depends on which of the tasks is like a ticking time bomb at the moment. Right now, it’s the cards. I love receiving and also sending traditional Christmas cards. You know, the paper kind that require a postal address and stamp. So, they should be in the mail by now but I haven’t even bought them yet. Tomorrow after school. That’s the plan.

I have to admit that when I think of Christmas these days, it’s tinged with a queasy feeling, but only for a second, thinking back to that day an author was shot dead in my living room. That happened in Read and Buried, the second book in the series. 

I try to snap right out of it with thoughts of my choir singing at the late night Christmas Eve church service, and having brunch with my mama, and all the trimmings with my friends from the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society later in the day. And, hopefully, some quiet time with my guy, Mark Dreyfus.

I am truly blessed and Christmas is the time I feel it the most. 

So, the tasks will all get done, I do know that so won’t stress – too much. The warmth and happiness is a given. That’s my wish to all of you and I know my book reading cohorts send their wishes too.

My author is celebrating by offering your choice of any of the five Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries to one lucky person who leaves a comment before noon EST tomorrow.  Happy Seasons Readings!





Look for A KILLER READ,  (#2 on the Barnes and Noble Mystery Bestseller List and an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Mystery),  READ AND BURIED, COVER STORY, and BOOK FAIR AND FOUL on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

                                                                                           











Book #5, LAW AND AUTHOR, now available.



Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
Love to hear from you on my Facebook author page
 and
on Twitter  @erika_chase.




99 comments:

  1. Not a time to stress. Just relax and enjoy.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  2. Books about books and book lovers are a treat. Yours are new to me, so it's a double treat!
    stitchkat at austin dot rr dot com

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  3. Thank you for the lovely giveaway! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. Except for the murder part, this sounds like me. I think I'm so organized but then it's almost Christmas and I've hardly started. Thanks for the giveaway.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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  5. Certain things are easy to let slide, so I can sneak in more time for baking or reading! Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. Sounds like a fun read!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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  7. I look forward to reading the books in this series. One more author and series to add to my list. Am I ready for Christmas: Shopping and wrapping almost done and working on the Christmas cards. dbahn@iw.net

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  8. I do like to read to avoid getting too stressed.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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  9. I enjoy this series and read them all but the newest.The covers are so wonderful and what's inside is a joy Ruth Nixon ruthenixon@sbcglobal.net

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  10. Thanks for the chance to win a book.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Sandy. Hope you'll try every day.

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  11. I know not to stress about Christmas, things have a way of getting done. I just want to enjoy the season, Thanks for this amazing chance. Linda May lindamay4852@yahoo.com

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  12. Have not read this series yet but it's definitely on my list. mlarkin at rmrgroup dot com

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    Replies
    1. Hope you'll give it a try, Mary Louise!

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  13. I try not to stress too much also, but there are times in the wee hours of the morning when I wonder how I will get it all organized before Christmas. But I am not the reason for the season so I should not let it bother me too much. Thanks for the chance to win!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

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    Replies
    1. Good thinking, Elaine! Good luck with it all.

      Delete
  14. Stressed? NAP - works for me....

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  15. Thank you for the giveaway! dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome. Thanks for entering, Daniele.

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  16. Thank you for the give away!!! Don't stress, everything will be fine.
    Dspinlexo@aol.com

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  17. I love this series. I can't wait to read this book. Thank you for the chance.
    Moonbay7399@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for entering, Candace! Nice to hear.

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  18. I'm behind on everything this year, too, but Christmas spirit keeps me going! lkleback@hotmail.com

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  19. Would really, really like to start reading this series. It would be a great book to read over the holidays.
    diannekc8@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Hope you'll give it a try. Good luck, Dianne.

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  20. Oh yay, Christmas is early for readers! I cut waaay back on my Christmas activities this year. I am almost done. Sorry for your stress.
    cjreynolds52(at)comcast(dot)net

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like a good way to handle it all.

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  21. It's always too easy to stress during the holiday season.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  22. Holiday must stress you out if you kill off a character at that time. Writing is a good release. Maybe not. Reading is! bobbipad@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Ho, ho. Hadn't thought of it in that way. You're right about reading, Barbara.

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  23. This is my first Christmas with the "cozy community" and many book reviewers and bloggers...I can't believe what I've been missing. Such fun, and a winner this past week, too! kat8762@aol.com

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    Replies
    1. Welcome, Kathleen! So great to have you as part of the group.

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  24. I'm quite behind myself this year in regard to my holiday preparations! But the outside lights were up and on the day after Thanksgiving and that's the important thing. The gifts have all been bought-but need wrapping and shipping, the Christmas cards need to be written, and I need to make room for the Christmas tree-which I have to buy. I'd better get off line and start cracking!

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

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  25. Thanks for this lovely giveaway. Have a cup of tea and take five. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Try not to stress. Take a lengthy walk. What a great giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also good advice. I may not get back to writing, though.

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  27. Thanks for the giveaway. Looking forward to reading this series. choirlady27(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  28. I should feel stressed as I am far behind. But I don't. ..weird

    Thank you for the opportunity. ..ejbs3s@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. You're in a zen place, Jody! Thanks for entering.

      Delete
  29. I love this series! Thank you so much for the chance to win one of the books!
    magicgirl2357@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Abby. So wonderful to hear! Good luck!

      Delete
  30. Sometimes I stress and then realize it doesn't help me feel any better or get anything done, so I take a step back, take a deep breath and rethink my steps to progress. Thanks for the chance to enter your giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

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  31. You sound to be of very sane mind, Robin. Will try to do so. Thanks for entering.

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  32. I really enjoy this series. I am only missing the newest one in the series. It was nice to meet you at the Suffolk Mystery Author's Festival in August.

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    Replies
    1. Nice meeting you also, Kathleen. And so glad you enjoy the series. Good luck!

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  33. I have not read any books in this series yet, but would love to start! I love all of the covers! Thanks so much for the giveaway ~ bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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  34. I love this series and have read all up to book 5. Thanks for the chance to win!
    luvs2read4fun(at)gmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Amanda. So happy to hear you love them! Good luck.

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  35. Nancy R in Ottawa - my favourite way to relieve stress at any time, but especially during the holiday season, is getting together with friends and enjoying good food and conversation. For anyone commenting here - if you haven't read Erika's book club mysteries yet, put them on your wish list; they are a great read!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! Love your suggestions for a stress-free holiday!

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  36. Holidays can be stressful, whether or not you're organized. It's often the people involved that do it!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    Replies
    1. You are so right, Libby. Here's to having lots of de-stressing people in our lives!

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  37. I don't do much for the holidays so it doesn't cause me stress. I don't have much family that I see. I might do some baking this month.
    catbooks72(at)gmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Baking is always good, Michelle! Enjoy.

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    2. I love brownies but I might make pumpkin pies or peanut butter bars with chocolate chips.

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  38. I used to stress out when I had to do all the cleaning, cooking, the whole gift buying, wrapping thing. Not any more. It shouldn't be that way for anyone. Come on folks, pitch in and don't make mama do it all. (my first ever internet rant:)
    I would love to read the latest in this delightful series.

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  39. Most of my stress is self inflicted and I generally cope by reading great mysteries like yours. I think I need to increase my reading and ignore the stress.

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  40. I stress over everything and most of the stuff I get really worked up over never even happens. I read to help get rid of stress. utaker555@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. That's a very good solution, Brittany!

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  41. We try to make the holidays as stress-free as possible by focusing as much as possible on the reason we are celebrating. It's hard not to feel joyful when you think about the true meaning of Christmas. Of course, a bit of organization and a sense of humor both help too. :) This sounds like a fun series. Thanks for the chance to win! rencw@verizon.net

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    Replies
    1. You are so right, Renee. We should always keep the true meaning in mind.

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  42. Thanks for the giveaway. I am adding these books to my read list. Hopefully I will win one. Georgia
    queenvictoria50@aol.com

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    Replies
    1. Good luck, Georgia. Thanks for entering.

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  43. The Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries series sounds delightful. Thank you for this chance!
    I used to stress over Christmas but now that I'm older I just try to go with the flow and enjoy each day to the fullest.
    peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

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  44. These are purrrrrrfect for my book club! I must investigate further... ;)
    Kelly
    Gaelicark@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. I hope you will, Kelly. Happy to send some books along, too.

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  45. These are purrrrrrfect for my book club! I must investigate further... ;)
    Kelly
    Gaelicark@gmail.com

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  46. Wonderful! And thanks for the opportunity to win. kayt18 at comcast dot net

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  47. With all of the evil things going on in the world, we are all lucky to have the ability to stress this month! Thanks for your contest! Reading takes away my stress! lindaherold999@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Reading helps me, too. Thanks for entering.

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  48. I enjoy the week between Christmas and New Year's to destress with a good book. Enjoy your Holidays

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

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  49. Thanks for the chance! I'm currently reading Cover Story and loving this series. ekehlet at yahoo dot com

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    Replies
    1. Great to hear, Erika. Like your name, too! :)

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  50. We have Hanukkah, Christmas and all three children's birthdays this time of year. To reduce the stress and keep focused on the true meanings of the holidays, we changed gift giving on Hanukkah. Some nights we exchange gifts, other nights the children pick charities and we shop for or donate to them. cheers@marjimmanor.com

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    1. Sounds like a good and fun way, Margo.

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  51. I would love to win! I haven't bought one Christmas gift yet! I'm way behind!

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