Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What Are Your New Year's Plans?

Today is the last day of our Season's Readings celebration. We've given away a book each day in December. One person who comments on today's blog will win a copy of Dire Threads, Threaded for Trouble, or Thread and Buried--your choice--from Janet Bolin. Another commenter will win a copy of Reunion with Death by Sheila Connolly. Another commenter will win a Killer in Crinolines tote from Duffy Brown!

So what are our characters up to this new Year's Eve . . . ? ? ?

New Year's Eve, 2013
HAYLEY SNOW: (from Lucy Burdette's Key West mysteries) New Year's Eve in Key West is exciting like you wouldn't believe!  We have four places to choose from to watch the new year come in--one has a conch shell dropping, another the pirate wench, and then on Duval Street above the Bourbon St. Pub, Sushi the drag queen drops down in a giant red glittery shoe. Look for me there on CNN, along with Connie and Ray and Wally--I hope:). Miss Gloria will be tucked away in her berth on our houseboat with both of the cats. Happy New Year's everyone! Can't wait until you read what's happening in MURDER WITH GANACHE (coming Feb. 4)

WILLOW VANDERLING: (from Janet Bolin's Threadville mysteries). I flew to South Carolina for the holidays with my parents, so my New Year's Eve will be spent helping my mother host a big party. I'd rather hide with my dad in his workshop in the woods, though. Even better, I wish I could be back home in Threadville, PA. The party would be smaller, but the hugs would be sincere.

BEATRICE MATTHEWS: (from Mollie Cox Bryan's Cumberland Creek Mysteries). New Year's Eve in Cumberland Creek is pretty  low-key, except for the annual party at the VFW. I've never gone to it because I don't like hanging out with a bunch of people getting drunk. This year, my daughter Vera is going to some scrapbooking party and I will get to spend the evening with my granddaughter, Elizabeth, and my sweetheart Jon. We'll eat the traditional red beans and rice with pork (for good luck) and bake peanut butter cookies. I can't think of a better way to celebrate.

CHARLOTTE BESSETTE: (from Avery Aames's Cheese Shop Mysteries): I'm so excited to be spending this new year with my sweetheart, Jordan. Yes, he's back and safe. Hooray. On New Year's eve, there will be fireworks over the Village Green around 8 p.m. And then we'll all go to my grandparents' house for a feast. I'm bringing a chocolate and cheddar platter. Have you ever had a taste of cheese with a chunk of chocolate?

Delicious! My cousin Matthew and his new bride, Meredith, are supplying the wine. The twins have made cookies. They're becoming quite good bakers. Rags and Rocket are invited, too. I hope Grandmère is a good sport when the dog and cat chase each other around the house. Happy New Year's to everyone.  And I hope you'll check in with me around February 4th when my new adventure DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT debuts. 

JENNA HART: (from Daryl Wood Gerber's Cookbook Nook Mysteries). My aunt, my father, and some of our good friends, are doing a moveable feast on New Year's Eve. Luckily, I'm only in charge of appetizers. I might not be much of a cook yet, but I can make a mean guacamole. I got the recipe from a Bobby Flay cookbook. We'll have cocktails on my aunt's porch and watch the sunset. She's making margaritas. Yum! The drink is a perfect go-with for guacamole. Then we'll start moving, house to house. We can walk to virtually everywhere in Crystal Cove, so we don't have to worry about drinking and driving. The mayor is planning 

fireworks on the beach the moment the sky turns dark. That way kids can watch and still get home in time for bed. By the way, I'm looking forward to sharing my next story with you: INHERIT THE WORD, coming March 4th. (P.S. It's not a secret, but did you know that Daryl and Avery are the same author? Just a tidbit to keep you all in the know.) Happy new year!!

MERRY WYNTER (from Victoria Hamilton's Merry Muffin Mysteries): New Year's Eve... I haven't even thought about it, to be frank. Life has been so topsy-turvy lately since inheriting and moving into Wynter Castle. I suppose I will spend it with Shilo and Pish.

Pish is the most elegant man I have ever known, so maybe I'll light a fire in the great hall fireplace, don one of my gowns - while married to my darling late Miguel I actually needed gowns for the opera and balls! - while Shilo dresses Magic, (her bunny), up in a tiara. We will dance in the great hall to the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Duke Ellington, Les Brown and Cab Calloway until midnight, courtesy of the elaborate sound system my dear wealthy friend insisted on installing. Then, at the stroke of midnight we'll sing Auld Lang Syne, after which we'll toast to life and all its changes, both good and bad. There will be tears; I'm pretty sure about that.

But there is no better way to spend New Year's Eve than with friends, be they here or only in our hearts. I'll try to forget for a while the ache of love lost, while I let the hope of love to come find a corner in my heart.

NELL PRATT (from Sheila Connolly's Museum Mysteries): I've spent a decade or more living in the Philadelphia area, and I've seen my share of New Year's Eves come and go.  The city gets all dolled up for it, which is fun.  I have enough friends that throw great parties, so I have my pick of which one to attend--or I can choose to stay home and light a fire and think about what the last year has brought and what I'm hoping for in the new one.

But this year will be different, because of James Morrison. We met because we keep running into each other over murders, but then he started showing up between murders (I know, I shouldn't go expecting more of them, but they do seem to keep happening).  He's an FBI agent and looks the part, but he's also smart and has a dry sense of humor and he gets things done.  And he likes me.  Doesn't that sound like high school? I mean, really--we're both adults, and we lead busy professional lives, and I shouldn't be so rattled that a handsome smart guy is really interested in me.  But I am.  And I'm kind of scared to death  but at the same time really eager to see where we go from here.  Between murders.  So I'm hoping we spend New Year's Eve together, just the two of us in front of that nice warm fire. Want to bet we can make our own fireworks?

RORY McCAIN (from Sharon Pape's Portrait of Crime Mysteries)
I'm really looking forward to New Year's Eve this year. I'll be spending it with Aaron, the new guy in my life. I have to admit that I was a little reluctant to accept his invitation at first, because a New Year's date comes with a certain amount of baggage. We haven't been seeing each other for very long, and I was worried it might send him the wrong message. Now don't get me wrong; I like him a lot. I'm just not ready to make a serious commitment to anyone at this point in my life. So I decided to be honest with him. As it turned out, he was of the same mind. 

Since we're both casual,low-key people we don't feel the need to celebrate with a crowd, especially a crowd of strangers. So we agreed on an early dinner, before the craziness begins and then home to watch the ball go down in Times Square. Being a New Yorker, it never really feels like the beginning of the new year to me if I don't get to see that crystal ball descend the pole.

There's just one potential problem with our plans, and he goes by the name of marshal Zeke Drummond. Aaron is still blissfully unaware of my silent partner and housemate, and I need to keep it that way for the foreseeable future. When I told Zeke that I'd be spending New Year's Eve with Aaron, he was somewhat less than thrilled. I made it clear there would be serious consequences if he did anything to ruin the evening, but with Zeke I can never be sure how he'll behave. Wish me luck - chances are I'll need it! 

SOPHIE WINSTON (from Krista Davis's Domestic Diva Mysteries) I'm working on New Year's Eve! I'll be at a large historic building, making sure their New Year's gala comes off just right. Expensive champagne (maybe just a sip at midnight for me), Oysters Rockefeller, caviar, prime rib, and assorted French pastries for dessert. Of course, it's not quite the same when you're the one who's working. It's probably just as well, though. My new flame, Alex, will be out of town, and quite honestly, I don't want to run into Wolf. Nor do I particularly wish to be a threesome with Natasha and my ex-husband Mars. It will still be a lot of fun, with live music and entertainment. Happy New Year to you all!

STELLA GRIFFIN (from J.J. Cook's Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries) I'm sure I'll be a little homesick for Chicago on New Year's Eve. My father's big Irish family always throws a big celebration, with a few of them getting too drunk to drive home. Most of them are firefighters, like me, so there are always some of us who abstain and become designated drivers. I'll be in Sweet Pepper this year, probably staying in for the night with Eric and Hero. There's some kind of big hot pepper celebration they do in town with a large pepper that drops from the water tower at midnight. I'm still thinking about that. Happy New Year to everyone, and be safe!


No sparkling wine,
No confetti scatter'd,
No auld lang syne,
No party chatter.

No sweet reminisce,

No pas de deux,
No midnight kiss,
If there's no you. 

(Dorothy Parker appears in J.J. Murphy's A Friendly Game of Murder, which takes place on New Year's Eve.) 

MARCY SINGER (from Amanda Lee's Embroidery Mystery Series) Ted and I are going to a New Year's Eve party at the Brew Crew. Todd Calloway's party is being co-hosted by Blake and Sadie MacKenzie of MacKenzies' Mochas, so there will be all kinds of goodies on hand.  Man, am I going to need to hit the gym after all these holiday parties! Ted and I plan to hurry back to my place after midnight to finish ringing in the New Year with Angus. :) I hope you all have a very Happy New Year and a wonderful 2014!

DAPHNE MARTIN (from Gayle Trent's Cake Decorating Mystery Series) I'm catering a party for Belinda Fremont on New Year's Eve. Remember Belinda? She's the eccentric client with the champion guinea pigs. They have an entire wing of her mansion all to themselves. Their wing probably has more square footage than my house. Not that I'm complaining about working New Year's Eve, mind you. The pay is good, and I think it will be fun. Plus, after Belinda's party, Ben and I have our own private little celebration planned at my house. The old year is ending on a high note, and the new year is filled with promise. I hope yours is too. 


NED REDAWAY (from Death al Dente by Leslie Budewitz)  Well, by jingo, I'll be doing what I been doing every New Year's Eve since time began: pouring the drinks at Red's Bar in Jewel Bay, Montana. It's a darn fine place to be, helping the villagers relax a bit, reminisce over the year past, and say "Howdy" to the year to come. Me, well, you know my story and there's some things about this past year that I'd just as soon forget -- things I thought would happen about when pigs learned to fly -- but there's a lot of good -- and good friends -- to remember as well. And when the clock strikes midnight and all those other folks turn into pumpkins, well, I'll pour myself a cold one, sit back, and raise a toast. Stop on by and join me! 

JORDAN KELLY BINGHAM (from The Sayers Swindle by Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini)

What can I say? This time last year, I resolved to get back on my feet after a series of personal disasters. I said I would do it while continuing to be the only member of my family to go straight. In the past several months, I have had to stretch my definition of 'go straight' a few times. Still, it is looking good for me to get back to grad school. I have the perfect job: great food, wonderful attic accommodations, dogs to cuddle, and the opportunity to work with fine first editions. Even though my boss is the dreaded Vera Van Alst, I have learned to work well with her. Sure, in the past year, there have been a few too many missing books,  not to mention dead bodies, massive fires, mud, Uncle Kev and other unnatural disasters. But things are looking up. We've back on an even keel. I intend to keep it that way. This will be a terrific year. Aside from New Year's, we're not expecting any 'fireworks'. We're upgrading our collection of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe (I say Archie Goodwin) mysteries. Nothing can go wrong. Oh excuse me for a minute. The doorbell  rang. That's unusual here at Van Alst House, but it hardly means trouble, does it?

So why do I have goosebumps?

Before I answer it, let me wish you a wonderful 2014 - full of books, good food and mystery.   

KATH RUTLEDGE (from Molly MacRae’s Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries) Ardis Buchanan is having a group of us over for her annual New Year’s Eve Eat at Your Own Risk International Potluck Dinner Party and Cutthroat Charades Competition. She says it’s possible that there’s no real risk involved in the dinner, but she likes to warn people ahead of time because of her rules. 
  • Rule one: she chooses the country whose cuisine we’ll celebrate. 
  • Rule two: we can only bring a dish that we’ve never made before.
This year she’s chosen . . . Scotland. Hmm. Thea, our town librarian, said she should have guessed, because Ardis is on a jag of reading Scottish mysteries. Thea’s bringing cock-a-leekie soup and I’m trying my hand at crannachan. I don’t know what the other guests are making, but Ardis is bound and determined to produce an authentic haggis. Hmm. 

Actually, I’m not worried about the edibility of the dinner. I’m more concerned about the cutthroat charades. These competitions are legendary in Blue Plum. I heard that last year, Mel mimed the title “Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself” and Joe guessed it in six seconds flat. Yikes. These people mean business. Wish me luck! And Happy New Year!  

LIZZIE TURNER (from Erika Chase's Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries)
Of course, the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society is ending the old year and starting the new one together. This year, Sally Jo Baker has invited us to enjoy her new renovations and we'll be having a pot luck dinner celebration.  

I'm bringing for dessert a Mocha-Espresso Cream Pie. It looks yummy but it's my first try, so I sure hope I get it right. I found the recipe in Southern Living magazine and it has two of my favorite ingredients -- mocha and espresso. What could be better!

We've also decided to do a book exchange at the stroke of midnight, well, maybe a few minutes after since by guy, Chief Mark Dreyfus will also be there and I want to give him a New Year's kiss. Then we'll be giving each other a new mystery to start the year off right. I hope there's a mystery in your year, too.

Happy New Year!

JESSICA FLETCHER (from the “Murder, She Wrote” mysteries by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain): Off to pick up goodies for the New Year. It wouldn’t be a celebration in Cabot Cove without lobster. This year, I’m serving it cold with a garlic mayonnaise, as well as smoked Maine salmon, a nice selection of local cheeses, and other nibbles. I’ve invited a few friends in to enjoy a good movie on cable, and—if we can keep our eyes open long enough—to watch the fireworks over Boston Harbor on TV, grateful we're nowhere near the usual midnight madness.

My good friend Seth Hazlitt, Cabot Cove’s favorite physician, will be here, along with Sheriff Mort Metzger and his wife Maureen, assuming he isn’t called away for an emergency. The mayor and his wife said they might stop by. And I’m pretty certain Eve Simpson will want to show off Cecil, her newly adopted Chihuahua. Wishing you all a wonderful New Year’s Eve, and a happy and healthy 2014!

CARO LAMONT (from Sparkle Abbey’s Pampered Pets Mysteries):

There are so many choices of where to celebrate in Orange County, but Sam Gallanos, my…well, to tell you the truth, I’m not quite sure how to define what we are. Suffice to say we’re still figuring it out. In any case, we plan to spend New Year’s Eve at the Laguna Beach Montage Resort where they’re doing a marine mammal benefit. I know, I know, it seems like I’m always at some animal related fundraiser. But it will be fun chance to wear my new sassy Stella McCartney evening frock and it will be relaxing because I won’t run into my cousin, Melinda. I hear she and her fiancĂ©, Grey, are planning an evening at Mozambique, where they’re doing an 80s theme-thing. I’m sure I don’t know how on earth Mel talked Grey into it but it does sound like a hoot. Can’t wait to tell you all about the greyhound fundraiser I attended a while back. Watch for “Fifty Shades of Greyhound” in 2014. Happy New Year!


  1. Thanks for the fun month, all and Happy New Year!

  2. My NYE plans are simply to chill. For the first time in 20 years, I'll be working that day. I'd like to take a quick nap before dinner with my family, then readinng and catching up on DVRed shows until just before the ball drops in Times Square.

  3. We go out during the day but spend the evening home with each other just being comfortable! Thanks for a wonderful MONTH, happy reading and Happy New Years to everyone!

  4. A friend and I have an annual tradition of watching bad movies - we figure you can watch good movies any time. "Plan 9 from Outer Space" is the one we always watch.

  5. My husband and I will be going to the VFW Club for their prime rib dinner. Otherwise,it will be a quiet evening at home. Thanks for the wonderful month. I have a list of books I'm ordering from Amazon, after I finish t his posting. Happy New Year to every one and keep writing those wonderful mysteries!

  6. Order pizza and watch the dvds I got for Christmas, seasons 6 and 7 of MacGyver. Richard Dean Anderson, what a dream! sweetcandi32010@yahoo.com

  7. Hoping to enjoy a peaceful New Years' Eve with husband and daughter, and hoping for good things in 2014. Thanks for a fun month. Love all the New years updates above. rencw@verizon.net

  8. my New Year's Eve tradition is to stay up & watch Dick Clark's New Year's RockNEve!!! good times!!!

  9. My New Year's plan is to stay awake till after midnight. Happy New Year Everyone.

  10. I love the updates from all the characters! We plan to have some good friends over and relax.

  11. kim j
    going out for a nice supper with my husband and then home for an evening of movies

  12. We are having low key New Year's at home and my parent's will be joining us. After reading what Jessica Fletcher is planning I think I may run out and get some lobster! jenjans2011@gmail.com

  13. Such fun reading about all the characters and their different ways of celebrating! I'll be at home reading, watching TV, working a jigsaw puzzle and snacking. Thanks for a wonderful month of fun blogs and giveaways. Happy New Year to all!

  14. I don't think we have any plans here. Just hanging out with a DD and her family. That is good enough. But it was fun reading about all of your plans!

    ElaineE246 (at) msn (dot) com

  15. Thanks for sharing everybody's plans! We're staying in, watching TV or movies, eating snacks and trying to stay awake until midnight! lkleback@hotmail.com

  16. Thanks for the fun month of drawings. I'll be curled up reading, trying to make it to midnight here in cold Minnesota.

  17. Finish up my last day of work and prepare for my new life as a retiree.

  18. What fun reading about the characters plans. I will be celebrating with my daughters, we usually play some games, eat a couple of cheese balls or dips, maybe watch a movie. This year is the first time in many years that my husband is actually going to join us, he usually has to work. Happy New Year Everyone!
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

  19. I am thinking about spending the evening with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate and enjoying the company of my family!

  20. New Years is enjoying a quiet evening with the family. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  21. Enjoyed learning about the characters plans. I will be home relaxing and reading. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  22. Family time for me! We play card games, do fireworks and or course eat lots of food!

  23. Hope everyone has a fun but safe New Year’s Eve. We’ve been invited out but, quite frankly, I don’t care much for that drinking and partying scene. I want to stay home with my sweet husband, my loving kitties and good books. The best place ever!

  24. I will be enjoying NYE with my 91 year old Mother. Happy New Year's everyone.

  25. I will be at home, cozy and warm enjoying good food and spirits with my daughter and husband watching the fireworks on TV and waiting for the ball to drop in New York! Happy New Year everyone! May 2014 be our best year yet!

  26. The very best of new years to you all

  27. I plan on munching my way to midnight! I've got brie, which I'll toast on bread with summer sausage, cornichons, and those fancy frozen appetizers that pop up when you bake them! I've got some other goodies too, and plenty of champagne. It's just me and the furkids and that's fine by me. Happy New Year everyone!

  28. Quiet evening at home with my honey. Happy 2014!!!

  29. Just to see in the New Year with family is loads of fun.


  30. Happy New Year to all! I'll be enjoying a quiet evening at home and after a late night last night will probably be in bed before the clock strikes midnight. It'll still be New Year in the morning though. (grin) I live on the West Coast, so it's likely my hubby and I will toast to the New York's New Year at 9pm our time.

  31. Plan to watch movies with the family.
    xzjh04@ gmail.com

  32. Happy New Year all! I will be watching it on TV til I get tired and go to bed. I watched it in Dubai on the news. Isn't that enough? That was so beautiful.

  33. Happy New Year. It's great to know what all the characters are up to. Spending time with family and friends.

  34. Threaded for trouble would be a thrill. Thank you for the opportunity.
    Nice quiet night protecting my 17 year old cat from firework anxiety.

  35. I will be spending the evening reading during commercials.

  36. While I'll spend the evening at home, Vincennes IN will drop a huge watermelon, which will open and splat 12 ripe water melons at midnight and shot off fireworks. LOL. My dog will then get upset at the fireworks and I will have to calm him down. poor puppy. Looking forward to a good 2014 and hope the best for everyone else.