Sips with Sophie: Christmas in July

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when Hallmark is showing all their top Christmas shows while we sweat outside as if God cranked the heater up too high and left it on. If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with efficient indoor A/C, you just might need to grab a sweater, beanie or even a pair of finger less gloves to write with.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

In the dead heat (and humidity where I live) of summer, I don’t watch those snowy-scene shows where the lucky star-crossed couple sips hot chocolate, bundled up by a bonfire. I’d much prefer to bury my face in a beach-themed book while I read poolside, working on my short-lived tan. In the South, we take our tanning seriously.

Nevertheless, this post isn’t about the Christmas movie marathon that I get plenty of after Thanksgiving. I refuse to watch anything Christmas-related until then. It’s a family tradition!

But last year, I was the lucky winner of a beautiful Christmas-themed prize pack from one of my favorite cozy mystery authors, Emily Queen.

I don’t often win, well anything, but winning a free book from an author whose work I love, is like hitting the lottery. Well, almost. Just without being able to retire to the beach or go shopping everyday.

I’m not sure how I first became acquainted with Emily’s books, but I read the first one and was hooked. As a romance writer who reads romance, it’s nice to switch gears and read something different to relax my mind. Yes, mysteries relax me. Way more than romance novels where the tensions are high on whether or not there will be an HEA. You know it will probably happen, but you never quite know until you read The End.

I’ve been a fan of mysteries since I was in kindergarten (I’ve been able to read since I was 3) and had rows of Nancy Drew books on my bookshelf until the Sweet Valley High sisters took over when I was in middle school. But, I’ve always been a fan of solving crimes and misdemeanors, especially if you throw in a pet sidekick and/or recipes. Some of my notable favorite mystery authors include Agatha Christie, Martha Grimes, Lillian Jackson Braun, Wilkie Collins, Carolyn Keene, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ellery Adams, Verity Bright and of course Emily Queen.

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Aside from the fun characters and “keep you guessing” storylines, “The Mrs. Lillywhite Investigates Series,” is set in 1920s London. As a HUGE fan of Downton Abbey, this time period makes my heart sing. Widow Rosemary Lillywhite gets involved in various murder mysteries that involve her wild child BFF Vera, an actress who loves to encourage Rosemary’s investigative inclinations. Meanwhile, Rosemary’s friendship with CID Detective Max Whittington creates conflict for Rose due to his past friendship with her late husband who was a private detective. Far from an actual love triangle, their friendship is tested often as Max attempts to keep Rose safe from harm while she dances right into danger on occasion.

I’m woefully behind in posting this and I hope Emily forgives me for not giving her a huge shout-out until now to express my gratitude for her giveaway. So to all the readers (and writers, too) who celebrate Christmas in July, grab a G&T or hot toddy and settle in before a faux roaring fire with The Mrs. Lillywhite Investigative Series by Emily Queen.

Merry July!

Sophie

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