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About Lauryn Christopher
I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, and looking for clues in the ordinary behavior of my friends and family. Then I graduated to the Alfred Hitchcock school of mysteries, where innocent people were often caught up in situations that were beyond their worst imaginings. That led to police procedurals, and "whodunits" and a whole slew of other figure-it-out reading.
Much as I loved solving the mysteries, I often wondered about the shadowy characters who perpetrated the crimes. The people who had gone over to the "dark side." So I decided that while I'll often write stories from the point of view of the problem-solvers, I'd also write some from the criminal's point of view as well -- they're not always who (or what) you might expect. I hope you enjoy exploring what makes these characters tick as much as I have.
-- Lauryn Christopher
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The stories in this compelling volume traverse an emotional rollercoaster. Some revenge stories uplift, while the very darkest stories shine a light on the disturbing underbelly of human nature.
But heroism—or at least an attempt to do the right thing—provides hope.
So, brace yourself for a swirl of emotions—and some dark and deadly passions.
Investigate the mysterious side of Christmas with these 15 tales of mystery and suspense. From detectives to elves, superheroes to bounty hunters, sheriffs to ghosts, explore these stories that delight and surprise!
Give yourself the gift of reading these Christmas stories and have a Very Mysterious Christmas!
Table of Contents
1. "McKell's Christmas" by Marcelle Dube
2. "Who Killed Santa?" by Rebecca M. Senese
3. "Rehabilitation" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
4. "Polonaise: A Dawna Shepherd Short Story" by Diana Deverell
5. "For the Balance of a Heart" by Dean Wesley Smith
6. "Finding Jesse" by David DeLee
7. "Cecelia's Gift" by Bonnie Elizabeth
8. "The Case of the Missing Elf" by Annie Reed
9. "Christmas at Glosser's" by Robert Jeschonek
10. "Dashing Through the Flames" by Louisa Swann
11. "An 80 Degree Christmas" by Laura Ware
12. "The Christmas Club" by Russ Crossley
13. "The Mystery of the Missing Presents" by Jamie Ferguson
14. "Mistletoe and Murder" by Lauryn Christopher
15. "Old Friends, Annoying Houseguests, and Christmas Ghosts" by DeAnna Knippling
From old books, to vinyl records, antique mirrors, vintage figurines, or a Bob’s Big Boy piggy bank, curses have no limits.
Featuring stories from D.J. Butler, Joy Auburn, Martin L. Shoemaker, Jessica Guernsey, John D. Payne, Jen Bair, Karen Pellett, Steve Ruskin, Tanya Hales, Lauren Lang, Frank Morin, Mike Jack Stoumbous, Kelly Lynn Colby, Jace Killan, Jo Schneider, Gama Ray Martinez, Martin Greening, Chris Abela, A.J. Mayall, Heidi A. Wilde, Shannon Fox, Lauryn Christopher, and Mark Leslie.
When a friend is accused of murdering her deadbeat ex-husband - a man Meg had on her hit-list for reasons of her own - Meg Harrison sets aside her usual paid assassin's role and takes it on herself to discover what really happened.
But what begins as a routine inquiry dredges up long-buried memories, forcing Meg to deal with her own demons while simultaneously hunt for a man her instincts tell her might not really be dead.
Can Meg reverse-engineer the murderer's scheme and bring down the real killer before her friend becomes their next victim?
It’s a bad idea to piss off a professional assassin, and Meg Harrison - corporate spy and sometimes assassin - is definitely pissed off. Not only has a new, and very irritating client hired her to kill her own sister, but to top it all off, Meg didn't even know she *had* a sister. For Meg, this is a contract that hits a little too close to home.
In Quoth the Raven, we invite you to answer the call of the raven and revisit Poe's work, re-imagined for the twenty-first century. Here, the lover of mystery and Gothic horror will find familiar themes in contemporary settings, variations on Poe's tales, and faithful recreations of the author's signature style.
Liz, Deb, Mikki, Anna, and Meg believe they know everything about each other -- but one of them carries too many secrets -- secrets that tear at her heart and eat at her friendships. Secrets she will kill to protect.
Whether you’re traditional, indie, or hybrid; a journalist, novelist, or blogger, we hope their stories provide encouragement for you, wherever you are in your journey toward publication.
Table of Contents
“The Ball Breaker’s Summer Club” by Valerie Brook
“Grace” by Michael Kowal
“Pariah” by Louisa Swann
“Spoils” by Eric Kent Edstrom
“The Night Takes You” by Leslie Claire Walker
“My Honor to Kill You” by Dan C. Duval
“A Pearl into Darkness” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Mercy Find Me” by Diana Deverell
“Best Served…Salted” by Lauryn Christopher
“Domus Justice” by Michèle Laframboise
“Uncle Philbert” by Dory Crowe
“Bone” by T. Thorne Coyle
“A Vulture Waits” by Rob Vagle
“The Supporters in Panama City” by Brigid Collins
“The Darks of Their Eyes” by Robert T. Jeschonek
Take stories detailing all the nastiest parts of human behavior, from theft to murder to mayhem, throw in some of the “lesser” darkness that humans can provide during the holidays, and assemble them into one volume—welcome to Bloody Christmas.
These stories, dark and vicious, form the perfect antidote to the holiday season’s sugary sweetness. So, consider this the savory part of the holidays for those whose reading tastes get darker in the darkest part of the year.
As Alfred Hitchcock used to say, read these stories with the lights on—and the doors locked, curtains drawn, and protective gear at hand. One never knows what lurks in the darkness.
“Asking For It” by C.H. Hung
“Some Folks Just Need Killin’” by Lauryn Christopher
“A Crafty Affair” by Bonnie Elizabeth
“A Hidden Gift” by Meyari McFarland
“The Perfect Gift” by Robert Cutchin
“Why Don’t You Make Gingerbread?” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“A Killer Party” by Annie Reed
“Wild Nights and New Roads” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Sister Silence Night” by Michael Warren Lucas
“Bobo” by Ron Collins
“Christmas Dessert” by Juliet Nordeen
a short story by Lauryn Christopher
Deception awaits around the next curve in the road. Rumors spread over garden hedges, fishing ponds, and knitting circles. Neighborhood cats discover a boneyard.
And when Death strolls through the tranquil countryside or checks into the quaint village inn for the weekend, it's the intrepid - and often accidental - investigators who must find and decipher clues, unravel mysteries, and bring the killer to justice.
Includes stories by John M. Floyd, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Annie Reed, Lauryn Christopher, C.C. Guthrie, Joseph S. Walker, Margaret S. Hamilton, Ben Harshman, C.J. Mattison, Clifford Royal Johns, D.T. Langdale, Kelly Zimmer, Merrilee Robson, N.K. Wardley, and Ursula Hoult. Edited by Lyn Worthen