From the author of the Award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mysteries including Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries Book 1, comes another welcome addition to the Sgt. Windflower family of books.
Come sit by the fire of the woodstove in the kitchen and listen to stories of Christmas long ago in Grand Bank and Ramea and tales of great adventure and Christmas magic in St. John’s in the 1960s and onward. Have Christmas dinner with Sgt. Windflower and Sheila and their two little girls. Then wait and see if any special visitors show up to entertain them.
Sing along with the choir or have a drink with old friends to celebrate Tibb’s Eve. Follow along as Eddie Tizzard has a special mission in the middle of a snowstorm and Herb Stoodley becomes an unlikely Christmas hero.
Christmas in Newfoundland is always a time for good food, good friends, and good cheer. And there’s always another chair at the table.
Release Date: September 26, 2022
Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing
Soft Cover: 978-1990896033; 141 pages; $16.95; eBook $4.99
It was their very first Christmas together and while it was so exciting to be in love and together during this magical season, it was also a little bit awkward as they tried to develop their own holiday traditions.
Their memories and celebrations of Christmas had been very different growing up. Windflower’s holidays in Pink Lake, his northern Alberta birthplace had been full of love but also tinged with sadness and a healthy dash of chaos. His parents had given him everything they had, which meant he got all the most favourite toys that they could order from the Sears catalogue.
His parents were no longer with him and that made him sad sometimes this time of year. He missed his mother especially. She had been so kind to him and everyone around him. He missed his dad, too, but not in the same way. His dad had worked as a logger most of his life and that meant he was away a lot, clearing brush and hauling raw lumber down to Edmonton.
Christmas Eve was his favourite time when he was little. Maybe the same even today. He loved the feeling of expectation. That something really good was going to happen. He always got new pajamas and slippers on the night before Christmas and there was a special meal of venison stew and bannock with dark fruitcake for dessert. Santa didn’t play a big role in a Pink Lake Christmas, everyone knew their parents were bringing the gifts. But that did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm. Certainly not Windflower’s.
He liked Christmas Eve, too, because that was the one night before the parties began. Before the drinking began. Everything really was calm and bright and full of hope. The next day some of his relatives would arrive with their Christmas stash and over the following days his father’s friends would also pop by. It was great fun at the beginning but as the night and the drinks wore on, it became louder and a little frightening for a little boy. Sometimes his mother would take him to be with Auntie Marie and Uncle Frank. He liked that and loved his aunt who would make him special treats and tell him stories of the old days and their Christmas around a large community fire.
Sometimes his father would go away with his friends and he and his mom would be left waiting for his return. It could be later that evening or a few days but eventually he would come home, most often drunk, and spend the next day recovering. Windflower knew to be very quiet around those times. His mother had warned him not to wake the sleeping bear.
Those were all but passing memories for Windflower now and he was looking forward to spending time and celebrating Christmas with Sheila, the light and love of his life.
Sheila loved, loved, loved Christmas. Everything about Christmas. She had taken out all the old ornaments weeks before Christmas so she could look at them and pressured Windflower to go out early in December to get their tree. The first Sunday in the month they drove to the woods on the outskirts of town and walked in to get their tree. They didn’t have far to go. About five minutes in, Sheila found the tall balsam fir she was looking for.
“Perfect,” she announced.
“Okay,” said Windflower and he sawed the tree near the bottom and tied it to the top of her car. They drove home and while he made them hot chocolate, Sheila laid out all the decorations that she wanted to use.
Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.
He is the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mystery series set in beautiful Grand Bank. There are now 12 books in this light mystery series with the publication of Dangerous Waters. A Tangled Web was shortlisted in 2017 for the best light mystery of the year, and Darkest Before the Dawn won the 2019 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. Mike has also published Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries, a Sgt. Windflower Book of Christmas past and present. And now Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries 2.
Mike is Past Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers and a member of the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild and Ottawa Independent Writers and Capital Crime Writers.
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