December 19, 2018

      At Washington’s Yearning Sands Resort…
      Kellen smiled, extended her hand. “We didn’t meet properly before. Mr. Di Luca, I’m glad you’re here.”
      He took her hand, cupped it between both of his and looked into her face. “Call me Max.”
      Those eyes. Not light brown, as she had first thought, but golden and intense.
      So intense he made her uneasy. She withdrew her hand from his grasp. “Max, then. You came very quickly. I spoke with Annie not an hour ago.”
      “I would do anything for Annie and Leo.” He had a nice voice, rumbly and warm. “When Annie said there was a crisis here, I grabbed that pilot, Chad Griffin, and had him fly me up. He was just mooching around Bella Terra anyway.”
      She shot Max a disgusted glance.
      Without her saying a word, he caught her drift. “Yes, he’s annoying. Say the word, and I’ll send him away.”
      “I did it. Now, will he do as he’s told?”
      “Not unless he leaves quickly. Snow is predicted for tonight.”
      “I suppose we should keep him here.” She walked across the lobby, toward the stairway to Annie’s office.
      “Why?” Max answered his own question. “Because you’re suspicious of him. For murder? Or smuggling?” He followed, not too closely, and he moved quietly.
      But she knew he was there. He had a presence, and she wanted to put her desk between them. She took the stairs. “Leo and Annie filled you in on all the details?”
      “What there is of them. I suspect we’re looking at the tip of an iceberg.”
      “I hate being on the Titanic,” she muttered.
      “Full speed ahead,” he said, proving he had good hearing. “And no way to make a sharp turn away from the peril. You don’t mind if I play the Kate Winslet role, do you? I don’t even like to walk in the rain.”
      She couldn’t help it. She turned and laughed at him. “You’re our new security man!”
      He was two steps down, smiling faintly. “A good security man knows when to duck and run. I was a linebacker. I’m very good at running.” —DEAD GIRL RUNNING

Dear Ones,
With Christmas only a few days away, you’re probably sitting, smug and self-satisfied, sipping cocoa beside a beautifully decorated tree and admiring your already wrapped presents… What? No? You’re not living in a Hallmark movie? You still have shopping/wrapping/decorating to do?

Welcome to the club! I’m still working my book, the third Kellen Adams suspense, and wondering how it’s possible to complete 59 books and still be surprised by my characters, my plot, and how long it’ll take me to write THE END.

There is good news…for you… DEAD GIRL RUNNING is now out in pocket paperback, with reduced ebook prices, and includes the first Kellen Adams short story, HARD TO KILL, as a bonus. It makes a great gift for the reader on your list…and for you!

One last thing—my family went into the forest, cut down the tree, broke the top off, decided it was fine as it was (it is!), and I made this video of the guys carrying it in and lifting it into the stand while the gals make helpful comments. My favorite: “It’s the male form of childbirth.” Bwahahaha! This is the scrawniest tree we’ve ever had, and we love it dearly.

Friends, no matter what holiday you celebrate, I wish you the merriest and happiest. Now—I’ve got to get back to my manuscript!

Christina Dodd
New York Times bestselling author
Printable booklist
Books by Series and in Order

P. S. I posted this quote on social media:
I’ve had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge. You know why? Because while you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing. — Buddy Hackett

I pointed out it was a great one to remember during the holidays, and asked for more wisdom. I got some great ones, including:
“Never get into a pissing contest with a skunk!”
“You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in.”
“What others think of you is none of your business.” (A favorite of mine!)
“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”.

I have very smart readers. I’m looking at you!

P.S.S. A couple of the people who won the Reviewers’ Club lottery didn’t respond in time to claim their spot. We’re randomizing again, so watch your email box for a personalized congratulatory email to see if you got lucky the second time around!