Today Heather Fraser Brainerd and David Fraser have asked Josie, the main character in their José Picada, P.I. series, to share some holiday traditions. Let’s give a big welcome to all three!
We’re Heather Fraser Brainerd and David Fraser, a sister-brother writing team. Katie graciously invited us to her blog today to talk about holiday traditions. Since we’re a little too busy getting ready for the holidays to write a guest post, we thought we’d turn it over to our main character, Josie. Hope you enjoy!
By Josie P. Cates
Hi, I’m Josie. You might know me as the main character of Deception Al Dente and The Sound of Sirens. They’re the first two books in the José Picada, P.I. series, which is a total misnomer because the books are about me. I won’t bore you with the details. What I’m really here to talk about is holiday traditions.
So, let’s see… how do I celebrate the holidays? I guess “with family” is the expected answer. I try to avoid not only the expected, but also my family. So that’s a double whammy on that answer. Plus, my mom and stepdad live pretty far away, so it’s kind of a hassle to go there for a holiday visit. For the last several years, my Christmas Eve has been spent eating homemade Christmas cookies (I generally can’t cook worth a darn, but make some mean cookies) and watching It’s a Wonderful Life with my friend, Bobby. Sometimes we bust out the sparkling wine (a little too sweet for my taste, but Bobby likes it) and play the Wonderful Life drinking game. (Take a sip every time an angel gets his wings, etc.) Bobby and I exchange presents, usually one expensive gag gift and one small real gift. Oh, and ever since I moved in with my roommate Lou, she’s brought us leftovers from the restaurant she owns. So now Christmas Eve includes free gourmet creations. It’s pretty awesome.
Christmas morning, I sleep in. Like, till noon. Possibly later. I roll out of bed and grab a cup of coffee. Lou and I sit around and munch on more Christmas cookies and leftovers until it’s time to get ready for our festive holiday meal. Our friend Al (he’s Lou’s chef) and his dad Arthur come over. Al brings the food since, you know, he’s a chef. We supply the eggnog. Not that anyone really likes eggnog, or even drinks it, for that matter, but it’s Christmas. Eggnog is practically law. Kind of like fruitcake, which we also have and which also goes untouched. Bobby drops by after he spends time with his crazy family.
So, in summary, Christmas cookies, Wonderful Life, festive holiday meal that I cook exactly none of. Sounds pretty good, right? What are your holiday traditions like? What is a nog, and why are its eggs so gross?
Thanksgiving dinner with the family can be murder. Especially when someone is actually trying to kill you. Here’s a quick excerpt:
Out of pure instinct, I karate-chopped the figure hovering next to me.
A loud thud brought me out of my REM cycle. It had been a very nice REM cycle; I’d been lounging on a tropical beach with a hunky, sparkly vampire.
“Wow, Josie, you sure do pack a wallop!” Carrie-Ann said from where she’d landed on her butt on the floor.
“Uh, thanks.” I pulled myself into a sitting position while wishing that my stepsister left me the heck alone. “What’s with the wake-up call?”
“Well,” she said, picking herself up and perching on the couch next to me. “I just wanted to wish you a happy Thanksgiving!”
“Uh, thanks,” I repeated.
“And the plucky cake is almost ready, so—”
“Plucky cake!?” Now she had my full attention. I’d almost forgotten Mom’s tradition of making this gooey, cinnamony, pull-apart coffee cake on Thanksgiving morning. Now that I thought about it, a hint of cinnamon could be detected in the air.
“Well, of course, plucky cake!” Carrie-Ann was beaming. “I made it myself!”
“Humph,” I humphed, doubtful that it could be as good as Mom’s. Not that Mom was the best cook, but this was one of her specialties.
“And it’s almost ready, so I thought I’d better turn on the parade. We have to watch the parade while we eat our plucky cake!” She picked up the remote and clicked on the huge TV, finding the right channel for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Ooo! Country-pop crossover superstar Jaycee Day is coming up next! I’d better hurry!”
She bounced off the couch and bounded up the stairs. I groaned and lay back down, longing for just a few more minutes with my vampire dreamboat.
Find Heather and David on: