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eBook Review: The Blonde Before Christmas by Anna Snow


TheBlondeBeforeChristmas (1)Synopsis: Private Investigator Barb Jackson thought she’d seen it all. But when a last minute shopping excursion leads Barb and her best friend Kelly to a dead Santa Clause beneath the shopping mall Christmas tree, she realizes that not everyone in town is filled with holiday cheer. Jilted lovers, angry elves, and a whole slew of harried shoppers stand between Barb and the truth. But this is one blonde who won’t give up that easily! It’s up to Barb and her friends to find the killer and save Christmas before the Santa Claus Killer claims another victim…

My thoughts: Snow had me at “snow swirled” and this native New Yorker and replanted New York Adjacent (Jersey) chica was all in. Toss in cinnamon buns and I was a goner. GONER!


The Blonde Before Christmas is an amusing, captivating and smoothly designed Barb Jackson Mysteries series kickoff. The mystery is so ornately crafted you tend to forget you are reading a holiday short story.


Snow provides off-the-wall, pulsating and spectacularly established characters. Barb Jackson is courageous, exciting and a smart sleuth in an exceedingly saturated, robustly putrid landscape of wannabe sleuths who are stupid…or shall we smooth some fragile egos and say “less than smart?” No, no, cookie cakes, we will not. How come? Because it is what it is and there are way too many stupid female gumshoes trotting around the mystery-verse that need to get whacked if their maker doesn’t have the balls to end the series, regroup and start anew…or just go away. Snow indisputably imbues the mystery genre with fresh plasma and revitalizing oxygen with The Blonde Before Christmas.


Snow provides a glittering Christmas atmosphere, a plot rife with juicy goodness and a brilliantly penned ta-da whodunit reveal. The Blonde Before Christmas is one of the most powerfully written mysteries to come out of the publishing gate in ages. Kudos to Gemma Halliday for signing on a topnotch winner with Snow to represent her Gemma Halliday Publishing kingdom.


The Blonde Before Christmas is THE BEST holiday short story to be published in eons! When it comes to short stories, Snow is right up there with The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs. The Blonde Before Christmas exemplifies Snow has the storytelling chops to remain securely nestled alongside those legendary short story titans.


Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.


Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

What I’m Reading…

BE gods-eye-view-225

NSA director Theodore Anders has a simple goal: collect every phone call, email, and keystroke tapped on the Internet. He knows unlimited surveillance is the only way to keep America safe.

Evelyn Gallagher doesn’t care much about any of that. She just wants to keep her head down and manage the NSA’s camera network and facial recognition program so she can afford private school for her deaf son, Dash.

But when Evelyn discovers the existence of an NSA program code-named God’s Eye, and connects it with the mysterious deaths of a string of journalists and whistleblowers, her doubts put her and Dash in the crosshairs of a pair of government assassins: Delgado, a sadistic bomb maker and hacker; and Manus, a damaged giant of a man who until now has cared for nothing beyond protecting the director.

Within an elaborate game of political blackmail, terrorist provocations, and White House scheming, a global war is being fought—a war between those desperate to keep the state’s darkest secrets and those intent on revealing them. A war that Evelyn will need all her espionage training and savvy to survive. A war in which the director has the ultimate informational advantage: The God’s Eye View.

Stories You Should Not Live Without: Fifteen by Beverly Cleary

bc fifteenbeverlyclearyFor as long as I can remember, reading has always been among my ultimate passions. I remember when my mom and grandma surprised me with the monthly Snoopy book collection by the wonderfully gifted Charles Schultz. I was so excited when they gave me my first set of books. The package came with a “special gift” that filled my heart with joy – a set of blue Snoopy book ends. I was over the moon to have my very own library. Shortly after, the Golden Books and the Dr. Seuss monthly collections arrived at our door.


My grandma not only taught me how to read, my grandma encouraged me to read. In fact, both of my grandparents fortified my voracity for reading. I have always been surrounded by books, comics and magazines. Reading has always been one of my absolute joys. It became both my sanctuary and my saving grace to escape from the chaos of my childhood when my grandma died.


I love to be swept away by remarkable storytellers to the enchanted lands they create and dazzling writers who spill their innards out on the written page; for me, one of life’s most reflective delights is to open a book and learn from its stirring pages. When I lose myself in a story no matter what form of writing it is, comics, lyrics, memoirs, novels, poems, or scripts; I don’t want to be amazed, I don’t want to understand, and I don’t want to grow…I DEMAND it!


With this segment, I will share some of my favorites, by phenomenal writers who have inspired my soul, revitalized my spirit and touched my heart.

BC Fifteen new

Synopsis: It seems too good to be true. The most popular boy in school has asked Jane out — and she’s never even dated before. Stan is tall and good-looking, friendly and hard-working — everything Jane ever dreamed of. But is she ready for this?


Suppose her parents won’t let her go? What if she’s nervous and makes a fool of herself? Maybe he’ll think she’s too young. If only she knew all the clever things to say. If only she were prettier. If only she were ready for this…


Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco