Title: Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For
Author: Wendy Kendall
Genre: Cozy Mystery
This holiday season Desiree, teacher at Bayside's elementary school and one of Katherine Watson's friends, starts a fun secret Santa game for her first grade class. Danger hits for Desiree, when someone leaves creepy secret Santa gifts addressed to her and threatens to reveal themselves soon. Time is ticking before class is out for the holidays, and Desiree's threatening stalker may strike with deadly force. Desiree has several suspects, including her romantic new love Leo who is on the school's maintenance staff. While the children learn the wonderful lesson of kindness in giving, Desiree is on the edge of her seat. Who is threatening her? And is Leo The One, or The Stalker?
He parked across the street from her building and kissed her good night. She got her keys out and reached for her holly heart wreath. She brushed against his arm.
“Thank you for a wonderful evening. Don’t bother getting out. I’m just going to run across the street and right into my apartment. I can’t wait to see you again.” She gave him a kiss and got out. He stood up next to his car. She blew him another kiss as she crossed. She was conscious of him watching her. She looked back, and Leo had started after her. Nearby she heard an engine, then a car picked up speed. She looked to her right and saw a black sedan with its headlights off speeding at her. She ran to the curb and up on the grass. She turned back to see Leo running out of the way. He dove over the curb and rolled onto the grass too. The car screeched tires as it skidded around the corner and out of sight.
Leo got up and took her hand. “Are you okay?”
“I think so. I didn’t even see him until... Are you okay?”
He brushed off his tux. “I just hope there’s no rips or grass stains on the rental.” He looked up at her and grinned. “I’ll walk you up to your place.” He stooped to pick up the heart wreath she’d dropped and handed it to her. “Crazy nut. Wish I’d got his license plate. Probably drinking.”
Dez wasn’t sure. Had it been intentional? Was someone after her? There was one person she knew had a black sedan.
On the drive to work Monday morning, Dez noticed all black sedans. There’d been no threatening texts since Friday. The only others had been the most romantic treasures from Leo. She’d relished and responded to those. She drove into the parking lot and focused on her morning ahead. Her students would be excited before the break, plus the tantalizing secret Santa fun would need to be managed.
She walked down the hallway conscious of the click of her pumps on the linoleum and the swish of her tan khaki pants. Her colorful winter sweater offset the bland slacks. Dez hoped to run into Leo first thing, to say good morning. It was just as well she hadn’t since she was late. She opened her class door and got right to work setting up for the day. The shared door with Madeline’s room stood ajar. On the wall, there was an extra stocking. It had glitter all over it, sparkling stars, and her name Dez. She took it off the hook. There was something inside. John swung the adjoining door wide open and walked in carrying a box. Madeline followed.
“Oh wait, here’s one more.” She slipped a smaller box on top of what he was carrying. She looked at Desiree. “Good morning. John, let me know if I can help with anything else. Glad I was in early for you.”
John said good morning to Dez. “I’m getting ready for the reading group lesson for Thursday.” He thanked Madeline and walked over to his desk.
Voices and laughter echoed as students came in from the hallway. Peter and Jack rushed up to Dez and said together, “Cool stocking.”
She put the stocking back on its hook. “Good morning. Please put your secret Santa cards on my desk, and then take your seats.”
Madeline said, “An admirer? Is that really appropriate at school?” She walked through to her room, closing the door behind her.
Dez reminded herself to get with Principal Milner today about how she’d caught Madeline. She considered what Madeline had said. An admirer? Maybe the stocking was from Leo. How nice of him. How fun. It was a very busy morning. Dez was happy that John’s mood had improved, and he was trying to engage with the kids. She’d still have to ask him about his actions on the schoolyard Friday. She shuddered remembering that stare he’d given her across the parking lot. He took the class out for recess.
Dez made a beeline for her stocking. Her excitement matched her students’ as she took down her stocking and reached inside. She pulled out the cardboard, and her heartbeat sped up. One look and her heartbeat pounded.
The card was a picture of Santa in his sleigh with reindeer. Her smile faded seeing a cut out photo of her face pasted on the drawn figure next to Santa. Where did that picture come from? The caption read: Secret Santa may sleigh you if you’re not a good girl No signature.
A secret and creepy Santa. Would Leo give her this? There was a bump in the toe of the stocking. She shook it upside down over the counter and a sprig of holly with berries fell out. From Saturday night’s heart wreath? Dez looked around, including out the windows. Was anyone watching? The idea of someone putting up a stocking with her name was odd enough, but with this inside?
She rushed across the room and stuffed it all in her desk drawer. She texted Katherine to please set up time for her to talk with Jason after school. A cop's perspective might help. She put down her phone and prepared the children’s cards for the stockings. She was absorbed in her work when her phone vibrated. Relieved to hear back from Katherine so soon, she looked. It was from the anonymous sender.
Her hand shook as she clicked on it and read. How did you like your card?
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Snow-Kiss-Cookies-Die-Christmas-ebook/dp/B09HRCYPQ1/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1M0YAHTXUJCIL&keywords=snow+kiss+cookies+to+die+for+by+wendy+kendall&qid=1636155971&sprefix=by+wendy+kendall%2Caps%2C482&sr=8-1
What I love most about the holiday season:
I love getting together with family and friends, and surprising them with gifts I think they'll love. Playing secret Santa at different charitable organizations and food banks is a definite highlight of the season too.
Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?
So much about the holidays is for the children. Enjoy meeting the delightful first graders at Bayside Elementary during their last few days before holiday break, along with their personable teacher.
Often the holidays are a romantic time discovering true love, sometimes there are proposals. Oh how romantic watching Desiree and Leo together, and that Saturday night date is pure amore.
The mystery surrounding the holidays is exciting. People are looking everywhere for clues to gifts and to events. Here's a mystery you can solve, if you follow the clues. Desiree has several suspects to consider, even romantic Leo is under suspicion.
The holidays are delicious, and so is this mystery because it includes the original recipe for the fabulous Snow Kiss Cookies. Desiree also reveals the Legend of the Snow Kiss Cookies, as told by her grandmother.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs July 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on August 1.
The result of Wendy Kendall's passion for purses, mystery and romance is an intriguing In Purse-Suit mysteries series. Kat Out of the Bag introduces Katherine Watson purse designer/sleuth, investigating murder as she moves from designer bags to body bags. The prequel, Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash delves into a chilling cold case. The romantic suspense, Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For creates an intriguing tangle of mystery and love. Her 2022 release, Cherry Shakes In The Park blends danger, divas, and frothy summer delights. Wendy enjoys the Pacific Northwest life and time with her two adult sons. She's a blogger, YouTube podcaster, speaker, project manager, and syndicated columnist. Just wait until you see what Katherine Watson and her friends in Bayside face next in the series.
Social Media Links:
Website – WendyWritesBooks.com
Facebook – WendyKendallMysteries
Twitter - @wendywrites1
Instagram - wendyekendall