Help me welcome back Jodi Rath. Always fun and this post is a treat! Think about all those wickedly trying and wickedly fun holidays with family.
The holiday season sure can bring out some extreme emotions. The family is gathered around the fireplace when Aunt Gillian pops in. Everyone yells, “Happy Holidays!” but some in the family sincerely wish good ole Aunt Gill a happy holiday, while others say it with a vengeance, remembering the time Gill one-upped them by buying little Sally her first bouncy ball. Others have that love/hate relationship with Gillian—she did marry Grandma’s son after all—Grandma knows better than anyone that Gillian is NOT good enough for her little Billy and never will be, yet Gillian did provide me, her beloved granddaughter.
Ah family . . . the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the holiday novella, Yuletide Cast of the Iron Skillet, Jolie goes for a holiday stroll through her hometown of Leavensport, Ohio every year. But this year, she is going with her beau, Mick Meiser. He is finally doing much better after his most recent MS flare-up. She’s looking forward to the double wedding coming up for her BFF, Ava, with her fiancé, Delilah, and her Grandma Opal with Tom Costello.
I nodded and took another sip of my
cocoa, slurping up a marshmallow that had melted and enjoying the soft vanilla
flavor mixed in with the rich chocolate.
As we walked through the
park, I noticed the gazebo covered in puffy, white snow and said more to myself
than Mick, “It would have been nice to see a wedding in the gazebo.”
I was referring to the
upcoming double wedding with my grandma and local grocer Tom Costello, and my
best friend, Ava, and Delilah. Tom was a real character. He had to be to keep
up with my grandma’s orneriness. They looked adorable when they were together.
Grandma Opal was not even five feet tall–stout, with tight curly black hair with
lots of grays mixed in, and always with a bulldog expression on her face. She
was a real spitfire. Tom was two times her size in height, with a rotund belly
that hung over his leather belt, bushy black eyebrows, and I swore he colored
his equally bushy black hair to a deep black.
“I’m sure the church will
look beautiful, too,” Mick said.
I thought Ava was going
to be the bridezilla, seeing that Ava was all things big, bold, and fabulous.
But Grandma Opal gave her a run for her money, pushing Tom’s wallet to the
limit. I asked my mom if Grandma had a big wedding with my grandpa, and she
told me it was lackluster, to say the least.
One of the themes that run through The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series is those dysfunctional family feelings we all experience from time to time. Jolie adores her family and would drop everything in a heartbeat if any of them were to get into trouble, but they can also drive her completely batty. And she’s pretty sure the feeling is mutual.
Those universal themes that we find in books help us as readers connect with and relate to the characters in our favorite books. We are all made up of good, bad, and ugly and only family (blood relations or not—whatever form family comes in for you) accept us for who we really are, warts and all! These are the ties that bind.
Links to purchase book:
All other e-platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mdzPwR
Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers, educational writing, marketing consultant work with authors, and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her eight cats.
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