Secrets Don’t Sink by K.B. Jackson – Guest Post: Christmas in Chattertowne + Giveaway

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Secrets Don’t Sink: A Chattertowne Mystery
by K. B. Jackson

About Secrets Don’t Sink

Secrets Don’t Sink: A Chattertowne Mystery
Traditional Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Chattertowne, Washington- a small riverfront community in the Pacific Northwest
Level Best Books (July 4, 2023)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 308 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1685123899
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1685123895
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0C83SGJ23

Loose lips may sink ships, but bodies and secrets will always float to the surface.

Audrey O’Connell has returned from Portland to her hometown of Chattertowne, Washington, a place where gossip is currency but knowing when to stay tight-lipped is priceless. Procuring a part-time job at the local newspaper to keep an eye on her impetuous sister following Vivienne’s latest romantic scandal, Audrey is assigned a feature series for the upcoming festival which has her digging through the town archives in search of anything interesting. When her former boyfriend Marcus is found floating dead in the marina not long after reaching out to her in hopes of utilizing her research skills, her investigation reveals his conspiracy theories about Chattertowne and corruption within its leadership might not have been so crazy after all.

As she plumbs the depths of the town’s 150-year history, she discovers that beneath the façade of this idyllic hamlet lie secrets long-submerged–including within her own family–and finds herself in the crosshairs of those who guard them.

Now with three dead bodies, an intense case of aquaphobia, and a narrow window before her deadline, Audrey looks to City Manager Holden, octogenarian historian Mildred, and her enigmatic almost-boyfriend Darren to help her discover the truth that will forever change her and Chattertowne.

Christmas in Chattertowne

Hello, and welcome to Christmas in historic downtown Chattertowne, Washington. I’m your tour guide, Audrey O’Connell. As a features writer for the Coastal Current, Chattertowne’s best—okay, its only—source for local news and events, I’m thrilled to share with you all the activities planned for the holiday season.

According to Peg at the Chamber of Commerce, a lot of planning has gone into this year’s calendar of events. A full schedule can be found on their website.

We start things off with a bang on the first Saturday following Thanksgiving at 2pm when the big guy himself, Santa Claus, arrives at the marina by sailboat. You’ll have the opportunity to take photos with him and—rumor has it—Rudolph will be there as well so watch where you step!

Now that the sun sets about an hour after it rises (okay, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much) the tree lighting will be taking place at 5pm. We’ll have a thirty minute countdown concert and sing-along performed by Chattertowne’s own Merwin the Music Man, star of the hit children’s show, the Seatown Shenanigang (Sunday mornings-check your local listings).

Santa will make his rounds to different stores throughout the holiday season. Check the Chamber website for more details.

Each of the downtown stores will be competing in the holiday window display competition, so don’t forget to vote for your favorite. The winner will be announced on December 16th at the winter ball (more about that in a bit) and will receive a trophy to exhibit at their shop.

Thursday December 7th at 6pm begins the nightly lighting of the Chattertowne menorah at the Jewish Senior Center. Rabbi Silver will lead the festivities which will include local folk music group the Keshet Klezmer Trio, balloon animals for the kids, and a firetruck chocolate gelt drop. I’m told by Chief Norvald that the Chattertowne Fire Department has learned a better method for dropping the chocolate coins from the ladder truck following last year’s unfortunate incident. They’ve also acquired an updated event insurance policy from Hank Billings.

Friday, December 8th at 7pm is the Ugly Christmas Sweater pub crawl on Main Street starting at Jim’s Saloon. 21+ only. IDs will be checked. Return to Jim’s at the end of the night for the announcement of ugliest sweater winner. Organizers are asking that the sweaters adhere to all city ordinances related to public decency. Last year someone (who shall remain nameless, but you all know who I’m talking about) thought it would be cute to wear a fishnet body suit with a strategically placed bow. Also, Chattertowne PD will be doing DUI checkpoints, so please make use of the various ride services available to you.

On Saturday December 9th from 8-11am, the American Legion will be hosting their annual Santa pancake breakfast. It’s only $10 a person—what a bargain—and there will be a silent auction for charity.

At noon, Abigail’s Café will be having their annual gingerbread house decorating contest. Winners receive a $100 certificate to Abigail’s. That will buy a lot of marmalade scones!

At 2pm out at Zeb Brandt’s farm will be the annual pumpkin chucking contest. Last year’s winner CPD officer Tony Bianchi says he’s been practicing since the day after Halloween, so he’s ready for any would-be challengers to his title of reigning pumpkin chucker.

Saturday December 16th is the 71st annual Winter Ball benefitting the Chattertowne food bank at the iconic Peacock Ballroom. Tickets are on sale now and include a catered dinner from Martini’s. This year’s theme is Festival of Ice, featuring a display of ice sculptures from local artisans. Think frosty décor, lots of sparkling lights, and a dancefloor beneath the ballroom’s hundred year old crystal chandelier. The Chattertowne High School jazz band will be providing music to dance the night away.

December 22nd is the Solstice River Walk. Come celebrate the shortest day of the year, with the knowledge that longer days are once again coming! Beginning just after sundown, paper luminaries filled with tealights will begin to glow as you stroll along the path on the banks of the Jeanetta River. Bring your sweetheart, bring your families, bring your friends. Finish your walk at one of many restaurants on main street with a special winter solstice celebration menu.

Friday, December 29th from 3-9pm there will be a Kwanzaa celebration at Founder’s Park featuring live music, food trucks, and a kinara lighting ceremony. Contact Holden Villalobos at city hall if you have any questions or would like to volunteer for the event.

Finally, Monday January 1st at 8am there will be a polar river plunge. Meet at the boat launch at least fifteen minutes prior. Coffee and Cocoa will be provided by the women’s association. BYOT—Bring your own towel.

How lucky we are to live in a town that values its history and community. I have a feeling this will be the best holiday season yet!

About K.B. Jackson

Kate B Jackson (KB Jackson) is an author of mystery novels for grownups and mystery/adventure novels for kids. She lives in the Pacific NW with her husband and has four mostly grown children. A part-time genealogist, she loves to craft stories with elements of history and family dynamics.

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