"Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas" By Lynn Cahoon: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of this book and a link to purchase it.

Magic Springs!

Due to unexpected circumstances, Mia Malone relocated to Magic Springs, purchased and renovated an old school property, and opened Mia’s Morsels. Her catering and pre-prepared meal destination and cooking school may have had a good first year, but better is why she’s planning some PR events. Mia does, however, have a secret…she is a witch, a kitchen witch. Her Grans is helping her develop her talents along with new boyfriend Trent and his brother Levi who have their own magical skills, but few others among the non-magical residents are in the know. One exception is her ex-boyfriend’s sister Christina Adams who has now become her friend, roommate, and assistant in the shop. There is Gloria, her doll familiar, and a cat, Mr. Darcy, who was accidentally possessed and now stuck with the spirit of a friend, and despite her best efforts and intervention by friends and family, mischief still happens.

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Image Source Kensington
Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas
Earns 5/5 Ghostly Apparitions…Entertaining!

Looking at all the boxes of decorations, Mia suddenly is feeling tense. Sure, it’s the first Christmas since she actively began embracing her witchy persona, but it seemed to be more than feeling overwhelmed to learn from her boyfriend, who seems to be channeling Martha Stewart, that she needs a theme, other than Christmas, for her shop’s decor. One of Mia’s special talents is feeling the emotions of those around her, and while sitting in the lobby of her shop, something had zapped her with an intense feeling of sadness. When she asked her Grans about the incident, she was met with a snarky retort that “I should have known I bought a haunted building.” It becomes more problematic with an increase in practical jokes and unexplained glitches that threaten to derail her plans for an open house event. “Do you want to try to talk to the spirit?” A flicker of light was seen by the stairs as the room itself became darker and darker, and a voice spoke up, ”Find out who killed me.”

Merry Magic! Lynn Cahoon has mixed together all the ingredients for a perfect respite from holiday shopping with this novella in her Kitchen Witch Mystery. The Christmas season can be busy, but adding to Mia’s to-do list a time-sensitive, twenty-year-old mystery courtesy of some ghostly pleas makes it hectic! The idea that Dorothy Purcell‘s natural “in her sleep” death is in question, and her ghostly reply “Ask Mary Alice,” Mia’s grandmother, is not an easy proposition. The investigation is hampered since there are only journals, books, and faded memories to pursue, but it is a big, magical WOW! Clever surprise. Entertaining fun! I am a fan of adding a bit of magic to my cozy, and Lynn doesn’t go overboard with the ghosts, a possessed cat, and being a witch woven in realistically with running a business, preparing for the shop’s special event, supporting friends and neighbors of varying magical skill, and navigating a nice romance with a hunky guy. Big thumbs up!

So, What’s in a kitchen? Well, there’s, of course, a witch, but an easy-to-follow sweet recipe, too! In this new novella, enjoy Lynn’s favorite treat to take to holiday parties or, for me, enjoy with a nice cup of coffee: Cranberry Gooey Bars. 

Kitchen Witch Mystery

Chili Cauldron Curse prequel (2020) KRL News Review HERE

One Poison Pie (2020) KRL News Review HERE

Murder 101 novella (2021)

Two Wicked Desserts (2021) KRL News Review HERE

Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas novella (2021)

Three Tainted Teas (April, 2022) Amazon Preorder HERE.

Be a Big Lynn Cahoon Fan!

First, a big shout out to this fellow “spud,” Lynn Cahoon! Along with this new Kitchen Witch Mystery series, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Lynn Cahoon pens another series set in Idaho: Farm-to-Fork Mystery series. She takes readers to South Cove, California, in her Tourist Trap Mystery series, and in the Cat Latimer series to the small town of Aspen Hills, Colorado. All of her series have engaging mysteries and a delightful set of characters and meet any reading preference since the books are available in print, eBook, and as audiobooks.  

Facebook—Lynn Cahoon Author

Website—Lynn Cahoon Be sure to sign up for her newsletter.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "holly,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 11, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter.  If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds like another great Christmas read. Thanks for the chance.


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