Hello, there. My name is Comfort Ann Joy. I'll wait while that one sinks in… (whistling noise). Oh, you get it? Sigh. My mother, under the influence of painkillers after my birth, let her kooky sister hijack the name-giving part of the process and didn't realize until days later the perky name I'd been saddled with. Along the way it was shortened to Comfy—like a worn out chair or an old pair of shoes. Much later, in design school, I was grudgingly glad for my unique name even as I rebelled against the implication that the only clothes a person named Comfy Joy could design were ugly Christmas sweaters.
I was famous for five minutes when I competed on a design competition TV show, but ultimately walked away with second place and a reprimand from the judges for not leaning into my "birthright" to design holiday-inspired clothing. (As if.) For the last two years I've apprenticed under a NYC luxury designer while trying to figure out my next career move. Since luxury retail is on the outs with the American consumer, my days here are numbered.
Under the category of "piling on," I received a sad call from my mother that my eccentric aunt died suddenly, right in the middle of her Christmas Year Around shop in Somewhere, Georgia. The fact that she died in a memorable way didn't surprise me… but what happened next sure did.
She left me her Christmas shop! My life, such as it is, is in Manhattan. Plus I don't even like Christmas—the pressure, the expense, the stress…ugh! But since I was on a career break, I decided to make the trip to Georgia and get the kitschy shop ready to sell. I didn't expect to land in the middle of a murder mystery, with a cast of quirky suspects straight out of a board game. And to be pulled into the quagmire of Christmasness. And to learn that Southern men can ring a girl's, um, bells.
So for the time-being, I have a new mantra: Christmas… if you can't get out of it, get into it.
The *FREE* HOLIDAY GIRL daily serial ran July 1 through December 31, 2023. If you missed out on the fun, 6 monthly e-novellas are available for purchase through Amazon (see links at the top and bottom of this page).
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If you missed out on HOLIDAY GIRL, you can still get the 6 monthly e-novellas with that month's daily episodes—see the links at the top and bottom of this page!