Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 11 months ago

WB S1E29: 2021 Holiday Surprise!

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

WRITERS' BLOCK: Our own Mary Kay Andrews unearths a holiday short story, Fatal Fruitcake and reads it for a Holiday Surprise!

...he was sitting down at the end of the table away from the door, head down on the table, I thought he was drunk, passed out. I was gonna wake him up, you know, call a cab and send him home? I shook him and shook him. That's when I saw you know, welcome to the Friends and fiction Writer's Block podcast for new york times, bestselling authors, one rock star librarian and endless stories joined mary Kay Andrews, Kristin, Harmel, Kristy, Woodson, Harvey and Patti Callahan Henry. Along with Ron Block as novelists, we are four long time friends with 70 books between us and I am Ron Block. Please join us for fascinating author interviews and insider. Talk about publishing and writing if you love books and are curious about the writing world you are in the right place. Right, welcome to a pop up holiday episode. It's the spirit of giving. We wanted to unearth a classic short story by our founding member of Friends and Fiction mary Kay Andrews. It's entitled Fatal Fruitcake If that's not enough. She's going to read it to us on this very special episode. Wonderful! Right, so I'm beyond thrilled to welcome my dear friend mary Kay Andrews. Hello mary Kay! Hi Ron! Hi everybody out there. This is such a wonderful idea and what a special treat for people. Before we get going with you. Reading to us, tell us the story of the, of the story. Where did it come from? Has it been in your vault for a while and how did you come up with the idea and set in motion. Well yeah, it has been in the vault is...

...covered in cobwebs. Actually not really. I wrote this fatal fruitcake. Um, it's a Callahan Garrity short story. I wrote it in 1997 and I wrote it for a now defunct airline magazine. And for those who don't know, Callahan Garrity was my fictional sleuth. The 1st 10 novels I wrote were Callahan novels, First Aid, I should say sorry. Uh where Callaghan? And Callaghan was in Atlanta private investigator who had been an Atlanta police department detective. She'd been a detective and she quits the squad and gets a job running home cleaning business with her mother. Edna, who was was based on my late mother. And uh Edna is Edna is cranky and funny and they lived together and they run this business called the cleaning business called the House mouse. And, but Callahan has also kept her P I license. So every once in a while, she instead of cleaning up crime, she cleans up some grime. And the idea for the fruitcake story came about when I was, you know, I was a reporter Ron for years. And I was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. But we were living in savannah and I was what was called a stringer. So I wrote freelance piece, feature pieces for newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal Constitution. I wrote some stories. I think I might have written a story for the new york times to about Claxton fruitcake, which were made in Claxton Georgia. Uh, yeah. Klaxons about, I don't know, 45 minutes, 50 minutes away from Savannah where we were living at the time. And so I had, you know, the reason why they made Claxton fruitcake and klaxon is because one of the big ingredients is pecans and Claxton is right in the middle of become territory in Georgia. And so that I had written on stories about that. Then I wrote a story years later about how, you know, fruitcake was sort of this, um, it was sort of this thing that was like there was a dividing line.

People, you either hate fruitcake or you love fruitcake and I think the, the squidgy squidgy, squishy red and green things in fruitcake or what squid people out frequently. That's the dividing line. Boom. Yeah, so that kind of was in the background. And actually the first christmas book I ever wrote was called blue christmas. And fruitcake has a prominent place in the beginning of blue christmas. So all of those things kind of, I think worked their way into the short story called fatal Fruitcake. I love it and what a great title too. So well, you know what, you know, I love my alliteration. Yes, you do, Yes, you do. And we love that. You love it because it comes up with the greatest ideas. So without any further ado listeners, I give you fatal fruitcake written and read for you by our own mary Kay andrews take it away. There were 10 strands of Christmas lights, all of them hopelessly tangled into one big ul approved snarl. Which idiot put these lights away last year. I demanded only six shopping days left till the big day. And as always I felt overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. The ceaseless jangle of the radio playing an endless stream of hokey christmas songs made my nerves raw and my mother's mindless humming didn't help either. Can't you cut that noise off Edna. My mother looked up from her job, which was to hack away at the base of the tree with a dull butcher knife until the trunk fit into her rested 40 year old christmas tree stand grandma got run over by a reindeer happens to be my favorite song, she said mildly. And as for the christmas slice, you put them away last year, Miss Grinch, I muttered dark threats to myself. And when the phone rang, I didn't budge from my spot on the living room floor.

Let the machine pick it up. I said, Edna and I run a cleaning business with the ridiculous name of the house mouse christmas is our busy season. Everybody wants a clean house for the holidays. But no, she picked it up. Listen for a moment then handed me the receiver, it's Jackie, she said. Jackie baker is the youngest of our house Mouse girls and not usually prone to emotion, but now her voice was shaking, Callahan, she said breathlessly. You gotta come, come quick. I'm a Colony Square. That big ad agency, Schubert. Show walter Quinn. I was cleaning the conference room. There's a dead guy here, Callahan. I ain't studying those stiffs. I sighed. Told her to call the cops and hung up. Edna looked at me. Hopefully. She never met a homicide. She didn't want to investigate. Oh yes. In addition to the cleaning business, I have a sideline Callahan Garrity investigations. I started the P. I agency after I left the Atlanta Police Department five years ago when business was slow. Well, non existent. I bought the house mouse. I only take cases every now and then. It looked like Jackie had found me one. The cops beat me to Schubert. Show walter Quinn's offices at Colony Square in midtown Atlanta. A uniformed officer stood in front of the heavy mahogany double doors which were open to the hallway just inside in the reception erI I could see Jackie Ashen faced being interrogated by a tall, broad shouldered detective. The cut of his black dinner jacket looked familiar. The uniformed officer stationed at the door to their office suite did his level best to turn me away. Crime scene ma'am, he said, trying to make his pudgy, clean shaven features look stern. I represent the woman who found the body, I told him, which was true. I did represent Jackie as far as setting her up with housecleaning clients. This cut no mustard with the kid with the badge. I was arguing loudly when...

...the detective finally turned around to see who was making all the racket, he looked annoyed and then resigned. Let her in, Hopkins, he said, otherwise she'll stand there bitching and moaning all night bucky Devers the detective and the dinner jacket was an old close friend from my own days with the A. P. D. I flashed him a grateful grin and stepped into the reception area. Jackie stood up and hugged me. She was shaking and I could tell she had been crying. I pulled up a leather chair and sat down to hear her story. I told you I was gonna do some moonlighting. Remember for extra christmas money? I shook my head impatiently. It's fine. Just tell me what happened. Shuart show walter Quinn had their big christmas party here today. Jackie said talk about a mess. There was trash everywhere. I never seen nothing like it. Paper plates and cups, food, liquor bottles, balloons mess everywhere. I was working my way towards a conference room where the buffet was arranged picking up as I went. It's a big office. Lots of employees. The door was closed. I opened the door to go in there and she swallowed hard, tears sprang up in her eyes. He was sitting down at the end of the table away from the door, head down on the table. I thought he was drunk, passed out. I was gonna wake him up, you know, call a cab and send them home. I shook him and shook him. That's when I saw, you know, no gunshots or stab wounds, spoke bucky, put in here, no real sign of a struggle. The medical examiner's in there with him now. Oh my God! Jackie whispered it was awful. I never saw a dead body before. I didn't know how things would be. Just then a door from the reception area opened and a petite blonde woman dressed in flowing red chiffon party pants and a hastily button white lab coat came into the room. She was removing a pair of rubber gloves which she tossed into the trash can beside the receptionist desk diverse, she said, ignoring Jackie and...

...me. I knew Sonya Paterson when she was just an assistant medical examiner. She knew me too. Death by ecstasy ation. She said no foul play. The fat jerk literally ate himself to death Jackie gas. What do you mean? A chunk of food got lodged in his throat and he choked dr Peterson said, it looks like fruitcake but we'll run lab tests to be sure that's it. Devers ask please, no foul play. Excellent by now Sonya Paterson had removed her lab coat for this. I left the medical society dance. Unbelievable underneath the lab coat. She was wearing a sequined strapless top that showed plenty of cleavage, you can wrap up the crime scene by yourself. Right? She asked, I'll have the paperwork done for you by monday, accidental death. She looked closely at Devers, noticing now that he too was dressed for a party. Nice dinner jacket, she said. Then she was gone. Deaver stood up, stretched and grinned. We got lucky this time. Tonight's the police Benevolent association christmas party. They're raffling off a new jeep at midnight. If I get these guys moving, we'll be out of here by 10 tops. He got Jackie's phone number and address and promised to call if he had any more questions. What about the cleaning? She wanted to know. Can I finish? He thought for a moment. Yeah. What the hell Dr patterson says it's accidental is accidental. Don't need a homicide this close to christmas. Right. Jackie made a face. It was clear she'd had enough of Schubert. Show Walter Quentin for one night, but she was a pro. She squared her shoulders, picked up a cleaning caddy caddy inside. I'll get the bathrooms. Now, could you let me know when the body is gone, bucky nodded. He was busily jotting notes. I stood up and got ready to leave, but I dreaded going back to all that forest holiday cheerfulness at home. By the way, I said, trying to sound off handed, who was the dead guy? I've Mail Clerk Bucky said, still writing Moreland Reynolds 20 to his aunt is...

...married to one of the big guys at this agency Harrison Showalter kids, sort of a dim bulb from what the family says. Uncle Harry hired him as a favor to the wife. He laughed briefly and shook his head. What? I said sourly. What's the joke, Jeff by fruitcake deeper said laughing again. How would you like to have that on your death certificate? The conference room doors open then and the ambulance attendants wheeled out the stretcher. Moreland Reynolds was zipped into a pace for maroon body bag. One of the attendants, a gangly pimply faced kid with the braves cap on backwards, stopped to high five with Bucky. Hey Detective beavers, he said, you hear what happened to this? Poor stiff I heard but he said, grinning. Could have been worse though. How is that? The kid said could have been one of them senseless. Drive by murders. You know, somebody drives by chunks of fruit cake at you and peels off. Hey! The kid said, slapping his side. That's a good one. Drive by fruitcake killing. Wait'll I tell that one to the dispatcher. Everybody was laughing except for me. I happen to like fruitcake, I said to nobody in particular after the body was gone, but he gathered up his notebook and got ready to leave. It's okay if you want to hang around and wait for your friend, he said, but no snooping. This is a closed case, understand perfectly. I said, he was still laughing, shaking his head as he went out the door. Death by fruitcake. What'll I tell the guys at the party? As soon as he was gone, I went into the conference room. It was as Jackie had promised a mess. Nearly empty platters of food were strewn around a long polished walnut table. All that was left of the honey baked ham with some greasy rind. There was a half full bowl of potato salad, some stale looking rolls and the dregs of a cheese platter decorated with stray grapes and a couple of rogues, strawberries. A credenza held what was left of the desserts, a single slice of pound cake,...

A few broken sugar cookies, a foil tray smeared with what look like chocolate icing. And yes, there on a white plate stood a shimmering jewel of a fruitcake. Its top was studded with glistening pecans, whole dates, figs and honeyed apricots. It was a thing of beauty that fruitcake, but only one slice was missing. I heard a noise. In the drive. In the doorway. Jackie pushed a cleaning cart into the room. I've been dreading coming back here, she admitted it's spooky. I'll stay and help. I told her maybe if I stall long enough. Edna will trim the tree without me. That would be great, Jackie said. I'm no scaredy cat, but I really don't want to be here by myself. She looked as tastefully at the end of the table where a half full plate of food had been pushed out of the way, There were fingerprint powder smudges on and around the table and chair and a chalk outline on the tabletop to show where the body had rested. That's where I found him, she whispered, I am never going to get that out of my mind. Don't look at the table, I suggested. I'll clear the food away, you move the chairs and start vacuuming. We worked fast. I tossed all the food remnants in the trash, wiped off the table and moved to the credenza. I tossed out everything but the fruit cake waste not want, not Edna. The child of the depression always says I picked up the cake bucky was right. The thing was heavy as a concrete block, but handsomer. The fruits and nuts had been arranged in patterns like flowers. I held up to Jackie. You want to take this home? She shuddered. Are you kidding? That thing killed a boy. I don't want no killer. Fruitcake throw that thing in the trash. She was right. I was just about to toss it in the trash when I smelled something. I sniffed the cake, set it back down,...

...picked up a con off the top and put it to my nose. I held the fruitcake out to Jackie again. Does this smell like any fruit cake you ever smelled reluctantly. She walked over and sniffed and wrinkled her nose smells like my grandmama spare room closet. I bent over and inhaled again. You're right? I told her it smells funny, Carefully. I set the cake back down. I picked a tiny morsel and put it on my tongue. The taste was sweet and then bitter like chemicals. I spat it out into the trash and headed to the water cooler for a long drink. I knew they were having the police Benevolent party at Manuel's Tavern, a local watering hole. That's a favorite hangout for cops, newspaper reporters and doctors and nurses from Grady Memorial's emergency room. I tried calling Devers cellphone but my call directly went to voicemail so I called manuals and told the bartender who was looking for And that he was probably in the back room at the PBA Party. It took Bucky 15 minutes to come to the phone. This better not be you guarantee. He said it's me. I admit it now don't hang up. It's about that fruitcake. It smells funny. There's something wrong with the bucky. I think it was poison. What he had to shout to make himself heard over the din at the party. All fruit cake smells funny. Garrity. My great aunt used to soakers and pear brandy that came over on the Mayflower. Get off the phone and out of that office before I send uniforms over there to throw you out. The kid choked accidental death case closed. We'll see about that. I said when I got home to Kamler Park, the lights of the christmas tree glowed through the front window. Can't wait to see what the power bill will be next month! I groused. I unplugged the tree, put the fruit cake on the kitchen table and took myself off to bed. Visions of cheeseburgers dancing in my head. I'd forgotten to eat dinner when I went into the kitchen the next morning. Niva jean mccomb one of the...

...house mouse girls was sitting at the kitchen table, reading the newspaper. She had a can of mountain dew in one hand and a huge slab of fruitcake in the other. The slice was headed straight for her gaping red lipstick mouth. Don't I cried, knocking it out of her hand and onto the floor. Hey, diva jean screeched. It was just one itty bitty piece. There's still a whole cake left. Callahan, geez! I poured myself a cup of coffee with trembling hands and sat down beside her. That cake is poisoned, I explained. A guy died eating it last night. Geez! *** jean, hollered. She shoved the plate away in revulsion. What's it doing here? Evidence? I told her I'm going to prove to bucky Devers and sonya Paterson that morlin Reynolds the victim did not choke to death. The aluminum platters I tossed in the trash the night before were labeled with the caterers name, which was festivus. I looked up the number in the yellow pages and gave them a jingle festivus aboard sounding man answered. Let us be a party to your next affair Garrity here, Atlanta police, I said, trying to sound official without actually claiming to be a cop. Your people catered a party last night at Schubert show walter Gwynn. Someone died. We have reason to believe your fruitcake was responsible. Wait just a minute, The man said, his voice rising. I don't like your tone for your information. Are mr Terrence was right here in our kitchen last night supervising the salmon and crude. No, no, I said quickly, I'm at the real fruit cake, you know, with the nuts and candied fruit. Oh, the man said, But we at festivals don't do fruitcake. It's such a cliche. We do an espresso mousse. We do guava tartlets. We do baba of rum and tiramisu, but we don't do fruitcake. He hung up. All that talk of moose and tartlets. Maybe hungry? I looked longingly at the fruitcake. Instead, I ate a bowl of crap. Captain crunch. The receptionist...

...at Schubert show walter Quinn was named jennifer. She lived in Virginia Highlands when I told her why I was calling that Moreland Reynolds had died from eating fruitcake. There was a faint giggle at the other end of the phone. It's not funny, I said hotly. Where did that fruitcake come from? The caterers say they didn't bring it. I have no idea, she said this time of year clients and suppliers are always sending fruit boxes and trays of goodies to the office. Anybody could have put that cake on the buffet table. I glanced at the fruitcake, noticing for the first time. The platter, it had been placed upon a modest oval dish with a border of golden wheat sheaves, Gas station china. I'd grown up with the stuff. No, I told her this is definitely homemade. I described the cake plate to her. Oh, that sounds like Carlin and accounting. She said she's always bringing in baked goods. Oh dear. Carlene said when I told her why I was calling this is embarrassing. One of my neighbors gave me that as a gift, but my kids wouldn't eat fruitcake at gunpoint so I brought it to work. I had no idea Marlon Reynolds was kind of a pest, you know, but now I feel just awful. You really think it was a fruitcake looking that way? I told her, my voice grim. The name of Carlin's neighbor was Tricia Finnerty, but the babysitter said she was out christmas shopping at the mall, wouldn't be home till noon. I called my friend linda. She's a chemist, was one of the big drug companies here in town linda. I said, if I brought you a slice of fruitcake, could you test it in your lab and tell me what's wrong with it? Hell! She said after she stopped laughing, I can tell you what's wrong with fruitcake over the phone? It's all those red and green cherries. Do you have any idea what those things are made of? Very funny. I said, my sides are splitting. Okay, She said relenting. When do you want to do this right away. I said before it starts to go bad. You obviously know nothing about fruitcake Linda said the things never go bad.

They have the half life of plutonium. Okay. I'll meet you at the lab in 30 minutes. By the time I got there, linda was gowned and masked like a surgeon while I watched he took a sliver of the fruitcake and put it in a test tube. Then she added liquid from a beaker and added a stopper with a length of thin rubber tubing that led to yet another beaker on a stand. She held the test tube over a Bunsen burner. The liquid began boiling almost at once and within minutes I could see the empty beaker cloud up with a gas. A sharp smell filled the room. Tetrachloride. Benzene linda announced. The person who got a mouthful of this was very, very sick before he died. And if he digested any, his liver should look like a piece of swiss cheese. I swallowed hard thinking about how close I had come to eating the fruit case myself. What's this teacher, What's this used for? I asked. She shrugged. Industries use it to manufacture flora carbons and sometimes it's used in fire extinguishers. Oh yeah. People used to use it as a spot remover before the E. P. A. Outlawed it. You really can't buy it anymore. I borrowed a pair of rubber gloves to wear while re wrapping the fruitcake then I called Trish affinity from my cell phone. The fruitcake I gave Carlene. She sounded confused. The mall will do that to you. Oh yeah, she said slowly. I'd almost forgotten my husband. My husband is a dentist, one of his patients. Old mrs Popovich gave it to him so he brought it home to me as a joke. He knows how I feel about fruitcake Elena Popovic lived indicator. The house was tiny with peeling green paint and a bright blue front door. A strand of blinking, multicolored lights outlined the doorway and a huge plastic reindeer stood on her minuscule front porch. I knocked and waited five minutes, seven minutes. Finally, a voice who is it? A voice call from the other side of the door. It's Callahan Garrity. I said, I've come to see about your fruitcake. The door knob turned...

...then and the door moved inward by an inch and I could see a latch, security chain you like fruitcake? The voice was heavily accented Slavic sounding. I adore it. I said, servant lee. She gave me a quizzical look. Okay? She said finally, and she unlatched the door and let me in. Elena Popovic was stooped nearly double over an aluminum walker. She had snowy white hair braided and pinned around her head like a wreath Her eyes behind the thick lens glasses were a Milky Brown. She was 90 if she was a day I make fruitcake myself, she said, probably come, I show the kitchen was the size of my broom closet, but it was spotless and smelled like bleach ascent. I love better than roses. Mrs Popovic stood in the center, like the captain on the bow of a warship. She pointed toward the chip Formica countertop. There. Swath and plastic wrap stood a whole row of fruitcakes, half a dozen and all. May I? She nodded so I unwrapped one and inhale deeply. Mm I said, try not to joke. What's your secret? Good flowers? She said, beaming, raisins, figs, dates, nuts, whiskey. I don't see so good and to cook no more, but fruitcake I know by heart. He's up here, she said, tapping her forehead. Whiskey, I said. Is that what you soak the cake? And of course, she said. Elena papa deck does not buy whiskey to drink only for fruitcake at christmas. Can I see what can you use? I asked eagerly. I want to make mine just the way you do, she looked perplexed. Sure. Then she shuffled over to an old fashioned metal wall cabinet and opened it. Her fingertips flew over the jumble of boxes and bottles and cans. He's gone, she said, turning to me with a frown. Are you sure? I asked. What kind of bottle is it in? Maybe I could look. No, she said. And then the brown eyes sparkled. Now, what I remember Gripping...

The Walker with one hand, she bent over and grunting with the effort of it, opened the cupboard under the sink, she rummaged a moment, breathing heavily, and then came up with a flat sided brown flask with a screw cap. We ski, she said, and handed to me with a flourish. I unscrewed the cap and sniffed expectantly, felt the disappointment wash over me. Whiskey. It was probably old granddad. The label was long gone. Let me put it back for you, I offered, before she could refuse. I was down on my knees with a cupboard door open like me. She kept her mop bucket under the sink along with a can of comet and a box of S. O. S. Pads. It was dark under there. So it took a moment before my fingers closed on the bottle. It was the same shape and color as the bourbon bottle. I unscrewed the cap and sniffed my nostrils burn from the proximity. I smiled a secret smile. Then I stood up at the same time, slipping the bottle into the pocket of my skirt. Elena papa that didn't want to part with her fruitcakes is christmas gift, she explained for dr paperboy mailman, But I drive a hard bargain for $120 in cash. She let me talk her out of her toxic treasures. She looked puzzles as I loaded them into a paper grocery sack. What do you want with seeks fruitcake? She asked. Oh, I said, brightly. Their presence. Everybody loves fruitcake. On the way home. I stopped at a dumpster in back at the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club in little five points just around the corner from the house I share with Edna. The fruitcakes made a loud thud as they hit the pile of empty bottles and cans inside the dumpster. I uncapped mrs papa Vicks, braun flask and poured the tetrachloride benzene on the kazoo patch at the side of the parking lot. It seemed to wither. As I watched...

...suddenly, inexplicably I felt myself to begin to glow with a long repressed holiday spirit. Someone had died recently, which was sad, but I had saved a little old lady from being prosecuted for an innocent mistake. I got back in my van and turned the radio up as loud as it would go. They were playing my favorite Elvis song, I'll have a blue christmas without you, I'll warble. I glanced in my rear view mirror and caught out of the corner of my eye. A flash of moment I turned around to get a better look homeless man, one of the ones who was always hanging around the neighborhood mooching change for beer and cigarettes and muttering vague threats to anybody who turned him away, was clambering up the side of the dumpster as I watched he did a boozy swan dive down into it. The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach wasn't from the aroma of decaying garbage. I jumped out of the van and ran over to the dumpster. I could hear him in there rooting around in the bottles and cans and trash. Soon I was dodging empty ketchup bottles and rabbit and rotten cabbage heads as they flew out of the bin. Hey buddy! I called anxiously. A grizzled head poked up over the rim of the dumpster. Sure enough, he was holding one of Elena papa Vicks masterpieces in his right hand. Get your own dumpster, he snarled. This one's mine mister, please! I beg don't eat that fruit cake. Fruitcake a he said. My old lady used to make fruitcake. Every christmas put 1/5 of jack Daniels in it. Don't eat that fruit cake, I said desperately. I saw it first, he said, taunting me now, it's all mine. He opened his mouth wide, ready to sink, uneven yellow teeth into his tooth some fine. His eyes widen. He sniffed and his eyes narrowed suspiciously. He sniffed again. Hey! He said, outraged. There ain't no whiskey...

...in here. The fruitcake went whizzing past my head, grazing me slightly. I sighed, rubbing my bleeding ear, then picked up the fruitcake and threw it into the back of the van. Some things I decided you just can't throw away the end. I love it. What a great story! Every part of it! Thank you so much for sharing that with everybody. It's just a perfect little gift for us to have and give to our listeners. Tell me a little bit about fruitcake you didn't say whether you're a lover or a hater. I like fruitcake only if it's made with the things. I just don't like those red and green things. I don't know what they are. I mean, a fruitcake that has like dried apricots and and what? And candy nuts and figs and dates. And I have had that kind of a fruit cake and I think I made 11 time, a long time ago and I soak mine in bourbon, but I couldn't tell you where the recipe is. So, the fruitcake I like, I guess it's just a thing in my imagination. I do not put the secret tetra chloride. Benzene and mine. No. So, it's a warning to everybody out there. Please check your whiskey bottles before adding it to your recipe. That's right. It's great. Great. So, at the end of this story, there is actually in the e version, there's a recipe. Yeah. Fruit cake. Can you tell us about that where it came from? Okay, I can't remember what you already told me. That's true. I don't you know, I'm sure somebody gave it to me. It's like the like the short story itself. It's been in the vault for a really long time. Right, okay, So, well, when this airs maybe we'll just post the recipe on the facebook page everybody can have at it and make their make your favorite fruit cake. Just make sure that what you put in there is whiskey and not poison.

Right. Right. Right, thank you so much for sharing the story with everybody. You're the best and you know we all wish you and your family a fruitful holiday season and we're holding your family type this year. Thank you Ron. Thank you. I appreciate that. I love you guys merry christmas, everybody merry christmas everybody. Mm remember you can always find all the books by every Friends and fiction writer's block podcast. Guest past and present in the friends and fiction bookshop dot org shop all sales place there helped to fund Friends and fiction and a portion of each and every sale goes straight into the pockets of indie booksellers nationwide. Since its inception, bookshop dot org has raised more than 16 million for indie bookstores, shops, small shop local from the convenience of your screen with bookshop dot org and tell them friends and fiction sent you. Thank you for tuning in to the Friends and fiction Writer's block podcast. Please be sure to subscribe rate and review on your favorite podcast platform, tune in every friday for another episode And you can also join us every week on Facebook or YouTube where our live friends and fiction show airs at seven p.m. eastern standard time. We're so glad you're here.

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