Families are important in both my Jazzi and Lux mysteries. Jazzi invites her family and close friends to her house every Sunday for a Sunday meal so that they can stay close and catch up with each other. Lux’s parents both died, and she was an only child, so she gets together with her adopted family, the Johnsons. The loves them, and they love her. When the third Johnson brother–Keon– moves in with her, they claim her as their own.

Because the families are so close, I’ve ended up with a grandma in each series, too. Jazzi’s grandma taught her to cook on weekends she spent at her house when Jazzi was growing up. She and Gran enjoy being together, even though when Gran gets stressed or too tired, she can get confused these days and thinks Jazzi’s her dead sister, Sarah. Gran has two special gifts. She can tell when a woman’s pregnant, often before the woman herself realizes it. And she has the “sight.” She sees things, even if what she sees doesn’t make any sense to anyone at the time. And she’s always right.

Lux isn’t close to her grandparents, hardly knows them. But Keon was forced to spend time with his grandmother, helping her mow her yard and doing chores around her house. There’s no love lost between them, and for good reason. His grandma is downright mean. She’s rude and manipulates people.

It was interesting writing them to make them so different. In place of a grandmother, Lux has Cook–the woman who lived in her parents’ huge house and prepared all of their meals. Cook let Lux pester her in the kitchen. She’s the perfect stereotypical grandma, baking cookies and goodies and fussing over Lux when she needed cheering up.

This is the season I think about family more than usual. All of my grandparents are gone now. So are my parents. But the traditions they passed down are still alive, and they bring back happy memories. We’re celebrating Christmas late this year, so that my grandsons can quarantine before they come to see us. My daughter in Florida can’t make it because she doesn’t want to risk flying home. But all of us are going to do our best to have as happy of a holiday as we can. I’m wishing you the same.

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