Welcome to Kings River Life's sister site;
Kings River Lite:

KRL is a California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal.
Kings River Lite occasionally offers a "bonus" review, beyond the full issues that go up weekly over at KingsRiverLife.com.

Be sure to follow the River and enjoy brand new articles throughout the week by following both sites. You can subscribe via the sidebar, like Kings River Life, and/or circle KRL for updates. Don't miss our timely & topical issues every Saturday, and check in here for updates and new articles if KRL Magazine is ever down.

Friday, December 2, 2016

“A Damsel for Santa” A McKenna Mystery By Terry Ambrose

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win an ebook copy of this novella at the end of the review.

All Wilson McKenna was hoping for was to spend a Hawaiian Christmas together for the first time with his girlfriend Benni. Before she can fly in from the Big Island, McKenna is talked into doing a favor that he simply cannot refuse. The Honolulu Community Theater is giving charity benefit performance of “A Damsel for Santa,” and their Santa has just come down with a case of malaria. McKenna’s tenant, aspiring private investigator Chance Logan, has talked him into doing far more outlandish deeds before, so convincing McKenna into filling in as Santa proves to be a breeze. It’s a charitable act McKenna soon regrets, as he’s immediately faced with a hot-flashing Mrs. Claus, weed-smoking crew, and a child star whose mother suffers from PTSD.

➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for this week's issue ⬅

Rehearsals haven’t even begun before the owner of a homeless shelter is murdered, a fast-approaching hurricane knocks out the power and phones, and the entire cast is locked in the theater with a killer. It’s up to McKenna, in an alarmingly uncomfortable Santa suit, to preserve the crime scene, question the suspects, and hopefully keep everyone alive until the police can arrive. With a cast of actors who are off the eccentric scale and not receptive to his interrogations, McKenna finds himself reluctantly relying on a nine year-old Temporary Assistant Elf Investigator to solve the mystery and save Christmas.

Image source: Terry Ambrose

This Christmas novella arrives just in time for the holidays and serves up a generous portion of laughs and escapist reading. The classic locked-room scenario gets twisted with the inclusion of a zany collection of characters who unpredictably fall in and out of their roles. The very put-upon McKenna continues to be entertaining as he wades through the suspects, ensuring his success as Santa no matter how much he attempts to resist. Often a beacon of sanity is an ocean of chaos, McKenna is at his best when surrounded by chaos.

To enter to win an ebook copy of A Damsel for Santa, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “damsel,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 12, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please included your mailing address.

You can use this link to purchase the book:


Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

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. Have just started reading this series & author & love them. His characters are hilarious. Thanks for the chance to win. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Sounds like a great book. Thank you for this chance. areewekidding@yahoo.com

  3. I like these cozy mysteries with a cast of rather different characters.

  4. Very tempting, Terry. Sounds like a delightfully wicked read just before Christmas.