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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - The Nutcracker’s Suite Author: Chautona Havig On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 26, 2021

“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

media-headshot-sm-240x300Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


More from Chautona

Here Are Several Fun Facts & a Secret about The Nutcracker’s Suite

You’d think that while writing a book based on the fairy tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, I’d have heard “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head as I wrote. Well, I guess for a brief moment I did, because at some point, someone actually says that. “Dance, sugar plum!”

But Tchaikovsky isn’t who played in my head as I wrote. Over and over, word after word, my fingers did their bourres and glissades across my keyboard to one, rather unexpected song. “Ballerina” (I prefer the version sung by Buddy Clark. You can listen HERE.)

However, there are so many elements of the original ballet’s story in mine. I thought I’d share a few of them.

Let’s talk about the cast of characters.

Clarice Stahl is our “leading lady.” It’s kind of obvious where I got her name since the original character was Clara Stahlbaum.

Clarice works for Mr. Dieter Meyer, the owner of Meyer’s Toys. He gives her the job of painting nutcrackers. So, it’s not too difficult to see the connection to Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara the nutcracker, no?

All of 1925 Rockland is in the clutches of mob king, Mario Topo. For those not fluent in Italian, can you guess what “topo” is in that language? Remember… he’s the mob “king.” 😉

But I think my favorite name of all is Emiliano (I call him Milo) Natale (Christmas in Italian… just sayin’) who is known as “the nutcracker.” He’s an enforcer for Mr. Topo, and that means he squeezes people until they crack and do what Topo wants. Let’s hope he repents!

Yes, I had a boatload of fun coming up with this stuff! How’d you guess?

I have a secret to confess about this book. I’m writing this post when I’m only about a quarter of the way done. I went to get the synopsis for this tour and went, “oops!” You see, I forgot that I’d planned to make Milo going missing a big part of the plot.

Guess who has to flex? I’d better get back to it. They need to figure out who killed our victim… and why. And before Clarice is next!

My Thoughts

The Nutcracker’s Suite is book six in the Ever After Mystery Series and is written by Chautona Havig. The Ever After Mystery series is a multi-author series that can be read as stand alone books. They are all tied together by the fairy tale retelling connection. Chautona is one of my most favorite authors and I have been fortunate enough to read several of her new releases this year. She always writes unique stories.

I absolutely love Nutcracker’s. My grandma used to collect them and when she passed I took her collection. Every year that I set it up I get emotional. I was really excited to read this book. I love the detail that the author put into the story about the toy building/painting. It really brought the story alive.

In this story, you will be transported back to the 1920’s. A time where prohibition and gangsters were center story. In this story heads will roll…..literally. Clarice grew up as an orphan. Her father left and her mother passed away. I was drawn to her character immediately. She is working in a toy shop. Her life has been sad. She has been reassigned to a very large order that in her opinion is better suited for the newer girls. She is asked to stay late one day - and when she is told to see her boss after completing a certain amount of dolls, she walks in on her boss’ dead body and the “enforcer” standing close to the body. Clarice is concerned that Milo may have had something to do with it. Clarice is used to seeing members of mob king, Mario Topo’s gang pass through. This time it was different. Milo insists that he did not have anything to do with Meyer’s death and the race is on to try and find the person behind it…. Before they are killed in the process.

The author has woven together a well written, historically accurate, mystery. I love the twists and turns that the author has put into this story. I LOVE this series.

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

For the Love of Literature, November 28

By the Book, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Rachael’s Inkwell, November 30

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Bizwings Blog, December 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Simple Harvest Reads, December 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 5

Connect in Fiction, December 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, December 9


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away to three winners one Prize box each including a paperback of The Nutcracker’s Suite, themed goodies, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card in each!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. This sounds like a really good story.

  2. This sounds like a an action-packed mystery, one without a single boring moment.

  3. This sounds so good! Thanks for sharing i!

  4. Sounds like a great holiday read and I like the cover! Thanks for sharing it with me! Connie, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Have a spectacular holiday season!

  5. I love the cover. It has an Art Deco look.

  6. Connie, Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

  7. Thank you for reading and reviewing! I love that you caught some of the things I was trying to do!