Poison for the Holidays, in A Christmas Code by Jacki Delecki

My guest today is Jacki Delecki, whose has recently released an audio edition of her romantic suspense novel, A Christmas Code. This story is set in my favorite period, the Regency, around the holidays. And it is one of the plants used for those holiday decorations which provides the poison which almost puts paid to the hero’s life. Fortunately, though this specific holiday plant is still used today, with modern medicine, it is no longer the threat in the modern day that is was during the Regency. Which, of course, is no great comfort to Jacki’s Regency hero, Ash.

What Jacki has to say about her research for A Christmas Code . . .

Woman in a red dress and cloak standing against a cloudy sky

Some Background for A Christmas Code

Tis the Season…for romantic suspense!

As a romantic suspense author, I am always in search of new ideas and concepts that I can weave into my stories and plots. What might sound like homework to some is more like a challenging scavenger hunt to me. The idea is to collect a variety of random ideas and then figure out how to assemble them into a compelling tale of intrigue.

For A Christmas Code, Book 2 of the Regency romantic suspense series, The Code Breakers, I combined elements from the winter holiday season to craft a story that features an attempted poisoning set against the elegant backdrop of the Regency Ton. In this story, the hero Ash is poisoned by a dose of ground up holly berries meant for the Prince Regent.

A popular accent used in Christmas decorations, holly is an evergreen shrub that can grow to be a tree, and there are more than 400 different varieties of the plant. The fruit and leaves contain a mix of caffeine-like alkaloid theobromine, caffeine and glycosides (theobromine is also found in chocolate and cocoa).

People and pets avoid the prickly leaves, but children may be attracted to the bright red berries. As few as 20 can be lethal if consumed, and eating just three berries can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe symptoms include drowsiness, slowed breathing and heart rate, coma and death.

Ash catches a lucky break, because, while holly berries are toxic, people rarely die from ingesting this type of poison. Nowadays modern medicine can treat individuals who consume holly berries, but that wasn’t always the case.

I recently released the audiobook version of A Christmas Code, which is narrated by the talented Pearl Hewitt, who also narrated two other books in this series:   A Code of Love and A Code of the Heart. You can listen to an audio sample here: http://bit.ly/1ToZIx9

One winner will receive their choice of the digital or audiobook version of A Christmas Code. Just comment for a chance to win! Please be sure to leave your email address so you can be contacted if you are the winner.

Photo of author: blond, shoulder-length hair, grey blouse with draped collar

About the Author

Jacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. Both acclaimed series are available for purchase at http://www.JackiDelecki.com. To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB—Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.


3 thoughts on “Poison for the Holidays, in A Christmas Code by Jacki Delecki

  1. Thank you so much for hosting A Christmas Code! Always great to be on your wonderful site. Happy Holidays!

    • It is a pleasure to have you.

      Your new story sounds fascinating, and a nice counter-point to overly saccharine holiday tales. I wish you both Happy Holidays and very strong sales!



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