Isn’t it strange when fiction bleeds into real life? Sometimes, it’s a sense of déjà vu, where you could swear you’ve read or seen something before. Sometimes, it’s the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon (also called the Baader-Meinhof effect or frequency illusion) where you learn something new and suddenly start noticing it everywhere. (It’s an interesting phenomenon…you can read more about it here.)

And sometimes, it’s just a strange coincidence.

That happened to me last week when I was rereading one of Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s holiday stories so that we could publish it as a standalone. The story, called “Frank’s Corner Bar,” takes place, unsurprisingly given the title, in a bar. That’s not the weird part. The weird thing was just as I was reading about a bottle of Grand Marnier in the story, I got a text from a friend asking me if I had any Grand Marnier. She needed it for a recipe, and since she doesn’t drink or normally use alcohol while cooking, she didn’t even know where the liquor store was.

Adding to the strange coincidence, I had actually been meaning to pick up a bottle of Grand Marnier (not something I normally have on hand) for my own recipe needs and I was about to head out the door to run an errand for my daughter, which would take me right by the liquor store.

So, within 30 minutes, she had a cup of Grand Marnier and we both were marveling at the strange happenstance of it all.

Now, Kris has written several stories set in bars. But she has never mentioned Grand Marnier in the hundreds of titles I’ve published for her (I double-checked).

Until “Frank’s Corner Bar.”

And since the story is available for free this week as Kris’ weekly free fiction offering, you should read it, too, and see if you suddenly find yourself making a run for Grand Marnier.

But even if you don’t, it’s a great read and perfect if you like a little holiday in your crime stories.

 You can see for yourself here.


Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.