Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Short Story Anthology / Christmas
Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words
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Contributions from ten different authors:
Barbra Annino, J.R. Rain, Christiana Miller, Rose Pressey, Helen Smith, Heather Massey, Liz Schulte, Toni LoTempio, Danielle Younge-Ullman and J.W. Becton.
“A mix of magical, spooky, and romantic tales for the holidays.”
All proceeds of this book benefit Kids Need to Read.
A fun collection of longer short stories (the longest actually novelette length) with very little in common except they’re all good and the holiday season has some role in each. Some have a supernatural or paranormal element. Some have characters from one of the author’s novels, although I never felt I needed backstory about those characters to understand or enjoy the story.
I considered singling out stories that stood out as especially good or different than the others and realized I couldn’t. Genres run the gambit from a cozy mystery (Helen Smith’s Real Elves, featuring characters from her Emily Castles series) to what might be described as a psychological thriller in Barbra Annino’s The Perfect Gift. There are a couple stories where Santa Claus needs some help (Krampus Klaus by Christiana Miller and J.R. Rain’s The Santa Call). The possibility of budding romance on Chinese New Year in Heather Massey’s Fortune Cat’s Visit has a lesson about giving that, while the story wasn’t about Christmas, might have captured the spirit of the season best of all.
Spelling conventions vary and appear to be dependent on the residence of the author.
A small number of proofing and copyediting misses.
Rating: ***** Five stars