Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, this excellent story explores the devastating consequences of bigotry and hatred within families, and the healing power of acceptance and love.
Infused with humour and warmth that serves as a very effective contrast to the bitterness of the antagonist, the story immerses the reader in the lives of Linda, Tim and Ani as they navigate their way through quite significant challenges. It is a positive and uplifting book that helps those who have the privilege of being comfortable in their situations to understand what it is like for others who experience discrimination and prejudice, and how to appropriately respond to differences in others.
The writing is excellent, the story is expertly crafted, and the characters are delightful. All in all, it’s a very entertaining read that comes highly recommended for YA and older. It’s a story that everyone should read.
A Christmas-themed novella in The Werewolf Whisperer Series, this is a paranormal suspense story that will please readers looking for something darker than Jingle Bells and Winter Wonderland for their December fare.
It’s a great story, full of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. It’s easily read in about an hour, which makes it the perfect length for reading on busy December days.
Ranging from children’s books to Yuletide horror and everything in between, I’ve squirrelled away the best in Indie Christmas Reads for you.
The books presented here have all been reviewed on this blog either last Christmas or this year.
Clicking on a book cover will take you to the review and its relevant links.
Christmas also features heavily in R.M. Gauthier’s Christmas Miracle series, in which the stories take place in Christmas Town, USA at different times of the year.
‘Christmas Australis’ is not your usual Christmas reading fare. Instead of fairy lights and tinsel, you’ll find shadows and dark corners, disreputable people, food that is not to be trusted and family secrets that are even darker than most.
Introducing each story by means of a letter from The Epica adds another layer of mystery and darkness to the collection, while the distinctly Australian flavour of the stories adds a unique quality to the anthology that sets it apart from other Christmas collections.
This excellent anthology will certainly add a delicious dash of darkness to your Christmas reading.
‘Twelve Tales of Christmas’ is a collection of fantasy and contemporary short stories with Christmas themes. Some of the stories are poignant, while others are lighthearted. The stories offer a good variety of themes, settings and characters, and each one delivers its own unique message to ponder.
As with any collection, there were some stories I preferred over others, but I found them all to be enjoyable and interesting at the very least.
This book would make great family or individual reading during December.
A dark fantasy short story set in a small island community, this can be read — like most fairy tales — as a as a story of heroism and commitment that enables one to face their fears for the greater good, but also on another level as a cautionary tale about the importance of following instructions and meeting one’s responsibilities.
The story is quite well written, although the language seemed a little stilted in places. This may well have been an intentional choice by the author in keeping with the old-fashioned narrative style of the fairy tale genre, but as Huard is an author that is new to this reader, it is hard to tell. It may simply be a matter of not yet being used to his writing style.
The story is enjoyable and the challenges encountered by the characters certainly encourage the reader to engage in the action and hope for a positive outcome. The fact that not all characters survive is realistic in terms of both the fairy tale genre and real life.
This book makes great December reading primarily for YA and older children, or for families to enjoy together.
This is a fun collection of paranormal stories with a Christmas theme, each one highly original and well-written.
The variety in the collection adds to the reader’s enjoyment by heightening the anticipation, because one never knows what is coming next.
From a magical fruitcake to ghosts to a clowder of talking cats, from mystery to romance, there is something for everyone in this very entertaining anthology.
‘Midnight Lasagne’ is a very enjoyable collection of varied and original Christmas-themed stories that make relaxing reading for the holiday season.
Each story offers a different perspective or experience of Christmas, from that of a single mother to a ten-year old kid whose first love is video games.
These stories are perfect for filling in quiet moments in the busy lead-up to Christmas.
‘Winter’s Curse’ is a very original and engaging YA paranormal romance novel in which Winter must overcome not just one, but two curses, that stand between her and future happiness.
The story is well crafted, with some intriguing twists and turns and a few surprises along the way. Winter and her friends are likeable characters, while those who work against her are clearly intended to be disliked. The magical clans, their qualities and the social structures and rules by which they live are original and interesting, which adds another layer of complexity to the story and helps to drive the complications of the plot.
This is a book that reminds the reader that real friendship and true love transcend the boundaries of class, heritage or alliance that people try to put on them, and that it’s more important to choose what is right than to settle for what others might decide or impose.
‘Murder and Mistletoe’ is a very good cozy mystery set in 1936, first on the Paris-Bordeaux train and then in Bordeaux itself. The very confident and classy Franny Calico is a seasoned amateur sleuth who finds herself investigating a mystery that threatens not only her own safety, but that of others near and dear to her.
The story is well crafted and develops at a good pace, keeping both Franny and the reader intrigued. The characters are engaging and interesting, and there are sufficient touches of late 1930s styling and glamour to make the settings and plot believable.
Easily read in less than 90 minutes, this novella delivers most enjoyable reading, ideal for readers busy with preparations for Christmas and end of year celebrations.