Curse of Christmas
A Collection of Paranormal Holiday Stories
Nov 2020, 916 pages
Paranormal Holiday Fiction
I loved the cover art. It’s probably why I made the decision to buy the book in fact, since I don’t usually buy many holiday books, especially anthologies. But this cover is so dramatic, it caught my eye and I had to buy it.
Nine hundred and sixteen pages. It took a while to read all these stories. Some of them were regular short stories that almost could have been novellas and some of them weren’t much more than a could of pages. Really. And the characters and subject matter were just as widely spread. There were shapeshifters of all varieties, witches, ghosts, vampires, zombies, and something else I’m sure I’ve forgotten. Some of these were parts of a series and some were standalones. The quality of the writing varied just as much as well. The one thing they all had in common was the need for an editor. Does everyone decide at the last minute to write a holiday tale and just rush it through the process skipping the editing step?
There were some good stories in this collection, but one that really stood out in my mind was a wedding ceremony. If I were getting married, I’d seriously considering using the wording of this ceremony for mine. A Rueful Equinox by Stacey Jaine McIntosh had the most beautiful wording for a marriage ceremony, the most meaningful words. And a simple, beautiful symbolic ceremony done with cords around the couple’s wrists with a knot tied at each step of the vows. Their vows were lead by Merlin, but I’m sure they would be just as magical lead by a minister or other significant person.
Another really good story was A Very Changeling Christmas by Samantha Bell. This was very sweet with four young people who try to create a special Christmas feeling for one of their own who has never had a family Christmas morning. And A Haunting for Christmas by Tricia Schneider brings a pair back together after the pain of a husband/brother’s loss has left them both needing someone to love. These are just a few of the stories that stand out for me from this collection. Yes, there were some duds, but I’m not going to point those out. Let’s focus on the good stuff. It far outweighs the other. Recommended.