Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Review Unholy Nights (A Twisted Christmas Boxed Set)


Unfortunately I have not succeed (real life sometimes asks for its rights) to read the entire anthology, only the first three stories ... and a half. But if the other works are like these three, and I have no reason to believe it will not be so, this anthology deserves all the five Goodreads stars.

The stories brought together are united by the fact that each is based on a mystery, a spell or a tradition about Christmas or the longest night of the year, the one of the winter solstice.

But any similarity ends here because, if they are united by the supernatural, they are totally different not only in subject matter, but also in the style of the authors. You will find from the sweet style, almost adolescent of the first story, A Kiss Is Just a Kiss, in which the limit that makes the difference between a love escapade and a happy ever after seems to hang by the mistletoe tradition, to the more mature, more sexy one in Love Charm for Dakota, and to the one (almost) macabre from In the Bleak Midwinter or the Snow Quinn.

The authors build very well the set and the characters’ roles, and they will keep you curious and will amaze you. They write smoothly, harmoniously and successfully use figures of speech, and I mention here only that repetition from the In the Bleak Midwinter, reversed once, that remarkably emphasize the experiences of the characters. In addition to the good twists of the plot, besides the joy, excitement, mystery, suspense, despair and hope that come from stories, the reader's interest is fueled also by the accentuation of the way in which each of the characters accept and use magic for his own benefit or in detriment of another. It's just about the perception, of the characters and / or of the reader. The boundary between good and evil, and between real and surreal are blurred as a result of magic and will remain as a shadow hanging by the characters.

Whatever your literary tastes are, surely you will find something to like in this anthology that I highly recommend to you.

For those who like their Christmas a little twisted, seven tales of charms and magic, curses and intrigue...

It's Christmastide, but Holly Mathers can't seem to get into the spirit. She's been obsessing for weeks over a hook-up gone wrong with the hot, green-eyed Will MacIvey, who's treating her like the ghost of Christmas past. When she and her roommate are invited to a Winter Solstice celebration by their faculty advisor, Holly is thrilled to learn that Will is going to the party. Holly's roommate has procured a sprig of enchanted mistletoe that she plans to use to steal a kiss from the sexy professor. When she chickens out, Holly decides to try the spell on Will, hoping that a kiss under the mistletoe will remind him of the steamy night he seems to have forgotten. But magic always comes with a price...

About the author:
Linda Barlow lives in New England with her mysterious spouse (who sleeps during the day, which has often made her wonder if he's a vampire) and their equally enigmatic and nocturnal cat.

 Website ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter

In the bleak midwinter... With no money and nowhere to go, Ayla MacFarlane's first midwinter break from college returns her to the decaying house she grew up in--and to the shadow of her father, whose perverse obsession with her made her years there a misery. Now under her father's control again, Ayla knows that if she leaves once more it will only be a matter of time before their father turns his sights to her little sister Julia... "There's a boy in the woods..." But the hunted are not always without protection. While Ayla has been away, Julia has made friends with a mysterious boy in the woods that surround their property. Certain he is up to no good, Ayla sets out to confront him, only to find a beautiful young man who speaks in riddles and makes her heart race. What is stranger is that he knows things no human should know, and he tells Ayla that he can help her...for a price. The hunt is on... As the solstice nears, the time of reckoning is at hand. Will Ayla have the courage to reclaim all her father stole from her and protect her little sister, or will she be be a slave to her fear, and lose her chance to save herself forever?

About the author:
I write books. Obsessively. And I read books. Not quite as obsessively as I'd like, since there are all these books I have to write, you see. One day I will take a book vacation and do nothing but read my TBR list.

  Website ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter

Nantucket is the home of hedge fund titans, old money and hidebound tradition. Habits are comfortable, and the habits of the rich are very comfortable. Into Cabot Saltonstall's sedate world blows Dakota Bishop, possessor of a wild spirit and a magical love charm. Cabot's blue-blood family history includes an ancestor who resigned from the Salem Witch trials, because he refused to believe in witchcraft. But Cabot is all too willing to be bewitched. Dakota can't stay still long enough for anyone to tie her down, nor is Cabot the right kind of guy for her. If only he'd have sex with her so she could get him out of her system. Why does he need to be so traditional with his emotions and plans for the future? Does she know enough of witchcraft to overcome the spell of the accidentally cast love charm?

About the author:
Carly lives near Nantucket Island, where the Christmas Stroll is an annual event. Having found her own Prince Charming at a young age, she's never needed a love charm, but please join her as she tells the tales of other women who've used a bit of magic to find true love.

Five years ago, Cambridge Ballet's Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier vanished after performing The Nutcracker. Despite extensive city and statewide searches, no traces of them, besides their ballet slippers, were ever found. Every year since, another member of the cast has gone missing after closing night: the Mouse King, an Arabian Dancer, The Dew Drop Fairy, a Flower. Nieves Alba, who as a thirteen-year-old played Clara in the first ill-fated performance, is now cast as the Snow Queen. On closing night, every police officer in Boston surrounds the theater, determined to catch the perpetrator whom they’ve dubbed “The Nutcracker.” Can Nieves break the curse or will she be the next victim of America's favorite ballet?

About the author:
Alana Albertson never was fortunate to get cast as the snow queen though she did play the soldier. She has extensive collections of snow globes and nutcrackers but none of them have ever been enchanted. 

Recluse, Katie Crowe, has observed the world from a window in her father's loveless house. With the death of her father and the departure of her only friend, Katie sees no point in venturing out. Then a new neighbor and his three female companions take up residence across the road in the very house her friend had vacated four months ago. Gabe's eyes hold a promise to Katie when she gazes into them--a way out of her lonely prison, if she could but step beyond her threshold. Something holds her back: Though the past and its people seem far from her now, the trees still know her haunting secret.

About the author:

Kara Ashley Dey is a writer of UF and Sci-Fi Romance. Her alter ego is an abbynormal cg artist.

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Sera Flaherty would rather take lumps of coal and be committed to the naughty list for life than admit that she has a role to play in her failing marriage. She deludes her way into a negative bank balance and is left with no chance of getting her husband Spencer a present. When faced with the reality of their relationship, Sera finds she's willing to sacrifice anything to fix her mistakes and find her husband the perfect gift...even if doing will cost more than she bargained for.

About the author:
Nicole Blanchard loves receiving gifts from strangers so long as they don't come with an ominous warning or risk of dismemberment. She also enjoys taking full advantage of the fringe benefits of being on the naughty list in her spare time.

Lady Elizabeth Darling has fled her overbearing family to spend the holidays with her late husband’s Aunt at Scarsbury Manor in the hills of Herefordshire. What she hoped would be a quiet Christmas quickly turns upside down as strange sightings begin to stack up and rumors fly that the great house is haunted. She tries to stay out of the drama, but when a young maid who also lost her lover in tragic circumstances asks for her help to move forward she drops everything to come to her aid. With age old traditions underway and a diverse guest list including the handsome and outspoken Captain Wolfe on the premises, can Lady Elizabeth heal both their hearts and find love before it’s too late? 

About the author:
Cherie Chulick will not be spending her Christmas holiday at a haunted manor, but she does keep an eye out for the occasional ghost. Fortunately the glow of her Kindle seems to keep them at bay.


Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful trilogy! A Christmas pachet, a box set of Christmas, with books with different storyes. What a beautiful thing.

Praf de stele said...

Sunt foarte frumoase povestile de Craciun!! <3

Unknown said...

Imi plac copertile.
GFC Alexandra14

Bianca said...

What a nice idea! I would really enjoy owning such a Christmas boxed set.