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.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Stained Glass Secrets and Star Wishes (Christmas Cookies) by Celaine Charles

"I haven't read a fantasy book in a long time and this one was quite interesting AND about Christmas! So, double-fun! [...] The whole book was very well-written, romantic, and although a fantasy, realistic." Jennifer, Goodreads


Published: November 16th, 2022

Ember McCoy, a young and stressed accountant, plans to spend Christmas alone at her family's lakeside cabin. But after a mysterious man offers his kindness and time, she begins to reassess her fast-paced world. Holding a star-shaped, stained-glass cookie up to the light, she makes a wish. Is the glistening candy-blue center a hopeful sign there may be more to her existence than the long work hours draining the joy from her life?

Laiken Devere, an Ashrai water fairy, laments the passing of his grandmother and his future in the shadows of his older brothers. To honor his grandmother, he visits the human world above James Lake, asking the stars to reveal his destiny. But why would fate lead him to an impossible relationship with a human, especially the sorrowful young Ember he found by the lake?

Does Ember and Laiken’s future together now rely on stained-glass secrets and star wishes?


Ember propped the flashlight against an inside corner of the snow castle. She took the bottle from his hands to lean in the opposite corner, then sat down at the ice table. Laiken exhaled away his thoughts and joined her, setting down the mugs.

“We should wait a bit for the Kahlua to chill,” she said. 

He nodded, afraid to say a word, because if he did, he might confess everything he was feeling inside. Meeting Ember had sparked new emotions. And these new emotions had him wondering if they were anything like Grandmother felt for her human friend…lover…whoever it may have been. The one she left behind.

“I can’t believe you made this. How long did it take?”

His attention snapped back. The Ashrai measured time differently, so he wasn’t sure how to answer. He pulled off his hat, shoved it into his pocket. “It was done before the sun rose.”

Her expression lifted as she blew out a breath. “You worked all night?” 

“Yes.” He swallowed at the nerves jabbing inside. The image of her crying in the window flashed through his mind again. “For you. I wanted to make you smile.”

Her mouth dropped open, pink lips unable to express what she might have wanted to say. Or maybe, like him, she wasn’t sure how much truth to divulge. He could see her struggling, her gaze latching onto his. They’d just spend the whole evening laughing and eating, sharing bits and pieces of themselves, without really sharing anything at all. The Ashrai were honest. They were bold. He didn’t know how much longer he could keep his mouth shut about their worlds. He was more than intrigued by her. Not only did he want to sweep away the sorrow he’d seen through her window that first night, but there was more.

Maybe he felt a little missed happiness himself.

About the author:
Celaine Charles lives in the Pacific Northwest where she teaches elementary school, writes fantasy fiction and poetry, and blogs about her writing journey on Steps In Between.

On the fiction side, Celaine’s YA Fantasy, Seam Keepers (The Wild Rose Press), released in May 2021, and won a first place golden award (in the category of YA/Sci-fi) through Moonbeam Children and Young Adult book awards, 2021. Her new adult, holiday, paranormal, romance novella, Stained Glass Secrets and Star Wishes, launches November 2022 (The Wild Rose Press, Christmas Cookies Series).

On the Poetry side, Celaine’s book, Colors Collected (Palmetto Publishing Group), debuted in August 2019. This book stemmed from her online poetry series, Colors, hosted on Channillo.com, and was awarded Best New Series, Best Continuing Series, and Best Poetry Series for the 2018 Channillo Awards.

Currently, Celaine is working on the sequel to Seam Keepers, entitled, Dream Keepers, and a brand-new YA Contemporary Fantasy, Life Song. She is always penning new poetry for no other reason than to cleanse her soul, yet she is also working to create a new collection and exploring a children’s book project, as well.

When Celaine isn’t writing, she is usually with her family, reading, watching movies, or taking walks in her beautiful home of Washington state. Nature is always her muse. She takes a million picture on every venture.

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Tamra Phelps said...

It seems to blend a traditional Christmas love story with sci-fi/fantasy. I like that idea. I'd read it.

Debbie P said...

This sounds like a wonderful book!

Stormy Vixen said...

Great excerpt, Stained Glass Secrets and Star Wishes sounds like an excellent book for me to read and enjoy!

Thanks for sharing it with me and have a magical holiday season!

Celaine Charles said...

Thank you to CJ, Tamra, Debbie, and Stormy (and anyone else I miss) for all your kind words and support! I loved writing this story. It's short and sweet and perfect for this time of year. I hope you are all able to give it a full read. Cheers to you and happiest of holidays!