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Twelve Tales of Christmas: Fantasy and Contemporary Stories to Brighten Your Holidays

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Christmas isn't always Jingle Bells and "Ho, ho, ho." In these Twelve Tales of Christmas, even Santa has to deal with unexpected German shepherds and reindeer who suddenly want to learn the tango. A dryad works feverishly with a teenage boy to save her tree, now in a stand in his living room, and everyone begs Death to hold off for just one more day. And no one knows what Christmas isn't always Jingle Bells and "Ho, ho, ho." In these Twelve Tales of Christmas, even Santa has to deal with unexpected German shepherds and reindeer who suddenly want to learn the tango. A dryad works feverishly with a teenage boy to save her tree, now in a stand in his living room, and everyone begs Death to hold off for just one more day. And no one knows what to do with the fire-breathing dragon. He's not going on the Christmas card list anytime soon. Come enter worlds of beauty and dread. Join a house hob as he raises his cup of eggnog high, and enjoy yuletide yarns delicious enough to tempt even St. Nick.


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Christmas isn't always Jingle Bells and "Ho, ho, ho." In these Twelve Tales of Christmas, even Santa has to deal with unexpected German shepherds and reindeer who suddenly want to learn the tango. A dryad works feverishly with a teenage boy to save her tree, now in a stand in his living room, and everyone begs Death to hold off for just one more day. And no one knows what Christmas isn't always Jingle Bells and "Ho, ho, ho." In these Twelve Tales of Christmas, even Santa has to deal with unexpected German shepherds and reindeer who suddenly want to learn the tango. A dryad works feverishly with a teenage boy to save her tree, now in a stand in his living room, and everyone begs Death to hold off for just one more day. And no one knows what to do with the fire-breathing dragon. He's not going on the Christmas card list anytime soon. Come enter worlds of beauty and dread. Join a house hob as he raises his cup of eggnog high, and enjoy yuletide yarns delicious enough to tempt even St. Nick.

30 review for Twelve Tales of Christmas: Fantasy and Contemporary Stories to Brighten Your Holidays

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    Why This Book The author and I connected via our WordPress blogs, which led to us developing an e-friendship. As it progressed, I realized how prolific she's been, which made me curious to read a few pieces of her work. Given she writes in the fantasy realm, it was an opportunity for me to read more in this genre, as I normally don't, as well as enjoy something by an author I've chatted with many times. I was also very interested as the holiday season is arriving and there are 12 shor Why This Book The author and I connected via our WordPress blogs, which led to us developing an e-friendship. As it progressed, I realized how prolific she's been, which made me curious to read a few pieces of her work. Given she writes in the fantasy realm, it was an opportunity for me to read more in this genre, as I normally don't, as well as enjoy something by an author I've chatted with many times. I was also very interested as the holiday season is arriving and there are 12 short stories, so I could read it in small amounts without worrying about getting too overwhelmed by a new genre (but that didn't work out, as it was so good, I read it ALL in one sitting)! Approach & Style I read this collection on my iPad through Kindle Reader. It has 126 pages spread across 12 individual and separate short stories, some of which are a few pages, while others are about 25 pages long. It took me about 90 minutes to read the entire collection, stopping only once to make a cup of hot cocoa. It's that kind of book! Key Thoughts As a collection, this is fantastic and charming in its individuality and its entirety. The focus runs the gamut of angels, dragons, Santa, magic, romance, spirits, family traditions, elves, and much more. The imagination and inspiration within each of the stories are plentiful, especially in the way Cathleen Townsend weaves traditional with modern values. In the first story called The Gift, you are treated to a beautiful gesture based on something that happened in real-life (and she'll reveal that connection in an upcoming post!). In another story, a father working as a mall Santa, is hoping to find enough money and time to buy presents for his children, as no one else is around to help. In a third, a treetop angel is dying and needs someone to help her maintain her tree -- the family who she lives with is no picnic at first! The beauty in the basic elements of the story, the language and words crafted along the path, and the message readers take away is breathtaking on multiple levels. Generally when you read 12 different stories, there will be a few you love, a few you think are okay and a few you don't particularly care for. That's not the case here; you will love or like them all. For the most part, I really enjoyed the shorter ones, as they had a bit less fantasy and a stronger message that connected with my own emotions or views on life. These are the types of stories you could read on a bus/train ride to work, at the coffee shop, waiting in a doctor's office or standing in a line at a cash register -- all the while improving your mood and giving you something fun and enjoyable to do. Or you could read them allowed as a family, maybe at a hospital to children around the holidays... so many options and types of content that will appeal to a variety of masses. My two favorites: The Gift and Department Store Santa Summary Cathleen is a remarkable author and blogger. I'm very glad to meet her and would recommend her collection of short stories to most any reader. You'll walk away inspired and energized about humanity, and some of the characters aren't all that nice! Please stop by my blog on Fri 12/22/17 for an author spotlight I'm doing specifically on her. You'll be able to read one of her stories for free, as well as find out how buy/download her books in time for the holiday for free as well right now! About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Terri Schrandt

    A fun read to get you in the Christmas spirit! The stories are wonderful, poignant and easily put me in the Christmas mood! Cathleen mixes holiday themes with fantasy for interesting and unusual Christmas fun!

  3. 5 out of 5

    L.N. Denison

    Christmas in all its stages! We have 12 tales tackling different issues around the festive season. Some are heart warming, whereas others voiced the challenges that some people face during that time of year. Each story is well crafted and enjoyed every one of them, but some a little more than others. I think that people will enjoy reading this book. I highly recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sona

    The stories in this collection, meant to be a Chritmas vacation read are delightful, surprising and thankfully all positive because no one wants to feel sad in this season. Every story made me smile. Some for the kindness, others for the love. These tales are magical, more than literally so. The language is lovely. The stories touch your heart in unexpected ways. You feel love, empathy, kindness, hope and joy, which is quite a lot for this short and sweet read. The language is precise, sharp, wit The stories in this collection, meant to be a Chritmas vacation read are delightful, surprising and thankfully all positive because no one wants to feel sad in this season. Every story made me smile. Some for the kindness, others for the love. These tales are magical, more than literally so. The language is lovely. The stories touch your heart in unexpected ways. You feel love, empathy, kindness, hope and joy, which is quite a lot for this short and sweet read. The language is precise, sharp, witty and the stories present different flavours. Christmas makes up the theme and the spirit of the stories but the settings and the protagonists have a lot of variety. Short and longer stories are mixed together judiciously. There are short bursts of positivity interspersed with longer, deeper ones. The shorter ones usually leave you with a mood and the longer ones with the feel of the characters. At places, the characterisation is surprising and refreshing like Mori and the irritable dragon in the last and the longest story. The narrative voice is very mature and I loved the language. Each story threw up lovely words at me that evoked new feelings. I really could not decide which were my most favourite stories. Each one seemed better than the last. 'The Gift' portrays the mind of an elderly woman so well that the reader is as delighted as the protagonist. I wished 'Chritmas Tango' was longer. And 'Snowflake' is both poignant and beautiful. These stories tantalise and because they are short, the reader to forced to think up what happens later. 'Department Store Santa' shows a world that is hard up. Everyone has troubles but it is possible to forget them in little lovely moments. I loved the sensitivity of 'The Angel in the Tree'. 'Dragon Yule' is a wonderful fantasy read. This collection is easy enough for a quick read and rich enough to savour. Read it as your mood demands.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Balroop Singh

    ‘Twelve Tales Of Christmas’ by Cathleen Townsend infuse a spirit of togetherness and warmth, so natural to the festive season of Christmas. Each story centers around an emotion that you can associate with, that exemplifies human goodness and that ushers in most loving memories. The spontaneous flow of thoughts, the mingling of long and short stories and the variety that they offer is appreciable. While ‘The Gift’ poignantly brings out the loneliness of Alisha, ‘Eggnog and Cookies’ lighten up the ‘Twelve Tales Of Christmas’ by Cathleen Townsend infuse a spirit of togetherness and warmth, so natural to the festive season of Christmas. Each story centers around an emotion that you can associate with, that exemplifies human goodness and that ushers in most loving memories. The spontaneous flow of thoughts, the mingling of long and short stories and the variety that they offer is appreciable. While ‘The Gift’ poignantly brings out the loneliness of Alisha, ‘Eggnog and Cookies’ lighten up the mood with tricky ideas but ‘Department Store Santa’ highlights the innate virtues of cooperation, love and gratitude that echo around us even in the wake of adversities. While I enjoyed reading all the twelve tales my favorites are ‘The Angel in the Tree’ and ‘Holiday for Death.’ The former stands out for its unique blend of fantasy and reality while the latter tugs at the strings of your heart, reminding you of your own mother, grandmother or grandfather. The characters are portrayed so well that they reach out to you through their emotions, words and kind gestures for each other.

  6. 4 out of 5

    E.M. Swift-Hook

    Eclectic Christmas Stories ’It had happened. Christmas had come for them.’ This is a collection of twelve diverse Christmas themed stories which are rooted in fantasy or a contemporary setting. Many have a mix of both. They range from the story of a Christmas tree topper and to that of a back-up reindeer hoping to get the call, to a drunken brownie and an old dog’s wish for her family. My favourite in the whole collection was a wonderful story about a newly qualified smith seeking a place to live, Eclectic Christmas Stories ’It had happened. Christmas had come for them.’ This is a collection of twelve diverse Christmas themed stories which are rooted in fantasy or a contemporary setting. Many have a mix of both. They range from the story of a Christmas tree topper and to that of a back-up reindeer hoping to get the call, to a drunken brownie and an old dog’s wish for her family. My favourite in the whole collection was a wonderful story about a newly qualified smith seeking a place to live, who finds himself falsely accused of a crime and facing down a dragon and fighting trolls. “I’m going to play everyone a song. Let’s try to find a little Yule cheer to soften your sorrows.” What I Really Liked: The quality of the writing. This was superb. The range of topics the stories covered. For a single theme the diversity of the stories was really impressive and made the whole book a great read. The characters. The characters who we followed in each story were all compelling and sympathetic. Most were wonderful and none felt like cardboard cut-outs ’Grandma was dying and nobody cared.’ What I Struggled With: I only had one complaint with this collection and it is one I fully respect another reader might not have, but I do feel anyone picking up this book needs to know before they do so. Half the stories in the book are either about very sad topics or have very sad endings. Whilst I am against cloying sweetness in Christmas stories, I did struggle a bit with some of those stories which I found heartbreaking. It got to the point that each new story I started I dreaded it was going to be another sad ending and I could not recommend this collection to anyone who is looking for a collection for exclusively ‘feel good’ reading. Overall: A well written and profoundly compelling collection which is well worth investing time in. Star Rating: 4.5 Who Would Enjoy this Book: If you are looking for an unconventional Christmas collection which will make you shed a tear as well as raise a smile, this is the perfect book for you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Len Evans Jr

    At first I thought I might review each story in the collection individually; however since all of them are very short I decided to just review the collection as a whole. The various stories in this collection range from a few that made me chuckle out loud and the rest that brought tears of both sadness and yes, happiness. Overall this is a stellar collection of beautifully written stories, all with a Christmas theme. There was not a single one that I did not enjoy thoroughly and I am thrilled th At first I thought I might review each story in the collection individually; however since all of them are very short I decided to just review the collection as a whole. The various stories in this collection range from a few that made me chuckle out loud and the rest that brought tears of both sadness and yes, happiness. Overall this is a stellar collection of beautifully written stories, all with a Christmas theme. There was not a single one that I did not enjoy thoroughly and I am thrilled that I found this book in my feed. Awesome read and I recommend it to anyone who loves the spirit of Christmas!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    J.P. Willson

    This year for me I have to admit, I have had a very hard time getting into the Christmas spirit-yet not for lack of trying. There simply just seemed to be something missing. I've been out in the mayhem of the shopping malls and seen the lights and the displays, I've even sung a carol or two. The other night I saw Jann Arden and the VSO and really thought that would perk up my sense of the yule, and it did but only to a point, as wonderful of a Christmas concert as it was. This book of tales from This year for me I have to admit, I have had a very hard time getting into the Christmas spirit-yet not for lack of trying. There simply just seemed to be something missing. I've been out in the mayhem of the shopping malls and seen the lights and the displays, I've even sung a carol or two. The other night I saw Jann Arden and the VSO and really thought that would perk up my sense of the yule, and it did but only to a point, as wonderful of a Christmas concert as it was. This book of tales from an author whose stories I have read previously and quite enjoyed has done the trick though. I am reminded of all of things that I myself hold dear about the Christmas season. It's not the shopping and the lights and the fake Santa's and all that other commercialization we have come to acquaint with the season unfortunately. No. It's about family and friends, it's about tradition and the things we all hold dear in our lives. The tales in this compilation re-instilled in me that which I tend to forget in the day to day humdrum of what can some days be my life. The things that I deem of deep and intrinsic value have been re-awakened. All I can say to the author is, 'Thank You.' A wonderful set of tales for the season that will possibly make you also rediscover your own reasons for celebrating this season and the things you may take for granted. Merry Christmas.

  9. 5 out of 5

    D. Peach

    Perfect for the holiday season. If you’re looking for some Christmas-themed reading, this collection of fantasy and contemporary short stories centered around the season is a winner. Each story is unique, the characters are consistent, and I appreciated the emotion woven throughout the tales. The wide variety translates to never a dull moment, but it also means that I enjoyed some tales more than others. My favorite was Holiday for Death, in which Townsend captured the characters’ personalities Perfect for the holiday season. If you’re looking for some Christmas-themed reading, this collection of fantasy and contemporary short stories centered around the season is a winner. Each story is unique, the characters are consistent, and I appreciated the emotion woven throughout the tales. The wide variety translates to never a dull moment, but it also means that I enjoyed some tales more than others. My favorite was Holiday for Death, in which Townsend captured the characters’ personalities wonderfully, their lives in a convalescent home, and the dying off of the WWII generation. The poignant ending brought tears to my eyes. These stories are appropriate for young adult readers on up.

  10. 5 out of 5

    TRACY

    It was brilliant written 12 different short stories.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robbie Cheadle

    The twelve tales of Christmas by Cathleen Townsend is a delightful collection of short stories, each one with a unique Christmas flavor. I read this book to my 11-year-old son. We are both great fans of Christmas and this book certainly put us in the mood for the season. The three stories I enjoyed the most in this collection are as follows: The angel in the tree – Michael and I were completely thrilled at this tale, which was one of the longer stories in this collection. Fourteen-year-old Jason’s The twelve tales of Christmas by Cathleen Townsend is a delightful collection of short stories, each one with a unique Christmas flavor. I read this book to my 11-year-old son. We are both great fans of Christmas and this book certainly put us in the mood for the season. The three stories I enjoyed the most in this collection are as follows: The angel in the tree – Michael and I were completely thrilled at this tale, which was one of the longer stories in this collection. Fourteen-year-old Jason’s family is really struggling financially, and he is not expecting much for Christmas, so when his older brother, Cameron, comes home with a Christmas tree it is quite a surprise. Even more surprising for Jason is that he thinks he can see a small and wispy angel curled up in the pine leaves. Imagine his reaction the next day when he discovers that the angel in the tree does exist and, not only that, but she can help him scavenge for cockles on the beach. There is a catch though, the angel’s destiny is tied to that of the tree and this tree is seriously ailing. Snowman – This was a very poignant story about a young couple’s journey through married life, starting with their very first Christmas together and their very first Christmas tree and decorations. As they have no decorations at the time of their first Christmas in their new home, they have a party and all their friends are invited to bring a Christmas decoration for the tree. The young pair receive many interesting and unique decorations which make an appearance each year as the couple’s life starts to change with the intervention of children. Will the decorations survive to witness a happy or a sad ending to this marital tale? Dragon Yule – This was Michael’s favourite story as it contained a dragon, trolls and dwarves. It is a longer tale and I read it to him over two nights. The whole of the second day he kept asking to make sure that we were going to finish the “dragon tale” that evening. This is a story about a mismatched couple, one a piper and one a blacksmith, who end up being evicted from the village where they were staying due to a misunderstanding with certain of the villagers. Left out in a storm to make their way as best they can the two seek shelter in a cave. The cave turns out to be the home of a rather frightening dragon who they must win over if they want to survive the night.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hock Tjoa

    These twelve stories are well-written and filled with cheerful or wistful stories. Each story is more or less touched by magic or something unworldly. Alisha is older now than Grandma was when the latter showed her how to make velvety bows for her gifts. How old? Old enough to have outlived her husband and her children's visits. Some of us might wonder about the children; perhaps another time. "She never guessed she would miss Ed's snores so much." For Moira, "brownies are real" unlike Santa. So These twelve stories are well-written and filled with cheerful or wistful stories. Each story is more or less touched by magic or something unworldly. Alisha is older now than Grandma was when the latter showed her how to make velvety bows for her gifts. How old? Old enough to have outlived her husband and her children's visits. Some of us might wonder about the children; perhaps another time. "She never guessed she would miss Ed's snores so much." For Moira, "brownies are real" unlike Santa. So when her mom said to leave cookies and milk for Santa, she did so but promptly invited her brownie friend. Except dad thought either he or mom would wind up getting these goodies and thought they deserved eggnog. It is a cute story about unintended consequences. A couple of the stories tug at the heartstrings for those who have a soft spot for those having trouble making ends meet. We hear of the trials and tribulations of a department store Santa from his point of view. He prayed with a kid for a sick mom - looking over at the dad to make sure there was not going to be any politically correct contretemps. On the bus back home he encounters more help as he wrapped gifts (t-shirts) for his kids. In Holiday for Death, Harold, Edith, and George live in a place where they cut your toenails for you and show movies of Bing Crosby and Elvis and there is amiable back and forth about (not) smoking. Christmas Tango is told from the point of view of one of Santa's reindeer, one of the "backups" who finally gets to experience Santa's magic dust. In Dragon Yule, Jerrick an out-of-work smithy and Mori a juggler/hustler seek shelter from a snowstorm in a cave. They encounter a Dragon, dwarfs, and trolls. "Do not underestimate the value of a bright moment" advises the dragon just before the trolls attack. Turn off your worldly filters and let yourself enjoy this read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    I never matters to me what time of year it is--a good Christmas tale is welcome year round. I will watch a television special or movie any time, and books and short stories with a holiday theme are just as much fun for me in July as in December. These tales are a mix of holiday cheer, fantasy and contemporary. In particular, a tale called "The Angel in the Tree" struck a chord in me, and I haven't been able to shake it. Twelve tales for the twelve days of Christmas? I don't know if that was the p I never matters to me what time of year it is--a good Christmas tale is welcome year round. I will watch a television special or movie any time, and books and short stories with a holiday theme are just as much fun for me in July as in December. These tales are a mix of holiday cheer, fantasy and contemporary. In particular, a tale called "The Angel in the Tree" struck a chord in me, and I haven't been able to shake it. Twelve tales for the twelve days of Christmas? I don't know if that was the plan, but it works for me. Where's the eggnog?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    What a lovely collection of short stories. Not my usual reading but I enjoyed all of them and was pleasantly surprised so please do give this book a go even if you are unsure. It is also only short so ideal if you need to meet your yearly challenge!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bookish

    Enjoyable collection of Christmas stories. ‘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 woul Enjoyable collection of Christmas stories. ‘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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Watson Davis

    This is a really nice collection of short stories with a central theme that they involve Christmas in one way or another. Most of the stories are Urban Fantasy, with pixies and nymphs, with inanimate objects that are conscious, with ghosts and death, but there's also a non-magical story and a pure high-fantasy wtih dragons and trolls. A couple of the stories might try a little too hard to tug at the heartstrings, but I found myself misting up a time or two, I have to admit. If you're looking for so This is a really nice collection of short stories with a central theme that they involve Christmas in one way or another. Most of the stories are Urban Fantasy, with pixies and nymphs, with inanimate objects that are conscious, with ghosts and death, but there's also a non-magical story and a pure high-fantasy wtih dragons and trolls. A couple of the stories might try a little too hard to tug at the heartstrings, but I found myself misting up a time or two, I have to admit. If you're looking for some short seasonal Urban Fantasy, I'd definitely suggest reading this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cammie Adams

    Twelve yummy bites of Christmas Is there anything more magical than Christmas time? Step into any one of Cathleen Townsend's fantasy stories, all set during Christmas and discover there can always be a little bit more magic. Whether it be an eggnog drinking brownie, Santa stuck on a bus, or a jealous snowman, you're sure to find a some Christmas cheer between these pages.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    These stories of fantasy and Christmas delight were heartwarming to read. I read the whole book within 2 days and am now anxious to read more fantasy by this budding author. Highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy and wants a bit of extra cheer.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    Twelve Tales of Christmas, by Cathleen Townsend, is a diverse collection of short holiday stories. An enjoyable read for a few hours road-trip, these twelve tales are poignant, heartwarming and will likely strike a chord with many readers. From tales of family Christmases past to tales of dragons & trolls - the stories are told from many different perspectives, including a snowman tree-topper and a reindeer you may not have heard of. The tales range from very short flash-fiction of a few pages t Twelve Tales of Christmas, by Cathleen Townsend, is a diverse collection of short holiday stories. An enjoyable read for a few hours road-trip, these twelve tales are poignant, heartwarming and will likely strike a chord with many readers. From tales of family Christmases past to tales of dragons & trolls - the stories are told from many different perspectives, including a snowman tree-topper and a reindeer you may not have heard of. The tales range from very short flash-fiction of a few pages to longer stories of twenty or so pages. Many of them highlight families who experience hardships that make Christmastime a struggle, and these contemporary tales are juxtaposed with some of a more fanciful, whimsical nature - but even the stories with magic in them also depict characters with challenges to face. My favorite story in the bunch was the last, Dragon Yule - a medieval tale of a smith named Jerrick searching for a town to make his home in. Jerrick and his friend Mori, a piper, unwittingly find themselves within a dragon's lair - where they befriend dwarves and fight to defend both the lair and an entire town from trolls. An unconventional holiday tale filled with fantasy, action and protagonists with humble, everyday wishes - to find work and a home - it's a tale that readers young and old will enjoy. I also want to mention the story that I found most poignant in the collection that stayed with me afterwards, a tale of an elderly man in a nursing home who finds love in the last hours of his life - Holiday for Death. There is bound to be a tale for many readers in this diverse collection that celebrates the holidays - readers of contemporary fiction, romance, and fantasy alike. And if you are someone who finds Christmastime bittersweet, and longs for stories that will feel real, yet also have a touch of magic in them - then Twelve Tales of Christmas just may be the book to take on a long holiday trip, or curl up with by the fireside this year.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ahnah

    Absolutely amazing! This is the perfect book for Christmas. I laughed, I cried, I felt the joy of Christmas. This book has a story for everyone! I loved "Department Store Santa" and the sweet story of a father who is dealing with Christmas alone and hard times. He finds the true joy of the season in an unexpected way. I cried over Kelly's Christmas and the viewpoint from a beautiful German Shepherd who is dealing with a loss and the magic that Santa works for her and her family. And I am in love Absolutely amazing! This is the perfect book for Christmas. I laughed, I cried, I felt the joy of Christmas. This book has a story for everyone! I loved "Department Store Santa" and the sweet story of a father who is dealing with Christmas alone and hard times. He finds the true joy of the season in an unexpected way. I cried over Kelly's Christmas and the viewpoint from a beautiful German Shepherd who is dealing with a loss and the magic that Santa works for her and her family. And I am in love and will definitely reread "Dragon Yule". By far one of the best written tales in the book of a young blacksmith and a Piper who run into trouble with a dragon, dwarves and yes, trolls! A truly wonderful tale to pass the time as you await your Christmas festivities. Honestly this was a great read....very clean with touching moments that stick with you. I was given the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review through VRO.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ami

    Caring should be world-wide no matter the holidays you celebrate, read about caring in this great collection! Twelve marvelous short stories of Christmas, on earth and in other fantastical worlds. Some made me cry and some made me smile but they all made me very glad that I read them. Cathleen did a wonderful job of world building and made her characters come to life for me. Some I hope to remember for a long time. I highly recommend this book to everyone, even if you don't celebrate the holiday Caring should be world-wide no matter the holidays you celebrate, read about caring in this great collection! Twelve marvelous short stories of Christmas, on earth and in other fantastical worlds. Some made me cry and some made me smile but they all made me very glad that I read them. Cathleen did a wonderful job of world building and made her characters come to life for me. Some I hope to remember for a long time. I highly recommend this book to everyone, even if you don't celebrate the holiday. It is the spirit of kindness, love and caring that we all need in our lives that fill these pages. I will be glad for you if you only enjoy then half as much as I did. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ebook from the author and this is my honest and freely given review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Spencer

    The mix of genres, point of views, and styles in this collection of stories was delightful and I ate up this book in two sittings (traveling for the holidays). The mood for each story ranged from fun to uplifting to poignant. One or two stories seemed out of place for me, or had too serious a mood, but after reading through them all I definitely found myself feeling better and in the Christmas mood. However, a few of these stories ended too soon for me; some could have been their own book and I w The mix of genres, point of views, and styles in this collection of stories was delightful and I ate up this book in two sittings (traveling for the holidays). The mood for each story ranged from fun to uplifting to poignant. One or two stories seemed out of place for me, or had too serious a mood, but after reading through them all I definitely found myself feeling better and in the Christmas mood. However, a few of these stories ended too soon for me; some could have been their own book and I would have loved to stay in those worlds for a little while longer. But together as an anthology their length worked. Overall, the book is a delightful. light read that is perfect for the holiday season.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Eunice Nascimento

    Twelve Tales of Christmas is an imaginative, well written, fantasy and contemporary short story anthology set during Christmas. It addresses all the themes one would expect at Christmas – family, friendship, loneliness, Santa and elves, hardship and more – but it also deals with death during Christmas in a way that managed to be simultaneously compassionate and pragmatic. Some of the stories were humorous and others moving. In every one of the stories, the author made it impossible not to empath Twelve Tales of Christmas is an imaginative, well written, fantasy and contemporary short story anthology set during Christmas. It addresses all the themes one would expect at Christmas – family, friendship, loneliness, Santa and elves, hardship and more – but it also deals with death during Christmas in a way that managed to be simultaneously compassionate and pragmatic. Some of the stories were humorous and others moving. In every one of the stories, the author made it impossible not to empathise with the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of short stories and highly recommend them to anyone who loves stories.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erinn Price

    Christmas tales with a difference. Each story is unique and well written. My only complaint was that some of the stories were too short and I wished they continued. The characters were well written and one could connect with them. They are not all happy stories and the talent of the author is obvious as they all do manage to grab ones emotions whether it be happiness, sadness, enjoyment or wishing things were better for some of the characters. Anyone looking for Christmas stories to read will enj Christmas tales with a difference. Each story is unique and well written. My only complaint was that some of the stories were too short and I wished they continued. The characters were well written and one could connect with them. They are not all happy stories and the talent of the author is obvious as they all do manage to grab ones emotions whether it be happiness, sadness, enjoyment or wishing things were better for some of the characters. Anyone looking for Christmas stories to read will enjoy these short stories.

  25. 4 out of 5

    JD

    Fun take on Christmas tales. There’s a Christmas theme that runs through all of them, but there’s also a bit of impish fun along with a twist or two thrown in as well. The stories do a great job of blending modern day times with old world folklore and a pinch of Christmas spirit. My favorites in the collection were “Angel in the Tree” and “Dragon Yule”. Fun holiday themed stories if you’re looking for a light and whimsical read this holiday season.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Helen Mathey-Horn

    For a Christmas enthusiast like myself, it was a pleasure to get to read all of these great tales of Christmas stories, both past and present. Each story, I felt, encompassed the joys I feel around the holidays. My favorite stories are Department Store Santa and The Angel in the Tree. None of the stories are very long and would be a great gift for any child for Christmas storytimes with family. There is a story in there for everyone.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bette Stevens

    An eclectic blend of realistic and fantasy fiction! Twelve Tales of Christmas by Cathleen Townsend is an imaginative and well written collection of short stories Themes include family, friendship, festivities, loneliness, war and peace, love, loss and longing. The author captivates the reader with each holiday tale. ~ Bette A. Stevens, author of award-winning children’s picture book Amazing Matilda and other books for children and adults.

  28. 5 out of 5

    C.A. Pack

    “Twelve Tales of Christmas” by Cathleen Townsend is an eclectic collection of short stories—all with a Christmas theme. People stories. Animal stories. Dragon stories. There’s something for everyone, here. However, some of the stories beg to be expanded. Readers may find a few tales end before they've had a chance to become immersed in them. Still—a fun and unusual holiday read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robin Franks

    Good read The stories were really neat and I enjoyed them all very much. Some didn't end exactly as I wanted but then I didn't write them. I really liked the characters and would like to visit some of them again in a longer story one day. I would recommend this book to any reader who likes fantasy and whimsy in their reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was a very fun, and very quick, read. The various stories are all different lengths, some very short and others several pages long. Perfect if you only have a few moments, or have a longer time to sit and read aloud to the kids. The various stories are fun and thought provoking. My personal favorite was the one with the dragon!

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