Today’s stop is for Claudette Melanson’s The 12 Terrors of Christmas. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.
Happy Reading :)
Award-winning author Claudette Melanson offers eleven new and original stories to make your skin crawl at any time of the year. This horror anthology also includes an original short by Amazon International Best-Selling Author, Lynn Lamb, titled "Bring Me Flesh and Bring Me Wine." A special bonus story is also included by Melanson, "Mislead," previously published only on the Halloweenpalooza blog. Grab a cup of cocoa and make sure the windows and doors are locked tight as you settle in by the fire to enjoy these tales of terror, but be warned...locks have never succeeded at keeping Santa from gaining entry. If you enjoy a slice of horror with your holiday cheer, this collection of Christmas horror shorts will satisfy all your dark cravings during the holidays...and beyond.
Who is Santa really? Does something sinister lurk beneath the red suit and apple-cheeked visage? More importantly, what does Santa want for Christmas?
It is said that every wish bears a cost...even a wish of good intent. What do Detective Talbot and his son, Mallory, stand to lose when the pair seek to right a wrong on Christmas Eve?
Christmas can be a time for great joy...but also for heart-wrenching regret. Can the magic of Christmas Eve turn back the clock before time runs out for Morana and her family?
Snow falls white and clean, seeming to purify the small town of Moon, Pennsylvania, but the woods behind Vaughn's home have taken on a sinister cast. The snow keeps falling in record-breaking depths, but does evil lay hidden beneath its seemingly-innocent luster?
As his elves scurry to fill the toy orders for the busy season, unknown terror creeps toward the workshop intent on releasing an evil meant to cancel Santa's yearly deliveries forever.
A well-meaning elf casts a spell which could inadvertently reveal the dark truth about Santa's workshop and its inhabitants. The world's children may end up paying a terrifying price, proving that the path of good intention oftentimes does indeed lead to hell.
A scary twist on a classic Christmas poem
Santa's sleigh plummets to the ground, tearing all hope of a merry Christmas to bits and pieces. Will the elves be able to employ enough magic to stitch together some sort of solution? Or will their efforts only deliver greater horror and loss?
Trinette is preparing to celebrate her first Christmas in love. Her boyfriend says he found the perfect gift for her, but beneath the shiny red paper and ribbon lies a secret he's kept hidden during all the months of their courtship...
The world's population explosion means business is booming at Santa's workshop, with the need to expand making a difficult excavation below the permafrost necessary. But the elves should use caution lest they dig up an evil best left buried.
A special holiday treat for Maura DeLuca fans! Riptide ended on a happy note, but how did Maura's extended family celebrate Christmas? Could it be that the holiday didn't quite play out the way the vampires planned?
It's a dangerous time to call oneself a non-believer. Those who scoff at Santa's existence are melting all over the world. But could the benevolent head elf turn out to be the murderer?
Vampires, ghosts, demons, elves, werewolves, serial killers and a rampaging Krampus are just a few of the monsters creeping amongst the pages of The 12 Terrors of Christmas. Are you brave enough to venture inside to experience the flip side of the typical Hallmark-themed Christmas?
The date was December 1st, twenty-two long, boring days before school let out for Christmas break, and it was snowing like hell. I’d never admit it to anyone, but I was slightly creeped out by the murderous details in the story I’d just been listening to. For some reason, watching little Lamia creep off into the woods alone disturbed me even further. I yanked the red-and-white Beats earbuds—an early present from my dad, who was equally proud of my Audible habit—from my ears only to find myself surrounded by the eerie soundlessness which always seemed to accompany a heavy snowfall. I felt like all the normal noises had been sucked away from the air around me, completely. All I could hear as I continued toward the spot where Lamia had disappeared was the soft groan of my boots sinking into the thick carpet of icy fluff beneath me. “Hey, Kid!” I called out, but she ran on as if she hadn’t heard me, the snow muffling my voice as it had all other sound in our little corner of the world. She hadn’t turned her head in response or even slowed the pace of her run a tick. When I reached the line of trees, I hesitated. Must’ve been the dread the story I’d been listening to had inspired, I told myself, but I was angry in the space it took my heart to pump out another beat. “Shit, really?” I mumbled under my breath. “That kid’s not even old enough to go to school, and she ran in there like she was the one born with the nuts… Awwww, to hell with it.” I slid the backpack from my shoulder so that I could enter the woods as unhindered as possible and dove in. I’d never admit I did so with my eyes closed. As the squeak of the snow under my feet became the only sound—I’d lovingly packed my precious earbuds into a special pocket reserved only for them—echoing softly off the damp-dark tree trunks, I tried to brush off that tickle of fear which had begun to climb each individual vertebrae in my back like a lizard inching along a palm frond. After all, I’d always wished to see something scary, gone in search of ghosts on more than one occasion. Always hoped to find some kind of proof to turn all those journal entries into truth. So many of the early settlers had written accounts of seeing or hearing things that didn’t belong in the realm of the living. How could so many of them have been wrong? But as much as I’d searched the woods ringing the whole of Whispering Woods Drive, and even the deserted, burnt-out shell of the Henderson place which stood waiting for the insurance money to come through so they could rebuild, I’d never seen a whisper of vapor, never heard so much as a whisper that couldn’t be explained away by the logical or mundane thing which had made the sound. Of course, everyone in Moon had seemed to stop writing about ghosts, abruptly, in 1890. Our history teacher had told us this happened because that had been the real beginning of scientific advancement, bringing about all the means to discover those logical explanations I mentioned previously to explain away all the strange things they couldn’t before. The end of superstition giving way to the birth of rationale. Still, I’d always hoped… It was the weird smell which stopped me in my tracks. Earthy…savory…familiar. My mother burned sage incense often in our home; it was one of her favorite scents. It had irked me for years because I’d just known she was chasing all the ghosts away with the smoke even though several people on the internet were of the opinion you could only use a sage smudging stick to cleanse a house. I’d seen where one person commented on Yahoo Answers that three or four incense sticks bound together could be used in place of one, so I’d tried to console myself with the fact my mother only burned one at a time. Before I laid eyes on her, I heard her. It was really bizarre to hear a child chanting…like something out of a ChildrenoftheCorn-esque horror movie. "Air, fire, water, earth. Cleanse, dismiss, dispel." She repeated the prayer over and over, and I must’ve listened to it twenty times before I calmed enough to peek out from behind the large tree trunk I’d been resting my back against. Lamia held an actual smudge stick… I’d seen enough of them on the internet and my favorite shows to know what one looked like. “You little bitch…” I growled under my breath. No wonder I’d never seen so much as a parlor trick performed by a poltergeist. Between Lamia and my sage-burning mother, no self-respecting ghost would come within a mile of Whispering Woods Drive. But what had Lamia seen or heard that would prompt a four-year-old to ghostbust the woods surrounding her home?
Claudette Melanson writes dark fantasy, horror and children’s books in Kitchener, Ontario with seven bun babies at her side: Tegan, Pepper, Butters, Beckett, Sansa, Daenerys & Caramel. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English, BS in English Education and an MA in Literature. Harboring a deep admiration of vampires since the age of five left her with the desire to eventually become one, and now fuels the creation of her favorite paranormal characters. She hopes to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many stories playing out inside her head.
In her very scant spare time, she enjoys watching Japanese Anime and reading vampire stories...along with other genres of great fiction, as well as riding every roller coaster she encounters in both her hometown and away at signings. An advocate for good health and ketogenic eating, her favorite foods are bulletproof coffee, cashew-flour crust pizza and treats made with xylitol and almond, coconut or cashew flours.
Future dreams include a cabin boasting a roaring fire, isolated inside a snow-filled wood in the Yukon—the perfect writing spot—and the completion of dozens of future novels and stories. A Rabbit Rescue fanatic and loving bunmom, she also hopes to help rescues all over the world save many innocent lives.
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THERE IS SO MUCH EPIC AND AWESOME...SO FREAKIN' MUCH!!!
If you asked me which book I liked more 'Wolfsong' or 'Ravensong' my very honest answer would be neither...I was equally blown away by them. I pondered this question long and hard and at the end of it all I knew beyond a certainty that sometimes there can be more than one.
'Ravensong' is Gordo's story and by proxy it's also Marks story because their lives are to entangled to ever separate. But whether you think of it as Gordo's story or Mark's or Gordo and Mark's which truly in many ways it's all 3 of these. What it isn't is a light fluffy romance. It's dark and gritty, it's about broken trust and betrayal, it's about rebuilding things that have shattered into a million pieces.
We met both Mark and Gordo in 'Wolfsong' and while I liked Gordo I couldn't help but also think that he was a bit of a dick at times and you know what, he was but the difference is I now know why and I honestly can't blame him for how he's behaved...he's got his reasons trust me, he's got plenty of reasons.
The other thing that I learned from this book is that the Bennett pack is unlike any pack that's ever been and their spirit is indomitable. Wolves or humans they are all a force to be reckoned with.
I really, really wanted to make this one last as much as I wanted to devour it...so I decided I was only going to read it for an hour at night when I went to bed...yep, that's right just one hour...and just one more hour...and just...you see where things went here right?
While Gordo and Mark were the major focus for this story, make no mistake there is more so much more happening...there's a war coming one that started brewing in 'Wolfsong' forces are aligning, sides are being chosen, events are transpiring some we may see coming but others I have no doubt that will blindside us all.
As many of TJ Klune's books as I've read and there have been a few...I've read all of Bear, Otter and the Kid, How To Be A Normal Person, Immemorial Years, Into This River I Drown, etc. etc. ok, I've pretty much read them all or listened to the audio or done both and I've loved every word of every story but this series is the only one that takes me out of myself, with both of these stories as soon as I tune into the story I tune out of everything that's around me and while I can't say this has never happened for me with a story those times are far and few between that an author writes a story that has captivated me so strongly.
I can honestly say I've only got one...well actually 2 issues here...the first one being...where's the audio book? I need this like water and of course even more important and I'm sure there are those who agree with me...where the hell is the next book? Shouldn't we have had that one last week? Seriously TJ...why you be torturing us like this?
Ok, seriously this book this series it's AMAZING!!! And you all need to read it if you haven't already...I'm not a big fan of shifter books but I am such an over the moon fan of 'Green Creek' and yes, I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this book and how much I'm looking forward to whatever comes next...but honestly I think you've figured that out by now...EPIC AND AWESOME!!! It's all here.
An ARC of 'Ravensong' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
See this is what happens when you see the authors name and the narrators name and you go gimme' I want that...you end up reading a Christmas story.
There was a lot about this story that I enjoyed. First off we've got a high school music teacher who wears bow ties...sorry, my high school music teacher wore bow ties and I have to admit he was really nice...not exactly a hottie...although he did have two sons...oops, sorry I squirreled back to the story. Bowen also has a rare condition known as Chromesthesia, a form of synesthesia in which sounds are translated to colors by the mind and for Bowen it also contributed to his ability to have perfect pitch.
Bowen Merlin has accepted a position teaching music in Lancaster, New Hampshire. So he's packed up his life in New York leaving behind his best friend and roommate, Rachel and heads for the beautiful New England countryside. Where he quickly learns that he's not only teaching music but with only a two or three weeks to go before the holidays he's also got a Christmas concert to organize and life quickly becomes busy but not to busy to keep him from noticing the Felix Hansen, owner of Snowy Ridge Apple Orchard. Neither of these men are what they appear to be but what Bowen quickly realizes is that what they are is a match made in heaven. While most people wouldn't realize it Bowen likes to be the one in charge, while Felix...well, he's more than happy to relinquish control...or at least he would if he could just trust someone enough. Felix has scars and they're not all on the outside but Bowen's determined to show Felix that what they could have together is worth taking a risk.
I really liked Bowen. His upbeat and quietly determined personality was just what Felix needed. Felix's past hasn't been good. He's been hurt by the person he loves. The person he should have been able to trust above all else but they failed him.
As if there isn't enough going on Felix and Bowen suddenly find themselves embroiled in events that could not only tear them apart but ruin them both professionally as well. I honestly would have gotten more into this part of the story if it had been introduced a bit sooner and the resolution hadn't occurred quite so readily and easily.
Overall, I enjoyed this story and events moved at a steady pace from start to finish but I did feel a little let down by the resolution at the end, it just all seemed a little to quick and easy, but in spite of this I was left having a very enjoyable 6+ hour listening event thanks to the as always wonderful audio narrations of Greg Boudreaux. So maybe this wasn't totally a 4 star read...I don't know but it was definitely a 4 star listen.
An audio book of 'Color of You' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I'm serious here. I have no issue with a guy wanting to wear a skirt, a ruffly blouse or silky, lacy panties after all women have been stealing men's fashions literally for decades. Pants originally made for men, high heels...you guessed it men and can I just add here when it comes to the heels I would gladly let them keep them...anyways, my point is there are manties in this story and me likey the young man who wears them. He's confident and self assured and as it turns out his adversary, one Adam Kingston, discovers that he likes them as well.
'Lace-Covered Compromise' is a relatively short, sexy enemies to lovers story about two men doing battle for control of a company and discovering that whether it's business or pleasure everything works better when people are willing to compromise. Things were hot between Adam and Nate...I mean seriously hot and truthfully I enjoyed the romance part of this story and the conflict between Adam and Nate added some definite tension for these two men and while I appreciated the how comes and whys of said tension at times it just felt like too much.
I liked Adam in all of his screwed up glory and his friend Valerie who fate had assigned the arduous task of keeping Adam from running too far off of the rails. I enjoyed Adam's moments of self actualization when he was able to see that who he was wasn't who he wanted to be and that maybe...just maybe Nate wasn't the enemy.
Nate was a really good match for Adam and while he wasn't a steamroller he very solidly held his own and it never felt like he was trying to railroad Adam but often times his patience showed in how he may have walked away from Adam when things got to explosive (and not in a good way) but once cooler heads could prevail, he came back and was willing to try again. In hindsight I came to realize that while there was a lot of very hot and steamy sex going one, there was also a lot of relationship development happening outside of the bedroom too.
I have to admit this one got rounded up because of the narrator...who was none other than Nick J. Russo an absolute favorite of mine. Once again this narrator is one who I just need to see his name on the audio book and I'm know that my only concern is going to be how much I'll like the actual story because the narration without a doubt will be awesome and once again my faith was not misplaced.
'Lace-Covered Compromise' is another one of those books that for me was a hot and steamy romance perfect for enjoying on a hot steamy summer's afternoon...sitting on your patio or balcony or backyard with a nice cool tropical drink in hand...hey, maybe I should have a do-over on this one.
An audio book of 'Lace-Covered Compromise' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.