Monday, January 25, 2016

MMGM~A Little Fright Before Christmas In January

Read on for my next contribution to Shannon Messenger's MMGM genius plan to give middle grade reads their just due! Click HERE for the other participants.

We've all heard of the slogan Christmas in July and of course 'tis the Christmas season. But today I want to look at the period of time just after Christmas, when we're ready to move toward springtime yet hold onto a bit of Christmas cheer. Here's a collection of Christmas tales I'd recommend for middle graders, high school students, and adults alike all the year through.


13 tales of holiday horrors
(I don't know why but each time I read that tagline I want to go Mmwaahhhhh...)

Publisher: Leap Books
Released: November 2015
Pages: 192
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Description: It's the most wonderful time of year...or is it? 

Christmas Eve is a night of mystery and magic, but not always in ways we expect. Things lurk in the shadows and they're not the least bit jolly or merry. Let's just say some presents are better left unopened.
‘Tis the season to be screaming along with our thirteen tales of holiday horrors. Ghosts. Monsters. Demons. And more! 
This Christmas, be careful what you wish for...

My Splats: Familiar holiday tales of wonder and awe, wrapped in spooky, creepy, and mysterious packages.

The collection of stories are tweaked just enough with the odd and eerie to put a new spin on beloved Christmas elements. One story will make you think twice about the true meaning of Santa's Naughty list, while another will convince you to buy an artificial tree for your living room next year.

A few tales tell of gory fates, nothing too descriptive or visual, but will leave the imagination of some readers hungry for more. The family unit is included in some, diversity in dynamics and interactions too! There's life lessons for everyone; granted, a few are far-fetched, but fun and lessons nonetheless. The creativity is clever, inventive, and thought-provoking. And there's suspense, too, with creatures stalking a group of kids or an army of snowmen knocking on your door. 

'K pause, An army of snowmen knocking on my door... Get a visual? #shivers

The writing is clear and concise. There are stories such as Bigfoot Busters and North Pole Coal that flow with a distinct and crisp voice. Others showcase fantastical details like Frosted. 

I really enjoyed this collection's wit, plausibility, and hair-raising twists on familiar holiday songs, customs, and even food. ;) On aspect I want to point out is that some of the tales dug deep into little known facts of Christmas' past and what the holiday was prior to our modern day. It was kind of a history lesson, and I know for, it made me want to know more.

What's the last story you read out of season? 

Splat Alert #1: It's my 24th wedding anniversary today. Feels kind of weird ... weird, but good. :) 

Splat Alert #2: Oh, and don't think I've forgotten to share what's going on with my journey! I'll share more soon. My dad had surgery Friday. So being there for him and my mom, who needs lots of care because of her multiple sclerosis, has kept me busy. Thx for understanding! And if you haven't signed up for my newsletter yet and would like to you may do so by clicking the image! Once you do you'll receive my FREE writing aid. (And if I've missed signing up for your newsletter, please tell me in the comments. I'd love to!)
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  1. This one sounds like some great read-aloud possibilities.Thanks for the review as I will be tracking it down.I'm currently writing a story set on Thanksgiving Day and it has been easy jumping into that holiday even though it happened months ago. Best of luck with your family. I have been down that path and it can be draining.

    1. Ooh, a story set on Thanksgiving Day? Is it MG? I love adding the dynamic of a holiday to a story. You can do so much with your characters through it. Best of luck with it! And great point about this book being a fantastic read-aloud. I should have added that. It really would be, especially because the stories are short.

      Thanks for the encouraging thoughts about my parents. My mom's had MS for 28 years now. It's been a long road, and we definitely don't see it getting any easier. My dad has always been in great shape and health, but last February he had surgery and now this year. It is what it is, though, and we do for family as much as we can. :)

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. I need to read this collection! I love the blend of horror and Christmas. :)

    1. It really was a great idea! The stories are easy to follow and pretty creative. Will make me think twice next Christmas about some of my holiday traditions. :)

  4. Happy anniversary!
    Taking time out when your family needs you is important.
    Have this book and hope to read it soon.

    1. It's really a quick read. I loved how clever some of the stories were.

  5. I love this twist on Christmas. I look forward to reading the stories.

    Happy anniversary. Hope you had a wonderful celebration.

  6. This sounds like a fun, frightful Christmas read! Thanks for sharing!

    And Happy 24th Anniversary! I hope your father is recovering quickly. I know your parents are so glad you can be there to help them out. Hope you're still able to celebrate your anniversary with your hubby...

  7. Happy anniversary! Thanks for sharing Fright Before Christmas. I had a lot of fun editing this anthology.

    1. And you did a wonderful job! I really enjoyed reading these.

  8. Happy Anniversary and best wishes to your dad on his recovery from surgery.
    This book sounds really clever and fun.

    1. Aw, thank you Julie! I can't believe all these years have gone by. Very strange... Thanks about my dad. He's doing well. And yes, the book was definitely clever!

  9. An army of snowmen knocking at my door...This immediately made me think of Calvin and Hobbs.

    Happy Anniversary :)

  10. What an interesting concept. I don't read a lot of scary stuff anymore. I used to, but maybe I'm just getting too old. I'll bet my grandson might like these. Thanks for the review.

  11. This is certainly a different twist on Christmas. I'm not into scary, but I know a lot of teens who are. Excellent review.


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