Category Archives: Fantasy Books

Romantic Fantasy Book: Snow Wars by N.S. Grimm


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Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, Gay and Lesbian Fantasy, Young Adult (18 + over)


snow wars

General Note: there are graphic battle scenes, soft sexual content, drinking, and some gay and lesbian characters (in books 2&3) in this series.

~~In a world covered by snow, where deadly predators are everywhere, resources scarce, and love even more elusive, two young women hold the key to the mysterious death and destruction surrounding their cave dwelling people. One side wants to keep these women alive and the other side wants to see them dead, but how can these young women tell the difference between the two sides? And what is the dark secret in their past that holds the key to the threats of today?

The sole survivor of a bloody genocide attempt, Iana runs for her life, but is there anywhere safe to run? Daniel swore to his dying brother that he would protect the small woman and her sister, but how can he help a girl who continually puts her life in danger? As Daniel binds Iana closer to himself, and his own dark secret life, Iana finds herself drawn to him in more than one way.

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Excerpt:

“Hang on, Nathanial. I’m coming to get you,” Iana said.

The Raven Dog above her seemed reinvigorated at this new movement from its trapped prey. The mad dog danced on the edge above her with snapping jaws and bloody teeth. Every move the creature made sent rock and dirt cascading over Iana’s head. Her grip was already precarious and weak on the rocky cliff she was scaling. Any amount of falling debris was dangerous and could dislodge her handholds, causing her to fall.

“Iana, what are you doing? Don’t do it; stay where you are.”

“Still trying to tell me what to do Nathanial?” Iana tossed back to him, trying to keep both their spirits up. “Haven’t you learned yet?”

“Don’t risk this, Iana. I’m not worth it.”

“Yes you are!” she countered and continued to creep slowly over toward him. Her hands were shaking so hard she was scared they would shake off the rocky ledge. Maybe she should have taken off her gloves, but then she would just have the cold to deal with.

“Iana, go back. It’s too dangerous. There is snow all over that cliff; you will slip and fall.”

Iana looked over to the bush where the wind was blowing against him. He was very pale in the dusty pink light of the setting sun. He was too white Iana thought.

“Keep talking to me, Nathanial, okay?” she yelled at him.

A frigid gust of wind blew up, tossing Iana’s hair wildly. The snow swirled about, blinding her temporarily. Iana clung closer to the rough cliff wall with her eyes squeezed tight, waiting till it died down. Her lips were quivering now, but she didn’t know if it was from the cold or fear. What had made her think she could climb across to him like this?

“Hey, Easterner,” Nathanial called to her, “never seen a mouse so bad at climbing before; maybe you should have stayed behind?” he teased.

Iana opened her eyes and shot him a look that could kill. Rising to the challenge, she said, “Don’t worry, mice are very good at improvising when it comes to survival.”

Iana was frozen with fear. She could feel the tears of anger and despair start to well up in her eyes and she fought hard to push them away. She hadn’t been climbing long when Nathanial decided to continue his harassment.

“You really aren’t very good at that you know,” he said.

Iana screamed back in mock frustration, “Training for rock climbing isn’t till the next lunar!”

Nathanial kept the banter up in a lighthearted voice, but when Iana looked his way she could see his eyes were closed against the cold and he was shaking as he tried to hang on.

“I’m just saying…that you might want to work on that when we get back if you want to be a Rambler,” he continued teasing her in a trembling voice.

“I’m beginning to rethink that occupational choice at the moment,” Iana confessed, only half joking.

Nathanial laughed into the wind this time. “Aha! I knew you didn’t really want to make this run today,” he joked.

“Haven’t you bled to death yet?” Iana countered, and Nathanial laughed out loud again.

It was good to hear him laugh. Nathanial was quiet for a long moment. When he spoke next, it was in a low and serious voice. “You know I didn’t mean all that mean stuff I said to you back there at the start ribbon.”

“I know,” Iana said, forgiving him.

She paused a moment and leaned her head against the rock wall to catch her breath. It was then that Iana noticed the absence of the Raven dog from overhead. She held her breath and waited for it to return. Shadows passed over and Iana sniffed hard against her runny nose. The longer she waited, the more her nerves set on edge. Suddenly a head appeared over the edge—a human head. It was Daniel reaching his hand down to her.


About the Author:

NS Grimm is a new and upcoming American writer with self-published works in multiple genres. Works always focus on strong female characters with a passion for life and love. Her international experience finds its way into all her books in one way or another. Raised in Texas, GRIMM is the last child of three. Hobbies include: kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, gardening, house flipping, sewing, singing, ballet, scuba and visiting museums of any type.

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Romance Book Spotlight: Under The Moonlight: A Mermaid’s Tale by Ashley Nemer


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Romance, Mythology, Fantasy (Mermaid Story)


under the moonlight

Zara’s fate had been decided thousands of years before her birth. She is now fighting against time and family to reclaim the decisions that will ultimately shape her destiny.

Sentenced to live an existence in the Underworld, mated to a man she despises, Zara must find a way to overcome the Gods and their curses, with love as her only guide.

Can James, a handsome and rugged sailor, help Zara break the bonds of magical spells or will she end up mated to Xander, the Son of Satan?

Take a dive Under the Moonlight to see where love can take you.

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Excerpt:

Zara couldn’t help staring at the vessels that passed by her cove. Each one contained a different story and a different set of sailors. Her father had warned her that interacting with the humans, or even simply studying them, was an addiction, one she would soon have to learn to overcome. Each mermaid was presented with the same challenge on their twenty-second birthday. They each had to make a choice to stay in the waters and live with their families, or to give up everything they had always known, for love, and join the human race.

For thousands of years, the merpeople had joined the two-legged humans’ culture, going undetected. And it wasn’t as if mermaids could never go into the waters again afterwards. Each full moon they had the opportunity to dive into the salty water of the ocean and join their fellow merpeople under the moonlight. However, each full moon that passed made that transition harder and harder for the mermaid to accomplish. The longer they were out of the ocean and away from their mer-form, the harder it was on their body to shift back to their original form.

She knew that her decision was about to be due. She hadn’t told anyone what she was thinking about choosing; she didn’t want the added pressure from King Triton, her father, and his brother, Poseidon, her uncle. Humans always got the lineage wrong in their stories. So many of the gods were intertwined that they all ended up being related to one another in some way or another, but the rules for joining the human race were strict. A merperson could only marry once, and it could only be for love. Any other reason wouldn’t be approved. You had to have King Triton’s blessing in order to make the final conversion into the human world.

“What are you looking at, Zara?”

Her head whipped around to the side to look at Sadie, her mother, who was swimming in the lagoon. “That ship out there. It comes by here every day around this time, like they are just waiting.”

“They are predators. Always remember that.” Her mother’s tone was adamant.

“You only say that because you don’t know them yet. Everyone is a shark to you,” Zara retorted.

“Men are men, Zara. They will kill to get what they want.”

“Is that what you tell Daddy?” Zara valued her mother and knew that she would always be there to support her, but she worried that her mother was constantly trying to sway her against all human men and make her change her mind about the choices she had spinning around in her head.

“Your father is different. Gods know how to treat their women,” she said flatly.

“No, they don’t, Mother. You are just blinded by love.” She watched the curve of her mother’s lips come up and form a smile. It was the truth. Her mother and father were very much in love, even after all these years and hundreds of children. Humans talked about having large families with nine or ten siblings. They should try having two hundred and fifty nine sisters and twice as many brothers.

“And what a blindness to have. You should be so lucky, young lady.”

“One day, Mother, maybe I will be.”


About the Author:

Ashley is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs named Toto and Doogie. They have been together for over 10 years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her life long best friend gave her “Ashes to Ashes’ by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger.

Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life, they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life ‘Reach for the Stars’ and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and display’s came from. With her Parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.

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Epic Fantasy Feature: Strife Of The Mighty by Julius Bailey @kingdomwanderer


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Epic Fantasy


strife of the mighty

A HUSBAND. A LIQUOR LOVER. A STRANGER. THE DIREST ADVENTURE OF THEIR CENTURY.
For over fifteen hundred years the kingdom of Vrandalin has withstood the might of the one enemy they had need to fear. Now a new threat arises. In the southeastern part of the land, a grim-looking newcomer arrives in the village of Varalel, bringing with him a warning of imminent ruin. Shortly afterward, Varalel is stormed, its folk scattered, and one man is separated from the woman he loves.

Little else matters to Allon Bracken than reuniting with his wife. With nowhere else to turn, he must place his faith in a gruff, mysterious man he knows little of, and an unexpected comrade. But his road is a hard one, and will lead him into dangers and discoveries that will change everything.

It is likely safe to assume that the silver-haired man did not expect events to take such a swift turn when he hasted to Varalel with his warning. But there is no time to curse ill fate. Extenuating circumstances compel him to share Allon’s road—unless it is the other way around—but he quickly finds himself with another goal: the capital must be warned. An army out of legend stamps through the land, goaded by an age-old enchantress with designs of destruction. Time is short. But he must look to himself as well, for a hunted man is rarely at rest, and the terrible creatures that pursue him do not sleep.

And for a former traveling trinket seller deemed village ‘softhead’ by his peers, things are suddenly very horrible indeed. Or are they? It seems that chaos brings folk together. Joined to Allon’s path by an inner impulse, he discovers a companionship he did not expect to find. He will need it.

Enter Vrandalin; a land where ancient powers stir, dark beasts prowl, forgotten lore returns, and those who are thought weak discover their strength.

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Excerpt:

Brandegan quickened his run. Ahead of him the lights had begun to recede, melting into the night like wraiths. There were no more shouts either. All around silence again crept forward. Just before he could reach them, the last of the fires vanished. Brandegan was just about to dash after them, but something halted him. The heavy forestry round about was still, too still. Brandegan became aware of an intense watchfulness, and as he listened, a shroud of dread descended upon him.

Suddenly he felt, rather than saw, a shadow shift beside him. Next moment, he was hurled forward, heaved from the earth as though he was weightless, and tossed like a wind-blasted reed. Hardly had he struck the ground when a dark weight fell on him, crushing him down. He heard a snarl, and then four enormous claws, sharp as blades, raked his side. He fought back, lashing out with Rithlir, but a great, hirsute paw gripped his arm and, with a massive strength, pinned it to the ground.

Then Brandegan saw the eyes. Hovering just before his face, they shone as red fire, feeding the darkness with their terror and harboring within them the insatiable spirit of the Dread Palace. Even as they gazed down on their prey, the malice behind those eyes was kindled to sudden wrath, for here at last was their scourge, here at last was the thorn long sought.

But just before teeth as deadly as the edge of Rithlir found their mark, there was a dazzling flash. Shadows leapt up and fled, the darkness was pushed back, and in that moment Brandegan’s adversary was revealed. Greater in stature than any beast of the wild stood Daugruil. As other Gragmarr, his forelegs loomed up, broad and strong. His back, arching downward near his hind-legs, was covered in coarse, crimson fur, and his great muzzle was lined with dagger-edged teeth. Now he stumbled backward, thwarted from his intent by the blinding, silver flare.

Brandegan leapt to his feet as soon as the weight was lifted. His side throbbed in agony, and blood had already soaked through his raiment. But he heeded it not. The insatiable spirit of malice that burned in the eyes of this Gragmarr he knew.


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Christmas Horror Book: KRENGEL & THE KRAMPUSZ by M.C. Norris @mcnorrisauthor


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Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Supernatural Fantasy, Horror


kreng

The epic origin of a beloved holiday icon unfolds, as nine-year-old Klaas Krengel flees plague-ravaged Germania on a swashbuckling adventure across Medieval Europe to the remote ends of the earth, where he finds himself pitted against a gruesome host of adversaries, all resurrected from old Austrian lore. A bit of a spoiled brat, Krengel’s only friend is an insidious counterpart called the Krampusz, a blue-furred monster who suffers from a pronounced hoarding disorder.

Vexed by his half-brother’s lifelong privilege and pampering, the Krampusz enjoys nothing more than imperiling the boy through calculated misdirection, ultimately trapping him in the bottomless depths of the enchanted “Sack of Shadows.” Therein, a fantastic realm of weird and warring races demands a showdown between Krengel and its tyrannical ruler, a horrendous witch who alone holds a key to the connection between Krengel and the Krampusz.

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Excerpt:

Every bell in Bari had a unique tone and timing. Each was synchronized to the timing of a specific, daily event. The toll of a bell would prompt a skyward glance from anyone within earshot, to make a quick check of the sun’s position. The bells were so intimately linked to the passage of time that on the rare occasions when every bell in the city tolled at once, the experience rattled a Baresi to his very soul, stilled him in his tracks, for time itself unraveled and was strewn to confetti. The joyous crash of sound reverberated through the seaport’s writhing arteries to flush pigeons in dappled flocks that flashed in the sky like schools of minnows.

At midday on May ninth, the first day of the annual Festival of the Translation of the Holy Relics, Bari came alive with clanging bells. Starlings gushed from the clerestory windows around the pealing bell tower at Basilica di San Nicola, the final resting place of Bari’s patron saint. It was an imposing fortification, a somber hulk of ancient masonry that loomed darkly over the peninsula with its back to the Adriatic Sea. With its cruciform mass shouldered between Romanesque towers, it better resembled an English castle than an ordinary place of worship. And at times, it had served as such.

Across the bustling piazza from the seaward dormitories, a hooded figure emerged from the basilica’s Lion’s Portal. The brown fabric of his Dominican robes flapped in the briny wind, throwing back his hood as he skulked beneath the engraved names of those famous sailors who rescued Saint Nicholas from Myra, five hundred years ago. He jerked the hood back over his naked head and turned to face the wall. Head bowed as though in prayer, he reached into the sleeve of his tunic, and withdrew a steely dagger.

Cast upon the spike of shimmering steel, was a leering distortion of his broad face and blazing eyes. He lowered and tilted his chin, trailing his fingertips over his newly shaved scalp. It was another of the Krampusz’s bright ideas. Krengel smiled. He looked funny bald, a bit like Friar Otto.

In five months, he’d grown in height and width. Though they might’ve starved a passive child with their severe Dominican diet of broth and rye, what were Krengel’s lifelong failings, but symptoms of his indomitable will to have while others around him had not. Greed ran strong in both sides of his family. And it was no small irony that Krengel, now a custodian of the relics of a saint canonized for profound acts of generosity, had honed his naturally greedy edge to a perfect tool for survival. Since Christmas Eve in Rome, he’d grown meaner, stronger, and more formidable. Daily acts of theft and trickery against the hardened peasants of a foreign land had honed Krengel, right beneath the noses of his Dominican handlers, into perhaps the most dogged urchin in all of Bari.

Krengel lifted his tunic, glanced around the crowded piazza, and then sheathed the dagger back into a tight fold in his braies. He hitched up his secret contraption. The rope was itchy about his waist, and the weight of the invention had begun to chaff his flesh. The dangling wood blocks clonked between his knees. Should’ve wrapped them in cloth to quiet their knocking. Too late for any of that, now. This was the big day. Around front of the basilica, cartwheels rumbled against the pavers as guests and dignitaries continued to arrive.

He’d not yet spotted Cardinal Moretti, rumored still unfit to attend this evening’s festivities, deathly ill as he’d been. Moretti posed him little threat in his weakened condition, but he was indeed the one person in all of Italy who could possibly spoil everything by summoning for him at the critical hour. Thus, the first phase of Krengel’s plan for May ninth was simply to avoid Moretti at all costs, to meld into the visiting crowds and simply lay low until sundown.

“What in Heaven do you think you’re doing, back here?”

Krengel spun to find the rector glowering out at him through the Lion’s Portal. He seized Krengel by an ear and marched him along the wall toward the main entrance of the basilica. “We’ve been looking everywhere for you! Your benefactor has arrived!” The rector lifted him by his ear and flipped back his hood. “You’ve shaved your head. What is this?”

“I had lice?”

“Shush it!”

The rector harried him to the main portal, where Cardinal Moretti was being lifted from his wagon in a sort of birthing position by a host of able-bodied Dominicans. The friars set him gently upon his unstable feet. He swayed weightlessly in the bullying wind, as though might at any moment be sucked off the earth and flung through the heavens. He lolled back his head and peered at the ecclesiastical assembly from beneath his fallen eyelids. The purplish growth in his lower jaw had swelled to the size of an onion, forcing his tongue to protrude like a newly hatched chick. He attempted to speak, but his lips produced only bubbles.

Krengel’s survival for five months in the favored hunting grounds of this predator was owed mostly to a bout of poor health that robbed Moretti of all but an infant’s strength, slackening the musculature of his face, not a day after Miso del Gallo. As a result, Krengel hadn’t suffered sight of the awful man since Christmas Eve, which was fortunate, but rumor held that Moretti’s health was steadily improving. So said the Dominicans anyway, who’d just this morning doted over Moretti’s latest accomplishment of peeling and devouring a boiled egg all by himself.

A breeze kicked up and snatched the mitre right off Moretti’s head, tumbling and spinning it down the street. But the friars supporting the feeble body of their guest could only look on in despair as they goaded him forward, one cautious step at a time. A silvery thread of slobber whipped from Moretti’s lip and bowed like a harp in the wind. Snowy wisps of hair all writhing on scabrous pedestals, Moretti looked for all the earth to be some deranged and ancient warlock, routed from his alpine rookery.

As the trio approached, Krengel bent his knees until he felt those wood blocks beneath his tunic touch the ground. He then stepped atop them and rose, oh so slowly, to his tiptoes, causing the special knot from which they were suspended to unwind. Through the fabric of his robe, he gathered the reigns of his makeshift stilts. Those milling around him were so transfixed by the precarious transfer of Cardinal Moretti that none seemed to notice that Klaas Krengel had suddenly sprouted a foot in height, looking quite enough like an adult friar, with his broad shoulders and shaved head, to pass before the myopic eyes of the monster.

Moretti made some unintelligible grunt as they led him past Krengel, swinging his disheveled head. Yellowed fingernails splayed as he reached for the boy, but groped naught but thin air. Those rattling claws sliced past his face without touching, only to rasp against the doorpost as they pulled Moretti inside.

Safe. Just as the Krampusz had promised.

So many friars were about for the Festival of the Translation of the Holy Relics, tending to all the dignitaries being housed in the monastic dormitories that a hooded man-boy on stilts could walk freely through the piazza, disturbing only a few pigeons. The first phase of his great caper was complete. Krengel grinned at the dull impact of his clopping stilts upon the pavers. By nightfall, he’d be comfortably seated aboard a ship destined for the Habsburg Netherlands, his mother’s homeland, where not even the Holy Roman Empire could touch him. But first, he needed a hostage. And not just any would do. His hostage was to be a man more celebrated in Bari than both Christ and Pope Alexander VI combined, a man with the power to lift an orphan right out of Bari.


About the Author:

headshot

M.C. Norris is an Active HWA member, whose first four novels, all published by Severed Press, are slated for release in fall of 2014: Deep Devotion (09/01/14), Krengel & the Krampusz (11/01/14), The Dread Owba Coo-Coo (11/15/14), and Nod (TBA).  His nineteen short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines and e-zines, including: Withersin, Wrong World DVD, Brainharvest Magazine, Pseudopod, Malicious Deviance, and Dead Bait.  M.C. Norris also won 5th in Chizine/Leisure Books 13th Annual Short Story Contest.

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Featured Fantasy Book: Rhidauna: The Shadow of the Revenaunt by Paul E. Horsman @PaulEHorsman


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Young Adult Fantasy


rhidauna_promo

‘Rhidauna’, the first book of the great fantasy series ‘The Shadow of the Revenaunt’.

The night before his Coming-of-Age, Ghyll and his two friends escape their castle on a clandestine boar hunt that will forever change their lives.
The hunt proves a disaster, and with one of them badly wounded, they return just in time to see their island castle destroyed by macabre warriors from a dragon boat, and by flocks of fire-breathing birds. Ghyll’s eighteenth birthday turns into a nightmare as they flee into the night.

Now begins an epic journey to find out who is trying to kill them – and most importantly, why?

Fortunately, they can count on the help of new friends, including a sometimes overly enthusiastic fire mage, an inexperienced paladin and a young beastmistress who is also a ferocious mountain lioness.
It soon becomes clear that not one but several sorcerers want to kill them. Are those blackrobes really followers of a terrible, long-forgotten organization?

And whose cold hand reaches across the boundaries of space and time to crush weakened Rhidauna?

Buy this book now at:

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Excerpt:

From Chapter 3: RETURN TO TINNURAD (REVISED EDITION)

Viewpoint of main character Ghyll

Castle Tinnurad lay like an unrecognizable smear in the river. Ghyll stared at what had been his world. Numbly, he tied his horse to a tree, and went down to the river. Their boat was still there, partly filled with yesterday’s rain. Ghyll stepped on board, oblivious of the water sloshing around his feet.

As the boat neared the island, the smear became a smoldering heap of rubbish in the water, strange and unrecognizable.

It was when he stood in the blackened grass, that the realization hit him how complete the destruction was. The mighty old play tree at the water’s edge, reduced to a charred stump of dead wood. The leafless trunks of the poplars flanked the gateway like the planted spears of dead soldiers. Home farm and stables, gone. The bronze gate…

With his hand on Olle’s shoulder, Ghyll stared at the ruins of Tinnurad. There was no gate. There weren’t any walls. All that remained of the castle were a corner of the tower, and stone cairns in an ashy wasteland. So much ash, thought Ghyll. It seemed like everything in the castle had turned into a fine gray pow­der. Everything and everyone… He saw something move and held his breath, but it was a breeze, playing with the dust.

The guard’s here.’

Ghyll looked at where Olle pointed. A cog ship rode at anchor on the other side of the island. Then he saw soldiers, and a large pa­vilion. He felt anger gripping his heart, as if the guards were intruders on his holy ground. Fuming, he marched towards them, with Olle on his heels, until a corporal of the Guard at Gromarthen stopped them with a barked ‘Halt’ and a raised hand.

What are you boys doing here? This island is off limits.’

I’m Squire Denhalf.’ Ghyll felt his anger drain out of him. ‘I … lived here.’

The man turned red with embarrassment. ‘Your pardon, Squire. I thought you’d be at the castle.’ He hesitated, searching for words. ‘We’re collecting the dead. It’s better you shouldn’t look.’

Ghyll looked up. ‘These were my people, Corporal.’

Yes, Squire, that’s good and proper of you. Yet it’s better you don’t look.’

I must, Corporal,’ Ghyll said in desperation. ‘I have to know.’

The man sighed. ‘Then come with me. It’s not a pleasant sight; they’re terribly burned.’


About the Author:

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Paul E. Horsman (1952) is a Dutch and International Fantasy Author. Born in the sleepy garden village of Bussum, The Netherlands, he now lives in Roosendaal, a town on the Dutch-Belgian border.

He has been a soldier, a salesman, a scoutmaster and from 1995 till his school closed in 2012 a teacher of Dutch as a Second Language and Integration to refugees from all over the globe.

Being unemployed and economically overage, yet still some years away from retirement, he is a full-time writer of epic light fantasy adventures. His books are both published in the Netherlands, and internationally.

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Choose Your Own Christmas Fantastical Adventure: Fantasy Books With a Christmas Theme


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Pick your own Christmas fantasyAdventure

There’s just something about the holidays that makes it the perfect time to read a fantasy novel. Even better is a book with a Christmas theme!

The countdown to Christmas is on. Make yours  a fantastical adventure with the books below. Read one or read them all!


the heir of claus

This is not the Santa Claus story you might be expecting.

Christopher Nicholas is an average fifteen year-old teenager…at least he thinks he is. But to be average he’d have to ignore his unique ability to see people’s names above them, or the way he seems to be able to know what is really in someone’s heart. Then, there is the fact that as he is about to turn sixteen, everything he thinks he knows about his life is about to be turned upside down.

Christopher Nicholas is the last surviving heir to a very old and powerful promise. And, he has a choice to make. He can choose to continue to live his life the way he wants as the world around him falls into darkness and a dark and evil force known as Legion achieves their plans to finally take over everything. Or, he can choose to accept who he is as the only one who can stop them and bring light back where only dark exists. He can choose to become THE HEIR OF CLAUS.

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He’s not fat, he’s rarely jolly, and he just might kick your butt! Join the elf behind the legend on an irreverent romp as he scrambles to save not one, but two worlds from imminent disaster.

Sleighed tells the story of Sinter Ni’klas – the real Santa Claus – and his wife Ti’elle, rulers of the elfish kingdom of Erethielle. Their world and ours are magically connected; Erethielle produces the magic that Earth needs to survive, and Earth consumes Erethielle’s excess magic that would otherwise burn it to a crisp. Every Christmas Eve, the barrier between the two worlds grows thin enough for Sinter to deliver the magic that the Earth needs to sustain its existence and, in the process, he prevents the destruction of both worlds. Thus, the fate of the two worlds depends on Sinter’s yearly trip.

However, this year there is a problem. Factions within the populace are protesting the continued delivery of such massive quantities of magic to the Earth, demanding that it remain in Erethielle. With less than one week until Christmas Eve, the magic intended for Earth, which Sinter has been faithfully collecting all year, is stolen, imperiling his visit. While Sinter pursues the thieves outside the kingdom- encountering hostile armies, snow monsters, trolls, traitors, and angry unicorns- Ti’elle is attacked and kidnapped as part of a plot against the crown.

Join the real Santa and Mrs. Claus on a fantasy adventure completely devoid of singing, vertically challenged elves, green felt, pointy hats, and every other cutesy thing erroneously attributed to the Man in Red.

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London on December 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease on life during this time. Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

Dickens was not the first author to celebrate the Christmas season in literature, but it was he who superimposed his humanitarian vision of the holiday upon the public, an idea that has been termed as Dickens’ “Carol Philosophy”. Dickens believed the best way to reach the broadest segment of the population regarding his concerns about poverty and social injustice was to write a deeply felt Christmas story rather than polemical pamphlets and essays. Dickens’ career as a best-selling author was on the wane, and the writer felt he needed to produce a tale that would prove both profitable and popular. Dickens’ visit to the work-worn industrial city of Manchester was the “spark” that fired the author to produce a story about the poor, a repentant miser, and redemption that would become A Christmas Carol. The forces that inspired Dickens to create a powerful, impressive and enduring tale were the profoundly humiliating experiences of his childhood, the plight of the poor and their children during the boom decades of the 1830s and 1840s, and Washington Irving’s essays on old English Christmas traditions published in his Sketch Book (1820); and fairy tales and nursery stories, as well as satirical essays and religious tracts.

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A boy, an elf and a train.

And a great adventure.

Sam Reynolds is in trouble. He’s been placed in detention by the school and on restriction by his dad for fighting.

The cause?

A story.

It was a story his grandfather told him of a trip he took by train when he was a boy.

To the great city of the north.

The North Pole.

He came back from that trip with a circular object dropped in the snow by a man he could see only from a distance. In the center of it, writ large, were the initials SC.

Santa Claus!

It had to be.

Sam has heard the story his whole life and has seen the proof. But he wants to know or himself, to prove that what he has believed since he could remember was the truth.

One night he goes looking for the train that his grandfather rode. What he finds both shocks and surprises him and it leads him on an adventure from which he will never be the same again.

From the author of I Am Legion, Skyfallen, Shadow Lords, and The Joining.

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The original stories behind everyone’s favorite Christmas ballet

It wasn’t until the 1950s that seeing The Nutcracker at Christmastime became an American tradition. But the story itself is much older and its original intent more complex. This eye-opening new volume presents two of the tale’s earliest versions, both in new translations: E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Nutcracker and Mouse King (1816), in which a young girl is whisked away to the Land of Toys to help her animated nutcracker defeat the Mouse King, and Alexandre Dumas’s 1845 adaptation, The Tale of the Nutcracker, based on Hoffmann’s popular work. Irresistible tales of magic, mystery, and childhood adventure, these timeless delights and fresh interpretations about the importance of imagination will captivate readers of all ages.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Frost’s life was about to change forever. Frost spent his whole life working with his mother for a Duke and finally earned his freedom and position. The past he knew so little about, would change his life forever. He was the first half elf to slip through the hands of death as an infant. His true identity had been unknown to him. On his seventeenth birthday, Frost would realize the importance of his true destiny. As Dark Elves return to the Earth, Frost alone holds the power to defeat them if he can learn to control that power.

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Santa
Claus, my dear old friend, you are a thief, a traitor, a slanderer, a murder, a
liar, but worst of all you are a mockery of everything for which I stood.

You have sung your last ho, ho, ho, for I am coming to
take your head. I am coming to take back what is mine, to take back Yuletide…

The author
and artist of The Child Thief returns with a modern fabulist tale of
Krampus, the Lord of Yule and mortal enemy of Santa Claus.

One
Christmas Eve in a small hollow in Boone County, West Virginia, struggling
songwriter Jesse Walker witnesses a strange spectacle: seven devilish figures
chasing a man in a red suit toward a sleigh and eight reindeer. When the
reindeer leap skyward taking the sleigh, devil men, and Santa into the clouds,
screams follow. Moments later, a large sack plummets earthward, a magical sack
that will thrust the down-on-his luck singer into the clutches of the
terrifying Yule Lord, Krampus. But the lines between good and evil become
blurred as Jesse’s new master reveals many dark secrets about the
cherry-cheeked Santa Claus, and how half a millennium ago, the jolly old saint
imprisoned Krampus and usurped his magic.

Now Santa’s
time is running short, for the Yule Lord is determined to have his retribution
and reclaim Yuletide. If Jesse can survive this ancient feud, he might have the
chance to redeem himself to his family, to save his own broken dreams…and
help bring the magic of Yule to the impoverished folk of Boone County.

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For bad children, a lump of coal from Santa is positively light punishment when Krampus is ready and waiting to beat them with a stick, wrap them in chains, and drag them down to hell—all with St. Nick’s encouragement and approval.

Krampusnacht holds within its pages twelve tales of Krampus triumphant, usurped, befriended, and much more. From evil children (and adults) who get their due, to those who pull one over on the ancient “Christmas Devil.” From historic Europe, to the North Pole, to present day American suburbia, these all new stories embark on a revitalization of the Krampus tradition.

Whether you choose to read Krampusnacht over twelve dark and scary nights or devour it in one nacht of joy and terror, these stories are sure to add chills and magic to any winter’s reading.

Featuring stories by Cheresse Burke, Guy Burtenshaw, Jill Corddry, Elise Forier Edie, Patrick Evans, Scott Farrell, Caren Gussoff, Mark Mills, Jeff Provine, Colleen H. Robbins, Lissa Sloan, and Elizabeth Twist.

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What if wizards were real but we knew them as mall Santas?

The SantaClaus myth we know and love is just a cover for a secret order ofwizards. They wield a system of magic that draws on the power of swearwords to battle the forces of the evil Krampus.

Daniel is a college kidwho needs a job. He finds work at the mall Santa kiosk but almost loseshis life on his first day when Krampus’s minions attack. He learns magic is real, Santas are wizards, and swear words hold great power.

There’san ongoing battle against evil for the fate of the world. Can Danieltake up the fight? Can he learn to do magic too? Will the Santas survive the onslaught of the forces of Krampus? Find out in Santa vs. Krampus!

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Out of Scandinavia, in the early 1700’s, steps the story of a boy who becomes a man, of a man who beomes a legend, of a legend that inspires the world. Santa is real.

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Grandma gives a sweater she knitted, Dad receives a necktie he doesn’t really like, the kids get toys that make a variety of noises, most of them loud, all of them annoying.

What do writers give for the holiday season? They give the gift of stories that take the reader away to fantastical times or places, tales that can be blood-curdling or heart-warming, adventures that capture the heart of the season.

Fantastic Holiday Stories by Kevin J. Anderson • Kristine Kathryn Rusch • Rebecca Moesta • David Farland • Larry Correia • Nina Kiriki Hoffman • Dean Wesley Smith • Debra Gray De Noux & O’Neil De Noux • 
Jerry Oltion • Kathy Oltion • Kent Patterson • Ray Vukcevich • Kim Antieau.

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Time marches on… Santas and Elves come and go at the North Pole complex. For some the reasons they choose to leave are personal, for others it’s a dismissal. Santa’s annual Mission must never fail despite how each passing year adds complexity amidst a world plagued by endless wars and upheavals. The denizens of the North are not secluded from the human world’s problems. The complex is not the utopia that some want it to be. Santa and Elves must come to terms with the turbulence of history and not allow personal issues to disrupt their commitments. Anna, Tetsu, and Hilda will each face challenges that threaten their legacies and centuries old friendships.

About the series: The Magi Charter
For over two thousand years the legend of Santa Claus has endured. His is a mission of peace as outlined in the Magi Charter, given to the first Santa by the Child. From humble beginnings following that First Christmas the Santa lineage has been passed down through the ages. This epic adventure tells the story of those Santas from the founding of the North Pole and the origin of the ancient elves, to our modern times where the world’s problems effect even those in the secluded complex of the North, and concluding in the distant future which finds Santa and the elves committed to their mission on a galactic scale where Christmas traditions are barely recognizable. Even in that era those committed to the Charter must find a way to deliver that which is needed most to those most deserving.

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The truth that inspired the myth…
Power has always had a way of attracting attention. Those who want it constantly seeking out those who have it, never caring who or what it costs in the process. When Gerald first heard of the ancient magick to the North and saw with his own eyes the feats it could achieve, how could he not sacrifice whatever was necessary to obtain it?
With an army at his back and the words of a mysterious stranger at his ear, the elves are on the verge of complete annihilation. Their best chance at survival may rest on the shoulders of an elf named Kringle, and Kris, an abandoned boy who fate left in her care.

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Join Maribel and Jingle Belle The Elf as they embark on their journey to the Northern Town beyond the frozen mountains; to save Santa and the elves from the tyranny of the wicked Snow Queen, Befana. Prepare yourself for a Christmas journey like no other, as you see traditional characters in a new light. Wrap up and get comfortable as you follow our characters through the frozen north to rescue the Festive Legend we all know as Santa Claus.

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Upon completing her first Big Night assignment of delivering coal to all the kids on the Naughty List, Coal Elf Ember Skye thought all was well at the North Pole. She no longer has to slave away mining coal, and her arch-nemesis – the demonic and evil elf, Sturd – has seemingly been stripped of his power and relegated to obscurity.

But you just can’t keep a bad elf down. Sturd’s accidental discovery of an ancient text sends him on a mission that may very well change life at the Pole as they all know it. His unexpected rise in power potentially could lead to unbridled chaos that would threaten the very existence of the Big Night, the North Pole, and even the Claus himself.

Return to the North Pole where Ember and all the Coal Elves will soon realize never to underestimate the corrupting temptation of unrivaled power. Unfortunately for them, it may be too late…

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