The 12 Terrors of Christmas by Claudette Melanson Book Tour, Giveaway and Personal Review!
The 12 Terrors of Christmas
by Claudette Melanson
Genre: Horror Short Stories
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?
That night had marked the sixth day of December…and time seemed to fast-forward to the fourteenth. I’d framed the picture of my own child, beaming with joy while seated on Santa’s knee, but at that point, I didn’t know if the Tomlin’s would ever have theirs taken. The scarf had turned out to be a dead end—not a hair, stray fiber or scrap of DNA to be found on its surface—and I’d become more desperate to find the missing child with each passing day. The closest I’d come to tracking him down had been during the nightmare I’d had on the night of the thirteenth.
Inside my darkened dream-world, the lost scarf twisted past me in the wind, winding its way past my head to snake its way back into the branches of the tree where we’d found it. Only this time, the magnolia had been in full bloom, each buxom white blossom dripping crimson as if someone had upended the tree by the roots and dipped it in an impossibly-large vat of blood. And the blood had rained down in large, fat drops to land and pool on the ground as if the earth below refused to accept it. The pools had found their way into the network of rivulets carved into the surrounding parched soil so that the space upon which I stood became surrounded by a network of racing, intermingling mini-rivers of blood. Though they all separated before changing course and joining together again, each, eventually, found a common goal. The boy. Colden.
Even though he stood some distance away from me, I recognized his pale, frightened features, a sharply contrasted centerpiece within the dark frame of his hair like crow’s feathers—save for his matching eyes. The innocent set to his expression demanded justice, a justice I swore in that sleeping moment to deliver. Before my horrified eyes, the little rivers filled past capacity, allowing them to rise up and touch the boy. At first, the red fingers only sidled along his shoes, but it didn’t take long for their reach to extend, like circling vines, to stain his jeans and shirt and splash lines of scarlet across his nose and cheeks. The streams continued to run up and over the child, defying every known law of gravity, until he was soaked and dripping, appearing to have stepped from the frame of a horror movie.
I woke with a start that yanked Tristana from sleep as well. “What is it, Devlin? Nightmare?”
“The worst. I saw that missing kid… Doused in blood from head to toe.” I left out the part about the spoiled purity of the magnolia tree. It didn’t seem relevant in the whole scheme of things anyway, just some random creation from my psyche.
“You’re going to find him, Honey. Alive.” But even an optimist like Tristana uttered that last word without a hint of belief behind it.
“It’s been more than a week. You know the statistics…”
I’d wandered into an area of rocky terrain over which my wife would not follow. “I think I heard Mallory.” She rose and left our bedroom before another word could escape to pursue her.
I couldn’t blame her. I, too, deeply desired the luxury of focusing solely on buying Mallory’s Christmas presents, watching every canned Christmas special known to man while he snuggled into my chest and seeing his eyes light up as he sprinkled red and green sugar over freshly-baked gingerbread men and women. But I couldn’t be blessed with such good fortune. Because we weren’t the only family in the world. And because Mrs. Tomlin loved Colden just as much as we loved Mallory. Wished she could be sharing all the same special holiday memories with her son as we were lucky enough to share with ours. Because I had once been fortunate enough for a detective who cared enough, worked hard enough, to bring my sister home after a bad man had taken her, carried her away from her own birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese—I strove to repay that debt of gratitude every day. If men like me rested, all the stolen children would remain just that…stolen.
I had eleven days. Well, ten if I wanted Colden to sleep in his own bed on Christmas Eve. Even with a son of my own to consider, I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted more.
I have always been in love with Christmas and stories about Christmas. But I am also a HUGE horror buff, so when my two favorite things meet - well it's a masterpiece! I also love short stories because they are quick and easy to read for a single mom :) This book fit all of those perfectly. And these stories were not the regular run-of-the-mill scary stories - when it comes to Christmas, so many people do NOT want to read these kinds of stories. Like the movie Krampus - not many people I know enjoyed it because they hated to think of the terrible Christmas thoughts. But in other countries Christmas is not as nice as it is in America - and some of the stories and legends are terrifying. Krampus is absolutely without a doubt one of my favorite legends - and Terror Three dealt with that. I loved the story and how he summoned Krampus but realized all too late that there were more than just one monster afoot. Although I have to say my favorite out of all of them was Terror One. It was so well-written that I was just CRAVING the ending! I could NOT figure out what was happening and until the very end of the story I had no clue what was going on. Some people might find that story a little too much because it's about past lives and although it isn't really about kidnapping, it does seem as though it could be. But you have to read the entire story to understand WHY it's not what it seems. I would say my second favorite was Terror Five - in this one Santa is being set upon by werewolves and turning his beloved reindeer and all he wants is to save them all.
Vikings, werewolves, Krampus, vampirism and many other legends take part in this anthology, and of course there are 12, just like the 12 Days of Christmas :) I would consider this a must read for anyone who loves horror. I love the spin on each story that sheds a new light on each different Santa, it's awesome because of course every legend is different even in America - everyone sees Santa as this jolly old fat dude with white hair who is busting at his red suit seams and spends 364 days a year watching over the North Pole while his elves create the toys. Funny to think of it differently? Well then read this, because you will definitely see a different side of each Santa. But just because Santa is not what you expect, doesn't necessarily mean that he is the bad guy - tons of surprises await on every page!
And remember ... before you start to read the stories make sure you lock all the doors and windows and don't read in the middle of a blizzard - and "while visions of Krampus rampage through your head" ... Santa could ask for the "tiniest nip" - "after all, it IS Christmas, he'll take only a sip." **evil laughter**
All in all I give this five stars easily - it is horrific and terrifying and yet fun to read at the same time. I can say I will never see everything about Christmas - including cookies - the same way again :)
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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