Title: Twelve Tales of Christmas

Author: Cathleen Townsend

Genre: Short stories, Fiction


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.


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.

Buy this fantastic book here.


28 thoughts on “Twelve Tales of Christmas by Cathleen Townsend: Book Review

  1. This totally made my day! It took me three Christmases to write this book, since for some reason I couldn’t draft unless my Christmas tree was up. (I given up trying to explain how my mind works.) 🙂

    Anyway, I suppose that with any book, publishing is the moment of truth. All this writing, editing, painting and re-painting covers, working with the graphic designer for font, etc.–it all finally comes together and it’s time to step forward and find out if this book has an audience of more than one.

    Getting a review like this not only validates the effort that went into Twelve Tales, but it helps encourage me to keep on with my future books (I have three slated for next year–we’ll see if my skills can match my optimism).

    Thank you so very much! This was a gift beyond price.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am so glad, Cathleen, to have read your book.

      Publishing really is the moment of truth and we writers can be incredibly vulnerable, even when we have produced excellent work.

      So, it is only fair that we cheer the hard work and all the behind-the-scenes agonising and decision making.

      Good luck for all the future publishing. I can’t wait to read your next few books 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What a friend! My upcoming three (Bellerophon, Snow White and the Civil War, parts 1 and 2) I’m going to actually sell, but I’ll give my blogger friends a heads-up because at first it will be free (until I can get a couple dozen reviews on Amazon). It’s the easiest work-around I’ve found for the new Amazon policy. Reviewers expect books for free, but Amazon won’t post reviews unless you’re a customer. But if you “buy” a free book, you’re a verified customer.

        Then you just unpublish on Smashwords, and then, poof! You can sell books.

        That’s the plan anyway. I haven’t done it yet, so I’ll update everyone on how it works out. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much, everyone, for all the kind words and reviews. As any writers among you know, it’s REALLY hard releasing these books out into the wild. Sample doubts include: “Will anyone like it? Will it just sink like a rock? Is there any point in doing this?”

    So a review like this means so much. And it’s not measured only in terms of my joy. Due to all this flagrant downloading and reviewing, Twelve Tales has climbed to #8 in its Amazon category= kindle ebooks>science fiction and fantasy>fantasy>anthologies and short stories. Okay, it’s a long tail category. And it’s on the free side, not paid.

    But still. #8–that’s a single digit. I believe I can legitimately call myself an Amazon bestselling author now. And it wouldn’t have happened without reviews like this and everyone who snagged a copy of my book. Thanks again. 🙂


  3. Lots of Congratulations, Amazon Bestselling Author!! 🙂

    So glad that your hard work and talent has led the book to be appreciated.

    I am happy to be with you in this part of your journey. May you write many more of such wonderful books and may they reach more and more readers!

    Liked by 1 person

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