Book Review: Twelve Tales of Christmas by Cathleen Townsend

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Book Review: Twelve Tales of Christmas by Cathleen Townsend

Twelve Tales of Christmas cover copy copy

Why This Book 
The author and I connected via our WordPress blogs, which led to us developing an e-friendship. As it progressed, I realized how prolific she’s been, which made me curious to read a few pieces of her work. Given she writes in the fantasy realm, it was an opportunity for me to read more in this genre, as I normally don’t, as well as enjoy something by an author I’ve chatted with many times. I was also very interested as the holiday season is arriving and there are 12 short stories, so I could read it in small amounts without worrying about getting too overwhelmed by a new genre (but that didn’t work out, as it was so good, I read it ALL in one sitting)!

Approach & Style 
I read this collection on my iPad through Kindle Reader. It has 126 pages spread across 12 individual and separate short stories, some of which are a few pages, while others are about 25 pages long. It took me about 90 minutes to read the entire collection, stopping only once to make a cup of hot cocoa. It’s that kind of book!

Key Thoughts 
As a collection, this is fantastic and charming in its individuality and its entirety. The focus runs the gamut of angels, dragons, Santa, magic, romance, spirits, family traditions, elves, and much more. The imagination and inspiration within each of the stories are plentiful, especially in the way Cathleen Townsend weaves traditional with modern values. In the first story called The Gift, you are treated to a beautiful gesture based on something that happened in real-life (and she’ll reveal that connection in an upcoming post!). In another story, a father working as a mall Santa, is hoping to find enough money and time to buy presents for his children, as no one else is around to help. In a third, a treetop angel is dying and needs someone to help her maintain her tree — the family who she lives with is no picnic at first! The beauty in the basic elements of the story, the language and words crafted along the path, and the message readers take away is breathtaking on multiple levels.

Generally when you read 12 different stories, there will be a few you love, a few you think are okay and a few you don’t particularly care for. That’s not the case here; you will love or like them all. For the most part, I really enjoyed the shorter ones, as they had a bit less fantasy and a stronger message that connected with my own emotions or views on life. These are the types of stories you could read on a bus/train ride to work, at the coffee shop, waiting in a doctor’s office or standing in a line at a cash register — all the while improving your mood and giving you something fun and enjoyable to do. Or you could read them allowed as a family, maybe at a hospital to children around the holidays… so many options and types of content that will appeal to a variety of masses.

My two favorites: The Gift and Department Store Santa

Summary 
Cathleen is a remarkable author and blogger. I’m very glad to meet her and would recommend her collection of short stories to most any reader. You’ll walk away inspired and energized about humanity, and some of the characters aren’t all that nice! Please stop by my blog on Fri 12/22/17 for an author spotlight I’m doing specifically on her. You’ll be able to read one of her stories for free, as well as find out how buy/download her books in time for the holiday for free as well right now!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
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34 thoughts on “Book Review: Twelve Tales of Christmas by Cathleen Townsend

    Noriko said:
    December 18, 2017 at 6:35 PM

    Great review, as always! This inspired me to pick this up 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 18, 2017 at 6:37 PM

      Excellent! It’ll be a fun read in between everything else! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

        Noriko said:
        December 18, 2017 at 6:38 PM

        Looks like it! I’ve just downloaded it. Yay!

        Liked by 3 people

      cathleentownsend said:
      December 20, 2017 at 1:04 AM

      Well, many thanks to Noriko and Jay both. There’s nothing quite like hearing that people are reading your work. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

        Noriko said:
        December 20, 2017 at 4:35 AM

        You are welcome! Jay’s review was fantastic and detailed, I thought I had to read it!

        Liked by 2 people

    yuulye said:
    December 18, 2017 at 7:11 PM

    I want to be your e-friend

    Liked by 3 people

    Cammie Adams said:
    December 18, 2017 at 8:33 PM

    I love Christmas stories! I binge watch the Hallmark channel every year. And I even saw this book on my Goodreads feed (probably on your shelf) and meant to look it up then, I must have been distracted. Thanks for the reminder! I’ll be sure to leave a review.

    Liked by 2 people

      cathleentownsend said:
      December 20, 2017 at 1:17 AM

      Thanks, Cammie, reviews are precious to authors. It’s wonderful to find new readers. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    mistysbookspace said:
    December 18, 2017 at 8:33 PM

    I normally don’t enjoy short stories because I have a hard time being able to connect to the characters and the story in such a short amount of time but you made this one sound very appealing!!

    Liked by 2 people

      cathleentownsend said:
      December 20, 2017 at 1:12 AM

      Short stories are their own art form, and this one has several flash pieces. But it also has longer works, including the anchor story which is a novelette. The real trick to telling any story is using the right number of words. Short story-sized conflicts shouldn’t be stretched into novels, and a story that needs more room to spread out shouldn’t be compressed down to a dozen pages. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    dtills said:
    December 18, 2017 at 8:50 PM

    Hi Jay, I don’t know if you have been tagged by another blogger yet but I nominated you for “The Christmas tag”. Hope all is well!

    https://invisible-no-more.com/category/gratitude-for-attitude/

    Liked by 2 people

    Tjohnson said:
    December 18, 2017 at 11:29 PM

    Awesome review!

    Like

    By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff said:
    December 19, 2017 at 2:30 AM

    This sounds like one of those reads that makes you sigh happily at the end. I can’t wait for your author spotlight on Friday. As for the book, because of your review I find I can’t wait so I’m heading over to Amazon right now.😊

    Liked by 2 people

    carhicks said:
    December 19, 2017 at 8:55 AM

    Great review James. I love readingshort stories and novellas at this time of year. These sound delightful. Will be watching for your post on Friday.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM

      Thank you! It’s all ready to go, too. I’m ahead this week, which is a bit unusual. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

        cathleentownsend said:
        December 20, 2017 at 1:22 AM

        Isn’t that a good feeling, being caught up? I always enjoy it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    Natalie Ducey said:
    December 19, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    Fabulous review to share, Jay. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 19, 2017 at 12:02 PM

      Thanks, Natalie. I appreciate it.

      Liked by 2 people

      cathleentownsend said:
      December 20, 2017 at 1:24 AM

      Thanks so much, Natalie, and also for the tweet. For those of you who don’t know, Natalie Ducey has a lovely poetry book out, called The Heart’s Lullaby. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        Natalie Ducey said:
        December 21, 2017 at 11:17 AM

        Thank you, Cathleen, for this lovely mention. You’re a gem! XO

        Liked by 1 person

    cathleentownsend said:
    December 20, 2017 at 1:33 AM

    Well, Jay, first I wanted to thank you for the lovely review, and for blogging it as well as posting on goodreads and Amazon. I don’t know if you ever do this, but when I’m down, I go reread my reviews. It’s like happiness waiting in the bank.

    Also, I’ve got some good news to share. Twelve Tales has now climbed to #5 in its category on Amazon. And okay, it’s a long tail category: kindle ebooks>science fiction and fantasy>fantasy>anthologies and short stories. And it’s on the free side, not paid. But still–number five. And this review was part of it.

    I offer it here not only as thanks, but for those of my fellow bloggers who wonder if this blogging gig really reaches anyone. It may work like the ripples in the pond metaphor, but with time and persistence, the words we blog really do make a difference. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 20, 2017 at 8:24 AM

      You are very welcome, and thanks for the reminder to check out the positive reviews. They always help.

      Exciting news about Twelve Tales — that’s wonderful to hear!

      Liked by 1 person

    robbiesinspiration said:
    December 21, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    A lovely review of Cathleen’s book, James. I am about 70% through this book and am also enjoying it.

    Liked by 1 person

    bicted said:
    January 19, 2018 at 5:39 PM

    You’re a bad influence on my tbr pile, James – couldn’t resist downloading myself a copy of this!

    I always enjoy reading your reviews so I’ve tagged you, I won’t be offended if you don’t do it but I thought this one an interesting one! https://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/100-books-tag/

    Liked by 1 person

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