This was an amazing anthology! I had read the previous outing of Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner, Many Bloody Returns and liked it. While Many Bloody Returns had the premise that all the stories were about vampires and birthdays, this one is about Christmas and werewolves. So I was happy to receive Wolfsbane and Mistletoe. But I had no idea how fabulous these stories would be. Ranging from creepy to funny, to touching and romantic, there is not an average story in the bunch. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. Some of the authors I had never read before but I will be looking for them in the future.
First up is a Sookie Stackhouse story, Gift Wrap, from Ms. Harris. What a joy to read just a little tale about Sookie’s Christmas that will hold me till a new book comes out sometime next year.
Next up was The Haire of the Beast by Donna Andrews. This is one author that I will be looking for her backlist as I was very tickled by this tale. Ooops, no pun intended.
Simon R. Green gifted us with a tale from his Nightside world; Lucy at Christmas. While I have been intimidated by his backlist, this story made me think that it will be worth the effort. Haunting is the best word to sum up this shortest of the stories.
The Night Things Changed by Dana Cameron was an interesting tale with a well thought out world. Ms. Cameron gave us an intriguing tale with a great hero. I will be looking for more from this author as well.
One of my favorite authors, Kat Richardson, wrote The Werewolf Before Christmas. I had high expectations and she didn’t disappoint! This was a funny, creepy, delightful tale that had me glued to my seat.
Fresh Meat by Alan Gordon was a delightful surprise. I didn’t know where the story was going but I loved every minute of it. I hope his other work is as good!
Il Est Ne’ by Carrie Vaughn was one I didn’t look forward to reading since I don’t read her Kitty series, which this story takes place in. But I was pleased that I could easily step into her world and follow this hopeful story.
Dana Stabenow is a well-known, award winning writer and boy, did it show in The Perfect Gift. This had a tight plot and compelling characters.
Christmas Past by Keri Arthur was a cute and romantic read. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Brodie and Hannah.
Then we come to one of my favorite stories; SA by J.A. Konrath. This was hysterical! I was laughing so much that my husband commented on it. I have already ordered the first book in his mystery series!
Then we come to Patricia Briggs’ The Star of David; another of my favorites. This was fabulous, giving us a closer look at a minor character from her Mercy Thompson series.
You’d Better Not Pyout by Nancy Pickard was very amusing. I enjoyed this one; very unique.
Karen Chance brings Rogue Elements to the table. This is the second short story by Ms. Chance that I have read. It is also one I enjoyed. I really need to read her series since I like her short stories so well. I really liked the fact that she was able to give us the feel of Vegas in a small amount of pages.
Rob Thurman is another author that I am going to have to get his backlist! Milk and Cookies was eerie and spooky and incredibly well done!
The anthology was closed with Toni L.P. Kelner with Keeping Watch Over His Flock. Strong writing style with great characters, what more could you ask.
This was so great! I can’t urge everyone enough to go out and get this book. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the holidays!
New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Keri Arthur, Carrie Vaughn, and Karen Chance-along with ten other masters of the genre-offer stories on werewolves and the holidays, a fresh variation on the concept of birthdays and vampires found in Many Bloody Returns.
The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone- particularly lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest, saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand.
Whether wolfing down a holiday feast (use your imagination) or craving some hair of the dog on New Year's morning, the werewolves in these frighteningly original stories will surprise, delight, amuse, and scare the pants off readers who love a little wolfsbane with their mistletoe.