Twelve Tales of Christmas

Twelve Tales of Christmas cover copy copyChristmas 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 nobody 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.

***

Twelve Tales is finally out! This one very nearly didn’t make it. *note to self: finish all future seasonal books well ahead of time*

But it is done and published and all that, and I’m really proud of it. It’s longer than Dragon Hoard–35k to DH’s 22k–but it’s still novella length, so it should be a reasonably quick read, which is what people seem to want out of Christmas books. That’s understandable; it’s a busy time.

So Twelve Tales offers you twelve mini-vacations, most of which are fantasy, with three of the stories being straight contemporaries.

And this brings me to my next point: I’d love help getting the word out, or nobody may ever know about it.

Six of the stories are flash, so they lend themselves to blogging, if anyone would like to blog a quick Christmas story. If you’re wondering what’s available, I have the following:

  • The Gift: a mostly internal story about a forgotten older woman and an act of faerie kindness.
  • Holiday Movie: a romance that focuses on finding a little holiday spirit by refusing to give up on it.
  • Kelly’s Christmas: Santa runs into an unexpected German Shepherd and gives her a surprising gift.
  • Trip to Tahoe: unfinished business can transcend even death (a Christmas ghost story).
  • Christmas Tango: Donio the reindeer is fed up with snow–and considering ditching Santa for the beaches at Rio.
  • Snowflake: Madelynn is ashamed that she’s afraid to talk to her grandma now, as if cancer were something she could catch. But somehow, she has to make it through her grandmother’s last Christmas.

***

And of course I need reviews, although I well know the size of everyone’s TBR stacks.

Which brings me to price. I tried to make Twelve Tales free everywhere. I tried so hard. And I sort of succeeded, but I don’t have any more time to work through the red tape.

Twelve Tales is free on Smashwords here:Β https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/761587. It’s available there as mobi, epub, and PDF, so you can download there to put it on your Kindle.

Amazon is still insisting on listing it at $.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Tales-Christmas-Contemporary-Brighten-ebook/dp/B0784FSL94/), and they will continue to do so until Smashwords approves my book for widespread distribution. Then I’ll have a Barnes and Noble link to wave at Amazon. Apparently Smashwords by itself leaves them unimpressed.

***

So peek inside for a little Christmas cheer when the season starts to wear on you, or to get in the holiday spirit. πŸ™‚

 

Avid writer and reader, especially of fantasy. Learning about social networking and always interested in honing my writing skills. Contact me at cathleentownsend.com.

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Posted in My Books
41 comments on “Twelve Tales of Christmas
  1. Cathleen, this sounds like a wonderful collection of original Christmas stories. I love the cover – you did a great job all around. May you enjoy the fruits of your loving labor and this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Sharon–especially for the cover comment. I tried a similar cover in digital first and decided it wouldn’t work. Then I painted a false start before I threw up my hands, spouted epithets, and began over with this one. This book was tough. It seemed like every phase took way longer than it should.

    I really hope I get better at publishing over time. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congrats, Cathleen! Perfect timing for a Christmas debut. Just downloaded my copy and can’t wait to get reading… MERRY CHRISTMAS! ❀ xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome! We need Christmas stories with dragons!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bernadette says:

    Reblogged this on Haddon Musings and commented:
    Different and I am sure very enjoyable Christmas tales from Kathleen.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Annika Perry says:

    Cathleen, your book has put me in the Christmas mood! You make these sound so tempting…the fire breathing dragon on no one’s Christmas card list! A reindeer fed up of snow! Best of luck with these and I look forward to reading them…you’re right, this time of year is perfect to sit down with shorter reads for a relaxing cosy break! Argghh…I’ve been reading up about amazon and its pricing and looks a minefield! Best of luck with your latest book and wishing you a great week! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right about the pricing labyrinth. It’s easy to get lost in opinions–because more than one system works–but just in case it helps, here’s how I approach pricing.

      Right now I have a very small audience. My goal isn’t to make money off my books, at least not yet. Not many people are really going to care how hard I work, how much this means to me, etc.They’re going to care if my book seems like something that might be fun. If I keep the bar to entry low–free or $.99–folks are more likely to pick up my book on impulse. If I give them a reading experience they enjoy repeatedly, they may be willing to wait for more, check up on new releases dates, etc.

      In part, this is modeled on my own reading experience, and it’s affected by the fact that I spent a good chunk of my life struggling to pay the bills. I often learned of authors via the library, or sometimes from the recommendation of a friend. In both cases, my intro was free. The first time I read LOTR, it was from a library. I went on to buy (with babysitting money) everything Tolkien ever wrote.

      So, I’m willing to give away several books to try and acquire some reader trust, enough to make charging three or four bucks worthwhile later. But that’s an easy conclusion for me to reach. I’ve got eight novels and one more collection drafted already, and four of those books are pretty polished. I’d probably have a different plan if I only had a few books in me.

      And thanks so much for your kind words. They mean a great deal. For all my veneer of adult behavior, releasing a book reduces me to near-childlike vulnerability. Every compliment is treasured. When I’m down about writing, sometimes I go to Amazon and goodreads to reread my reviews on Dragon Hoard. They still perk me up. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • Annika Perry says:

        Cathleen, I agree wholeheartedly with your pricing ideas – and I read the same. Will often ‘pick’ up a book around that price range on a whim. Reading KDP Publishing rules I noticed that you are not allowed to offer a book for free unless you are either part of KDP Select or offer it for sale elsewhere. I think this is right?

        I bought you book and look forward to reading it…I smile at your words that every compliment is a treasure …how true – I think many of us writers feel vulnerable – after all we are putting our work out there for everyone, to read, enjoy and possibly judge harshly. It’s scary. Just from your post today I know I’ll love your book and be able to leave a positive review!

        Liked by 1 person

        • What a great friend you are, Annika! Be sure to give me a heads up when you want a review or interview and I’ll be happy to return the favor. I like the world better when we lift each other up.

          You can’t offer a book for free on Amazon unless you can give them a link where it’s free elsewhere–and they want retailers: iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, etc. Smashwords or Draft to Digital alone won’t get it done.

          I believe with the Select program you get five free days every three months. I’m not sure because I haven’t personally used it yet. I may once I start charging for books.

          The best advice I can give you is to get it done early, like…a month at least. But I don’t do well with deadline stress. Some people find it motivating. I start finding it hard to think, and then I resent that. Starts up a weird cycle I can do without. However, do what works for you. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful, Cathleen. I just got my copy from Amazon and will try to get a review asap! Happy Holidays πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so envious of any writer that has a Christmas story to tell — let alone twelve! Congrats, Cathleen!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, that bit actually got tricky. Collections are sneaky that way. This is my second, and both times I had to write 15-16 stories to get twelve that worked in a collection. For this book, one version had too many grandmothers. One had too much death. That sort of thing.

      One really good result from that experience, though, is that I look at rejection in a completely different light. I’ve rejected seven of my own stories over the two books. They were good stories, too, but they just didn’t quite work in the larger work. I figure it’s something like that now when I submit a story and it’s not accepted.

      Anyway, I wrote this because I like fantasy Christmas books, and there aren’t actually that many. And it’s the kind of book that automatically gets a resting time, so it can be promoted and reread for several years. These were all things I was looking for. I hope that as I get more experienced at publishing, having to release a book at a certain time won’t be so stressful. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I absolutely wish you the best of luck with Twelve Tales! And those “rejected” stories will probably find their way into a different collection, or simply be published as one-offs (perhaps in a magazine or literary journal?). I’m thinking very casually right now about a collection of prose short stories in the style of the old newsprint comic books and after-school animated series from the eighties I grew up on; anthologies are a very different challenge from writing a long-form novel, I’m discovering! I hope you’ll post more essays about the process in the coming weeks and months so I can learn from your experience!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennie says:

    Congratulations, Cathleen!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. writenlive says:

    Lots of congratulations to you, Cathleen, on Twelve Tales!

    They sure look an exciting collection and I downloaded my copy from Smashwords. Can’t wait to read and review πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Cathleen! How exciting! I just bought it (i know, late to the party) and look forward to reading! I need to get some of my reviews done, including one for Stolen Legacy. You are so talented–a great writer AND painter/cover designer! Can’t wait to have coffee with you next week!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. balroop2013 says:

    Congratulations Cathleen. I have returned to such wonderful news! Just downloaded my copy and would get back to Amazon soon with the review. Wishing you great success dear friend. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. writenlive says:

    I loved the book very much, Cathleen and the review for your excellent book is up on my blog.

    Here is the link
    https://sonaonline.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/twelve-tales-of-christmas-by-cathleen-townsend-book-review/

    Liked by 1 person

    • That review was an incredible gift. Thank you so very much. It made me smile–I’m still smiling! I may break out in random grins for some time over this. πŸ™‚

      Like

      • writenlive says:

        I am so glad to have read the lovely stories. Some of them touched me in unexpected ways.

        After reading the first one, ‘The Gift’, I resolved to send gifts to the orphanage for Christmas.

        After reading, ‘Department Store Santa’, I realised how fortunate we are to have families by our sides and adequate material comforts.

        Thanks so much!

        Like

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