Here’s something perfect for the holidays … Christmas Tales. These are not horror stories, but they are written by horror writer, John Everson.

“I’ve always been in love with the trappings of Christmas,” says Everson. “Over the years I’ve made Christmas caramels to give away, written and recorded Christmas songs to play for friends and family and, yes, even penned Christmas stories. You should see the lights strung around my house. I even keep a Christmas web page online where you can listen to some of my songs and download holiday wallpaper for your computer.

“I love this season! And this year, I finally put together a short collection celebrating it.”

Christmas Tales, a short collection that can be read by the entire family, was released on and Barnes & this week for just $0.99.

Fans of Everson’s horror fiction may be a little surprised by the lightheartedness of the stories in Christmas Tales. Those who’ve read his Needles & Sins collection know that he’s written a fairly “dark” Christmas tale in the alternate nativity story called “Mary.” And his Vigilantes of Love collection includes “The Humane Way,” a Christmas dinner tale with a nasty twist. Neither of those pieces appear in the new collection … which focuses on the more uplifting emotions of the holiday.

Christmas Tales, however, includes three short stories celebrating the fantasy and magic of Christmas, along with the lyrics of four of my original holiday songs. Here’s the lineup of the stories inside:

“Christmas, The Hard Way,” was originally written and published as a holiday gift to family and friends over a decade ago (and it also appeared in Vigilantes of Love). The story is a fantastical look at the Christmas holiday from the point of view of Will, a boy who comes from a family of… well… witches. To them, magic comes naturally. But at Christmastime, they pledge to give up magic to rediscover the importance of doing and making things with the sweat of honest labor. That will be a difficult – but rewarding – lesson for Will to learn.

“Frost,” the second tale of the collection, opens with David, a young boy from a broken home on an uneasy trip home for the holidays after visiting with his dad. But his trip takes an unexpected turn when a frost sprite in the plane window escorts him on a journey that can only be seen as the start of “growing up”… and the beginning of a rekindled Christmas.

“Will You Spend This Christmas Night With Me?” a new story written just for this Christmas collection, looks into the heart of a “lost man” who is living alone with no friends or family. Based on the lyric of one of my original Christmas songs recorded in the ’90s (the original lyric also appears in this book), “Will You Spend This Christmas Night With Me?” tells the life-altering story of a lonely man who takes in a homeless child – or is she? – on Christmas Eve.

“I’ve been working on this one all month (which is why this book is so late in getting out into the world) and I hope my readers will enjoy it,” says Everson. “The book introduction also includes a link to my website’s perennial Christmas page, where you can hear a demo of the original song the story is based on.”

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