Title: A Winter’s Enchantment
Authors: Elise Forier Edie, Amalia Dillin, Kristina Wojtaszek
Format: Kindle (327 pages)
Published: January 2, 2014 (World Weaver Press)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Three novellas of winter magic and loves lost and regained.
THE DEVIL IN MIDWINTER by Elise Forier Edie.
December in the orchard town of Mattawa, Washington, is usually quiet, and the biggest stories in the local newspaper center around the annual Midwinter Fire Festival. But a murder, sightings of a fantastic beast in the orchards and the arrival of a handsome new vintner in town have kindled reporter Esme Ulloa’s curiosity—and maybe her passion as well. However, the more she untangles the mystery, the more the world she knows unspools; until she finds herself navigating a place she thought only existed in storybooks, where dreams come alive, monsters walk the earth and magic is real.
TAMING FATE by Amalia Dillin.
In 15th Century France, Eve would have burned as a witch if it hadn’t been for the too-timely arrival of the Marquis DeLeon to save her skin, but their hasty marriage is off to anything but a smooth start. As tensions in the town grow, Ryam DeLeon knows if he and Eve cannot find common ground, their first Christmas may be their last. (This novella can be read as book 2.5 in the Fate of the Gods series.)
OPAL by Kristina Wojtaszek.
White as snow, stained with blood, her talons black as ebony… The worlds of Fae and Men collide. The daughter of an owl, forced into human form by the death of her Fae mother, must seek the truth of her parentage. The son of a king, deep in the snowy woods, finds the love he’d only dreamt of in the arms of a Fae shapeshifter. The past is shrouded in secrecy, and the future wrapped in snow.
A Winter’s Enchantment is a mesmerizing exceptional assortment of three festive holiday fantasy novellas penned by authors who were all new to me at the time I picked it up. Anthologies are normally hard for me to review as it’s difficult to assign one rating to a collection where I normally feel differently about the included stories. Happily, that was not the case with this anthology, as I absolutely loved each of the stories and didn’t want to put any of them down once I'd started reading them.
Below you will find a couple of my favorite quotes from each novella and a short description.
THE DEVIL IN MID-WINTER by Elise Forier Edie
The old folktales from Mexico often have the same beginning. "One day a man met the devil on the road," or "The devil came upon a man in the desert." This is not an old story, but I am here to tell you, I met the devil in an orchard in December. He offered me gold; he gave me pleasure; he fooled me twice and then he set me on fire.
"There's some kind of really bad stuff going around, because we keep getting these calls. Devils in the trees, monsters walking among us, crap like that. Happy holidays, right?"
Reporter Esme Ulloa’s curiosity is piqued by multiple implausible dispatches coming in from Mattawa, Washington. Surprisingly, the more she delves into the mysterious happenings, the more she questions what has always been her reality. This engrossing novella is based on Mexican mythology.
TAMING FATE (Fate of the Gods #2.5) by Amalia Dillin
"He would make her laugh every night that they made love. He would make love to her once for every time she giggled.
She burst into laughter then, and he grinned.
For the first time in her many lives, Eve would rather be anywhere but home.
OPAL by Kristina Wojtaszek
Being an owl was simple. It was survival... An owl thinks only: fly, hunt, breed, live. People think, and wonder, and dream, and speak of it all.
White as snow, stained with blood, her talons black as ebony...
This is a fresh and exciting fractured retwisting of the classic Snow White fairytale as the daughter of an owl is forced into a human shape by a wizard. Meanwhile, Androw, a Prince, is caught in a Fae-made spell and only the daughter of an owl can save him.
I have been horribly remiss in writing my review of this wonderful set of stories. This is truly a magical, beautifully written, paranormal collection – one that I would read again. I see that each of the stories are now available individually. Even if you’ve not read any of these authors previously, I wouldn’t hesitate to either pick up the compilation that is still available in paperback or any of the standalone reads. I hope to check out other works by these same authors soon!