Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review: Merry Christmas Stories

Merry Christmas Stories by Jeff R. Spalsbury

Publication Date: September 23, 2010
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Genre: Holiday, Christmas
Pages: Paperback, 212pp

(Received for an honest review from TLC Tours)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Jeff R. Spalsbury on the WEB: website

Excerpt from Merry Christmas Stories (from the story, "Santa's Missing")

These 25 short stories for the Christmas season will make you laugh, smile and just feel good about this magical time of year. These delightful stories, written in a variety of genres, all reflect Christmas love, hope and charity.

Detective Nick Tracer just wants to get drunk over the holiday season but an eight-year-old girl hires him to find Santa, and it changes his life. A magical Christmas bus enriches the lives of a veteran and his young daughter. The last S-2, an indestructible android, is given the toughest assignment of his long existence. A Christmas ghost discovers the real magic of Christmas, and on a beautiful California Christmas morning, two people in their 80s recall their lives while sitting on a park bench overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

A ghost plays matchmaker for his younger brother, and two children do the same thing for their single mother. A best friend turns the tables on his buddy, and a sad poem opens the heart of a lonely poet. A bag lady enjoys the view and receives an unexpected guest. And sometimes being too smart can be a disadvantage, particularly when there is a bronze olive involved.

These are just some of the fun and exciting stories in this compilation. There are stories of adventure along with humor, unexpected surprises, romance and poignant moments. These are feel-good stories, to uplift your spirit and to leave you with a smile or a warm feeling. Just the way Christmas should.


It's that time of year again we turn our hearts and mind to the holidays and what they mean to us. Jeff R. Spalsbury's, Merry Christmas Stories is the perfect compliment to the season. With 25 endearing Christmas tales, spanning many genres, this collection of stories is heart warming and just right for this hectic time of year!

Spalsbury's stories are the kinds of stories that make readers consider what the Christmas season is all about. It' s not about how many gifts you get or who can cook the most expensive dinner. It's about family, love and heart. It's about giving in ways that don't even involve your wallet. And that's what I really liked about this collection. It gets down to the nitty gritty of what we have to give to others.

Short fiction is usually hard for me to review. I love those big long chunky novels that have a lot to say and shorter stories don't appeal to me as much. But let's face it... this time of year we don't have as much time to read and shorter fiction is a much better option. Especially when you get stories as well written and as uplifting as the ones in this book. Spalsbury is obviously very talented at writing short stories. He is able to bring the characters and the story to life with fewer words, holding descriptions to the simplest of terms but still making them meaningful and entertaining.

I liked just about every story in this book, but my favorite had to be "Santa's Missing" in which a little girl hires a detective to find Santa. She has about $1.06 to pay the man and this is one job that changes his life. It's always amazing to me how the smallest of things can change a person's life in monumental ways and that was the true spirit behind this story. 

Another favorite of mine, that my daughters and I both really enjoyed was, "Buddy, Don't Cry", in which a little boy who has had a lot of problems in the foster care system receives a special gift which leads to a new life for Christmas. This one was a tear jerker, but I like those this time of year. Our family is very involved with the local youth center in our community and we see kids that are in and out of foster care all the time and this one really struck a cord with us. Very well written and very heart felt!

There are so many other good stories in this book, from tales about androids to matchmaking ghosts. There is something to appeal to just about every reader out there unless they are being a scrooge this time of year. Christmas has become so commercialized, that I almost dread it coming anymore and stories like these remind me that it's about so much more than that! I recommend it all my readers. A delightful collection of Christmas stories that will have readers doing a balancing act between tears and laughter!

Merry Christmas Stories is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Jeff R. Spalsbury was born in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, and grew up in the small town of Logan, Ohio. He attended Ohio State University, San Jose State University and the University of Denver. He currently lives in Virginia, California. Before deciding to become a full-time novelist and short-story writer, he was a director of a college library and a college professor. when not writing Christmas short stories, he writes western and science fiction novels.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are so right - this time of year DOES seem perfect for short, quick reads. Glad this one was such a treat for you!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.