So get cozy by the fire, grab a cup of coco and get ready to read some amazing traditions and some fantastic recommendations for the holidays.
I love this time of year…the Christmas lights, decorating the tree, snuggling under a blanket with some hot cocoa and a good book, or turning on the Hallmark channel and watching all those cheesy Christmas movies. It doesn’t matter what it is, I love this season! There’s just something magical about it.
Our family tradition (and to be honest I really didn’t consider it a tradition until my husband pointed it out last year) is to buy a new ornament for the tree each year. When I was 5, my godmother started buying the Puppy Love ornaments from Hallmark for me. It was a brand new series and she bought me one every year until she passed away. My mom continued the tradition, and now I’ve taken it over.
When my husband and I got married, we added to our puppy ornaments by each choosing a new series. I chose angels and my husband chose gingerbread houses. Sadly the angels ended four years ago and this is the last year for the gingerbread houses, but we still have the puppies 😀 This year my son chose a nutcracker for our tree which I love! I’m a huge fan of E.T.A. Hoffman’s classic The Nutcracker. For fans of the classic, Claire Legrand’s Winterspell would make a perfect gift this season!
Winterspell by Claire Legrand
Winterspell by Claire Legrand is a beautiful and haunting retelling of E.T.A. Hoffman’s classic The Nutcracker. At seventeen, Clara Stole is on a mission to find out what happened to her mother who was brutally murdered earlier in the year. Her father is a powerful man with little to back-up that power, mayor of New York City and a member of the city’s most notorious gang Concordia, but he is no help to her mission. Concordia is planning something dark and when Clara finds out, she turns to her eccentric godfather who used to tell her magical stories of a faraway land. After her father is abducted in what Clara can only describe as a nightmare and her sister’s life is threatened by Concordia, she learns that not all her godfather’s stories were fiction.
Clara Stole is a character I won’t soon forget. She is passionate, fearful yet brave in the face of her fears, strong, courageous, loyal, and all too trusting. I love watching the progression of her life in this book, going from a young woman wanting to know about her mother’s murder to a very powerful woman who helps a prince to save his kingdom.
Nicholas is a statue in Clara’s godfather’s shop. Clara has always been attracted to the statue and would talk to it and tell it her secrets. Then after a rather disturbing set of incidents, Nicholas is released from the statue and becomes a prince….Yep you read that right, statue becomes a prince.
Godfather Drosselmeyer is exactly as I would have pictured him to be. He’s got an element of magic to him, very spastic and eccentric. He only gives Clara the information she needs when she needs it, never before. Also he scares me slightly!
Then there is Anise…the queen of the Elves who overthrew and killed the royal family, effectively taking over Cane and instituting a very anti-human regime. She is a bit crazy, lonely, and pissed off beyond belief. She is the silent kind of crazy, you know the one you have to watch out of the corner of your eye. She scares me a bit!
This story captured my attention and I was fully vested in the characters from page one. The author weaves a haunting tale of romance, war, and betrayal. As Clara delves into a world that she had once believed a myth, the author plunges both the characters and reader into the magical kingdom of Cane. Creatures and magic are revealed as Clara experiences it herself.
The plot revolves around two main lines: first Clara finding her father and saving her sister, second Nicholas reclaiming his kingdom. Clara isn’t really sure what to think of her statue turned prince and Nicholas is infatuated I believe. Here is this young woman who was his only real companion (besides crazy Drosselmeyer) while he was cursed inside a statue. If it was me, I’d probably worship the ground she walked on or at least be fascinated being able to talk to her. And this is exactly how it is. For him, he feels he knows Clara inside and out. For Clara, he was just a statue, but now he’s a stranger. Can she really trust him?
Then Anise can weave a web that you never get out of. She spins half-truths to keep what she wants. And she wants Clara. The question is why.
If you enjoy fairy tales, a bit of dark romance, new adult/young adult fiction then I highly suggest you get this book. I promise you will not be disappointed. It is well worth the read
About the Guest
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