Why Jingle Spells is the perfect cozy paranormal Christmas anthology

Jingle Spells is like a mug of hot chocolate: warm, cozy, and sweet enough to give you cavities. If you like witchy fiction that’s wholesome and holiday-themed, you won’t want to miss this easy-to-read collection.

Book Description


A mysterious child is spotted swimming far from the beach. A woman searches for a ghost in a blacked out hospital. One witch introduces her lover to her family, while another takes care of a magicaholic baby dolphin in her boyfriend’s absence. A young man bonds with his pet eel, and yarnbombers accidentally summon something otherworldly.

Jingle Spells is a collection of fun, quirky, and witchily magical Christmas stories. If you like weird and wonderful supernatural scenarios, cozy mysteries and a dash of sweet romance, you’ll love this Christmas short story collection.

Book Review

These seven contemporary fantasy stories all have a witch as the main character and are all set during Christmas in New Zealand. Some stories resonated more strongly with me than others–like in any anthology–but there isn’t a bad one in the bunch. It’s a charming, festive collection that’s sure to add some magic to your holidays.

Accidents and Apparitions by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

A witch stuck in the hospital on Christmas Eve investigates a mysterious power outage with ghostly origins.

I love stories about ghosts and paranormal investigations, so this one was perfect for me. The mystery had a good setup and execution, and despite the ghosts, it wasn’t scary. The heroine’s relationship with her boyfriend was super sweet, and as a bonus, the story had not one but two cute dogs.

A quick, engaging read, Accidents and Apparitions gets the anthology off to a strong start.

Magic for Christmas by Rem Wigmore

This story stars a secondary character from Wigmore’s novella Riverwitch, which I enjoyed. The conflict in Magic for Christmas is this character wanting to tell his family that he’s a witch when magic is supposed to be kept secret. It’s a nice low-key story with personal stakes, perfect for readers who like themes of family–both found and biological.

Taylor Made by Karen Healey

This was one of my favorites in the anthology. I loved the heroine, Marnie, who has sewing-related magic that lets her imbue certain properties into the clothing she makes. She’s roped into doing the costumes for a play while home for the holidays, and the story explores her first Christmas after her father’s death, her relationship with her mother, and a holiday romance with the play’s director.

I haven’t read Bespoke and Bespelled, the full-length novella starring this character, but I’m definitely adding it to my to-read list.

Christmas on Waiheke by Jamie Sands

My review of this story is totally biased because I adore Basil and Sebastian, the characters introduced in Overdues and Occultism, one of my all-time favorite books. Christmas on Waiheke has Basil introducing his boyfriend to his parents, and their first Christmas together is interrupted by the appearance of a paranormal entity.

I’m not sure if people who haven’t read Overdues and Occultism would enjoy this story as much as I did, but I would read about these characters doing just about anything and was happy to spend the holidays with them.

Witching with Baby Dolphins by Janna Ruth

A witch who’s uncertain about her unexpected pregnancy finds herself taking care of a precocious–and magical–baby dolphin.

There’s a lot to like about this story: the heroine’s emotional arc, her friendships and family relationships. But the star of the story is, of course, the baby dolphin and his adorable antics. Warning for serious cuteness.

Magic on the Waves by Andi C. Buchanan

Buchanan’s novella Succulents and Spells introduced the witch Laurel Windflower and her girlfriend Marigold. I enjoyed the novella, and I think Magic on the Waves is even better.

The Windflowers are a family of witches–a huge, quirky family of witches–and reading about Marigold meeting them for the first time would have been entertaining enough even without the mystery of a spectral child swimming distantly off the beach.

The plot is good, the family shenanigans even better. Overall, it’s a fun, wholesome read.

Barefoot Magic by K M Jackways

This story features another witch introducing her significant other to her family for the first time, which doesn’t go as planned when he shows up to the celebration late, acting weird and distant. The whole story has a sweet, gentle atmosphere.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a fantasy anthology that’s dark, steamy, or full of fight scenes, look elsewhere. But if you’re in the mood for a festive read that’s cozy, cute, and a little different, you can’t do much better than Jingle Spells.

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