Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Review: The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey

Author: Brian Farrey
Genre: Children's Fiction
Format: Kindle
Source: Netgalley
Page Length: 240 Pages
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Publishers: Algonquin Young Readers
Goodreads | Amazon

A princess and a peasant girl must embark on a dangerous quest to outwit a centuries-old warning foretelling the fall of the Monarchy in this thrilling modern fairytale.

In the center of the verdant Monarchy lies Dreadwillow Carse, a black and desolate bog that the happy people of the land do their best to ignore. Little is known about it, except for one dire warning: If any monarch enters Dreadwillow Carse, then the Monarchy will fall. Twelve-year-old Princess Jeniah yearns to know what the marsh could possibly conceal that might topple her family's thousand-year reign of peace and prosperity.

Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Emberfell, where everyone lives with unending joy, a girl named Aon hides a sorrow she can never reveal. She knows that something in the carse--something that sings a haunting tune only Aon can hear--holds the cure for her sadness. Yet no matter how many times she tries to enter, the terror-inducing dreadwillow trees keep her away.

After a chance meeting, Princess Jeniah and Aon hatch a plan to send Aon into the heart of the carse to unlock its darkest secret. But when Aon doesn't return, a guilt-stricken Jeniah must enter the carse to try and rescue her friend--even if it means risking the entire Monarchy.

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse weaves together classic fairy-tale elements--a princess, a forbidden land, and a dangerous quest--in a clever, fast-paced adventure that explores the importance of asking questions and the power of friendship.

Never ever judge a book by the GENRE or AUTHOR. I was planning to bid goodbye to 2015 with an interesting, but simple story. I didn't want to get immersed in the book, as I was busy with making some plans and preparing study notes ;) Glancing through my bookshelf on Netgalley, I found The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse. A children's fiction. How intense this story can be? I thought. BUT my judgment had gone utterly wrong this time. The Secret of Dreadwillow is an awfully captivating story, which drew me in completely and didn't let me go until I found out that bewitching secret of the carse along with Aon and Jeniah, the main characters in the book. 

Monday, 28 December 2015

Movies I'm looking forward to watch in 2016

Hello Book-lovers!

Today, I'm sharing a list of movies I'm anticipating to watch in 2016. Most of them are book adaptations. Do you enjoy the movie versions of the books you have read and loved? I do. These are the movies in my list. 

The BFG by Roald Dahl
This movie is expected to be released on July 1st, 2016. The fact that The BFG is directed by the well-known director, Steven Spielberg makes me so eager to watch it on the Big Screen. Must be a spectacular treat to my eyes. I found a pretty hardcover copy of Roald Dahl works in a second-hand bookstore last week. I will be reading The BFG in January. So look out for a review soon ;)

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Bookish Resolutions

2015 just flew by! Can't believe it!!! A wonderful year, which gave me some good memories as well as bad ones in LIFE. When I turn back and look at them now, I find them as small as teeny tiny dots. Phew! I'm so thankful to Jesus for giving me an awesome family, who supported me always. Without them, I wouldn't have made it to this beautiful day :)

I had a fantabulous year as a blogger and reader. Read a copious amount of awesome books, met many lovely authors and publishers, and made a few blogger friends. It's been so much fun in here, at Lilac Diaries. Thank You Lovelies for a making 2015's journey so amazing! 

Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

One time in a year, there is a marvellous Night
When enchantments and wonders, and sparks take flight. 
Each home fills with joy on this Grand Holiday 
where hearts gro,w in warmth in a magical way 
 rooms are covered with garlands and wreaths.  
The mantle is ready with stockings beneath. 
Lights twinkle and glow and The Bells brightly chime. 
The moment has arrived... 
It's here, CHRISTMAS TIME!!!


Note: Those words are the intro in Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas. 

Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas Cracker Book Tag

Woohooo! Just 4 more days and it's Christmas.YAY! How excited are you? Book bloggers have been busy hosting book-hops, bookish parties, secret Santa games, giveaways, author interviews and more fun! And some have gone on a vacation aka a blogging hiatus.  I was kinda doing the latter one. SO now that I'm back, I thought of doing a Christmas book tag for fun. I found it in Google. So join along, if you like it- A Christmas Cracker Book Tag.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Christmas at the Vicarage by Rebecca Boxall

Author: Rebecca Boxall
Genre: Women's Fiction, GeneralFiction (Adult)
Format: Kindle
Page Length: 234 Pages
Source: Netgalley
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Publishers: Lake Union Publishing
Goodreads | Amazon

It’s been fifteen years since Rosamunde last lived at the vicarage in Potter’s Cove, the pretty coastal village where she grew up, experienced her first true love—and a heartbreak that changed her life forever. But now Potter’s Cove is calling her back: it’s time to make peace with the past and go home.

Rosamunde’s return to the vicarage in the days before Christmas is a whirlwind of festive cheer and heartwarming reunions with friends, family and her loving father, the vicar. And while seeing the old place after all this time stirs painful memories of long-ago grief, it also reminds her of all the love she left behind. Fifteen years ago she vowed never to let herself be vulnerable again—but now that she’s back she’s not so sure. Is it possible that real happiness could strike more than once?

Spanning three decades of family life, Christmas at the Vicarage is a warm, feel-good tale that examines what it means to love and to lose—and to be brave enough to try again.

I hesitated, unsure of whether to read this or not. Kept it aside always. When I found it on the top position in Amazon list, I decided to give it a whirl. You won't believe it! I was completely engrossed by the story, and kept reading it. In fact, I was searching the google for more books by Rebecca Boxall. And Guess what I found out? It's her DEBUT novel. Wow!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Mini Reviews

All I Want For Christmas

Author: Claudia Carroll
Genre: Chick-lit, Contemporary Fiction
Page Length: 21 Pages
Format: Kindle
Publication Date: November 25th, 2014
Publishers: Avon
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon India
Dreams come true on Christmas day … don’t they?

It’s three days until Lucy and Andrew’s perfect winter wedding. Over Christmas dinner the two families will meet for the first time.
What could possibly go wrong?!

Jo has planned her first Christmas as a married woman with military precision. But it seems her new husband Dave has gone missing …

Strict vegans Dawn and Kirk slave away over a unique Christmas feast, but Dawn’s mum doesn’t like mung beans. And she certainly doesn’t like Kirk …

Will these couples survive the Christmas madness and get the day they dreamed of?

Treat yourself with this GORGEOUS FESTIVE SHORT STORY by the BRILLIANTLY FUNNY Sunday Times top ten BESTSELLING author Claudia Carroll!
Deceived by the cover! *Insert an ANGRY FACE* I was on a hunt for festive reads, browsing through Chicklit Club's 'Tis the Season' list for Christmas book titles and spending hours on Amazon to find them. I was pleased to find All I Want For Christmas on freebie collection, downloaded immediately without going through reviews. This is NOT A FESTIVE SHORT STORY, just a prequel to her another book 'Love Me or Hate Me'. Didn't realize it till I reached the last page. It says the story of four couples going through an unhappy marriage and about a Divorce Hotel, where you check in as 'married' and check out as 'single'. Duh! Who wants to read it in Christmas Season? It's the season of love. This prequel didn't whet my appetite for Love Me or Hate Me. Not Recommended!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Review: The Accidental Guest by Tilly Tennant

Once Upon A Winter#1
Author: Tilly Tennant
Genre: Women's Fiction, Romance
Format: Kindle
Source: Netgalley
Page Length: 80 Pages
Publication Date: November 5th, 2015
Publishers: Lawsome Books

From the author of the much-loved, best-selling Mishaps in Millrise, a brand new four-novella-part series, Once Upon a Winter - come and fall in love this Christmas!

Soulmates don’t just fall from the sky… do they?

Hannah Meadows doesn’t believe in fate or destiny, or any of the other things people reach for when they lose control of their lives. That is, until a man arrives on her doorstep on Christmas Day begging for help. Hannah’s not the sort of woman to turn her back on someone in need, but this isn’t what compels her to aid the handsome stranger, nor is it his intense dark eyes, or the inexplicable feelings she quickly develops for him.

Something magical is coming her way, something that will turn her life completely upside down. Hannah Meadows may not believe in fate or destiny, but they seem to have other ideas…
I often hear Tilly Tennant's name from the chick lit lovers, but had never got a chance to read her books. Mishaps in Millrise series blog tours and tweets grabbed my attention and her books have been on my TBR ever since then. Lucky me! I found The Accidental Guest and Mishaps in Millrise (all four novellas and an extra short story) in Netgalley and the lovely publishers approved my request. *Smirks* I also got a chance to be a part of the blog tour for The Accidental Guest. Check it out here (BookPromo + Giveaway).

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Accidental Guest by Tilly Tennant

Ho Ho Ho!
Today, I am taking part in the Blog Tour for Tilly Tennant's The Accidental Guest, hosted by Brook Cottage. Scroll down to read the blurb and for an exciting Giveaway...

From the author of the much-loved, best-selling Mishaps in Millrise, a brand new four-novella-part series, Once Upon a Winter- come and fall in love this Christmas! 

'...a wonderful read with a bubbly, unique and fresh style of writing' Sky’s Book Corner 
'Tilly makes her characters so relatable that you can’t help but fall in love with them' 
Starcrossed Reviews

Author: Tilly Tennant
Genre: Women's Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: November 5th, 2015
Publishers: Lawsome Books
Goodreads | Amazon UK |
Soulmates don’t just fall from the sky… do they?
Hannah Meadows doesn’t believe in fate or destiny, or any of the other things people reach for when they lose control of their lives. That is, until a man arrives on her doorstep on Christmas Day begging for help. Hannah’s not the sort of woman to turn her back on someone in need, but this isn’t what compels her to aid the handsome stranger, nor is it his intense dark eyes, or the inexplicable feelings she quickly develops for him.

Something magical is coming her way, something that will turn her life completely upside down. Hannah Meadows may not believe in fate or destiny, but they seem to have other ideas…

About Tilly Tennant

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. It was followed by Mishaps and Mistletoe and The Man Who Can't Be Moved. Find out more about Tilly and how to join her mailing list for news and exclusives at

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

Today's TTT topic is Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015. So without further ado, here's my list of authors I'm thankful and happy for in 2015.

Yes, I read the book this year and so glad about it. It was all due to the hype 'Go Set A Watchman' received. To Kill A Mockingbird stands first on my favourites list; though Go Set A Watchman was marked as DNF by me. I suggest all to read it if you haven't yet. The story is inspired by the author's childhood, depicts a very sensitive matter through the eyes of a child in an amazing way. A must read, I would say. My respect to Harper Lee for this wonderful novel.

An awesome author, I'm thankful for. Eleanor and Park was in my TBR for quite sometime. When I sat down with it finally, I just devoured the entire book. Her characters will definitely stay with me for a long time. I can still remember the story as if I read it yesterday. Rainbow Rowell is a writer who can narrate the social issues in a delicate, bold, and beautiful writing style. I've bought FanGirl, I will be reading it soon after Christmas. 

To be frank, it was the cover, which made me buy this particular book. Isn't beautiful? I had never heard of Jane Costello before. How happy I was after reading this book! Jane's witty, enjoyable writing won her a place in my favorite-authors list. I'll be reading The Love Shack next.


Right! I know what you guys are thinking? I started reading Harry Potter series this year. It's just that I was kinda banned from reading such novels, thinking it would confuse me with the real things (might be due the damages caused to my level of thinking by "Fairy Tales"). Now that I am older enough to understand what is what and who is who, I decided to read it. Do you feel that I'm blabbering some rubbish? Never mind! 

J K Rowling is the best, I personally believe that no other writer can never ever match the talents and fame of the author of the Harry Potter series. I had already watched the movies, but those are nothing compared to the books. Elated and grateful for such wonderful imaginations. She is simply amazing! I've got four more books to read in the HP series, then I will start the Cormoran Strike novels

Have you read Holly Martin's books? I recommend her books whenever you are in need a good amount of laughter and romance. She always makes me laugh, leave me with a good feeling inside and shhh... her adorable, swoon-worthy characters are bound to make you believe in love. I will be reading more novels by her. 

Andrea L Wells. Gosh, it's all because of winning a giveaway, I would have never read The Violet Hour series otherwise. Her books are utterly engrossing. The Violet Hour series is the first paranormal books I read and loved completely. You see, those are special to me. Also, Andrea is friendlier than most of the writers I have known. So, she deserves a special place in my list. Recommend her books, if you like YA/ Paranormal novels.

After reading The Violet Hour, I was on the lookout for more paranormal/thriller novels. Then, I found Time To Die by Caroline Mitchell via Netgalley. Big thanks to Bookouture. I think, I've acquired a taste for such novels now. A gripping thriller, it was. The paranormal elements were kinda scary too, something that would give you chills whilst reading. Caroline Mitchell is an excellent writer without a doubt. 

Jenny Hale's novel was the best Christmas Read in 2015. Such a talented writer, who writes stories that tug at your heart. I understand that her novels are family-centered always. This book will definitely give a heartfelt smile and fill you with Christmas spirit. I gotta read more books by her.

Rosie Blake's writing is different; sounded like a real one, as it can happen in anyone's life, not just in stories. And there was humour and it was lengthy and narrative enough to know the characters well. Usually, I get that odd 'wanting to know more about characters' when the stories come to an end. Surprisingly, this one successfully made me feel satiated. I liked that. Thus, Rosie Blake has become one of my favourite authors.

I am currently reading this book and have perfectly understood why everybody showers her with praises. She has got her own chicklitty style, which will keep you hooked on to the story till the end. Yes to that fun, interesting Lindsay Kelk style, I've become fond of it. So Lindsay Kelk it is! 

Have you read any of these authors books? Recommend me your favourite books by them. Which author has made it to your list in 2015? Suggest me their books as well.

Happy Reading!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Reading Challenges 2016

Hello, there!
It's that time of the year when we, the bookworms around the blogosphere start signing up for the new reading challenges. Here's the list of challenges I'm taking up in 2016 besides the Goodreads one (Consider it as my sign up post). Click on the link (website name) to know more details, if you wish to sign up.
 The 12 Month Classics Challenge 2016 hosted by Lois You, Me and a Cup of Tea
  1. January- A classic you've always wanted to read- Start the year off with a bang! The Hound of the Baskervilles 
  2. February- A classic you've always dreaded reading- Get that book out of the way... and who knows! You may end up loving it!
  3. March- A classic you've been recommended- We all have those
  4. April- A classic you've seen the movie/miniseries/TV show of- If you're like me you've probably seen quite a few film versions before being able to read the book. It's time for that book to get read!
  5. May- An American classic
  6. June- A British classic
  7. July- A European classic (non-British)
  8. August- A modern classic- Up to your interpretation
  9. September- A children's classic
  10. October- A classic by a female author
  11. November- A classic by a male author
  12. December- A classic written under a pseudonym
Status (1/12)
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Retelling Challenge 2016 hosted by Mel @ The Daily Prophecy

Enchanted Moura: 1 – 4 books.
Goose Girl: 5 - 9 books.
Evil Queen: 10 – 15 books.
Wise princess: 16 – 20 books.
Kuma Lisa: 21 – 25 books.
Cheshire cat: 26+ books
  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Status (1/9)
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2016 New Release Challenge
 hosted by Stormi and Kathi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!
1-15 books per year – New Release Newbie
16-30 books per year – New Release Pro
31-45 books per year – New Release Veteran
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2016 Netgalley Reading Challenge by Ariel @ Fictively
I am aiming at Level 21-30.
  1. The Tea Party in the Woods 
  2. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend 
  3. How To Get Hitched in Ten Days
  4. The Girl In The Ice
  5. Wild Swans
  6. The Little French Gusethouse
  7. The Girl You Lost
  8. A Fierce and Subtle Poison
Status (8/30)
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2016's Ultimate Reading Challenge
  1. A book based on a Fairytale Cinder
  2. A National Book Award Winner
  3. A YA Bestseller
  4. A book you haven't read since High School
  5. A book set in your Home State
  6. A book translated to English The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend 
  7. A Romance set in the Future
  8. A book set in Europe
  9. A book that's under 150 pages
  10. A New York Times Bestseller
  11. A book that's Becoming a Movie this year The BFG
  12. A book recommended by someone you just met
  13. A self-improvement book
  14. A book you can finish in a day
  15. A book written by a celebrity
  16. A political memoir
  17. A book at least 100 years older than you
  18. A book that's more than 600 pages
  19. A book from Oprah's book club
  20. A Science-fiction novel
  21. A book recommended by a Family Member
  22. A Graphic Novel   The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York
  23. A book that's published in 2016 Wild Swans
  24. A book with a protagonist that has your occupation
  25. A book that takes place during Summer Wild Swans
  26. A book and its prequel
  27. A Murder Mystery The Girl In The Ice
  28. A book written by a Comedian
  29. A Dystopian novel
  30. A book with a Blue Cover
  31. A book of Poetry
  32. The first book you see in a Bookstore
  33. A Classic from the 20th Century
  34. A book from the Library
  35. An Autobiography
  36. A book about a Roadtrip
  37. A book about a Culture you're unfamiliar with
  38. A Satirical book
  39. A book that takes place on an Island A Sudden Crush
  40. A book that's guaranteed to bring you joy Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
Status (9/40)
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Contemporary Challenge 2016 hosted by Jillian of Jillian's Books and Montana of The Book Belles.

Poppy: 1-5 books
Carnation: 6-10 books
Peony: 11-15 books
Lily: 16-20 books
Tulip: 21-25 books
Rose: 26+ books

  1. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend 
  2. A Sudden Crush
  3. Wild Swans

  1. Read a contemporary from an author you've never heard of   WILD SWANS
  2. Read one that features mental illness
  3. Read a contemporary book with only one (1) word as its title
  4. Read one with watercolors on its cover
  5. Read one that you borrowed from the library
  6. Read a contemporary novel with more than 400 pages
  7. Read a contemporary book with a cover that features your favorite color
  8. Read a contemporary by a 2016 debut author
  9. Read a contemporary that's been on your TBR for 1+ year
  10. Read a contemporary that starts with the same letter of your first name
  11. Read a contemporary that's a standalone
  12. Read a contemporary recommended to you by someone else (friend, family member, blogger, etc.)
Status (3/15)
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 Flights Of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2016 hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and Rachel of  Hello, Chelly

I'm planning to read 10-15 Fantasy Books
  1. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J K Rowling
  2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Status (2/15)
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2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge hosted by Bookish Lifestyle.

1-10 A Firm Handshake
11-20 A Friendly Hug
21-30 First Kiss
31-40 Sweet Summer Fling
41-50 Could This Be Love?
50+ Married with Children

  1. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J K Rowling
  2. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  4. A Sudden Crush

Status (4/20)

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Are you joining in any of these challenges? Please tell me. We can keep support each other and share the fun. 
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Friday, 4 December 2015

My Top Five Favorite Christmas Tales

It's the most wonderful time! 
Yes, it absolutely is! I love December and Christmas. I was anticipating for this month since the last Christmas. Finally, it's here. Yay!
The magic is in the air, Don't you feel it? 

Dear Bookworms, what are you reading this month? I have a pile of festive season novels in my shelf and in Kindle. But no time! I'm #currentlyreading I HEART CHRISTMAS by Lindsey Kelk. 

Today, I want to talk about my favorite Christmas tales; all those festive season stories I loved as a little girl. Do you have any? Here's my list.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

The Gift of the Magi.jpgA Christmas story, which I have read a thousand times. Each time I read this, it softens my heart and fills with the warmth of the Christmas. A heart-touching story of true and unselfish love written by O. Henry. This story reminds that Christmas is the Season of Giving, rather than receiving. 
The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

My favorite Christmas novella, written by none other than Charles Dickens. Mr. Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas are famous in the literature world. The story reminds us that it's never too late to change and be kind and love everyone. This will surely uplift the Christmas spirit in you and gift you the feeling of a Dickensian Christmas aka a perfect white Christmas. "You know what I mean?" Charles Dickens is known as the man who invented the idea of "White Christmas". 
“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,' returned the nephew. 'Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

St. Nicholas Stories

I vaguely remember two stories about St. Nicholas, who is aka Santa Clause or Mr. Kringle. One is about helping the father of three unmarried women. The father was in need of money for the dowry and St. Nicholas helped him by throwing the coins down the chimney whenever he was in need and once the money bag landed in the socks which were hung out to dry by the fireplace. The next one is about giving apples to hungry children. They found it by the window always but never found/knew the giver. Oh, I can hardly remember it. Know that I liked those stories.

The Elves and the Shoemaker by Grimm Brothers

It's a Christmas related story from Grimm's fairy tales. Two little dwarfs help a shoemaker to stitch the shoes. The shoemaker and wife thank them by gifting a shirt, a coat, a waistcoat, a pair of pantaloons and a pair of little shoes. The elves become happy, but never return to help the shoemaker. However, he was already rich enough to run the business. A magical fairy tale that would put a smile on your face.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E. T. A. Hoffman

On a Christmas eve, Marie dreams of her nutcracker coming alive at the midnight and fighting a battle against the seven-headed mouse king. She throws her slippers at the mouse and rescues the nutcracker. She hears the story of her godparent's nephew's ill-fated story about how he turned into a nutcracker by the Mouse Queen. But Marie's love for the nutcracker breaks the curse, gets married off to Godparent's nephew and becomes the Queen of doll land at last. There is a wonderful Christmas background settings, gifts, magic, and a HEA. What else can you wish for on a Christmas eve? One of the wonderful stories related to Christmas, the wonderful time of the year.

SO, What are your favorite Christmas Stories? Have you read any of these? Do tell me. 
Season Greetings!