Tag Archives: short story

Review: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First and foremost, I did win this book through one of Goodreads’ giveaways. I have never been so thankful for a book. When it was out in hardback, I searched forever for it, but it was sold out everywhere. And it’s one of those types I don’t buy for kindle, so THANK YOU GOODREADS AND ST MARTINS PRESS!!!

As I tend to do with compilations, the above stars for the overall book represent the average of the scores for each short story. Here, it was 4.21, so I went down to for, but can easily go up to four and a half…

1. Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: 5 STARS ~ Rainbow Rowell always seems to be a win for me. This one was no exception! Even the ending was a total win!!! It’s a sweet sotry covering years worth of New Year’s Eve moments for Mags and Noel…and…it got to be so tense, but resolved with splendor…I LOVED IT!

2. The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: 3 1/2 STARS ~ This is a first of her stories for me. Miranda was a somewhat orphan who spent the holidays with her aunt. The first one, she meets a man on a snowy night. (This takes place in England). Over the years she makes the trek out, just in hopes to see this man that started older than her but eventually was her age. It was a girl meets ghost tale. Very enjoyable overall, but for me, the beginning was confusing and weird. I say stick with it, and it does shine by the end.

3. Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña: 4 STARS ~ Another first read. A little older feel than a YA as the MCs are in college. But a beautiful story about Mike, who is apartment sitting, and Haley, the upstairs neighbor being trapped alone together during a blizzard in NYC. Heartwarming and a little sad and even some happy. WONDERFUL!

4. Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han: 3.5 STARS ~ Natalie is a Korean orphan adopted by Santa. She’s trying to make it through liking an elf at the North Pole, even though he likes a different elf…and there is this human boy, Lars, she met that time. A very cute story. A definite twist on Elf and Buddy’s story.

5. It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 4 STARS ~ Marigold is in a Christmas tree lot, searching through the pines for the perfect tree when she meets North. What starts as an aggravated run-in turns into a night of humor and cleaning and merriment and tears. A story that makes you sigh, for sure.

6. Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: 5 STARS ~ It’s really not fair, because he is one of my FAVORITE AUTHORS ever. And this story, didn’t disappoint. What is a nice Jewish boy to do when his boyfriend begs him to play the role of Santa for his little sister? Why become Santa of course. I melted!

7. Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 4.5 STARS ~ I’ve read Holly Black before. I love her dark ways about her. When I came to this story, I didn’t think I’d like it. It was normal teenage problems running into a holiday myth I don’t understand (because I really haven’t googled it). But that was the surface. I left it with a full feeling of a comeuppance done correctly. A GREAT SURPRISE for me.

8. What the hell have you done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: 4 STARS ~ Lonely times at a lonely college bring together Sophie Roth, a New Yorker “lost” in college in the midwest, and Russell, a world traveler thanks to his dad. How does the Jewish girl celebrate Hanukkah in the tiny Midwestern town where her college is? Russell can help. A very surprising tale that brought together so many different cultures and ideas. Wonderful!

9. Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: 4 STARS ~ Redemption at the annual holiday nativity bring together troublemaker Vaughn and preacher’s daughter Gracie. It’s a story of what you see on the surface not being the true story. And it’s the truth that really shines.

10. Welcome to Christmas, California by Kiersten White: 4 STARS ~ Maria hates her life in the smallest, unacknowledged, named-for-a-Holiday town. There is nothing she can find to like about her life, except the potential leaving of said town. But, as it goes, all it takes is a little Christmas magic to make the stars brighter, the people smile, and maybe it could be home after all. Perfect for the holidays!

11. Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: 5 STARS ~ Did Ally write this just for me? Because it was one of those stories that…I don’t know. I can’t help but to love it. Famous it-girl, Not Hulda (aka Lydia) trades airlines tickets with a girl so she can go to New York to meet one of her boyfriends while Not Hulda goes to Oklahoma to meet one of Real Hulda’s boyfriends. Under the guise of an exchange -type program, she lives with Ethan’s Aunt and plans on going to school, but even in Bethlehem, peace just can’t be kept all the time. The prefect amount of “Who’s that girl?” and will they get together or not? SO DELICIOUS A STORY I HATED FOR IT TO STOP!

12. The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: 3 STARS ~ This is the story about Neve and the greatly depressing place she…well, lives wouldn’t be right. More like just stays alive to work and eventually breed. I think if this were a full-fledged story, I would have had a chance to get into it more. It felt too compact and less holiday for the book. And maybe I missed something…IDK. I’ll give it another read when I get some sleep.

Overall, an enjoyable book. Some stories are still sitting in my brain because I don’t want them to go. Great to read any time of the year, sayeth the person who purposefully listens to Christmas music in July. (I really do.)

Thanks again for the book. It is much loved!

*A POST DEAD ERA READ* OCTOBER 2016…the last one of the month.

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Filed under book review, goodreads, posted from another site

A story of love~ Jackson inspired Burton-ness.

Okay, I admit…I’m somewhat totally a fangirl at heart. No matter what I do, this aspect of who I am creeps into everything. Story writing is no different.

This time, it comes from being bored, avoiding a character I have a difficult time writing, and the total fangirly thing I do. I’ve been doing this #JacksonBYOB Meme on twitter and tumblr. Again, bored and fangirl. No other real excuses beyond that.

Now, mix in a story plot I had a few years ago when I first spied this picture (from the August Bradley photo shoot in July 2012) and you get a somewhat mirthless love story in the style of Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy

The photo belongs to August Bradley…the words are mine.

The Sweet and Sour Tale of Night Crawler

To J, for always giving me inspiration to do something creative.

Poor Silas Trout
had to stay in the dark.
The sun would surely burn him,
always leaving its mark.

He moved underground
just to stay unhurt.
Alone in his place,
never to revert.

One day a ball fell into his home.
Silas didn’t know what to do.
The ball in question belonged
to the girl with one shoe.

She peeked into his hole
and said, “Hi. That’s my ball.”
Silas looked at the orb in his hands
and noticed the scrawl.

Clara Belle was her name,
sweet and adorable as she.
Silas looked into her eyes,
the color of the sea.

Her smile as sweet as
the worms he had for dinner,
made him feel like
a lottery winner.

“What’s your name?” she asked.
“Silas Trout,” he said.
Her eyes glanced around his home.
“I’ll call you Night Crawler instead.”

“Would you like to play?” she asked.
“I can’t. I’ll burn and char.”
He noticed her down-turned grin.
“Maybe I will. It would be worth the scar.”

Silas carefully crawled from the hole
into the bright daylight.
His skin began to smoke.
He should have waited for twilight.

He returned to the safety
of the dark, dank hole,
coming to terms with
never being with another soul.

“Don’t worry, Night Crawler,”
Clara Belle said with tears.
“I’ll still talk to you.”
And she did for years.

Over that time,
Silas fell in love,
with now the woman
who could only live above.

Their time together
always short and sweet.
Every night at sundown
they’d secretly meet.

That one night was special
under the full moon,
they shared their first kiss
that made him swoon.

He said, “Clara Belle,
my love for you runs deep.
Every day I’m not with you,
I weep.”

“I’m asking you
this one little thing.
Please be my wife,
and let my heart sing.”

Clara Belle was shocked,
a tear slipping down her cheek
as Silas gave her a ring,
so humble and meek.

He made it for her
with roots and a rock,
so meaningful a trinket
she could only gawk.

“I know we’re destined
to live apart.
But I give this to you
from my heart.”

“Night Crawler,” she said
with a slight grin.
“I will marry you,
now our life will begin.”

They were married
in a secret ceremony.
The solemn vows taken
in holy matrimony.

They spent their honeymoon together
and not in the cave.
That one night ends with sunrise,
a Night Crawler’s grave.

Silas knew it would happen,
his solar allergy.
But when he burned,
it was far from tragedy.

For he got to experience
all that was love.
And now he smiles on Clara Belle
from Heaven above.

Thank you for reading. This story is of my own imagination and belongs to no one else. Please ask before reprinting this…I don’t mind sharing, just ask before you do.


Filed under a story, having fun, inspiration, Jackson Rathbone, love story, short story, Tim Burton

The Sad Story of Monster Tulip.

This story was inspired by Little Shop of Horrors the play, movie, and cartoon. All images and words are mine.

Dedicated to @JaysBabycakes73… Thanks for the fun with Seymour and Audrey…that chat is what got this story rolling.


I was out and about, strolling through Pike’s Place Market.

Pike’s Place Market Seattle, WA

I walked into the Farmer’s Market area of the outdoor vendors. The air smelled of fresh fish and flowers. The flowers were beautiful. Colors from every end of the rainbow and in between lined the tables. Bees flitted to and fro among the many varieties of flowers, daring to land on the petals.

So many beautiful choices, but one caught my eye. It stood out like the sun on a cloudy day. A small bunch of fringe tulips. And in this bunch was one that almost smiled at me. He wasn’t standing as tall as his siblings. As a matter of fact, he was leaning away from them all, almost drooping towards the table below. He seemed to be the odd one in the bunch…the one that just didn’t fit in…and I had to have him.

He was swaddled in paper–my baby flower–and was placed in a small amount of water to keep him happy and healthy until we could get home. I decided to name him Monster Tulip.

His new home was to be an aqua Coca-Cola glass. Tepid water filled the glass followed by some ice crackling as it hit the water. Nothing like a refreshing, cold drink on a hot day. Monster Tulip gulped some water and smacked his lips with an, “Ahhhhhh!”

“I hope you’re feeling okay now, Monster Tulip.”

“Thanks. I am… What do you want me to call you?”

“I like to go by D…the letter, not the name, but don’t ever ask my real name.” Monster Tulip almost seemed to curl his petal lip as if I’ve confused him. “Just call me DJ.”

Monster Tulip nodded. “So…what have you got to eat around here?”

“Um…plant food?”

“Any food you feed me would be plant food, DJ. I’m hungry, though.”

I don’t know why I glanced around the kitchen. It wasn’t like I could whip up some scrambled eggs or something for a flower to eat. “Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.”

“Don’t take too long, DJ. I’m hungry.” Monster Tulip bared all of his teeth, a petal version of a smile I suppose. Scary, nonetheless.

I backed out of the kitchen slowly as if Monster Tulip was a MacGuyver bomb rigged to go off any minute. Slow and steady. Step by ever careful step. Maybe Monster Tulip wasn’t the one I should have picked.

Life became bustling. Running here and there. Walking around the neighborhood, scoping the plant life for ideas as to what the heck a planet would eat. I didn’t step foot into the kitchen until later that night. The voice scared me.

“Feed me, DJ. I’m starving.” Monster Tulip danced around in his glass. His leaves were pumping like arms in a nightclub to a song with a heavy beat. His head bopped side to side as he hummed some tune I didn’t know. One leaf sliced through the air towards me, the other went behind and up over his blooming head. “Ta da!” was yelled as if I was supposed to applaud the  best choreographed dance ever.

So I clapped. It was cute.

“I’ve entertained you, DJ. Now feed me.”

“What do you want to eat?” I have no idea why I didn’t think to ask the first time.

“Food. Nothing plant-based because I am not a cannibal. I’m like a velociraptor…a total carnivore. Find me something like chicken.”

Chicken? Okay. What do I have that’s like chicken? Other than chicken, I had only one bird in the house. “Oh, Jewel.”

Blue feathers rained down as our resident blue cockatoo flew around my head before landing on my finger. “I made it in record time.”

“Yes, you did Jewel.”

Monster Tulip licked his lips and nodded, anxious to taste his first meal. But I couldn’t let her go. She was a rarity and my pet. Before I could change my mind, Monster Tulip snatched her from my hand with his leaf. He held her over his open mouth and before I could save her, he slurped her down like a Big Gulp. A few feathers were coughed back up, reminders of my favorite bird.

“Feed me, DJ. I’m so hungry.”

“Seriously? You just ate my bird. No more for you.”

Monster Tulip whistled. Not a song or as simple as one trying to act innocent. Nope. This was a call whistle. We didn’t have a dog, so who was he calling?

“No. Boga! Get away from him.”

Boga, being the big dog-like lizard he was, didn’t listen. He ran up, wagging his tail, tongue flopped out. Drool everywhere. Before I could pick him up, Monster Tulip had him in his grasp and swallowed him down. Bummer.

“Have you had enough?”

Monster Tulip gives a nod, a sly satisfied grin breaks though his petals. “I’m good for now. Thanks, DJ.”

Mourning two of my favorite pets by seven o’clock the first night. I never thought it would happen…not like that. Not with my pets. What’s Obi Wan going to do without Boga? Rio would be so upset over the loss of his girlfriend…I’m a horrible owner.

The sun set sometime after I cried myself to sleep.

I startled awake after having a nauseating nightmare where I was gagging on pretty cobalt blue feathers. The sun beamed through my window as though a cop was shining his flashlight into my dark bedroom. Time to go talk to Monster Tulip.

I enter the kitchen to see Chewbacca dangling over a gaping mouthed Monster Tulip. “Wait! No!” I was too late. Chewbacca was sucked down like a grape from a vine. “Monster Tulip, what have you done?”

“I was hungry. You weren’t here. I took it upon myself to get some food.”

“Well, I hope it was delicious for you.” I think my sarcasm was lost on the plant.

“It was delicious. Just a little chewy.” Monster Tulip licks the yellow petals and turns his attention to Han–poor, sad Han. “Feed me, DJ.”

“No! You aren’t eating him,” I say. “Han, you need to go! Get out of here!”

Han’s head bobbled in my direction. “It’s no use, DJ. I can’t fly this thing without my trusty co-pilot.”

Monster Tulip chomped down on him. The crunching was agonizing as he munched springs and crushed metal. Drops of blood and fuel dropped on the counter as Han and the Millennium Falcon were consumed like nachos at a basketball game.

“That’s it! No more! I’m cutting you off, Monster Tulip!”

Doors slammed through out the house as the screaming banshee I was went looking for something I could use to stop my plant from eating the rest of us. Duct tape may have worked, but everything I duct tape comes undone. Hot glue is too dangerous. Gorilla Glue…might actually work. But it was dried in the bottle. Fine.

I roped off the room with some police tape I had in the garage. I cannot confirm nor deny if it was used in another Monster Tulip episode. Just we had some… I told everyone to stay out of the kitchen until I could get back with some fresh glue. “Monster Tulip is very sneaky…just watch yourselves.”

Why is it you go to the store for one thing and wind up buying thirty-five other things? And then forget the one item you went for? Gorilla Glue didn’t even come close to making it in my basket. So when I got home, I was going to unpack the car and run right back for a tube.

The bags dropped from my hands. Crash. Clank. Glass breaking. “Benny?”

Benny the Beaver was slurped down. He managed to survive Boog and Elliot, but not Monster Tulip. The sad part was Monster Tulip wore Benny’s two teeth like dentures.

I should have never laughed at that toothy grin.

“Guys, I thought I told you not to come in here.”

Jasper and Edward stood on the counter. They both pulled the ultimate dad maneuver–arms crossed over their chests, shaking their heads slowly, chins locked in anger. They were a just short of grounding me for two weeks.

“DJ, how could you buy a Monster Tulip?” Edward asked. “You know they’re uncontrollable and…”

“E, watch out.”

Monster Tulip slurped the glasses right from Edward’s face. He treated them like candy. Two licks and a crunch later, the glasses were swallowed away.

“That was close, Edward.” Jasper stood by the glass. He face was serene and his demeanor was calm. I was staring at a lake on a still Texas day. “Let’s just take our time and think things through. I can’t tolerate the thought of killing another being. Not anymore.”

Jasper’s emotion control  pulled us under. Monster Tulip fell asleep first. I couldn’t say who was next between Edward and myself…

I woke to cloudy skies on the other side of the kitchen window. Edward and Jasper were gone. Monster Tulip was staring at me, watching me as though I might be his next meal.

“Feed me, DJ. I’m hungry.”

“Did you eat Jasper and Edward?”

“No. They were gone when I woke up. Now feed me, DJ.”

Breakfast…”Here.” The bright yellow box hit the counter. Crunch Berries. Hardly a plant food, but it would have to do. “Have a bowl.”

His nose turned up. “No. I’m not a cannibal.”

“It’s all I have. You ate everyone else.”

“Feed me, DJ. I’m hungry.”

“It’s this or nothing.”

Monster Tulip gave me the cold leaf. He wouldn’t talk to me and I refused to have any more friends become his meal. A few days had passed, and he was still on hunger strike. I offered the crunch again. He was so weak, he couldn’t answer. His petals became flaccid, lifeless. He couldn’t speak, and when he tried, the first one fell.

“Oh, Monster Tulip…why do you have to be so stubborn?”

There was no answer as Monster Tulip took his last breath. He made his final request in a raspy, quiet whisper.

“Feed me, DJ.”



Filed under a story, inspiration, monster tulip