Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fairy Tales at December Lights

December Lights is a website offering short stories for free from established authors as holiday gifts to the readers fortunate enough to discover it. 

One of the stories is The Glass Slipper by Sherwood Smith, whose recent Coronets and Steel was one of my feel good medicines during several weeks of illness in October. Her short story is about four girls who are friends and find the opportunity to have one wish granted. How they gain some inspiration from Cinderella may surprise you. And do check out her book although there is a mild cliffhanger to it, darn it.  Sherwood is perhaps best known for her Crown Duel which has remained a perennial favorite with  mannerist fantasy fans. (Hmmm, it may be time for me to reread Sorcery and Cecilia again.)

Coronets and Steel Crown Duel (Crown Duel / Court Duel)

Another story is The Frog King by Patrick Samphire which obviously draws inspiration from another familiar fairy tale. It's quite fun. Patrick and his wife Stephanie Burgis are the power behind the December Lights project. (Pun intended, I guess, since I am not editing it out after realizing I made one.)

I haven't had a chance to see if more of the stories are fairy tale inspired yet, but most appear to be fantasy oriented and the site promises that the stories all end well to bring a good feeling into this holiday time. Here's a little more about the project:

Every December Lights Project story is sure to have a happy ending. As we reached out to other authors to join our project, we asked for stories that were light-hearted and upbeat, stories that could fill us with warmth no matter how cold the weather. (Or cool us down, for those living in Australia or New Zealand!).

We'll be posting stories every few days throughout December, at a minimum of two or three a week. Every story is free to read, and we haven't put a "donate" button anywhere on this website. We're not trying to raise money; we're giving these stories as a gift, from us to you, to celebrate this winter season and fight off the darkness.

Since more stories are slated to appear, check  December Lights regularly to discover what other offerings are forthcoming. Thanks to all of the contributors and the organizers for a wonderful and generous idea...

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