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Link by Link: An Anthology of Haunted Holidays

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“‘I wear the chain I forged in life,’ replied the Ghost. ‘I made it link by link…’”
-Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Link by Link is a collection of 9 stories of ghosts, spirits, and creatures unnamed, all come to teach lessons we won’t soon forget. From sweet Christmas tales to terrifying holiday hauntings, these stories take a dive into the past in the hopes of creating a better—or at least different—future.

432 pages, Kindle Edition

Published December 2, 2020

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Meg Dailey

2 books1 follower

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 56 reviews
Profile Image for Candace Robinson.
Author 51 books1,036 followers
October 9, 2020
I do have a story in this! But! It definitely deserves a 5 for all the authors’ hard work with their stories! I do have a favorite though, and it would have to be Elle Beaumont’s. She had me at music, beautiful boy ghost, and an ending that left me wanting more books with these characters!
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
207 reviews44 followers
December 10, 2020
“The room grew chillier, and the scent of winter frost permeated the air” (30).

"Link by Link: An Anthology of Haunted Holidays" is a nine story collection inspired by aspects in “A Christmas Carol'' by Charles Dickens. The spiritual entity/entities in many of the stories act as a guide for the protagonists. Many who are pursuing some type of art form (miming, theatre, music etc) or a romantic endeavor.

“None of us are perfect, but you have a wonderful organ tucked away inside that ribcage of yours” (48).

Each of the nine stories explores variations on holiday spirits and releasing the chains we carry/create. Although influenced by one particular work, each author brings a different element that allows them to transform that original story. “Things are constantly changing, updating, moving on-and these stories will move with you, if you let them” (Foreword). While the majority of the stories were incredibly creative and well written, Leslie Rush’s “Yesterday’s News” stood out to me the most. My anticipation for this anthology was for it to be heavy on the hauntings and Rush delivered that for me by instilling imminent danger into the plot. It created a parallel with the past and future in a more modern atmosphere. Abbie and Matt take a ghost tour through Zia’s historical square in hopes of finding evidence of paranormal activity. While sneaking into 47 Orchard Street, the oldest building in the square, Abbie encounters a little girl who will reveal the home's tragic past and Abbie’s tragic future.

“She worried that in her short life, she might have begun her own iron links...” (361).

I love the play on the title: “Link by Link”. Not only does it connect to Marley’s chains and the characters own chains each story may carry, it correlates to the format. In an anthology each work that precedes the next needs to have some kind of bond… or in this case a link. For the most part, the connections between each story were smooth and well choreographed. The only formatting issue I had was that the stories felt individually edited then linked together, as opposed to edited as a whole.

“Only at night, when I was tossing and turning from yet another bout of insomnia, or when I was alone back-stage with only dim light and my thoughts for company, did I allow myself to regret” (129).

With the spirits acting more as guides than horrific creatures, I recommend to most young and adult readers. This anthology wraps you up in a fuzzy blanket while serving the reader a cup of warm tea. It’s a holiday treat for anyone looking for stories that are heartfelt, romantic, and sweet.

“Wear the obsidian to show him his soul. Hang the mistletoe to freeze him in place” (444)..

Thank you to Midnight Tide Publishing, BookSirens, and all contributors for providing me with an ARC for an honest review.
Profile Image for Diamond Schmitt.
40 reviews3 followers
October 4, 2020
when I tell you this book exceeded my expectations I mean it! All the stories in here were so good, exactly what I needed for the spooky month of October but still having some Christmas carol vibes! 🥰 overall a well deserved 5 stars from me
Profile Image for Andd.
1,112 reviews46 followers
October 25, 2020
Effective anthologizing requires knowing what stories to leave in and what to leave out. Each story must stand alone, AND it must be a vital link in the chain of stories.

The first five stories are excellent page-turners. They share a theme, and they are easy to comprehend. They are linked by identifiable spirits reaching out to effect change.

They do NOT leave the reader with questions: Does a character have dissociative identity disorder? Is a character's language offensive? Does the presence of numerous characters impede understanding?

Maybe you are a reader who will enjoy traveling the continuum from easy to complex. I just wanted to be entertained.

I received an advance review copy for free.
I am posting this review voluntarily.
59 reviews1 follower
October 6, 2020
Amazing writing with incredible inspiration. I loved reading this!
Profile Image for Dawne.
Author 2 books6 followers
October 13, 2020
I received an ARC of Link by Link Anthology by Elle Beaumont in exchange for an honest review.

Between the Quiet by Candace Robinson

“Tell Francis I dropped the two quarters in the hat.”

‘At the end of the day, Tuesday had made thirty-four dollars, two condoms, a pack of bubblegum, and two dice. This was a win; sometimes she’d come away with only a few coins and condoms. The collection there was growing.’

‘Life was bullshit.’

‘talking to no one, and then coming home. There was one person she still talked to—Beck—but it was online, between the quiet. Maybe because it was easier that way.’

“Life is a labyrinth, and some things we must do on our own.”

“The one thing I want to leave you with is that you should always have confidence. And even if things might not end up the way you want, at least try going for it.”

Another story from Candace Robinson! I reviewed her book, Tin last month and I loved it, she definitely has a way with words.

4/5 Stars!

The Spirit of You by Elle Beaumont

‘He waggled his brows and rolled off the bed. “You’d just take advantage of me.” She grinned. Shutting the amp off, she twisted on her heels and walked up behind him. She spanked his butt, grabbing a handful. “I would, because this is mine.”

“Dummy.”“Forever your dummy.”

‘The part of you that lives in me Chases away the monsters inside A wind that blows away the storms And silences the mounting tide The Spirit of You Yeah, that’s the part I love most A strength that can bring me through The Spirit of You’

Wow.. I haven’t actually cried while reading a book in a very long time. This was my first book from Elle Beaumont and I can already tell, anything else that I read of hers, is definitely bound to make me bawl like a baby again. This one definitely hit my heart strings.. just wow.

4.5/5 Stars!

I Saw Her Again by Lauren Emily Whalen

“I’ve also watched you mess up. Get angry. Make mistakes, onstage and off.” His smile fades. “We’re human; we all do these things.”

‘Sam had the kind of depression that meant she couldn’t function sometimes. Couldn’t come to school, couldn’t do anything but lie in bed, staring at the glow-in-the-dark stars on her ceiling that she’d arranged during a happier time.’

‘I know in my head and my heart that Sam’s final choice was hers, and hers alone. She was too far gone to care how it would affect anyone else. She just wanted the mess in her brain to end.’

‘The door was always unlocked. I just had to open it.’

I really liked this book. Especially how the author touched on depression. That really hit home for me. Lovely writing and a lovely lesson.

5/5 Stars!

Yesterday’s News by Leslie Rush

“Some people just have to see for themselves instead of being told.”

‘Change the future by changing the present.’

I’m a sucker for a good ghost story and this one was pretty darn good. Reminded me almost of Ghost Adventures or The Dead Files! Loved it.

5/5 Stars!

Paw Prints by Kristin Jacques

“No one knows the exact origins of the Malkin. He is an entity borne of human faith and worship from before the hearts of man turned away from feline deities. The Malkin is something darker, an avenging entity who preyed on evil men and punished the wicked. This also changed as time went on, and the Malkin slipped from human memory. It is said that, fed up with the ever-changing nature of human hearts, this feline entity now only answers the pleas of his descendants, the modern wildcat and the common housecat. If you ever find your cat companion staring at nothing in the room, there is a chance they are holding a private conversation with the Malkin, who can only be seen by those humans he chooses to appear to.”

‘Better one life, full of love, than seven more lives without the one I chose.’

‘Don’t fuck with cats.’

‘I thought you took all eight of my lives. That I would never find her again.’ The Malkin shifted his bulk on the fire escape, a strange look on his face. Violet could almost call it longing. ‘A love like that deserves at least one more lifetime.’

This one was quiet cute! And the story of The Malkin would honestly make sense!

5/5 Stars!

Coffee Talk by M. Dalto

“As children, we’re told to be good or Santa is going to give us coal in our stockings. As teens, religion tries to teach us to repent for our innate sins or else we’re going to Hell.” “And as adults?” “As adults, we realize it’s all bullshit.”

“And the Christmas lights serve to remind us to provide light to others during the holiday season and throughout the rest of the year. Sometimes it’s hard to remain on our path, and the light shows us the way, even in the darkest of times.” “And what if your life is all one big darkest time?” “Then you need to surround yourself with more light.” The man winked.’

This book had some pretty good lessons and I loved it!

5/5 Stars!

Bound By What by Jess Moore

“It’s wild how one life affects so many things…”

‘Anne might change the world. And for the first time in a long time, I feel something. A sparking twinge lights up around my ankle, starting right at the spot once shackled to her spirit. It doesn’t take too long for me to realize what it is—hope.’

Definitely gives you something to think about.

3/5 Stars!

Charing Cross by Pam S. Dunn

“In life, I was your father,” the spirit said. “I will find no rest until I am forgiven.” The ghost continued to metamorphize, losing legs and arms and torso until only its head was visible. “How can I forgive you?” she asked. “You left us.”

“I wear the chains I forged in life.”

Interesting concept, but a little hard to follow for me.

3/5 Stars!

The Recipe for Cornbread by C Vonzale Lewis

‘He hesitated. Then ran over, wrapped his arms around my waist in a brief hug, and dashed out the room. I relished these brief moments of affection that he showed. It reminded me that no matter what, my son was still in there. Buried under all that anger and frustration. And one day soon, my sweet boy would heal enough to let me in again.’

‘Lay the seashells so you can hear him coming. Plant the rosemary to keep him out. Use the Aloe vera to repel his hate. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper to make him ill. Wear the obsidian to show him his soul. Hang the mistletoe to freeze him in place.’

Lovely book with diversity and an awesome story line!

5/5 Stars!

Overall Book Rating: 5/5 Stars!
32 reviews3 followers
November 23, 2020
My main takeaways are that it's too bad the editing was so uneven from one story to the next, and that editing shouldn't be just for typos, it should also be for style and content. One bad story can ruin an entire anthology - and yes, there is a story in this collection that is that bad. Without it, this could have been a four star book. With it, I can't give the book more than three stars.

I also found the title to be quite a stretch. Some of these stories have little to do with the regret and redemption that were the heart and soul of "A Christmas Carol".

Having said that, there are some very good stories in this collection. And let's be fair, not everyone will like the stories I liked, or dislike the one that was such a disappointment to me. All in all, the anthology is worth reading.

I won't give an in-depth review of every story, but I do want to offer a few observations. (No spoilers!)

The first two stories were painfully similar; so much so that it seemed like a freshman English class had been given an assignment to write stories on the same theme. I was drawn into the anthology by a sample from the first story. It really was charming, despite its somewhat cheesy ending. I might have liked the second story better if I hadn't read the first one. But between the two of them, the second one was decidedly weaker. It might have been better not to place the two of them in such close proximity.

The third story was more in keeping with the supernatural redemption theme promised by the title, and because that is what I was hoping for from this anthology, I consider it to be one of the better stories.

Story four is the one of the shortest in the collection, and it's easily one of the best.

I have mixed feelings about whether the fifth story belongs in this anthology, but it was my favorite. It was the best-written, and it was the only one to make me cry. But does a story about cats really belong in a collection devoted primarily to spoiled brat, whiny teens? Whether it does or not, I'm still glad I had the chance to read it.

Story six didn't really give the characters enough time to develop the strong emotions they displayed, and that definitely bothered me. Still a good story, if a bit rushed.

It's unusual to find a ghost story told primarily from the ghost's point of view. Story seven does this very well indeed.

Story nine was a delight. The characters seemed emotionally real. The ghostly threat was frightening. And the magic came from the heart. It was an inspiring story of the bonds of family love, and I would like to read more by this author.

If you're paying attention, you'll see that I skipped the eighth story. To be blunt, I'm saving the worst for last. This was easily the worst written story in the book. It is comprised of needlessly complicated run on sentences that say very little. There are several misused words (and by "several" I mean "many"). It reads like the author relied on movies for information rather than doing any research. Characters behave uncharacteristically and scenes that were probably meant to be frightening come off like slapstick comedy. The author relies far too heavily on assumptions, giving the reader far too little to go on - for instance, declaring that one of the main characters is talented, when she did nothing extraordinary throughout the story. I hate to be so harsh, but this is closer to a rough draft than a polished, well edited story. And I don't see how it fits the purported theme of the anthology. There was no ghost-inspired change of life, no real redemption. It was truly painful to read. I promised to give my honest opinion in exchange for a free copy, and my opinion is that the collection would have been stronger without the eighth story.

Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for The Librarian's Granddaughter.
395 reviews32 followers
November 18, 2020
Link by Link: An Anthology of Haunted Holidays is a compilation of stories by various authors edited by Elle Beaumont. The book is set to be published on 02.12. and I thank BookSirens for the copy. This year I rediscovered the magic of short stories. I hadn't read such in a long time, but I remembered how easy and pleasant they were to read. I finished this anthology relatively slowly, because I was reading another book as well, and I was only reading one story a day so that I could fully immerse myself in the each one. I want to be as honest as possible in my reviews and I will say that - I did not like every story. However, there were some that I really enjoyed.

My favorite story was about pets and their owners. According to some legend, cats have an ancient demon that has supernatural abilities. When a kitten needs help, it turns to him and usually for the service performed, this demon takes one of his remaining lives. We meet several cats in different years, whose owners are somehow related to each other. I was very fond of the idea that kittens choose their owners. When I was little we found a cat in front of the elevator. Apparently someone had thrown it out. We only took it to feed him and it stayed with us for another 13 years, which seemed like too little time. In the story we also see how a kitten lives different lives in the same family and I secretly wondered if my current kitten is hiding a secret.

I liked both stories, which retell the theme of the ghosts of the past, present and future, but they were very interestingly written and kept my attention. I also really liked the story of the paranormal seekers in a house and how they tried to save their father's life. The last story in which we encounter deeply kept family secrets also left a big imprint on me. The power of love and the true meaning of family was touched upon in the story and could hardly leave anyone indifferent.
I couldn't like all the stories and some of them were very slow and didn't hold my interest at all. Overall, I was pleased with the anthology and will continue to read stories from time to time!
Profile Image for Alex Nonymous.
Author 23 books424 followers
November 4, 2020
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Link by Link is a unique idea for the holiday. Collecting 9 different works by 9 different authors, focused in some way upon the ghosts from A Christmas Carol, I think the idea here was both too specific and too vague to work effectively.

The first few stories follow a similar format. Character talks about loved one. Loved one dies. Loved one appears as a ghost and reminds them to continue to live their life. In theory, it should be emotional, but I found the writing in the first few stories to be too simplistic to elicit any form of real emotion and then you quickly feel like you're reading to same mostly hollow story over and over again. Then come the last few stories where the Christmas Carol comparison because weaker and weaker. While some of these were more unique and well written (particularly the last story which was also definitely the most removed from the whole 'Haunted Holidays' shtick), since we'd started out so formalistically, they felt out of place and I started to wonder why they were included. Even spacing out the more unique stories more may have rectified that a bit, but as is I was left either bored or confused with most of these.
Profile Image for Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer.
Author 36 books23 followers
October 20, 2020
I enjoyed this holiday collection very much and I cannot wait for it to come out on Amazon. Each tale is unique and special. Some of them are almost long enough to be novellas, and the volume is good value at over 400 pages!

Great stories that commence the book include: Between the Quiet by Candace Robinson, The Spirit of You by Elle Beaumont, I Saw Her Again by Lauren Emily Whalen, Yesterday’s News by Leslie Rush. The second half includes: Paw Prints by Kristin Jacques, Coffee Talk by M. Dalto, Bound by What by Jess Moore, Charing Cross by Pam S. Dunn, and The Recipe for Cornbread by C. Vonzale Lewis.

I am saying more elsewhere: https://creativearts2009-2.blogspot.c.... I had an advanced review copy through Book Sirens.
Profile Image for Elke.
29 reviews11 followers
December 3, 2020
*I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.*

I have to honestly say that this book wasn't for me. I thought I would like the ''haunted holiday's'' theme, but it wasn't the right kind of haunted for me and it hit a bit too close to home (which I can imagine for more people that have trouble with being happy during the holidays).

Having said that, the writing and creativity in the stories was terrific and I think that there are a lot of readers out there who would love to read it.
947 reviews11 followers
October 23, 2020
A collection of holiday themed short paranormal stories.
Each story presents a paranormal chance encounter that defies normal discussion & logic but helps the main characters in each story find: redemption, closure & the courage/motivation to go forth & follow their own dreams & goals.
Entertaining & engaging.
Thank you BookSirens for the opportunity to read & leave this voluntary review.
Profile Image for ✨Elianna✨.
166 reviews2 followers
November 7, 2020
Thank You to BookSirens for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
*Slight spoilers*
Between the Quiet-
I enjoyed this story because I thought that it did a great job of incorporating the chemistry of a good friendship between the two main characters, and it had very likable characters that came off well without seeming obnoxiously perfect. The thing that I didn't enjoy in this story is how it got a bit hard to follow at points, such as when Francis was showing Tuesday how she meddled in her love life, but other than that, I enjoyed this story very much.
The Spirit of You-
This story made me feel very deeply for the characters and what Koryn, the main character, was feeling and going through, and I enjoyed how the author took the reader into her head and introduced you to her fears and doubts, and that was well done. A criticism that I have is that in the beginning, I found it quite hard to follow along because it was mainly pronouns, and that made it hard to decipher who the characters were, and that got pretty hard. Otherwise, this was an enchanting read!
I saw her again-
This book took me into the main character's head very quickly, and it made the story feel a lot like a kind of realization, like that moment that you accept that something is wrong, and that made me feel very strongly. This story was a slightly bittersweet read for me, like an evening on the beach that you don't want to end. The only criticism that I had was that at points in the story, all of the exes got slightly hard to follow, and I would have enjoyed it if the author gave a bit more of a timeline or perhaps showed when she was dating who, and who she dated after that? I feel like that bit of knowledge would have made this story a bit clearer, but I loved it none the less.
Yesterday's News-
This story made my heart race a bit because it got me into the character's head, and it made me feel sort of invested in the characters well being. I think that something that could have improved on was the ghost scenes because they felt a bit rushed and hard to follow to me, so maybe slow that scene down a bit, but otherwise, I liked this story.
Paw Prints-
As a cat lover, this story melted my heart. This story was probably one of my favorites, if not my favorite. My only critique is that maybe you should give a bit more indication of whose story it is because it was hard to remember who was talking at parts, especially in the beginning, but other than that, I loved this story!
Coffee Talk-
This story felt a bit harder to follow to me, but I thought that it had a pretty good storyline, and I enjoyed the characters and the idea. I think it was well written, but it got a bit confusing, and the story left you with lots of questions that you want to have answered. I hope that another book comes out to answer the questions that we are left to answer. Other than that, this is a good read that I mainly enjoyed.
Bound by What-
This story was confusing to me, and it left me with a lot of questions. I didn't understand it, which might just be me, but it left me confused. There were parts I liked, like the Time Cat, but I didn't enjoy the characters other than the Time Cat, and I didn't understand what was happening with Anne in the beginning, and what the dynamic between Anne and Jesse was, and it confused me. It was well written, but I didn't understand what was happening, so that took away from the story for me, which disappointed me.
Charing Cross-
This story was very beautifully written, but most of it went over my head, sadly. I didn't understand what was happening or what the relationships between the characters were. I think that if I spent a while trying to interpret the words, I would have understood the story a bit better, but because I didn't have the time to work on doing that, I didn't get it. I understood parts, such as the part where the main character's father's spirit first spoke, but the parts I did understand usually would need the subtext of what had happened in the story before it, so it didn't stick with me.
The Recipe for Cornbread-
This story is beautifully written and is one of my favorites in the book. I loved the way it told a story that combined family and magic so well. The only thing that didn't click with me is that it confused me because what does this have to do with a cornbread recipe? I did enjoy the story, even if it did get a bit confusing at parts.
In all, I think that this was a very well-written anthology, and I would love to read more books by most, if not all, of these authors.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Eleanor.
47 reviews6 followers
November 30, 2020
I received a digital review copy from Book Sirens in exchange for an honest review, which I am leaving voluntarily.

Link by Link is an anthology, containing 9 short stories inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Each story is written by a different author, and I will write my thoughts on each story. I found it quite hard to give this an overall rating, as there were only a few stories I really enjoyed.

Between the Quiet – Candace Robinson

The first story in the anthology followed the basic formula of A Christmas Carol, but with a focus on love rather than morality. I wasn’t a massive fan of this story but I liked how it encourages you to take chances.

The Spirit of You – Elle Beaumont

I preferred this story to the first one. I really liked how sweet this story was. The characters were really nice in this one, and I loved how to showed how important it is to follow your dreams.

I Saw Her Again – Lauren Emily Whalen

Much more traditional story of A Christmas Carol – a girl visited by three ghosts/spirits who teach her a lesson. The sentiment of this story was really nice, and the emotions were very raw on the page. The story of love and moving on from the past was told really sweetly.

Yesterday’s News

This story combined aspects of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with more modern ideas of horror, which was a combination I really liked. I loved how this one used Dickens’ story as a jumping-off point, but made it its own. I loved the characters, and there was a real sense of peril to this story that was really good. I really liked how it made links between past and present.

Paw Prints – Kristen Jacques

Even shorter stories within this short story, which was honestly a format I wasn’t a fan of. The story concept was a good idea, but I don’t think it worked given how short the overall story was. I found it difficult to connect with the characters. The stories were a little cheesy at times, and there was a slight creepiness, but they were generally okay.

Coffee Talk – M. Dalto

I found this one very confusing, one of the characters had a mental illness that was never really explained or inferable from the storyline. But there was a sweet romance story, even though I couldn’t really wrap my head around what was happening most of the time.

Bound by What – Jess Moore

More traditional retelling but self-aware, and there was a good twist. But I found the story a little convoluted as there seemed to be little, motivation for why the characters changed their ideologies.

Charing Cross – Pam S. Dunn

This was by far my favourite of the stories from the collection. It had the flavour of Dickens’ story, especially since it was historical. I loved the mystery spin on the story and it was very compelling. The characters felt fleshed-out despite it being a short story.

Recipe for Cornbread – C. Vonzale Lewis

This was another of my favourites from the collection. This one was really creepy in its story design and probably the least linked to Dickens’ story, but it still had small little references that I really liked. There was a nice family feel to the story, and I think it would also be fantastic as a fully-fledged story.

The last two stories probably had the least obvious connections to the original Charles Dickens story, but I think that they had a greater subtly to them and they were my favourites from the book. The feeling of Dickens’ story was carried across even though they didn’t follow the exact template.

I would recommend this to fans of A Christmas Carol, or Christmas stories.

Thanks again to Book Sirens for my digital review copy.
Profile Image for Ani - Ani Reads.
117 reviews12 followers
November 28, 2020
I received a free copy of this book, this did not affect my review.

Link by Link is an anthology where every story takes place in the holiday season... and is haunted by ghosts. In some stories, I felt strong connections to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. However, those connections became looser and looser throughout the anthology. Short, individual reviews of the stories are below!

Between the quiet - Candace Robinson
This was a heartwarming story, ideal for the winter season. I love the romantic twist that was given to A Christmas Carol. There were surprising twists in this story, especially the last chapter!
4.5 stars

The Spirit of You - Elle Beaumont
For me, it felt like I was reading the first story all over again. I also personally didn't really enjoy the relationship between the characters, they were way too swoony for me. But to each their own, right?
3.5 stars

I Saw Her Again - Lauren Emily Whalen
I Saw Her Again was an interesting new twist to A Christmas Carol. It was a beautiful story, but it was kind of hard to follow due to incredibly long sentences. This was also the first story that wasn't divided in chapters, so that didn't help.
4 stars

Yesterday's News - Leslie Rush
It had a unique plot, but it didn't grip me. However, a lot of people can learn from the message this story gives, so I still recommend it!
3.5 stars

Paw Story - Kristin Jacques
The story started off good, but became too confusing after a while. It was hard to follow the story and I'm sure I missed a few connections and references. The writing style itself was good though!
3 stars

Coffee Talk - M. Dalto
It's a cute story. It took a few pages to grip me, but I couldn't put it down afterwards! I was confused by certain events in the story but the end was a good finish (if you don't mind being left with some questions).
4 stars

Bound by What - Jess Moore
Actually one of the best stories in this anthology. It had incredibly flawed main characters who had a lot to learn. The story contained some good twists and had me hooked from the very beginning!
5 4.5 stars

Charing Cross - Pam S. Dunn
This was a detective story. It was a little hard to follow, because it felt like too much information in not enough pages. Who am I kidding, it was actually very hard to follow for me.
2.5 stars

The Recipe for Cornbread - C. Vonzale Lewis
Definitely the best story in this anthology! It had me hooked from beginning to end. The writing style was good and easy to follow. The flashback was incredibly valuable to this story (actually, the flashback was almost the whole story) and the togetherness of the family in the story makes this a great story for the holidays.
5 stars

In short, some stories I enjoyed and wrapped up nicely, others were kind of a struggle to get through. This anthology is perfect if you'd like to enjoy a few short stories in the festive season!

4 stars
Profile Image for Ally.
17 reviews6 followers
November 17, 2020
From the blurb: "Link by Link is a collection of 9 stories of ghosts, spirits, and creatures unnamed, all come to teach lessons we won’t soon forget. From sweet Christmas tales to terrifying holiday hauntings, these stories take a dive into the past in the hopes of creating a better—or at least different—future"

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

These stories were cute. I like the idea of combining the holidays with ghost stories since I like things to be a little spooky. It was also enjoyable to read stories by so many different authors because every story was different. The stories were simple, light-hearted reading that would be perfect to read with a cup of cocoa under a blanket. Sweet and simple and, unfortunately, predictable. With a few exceptions, most of the stories were very predictable, and the ones that weren't were just a little too far out of the realm of possibility.

It's always tricky when writing elements of the supernatural because things can get unbelievable very quickly. Most of the stories in this book did a great job with magical realism, and some not so much. The ones that seemed the most real were also the ones where the ending was wrapped up nicely in a bow, and I figured out the whole plot halfway through. There were a lot of over-used tropes and callbacks to classic holiday stories that I recognized. Overall the best way to describe this collection is cute but also very creative. Even the stories that were familiar to me took creative turns to change it up. The characters were all (mostly) relatable, and the collection definitely gives off holiday cheer vibes. Cute and cozy. Give it a try if you want some light-hearted winter reading.
1,757 reviews18 followers
October 26, 2020
I received a free ARC of this book and this is my voluntary honest review.
5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 writing ( even though there were some profanities included).
These nine short paranormal, weird, spooky, well written stories teach a lesson in this eerie October time of ghost, spirits, and creatures. They send a icy chill down our spines! So, don't cross them or be prepared for their judgment! The out come may not be what you expect. Enjoy your read if you dare to pick them up. Don't hesitate! I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Olivia's Bookish World.
383 reviews15 followers
November 17, 2020
As with anthologies you get a mixed bag of contents. Some stories were great, but some of them were not so great. It's tough when writing short stories to get enough content and back story to get your reader to connect with the characters and a few of the authors were more successful than others. It's hard to rate this because some of the stories deserve a 1 star, while others deserve a 3 or 4. My two favorites were Yesterday's News and Between the Quiet.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Profile Image for Shawnae Aiu.
163 reviews1 follower
December 2, 2020
This is a multiple short story book. Each one is completely different. I loved how each author created their story and built characters you liked and rooted for. The supernatural aspects were fascinating and a couple had completely unexpected twists. I enjoy having a bunch of short stories so I can read one a night and reach the stories conclusion. You will be adding some new authors to your favorites list when you are done. I know I have. Enjoy!

I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.
Profile Image for Andrea Wright.
815 reviews14 followers
November 22, 2020
This is a book of short stories that are Christmasy, but also a bit ghosty. I'm not usually a fan of short stories as I like to get to know the characters more than a short story allows, but I did enjoy a few of these. I especially enjoyed the Paw Prints by Kristin Jacques and tried to find more stories involving the Malkin.

Many of the stories gave me a dark and grimy Dickens type feeling even when the story was not in that time period.

If you enjoy ghost stories this is a great read to go from Halloween into the Christmas holidays.

Thank you BookSirens for the free ARC to review!
Profile Image for Jessica Julien.
Author 13 books59 followers
December 11, 2020
Wow, this was a really fun holiday collection to read through! I found each story paced well and the characters were relatable, overall a highly recommended read.

My only negative was that a few stories were very similar and predictable with their outcome and plotline. Not that each story wasn't different in its own way, there were just a lot of similar cross overs that made them feel a bit repetitive.

I'm looking forward to the next anthology from this publisher!
Profile Image for Pam Dunn.
34 reviews
October 13, 2020
It is an honor to be part of this anthology. The collection of stories is diverse and sure to please just about any reader. Mystical cat-gods who grant wishes for a price; friends and lovers who return from the dead to guide the living; families haunted by the past just in time for a spooky holiday!
7,677 reviews100 followers
November 7, 2020
You will have hours of haunting tales with this collection of short stories by numerous authors. Each story has it's own unique tale and all are great ghostly reads. I enjoyed each story and would recommend this book.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book. All opinions in this review are my own and freely given.
Profile Image for Lacie.
556 reviews1 follower
November 7, 2020
I give this anthology a solid for stars for Paw Prints alone. The other stories were decent enough the mime one was cute. Paw Prints touched my heart and made me tear up. Having kitties of my own I like the thought of the Malkin. I recieved a copy of this book and am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Cátia.
148 reviews2 followers
November 4, 2020
Amazing collection of little stories.
They all are very different from one another, but al of them had the holidays connecting them.
I personally love the both with cats more 😍😍 and I would recommend you to read this nook and get lost in these stories and characters
December 5, 2020
I can't say too much to not give it away but this is different than what I've read but totally enticing. They're short stories but they suck you in and may leave you thinking differently. Such a different holiday anthology.
Profile Image for Leslie Rush.
Author 3 books14 followers
September 28, 2020
Being one of the authors, I got to read everyone's stories. They are fabulous, and I'm thrilled to be included in this spooky holiday collection.
Profile Image for Kattie.
303 reviews44 followers
October 13, 2020
Ok so I only read the short story by Candace Robinson so far, but it was so good. Mimes and ghosts and crushes. Quirky and fun.
Profile Image for Sara Narro.
251 reviews21 followers
December 2, 2020
Thank you to BookSirens for providing an ARC for this book in exchange of a honest review! / ¡Gracias a BookSirens por darme un ARC de este libro a cambio de una reseña honesta!

English Review:
4 / 5 stars
Link by Link is an anthology of Christmas stories based on the classic stories we tend to hear around this time of the year. If this little summary isn´t interesting enough for you, let me tell you all of the stories featured in this anthology are full with ghosts, suspense and of course, Christmas spirits. I would really recommend reading it in this time of the year, but the stories are still enjoyable anytime you want. I will know rate each story individually, but the anthology in general is a solid 4 stars!

Between the Quiet by Meg Dailey: 3 / 5 stars
I did enjoy this story, but besides all the mime stuff and comparing it to the other stories in this anthology, it felt kind of vague and not as creative as the others; but as I said before, I did enjoy the story!

The Spirit of You by Elle Beaumont: 3.5 / 5 stars
I really liked how the music helped the protagonist to overcome the main conflict in the story, it felt really natural and I feel the author did portray it really well. But, still, it felt kind of similar to the first story considering the similarites they both have with ghosts.

I Saw Her Again by Lauren Emily Whalen: 5 / 5 stars
This story is AMAZING, I still can´t put into words how good it is. Even though it also has a tematic surrounding ghosts, it is represented in a total different way that the last two stories did. It made me cry, smile, and feel empathy for the protagonist; I will definitely be reading more of this author!

Yesterday´s News by Leslie Rush: 4 / 5 stars
It also has a theme surrounding ghost, but in a more mysterious and scary way that had me intrigued throughout the story. Even though it did kind of lose that inicial spark that attracted me to the story in the first place, I still enjoyed it, specially the ending.

Paw Prints by Kristin Jacques: 5 / 5 stars
I never thought I would ever read a Christmas story with cats as protagonists, but it did manage to surprise me and made it the most interesting story out of all the anthology. This story was so creative that I didn´t want it to end, and I will definitely be looking forward for reading more of this author. P. S. : This story will be AMAZING as an animated film.

Coffee Talk by M. Dalto: 5 / 5 stars
Out of all the stories in this anthology, this one is by far the scariest of them all. The way the author portrays the situation was so well done I still have goosebumps even thinking about it. There´s something about this story that really freaks me out, that I think that what a great scary Christmas story is supposed to do, well done!

Bound by What by Jess Moore: 2.5 / 5 stars
I still don´t know how I feel about this story. It definitely had a lot of potential, but I felt that still started really slowed, focusing mainly in us getting to know the main characters, but at the end it did felt like everything was being rushed for it to fit in the last pages. I did enjoy the theme of the story, especially the Time Cat, and I´m really sad I didn´t enojy this story as much as I would like.

Charing Cross by Pam S. Dunn: 2.5 / 5 stars
My main issue with this story is that the main topic of the story was not totally clear until the last pages, and if the story would have been more focused in that instead of the adventures of the police departmente, it would have been more interesting.

The Recipe for Cornbread by C. Vonzale Lewis: 5 / 5 stars
What I love the most about this story is the topic and how well and interesting is treated throughout the story, while at the same time it involves family drama and interesting backstories to the main characters.

Reseña en Español:
4 / 5 estrellas
Link by Link es una antología de historias navideñas basadas en cuentos clásicos que solemos escuchar durante esta época del año. Si este pequeño resumen no es lo suficiente interesante para ti, déjame decirte que todos los cuentos que conforman esta antología están llenos de fantasmas, suspenso y, sobre todo, espíritus de Navidad. Yo recomendaría leer este libro durante esta época del año, pero las historias son agradables a cualquier tiempo necesario. Ahora calificaré cada historia individualmente, ¡pero toda la antología en general son 4 estrellas!

Between the Quiet de Meg Dailey: 3 / 5 estrellas
Si disfruté esta historia, pero aparte de toda la situación de los mimos o comparándola con las otras historias en esta antología, se sintió algo vaga y no tan creativa como las otras; pero como dije antes, ¡si disfruté la historia!

The Spirit of You de Elle Beaumont: 3.5 / 5 estrellas
Me gustó mucho la forma en la que la música ayuda a la protagonista a sobrellevar el conflicto principal de la historia, se sintió muy natural y sentí que la autora si lo mostró de una buena manera. Pero a pesar de esto, se sintió algo parecida a la primera historia tomando en cuenta las similitudes que ambas historias tienen sobre fantasmas.

I Saw Her Again de Lauren Emily Whalen: 5 / 5 estrellas
Esta historia es ASOMBROSA. Todavía no puedo poder en palabras que tan buena es. Aunque también tiene una temática relacionada con fantasmas, es representado de una manera completamente diferente que las dos historias pasadas. Me hizo llorar, sonreír y sentir empatía por la protagonista; ¡definitivamente leeré más de esta autora!

Yesterday´s News de Leslie Rush: 4 / 5 estrellas
También tiene un tema relacionado con fantasmas, pero de una manera más misteriosa y asustadiza que me tuvo intrigada durante toda la historia. Aunque pierde un poco de esa chispa que me atrajo a la historia en primer lugar, la disfruté, especialmente el final.

Paw Prints de Kristin Jacques: 5 / 5 estrellas
Nunca pensé que leería un cuento navideño con gatos como protagonistas, pero si llegó a sorprenderme y la hizo la historia más interesante en esta antología. Esta historia fue tan creativa que no quería que se acabará, y definitivamente leeré más de esta autora. P. D.: Esta historia sería ASOMBROSA para un corto animado.

Coffee Talk de M. Dalto: 5 / 5 estrellas
De todas las historias de esta antología, esta es por mucho la más asustadiza. La forma en que la autora muestra la situación es de una forma tan buen hecha, que aún me dan escalofríos pensando en eso. Hay algo sobre esta historia que me disturbe, pero al mismo tiempo la hace de las mejores en esta antología.

Bound by What de Jess Moore: 2.5 / 5 estrellas
Todavía no sé cómo me siento con esta historia. Definitivamente tenía mucho potencial, pero sentí que aún comenzó muy lento, enfocándonos principalmente en que conociéramos a los personajes principales, pero al final sentí que todo se apresuraba para que quepa en las últimas páginas. Disfruté el tema de la historia, especialmente el Gato del Tiempo, y estoy muy triste por no haber disfrutado esta historia tanto como me gustaría.

Charing Cross de Pam S. Dunn: 2.5 / 5 estrellas
Mi principal problema con esta historia es que el tema principal de la historia no estaba totalmente claro hasta las últimas páginas, y si la historia hubiera estado más centrada en eso en lugar de en las aventuras del departamento de policía, hubiera sido más interesante.

The Recipe for Cornbread de C. Vonzale Lewis: 5 / 5 estrellas
Lo que más me gusta de esta historia es el tema y lo bien e interesante que se trata a lo largo de la historia, mientras que al mismo tiempo involucra drama familiar e historias de fondo interesantes para los personajes principales.
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