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Hi, I'm Rebecca Besser, a wife, mother, editor, and full time writer. I write fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for various age groups and genres.
I'm a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature. My work has appeared in the Coshocton Tribune, Irish Story Playhouse, Spaceports & Spidersilk, joyful!, Soft Whispers, Illuminata, Common Threads, Golden Visions Magazine, Stories That Lift, Super Teacher Worksheets, Living Dead Presents Magazine, The Broke One, The Stray Branch, and The Undead That Save Christmas charity anthology. I have multiple stories in anthologies by Living Dead Press, Wicked East Press, and NorGus Press, and one in an anthology by Pill Hill Press; and a poem in an anthology by Naked Snake Press.
I'm a member of the Ohio Poetry Associtation (OPA), and Write-On Writers, a local writing group.
on Feb. 28, 2015 :
The Magic of Christmas & The Power of a Gift is a few short stories by Rebecca Besser, contained in one volume. The first book, The Magic of Christmas, features the time surrounding Christmas and the problems the elves and Santa face in order to get things done for such an important time. Royce, an elf in Santa's league, was bitten when he was out cutting Christmas trees one day. Soon, many elves have gotten ill and Santa's workforce might not be able to finish their work in time for Christmas. Santa's worries grow that he might not be able to spread joy to the children. When Christmas Eve finally does come, he is faced with even more trouble when a zombie sneaks into the sleigh. The second story, The Power of a Gift is about a small family. Lyle, his wife and child get the chance to visit Santa. Two of the three die from the zombie infection and Lyle finds he needs to save them by choosing an appropriate gift.
I think that Santa's workforce is an interesting place for a zombie outbreak. Though, I think that there are areas where it's not explained particularly well. Because it's a short story, the author kind of glosses over a lot of aspects such as what made the elves sick in the first place (save for the bite Royce returned with), what happened to the elf that Santa had left while he was delivering presents, what happened to the elves that all died and even what happened to the mess Santa must have left at these houses. As for the second book, I didn't really enjoy it because it seemed kind of dull. Don't get me wrong, it was kind of sweet, but it just didn't really seem as interesting. I think that, for a book that combines the themes of zombies and Santa's elves, it was done reasonably well. It's a little bit preachy in some areas, such as where Hammond (one of the main elves) comments to himself that he had never seen such violence before; that's reserved for humans and not elves. In the same way, it's also a little bit tacky that the reason these elves and people are healed is because of the love another person has (hence the title, The Magic of Christmas). However, I do understand why the author included such things.
Overall, the stories were alright. Three stars. I managed to gain a copy of this book via a Smashwords coupon code. These are just my honest thoughts on it.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
Parents' Little Black Book Reviews
on Jan. 27, 2012 :
What a different take on zombies, not to mention Christmas! The two short stories in Rebecca Besser’s book “The Magic of Christmas” cover the events of two Christmas holidays at the North Pole. First, in the story for which the book is named, Santa and the elves are exposed to something terrible but the magic of Christmas saves them, well some of them anyway. Then, the following year, in the story “The Power of a Gift”, a family visiting Santa experiences a terrible nightmare which again is solved through the magic of Christmas, but with a totally different twist. As the characters figure out how to save themselves, they also discover what makes Christmas really special which makes this a unique and fun take on the holiday without the typical mushy holiday glee.
I really enjoyed the stories and love the way the author takes a new look at Christmas, giving the reader a unique way to experience the mystery of Christmas and renew the spirit of the holiday. I think these stories are wonderfully gruesome for teens and adults. Another hit from Rebecca Besser, a Don’t Miss in my book.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)