The festive season is almost here. If you’re anything like me, you love getting cozy with a blanket and reading away the winter evenings. You’ve probably noticed all the Christmas books are Hallmark movie adaptations recently. So, if you still want to read something with holiday vibes but need something a little different, try one of these fabulous books. 

1. “I’ll Be Alone for Christmas” — Meyer Matthews 

Romee was planning to spend Christmas in a beautiful log cabin in the snow with her boyfriend, but instead, she ended up heartbroken and alone. Then, her peaceful, idyllic getaway seems to get a little worse when it turns out she isn’t alone. This Christmassy short story is full of suspense, a little gore, and many thrills with a cinematic slasher movie vibe throughout. I loved it, and it makes the perfect palate cleanser for festive romances

2. “The Winter Spirits: Ghostly Tales for Frosty Nights”  Collection 

Your favorite gothic and historical fiction authors gather for a uniquely dark Christmas collection. Desperate parents turn to the occult, longing to be reunited with their lost child. The ghost of a woman scorned is calling out the truth. A writer takes a break to focus on rewriting her novel but finds more than inspiration. Each story has a dazzling voice, but all share that same chilling, haunting feeling that makes you think of ghost stories in front of the fireplace. It’s spooky but playful and witty with its reimagining of classic festive tales. It’s a perfect read for any book lover this Christmas.

3. “The Christmas Party” — Mikayla Davids 

The Bailey family gathers for a family reunion, trying not to speak about the accident that tore them apart. But not one member of this family is who they seem. And when one of them is found dead at the stroke of midnight, it’s clear one of them is the killer. But who? This spectacular locked-room story is both a cozy winter mystery and psychological thriller with amazingly dysfunctional but lovable characters and an excitedly fast pace. 

4. “Five Rings” — Kristen Bailey

Eve was looking forward to Christmas until she found her boyfriend with another girl in their shower. But then, she finds herself on a journey to reunite five couples with their rings before Christmas — along with her colleague who is desperately in love with her. Okay, this is technically more like the traditional Christmas story, but it is also absurd in the best way. So that’s why it’s got a place here. It’s a romcom full of chaos, silliness, and, of course, some festive joy. 

Happy holidays, everyone! I wish you all a happy New Year filled with great books!