Book Review & Character Interview: The Christmas Dragon / Strings by Ruthanne Reid


Character Interview: Grey, Unseelie Prince

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

Is this a joke? What I do every day: whatever I want. It’s one of the benefits of running away from all responsibility and everyone who knows me. I make the rules, yeah?

What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they’ve known you for a while?

They always find me beautiful, of course. My people are always beautiful, but I’m particularly blessed with a blend of good genetics and magic. Even my ears are perfect – did you notice? Long as my forearm, so thin the light shines through them, delicately pointed and smooth. They are perfect Fey ears.

And as for the second question, people generally don’t have the privilege of knowing me for long. The few that do either hate me (understandably) or think I’m better than I am (bafflingly). You’d have to ask Notte why that is. I personally have no idea.

What’s your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that’ll happen in your life?

I… I can’t answer that. What kind of a question is that? Did my father put you up to this?

What are you most proud of about your life?

Sorry for the delay there. I don’t really know how to answer that. I’m not really proud of anything.

So then what are you most ashamed of in your life?

Look, I’m a disgraced prince subsisting on stolen love I conjure with magic. If I let myself feel shame, I wouldn’t be able to do that to people, would I? I’d starve. And nobody wants that.

Do you think you’ve turned out the way your parents expected?

Hahaha! Oh, were you serious? That’s even better! Hahahahaha!

Tell me about your best friend.

I don’t really have a lot of friends, so I’ll answer that the way I want to: I have a new friend. Her name is Katie. I’ve never known anyone quite like her before, but weirdly enough, she thinks of me as a friend. I’ll take it.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

“Died free.” The thing is… that’s not going to happen. My father will catch up with me someday. The Throne won’t accept anyone not of her line, so it has to be me. It just has to be me. Until that time, however, I will live the way I want, and damn the consequences.


*The Christmas Dragon*

All Katie Lin wants is to get away from her family: from the magic, from the mayhem, and from the never-ending war.

Unfortunately, someone has other ideas, and sends her a box. A box that jumps.

The tiny fire hazard inside may just force her back to Wales – and right into the path of a dragon war, the Crow King, and at least one reluctant elf prince. Sometimes, running away just doesn’t work as planned.

Buy Links for The Christmas Dragon:


















Need help? You probably shouldn’t ask Grey.
A runaway Unseelie prince, Grey feeds on love –  a commodity he conjures via music and magic in late-night Manhattan. It’s a sweet gig, if lonely, and Grey is almost sure the dire warnings he was given about New York in December won’t come true.
Then a monster from his childhood attacks in the middle of the night, and everything changes.
He survived, but he’s marked, and more monsters are coming for him and everyone who survived. Grey has no plans to be a hero but fate doesn’t care what he wants. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you aren’t the one pulling the strings.


Buy Links for Strings:




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The Christmas Dragon

The box jumped.

Boxes are not supposed to jump. It’s a law somewhere, I think. Maybe Guyana. Apparently not in New Hampshire, because the box kept jumping.

I sat in my idling car, puffs of exhaust rising in my rear-view mirror, and stared at the uncoordinated box-dance. It was wrapped in the loveliest paper, too, which was a shame, because bouncing on my boot-scraper had roughened all the corners and torn one edge. The bow was big and purple and covered in small green somethings. I wasn’t close enough to make them out.

I didn’t want to be close enough to make them out.

If I didn’t do something soon, the neighbors would notice. The box probably hadn’t been jumping all morning, or there’d be a crowd. Or maybe it was already on YouTube. I didn’t know.

So much for a safe, boring life among the Ever-Dying. New Hampshire, you have failed me.

I turned off the car. Time to go see what invaded my (mostly) magic-free space.




My music made a lovely magic. It was tiny magic, sure, but effective: it thickened the air and deepened the candles’ warm light, caressed the listener like intimate fingertips and teased sleeping nerve-endings toward a gently quivering wakefulness.

Go, me. I made it all happen.

Generally speaking, humans suck at love. They go into it selfishly, thinking of themselves and not the needs of the other, already planning in their little heads what they’ll do when it doesn’t work out. Idiots. Does anything else work that way? Can you learn art or become a mechanic without devoting yourself to those crafts? Can you graduate from college without paying attention to a coursework’s needs, without being willing to spend time feeding it what it requires?

Well, yes, you can, but not well. And yes, colleges have needs, too. Every living thing does.

I could help the lovelorn attendees of tonight’s bar-hop, and I had every reason to. Helping them helped me. The more they loved, the more I fed—and while humans do suck at getting love started, once it takes root in them, it grows like Kudzu. (That Kudzu-thing was one of my cousin’s ideas, by the way. Don’t look at me. I’m not a plant-wizard.)


Review by Melissa Snark:

I found The Christmas Dragon and Strings to be wonderfully imaginative and whimsical. Both stories are just bursting with vivid imagery and I really longed to be able to fully submerse myself in the stories. However, I found the first-person narrative jarring at points. Ultimately, those narrative glitches are what lead me to rate these stories as charming instead of over the top amazing.

I really love both covers. The black and white themes are very cool.

The protagonist is The Christmas Dragon is different from the hero in Strings. I liked Katie better than Grey, but their interactions were very fun to read about. They had good chemistry together and their banter was entertaining.

The plot pacing was quick and a little rough. Given the novella lengths, I felt like the author left money on the table. There were a great many fascinating concepts and intriguing scenes that could have been developed to full novel lengths. Merlin alone has so much potential but throw in the Wild Hunt and Fae mythology…

Wah. I really wanted for the stories to scratch deeper and penetrate the surface for an in depth examination of characterization, relationships, and legends. Even so, both were short, highly entertaining reads and I would recommend this author in the future.


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_The Christmas DragonStringsIndie author Ruthanne Reid writes about elves, aliens, vampires, and space-travel with equal abandon. She is the author of the series Among the Mythos, and believes good stories should be shared. Subscribe to her free email newsletter for free books and more at You can connect with her on Twitter (, Facebook (, or Tumblr (, where she looks at too many kittens and Avengers blogs.


Ruthanne’s love of magic, urban environments, and deep space birthed a strange world with undercurrents of faith, magic, villainy, and heroism (along with swords and lasers, on occasion). Among the Mythos showcases aliens with all-too-human feelings, entire societies on the decline due to greed and fear, protagonists who might actually be the bad guys (or vice-versa), and endings every bit as messy as the world that creates them.


Ruthanne knows from experience that endings are messy. No matter how exotic the setting, how many limbs the characters have or what (if any) genders, the problems and questions addressed by a good story are very real, and that’s why they have power. If she has a theme, it is this: keep fighting, and keep pushing toward hope, because the struggle is worth the finish-line.







13 thoughts on “Book Review & Character Interview: The Christmas Dragon / Strings by Ruthanne Reid

  1. This sounds like a fun and interesting series that I’ve put on my Amazon wish list. Thanks for the info about the series and the author. I’m following her as well to see what she has coming in the future.

  2. Thank you for hosting today.

  3. Rita Wray

    I enjoyed the interview.

    • Thanks, Rita! I didn’t expect Grey to jump in and take the reins like that, but I should have. 😉

  4. momjane

    Really great review They sound like great stories.

  5. Thanks for the reviews! Thanks as well for giving Grey a chance to be his ridiculous self. 🙂

  6. Mai T.

    The impressive cover is my favorite part of the post today.

    • Thank you, Mai! I had a lot of fun designing them. 🙂

  7. Karen H

    Loved reading that character interview. Still laughing!

    • Thanks, Karen! Grey just leaped in and took over. 🙂

  8. Ree Dee

    I love the cover of String! He looks exactly how I pictured him.

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