SANTA, INC is a dumpster fire. Here are 5 lesser-known Christmas stories for adults that actually celebrate Christmas.

With all the negative audience reaction towards that scrooge of a “””Christmas””” show SANTA, INC., I thought I’d post a few of my favorite, obscurer Christmas shows/books/games that my husband and I enjoy. Nothing edgy here, but these shows/books have a more adult sensibility to them than some other Christmas specials.

If you’ve enjoyed any of these specials, games, or books before, feel free to reminisce in the comments section!


OLIVE, THE OTHER REINDEER screenshotOLIVE, THE OTHER REINDEER

Executive-produced by Simpsons-legend Matt Groening, this TV special (based on the children’s picture book) about a dog who thinks Santa wants her to fill in for an injured reindeer is full of dry and witty jokes that fly fast and furious. Also, it has a bar brawl.
Drew Barrymore’s endearing here as upbeat and optimistic Olive. And if you like FUTURAMA you’ll hear a lot of familiar voices in the supporting cast. I’m partial to worldly con-artist Martini the Penguin, however!

Purchasable through Amazon.


PREP AND LANDING promotional imagePREP AND LANDING

My family watches this EVERY Christmas! It’s a Pixelvania tradition!
With 2 half-hour specials, an even shorter short film, there’s plenty to enjoy from this world of high-tech elves on Christmas night. (Think of the beginning of ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, but zoomed in to just the elves’ point of view.)
Like so many things made during the golden age of Pixar, it addresses adult concerns (feeling tired of Christmas, feeling unappreciated) in an entertaining way and is chock full of great jokes and sight gags that reward repeat viewing.

Currently streaming on Disney Plus.


KLAUS promotional imageKLAUS

While not perfect, as a 2D animation nut, I adore what they’ve done with the art form. And watching cynical Jesper change his ways is oh-so-satisfying. I seem to recall the townsfolk having a little bit of a Tim Burton vibe, too (I don’t have Netflix)

Currently streaming on Netflix.


Title screen for DRACULA CHA CHADRACULA CHA CHA and SKEAL

Playing these two short, ridiculous, off-the-wall indie Christmas games is another Pixelvania Christmas tradition!

Here’s a touch more info on the winter-wonderland catchy-music single-button platformer(?!) that is DRACULA CHA CHA here on Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

But I refuse to tell you anything about SKEAL because it is so short and the gag is so amazing.
Game page and browser version here.


A GINGERSNAP CAT CHRISTMAS Book Cover: A ginger cat with a halo smiles at a terrified black and grey kitten hiding behind him.A GINGERSNAP CAT CHRISTMAS

I wrote a Christian Christmas book that’s basically HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN with kitties as the angels. While the focus is on the kitties winning over the kids, the kids themselves are dealing with a family member permanently altered from an accident, and their mom has housing and job worries during Christmas.

Ebook available here.

Paperback on Amazon.


That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!

5 Great Books for your Fantasy Reader in 2021 – The Pixelvania Publishing Holiday Gift Guide 2021

Most fiction lovers enjoy a receiving new paperback around the holidays, but it can be tricky picking out the right book for your fantasy reader friend. Do you buy a popular title that your reader may already own? Or do you send a gift card and hope opening it doesn’t feel lackluster on the big day?

Here’s another option: consider buying a fantasy book written by an independent author like me, Danielle Williams! It’s fun discovering a new up-and-coming writer who hasn’t yet caught the wave of popularity–and it practically guarantees your fantasy reader won’t have a copy in their collection yet.

To help you shop, here’s 5 books from my catalog that would make a great holiday gift for your fantasy reader friend!

This list includes the the title’s paperback page count and assigned content rating from MyBookRatings.com

Cover for MIDWINTER MAGIC: A stylized glowing reindeer leaps against the blue Northern LightsMidwinter Magic (91 paperback pages, rated All Ages)

Three interconnected fairy tales reimagine the origins of the Christmas elves, flying reindeer, and Santa Claus in this collection filled with timeless charm. Midwinter Magic is a terrific gift for fans of Jane Yolen or Ursula Vernon.

Get the book Find out more

 


Cover for THE CAPRAMANCER NEXT DOOR: A laughing woman wields a glowing shepherd's crook while a goat leaps through a portal overhead The Capramancer Next Door (175 paperback pages, rated Mild+, Also available in large print.)

A down-to-earth mage and her magical goats must protect their new neighbor when he crosses an angry fairy in this short novel. Grown fans of Harry Potter are sure to like The Capramancer Next Door for its magical yet grounded adventure that’s sprinkled with of humor and romance.

Get the book Find out more

(And if your reader likes stickers, grab our cool Elvis the Goat sticker here on Redbubble!)


Cover for STEEL CITY, VEILED KINGDOM, PART 1 - A man in a labcoat holding a rabbit on a strange device, with a monster in the background. A seafoam green banner and some text near the bottom indicates that this is the first part.Steel City, Veiled Kingdom, part 1: Surface (246 paperback pages, rated Moderate)

In his darkest hour, an ambitious young scientist strikes a deal with the bizarre Queen of the faerie world. Little does he know her help comes at a cost even he cannot calculate.

Blending the sci-fi/fantasy flavors of Star Trek, GATTACA, and even The Fifth Element, this novel full of colorful characters and unique cultures spans five volumes and is the perfect match for the Brandon Sanderson or Dune fan in your life.

Friends with a voracious reader? Grab ’em The Complete Edition ebook instead–it’ll last ’em a while, believe me!

Get the book Find out more


A GINGERSNAP CAT CHRISTMAS Book Cover: A ginger cat with a halo smiles at a terrified black and grey kitten hiding behind him.A Gingersnap Cat Christmas (199 paperback pages, rated All Ages)

For Christian kids and kids-at-heart. If you ever wondered what HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN would’ve been like with feline stars, you’ll love A Gingersnap Cat Christmas. This full-length novel is available in two formats: eBook AND paperback–because everyone loves to unwrap a book.

This book is a great gift for:

      • cat lovers (of course)
      • fans of feel-good Christmas specials (like yours truly)
      • Christians (especially ones who want to see their faith positively portrayed)
      • voracious young readers (the paperback’s 200 pages!)
      • time-strapped families (25 chapters means you can read one a day until Christmas)
      • dog lovers (yup, couldn’t leave out the talking dogs!)
      • readers who enjoyed The Purrfect Christmas (you’ll see why in chapter nine 😉

Get the book Find out more


Cover for the large print edition of THE WITCHING LICENSE: A green hand grabs a purple witch's hat trailing stars against a magical glowing blue moon. The Witching License (Large Print Edition) (135 large print paperback pages, rated Mild+. Also available in standard print.)

A dying woman uses her last night on earth—and newfound magical powers—to right the most important wrongs in her life. By turns sassy and touching, The Witching License is a quicker read that your seasoned fantasy reader can enjoy in large print format.

Pixelvania Publishing’s large print books are designed according to specifications recommended by the Council of Citizens with Low Vision International, which gives these books a radically different look than my other paperbacks, so be sure to use the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon to make sure it’s what your reader will want!

Get the large print book Find out more


The Purrfect Christmas (Cover). Three animals: a smiling Golden retriever wearing a sequined santa hat to the left, a gently smiling orange tabby wearing a green bow to the right, and frowning in the middle, a grumpy longhaired brown tabby.

BONUS! Need a last-minute digital stocking stuffer? The Purrfect Christmas is a great choice! (digital only, rated All Ages)

A widow’s cat teams up with neighbors to save Christmas in this cute, Christian short story about helping others. Terrific for families who want something shorter to read together. With 12 chapters, you can read one chapter a day for the twelve days of Christmas, then finish the epilogue on Boxing Day!

Get the ebook Find out more


There you have it! My  gift recommendations for fantasy readers this 2021 holiday season! Happy shopping!

Danielle

State of the Pixelvania, August 2019

Introduction

Like a lot of entertainment, much of story writing is an invisible process to the end audience. While I’m hard at work on projects, y’all see nothing but a silent website. I want to change that.

At the same time, I don’t want to post for the sake of posting—that would just add to the tsunami of digital clutter that’s already got us addicted to checking our devices (read: miniature slot machines). With that in mind, I’ve decide to start a semiannual post, tentatively titled “The State of the Pixelvania” where you can get a picture of what’s going on around here and what might be showing up in the future.

This semiannual post was inspired by a recent video by Christopher Barnatt at ExplainingComputers.

What I’ve Been Working On: New Stories

Last year I realized I had a fair amount of stories under Horror and Humor but not even a scant handful in Wonder. Yet here I am on a purple website, calling myself a scifi/fantasy author! So I set out this year to fill out the Wonder section of my works, starting with a one-story-a-week challenge in Feburary! It…didn’t go so well.

This was also the first year I’ve tried submitting to the magazines. It’s been a good experience, though I haven’t had any stories accepted yet! Let’s look at this year’s crop o’ stories so far. Read More …

New! A GINGERSNAP CAT CHRISTMAS – my first paperback release!

A GINGERSNAP CAT CHRISTMAS Book Cover: A ginger cat with a halo smiles at a terrified black and grey kitten hiding behind him.

Gingersnap Cat is an orange tabby feeling blue. Heaven’s paradise, but it’s just not home without his human family by his side. Not even Christmas with his feline friends can cheer him up.

But when Heaven needs an extra paw, Gingersnap answers the call. Sent back to Earth, Gingersnap must help a little kitten fulfill a big destiny!

Announcing my latest Christmas novel (and first paperback release!), A Gingersnap Cat Christmas.

If you’re like me, you love Christmas specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Disney’s Prep and Landing, and A Garfield Christmas Special. But while all of these shows are great at talking about Christmas spirit, it’s hard to find a kid-friendly story (with exception of A Charlie Brown Christmas) that even mentions Jesus Christ, the actual reason for the season. And it’s doubly hard to find a Christian Christmas story that’s not too…well…preachy.

That’s why I wrote A GINGERSNAP CAT CHRISTMAS–to meld all the festive fun of a classic Christmas special without leaving the Savior out of his own celebration.

(I also wanted to write a story where the cats are the heroes, instead of selfish jerks.)

Anyway, if you ever wondered what Highway to Heaven would’ve been like with feline stars, you’ll love A Gingersnap Cat Christmas.

At 200 pages long, it’s a great novel for voracious young readers, but with 25 chapters, families can read a chapter a night in December for a new Christmas tradition.

You can…

Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope this book can help you whittle down your Christmas list early. 😉

Sneak Peek: Gingersnap Cat print novel in progress!

Screenshot of A GINGERSNAP CAT CHRISTMAS as it's being worked on in Scribus

As previous reported, A Gingersnap Cat Christmas was written last year but didn’t get out in time for Christmas 2017. So once I was finished, I vowed to use the extra time before Christmas 2018 to turn it into a print book.

So here it is! Being worked on in the free program Scribus.

I’m sitting here realizing that it’s kinda wild that I went from knowing nothing about book production to, you know, making pages of a novel I wrote. When the proof’s actually in my hands, though, then I’ll know I can conquer the world.

A GINGERSNAP CAT CHRISTMAS cover reveal, plus vampire novel news

Hi, everybody! February knocked me down with a nasty cold/bronchitis illness so I’m still getting into the swing of things.

A Gingersnap Cat Christmas was finished, um…January, probably? And is in “post” so to speak. But since I missed my deadline, rather than releasing it right away, I’ll be looking into making it into a print book for next Christmas!

In the meantime, please enjoy the fabulous finished cover!

A GINGERSNAP CAT CHRISTMAS Book Cover: A ginger cat with a halo smiles at a terrified black and grey kitten hiding behind him.

(My husband desperately wants me to animate the kitten rising up…Any volunteers?)

In other news, my nosferatu novel hit 40K…and it’s just getting started! Hoo-wee!

The fate of the Kitty Christmas Story…

The good news is: the content’s finished (almost made it to 40K!), it’s in my proofreader’s hands, and the story’s cute!

The bad news: I missed my Christmas deadline (obviously)!

But that’s OK. As soon as it’s ready, it will be posted here for your reading pleasure (even if you don’t get to it ’til Christmas 2018!).

Thanks for sticking with me, folks!

Currently on the docket: Frenchies 2, Nosferatu Novel, SCVK edits.

20K words reached on new kitty Christmas story!

A Gingersnap Cat Christmas has hit 20,000 words and is still going! (I’m still in the process of typing up what I’ve hand-written.) I didn’t achieve my Thanksgiving goal, but now I’m curious to see how long it ends up!

My plan is to type up what I have, fill in a couple of missing scenes, make a cover while the typos get checked, and…well, hopefully publish it before Christmas! Whew!