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As if a giant bearded fat guy who wants you to sit on his lap isn’t scary enough…

I think every child who likes fairy tales is a tiny potential paranormal fan. Sure, some of those people grow up to become responsible adults who actually read all the Booker Prize winners instead of just their reviews in the Times, and speak Very Seriously about the economy and public funding for the arts. But for those who still remember the magic, I’d like to suggest an updated fairy tale for the holidays.

Now Santa has an evil twin!

A few years ago in Austria, I heard about Saint Nicholas’ evil companion, the Krampus. It was only a small leap to the villain in Don’t Touch, whose Krampus is a monster who literally feasts on the fear and terror he inspires in children.

When I chose the Krampus as the villain, I had to explain this monster and the traditions behind him. Christmas in Austria is not for the faint-hearted. While a familiar St. Nicholas does make the rounds, in many Germanic traditions he’s accompanied by his dark twin, a terrifying beast called the Krampus whose job is to punish—and even take away—naughty children. With his curling horns, long red tongue, and tail, the Krampus is enough to chill any heart. So of course, I decided he would make the ideal holiday fantasy story.


Krampus mask, Austria

[Stop me if I digress. Just try…] I’d like to point out that I wrote Don’t Touch BEFORE the Krampus went Hollywood in last year’s awful movie. I haven’t seen the film, but from the trailer here, it looks like Home Alone Meets the Grinch in Amityville. Possibly NOT what you want the kiddies dreaming about instead of those sugarplums. I don’t know—I’ve never actually eaten a sugarplum, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “A small round sweet of flavoured boiled sugar”. Apparently no actual plums are involved, so maybe that scary movie would still be an improvement dreamwise… And anyway—by the time you’ve heard ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ blaring from mall-speakers for the eleventy-nine-gazillionth time, you might start cheering for the Krampus too.

Totally bonkers, but in the best possible way!”—Terry Tyler Book Reviews  “This is SO funny, I’d definitely recommend it. Lette (short for Roulette) Simoneau has a rare superpower. Each day, she has a new ‘touch’, which means that on a particular day everything she touches (with fingertips only) will turn into whatever her superpower has decided it will be that day. It might be jack-in-a-box toys, or roast beef sandwiches, or okra (that one made me laugh), or (hurrah!) diamond rings, or all manner of other things, including smells, or levitation. There are some real laugh out loud moments; it’s very clever and witty, and completely off the wall. Barb Taub, I am going to get another Null City book soon, as long as you tell me one thing – what are you ON, and if you have any left, can I have some??!!

English: Nikolaus and Krampus in Austria. Newspaper-illustration from 1896 Deutsch: Besuch von Nikolaus und Krampus in der Stube, Zeitungsillustration aus dem Jahr 1896 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nikolaus and Krampus in Austria. [Newspaper-illustration from 1896 Deutsch: Besuch von Nikolaus und Krampus in der Stube, Zeitungsillustration aus dem Jahr 1896 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)]

If you want a little warm-up before attempting big-screen Yule-horror—or the mall—or if you’re just looking for a quick holiday-themed read, please check out my Krampus tale, Don’t Touch, which one reviewer calls “vividly imaginative and full of humor, fun and excellent writing“.

5.0 out of 5 stars. It’s a perfect mid-holiday stress relieving read! With it’s little bit quirky main characters, sweet romance and christmas tie in it was the perfect book to curl up on a couch with and ignore the weather.—Jessie at BehindTheWillows.com


⇒⇒Available at special holiday pricing of £.99/$.99 Click on image for preview, reviews, and buy links from Amazon

Hope flares each morning in the tiny flash of a second before Lette touches that first thing. And destroys it.

Her online journal spans a decade, beginning with the day a thirteen-year-old inherits an extreme form of the family “gift.” Every day whatever she touches converts into something new: bunnies, bubbles, bombs, and everything in between.

Lette’s search for a cure leads her to Stefan, whose fairy-tale looks hide a monstrous legacy, and to Rag, an arrogant, crabby ex-angel with boundary issues. The three face an army led by the Krampus, a monster who literally feasts on the fear and terror he inspires in children. The demon who threatens Lette is a cornered beast, an anachronism whose ever-diminishing influence only makes him more desperately dangerous.

NOTE: although set in the Null City world, Lette’s story is a standalone.

What are other reviewers saying about Don’t Touch?

Different paranormal gift and some really funny moments. What a FUN book this is! … I liked the characters and the world. Really glad I gave this book a go.” —Deborah D. MacArthur

“If you like Null City’s fast paced edgy romance cum chase scene, Don’t Touch is a different tempo with the same cool, different, and edgy characters.”Mary Rosenblum, author of over 60 sci-fi and writing craft books

“What a fabulous story! I really enjoyed this unique book, full of interesting characters and fascinating magic powers.” [5-Star review, Amazon]

“A strong, beautiful heroine (who doesn’t see herself as that) with a superpower that is both humourous and heart-breaking, an original story, handsome hero’s with their own tragic pasts, a hopeful but ultimately doomed romance and plenty of action…oh and there’s an evil cat, George, …what more could you want in a book!”Georgia Rose, author of the Grayson series

“You just know when you read something written by Barb Taub it’s going to be vividly imaginative and full of humour, fun and excellent writing. This intriguing and engaging story is no exception.” —Between the Lines Bookblog

I’m not saying The Krampus is coming to your house this year…but you might want to leave out a few extra cookies. Just in case…