Talk about a Ghost of Christmas Past! “Upon a Ghostly Yule” is a festive short story by Amanda DeWees, one of my new favorite authors who writes traditional-style Gothic novels, such as the one I reviewed earlier this year, With This Curse. Last year, she published this yuletide tale which continues in a similar vein. Set in the mid-nineteenth century, “Upon a Ghostly Yule” is a sort of companion story to one of Dewees’s other novels, A Sea of Secrets, though it functions as an entirely independent piece. Much like Leanna Renee Hieber’s “A Christmas Carroll,” this story is the perfect blend of ghosts, romance, and holiday cheer.
When Felicity Reginald goes to stay at her friend’s estate for the holidays after her disappointing debut into Victorian society, she doesn’t anticipate meeting the family ghost, who died in isolation from a wasting sickness and has haunted the home for a century since. But after a cruel prank goes awry, Felicity finds herself in Lady Garnet’s long-disused chambers and an unfamiliar face is staring back at her from the mirror. Soon, Felicity begins acting strangely, speaking words she had no intention of saying and telling secrets she had no way of knowing. With dawning horror, she realizes that she may be stuck spending Christmas as a conduit for the restless dead. Luckily for Felicity, her handsome former-suitor, Sir James, is determined not to let that happen.
This book came up as a suggestion on Amazon after I purchased my ebook edition of Leanna’s “A Christmas Carroll,” and I can definitely see why Amazon grouped them together. “Romances facilitated by ghosts and set in Victorian England during Christmas” is a very specific genre, but I think it may be my new favorite thing! Is this an untapped gothic trope I haven’t been aware of? Are there more stories like this out there? I will have to do some digging.
“Upon a Ghostly Yule” is an incredibly quick read and is only $0.99 on Amazon—so, if you like the Gothic, ghosts, and Christmas, you have no excuse! Christmas may be over, but your holiday spirit doesn’t have to end. Grab yourself a copy and let me know what you think in the comments!