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Holly and Ivy …”when they are fully grown..” – Review of Selah Janel’s latest

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown

Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer


Holly and Ivy by Selah Janel

Holly and Ivy by Selah Janelhollyivy

After losing her job and her boyfriend, Holly returns to her parents’ farm. Embarrassed and hopeless, she doesn’t expect to bump into a forgotten childhood friend that wasn’t supposed to exist. Ivy is not only a dryad, but she lives in the pine trees Holly’s family grows to sell at Christmas. As the old friends reconnect, Ivy not only shares her strong opinions, but gives Holly a charm that will change both their lives. As days melt into weeks and the seasons change, Holly’s life magically turns around. Christmas not only brings surprises, but a choice for the human woman. What’s more important: stability, success, and love, or keeping a promise to an old friend?


 Giveaway Entry is below!Christmas Garland



The Holly and the Ivy is thought to have Pagan origins and could therefore date back over 1000 years. It is most unusual for a carol like the Holly and the Ivy to have survived over the years especially during the stern protestant period of the 17th century. The Holly and the Ivy have always been taken indoors during the winter the hope being that the occupants would survive difficult conditions just like the hardy Holly and the Ivy. The colours of the Holly and Ivy, green and red are traditionally associated with Christmas.” –*

Everyone knows how I feel about shorts. I love them, but there is a method to writing successful ones and many these days miss their mark. This delightful story by Selah Janel is not one of them. Already well known for her contribution with other shorts, including Mooner‘ and ‘The Other Man‘, she is established with her quality of writing, her flair for the fantastical and her flavor of whimsical and humorous. Being able to “wrap” it up and present a tale in a short is a talent this author has down pat.

Holly and Ivy is no exception to this established talent in Miss Janel. She has gifted us all with a delightful holiday read. Many of us feel a sense of loss during the holidays. We try to stem our despair and dread by recreating the joy we had as children by continuing traditions from our childhood, or going home for a visit, unearthing old and treasured ornaments or hiding in the dark with a bottle of whiskey and a handful of crushed mistletoe, but I digress. Personally I cannot stand the holidays, I love the colors, I love the songs, I love losing myself in other people’s joy, it is how I get through them. Which is why I adore stories like this. It was not sticky sweet, it has a fae in it, brings my religion into the fray with fantasy and traditional contemporary story devices. It turned out to be a lovely way to spend moment with my cocoa infused double espresso, swirling it with a candy cane and humming the carol above, which was one our family had on one of those worn out cassette tapes we had to dust off my brothers old boom box to listen listen to and I am assume my parents still do. My only wish was it was longer. I think it would make a great novella instead of short or actually this was a hair over (11.5K words) it would technically be a novelette.

As I stated in the cover reveal for this short story, that is not a pear in the tree! We have the subtle (well not to subtle for this witch) blending of the pagan symbols of holly and ivy & the “Christmas” tree, facts on dryads, (Selah did her research well from the Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were), and the whipping it all up in a story of how one gets back on their feet and is able to trust her heart again while still learning the message of loss.

I adored this and am giving it four out of five holly leaves .


Selah Janel

Your Date, Selah Janel

Selah is blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.

She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the historical vampire story ‘Mooner‘ and the contemporary short ‘The Other Man‘. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.

Selah likes Stalkers (of the non-creepy variety)




I need to add this at the bottom as I do not want it associated with my review because it is not a factor, but may in turn factor in your reading. This is 20 pages long and coasts four dollars. Is this Selah Janel’s doing? No this is her publishers as she is published by a small press. I hope it will not deter you from reading because I am really glad I was asked to review it, I can only hope the publisher realizes this error in judgement and drops the price to the appropriate amount for a novelette/short.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Citations –

“The Holly and the Ivy.” THE HOLLY AND THE IVY Lyrics ***., 2004. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. <>


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from Jitterbug PR and from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


One Comment

  1. Great Review Kriss! I wasn’t too sure based on the description alone but your review makes me think I would really enjoy this 🙂


  1. Reviews for Holly and Ivy! « Come Selahway With Me… - [...] To read the review from Cabin Goddess, go HERE [...]
  2. Giveaways - [...] Post containing the below giveaway can be found on my review by Holly and Ivy by Selah [...]

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