During this chilly time of year (in the northern hemisphere), especially a season full of more treats and delicious drinks than can possibly be consumed, it's nice to snuggle up with a blanket, a book, and your favorite goodie. Want to know what Outland titles pair best with your favorite holiday snacks? Read on!
with Our Lady of the Islands by Shannon Page and Jay Lake
The citrus/creamy mix of an orange juice and egg nog works beautifully with this island fantasy about a middle aged woman content with her life—until a magical encounter changes everything. Gifted with power she doesn't want, she becomes embroiled in the changing shape of her country, and the dead god who might be rising.
with Dragon's Heir by Glenn Parris
In the traditional tale of the Gingerbread Man, a small cookie runs away from the people who baked him. Is he still a cookie, or does his agency (if not intelligence), make him human? In Dragon's Heir, Earth's former residents, who fled the planet 65 million years ago to avoid the cataclysmic event that destroyed the dinosaurs, return to Earth in modern day, only to find the planet overrun with mammals. Who do these humans think they are? While the core story of Dragon's Heir is about finding a cure to a plague, the idea of what makes someone a person is also a central theme.
with the Deviant Magic series by Scott Colby
Given that one of the central recurring characters in Scott Colby's Deviant Magic series literally uses fire magic, it's a fair bet to say these books serve as a solid winter warmer—just like Colby's own favorite holiday drink from Harpoon. Start this series with either A Date with Death or Shotgun, and from there, continue through the timeline with three novels that happen simultaneously: Dairy of a Fairy Princess (a patriarchy smashing, foul mouthed adventure of one princess's rise to power), Stranger than Fiction (a spin on what happens to magically gifted child heroes after their series ends), and Vengeance Squad (a road trip buddy adventure with demons, destiny, and whatever Muffintop is).
with Static over Space: Gravity and Lies by C.G. Volars
with Kate Martin's Mysts & Labyrnths saga
The angelic beings in The Soulless and The Fallen are definitely not as sweet as sugar cookie angels, even if you don't frost them! These gothic novels spin a new mythology around demons and angels, centered on an immortal who sold his soul, and the innocent he protects—who can see into the future. Grab a mug of spicy hot chocolate to pair with this treat!
with Ladyhoppers by Sarah Thérèse Pelletier and Scott James Taylor
Nothing says coffee shop romance like a café and cocoa (a hot chocolate coffee mixed concoction). While the genre-hopping, multiverse-spanning buddy adventure that is Ladyhoppers doesn't revolve around coffee shop romances, the main characters absolutely stumble into one on their journeys. (It comes after the dragon punching and the pirate adventure, but before they steal a spaceship). To really complete the full aesthetic, add some peppermint or hot cinnamon sprinkles on top to add some pizzazz.
with Bloody Waters by Jason Franks
The music in Bloody Waters isn't exactly what you'd think of as a Christmas carol, but the deals with the devil make this a perfect title to eat with a rich, dark, devil's food cake. When a virtuoso guitarist gets blacklisted from her label, she turns to someone she can trust more than a record exec: the Devil himself. If you lean toward Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Mad Russian Christmas" for your preferred seasonal tune, this rock and roll adventure is sure to hit the spot.
with The Black Yonnix: A Bitter End by Scott Colby
More eggnog? If you pair it with rum, it's the perfect beverage for a pirate novel! Set sail with the crew of The Black Yonnix as they seek out a legendary treasure. Kensey Vardallian didn't mean to become a pirate. But when his grandfather is murdered and a family journal stolen, Kensey will do whatever it takes to get it back—and get revenge. Because the journal holds the key to finding treasure, the crew of the Black Yonnix is happy to take Kensey aboard, and more than happy to help him get even. Careful not to drink too many of these delicious beverages while you're reading, or you'll be left asking, "Why is the rum always gone?"
with Never Too Old to Save the World, edited by Alana Joli Abbott and Addie King
Let's be real: you're going to put out what's left of the Halloween candy in your candy dishes if you have company, right? For those of us who make the best of things, especially in the face of social gatherings with hungry teenagers, pick up Never Too Old to Save the World. This anthology focuses on older heroes, called to become a chosen one (of some kind or another) when they're already busy with other parts of life. Grab a few leftover peanut butter pumpkins (they're still good!) and snack through tales from nineteen different authors. We're sure at least one of them will be just the treat you were looking for.
Alana Joli Abbott, Editor in Chief of Outland Entertainment, gives a huge shout out to the team for recommending their favorite treats, and to editor and author Scott Colby for helping come up with just the right pairings.