A Journey through the Medieval City of Sighisoara, Romania

Winter Journey to Medieval Sighisoara, Romania

If you journey through Transylvania, ‘the land across the forest’, (searching for Vlad Tepes, Vlad the Impaler or Dracula) and head towards Brasov along the banks of the Big Tarnava River, you will surely spot from quite afar the pointy towers of medieval Sighisoara City, with its centuries old fortress and churches. We traveled there by train one winter.

I give you the ‘Pearl‘ and the ‘Nürnberg‘ of Transylvania, Sighisoara!

A brief history of Sighisoara

Nearly two millennia ago here rose a Roman castrum, a military fortified camp for guarding the roads. But more proof of local human settlements dates back to the Bronze Age.

Looking at Sighisoara fortress from the Lower City
We see the fortress up on the hill, as we cross the river over Tarnava Mare

Sighisoara as we know it took shape during the 12th century when Saxon merchants and craftsmen settled here for a few reasons…

First, to defend against Tatar invasions the eastern and southern borders of the Hungarian Kingdom, formed at the beginning of the Middle Ages on the Pannonian Plain. This border was none other but the line of River Târnava Mare.

Second, in search of a better life. These settlers, who chose the banks of the slower Saes river to build their homes, were soon known as the Transylvanian Saxons. By the 14th century, Sighișoara was a well known royal center with the status of an urban settlement, Civitas de Segusvar, and by the 15th century its guilds had received the sole right to its administration.

As it was the custom during the Middle Ages, captains ruled such territories, or royal citadels, and these captains obeyed the Prince of Transylvania which, in turn, was a vassal of the King of Hungary.

Yet there was a third, less known reason. As the people already living in this land were Christians and the Pope loved converting new territories to Catholicism, the plan of populating this area with Saxons emerged. So, over the centuries, in Transylvania arrived first the military contingents, then the Saxon merchant settlers.

Dominican monks also settled here at the end of the 13th century, followed by the Franciscans.

Sighisoara view
Admiring Sighisoara from the very top of the hill

Today, a journey through the medieval city of Sighisoara is time-travel at its best, as this is one of the few preserved medieval cities still found in Europe and the only one fully inhabited found in Romania.

Sighisoara – the etymology of a town’s name

Castrum Sex, Castle Six, was the name of the fortress that existed here prior to the apparition of the first Hungarian military contingents. This fortress was first attested at the beginning of the 13th century, before being almost completely destroyed by Tatars.
Later we hear the name Castrum Sches, from Hungarian seges, or citadel, although it makes more sense to connect the fortress’ name with that of one of the rivers that run through it, river Şaeş.

Other names used for Sighisoara during the Middle Ages were Segusvar and Segeswar, as well as the German Schägesburh.

Vlad Dracul, Prince of Wallachia, was the first one to use the Romanian transcription of the town’s name, Schegischone, in a document from July 1st, 1435.

Sighisoara City – a layout with a purpose

One of the things I enjoyed about our journey around the medieval city of Sighisoara was that everything is within walking distance. Although the train station’s location is in the Lower City, Sighisoara’s modern area, it is easy to spot the walled fortress, atop a hill in the Upper City. The medieval citadel rises, colossal and gray, yet within close range, accessible through a bridge spanning across Tarnava Mare River.

Encircling Sighisoara fortress, one can very well admire the original defensive wall with its towers and bastions.

To recognize the craftsmen’s importance, each guild – and there were ten such associations in Sighisoara – received a tower of the citadel’s fortification. Thus, each guild was responsible for its own administration and it is still easy to guess which guilds were the most productive ones, as their towers are the best-preserved ones, and the biggest: Tailors’ Tower, Tin-makers’ Tower, and Goldsmiths’ Tower. But, above all, stands the 14th century Clock Tower and through here we made our entrance into the Sighisoara fortress.

The guilds were important as they fought against those who practiced the profession illegally. Also, their members enjoyed privileges with the Wallachian rulers.

Sighisoara City Map (Harta Orasului Sighisoara)
Sighisoara City Map (Harta Orasului Sighisoara) source

The story of the fortresses’ ramparts and towers

Apart from its 164 houses, what we admired the most during our journey through the medieval city Sighisoara were its 930 meters long defense wall and towers. Why so many – for such a small fortress?

During the Late Middle Ages, sadly, the danger of the Ottoman Empire escalated. Therefore, the first mention of a wall around Sighisoara fortress dates back to 1490. The very first wall elevation showcased crenelations and rose only 3-4 meters in height, principally intended for arbalesters (crossbowmen).

16th century came and the bastion rose by two extra meters. Meurtrieres were now built in the wall, either as floor-holes (for dropping hot substances onto the attackers) or as loopholes (arrow slits or cannoniers). After the big fire of 1676, the fortress’ wall was 8 – 10 meters in height.

Let’s make our way inside this incredible medieval fortress.

The Clock Tower

Placed on the eastern side of Sighisoara’s defense system of walls and towers, closer to sunrise, to mark its value, the Clock Tower was the first to welcome us on our journey. On a follow-up blog post we’ll have a detailed look at the other towers, each one with its own incredible history, but for now let’s start here.

The Clock Tower is the main entrance in the fortress and the first spot we visited during our journey through the medieval city of Sighisoara.
The Tailors’ Tower, on the opposing wall of the fortress, is the second way into the citadel.

Yet it is the Clock Tower that hides a few symbols.

Massive and everlasting, the Saxons built their Clock Tower out of a myriad of humble river stones handpicked from the banks of the nearby rivers. Each stone is insignificant on its own, their strengths coming from their number, much as a king’s army. Erected with the intention of being the main entrance in the fortress the Clock Tower, fortified accordingly, had only two levels. Its walls are 2.3 meters thick and three gates defend it, while its belly protects the stairway connecting the Upper City with the Lower City.

Only a handful of visitors know that the Clock Tower is a symbol of Transylvanian Saxons’ pride and craftsmanship. They desired to build the biggest, tallest clock tower in the principality – as horology had a long tradition here, since the 14th century.

The only path into the fortress takes you underneath the tower itself. It is the Front Gate ensemble and part of the tower’s barbicane, a fortified outpost.

journey medieval city Sighisoara

In 1844, inside the barbicane a courtyard appeared, the Old Ladies’ Corridor that you can see here. This is a wooden passage meant to ease the aged peasants’ access into the fortress, during heavy winters.

Sighisoara, Old Ladies' Corrisod - Galeria Doamnelor Batrane

Into the fortress we go, underneath the Clock Tower, through the belly of the beast:

Sighisoara: main entrance in the fortress, underneath the Clock Tower

And emerging into the fortress. The visitors’ entrance in the Clock Tower is immediately on the right-hand side. The ground level of the tower dates back to the 14th century.

Similar to the second gate tower, the Tailor’s Tower, the Clock Tower has a rectangular floor plan and a ground floor with two vaulted gates over the passageway.

Soghisoara Fortress - the visitorts' entrance in the Clock Tower

Hard to guess, but the Clock Tower, or the Big Tower of the Front Gate, reaches a height of 64 meters, of which 34 meters is the roof alone!

I admired the central, pointy roof with its baroque embellishments and its own main tower surrounded by four smaller ones, each rising at 12.5 meters. These four towers are a symbol of the city’s own judicial autonomy, right of the sword, meaning that back in the Middle Ages the Sighisoara City Council could give the death sentence and executions were also performed in the City Square.

The Clock Tower. journey medieval city sighisoara
The Clock Tower, Sighisoara

Unlike the other wall towers, each belonging to a guild, the Clock Tower belonged to the public authorities serving as headquarter for the City Council. Master builders added the upper levels during the 15th and 16th centuries and when the great fire of 1676 destroyed the roof, Austrian craftsmen built a new one in 1677.

The top of the Clock Tower, Sighisoara

At the very top is a golden sphere, atop which a wind vane in the shape of a rooster still stands. The bulb-shaped roof stands as the oldest proof of Baroque influence in Transylvania.
The golden sphere is a symbol of local power and has a diameter of 1 meter. Why? Because it is a time capsule hidden in plain sight. Inside you would find a copy of the Chronicles of the Clock Tower by Georgius Krauss as well as documents pertaining to the history of Sighisoara and that of the Transylvanian Saxons.

The Sphere, the Crescent and the Double-headed Eagle of Sighisoara

At the very top of the Clock Tower is a rooster weather-vane. But underneath, between the rooster and the golden sphere, now this is an entirely different story.
We now see the double-headed eagle, a symbol of the Austrian Empire between 1867 and 1915.
During the tower’s refurbishing from 1677 the three builder masters placed here a Turkish crescent, surely under political orders, meant to remind the people of Sighisoara of the Ottoman Empire’s ruling.
The crescent got damaged in 1704 by local insurgents or curuti, from Hungarian kuruc. New work on the Clock Tower was only possible in 1776. Then the double-headed eagle, in a nod towards the Austrian Empire’s authority, replaced the crescent.

A time capsule and hidden symbology of Clock Tower and its very top. Journey medieval city Sighisoara
The Sphere, the double-headed Eagle and the golden sphere – symbology in Sighisoara

The roof, as we see it today, dates back to the 19th century. It uses hexagonal, glazed shingle tiles in shades of red, yellow, blue, green, and white. Mostly birds, able to fly this high, can enjoy such intricate details.

The Clock Tower's roof  has glazed shingle tiles in shades of red, yellow, blue, green, and white. Medieval Sighisoara.
The Clock Tower’s roof has glazed shingle tiles in shades of red, yellow, blue, green, and white.
journey medieval city Sighisoara
The Clock Tower’s roof as we saw it on a winter’s day.

Yes, we climbed to the very top, to the balcony you see above – the sixth level of the Clock Tower.

Imagine living here in the late Middle Ages. The Tower, the tallest structure for miles, protecting you, and beside the sun, the keeper of time and your only measure for the time of day and the day of the week. Yet the tower was much more than that, for during important celebrations an orchestra would climb to the balcony placed at its very top and perform music that reached every corner of the fortress as well as those living outside its walls, in the Lower City.

And looking up at this medieval giant you will want to watch out, as the slits and murder holes are still visible:

The Clock Tower in Sighisoara - Medieval, solid rock.
Looking up at the Clock Tower in Sighisoara – Medieval, solid rock.

The two faces of Sighisoara’s Clock Tower

Well worth noticing as you journey towards and through the medieval city of Sighisoara are the two faces of the Clock Tower, on its fifth level.

The best feature of the Clock Tower is on the fifth level, its 17th-century clock mechanism. In 1648 craftsman Johann Kirtschel even improved its system. He included a minute hand, added quarter-hour chimes and the one-meter tall wooden statues representing the days of the week.

Facing the Upper City or the inner fortress we can see a niche carved in the tower, holding statues and located to the left side of the 2,4-meter diameter clock dial.
Here, Peace holds a trumpet and an olive branch, near a Drummer who marks quarter hours and full hours.
Also, two statues in blue dresses symbolize Righteousness, with her eyes covered, holding a raised wooden sword and Justice, with laurels on her head, holding a scale. Yes, here Righteousness has her eyes covered and not Justice.

Later, two more statues appeared here, placed right at the top, two angels. At 6 AM the Angel of Day shows up, with flames above his head, holding a burning heart, replaced at 6 PM by the Angel of the Night, holding a torch in each hand.

On the clock’s side facing the Lower City, we can admire a horse and a drummer as well as seven 80 cm tall statues depicting seven Roman gods, symbols of weekdays: Diana / Artemis, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, and the Sun.

Sighisoara - the Clock Tower - Turnul cu Ceas
The Clock Tower, the clock’s face and the statues’ niche its the left side as seen from the Upper City, the inside of Sighisoara fortress.
The Clock Tower in Sighisoara: the inner, fortress' side: spot Peace with a trumpet and an olive branch and the Drummer
The Clock Tower: the statues placed bellow represent Peace, with a trumpet and an olive branch, and the Drummer .
journey medieval city sighisoara. The Clock Tower, the clock's face and the statues' niche its the right side as seen from the Lower City, the  outside of Sighisoara fortress.
The Clock Tower, the clock’s face and the statues’ niche its the right side as seen from the Lower City, the outside of Sighisoara fortress.

The Seven Statues of Sighisoara’s Clock Tower

Diana / Artemis, the goddess of hunting, depicted in a blue dress holding a bow and arrow; she has a half-moon over her head, the alchemist’s symbol for silver.
Mars / Ares god of war, holds a spear and wears a helmet with a feather, and above is the chemical symbol for iron, also a symbol for the star sign Ares.
Mercury / Hermes, the god of commerce, holds a caduceus in his right hand and a bag with money in his left and has a pair of wings at his helmet and another pair at his heels. Above his head is the symbol for mercury or quicksilver – just like his temper.

Jupiter / Zeus, the god of sky and the King of gods, depicted with his right foot resting on a globe, holds a lightning rod in his right hand and a thunder in his left. Above his head we find the alchemy symbol for tin, looking like a 24.
Venus / Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love, has the alchemy’s symbol for copper, passion, above her head and a winged cupid.
Saturn, the god of agriculture and abundance, has the symbol for lead above his head.
Sun / Sol / Helios, depicted as a female goddess with a crown of golden rays, the symbol for gold.

The Warning Statue, a Vestige of Sighisoara’s Medieval Past

But the traveler is also warned on his journey, long before he approaches the medieval city of Sighisoara. Can you read the signs?
Two lone statues are easily spotted underneath the seven peaceful ones, depicting days of the week and crafty symbols. One of these two statues is a drummer, matching the one on the other side of the clock tower, and hammering away as the bells chime.
Lo and behold for next to him stands an executioner, who once held in his hands a whip and a hatchet…

Going up into the medieval Clock Tower of Sighisoara

220 years old, the Clock Tower’s museum is a place worth visiting. One can admire coins, weapons, medieval pharmacy equipment and a detailed layout of the fortress.

Up until 1566, the rooms located on the tower’s first floor accommodated the Council’s City Hall.

going up in the Clock Tower of medieval Sighisoara

But what you do want to visit is the roofed gallery at the very top, hugging the clock tower all around.

Up here a 360 degrees panoramic view of Sighisoara unfolds in front of your eyes.

We spot the bridge over Tarnava Mare River that connects the Lower City with the Upper City.

If you dare count, you will see over 150 medieval houses clustered in the old town, their red roofs and the stone-paved streets where once kings, artisans, and even Vlad Tepes strolled.

over 150 medieval houses are clustered in the old town of Sighisoara
There are over 150 medieval houses clustered in the old town of Sighisoara

There, on the left, below, is the house where Vlad Tepes, Vlad the Impaler, Dracula, was born. We’ll go there soon. Meanwhile, have you noticed the slanted roofs powdered with snow?

journey medieval city sighisoara

From the top of the Clock Tower, we even had a glimpse back in time, through the history of Sighisoara. The Church on the Hill, dating back to the beginning of the 14th century, was one of the first constructions the Transylvanian Saxons built:

The early 14th century Church Hill as seen from the top of the Clock Tower.
The early 14th century Church Hill as seen from the top of the Clock Tower.

From the Clock Tower’s top balcony one can get a panoramic view of the world as well. How good is your eyesight? Can you see as far as Moscow?

Clock Tower - 1368 km to Moscova, Moscow

Measuring from the Clock Tower, Vienna is 656 km away, Rome 1.096 km, Paris 1.680 km, London 1.872 km, New York 7.431 km, Tokyo 8.890 km, and Sydney 15.438 km away.

Sighisoara, Clock Tower - 14 025 kn to South Pole

It looks like someone has left a secret message for us. Can you decipher it?

footsteps in the snow in Sighisoara - a secret message?

As a child, Vlad would have played hide-and-seek through this passageway when he was a lad of five. Lucky times as later, during the 18th century, this small space became a prison. For when the Clock Tower was first built there were two dark passageways running through it – what better place for children to play?

After the great fire of 1676, when the tower was rebuilt, one of these passageways became a torture chamber / jail. In this very space the convicts had their hands and feet tied in chains. As a way of torture the convicts were tied to the infamy pole, in the city square, with 6 kilograms river stone hanging around their necks, for all to see.

The Clock Tower, Sighisoara. A secret saide gate. Vlad Tepes would have played hide-and-seek here when he was a lad of five.

Go ahead, take a peek:

I am sure that, as a child, Vlad would have engaged in snowball fights and even built animals out of snow. On the patch of snow you see above, we built a dragon to honor Vlad’s name derived from the Order of the Dragon awarded to his father:

A Dragon of snow in Sighisoara
A snow dragon in Sighisoara

I hope you enjoyed our journey through the medieval city Sighisoara thus far.

If I were you, I would follow this blog as there are three more legs to this journey: a visit inside at the house where Vlad Tepes, (Vlad the Impaler or Dacula) was born, a walk around the medieval towers of Sighisoara fortress, as well as a pair of horns on a building, a mysterious stairway, and a graveyard.

25 Books for Christmas, The List, Gift Ideas #GiftIdeas #FeedYourKindle

25 books for Christmas, The List

Are you in need of a gift idea for a child, a captivating YA or Sci-Fi for your teen, a romance or a Rom-com, a humorous book, poetry or memoir, a captivating historical novel, crime, contemporary fiction or maybe psychological horror? I hope you will find it in this hand-picked 25 Books for Christmas, The List, Gift Ideas or Feed Your Kindle – celebrating engaging stories by talented authors. Christmas stocking fillers or a last-minute e-Book to feed your kindle are right here. The books on this list are written by gifted authors with vibrant personalities and talents that extend beyond these publications.
Happy browsing and a happy holiday! Thank you for visiting.

In 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle. You can choose from:

Crime, contemporary fiction and psychological horror in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle

find crime, contemporary fiction, psychological horror books Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

Silent Heroes: When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for by Patricia Furstenberg

Silent Heroes: When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for Patricia Furstenberg  Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

Military Dogs would risk their lives for their humans in a heartbeat, but can soldiers do the same when personal struggles and global affairs defy humanity?
An educated woman is prepared for the ultimate sacrifice in order to teach reading to the girls in her community. She leaves behind a daughter and a son whose lives become intertwined with those of the U.S. Marines serving at Military Base nearby
A highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is a book extremely well researched, with authentic details and an epic sense of the place. The war and the military involved, Marine and dogs, are described with reverence, as are the civilians caught in the middle of the fire.

“Although this is a work of fiction there are truths to it that will tug at your heart. For anyone who has not read one of Patricia’s books then I would recommend this one.”

Buy Silent Heroes on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Patricia Furstenberg writes historical and contemporary fiction, children’s books, and poetry. Discover her world of book on Amazon UK and Amazon US. Patricia blogs extensivey right here, where you find yourself now, and she can be reached on Twitter too.

Father Figure by James J. Cudney

Father Figure JamesJ. Cudney  Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindleBetween the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Abused by her mother, Amalia Graeme longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden New York City teenager, yearns to find her life’s true purpose.
Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. 

I couldn’t put this book down It is such an enthralling read. The author, James J Cudney can certainly keep his readers on the edge of their seats.

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James John Cudney IV writes contemporary & mystery fiction: where family drama meets suspense. Find his books on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Discover more on his author website. He is a great supporter of authors and can be reached on Twitter too.

Hunter’s Force by Val Penny

Hunter's Force Valerie Penny

The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #3
Hunter by name – Hunter by nature. Can DI Hunter Wilson keep Edinburgh safe when he is the hunted? Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson is woken in the early hours of the morning by a call from his son. Cameron’s flatmate was murdered. Why would anybody want to kill a young woman recently arrived in the city?
Hunter must call in the new Major Incident Team (MIT) to lead the investigation due to the reorganisation of police services. Hunter’s ability to be involved, however, is put in severe doubt when someone from his past decides to take revenge on him. He goes missing, and his team have no idea where to look for him. Who would want to stop Hunter in his tracks?
Meanwhile, Hunter’s team must work closely with the MIT, with or without him, to solve the murder in this taut crime thriller.

I truly enjoyed this suspense filled read. As a lover of mystery series, I am so looking forward to reading the first two books in the series; Hunter’s Chase #1, and Hunter’s Revenge #2. A great mystery with engaging characters, highly recommended!

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Valerie Penny writes Edinburgh Crime Mysteries and her books can be found on Amazon US or Amazon UK. She blogs and is on Twitter too.

Nightmareland: A horror anthology with 23 stories from 14 authors

Nightmareland

In a rundown shack deep in the woods, a high school girl dares herself to try the strange new drug all the kids are talking about. One injection of “Nightmareland” is all it takes to unleash a person’s biggest fears to them – and then they are on their own! But rebellious Jessica thinks she will prove herself to her peers and parents.
Tremble along as she is strapped into the chair and becomes a lost child on a Florida party island, an investigator looking into a circus’ bizarre side shows, an abused prisoner locked away in a desolate concrete cell, and much more as Jessica faces the most terrifying ride of her young life.
Compiled by USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror once again unites the minds and pens of more than a dozen amazing authors.

“Dan offers three of own stories to the collection and, as editor, welcomes Robbie Cheadle, Ellen Best, Kaye Booth, Betty Valentine, Alana Turner, Christine Valentor, Nick Vossen, Victoria Clapton, AM Andrus, Adele Marie Park, Barbara Anne Helberg, MD Walker, Dabney Farmer, and MJ Mallon. Each offers a fine story guaranteed to satisfy those horror story lovers!

Discover the writers behind Nightmareland and their work through Amazon: Dan Alatorre, Robbie Cheadle, Ellen Best, Betty Valentine, Alana Turner, Christine Valentor, Nick Vossen, Victoria Clapton, Anne Marie Andrus, Adele Marie Park, Barbara Anne Helberg, MD Walker, Dabney Farmer, M J Mallon.

Humorous fiction in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle

humorous fiction for Christmas. gift ideas, feed your kindle  Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

The Magic Vodka Wardrobe by Sheila Patel

vodka wardrobe - Sheila Patel

There are four books in The Magic Vodka Wardrobe series.
Rajeev’s caravan remains parked on the roundabout, and the Easter Fair is in full swing. Bruno Mars is still playing on full volume, and the vodka continues to flow through the gals’ veins.
Yes, we are back in the crazy world of Sheila Patel. And all is good. Well, nearly.
The usual suspects are up to their usual reprehensible tricks. Flying chuppels and flip-flops make way for happy times at the Leeds Road police station. Letters to James Bond segue seamlessly into cricket, Shaz’s birthday celebrations, Diwali fireworks, bobble hats and ghee. further generous helpings of Indian diaspora insanity, in other words, and … oh, did I mention a wedding? I’m sure there was one in there somewhere.

I have now consumed (in large glasses, and with no ice) all three ‘Vodka’ offerings, and there is as yet no sign of the author’s invention flagging. These are truly ‘feel good’ books for the comatose generation.

Buy The Magic Vodka Wardrobe from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

You can discover Sheila Patel’s books on Amazon UKAmazon US, and you can always chat with her on Twitter.

The Golden Age of Charli: Gps by Jena C. Henry

The Golden Age of Charli Gps Jena C. Henry.

The Charli series
Empty nesters Charli McAntic and her husband, Pud, have settled into their golden years. Although their early days of retirement were filled with disillusion and despair, they are now ready to relax and swing upon a star. Pud continues to golf most days and Charli still organizes her closets and rearranges her collectibles, but now they are a solid team. Or are they?
In the third book of this delightful series, an empty nester is left to recalculate her path to happiness after she and her husband both discover that their golden years are full of more surprises.

“Jena C. Henry has a knack or rather a gift of making her readers come along on the adventure and each page turn made me smile.”

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Jena C. Henry writes humorous, family life fiction books. Find her work on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Jena blogs, is a great supporter of authors and a lovely presence on Twitter.

The Dennis Bisskit Adventures by Stephen Ainley

dennis bisskit by  Stephen Ainley  Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

Book 1 in Dennis series.
The hilarious story of a young boy’s growing up years. Meet Dennis Bisskit, short; ginger-haired; kindhearted; game for anything. Born in 1945 on the day the war ended; it should have been a good omen. Instead it’s been one disaster after another. Luckily fate normally steps in to save the day. Gasp at the great holiday camp knobbly-knees scandal of 1955! Shed a tear as Dennis visits the battlefields of France with his granddad. And meet the memorable Colour Sergeant Plunkett who teaches Dennis everything he needs to know about the army and finally makes a young man of him.

A hilarious entertaining story of a young man coming of age and his adventures along the way. Two thumbs up!”

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Stephen Ainley’s books can be found on Amazon UK, Amazon US. Discover Stephen’s blog here or connect with him on Twitter.

Unexpected Wetness by Brian Lageose

Unexpected Wetness Brian Lageose

We tag along with a less-perky family as they navigate the startling minefields of a modern amusement park, a questionable lark that someone in authority should have nipped in the bud but, due to budget cuts, there was no one around with any sense.
Wild-eyed and filter-free, they tromped naively through the gates of Six Flags, unaware that they would soon be dealing with vehicular malfunctions, copious tears, regrettable language, the tragic loss of a halter top, and very little singing. (Unless you count the dancing pig.)
Life is too short to make poor entertainment decisions. Or wear ugly shoes.

Both a witty observation of family dynamics and a sharp-eyed commentary on the microcosm of America that is an amusement park, this book is sure to have you nodding in recognition and laughing out loud!

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Brian Lageose writes books filled with peace, tranquility, insanity. Find them on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Brian blogs extensively and can be found on Twitter too.

Women’s romance, saga and rom com in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle

Find women's romance, saga, rom com books here. Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

You Can’t Go It Alone by Jessie Cahalin

You Can't Go It Alone Jessie Cahalin. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

Sunflower Book 1 – Love, music and secrets are woven together in this poignant, heart-warming narrative. Set in a Welsh village, the story explores the contrast in attitudes and opportunities between different generations of women. As the characters confront their secrets and fears, they discover truths about themselves and their relationships.
The reader is invited to laugh and cry, with the characters, and find joy in the simple things in life.
Listen to the music and enjoy the food, as you peek inside the world of the inhabitants of Delfryn.
Let Sophie show you that no one can go it alone.
Who knows, you may find some friends with big hearts…

‘Fascinating read about many of life’s challenges. Recommended to men and women alike.’ John Broughton, novelist.

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Jessie Cahlin is an amazing blogger and a great supporter of authors. Find her on Twitter @BooksInHandbag, on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Just an Odd Job Girl by Sally Georgina Cronin

Just an Odd Job Girl, Sally Cronin. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker. Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

In addition to laughs, Just an Odd Job Girl has a lovely message for young adults as well as those of us getting on in age: that life is full of opportunities, that wonderful people are everywhere, and that you are never to old to grow.

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Sally Cronin is the heart behind the comprehensive Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. Find her books on Amazon UK, Amazon US or connect with Sally on Twitter.

Take Me, I’m Yours by Lizzie Lamb

Take Me, I'm Yours Lizzie Lamb. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

A Wisconsin love story: ‘A beautifully told tale, full of romance’ (Lizzie’s rom coms #2)
India Buchanan plans to set up an English-Style bed and breakfast establishment in her great-aunt’s home, MacFarlane’s Landing, Wisconsin. But she’s reckoned without opposition from Logan MacFarlane whose family once owned her aunt’s house and now want it back.  India’s great-aunt has other ideas and has threatened to burn the house to the ground before she lets a MacFarlane set foot in it.  When India finds herself in Logan’s debt, her feelings towards him change.
However, the past casts a long shadow and events conspire to deny them the love and happiness they both deserve. Can India and Logan’s love overcome all odds? Or is history about to repeat itself?

For anyone who loves the contemporary romance genre, or like me, anyone that is trying to broaden their horizons, I definitely recommend Take Me, I’m Yours.

Buy Take Me,I’m Yours on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Discover all of Lizzie Lamb’s books on Amazon UK, Amazon US. You can also visit her author website or connect with her on Twitter.

Books for Children in 25 Books for Christmas, gift ideas to feed your kindle, The List

shop for children's books this Christmas. gift ideas, feed your kindle. Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

Happy Friends, diversity stories. 12 Heart warming bedtime animal stories & tales from the animal kingdom. Friendship & Adventure by Patricia Furstenberg – get it from Amazon worldwide.

Happy Friends, kids bedtime stories

This fun children’s book is about finding the best in each situation. Then something magical can happen: you make new friends and discover that clouds do taste like ice-cream.

“Happy Friends is a classic collection of stories to charm and to teachyoung readers the value of life and the value of good friends. There’shappiness and joy all around Pete and it’s very infectious. HappyFriends is a treasure to be enjoyed and shared over and over again. Best stories… best fables are about friends.” Readers’Favorite 5 Stars Review

Trails and Trials: An African Adventure by Maretha Botha

Trails and Trials Maretha Botha. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindleBook 4 in Fauna Park Tales Series.
Four trails one destination, “Trails and Trials: An African Adventure”, “Fauna Park Tales” 4, is written from four different viewpoints, combining four smaller books into a complete book of 148 pages – each with its own title and subtitles, illustrations, descriptions and footnotes of foreign words – based on “African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends”
Life continues to take strange turns for Flame, a working dog on a free-range cattle farm. He and three of his furry friends follow the trail of Tall Leader and his gang of poachers into the desert, after they kidnapped their beloved orphans and stole all the villagers’ cattle. To follow their enemies’ trail, the brave friends jump on and off trains, sleep under the stars, and find friends and foes while on their dangerous mission.

Author Maretha Botha beautifully and compellingly captures the voice of Africa’s animals. The principal character, Flame, is endearing. Through him, we experience a breadth of humanlike emotions from fear to comfort. The book is fast moving and engaging, and the illustrations are perfect.”

Buy Trails and Trials on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Maretha Botha is an author & illustrator writing Middle Grade books. Discover them on Amazon UK, Amazon US. Discover Maretha’s work through her author website or connect with her on Twitter.

Meditation for Children by Shelley Wilson

Meditation for Children Shelley Wilson. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

A book to take you on a magical journey to a calm and happy place that you and your child will love.
Children of all ages can learn and enjoy the benefits of meditation.
Designed to help access creative abilities through relaxation and imagination, these stories help develop the necessary tools needed at a young age for lifelong healthy habits of managing stress and anxiety while also improving learning skills.

“A wonderful how-to guide for parents and teachers. These techniques will help to bring balance and tranquility in an over-stimulated world. I highly recommend!”

Buy Meditation for Children from here.

Shelley Wilson writes YA fiction and adult self-help. You can find her books here. Shelley blogs, coaches and supports authors and can be reached on Twitter too. ooks for Christmas Gift Ideas to Feed Your Kindle

Amazing Matilda by Bette A. Stevens

Amazing Matilda Bette A. Stevens

A timely tale that follows MATILDA, a tiny monarch caterpillar, from the time she hatches from her egg on a giant milkweed leaf until she realizes her dream to fly. The story provides challenges and adventure at every turn while teaching kids that patience and hard work really do pay off.
Grandparents, parents and teachers will find that AMAZING MATILDA is a book that kids will want to read themselves and hear read to them again and again.

If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here!

Buy Amazing Matilda on Amazon US, Amazon UK.

Bette A. Stevens is an author and illustrator. She writes historical fiction for MG and adults, poetry and is an advocate for the monarch butterflies. Find her books on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Find more about Bette and her work through her author website or on Twitter.

YA, science fiction and fantasy in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle

Buy young adult, YA, science-fiction, fantasy books at Christmas. gift ideas, feed your kindle. Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

The Wizard, The Girl, and The Unicorn’s Horn by Kevin Cooper

The Wizard, The Girl, and The Unicorn's Horn: The Chronicles of Geo Book One Kevin Cooper. Books for Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

The Chronicles of Geo Book One
This epic fantasy tale of magic, mystery and adventure takes us to the land of Geo, where, the wizard’s most challenging quest is to free the people of Geo and defeat the evil shadow. But, he is not powerful enough to face the shadow alone…
Surrounded by hordes of demon wargs and the might of the shadow, the fate of the land of Geo and its people is left in the hands of an old wizard, a ragtag bunch of goblins, a small band of trolls and a little girl who is the bearer of The Unicorn’s Horn.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read a fantasy story and wants to go on a magical journey!

But The Wizard, The Girl, and The Unicorn’s Horn on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Kevin Cooper is an eclectic author of fantasy, sci-fi, memoirs and drama as well as a songwriter. Discover his books on Amazon UK, Amazon US. Find out more about Kevin’s writing and music on his website or Twitter. 

Sunwielder: An Epic Time Travel Adventure by D. Wallace Peach

Sunwielder D. Wallace Peach. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

In a land on the brink of war, Gryff Worden discovers his family slaughtered, his farm in ruin.
Mortally wounded, he stumbles upon a timekeeper, an old woman of the northern forests, one who tracks the infinite paths of each life. She offers him a sunwield, a medallion promising to return him to the pivotal choices that swayed his life’s journey. Her only condition—he must wear the bronze charm until the end.
As he uncovers the sunwield’s power, new choices lead him on an epic adventure through war, death, friendship, life, and love.

As well as a wonderful story, the concept behind it struck a chord with me because I happen to be a fan of the Total War series of computer games.”

Buy Sunwielder on Amazon US, Amazon UK.

Diana Wallace Peach in author of fantasy/Sci-fi author, dystopian, dragons, epic adventures. Discover her books on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Find out more on her author website of through Twitter.

Blood Red Dust by Stuart Aken

Blood Red Dust Stuart Aken. Books for Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

Generation Mars Book 1
As people struggle to survive in an increasingly hostile climate on Earth, plans are afoot for the preservation of the human race. Mars, already occupied by commercial mining interests, is the only viable option. The Chosen are sent to colonise the new world and germinate the seeds of their new Utopia. But dark forces not only want to halt the plan, they want to see the end of all human life, everywhere. If mankind survives the divinely inspired crusade of death from dogma-driven martyrs, will The Chosen’s new Utopia be the real route to salvation?

“Aken’s writing is smart and surprising. The psychological insight into his cast of characters is pin-sharp, vivid and convincing. BLOOD RED DUST comes with sizeable heft and for entertainment value has the gravitational pull and attraction of not a small planet like Mars, but a far more sizeable one, like Jupiter… by Jupiter!

Buy Blood Red Dust on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Stuart Aken writes romance, science fiction, short stories, fantasy, horror, erotica, and memoir. You can sample his books through Amazon UK, Amazon US. Stuart blogs extensively and can be found on Twitter too.

Promised Soul by Sandra J. Jackson

Promised Soul Sandra Jackon. Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

Just as Krista’s summer plans are almost ready, she is suddenly plagued by strange dreams and intense feelings of déjà vu. Feeling like she’s losing her mind, Krista visits a psychic, only to feel more confused. When she arrives in England, her dreams persist, and she finds herself at the doorstep of another psychic. She needs clarity. Promised Soul is a story of the past, present and future of two souls, bound together by eternal and transcending love.

I so did not want this story to end! What a conflict I went through while reading this, I was a mad woman obsessed with finding it what happened next and at the same time I didn’t want it to be over. Ever!”

Buy Promised Soul from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Sandra J.Jackson writes teen, YA fantasy, post apocalyptic, suspense books. Find them on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Find more about Sandra on her website or through Twitter.

Spiritual, poetry, memoir, short stories in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle

Spiritual, poetry, memoir, short story books. gift ideas, feed your kindle  Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

Watching the Daisies: Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow by Brigid P. Gallagher

Watching the Daisies Brigid P. Gallagher. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure. In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on: the busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease; stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms; entering a new life of SLOW.
Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing, and integrates a variety of self-help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Bali.

This book is highly recommended for anyone with any chronic disease as a real-life example of how to live through it with grace and a positive attitude.

Buy Watching the Daisies from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Brigid P. Gallagher writes books chronic fatigue syndrome, spiritual healing and new-age self-help. Find her work on Amazon UK, Amazon US. Discover Brigid’s lovely blog and connect with her on Twitter. 

Christmas Haiku by Patricia Furstenberg

Christmas Haiku

An inspirational collection of winter and Christmas themed haiku to help you relax.Enjoy a daily haiku paired with gorgeous seasonal images as well as haiku for “The 12 Days of Christmas”.
What readers say about Patricia’s haiku:“Haikus at the end were tiny diamonds.” (Kathryn Meyer Griffith, long time author)
“Haiku as little gems of brilliance.”(Linda Hill, Book reviewer and blogger)

Buy Christmas Haiku from Amazon US or Amazon UK, Amazon worldwide too.

The Storyteller Speaks: Powerful Stories to Win Your Heart by Annika Perry

The Storyteller Speaks Annika Perry. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever? In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.

“A wonderful collection of short stories, flash fiction and poems. At the centre of each is human relationships and the effect that a single event can often have on the course of a life.”

Buy The Storyteller Speaks from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Find more about Annika Perry on her website, on Twitter or on Amazon US, Amazon UK 

Twenty Years: After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging by D. G. Kaye

Twenty Years After I Do D. G. Kaye. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

This is a poignant read to be sure, but full of practical advice too about laughter, travel, sex, communication, and preparation for the end of life. Most of all, it’s a memoir about love. An evening’s read and highly recommended.

Buy Twenty Years: After “I Do” from Amazon US, Amazon UK.

Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer and writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues. Discover her books on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Find out more on her author blog. Debby is a great author supporter and she can be found on Twitter too.

Short and not always Sweet by Dorinda Duclos

Short and Not Always Sweet Dorinda Duclos. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

Imagine yourself being lost in a faraway land, or sailing on a pirate ship. Perhaps you’ll find yourself in a predicament, or a romantic rendezvous.
From passages to longer, more detailed stories, these are writings that are sure to capture your imagination and evoke emotions, from sadness, to madness, to happiness and beyond.

Duclos offers a generous selection of over 60 short stories, pieces of poetic prose, and flash fiction in a compilation that kept me enthralled for an entire afternoon. The writing is lovely, evocative, and in many cases emotional. Some pieces are lyrical and heartfelt reflections with themes centered on nature, serenity, and empowerment. Others are dark forays into ghostly hauntings and the realms of murder and revenge. Some of my favorites are Patience, Dusk, Wilted, and I Am. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon or to savor over a week, one page at a time.”

Buy Short and not always Sweet on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Dorinda Duclos is a poet and member of the Poetry Society of America and the Academy of American Poets. She is also involved in “Poets for Peace”. Discover her books on Amazon US, Amazon UK or through her author website. You can also connect with Dorinda on Twitter.

Planting Onions by G. J. Liggett, a hand bound book

Planting Onions by G. J.  Liggett, illustrations by Kim Tillyer. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

A collection of 50 poems by G. J. Liggett and illustrated by Kim Tillyer. This is a limited edition of 100 copies. Each book, autographed, is individually bound. The paper is high white woven stock, easy on the eye. The front cover is gold embossed. The illustrations were made exclusively for the book; there are also a number of author’s photographs, each shot on film, and the subsequent print, (made using traditional darkroom techniques), was either hand coloured or toned using chemicals.

Order this lovey book from the author himself.

G.J. Liggett is an English film-maker, author and poet – you can contact him through Twitter. Discover Kim Tillyer’s work through her website or Twitter.

Historical fiction in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle

great historical fiction books. gift ideas, feed your kindle  Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

To Be A Queen by Annie Whitehead

To Be a Queen Annie Whitehead. One family, two kingdoms, one common enemy …
This is the true story of Aethelflaed, the ‘Lady of the Mercians’, daughter of Alfred the Great. She was the only female leader of an Anglo-Saxon kingdom.
Born into the royal house of Wessex at the height of the Viking wars, she is sent to her aunt in Mercia as a foster-child, only to return home when the Vikings overrun Mercia. In Wessex, she witnesses another Viking attack and this compounds her fear of the enemy.
She falls in love with a Mercian lord but is heartbroken to be given as bride to the ruler of Mercia to seal the alliance between the two Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
She must learn to subjugate her feelings for her first love, overcome her indifference to her husband and win the hearts of the Mercians who despise her as a foreigner and twice make an attempt on her life.

The heart of the story is in its details – the accounts of day-to-day activities. A rousing story, well researched and expertly told, of a woman who served and ruled in a perilous time.”

Buy To Be a Queen from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Annie Whitehead is a writer and a historian. Find all her books on Amazon UK, Amazon US and do visit her author website. She always posts unique Tweets.

Shadow of the Raven by Millie Thom

Shadow of the Raven Millie Thom. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

Sons of Kings Book 1. By the mid ninth century, Danish raids on Anglo-Saxon kingdoms have escalated. Several bands even dare to overwinter on the coastal islands, particularly those at the mouth of the Thames, where the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia border each other.
Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia are the sons of kings, whose futures have been determined since birth. But the turbulent events in their childhood years change the natural progression of things – and shape the characters of the men they will become. 

“The book is an intricately detailed and fascinating read that brings history to life in a way that the reader can touch, smell and see clearly.”

Buy Shadow of the Raven from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Find Millie Thom’s books on Amazon UK, Amazon US. Millie blogs and she is can be reached on Twitter as well.

The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley by Nina Romano

The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley Nina Romano.

When Darby McPhee falls in love with Cayo Bradley, a wild cowboy from a nearby ranch, her world is ripped apart. Caught in a lifeless existence of caring for her father and brothers since her mother’s death, Darby does little else but work. But a death-bed promise to her mother to get her education now stands in the way of her heart’s desire to belong to the rough-and-tumble Cayo Bradley. Romano’s story sizzles with the tension of lovers—one struggling to blend Apache ways and white, the other torn between East and West—searching for a way to join two lives going in opposite directions.

It grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go, tempting me and worrying me in equal measure as these characters came to life in my mind’s eye. An absolute delight—a book that will stay in my heart forever!

Buy The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley on Amazon US, Amazon UK.

Nina Romano writes women’s fiction, historical fiction and romance, and poetry books. Find them on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Discover more about Nina’s interesting world on her blog or follow her on Twitter.  

Survival of the Fittest by Jacqui Murray

Survival of the Fittest Jacqui Murray. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

The Crossroads Trilogy Book 1
Five tribes. One leader. A treacherous journey across three continents in search of a new home. Written in the spirit of Jean Auel, Survival of the Fittest is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion.
The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia, where ‘survival of the fittest’ was not a slogan. It was a destiny. Xhosa’s People were from a violent species, one fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened their lives except for one: future man, a smarter version of themselves, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.


Set in a prehistoric world that we can only imagine, Murry manages to make the environment and the people struggling to survive in it come to life. You become invested in Xhosa’s success.”


Buy Survival of the Fittest  on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Jacqui Murray writes historical fiction, action, suspense and techno thriller books. Discover them on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Jacqui is a great supporter of authors with a lovely blog. You can connect with her on Twitter.

Books for Christmas gift Ideas to Feed Your Kindle books

‘Tis the Season to be giving, joyful and forgiving.
‘Tis the time to get together, kindle some candles, listen to carols.
Keep out of snowy weather, indulge in a book, share smiles, laugh together.
Toast with eggnog, gluehwein or hot chocolate,
Wrap that last minute gift, wondering if you’re on Santa’s ‘Good List.’
The future is as alluring as a fantasy, the past but a story,
The present’s the moment where romance, adventure and mystery are the giveaway –
So grab it with both hands. Enjoy it!
‘Tis the best gift to be unwrapped underneath the Christmas tree.
PS Except for books, of course!

Books for Christmas Gift Ideas to Feed Your Kindle
25 Books for Christmas #GiftIdeas to #FeedYourKindle - 'Tis the Season by @PatFurstenberg. Books for Christmas list gift ideas to feed your kindle
Books for Christmas Gift Ideas to #FeedYourKindle – ‘Tis the Season by @PatFurstenberg

Thank you for visiting 25 Books for Christmas, The List, #GiftIdeas to #FeedYourKindle. I hope you found what you were looking for.
Happy Holidays, everyone! Books for Christmas Gift Ideas to Feed Your Kindle books