Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tales from the Archives ~ Christmas Special 2014

Tales from the Archives, Vol. 3: Christmas Special

Written & Narrated by:  Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris

Format:  Podcast, 42:58 minutes

Genre:  Fantasy, Steampunk

Series:  11th in Tales of the Archives Vol. 3 podcasts, part of A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

Recommendation:  Nice way to meet new characters and authors in this steampunk-ish world particularly if you enjoyed the book; A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, Phoenix Rising.  The archives are full of stories to be told.

A Christmas to Die for

Even an assassin must go home for Christmas.

Sophia del Morte, skilled spy-for-hire, now faces the most formidable of opponents: family. It is the closing of the year, after all; and the lethal Italian beauty returns to her home village for wine, food, and memories.

As this is the del Morte family, Sophia tries to brace herself for awkward talk at the dinner table, and perhaps a touch of intrigue.

Anything to make her Nonna happy…

My Thoughts and Summary:
Sophia del Morte returns home for the holidays. The family sets their spy ways aside for one night, to visit. Nonna, the matriarch of the family, wants them together, believing in family. But being the family of spies and assassins, it's hard to not be suspicious...

What does a family of spies and assassins talk about around the dinner table at the holiday? Oh the conversations. lol.

On her way home, as she has to take a horse to the village, her black sheep of the family cousin is returning as well. Ortensia, a surgeon rather than an assassin or spy, wants to talk with Sophia. Sophia tries to ignore the constant babbling of her cousin.

Even though Sophia is a 'bad' person, I've enjoyed her more and more. She's got morals, though they are a bit different as normal people would see, but she's got limits and rules she lives by. As does her family. To see the family as a whole is like looking at any family together, just the conversations are a bit different. And maybe a few hidden weapons on their person and around the home... Nonna is a strong leader of the family. She has goals for her family. Though they might think differently for themselves at times.

Oh I did have a few chuckles at the family interactions. They do have a great reaction to each other and events. Then there was a warm moment with Nonna too. Well rounded family time. lol!

Being of the profession Sophia is, she trusts no one. Her eyes return to the man Rosia has brought to dinner.

What could a spy and assassin family wish for, for Christmas? What miracle, this night will come? For a family of this profession, there is something, but you have to listen to find out.

Curious about Sophia? You can learn more at Pip Ballantine's guest post on Sophia del Morte. And you can pick up the 3rd book of Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences which has more scenes of Sophia: The Diamond Conspiracy.

Would you like to listen to these? For a taste of the characters or in addition to the book... Visit The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

You can find these for your Reading pleasure in any eFormat you would like at Smashwords.

You can find the Archives: Amazon Kindle ~ Tales from the Archives Scroll through the list for them all, and the ones you still need.

There are short stories always added to the listing. So keep checking back!

I listened to this short story for my own enjoyment.


  1. Seriously, this sounds amazing. I love assassin books but one going home to her family for the holidays? Now that sounds interesting.

    1. Jennifer Bielman. Oh I do hope you check out Sophia. She's so awesome! And maybe if you like her and the world, you'll enjoy the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. She's a secondary small character when the series starts, but by the third book she's become much more. :) Hope you enjoy!

  2. Aren't you supposed to do this in July? LOL

    I may have to listen to this one for the holidays this year.

    1. Melissa (B&T) LOL! I didn't think about that! Oh you'll love Sophia and her visit home for the holidays. lol. She's so awesome!


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