The Christmas Spirit
by Alexandrea Weis
Published by: Rosewind Books
Publication date: October 27th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
“Ghostly occurrences and ancient folklore make this feel like a modern, romantic twist on A Christmas Carol.” ~Library Journal
SOMETIMES IT TAKES ONE BROKEN HEART TO HEAL ANOTHER.
Courtney Winston is a writer on a deadline. Eager to finish her book and get over a recent break-up, she ditches Christmas with her family and retreats to a secluded cabin in the mountains.Appliances rarely work, and cell service is spotty, but Courtney senses there is more to her rustic rental—something dark and haunting.
Then Peter, the attractive Stone Mountain Lodge owner, and a meddling cook, Mrs. Finn, keep coming around, shattering her peace and offering advice on how to fix her heavy heart.
Courtney grows closer to Peter, but Mrs. Finn warns her of his troubled past. Undaunted, Courtney sets out to win him over. But being with the brooding stranger may end up costing her more than she ever imagined.
Peter collected the chopped wood and set it on top of the pile against the house. Then he went around a corner, still not looking at her.
She waited on the step, refusing to go after him, but not mad enough to head inside and get out of the cold.
When he returned, he had three more heavy logs in his arms. Peter dumped them by the stump, keeping his eyes on the wood.
“Good morning,” she said, unable to stand the silent treatment any longer.
He ignored her and set one of the logs on the stump. He lifted his ax, centering the blade over the wood.
The ax came down, perfectly splitting the log in two. He worked methodically as he retrieved one of the halved pieces.
Another thunk cleaved the wood into smaller portions.
“Are you still mad about me beating you?”
He collected the pieces and brought them to her woodpile, keeping quiet.
She folded her arms, growing annoyed.
“I didn’t do anything to you that isn’t done a hundred times a day in any hockey rink across the country.”
He picked up another log and set it on the stump.
The heat in her cheeks rose. “Was leaving me in those woods your way of getting even? Well then, congratulations. One cheap shot deserved another.”
He lifted his ax and ran his hand up and down the handle. “I didn’t leave you. I made sure you could follow me back.”
“Am I supposed to be grateful to you for scaring me to death?”
He poised the ax blade above the log. “You’re not dead. Not even close.”
A loud crack reverberated as the ax drove into the wood.
A slither of satisfaction coiled through her when the blade got stuck halfway through the log.
With one arm, he picked up the ax and slammed the jammed log against the stump, but the stubborn log held on. Peter’s cheeks reddened as he raised the ax again and kicked at the determined chunk of wood.
“You need to sharpen your ax,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone.
He finally looked up at her. “What would you know about chopping wood?”
She smirked. “I know a dull tool when I see one.”
Her point made, Courtney turned back into the cabin, leaving him to stew.
But the moment she shut the door, it flew open. He stood in the doorway, the vexation in his eyes mirrored the knots in her stomach.
He put his hands on the doorframe, digging his nails into the wood. “I’m not mad about the game. I’m not a child.”
She pulled her robe closer. “Then why are you acting like one?”
The harsh lines in his brow softened. “I should never have come to you. I should have stayed away and left you alone in this cabin.”
Her first reaction was to balk at his confession, but then the meaning behind his words sank in, hitting her harder than any blow from his ax.
“Is that why you ran off the other day? Because you regretted knowing me?”
“I could never regret that. You have been a shining light in my very dark world.”
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.
Weis writes romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers, supernatural, and young adult fiction and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.
She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association. http://www.AlexandreaWeis.com
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