For many people holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are a time to be with family and friends. That’s how it’s always been for Christa, the heroine in Spirits of Christmas. This is the first time she won’t be spending the holidays with her family. Instead, she chooses to stay alone in a house where a terrible crime was committed. The hero, Joel, has always avoided celebrating holidays, in particular Christmas. When he and Christa meet unexpectedly, their lonely holiday season turns into one of love instead.
I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Spirits of Christmas, and if you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful holiday!
Spirits of Christmas
by Kate Hill
On Christmas Eve twenty-five years ago, a brutal murder was committed at the house where Christa Wild works as a live-in maid. When the other servants leave for the holiday this year she stays behind, hoping that any spirits dwelling there will help her regain the psychic power she lost. She’s surprised when the intriguing but disturbed owner of the house appears several days before Christmas.
Action star Joel Connor has kept a terrible secret for most of his life. Despite his success as an athlete and actor, he is plagued by flashbacks of a gruesome attack that destroyed his family. This Christmas, Joel returns to the house where it happened to face the ghosts of the past, but finds he is not alone.
Joel and Christa are instantly attracted, but will his psychological state prevent them from finding peace and love?
“Do you want to stretch? I prefer to do it when I’m warm. How about you? Are you warm enough?” Those eyes burned into her and she hoped she wasn’t blushing.
“Oh yeah. I’m warm.” Did that sound desperate? “I’d been stretching for a while before you came home.”
“Good.” He reached for her hand. It took her by surprise, but not unpleasantly. His fingers were slim and wiry, like the rest of him, but they were warm, too, and his palms calloused. He had hands like a fighter, and she liked it.
“Let’s do a partner straddle stretch.”
They settled onto the floor, legs spread, the soles of her sock-covered feet pressed against his bare ones. He reached for both her hands and gently pulled her toward him. Christa tried to focus on stretching, but it wasn’t easy. Why did she have to be so attracted to him? In the movies, she’d thought he was cute, but he’d never made a huge impression on her. He was different in person — a real guy, and one she felt oddly comfortable with.
She tilted her gaze toward his to find him staring at her again, his expression unreadable.
“Is this okay?” he asked.
“Oh yeah. This is definitely okay.”
Christa had practiced yoga for years and had developed good flexibility, but after a session with Joel, she had no doubt that his movie performances weren’t much of an exaggeration and he was an elite athlete. He was patient and encouraging with her, and she guessed he was an excellent teacher.
“You really love this, don’t you?” She gazed at him from on her back where he knelt beside her, gently stretching her leg over her head. With anyone else, this would have been routine exercise, but with his blue gaze fixed on her and his warm, strong hands on her body, it seemed almost too intimate. She definitely thought about them in a similar position — preferably naked and in bed.
Stop it! You’re embarrassing yourself.
“Want to switch?” he asked.
He slowly released her and lay on his back. She climbed toward him and somehow slipped on the hard floor.
“Whoa!” She fell toward him, but he caught her and she ended up on his chest, her face so close to his that she noticed a hint of stubble on his jaw. Her mouth hovered over his and her heart beat faster. “Sorry. I’m clumsy.”
He smiled slightly, his amused look turning hungry — just like she felt.
“If I kissed you right now, would you be upset?” he asked, his voice huskier than usual.
Still staring into his eyes, she shook her head. “No.”
Spirits of Christmas will be available from Changeling Press on Friday November 29th.
Also in the Wild Witches of Beaver Bay Series:
Mysti and Starr
A blazing trail only he can see leads demon hunting biker Starr Johanson to his destined mate. A blessing placed on her family’s ancestral land summons Mysti Wild to the cabin where she’ll meet the man fated to share her life.
Each fears the other will be frightened by magic they don’t understand, but they quickly learn to trust each other, because no one can resist the person they were born to love.
From Changeling Press