Title: The Christmas Spirit
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Published: October 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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.
She spotted the bridge and decided crossing it would be faster than fighting the ice. Courtney headed toward the arched structure, wishing she had never come with Peter to the magical place.
She stepped over clumps of brush along the shoreline, her boots sinking into thick patches of snow as she hurried to reach the bridge.
The stonework on the steps was like the mantle in the cabin. The same attention to detail reminded her of Peter. Even when he chopped wood, he had to make everything precise.
Her glove brushed the smooth surface of the wooden railing, wondering how many hours the two young men spent building the bridge. That Peter’s beautiful remembrance of his life with his brother should be hidden away in the woods made her sad. If only others could see what they had done.
Then a funny indentation in the railing stopped her cold.
She rubbed the surface, not sure if the imperfection was intentional or just a play of light on the dark wood.
A portion of the railing had been expertly carved away, leaving a name raised in the wood like a bas-relief. The letters were swirled and decorative. This was professional, even, and expertly done. It wasn’t the work of a lovesick schoolboy, but a man who worshipped the woman whose name he’d forever attached to the bridge—Evelyn.
Courtney’s knees became weak as she traced the name she had no doubt Peter etched there. The love he’d borne for the woman became painfully clear.
Her heart grieved, sinking like an anvil in her chest. No one would carve her name into anything, or pine for her after she went off with another. She wasn’t the kind of woman who lived fairy tales. She only read about them in books.
“You found it.”
He was in the middle of the bridge, a few feet away. So caught up in the testament of one man’s love, Courtney had not heard Peter’s heavy boots or felt the bridge tremble under his weight.
“When did you do this?”
He swung his hands behind his back. “What makes you think it was me?”
She glanced at him and tipped her head. “I didn’t realize how much you loved her.”
The thin line was back on his lips. “Neither did she. I carved this right after she married Lawrence.”
She tapped the carving with her hand. “Has she ever seen
“No. She never came here.”
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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