Spirits of Christmas (Wild Witches of Beaver Bay) 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?
In the kitchen down the hall, Christa took her phone out of her pocket, placed it on the counter, and turned on her favorite music app. She selected her Christmas play list and soon she was singing along with carols while mixing cookie dough.
Before long, she had a batch in the oven. The scent of warm chocolate filled the kitchen. Closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply.
“Mmm. Can’t wait for those to be finished, but in the meantime --” She sat at the table, pulled out her red glitter pen, and wrote notes in her Christmas cards. She’d mail them tomorrow and her family should get them in time for the holiday.
What was that?
She looked up from her cards, paused her music, and strained to listen. Had that been a car door closing?
“You’re getting paranoid, Christa. Get a grip, girl.”
Even if there was a car thief, in this neighborhood they wouldn’t go for her little economy car, but one of the pricey ones parked in front of the other huge houses down the street.
She nearly resumed the music app, but something didn’t feel right. Instead, she pocketed her phone, reached for the nearby frying pan, and stood. On her way to the foyer, her heart pounded. Was this how it happened to those poor people all those years ago? Had they heard their killer approach, or had he taken them totally by surprise?
The key turned in the door. Christa furrowed her brow. Only other members of staff had a key. Someone must have forgotten something and returned for it.
“Hello?” Christa tried to sound firm. “Who’s there? I’m warning you, I’m armed.”
“Then I’m calling the cops, because you’re trespassing on my property.”
That calm, precise male voice wasn’t familiar to Christa, yet for some strange reason, she recognized it. She had never met the owner of the house, but she knew that he neither lived in nor rented it. Was it possible that he had decided to visit today? If so, he probably hadn’t expected any servants to be here. They were supposed to be on Christmas vacation.
“How do I know you’re the owner?”
The door burst open, slamming into Christa and knocking her onto the wooden floor. She landed, her scream turning to a grunt. Her frying pan flew from her hand and landed out of reach. Cold wind and snow swirled around the slim man in a black coat and gloves who stood over her. Ice crystals covered his sleek, dark hair. A fierce expression on his angular face, he glanced around the foyer. Blue-gray eyes, like slivers of crystal, glanced from Christa to the frying pan. Not only did he sound familiar, but he looked familiar, too.
“Is that your weapon?” He didn’t smile, but she sensed his amusement. “I think if I were in the kitchen, I’d have picked up a knife instead, but whatever.” He held up his keys. “Like I said, I own the house. What’s your excuse for being here?”
“I work here.”
He raised a groomed eyebrow. “Oh, really? Then why aren’t you on vacation with the rest of the staff?”
“Are you responsible for these atrocious decorations?” He strode past her to glance in the living room.
“I’m sorry. I thought I’d be alone here.”
“So did I,” he murmured before pulling out his cell phone and taking her picture.
“What the hell are you doing?”
He held up a finger for silence while he made a call. “Frank, yes. It’s Joel. The picture I just sent. Does that girl work here?”
“That’s a good idea.” Christa pulled out her cell, took his photo, and texted it to Frank -- the butler in charge of the house -- along with a note asking for confirmation of the man’s identity.
“You don’t know me?” A smile flirted with his slim lips.
She lifted her chin. “Why should I know you? I’ve worked here a month and have never met the owner of the house.”
“Do you ever go to the movies?”
Christa curled her lip. “Are you asking for a date? Now?”
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Other books in the Wild Witches of Beaver Bay series:
Mysti and Starr
Family magic summons Mysti Wild to her destined mate--a demon hunting biker with secrets of his own.
Trinity and Jeff (Coming in 2020)
A firefighter battles the supernatural to convince his lifelong friend that she’s his soulmate.
Kate Hill is a vegetarian New Englander who started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure.
She prefers to blend genres, and she loves horror and a happily ever after, so her books can be a bit unusual. If you're looking for romance with witches, aliens, vampires, angels, demons, shapeshifters and more, there's a good chance you'll find something to your taste in her backlist.
When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, and watching horror movies. She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby.