A Nutcracker Christmas
By Laurie Winter
Sweet Contemporary Romance, Magical
Paperback & ebook, 210 Pages
October 11, 2021 by Champagne Book Group
Suddenly let go from her news anchor position, Aria Roberts heads north to stay at her late Great-Aunt Clara’s house. She has many good memories there and wishes to give Clara’s Christmas Shoppe, which is located on the first floor of the Victorian mansion, one final holiday season. When Aria arrives, she finds the special gift Clara left for her—an antique nutcracker with a poem hidden under the back lever. Aria reads the poem out loud. At sundown that night, those words magically bring the nutcracker to life.
Kort Zellner awakes inside the familiar surroundings of Clara’s house but learns she has passed away and now her great-niece resides there. The curse placed on him three hundred years ago traps him in the form of a nutcracker but allows him to return every December 1st through midnight on Christmas Day—only between sundown and sunrise.
After some convincing, Aria believes Kort’s strange story. She helps him experience life as he is gifted so few hours alive and in doing so, falls in love. He knows his curse makes it impossible to give her the constant relationship she deserves. His plan to leave her forever on Christmas Day collides with Aria’s desire to build a future together, even if for only twenty-five nights a year.
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I’m home. If Kort could look beyond the modern clothing, electricity, and spoken English language, he’d think he was strolling through the Christmas Market in Ingolstadt. It possessed the same gemütlich—cozy and friendly—atmosphere. His heart longed to flow back in time to find his children at his side. Hans would run ahead to join his friends and hit a ball around on the frozen pond. Anna would insist on stopping at every stall that sold sweets. She loved marzipan treats shaped into tiny fruit as well as sugar plums, and he’d always buy her a bag of each, which wouldn’t last the night.
If he went back far enough, he’d be there with his wife, sipping a mug of mulled wine and strolling hand and hand. Another life. Don’t fall into despair. Not when he had so little time left with Aria.
He glanced over at her as she stood a few feet away, talking with a vendor selling wool crafts. Instead of chasing ghosts, he focused on the sight of her, solid and real. She was dressed in a thick coat, tall boots, a long purple scarf, and gray stocking hat. Her nose was tipped with pink, a souvenir of the cold air.
With Aria, he felt a clicking into place, like two pieces whose sharp edges fit together to make a seemingly perfectly seamless surface. A man didn’t need years to figure out he’d met his match. And he’d been blessed with that realization twice in his life. But Margaret had been ripped from him without warning. And Aria would be too, though he had time to prepare for the pain.
Excerpted from A Nutcracker Christmas by Laurie Winter, Copyright © 2021 by Laurie Winter. Published by Champagne Book Group.
About the Author:
Multi-award winning author Laurie Winter is a true warrior of the heart. Inspired by her dreams, she creates authentic characters who overcome the odds and find true love. She keeps her life balanced with regular yoga practice and running with her dog, Shadow. When not pounding the pavement or the keyboard, she’s likely fueling up on wine, cheese curds, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
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