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Beneath a Christmas Moon
Eden Robins, Ariana Dupré, & Karen McCullough
Beneath a Christmas Moon
Beneath a Christmas Moon is a remarkable anthology of paranormal suspense Christmas stories. Each of the three stories is unique and intriguing. I love each of them for their uniqueness and creativity. Not one of these stories is what you would expect in a Christmas anthology. I highly recommend this book.
In Lander’s Moon by Eden Robins, Selena Alvarez is a healer but she made the mistake of dating the wrong man and is now fleeing for her life. Lander Paletsos found Selena and brought her to his home. Lander is a reclusive writer and more than a regular man. Lander has a terrible secret that will probably drive Selena away when she learns of it. The character of Lander is a tormented, alpha male who has been forced to live a solitary life because of his “affliction.” Selena’s character is a genuinely caring, kind healer who seeks to bring peace and healing to every life she touches. The romance is quick but inevitable. But the path isn’t smooth; there is the issue of Selena’s abusive boyfriend. Selena and Lander need a Christmas miracle, will they find it?
I loved Lander’s Moon! The reader will fall in love with Lander and Selena and hate Todd the abusive boyfriend. Ms. Robins is able to invoke a range of emotions and feelings for these characters in a very short number of pages. The timeframe around Christmas makes the story even more special. There is always something heart warming about a story with Christmas as the backdrop and the expectation that a Christmas miracle is possible. But if you are expecting to have a restful, sweet romance, nope! This story is also a suspense and there is definitely an evil force that must be defeated if Selena and Lander are going to get their Christmas miracle. This is a wonderful story to read curled up in your favorite chair with a hot cup of hot chocolate and the warmth from a fire in the fireplace. Just be sure and have a coaster handy to set that cup on when the action picks up!
In Paradise Designs by Ariana Dupré, Tara Simms is a psychic that has spent her life trying to suppress and deny her powers. Lately the voices have been getting louder and now she has seen a physical ghost in addition to hearing voices. David Blake is a salesman extraordinaire; he has successfully sold many different things but now he has the challenge of selling condo units in a haunted building. David and Tara meet and the attraction is immediate and intense. Both react with behavior that is out of the norm for them; David by asking Tara for a date as soon as he meets her and Tara by accepting. David is intrigued by paranormal and when he figures out that Tara can see the ghost he wants her to use her “gift” to try to help the ghost. Tara is scared to death that if she uses any of her powers it will change her forever and this “gift” isn’t something she wants to live with. Can Tara and David figure out how to help the ghost? By trying to solve the crime are they putting themselves at risk of being the next target for the killer? Can Tara and David find something meaningful and lasting in their attraction to one another?
WOW. Paradise Designs is also a wonderful story; I just loved it! Because this is a short story it is always difficult to “meet” the characters and care about them in so few pages. Also the author is forced to have a relationship develop extremely fast if it is going to happen in the story. Ariana Dupré does it very well. Within pages you like both Tara and David and want them to get together and solve the mystery at the same time! I did want to knock Tara over the head a time or two and tell her to relax and accept her gifts but she is very stubborn. David is a dreamboat from the very beginning. His ready acceptance of Tara’s gifts is so sweet and should be so comforting for Tara. But this isn’t just a sweet romance, oh no; the story is also full of action and suspense and if Tara and David don’t figure out what is going on someone will be hurt. Paradise Designs is set during the Christmas season but that doesn’t play a major role in the story, it is just the timeframe for the story. Although Tara and David do go Christmas shopping to relieve stress; hey that works for me! This story isn’t a restful read so if you didn’t finish your hot chocolate with the first story in this anthology you might want to drink up before you start this one. This story might even call for some eggnog with extra “flavoring” ingredients.
In Vampire’s Christmas Carol by Karen McCullough, Carol Prescott runs into a ditch in a freak snowstorm and makes her way to the only house around. Michael Carpenter lives in the house but tells Carol she is in more danger in the house than she would be freezing outside in the storm. The problem is Michael is a dying vampire. He wants to die and in order to die he needs to survive the night without drinking human blood. Carol will be a tremendous temptation and in grave danger if he is unable to maintain control over his blood lust. Will Carol survive the night or will Michael give in and kill her in order to continue to live?
Well I didn’t expect to read a spooky Christmas story but that is just what Ms. McCullough has created! The story is one impossible situation after the other and someone is going to die. Whoa, not at all what I was expecting! Vampire’s Christmas Carol is exceptionally well done because not only are Carol and Michael faced with an impossible situation but they are also attracted to one another. So the surviving person may feel tremendous guilt and anguish at the loss of the other person. The characters of Carol and Michael are appealing, caring, and admirable souls and the reader will like them both. I couldn’t decide who to root for but knowing it was a Christmas story I was sure that there had to be a solution that would save them both. I believed that something would save them right up to the end of the story…and I can’t tell you what happens! This is a story you just have to read for yourself.
Reviewed by: Stephanie B.