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Contemporary Romance

Historical Romance

Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Romantic Suspense

“Close to You”: A Holiday Story

"Close to You," a Downside Ghosts Holiday story by Stacia Kane, is available exclusivly for a limited time on Heroes and Heartbreakers to members. Please log in or register to read the full story...

Close to You by Stacia Kane As part of H&H's Hot for the Holidays program, we're thrilled to share a limited-time peek at 12 special holiday stories! All 12 e-novellas are on sale now (you may have seen us talk about this H&H-St. Martin's Press program before), but we're offering H&H members the exclusive chance to read the whole story for free—it's our gift to you. But here's the thing: Stories will be available for ONE DAY ONLY over the next two weeks, so grab a blanket, a mug of hot chocolate, and get reading before they disappear with a wink and a smile!


Churchwitch Chess Putnam has seen, and banished, her share of ghosts, but not of the Christmas Past variety—the holiday has been illegal since the Church of Real Truth defeated the undead and took control of the world in 1997. Yet when she and her boyfriend, Terrible, make a trip to an abandoned auto junkyard, they find more than the rusted auto parts and spare tires they’d bargained for. They also run across a creepy Miss Havisham-type hell-bent on reuniting with her long-dead husband just in time for Christmas—even if it means taking Chess and Terrible down with her into the City of Eternity…

If Chess and Terrible don't manage to keep these ghosts in the past, they won't have a future…

Chapter 1

Chess had never seen an auto graveyard before. Human graveyards, sure, more than she wanted; her job required her to enter them on occasion—on bad occasions, since entering a graveyard meant she had a confirmed haunting in whatever house she was investigating as a Debunker, which meant no bonus for her—to collect dirt from the grave of whomever it was who’d returned as a ghost so she could banish it back to the City of Eternity under the earth.

The auto graveyard—junkyard, really—was very different. Aside from the obvious, there were no high stone walls and gates and locks, no signs warning people that, by the authority of the Church of Real Truth, unauthorized persons were not permitted to enter.

And she wasn’t alone in there, either.

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