Alexandrea answers my question.
Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
The Christmas Spirit came as a mixture of my agent telling me I needed to write a Christmas romance with snow in it, and my fascination with Christmas lore from around the world. I blended both concepts and came up with a modern woman, Courtney Winston, thrown into a world where witches and ghosts are real.
I am known for my dark characters and ghostly tales, and I did not stray too far from those themes in this adventure set in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. What appealed to me about the story was bringing legends from Sweden and Germany and weaving them into a modern American tale. There are even Norwegian Forest cats, which were my favorite.
I wanted to give a fresh perspective of Christmas lore by incorporating some legends people may know about. The blending of so many Old-World ideas gave this romance its unique flavor. The added scary bits where dark forest creatures and supernatural elements play a part, provide an unexpected twist.
In my hometown of New Orleans, Christmas has always had a ghoulish edge, and I wanted to share that tradition in this book. Fortunately, I was able to find a lot of European legends with a darker and sinister feel to weave into this story. Many of the older Christmas myths usually involve children being eaten by some goblin or witch, like Halloween. It was that vibe I wanted to bring to The Christmas Spirit.
Our heroine is a rational and no-nonsense person, and sticking her in a forest where all is not what it seems intrigued me because of the offbeat characters and situations I could create. But the ghoulish creatures do more than set Courtney on edge; they teach her to appreciate her life, and no matter how heartbroken and down on her luck she may feel, life and love matter more than anything.
It was the lesson about never giving up on life that I wanted to impart with this story.
Like any good Christmas tale, Courtney should end the book a little wiser and a little more grateful than when she began. All the things she held dear, all the desires she wanted to achieve, didn’t matter. Only love of family and friends meant anything. And it will take a brief battle with spirits to teach Courtney a life lesson about the wishes we want versus the wishes we need.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.