Seven sisters...and a legacy of magical secrets.
Bestselling novelist Kate Drake is one of seven sisters gifted with amazing powers of witchcraft. Returning home in time for her northern California town's annual Christmas pageant, Kate catches the spirit of the season and decides to open a bookstore in a charming but run-down historic mill. Decorated former U.S. Army Ranger Matt Granite, now a local contractor, doesn't mind working in the undeniably eerie house -- not if it means getting closer to Kate. There's something about the quiet, sensual woman that powerfully attracts him.
When an earthquake cracks the mill's foundation and reveals a burial crypt, Kate senses that a centuries-old evil has been unleashedŠand that it's coming after her. Though Matt vows to guard her from dusk till dawn, Kate knows she will have to summon all of her and her sisters' powers to battle the darkness threatening to destroy both Christmas and the gift of soul-searing passion her hometown hero wants her to keep forever....
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November 01, 2003
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Excerpt from The Twilight Before Christmas by Christine Feehan
'Twas the twilight before Christmas and all through the lands
Not a thing has occurred that was not of my hand
"Don't say it. Don't say it. Don't say it," Danny Granite muttered the mantra under his breath as he sat in the truck watching his older brother carefully selecting hydro-organic tomatoes from Old Man Mars's fruit stand. Danny glanced at the keys, assuring himself the truck was running and all that his brother had to do was leap in and gun it. He leaned out the window, gave a halfhearted wave to the elderly man, and scowled at his brother. "Get a move on, Matt. I'm starving here."
Matt grimaced at him, then smiled with smooth charm at the old man. "Merry Christmas, Mr. Mars," he said cheerfully as he handed over several bills and lifted the bag of tomatoes. "Less than two weeks before Christmas. I'm looking forward to the pageant this year."
Danny groaned. A black scowl settled over Old Man Mars's face. His craggy brows drew together in a straight, thick line. He grunted in disgust and spat on the ground.
The smile on Matt's face widened into a boyish grin as he hurried around the bed of the pickup truck to yank open the driver-side door. Almost before settling into his seat, he cranked up the radio so that "Jingle Bells" blared loudly from the speakers.
"You'd better move it, Matt," Dan muttered nervously, looking out the window, back toward the fruit stand. "He's arming himself. You just had to wish him a Merry Christmas, didn't you You know he hates that pageant. And you know very well playing that music is adding insult to injury!"
The first tomato came hurtling toward the back window of the truck as Matt hit the gas and the truck leaped forward, fishtailing, tires throwing dirt into the air. The tomato landed with deadly accuracy, splattering juice, seed, and pulp across the back window. Several more missiles hit the tailgate as the truck tore out of the parking lot and raced down the street.
Danny scowled at his brother. "You just had to wish him Merry Christmas. Everyone knows he hates Christmas. He kicked the shepherd last year during the midnight pageant. Now he'll be more ornery than ever. If you'd just avoided the word, we might have gone unscathed this year, but now he'll have to retaliate."
Matt's massive shoulders shook as he laughed. "As I recall you played the shepherd last year. He didn't hurt you that bad, Danny boy. A little kick on the shin is good for you. It builds character."
"You only think it's funny because it wasn't your shin." Danny rubbed his leg as if it still hurt nearly a year later.
"You need to toughen up," Matt pointed out. He took the highway, a thin ribbon of a road, twisting and turning along the cliffs above the ocean. It was impossible to go fast on the switchbacks although Matt knew the road well. He maneuvered around a sharp curve, setting up for the next sharp turn. It ran uphill and nearly doubled back. The mountain swelled on his right, a high bank grown over with emerald green grasses and breathtaking colors from the explosion of wildflowers. On his left, a narrow ribbon of a trail meandered along the cliffs to drop away to the wide expanse of blue ocean with its whitecaps and booming waves.