TIRZA'S CHRISTMAS TALES
Sienna has inherited a large fortune from an elderly aunt overseas and fulfils her lifelong dream of buying a manor house in the English countryside to live in. When she finds the perfect property, it needs a lot of renovating and structural work for which she hires architect Albert and interior designer Sammy. During the building works in the basement, some heavy equipment crashes into a wall. A stone becomes loose and falls down, revealing a hidden passageway beyond.
The workers refuse to stay after sunset to explore because locals have been telling stories about a man-eating monster that comes out at night and devours everyone who comes too close to the ancient castle grounds. Because of this, Sienna must explore alone. When she finds a fortified wooden door and the key to open it, she doesn't expect her life to never be the same again. What she finds makes her blood run cold in her veins. But she can't go on screaming forever. And on second thought, she may have just unearthed the answer to the question of how to bring more energy into her life. Death is a good way to start, it seems.
This short, sweet adult romance book is Book 4 of the series titled Tirza's Christmas Tales. As a standalone, it can be read independently of the other books in this series whose common threat is the seasonal theme of Christmas.
Excerpt: The air was humid and musky. Sienna was sure that no one ever had been down in these catacombs in decades. She had found a wine cellar earlier but there had only been a few broken bottles left and an empty barrel whose wood had rotted away already. Old stains on the flagstones told her it had contained some sort of reddish drink. She hardly drank alcohol herself so she wouldn’t be needing an entire storage room for wine. She could keep the occasional bottle in her fridge.
The workers had found a hole in one wall when renovating the basement and when she had told them to break through the wall to see what lay beyond, they had done so after some persuasion. The locals were scared of this place out of their wits and made sure they never came near it when the sun was down. That accounted for shorter workdays in the cold months as it was now nearing Christmas but Sienna didn’t mind going at it at a slower pace. She wasn’t in a hurry and people being scared to come near her new home also meant no one would ever try to break in here.
She walked on, down the dark passage, and found an old wooden door with metal bars on it. This was a fortification she wasn’t sure what to make of. Maybe this used to be a prison cell or torture chamber? This part of the architecture was from medieval times so it was not an unrealistic supposition.
She tried the handle. The door wouldn’t budge. She would have to return with a locksmith, she mused but then saw an old, giant-sized key hanging on a rusty nail on the wall a few paces down the hall. She took it and inserted it into the lock. The key turned, the door sprang open. When she pushed it back all the way to look into the room, she gasped. Her heart almost stood still. And a clammy hand reached for her heart, squeezing it in terror.
Then she screamed.
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The Book's Creation
I don’t know how many vampire stories I started to write and then abandoned. I never finished a single one, not even something I wrote for myself alone. I love vampires but I never managed to put a single vampire story down on paper. Until the weekend after my 50th birthday. (Yes, I am that wise already. Crone Goddess Magical Power!)
I had family over for coffee and cake in the afternoon and then I went to bed very early, feeling exhausted. I woke up around midnight, I think. The house was quiet, I thought I could do some work on the computer, write some more on the manuscript I was lately writing on. But then I didn’t feel like it and just opened a blank document, thinking, I’ll see what comes next. I’ll just write.
Two days later, I finished a manuscript of ca. 30K words. Another Christmas story for my collection, the series entitled “Tirza’s Christmas Tales”. And it was my first ever vampire story I had not only finished but was going to publish! Yay me!
If you expect something dark, exciting and fast-paced, you’ll be sorely disappointed. I wanted something sweet, something romantic, a slowburn that would have you rooting for the female mature MC and her love interest, the 700-year-old vampire who was as beautiful and sexy as he was honourable and chivalrous.
There are some steamy scenes in it but they are rather sparse within the main body of the book and the reader will be left in suspense until very late in the story. I enjoyed writing the built-up, as well as playing with different characters, good and bad, or in the grey area.
A Vampire for Christmas is mostly a story that celebrates love, loyalty and compassion. When you are the miracle in other people’s lives, be prepared for the universe hitting you with a couple for you in turn…
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Reviews for Tirza's Christmas Tales:
A Vampire for Christmas
A sweet, fun and spicy Christmas romance with heart.
You know those classic tales where the handsome prince storms in on his big white horse and sweeps the beauty off her feet, trying his best to make her fall in love with him and possibly get her in between his sheets (after a proper marriage of course)?
This ain't it!
The beauty here is in fact, a down to earth 21st-century woman, who knows what she wants and doesn't hesitate to take matters into her own hands to make it all happen.
And the prince is a 700-year-old vampire, with courtly manners and a gentlemanly composure that don't allow for modern dalliances, even when requested by a beautiful lady.
In other words, the prince will be chased by the beauty over here, in a more or less exasperated manner that's both irresistibly charming and sweet.
When Sienna inherits a fortune and fulfils her lifelong dream of buying a castle in the English countryside, she pays absolutely no attention to the local rumours of a man-eating monster that comes out at night and devours everyone getting too close to the ancient castle grounds. Silly superstitions of course! There are no such things as man-eating monsters! There's nothing to fear. Not even in the dark!
Until the evening Sienna decides to explore the cellar - more like the dungeon to be precise.
The desiccated corpse she finds on a slab is not something that will set her running, because it might have a possible explanation. Family crypts were not unusual in castles after all. But when the corpse moves and stares straight into her eyes... That's an entirely different matter. And more than enough to set even Sienna screaming like a banshee on a mad rush out.
What follows is a sweet love story full of heart, in between our brave down to earth woman and the initially not-so-beautiful vampire she rescues - Enzo.
We'll get to see their initial attraction, as well as the way they bridge the gap between them. One caused both by custom and society as a whole. We'll get to see Enzo adjust to a 21st-century woman as well as learn about diversity, friendship and much more.
I found it absolutely endearing how exasperated Enzo was that Sienna was constantly testing his limits. The way he learned about the dos and don'ts of our 21st century were quite fun too, and I LOVED the way Sienna gave him no quarter, standing up for herself and her desires, and being bold enough to go after him.
That is one of the main things I love about Tirza's books. The way she writes her women. Completely human and imperfect, but also brave and daring and willing to risk to follow their dreams. They are absolutely inspiring!
The sex was steaming hot, the love very sweet and the character interactions downright adorable at times! Especially as far as Sammy is concerned. The interior designer Sienna had hired to help her renovate her castle is one character without whom this tale wouldn't be the same. His gentleness and adorable charm are off the charts and I absolutely adored him! And not only that! He makes both Sienna and Enzo shine.
A Vampire for Christmas is a feel-good Christmas novella with just the right amount of drama and action, topped with a good measure of hot spice and sprinkled with lots of fun.
The perfect read for the season if you're a fan of vampire romance.
The Magic Book Corner, International Book Blogger
A Fast, Eventful Plot with Heartwarming Characters
A Vampire for Christmas is the fourth Christmas story by Tirza Schaefer, and just like its predecessors, it is a wonderful, yet exciting read. It is packed with sigh-worthy romance, lovely characters and smouldering hot smut!
Sienna is a woman who's been down on her luck. A terrible accident left her on disability pay and her life was on hold until a distant relative passed away, unexpectedly leaving her a fortune.
Deciding to pack up and start a new life elsewhere, Sienna buys a mansion-castle-absolutely-freaking-awesome-place (no, no, I'm not jealous... or anything...) along the British coastline, setting to renovate it to fit her needs. As a hidden cellar is revealed during said renovations, Sienna sets to explore the place on her own and finds perhaps more than she had bargained for.
Oh, Enzo... *swoon* (after a while anyway, lol!)
Sienna, now a rambling mess, tries to come to terms with what she has found - what looks like a dead man, but is really a myth, a creature that is not meant to exist - yet she also feels a connection to him, something deep-rooted and pure. She wonders if she can save him and, in doing so, find out who and what he is.
With fabulous descriptions, a fast, eventful plot, and relatable, heartwarming characters, A Vampire for Christmas is a wonderful, seasonal read, and I loved every single moment reading it. The sexual tension, the longing and lust, make you flip the pages faster and faster. And that climax! Literally! Be ready for it, for it is sweltering hot!!
Catrin Russell, Author
Perfect mixture of sweetness and steam.
This book was the perfect mixture of sweetness and steam. I found myself wrapped up in the story with its unusual girl chases boy plot, Sienna's humorous nature, and Enzo's gentlemanly ways. Between the heat kindling between the sophisticated vampire (Lorenzo) and Sienna, the fortunate woman who inherited enough to buy a castle, these two were a pleasure to meet. I laughed aloud at a few parts due to Sienna's cheeky nature, and in the end, the story left me wondering if I should ask for a vampire for Christmas? If he's anything remotely as kind, protective, and loving as Lorenzo, I'd be one hell of a lucky girl.
This story is the perfect read for anyone who loves a heartwarming read with a bit of sugar, a lot of spice, and of course, a well-written holiday romance.
R&C Christiansen, Author
* * *
This was such a great, and steamy story. I really like vampire stories and this one was fantastic. Short and sweet and festive.
The vampire was a true gentleman and I loved him.
Sarah Anderson-Pagal, Reader
It seems death really is the best place to start a romance.
Well, I can imagine the vampire purists might be up in arms about this fresh take on the hot vampire/swooning chick trope. Sienna is one bold woman. After exploring the dungeon in the castle she has bought (with a fortune from a dead relative) she discovers a shrivelled carcass behind a previously locked door. After the initial, “aargh, a dead thing! And it’s talking!” shock horror, Sienna makes the leap from running and hiding, to talking to the dead thing and finding out more about it.
Turns out, the “dead thing,” is Enzo, thirsty and desiccated after centuries of being locked away in the dungeon. Naturally, Sienna offers a little of her blood to make him feel better. Sweet! (Don’t try this at home.)
After that, Enzo basically becomes Mr. Hotness, a man out of time, with courtly manners and old-fashioned attitudes which Sienna quickly puts him right on. This is kind of hilarious, a slow-burn romance that explodes into something sensual and gorgeous at the end. Until the sexy times, we see Enzo transforming, befriending Sienna’s friends and neighbours, learning about diversity and slowly but surely sweeping Sienna off her feet.
It seems death really is the best place to start a romance, as the thoroughly modern Sienna gradually educates Enzo and their feelings for each other grow, helped by him feeding from her when she allows it. This is a witty and funny take on a genre that can take itself WAY too seriously, with a lovely Christmassy ending full of sparkle and romance. I love how Tirza’s books take you on journeys you don’t expect. This is a feel-good story about a couple who are proof that those who feed together and bleed together really are #couplegoals.
Jayne Lockwood, Author
This vampire romance brings a real sparkle to the Christmas trope!
I am a total sucker for Christmas and I love to read seasonal romances, no matter whether they are contemporary or fantasy. This little story was the perfect mix, though. Set in the real world in a fictitious castle, this vampire romance brings a real sparkle to the Christmas trope.
Sienna finds herself faced with a desiccated vampire when she explores the catacombs of the ancient castle she has just bought. A whirlwind of romance and action follows. There is a gay interior designer whom I absolutely adore, a couple of villains and a vampire who encompasses all the old-world charm any woman could ever dream of. Only, he is taking it too far and for Miss Impatient, that's a serious impediment.
Of course, there is a happily ever after but I couldn't have foretold the way it was coming. There were quite a few surprises along the way and at one stage, I really thought, it would end in disaster and the author had merely forgotten to add a warning label in the blurb. I should have known better, she always finds a way to make everything all right again.
So whether it's a dive off a cliff into a churning ocean or cheating with Santa, you'll find yourself enraptured in a world that is as modern, as it is full of old-world magic and Christmas miracles. Totally swoon-worthy and a great read even for those who usually don't fall for the magic of Christmas...
She always manages to do things you probably shouldn't and totally gets away with it.
I didn't think Tirza Schaefer could still surprise me after I've read almost every one of her books. However, she did. I should have known. I've had so much fun reading this, a vampire with ideals from several hundred years ago and a modern woman who is totally used to having everything she wants instantly. In times of internet and Amazon, that's not too far fetched, either. But this story has a lot more to offer than a longwinded flirt before their final happy end.
There are other characters, my favourite being Sammy, the interior decorator who's got an asshole husband, even though he is a really sweet, caring guy who is also really good at his job. He gets his own little happy end which really endeared the author to me even more - and the story - because, as they say in certain circles, "Nobody gets left behind."
This book is so sweet and sparkly and action-packed and nostalgic, all in one. There is so much going on that it drives a hard line on the edge but it works. Again, kudos to the author. She always manages to do things you probably shouldn't and totally gets away with it. Her adventurous spirit definitely shines through the pages of this book and I found myself reading well into the night until I had finished it in one session. I usually don't stay up past my bedtime to read a book but well, with this author, anything is possible.
A lovely Christmas romance with an old vampire that really brings the charm across even modern women still crave in a man.
Tuari Eagleswing, Reader