Spirits of Christmas: A Rock’n’Roll Christmas Carol
At one time, up-and-coming rock singer Jude had it all: a great band, a platinum record, a loving girlfriend. This Christmas, however, he is well down the road towards spontaneous self-destruction.
Unwitting at first, Jude has progressively alienated his band and driven away the love of his life. Tonight, the night before Christmas Eve, he has broken the final taboo during a disastrous gig. Yet Jude doesn’t see how badly his life has derailed, not until a ghostly procession of legends passes through his bedroom with a series of vivid and powerful wake-up calls.
Will the Spirits help Jude put the friendship, love, and rock music back into his Christmas?
Spirits of Christmas is a modern-day rock’n’roll adaption of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. This novella will enchant romance readers, rock lovers, fans of ghost stories, and everybody who adores the festive season.
About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!
Hi! I’m Nicky Wells, your ultimate rock chick author. My books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! If you’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity ~ rock, pop, movie or other ~ you’ll connect with my heroes and my leading ladies!
Like my first leading lady, Sophie, I love listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When I’m not writing, I’m a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and regular contributor to The Midweek Drive show on Lincoln’s Siren 107.3 FM. Rock on!
The voice emerged from the door, and Jude’s head whipped round as if drawn by a string.
‘Hiya, Jude,’ the voice repeated cheerfully. Unexpectedly, it launched into the first line of one of Jude’s most favourite songs. Jude once again sank onto the bed, his legs refusing to carry him with the shock of this second apparition.
‘Is this really you?’
For a moment, Jude’s second otherworldly visitor abandoned his song and remained silent, motionless, allowing Jude to take a good, long look. The sideburns, the nose, the defined chin, the round glasses were clearly visible despite the spirit’s transparent appearance. Everything about this figure was familiar, yet nothing was quite as it should have been. It was as though Jude was looking at a hologram, a distorted, stretched vision where nothing quite fitted together.
Nonetheless, Jude found his voice. ‘Oh my God, it is you!’
Excitement made his exclamation strong and clear. The figure flinched at the sudden burst of noise, but Jude ploughed on. ‘This is…this is totally unreal. I mean, imagine this—here’s me in my bedroom, and there’s you, come to visit me.’
‘I’m not who you think you see,’ the apparition interrupted. ‘I’m the Ghost of Christmas Past.’
My Book Review: Loved, loved, loved this novella by UK author Nicky Wells. Novellas are so terrific this time of year when everything gets hectic and your things-to-do list becomes unruly. This one, in particular, is so fun to read this time of year because it delivers so much to so many readers. You’ve got your romance, your ghost story, your festive holiday theme. And as a special treat, the structure of the story follows the classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I’d really love to know what was inside Nicky’s head when she got the idea to write this story. I suspect the story as it was unfolding in her mind filled her with joy and excitement as she “KNOWS” this world of rock romance like no one else does and I bet it was fun for her to thread elements of the Christmas season into the story.
Readers of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy – this is your lucky day because you get more of the Nicky Wells world of rock and her style of writing and action-packed storytelling. For those of you new to Nicky or have not yet discovered Nicky, this may be your entry point to her line of rock romance books. As you know, novellas are shorter than novels and this one tops off at 113 pages with a few extra pages of enhancements at the end – LOVE that. So you can pick this one up, read it in a sitting and enjoy it for the romance, the ghost story and the holiday theme, and if you like the dynamics of the characters, well then, I have good news for you. There’s three more rock’n’romance novels you can read! I reviewed the first book in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy, Sophie’s Turn in a post on September 6. Nicky had just released the final book in the trilogy everyone loves and follows and interesting things were happening to the sales of the first book upon the release of the third. Read my Sophie’s Turn review and find out what happened to Nicky’s first book while everyone was celebrating the release of the third. Another post you might enjoy is Nicky’s guest post on my book blog that announced the launch of her third novel, Sophie’s Encore. In this September post Nicky describes what it feels like to finish the third and final book in the trilogy. Interesting stuff.
Okay, so. Let’s cut to the chase. Nicky is one of my favorite writers for throwing you into the action at sentence one. Very quickly, her main character, Jude Shaw, and his band, The Blood Roses, are booed off stage, thrown out of a South London pub without getting paid, and by the time they make it to the parking lot, Jude is fighting with everyone in the band. That’s what I love about reading Nicky. She picks her readers up over her head like one of those heavy-weight wrestlers and then hurls them into the story on page one. Love that. Spirits of Christmas opens with an argument and that conflict builds through convincing dialogue and characters. You don’t have to sludge through backstory to find out what’s going on. You are immediately in the story and you stay in the story for the entire 113 pages. By the close of chapter one, Carrie, Jude’s live-in girlfriend, has left him and the first ghost appears. Now that’s a tightly written chapter at only 21 pages.
The ghosts and Jude’s responses to the ghosts when they appear are very well done. I don’t know if I could pull that off as a writer. Maybe because I don’t read ghost stories, but I think it would be hard to enter a paranormal element to a story and then pull it off. But Nicky does. And what’s really wonderful is her balance of rock elements throughout the story. If you’re a reader who doesn’t listen to rock music, the references won’t bother you as you read, but if you’re a reader who does listen to rock music and loves rock music, then you’re really going to love this. Also equally balanced is the Christmas theme. Remember, 113 pages has to be tightly written. It is that. AND it’s balanced with important themes woven into the narration. This is difficult to do, folks. But Nicky does it. She delivers. Not only that, the storyline (especially the story arc that involves Carrie) continues to unfold and develop throughout the novella. There isn’t a wasted page or paragraph here. It’s tightly written (have I said this already?), the story moves, and the parallels to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol gives the reader a familiar structure during the reading, like holding on to a railing as you wind your way through a line at the entrance to a rock concert. There’s a nice tie-in to Dan and his band, Tusq, who take center stage in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy, but this story belongs to Jude. And it belongs in your hands this Christmas. Rock on, readers. Rock on!