1st December 2017
When wounded doctor Laurence Payne is stranded in the snowy English countryside on Christmas Eve, 1946, he is surprised to stumble upon Mistle Cottage and its mysterious inhabitant. Avery claims to be an Elizabethan wizard, and Laurence struggles to explain away the atmosphere of the cottage as mere coincidence and trickery. He spends a magical twelve days of Christmas celebrating with Avery, but then wakes to find his lover has vanished and the cottage has fallen to ruin overnight.
Laurence’s investigations lead him to the story of an ancient fairy curse—Avery is doomed to spend only Christmas Eve to Twelfth Night in human form until he finds true love. Laurence sets out to give Avery the greatest gift of all—his heart and with it the chance to live for more than the fleeting winter weeks he’s been sentenced to.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar “Stocking Stuffers.”
THIS TRAIN clearly wasn’t going anywhere.
It had been sitting in the station for the best part of an hour now, and although at first Laurence had not minded, content to watch the snow sift down onto the white fields and tiled roof of the station house, it was starting to wear on his nerves. The train had been stationary long enough that the carriages were starting to grow cold, and he was increasingly aware of the hour—already almost three, and the light would soon be fading fast. He’d suffered from an irrational dislike of the cold and dark since the Colonsay went down, and he would like to be safely in Portsmouth before the sun set.