Jessie Malone is a graduate student living in London, trying to finish her dissertation, hoping to be one of the first folklorists ever to trace an urban legend back to its original source. She’s also a grieving young widow unable to heal from the agony of her life-shattering loss. In the bleak midwinter, Jessie learns of an urban legend about a lonely, wandering ghost, a British sailor named Sam who promised his bride that he’d be home for Christmas. The legends say he’s been trying to make it back to her since World War II.

As she investigates, Jessie learns that Sam’s story defies the patterns of how urban legends are supposed to work. It’s a puzzle she can’t let go. To solve the mystery, she must confront the impossible and, just perhaps, discover a miracle of Christmas love that survives beyond the grave.

“Christmas Past is a beautiful, bittersweet exploration of grief and wonder, a touching ghost story about urban myths and the way love lingers. John Adcox and Carol Bales have gifted us with a bit of Christmas Magic.”

— Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Ararat and Road of Bones

“If you are not seduced by the foreword of this book, a story of love and burning fever by the Adcox Clan, than I promise you―It will only take a few pages of Christmas Past to hurl you into a breathtaking―but cold as hell―resurgence into what the Winter Solstice is all about. I hanker for a good love story― done well ― And this one is done BRILLIANTLY―created by two of the best in the business. Adcox dominates the genre, to the point that no one else should bother, and Carol Bales brings it home as a work of art ready to be re-experienced year after year.”

— Brian Panowich, award-winning writer of Bull Mountain, Like Lions, and Hard Cash Valley 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook, with a paperback coming in November, 2023. Signed copies are available through Eagle Eye Bookshop.

Carol’s illustrations: