today’s book: restoring christmas by julie arduini
Christmas is only SIX DAYS AWAY!!! This week I’m wrapping up my annual blog series spotlighting new and recently-released Christmas reads. Christmas books make me happy!
So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your own bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
Today’s featured book is a coming home again contemporary romance novella + the author shares the story behind the story!
GENRE: Inspirational Christmas Romance
PUBLISHER: Surrendered Scribe Media
RELEASE DATE: November 1, 2019
Holly Christmas left Geneseo Valley and her family’s holiday tourist attraction, The Christmas Mansion, as soon as she graduated. Now both her parents have passed, and Holly returns when her uncle needs her help running the mansion. On Holly’s first day back, a blunt middle-schooler proclaims Holly hates Christmas. His comment forces her to reconcile the past while planning for the mansion’s future.
Kevin Holt is invested in offering hope to students with challenges. His best friend’s son is in Kevin’s class, and Noah needs guidance. Their community project placement at The Christmas Mansion is an opportunity to make a positive difference. When Noah blurts out his thoughts to the beautiful co-owner, Kevin wonders if he has what it takes to help restore the mansion to its former glory, mentor Noah, and convince Holly Christmas she’s exactly where she needs to be.
This story first appeared in the A Christmas to Remember Boxed Set released October 2018.
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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
I’m so excited to be part of this blog series! Thank you, Carrie, for letting me participate. The Arduini household starts playing Christmas music in early November and I’m all in when it comes to celebrating the season.
Starting the season early actually was how Restoring Christmas came to me. This novella has a neat history, and my prayer is that it will be a book that will help readers enjoy everything Christmas has to offer.
In the fall of 2017, my son and I had an afternoon free so we took a trip to Medina, Ohio to visit Castle Noel. It’s a guided tour featuring Christmas movie props, former store displays, and much, much more. The tour started outside with a look at the actual RV from Christmas Vacation and ended with a slide down the very one Ralphie was on when he asked Santa for a Red Ryder BB gun. Can you imagine? I basically floated out of there because the Christmas spirit was everywhere.
As we drove home, I started thinking. What if a family worked a beloved tourist attraction that centers on Christmas but one of the characters hated Christmas? I thought about it off and on but knew I already had two books I was writing. When would I fit that in?
Turns out, God had a plan. My dream as an author has been to participate in a Christmas-themed box set. It wasn’t long after the Castle Noel trip that Kimberly Rose Johnson, fellow blogger at Inspy Romance, asked if any of us on the IR team was interested in a Christmas-themed box set.
Restoring Christmas was one of the novellas included in last year’s set, A Christmas to Remember.
Now I’m able to release Restoring Christmas in print, as well as Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. I had so much fun writing it. The beloved tourist attraction became The Christmas Mansion where Holly Christmas has to return to save it. Instead of Medina, Ohio, I created Geneseo (Jen-uh-see-oh) Valley in Upstate New York, a small college town that loves The Christmas Mansion. I graduated from the real Geneseo and decided to use that quaint village.
Holly hates Christmas because her parents poured all their time into the mansion when Holly was growing up. When her mother passes, her father obsesses with the place, leaving Holly to grieve alone. As soon as she’s able to leave Geneseo Valley she does, and has no interest in returning.
But in the home again, home again trope that Susan May Warren writes about, Holly’s forced to return. There’s a lot of changes since she last was in town, and that includes a group of students who visit the mansion weekly to help clean and work on projects. The teacher in charge of those students is Kevin Holt, and he’s committed to helping Holly and her Uncle Nick restore the mansion before Holly leaves town. Again.
If you have the opportunity to visit Castle Noel, I hope you do. In fact, carve in time to also visit A Christmas Story museum. Both places are not far from each other. And no matter where you are, I hope you enjoy Restoring Christmas!
Julie Arduini is offering one of my readers a print copy OR ebook copy of Restoring Christmas! (US only for print, ebook open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about Restoring Christmas? Have you ever been to Castle Noel or something similar?