It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: 12 Days of Mandy Reno

Posted December 21, 2023 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, Christmas, contemporary, giveaway, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) 2023, Regina R Merrick, romance / 20 Comments

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Reads 2023

today’s 1st book: 12 Days of Mandy Reno

We are continuing this year’s blog series spotlighting (over 70 this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads! This is the 7th year for the Christmas Reads Giveaway series, and I think I get more excited about it every year 🙂 Christmas is only FOUR DAYS away! So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage (wassail anyone?) and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! And no doubt you know the drill by now – there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)

12 Days of Mandy Reno by Regina Rudd Merrick

12 DAYS OF MANDY RENO by Regina Rudd Merrick
RenoVations, Inc #2

GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press

RELEASE DATE: November 14, 2023
PAGES: 134


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Scrivenings Press

Christmas is Ruined

by Regina Rudd Merrick, author of 12 Days of Mandy Reno

Many things about tomorrow,
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

The last two lines of the old gospel song, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow,” must be a favorite of Grandma Reno’s – she likes to quote it to her youngest granddaughter, Mandy, when she despairs of things being out of her control. Different. Disappointing.

That’s what we want, isn’t it? To be in control? To have things exactly as we expect them to be?

As I wrote 12 Days of Mandy Reno, book 2 in the RenoVations, Inc. series, I thought about a few times when I thought Christmas WAS ruined.

There was the year it snowed so much that my sister and her family couldn’t get home for Christmas. We ended up having our family gathering on New Year’s Day! At the time, it felt like the epitome of Christmas “fails,” but we have some good memories of that holiday. My parents lived across our very small town, and though it was messy, the two miles to their house were clear, so we drove over, brought them to the house, popped some popcorn, and had a movie day! I’ll always remember it as the Christmas we watched “Star Trek!” (It was the one with Chris Pine, so …)

There was a Christmas early in our married years when we had the flu. At my mother-in-law’s house, we were spending the night—because ALL of us were sick! I have a distinct memory of four young adults hanging out, playing cards, and passing around the thermometer between naps and cups of chicken soup!

Christmas 2020 was rough because my daughter and her husband couldn’t travel from New York. That was hard. But what do I remember? It would be the last Christmas my parents spent with us before they entered a nursing home in 2021, Mom’s death in 2022, and Dad’s in 2023. We plugged the laptop into the TV and FaceTimed with them so Mom and Dad could see their oldest grandchild and her spouse. There were good memories among the hard ones.

Mandy Reno is devastated when her parents can’t get home from a mission assignment because they are staying where they are, in another country, after a natural disaster. They feel a responsibility to the people they’ve been serving.

Mandy’s not a kid. She knows, as an adult, that these things happen, but you know how it is when something is different from your expectations—First, you panic; second, you whine about it; and third, you reserve your seat on the “woe is me” train.

Lucky for Mandy, there’s someone in her life who is committed to making this a Christmas she’ll never forget, but he isn’t sure how she’ll feel when she finds out who’s behind it all. Will it distract Mandy enough to let her celebrate the birth of the Christ Child and enjoy time with the rest of her family? Will it change the way she thinks about him?

When I think about these times of trials and disappointments, I think about my character, Sheriff Clay Lacey, saying to Mandy, “Aw, you can’t really ruin Christmas, can you?”

Between that and Grandma Reno’s assurance that we “know who holds tomorrow,” there’s no way, and no set of circumstances that can challenge the amazing gift that is Jesus’ birth.

Isn’t it great to know Who holds our hand?

Regina Rudd Merrick

Regina Rudd Merrick is a multi-published author, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, lover of all things fun, beachy, and chocolate, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Married to her husband of 40 years, she is the mother of two grown daughters and lives in the small town of Marion, KY. Connect with Regina on Facebook, Instagram, or her website.

12 Days of Mandy Reno giveaway

Regina Rudd Merrick is offering a print (or ebook) copy of 12 Days of Mandy Reno to one of my readers! (US only for print. Void 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.

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What about you? What makes you want to read 12 Days of Mandy Reno by Regina Rudd Merrick? Is there a Christmas that you thought was ruined but ended up making good memories anyway?

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20 responses to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: 12 Days of Mandy Reno

  1. Janice Moore

    Reading how people deal with holiday disappointments sounds good!
    Dealing with Christmas activities after a family member’s death is not easy.

    • Yes. I never realized just HOW true until this year after losing my parents, my father-in-law, two uncles and an aunt in fewer than five years. So many memories – and so many opportunities to change some traditions that needed to go. It’s hard, but it can be done! THis year, instead of my sister and fam coming to US, We’re going to THEM!

  2. Debra Pruss

    I love the cover. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you. Merry Christmas. Yes, my senior year in high school.

  3. Sue Parrish

    This looks like a sweet story. One Christmas years ago my sister and I spent the holiday in Europe without any other family. It was fun, but I missed spending time with my parents.

  4. Perrianne Askew

    It sounds like a good story, but I don’t think I’ve ever missed Christmas at home with my parents or with my own family after I married. I guess I’m lucky!

  5. Mary McCoy

    A story about how we love to be with family over Christmas but how and why circumstances sometimes prevents this makes an interesting story.

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