Hello reader friends! We are continuing the Christmas theme today with another glimpse into one of the stories in the A Christmas To Remember collection! Today’s feature is Restoring Christmas, by author Julie Arduini. Take a peek at the cover, and the tagline!
First of all, I have a beef with Holly. I mean, Christmas is in your name. How can you hate the holiday? My name should be Jessica Christmas. Oh my goodness, I just got a little giddy. I think I might consider changing my name after all. Ha! But seriously, I think people who dislike the holiday are weird. Probably from a different planet. Confession. My daughter is one of them. Okay, she doesn’t hate the holiday, but she thinks that October 23rd is too early to watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music. I say it’s never too early 🙂
Anyway….let’s learn more about Holly Christmas and Kevin Holt from Restoring Christmas!
Introducing Holly Christmas and Kevin Holt
Restoring Christmas by Julie Arduini
Holly and Kevin are the central characters in Restoring Christmas, my novella in the A Christmas to Remember collection. I thought I’d share a little bit about them.
Holly grew up in Upstate NY, the area that houses the State University of New York at Geneseo. Her parents owned The Christmas Mansion, and her father, Chris, was beloved by all in Geneseo Valley as their favorite Santa to visit.
Holly never really shared the holiday passion. Because she was raised around the tourist attraction, she missed out on time with her parents. When Holly’s mom passed away, her father threw himself into renovating the mansion. His plans were disorganized and unfunded, and he died without ever changing the aging place.
When Restoring Christmas begins, Holly’s coming back to her hometown. She chose not to go to college locally and made a life for herself in Ohio. That job disappeared, and her Uncle Nick pleaded for her to return and help him. The Christmas Mansion is falling apart and in desperate need of an updating.
Guilt and grief drive Holly. She doesn’t have plans to stay in town beyond what Uncle Nick needs to get the adored mansion back in shape. That is until she meets Kevin Holt.
Kevin Holt is a teacher for students who have minor special needs. One of his duties is to oversee a group of students who are assigned to a business in Geneseo Falls. It’s a daunting task given the last place, a grocery store, dismissed the kids after they played football with the pickle jars. He’s made a contact with Nick Christmas, so Kevin’s prayer is the students behave and be a great help to the senior citizen at The Christmas Mansion. As soon as the Clark Kent-looking teacher arrives, he notices the young woman with long black hair who seems so sad. What Kevin doesn’t notice is one of his students, his best friend’s son Nathan Welling, blurted out what he discerned about Holly. Nathan questions why Holly works at the Christmas Mansion when he can see she hates Christmas. Kevin’s mortified, not sure if Holly understands some of the issues his students have. What Kevin doesn’t realize is young Nathan is right. Holly hates Christmas.
These characters were fun to write because their attraction was immediate, but their differences huge. Kevin lives with his best friend, Jonah, and Nathan to help them with their grief over the loss of Jonah’s wife, Lily. Kevin’s faith sees him through his challenges. Holly stuffed her faith away when her mother died, and she’s reluctant to pursue it again.
What they have in common is hurt and holidays. Kevin hates Valentine’s Day, and Holly’s curious. As they work on updating the mansion and managing plans to make it the only place for the northeast to visit for Christmas fun, the two grow closer as Kevin tries to show Holly Geneseo Valley is the home for her.
As for character likeness, for Kevin, right away he’s described as a Clark Kent lookalike. When I was looking at stock photos for the cover, that was the first thing I was looking for. Holly has stunning long black hair, so I looked for that in the cover as well.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed getting to know Holly and Kevin better, and that you’ll be ready to “Deck the Halls” when you finish reading Restoring Christmas.
*****Side note – Not only is this a Hallmark movie in the making, this is like a dream to me. A Christmas Mansion? Sign me up! We have a couple in my hometown that play Santa and Mrs. Claus, and have for years. For the record, I know Santa is not real, ok? But this couple does such a wonderful job of playing the part that kids will talk to them all year long about stuff. And they remember each and every kid, and each and every story. It’s kind of amazing to me. I kid with my husband and tell him that we’re going to fill their shoes when they retire. His response? “I don’t want no crying kids on my lap!” Okay….I’ll just keep reading stories like this and watching the Hallmark channel 🙂
About the Collection
Laugh, cry, and fall in love as you savor these brand-new Christmas romances from some of your favorite authors. Pair with a peppermint chai, hot chocolate, or your favorite wintry flavors, then snuggle down in front of the fireplace with a quilt over your lap… and maybe a purring cat!
Eight authors have joined together in this Christian romance collection that will leave you celebrating the gift of Christmas.
Until I Met You by award-winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson
After a difficult breakup, Brandi Prescott is taking a hiatus from men and focusing on her career, the Lord, and getting to know herself. Everything is going according to plan until one fateful, rainy morning in Seattle when a passing car drenches her and everything changes.
The Cowboy’s Christmas Reunion by USA Today bestselling author Valerie Comer
The Cowboy Santa program is supposed to be a chance to help his neighbors. When Kade Delgado’s ex-fiancée, now a single mom, shows up on his list, neither of them are thrilled. Is there any hope for a second chance at love?
Hope for Christmas by Elizabeth Maddrey
When he arrived at the ranch, he wasn’t sure what he was looking for. She wasn’t looking for anything beyond stability for her son. Christmas might be a season of hope, but do they dare risk everything for love?
Can’t Live without You by Ginger Solomon
Clarissa Harding’s fiancé’s betrayal doesn’t hurt as much as learning her best friend, Sawyer Chasin, knew his brother’s secret and didn’t tell her. The marriage would have been fake, but her feelings for Sawyer aren’t.
Beautiful Heart of His by Lindi Peterson
Two wrongs don’t make a right has never been more true. Will Mason’s past wrongs push Scarlett away or help her fall in love with him?
Restoring Christmas by Julie Arduini
Filled with grief and regret, Holly Christmas returns to Geneseo Valley and the family business, The Christmas Mansion. Can Kevin Holt restore her love for the season and the memories she left behind?
The Cowgirl’s Christmas Gift by Publishers Weekly bestselling author Deb Kastner
Cowgirl Maisey Gray knows horses, not six-year-olds. But when her socially-awkward, VR glasses-wearing neighbor needs help creating the perfect Christmas for his nephews, it’s up to Maisey to make sure Cam and the boys have a Christmas they’ll never forget.
Falling for Grace by Janet W. Ferguson
Grace Logan needs a place to pick herself up now that her ex is marrying her former best friend. Grief drives Seth Gibbs to his family’s vacation home, and three years later, he has no plans to leave. Until Grace falls into his life.