☆♥.•Making Christmas Magic (Spirit of Christmas, Book 1)
by Rachel Carrington•.☆♥.•
Sometimes, Christmas magic comes in mysterious ways…
I am pleased to announce a great book release by Rachel Carrington, a talented author I met during my journey! Her holiday romance, Making Christmas Magic, book one of the Spirit of Christmas series, officially released a week ago!
Yay, that’s awesome! Congrats on your new release!
When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!
Rachel is giving us a look at her holiday romance novella, Making Christmas Magic, today.
This is the blurb for Making Christmas Magic:
Sometimes, Christmas magic comes in mysterious ways.
Ainsley Beck is dedicated to the orphanage she runs and the twelve kids that are her responsibility. Sure, the house could use a lot of repairs, but it’s hers. That is, she believes it is until a handsome doctor arrives at her doorstep three days before Christmas to tell her that he’s just inherited the property…and it’s in foreclosure.
In spite of his intentions when he arrived in the small town of Broadway, after meeting Ainsley, Nick Riordan isn’t in any hurry to evict her. After all, it is Christmas. And his sudden change of heart has nothing to do with the immediate attraction he feels for her.
When a greedy lawyer throws a wrench into Nick’s plans and devastates Ainsley, he has to come up with a fallback plan to get Ainsley to trust him again before he loses much more than real estate.
Here is an excerpt to entice you with!
“What do you mean we don’t have a piano player?” Ainsley blew a lock of blonde hair out of her eyes that had escaped her woolen cap and shuffled the box of ornaments over to her right arm.
Margie Simmons, Broadway, Wisconsin’s librarian for the past twenty years, hung a puffed gingerbread man from the wide pine tree and stood back to admire her work. “Just what I said. Hazel Cartwright left this morning. Her grandmother’s in the hospital.”
“And she won’t be back in time for the festival?” She plopped the box down on the floor close to Margie’s feet.
“I doubt it. Her grandmother lives in California.” Margie scrunched her nose and moved the gingerbread man to another limb on the tree. “Does that look better?”
“Margie, how can you be worried about the Christmas tree ornaments when we don’t have a piano player for the festival? The concert is the biggest part. We count on that to end the festival.” Not to mention the publicity the town’s musicians always drew from neighboring cities. And they needed that publicity, well, the orphanage did anyway. With donations dwindling, she was robbing from Peter to pay Paul each month, and the festival, combined with the Christmas parade, never ceased to bring in a much-needed income boost.
Margie peered at Ainsley over the rim of her wireless glasses that, as usual, had slid to the end of her nose. “How about Duncan? He plays.”
“Duncan plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Okay, Ainsley. Don’t panic. This can be fixed. She’d just have to find another piano player in three days. Maybe there was one in nearby Tree Branch they could borrow…on Christmas Eve.
Her shoulders slumped. Every town around Broadway planned their own festival, although none of them had an orphanage looking to survive another year.
“So? How does the tree look?” Margie stepped back a little farther and waved her arms wide as though she’d created a masterpiece.
“Perfect, Marg. The tree looks perfect.” Trying not to be glum, Ainsley wrapped her scarf around her neck, stuffed her hands into her gloves, and headed out into the iciness of the Wisconsin winter.
Head down, she stepped out onto the sidewalk and caught sight of expensive loafers seconds before she collided with their owner. Hands out, she braced for a fall that never came. Strong hands gripped her shoulders and held her upright.
Her cap scooted a little on her head when she tipped it back to see who she’d almost mowed over. But considering the size of him, that wasn’t a possibility after all. “I’m so sorry. I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
“Good thing I noticed your interest in the ground.” The masculine voice carried a hint of humor that caused his lips to curl in a slight smile.
Ainsley smiled back, and warmth filled her stomach like a nice mug of hot chocolate. “Normally, I pay a lot more attention to the sky, but tonight, I just felt like the sidewalk needed it a little more.”
His smile became a full-blown grin, and the hot chocolate feeling spread to her limbs. “You have to go with your gut on these things.” He lowered his hands away from her shoulders then extended one to her. “I’m Noah Riordan.”
“Oh, ummm,” she tugged off her puffy glove and took his hand, “Ainsley Beck. And, at the risk of sounding cliché, you’re obviously new in town.”
“What gave me away?” He glanced down at his shoes. “It was the shoes, right?”
“At this time of the year, you only see boots.”
“Hard to drive with them, though, especially the puffy ones.”
Ainsley couldn’t wipe the grin off her face. This casual conversation with a man she didn’t really know had managed to erase the worry of a missing pianist. “You could keep them in your car and trade out when you got to where you were going.”
“Hey, there’s an idea. Why didn’t I think of that instead of keeping them in my luggage?”
“So where are you from?” She shouldn’t want to know so much about him, but curiosity had always been her downfall.
“You’re here early for the festival. Most people don’t start arriving until a day or two before.”
“Unfortunately, I’m here for business.”
“Well, I hope you can stay in town long enough to see the festival. Even as small as Broadway is, we still put on an amazing show, even if I am a little biased.”
“Since you put it that way, I don’t think I could leave without seeing it.” He grinned back at her, and his eyes crinkled with tiny laugh lines.
“You might want to get those boots on if you intend to stay out here much longer.” She didn’t tell him they didn’t have anyone in town to treat frostbitten feet. Hopefully, he wouldn’t need the information.
“I’ll do that. And in addition to the advice, maybe you could point me in the direction of a hot cup of coffee?”
“That would be Hazel’s diner.” She lifted a finger to point across the street. “She’s out of town, but her daughter helps her run it. They have good coffee.” She reined in her babble and pushed her fingers back into her glove. “It was nice to meet you, Noah Riordan. I guess I’ll see you at the festival.”
“I hope I see you before then. Three days is a long time to wait.”
Heat rushed to her cheeks. “I guess it is.”
“It was good meeting you, too, Ainsley Beck.” He stepped to one side to give her more room on the sidewalk. “I’m thinking the buildings straight ahead could use some attention.”
With an embarrassed chuckle, she tucked her hair further under her wool cap. “Right. I’ll just be going then.”
Reluctantly, she walked down the sidewalk, resisting the urge to look back to catch one more glimpse of those deep, blue eyes. As her grandmother would say, God did make some men that were easy on the eyes.
But she couldn’t waste any more time focusing on a stranger passing through town. She had a festival to save.
Noah watched Ainsley walk away for a few seconds longer before tugging open the door of the library. Earlier this morning, he’d wanted nothing more than to get to this small town, take care of business, and get back to Sioux Falls so his mother wouldn’t implode because he’d left the city so close to Christmas. Now, he’d committed himself to staying through the Christmas festival here which would undoubtedly earn him a decent dose of his mother’s wrath. But there was something about Ainsley Beck…something that would keep him here in spite of it.
“Well, hello, there.” A brown-haired woman wearing reindeer antlers greeted him from behind the stack of books she carried.
“Hi. Here. Let me get those for you.” He tried to take the tomes, but she turned, shaking her head.
“That’s okay. I’m used to toting these things around.” She plunked them down on the counter behind her and turned back to face him. “Now, what can I do for you?” She closed one eye and tipped her head. “Let me guess. You’re looking for information about the town. Maybe even a map? Our wi-fi isn’t so good. No wonder the GPS on your phone isn’t working. We get that complaint all the time with folks coming in trying to find Madison. It never fails that they get waylaid when a storm blows through.”
She trundled to the window behind a cartload of books and peeked out. “But it’s clear as a bell out there right now so did you just miss the turn off?” The woman didn’t give him a chance to respond before plowing on. “How about a cup of hot apple cider? I was just about to pour myself one to take the chill off my bones.”
“Thank you, but no. I did actually need some information. I’m not lost, though.” His toes had started to defrost, and he stamped his feet to quell the tingling. “I’d just like to look at some of the town plats, and I was told they’re held here.”
Her welcoming smile faded a little. “They are.” She folded her arms. “But I don’t hand them out to just anybody. You mind telling me what you need them for?”
“I’ve inherited some property here, but I don’t know anything about it. I’ve never been here. Honestly, I didn’t even know anything about the town or this piece of land until my uncle passed away. Seems he left it to me in his will.”
“Oh. Well, that’s different then.” She whipped around and marched toward away from the counter, disappearing deeper into the shelves of books. She was gone a long minute before popping her head back out and waggling her fingers. “You can come with me. Name’s Margie. I run this joint.”
“Good to meet you, Margie. I’m Noah.”
She paused long enough to look over her shoulder. “You here alone, or did you come with Mrs. Noah?”
The blatant curiosity brought a wide smile to his face. Margie probably had a niece or best friend’s cousin’s daughter who happened to be single, and surprise, here he was single, too. “There isn’t a Mrs.”
Another pause, this time with widened eyes. “How has no one managed to snag you?” She waved a hand in front of her face. “Listen to me. I should be ashamed of myself for embarrassing you like that.”
“I’m not embarrassed, and you don’t look ashamed.” He gave her a wink. “But I don’t think you’re asking about my marital status for yourself.”
Her cheeks flushed, and the hand-waving picked up speed. “Well, heavens no. I’ve been happily married for thirty years. Well, happily for the most part. Man sure does know how to get on a woman’s nerves.”
“Don’t we all?” Noah conceded with a laugh, wishing he had a little more than three days to spend in Broadway.
Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/3Rn0jR
Publisher link: https://www.vinspirepublishing.com/makingchristmasmagic
PRAISE FOR MAKING CHRISTMAS MAGIC
On a scale of cotton candy to Brussels sprouts, Making Christmas Magic by Rachel Carrington is peppermint bark. This holiday classic delights chocolate and peppermint lovers, and it’s perfect for a cozy night in. This Christmas novella is cute! Ainsley and Nick hit it off from the very beginning, even when they are seemingly at odds. – Cordially Barbara (Amazon)
Making Christmas Magic by Rachel Carrington was an amazing story. I love it when the primary source of conflict isn’t necessarily a person (although there is a major jerk in the story that certainly doesn’t help). In this case, the main conflict is a house about to enter foreclosure. And this isn’t just any house. It’s an orphanage that is barely hanging on. The sweet romance between Nick and Ainsley was a lot of fun. This was a wonderful, light-hearted Christmas romance that will set you up nicely in the holiday spirit. – No Genre Left Behind (Amazon)
This is a short and sweet novella. Very Hallmark-esque. The small town characters are fun and nosy and just want the best for Ainsley. Noah is a great hero who comes in ready to listen to the situation and not roll over Ainsley in her predicament. An enjoyable, fluffy read for the holiday season. – Erin H. (Amazon)
Intriguing! Gotta love these sneak peeks. ♥♥♥
Thank you for telling us about your new book! It sounds great!
Rachel Carrington is a published author of over fifty novels/novellas. She’s also a freelance writer who’s written for The New York Times, Writer Magazine, and Startrek.com. A lifelong lover of romance, she always includes a bit in every book she writes.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Carrington/e/B002BLL758/
Thanks again, Rachel! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime.
Happy reading, everyone! And have a great rest of your week! ♥