Books make super Christmas presents so I thought I’d gather together a selection of gorgeous Christmas books that would make perfect stocking fillers. And my book for day ten is the wonderfully romantic It Started with Christmas by Jenny Hale.
Determined to make the best of the surprise situation, Holly tries to bring everyone together by baking delicious treats and decorating the cabin with plenty of festive sparkle. She finds herself growing close to handsome Joseph, who is unlike anyone she’s ever met before, even if Nana isn’t so keen on the dashing stranger with the mysterious past.
But charming and irresistible musician Rhett Burton is also back in town. Thrown into close proximity with the person who used to be her best friend and the man who broke her heart, Holly realizes it’s time to face her feelings and figure out what she really wants from her life. But to complicate things, both Joseph and Rhett have secrets to reveal…
Will Holly be able to find herself and the love she’s always dreamed of this Christmas?
Discover the joy of Christmas in this gorgeous novel, celebrating the importance of friendship, the magic of love, and finding happiness by being true to yourself.
Can you tell us a bit about the setting of the book, Jenny?
With its colossal growth, yet hanging on to its southern hospitality and small-town feel, Nashville is a hub for creatives. People flock here to soak in the eclectic artsy vibe. Where Range Rovers and dusty boots hold hands, where music pours through the streets. Four gridlocked lanes on I-65 crawl their way into the city every single day, bulging with traffic.
But only about forty minutes south—one can never go wrong, traveling further south—the massive highways disappear, replaced by long, winding lanes that meander through the hills to the town of Leiper’s Fork. Old farm houses, settled against the hillsides, parade their large front porches, full of paddle fans and rocking chairs, the glimmer of Christmas lights through the long wavy-glassed original windows. The town sits on one street with a couple spots to get my fill of those famous buttermilk biscuits and a traditional cup of coffee with no frills on cold days. One of them is Puckett’s Grocery. I’ve been greeted with a smile and “What can I get for you, darlin’?” while taking in the names of all the country music greats listed on their vintage jukebox.
Leiper’s Fork is the setting of my latest book It Started With Christmas. I spent my publication day there and I made sure the ladies working Puckett’s all got a signed copy.
How lovely! And now can you tell us a little about how you celebrate Christmas? What is your favourite Christmas memory?
My parents used to let us unwrap one present on Christmas Eve, and I remember spending so much time, looking at all the different shapes and sizes of gifts, the room dim, and the sparkle of the tree as I chose the one gift I was going to open that night. It almost seemed more special than the others, as if it were meant to be first, and I spent the entire rest of the evening carrying around whatever it was I’d opened.
I always used to let my children open one present on Christmas Eve too.When do put up your Christmas tree? And do you prefer a real or artificial one?
I have two artificial trees—one for my living room and another for my office. I put them up the day after our Thanksgiving (although sometimes I’ll make excuses to put it up a few days early…)
How do you usually spend Christmas Day?
Usually, we eat something small at the crack of dawn and dive in to opening presents as a family. We open them one at a time and have a little chat about each one. Then, we cook a big breakfast and spend the day relaxing amidst a floor full of toys and gadgets, watching football or reading books.
Sounds perfect! What present are you hoping to receive this year?
Last Christmas was a blur since we’d just finished unpacking after a big move to Nashville, so this Christmas my gift is just enjoying the day feeling settled and happy. (I might even bake the “big” batch of cookies. I’d only thrown together a small few last year with the move.) But if you want me to actually tell you a gift, I’m hoping for a new vacuum. Ha. Romantic.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, Jenny. Thanks for dropping by to talk to us.
When she graduated college, one of her friends said, “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day.” Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to her.
Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.
While she didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, she completed a novel that she felt was worthy of publication. The result was Coming Home for Christmas, a heart-warming story about friends, family, and the magic of love at Christmas.
The rest is history.
When she’s not writing, she’s a mother of two boys and a wife to a very supportive husband.
You can find out more about Jenny here:
When Saffy’s sister called to say she was stuck abroad with no hope of getting home to run her usual ‘singles Christmas lunch’, Saffy knew she would have to abandon her plans for wild festive parties in the city and head down to remote Cornwall to save the day. But family parties are so not her thing and both her sister Hannah and sexy single dad Logan seems certain she’ll never manage. Can she prove them wrong? Now available in print and as an ebook: