Welcome to Tuesday Wedding Tales blog series,
where wedding-themed stories are the fare.
Bonnie Engstrom is today’s guest,
and she’ll be sharing about her story Restoring Love at Christmastime
The Story Within the Story of Restoring Love at Christmastime
The old hotel in Restoring Love at Christmastime is, or rather was, real. The inn was filled with childhood memories for me that were fun to recreate and bring up to date. The day before I was scheduled to send the story to my publisher I decided to revisit a few facts online. I was shocked to learn the historic inn had burned to the ground three days before. I was devastated and indecisive. Should I publish the story that featured the hotel as the background for love? I decided to go ahead. It would be a tribute to the rickety old building that had housed guests for over one hundred years.
My many summer visits to Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania had special memories of trail rides on handsome Traveler. Yes, the Traveler in the story is a tribute to a gorgeous chestnut-colored steed, the first horse I’d ever ridden. Jenni stands on the impressive wraparound veranda and borrows books from the hotel’s library – both authentic memories. That’s as far as genuine memory went. I had never seen snow there, but I do have a vague memory of ancient bathroom fixtures, old even fifty years ago.
My publisher retitled the book to add at Christmastime when we both latently remembered the story takes place during the holiday. A colorful new cover adorns it. Just before the new title was revealed the book won a 5 Star Readers Favorite Award. It was a fun story to write, especially the teasing banter between Jenni and Jake and how their old friendship grows. I almost forgot . . . readers will meet a skunk, an owl and a preying hawk. Trail rides can be interesting.
Restoring Love at Christmastime
By Bonnie Engstrom
Why was Jenni taking this journey back in time during the Christmas holidays? Surely, Jenni didn’t expect to see Jake the stable boy. She had moved on from sneaking kisses in the barn after trail rides. He must have, too. Who on earth would stay in the tiny town of Cambridge Springs?
She planned for a respite from teaching, time to read, take quiet walks and indulge in delicious hotel meals. At least no one knew where to find her, none of her friends, and not even her family.
The internet site for Pleasant Springs Hotel highlighted an annual holiday production of A Christmas Carol that guests sometimes played parts in. That sounded like fun, maybe a minor way to fulfil a fanciful dream, if only for a few minutes. Hopefully some handsome guest would play Scrooge.
Odd the name of the historic hotel had changed. Who would have done that? Maybe new owners. She hoped the rooms were still filled with antique furniture. She wanted to soak up memories, alone. Unless by a Christmas miracle Jake was still there to share them.
Can romance still flourish after fifteen years? Will a teacher and a former stable boy remember their first kiss?
They raised their heads, and their eyes met – brown and blue. Both sets of lips grinned and they dug in. Jenni was glad the kitchen had included a large spoon for her to twirl her pasta on. Her Italian friend Corentina had taught her that when she was growing up. It seemed more civilized than sucking the strands into one’s mouth.
Jake watched her with curiosity. “You always eat spaghetti that way?”
“Yes. It’s the proper way to eat long pasta. You don’t?”
“Naw. I just chop it up.” He proceeded to do so, almost mashing it. He shoved a big forkful in his mouth.
“But, that takes the fun out of it. And, it’s easy to twirl.” She demonstrated. “See!”
“Oh, boy! You gonna make an issue of how I eat?” He put his fork down and glared at her. “If there is any future for our relationship, we shouldn’t squabble over eating habits.”
Squabble? Future? What was he insinuating?
Want to read more? Restoring Love at Christmastime is available in eBook and print at https://amzn.to/2OtSRoW.
About the Author:
Bonnie Engstrom is a multi-published author who mostly writes romances. She has published fourteen books and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and Christian Writers of the West.
She and her Ph.D. psychologist husband, Dave, reside in Arizona near four of their six grandchildren. The other two live in Costa Rica on the beach with their father who surfs every day and has taught the boys to surf and skateboard since they were toddlers. Pura Vida!
Bonnie spends a lot of her time, when not writing, helping with the four Arizona grandkids. Dave is a full-time faculty member and faculty advisor at the University of Phoenix, as well as a psychologist at Honor Health Medical Center, Scottsdale, Arizona.
They have been a team for fifty-three years.
Please visit Bonnie at her website to see the grandchildren and figure out who the surfing ones are. Fun fact: The little red-head imp recently got baptized with her.
Follow her on Twitter at @BonnieEngstrom1 and on Facebook
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put BOOK in the subject line so your post doesn’t fly off into cyberspace.
She loves to hear from her readers, and reviews are a special way to say you liked her books.