Thank you so much to the fantastic team at Tule for inviting me to post! I’m delighted to share The Christmas Concierge with you. Our heroine, Holiday Smith, is a high-end Christmas concierge, aka “The Wish Granter.” She spends her days scouring the globe for the most meaningful, most extravagant, most unusual items imaginable. Do you want to dazzle your loved one with an antique fountain pen identical to the one his great-grandfather carried? A purebred Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppy? She’s got you covered. The perfect gift, presented with panache, on time, guaranteed.
But this year, one of Holidays’ favorite clients has requested something (or rather, someone) that may prove impossible to acquire: she wants Holiday to set up her grown granddaughter on a blind date with her old high school crush, tech-world escapee Alex Sappier. Alex flatly refuses to be gifted…unless Holiday helps him resolve a family crisis by finding a virtually un-findable Christmas item of his own.
Luckily, Holiday works well under pressure. It would helpful, though, if she could stop having warm, fuzzy feeling for the guy she’s supposed to be wrangling under the mistletoe for someone else.
Writing this book made me think about some amazing gifts I’ve received over the years–which brings me to a story about the incomparable Jane Porter, woman of action and beacon of light. When Jane and I first met, we were both brand new to publishing and we both had young sons. Fast forward a few years and we happened to be in Hawaii at the same time, so we arranged to meet up and take our kids to the Honolulu Zoo. At the end of the afternoon, each boy selected a stuffed animal. My son chose a tiger and her son chose a fennec fox:
My son became seriously attached to that stuffed tiger. Think Calvin and Hobbes. He slept with his little striped buddy every night and snuggled it while listening to stories or watching television. And then…there was an Unfortunate Incident involving the stuffed tiger and a virulent stomach bug. The tiger had to be washed and dried. Well, it turned out that laundering this stuffed tiger caused his stripes to vanish and seams to unravel. I desperately searched local toy stores and the World Wide Web for a replacement, but it turns out that one could only obtain this particular tiger at–you guessed it–the Honolulu Zoo gift shop. We lived in Arizona. I dreaded explaining this to my distraught six-year-old.
Luckily, I didn’t have to. I mentioned the tiger tragedy to Jane in passing during a phone call, and a few days later, a package postmarked from Hawaii arrived at my front door. My son was ecstatic to unwrap the Honolulu Tiger, version 2.0 (hand-wash only):
I’m pretty sure that Jane wasn’t even in Hawaii when this all went down. She had to call in a favor from a friend, and that act of generosity and kindness made a world of difference to my family. Now, that is a wish granter.
I’d love to hear about thoughtful, heartfelt gifts you’ve received. Feel free to share in the comments section. And please join me for a fun giveaway at a Tule Book Club drop-in this Wednesday, 10/05/22, at 4:00 to 4:30 PDT: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TuleBookClub
About the Author
Beth Kendrick is the author of 17 novels, including Nearlyweds, which was adapted for a Hallmark Channel original movie. As the owner of a Portuguese Water Dog and a Spinone Italiano, she is on her way to becoming an official Crazy Dog Lady. Beth recently relocated with her family to the Tahoe area, where she is looking forward to the possibility of white Christmases.