The Christmas Calamity (Hardman Holidays, Book 3) is the story of Arlan Guthry, a somewhat studious banker’s assistant, and Alexandra (Alex) Janowski, a magician by trade who also happens to have experience as a teacher. When her wagon breaks down just outside of Hardman, Arlan offers a helping hand and soon finds himself fighting an attraction for the free-spirited, beautiful woman.
I like to think Alex and Arlan bring out the best in each other, whether they realize it or not. Arlan needs his neatly ordered world tipped off kilter a bit and Alex needs the steady influence Arlan provides. Below is one of my favorite quotes from the book.
Mean to Me by Brett Eldredge
I don’t know why, but it just makes me think of them.
Without further ado, meet Alex and Arlan…
Since Arlan made appearances in the first two books in the series, we already knew a little about him. We knew he was handsome, a hard worker, that he was friends with the Granger family, and a respectable citizen of Hardman. We also knew he was alone and maybe a little lonely.
Arlan takes his job at the bank quite seriously, loves math, and is one of the kindest characters I think I’ve created. He likes to dress well in finely tailored waistcoats and top coats, but growing up on a farm, he still has a little country boy in him.
Alex is somewhat unconventional, accustomed to living a nomadic lifestyle as a traveling magician (or prestidigitator, as she prefers to be called).
More than a year ago, I happened across the word “prestidigitator” and knew I had to work it into a story. I love the way it sounds, rolling off the tongue. It’s just one of those words that is so, so fun to say. In fact, there are several fun words in the book, but I’ll let you find them yourself!
Anyway, Alex comes from a long line of magicians, even though it would not have been her first choice for an occupation. She grew up wanting to be a teacher and even held a position for a few months before her father decided to take their magician wagon and travel the country. After he dies, she continues the trade. On her way to spend the winter in California, her wagon breaks down in seemingly the middle of nowhere, although it is just a few miles from Hardman. Arlan happens upon her and is immediately entranced by the beautiful woman dressed in pants!
For Arlan, the first visual that came to mind was Armie Hammer.
I found this old Garland Stoves ad that had a magic trick listed on the back side. How fun is this. It helped me think about tricks that might have been “astounding and amazing” back in the late 1800s.
In case you’ve forgotten the other characters from the series,
Brooke White is exactly how I envision Ginny Granger.
Dylan Bruce fit the bill for our handsome British Blake Stratton.
And we can’t forget baby Maura. (And if you missed the reference, she’s named after Filly’s mother, Maureen.)
The parlor at Granger House.
The staircase at Dora and Greg Granger’s new home, decked for the holidays.
The book is available in both Kindle and paperback!