the struggling revival movie theater she runs for her
great-grandmother. After all, how many times can you show It’s a
Emily was hoping to make a little profit on “Holiday Hijinks,” her
“counter-programming Christmas” event. What she never
expected—plot twist—is that an unexpected guest will turn her own
life into a romantic comedy.
Holiday Hijinks is the first in a new series of cozy romances set in the
small Pacific Northwest town of Silver Birch, Washington. A short
read (15K) for a busy time, Holiday Hijinks introduces a whole
new cast of characters while bringing back “cameos” from the
“Meredith Manor Hotel” books, which are also set in Silver Birch.
If you love movies and food and romance as cozy as flannel jammies,
Holiday Hijinks is the Christmas read for you.
The first person I told about my plans for the Halliday Holiday Hijinks, after Becca, was Max Hopkirk.
“You’ll need some guest stars,” Max had said when I ran into him at the Meredith’s “Haunted Hotel” party in October, “to add to the marquee value.”
Max was a semi-retired English actor who lived at Meredith Manor Hotel between engagements. I’d seen him do the one-man show A Christmas Carol at the hotel’s “Christmas Experience” the year before and had fallen completely in love with him even though he was almost forty years older than me and gay.
He’d been totally charming when I’d introduced myself and happily accepted my offer to host a Valentine’s Day screening of the artsy horror movie, Heart of a Devil, a Hammer-style 70s film in which he’d played a vampire count.
Max had brought little foil-wrapped chocolate hearts to distribute at the screening, then had delighted all the attendees with his gossipy stories of what went on behind the scenes during the movie’s filming. I’d finally had to chase everyone out of the theater so I could go to upstairs to bed.
Nella was crazy about Max. She had once gone to a Meredith Hotel Halloween costume party dressed as Gloria Swanson escorted by Max as William Holden and their Sunset Boulevard tag team had won “best costume.”
I think she would have been happy with an “all Max, all the time” schedule of guest appearances. If he hadn’t been so in demand on the Shakespeare festival circuit and unavailable much of the year due to Meredith Manor Hotel events, I think he’d have been happy to oblige.
Nella was delighted to hear Max had agreed to act as Master of Ceremonies for the movie marathon. So was I. It would take a lot of pressure off me.
I told Max that as soon as I had a firm lineup of the films—all the ticket holders got to vote on what we’d be screening—I’d consult with him. Max being Max, though, had phoned his agent and asked her who they had on their roster who might like to take part in a “film festival.” He must have made our little revival house event sound like a Pacific Northwest version of Sundance because the next thing I knew, I got a call from a woman in Los Angeles confirming that “the hottest young director in town” would be happy to lend his exalted presence to the Halliday Holiday Hijinks this Christmas. “And Emily, by ‘hottest,’ I do mean he is hot,” she’d added.
“He is pretty hot,” Delia said when I showed her the director’s picture.
“Yeah,” I said, “if you like the broody, Byronic type.”
Delia looked at the picture again. “Who doesn’t?”
And that’s how Zachary “Zac Attack” Orwell ended up the main event at what Becca was calling the “Triple H party.”
|Katherine Moore, Author|
Born in Washington, D.C., Katherine Moore now lives in a small Pacific
Northwest town very much like Silver Birch. She has worked as a food
writer, a caterer, and a movie extra as well as a freelance lifestyle
reporter and staff writer for magazines in Honolulu, Los Angeles, and
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!