The Toy Maker’s Secret by Laura Strickland #christmasatvivis

Wow, this story gave me all the feels, and I only read the synopsis. Also, Laura Strickland has a couple more of Christmas stories, if you want to check her out!

The book is The Toy Maker’s Secret by Laura Strickland, it’s a contemporary short story.


Meghan Martin fears it’s going to be a lean Christmas. Since her husband, Dustin, abandoned her and their six-year-old daughter, Angie, she’s been forced to give up their cozy house in the suburbs and move to a small apartment in the city. Though she loves the multicultural flavor of the new neighborhood and how people help each other, she fears she won’t be able to make all Angie’s Christmas wishes come true, especially when Angie falls in love with an expensive, hand-made doll in the toy maker’s shop downstairs.

Now mysterious things are going on at the community center where Meghan works. Instead of too few packages beneath the giving tree, there are too many, and nobody can tell how they’re arriving. Could it be a touch of Christmas magic?

Jonas Kristensen has been making toys for children a long time, but when he sees Angie’s longing for the doll he’s made, it touches his heart, just like Meghan’s beauty and determination. Used to giving to others, he’s nearly stopped hoping for his own happiness. It’s been ages since he shared the secret of his magic with anyone. Will this be the year the toy maker receives a gift of his own?

Buy links:

Amazon US:

Amazon Ca:

Amazon UK:

Publisher site:

Barnes & Noble:



Chatting with the Author

Multi-published and multi award-winning author, Laura Strickland writes stories that span several Romance genres. Her Scottish Romances have been compared to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and her American Historicals echo the work of authors such as Susan Wiggs and Kristin Hannah. Her award-winning Buffalo Steampunk series has broken new ground both for its setting and its portrayal of automaton characters pursuing their rights.

Laura also cares deeply about animal adoption, and supports several local rescue organizations. If you visit her on Facebook, you will see numerous posts promoting pets in search of homes. Her last four dogs have been rescues, two of them seniors. She lives in Western New York not far from Lake Ontario and is currently working on her next book.

Here’s what she told me about Christmas traditions.

Christmas catalogs.JPGA Toyful Tradition

Ah, Christmas traditions! One of my favorite childhood memories involves one that, these days, rarely occurs: the arrival at our house of the annual Christmas catalog. In our world today, people shop online or at the mall. But way back when I was a girl, we’d get a thick, full-color catalog in the mail, stuffed with pictures and descriptions of…toys!

My favorite, called the Wish Book, came from Sears, and believe me, it was a child’s dream-come-true. For me, as soon as it arrived at our house, it meant Christmas was on the horizon, and the excitement built from there. I’d spend hours pouring over illustrations of dolls, games, stuffed bears, and every imaginable trinket Santa might possibly bring. My mom would allow me to mark off a few special things I felt I simply couldn’t live without. I remember, one year I marked almost every page!

Looking back now, though, I see it wasn’t these items that prompted my excitement. I didn’t need or even want most of those toys. What attracted me was the magic of it all—the idea that I might wish for something, and somehow Santa would know what I wanted. And, against all the laws of reason known to my seven-year-old brain, that doll or book would appear under our Christmas tree. Oh, the wonder of it, the sheer enchantment!

Looking back, I now realize of what that magic was truly woven—not sleigh bells or snowflakes, or even flying reindeer, but my parents’ love for me. Having now been a mom, and on the other side of the equation, so to speak, I understand a parent’s compulsion to keep a child’s faith and wonder in the impossible alive. As with all else in life, it’s the love that’s the true gift!

When I wrote my Christmas story, The Toy Maker’s Secret, I tried to put all that love between a mother and her daughter into the tale, along with a generous sprinkling of Christmas magic. I hope it might add to your holiday joy this year!

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