The New York Times Best Seller – Now is one of our True Christmas Classics .
By Brittney Ryan
The image that keeps coming to mind for me is that of a young child, struck with wonder, mouth slightly agape as the magic of Laurel’s illustrations pulls them instantly into a world that we immediately recognize as the “forever” place from which all life’s magic originates. I feel like that child when I look at her illustrations—somehow lost, yet completely found in the very same instant. Incredibly, the impact of the visuals is similar to the way the book resonates when I read—they enrich each other, casting a spell that transports one into the very center of Holly’s world and The Kingdom of Forever. I wish I could capture it more fully, as from my first moments with The Legend of Holly Claus, I am dumbstruck. —Kimberly Eyquem, Reviewer
When envisioning my novel, The Legend of Holly Claus, I wanted to write a timeless Christmas classic that would endure throughout the ages, to be read and shared every year, from generation to generation. Holly Claus is a princess who truly embodies the spirit of Christmas: she saves herself through saving others. It is Holly’s great empathy and compassion that make her strong; she shows that one can be in possession of an innocent, pure heart and have all the more bravery, fortitude, and strength for it. As I wrote her story, I hoped she would inspire children and families to dream and to believe in the true magic of Christmas. As Frances, a ninety-year-old reader wrote, “Some of my clearest childhood memories are the hours I spent…having tea with the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter and Alice, solving the exciting clues encountered by Nancy Drew, and skipping down the Yellow Brick Road to find the Wizard with the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man. Holly Claus will be ingrained into childhood memories like trips to foreign lands where real friends are encountered and remembered always.” This is my greatest dream for Holly: that she become a beloved Christmas legend who inspires children (of all ages) and lives on in their memories
Even from conception, I knew the story would need an artist who could bring the joy of Christmas to life on the pages. I recalled the words of author and clergyman Norman Vincent Peale, who said, “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” This was the sense I wanted to convey, and it would require illustrations both delicate and exquisite. I wanted the story and illustrations together to illuminate children’s imaginations with the magic of long-ago Christmases: the festive wonder, the resplendent decorations, and the treasured memories of generations past, brought to vibrant life.
As I was dreaming of the perfect creative partner for my world of Holly Claus, I ventured into all kinds of bookstores and pored over children’s stories. I loved Thomas Nast’s iconic Christmas illustrations from the 1870’s. When I came across Laurel Long’s illustrations, I immediately saw that they held the same classic quality. She and I connected, and we quickly sparked a shared vision for the story. Her art perfectly captured the intimate emotion and imaginative scope of the tale. Seeing Holly Claus, her friends, and her wondrous world of Christmas come to life by her hand, I knew that Laurel was the perfect partner I had been searching for. At Christmas time, a blanket of magic covers the Earth. Laurel’s illustrations are nothing less than a blanket that enfolds the novel in an extra layer of magic. I am delighted and blessed to be working with her to continue creating Holly Claus tales for years to come.
Laurel Long and Brittney Ryan
Step into the enchanting world of the upcoming collector’s edition and audio book of The New York Times Best Seller –The Legend of Holly Claus, presented and narrated by The Royal Storyteller, where magic and wonder come to life on every page. This highly anticipated, literary masterpiece is not just a story, but an immersive experience that will captivate the heart and soul. This truly extraordinary release will be a luxury, high-end, collectable edition packaged with an audiobook featuring The Royal Storyteller as she magically takes readers through the story chapter by chapter. This brand-new collector’s edition will be a meticulously crafted work of art, destined to become a treasured keepsake for future generations and a symbol of cherished memories waiting to be made. Christmas 2024