Sunday, November 6, 2022

Book Spotlight: The Red Button by Keith Eldred

About the Book:

The prequel to A CHRISTMAS CAROL— A sweet Regency Christmas romance.

Here at last is the untold story of Scrooge's doomed engagement.

Belle Endicott and Ebenezer Scrooge are young, bookish, hardworking Londoners drawn together by button-making. His brand-new factory threatens her family’s tiny shop, yet they fall in love and start planning their future. When personal and business calamities strike, they confront them vigorously side by side, but ultimately something has to give. We know what it is. They do not.

Purchase Link:

More From the Author:

This is a sweet, clean Regency romance with a print page count of 248.

To expand on the historical setting: As mechanization spreads worldwide in the early 1800s, Ebenezer Scrooge leaves his mentor Fezziwig to launch his first enterprise, a factory producing clothing buttons. Such businesses spell doom for independent button-makers, but Ebenezer seeks out the most respected small shop to gain expertise and contacts. There he meets congenial craftsman Archie Endicott and his daughter and partner Belle, who immediately fascinates young Scrooge as she astutely counters his business proposals. As Ebenezer and Belle learn more of each other—notably his driving ambition and her entranced communion with the spirit of her late mother—they fall in love and become engaged. This delights Belle's father but concerns Scrooge's bankers. Side-by-side, the loving couple confronts mounting challenges that jeopardize their future.

I released this book in 2020 as part of a labor of love. I was determined to self-publish my first 20 books in 2020 for reasons explained at my website in this brief "About" article:


A visitor.

Then one day, a visitor came to the Endicotts’ humble shop and home. There were three crisp knocks. Wiping his hands on his smudged apron, Archie answered. The caller was a young man, long and lean with impressive side whiskers and a long navy coat. He took a step back from the door and removed his tall hat.

“Good day, sir. I am here to discuss a contract. My name is ... ”

He stopped as if he could not recall what he was called and peered over Archie’s shoulder, his head cocked in curiosity. Archie turned to follow the gaze, and then he understood. The young man’s eye had fallen on his daughter.

As was her gift, Belle’s hands were floating and darting like butterflies as she used scissors, needle and thread to spirit fabric around buttons even as she gazed straight ahead with a soft smile and listened, it seemed, to someone beloved who was not there. Which, of course, was exactly what she was doing. She was with Lily.

A twinkle in his eye, Archie put a finger to his lips and beckoned the young man to enter. Sidewhiskers did so, his eyes never leaving Belle. In whispers, Archie explained Belle’s unique state and skill. It warmed his heart to see Sidewhiskers’ eyes narrow and his mouth flex in fascination.

“Extraordinary,” Sidewhiskers murmured. “What an asset.”

“Asset?” True to his name, Archie arched an eyebrow at this. 
A valuable capability, I mean.”

“Oh, yes, she’s a treasure, Belle is.”

“Belle,” said the young man softly. “It means ‘Beautiful’ in French. Her mother spoke a bit of French.”

“Indeed,” said the young man. “Beautiful.”

Archie could not be sure whether the visitor meant the girl or her “capability”—perhaps both—but he discovered an instant affection for him. Sidewhiskers was disarmingly awkward and nakedly ambitious. He had led with mention of a contract, and it appeared that he found Archie’s and Belle’s little family operation, to borrow the young man’s phrase, valuable. How intriguing. Perhaps there was something good—and someone good?—here for Belle.

“You were about to say your name, sir?” said Archie.

“Indeed,” said the young man, tearing his eyes from the girl and squaring again on her father. “My name is Ebenezer Scrooge.”

Praise for The Red Button:

Scrooge or Dickens lovers, take a chance on reading about a happier time for Ebenezer.
Sara M.

Organically introduces many familiar names from the original story, weaving them in and giving them believable and appropriate backstories. Will make you hopeful for one of literature’s grumpiest characters, even though you know how it’s going to end.
Renae P.

The reader gains a deeper understanding of what made Scrooge the man he is. Brings a sweet and pleasant closure to Belle’s story as well.
Erin M.

About the Author:

Keith Eldred created the THIS IS RED project with his wife Janet, a public library director diagnosed with early-stage dementia. With Janet’s condition making every day precious, they decided to make the most of 2020, the year of their 30th anniversary, by publishing 20 books. All profits from these titles go the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, where Janet works. See more at

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