I love reading Christmas books and was thrilled when HTP books announced their slate of wonderful Christmas stories by authors I love. Please join me in wishing Sarah Morgan a Happy Book Publishing Day today as Snowed in For Christmas hits the shelves. This was such a fun story, but it also has some serious issues. Scroll down for my thoughts, a Q&A with Sarah Morgan and an excerpt from the book.
SNOWED IN FOR CHRISTMAS by Sarah Morgan
Published September 20, 2022 by HQN, Harlequin Audio
About the Book: What happens if the only Christmas celebration you want to attend is one you haven’t been invited to? USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan delights with this hilarious and heartwarming Christmas cracker of a novel!
The Miller family Christmas is legendary – it’s the kind of perfect festive gathering that advertising exec Lucy has only ever read about. Until now. Because this year, she needs to get Ross Miller on board with a new contract, and he’s not taking her calls. So she has no choice – she’ll gatecrash the Miller Christmas, get Ross’s signature, then disappear before her envy at their epic family celebrations gets too much.
The Miller sisters couldn’t be more different – tough cookie doctor Alice despairs of soft-hearted nanny Clemmie – but they are united by two things. A wish to see their disreputable older brother Ross settle down, and horror at their parents’ well-meaning interrogations every Christmas! Especially this year, with both women hiding life-changing secrets they do not want dissected over the Christmas turkey. So when a woman shows up on their snowy Highland doorstep, asking for Ross, and their grandma mistakes her for Ross’s new girlfriend, an opportunity presents itself
Before she knows it, Lucy has been invited to stay for the holidays, as the newest Miller plus-one. Her ‘boyfriend’ is furious, but the chemistry between them is as tempting as it is surprising. It’s shaping up to be either Lucy’s worst Christmas of all, or the best mistake of her life….
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Every year, I look forward to Sarah Morgan’s Christmas Book and Snowed in for Christmas was a wonderful reading and listening experience. It is a story of family relationships, love, finding your one and taking chances. Lucy Clarke is an ambitious and successful marketing professional who loves her job. Unfortunately, the company has lost a couple of clients, so unless they can land some new ones, the business will need to downsize and some of Lucy’s friends and colleagues will lose their jobs. Her boss talks about trying to land a sportswear company to help them land on their feet, but Lucy is unable to talk to the owner or get a meeting. She talks to his secretary and gets the address to his family home. She decides to drop off her proposal for him to look at over the holidays. The owner of the business is Ross Miller, one of three siblings. Ross and his sisters, Clemmie, a nanny and Alice, a doctor, are going to be home for Christmas, but they meet before thy go to plan their strategy for answering their parent’s and grandmother’s nosy questions. When they all show up, Clemmie tries to deflect her mother’s questions away from Alice and tells her mother that Ross has a girlfriend named Lucy. When Lucy shows up with her plans, Ross’ mother and grandmother jump to conclusions and invite Lucy to stay, thinking she is Ross’ girlfriend. As well, both Alice and Clemmie are keeping secrets. Will the Miller family be able to have a wonderful family Christmas or will they all head off in different directions?
This was such a wonderful Christmas story. Glenda Miller and Grandma Jane were such great characters. They wanted to become grandma or great-grandma and were not above making decisions for the three siblings. Grandma June was hilarious, she used her age to get away with all kinds of nonsense and made me laugh out loud. She also had a heart of gold and great intuition. All three of the Miller siblings were loving and caring, but had problems with relationships. Alice and Ross were both workaholics and it is hard to have a relationship. Alice is scared she can never be a good wife due to her career and is willing to give up a good think due to her fears. Clemmie has been in love with Fergus since she was little, but is afraid to tell him. Throw Lucy into the mix and you have a lot of people who are all afraid of relationships. Lucy recently lost her grandmother (two Christmases ago) and she has no family. She is so jealous of the Miller family, but is worried about crashing their holiday. This is a fun story, with some serious moments. Workaholic issues are addressed, as well as whether or not to have children. Grief, loyalty and friendship are also touched upon as well as family problems, especially parental expectations and relationships. I loved all the romance that develops and comes to a head at the end. This is a wonderful Christmas story filled with Christmas love and magic. One I definitely recommend. The narrator, Ruth Sillers, does a great job. I loved the voices she chose for the various characters and considering there were a lot of different ages, genders and accents that I was extremely impressed. I have never listened to her before, but I will definitely not hesitate in the future. If you enjoy uplifting, romantic stories full of family and Christmas, then you don’t want to pass this one up.
Q&A with Sarah Morgan
Is it difficult to come up with a specific Holiday themed novel every year?
I don’t find it difficult. In fact, by the end of the summer I can’t wait to get started on my next festive book. I’ve written a holiday themed novel every year for as long as I can remember, and it has become one of my own holiday traditions. Why do I love writing them so much? I suspect for the same reason readers enjoy reading them. They’re heartwarming, fun and super romantic and bringing individuals and families together during the holiday season creates endless opportunities for conflict and fun times.
What are the key elements of a holiday romance?
A good holiday romance delivers a powerful emotional journey between the main characters, but must also capture the warmth and mood of the season. In a holiday romance the season almost becomes another character, and as well as creating atmosphere it can impact on the characters and the plot. You can sink into the magical snowy setting of a fictional winter (no scraping ice from the car, no frozen fingertips), and enjoy romance with all the extra emotional intensity that the season brings.
Can you describe your hero and heroine in 3 words each?
Heroine: Feisty, fun, lonely
Hero: Smart, sexy, honorable
Are any of the holiday scenes in this book inspired by your own holiday traditions?
Traditions are an important (and fun!) part of the festive season, and everyone has their favorites. In Snowed in For Christmas there is a scene where Glenda and Nanna Jean decorate the tree while chatting with each other, and that was inspired by a tradition observed annually in our house! We love to go to the forest to choose our tree, and then we decorate it together using an eclectic mix of decorations accumulated from various travels over the years. Like Glenda and Nanna Jean, I also use decorations our children made when they were young. You can’t beat a baked star!
Do you decorate your writing room when you are writing a holiday book?
I start writing my holiday book in September, well before anyone else is thinking festive thoughts, and I decorate my writing room with some of my favorite Christmas decorations. I have a miniature tree with lights, a soft toy moose (so cute!) and some snowy pinecones. That, and a festive soundtrack, is enough to put me in the mood and keep my mind focused on winter and the holidays.
What is the best gift you’ve ever given? Recipient’s reaction?
Many years ago I was working in my first job as a nurse in London and one of my patients, the same age as me, was too sick to go home for the holidays. He said that all he wanted for Christmas was to leave the hospital and go outside for a while to have a taste of ‘normal life’, so we found a wheelchair, bundled him up in warm clothes and blankets and I pushed him to see the London skyline. We chatted about everything (but not illness or hospitals), just two young people enjoying each other’s company. While we were looking at the lights reflecting on the river it started snowing lightly which was magical. He said it was the best evening he could remember (I’m sure it wouldn’t be allowed now because of health and safety!).
What’s next for you?
I’m putting the finishing touches to next year’s summer book (more on that soon!) and I’m starting my Christmas book for next year. I’m already excited to write it!
About the Author: Sarah Morgan is a USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She has sold more than 21 million copies of her books and her trademark humour and warmth have gained her fans across the globe. Sarah lives with her family near London, England, where the rain frequently keeps her trapped in her office.