The Road to Christmas by Sheila Roberts, Ann Marie Gideon (Narrator)

Published September 20, 2022 by MIRA, Harlequin Audio

About the Book: From USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts comes a multi-generational Christmas road trip story filled with humor and heart, set against the snowy mountains of Washington state.

Michelle and Max Turnbull are not planning on a happy holiday. Their marriage is in shambles and the D word has entered their vocabulary. But now their youngest daughter, Julia, wants everyone to come to her new house in Idaho for Christmas, and she’s got the guest room all ready for Mom and Dad. Oh, joy.

Their other two daughters are driving up from California. Audrey from L.A., picking up Shyla in San Francisco and hoping to meet a sexy rancher for Audrey along the way. What they don’t plan on is getting stranded on a ranch when the car breaks down.

The ones with the shortest drive are Grandma and Grandpa Turnbull (Hazel and Warren). They only have to come from Medford, Oregon. It’s still a bit of a trek and Hazel doesn’t like the idea of driving all that way in snow, but Warren knows they’ll have no problem. They have a reliable car for driving in the snow—and snow tires and chains if they need them. They’ll be fine.

Surprises are in store for all three groups of intrepid travelers as they set out on three different road trips and three different adventures, all leading to one memorable Christmas.

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Each year, I look forward to Sheila Roberts’ Christmas novel and was happy to dig into The Road to Christmas. With the weather getting cooler in this part of my world, I snuggled up with a hot chocolate (spiked with Bailey’s) to follow the story of 3 generations of one family take road trips to celebrate Christmas together. Grandparents, Hazel and Warren, are a sweet couple who just want everyone in their family to be happy. They are worried about their offspring and in their hurry to get going, things get forgotten at home, some that will have ramifications for their travel. Michelle and Max, mom and dad, are in the process of breaking up their marriage. They haven’t told their family yet, planning to wait until after the holidays. Will their trip drive a further wedge between them, or give them the time and proximity to really talk to one another. Sisters, Audrey and Shyla, are travelling together. When they get a flat tire and their reservation for the hotel they plan to stay at wasn’t confirmed properly they are stranded, until a local comes to their rescue. Three different roadtrips, three different situations and three new beginnings. A sweet story about family, love and opening your heart.

I enjoyed this story about a wonderful family. Each of the duos/couples have some trepidation about the upcoming Christmas celebrations. They were relatable in that the squabbles, teasing and even irritating behavior can be seen in most families and relationships. There were times I wanted to reach into the pages and shake some of them, but that is also very realistic. I loved the idea of the groups all on a roadtrip, separately. The three storylines were well meshed, even though each group was on their own venture, they tied together through phone calls. With some Christmas Magic, love and forgiveness, we see New Beginnings and Family Relationships mended. A great story to read over the holidays. I did a read/listen, with the audiobook narrated by Ann Marie Gideon. I have listened to other books performed by this talented voice actress and always enjoy her work.

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Q & A From Sheila Roberts

What are the key elements of a holiday romance?

You must have the holiday trimmings: lights, mistletoe, snow if possible, candlelight moments and sweet gestures. Best of all, if possible, I like to wrap up the story with the perfect present: a grand gesture on the part of the hero. Christmas is a time for unexpected kindness, miracles and love. If you have those in a book I think you have a great holiday read.

Is it difficult to come up with a specific Holiday themed novel every year?

Well, so far so good. The holidays offer so many opportunities for a great story – family drama, holiday events and gatherings, special requests for Santa, stress, misunderstandings, and joy. Lots of possibilities in all of that!

Are any of the holiday scenes in this book inspired by your own holiday traditions?

Gathering family is a vital part of our Christmas celebrations, and, like the characters in my book, I will travel as long and as far as it takes to be with them. And the red velvet cake mentioned? Can’t have Christmas without it!

Do you decorate your writing room when you are writing a holiday book?

I have a laptop so my writing room is often the living room and that’s always decorated to the hilt. I never get tired of looking at our pretty tree, all dressed up for the holidays. And candles – love ‘em! Have to have lots of scented candles burning – Frasier fir and Bath and Body Works’ Twisted Peppermint are always strategically placed.

Can you describe your hero and heroine in 3 words each?

That’s a lot of heroes and heroines, as this book has a cast of characters. My hero Max is handsome, proud and clueless. His wife Michelle? Loving, easily-hurt and a grudge holder. As for the grandparents in our story, Warren is loving, stubborn and proud and his wife Hazel is strong, long-suffering and determined. And then we have Audrey. Smart, beautiful, wounded. It’s a good thing she’s going to meet Russ, who is buff, beautiful and kind.

What is the best gift you’ve ever given? Recipient’s reaction?

A few years ago I gave my daughter a quilt my mother had made. That quilt had so many memories wrapped in it and I know she will treasure it as she was very close to my mom. Of course, she was thrilled.

What is the best gift you’ve ever received? 

Best gift I ever received? It was years ago. My husband and I were struggling financially. My parents gave us a Christmas ornament wrapped in five ten dollar bills. Fifty dollars doesn’t sound like much these days but back then, to us, it was a fortune. And my parents weren’t exactly swimming in money at the time themselves, so I knew that gift involved some sacrifice. I cried. When it comes to Christmas and giving it’s never really about the gift. It’s about the love it comes wrapped in.

What’s next for you?

I am actually hard at work on next year’s Christmas book. But before that comes spring and another installment in my Moonlight Harbor series: Mermaid Beach. That’s a fun one, following the adventures of the mother, daughter and sexy grandma who make up the band, The Mermaids. Who doesn’t love mermaids, right? Meanwhile, merry Christmas and happy travels, and may your road trips go exactly as planned.

About the Author: Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in Washington State, where most of her novels are set. Her books have been published in several languages. On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for Hallmark. You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (

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