Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, and her novel All Summer Long has been made into a Hallmark movie. The movie based on her novel The Happy Camper premiered on UPtv in 2023.
In this interview, Melody shares some insights into her latest Christmas novel, A Royal Christmas.
FF: Please provide a brief summary of A Royal Christmas?
Adelaide Smith, a hardworking law student, is discovered to be a direct descendant of King Maximillian V, the dying ruler of a small European principality. Her deceased mother never spoke of her absent father, but the puzzle pieces fit. Adelaide accepts the king’s invitation to visit and travels to Montovia during the Christmas season. Immediately befriended by Anton Balazs, Adelaide is swept into an old-fashioned world filled with family mysteries, royal jealousies, and the possibility of a fairy-tale romance.
FF: What sets this Christmas story apart from the other novels you have written?
I’ve never written a Christmas novella about royals before. I enjoyed creating a fictional kingdom and country, as well as some different circumstances from my other novellas.
FF: When you started writing this story, did you know how it would end for Adelaide?
I actually wasn’t sure how it would end. I had the same questions as Adelaide: Which way will this go? What will be for the best—for her as well as the kingdom?
FF: This story is set in the fictional country of Montovia. How did you come up with the setting for your novel?
I was thinking of a tiny country like Liechtenstein or Luxembourg (where I spent a little time many years ago). I wanted something independent but with German influence. And since I live in the mountains, I thought that would be fun and picturesque.
FF: What inspired the character growth in Adelaide’s mother?
We don’t really get to know Adelaide’s mother, Susan, too well since she is deceased, but Adelaide gets to know other facets of her mother as she explores her own heritage. She learns that Susan rejected wealth and title for principles and that she returned to nursing school in order to raise her child on her own, with no help from the paternal parent, who was wealthy.
FF: What are some of the underlying themes in A Royal Christmas?
The challenges of a single parent, loss and grief, self-reliance, loyalty, friendship, and caring about those who are less fortunate.
FF: Your books are well-known for their romance. Can you describe the romance that takes place in A Royal Christmas?
It’s complicated because Adelaide is a “foreigner” in a kingdom that perceives her as heir to the throne. Although she’s attracted to Anton Balazs, she isn’t sure she plans to remain in Montovia. What about her law career? Anton’s very involved in Montovian government, would he give that up for her? Will true love prevail all their challenges?
FF: What do you hope readers will gain from reading A Royal Christmas?
As always, I hope they’ll be entertained and encouraged—and transported to another place. I hope it will put them in a Christmassy frame of mind of peace on earth and goodwill toward humankind.
FF: Is this your first novel depicting royalty?
It’s my first adult novel with that theme. I self-published a pair of YA novels years ago that will rerelease later this year with WhiteFire. Those books are about twin princesses who face some interesting challenges—but they are more fairy-talelike stories.
FF: What are you working on next?
I just finished next year’s novel (Spring 2024) called Just for the Summer. It’s about two women who are unhappy with their hotel management careers and decide to participate in a job swap that takes them to completely different places—a boutique city hotel traded for an old-fashioned fishing lodge. Fun!
FF: Where can readers purchase a copy of A Royal Christmas?
Hopefully at their favorite bookstore (ask for it!) or online stores like BakerPublishingGroup.com, ChristianBook.com, Barnes&Noble.com, etc.
A Royal Christmas
A Real-Life Fairy Tale Christmas Contemporary Romance
Genres: Holiday Romance, Christmas, Romance
Release Date: September 5, 2023
Adelaide Smith is too busy for fairy tales. She’s been working hard to put herself through law school and now that the end is in sight, she’s determined to stay focused on her goals. Then she receives a letter notifying her that she has been found through a DNA registry to be a direct descendant of King Maximillian V, the ruler of a small Eastern European principality called Montovia. She’s understandably skeptical. This is the stuff of cheesy made-for-TV movies, not real life.
Although the pieces of this surprising family puzzle seem too good to be true, curiosity gets the best of her. At the king’s invitation, Adelaide embarks on a Christmas break trip that is chock-full of surprises, including a charming village, an opulent palace, family mysteries, royal jealousies, a handsome young member of Parliament–and the chance at a real fairy tale romance with a happily-ever-after ending.
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