by Melody Carlson
Although the idea of discovering one’s related to royalty might be intriguing and interesting, I’d be completely terrified at the prospects. For starters, I wouldn’t have the manners or social graces to pull it off. Plus, I’m far more comfortable in jeans and flannels than silk and pearls. But that’s the beauty of fiction. You get to enter the world of make-believe, places you can only dream of. You can be transported to anywhere on earth...and beyond.
In A Royal Christmas, I take a rather serious and somewhat impoverished law student and plant her into a kingdom where she doesn’t fit in, but ultimately finds herself—and her place—in a foreign country with complete strangers. I’ve been asked numerous times why I chose to write a “royal” story, which is a good question. Although I’ve pretty much written all kinds of books, royal stories haven’t exactly been my cup of tea, per se. To be honest, the suggestion first came from my imaginative editors at Revell Books.
At first, I balked at the idea. It didn’t feel like me, plus it sounded a bit too much like a Hallmark movie. Okay, I realize a lot of my Christmas novellas are a bit like Hallmark movies. I get letters all the time that say that very thing. But writing about royalty still felt out there to me. Even so I promised to consider it. Eventually, a story idea began to percolate, and I realized I needed to create a story that was relatable to me. Ultimately, that’s what pulled me in.
In retrospect, I think I sort of put myself into my protagonist’s shoes. Adelaide was a hardworking, serious, no-nonsense, no-frills sort of college girl. She’d been raised by a single mom with a completely absent dad who Mom refused to discuss. After Adelaide’s mother passed on, Adelaide was completely on her own. Her only dream now: to complete law school, which is taking forever, and to have a life beyond working in her friends’ coffee shop and studying for the bar.
Then, on the eve of winter break, she gets an official-looking letter that smells too much like a scam to possibly be true. And yet it is. Suddenly, she’s uprooted and thrown into a whole new life on the other side of the globe. The whole place looks like a fairy tale come to life. She’s awestruck and amazed. Until she digs in a bit.
Naturally, her new picturesque world comes with its own troubles and challenges. An ailing father, who happens to be king, a mysteriously missing uncle, and a less than trustworthy stepmother, who wants to rule the kingdom through her son (current heir to the throne). A lot to pack into one limited word count novella. Plus, it’s Christmastime and, oh yeah, there’s a nice romantic thread too!
To my surprise, I really had fun creating this royal romp. Inventing a fictitious principality in Eastern Europe, and a less than enthused princess with some problems to resolve proved to be quite entertaining. Rags to riches tales are always fun for me. Kind of like escape writing. And a part of me envied some of Adelaide’s princess pleasures and privileges. Who doesn’t want to live like that? At least for a little while anyway. But Adelaide takes the state of her country seriously, and with her educational background might even have the necessary tools to help. That is if her unscrupulous stepmother doesn’t do away with her first!
I had such a good time with this book that I thought, hey, this could be a pretty cool movie. And guess what? I already adapted it to a screenplay and sold it shortly thereafter. Now, of course, that’s another story. But I will keep you posted. In the meantime, if you need to be swept away on a royal escapade at Christmastime, this book might be just your cup of tea!
About the Author
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. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.MelodyCarlson.com.
About the Book
Adelaide Smith is too busy for fairy tales. She's been working hard to put herself through law school. Then she receives a letter notifying her that she is a direct descendant of King Maximillian Konig V, the ruler of a small European principality called Montovia. Curiosity gets the best of her, leading to a Christmas break trip chock-full of surprises, including the chance at a real-life fairy tale romance.
Did You Know?
Plants need tending, and so do hearts. My upcoming Love Inspired romance, A Father for Her Boys, is a story of grief and hope and gardens.
Flowers can improve your mental health. There is something about nature that naturally settles the spirit. Flowers especially lend themselves to creativity. And their natural vibrancy adds to that anxiety-reducing effect.
Gardening can also soothe the soul. Working with our hands in the dirt has a way of healing grief and trauma. It is soothing, too, and witnessing life come from the ground breeds hope.
Experiencing nature can refresh and restore. Green is a naturally calming color. Being surrounded by living greenery is a wonderful way to be refreshed and restored.
I’m not a green thumb, but I can attest to the benefits of nature, gardening and flowers. Buy yourself a bouquet or find a walking path with plenty of greenery. It will refresh your spirit.
-Danielle Grandinetti, A Father for Her Boys
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“A bookstore is where I have a chance to calm down and discover. Virtual reality fades away while I connect to a slower pace. Bookstores are my happy place.”
-Angela Breidenbach, Flower of the Rockies