Monday, August 15, 2022

Sneak Peek Excerpt & Giveaway - - The Road to Christmas



From USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts, three generations of travelers embark on a Christmas road trip filled with humor and heart, set against the snowy mountains of Washington State.

The Road to Christmas
by Sheila Roberts
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: September 20, 2022

Michelle and Max 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 daughters, Audrey and Shyla, are driving up from California 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—also known as Hazel and Warren. 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—and snow tires and chains if they need them. They’ll be fine.

Surprises lie in store for all three sets of intrepid travelers as they set out on three very different adventures, all leading to one memorable family Christmas.





Audrey and Russ sat talking late into the night, long after everyone else had gone to their respective bedrooms. They covered everything from crazy childhood experiences to higher education, both in and out of the classroom. They shared classes they’d liked most in college—American literature for her, geology for him— favorite movies and what books they were reading. His reading was as all over the map, like hers. He enjoyed everything from Carl Sagan to Kurt Vonnegut.

“And I’m a big Lee Child fan,” he said.

She cocked an eyebrow.

“What?” he said defensively. “Are you a reading snob?”

“Talk about fantasy,” she scoffed. “Jack Reacher can outfight and outthink mortal men, plus he wears the same clothes for days but he always finds a woman willing to fall into bed with him when he rolls into town all scruffy and stinky.”

“And how would you know about his hygiene habits?” countered Russ. One corner of his mouth hitched up.

Busted. “Okay, I’m not above reading an occasional bit of male fantasy,” she said with a shrug, mirroring his smile. “Those books are fun. And I have to admit, they’re a great lesson in self-defense. So don’t mess with me, or I’ll gouge out your eyeballs.”

He laughed. “I guess we all enjoy some escape once in a while. So when you’re not slumming, reading male fantasy, what else do you read?”

Audrey named the titles of several favorite nonfiction books, including one about the history of Uber as well as her Michio Kaku book.

“Yeah, I read that one by him,” Russ said. “Fascinating stuff. But what do you read when you want to escape? Any favorite authors?”

She rattled off the names of her favorite romance authors, which ranged from Brenda Novak and Susan Wiggs to Jane Austen.

“I’m afraid I don’t know any of them. Well, except for Jane Austen.”

“They write romance novels.” She realized she was feeling a little like someone confessing to a drug addiction. Probably because she’d just dissed his favorite escape reading.

“Ah,” he said, nodding slowly.

“Don’t judge. Even though I just did,” she added.

“Wouldn’t dream of it. We all need our fantasies, right?”

“I guess we do,” she agreed. “You don’t always get that happy ending in life. Maybe that’s why I like to read a good romance. Everyone should have a happy ending somewhere, and if you can’t get it in real life, you ought to at least be able to find it in a book.”

“I think you deserve a happy ending in real life,” he said.


Russ started playing with a lock of her hair, and she began to go all mushy inside. “Oh, yeah,” he said, his voice a caress. “You never know where you might find a happy ending. Or with who.”

Whom,” she corrected absently. Did she really just say that? “Shoot me now. I’m doing it again, being the world’s biggest know-it-all.”

He chuckled. “Hey, I already told you what I think about smart women, so feel free to be yourself.”

Free to be herself. There were enough times growing up when she’d felt anything but. The teacher’s pet, the show-off, the oddball who loved doing homework and discussing the symbolism of Lord of the Flies and All Quiet on the Western Front with the teacher.

“Being smart is a gift. You should use it. And if somebody can’t deal with that, too bad,” said Russ.

“My ex sure couldn’t.”

“He was obviously all wrong for you.”

“Yes, he was,” she agreed. So his rejection shouldn’t have hurt. But it had.

“I, on the other hand, am a man who understands the importance of communicating properly.” He moved aside the lock of hair and skated his fingers up her neck, murmuring, “How’s this for a grammatically correct sentence? You have the softest skin.” He touched his lips to the sensitive spot behind her ear and sent tingles shooting in all directions.

Oooh. “I think that’s very good.”

“There you go. I’m improving already. Next time I have to write a business letter I’ll have you proofread it.”

That certainly sounded like they were more than simply two people whose paths were temporarily crossing. “Always happy to help,” she said as those incredible lips made their way to her collarbone, spreading holiday tingles as they went.

“I think I’m going to need a lot of help,” he said, planting another kiss. “What do you think?”

“I think you’re doing just fine.”

He smiled at her and then turned his attention to her lips, sliding a hand across her middle as he kissed her.

The kiss left her almost breathless, but she managed to say, “I can’t believe this is happening.”

“What?” he murmured, nuzzling her hair.

“This. You. All from having a flat tire.”

“You’ve got to listen to all those pillows and wall hangings you see in the stores. Believe.”

She did. She was tingling all over when she finally made her way to the guest bedroom. Gram loved to quote Bible verses to her, and one of her faves said that everything worked together for good. Everything certainly seemed to be, for Audrey. She was now very happy that they’d had that flat tire, that there’d been no rooms available in any of the town’s motels. And she was especially happy she’d gotten dumped because what was developing with Russ Livingston was so superior to, so much more than what she’d had.

“Merry Christmas to you,” Shyla greeted her when she slipped into the room.

“Yes, it is,” she agreed.

“Do I detect whisker burn on your neck?”

“You detect nothing,” Audrey said firmly.

“You lie. He really is a great guy, and a great match for you.”

“Well, I’m not going to get my hopes up,” Audrey said.

She sure did lie. Her hopes had climbed even higher, reaching the point where they could have joined the Hubble out there in space.

In spite of that, she still felt shy the next morning when it was time to leave. Vera served them a French toast casserole with blueberries along with high-octane coffee and promised to share the recipe, making sure she got Audrey’s information in her phone.

“You girls really do have to stop by on your way back through, even if it is only for a quick visit,” she said as the family walked them out. “We’ll be disappointed if you don’t.”

“I’d like that,” Audrey told her.

“Me, too,” Shyla said.

Tom wished them a safe journey, then went to the barn to muck out stalls. Rand, too, said his goodbyes and went to help his dad, and Shyla moved off to warm up the car, Vera walking with her. That left just Audrey and Russ lingering on the front porch.

“You sure you want to see us back again?” she asked.

“What do you think?” he said, lowering his voice. “I’m not taking down that mistletoe anytime soon, that’s for sure. I want to keep seeing you. Unless you’re having second thoughts?”

“No way. I want to make sure you aren’t.”

“After last night? You gotta be kidding me.” He slipped his arms around her waist. “Audrey, I fell for you the minute I saw you standing on the road. I’m still down for the count, and I don’t want to get up.”

“And he shouldn’t,” Shyla said after Audrey was in the car and they were on their way. “He’s perfect for you, you know.”

“Yes, I think he might be.”


“Still being cautious, I guess. Everything that’s happened almost seems too good to be true.”

“The way he looks at you? Don’t worry, it’s true. Ho ho ho! Thank you, Santa and Shyla,” Shyla said as they turned onto the highway. “And now, on to the next adventure.”

Audrey’s phone pinged with a text. “Julia’s having a snort,” she reported.

“Tell her to chill,” said Shyla.

On our way,” Audrey dictated to her phone.

“Since when are you so nice?” Shyla teased. “Never mind, I already know. Love has mellowed you. Seriously, I’m happy for you, sissy. It’s about time. I think you’re going to have a happy new year.”

“Not to mention a great Christmas,” Audrey added.

Shyla began singing, changing the lyrics of “Deck the Halls.”

“We are on the road to Christmas.”

Audrey joined in, and they both sang, “Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.”

“Russ’s family’s gonna miss us,” Shyla sang with a grin.

Audrey joined her for more fa-la-las.

“Audrey finally found her mister. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! Merry Christmas to my sister,” Shyla finished, and Audrey joined her for the last fa-la-las.

What a crazy road they had been on, but what a wonderful ride.


Do you enjoy traveling for Christmas or would you rather have everyone come to you?

When do you begin reading holiday romances?

Have you read any of Sheila Roberts' holiday romances yet? (They're an annual tradition for me!)

Two randomly chosen people who post a comment before 11:00 PM (EDT), August 17 will each receive a print ARC of The Road to Christmas

U.S. only

Must be 18

Void where prohibited

About Sheila Roberts

Enthusiastic about all things Christmas, Sheila Roberts is the author of almost 50 novels, including ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS, which was made into a Lifetime Network movie. Another book of Sheila’s, adapted for the small screen, THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS, is a perennial Hallmark channel favorite. She has sold more than three million copies of her novels. Before launching her author career, Sheila owned a singing telegram company and played in band. A cancer survivor, she resides in Washington with her husband, who is also an author.      

For more information about the author, visit        

Social media links:








  1. I read Christmas books all year and I have read many of Sheila's books. I rather have people come to me as traveling now is worse than before covid but always a hassle during the holidays.

  2. I have never read Shelia Robert's books but I will definitely check her out. I love having Christmas at my house cooking family favorites and enjoying time with my family.

  3. I start itching to reach Holiday books during the Summer, especially when the Hallmark Christmas in July movies kick in! I love to travel to be with family during Christmas.

  4. I like them year round

    Rose Ward

  5. I read holiday stories all year. I have read many of Sheila's books.

    As a kid, we always traveled for Christmas. Now, I prefer to stay home.


  6. I love Christmas stories all year long but I do read them more around the holidays. Love to win a copy

  7. At this stage of my life, if it's a fair piece to travel, I's prefer they came to me...Just finished one last night!...Of course I have!

  8. I am a seasonal reader so I typically read Christmas books between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe early November...but that's pushing it :-)

  9. I read Christmas books all year long!!!
    And I love her books...I have some on my own shelf

  10. I read holiday and Christmas stories all year long. Just like watching Christmas Hallmark movies anytime. I do not like to travel at Christmas, and I have never had to travel more than an hour from home. My sisters and I take turns having Christmas. I have not heard of this author, but this book sounds like it would be a good read.

  11. I start on the Holiday romances as soon as they come out, I love them. I really enjoy Sheila Roberts Holiday books, we don't travel too old so we just stay at home and have a meal here. Great review thank you.

  12. I travel with my family to see the extended family. I just reading Christmas books in November and read them through February.

  13. I prefer to have people come to my house for the holidays. I’m a stay at home person. I’m more relaxed at home.
    I do enjoy Sheila’s stories!!
    I will read Christmas books all through the year but tend to read more Oct- Dec.

  14. I usually begin reading Christmas books by October; many times will continue into the winter if Inhavent been able to acquire title earlier through my library. There hasn’t been a book written by Sheila Roberts that I haven’t enjoyed! I prefer to stay close to home for the holidays as air travel is crazy then.

  15. I really enjoy Sheila's book's. We still have all the kid's, their wife's and kids for Christmas. So much fun to have them all together. It would be great to win Sheila's Christmas book. Thanks

  16. I absolutely LOVE all of Sheila's books. I have started a tradition of pre ordering her books every time one comes out and I buy for gifts for Christmas. It is a fun way to give friends the chance to read her books and gives us more things to discuss and look forward to together.

  17. I read holiday stories all year long but definitely more during the season.

  18. Absolutely love all of Sheila’s books! So excited for this one!

  19. This book sounds amazing.Can’t wait to read this

  20. I love going to my sister's house for Christmas
    I love Sheila's books
    I love reading holidays stories all year round I usually read them when I need a pick me up

  21. I read Christmas books starting in October. I like staying close to home for Christmas.
    Thank you for the chance!

  22. I prefer being at home for Christmas. I read Christmas books all year long, and I've read some of Sheila's holiday books. Love them! Thank you for the chance.

  23. I don't have strong feelings about staying put or travelling, I just want the family to be together for Christmas. I haven't read any of Sheila's holiday books but I do read holiday books whenever I feel like it year round. I do start mostly reading them around Thanksgiving.

  24. Yes I have read most of Sheila’s Christmas books

  25. The Road to Christmas
    by Sheila Roberts sounds very good. I love reading holidays stories all year.

  26. Love sheila's books. I read Christmas stories year round! Usually do family Christmas at my brothers but have something to snack on to tske to work but I retired this year so will have snacks for home! Thanks for chance to win finishing a christmas from the heart and would love this to be my next read. :)

    1. My name didnt come thru. Lori Mckenzie

  27. We have both traveled for Christmas and had it at our house. I enjoy both, but prefer having the family come here so everyone can be together to celebrate. We will celebrate whenever everyone can get together.
    I love Sheila Roberts' books. She does an excellent job of balancing multiple threads and giving them each the attention they deserve. I read One Charmed Christmas and am trying to plan the same river cruise they did. I just checked her Amazon page and it is amazing just how many Christmas books she has written. I only discovered her a few years ago and will be looking for as many of her old books as I can find. They will be an annual tradition for me also with rereads thrown in.

  28. I love to travel for Christmas. It takes me to a different place and I can leave when I want to. Thank you for the giveaway!

  29. I love Christmas and because of disabilities, my family comes to me. With friends as well as family we have had 14 for dinner--before COVID. I read Christmas books and although I have read other Shelia Roberts books, I have not had the pleasure to read one of her Christmas books so I would love to win this one! Thanks for the chance!

  30. I read Christmas books all year long and I especially love Shelia's books. I want to stay home for the holidays but some day maybe take a trip somewhere for a change of pace. Thanks for the chance.

  31. I have read all of Shelia’s books until this one!

  32. I host every holiday!
    I have read many many of Sheila Roberts books. I Generally start reading holiday books around Thanksgiving.