An Island Christmas, the stand-alone sequel to my novel, The Island Affair, is inspired by my favourite holiday destination, the Åland Islands.
The Åland Islands
The Åland Islands lie in the waters between Finland and Sweden. Although a self-governing region of Finland, the Islands remain exclusively Swedish-speaking.
The quirkiness of the islanders is often attributed to their rich history. Due to its strategic location, there have been many wars and would-be invaders. Swedes, Russians, French, and even the English have fought on these shores.
A small seafaring nation, the Islands have a rich culture of their own, forged over years of hardship and perseverance. The people living on these rocky outcrops and in the main block of land around the Capital, Mariehamn, have a deep sense of independence and identity. Today, if you ask an islander whether he feels Swedish or Finnish, the reply will always be, ‘Neither. I’m an Ålänning.’
Due to the islands’ tax-free status, Åland is today dominated by tourism and ferry traffic. Stopping in Mariehamn, several popular cruise liners take advantage of the ability to discount food, alcohol, and other consumer goods.
A Part-time Islander
Having spent many happy holidays on the Åland Islands, I’ve wanted to write a book set there for many years now. But it wasn’t until I had the idea of telling the story of a woman, originally from Åland, who decides to return home after the tragic loss of her teenage son, that I knew I had something to tell. The Island Affair is that story, a book that became hugely popular amongst my readers.
The idea for An Island Christmas came from the many seasonal holidays I’ve spent on the Islands. The snow, the cold, the stark beauty of the frozen seas, make for a stunning backdrop to Alicia’s struggle to keep her family together. She dreams of the perfect Island Christmas, but will she achieve it?
An Island Christmas is a stand-alone sequel to The Island Affair and follows Alicia as she’s trying to forge a happy life on the Islands.
An Island Christmas
On the Nordic Åland Islands, the festive season is snowy and chilly—yet breathtakingly beautiful.
It’s time for Alicia to enjoy her first Christmas back on her beloved Islands with her family. There’ll be traditional dancing around the tree and sipping mulled wine in front of a cozy fire. But when Alicia’s estranged husband, Liam, springs an unwelcome and devastating surprise, he threatens her new peaceful existence. To top it all, her ex-lover Patrick refuses to take ‘No’ for an answer and threatens to disturb the family celebration… Will Alicia find enough goodwill amongst her nearest and dearest to create the idyllic Island Christmas she’s always dreamt of?
Meanwhile, Brit, Alicia’s best friend, returns to the Islands to lick her wounds after a particularly bloody break-up with an Italian chef. When she meets her new boss, the Captain of a Baltic cruise liner, sparks fly. Brit can’t help but fall quickly in love with Jukka, but when she finds out about his murky past, she fears her heart is about to be broken yet again. Are the rumors about Jukka true, or just typical small island gossip?
Journey to beautiful Scandinavia and join the quirky community of the Åland Islands for a Nordic Christmas you’ll never forget!
Interested? Read a sample of the book below. Just hit preview and you’re good to go!