When I wrote From Here to There, I had thought some of the characters might lend themselves to a future book, but hadn't thought of a Christmas novella. It was basically on my way to spend Christmas in Tucson, driving across miles of western landscape, that the idea for a Christmas novella began to develop.
Helene and Phillip have been married a few years, are working out the problems of having two homes, one in Boston and one on the Montana ranch, but Helene has a goal for more. She knows Phillip's memories of Christmas have been so unpleasant that he wants to avoid spending it any traditional way. She wants him to have a real family Christmas and that will take uniting him with his estranged family and bringing them to Montana to spend it on the ranch.
Celebrating how Christmas can be a time of such healing is what A Montana Christmas is about-- as well as continuing Helene and Phillip's own love story.
Holidays on ranches are busy times as there are no breaks from the work. So while Helene works to make this a wonderful Christmas, the ranch work continues. This novella of 25,400 words is a slice of life with characters from the earlier book but it stands alone.