Sarah Morgan on "A Night of No Return" + Giveaway

by Sarah Morgan, author of A Night of No Return (Harlequin Presents, November 2012)

People usually only talk about the weather when they’ve run out of things to say (I rarely run out of things to say), but I’ve been thinking about its role in storytelling. Along with setting, the weather can influence the ‘mood’ of a book and even the plot.

In The Sound of Music the characters wouldn’t have sung ‘Raindrops on roses’ and had a cuddly, bonding moment if there hadn’t been thunder and lightening. Plenty of heroines have been caught with a tee shirt plastered to their bodies after a rainstorm.

Stephen King’s The Shining wouldn’t have been anywhere near as terrifying had it been set in the Caribbean (actually it probably would have been – he’s Stephen King after all), but the snow and the feeling of being ‘trapped’ added to the sense of menace. The weather was another character in that story – and so was the old hotel, but enough of that or I won’t sleep tonight…..

Weather can play an important part in the plot and this is true for my November release, A Night of No Return.

The story begins in a winter setting complete with crackling log fire, rug on the floor and large windows

with a view of pretty snow laden trees. But snow, although pretty, can be lethal and inconvenient as my heroine, PA Emma Gray, soon discovers. She delivers some urgent documents to her moody, ice cold boss Lucas Jackson at his home deep in the frozen countryside and then finds herself unable to leave. For Emma, a bad working day suddenly becomes a whole lot worse and what happens afterwards changes everything for both of them.

For readers who are already shivering and reaching for a warm layer I should add that the story then moves to the baking hot desert country of Zubran (also the setting for Woman in a Sheikh’s World which is out in December) so whatever your favourite reading season, you’ll find it in this book.

And, of course, even without the weather the hero and heroine produce enough heat to warm even the reader living deep in Alaska.

Can you think of books where the weather has played an important part? Which setting do you prefer when you”re reading? Hot summer or snowy winter? Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of A Night of No Return.

Giveaway closes on November 4 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be selected by random number generation and announced on November 5.



UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. Please check the comments to see if you won!

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Comments ( 40 )
  1. Sarah Morgan
    October 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    When I wrote this blog a few weeks ago no one was talking about the weather – now people are talking of nothing else and it’s a strange quirk of fate that my post should coincide with Sandy. To those in the US coping with the storm, I hope you and your loved ones stay safe.

  2. Fiona Marsden
    October 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I’m definitely in favour of cold cold weather to snuggle up to. I hope the the worst thing that comes from Sandy are a few close proximity romances.

  3. Sarah Morgan
    October 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I love cold weather for snuggling too, Fiona. Nothing too dramatic. Just enough for romance 🙂

  4. chey
    October 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I depends on the weather I’m living with at the time. I’d rather read about summer when I’m living with winter and winter when I’m living with summer.

  5. Sarah Morgan
    October 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Chey, that is a very good point! I’d rather read about the season I’m not living through, too. I suppose I want to read a warm book in winter and a cold book in summer 🙂

  6. mawar
    October 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Since I am living in a tropical country, I always like the idea of snuggling by a fire with your loved ones, or with a cup of a steaming chocolate milk overlooking falling snows from your window, or simply listening to Michael Bublé with a good novel in my lap. Bliss! (my imagination working over time 😀 )

  7. Sarah Morgan
    October 30, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Mawar, it’s that opposite weather thing again 🙂 We all want to be in the climate we’re not in! Steaming chocolate milk and falling snow sounds like such a cosy combination…

  8. Sharon Kendrick
    October 30, 2012 at 5:53 am

    “All in the blue unclouded weather,
    Thick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,
    The helmet and the helmet-feather
    Burn’d like one burning flame together,
    As he rode down to Camelot.”

    See, that’s what I love about Tennyson – not only does he use the weather to convey the brilliant light and general gorgeousness when first we catch sight of Lancelot – but he also demonstrates a clear love of the humble hyphen.

    In another life, Alfred Lord T might have been a copy editor!

  9. Sarah Morgan
    October 30, 2012 at 6:54 am

    LOLOL and thank you for that lovely quote, Sharon 🙂

  10. Melanie J
    October 30, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Weather really never plays a factor with me.. It can be freezing cold or blistering hot.. I don’t really pay MUCH attention to the weather while I’m reading..

  11. Melanie Milburne
    October 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    HI Sarah,
    I love how weather can create a mood, not just in a story but in everyday life. Have you noticed how friendly everyone is when it’s warm and sunny but cold and distant when it’s freezing?
    Can’t wait to read this one. Nothing like a bit of entrapment to ramp up the passion!

  12. Kai W.
    October 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    It would be winter. I don’t handle hot weather very well.

  13. bn100
    October 30, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Weather plays an important part in some of Lydia Dare’s books. No setting preference.

  14. Roxanne
    October 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    The very first Harlequin romance I read was about two individuals trapped in a cabin during a blizzard. Sadly I cannot remember the book title or the author but it was a good story nonetheless.

    I’m not a fan of summer so I dig the autumn/winter months in my stories.

  15. Sarah Morgan
    October 31, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Hi Melanie, a good book can certainly make you forget about the weather 🙂

  16. Sarah Morgan
    October 31, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Hi Mel, I’d never thought about people being more friendly when the sun is shining. Maybe it’s a mood thing, as well as the sheer practicality of not being trapped indoors by snow.

  17. SArah Morgan
    October 31, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Hi Kai, I don’t handle VERY hot weather well, either, but I do like sunshine. In fact my favourite weather would be a crisp, cold winter day in the mountains with perfect blue sky. Providing I was wearing thermal layers and had a mug of hot chocolate 🙂

  18. Sarah Morgan
    October 31, 2012 at 2:32 am

    bn100, I haven’t read any Lydia Dare but I will have to give her a try!

  19. Sarah Morgan
    October 31, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Hi Roxanne, I LOVE books where the characters are trapped together. It creates so much tension.

  20. Kathleen Marchese
    October 31, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I like to read about a nice and cosy ,socked in by winter weather, stories.

  21. Miranda
    October 31, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I think weather does play a big role in my reading. Although I read a lot throughout the year, I read more in Fall and Winter. I love to curl up on the couch with a blanket and cup of hot cocoa and if its snowing that’s an added bonus. Can’t beat that.

  22. Debbie Haupt
    October 31, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Ah Sarah, I see your name and I have to follow where you lead because you might be telling a story and I don’t want to miss any of your stories, they’re too good.
    Loved A Night of No Return, love all your romances.
    Ah a book where weather played a part, I guess the most famous would be The Wizard of Oz.
    For me I love reading seasonal stories, it helps me visualize the scenes.
    Love you

  23. Nicole Nobles
    October 31, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I think in books…the cold weather plays a huge part in the book. I live in hot weather and I am not keen on cold weather, myself but I do love hearing about it in the books!

  24. Sarah Morgan
    October 31, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Hi Miranda, now you mention it I think I read more in Fall and Winter, too. I guess we feel less guilty about snuggling indoors with a book. You’ve made me long for snow…

  25. Sarah Morgan
    October 31, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Debbie, of COURSE The Wizard of Oz. How could I have forgotten that one? So glad you loved A Night of No Return, you’ve made my day with your kind comments. xx

  26. Sarah Morgan
    October 31, 2012 at 11:07 am

    LOL Nicole, reading about cold weather is the perfect way of enjoying the romance of it without needing thermal underwear 🙂

  27. Crystal
    October 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I personally love hot weather. But in a story, I love snowy weather.

  28. Pen
    October 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I am with Chey on this. Except at Christmas time I like to read Christmas themed books…which usually means snowy stuff.

  29. Lori P
    October 31, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I love reading books with cold weather and snow and Christmas themed books, but I wouldn’t want to live in the snow.

  30. Ia
    October 31, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I like to read before I go to bed and reading during snowy weather or rainy weather is relaxing as well.

  31. Laney4
    October 31, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Can you think of books where the weather has played an important part? Yes, I can. Do I know the titles or authors? Nope! Sorry!

    Which setting do you prefer when you’re reading? Hot summer or snowy winter? I like snowy winters, as storylines include car accidents/sliding off the road, people caught in a storm, accidents with injuries (i.e., skiing), etc. Love it when the hero steps in and takes care of the heroine (no matter where, mind you).

  32. Sarah Morgan
    November 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Crystal I love snowy weather in stories, too. One of my favourite books is Nora Roberts’ Northern LIghts which is set in Alaska. I just LOVE all that snow 🙂

  33. Sarah Morgan
    November 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Pen, I love Christmas stories that are full of floating snowflakes too. I’m not sure how good I’d be at spending Christmas in Australia and barbecuing the turkey! I’m conditioned to expect cold weather.

  34. Sarah Morgan
    November 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Lori, I wouldn’t want to live in it either. It’s pretty to look at from the other side of a window :}

  35. Sarah Morgan
    November 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    la, I read before bed too and the rain pattering on the roof is one of my favourite sounds!

  36. Sarah Morgan
    November 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    LOL Laney I often can’t remember titles or authors either. Drives me mad. And I LOVE a protective hero. Mmm.

  37. Jean Stewart
    November 2, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Snowey weather is nice to look at from a warm room with a nice fire but I still hate shoveling it to get to the store. I don’t seem to pay much attention to weather in books I’m so wrapped up in the characters and action.

  38. Justine
    November 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    The most recent book I read where weather played an important part was On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves. I don’t have a weather setting preference when reading.

  39. Sarah Morgan
    November 5, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Hi Justine, That book is on my tbr pile 🙂

  40. Amy
    November 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Hi everyone!

    The giveaway is now closed and Sarah’s asked me to announce the winner for her. Congratulations to: Kathleen Marchese! Please check your email 🙂
    ~Amy from Harlequin