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New Hallmark Channel Christmas romance movie is based on Nantucket author’s book

NANTUCKET  Fans of Nantucket author Nancy Thayer nearly three dozen novels can find one of her Christmas romances in movie form playing through the holiday season on TVs Hallmark Channel. Thayer 2019 book Let It Snow has become Nantucket Noel for the TV film version, and the island is the setting for her story of a woman facing the potential loss of her wharf side toy store at Christmastime because of a cantankerous landlord.

In both book and movie, Christina finds love while sorting out the challenges, though some details of Thayer s book were changed for the screenplay.

Nantucket Noel  debuted Nov. 19 as one of the first new entries in Hallmark Channels Countdown to Christmas season for 2021. There was a live stream screening at the island Dreamland Theater that night that drew 250 patrons, many of whom reacted loudly to the film according to Thayer.From left  Sarah Powell Payton Lepinski and Trevor Donovan star in Nantucket Noel a new Hallmark Channel Christmas movie based on Nantucket author Nancy Thayer Let It Snow novel.Hallmark Channel will next show the film at 8 a.m. Dec. 8 and its due to play again at various times through the month. While the island remains the storys setting  the movie was actually filmed in Canada  including on the Sunshine Coast of Gibsons British Columbia according to online and social media reports. Some of Thayers Facebook fans clearly didn’t agree with that decision making with many over the past couple of weeks protesting The movie should have been filmed on Nantucket

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But Thayer was not part of that choice. The author did not respond to an interview request from the Times, but said in a Facebook Live talk with fans just before Thanksgiving that a film company had twice taken a yearlong option to turn Let It Snow into a movie  and the next thing she heard was when Nantucket Noel was in production. I had no say after I signed the contract of what was in the movie and I had no communication with anyone at all  she said. Thayer noted during the chat that there is a shot of Brant Point in the movie, but joked about the non Nantucket like pine trees that can be seen across the water in some beach scenes. The lighthouse that figures prominently in the film does have the distinctive red and white striping of Sankaty Head Light.

What Nancy Thayer likes about the movie
The author said she particularly liked two plot additions in the movie the viewing of a holiday boat parade and a Snow Ball event  that she wished she’d thought of for the book. She also approved of the movies casting, particularly Payton Lepinski as enthusiastic young Wink. Thayer called it a little iffy  though, that in  Nantucket Noel Wink is the daughter of the son of the mean landlord rather than the sons niece  as in the Let It Snow book.Wink was right on  though, Thayer said about being excited by the movie depiction. Wink was my favorite character. When I saw just a picture of her  I was thrilled. Wink just came into my mind and started the book and suddenly there she was in the movie and she was real.

Payton Lepinski  left and Trevor Donovan play father and daughter in Hallmark Channels Nantucket Noel  though the characters have a different relationship in Nancy Thayers novel Let It Snow. Thayer also singled out Bruce Dawson for praise in playing rich landlord Oscar, who is Wink grandfather who moves to Nantucket and starts making changes.I thought he was excellent, he was so much the character  Thayer said on Facebook Live about Dawson.When writing the book, she said, she had based that character on wealthy people who move to Nantucket and tear things down and don’t become involved with the community. While some invest in local nonprofits and are part of the island, others are hardly seen she said.

A staffer at Mitchells Book Corner on Nantucket, whom Thayer says has beautiful hair inspired lead Christina. In “Nantucket Noel  Christina is played by Sarah Powell a Canadian actress who portrays Abigail Pershing on Hallmark Channel’s The Good Witch series and has appeared on other TV shows, including Schitts Creek. Christinas love interest of Andy is played by Trevor Donovan, best known as Teddy Montgomery in the CWs 90210. Donovan is a veteran of Hallmark movies including Marry Me at Christmas and Snow Coming as well as USS Christmas  for the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.

Longtime author and Nantucket resident
Thayer has lived on Nantucket year round for more than three decades and is active in the literary scene, including leading a discussion this week at the Nantucket Atheneum with Lynne Reeves author of The Dangers of an Ordinary Night. Thayer is due to be signing her own books this weekend as part of the Nantucket Stroll holiday festivities. She has written about three dozen novels in 40 years, including Girl of Summer Summer House Surf side Sisters The Hot Flash Club Beachcombers island Girls and The Guest Cottage.In 2015  Thayer was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Mainstream Fiction.

In the Nantucket Noel movie Sarah Powell center plays a toy store owner whose livelihood, and those of her friends, are threatened by a landlord who wants to tear down the wharf location of their businesses. Her Family Reunion novel was published in May and Summer Love is due next spring. Previous holiday releases include A Very Nantucket Christmas Two Holiday Novels  featuring A Nantucket Christmas and An Island Christmas. All my novels are about family and friendships which I believe are the foundation of a happy if complicated, life she says on her author page. Her website describes her books  translated into multiple languages  as focusing on the mysteries and romance of families and relationships  marriage and friendships divorce and love custody and step parenting family secrets and private self affirmation the quest for independence and the normal human hunger for personal connections.

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During her Facebook Live chat, Thayer noted that her Christmas books are specifically about the importance of community. Nantucket really does have a strong community. We’re so small in the winter  especially at a place like the grocery store its wonderful because we run into people we know, she said. Noting how the population more than doubles in the summer, she said the island is much more of a community in the winter when we’re all frozen here and a gale is blowing and we can’t get off island on a plane or a boat. One fan asked during the Facebook Live session why Hallmark Channel changed the name of Thackeray book. The author said she was happy that Nantucket Noel specifies the island locationbut the main reason was repetition. Hallmark the behemoth of the wildly popular feel good Christmas TV movie craze, had already used the title Let It Snow for another film in 2013.

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