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Time for Me to Come Home

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“It’s funny how going back can get you back to where you belong.
It’s the difference between just a melody and my favorite Christmas song.”

The fireplace is lit, the snow is falling, and sleigh bells echo in the distance—it’s Christmas, and it’s time to come home.

Thirty-five-year-old Heath Sawyer has finally made it to the big-time as a country music star. After a year full of the kind of success he could only dream of, it’s December 23, and he’s headlining a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. It’s only as the lights on the stage go down and the Christmas lights outside come on that Heath realizes there’s just one place he wants to be for the back home in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

But journeying anywhere on Christmas Eve is never easy, and with flight delays, inclement weather, and the unexpected company of a feisty young woman who’s about to become his traveling companion, Heath will need a Christmas miracle to make his way home in time to open presents.

Filled with touching anecdotes inspired by the real holiday memories of Blake Shelton and Dorothy Shackelford, Time for Me to Come Home is a sweet and funny story that celebrates the spirit of Christmas and the true meaning of finding your way back home.

Sometimes the best gift on Christmas is sharing it with the ones you love.

272 pages, Hardcover

First published October 29, 2013

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Dorothy Shackleford

1 book14 followers

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5 stars
115 (27%)
4 stars
149 (35%)
3 stars
124 (29%)
2 stars
23 (5%)
1 star
13 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 69 reviews
Profile Image for Nanette.
334 reviews11 followers
November 17, 2018
3.5*. Nice Christmas story. Ready to see the Hallmark movie coming this season, oh yeah, and Mr. Blake Shelton's mother did a nice job writing this story.
Profile Image for Nicole R.
986 reviews
January 22, 2016
Ms. Shackleford was heavily inspired by her son when she wrote this book...her son, country music superstar Blake Shelton.

Heath Sawyer is a country music star....superstar. He just finished up his tour by playing to a packed crowd at Madison Square Garden on December 22nd. He is contemplating a trip to someplace hot and secluded for the holiday but is ultimately coerced into going back home to Oklahoma to spend Christmas with his mom and three sisters and their families. The first Christmas since his father died of cancer six months ago.

Of course, last minute holiday travel never goes well. In a Planes, Trains, and Automobiles inspired wacky misadventure home, Heath finds himself traveling by...well, planes, trains, buses, and automobiles...with the lovely Cara Hill. Cara genuinely does not know who Heath is, which he finds endearing, but of course it is only a matter of time before sparks fly.

The story was cute. It tried a little too hard I thought to have some seriousness behind the silliness, but the parts about Blake's Heath's dad written by his mom felt very personal and heartfelt. It definitely felt like the real story that Ms. Shackleford wrote to her son.

One part that really annoyed me a bit was that Ms. Shackleford wrote about how wildly successful her main character was and then tried to make us feel bad for how much he worked, how much he was away from home, and how hard it was for him to go out in public without being noticed. Blech. Sorry, the woe-is-me story because you are rich and famous does not sit well with me.

Ultimately, it was a quick read that only took me a couple of hours to get through. The storyline about family and home, and the importance of being around both during Christmas was nice and left me with warm fuzzies.
Profile Image for W.C. Bauers.
Author 11 books65 followers
October 28, 2013
In the spirit of full disclosure, I work for the publisher and read this in manuscript form. And, I know the co-author too - great guy by the way. And a great writer.

The storyline follows a fiction country superstar named Heath Sawyer who's running from his past by self-medicating (alcohol - for the entire book). Thrasher's novel delicately walks that fine line between casting Sawyer as a sympatheic character while honestly depicting his "punch-drunk" approach to life. In this regard Thrasher nails it. One page I'm cringing at Sawyer's behavior, and the next cheering him on.

Enter a feisty young woman who's fleeing her own demons, and an unlikely run-in at the airport, and...you'll just have to take it from there.

The airport set-up is a bit predictable (well - not totally, the unlikely encounter between Sawyer and the young woman might be the best run-in ever), but the story unfolds in a completely satisfying way. And there's a larger takeaway too: we all are broken and sometimes the only way to heal is to turn around and go home.

323 reviews5 followers
December 15, 2021
It is clear that Dorothy Shakleford’s main character Heath is based on her famous country singer son Blake Shelton. Not only is he a famous county singer, but he is divorced, has a juvenile sense of humor, questionable taste in music, loves meat and either is in need of Alcoholics Anonymous or likes to joke that he is.

The story starts just a few days before Christmas at the end of a long music tour that ends with a sold out show in New York at Madison Square Gardens. Heath would like to be on a tropical beach with an umbrella’d drink (wherever he is he seems to want a drink), but his mom calls and convinces him to come home to Oklahoma. Blake…I mean Heath makes his own last minute travel plans (which begins some of the “oh pity me I usually have an assistant do that kind of thing for me!” inner-diatribe and I guess we are supposed to feel sorry for him ((yeah, hard to feel sorry for multimillionaires…so these moments fell really flat in my opinion)). He drinks at the hotel…gets to the airport and drinks some more…basically everywhere he goes he drinks and is buying more alcohol to drink, forget home…I think he needs to go straight to rehab! (As you can tell, I couldn’t relate to the incessant drinking and would be very concerned if this person was in my life.)
Anyway, at the airport he meets a woman who comes bursting into the men’s restroom. As it turns out she had coffee spilled down her suit and changes into the only other warm thing she has convenient…and ugly Christmas sweater. Not only does this Cara not know who Heath is but she’s quirky, from Oklahoma and doesn’t like country music.
This begins a very planes, trains and automobiles story in which both Heath and Cara attempt to get to Tulsa, Oklahoma before Christmas during a big storm…first their plane to Tulsa is cancelled and they end up on a plane to Chicago where they stay in a rundown older hotel that gives Heath Steven King’s “the shining” vibes with it’s geometrically patterned carpet. (Strangely I don’t see Blake’s mom being a big Steven King fan…but maybe this is her co-author’s influence.) Cue even more drinking and playing drunken Christmas carols on the piano. Next day it is on a train that crashes into a pizza delivering Santa and then it is on to cars…including a micro car (whatever that is?). All the while there is more drinking and talking to Cara.

As it turns out Heath was avoiding home because his father died six months prior of cancer and Cara is dreading home where she basically has to prevent family members from killing each other. Cara seems delightfully normal, likes Prince and isn’t really interested in starting something with a country mega star.

This tries to be a comedy, a romance and a heartfelt coming home story all at once and I am not sure that it did any one of those genres justice. But it was a quick read set during the holidays, had some laugh out loud moments and attempted a sweet message about how important it is to come home and remember who you are and those who love you.

Fun for a read and delete…but maybe not worth keeping.
Profile Image for Kelley Blair.
559 reviews33 followers
September 13, 2019
The perfect Christmas read. A cozy fire and a cup of coffee will compliment this wonderful feel good story. I loved the story of Heath and Cara. It's never to late to come home. If you are fortunate enough to realize slowing down is important take action and what better time to do so than at Christmas. The journey can have challenges but there is no place like home and the memories there. I plan to watch the Hallmark movie soon.
Profile Image for Hannah.
314 reviews18 followers
February 1, 2022
3 stars.

It was a really fast Christmas read. Cute story. Not a whole lot of depth here. And I didn’t feel a lot between the two MCs.

215 reviews1 follower
January 28, 2021
I've seen all the movies and decided I needed to read the book. Lots of funny twists and turns that made me laugh!
Profile Image for Jack Vasen.
894 reviews6 followers
August 2, 2020
Hallmark made this into a movie. I liked the movie better.

I did not like Heath. He is sarcastic to the point of being rude. But worse, he is an alcoholic and does not seem to care even when he is trying to win a girl who obviously doesn't like his drinking. He turns to drinking repeatedly even when things are calm. I'm probably not sympathetic enough with what a celebrity goes through when they are constantly on the road and under the microscope and just need a relief valve, but this man has a problem and it isn't going to go away. Even as the book progresses into the relationship, it doesn't look like winning the girl will fix his underlying problems. And so I just wasn't able to root for them to get together. The movie tones both these traits down. In fact, I don't remember him drinking to excess in the movie, but it may be there.

The story is first person POV and it's all Heath, except for where each chapter starts with notes from his mother. As a result, we only see Cara from his eyes. I would so much like to know more about Cara, especially her backstory. We find out that she is unselfish and always giving and her family makes her miserable, but we don't really know how. We do see a lot of good points in Cara, but also some sadness and restraint.

The book has some humorous situations. There are some tender moments. I just can't trust Heath.

If you can overlook the issue that held me back, and believe that this man can change, then you can probably really enjoy this book.

Mature themes: the alcohol pops up all through the book and not only does it not appear that Heath curbs it, but there's no sign that he ever intends to. No sex is described other than some kisses. In fact, there is kind of a funny situation toward the last quarter of the book where There's no real opportunity for violence.
Profile Image for AmyKatherine1974.
199 reviews2 followers
November 26, 2013
Every year around this time I pick a Christmas themed book- usually from the romance or chick lit genre to help me to get into the spirit of the holidays. This was my pick for the year and it was a good one.

I liked the premise of the book- musician Heath Sawyer is trying to get home to his mom for Christmas. She called him on the road to tell him was time for him to come home. He promised so he is doing his best to make it home to Oklahoma in time for Christmas. It is in the men's room of the airport he first spots Cara. There is something different about her. He isn't sure if it is the way she rushed into the Men's room to change her sweater without a thought, or how she didn't know who he was...but there was something different about- something he was drawn to. Even fate thought so- and the pair end up stranded at the airport after their flight gets cancelled. And so begins a story that has the pair of strangers traveling to their respective homes for Christmas- homes that were a mere 40 miles apart in Oklahoma.

It was a quick and easy read- and yes it was a little bit predictable but still it was a solid story that I enjoyed immensely. The characters were easy to relate to and the story line was engaging. The book itself was fast paced and I finished it quickly (took me just two nights. I hope Dorothy writes another book- I would definitely be interested in reading it!
Profile Image for Beth Cutwright.
378 reviews8 followers
December 23, 2013
This was a very easily read book, told in first person of the main character, Heath Sawyer. Heath, a famous country singer heads home for Christmas. He is amused by people recognizing him on occasion and their reactions to their recognition. He tries to be polite, but there are those that could be stalkers in their midst.

As life often does when you're in a hurry.Heath encounters one unbelievable mishap after another on his journey home. In my mind's eye, Heath sounded an awful like Blake Shelton, Shackleford's son. I could just see Blake reacting to various characters in the book and hear him speaking to them as well. I found the characters endearing
and the story charming. There was a great hesitation about returning home, but as great a need to be there existed. There was a decision of the heart made by the main character that affected the secondary character as well and let's just say it was a lovely coming of awareness for Heath and Cara.
Profile Image for Claire.
116 reviews25 followers
December 13, 2022
I love romances when one person is famous and the other has absolutely no idea they are. And I love meet-cutes where something that is normally super awkward happens and the person who does it acts like it's no big deal. Here, Cara literally runs into someone at the airport and he spills her coffee all over her shirt. The only thing she has to change into is an ugly Christmas sweater and the closest place to change is the mens bathroom, where she meets Heath.

Heath and Cara end up both flying from New York to Oklahoma and they keep running into each other through layovers, delayed flights, unexpected hotel stays and alternative methods of transportation while the midwest is battling the worst snowstorm ever. Then they decide to make the rest of the trip together. The two of them make their way back to Oklahoma with unexpected detours, the world's smallest rental car, and Christmas Eve at a truck stop. When the two of them finally reach Oklahoma, Heath drops Cara off and heads to his mothers home, where he realizes he forgot something… or someone.
Profile Image for Amanda.
119 reviews13 followers
December 16, 2019
So, I've been intending to read this for a long time. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a huge Blake Shelton fan. So when I found out that his mother had written a book that was inspired by him and their Christmas song, it automatic fell onto my TBR. That was way back in 2013. Eventually, 6 years later, I saw the movie on Hallmark and I was looking for something Christmas themed to read and I came across the audiobook for this on Scrbid. The narrator does any amazing job with the book. The book was pretty fast paced, but that was okay for me. I needed a quick read anyway. Love the story and the little flashbacks in between chapters. Would definitely recommend this book.
Profile Image for Danielle.
64 reviews1 follower
December 26, 2020
Classic Christmas love story

This book is another cute, funny Hallmark Publishing romance- but it's funny too! The best part of this book is that it's actually written by Blake Shelton's mother, Dorothy Shakeford, and the main character is based on the famous country singer and "the Voice" judge. This is a light fun read in which anything that could possibly go wrong on a trip to come home for Christmas does go wrong... but also right at the same time. I recommend it to anyone who wants a fun escape from all the pressures of the holiday season.
555 reviews5 followers
January 14, 2021
The writer was heavily inspired by her son, country music star, Blake Shelton. When I was watching the Voice and Blake mentioned the song and the book that followed as well as a movie with two sequels, I wanted to read the book. I ended up watching the movie first, and much preferred the movie to the book. The main character, Heath Sawyer, is very sarcastic throughout the book. It's a nice Christmas story.
Profile Image for ABookAddictHere.
281 reviews18 followers
July 7, 2021
Light Christmas read. It had all the right things to it. Christmas snow, arguing bur fun character’s , issues to solve and a romance. Perfect to read in the hot 80s summer heat and thinking of cooler days
Profile Image for Terri Cox.
9 reviews
July 29, 2022
Not what I thought

I started watching a Hallmark movie that said it was based on this book. So I bought the book to see. Frankly, I never saw the connection, but this is a great book! I laughed, I hoped, and, yes, I teared up a few times. Well worth reading.
Profile Image for Sherry.
1,442 reviews6 followers
September 25, 2017
Just needed small read between bigger books. Out filled the bill for s couple of hours, though I wouldn't go looking for another by this author. Not quite my style.
Profile Image for Melva Clark.
373 reviews23 followers
April 2, 2018
The book is based on a song by Blake Shelton. It was written by his mother. It is a sweet love story.
Profile Image for Elaine.
619 reviews7 followers
May 25, 2018
Written in the 1st person is a sweet/dad love story. Loved it.
Profile Image for Kristi Lewis.
497 reviews
December 14, 2018
This was such a great book! It was heartwarming, funny and the perfect story for Christmas! And now it is a movie that I am looking forward to seeing!
Profile Image for Geo Hendrick.
386 reviews3 followers
December 16, 2018
I have not heard of the "Hit Song" or any of these people before.
Oh, What a beautiful story! I want someone to fall in love with me like that.
9 reviews
March 21, 2020
Thoroughly enjoyed it. (Even more than the Hallmark movie.) It's a good Christmas book for anyone looking for an enjoyable book to read over the season. I ended up reading it twice.
Profile Image for Cindy.
297 reviews5 followers
June 26, 2022
Gosh! Just spit it out! Descriptions, feelings, etc. went on forever. The story needs a good edit.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 69 reviews

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