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Richard Paul Evans’ ‘The Mistletoe Promise’ named Hallmark Channel’s highest-rated premiere of 2016

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Utah author Richard Paul Evans said that although he isn’t trying to change the world with his Christmas love stories, he is trying to help people think more about their world.

This month, “The Mistletoe Promise," which is one of the Hallmark Channel’s newest original movies, based on Evans’ novel, was the network’s “highest-rated and most-watched original movie premiere of 2016,” according to a press release from Crown Media Family Networks.

“The Mistletoe Promise” is a love story about two strangers who both have a strong disdain for the Christmas season. Although they make a pact to help each other through the holiday they dislike, the “magic of Christmas” kicks in and the couple discovers “there may be more to their contract than business,” reads the Hallmark Channel’s website.

Evans said in an interview with the Deseret News that the motivation behind his books is to bring “hope and joy” to his readers.

“I think we live in a world with so much hard news and so little hope,” Evans said. “I think both Christmas and the holidays bring us hope again, so it’s a positive thing. Christmas has always brought me tremendous joy, and romance does the same thing. Combining them together is a very powerful thing. It’s a treat.”

“The Mistletoe Promise” premiered on Nov. 5 on the Hallmark Channel, which contributed to the network’s weekend jump to No. 1 for cable networks in "Total Day Among Household and Women 25-54 ratings," according to the press release.

Evans said he was honored to have “The Mistletoe Promise” made into a movie. However, due to intense themes and deep issues addressed in the book, there were some changes made to the script that alter the course of the story.

“There are some major changes between the book and the movie, but that’s OK,” Evans said. “If you want to go deeper, then you need to read the book. Books are usually deeper than the movie anyway.”

The Mistletoe Promise” is the first book in his three-book Mistletoe Collection. Evans also released the third and final book in the collection, “The Mistletoe Secret,” this month, which is his 34th published novel.

“There are more than 25 million copies of my books in print, and I think they are all sweet love stories," Evans said. "I wasn’t necessarily trying to change the world, I was just trying to create something that would be fun to read and would be a relief from a very difficult time for this country and a difficult time in a lot of people's lives.”

Because it is part of the Hallmark Channel’s seasonal event, “Countdown to Christmas,” “The Mistletoe Promise” will be aired throughout the remainder of the season, with the last run on Christmas Day.

Email: kadams@deseretnews.com