Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mistletoe Kiss Release Day + Photo Contest

It’s Mistletoe Kiss release day! This sweet, fluffy, funny Christmas novella is available now on Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, and Nook for just 99 cents!

Bridget Higgins hasn't allowed herself to think too much about fairytales or the magic of Christmas since her dad died. Her life has been dedicated to work, her mom, her best friend Ivy, and little else. But when her kind and gorgeous boss, who she's secretly had a crush on for the last three years, offers her a night of fun on top of an unexpected Christmas bonus from work, Bridget starts to remember what it's like to believe in magic and fairytales once more.

Mistletoe Kiss is a 20,000-word contemporary romance.

Buy Mistletoe Kiss

To celebrate the release of Mistletoe Kiss, I’m going to try something I’ve never done before but have always wanted to: a photo contest! As an indie author, my reach only goes so far and my budget is only so big. (Confession: It’s tiny.) I’ve been a bookstagrammer for a few years now, and that amazing community is where I feel most comfortable online. I love being part of a group of people who are so passionate about books and use their passion and creativity to take beautiful bookish pictures. Because of my love of the community, I was inspired to do a photo contest. I’ve talked before about the impact and importance of bookish photography, and I’m hoping people will participate in this contest and help me spread the word about Mistletoe Kiss. While I know many of you would do it out of the goodness of your hearts, I thought a little extra incentive wouldn’t hurt!

Contest Details:
Contest starts today and runs through December 16th (my birthday and also an important date in the book!)
The prize: A $15 Amazon gift card (or PayPal cash if the winner prefers)
For every picture you post featuring the cover of Mistletoe Kiss - something simple, an elaborately styled bookstagram pic, you holding your ereader with the cover, even the book mixed in with other books - you’ll get one entry.
Be sure to tag me (@sweetmarie_83) and use the hashtag #MarieLandry so I’ll see your pictures!
Don’t have Instagram? That’s okay! Post your pictures on Twitter and tag me (@SweetMarie83) or post them on my Facebook page (Marie Landry, Author).

That’s it! That’s all you have to do. Post a picture of Mistletoe Kiss, tag me, use the hashtag. You can post as many times as you like between now and December 16th, and each picture will count as an entry. If you’d like an extra entry, post about this contest in your Instagram stories or on Twitter and tag me.  

I’ll share some of my favourite pics in my Instagram stories, and as an extra thank-you for taking the time to share my book, I’ll also share your pictures here on the blog, in my newsletter, on Twitter, and on my Facebook fan page. I’ll always include your handle and/or a link back to your Instagram or Twitter and encourage people to give you a follow!

Thank you for your support! I can’t wait to hear what you think of Mistletoe Kiss, and I’m excited to see your pictures.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

HoHoHo Read-a-thon 2017

Today kicks off the Fifth Annual HoHoHo Holiday/Winter Read-a-thon hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer! I’ve participated in this read-a-thon a few times over the years and I’m excited to join in this year. My Kindle is full of amazing-sounding winter and Christmas books and I can’t wait to dive in!

I’d like to take a moment to do a little shameless self-promo: I have two Christmas books! The Most Wonderful Time of the Year came out four years ago and is available everywhere ebooks are sold for only 99 cents (read more about the book and find buy links here), and Mistletoe Kiss comes out next Thursday! It’s available now for preorder and I also have ARCs for anyone interested in reading it early. You can find all the information about it here.

I’m a slow reader, but I’d love to get at least three books read during the read-a-thon. I haven’t made a solid TBR (too many choices!), but here are the books I have to choose from:

A Winter’s Tale by Carrie Elks
A Very Vintage Christmas by Tilly Tennant
Christmas at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Carla Burgess

Are you participating in the read-a-thon? Feel free to leave a link to your blog/Twitter/wherever you’ll be participating. I’ll update this post, and I’ll be posting on Twitter and Bookstagram as well.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Mistletoe Kiss Cover Reveal + ARC Signups

It's cover reveal day for my upcoming Christmas novella, Mistletoe Kiss! I wrote this novella last Christmas and I’m so excited it’s finally ready for people to read. It’s been quite the journey, from issues with my Word document overwriting and deleting chunks of the story to problems with formatting to not being able to get the cover just right. I designed about 7 different covers and scrapped them all, knowing they didn’t truly fit the story. By the time I finished what is now the final cover, I was ready to break down in tears. With that being said, I really hope you guys like it!

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Bridget Higgins hasn't allowed herself to think too much about fairytales or the magic of Christmas since her dad died. Her life has been dedicated to work, her mom, her best friend Ivy, and little else. But when her kind and gorgeous boss, who she's secretly harbored a crush on for the last three years, offers her a night of fun on top of an unexpected Christmas bonus from work, Bridget starts to remember what it feels like to believe in magic and fairytales once more.

Mistletoe Kiss is a 20,000-word contemporary romance.

That’s not all. The book is available for preorder! You can preorder it now for just 99 cents and have it arrive on your ereader at midnight next Thursday, November 16th! Wondering how preorders help authors? Every release day sale goes toward an author’s ranking; the higher their ranking, the more visible their book is to other buyers. I’ve talked before about how this is the first book I’m publishing in two years and I’m worried people have forgotten about me, so it would mean everything to me to have an amazing release day as my comeback to the publishing world. I’d be eternally grateful to anyone willing to preorder. There’s not much you can buy for only 99 cents these days! ;-)

Preorder now:

I also have eARCs available for anyone who’d like to read the book early. If you’d like to receive a copy of Mistletoe Kiss in exchange for an honest review, you can sign up here.

Thank you so much for your support!

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

5 Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo

Tomorrow is the first of November and countless writers all over the globe know what that means: National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The idea of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words during the 30 days of November. It’s stressful, it’s fun, it’s a great way to meet other writers, and if you’re able to knock out 50K words in 30 days, not only do you get bragging rights, you have the beginning of something amazing: a novel.

Because NaNoWriMo is an incredible feat that can leave you feeling drained, there are some important things for participants to keep in mind.

1. Plan ahead. During NaNo (and pretty much any other time you’re dealing with writers) you’ll hear a lot about pantsers vs plotters. Whichever you are and whatever works for you is completely fine. If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of writer, it’s good to at least have an idea of what you’re going to write and how you want to start. If you sit down on November 1st with no plan whatsoever, you could potentially waste the first few days of the month trying to decide what to write. At that point, you’re already behind.

2. Don’t edit as you go. This is a good rule of thumb any time, but especially during NaNo when time is precious. Just get the words out, even if they’re not pretty. Many long-time authors will tell you their first drafts are always crappy, even after years and years of writing. That’s okay. There’s no shame in it. If you’re constantly going back and fixing things as you write, it’ll take you much longer to finish. If you realize something needs to be fixed or fleshed out, make a note and deal with it during revisions.

3. Take breaks. Breaks are crucial to your physical and mental health. NaNo can be extremely stressful, and some people are harder on themselves than others. Be sure to take time to eat, drink, and get some form of exercise. If you’re stressed or feeling creatively blocked, find some other way to be creative - photography, colouring, painting, knitting, etc. Try not to think of the breaks you take as ‘wasting time’ - it's necessary to recharge and take care of yourself.

4. Find other NaNoWriMo participants. Put out a call on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook asking for other participants, and follow them on the NaNo site (I’m on there as Marie Landry!). You can join local groups that support each other online or even meet up in person. My local library has an incentive where you can get a free drink from the cafe if you show them your word count on the NaNo site. Making friends with other participants means you can cheer each other on, commiserate, and hold each other accountable. Just remember one thing: everyone writes at a different pace, and it can be easy to get frustrated by comparing yourself to others. Every year, I see someone saying they’ve hit 50k in the first few days or are pumping out 5,000 words or more each day. That’s great, but it’s the exception, not the rule. This ties into my final piece of advice...

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is hard. It’s mentally draining. Some people are in their element and others flounder or decide it’s too much for them. If you’re overwhelmed or if life simply gets in the way, know it’s okay to slow down or quit if you feel it’s necessary. You’re not in competition with anyone and it’s not the end of the world if you don’t reach 50,000 words.


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Do you have any other tips for surviving NaNoWriMo? Are you participating this year? Feel free to leave your username or link in the comments. Do you have questions? Let me know in the comments, or feel free to email or tweet me!

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Review: London, Can You Wait? by Jacquelyn Middleton

London, Can You Wait? by Jacquelyn Middleton
Series: London Belongs to Me #2
Published: October 26th, 2017
Publisher: Kirkwall Books
425 pages (paperback)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Acquired this book: From the publisher in exchange for honest consideration
Rating: 5 stars
Warning: May contain spoilers
GoodReads || Buy the book: Amazon US ~ Canada || Chapters

Alex loves Mark. Mark loves Alex. But is love enough?

Since moving to London from the US, twenty-four-year-old Alex Sinclair seems to have it all: a coveted job writing for the theatre, supportive friends, and the man of her dreams—gorgeous Irish actor, Mark Keegan. But in the year since the acclaimed debut of her play, Alex and Mark’s lives have been turned upside down.

Thanks to his role on a smash-hit British TV show, Mark is catapulted to stardom. Alex couldn’t be happier—until her boyfriend’s popularity and insatiable drive to succeed means they’re apart more than they’re together. Forced to share Mark with showbiz heavy-hitters, intrusive press, and unrelenting fangirls, Alex’s hopes for a stable and committed life with him start to fade. Her struggles with panic attacks, career uncertainty, and Mark’s increasingly worrisome behaviour make her wonder: how much more can she bend before she breaks?

It’s no secret I loved London Belongs to Me. All you have to do is look at my bookstagram account and the dozens of pictures I’ve posted featuring this beautiful book. I was excited when I learned there would be a sequel, and yet also nervous because while I was curious where Alex’s story would go, sequels can be so hit or miss. I shouldn’t have doubted Jacquelyn Middleton, though; I loved the continuation of Alex’s story.  

London Can You Wait picks up a year after where London Belongs to Me left off. Alex is settled in her life in London and in a committed relationship with Mark. While she still loves the city and her hot Irish boyfriend, things aren’t perfect. Mark’s work schedule, paired with his people-pleasing personality, plus Alex’s own personal issues, create a lot of tension and anxiety for the young playwright, and just as much strain on Alex and Mark's relationship.

This book was an emotional rollercoaster. There were so many twist and turns and unexpected events. It dealt a lot with secrets, half-truths, lies, and omissions, and the repercussions that come with all those things. Several really upsetting things happened that made parts of the book difficult to read. Certain things made me angry, but I also had to appreciate how those things were realistic. Middleton took a gutsy risk and it paid off. Life can be messy and complicated. Unexpected things happen all the time, and they’re not always good things. People sometimes make bad, stupid, destructive decisions, or even decisions that seem right in the moment. These things are all part of life, and especially part of growing up. Alex experienced a lot of growing pains, but her struggles made her a stronger person, and I loved seeing her find her way. I also appreciated that Alex’s anxiety, which was a big part of London Belongs to Me, was still a big part of London Can You Wait.

Many of the things I loved about London Belongs to Me were present in London Can You Wait, like the nerdy references and the strong friendships. I loved Lucy and Freddie just as much in this book, and I loved how they each had their own storylines, too. I also enjoyed getting to see more of London and Manchester, as well as a few new settings. It’s obvious Middleton did her research when it comes to locations because I always feel like I was right there with Alex and the others.

My favourite type of books are ones with a strong emphasis on character growth and development, which is part of why I love London Belongs to Me and London Can You Wait so much. They focus on Alex’s journey - as an artist, as a woman, as someone with anxiety, as someone falling in love and learning it’s not always sunshine and roses. I love the romance between Alex and Mark, but it’s Alex’s personal journey that resonates most with me.

London Can You Wait is full of heart and humour. It’s a must-read for all the nerdy Anglophiles out there, as well as lovers of romance and women’s fiction. I’d love to see these books made into a TV show featuring a diverse cast of twenty-somethings.

Read my review of London Belongs to Me
Have you read London Belongs to Me or London Can You Wait? What did you think? What's your favourite place to read about? Do you like coming-of-age books?

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