Just letting you know that right now both SNOWFLAKES AND CINNAMON SWIRLS and THE CHRISTMAS WISH LIST are just 99p each to download on Amazon and Apple books!
Happy festive reading, my loves!
Huge and heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part in THE WINTER GARDEN giveaway! I thought a food based answer would be a good idea, but your answers have got my belly rumbling! I haven't counted exact numbers but I think MINCE PIES were the most popular choice, closely followed by CHRISTMAS DINNER with all the trimmings.
As always I've used the random number generator to pick the winners for me.
First prizes go to -
Angelli Joyce Santiago
Runner up prizes go to -
Hannah - wrote with coffee
Massive congratulations to you all!
Please send your postal addresses to my inbox and I'll get your prizes in the post
Again, massive thanks to everyone who took part and don't worry if you missed out this time, I'll be running another giveaway very soon.
Love and hugs
Today I am absolutely delighted to be able to share with you the gorgeous holding cover for A TASTE OF HOME which will be published next April and which gives us a glimpse of just how beautiful the final cover will be! Isn't it pretty?
Buy the book...
Today I am delighted to welcome Louise Marley to the blog for the first time!
A Perfect Christmas?
Huge thanks to Heidi for allowing me to take over her blog to talk about my latest book, You Make It Feel Like Christmas.
One of the themes running through my story is a question: What makes the perfect Christmas? The family in my story have their own (conflicting!) ideas about that, leading to no end of problems—including filming a reality show in a semi-ruined castle. Not quite what they had in mind!
I wanted to write a Christmas romantic-comedy because I’ve always loved everything about Christmas. Like my heroine, Beth, my decorations go up on the 1st of December and I can’t wait to start playing Christmas music. I love reading Christmas-themed books too, but then I read those all year round!
For a perfectly organised Christmas, lists are vital. I have a present list, a card list, a shopping list—I even have a cooking-Christmas-dinner countdown list to ensure everything goes into the oven at the right time. Despite my best efforts, I’ve also learnt that you can’t plan for everything.
Shall I let you into a secret? One of our best Christmases started out as an utter disaster.
In my part of Wales it snows every winter. Usually only a light sprinkling—enough to look pretty and maybe scrape together a very small snowman—but one December morning the sky turned black and big fluffy snowflakes began tumbling out of the sky—and didn’t stop!
We thought it was great! The kids had a snow day, we built a snowman, we went sledging and we went to bed tired but happy. The next morning the snow was not only still there but there was a lot more of it! Our poor snowman was a small bump in a vast expanse of glittery whiteness. Like the plot from one of those Christmas romcoms I love to read, we were actually snowed in!
And it stayed that way for a week!
This wouldn’t have been a problem except I’d ordered most of the Christmas presents online. A week before Christmas and they still hadn’t arrived. The supermarket I’d ordered our groceries from couldn’t get through and had to phone to rebook—for two days after Christmas. So there we were, less than a week before Christmas with no festive food and no presents!
It was Christmas Eve before the roads were clear enough for us to inch our way to the nearest supermarket, fill a trolley, and slip and slide our way home. The presents didn’t turn up until after the New Year but, strangely enough, that Christmas turned out to be our best one ever. Instead of a ‘traditional’ Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, we stuck a joint of lamb in the oven and went sledging. In the afternoon we built another snowman, watched the Christmas movie and played board games.
The moral of this story? If something can go wrong it will! Sometimes all you can do is go with the flow and remember that Christmas is just one day out of 365, and an ‘imperfect’ Christmas can end up being more fun that a perfect one.
And if it isn’t? Well, there’s always Boxing Day!
Louise Marley writes murder mysteries and romantic comedies. She is lucky enough to live in a village where there is a famous library and two ruined castles. (Her husband still thinks they moved there by accident.)
Her first published novel was Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, which was a finalist in Poolbeg's ‘Write a Bestseller’ competition. She has also written articles for the Irish press and short stories for women's magazines such as Take a Break and My Weekly. Previously, Louise worked as a civilian administrative officer for the police.
Her latest novel is You Make It Feel Like Christmas.
Links & Social Media
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LouiseMarley @LouiseMarley
It's time for THE WINTER GARDEN publication celebration GIVEAWAY my loves and as always, I'm making it super easy to enter!
So, what's on offer? I'm giving away four prizes this time.
The top two prize bundles include
A signed copy of the book, a bespoke Winter Garden bookmark, a candy cane pen for writing those lists to Santa and a delicious Lindt snowflake chocolate!
The two runner up prizes include
A bespoke Winter Garden bookmark and a signed bookplate. I'm VERY excited about these and can't wait to send the first ones out!
How to enter -
To gain your place in the big hat of chance all you have to do is tell me, in the comments box below...
What is your favourite festive food or snack?
Simple as that!
This is a UK only competition and the closing date is October 17th with the winners being picked at random and announced on the 18th.
Lots of love
Oh my goodness! What a day! Launching THE WINTER GARDEN yesterday was the most fun I've had without leaving the house in a very long time! It surpassed all expectations and my online tally hit 17 hours straight. I'm certain that's never happened before so thank you all so, so much for joining in the fun and keeping me on my toes!
The day started with the early arrival of this beautiful bouquet of autumnal blooms from the fabulous Book and The City team. Aren't they stunning? One of my favourite things in the world is fresh flowers so these really kicked off the celebrations in style!
The Heidi Swain Facebook Book Club party then launched at 9am. Organised by super #swainette Sue Baker and tirelessly supported by wonderful co-creator Fiona Jenkins, the fun carried on all day and long into the evening and the interaction was amazing. I've never had an online party before so this was a total treat. The post attracted dozens of comments and photos and it felt like I was sharing Christmas day with everyone! Thank you all so much.
Next up was the start of THE WINTER GARDEN Blog Tour. Stacy got things started with a wonderful review and an extract to whet everyone's appetite for a festive trip to Nightingale Square. Thank you Stacy!
And then last, but by no means least, it was time for the Instagram Live Chat with gorgeous Oriana. We planned to talk and answer everyone's questions for 45 mins but we ended up staying online for an hour and a half! We were having such fun we didn't even realise we were going to get cut off. We started part deux and were delighted when everyone joined the party again.
We've already decided that we're going to have another chat in December because there were so many unanswered questions and we really want to share them all. I'll let you know the date and place as soon as it's decided.
This fabulous screenshot sums up the event! I hope you wonderful #swainettes had as much fin as we did!
The day ended on a real high just after midnight. I logged on to Amazon to find 44 fabulous reviews already posted and a wonderful bestseller flag sitting pretty next to the e-book. I couldn't possibly have asked for more.
So, there you have it! One phenomenal publication celebration.
Just before you go, I want to say a massive thank you to Sue and Oriana who organised the fun and also to everyone who took part. Huge thanks too to everyone has already purchased a copy of the book, in whatever format, and to you fabulous folk who have reviewed it.
THE WINTER GARDEN publication day has been a 2020 highlight and I will treasure the memory of it forever.
I can hardly believe that I'm planning my second Publication Day amid the trials and restrictions Covid has placed upon me, but there we are. Celebrating the release of THE SECRET SEASIDE ESCAPE was very low key. To be honest, the first emotion I felt was relief at getting the book out on the shelves, however this was swiftly followed by an overwhelming sense of gratitude that you wonderful folk were buying it in such unprecedented times and in such great numbers. Thank you!
This time around, I'm more prepared and with the help of some very generous and helpful #swainettes, I'm planning to crank the celebrations up a notch and launch THE WINTER GARDEN in style. Here's what we've got planned...
Publication Day Celebration Schedule
I'm hoping that you're already a member of my FACEBOOK BOOK CLUB, but if you're not don't worry. You can request to join by clicking the link below. The Book Club is run by two wonderful #swaintettes - Sue Baker and Fiona Jenkins and it is Sue who has very kindly offered to organise my first ever online publication party with a very festive theme!
The fun will be starting early at 9am and Sue has lots of festive fun planned so I hope you'll dig out those Christmas jumpers and join us. There will be some prizes on offer too so keep your eyes peeled for how to be in with a chance of winning those!
At half seven in the evening I'll be going live over on Instagram - EEK! Lovely Oriana Blyth has invited me along to chat to her about all things bookish and I'm going to be answering lots of questions too. If you scroll through the Book Club feed via the link above, you'll find out how to submit a question and be in with a chance of winning yet more goodies!
Alternatively go straight to Oriana's Insta account -
And join in the fun from there! It's going to be a great event!
From October 1st - October 30th
And finally, no launch would be complete without its very own BLOG TOUR and this one starts on publication day and runs right through until the end of the month!
I've been absolutely overwhelmed by the take up for this tour and if you happen to be one of the participating bloggers, thank you so, so much! Both myself and the entire BOOKS AND THE CITY Team are thrilled to have you onboard.
There's going to be a great mix of reviews, Q and A's, extracts and giveaways running throughout the month so keeping checking my Twitter feed for daily updates!
So there we have it! A packed publication day full of fabulous festive and bookish themed fun. I very much hope you will be able to join me and of course, I hope you enjoy reading THE WINTER GARDEN! This first festive trip to NIGHTINGALE SQUARE was a joy to write and Christmas in the city is going to be very wonderful indeed.