Release Day post: After The Storm by Marie Landry!

Marie is a great friend of mine and I’m absolutely thrilled to say a massive congratulations to her on the release day of After The Storm!

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How gorgeous is that cover?
I actually managed to finish reading After The Storm last night, I still had 50% to go so I didn’t think I’d manage it in time for release day, but I couldn’t put it down! The next time I looked at the clock it was 4am! This is the second book in Marie’s Angel Island series, a companion novel to Waiting For The Storm which can easily be read as a standalone, although I totally recommend you read Waiting For The Storm too because it was one of my favourite books of last year – at the end of the year, I intended to do a top ten list of books read in 2013 but as usual, I didn’t manage to find the time. I wish I had because Waiting For The Storm would have been in my top three.
After The Storm gets five+ stars from me. It was a wonderful read, full of lovely characters who are real and relatable. I cannot recommend this series highly enough. It’s real life, touching, emotional, it will make you laugh and sympathise, and cry, and then sob, and then cry some more before ending with a smile! Marie is a fantastic writer, she really knows how to describe the grief of losing someone and the pain of trying to live your life without them.
Roll on the next book in the Angel Island series. I loved Sadie in this and can’t wait to read her story too!

About the book:
For most people, starting senior year at a new high school would be a nightmare, but for Ella O’Dell it’s the new beginning she desperately needs. Two months after her mother’s death, she’s ready to leave behind the rebellious, unhappy person she became when she found out her mom was dying.

When Ella meets River Maracle and Sadie Fitzgerald, she begins to learn it’s okay to be herself, even if that means being different. River and Sadie aren’t ashamed of their misfit status—River grew up on a reservation, and his mother is the school counselor; Sadie stands out with her funky homemade clothes, and is a master at ignoring the whispered rumors that have plagued her since the beginning of high school.

Ella finds a kindred spirit in Sadie, and something more in River. After almost a year of pretending to be someone she’s not, she finally embraces life and allows herself to have fun without constant guilt. But despite her budding happiness, something is off with her new life. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past, but Angel Island is a small place, and she soon realizes her demons are harder to outrun than she thought…

You can find the book on:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
B&N
Goodreads

Congratulations on your new release, Marie! It was just as amazing as the first book and I can’t stop looking at that beautiful cover!

About Marie:
Marie-Landry-Author-Pic Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood she’s had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece. She’s a hopeless romantic, an unapologetic eavesdropper (occupational hazard), an equally unapologetic squeeing fangirl, and a lover of swoonworthy book and TV characters. For more on Marie and her books please visit http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca. She also loves to chat with fellow book lovers, so feel free to tweet her @SweetMarie83 any time!

My Writing Process Blog Tour!

Today I’ve been invited to participate in My Writing Process blog tour, thanks to the lovely Jennifer Joyce for inviting me! Jennifer is the author of A Beginners Guide To Salad, which I’ve just started reading and think it’s fab so far! You can find her on jenniferjoycewrites.co.uk.

The idea of this is that you answer four questions about your writing process, and then nominate three authors to follow you on the tour, so without further ado…

1) What am I working on?
I’m not allowed to mention what I’m actually working on right at this second, but I hope to have some exciting news to share very soon! I’ll have to talk about another WIP that I can’t wait to carry on with instead – it’s a new YA, untitled as of yet (my ideal title would be protected by copyright so I have to think of something else that fits!) and it’s really different for me. It’s dark and gritty, probably a bit controversial, exploring human nature at it’s darkest. I haven’t planned it out at all, I was so excited about the idea that I wanted to start writing it straight away. It’s a different approach as I usually start with at least some kind of plan, but I’m hoping the different approach and the different style will complement each other!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It’s probably a bit weirder than most! People have started to expect quirky from me, you know, vampire pumpkins or zombies at the North Pole, so I’m getting a bit of a reputation as the quirky, weirdo writer. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not!

3) Why do I write what I do?
Because I love it! That’s the answer you’ll probably find from most participants on this blog tour! I write chick-lit and YA because that’s what I love, it’s what I read, it’s what I get excited about, and I love both genres equally, so I write in both.

4) How does my writing process work?
I’m not a huge planner, but I’m not a pantser either. Generally I start by writing an extra-long blurb, the kind of thing you’d see on the back of a book, but more in-depth and with spoilers. After that I jot or type pages of notes, just the flashes of inspiration or ideas that pop up when I’m thinking about the book, and more often that not when I’m washing my hair and have no access to a pen and paper or laptop! I write down everything, every little idea for each book, because I know how often I think of something brilliant only to forget it moments later! The next step is a vague chapter-by-chapter outline – this is mostly to make sure I have enough material to write an entire book out of the idea, and an attempt to keep track of the storyline and how it gets from beginning to end. It’s nothing more than a list of scenes really – who’s in them, why, what they’re doing, what they want, etc. Each chapter has maybe one or two sentences about what will be happening in it, because I like to keep things vague so the characters can still take over if they want to. Things do change a lot from this outline when the actual writing starts, characters take the lead, sometimes they go places or do things that aren’t planned, and that’s okay because it’s only a shitty first draft. That’s how I think of the first draft – for me, the purpose of it is to write the story, to get the words down on paper, to go off on tangents if need be, to tell the story and not worry about something not working or not fitting in. It’s going with the flow and writing random ideas as they come to you. If it doesn’t work later then it will be edited out or drastically altered in the second draft. In first draft mode, I don’t go back or edit anything, I just write until the end, then put it away for as long as possible – ideally a few months but it can’t always be done. After time has passed, I re-read it and re-work it into a second draft, then edit, edit, edit it through two or three more drafts until it’s ready for a professional editor.

And that’s it from me!
I’m nominating three wonderful authors to post next week, and they are:

tilly Tilly Tennant
Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

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Dan Thompson Dan Thompson Author Pic 2
Dan lives in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire (England) with his young daughter and his shabby dog, Skye.

He is the Author of the charity poetry book Life is all but a vast array of Colours and phobia Novella The Caseworker’s Memoirs. His first full length novel, A YA Fantasy entitled The Black Petal will be available soon. Also in 2014, a dark new adult novel entitled Here Lies Love will be released.

A lover of YA and fantasy fiction, you can often find him writing on his blog, writing book reviews and connecting online with other writer-type people and interviewing authors. Dan grew up reading Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five series, secretly coming up with his own inventive adventures, and R.L Stine’s The Goosebump series, before turning to the works of Philip Pullman, Eoin Colfer and Marcus Sedgwick and slipping away into alternate realities. He also loves a good Historical Thriller too.

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Jack Croxall Photo Jack Croxall
Born in High Wycombe, Jack Croxall now lives in rural Nottinghamshire with his chocolate Labrador, Archie. He has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham and currently toils away as a science writer in between working on his books. He tweets via @JackCroxall and blogs at http://www.jackcroxall.co.uk

Cover Reveal – After The Storm by Marie Landry!

Today I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of a cover reveal for Marie Landry’s upcoming book After The Storm. This is a sequel to Waiting For The Storm, which was honestly one of the best books I read last year! I was already eagerly awaiting this new release, and then I saw the gorgeous cover, and now I really can’t wait at all!

Drumroll please…

After-the-Storm-Marie-Landry-med

About the book:
For most people, starting senior year at a new high school would be a nightmare, but for Ella O’Dell it’s the new beginning she desperately needs. Two months after her mother’s death, she’s ready to leave behind the rebellious, unhappy person she became when she found out her mom was dying.

When Ella meets River Maracle and Sadie Fitzgerald, she begins to learn it’s okay to be herself, even if that means being different. River and Sadie aren’t ashamed of their misfit status—River grew up on a reservation, and his mother is the school counselor; Sadie stands out with her funky homemade clothes, and is a master at ignoring the whispered rumors that have plagued her since the beginning of high school.

Ella finds a kindred spirit in Sadie, and something more in River. After almost a year of pretending to be someone she’s not, she finally embraces life and allows herself to have fun without constant guilt. But despite her budding happiness, something is off with her new life. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past, but Angel Island is a small place, and she soon realizes her demons are harder to outrun than she thought…

Find After The Storm on Goodreads here!

About Marie:
Marie-Landry-Author-Pic Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood she’s had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece. She’s a hopeless romantic, an unapologetic eavesdropper (occupational hazard), an equally unapologetic squeeing fangirl, and a lover of swoonworthy book and TV characters. For more on Marie and her books please visit http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca. She also loves to chat with fellow book lovers, so feel free to tweet her @SweetMarie any time!

Sale:
ATS-CoverReveal-Celebration
To celebrate this cover reveal week, the first book in the Angel Island series – Waiting For The Storm – is on sale for only 77p/99c. I highly recommend this book, it was one of my favourite books of 2013, and is a truly fantastic and touching read!
Available on Amazon UK | Amazon US, and all other ebook retailers!

Here Lies Love by Dan Thompson – Cover Reveal!

My friend Dan Thompson is releasing a new book soon, and I’m so happy to be involved in his cover reveal today! The book is called Here Lies Love (amazing title!) and it sounds really good!
Without further ado, here is Dan’s stunning new cover…

Here Lies Love Promo Cover

About the book:
When she is sold by her father, Abbey discovers that nightmares can occur when you’re awake. Trapped inside a wooden cage, Abbey is forced to listen to the horrors and atrocities above; time ticking down until it is her turn. But Abbey isn’t prepared to become a victim; she will escape.

Although, what Abbey isn’t prepared for, is how harsh and unfair the world can be. With the sun turning its back on humanity long ago, life gives no opportunity. The only thing Abbey can do is learn to survive. To exist. And that means stealing any opportunity that comes her way. Haunted by the unpleasant memories bestowed upon her only nurtures Abbey’s paranoia, until she realises that to truly live in the world, she must confront the person who was responsible for her misfortune – her father.

Here Lies Love is a tale of actuality, of facing up to the fact that love comes in many guises. Can Abbey find the one glimmer of hope or will she be overcome with the darkness of revenge? Here Lies Love is coming April 2014.

In more exciting news, Dan is hosting a competition to actually name one of the characters in the book! You can find out all about that here!

About Dan:
Dan Thompson Author Pic 2 Dan lives in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire (England) with his young daughter and his shabby dog, Skye.

He is the Author of the charity poetry book Life is all but a vast array of Colours and phobia Novella The Caseworker’s Memoirs. His first full length novel, A YA Fantasy entitled The Black Petal will be available soon. Also in 2014, a dark new adult novel entitled Here Lies Love will be released.

A lover of YA and fantasy fiction, you can often find him writing on his blog, writing book reviews and connecting online with other writer-type people and interviewing authors. Dan grew up reading Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five series, secretly coming up with his own inventive adventures, and R.L Stine’s The Goosebump series, before turning to the works of Philip Pullman, Eoin Colfer and Marcus Sedgwick and slipping away into alternate realities. He also loves a good Historical Thriller too.

You can find him at his website, Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads!

The Guestbook by Holly Martin – Cover Reveal!

My lovely friend Holly Martin is releasing her first chick-lit novel The Guestbook on Valentine’s Day! I’m thrilled that she’s let me be a part of the cover reveal today! Without further ado…

*drumroll*

9781472090966_Cover (1)

About the book:
Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook!

As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider – whatever her colourful array of guests require. A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.

This includes Annie herself – especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.

Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!

Forget sending postcards saying ‘wish you were here’ – one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.

The book will be out on Feb 14th, and you can find out more about Holly on her website!

North Pole Reform School Blog Tour – Day 7 + 8!

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So this is it, the NPRS tour is over already! It’s gone so quickly but it’s been such a lovely tour! The final two days have been amazing!

- A fantastic review from Kimber Leigh, who calls NPRS “one of her favourite reads this year” at Kimber Leigh Writes!

- Another amazing one from Unabridged Bookshelf!

- 5 Stars from Always Lost In Books!

- Lovely review from Chill Reviews!

- 4 stars from the Two Tall Tales blog!

- 4.5 out of 5 stars from All Things In The Cloud Sweet!

- An interview with me on lovely author Stacey J Mitchell’s blog!

- A guest post about my writing habits on Cherry Mischievous!

Don’t forget there’s still a $25 Amazon voucher up for grabs at each of these stops!

Not part of the tour, but two more things to mention

- My lovely tattoo-buddy Jenny has listed her top ten books of 2013, and Not Pretty Enough has made her list! It’s such an honour! Check it out at Jenny In Neverland!

- And last but not least, fab writer Jennifer Joyce has let me on her blog today to talk about my top ten Christmas films!

Thank you all for such a wonderful tour! It’s been fab and festive, and I can’t believe how nice everyone has been about the book! Thank you everyone! Now, it’s nearly Christmas… Where’s the Quality Street?

North Pole Reform School Blog Tour – Day 5 + 6!

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Day six of the North Pole Reform School tour already! There’s only two days left!

- 5 stars from Yvonne at The Shadow Realm!

- 4 stars from Been There, Read That, Reviewed The Book!

- 5 stars from The “I Love Books” Club!

- 5 stars from lovely author DJ Kirkby!

- Wonderful review from Buried Under Books!

- 5 Dancing Candy Canes (!) from Bella’s Shelf!

- Not part of the tour, but the fabulous Laura at Laura’s Little Book Blog writes brilliant reviews and gives NPRS 8.5 stars out of 10!

- And author Alison Jack is running a feature on Christmas Reads this week, and NPRS is her pick for Day One!

North Pole Reform School Blog Tour – Day 3 + 4!

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Days three and four of the North Pole Reform School tour have been wonderful!

Reviews:

- 5+ stars from the gorgeous Trish at Tishylou’s World!

- Fab YA author Marie Landry calls it her “new favourite Christmas book”! Best compliment ever!

- Another author who I really admire, Cheyanne Young, gives NPRS 5 stars!

- Another brilliant review at The Enigma Of Herself.

- Five stars from Book Savvy!

- Five stars from the fabulous Sorcha at Old Victorian Quill!

- Four stars from Donnie Darko Girl and Clever Girls Read!

Guest posts:

- An excerpt and interview with me at Paranormal Sisters.

- My Top 5 Christmas songs at Pretty Girls Read Books.

- My Dream Cast if NPRS was ever made into a movie is hosted by the lovely Sheli at Sheli Reads!

Don’t forget, there’s a $25 Amazon gift voucher up for grabs at all of these tour stops! See you tomorrow for day 5!

North Pole Reform School Blog Tour – Day 1 and 2 Round-Up!

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The North Pole Reform School blog tour kicks off this week! It’s a brilliant time of year to do a tour because everything is all festive and lovely! Look, even my own website is snowing!

A round-up of happenings on the first two days of the blog tour:

Guest posts –

- My Top 5 Christmas TV Movies on Reading Past My Bedtime.

- a take on NPRS from Luke’s POV! (This was so much fun to write!) on Books Live Forever.

- And an interview with Paulette’s Papers.

And some fantabulous reviews from –

To Another World, The Book Geek Wears Pyjamas, Hot Off The Shelves, Kimberlyfaye Reads, Bookmarks, Spoilers, and Happily Ever After, The Book Bag, Marie Godley, and Diamond and Coal!

You can also enter to win a $25 (or local equivalent) at any of these tour stops!

North Pole Reform School – New Christmas YA Book – Out Today!

Time for another book release! (Don’t worry, it will be the last for a while!) My fifth book, a YA Christmas romantic comedy is officially released today! It’s called North Pole Reform School and I would, of course, love you to read it!

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You can read a sample or buy the book on Amazon UK or Amazon.com, and it’s available from every Amazon in the world so you’ll be able to grab it from your local one too!

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a Kindle, because it’s also available in paperback! See? Amazon UK or Amazon.com and Amazon have very kindly reduced the price at the moment too, but who knows how long that will last!

About the book:
Mistletoe Bell hates Christmas. So would you if you had a name like hers. Her Christmas-mad parents make the festive season last all year, and with another Christmas looming, Mis doesn’t think she can take any more. After her carelessness causes an accident at school, it seems like things can’t get any worse.

Then she wakes up to find The Ghost of Christmases Ruined in her bedroom.

She is taken to the North Pole, to a reform school run by elves determined to make her love Christmas. Stuck in a misfit group of fellow Christmas-haters with a motley crew of the weird and even weirder, watched over by elves day and night, she doesn’t expect to meet cute and funny Luke, who is hiding a vulnerable side beneath his sarcastic exterior. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with him.

But all is not as it should be at the North Pole. A certain Mr Claus is making the elves’ lives a misery, and pretty soon Mistletoe and Luke are doing more than just learning to like Christmas.

A YA romantic comedy in which Santa is the bad guy, teaching reindeer to fly is on the curriculum, and zombies have a fondness for Christmas music.
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Suitable for older teens and upwards due to bad language.
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Find NPRS on Goodreads: Here.

There’s also a giveaway running on Goodreads, where you can enter to win a signed paperback copy of the book! Open internationally! Enter HERE!

If you missed it earlier in the week, North Pole Reform School will also be going on a blog tour in December! It will run from Dec 9th to Dec 18th (missing the weekend) and all bloggers are more than welcome to sign-up to review the book, or have an interview or guest post with me, or even something simple like a spotlight post would be fantastic!
More info: Here
Sign-ups: Here
I’m looking forward to a fun and festive tour!

As always, I can never thank you guys enough for supporting me on release day and on every other day of the year!