Monday, 23 December 2013

How a little bit of Lapland magic inspired my Christmas novella...

When I visited Finnish Lapland back in Christmas 1998, I had no idea that, fourteen years later, I'd write and self-publish a little Christmas novella inspired by that trip. And what I certainly didn't expect was for that little Christmas novella to be picked up by the amazing Harper Impulse, and then go on to be one of three winning books in their Winter Wonderland Writing competition!

I loved writing that book, you see. I loved being able to remember that trip to such a beautiful part of the world. To experience those short days and the strange but incredible colours of a Lapland sky; to snow mobile over frozen lakes and sit around a blazing fire in a traditional Sami teepee drinking hot coffee in the middle of a snow covered forest. To witness the spectacular and magical Northern Lights. To have done all of that, and more, was something I will never forget. And to be able to use all of that and put it into that novella was something I just had to do.

A traditional Kata - a Sami tepee.
When I self-published it last year, the book went under the title Christmas Without Icing, and it received 36 lovely reviews on Amazon UK, most of them 4 and 5*. Here are just a few snippets from some of those reviews...

“What a lovely christmassy feel-good book.”

“Totally loved this novella. Such a warm story with fabulous, believable characters whom I connected with completely. Thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to anyone.”

“The author transports the reader right into the heart of the Lapland skiing resort and the buzz at that time of year, complete with the stunning Northern Lights experience.”

“… yet another great read from Michelle!”

“The story itself is heart warming, with a touch of fate-filled magic.”

“Curl yourself up on the sofa, with the lighting slightly dimmed to set the mood, and read away. You'll soon be transported to Lapland and feel the magic in the air.”

“Lovely and heartwarming book - beautifully written and very engaging and I must admit to shedding a few tears in places!”

“Without a doubt this is a very special Christmas novella that will have you filling up your glass with mulled wine and drawing the curtains as you're transported to Lapland.”

“… perfect for a lazy afternoon.”

“A fabulous Christmas time novella for chick-lit and hen-lit fans.”

“This is a feel-good, sentimental, gorgeous story that was perfect for a Christmas afternoon tucked up on the sofa, shutting the world outside and taking a trip to Lapland!  It has also made me want to visit Lapland even more!”

The stunning Northern Lights

And now, complete with a stunning new cover and a beautiful new title - The First Christmas Without You  - my Christmas novella has been published through Harper Impulse and is still receiving lovely, positive reviews. And I couldn't be happier to see my book out there, and to know that people are enjoying it. 

Lapland can be a truly magical place, that's for sure, because I've been there. I've experienced it. And I hope others can experience it, too, by reading The First Christmas Without You. 

This morning I logged onto Goodreads (which is brave of me, considering my fear of that place!), to see a once-sentence review of The First Christmas... that has made my day -   "A beautiful novella that brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face!" Something so simple, but it says it all for that reader. And that's what counts for me. 

To see more stunning images that inspired this Christmas novella, check out my inspiration board for The First Christmas Without You over on Pinterest.

And the book itself is available from Amazon UK and, and most other ebook outlets. It's also featured HERE in the Nook UK Christmas Books promo!

And if you're looking for some Christmas reads to take you through the holiday period then check out some of those on offer from my fabulous publisher Harper Impulse! They're all HERE!

And before I go, I just want to say the biggest thank you there could possibly be to everyone at Harper Impulse, especially the amazing Charlotte Ledger. One phone call from her back in October changed my life, and made my dream come true. Thank you!

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