by Marie Landry
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, right? At least that’s what twenty-year-old Ginny Bailey’s grandmother always told her, and Ginny believed it until Grama died. She even put on a brave face the following two Christmases, carrying on Grama’s traditions and decorating her house and café with Grama’s favorite decorations. But Ginny can’t pretend any longer. When she finds out she’s going to be alone for the holidays this year, her Christmas spirit goes out the window, along with her luck. Everything that can go wrong does, and Ginny just wants to spend the holidays hiding under the covers...until Dean Riley comes back into her life. With their shared past, old feelings begin to resurface almost immediately, and Ginny thinks Dean might just be the Christmas miracle she’s been waiting for to help her remember why Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.
Marie Landry delivered the perfect little holiday novella with The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. It has a small-town coffee shop, memories of Christmas with Grandma, snowballs, hot cocoa and a yummy man from our heroine’s past. Mini review: romantic, sweet and filled with holiday spirit.
We meet Ginny sometime right before Christmas, on the first snow of the season. She owns a coffee shop in the middle of her small-town and still lives in the home she was raised in. Missing her Grama. She is determined to embrace the holiday spirit, but everything that could go wrong does. That is until Dean Riley, the man who as a young boy stole her heart shows up in town. It is filled with sweet moments, and memories of Christmas and childhood pasts. This tale quickly tugged at my heart and I consumed it in a single sitting. Bring on the mistletoe, I am feeling festive!
While, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, is a novella, Landry did a wonderful job of fleshing out the characters, especially Ginny. I related to her on so many levels. I was very close to my own grandmother and holidays were extra special thanks to the magic she wove. Plus, Ginny, owns a coffee shop and when you hear her plans for the future you will quickly want to be her BFF too. While Dean wasn’t as fleshed out, he was incredibly sweet, romantic and just the kind of guy you would want under your tree. Other characters such as Ginny’s parents and friends and the cutest little boys or rascals you would ever want to meet help flesh out the tale and add substance to this novella.
Novellas can be hit or miss with me, but Landry did an excellent job with the pacing of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The couple shared a past, helping make the “insta-love” feel genuine and I like how the author paced the tale. There were several threads woven into the tale, and you got a sense of the small-town and shop. I easily connected with the characters and bought into all the gooey-goodness Landry shared. Those looking for a clean, feel good, holiday romance will find The Most Wonderful Time of the Year offers the perfect afternoon delight.
Fans of holiday themed, small-town romances, will enjoy The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. This was my first read by Landry, and I will certainly be reading her again.
Thank you so much for having me here today, Kimberly! I’m excited to be participating in the Ho Ho Ho Holiday Read-a-Thon, and to be here talking about my new novella, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
I hadn’t read many Christmas books until last year. Every month my library has a new theme and they set up a display of books and decorations accordingly. Last December, the theme was – surprise, surprise – Christmas. I picked a few from the display, and ended up loving them. From there I started getting free and cheap holiday books and novellas for my Kindle, as well as a few more books from the library.
With my mind centred on all things Christmassy, a story idea began to form in my mind. My dad and Grama both loved Christmas, and made it seem like a magical time of year. I wanted to write something to honour them both, since they’re no longer here, and I thought what better time to set a book than during the most wonderful time of the year? I tried to incorporate all the things they loved most about Christmas, and I hope they would be pleased with – and proud of – the results.
There’s something magical about books set at Christmastime. Not only do they get you in the mood for the holidays, they also usually have this wonderful ability to make you believe in the wonder and magic of the season. They’re often light and uplifting, making you believe that anything is possible, and that it really is a season of miracles. There are conflicts and climaxes, but they’re not usually the be-all end-all types of problems in other novels. Christmas stories are ones you can lose yourself in and forget your own troubles for a couple of hours, and come away reminded that there is good and happiness and joy in this crazy, mixed-up world.
About the Author
Marie Landry has always been a daydreamer. She has created imaginary worlds for as long as she can remember, so it only seemed natural that she would become a writer. With a passion for words that started in early childhood, Marie has written a varied range of works, and has been freelance writing since 2009. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews.