Friday, February 7, 2014

PARIS LETTERS by Janice MacLeod: ARC Review & Photo Contest

One Woman's Journey From The Fast Lane To A Slow Stroll In Paris
Janice MacLeod
Sourcebooks; February 4, 2014
Paperback and Kindle edition, 272 pages
Non-fiction, memoir, travel, cultural, France
5 out of 5 stars

“How much money does it take to change your life?”

Unfulfilled at her job and unsuccessful in the dating department, Janice MacLeod doodled this question at her desk. Then she decided to make it a challenge. 

Over the next few months, with a little math and a lot of determination, she saved up enough to buy two years of freedom in Europe.

But she had only been in Paris for a few days when she met a handsome butcher (with a striking resemblance to Daniel Craig)—and never went home again.

A love story in the vein of Almost French and Lunch in Paris, Paris Letters is a joyful romp through the City of Light, and an inspiring look at what can happen when we dare to create the life we want.

Realizing that her Parisian love affair would be forever, MacLeod began her own business on Etsy, creating beautifully-illustrated letters from Paris inspired by artists like Percy Kelly and Beatrix Potter. She now paints and writes full-time, bringing beautiful things to subscribers around the world and reviving the lost art of letter-writing.

What a delightful read! A memoir, a travel log, a romance, a self-help guide, all rolled into one exquisite and delicate confection. I breezed my way through Janice MacLeod's graceful, intimate, and humorous writing, almost oblivious to the fact that what I was reading was a piece of non-fiction. Paris Letters, in fact, hardly reads as a biography as it features all the  alluring traits of a modern fairy-tale: a heroine on the run to escape the 'ogre' (a dreary every-day life routine), a false hero (her ex boyfriend), a quest in foreign lands (her journey to self-discovery through France, Scotland, and Italy), a Prince Charming, and a 'happily ever after'. Occasionally fashioned in epistolary form and light-hearted in its essence, Paris Letters is the perfect Valentine's Day read, a great fit for armchair travellers and lovers of Euro glam and all things French.

***ARC review copy graciously offered by the publisher via NetGalley in return for an unbiased and honest opinion. 

About the author
Janice MacLeod creates letters about Paris, paints them, personalizes them, and mails them out monthly to her subscribers. A former advertising copywriter and associate creative director, she has been featured in Canadian Living, Business Insider, iVillage and Etsy. This is her third book. Visit her at

Photo Contest
Janice MacLeod and Sourcebooks are celebrating the release of PARIS LETTERS with a really fun photo contest: submit your travel snapshot and Janice will turn the winning photo into a one-of-a-kind watercolor painting. Contest ends February 11. The winner will be announced on February 14. Please visit Janice's website for more details.