Introducing… Alice castle.

My guest today is a wonderful author and fellow CC author, Alice Castle!
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Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, will be published this summer, with Homicide in Herne Hill due to follow in early 2019.  Alice is currently working on the fifth London Murder Mystery adventure. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

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Calamity in Camberwell – blurb

Beth Haldane, SE21’s answer to Miss Marple, worries she is losing a kindred spirit when her friend Jen, the only other single mum in the playground, suddenly gets married and moves to Camberwell.

Soon Beth has to face much more pressing fears. Has something gone horribly wrong with Jen’s marriage? What is her husband really up to? Why is her daughter leading Beth’s son astray? And where on earth IS Jen anyway?

As Beth’s friends push her to start dating again, Beth turns to Met Police DI Harry York for help. But will they solve the mystery in time, or will it turn out that in south east London, not everyone gets to live happily ever after?

 

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Alice is also a mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website: https://www.alicecastleauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alicecastleauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary?lang=en

Links to buy books: http://www.MyBook.to/GirlintheGallery

http://www.myBook.to/1DeathinDulwich,

http://www.myBook.to/HotChocolate

BookLove.

There has been so much in the news recently about reviews, if they are genuine, if they are necessary, if they are too time consuming to bother with! From the point of view of an avid reader and author, I love reviews. As a reader, I check reviews out to see what others have thought of a book before I buy it. As an author, if someone takes the time to tell me that they love my work and that my words have made them feel such emotion that they have either laughed so much that they almost forgot to put their baby to bed, or cried as they were touched by what a character has gone through, then that brings tears of happiness to my eyes and makes the hard work of bringing a book to publication worth all of the effort involved.

Here are some of my favourite reads from my kindle at the moment. I have read and reviewed all of them. Click the book covers to go to their Amazon pages.

Forest Dancer - Susan Roebuck  The Alternative BOOK COVER PERFECT AND READY TO GO.  23795601_10155733805585761_2671210338236614755_n

Microsoft Word - Natalie Ducey..docx  Awen 2  All This Time by Kim Cox

 

Here are a few of the reviews for my books recently:

If you love me, I’m yours.

‘Nobody writes like Lizzie Chantree. If You Love Me, I’m Yours is another total triumph. The author effortlessly pulls together a colourful, eclectic and unforgettable cast, frames them in the exciting world of art, and weaves another wonderful story. A brilliant example of contemporary romance packed with depth, edge – and life lessons.’

—–

‘I was attracted to the book by the description of three friends with issues to address and the pretty cover – and I’m not a lover of the colour pink normally!

What a lovely, well-written, funny, romantic tale about the life-changing decisions each character needs to make to bring happiness and fulfilment. Reading about Maud’s parents lack of encouragement for what she really wanted to do in life, struck a chord with me. I felt rather sad for her, as she must have been crushed as a child, and continued to be controlled by her mother, who dictated everything from how she must dress to what type of man she should date, and who was still constantly disappointed that Maud was not ‘perfect’. Is it any wonder she has low self-esteem and does not believe in her own ability?

I loved the quirky Dot, whose need to fit in with her own family, makes her present herself in an over-the-top, ridiculous way. The polar opposite of Maud. These two needed each other’s friendship to instil confidence and find balance, in order to reveal their true selves. And of course a little romance doesn’t hurt. Bring on the men, who also have issues to overcome before they can be truly happy.’

I really enjoyed reading this book, and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a contemporary romance.’

 

Ninja School Mum:

‘Lizzie Chantree’s books are like fine wines – they just keep on getting better! As always the main characters fizz and entrance, with underdogs and divas, harassed hunks and devilishly attractive but flawed rogues… The espionage aspect helps the seemingly workaday schoolyard environment along famously with catty cliques and beastly little brats, as well as adorable, yet still edgy kids.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading one of Lizzie’s books yet – treat yourself! She gives Jilly Cooper a run for your money in the racey stakes, coupled with the knowing charm of Jane Austen, in hilarious settings with characters that show contemporary chick-lit romances can hold their own when it comes to ballsy, brash behaviour!’

—–

‘Now I will fully admit I don’t usually read a book unless it contains a vampire, shifter or the fay. Well I loved this book it is beautifully written and you really feel an insight into the lives of these women. It is well paced and a great read xxx loved it xx’

—–

‘I LOVED this book!!

It was brilliant, so well written and heaps of fun! The plot is great and I nearly woke the baby up laughing when I was reading it in bed – such a brilliant pick me up for when you are feeing down. Skye is a brilliant character!

It has ups and downs and takes you through a wide range of emotions to give an excellent all round story – no hesitation in giving it 5 stars!!’

 

 

 

 

 

Costa Del Churros.

Introducing, COSTA DEL CHURROS by Isabella May.

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Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. Having grown up on Glastonbury’s ley lines however, she’s unable to completely shake off her spiritual inner child, and is a Law of Attraction fanatic.

Cake, cocktail, and travel obsessed, she also loves nothing more than to (quietly) break life’s ‘rules’.

Costa del Churros is her third novel.

Muchas gracias for hosting me on your blog today to talk about my brand new novel with Crooked Cat Books! COSTA DEL CHURROS will launch on September 19th and is another romantic comedy which fuses all things foodie, travel and spirituality. I’m keeping my fingers (and paws!) crossed that it’ll have as good a reception as its predecessors…

 

Why write about Spain?

My first two books, Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar centred much of their activity around the quirky and mystical town of Glastonbury, UK.  But in actual fact I live in Spain nowadays and much as I relished the opportunity to write about the place where I spent my childhood through to late twenties, it was high time for a change of scene – as well as to prove to myself that I am not a One Trick Pony. Or should that be Cat?

 

Is Costa del Churros based on a fictional or real part of Spain?

Yes, Costa del Churros refers to the Costa del Sol, here in the gigantic province of Andalusia, where I live. I have traveled all over the country, but nowhere seems to make, eat or embrace churros (fried donut strips, often eaten dipped in a thick, velvety chocolate sauce and/or sprinkled liberally with sugar) with the aplomb of the people in this region. The churros play a central role throughout the book, used as a code word that brings four – very different – women together for flamenco lessons with their highly exuberant teacher, Carmen.

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Here’s the blurb:

The rain in Spain doesn’t mainly fall on the plain…

Brits abroad Belinda, Julia, Laura and Georgina need more than the sweetness of churros with chocolate dipping sauce to save them from their unsavoury states of affairs.

Cue Carmen Maria Abril de la Fuente Ferrera, the town’s flamboyant flamenco teacher! But can she really be the answer to their prayers?

One thing’s for sure: the Costa del Sol will never be the same again.

 

Are these four women based on people you know?

Not per se!
But Belinda, Julia, Laura and Georgina are definitely a beautiful fusion of some of the kaleidoscopically colourful characters I have met here over the past seven years. I wanted to paint a truthful picture of expat life in Spain (and quite possibly this will extend to other areas of The Mediterranean too). It’s all too easy to assume that a life in the sun is all soaking up its rays, sand, sea and sangria, but in actual fact, we take ourselves wherever we go! There’s absolutely no running away from your problems when you are home from home, be they romantic, financial, self-esteem based, or all of the above. Often, as soon as the novelty of the new lifestyle wears off, those issues are only exacerbated…
I thought it would make for an interesting (and comical) read to throw four women from four completely different backgrounds together, to add a little magic (a la Carmen) and to watch the fireworks – from a very safe distance.

 

Tell us a bit about Carmen Maria Abril de la Fuente Ferrera…

Well, she was a joy to write.
And I think all of us could do with a Carmen in our lives. Not only is she a talented flamenco teacher, but she has watched the way Franco’s repression of the female has gnawed away at her mother, and at the lives of countless women around her. So Carmen’s mission is one of empowerment. And she’s particularly passionate about encouraging women to have their cake and eat it. Truly, I’d love for nothing more than to click my fingers and magic her up every time I witness a female friend or family member declare in a café/restaurant/gelateria ‘Oh! I really shouldn’t indulge… I’ll start the diet again next week!’
For Carmen is the antidote to any and all of that prescribed female behaviour, an advocate for positive body image on beaches and sun-loungers the length of the coast. She’s a breath of fresh air injecting a much-needed confidence boost to all four of the main characters in the story.

If your tummy has started to rumble… here’s that all important Universal Amazon buying link: mybook.to/costadelchurros

You can find out about Isabella May’s other books, and follow her quirky cake and cocktail posts at these places:

www.isabellamayauthor.com

Twitter – @IsabellaMayBks

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMayAuthor/

Instagram – @isabella_may_author

Do mentors matter?

I have been lucky enough to have had many mentors in my life and I think they are so important when you are discovering a new field of interest. When I was inventing my first product, Runaway Spray, which is a ‘ladder’ or ‘run’ stop spray for hosiery, I had great support from business mentors from The Prince’s Trust When I wrote my first book, I discovered an international book club full of writers (RRBC) and they have been amazing in helping me to find my way in my new career, as have my fellow authors at my new publishers. I  provide mentoring myself through my networking hour on Twitter (#CreativeBizHour) and have been able to support people with new creative ideas through being a judge for Shell LiveWire’s Grand Ideas Award, and having a Facebook group where I share creative ideas with fellow artists/designers/ businesses/writers (Lizzie’s Book Group)

If you are starting a new career, or looking to push forward with your current job or hobby, then you might be surprised to find out how many people and organisations there are out there to offer unbiased help and support. Facebook and Twitter are full of networking hours and groups, you just have to search for them in the search bar and then join. With these groups, it’s good to join in and support others too. It’s about teamwork. When you have found a mentor and learnt what you need to, perhaps you can in turn become a mentor for someone else and help them on their own journey?

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In your opinion, do mentors matter and has one helped you in your life? It will be exciting to hear if anyone else has been nurtured and helped to blossom into the person they have always wanted to be.

Introducing… Megan Mayfair.

MEET MEGAN MAYFAIR.

Megan is an Australian writer who likes her fiction with a dash of romance and a spoonful of family intrigue. Mum to three kids under seven, she writes around her own chaotic family life and job in higher education, fuelled by coffee.

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Buy a copy of Megan’s amazing new book here:  https://mybook.to/leaveunsaid

 

Or you can find out more about Megan here:  www.meganmayfair.com

 

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THE THINGS WE LEAVE UNSAID

Is it the things we don’t say that haunt us the most?

Ambitious café owner, Tessa has more family drama than a soap opera. While she might be an open book, her parent’s ill-fated marriage has scared her away from long-term relationships.

Her employee, shy and unassuming Clare just wants to create a family with husband, Pete, but finds herself in a family history search that challenges everything she thought she knew about her life.

As both women face untold truths, will they realise the path to true love, happiness and family?

The Things We Leave Unsaid will be published by Crooked Cat books on 22 August 2018.

Giveaway time!

Happy new week everyone. I am so excited to announce that I am running a giveaway with some fellow Crooked Cat Books authors and we are giving away a copy of our books to one winner each. That means six lucky winners of a book each. To enter, you just have to check out our Twitter feed, follow us on Twitter and RT the giveaway tweets, which will go out different times during the five days that the giveaway is running for. Good luck everyone! Check out what all the books are about or grab your copy today if you can’t wait to read them!

UPDATE: We have 6 winners!

Sandy Henry / @impulse26 has won a copy of The Wrong Side of Twenty Five. Congratulations!

Yasmin / @_BookThief_ has won a copy of Ninja School Mum. Congratulations!

Serena / @serenacooper4 has won a copy of Another Woman’s Man. Congratulations!

M J Mallon / @marjorie_mallon has won a copy of Foxtrot in Freshby. Congratulations!

Steph / @stephfunnell20 has won a copy of Oh! What a Pavlova. Congratulations!

Suzanne Cass / @SusieCass1 has won a copy of The SoulWeaver. Congratulations!

 

 

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Twitter feeds:

 

Lizzie Chantree: @Lizzie_Chantree

Kate Armitage: @itskatearmitage

Awen Thornber: @awenthornber

Heidi Catherine: @HeidiCatherine

Isabella May: @IsabellaMayBks

Carrie-Ann Schless: @CarrieASchless

 

Check out these amazing books and discover your new favourite author! 

 

Ninja School Mum: Book link and blurb

The wrong side of twenty five: Book link and blurb

Foxtrot in Freshby: Book link and blurb

The Soulweaver: Book link and blurb

Oh! What a Pavlova: Book link and blurb

Another woman’s man: Book link and blurb

 

This is the Tweet you will see on Twitter:

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Book Giveaway Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions for the 6 Summer Reads book giveaway

  1. The promoters are Lizzie Chantree, Isabella May, Kate Armitage, Awen Thornber, Carrie-Ann Schless and Heidi Catherine whose registered office is Unit 1. SS6 8BB. U.K.
  2. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom and abroad, aged 18 years or over.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  5. Closing date for entry will be Friday 3rd August at 2pm. After this time and date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  6. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  7. There is no cash alternative.

 

The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:

  1. To enter, simply RT the appropriate post on our Twitter page and follow the authors Twitter account.
  2. One RT will count as one entry, you do not need to enter more than once, but feel free to RT the competition posts as much as you like.
  3. 6 books will be given away for free including P&P. There will be 6 winners.
  4. Winners will be selected at random on the evening of Friday the 3rd August and announced that day.
  5. The winner will be contacted by Twitter private messaged by one of our page admins. Please check your message requests folder in your inbox. If we do not receive a reply within 24 hours we will choose another winner.

Introducing… Jennifer Wilson.

Today I am chatting to author of Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey, Jennifer C.Wilson.

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Introducing myself / my books…

I’m Jennifer C. Wilson, and I’m probably the person I thought least likely to ever be writing ghost stories. Actually, I’m not writing ghost stories. I’m writing stories about ghosts. It’s a critical difference for this coward, believe me! I’m a marine biologist by training, and an environmental consultant by day, which I love, but I also adore my writing life.

My favourite thing in the world is to spend a day wandering around a historical site or building, working out whose footsteps I might be walking in, and what adventures they might have got up to whilst there. Whether it’s a battlefield, castle or terraced house, it’s the people which make places fascinating to me, but it was during a visit to the Tower of London when the notion of using the ghost concept really struck me. Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of mixing and matching their favourite characters from different periods of history, and seeing who does (or doesn’t) get along? Making Richard III and Anne Boleyn friends was fabulous fun to write.

For the latest Kindred Spirits adventure, we’ve headed back to London after a quick trip north of the border to the Royal Mile, and we’re in Westminster Abbey. Now THAT was a long research day – 9-6 in those walls, soaking up so much of Britain’s history. This time, we have a tantrum of Tudors (I’m really trying to make that catch on as a collective noun…), plus plenty of Plantagenets and a suite of Stuarts. I was scared to tackle it at first, but again, it was such a fun cast to work with.

You can find the Kindred Spirits series on Amazon here, or try my timeslip novella, also featuring Richard III, here. I’ve also recently been involved in a really worthwhile charity anthology, raising money for Newcastle’s Women’s Aid, and my contribution to the anthology (here), was a Kindred Spirits Short, exploring what happens when a certain six women finally meet…

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Book blurb:

On hallowed ground…

With over three thousand burials and memorials, including seventeen monarchs, life for the ghostly community of Westminster Abbey was never going to be a quiet one. Add in some fiery Tudor tempers, and several centuries-old feuds, and things can only go one way: chaotic.

Against the backdrop of England’s most important church, though, it isn’t all tempers and tantrums. Poets’ Corner hosts poetry battles and writing workshops, and close friendships form across the ages.

With the arrival of Mary Queen of Scots, however, battle ensues. Will Queens Mary I and Elizabeth I ever find their common ground, and lasting peace?

The bestselling Kindred Spirits series continues within the ancient walls of Westminster Abbey.

 

Social media links: 

Jennifer C. Wilson – Historical Fiction With Spirit!

https://twitter.com/inkjunkie1984

https://jennifercwilsonwriter.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jennifercwilsonwriter/

Have work, will travel.

It’s holiday season and I’ve been trying to be organised, as the term finishes for this school year. Fitting writing into family life can be great fun, but also a challenge. I write all of my books by hand in A4 green Tink notebooks and then transcribe them onto a computer. This means that I can easily pick my work up and carry it anywhere with me. This made me think about travel and holidays. I do like to relax on holiday, but also find it a great inspiration for my work. Different scenery and a change in temperature can make you feel more at ease and able to let the words flow. I particularly love to write in Spain and France as I enjoy looking at the countryside and the architecture. The U.K. inspires me with it’s history and eclectic styles too.

If you are stuck in any kind of writing rut, perhaps a change of scenery is all you need. I don’t mean two weeks in Cannes, but even working outside or moving rooms for a while with your laptop if you have one, or taking your notebooks and sitting on a beach nearby or somewhere with a good view, might be enough to change your mood and give you fresh ideas.

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Top tips for utilising the views nearby. 3 Quick Tips. 

  1. Plan a day where you can take your writing tools to a new location. Sit and take in the scenery and draw inspiration from your surroundings.
  2. If you are already on holiday, keep a notebook in your bag or pocket. You never know when you might see something interesting, or notice a location that could fit seamlessly into your latest book, blog or article.
  3. Take photos. These photos can become your own stock photography. Keep them in folders on your computer and instead of buying stock images for promotion, upload your own images into software like Canva to keep costs to a minimum for your own designs. These photos might also come in useful when you are writing about locations for descriptive reference.

Cover Wars!

Ninja School Mum is currently on Cover Wars. It’s already got quite a few votes and the competition runs until 8am on Sunday. The winner wins a week of promotion for their book, so it’s a great competition for authors. Every person who clicks their vote is seeing all of the lovely covers there.

You can vote once each day via iphone and once via computer or iPad. A big thank you to everyone who has voted so far or is still voting. #TeamNinja

To add you vote for Ninja School Mum click here: Cover Wars