Chris and Lizzie’s Marketing Adventures. Making it up as you go along!

Chris and Lizzie’s Marketing Adventures.

Planes, Trains and in Automobiles – or ‘going with the flow.’

I’m running a seminar on book marketing soon and I can’t stress enough that marketing can be a lot of fun. I regularly meet up with fellow author Christine Penhall and we basically decide what we will be doing that day, as we go along.

This time, we had glorious sunshine and a trip to the end of a grade II listed, over 100 year old pier, that sticks out over 1.3 miles into the sea. Of course we made time to dip our toes in the water, drink tall glasses of coffee and also write pages of notes, for future projects. Such a hard day at work! We decided that our theme would be planes, trains and automobiles, as we drove to the seaside, got a train back from the end of the pier and Chris ran into every amusement arcade, to try and find a colourful plane to ride in. We had to settle for a helicopter!

We talked about future books, ones we are writing now and the world of publishing. Along the way, we walked to the end of the pier, took loads of gorgeous photos, used the time to think about some book or writing related places we could visit and had a real giggle. We ended the day by discovering a public garden hidden in the middle of rows of houses. It had a huge fountain with carved cherubs at the centre, where pigeons and butterflies were resting their wings and flowers bloomed in every corner. It would make a great setting for a romance novel and the hidden gem inspired us to want to uncover other intriguing scenery. Watch this space for our next instalment, which we think it will probably be about unusual objects in book settings, but by the time we meet again, knowing us, our adventures will have a life of their own!

From Chris:

I always look forward to meeting up with Lizzie Chantree. We have a lot of fun, talk about books, our ideas, how we write, and all sorts of random stuff!

We always start with a plan…a cup of coffee, and if our meeting is in Southend, a full English breakfast in one of the cafes in the Arches along the seafront. Our previous endeavours have been done in some fairly inclement weather. But not September’s. Oh, no! September’s was sunny. And hot, and gorgeous, and frankly rendered me a little more skittish than usual.

       

So I forgot to bring my notepad with my ideas in. The only one I had in my head was…tenacity..because I wanted to use a ‘Nobody puts baby in the corner’ gif from Dirty Dancing in the blog. However, lured out by the sparkling sea and clear blue sky, we decided that a walk along Southend’s iconic pleasure pier – the worlds’ longest at 1.33 miles – would be an ideal way to walk off our breakfast and help us bask in the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, that was the beginning of our ‘go with the flow’ day. Which is what my writing is like really – sometimes I just sit there with a plan, start to type and somehow go off in an entirely different direction to what I’d intended. I also write the scenes I feel like too, when I can’t get one out of my mind, rather that the next piece of the plot. I did that, for example, with the dancing scene in Lisbon in New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun, and also, the last chapter in Finding Summer Happiness. And because I went with where my imagination was, instead of doggedly writing what I’d thought I should, what I came up with was much more vivid, and I went back to the bit I had planned to create with more enthusiasm and energy.

Just a few minutes after we’d stepped onto the pier, the sound of the bustling seafront seemed miles away, the noise of traffic and chatter giving way to lilting waves and seabirds, and it felt so very, very calm, only interrupted with the pier’s trains chugging past heading back to shore. We stopped several times to enjoy the view, then took the train back ourselves. I love days like these – the sense of movement and fun, just walking and getting on and off things. We got so excited with our trains, planes and automobiles idea when we were on the actual train, we decided to try and find a plane on a ride at Adventure Island. Sadly (or maybe just as well), it was closed, so Lizzie had a paddle in the sea and we spotted a helicopter advertising another ride….couldn’t get on it, so took a photo instead…it’s the thought that counts!

Then we headed up Pier Hill to Clifftown Parade, where there are some gorgeous, distinctive houses and little hotels, plus a cafe where we could have a drink – latte, always latte, and an orange juice and soda for me, thanks…. From here we were able to watch the world go by, once again just a few hundred yards away from the crowds, and plan our next trip.

Then I drove home in my car, and Lizzie drove home in. hers, so we did the automobile bit too.

Remember, nobody puts baby in the corner….no, I mean, go with the flow and let your imagination run riot. You never know what you might find!       

       

You can find more information about her on http://www.chrispenhall.co.uk

or folllow her on twitter: @ChrisPenhall

Instagram: christinepenhall

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

Lisa Stanbridge. Top Author of the week.

Today’s guest is  author, Lisa Stanbridge, who is an Australian author who struggles to find time to write and dreams of being a bestseller. Her passion for writing runs so hot in her veins she looks for every opportunity to put pen to paper, often staying up until the wee hours to get the words down, even when she has to work the next day.

Award-winning author Lisa, has been writing ever since she could string sentences together. As a child, it started off with princesses in castles being rescued by Prince Charming. As a teenager she moved onto angsty teens struggling through life with raging hormones. Now, as a semi-mature adult, she writes sweet contemporary romances about real people going through real struggles who want their HEA.
In 2019, Lisa won the Romance Writers of Australia Little Gems short story contest with Clarity, and was shortlisted in the RWAus Emerald Award for unpublished manuscripts for Abandoned Hearts where she ranked second place.
Abandoned Hearts was published the following year by Boroughs Publishing Group.
2020 saw Lisa shortlisted again in RWAus Sweet Treats contest with The Cupcake Catastrophe.
In 2021, Lisa came fifth place in the RWAus First Kiss Award, and has been shortlisted for The Sapphire Awards. Abandoned Hearts also won ‘Best First Book’ for Romance Writers of New Zealand Koru Award of Excellence.
When she’s not writing, Lisa works full time as a Software Tester. She reads anything she can sink her teeth into, and occasionally binges on the latest Netflix series. Lisa loves lazy days at the beach reading or writing, but rarely swimming, and loves spending time with her husband and her friends.
Blurb for Abandoned Hearts:
LEANING TOWARD THE LIGHT
Finally free from her abusive ex, Claire Stone accepts a job as a live-in nurse in the small beach-side town of Busselton, Western Australia. A new life is exactly what she needs. Move away, move on, forget. If only things were that simple. Even the intriguing but abrasive son of her new patient can’t shield her from relentless memories.
Michael Karalis is watching his mother die while battling his ex-wife for custody of his five year old son. He’s bitter, broken, and distrustful, but Claire becomes a light in his world, despite his reservations. Two broken souls need to learn to trust again and open their hearts or they’ll never find the love they both need.

Chris Hall. This week’s guest author!

This week’s Top Author Of The Week, is talented writer, Chris Hall!

Chris describes herself as a compulsive story-teller, cat slave and hen keeper. So far she has released four novels and a small collection of short stories. She writes beautiful multi-genre short fiction and poetry on her website.

Chris has also written under the pen name, Holly Atkins.

From Chris:

A little bit about me

I’m a happy genre-hopping indie author and to date I’ve published four novels and a tiny collection of short stories. At the moment I’m working on a fifth novel, the sequel to ‘Song of the Sea Goddess’.

Basically, I love writing in all its forms. I’m a proud member of the blogger community: reading, writing and sharing with fantastic people all over the world.

Reading is another passion of mine. As an author, I understand the importance of receiving reviews, so I’m a dedicated reviewer too.

Originally from Liverpool in the UK, I now live near Cape Town, South Africa with my artist husband and a very demanding cat called Luna.

Blurb for Song of the Sea Goddess

Sam thinks his problems are over when finds his fishing bucket filled with gold coins. There’s a problem though. The gold burns the fingers of anyone who touches it. His unlikely find coincides with the appearance of a mythical sea creature on the headland overlooking the town and the resumption of quarrying up in the mountains that is poisoning the streams and contaminating the town’s water supply.

Determined to keep his coins hidden, Sam goes up-river to bury them. Here he encounters a beguiling young woman called Shasa, who lives by one of the tainted springs and just happens to have a fish’s tail.

As the blasting continues, the discovery of a series of recently-made drawings in the cave under the headland reveals the terrifying prophesy of an impending natural disaster. Fearing for Shasa’s safety, Sam sets out find her again, only to meet the danger head on, as nature takes its revenge for the damage being wrought by humankind.

Will Sam and Shasa survive?

Set in a fictional location on the West Coast of South Africa, the author skillfully blends the charm of small town life with the threat of ecological disaster at the hands of a powerful force beyond human understanding.

 

Recent reviews:

‘I enjoyed this entertaining and imaginative read and recommend it to lovers of fantasy and a good humorous story. Chris Hall certainly has a talent for creating flavourful characters.’

—–

‘This whimsical and magical read is set in South Africa and follows a handful of delightful characters as they deal with some strange happenings.’

 

Links to Song of the Sea Goddess:

Available in paperback, ebook and audiobook – listen to a sample here
Order on Amazon: USA ~ UK ~ IND ~ AUS ~ CAN ~ ESP ~ Rest of the World
Download from Kobo: ebook ~ audiobook

Social Media Links

Website          https://lunasonline.wordpress.com/

Goodreads      https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18189067.Chris_Hall

Twitter            https://twitter.com/ChrissyH_07

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

Instagram       https://www.instagram.com/chris_hall_author_pics/

LinkedIn           https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-hall-88745b67/

Finding a writing routine.

Hi everyone. How are you all?

It’s been school holidays here and although I tried my best to keep on top of my workload, its been a bit hit and miss. I have always built creative time and coffee breaks into my working week, but during the holidays, i’ve spent far more time away form my desk. When I run seminars, I regularly mention the balance between work and play. I feel it’s really important to find time to step away from deadlines and give your mind time to refresh and restore. This doesn’t mean sitting around all day on the couch, but it does mean turning off social media or screen time for a while here and there and sitting in a park, or taking a stroll for a short while.

Before the school holidays my ‘to do’ list was heaving and although I did fulfil all of my jobs, I was worn out. After a few days in different towns here and there and some time sitting at the beach down the road, I have come back to work with new story ideas, fresh energy and I cannot wait to finish two of the sequels i’m working on.

I hope you have all had a great few weeks and you’ve had a moment to sit in the sunshine or do something creative, before jumping straight back into your everyday world.

Here are some photos from the places I visited. I hope they make you smile. Watch out for a new romance i’ll be writing soon, inspired by one of the locations!

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It is also great to see my latest article on marketing and networking in Romance Matters Magazine. I’m running my next seminar on book marketing at Chelmsford Library on the 25th Sept at 9.30am, if anyone is looking for book marketing advice and is local to Essex, U.K.

    

About this event

International bestselling author Lizzie Chantree’s books have featured in magazines and on the radio. Her seminar at the Essex Authors Day will provide information, tips and advice about how to market your book. Lizzie will be talking about social media, book promotion, book launches, author branding and new ways to find an audience for your writing.

Marketing a book doesn’t have to feel like an uphill struggle, so during this seminar, Lizzie will help you to discover ideas to make your work stand out from the crowd and build an online presence.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/essex-authors-day-how-to-market-your-book-tickets-166217491993

Meet Kay Castaneda. Top Author Of The Week.

It’s my pleasure to have Kay Castaneda as my guest and Top Author, this week.

Kay Castaneda is retired from a career as a college writing instructor and special education tutor. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in English at Indiana University. Her publications include poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction in literary journals plus articles about education for reference books. She published a novel based on her experiences growing up in the Midwest, Emmie of Indianapolis. Kay also contributed two stories to Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories. She is currently researching the history of Ireland for a novel based on her ancestors.  Her work in progress is a mystery novel with an amateur female sleuth. She loves to eat at Mom and Pop diners and browse in antique stores and flea markets. Kay lives in Mexico with her husband Tony, son Richard and dog Buddy.

Reviews of Kay’s work:

‘Wonderful! a joy to read.’

‘This delightful book is also a page-turner. It also left me with a warm uplifting feeling. It was a joy.’

‘One sweet novel. Full of warmth, sorrow and joy for young adults.’

‘AMAZING book!’

Book blurb:

In 1963, a young teenage girl moves with her mother and sisters from the suburbs to the downtown of a Midwestern city after her parents get a divorce. Emmie, a naïve, curious and intelligent girl, wants the security of her suburban life but has always dreamed of adventure in faraway places. She must take risks, meet new people and become independent. The change is difficult for all because of her mother’s alcoholism and lack of a steady income. When Emmie’s mother takes a job, she cares for her sisters at night. In her new neighborhood, Emmie meets people from different cultures who are both good and evil. She defends her sisters and herself each day by confronting the evil, thus awakening her courage and inner strength. But she never gives up.

Book buy link

Other books by Kay:



J. A. Newman. This week’s Top Author!

This week’s guest author is Julie Newman. Some of the reviews of Julie’s latest book really make you want to grab it from the bookshelf and start reading. If you enjoy captivating and well written stories, then Julie’s work will keep you turning page after page to find out more. Julie is an inspiration and began her writing career at the age of 59. Her memoir, No One Comes Close, is a true story of how one woman, unhappy in her marriage, set out to find her first love and the consequences it incurred.

Here are some reviews of Julie’s work:

‘Her emotive writing kept me thinking and feeling every step of the way.’

‘A gripping story about a woman compelled to change everything for another chance at a lost love. Great characters and period detail. I recommend it.’

‘I think we all sometimes wonder what would happen if we revisited our romantic past. This is a great book.’

 

Thank you very much for inviting me Lizzie. I’m a late-starter when it comes to creative writing. In 2008 aged 59, I moved to Cornwall where I took my first creative writing course.  I was immediately hooked. More courses followed. I joined several writers’ groups and soaked it all up like a sponge. I have written numerous short stories and articles, some of which have been published in magazines, but my biggest dream was to send my stranger-than-fiction story, No One Comes Close, out into the world. My favourite quote: No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.

Biography.

J.A. Newman was born in Kent into a busy, artistic family. He father was a commercial artist in London’s West End and painted in his spare time while her mother and grandmother took in paying guests.  At primary school she was repeatedly told off for daydreaming in class and at senior school she filled her rough note books with comic strip stories. Wanting a creative career she went into hairdressing which took her to South East London and later to Cambridgeshire. In 2008 she retired to Cornwall with her second husband where she found inspiration for her writing.

J.A. Newman has kept a diary for most of her life; 1966 and 1987 being the inspiration for her memoir No One Comes Close, an emotional roller-coaster romance published in 2017. Her second publication Where There’s a Will, published a year later, is a light-hearted tale of rags to riches set in South East London and the Yorkshire Dales. Her latest novel, Bay of Secrets, is a mystery with a dash of the paranormal, a slice of romance and a sprinkling of nostalgia set in her favourite part of Cornwall.

She is currently working on a sequel to Where There’s a Will and researching the English Civil War with the intention of writing a historical novel set in that period.

 

You can reach her on:

J.A.Newman@pobroadband.co.uk

www.facebook.com/J.A.Newman.author

www.twitter@julie3wwn

Website: julieannnewman.wordpress.com

Amazon.co.uk : No One Comes Close

Have you ever dreamed of finding a long lost love? Well, Julie didn’t just dream, she did it. This is her story.

Her other two publications:

Where There’s a Will: Amazon.co.uk: J A Newman: 9781723137921: Books

Bay of Secrets: Amazon.co.uk: J A Newman: 9798617263376: Books

 



Jo lambert. Top Author Of The week.

Jo Lambert joins me on my blog today, as this week’s top author.  If you enjoy romance reads with lots of drama and intrigue, then jump into Jo’s book!

Some recent reviews of Jo’s work:

‘Poignant romance with a thriller edge.’

‘I’ll simply say that this is a gripping novel and one I think Mary Stewart and Catherine Gaskin would thoroughly approve of. I loved it.’

‘Gripping romantic suspense.’

‘For those who love Cornish novels. An involving and enjoyable book.’

Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of the city of Bath. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.  She has been writing since 2008. Her first five books, a set of linked romantic sagas following the lives of several families in rural West Somerset, were followed in 2015 by Summer Moved On, a contemporary romance set in South Devon. A sequel, Watercolours in the Rain was published 2017,

 In June 2019 Jo published A Cornish Affair with Choc Lit under their Ruby imprint. Later that year, a major health scare saw her writing put on hold for a while, but in the summer of 2020, the first of a new series of romantic suspense novels was published. Shadows on the Water, set on the south coast of Cornwall, became the first of three stories set in the fictitious town of Kingswater (a place based on a mix of Dartmouth and Fowey).

Her latest novel A Kingswater Summer, due to be published in August 2021 is the second in the series. Both books can be read as standalone stories.

When she isn’t writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog.  Jo loves travel, red wine and music from the sixties and beyond. And sometimes she takes the odd photograph…

Shadows on the Water by Jo Lambert.

Book blurb:

After the tragic death of her fiancé, Ava Warren is slowly rebuilding her life. She has a supportive family, great friends and a job she loves, managing holiday letting company Estuary Escapes in her home town of Kingswater. Another relationship is the last thing she wants or needs. Until one evening she meets Alex Penhaligon.

Alex has just returned home from California where he has been working for the past five years. A case of mistaken identity gets them off to a bad start. But discovering his error, Alex is anxious to make amends and soon persuades Ava that he’s not quite as arrogant as she thinks he is. As their friendship begins to turn into something much deeper, Ava wonders whether she can at last put the past behind her and make a new future with Alex.

But someone is watching. A man who not only thinks Ava should be his but also holds a long term grudge against Alex. And he’s determined to get his own way irrespective of the lengths he has to go to or who gets hurt in the process.

Set on the south coast of Cornwall, Shadows on the Water is a story of family ties, lost love and tangled loyalties.

 

BUY LINKS:

UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08CF3G9BL/

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CF3G9BL/

 

Jo Lambert: Links

Website and blog: https://jolambertauthor.website

 Twitter: @jolambertwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jolambert185

Linkedin: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jo-lambert-6 4644530

Instagram: jolambertwriter185



Meet This Week’s Top Author, Kerry Chaput.

Happy Thursday everyone. It’s my pleasure to introduce this week’s Top Author, historical fiction writer, Kerry Chaput. I can’t wait to find out more about Kerry and her amazing book, My Boring Life.  Kerry brings words to life and is such an inspiring lady.

Here are some recent reviews of her work:

‘There is a lot of joy and humour in this book. A story written from the heart about growing up, falling in love in a world that is changing fast.’

‘Loved it!’

‘Great writing. Wonderful read.’

‘There is a lot to take away from this book for me about taking chances and going on adventures. Highly recommended YA fiction.’

When I turned forty, I decided it was time for a change. We picked up the family (two kids and two dogs) and left California for snowy Montana after selling everything we owned, and I started writing novels. A lifelong dream that I decided couldn’t wait any longer. It took me four decades to start crafting life to my own specifications, and I’ve never looked back.
As a kid, I grew up in a small town where my dad taught US History at the local high school. He hosted the honors students every Wednesday night for discussions in my living room. I used to hide behind the couch and listen to them have lively debates. My father passed years ago, but his love of history is still part of me. That is why I write historical fiction. I write women-centered tales because so much of women’s lives have been passed over or forgotten in the history books.
I’ve published two novels, and book one of a historical fiction series will release with a small press in December, 2021. I wrote My Boring Life to show how much fun historical fiction can be. It’s also a nod to growing up as the American kid in a family from the UK, and how that instilled in me a love of all things British. I now live in Bend, Oregon, fostering the big dreams of my budding writing career.  My loves are travel, coffee, hiking, and reading.
My Boring Life:
It’s 1969 and the world is in upheaval- not that Gavenia would notice. She’s consumed by her disastrous first year of college in New York. When her big brother returns from Vietnam — minus one leg with a crippling case of PTSD — she returns to her hometown of Boring, Oregon to be with him. Gavenia is not your typical nineteen-year-old. She’s a ginger-haired book nerd with her own chair at the library, and whose best friends are a group of hip grannies. She’s the outcast of her outrageous British family who refuses to deal with anything uncomfortable. They swallow emotions with a stiff drink and view mocking as a family sport. Her return home means she must face a lifetime of ridicule and disappointment. Gavenia discovers that she might be the only one who can save her brother from devastation. But first, she must save herself. She’s in for one hell of a summer.

 



Caroline James. This Week’s Top Author!

If you enjoy women’s fiction reads, then you are in for a treat with this week’s Top Author.  Caroline James writes feel-good, heartwarming and funny books that you just love to curl up with. She’s a wonderful lady and is so supportive of other writers. I always feel that she leaves some sparkle wherever she goes.

Some recent reviews of her books say:

‘A genuinely warm feel-good story.’

‘More please!’

‘ Brilliant writing, brilliant read’

‘Couldn’t put it down!’

Caroline and Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me

Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me

 I’ve chosen this book because most of us are unable to travel this summer and this book enables readers to jet off on a virtual holiday, to the sunshine island of Barbados. The book is pure escapism, as described by one review: “Loss, friendship, finding love and starting over, make it a relatable, and captivating read.”

From Caroline:

When I’m not writing I make time to relax by rising early twice a week and heading to a lovely lake, about a five-minute drive from where I live. The purpose? Not to walk and enjoy the countryside but to swim in the water and experience the exhilaration of being at one with nature. Wild-water swimming and bobbing about with the ducks or swimming alongside a heron is a wonderful way to chill out and plan the day’s writing.

Caroline James Bio

Author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever the pandemic allows. A public speaker, which has included talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. In her spare time, Caroline can be found walking up a mountain with Fred, her Westie, or sipping raspberry gin and relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

 

Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me

By Caroline James

Universal link: http://mybook.to/CCA

Book Blurb:

Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me

“A story about friendship and loss…is there hope for those of a certain age?”

‘The time to be happy is now…’ Jo remembers her late husband’s words but is struggling to face the lonely future that lies ahead. Heartbroken, she finds herself alone with ghostly memories at Kirkton House – a Cumbrian Manor that until recently, she ran as a thriving hotel. Middle-age and widowhood loom and Jo determines to sell up and start again, despite protestations from Hattie, her colourful friend. Hattie convinces Jo to postpone any life-changing decisions by enjoying a Caribbean holiday and their escapade sets off a course of events that brings madness and mayhem to Jo. Confused and anxious for her future, can her life really begin again?

Books by Caroline James:

Hattie Goes to Hollywood

Boomerville at Ballymegille

The Best Boomerville Hotel

Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me

Coffee Tea the Chef & Me

Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me

Jungle Rock

Contact: www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

Twitter: @CarolineJames12

Facebook: Caroline James Author

Amazon Author Page



This week’s Top Author, Marie Leval!

Today’s TOP AUTHOR is the very lovely, Marie Leval. Marie is a member of my book group on Facebook and she writes such beautiful books. If you are a fan of women’s fiction reads, then look no further! Once you begin one of Marie’s stories, you won’t want to stop until you reach the last page.

Some reviews of Marie’s work:

 

About Marie Laval

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire. She writes both contemporary and historical romance. Her novels include best selling contemporary romantic suspense novels LITTLE PINK TAXI and ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU, which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Awards, as well as A PARIS FAIRY TALE and BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC. HAPPY DREAMS AT MERMAID COVE, her latest contemporary romance, is set on the beautiful isle of Skye. Marie also contributes to the best selling Miss Moonshine’s Emporium anthologies together with eight author friends from Authors on the Edge.

HAPPY DREAMS AT MERMAID COVE is available as an ebook, audio book and in print on various platforms, including Amazon and Kobo.