Writing buddies.

Hello everyone. I’m excited to have been invited on to Chelmsford Community Radio this evening, with the lovely Christine Penhall to chat about the FREE writing buddy session we are running at Fete café in Chelmsford on the 5th July.  It’s always fun to try something different and we are hoping to encourage local writers to meet up, get writing and enjoy some coffee! 

Fete Cafe. Chelmsford. Lizzie Chantree

I’ve finished organising my seminar for The Essex Book Festival on the 11th June and hope any writers who attend will find it useful. I’ll be talking about how to make the most out of categories and keywords, how to use stacked promotions in the run up and the time after launch, and how my books got into the bestseller lists even when I was an unknown author and publishing my first book.

I’m currently writing book twelve, which is the first sequel I’ve ever written. I’m finding it a bit daunting, but also great fun. The characters are making me laugh and I can’t wait to decide on a publication date. The book is the sequel to, The little ice cream shop by the sea.

Platinum Jubilee photo. Lizzie Chantree

We had neighbours round for a Jubilee celebration at the weekend, so that was a good way to relax and enjoy being part of the local community. It was brilliant to see photos of the parties that people were having all across the country. We were lucky enough to sample the famous Jubilee pudding, as my neighbour followed the recipe and brought it round. It was delicious!

Jubilee pudding. Lizzie Chantree

Wishing you all an amazing week and I hope that it’s productive and full of books and sunshine. From Lizzie.  x

Author Richard Dee. Book Launch.

We Are Saul. Book Launch.

by Richard Dee.

Blurb

When Saul is paralysed in an accident, he thinks it’s the end of his life. In fact, it’s just the beginning.

While trying to come to terms with his injuries, the mysterious Dr Tendral offers him a way to make a difference. All he has to do is join his project. There are no other details until he agrees, he’s either in or out.
What choice does he have?
Agreeing is just the beginning. Saul undergoes drastic surgery, only then is the full depth of the project revealed.
Or is it?
As time goes on and he learns more about Tendral’s scheme, Saul’s new life becomes increasingly difficult.
In the end, he has to abandon everything as he learns the truth.

All second chances come with a price.

 Grab your copy now! 

Purchase http://mybook.to/We_are_Saul

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60304988-we-are-saul

Chapter One Extract.

I’m Saul and I’m paralysed. Thanks to a drunk driver my life stopped when I was twenty-five. When I woke up, the last thing I remembered was walking along the pavement on a glorious spring day, following the metronomic motion of a young lady in front of me. One moment, my mind was fixed on speeding up and getting acquainted with the rest of her, next thing, there was a loud noise behind me coupled with a scream. Before I could turn, I felt an impact, a burst of pain and it all went dark.

I opened my eyes to see a man’s face, complete with thick glasses and stubble, staring at me, very close. I blinked, tried to turn my head, failed. It felt like something was holding my neck still. I could move my eyes, that was about it. Flat on my back, my field of vision was limited. There was a lot of noise, machines bleeped and clicked, there was the hiss of compressed air.

“Where am I?” I said, my voice sounded faint and weak, like it was coming from miles away.

“You’re in a hospital. Intensive Care, actually,” answered the man, moving back a little. “I’m Mr McGee, a consultant neurosurgeon on the staff. Do you know who you are?”

“I’m Saul,” I said. “Why can’t I move?”

His eyes narrowed. “Saul, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you.”

I had sort of gathered that my situation wasn’t brilliant. “Go on then, tell me the worst.” I tried to sound brave, inside I was more than a little frightened. Beside his head, I could just make out a screen. It showed multicoloured flickering lines, a row of numbers. That was me, my life was reduced to mathematics.

“You’ve had emergency surgery to stabilise your injuries,” he said. “Do you remember what happened to you?”

“It’s all a bit hazy, I was walking down the road, there was a noise behind me.” I stopped, that was it. “How long ago was that?”

He looked at me. “This might be a shock: three weeks.”

“Three weeks!” My voice was definitely getting stronger.

“I’m afraid so. What you heard was a lorry mounting the pavement and taking out everything in its path. Six dead but not you, the good news is, you’ll live.”

His face was blank, what wasn’t he telling me? Perhaps I had broken bones, internal damage. I was being kept still while I healed. I tried to move my arms, legs. It felt like they worked but I couldn’t see the sheet moving, had no idea if anything was happening.

The bed suddenly moved, the motion felt strange, as if my head was being tugged by some dead weight attached to it, that I couldn’t see or sense. I felt nauseous. Somewhere below me, I heard a machine start up with a rattle.

“What’s going on? I think I’m going to be sick.” I must have sounded panicked.

“It’s what we call the Low Air Loss and Alternating Pressure Air Mattresses,” he said. “Technical name for a special bed. It stops you getting bed sores from lying in one position, as well as that, it helps takes moisture away from your body if you sweat.”

Although it all sounded interesting, I couldn’t concentrate on his words. I was too busy thinking about the time I had lost. There were things I needed to do. There was clearly more, it was time to find out. “I’ll take your word for it. Tell me the bad news then.”

“Sorry,” he said, “I got distracted. You were thrown thirty feet in the accident. As well as a broken leg and arm, the impact also broke your neck. I’m afraid that it’s damaged your spine.”

“Oh, OK.” It didn’t register. “How long till I’m up and about?”

He shook his head. “I don’t think you understand what I’m telling you.”

Then it hit me, bones mended, spines did not. Panic set in. “What do you mean?” I shouted. “That I’m paralysed? That I’ll always be like this?”

“I’m afraid so,” he said. “We can’t fix you with the medical technology we have at the moment. In time, who knows? Your breathing and bowel function appears to be unimpaired, but your arms and legs don’t work. It’s called quadriplegia. Worst case, we can keep you alive and with care and expert attention, your life can carry on.”

I realised that it was all just ‘doctor speak’ for aren’t we amazing, look at what we can do. McGee probably felt really clever that he was able to prolong my suddenly useless life. There could be a paper in it, recognition of his skill from other doctors. My attitude to medical miracles was different. I looked at the quality of the lives that had been saved, the cost to those who had to do the caring. Just because medicine had advanced enough to make it possible. And from my position of good health, I had often wondered about the benefits of so-called miracle surgery.

I always thought that just because you could, it didn’t mean that you should. Now I was on the receiving end of the same ability to play God and cheat nature. Despair washed over me, my life had been full of adventure, extremes. I wasn’t used to spending time inside, with nothing to do. Immobility might not kill me but boredom would. Why hadn’t the lorry done a proper job, wiped me out in an unknowing flash; it felt like an additional cruelty to leave me like this.

 

About Richard Dee

I’m Richard Dee and I’m from Brixham in Devon.

I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective.

I spent forty years in shipping, firstly at sea, then in Port Control and as a Thames River Pilot, with adventures to match anything you could imagine. When I retired, I just moved them out into space, changed some of the names and wrote them down.

When I’m not writing, I bake bread and biscuits, cook delicious meals and walk the Devon coast.

My first novel, Freefall, was published in 2013, my eighteenth, We Are Saul, will be published in June 2022

I also contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection of alternative history stories. I’m currently working on more prequels, sequels, and a few new projects.

I’m an active member of Exeter Authors Association, attending events and giving talks on World-building for speculative fiction.

You can keep up with me at https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/ where you’ll find free short stories, regular features on writing, book reviews and guest appearances from other great authors.

There’s also an offer for a FREE novella, when you join my subscriber’s newsletter.

I can be found on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/RichardDeeAuthor and contacted by email at mailto:richarddeescifi@gmail.com

  

Girl power!

Hi everyone.  How are you all? I spent yesterday with my daughter and we built my new outdoor writing space at home. It was almost as expensive to have built as it was to buy it, so we decided that we could do it ourselves! Lol:)

We spent six hours making the gazebo, which arrived in what seemed like a thousand different pieces. The sense of achievement when it was built, was immense. I haven’t laughed so much for ages and even the dog kept bringing the ball because we were laughing and she thought this meant playtime. We were so determined not to let it beat us, but we did put one roof and two side panels on back to front at one time. We were not amused at that point.

I now have a beautiful place to sit and read or write when i’m at home, regardless of the rain. We keep walking outside to look at it, because we’ve never built anything ourselves before. Who knew that spending six hours outside in the rain, building a place to sit and contemplate, would be so challenging but full of fun? Not me!

I’m now back at my desk and preparing to host a seminar about book launches and book marketing, at Chelmsford library on the 11th June. Hopefully the sun will come out later and I can spend the late afternoon with a glass of wine and a view of the garden from my gazebo.

Have a beautiful week.  From Lizzie. x

Writing Wednesday

Hello everyone. I hope you’re all well. This week I’ve been trying to work out how to use Facebook more efficiently and install the correct coding for my website to connect the two. It’s taken me weeks to finally understand what I needed to do, and then it literally took me about 5 seconds to add the code! It’s weird how you can look at something for so long and not understand it, then the fog clears, and it suddenly makes sense. Doh! Before that it was complete gobbledygook.

I was invited to be one of the hosts on Litopia‘s Pop-Up-Submissions recently, and they have kindly invited me back. I’m also running a seminar on the 11th June for The Essex Book Festival and Essex Libraries about how I set up my book launches in the run up to publication and also about how my books became bestsellers. I will be talking about promo stacking, networking, pricing, publication dates, reviews and more. If you are in the area, the tickets are available here: Seminar link

Other exciting news is that I’m woking alongside fellow romance author, Christine Penhall, to bring some writing buddy sessions and workshops to Chelmsford, Essex.

We have decided to start by hosting a writing buddy session at the gorgeous, Fete Café, on the 5th July, 10.30am -12.30pm. It will be free to attend, but is capped at 25 places. The venue has a really relaxed atmosphere, and if those attending already have a book out and are willing to donate a copy, then the owner of the café is happy to add your book to the event space bookshelves (attendees only). This means it will be seen by other customers of the venue!
You do not have to have written anything before to attend. It’s a fun way to get words onto paper and support each other.
The writing buddy session will be a 30 min writing sprint (no word count goals or pressure), a 20 minute coffee and pastry break (you are welcome to buy a coffee and pastry at the ground floor bar area), another 30 minute writing sprint and then a 30 minute chance to network with other writers at the end.
Book your space here: You must have a space booked to be able to attend. Please only book if you will be there on the day, so everyone who wants to has a chance to join in. We will be hosting these sessions every couple of months. To book your space, just email hello@fetegraysyard.co.uk https://fetegraysyard.co.uk

Have an amazing week everyone! From Lizzie. x

Writer’s room. Behind the scenes.

Hi everyone. How are you? I added a post to my book group about providing a “behind the scenes look” for readers to our blogs, once or twice a month and it has made me think that it’s been a while since I added some photos about my own writing routine!

As you might already know, I write from a small office at home in the evenings and a studio in a nearby town, during the day.  My writing buddy, Pepper, is usually asleep by my feet, or creating unusual hairstyles by rolling around in the mud outside.  I thought I’d show you some photos of Pepper today. She is twelve now, but everyone we bump into, thinks she’s a puppy. She’s gradually slowing down, but still has a spring in her step. When I’m writing, her favourite place to be is snuggled on my lap with her nose on my keyboard, which isn’t that helpful at all, so I usually pull up a chair and put her dog bed onto that, so she can keep a paw on my knee.  Occasionally she’ll see a squirrel out of the window and dashes across the field, but she slows down before she gets near, to let them get away.  Then that wears her out, so she lays down and snores for a couple more hours to replenish her energy!

Coffee is also a usual companion to my desk and looking at my photo reel makes me realise how often my snaps of my writing in progress have a coffee cup beside them. I found a photo of the children’s activity books and phonics cards that I designed with my mum, who is also a writer, so thought you might like to see them too. We have written stories about a magical little dragon called Sydney and his family. My mum used to tell my sister and I these stories as children and Mum and I worked on them together, over time, to create a range of products. We are hoping to publish the children’s stories that are part of this range, in the next year.

Have an amazing week! From Lizzie.

 

Cupcakes, Ice Cream and Romance.

Hi everyone. How are you all? I’ve been working on getting two new books ready. The New Girl On Cherry Blossom Lane, will be out in the next month or two and my newsletter subscribers will be the first to see the cover. It will be in their email inboxes in the next week.  The other book is the sequel to my international bestseller, The Little Ice Cream Shop By The Sea. I’m so excited to revisit those sandy shores and it’s given me an excuse to sample some delicious cupcakes and ice cream. Not that I need much persuading! It’s also given me the chance to walk by the sea, sit and reflect for a while and to waggle my toes in the fresh sea air. It was a bit too chilly to take my boots off, so I wriggled my toes in my boots, but the sentiment was there. Lol!

 

I thought I’d share some pictures of the beach to make you smile today. Where do you feel the most creative? The sea often inspires story ideas for me.

Have an amazing rest of the week and don’t forget to pop by my book group for writing support or my Instagram page for bookish inspiration.

 

 

 

Happy Tuesday everyone! I run seminars and have written a book about book marketing and often talk about networking and the fact that it’s great way to discover like minded creatives to promote our work with. Each month, I meet fellow romance author, Christine Penhall and we spend a few hours chatting about our latest projects. We also swap contacts we have made recently and plan future events that we can work on together for our writing. At the moment we are planning a series of seminars about our writing journeys and some magazine articles. We are now also scheduling in writing buddy sessions to make sure we achieve our writing commitments and fill up our creative tanks, just by spending time with a fellow writer. As soon as we are back at our desks, we feel energised to tackle tasks we might be procrastinating about. Chris and I have different approaches to marketing, but we fit beautifully when we are planning something together and I find her a very inspiring lady.

 

Marketing doesn’t have to be scary or boring and Chris and I always meet for food or coffee and during our time together, we film TikToks for both of our social media feeds, plan a blog post like this one, where we cross promote our work and have a lot of laughs along the way. It is often blowing a gale, or pouring with rain when we meet up, but this doesn’t phase us and we are often found giggling like school children and running around the beach scaring the Seagulls. This is our latest TikTok adventure.

   

Finding different groups of people to inspire your creativity and share news of your work with, expands your network and you never know when opportunity might arise.  I was telling Chris how I’d taken some business cards into a cafe and added them to the notice board. By the time I left the cafe, three of the four cards had been taken by customers, so I replenished them. I was just showing Chris my cards when the staff member of the cafe we were in came to chat to us, so I asked if I could leave some cards and she put them in a card holder right in front of the till. Needless to say, we will both have cards with us next time. Chris was telling me about some people that she met abroad, who had recommended a screen writing course and we are now going to look into that option from Chris’ contact. Marketing doesn’t have to be big things, it can be lots of little things, done consistently.

If you haven’t popped by yet, check out  Chris’ website and her beautiful books, which are full of sandy beaches and romantic storylines, can be found, here.

Romance books by Lizzie Chantree and Christine Penhall.

 

I’m also 50 years old today, so I will probably be eating cake while you are reading this! I published my first book at the age of forty and feel very thankful for all of the amazing readers and writers I have met along my writing journey. I’m hoping to have a new romance book ready to publish soon, so watch this space for more fun and mischief from me.

Have a great week everyone! From Lizzie. x

 

 

 

 

Don’t quit your daydream.

Hello everyone. I hope you’ve had a great month so far. I’m still following my dream of publishing as many gorgeous books as I can and discovering more readers along the way. My other goals are constantly changing, but this one always stays the same. I love chatting to other book lovers and have been updating my social media feeds and trying to find time to post on TikTok and Instagram, a bit more.

I now post a marketing quote each day on Lizzie’s Book Group on Facebook, to hopefully help the writers of the group and I also share anything new I learn about book marketing there. We also have a lot of readers in the group who help us with their thoughts on cover design, why customers pick up one book over another and in sights into which genres they adore. It’s a lot of fun if anyone wants to join. Just hit the link.

I have a new book which is almost complete, about a woman who has just moved to a beautiful new area. Her business is very successful, but she is unsure about fitting in with the other people on the street. Her sexy boyfriend is also an issue, because her friends don’t know she’s dating him! More news and a cover reveal for that book soon.

Have a brilliant day. From Lizzie. x

 

Valentine’s gift for you.

Hello everyone. I hope you’re all well? I’ve been updating my website and social media branding and working on the sequel to my book, The little ice cream shop by the sea. I’ve written around forty thousand word so far, but there still seems to be so much more to write! This can be the point where procrastination sets in for me, but as i’m excited about the storyline and revisiting old characters as well as new, it’s keeping me motivated to finish the book.  I also have another book which is almost completed, so i’m trying to decide the best time to publish. I do have a traditional publisher, but often choose to self-publish. This is because I can decide on my own publishing schedule and work around family commitments. It also means I do the majority of my own marketing, which can be exhausting, but i’m lucky that its’ something that I enjoy. I have a graphic design and advertising background, which helps me immensely, but it still takes a lot of work.

I have just made some Twitter book graphics for another author, as I make these designs for a small fee and I find it good to change up my work flow from time to time. I had my own retails shops for over fifteen years, so i’m also tinkering with the idea of designing some beautiful bookish accessories to add to my author website.

As it’s Valentine’s week, I’ve made one of my romance books, free for few days. My newsletter subscribers will already know this and will have hopefully downloaded their copies, but I’d love for you to have an ebook too.  Download Ninja School Mum here: viewbook.at/NinjaSchoolMumRomance

Reviews of Ninja School Mum:

‘Loved this book, very romantic and a beautiful story. Great characters, always love Lizzie Chantree books such a great read!!’

‘This is the third Chantree book I have read and I marvel at how she can take an ‘ordinary’ situation, in this case picking children up from school, and allow it to evolve into something so intriguing, so absorbing.’

‘This was a light-hearted, amusing and entertaining book. The opening chapters were particularly engaging and I was quickly hooked into the story. The main characters were empathetic and likeable; who doesn’t love a kickass heroine! ‘

Have an amazing week everyone. From Lizzie. x

 

 

Chaos or calm? The bookcase debate.

Hello everyone. I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who visits this blog and shares it with friends and family. I will be blogging more about my writing journey this year, but I will still be shouting out about new books I discover and other author’s work.

       

I’ve been having some really fun-filled chats with the book loving community on Twitter, about colour-coded bookcases. Some people are horrified by the idea, as they sort their books in alphabetical order, or by the height of the spines. Others love to store them with similar shades of cover design. I enjoy the organised chaos of a colour coded bookcase, by book spine. This doesn’t mean I don’t read or respect the books, it just means seeing the covers makes me smile. I know which is which and often grab them to read, but I know this might make other people’s head spin.  Those who are possibly more organised than me! My house is full of colourful art that I’ve painted and I love handmade crafts from artisans, so it’s definitely not for everyone, but I love it. When I walk into a room and see the book covers, they lift my mood, as I know each cover has such magic hidden inside. How do you store your books at home, or at work? I’d love to know.

   

Wishing you all an amazing weekend. I hope you find time to relax and enjoy some great new books. Happy reading!

You can find more colourful bookcases here: Lizzie’s Pinterest page.