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.

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.

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

 

Writing a speech.

Hello everyone. I’m currently writing a speech for my paperback book launch on Friday and it’s funny how I can write a 80,000 word novel, but a two page speech is a completely different skill. I’ve been reading up on all types of introductions to a gathering and have been bombarded with tips about making my guests laugh, telling them about my past working life, giving insights into my characters and more. Some say use Powerpoint pictures, some advise not. I’m not using Powerpoint, but I will be showing my new book trailer.

woman with glasses has head down, hands clasped in hair, looking exhausted. Open laptop and blank notebook on desk in front of her

 

My stomach currently feels like a washing machine on full cycle and the churning doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. I have a friend who loves standing up in front of an audience and public speaking is her forte, but for me, I quake inside. I managed to attend a library for an author event about my latest work recently and gave a speech and chatted to guests for an hour and a half. It was amazing, but I was nervous beforehand. Luckily the attendees were so friendly that I forgot I was the speaker and I relaxed and had fun. This is great, but thinking about standing in front of people and reading my work to them or giving a speech is something I am going to have to get used to. I’m not a shy person and love talking to people, but when it’s focussed on me and I’m in front of a group, I feel my toes turn to jelly.

Time to get on with writing my speech. I’ll let you know how the event goes and will post pictures here next week. My online ebook launch is on Monday, so I will be celebrating with a post that morning too. Wish me luck! 🙂

Logic meme by Lizzie Chantree

 

 

Are you a tidy person?

Are you a tidy person? By this, I mean, is your desk space clear, your housework up to date and your mind clear and raring to go? Lol:) I try and keep on top of housework and the studio where I write usually has a clean desk space, but with a second book launch and book tour rapidly approaching, I seem to be surrounded by piles of ‘stuff’. I have a corner for gifts for my online facebook launch, boxes for my paperback launch, books ready to sell, paperwork that needs clearing, notes and lists of things to do and suddenly my clear area to work has become an avalanche!

Perty.Lizzie Chantree. Launch party

Multi-tasking is something I am good at, but I’m so easily distracted by another idea that I have to write lists and cross them off, so that I finish one task before I begin another. I don’t always stick to this rule though. My studio, although very well thought out and organised, is quite small, so everything has to have it’s place and I am finding that my space is creeping into other areas of the building as I leave more boxes that I can’t fit into my studio, just outside the door.

Writing this is making me realise that I need to spend a few hours putting everything where it should be and finding a designated corner for book launches. I also have a library talk coming up and need promotional items and banners for that which will take up more space! In fact I need to sell more books and find a bigger studio. You’ve got to have a dream!

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Mailing lists

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I’ve read a lot about the importance of mailing lists and with new legislation coming in with regard to privacy, it’s been pretty hectic for everyone who has a subscriber list, not only trying to work out what it means, but also to make sure we comply if we can.

I have been working with my publisher and have a book out this year, another in July and am writing a third. In between this and marketing my books, I have found it difficult to keep up with sending out newsletters or building that all important mailing list. My apologies to everyone. I use MailChimp for my newsletters, have still sent out a newsletter offering my subscribers the option to unsubscribe or to stay and have a privacy page on my blog now.

This has actually given me the drive to begin proper newsletter and to keep up with sending out news of my writing. I’m not going to send it more than once a month, but it will have more content and things that aren’t on my blog. It won’t be a sales letter, but it will be topical news about my writing journey and some marketing tips that aren’t on my blog, which are just for subscribers.

 

Wishing you all a fun filled and creative weekend.

 

From Lizzie

 

🙂

 

Litsy.

Hello everyone. Happy new week. I’m working with my publisher on the cover design for my latest book this week, as well as beginning a completely new manuscript, which is exciting but oh so daunting!

I have just joined a readers and authors group called Litsy. Fellow authors told me about it and I would highly recommend it to people who love books. It is a community where people express their opinions on their latest reads, chat to authors and talk to each other about what they love or don’t like about their current reads. They post pictures of books and bookshops, which is like candy to an avid reader and they are so welcoming. It is a phone app and not available on computers. This is what Litsy says:

 

Where books make friends.

Litsy is a place to share and discover your favorite books with your favorite people.

The Litsy community is a groundswell of passionate readers, authors, celebrities, and more. Share bookish moments with Quotes, Reviews, and Blurbs. Measure Litfluenceto discover your “bookprint” in the world. Explore recommendations from readers, not algorithms.

Oh yeah, want to organize your reading list? Our app has stacks for that, too.

It’s fun.  It’s simple.  It’s all about the book.

 

The people registered there are called Littens and they are so supportive of writers and anyone who is really passionate about reading. I set my account up two weeks ago and have already talked to lots of book lovers there. My account is Lizzie Chantree if anyone wants to pop by and say hello.