New Week, Fresh Start.

Hello everyone. How are you all?

It’s been hectic here at Chantree HQ, as my mother-in-law was rushed to hospital and my dog needed a second eye operation. This hasn’t left a lot of time for any writing, but I’m doing my best to add words to my two latest  manuscripts, both of which are sequels.  Luckily, my mother-in-law is home and feeling much better and my dog, who is 11 years old, has been enjoying herself in our paddling pool. We didn’t want to get her eye wet and know how much she loves swimming and water, so we improvised and let her sunbathe next to us for a few minutes, on a makeshift dog lilo! I thought it might make you all smile to see her.

We also wallpapered our utility room wall. It’s a small space and always seemed messy and unloved, but while we waited up all night to hear news about my mother-in-law, we decided we might as well keep ourselves busy and paper the wall! This was our second attempt at wallpapering and it hadn’t occurred to me to try an easier pattern! I hope you all have an amazing week. From Lizzie.

 

Deborah Klee. Top Author Of The Week.

My blog guest this week is a fellow author who hosts a brilliant podcast that I was lucky enough to be a guest on recently. Deborah is a welcoming and professional host, that I immediately felt at ease and had a wonderful time. You can check our interview out here.

Deborah has such a warm and friendly personality, that she has an ability to make everything a lot of fun. Her writing journey is really interesting, so find out more from Deborah, here today.

From Deborah:

I write feel-good, uplifting reads that deal with real-life issues. I spent my working life listening to people who were experiencing adversity, enabling them to recognise and use the resources available to them including: their inner strength and wisdom, friends, and community. As an author, I enjoy giving a voice to these ordinary people who show incredible courage and write them a happy ending. My stories are about the power of friendship, community, and personal development.

 In the past year I have published two novels, become a tweet-chat host with the popular #FriSalon, presented a weekly YouTube programme and Podcast Castaway Books, and posted a weekly blog. I have learnt so much and met some amazing people. On 1st August it will be one year since The Borrowed Boy was published and so I am delighted to be able to celebrate by telling you about it here.

The Borrowed Boy. Book blurb:

A borrowed boy, a borrowed name and living on borrowed time.

What do you put on a bucket list when you haven’t done anything with your life? No interesting job, no lovers, no family, no friends. Believing she has only weeks left to live, Angie Winkle vows to make the most of every minute.

Going back to Jaywick Sands, is top of her bucket list. Experiencing life as a grandmother is not, but the universe has other plans and when four-year-old Danny is separated from his mum on the tube, Angie goes to his rescue. She tries to return him to his mum but things do not go exactly as planned and the two of them embark on a life changing journey.

Set in Jaywick Sands, once an idyllic Essex holiday village in the 70s, but now a shantytown of displaced Londoners, this is a story about hidden communities and our need to belong.

Author bio:

Deborah has worked as an occupational therapist, a health service manager, a freelance journalist, and management consultant in health and social care.

After writing serious case reviews and domestic homicide reviews for work, Deborah now chooses to write happy endings for her protagonists. Her page-turning, feel-good stories are about self-discovery, second-chances, friendship and community.

The Borrowed Boy, her debut, was shortlisted for the Deviant Minds Award 2019, awarded book of the month by Chill with a Book readers, and awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion. Her second novel Just Bea was published in February 2021.

Deborah lives on the Essex coast, England. She loves to walk by the sea or the surrounding countryside where she fills her pockets with shells, and acorns, and her head with stories.

Links to buy:

Universal link for ebook. https://books2read.com/TheBorrowedBoy

Available in paperback from Amazon (.com)  https://amzn.to/2CZIEAz  (.co.ukhttps://amzn.to/2CZJ6yL

All good bookshops and available in libraries.


Meet Kate Braithwaite. This week’s Top Author.

Today’s guest  and my Top Author Of The Week, is a brilliant writer whose work I’m a fan of, Kate Braithwaite! Kate writes beautiful and compelling books and as soon as you start reading, you won’t want to stop.

From Kate:

I’m a writer because I’m a reader. I love reading novels and so I’m always striving to write the best book I can— something gripping, with compelling characters facing challenges. Because I’m a history nerd, I like to start with a real story from the past, something that I’d love to read a novel about myself.

            I’d always dreamed of writing my own books, but it wasn’t until I had my third child that I realised that it was time to stop procrastinating and find out if I really had what it took. I won’t lie… it was harder than I thought. My first attempt was all over the place, but some great writing books, a course at Toronto University, and a lot of drafting and re-drafting, really helped me learn the craft. I’m the author now of three novels, the most recent one, The Girl Puzzle, is about a trailblazing journalist who got herself admitted to a madhouse as a patient in order to report on conditions from the inside and win a job at Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World newspaper. Nellie Bly had fascinated me for years and it’s a real honour to be able to bring her story to a wide audience of readers.

            Right now I’m working on a novel based on a real-life scandal involving two sisters in Virginia. It’s set in late 18th, early 19th centuries, and there’s a high-profile trial, an accusation of murder, a secret love affair, and a whole lot of lying going on. I can’t wait to get it finished and find out what readers think of these two women and what happened to them.

Book links:

mybook.to/thegirlpuzzle

mybook.to/theroadtonewgate

mybook.to/charlatan

Social links:

Blog – www.kate-braithwaite.com

Twitter – @KMBraithwaite

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Braithwaite/e/B01KI4JPZ8

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kate-braithwaite

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10792752.Kate_Braithwaite

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/katembraithwaite/

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




Guest blog by Eva Glyn.

HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED… THE ROMANCE NOVEL AND DEPRESSIVE ILLNESS

When I first wrote the book that is now The Missing Pieces of Us about ten years ago, no publisher wanted to know. It’s a romance, but both protagonists have mental health issues and back then that was a real no-no.

I have to say, that hurt. I had written the book after a friend suffered a life-changing breakdown and I wanted to show them – and anyone in a similar position – that there could be happiness and fulfilment further down the line. In the end I published the book myself as The Faerie Tree, and it was really well received by readers and book bloggers – and sold quite a few copies too.

The book, and the crusade for better recognition and treatment of mental health issues remained close to my heart. And over time, things improved. I never lose an opportunity to remind people that depression, anxiety and a whole barrel of other illnesses we label as mental are in fact physical, due to a chemical imbalance in the brain (which is why drugs work to treat them). I am no medical expert, but a wonderful book by Tim Cantopher (who is) explains it all. It’s called Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong and I recommend it unreservedly.

If there was one thing that really changed our attitudes to mental health, it was lockdown. Everything was magnified, people were isolated, and it was OK not to be OK. It didn’t come out of nowhere – it had been building for years and I, for one, was really pleased these issues could be brought out into the open without the fear of stigma.

The book world was changing too, with novels like Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. And in a lockdown world, the appetite for up lit (and in particular characters who battle to achieve the up) was becoming insatiable. Had the time come for The Missing Pieces of Us at last?

I submitted it to just one editor, because having met her a few times, having had a close call on another book, and following her on social media, I felt in my heart it was a book for her. And I was right.

The basic premise of The Missing Pieces of Us is that Robin and Izzie meet twenty years after their brief affair, only to find their memories of it are completely different. Robin’s world spun on its head when his mother died and he was unable to cope. But over the years he has learnt to. Now it’s Izzie’s turn to deal with grief after her husband’s heart attack. To forge a future together they will need to deal with the past – but how can they when there seem to be two pasts, not one?

The Missing Pieces of Us will be published by One More Chapter as an ebook on 21st July, and as a paperback in October. Find out more here: https://harpercollins.co.uk/products/the-missing-pieces-of-us-eva-glyn

Instagram @evaglynauthor
Twitter @JaneCable

Kim Nash. Today’s star guest!

Today’s star guest is author, Kim Nash. Kim writes beautiful romances that have stunning covers which make you want to grab them from the bookshelf and immerse yourself in the stories. Kim is a big supporter of the writing community and hosts fantastic interviews with other authors on her podcast.
  .  
About Kim
I’m the author of uplifting, funny, heartwarming, feel-good, romantic fiction. I live in Staffordshire with my 13-year-old football-mad son Ollie and English Setter rescue dog Roni, am Head of Publicity for publisher Bookouture (part of Hachette UK) and am a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.  When not working or writing, and in non-Covid times, I can be found walking the dog at Cannock Chase, reading, writing, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie, and binge watching box sets on the TV.  I’m also a proud member of my local WI and am quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!).  I run a book club in Cannock, Staffs and organise events connecting authors and readers.

Blurb

When thirty-four-year-old Nellie Wagstaff loses her job and discovers her fiancé is a cheating scumbag, she feels like her world has come crashing down. And that’s before the solicitor’s letter, informing her of her Aunty Lil‘s death.

Heartbroken, Nellie escapes to the beautiful seaside town of Muddleford in Dorset, where she discovers she’s inherited her aunt’s beach house, along with a gorgeous beach hut just for starters and finally meets the mysterious Norman who stole her Aunty Lil’s heart. Childhood memories of Muddleford come flooding back: long hot summers, the sea glistening beyond the sandy cove… and a stolen kiss with a boy called Jack.

Jack, now a devilishly handsome vet, has the local pet owners swooning over him, and as Nellie and he become close once more, and she gets used to gossiping with the locals and sipping wine at her beach hut with sand between her toes, she’s sure she can feel sparks flying once more. But just as she thinks she might be able to open her heart again, her newest frenemy, the glamourous Natalia, tells her a secret about Jack that changes everything.

Nellie will never know why her mother and aunt parted ways. She’ll sell the house, forget about Jack, and get back to real life. Because there’s nothing for her in Muddleford… is there?

An utterly uplifting and heartwarming summer read about learning to trust yourself and of finding love and friendship in the least expected places for fans of Carole Matthews, Nicola May and Milly Johnson.

Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove

Buy:



Chris And Lizzie’s Books On Tour!

This month’s meet up with fellow romance author Christine Penhall, was as much of an adventure as last time. We are investigating ways to make book marketing fun and decided to take our books on tour to local film locations. The day started with a very serious meeting that involved bacon sandwiches and coffee, on soaking wet chairs, as once again it had been raining! We discussed movies, beautiful settings and how much we’d both love to have our books adapted into dazzling films, a wild ambition which does happen to some lucky writers. We glossed over the amount of work it must take to make this happen and dreamily chatted about locations and who might portray or characters.

 

Chris and I both adore watching romantic comedies like Love Actually, The Wedding Singer and You’ve Got Mail, so we decided to pick up some paperback copies of our books and visit Hylands House in Chelmsford, Essex, which was the location for the 2004 film, Chasing Liberty. That was filmed on location in Prague, Venice, Berlin, London, Washington D.C. and Chelmsford! It also doubled up as the White House in an episode of The Crown which Chris binged watched in the early months of 2021.

One of my books, Finding Gina, is set beside a country manor house, where the heir to the manor is trying to save the building by setting up a wedding business in the grounds. Gina arrives in her little camper van, after taking a wrong turn in the road and they set about making the new venture a success. Tucking her van amongst the bluebells at Bluebell Manor,  Gina hides from her past and tries to step out of the shadow of her family.

.     

Although my meetings with Chris often seem a comedy of errors, with the weather being awful and us pretty much winging what we are going to do or say, it’s so much fun to have creative meetings in different places to spark ideas and inspirations.

        

Next, we headed to Maldon which is where some scenes for the film adaptation of Sarah Perry’s book, The Essex Serpent were recently filmed. We didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of the film’s stars Clare Danes and Tom Hiddleston, so we took some photos and audio from outside the iconic Blue Boar hotel and then discovered a stunning local bookstore where we spent a while chatting to the staff about books and writing, which was a lovely way to network and introduce ourselves as local authors. We also found some interesting side streets, one of which had little beach hut ice cream pods, which worked beautifully with my new book, The little ice cream shop by the sea.

     

The day ended with a stroll along the waterside, lunch and some book sniffing from Chris (don’t ask! Lol). We also picked up some copies of the events leaflet for The Essex Book Festival, as Chris is hosting a chat about her writing on the 11th Aug, at Clacton Library and I have been invited back to Essex Author’s Day, on the 25th Sept, at Chelmsford Library, where I will be running a seminar called ‘How to market your book.’ Places are limited to between 15-28 spaces depending on seating restrictions at that time, for this face  to face event, so early booking is essential. Tickets for my event are £7/£5.

              

       

If anyone reading this decides they absolutely must turn our books into films, please get in contact! Lol:)

Check out Christine Penhall’s post about our meeting and find out more about her work here: http://www.chrispenhall.co.uk/

 

Lorraine Turnbull. Top Author of the Week.

This week’s top author, is a member of my book group on Facebook, Lizzie’s Book Group. Lorraine is a lovely lady and a very talented writer, so I’ll leave it to her to introduce herself and tell you more about her wonderful book.

Lorraine Turnbull:

I wanted to be a farmer since I was five years old. After running a successful gardening business in Glasgow I uprooted myself and my family and moved to a run-down farmworkers bungalow in Cornwall. I retrained and taught horticulture & land-based subjects whilst running a one acre smallholding. After working for The Rural Business School, I began commercial cider making in 2011 and in 2014 was recognised for my contribution to sustainable living by winning the Cornwall Sustainability Awards Best Individual category.

Lorraine has written occasional magazine articles and her first book was published in 2019. She relocated to France in 2017, where she lives self sustainably and hopes to shortly move to a watermill. She now has five books published and is working on the sixth.

She loves sheep, starry night photography and the countryside.

Blurb of Mum’s the Word – When Ann-Marie Ross murders her abusive husband and feeds him to the pigs, she thinks she’s got away with murder and secured the future of her Scottish cider farm. But she soon finds herself having to keep more than one deadly secret to protect those closest to her.

      As four women embrace their new-found independence, Ann-Marie is tormented by the threat of discovery.
A darkly comic tale of murder, friendship and Love.

Link to the book:    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mums-Word-Lorraine-Turnbull-ebook/dp/B093C6YXJH

 

Marketing fun.

Hello everyone. How are you all? I had a lovely day out with fellow romance writer, Christine Penhall, yesterday. Marketing doesn’t always have to be too serious and we are working together on a series of blog posts with some audio. The last time we did this, the weather was blowing a gale. This time, it was raining! I thought I’d share a few photos from the day, but the full post will be out in just over a week.

I ran my seminar for Pen to Print, Sponsored by the Arts Council England, last week. Attendance was great and the guests were really kind and asked lots of interesting questions afterwards. Some of the queries were about how to build an author brand if you are a multi-genre writer and about places to network and find readership, which we chatted about after the seminar.

I am hosting an in person seminar for Essex Author’s day, which is part of the Essex Book Festival. This will be on the 25th September 2021. Places are limited, as restrictions only allow between 15-28 people in the room, but I will post a link here as soon as I have further details. The new seminar is called: How to market your book.

Have a brilliant week! From Lizzie.

Pete Adams. Top Author of the week.

This week’s TOP AUTHOR is Pete Adams. Pete writes brilliantly serious, but funny, books! The stories are beautifully written and his characters jump out from the page and make you want to keep reading.  Pete has a great sense of humour and keeps us entertained at  Lizzie’s Book Group with his hilarious answers to any post I put up.

About Pete:

Pete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind mapfor the book; Jeez, he could never get that.

Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.

Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.

Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.

 

A continually bullied runt of a youngster, Chas Larkin discovers his chutzpah and decides to take on the London gangs.

In the sleazy and violent East End of 1966 London, he is unwittingly assisted by Scotland Yard and MI5, who use the boy to delay an IRA campaign in the city. Together with the mysterious DCI Casey, an enigma amongst the bomb-damaged slums, they stir the pot of fermenting disquiet.

But can Chas achieve his midsummer night’s dream of total revenge?

Black Rose is a story of matriarchal might, of superstition, of a lucky charm tainted with malevolent juju, and of a young man’s smouldering anger and thirst for retribution.”

Kind Hearts and Martinets – the complete 5 book series :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kind-Hearts-Martinets-5-Book/dp/B07SBZL6X8/ref=sr_1_34?dchild=1&keywords=Pete+Adams&qid=1623318457&s=books&sr=1-34

Road Kill:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Road-Kill-Duchess-Frisian-Detective-ebook/dp/B087Z5QNTZ/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Pete+Adams&qid=1623318617&s=books&sr=1-2

Black Rose:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Rose-Midsummer-Chutzpah-Larkins-ebook/dp/B08VH2Z8GK/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=Pete+Adams&qid=1623318617&s=books&sr=1-5

Dead No More

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-No-More-Rhubarb-Mammon-ebook/dp/B08WPCVFM9/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=Pete+Adams&qid=1623318617&s=books&sr=1-6

 

 



Pen To Print. Seminar For Writers.

Hello everyone. It’s exciting and nerve wracking that the seminar I’m hosting tomorrow (22/06/21) for Pen to Print, which is sponsored by The Arts Council England, is now fully booked.  I’ve been hosting seminars for a while now, but it’s not my natural environment at all. I love sharing any knowledge with other creatives about how to find a wider audience and this is a wonderful way to reach out to people and chat about ideas. If you are booked onto the seminar, see you there!

Pen to print are running a whole host of bookish events over the summer and into next year, so you can find out more here.

Mission
Pen to Print provides a safe, collaborative environment that attracts and supports a network of diverse writers and genres. By learning to develop their authentic voices, aspiring writers are encouraged to reach communities with their stories reflecting not just their own journeys but also inspiring potential in others.
Objectives
Our birthplace in Libraries has taught us that the best results for a diverse and relevant service can be achieved by being the welcoming heart of a community, allowing all to learn, discover, create, and connect. Pen to Print has translated this ethos into a relevant library service for writers which, irrespective of their background or circumstances works towards creating a shared storytelling experience accessible to different markets and communities.
Don’t forget to pop by ReadFest in September,
for an action packed showcase of events!