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. 

The healing power of romance.

Hi everyone. How are you all? I hope 2022 has started off with some happiness.

There was an article in the media recently, about how forgettable romance books are and it hit a nerve with me. A few weeks before Christmas I was told I needed a biopsy and another procedure and I spent New Year’s Eve attending an anaesthetist appointment. I didn’t tell many people, as I didn’t want to worry them, or spoil their festivities. Isolating during such a busy time of year wasn’t much fun, but having these reads beside me helped my mental health.   I chose books by Heidi Swain, Katie Fforde and Mary Jayne Baker and all three caught my imagination, kept me turning page after page and eased a stressful situation.

I tried my best to enjoy every minute of the festive season, but worry simmered under the surface each day. I found it difficult to concentrate on writing my own romance novels, but turned to reading the books of other authors, to distract my mind with their beautiful stories and to give me moments of peace.  I even sat and read them as I was waiting to go into theatre, to help ease my nerves! These are books I will never forget. The NHS were absolutely incredible and I’m happy to say that my results are clear, which I’m very thankful for.

Romance novels make us happy and help us through hard times. The stories give us time to step away from worries and travel to places we’ve never been to before. They offer us comfort when we feel down and let us know we are not alone.  I have recently spoken to others who have also found solace from romance books before surgery. Any book of any genre, that brings enjoyment to our lives, is just as worthy as the next.

I’m very proud to have been writing romance books for about ten years now and the community of writers and readers I’ve met along the way, are something really special.  I write books to make people smile and if a story I’ve written, feels like a hug to the reader, then I’m happy. It doesn’t make the story or genre, any less important, if people enjoy it. Even if someone else doesn’t.

‘We can’t make everyone happy, we’re not pizza.’

Meet the Authors. Week Three.

Hello everyone! Are you feeling excited about Christmas?

I have been trying to support as many other authors as I can and have spent the whole year posting about other writers. This month I’ve showcased three or four authors each week, as I have tried to fit in as many beautiful books as I can, for you to discover, before the end of the year.  This week’s blog is celebrating the work of  talented authors, Hr Kemp, M J Mallon, Pinar Tarhan and Anita Belli.

Hr Kemp

About H. R. Kemp

I’m an Australian author and my debut novel, Deadly Secrets is a mystery/thriller. I’ve lived in Adelaide, South Australia, for about forty years although I grew up in country areas near Melbourne.

I have travelled extensively and have visited 40 countries (so far) – not counting short stopovers. I’m hoping that Covid hasn’t curtailed future travel, but our garage shelving system is full of albums from my 30+ years of travel. My writing draws on my experiences and anecdotes in these places, my latest book (due out early next year) has scenes drawing on personal experiences in Munich, Como and Amsterdam. I have a stack of travel diaries to refer to when I need a little more detail. I also lived in France for 6 months. It was my retirement gift to myself and I have plans to use that experience for one of my next novels.

My short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines, namely the UK anthology, When Stars Will Shine; the Australian anthology, Fledglings, by Birdcatcher Books; the online Canadian Scarlet Leaf Review Magazine; and the UK Writers’ and Readers’ Magazine. My second novel, another mystery/thriller, is due to be released early 2022.

Deadly Secrets: What unspeakable truths lurk beneath the lies?

In this multi-layered political mystery thriller, ordinary people uncover an extraordinary conspiracy. Their choice is to stay silent and condone unspeakable injustice, or speak up and risk everything. It’s about fighting the odds to do what’s right and saving lives.

Can ordinary people thwart a powerful conspiracy?

Shelley Ormond’s life is about to change forever. Her friend, a young refugee, dies suddenly and the federal police have shrouded her case in secrecy. Shelley has never been bold, but she will have to break the rules and jeopardise her safe, public service career to learn the truth.

Her new friend Adrian, a medical researcher, is studying a mystery illness in outback communities. Young children are falling fatally ill, but there’s no obvious cause although suspicious mining activity in the area is worth investigating.

Shelley delves deeper and is drawn into a sinister world of police cover-ups, organised crime corporate greed, and government corruption. If she obeys the law, the powerful will continue to break it.

The stakes are high, and the treacherous schemers will do anything to keep their deadly secrets. Lives don’t matter, not even hers.

 Can they expose the plot before more lives are lost?

Will the formidable and ruthless forces behind the conspiracy stop them?

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hrkemp01
Website: https://www.hrkempauthor.com/

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/hrkemp

Or from your favourite online bookstore: https://books2read.com/u/bzoZVZ

The paperback is also available from

Angus & Robertson – – Australia online
https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/books/deadly-secrets-h-r-kemp/p/9780648766308

Book Depository

https://www.bookdepository.com/Deadly-Secrets-H-R-Kemp/9780648766308

Barnes and Noble
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadly-secrets-h-r-kemp/1136661961?ean=9780648766308

M J Mallon

 My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of writing began inspired by their vivid storytelling. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery, heart-warming smile to greet her..

MJ’s motto is…

To always do what you Love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even if it appears that the odds are stacked against you like black hearted shadows.

Her favourite genre to write is

Fantasy/magical realism because life would be dull unless it is sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!

Next Chapter Publishing – YA fantasy The Curse of Time series:

Book blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.

When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.

UK Book Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloodstone-Curse-Time-Book-1-ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY/

US Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Bloodstone-M-J-Mallon-ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY/

Universal book Link:http://mybook.to/bstmm

And the 2nd in the series coming soon

Golden Healer – The Curse of Time Book 2

 

Pinar Tarhan

Pinar Tarhan is a novelist, screenwriter, freelance writer, and blogger. She has always been fascinated by movies, rock music, and various forms of dancing. These fascinations sneak into her stories in the most fun combinations. She writes escapist romantic comedies and dramas. You can catch her musings about all things writing at writing.pinartarhan.com

Book blurb: 

Janie desperately needs a change, and she needs it yesterday.

Ever since her boyfriend died and their mutual best friends moved to Canada, she’s been lost and unable to enjoy life.

So she gets a new wardrobe, job, car, and place. In another city.

The new job and apartment are great, but her colourful neighbours will be a challenge to get used to:

Agoraphobic Michelle and her car-crash happy son who is obsessed with curing his mom,
Part-time model/fashion designer Ben who seems to be competing for the worst boyfriend award and his miserable girlfriend Linda who hates her career,
Goth metal chick Ashley who loves drugs, guns, and weird parties,
Lackluster cops Sam and Tom who want a more exciting life.

Luckily Janie has met Greg, a handsome therapist who might be the best friend a person can have. And her downstairs neighbour Kevin, a pro surfer with the looks of a Norse god, seems fun and friendly enough.

With all the antics and chaos going on, only one thing seems certain: Her neighbours provide her with more distraction and change than she was ever ready for, including an epic romance…

Amazon link for the book: 

https://www.amazon.com/Change-Would-Do-You-Good-ebook/dp/B08YJMRN4P

 

Anita Belli

I used to be a dancer and filmmaker which gives me plenty to write about, especially as my other passions are art and history. I have been writing since I was a child, when the Manchester Evening News printed my poems and stories on their children’s page.

I grew up in Manchester, studied Dance and Filmmaking in London. I currently live in Essex, UK. I am an eclectic writer, so my fiction spans 20th century history and contemporary romance. Most recently, I have stayed into magical realism which I love. Writing across genre, my books explore families and how to survive them; art and history; secrets and lies.

I am a hybrid author, both traditionally published as well as publishing independently through our own imprint Hard Pressed Books.

As an author and creative writing tutor, I encourage other people to get hooked on telling their own stories and I have worked with all ages from 5-95 in some very unusual settings; on the streets, on a train and in Keats’ Kitchen as well as the more traditional settings of schools and libraries. I have written non-fiction books to accompany my workshop series on Write Your Life and Kickstart Your Writing and I especially love to work with children. I was recently awarded an Arts Council Grant to create a children’s workbook for key stage 2 and was delighted to be able to work with an illustrator for the first time. Together we created The Story Moles.

 

Ruby Sixpence Whistles Up A Storm

Meet Ruby Sixpence.

A long time ago, Ruby’s father bet a silver sixpence that his child would be born on a leap day; a spare day in which magic happens. Born in that enchanted crack in time where opportunities, and people like her, slip through. Over the centuries Ruby Sixpence has aged one year in four and her mission is to bring together reluctant lovers.

In Ruby Sixpence Whistles up a Storm, Ruby attempts to bring Katie Hope and Joe Lawrence together, despite their very different backgrounds and temperaments. Will they survive fog and flood, invasion by sheep and press intrusion; or will urban Joe decide the countryside is just too much like hard work, and Katie Hope even harder? And how will Ruby manage all of this before her deadline of the Spring Equinox?

With the stage set, Ruby Sixpence Whistles up a Storm and stands back to stir the pot.

BUY LINK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=anita+belli&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

The book I want to share with you today is magical realism with a character every woman would love to be; the ‘fairy godmother’ that many women already are.

And next up?

I have recently received a Literature award from Arts Council England to write a new novel which brings together my main themes; exploring how the past ripples through the generations with unintended consequences. It is the story of a young woman’s search for identity in the melting pot of a London art school in the 1960’s:

One imaginary friend. One long lost aunt. And a road trip to liberate Clara Brown from the ties that bind her to the hypocrisy of the past.

CONTACT DETAILS:

Blog: https://anitabellibooks2020.wordpress.com

www.anitabelli.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/anitabellibooks

@anitabellibooks

Meet The Story Moles here: https://thestorymoles.wordpress.com