Happy new week everyone. I’ve been feeling a bit low over the last week, trying to meet publishing deadlines and fulfil other commitments. There is a lot of Christmas cheer around, which is wonderful, with fairy lights adorning houses and Christmas carols playing on the radio, but our boiler is broken so our toes are a bit frosty right now. I think i’m missing working with my mum, who I haven’t hugged since March. Even though I work on my own a lot of the time, i’m feeling – as i’m sure is everyone else in the world – the loss of chats over a table with friends. This photo is from two years ago and is Christmas lunch with the lovely Chelmsford Romantic Novelists’ Association members.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, with news of vaccines and possibilities that we may be able to be together again soon, so i’m trying to shake off the procrastination and find my usual enthusiasm. Writing these words onto paper helps me to focus on what I need to achieve this week. There are lots of exciting things on the horizon, with at least three new fiction books out next year, The little ice cream shop by the sea (out March 2021), Invisible Woman (out July 2021) and the third title will be revealed in the run up to launch day in May.
Romance reads from Lizzie Chantree
Romantic suspense reads from Lizzie Chantree
This week i’m taking part in the Chick Lit blog hop on Wednesday 9th Dec. I have some incredible prizes to give away via my Facebook page, including book themed socks, a beautiful notebook, a copy of bestselling book ‘Seven kinds of people you find in bookshops’ a copy of my own bestselling book, Finding Gina and a simply stunning set of 36 inspirational quote magnetic bookmarks. I’m also being interviewed for a Mumpreneur summit, details of which i’ll post later in the week or early next week.
I really appreciate your support of my writing and blog posts and hope you are all staying safe, well and that you’re managing to avoid procrastination – unlike me today!
If you could wish for one gift under the Christmas tree this year, what would it be?
Hello everyone. I run a book group on Facebook, Lizzie’s Book Group, which is full of authors and writers. We chat about what books we like, how our writing targets are going and how to reach more readers. We come across some pretty eclectic chat topics and I have decided to share a few recent ones at the bottom of this post. Feel free to join the book group if you love books and writing. We have almost 500 members now and it’s a lot of fun.
I am currently in third edits for my new book and am trying to reach writing targets for another manuscript. I sometimes find it hard not to procrastinate too much, but I read a recent article where it said that procrastination is not about being too busy, it is about feeling emotional. If we are feeling that way, we tend to put off what we should be doing. It’s made me sit and think about clearing my work desk, so it’s a pleasurable place to work, getting the everyday jobs done early so that they are out of the way and then doing my favourite thing, which is sitting down to write… with a desk timer so I get those words onto paper!
Have a great week everyone. My first prize draw for my subscribers will be at the start of next month. Exciting times!
Here are3 quick articlesthat we have shared in my book group:
I’m about 30k into writing my 8th romantic comedy book and I have to spend a lot of my time dreaming of romantic scenarios and describing gorgeous men. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it! My latest character is in her forties and has had a troubled past, but she’s so feisty that she constantly makes me giggle about what she’s getting up to next.
I don’t know if it is the same for all writers, but my mind is full of the constant chatter of characters and I don’t often know what they are going to do until my pen hits the paper. I have chapter guides and full character descriptions, but I then just sit down and write.
I’ve also been making a few more memes this week and thought I’d share a couple, as I should have been doing a higher word count each day but managed to fit in some procrastination. I’ve just completed a book tour with Rachel’s Random Resources and as usual it was run beautifully and I was lucky enough to find new readers and see amazing reviews. A big thank you to the tour hosts who take time to post, share, read and review books, just for the love of books. You are all incredible and as an author, it’s heart warming to chat to people who are so passionate about writing.
Hello everyone. It was such a weird weekend for me. My daughter was at a festival for the weekend and the hotel had a mix up with the booking so they couldn’t get in, which meant a mad dash across country for me and another one of the mums to be with our children. We managed to get most of them a room for the night, but I ended up sleeping in my car! It was freezing, and not my best idea ever, but everywhere else was sold out due to the huge festival. I finally got in at 2 am this morning, after leaving at midnight the evening before, but it ended up being a hilarious road trip. It gave me ideas for another book! This was us, sleep deprived, but still smiling.
I haven’t posted a Monday Marketing post for a while as I’ve been busy with some writing projects. I came across this article recently and thought it might be helpful for anyone who is trying to gain more followers on BookBub. BookBub is a wonderful place to promote books and to find a wider audience. If you are an author and haven’t made profile there, it’s worth taking the time to do. I also did a Booksweeps promotion with lots of lovely romantic comedy writers recently and I now have many more newsletter subscribers, which is fabulous! I have sent the winners their books (pictured above this post) and can’t wait to hear what they think of the story.
On a side note (I’m so excited!), after my BookBub feature, my book, If you love me, Im yours, has risen to the number #1 paid bestseller spot in one of it’s categories and is ranked 89 paid overall in Australia, 136 overall in Canada and 882 in the U.K! A big thank you to everyone who downloaded a copy for just 99p/99c. You can still grab a copy today here.
It’s my great pleasure to host author Harmony Kent’s work here today as part of her blog tour. I met Harmony through a book club and I’ve watched with interest as she’s published lots of wonderful books. She’s a real supporter of other authors and I hope you all check out her work, download her new book and write her an amazing review!
Hi, everyone. Harmony here. Many thanks to Lizzie for hosting me today. I have a new book on pre-order called FALLOUT, which is a post-apocalyptic dystopia. This novel started out life by playing a little game. I sat and closed my eyes and imagined an empty room … in that room, a vial appeared. A dull orange plastic thing covered in scratches. It sloshed when I shook it. From that tiny beginning, the world of Exxon 1 and its deadly virus was born.
What happens to the vial in the wrong hands?
What happens in the right hands?
After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.
Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour, adorable husband, and quirky neighbours.
Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.
WHEN EVERYTHING FALLS APART, WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The year is 3040.
The location is Exxon 1, part of a six-planet system in settled space.
Determined to avoid the mistakes of old Earth, the surviving humans avoided democracy and opted, instead, for a non-elective totalitarian system.
The new way worked well, until now.
A crazy, despotic president releases a nano-virus on the population.
No one was ready for the fallout. It came anyway.
In this post-apocalyptic world, can you stay safe?
Hello everyone. I’ve just started to take a closer look at Bookbub. I ran a promotion with them for my first book, Babe Driven, when I was first published in 2013 and hadn’t a clue what I was doing! I think BookBub must have been pretty new then too and I was very lucky to have my application accepted.
I have just tried with another book and been told to apply again in three months and to think about applying for my backlist to be included. It’s kind of exciting to think that your book could be accepted, as it’s a wonderful lift for any book to receive. It does cost a lot for the promotion, but the readers your book might catch the eye of, could become true fans of your work . For me, with the first promotion I ran, it was well worth the investment, as Babe Driven swung in and out of the bestseller lists for its first year, getting as high as #323 overall in all of the paid kindle store. It got to #1 on most of its free book runs. Babe Driven is currently back in the bestseller lists, years after its first publication, and it’s great fun to see one of my indie books finding new readers. To be honest I love seeing all of my books finding new readers!
Back to BookBub. I have updated my author profile and BookBub sends out hints to have a greater presence there. One of their tips is to recommend books, as this sends your profile to lots of timelines and can help you to gain more Bookbub followers, who are all book lovers like me. It’s also a good way of sharing news of books you enjoy and helping those authors be seen.
If anyone here is on BookBub and would like to link up and follow each other there and share news of latest releases and books we read, then that would be great. I’m still learning more about it and I’ll share any updates here on my blog.
Hello everyone. I’ve not been blogging much lately, as I’ve been trying to finish my latest manuscript. There are always so many things to fit into each day that I was finding my days full of anything but writing. I gave myself a stern talking to and now have almost 70k words of my latest book written. I still have the end of the story to write, but I can see the finish line. They storyline is getting tense, so I can’t wait to get back to it each day to help my characters find their resolution.
How do you cope with the ups and downs of your writing career if you are a writer? Do you jump into a story and feel emotional when a storyline leads you that way? As a reader, do you relate to the characters of a book of they are upset or excited?
I’m hoping to have the first draft of this manuscript ready to send to my editor in a couple of weeks, and then a new story will begin. It’s a whirlwind of writing, editing and fresh starts, as well as finding time to read fabulous new books. There are many great reads out at the moment that I can’t wait to open the first page of and making time to relax and enjoy a great read is, in my opinion, important for a writer too. Have a fabulous weekend. From Lizzie.
Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to popular author, Sandra Danby. Sandra now writes fiction full-time. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published online and in anthologies. Sandra is now writing ‘Sweet Joy’, third in the ‘Identity Detective’ series, set in London during The Blitz. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association ‘New Writers Scheme’.
I’m originally from East Yorkshire and, though I’ve lived in and around London for a long time now, my heart belongs to my seaside home. In fact I feel the call to return becoming stronger and stronger as I grow older. My family still lives in the same place and my oldest friend too, so I visit often. The black-and-white photograph is from a booth at Butlins Filey, taken on a Sunday School outing when I was ten. This was a big deal as our usual outings were to educational places such as Castle Howard. I’d been longing to go to Butlins as I’d heard about the dodgems. Note, this photo was taken in August but I’m wearing an Aran sweater, knitted for me by my mum.
Being a Northerner is deeply ingrained. I drink [very] strong tea, gallons of it every day. When it gets colder, I put on a jumper. The central heating is never turned above 18°C by me, but when I’m out my husband zaps it up to 23°C which feels tropical to me! And I make great meals from leftovers. Given all of this, it was no surprise to my family that Yorkshire features so strongly in my second book, Connectedness.
And so does my second spiritual home… Spain. For the last ten years, we’ve lived part of the time in Southern Spain near Málaga. Once I’d decided that the heroine of Connectedness should be an artist it seemed logical to make her a Yorkshire woman. And as Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga, it was quick hop and a step to take Justine to art college there.
TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, ARTIST JUSTINE TREE HAS IT ALL… BUT SHE ALWAYS HAS A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
Justine’s art sells around the world, but does anyone truly know her? When her mother dies, she returns to her childhood home in Yorkshire where she decides to confront her past. She asks journalist Rose Haldane to find the baby she gave away when she was an art student, but only when Rose starts to ask difficult questions does Justine truly understand what she must face.
Is Justine strong enough to admit the secrets and lies of her past? To speak aloud the deeds she has hidden for 27 years, the real inspiration for her work that sells for millions of pounds. Could the truth trash her artistic reputation? Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art? And what will she do if her daughter hates her?
This tale of art, adoption, romance and loss moves between now and the Eighties, from London’s art world to the bleak isolated cliffs of East Yorkshire and the hot orange blossom streets of Málaga, Spain.
A family mystery for fans of Maggie O’Farrell, Lucinda Riley, Tracy Rees and Rachel Hore.
About the ‘Identity Detective’ series
Rose Haldane reunites the people lost through adoption. The stories you don’t see on television shows. The difficult cases. The people who cannot be found, who are thought lost forever. Each book in the ‘Identity Detective’ series considers the viewpoint of one person trapped in this horrible dilemma. In the first book of the series, Ignoring Gravity, it is Rose’s experience we follow as an adult discovering she was adopted as a baby. Connectednessis the story of a birth mother and her longing to see her baby again. Sweet Joy, the third novel, will tell the story of a baby abandoned during The Blitz.
That’s a question many authors get. It makes me think there must be a little shop somewhere, hidden away down a dark alley, that sells ideas. Or an online shop that only those in the know have the web address for. Hang on, there’s a story developing here, isn’t there? About a magical shop…? I wonder what else it sells beside ideas…? And who owns it and why…?
That’s the answer really. Not the shop, but the question. Ideas can come from absolutely anywhere. It just takes one innocent sentence, thought or question and I’m off into a new world looking for the story. I’ve got an early and part written draft of another book which came out of a comment on social media. Someone said they were a sucker for any book cover which included a winged man. So, an angel? What might an angel really look like? I headed for some of the descriptions in the Bible. Hmm, three sets of wings? Why would they want threepairs of wings? How many Archangels are there really? What’s the difference between Archangels (capital A) and archangels (little a)? Somehow, twenty thousand words got written almost before I stopped for breath. But that story will have to wait until the full Choices and Consequences series is published.
As for the idea for Choices and Consequences, that started with a dream. If you haven’t read book 1, Strand of Faith, this is a Spoiler Alert. I dreamt the scene at the end of Strand of Faith where Prospero wraps his cloak around Leonie and proposes to her. (No, I have no idea what that says about my unconscious mind!) It was very intense in my dream and I needed to find out what happened to lead up to it, and what would happen next. Slowly, I started to ask questions, find answers and fit the pieces together. As I did so, other things in the world around me influenced what those answers and pieces were.
Surprisingly, one of those influences was a hymn. I am absolutely tone deaf. If I start singing, those around me wince. My only defence is that the Bible says make a joyfulnoise, not make a tunefulnoise. I can do joyful. Despite being tone deaf, I enjoy listening to music, but because I’m tone deaf, the influences are more about the lyrics than the tune.
Underlying the whole foundation and world building of Choices and Consequences, and particularly House St Peter (where the first two books are set) and House Tennant is Graham Kendrick’s Beauty for Brokenness, also sometimes known as God of the Poor. It was written in 1993 for the 25thanniversary of the charity Tearfund. It was influenced by a visit that Graham Kendrick made to India in 1992 and his perception of the contrast between Indian poverty and Western affluence. I wanted to build a world that tried to live up to those lyrics.
I can identify any number of other influences. Certainly my hobbies and interests affect my characters. Leonie loves reading and chocolate chip cookies because I do. Prospero is very musical because I’m not. Herbs are used extensively in medicine and cooking because I enjoy growing them. Most of those are just details, fleshing out the world and the characters. As far as the plot goes, well, we live in Lancashire, but our eldest was born in Yorkshire. I’ve always been fascinated by the War of the Roses, which at the time was known more as the Cousins’ War. And I’m involved at our local Youth Theatre which was putting on a version of Romeo and Juliet. But you’ll have to read the full series to find out just how both of those impact on the story!
Find out more about Rachel’s books:
Thread Of Hope
The enthralling sequel to the compelling Strand of Faith.
What if your secrets are so dangerous they could destroy the one you love?
Is honesty always the best policy?
Leonie may have run away but Prosperowill find her. He loves her and he wants a future with her by his side whatever the consequences. Only when he does find her, he ought to tell her who he really is, outside the monastery. That’ll make her run again. Dare he risk it? But if he doesn’t tell her, someone else may…
Marriage to Prospero is what Leonie wants most and the one thing she knows she can’t have. If he found out what she was really like, what she’d been, what she’d done, he’d despise her and she couldn’t bear that. Better to leave now than live a lie – but it’s harder than she expected. If only…
Gabriel is starting to discover the secrets inherent in Leonie, secrets that not even she knows, secrets that will tear the world apart. And the secrets he is keeping are tearing him apart. How can sacrificing those he loves possibly achieve peace when everything he discovers risks the death of millions?
During the book tour Strand of Faith will be at 99p, Thread of Hope is priced at £2.99.
Strand of Faith details…
A girl. A monk. An unthinkable sacrifice. When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?
In a post-apocalyptic future, a girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love. But their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.
After the troubles of his youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery. Then he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation. How can it possibly be right to leave a life of worship and service for human desire? And if he does leave, will the pressures from his past destroy him?
Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the Abbey. When she comes into contact with Prospero everything spirals out of her control. Everyone she’s ever loved has died. She can’t do that to him. But how can she walk away from the first place she’s truly belonged?
Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice. He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war. Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for. Is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?
Rachel J Bonner is the author of the four book Choices and Consequences series, the first of which, Strand of Faith, is due out in November 2018.
Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in paranormal romance. Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun. When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club. Target shooting only, honest. Nothing to worry about.
She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary. It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.
Giveaway to Win Signed copies of both Strand of Faith and Thread of Hope, plus bookmarks and business cards that match each book, and one of the Holding Crosses that the monks and nuns have.(Open INT)*
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Happy new week everyone. I hope you all had an amazing weekend.
I drove to Norfolk at the weekend, stood in freezing cold field for five hours watching sports and then drove the two hours home again! I tried to find a little corner to sit and write in, but it was so cold outside that there were about ten people in my tent after five minutes. Needless to say I found a little coffee shop and drank about four pints of coffee to keep warm. I also scoffed at least twenty little biscuits after eating a salad, as they were so small, that I felt they didn’t count for calories. 🙂
I’ve now updated my first three books and will have paperbacks going live over the next week. Babe Driven already has a beautiful new paperback version and Finding Gina and Love’s Child will be available in paperback soon. It’s exciting to have all of my books in more than one format. This also now means I can complete my latest work in progress and I can’t wait to write the last pages of this story. The main character is fiery and has a lot to deal with, so I’m happy to be able to bring her tale to a satisfying conclusion.