First draft.

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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.

 







 

Monday motivation.

Hello everyone. It’s a bank holiday weekend and I’m looking forward to relaxing with a good book! I hope you are too.

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I don’t think we take enough time to sit back and rejuvenate after a long week of work and we are somehow conditioned to believe that if we are sitting still, that we are wasting time. Drinking a coffee and reading a magazine or book by a great view and having a little time off of work, not only makes me come back to my desk invigorated (not just by the coffee), but means I’m not too exhausted to begin work again.

I’m not sure how we can start to be a bit kinder to ourselves and to understand we are worth the fun and relaxation of taking time out and not looking at our phones or keyboards for a few hours. How we feel inside should offer as much validation as social media likes and praise, but somehow it feels like there is an imbalance. Our mental health is sometimes overlooked and grabbing a great book is a wonderful way to take time for yourself, jump into different dimensions and to basically have a good laugh. I’m going to try and read at least one book every couple of weeks this year and I’m sure I’ll enjoy every minute.

Have a great week everyone. From Lizzie:)

Monday Motivation.

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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. 🙂

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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.

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Have a great week everyone.

Work in progress.

Hi everyone. This was supposed to be an introducing post for an author, but there was a last minute change of plan. I thought I’d tell you all about my latest book. I have written about 45% of my 7th book and have had to do a bit of juggling as I’m currently also updating the first three books I wrote. I’ve just got one more edit of the third book and all of my books will have shiny new covers and tighter stories.

I visited Spain for a few days and it was wonderful to walk by the sea, catch up on reading some books I’ve been meaning to read for ages and also to relax a little. I took some photos of the books I finished, as I thought the authors might like to see their books travelling abroad. I really enjoy seeing photos of my own books sent in by readers when they travel, so I decided to take some snaps too and let the authors know. They were very happy, which made my day.

Do you take photos of books you read whilst abroad and share them with the authors? It’s a big help for them if they are allowed to use them for publicity and it’s also a lot of fun. Have a great week.

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Monday Motivation.

Bookstore meme by Lizzie Chantree

Happy new week everyone. What inspires your writing? For me it’s either getting to a point in a new story that I can’t wait to write, or sitting somewhere with a beautiful view. Just taking in the scenery is often enough to lift my mood and make me want to start writing. If you are feeling frustrated with finding time to write, then taking a walk and a notepad can refresh your mojo enough to get back to your work flow when you return.

I carry a notepad everywhere and often jot down characteristics of people I see when I’m wandering around and I like to note clothing, stance, how people use their hands to express themselves and other details like that. It comes in handy when I’m forming characters in my mind. Although they are often jumping up and down and introducing themselves before I’ve finished the previous manuscript, so I have to hold them back and tell them to be patient.

I hope you find some amazing new books to read this week!

Homesick meme by Lizzie Chantree

 

Monday Mojo.

Hi everyone. The last few weeks have been a bit hectic for me with trying to update my first three novels with new covers etc and also trying out new marketing techniques. I’m also making three of my novels into paperbacks, which has been a steep learning curve as my lovely publisher designed and formatted my most recent books for me. Now I know how much hard work it is for them! I’m trying to get all of my books on brand, so that readers can see they are my books at a glance.

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I’ve also been playing around with some book graphics and am really pleased with the results. Sites like Canva, Book Brush and Visme all have free options to make graphics and have simple tutorials if you need them. It’s also made it easier for me to be able to update my website and make that more reader friendly too. I’ve simplified all of the tabs, taken away ones I don’t use and begun making sure all of my pages are relevant to my current work.

On top of all that I’m now writing my 7th book. I have one book which is ready for publication and one almost complete, which is quite exciting. To keep myself motivated and up to date with blog posts, social media and making time for everyday tasks, I’m trying to be kinder to myself and giving myself a breather to have a cup of tea or sit by a view, to replenish my energy. I also find meeting up with other writers, either in person or in online groups, fills up my creative energy tanks for quite a while. I always come away feeling inspired by what they have all achieved and ready to get back to writing.

Have a fun filled and creative week everyone.

From Lizzie.

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Monday thoughts.

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Hello everyone. How are you all? Over the past week, I have begun to experiment with advertising. I’ve taught myself a bit about AMS ads, or Amazon Marketing Services ads. I’ve tried my first ad, which has just been approved, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’ve also been learning about Facebook ads, as they used to seem quite confusing to me, but I now understand about how to reach more readers and to let them know about my books. Most of my readers come from word of mouth, where someone discovers one of my books and then tells their friends and family. This is such a wonderful way for me to meet new readers of my work and it makes me smile so much when someone tells me that they have been recommended to my books.

Each time I read a new book now, I try to share it in as many places as possible, to help the author. A little can go a long way, so every review you give, recommendation you share, bookmark you give to a friend or business card you pin to a coffee shop noticeboard, is giving an author a helping hand.

5 ways to help authors find new readers:

  1. Tell your friends and family!
  2. Post reviews to online book groups.
  3. Share your love of a book on social media as many times as you can.
  4. Write a Facebook post about why you loved the book.
  5. This is actually the most important. Leave a review if you can. Reviews help readers you don’t know, find out about books you’ve read and enjoyed. I know some people hate writing reviews, as they don’t know what to write, but one or two lines saying something like…

‘I enjoyed this book because it’s well written and made me smile. If you like romantic comedies, you will love this book!’

… is often enough to make someone read the blurb and think about trying the story for themselves.

Have a fantastic week. From Lizzie.   🙂

Introducing Morton S. Gray.

Today I am thrilled to have author Morton S. Gray on my blog. She’s such a lovely lady  and I can’t wait for you to find out more about her work.

Biography for Morton S. Gray

Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.

Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Starcompetition. The story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s headteacher, Harry Dixon. This book is available as a paperback and e-book.

Morton’s second book for Choc Lit The Truth Lies Buried is another romantic suspense novel, the book tells the story of Jenny Simpson and Carver Rodgers as they uncover secrets from their past. This book is available as an e-book and will be issued as a paperback and audiobook on 12 March 2019.

Christmas at Borteen Bay was published on 13 November 2018 and is Morton’s first Christmas novella. It is set in her fictional seaside town of Borteen and follows the story of Pippa Freeman who runs the Rose Court Guesthouse with her mother and local policeman Ethan Gibson as they unravel a family secret as Christmas approaches.

Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified clinical hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.

You can catch up with Morton on her website www.mortonsgray.com, on

Twitter @MortonSGray

Facebook – Morton S. Gray Author – https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/and

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/morton_s_gray/

Purchasing links for The Girl on the Beachat http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-girl-on-the-beach/

Purchasing links forThe Truth Lies Buriedathttp://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-truth-lies-buried/

Purchasing links for Christmas in Borteen Bayat https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/christmas-at-borteen-bay/

Proudly writing for Choc Lit-8


    
    

Monday Mojo. 25/2/19.

Enough Books Meme by Lizzie Chantree

Hello everyone. I’ve done so many marketing posts over the years that I’ve decided to change things up a little. I will still be doing marketing posts and sharing extra writing tips on my Facebook group, Lizzie’s Book Group, which you are all welcome to join, but I also thought I’d share some ways to keep your writing mojo alive and to motivate us all to feel good about ourselves and write more.

When it comes to ambition, both internal and external forces come into play and things like praise, accolades, money, status, friends, family, sometimes take over when research suggests that personal desires and motivation last longer and can ultimately lead to us achieving more in life.  If you are stuck in a rut, revisit what brings you happiness and clarify your personal goals. Put aside goals that you feel others expect of you.

Can you clearly see what motivates you as well as what holds you back? If you understand where you might be failing, you are more likely to be able to overcome it. Fear of failing often prevents us with actually getting on with a task, so have courage and start that new book. Silence your inner critic and reach for your dreams.

Learn. Knowledge is a great way to gain skills to succeed. Maybe find a mentor and soak up their experience.

If you are struggling to meet your goals, rethink them. Make them smaller and more achievable and then move on to the next step of your career. If you set yourself a target of writing a book in three months and that’s not achievable, as you have another job or busy family life, why not extend the boundaries and try and write a book in a year? You might find that without the added pressure of timeframes that the words flow and the book is completed in eight months.

A top tip I was told when I began my writing career was: You can’t edit a blank page. Just get those words on to paper. Believe you can and you will.

 

Have a fun filled and fabulous new week! From Lizzie. 

Introducing Victoria Cooke.

Today it’s my great pleasure to introduce you to author Victoria Cooke. She is sharing with us how she fell in love with books and writing and where the inspiration for her stories come from.

It Started Victoria Cooke Image  Firstly, I’d like to say a huge thank you to you, for welcoming me onto your blog.

I’ve been daydreaming for as long as I can remember. My year four teacher once suggested that I should write stories when I grew up and since I’ve always (mostly) done as I was told, here we are. As a child, I loved reading. My mum used to take my sister and me to the library, and I couldn’t get enough of that excited feeling of cracking open a new book. I was the child who hid under the covers with a torch and then imagined I was in a story when my mum confiscated it.

Fast forward a significant number of years and not much changed. My passion for writing began when I used to own a small clothing boutique on the outskirts of Halifax. I had the business for just under a year and it was that summer that was incredibly wet (you know, the one that coincided with Rhianna’s Umbrella song?). Anyway, to cut a long story short, I had a shop full of beautiful summer clothes whilst a torrent of water gushed down the street outside for six whole weeks. Needless to say, things were quiet.

I read. A lot. The more I read, the more my own ideas started to grow and manifest until one day I couldn’t fight the urge any longer, so I took my laptop into the shop. Then I sat and typed.

I’d written about half a novel on the day my laptop was stolen. Being quite into IT at the time, I had backed it up but unfortunately for me, the USB stick was in the laptop bag which the thief also took. I’d put so much into that book that I knew I could never replicate what I’d written. All my notes were on the laptop too so I only had my memory to rely upon and I knew it was too great a task. At that point, I gave up.

By the time my children were born, writing was a distant memory. The brain fog, nappies and feeding schedule had me at full capacity for a few years and it wasn’t until my youngest started pre-school I realised I had the time to do something for me. I had the seed of an idea; technology and our reliance upon it. Then I started thinking about how we’d cope if suddenly our devices were taken away. How would we cope? I have sweats just thinking about it! Anyway, I started playing around with ideas and genres before settling on romantic comedy. That’s how ‘The Secret to Falling in Love’ was born.

From there, I’ve used many of my own experiences (usually travel orientated) to write my four other books. I’ve never attempted to re-write the book I lost because in hindsight I don’t know if it had enough mileage in it (certainly not the bits I remember at least). I am however grateful to that book because I think I was a bit naive back then and it probably wouldn’t have got past the slush pile if I’d even fathomed where to send it to. That could have led me to give up. Instead, my takeaway was: ‘I almost wrote a book one and I could do it again with a bit of effort’.

‘They’ do say things happen for a reason.

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It Started With A Note

One lost letter. A chance to change her life!

Superhero single mum Cath always puts other people first. But now that she’s seen her son safely off to university (phew!), life seems a little, well…empty.

So when Cath unexpectedly discovers some letters written by her great-grandfather during the First World War, she decides to take herself on an adventure to France to retrace his footsteps.

Cath expects to spend her holiday visiting famous battlefields and testing out her French phrase book. What she doesn’t anticipate is that her tour guide, the handsome Olivier, will be quite so charming! Soon Cath isn’t simply unearthing the stories of the past – she’s writing a brand new one of her own, which might end up taking her in a very unexpected direction…

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Started-Note-brand-new-uplifting-adventures-ebook/dp/B07D45VCSL

US –https://www.amazon.com/Started-Note-brand-new-uplifting-adventures-ebook/dp/B07D45VCSL

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/it-started-with-a-note-a-brand-new-uplifting-read-of-love-and-new-adventures-for-2018

Author Bio :

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of her career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in her hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first romantic comedy novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Cooke’s third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.

Social Media Links :

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16345710.Victoria_Cooke

https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaCookeAuthor/

https://twitter.com/VictoriaCooke10

https://www.instagram.com/victoriacookewriter/

It Started With A Note

Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of It Started With A Note (UK Only)

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