Writing buddies.

Hello everyone. I’m excited to have been invited on to Chelmsford Community Radio this evening, with the lovely Christine Penhall to chat about the FREE writing buddy session we are running at Fete café in Chelmsford on the 5th July.  It’s always fun to try something different and we are hoping to encourage local writers to meet up, get writing and enjoy some coffee! 

Fete Cafe. Chelmsford. Lizzie Chantree

I’ve finished organising my seminar for The Essex Book Festival on the 11th June and hope any writers who attend will find it useful. I’ll be talking about how to make the most out of categories and keywords, how to use stacked promotions in the run up and the time after launch, and how my books got into the bestseller lists even when I was an unknown author and publishing my first book.

I’m currently writing book twelve, which is the first sequel I’ve ever written. I’m finding it a bit daunting, but also great fun. The characters are making me laugh and I can’t wait to decide on a publication date. The book is the sequel to, The little ice cream shop by the sea.

Platinum Jubilee photo. Lizzie Chantree

We had neighbours round for a Jubilee celebration at the weekend, so that was a good way to relax and enjoy being part of the local community. It was brilliant to see photos of the parties that people were having all across the country. We were lucky enough to sample the famous Jubilee pudding, as my neighbour followed the recipe and brought it round. It was delicious!

Jubilee pudding. Lizzie Chantree

Wishing you all an amazing week and I hope that it’s productive and full of books and sunshine. 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.

 

 

 

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

 

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.’

Free bestselling romance book today! Finding Gina.

 

 

Hello everyone. I’m so excited about my book launch tomorrow, for Shh… It’s Our Secret. To celebrate, I’m giving away a free ebook copy of my bestselling book, Finding Gina.

Treat yourself to a #free copy of Finding Gina, HERE! 

This is a look at where you can buy my latest book from tomorrow:

 

Barnes & Noble

Hardcover, Softcover, Ebook

Waterstones

Hardcover, Softcover, Ebook

Amazon

Hardcover, Softcover, Ebook

Books-A-Million

Hardcover, Softcover, Ebook

IndieBound

Hardcover, Softcover

Chapters/Indigo

Hardcover, Softcover, Ebook

Google Play

Ebook

Kobo

Ebook

Apple Books

Ebook

One Summer In Cornwall. Blog Tour.

One Summer in Cornwall by Karen King. Blog tour. 

Blurb

Escape to Cornwall this summer…

A gorgeous feel-good read, perfect for fans of CATHY BRAMLEY and PHILLIPA ASHLEY.

When Hattie is made redundant and evicted from her flat in one horrible week, she needs time to rethink. Her Uncle Albert left her and her father each half of Fisherman’s Rest, his home in the Cornish town of Port Medden, so this seems the perfect place to escape to until she can figure things out.

As Hattie stays in the cottage, clearing it out, tidying it up and getting it ready to sell, she starts to find her feet in Port Medden and making a new home here begins to feel right. If only her dad didn’t need a quick sale and things weren’t complicated by her unwelcoming neighbour Marcus . . .

Buy Links

Preorder: https://t.co/cGO6wxrZMN?amp=1

Karen King Bio

Karen King is a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. She has had eight romantic novels published, one psychological thriller with another one out later this year, 120 children’s books, two young adult novels, and several short stories for women’s magazines. Her romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became an international bestseller, reaching the top one hundred in the Kindle charts in both the UK and Australia. Karen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. Karen now lives in Spain where she loves to spend her non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with her husband, Dave, when she isn’t sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is.

Extract:

Chapter One

‘Bloody hell! Who is it?’

Hattie Rowland froze at the voice, her finger poised on the light switch that she had been about to flick on. Someone was already in the cottage! Who could it be? A squatter? A burglar? For a moment she panicked, her breathing quick and shallow as she backed against the wall, wondering whether to run out again. Then she pulled herself together. She had every right to be here – whoever it was, they were trespassing, and she wasn’t going to be intimidated by them. She took a deep, steadying breath and grabbed hold of her motorbike helmet, which she had tucked under her arm, ready to use as a weapon if necessary. The intruder would soon realise that she didn’t scare easily. She pressed down the switch, gripping the helmet tightly, ready to spring into action. As the room lit up, there was a loud screech.

‘Turn it off! Turn it off!’

Buddy! Hattie burst out laughing as she spotted the green parrot, perched on a thick branch in a huge cage tucked into the corner of the living area, just before the open archway into the kitchen. The parrot’s head was turned towards the door, his beady eyes fixed on her as he squawked crossly. Uncle Albert’s beloved parrot. She hadn’t even realised that Buddy was still alive. As the big bird glared at her from his perch, his green feathers ruffled, the yellow ring around his neck clearly visible, she was transported back to her childhood. Hattie remembered stepping into the cottage with her parents to be greeted by Buddy screeching, ‘Bloody hell! Who is it?’ and her mother immediately trying to cover her ears. Uncle Albert, a fisherman, was her father’s much-older brother. He had never married and Buddy was his sole companion. Albert had worshipped the bird – and loved his little cottage by the sea. When he died a couple of months ago, Hattie had been surprised and touched to hear that he had left Fisherman’s Rest jointly to Hattie’s father, Owen, and Hattie. She had fond memories of summer holidays spent here in Port Medden with Uncle Albert when she was younger, and her parents were still together.

‘Hello, Buddy. It’s only me, Hattie. You probably don’t remember me. It’s been years since I last came down here,’ she said softly. She felt guilty about that, but her parents had finally divorced, after years of acrimony, when she was twelve, and then she had barely seen her dad, who had immediately moved to France with his new girlfriend, now wife, Raina and remained there. Obviously, her mum, who now lived in Portugal with her partner Howard, hadn’t wanted to spend summers with her ex-husband’s brother in Cornwall, so Hattie had lost touch with Uncle Albert.

She dropped her saddlebags down onto the old brown sofa; she was sure it was the same one that had been there when she’d last visited – was it sixteen or seventeen years ago? In fact, nothing seemed to have changed, she thought, as she looked around, her mind going back to her childhood holidays. The thick grey curtains were the same, as was the now-threadbare brown patterned carpet on the floor. The TV was a more recent model than she remembered, and the fireplace was now boarded-up with a gas fire in front of it. Not that she’d ever seen the fireplace in use when they’d come down in the summer, but there had always been a basketful of logs beside it, ready for the colder evenings. The old wooden rocking chair was still in the corner by the fire, but there was now a thick cushion on the seat. The dark wooden dresser, full of ornaments and decorative plates, still stood against the wall by the window. Over the fireplace was a stunning painting of fishermen tending their boats in the harbour. She didn’t remember that, but the rest of the downstairs of the cottage was  almost exactly as she remembered, except it no longer looked exciting and welcoming but dusty, faded, old.

Her eyes flitted back to the rocking chair where Uncle Albert had often sat, smoking his pipe and telling them stories of his fishing escapades. He’d been a broad, larger-than-life man, who had always made them welcome, cooking them hearty breakfasts, taking them out on his boat, joining them for a drink at the local pub where everyone had seemed to know him. And now he was gone. And he’d only been in his late seventies, no age nowadays. She felt sad that she had lost touch with him over the years. She wondered if her dad had kept in contact.

She walked over to the cage, which sat on a wooden wheeled trolley. Buddy immediately ruffled his feathers and eyed her warily from his perch. ‘Bugger off!’ he screeched.

‘Sorry to disturb you, Buddy. It’s me, Hattie, I expect you don’t remember me.’ Had the parrot been here on his own ever since Uncle Albert was taken to hospital, over two months ago? she wondered. Uncle Albert had died within a couple of days of being admitted. Surely Buddy hadn’t been here alone all that time?

Contact links

Website

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

Bookbub

 

Lynne Shelby. Top Author of the week.

Today’s top author of the week is Lynne Shelby.

Lynne can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing stories. She sent her first novel off to a publisher when she was fourteen. They didn’t publish it, but a very kind editor wrote her a letter encouraging her to keep writing – she’s very glad she took that editor’s advice.

Before lockdown, Lynne enjoyed visiting the theatre, especially West End musicals, and is looking forward to the time when the theatres can re-open. An inability to sing in tune prevents her from singing on stage herself, but when her now adult children were young, she enjoyed a vicarious career as a stage mother, and she now writes books with characters that are musical theatre actors or dancers.

Lynne’s other great enthusiasm is travelling (again before lockdown!), and her debut novel was the result of a trip to Paris and an overheard conversation on the Eurostar. She finds overheard conversations on buses and trains – and in queues at the supermarket – a great a source of inspiration for stories.

Lynne is currently working on a novel inspired by her travels around the Greek islands, and planning her next trip abroad – hopefully to Japan, which has long been on her bucket list – for when we can all go travelling again.

Author Bio

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, ‘French Kissing’ was published when it won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition.

She has published four novels: French Kissing, The One That I Want, There She Goes and the Summer of Taking Chances.

She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

Blurb for The Summer of Taking Chances

 It’s been ten years since Emma Stevens last laid eyes on Jake Murray. When he left the small seaside village of South Quay where they both grew up, Emma’s dreams left with him.

Then Jake, now a successful actor, returns to South Quay for the summer…

Will Emma give her first love a second chance?

 

Buy Link for The Summer of Taking Chances:

The Summer of Taking Chances: The perfect, feel-good summer romance you don’t want to miss! eBook: Shelby, Lynne: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

 

 

Anne Coates. Top Author Of The Week.

This week’s TOP AUTHOR POST welcomes brilliant writer, Anne Coates. Inspired by her mother who taught her to read before she went to school and by the Deputy Head at her secondary school in Harlow, Essex who encouraged her hunger for reading by granting her free access to the books not yet in the school library – she feels still grateful for this, in her eyes, amazing privilege.

During her career, she worked for publishers, as a journalist, writer, editor, and translator. The birth of her daughter, Olivia inspired her to write non-fiction books, such as ‘Your Only Child’ (Bloomsbury, 1996), books about applying to and surviving university (NeedtoKnow, 2013), but also short stories, tales with a twist, and stories exploring relationships, published in in various women’s magazines including Bella and Candis.

After working on Woman’s Weekly and Woman & Home, Anne went freelance and found herself interviewing all types of people from those working on gas rigs to prostitutes and some of their situations made her think “What if…” And so, investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge was born…

The Hannah Weybridge series is published by Urbane Publications. Anne lives with three demanding cats, enjoys reading, and is missing going to the theatre and cinema, wining and dining and time with her family and friends.

Meet Anne:

It only took one tap dancing class (and some coaching from my mother who had been a dancer) to realise that I would never be a Ginger Rogers but being a journalist and writing fiction has allowed  me to explore all manner of careers and situations with far less embarrassment. During lockdown I have found returning to the 90s when my Hannah Weybridge series is set has been a relief and once again much of the action my WIP takes place in Waterloo – where my mother was born and some of my expended family lived. I can’t wait to walk those streets again and absorb the personal as well as public history. For me writing has been a way to reconnect and rediscover something we’ll all hopefully be doing more of soon.

Where to find Anne’s social media pages:Author Website: www.annecoatesauthor.com
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AnneCoatesAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anne_Coates1

 

Dulwich library is the scene of a suspicious death, followed swiftly by another in Manchester, the victims linked by nothing other than their Australian nationality. Police dismiss the idea of a serial killer, but journalist Hannah Weybridge isn’t convinced. She is drawn into an investigation in which more Australian men are killed as they try to trace their British families. Her research reveals past horrors and present sadness, and loss linked to children who went missing after the Second World War. Have those children returned now?

Once again Hannah finds herself embroiled in a deadly mystery, a mystery complicated by the murder of Harry Peters; brother of Lucy, one of the residents of Cardboard City she had become friendly with. It soon becomes clear Lucy is protecting secrets of her own – what is Lucy’s link to the murders and can Hannah discover the truth before the killer strikes again?

Paperback: https://uk.bookshop.org/books/perdition-s-child/9781912666676

Ebook: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Perditions-Child-Hannah-Weybridge-thriller-ebook/dp/B082VKNBL3

Secrets from a book launch.

Happy new week everyone.  How are you? It’s been a hectic few days here, as my latest romance book, The little ice cream shop by the sea, launched. It’s been fun as I’ve been chatting online about ice cream, people’s favourite flavours and about how many of us wish we could be beside the sea and bathed in sunshine right now. The next best thing is a book full of laughter and romance by the sea!

Some of the interesting flavour combinations that have come up, are Pistachio, honeycomb, fig, lavender, coconut, peanut butter, banana caramel, or dark chocolate. Also some sorbets with alcohol, like Prosecco and cranberry or blackberry. You can join in that chat here on Twitter. My favourite combination is coffee and lemon!

 

It’s very strange  holding a book launch during lockdown. This is the second one I’ve done now, and I have been overwhelmed by the support of my network. This book has reached #1 in more than one category and is now an international bestseller, so I can’t thank you enough for reading, sharing social pages and telling your friends and family about it.  I’ve had people who have never seen my books before, share posts about it with friends too, which I’m very thankful for.  It’s wonderful to meet new readers.

A few things I did for my launch, in case it can help any other authors, are listed here:

  1. I planned my launch weeks ahead of time and scheduled in some social media posts and graphics, so that I had time to chat to readers all day.
  2. I posted photos of my genre and topic and engaged readers in chat about it. The topic I decided on was food, as my book is set in a beachside restaurant. This was a lot of fun as I’m almost as obsessed with food, as I am with books!
  3. I asked other authors and book bloggers if they would mind hosting my book on launch day. (Booking a tour with a professional service in advance is a great idea too. I didn’t do that this time, but often do).
  4. I posted similar book graphics to Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and ran a prize giveaway.
  5. I engaged in chat on launch day in book groups.
  6. I scheduled a newsletter to my subscriber list and ran a unique giveaway just for my subscribers.

I hope this helps and that if you have downloaded the book or bought a paperback, that the story fills your days with sunshine.  Genie, Ada and Cal were a lot of fun to write about and I’m now thinking about the possibility of writing a sequel.

Have an amazing week everyone.