Day 2. Blog Tour. Ninja School Mum.

Today’s stop on my blog tour is with author Alice Castle and her wonderful blog. We talk about invention, first jobs and being a romantic!

Check out Alice’s post for my blog tour here: http://www.dulwichdivorcee.com/meet-the-author-lizzie-chantree/

 

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Meet Thea, one of my main characters in Ninja School Mum. She is a new mum and looks after her niece for her bossy sister during the school day. She feels very overlooked by her family and although she used to have a responsible job, she now finds it hard to remember a time when anyone actually noticed her at all.

Grab a great new read!

Alice Castle

The Girl in the Gallery by Alice Castle.    OUT TODAY! 

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Dulwich…

It’s a perfect summer’s morning in the plush south London suburb, and thirty-something Beth Haldane has sneaked off to visit one of her favourite places, the world-famous Picture Gallery.

She’s enjoying a few moments’ respite from juggling her job at prestigious private school Wyatt’s and her role as single mum to little boy Ben, when she stumbles across a shocking new exhibit on display. Before she knows it, she’s in the thick of a fresh, and deeply chilling, investigation.

Who is The Girl in the Gallery? Join Beth in adventure #2 of the London Murder Mystery series as she tries to discover the truth about a secret eating away at the very heart of Dulwich.

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From Alice:

Thanks so much, Lizzie, for hosting me today on your blog. It’s great to be able to have a chat about my second whodunit, The Girl in the Gallery, which is coming out on 19th December.

The Girl in the Gallery is number two in my London Murder Mystery series and, as the title suggests, it starts off in a picture gallery. The gallery is based on the real life Dulwich Picture Gallery, one of my favourite places, which is not only a superb building but also houses an amazing art collection. When I realised it was celebrating 200 years of art for the public this year, I was determined to make it the backdrop to a murder mystery and, thanks to my publisher Crooked Cat, we’ve just got it out in time.

Dulwich Picture Gallery is a very odd building and, although its use of light from above to maximise wall space has been copied around the world, there’s one aspect of this structure which has never been replicated. That’s the mausoleum at its centre, which houses the dead bodies of the founders of the art collection. Their remains are so beautifully packaged that you can walk straight past them without quite knowing what you are seeing, but I thought it would make a wonderfully gothic place to find a body, and that’s what gave me the idea for The Girl in the Gallery.

The book is concerned with issues of identity and pressure on teenage girls, whether it’s the compulsion to establish an online profile at an age when most adolescents don’t really know who they are, or whether it’s the eating disorders and massive exam stress that sadly affect so many high-achieving girls.

Despite dealing with some series issues, the book is light-hearted and I hope has a comic twist, thanks to characters like Belinda MacKenzie, the scary uber-mummy who dominates the playground, and Beth Haldane herself. Beth is my single mum amateur sleuth, bringing up a ten-year-old on her own and, thanks to her determination, persistence and a distinct reckless streak, determined to find out who The Girl in the Gallery really is, and what has befallen her. Along the way, she has the assistance of DI Harry York, whose pragmatic attitude to crime is at odds with Beth’s fixation with justice.

Although The Girl in the Gallery is the second in a series which started with Death in Dulwich, it can be read independently. I hope, though, that you’ll get the bug and want to read on. If you do, then Calamity in Camberwell is due out in 2018 and there will be more Beth adventures to follow.

You can buy the book here: MyBook.to/GirlintheGallery, and find Death in Dulwich here: MyBook.to/1DeathinDulwich

Alice Castle Contact: 

About the author:

Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European best-seller which sold out in two weeks.

Alice is currently working on the sequel to Death in Dulwich and The Girl in the Gallery, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series. It will be published by Crooked Cat next year and is entitled The Calamity in Camberwell. Once again, it features Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a top mummy blogger, writing DD’s Diary at www.dulwichdivorcee.com.

She lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

Author website: https://www.alicecastleauthor.com

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/alicecastleauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary?lang=en

Links to buy books: MyBook.to/GirlintheGallery   myBook.to/1DeathinDulwich, myBook.to/HotChocolate

Too much information.

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Last weekend I had been trying to manage my work tasks, plus organise Christmas for my family after a week of being unwell. Sometimes my head felt like it was full of too much information for it to be productive at all. After climbing a mountain of wrapping paper and filling the cupboards with two Christmas puddings and various festive treats as we have people coming to stay, I decided to stop worrying about what I had to achieve  and do something completely different.

I was probably thinking of a brisk jog with my dog or getting some housework done, but I must have walked past the kitchen and I cooked and scoffed one of the Christmas puddings… it was a very small one… instead! The change of thinking (and probable sugar rush) from the process of stepping away from my work load, managed to clear my mind and I was then able to sit at my desk and complete most of the work I had been fretting about finishing for two days.

We sometimes overload ourselves with useless information that holds no relevance to what we need to do. By thinking of them over and over and procrastinating, we are adding to our own confusion and wasting precious time not doing the things we are thinking about. This week i’m going to try not to overthink and also to not walk past the Christmas cupboard too often, as although it was helpful in this instance, the repeat journey to the shops to replenish what I ate is definitely not the way forward!

Marketing merchandise.

Happy new week everyone. This week I’ve been working on some new merchandise for my blog tour and launch. I had this brilliant photo taken for me and it’s a wonderful way to spread the word for my work and make people smile. I have also made promotional keyrings and had posters printed. The theme of my book content and colour scheme follows through all of it, so that it is easily recognisable. This is a good idea, as it refers to your work and hopefully encourages people to pick up your book and give it a try. You never know who you might meet whilst wandering round, as my promotional photo shows, so take every opportunity and make the marketing fun for you and your readers.

 

When you bump into Batman and he’s reading your book! 🙂

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Discover author Nicola Slade.

THE HOUSE AT LADYWELL
Nicola Slade

 Nicola Slade book cover

Book blurb:

A hare carved in stone and the scent of flowers in a house full of echoes – can Freya’s inheritance help her to leave the past behind?

Had I gone completely crazy that first day? To open the door, take one astonished look round, and decide on the spot that I would live there?

To fall in love with a house?’

 When Freya Gibson inherits an old, run-down property she has no idea she is the last in a long line of redoubtable women, including the Tudor nun who built the house. Unknown to Freya these women, over centuries, fought with whatever weapons came to hand – deception, endurance, even murder – to preserve their home and family.

Freya falls in love with the house but her inheritance includes an enigmatic letter telling her to ‘restore the balance’ of the Lady’s Well. Besides this, the house seems to be haunted by the scent of flowers.

In the past the Lady’s Well was a place of healing and Freya soon feels safe and at home, but she has demons of her own to conquer before she can accept the happiness that beckons.

Buy your copy here: The House At Ladywell

SEO tips for your website.

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Welcome to my blog. Today I thought I’d share 3 quick ideas about how you can improve the SEO on your website or blog. SEO is important as in ensures the visibility of your website and helps your content discoverability by search engines. This means that if someone puts a word in the search engine to find a topic, that your page is higher on the list than other peoples pages.

1.  You need SEO to provide clear navigation for the search engines to find your site. Make your articles relevant to your page and don’t veer too far off of subject. Too many terms on one site become confusing and don’t rank your site.

2 .  Write content that will keep visitors on your page and use internal links to interest them enough to stay on your site for longer. If they enjoy one article, they may like another you have written.

3.  Don’t load too many photos onto one page or have too much content. If a page is slow to load, people will rapidly click off of the page and find another website with quick loading times. Always name photos what they are and not pic 1,2,3,5, or 5! The picture for this article is called Lizzie Chantree SEO tips.

 

View Lizzie’s Books Here: Click link.

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Meet Author Rose McClelland.

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I’m thrilled to introduce you to author Rose McClelland, who is published by Crooked Cat.

Rose writes women’s fiction with a splash of romance and comedy. She writes about dating and relationships in a humorous fashion, placing plenty of twists and turns along the way. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes or Sophie Kinsella.

Rose lives in Belfast but divides her time between the sofa and bubble bath. When she’s not writing, she’s reading. It’s a bit of an addiction actually. That, and the chocolate Freddos. She can often be found on Facebook posting photos and stories about her cat, her cooking or book reviews.

She has written a few short plays and finds it a buzz to see actors performing her words on stage.

Please follow her on Facebook or Twitter – she’d love to hear from you!

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Author Q&A:

  1. What made you decide to be a writer?

I always had my head stuck in a book as a child. I loved our weekly library trips and would have gobbled the books up by the time we had drove home! I remember at the age of ten telling my mum that I’d like to be a writer. But the book that really made me want to write was “Rachel’s Holiday” by Marian Keyes. I loved the style of writing – the raw honesty mixed with humour.

  1. Tell us about your latest book and how long did it take you to write? 

My latest book is called “The Year of No Rules”. It took me between 9 months to a year to write. It’s about a couple and their relationship. Believe it or not, he gives her a list of rules to follow and for a while, she goes along with it. Needless to say, this tests her patience to the max. Throwing the rulebook away, she then takes matters into her own hands and plays the game her way.

  1. Do you want each of your books to stand alone, or become a series? 

My three published books are all stand alone. I am writing my fourth novel at the moment and because of the setting and the characters involved, I can see possibility for a series. This would be great as the characters are firmly lodged in my head.

  1. How did publishing your first book change your writing process?

It made me read even more and think more about what I want from books as a reader.

  1. What excites you most about being an author?

I still love reading and find the best way to relax is by being engrossed in good book. I love the process of tucking myself away and putting pen to paper. It is so much fun watching what the characters will get up to and recording the story as it unfolds.

  1. What is the best money you ever spent as a writer?

A laptop. I used it to write my morning pages and do an online writing course with my friends in Brighton. That was the course that really helped me get started on my first novel.

  1. How do you balance writing and marketing your work?

With great difficulty! I love the writing side of things, however I struggle with the marketing. If I had my way, I’d tuck myself away in an ivory tower and write to my heart’s content. However, there’s not much point in writing a novel if you’re not willing to share the finished product!

  1. Have you become friends with any other authors and has this helped or hindered your writing journey?

Yes, I have be-friended lots of other authors – in particular fellow Crooked Cat authors. It’s a massive help to chat with other authors and motivate each other.

  1. What did you edit out of your current book?

My editor helped me to edit the minor characters by writing a bit more of a back story about them. I had a tendency to just make small parts appear out of nowhere to move the story along.

  1. What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Becoming overwhelmed by the endless amount of marketing jobs that could be done. That is when I tend to bury my head in the sand!

 

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“The Year of No Rules”

BOOK BLURB

When Sasha falls in love with Kirk, she can’t believe her luck. He’s gorgeous, charismatic and charming. Within months he’s even discussing the ‘M’ word – marriage.

But there’s one problem – he’s given her a list of rules to sign.

Blindly led by her infatuation (and the fact that she’s been single forever) – she agrees to sign it and abide by them until everything goes horribly wrong.

Picking herself up and boldly moving on as a ‘No Rules’ girl, Sasha goes on a string of disastrous dates, and eventually meets Sam through mutual friends. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, she keeps him at arm’s length.

Can he tame her independent streak? Or will she be able to make Kirk come crawling back?

 

Contact Rose:
Book link:
Facebook:
Twitter:
Blog:

Book launch tips.

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Happy new week everyone! Today’s Monday Marketing is about book launches. I’m currently working on my own new book launch for Ninja School Mum and thought i’d share some of the tips i’d learnt with you.

1.  Set up a blog tour team three months before your launch date. This is a great way to find people who want to support your launch and keeps them updated on the progress of your plans.

2.  Set up a document with all of the information you will need to send to the launch team. This should include blog posts, Q&A’s, promo information, book cover art, book blurb, author photo etc. Make the document easily accessible, so that the tour hosts can grab the details they need, with minimal fuss or extra work.

3.  Create a page on your blog about the blogs/websites of your tour hosts. Make a page for them on your website and add their site links. This is a great way to say thank you and to let others know about their blogs/websites.

 

If you would like to check out or join my tour team, the link is here:

Ninja School Mum Tour Team.

 

Planning a book launch.

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I have begun planning my book launch, which is in Jan next year. It seems so far away, but it will be here before I realise, probably. I’m trying to learn what to do, as i’ve never held a virtual launch before.

So far, I have set up a launch group for anyone who would like to join in with the launch and have designed a tour page, which I have put on this blog for bloggers to sign up to join my tour. It’s been a really interesting to try and find out the best way to approach this. After I had set my launch group up, I read it’s best to set it up 3 months before at the earliest …oops! I did mine a little before that. I have been posting all the tips about book launches I have learnt there to help other authors. I’ve also decided to do shout outs and posts about the bloggers who are supporting my tour across social media by way of a big thank you for their hard work.

If any of you would like to join my tour, or the Facebook tour group, here are the links:

Facebook Tour for Ninja School Mum.

Tour sign up page for Ninja School Mum.

My Twitter page for shout outs for my tour hosts.