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

 

Introducing Emily Royal.

Today’s Introducing guest is author and fellow member of the Romantic Novelists Association, Emily Royal. I absolutely love the photos she has sent me for this post, especially the first one where she seems to be being kissed by a snake! I was also interested to learn that Emily used to be an airline pilot. Read on to find out more…

 

Over to Emily:

Emily lives in rural Scotland with her husband and two teenage daughters, together with their menagerie of pets including hamsters, chickens and 12 snakes. Despite popular opinion, her snakes are all friendly and include Twinkle, an attention-seeking boa constrictor and Burma, an unimaginatively-named Burmese Python, who loves to come out for cuddles. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, currently serving on the committee, and graduated from their New Writers’ Scheme.

Emily’s debut novel The Sins of the Sire, was published by Tirgearr on 13 March 2019 and is a gritty, dark and sexy historical romance set in the Highlands of Scotland – a tale of vengeance and atonement set during William Wallace’s rebellion against Edward I. It’s the first in her Dark Highland Passions series and she’s currently writing the next book in the series. The Sins of the Sire is available as an e-book and is free on Kindle Unlimited.

Her second published book will be a standalone Medieval Romance, published later in the year by Wild Rose Press. Another dark and sexy historical, the book has themes of Outlander, Game of Thrones and The Handmaid’s Tale.

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Emily currently works as an actuary after having indulged in a brief dream of becoming an airline pilot almost 30 years ago when she left university. Her job enables her to travel, so she accumulates air miles as a passenger and uses her time waiting around at airports for drafting. She also has the opportunity to be creative with her job which has enabled her to teach and present lectures at various companies and institutions around the world, including a university in Beijing where the students were very interested to learn about romantic fiction, as well as actuarial science!

Emily is a sucker for a dark story, particularly if it contains a tortured hero, and she cites Gollum as her all-time favourite literary character.

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Emily can be found at:

Twitter: @eroyalauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eroyalauthor/

Website: http://www.emroyal.com/

Links for The Sins of the Sire:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N974NW5/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N974NW5/

 

Introducing Elly Redding.

It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to award winning author Elly Redding today. Elly is a fellow member of The Romantic Novelists Association and she’s here to tell you more about her work.

From Elly:

I’ve always lived with a dream or two bubbling away in my head. Whether it was tap dancing with Fred Astaire, or dashing through a forest to escape from villains, my imagination has always sent me to a world where almost anything could happen. Only it would have been very lonely, if I’d been there all by myself. So, I created a hero, or at least I thought I had, to make my dreams come true.

Only what happens when things go wrong? When the love of your life turns out to have feet of clay?

Book cover of True Colours-1

“True Colours” is the first in my trilogy of second chance romances. It tells the story of a very determined young lady, called Kate. She’s been through the mill, or any other contraption you might care to name. After all, it’s not every day that you discover your fiancé within groping distance of a pair of heaving breasts that aren’t yours. And she’s done the sensible thing, she’s sent him packing. Only now Saul’s back. And this time, it doesn’t look as though he’s going to take ‘no’ for an answer…

I was thrilled when ‘True Colours’ won The New Talent Award at The Festival of Romance. Since then, it’s been awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion, Chill with a Book Readers’ Book of the Month, and received third prize in The Independent Author Book Award “Words for the Wounded”.

My career has spanned from nursing to owning a specialist medical translation company. When not writing romantic fiction, I enjoy family, friends and conversation; art, travel, and trying not to fall over my own feet in – you guessed it – tap dancing. Oh, and I’m finally learning how to swim…

Find out more about Elly’s work here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Y3Hj1N
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2THU7wi
Website: https://ellyredding.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ellyredding
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllyReddingAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellyredding/

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)

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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.

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Monday Marketing News.

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Today is very exciting as I’m featured in the beautifully glossy and very informative Writers’ Forum Magazine! Author and regular contributor to the magazine Paula Williams interviewed me for her blog and column and I was thrilled to have been asked.

If you haven’t come across this magazine before, it’s packed full of advice for writers and has news, competitions and workshops to get involved in.

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Monday Marketing.

Lizzie Chantree Monday Marketing2

 

Happy 2019 everyone. Here are my marketing tips for today. This post is about setting new goals for yourself. Promotion and marketing can seem so daunting, but putting pressure on yourself to write and find new readers can cause extra stress, so these tips might prevent that from happening.

  1. Set yourself small and achievable goals to help make marketing seem less of an uphill struggle. Give yourself tasks like: Add 50 Twitter followers in a week. Build and promote your Facebook fanbase by getting 20 more likes in a week. Obviously scale this to how active your accounts already are. You might think adding 1,000 followers is achievable, so give yourself realistic targets.
  2. Set up tweets about your book/writing twice a day. Make them different and interesting.
  3. Submit your book to at least three blogs, magazines, review sites per week.

Challenging ourselves with small goals helps us to stay focussed and when we meet those targets, we feel good about it and want to try harder. If we have too many things to do on our lists, we can feel overwhelmed and then nothing gets done at all. Stick with what works and discard anything that doesn’t’t bring the results you are aiming for. Just add a different topic to the top of the list. Have a great week. From Lizzie.

For tips about repetition in marketing click here.

Thursday Thoughts.

A change from introducing a different author here today, I’m going to share some of my favourite photos from 2018. I launched two new books with my publisher last year and there are so many wonderful memories. I had no idea how special it would feel to hold  the first ever paperback of one of my books and to be a traditionally published author. I had two virtual and physical book launches, which I’d never done before and begun my Facebook Group, Lizzie’s Book Group, for writers, to share my experiences.

I also saw my books become international bestsellers and to reach the #1 Hot New realise spot on Amazon. I couldn’t have done any of that without the support of my readers or the writing community, who have shown me endless kindness and shared news of my work with their friends and family and on their blogs and websites.

I’m excited to have finished writing a new book and have begun my 7th novel, so I will keep you updated on what is happening in 2019 and beyond! Happy New Year everyone.

 

A gift for you!

Happy Friday everyone. From around 10am on the 23rd November until the end of the day on the 25th November 2018, you are able to download your own FREE copy of my two latest Bestselling Romance Reads, Ninja School Mum and If you love me, I’m yours. I hope the stories make you smile and that you have an amazing weekend. Happy reading! From Lizzie.

Winter book sale. Lizzie Chantree

 

Universal book buy link: If you love me, I’m yous: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours

Universal book buy link: Ninja School Mum: viewbook.at/NinjaSchoolMum

 

#NaNoWriMo

Hello everyone. I’ve been busy editing a manuscript whilst attempting to begin a new romance novel for #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), 2018. So far I’ve managed about 7,300 words, but I’m not pressuring myself with the daily writing targets, as I’m multi-tasking. I really enjoy seeing how everyone is getting on with either joining in online, but with other writing projects, or sharing their word counts on social media and writing group forums.

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It is sad when anyone posts that they can’t keep up or are not reaching their own daily word goals, as the fun of the writing challenge for me, is not about reaching the winners 50,000 word total, but in getting something new well underway, be it with a few thousand words or a full manuscript. I have seen people join in with word sprints, where they all sit in their own offices or homes at the same time and see how much they can all write in the same time frame. Also there are groups forming in cafes and libraries all over the country to have write ins, and friendships are forming over mutual support of a new plot line and character ideas. The writing community is full of wonderful people who are so generous with their time, that it really is the best job in the world for me. Happy writing everyone!