My Review of 2016 #2 July – December

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Castle Stalker, Argyll © Lizzie Lamb

July saw us taking a month long research trip to Scotland. We started at Edinburgh, visited Rosslyn Chapel and Britannia . We called in at Whitburn to visit my family and discovered that Uncle Archie is a great fan of caravaning, too – I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Here he is with Auntie Nellie; they are my dad’s last remaining siblings. When I was talking to them, I lapsed into an East Lothian patois I hadn’t spoken in many a year. Good to know I haven’t lost it, ye ken?

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In August we visited Bletchley Park and found a connection there to WHITBURN, Winkie the carrier pigeon  who saved the lives of a WWII Bomber crew. They even had Winkie’s ‘parachute on display.Here’s Dave sitting at Alan Turing’s desk . . . 

While we were at Edinburgh we visited Doune Castle where many scenes from OUTLANDER (Castle Leoch), and MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL were filmed.

I drew inspiration for the Samhain feast in GIRL IN THE CASTLE here.

We then camped at Culloden  and travelled as far north as Balnakeil, Cape Wrath, (research for romance #5). We popped into Balmoral but Herself wasn’t in, so I met up with fellow writer Rae Cowie at Banchory for a coffee and presented her with a copy of Scotch on the Rocks. (thanks for reviewing, Rae)

You can’t visit Inverness without going Nessie hunting, so we called in at Urquhart Castle, but Nessie was taking a coffee break. You can see why, inspired by the mist, romantic landscape and mysterious wakes on the loch, how the legend of the monster first arose.

We moved on to Ullapool and, although it rained (a lot!), at least we weren’t bothered by midges. It has long been an ambition of mine to visit the Craft Village at Balnakeil , and we did just that – calling in at the fabulous Cocoa Mountain Cafe for the BEST hot chocolate EVER. If you visit nearby Durness, you’ll see the John Lennon memorial garden; John, Yoko and the kids used to holiday there in the late sixties.

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The road from Ullapool to Durness was stunning as we passed through North-West Highlands Geo-Park on a twisting one track road with passing places. Castles, white sand beaches, mountains, mist and small lochs (lochans)  covered in water lilies. Can’t wait to return.bab13063-f055-4138-8324-23ee43bee1e72

During that month New Romantics Press  published a tapas selection of our novels for reading on Kindle. At the end of each extract a link takes the reader direct to Amazon to download the novel and ‘read on’. Take a Chance on Us. 

Once I returned home, it was straight to East Midlands Airport to pick up Isabella Tartaruga. Isabella and I met through Facebook and have become firm friends ever since. I named a character in Scotch on the Rocks after her. We took Isa to our local pub for a cider and I organised a tea party in her honour – with a little help from my friends.

Talking of friends . . . In August we travelled to Brighton and had a super lunch with writer  June Tate, and exchanged books. Later in the autumn, we met up with lovely Carole Matthews; I received her latest book later on in the year and am looking forward to reading and reviewing both. I learn so much talking to such brilliant writers – I hope some of the fairy dust rubbed off. 

To ring the changes, New Romantics Press attended the Historical Novel Society‘s annual conference. I like to include lots of history in my contemporary novels – if that makes sense. One sad footnote: the conference was the last time I spoke to agent Carole Blake, who died unexpectedly in October. A great loss to readers and writers alike.

October saw me giving a four hour talk How to Self Publish your novel, at Stamford Arts. Thanks to Rachel Henry of WriteStars for inviting me. Dave was my wing man and worked the pc while I blathered on.14642163_10154045011707843_1225004116375522132_n

 

The highlight of November has to be the author event which Adrienne Vaughan and I presented at Aspinall, St Pancras, London. We sold books, talked to customers about writing – and met Tom Parker Bowles (name dropper!) in Fortnum’s, across the way! We’re hoping to be invited back again this spring to give author readings and to talk about the art of writing – watch this space.

It was a great November for Adrienne as she launched Fur Coat and No Knickers, a collection of short stories and poems.

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December went by in a whirl, the highlight was meeting Book Blogger, Rosie Amber and her team of reviewers and writers at the Belmont Hotel with the Leicester Chapter.img_3271-collage1Thanks to Rosie, Scotch on the Rocks was read by her review team and short listed for the contemporary fiction award (silver). It was also one of Book Blogger Cathy Ryan‘s TOP READS OF 2016.

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And finally . . . deep breath. I finished my latest novel – GIRL IN THE CASTLE and it is currently with beta readers. I have booked my proofreader and formatter and, with good luck and a following wind, it should be ready for pre-order by the end of March.

Cover reveal and blurb, coming soon.

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About Lizzie Lamb

I write contemporary women's fiction mostly based in Scotland with hot heroes, feisty heroines and always a happy ending. Along with three other authors - Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Margaret Cullingford - I formed the New Romantics Press under which all our books are published.

Posted on February 10, 2017, in Lizzie's Scribbles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Fabulous Lizzie, what a great time you’re having being a writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You had an amazing year, Lizzie. I hope, one day, I’ll be able to make it to one of your events. Looking forward to reading Girl in the Castle. So exciting! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing, Lizzie!! What a lot you packed in!
    Here’s to an equally exciting 2017. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a great year, Lizzie! And so many happy memories. So glad to have been a part of it, my lovely friend 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic, Lizzie 🙂 What a great year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy and the highlight at the end of it was appearing on your book award blog. 2017 is already filling up nicely and I’m looking forward to holding my new book in my hands.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Loved reading this about your adventures in the name of research 😄
    I am half way through ‘Tall Dark and Kilted’ and I am loving it. Will definitely be reading your other books.
    We are doing a tour of Scotland this summer ourselves and I must say, I can’t wait, but I am also very anxious about the midges!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Val much for popping over. I still think about the characters in Tall Dark and Kilted and they will always be in my ❤️. We are going to tour Scotland again in the autumn this year. You won’t have any problems with the midges on the east coast. I’ll send you a message on Facebook with some tips!!

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  7. Just brilliant Lizzie! What a year you have had and I’ve been lucky to take part in some of it. So looking forward to Girl in the Castle. X

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Lizzie i do so enjoy reading your reviews & visiting the beautiful places in Scotland in my mind. Your photos are always s evocative. No mention of Jasper in the last six months, I’m sure he must have helped you finish Girl in the Castle…..really looking forward to publication day. You are one fantastic lady & I love you heaps. Lotte xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lotte, Jasper was with me every step of the way. In fact he came with us when we went to the historical novel society and stayed in our caravan in Oxford – no wonder he is so brainy. Publication day not far away now and I’m really excited about it too. Ever you come to the UK you know There will be a warm welcome at our house. Love you loads, too.

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  9. Fantastic review, Lizzie. You are a total inspiration. Can’t wait to read your next novel 🙂 Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations on finishing your latest. I am looking forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Linda. I hope to publish in the week leading up to Easter. I’ll be posting more information on my blog and newsletter, and organising a giveaway.

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