Author Archives: Lizzie Lamb

A Girl. A Ghost. A Castle. A Hot Laird.

I thought I’d revisit GIRL IN THE CASTLE to remind myself how much I loved writing it. While I was over on Amazon I re-read readers’ reviews and thought I would share a couple with you.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin . . .

“She has a unique gift for creating settings and dialogue that capture Scottish colour, language, humour, and beauty, while realistically including the cold, the rain, and the chill of an ancient castle on a remote island. As someone who has not only lived in Scotland, but also in a medieval castle, I think she’s absolutely nailed that one.”

“Oh my goodness! I read this book to myself with a Scottish accent (I’m from Manchester). What a great setting, a castle with its own moat, Henriette is a historian with a doctorate using all her girl power to rebuild her career and reputation following a misunderstanding. Enter hero Keir, the heir of the castle. Initially, Henri was warned off him by a potential bride he was promised to. Henri was not bothered at the time, she was too busy being good at her job in the library. Will romance get the better of her? Any more would be a spoiler. Like I said, great setting, Scottish dialogue feeds into the castle image. I enjoyed it.

Girl in the Castle 99p for one week only

Sail across Loch Linnhe to Castle Stalker, the inspiration behind Girl in the Castle

I ‘stumbled’ across Castle Stalker a few years ago when we were touring the highlands. Upon learning that the owner conducted tours of the castle during the summer months we signed up. He brought his launch over to the shore and ferried us over to the castle. I was so excited that I nearly fell overboard into Loch Linnhe. Returning two years later I was able to present him with a copy of Girl in The Castle as a thank you for inspiring me to write such a wonderful love story.

The blurb, quotes and some pictures to encourage you to download Girl in the Castle at this time-limited price.

She has a unique gift for creating settings and dialog that capture Scottish colour, language, humour, and beauty, while realistically including the cold, the rain, and the chill of an ancient castle on a remote island. As someone who has not only lived in Scotland, but also in a medieval castle, I think she’s absolutely nailed that one.”

“A gorgeous hero in Keir Mackenzie and a brilliantly created cast, including cantankerous ferryman and manservant, Lachlan, whose spats with Aunt Alice, the housekeeper, had me, at times, in stitches, bring the story alive. I could picture the scenes so well.”

My favourite part in the novel is when Henriette says to Keir – I WISNAE PUSHED, I DIDNAE SHOVE. I JUST MET YOU AND FELL IN LOVE

So, dear and gentle reader, if you would like to download GIRL IN THE CASTLE for the bargain price of 99p, (usually £2.50) be quick. The promo runs in the UK only and lasts for one week . . . 25th March until 31st March


Click on this link to read a FREE preview of Girl in the Castle and to download your copy

If you would like a signed paperback delivered straight to your door go to this page

PLEASE NOTE – I will be running a similar promotion on Amazon.com from April 18th for one week

Have a great weekend and happy reading . . .

One of my favourite reviews – Harper’s Highland Fling

Reviews are so important to a writer. I’d love to thank each reader who takes the time to leave one after reading my book. However, as that isn’t possible, I check my reviews to make sure that I haven’t missed one and tick the ‘helpful’ box to let the reviewer know that its been seen and read. Sometimes, I can recognise the reviewer by their pen name, especially if they’ve reviewed one of my other books. However, this one by Souffle Girl has me stumped. Its such a fabulous review that I think it deserves a wider audience.

Sometimes, I ask my readers (via Twitter and Instagram) which of my heroes they like best. Souffle Girl certainly rose to the challenge !

“The hero of her first book, Tall Dark and Kilted, quite won my heart. Ruairi Urquhart, the Laird of Kinloch Mara, was so thoroughly delicious that I swore I would be true to him. Unfortunately, that devotion has wobbled several times upon reading Lizzie’s subsequent books. She does write such delectable heroes! I have to admit, Rocco Penhaligon might just have taken Ruairi’s crown. I’m really sorry, Ruairi! But look, Rocco’s gorgeous, and he rides a motorbike, and he’s a devoted dad and a loyal friend and . . . Well, you get the picture.

From the moment Rocco slides out from under that car in his garage, he had me intrigued, and as the story developed, I grew ever keener to understand this man more and figure out what made him tick. Together, I feel like we’ve been on quite a journey. Shove over, Harper MacDonald!

Actually, I’m not being fair to Harper. She’s a great character, too. Although she seemed very buttoned up and brusque and judgmental at first, as the story developed I could see another side to her entirely. And who can blame her for being angry? She’s supposed to be spending the summer holidays in Nepal, for goodness’ sake, not chasing after two troublesome teens on the back of a grumpy, sarcastic stranger’s motorbike!

The relationship between Harper and Rocco might be somewhat frosty, as they follow the trail of the errant teenagers, but that doesn’t stop some decidedly heated moments from occurring. It’s clear that, as inconvenient as it is, there’s a huge attraction between them, although neither will admit it – even to themselves. There’s a lot of snappy banter and caustic comments, and the sparkling conversations that Lizzie Lamb does so well.

I have to say, though, that as entertaining as the road trip part of the story is, it’s when the two of them reach Rocco’s house in Scotland that it takes on a new depth. Lizzie writes Scotland so well, and I felt as though I were right there in Plockton with her characters. Perhaps it’s the Scottish blood running through the veins of both Harper and Rocco, but when they reach the house, things change between them. It’s as if there, in that beautiful setting, they can stop the pretence and finally reveal to each other who they really are, and how they really feel.

Lizzie Lamb made me fall in love, not only with her hero, but with his stunning Highland home, too.

Dave walking toward the shore in Plockton

The story becomes something else as the relationship deepens, and we see a change in Rocco, and a softer, more vulnerable side to Harper. The heat between the two of them made my Kindle sizzle! This is a couple with real chemistry, and I loved the passion between them, and the gentleness and concern for each other after days of verbal dueling. As the defensive walls are finally taken down, true love, it seems, finds them at last. But with the teenagers due back any moment, time is running out for them. And with so many uncertainties to deal with, can there really be a future for Harper and her Highland hero?

You’ll have to read the book to find out, but I will say that the ending is just gorgeous, and left me feeling quite emotional – not least because I’d had to guiltily admit that Rocco had done the impossible and shoved Ruairi into second place. But if you read Harper’s Highland Fling for yourself, I’m quite sure you’ll understand why.

Read Harper’s Highland Fling and make up your own mind.

For one week only – February 11th 8am – February 18th 12 am

Harper’s Highland Fling will be available to download or 99p/99c.

click here to read the opening chapters of Harper’s Highland Fling and to purchase a copy

If you read and enjoy my novel please consider leaving a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Guest blogger: Lizzie Lamb

Many thanks to the Australian Romance Readers Association – and in particular, Debbie the Webmaster – for featuring me on their wonderful blog. I’m very pleased to be a Guest Blogger and hope to reveal news of my new book in November 2022. Watch this space.

 

Australian Romance Readers Association

I was born in Scotland and lived there until I was eleven years old. I’ve never lost that connection with Scotland and when we cross the border and I see the ‘Welcome to Scotland’ sign I feel tingly all over and I know I’m home. Although I no longer ‘sound’ Scottish, I soon find my accent when I’m in the midst of my family and start using the ‘Old Scots’ words: scunner, peely-wally, dreich and swally. It was a no brainer to set my novels north of the border and to remind myself what my Scottish heritage means to me.

Growing up in the Central Belt with the Ravenscraig Steel Works literally at the bottom of my garden (so not romantic!) I created an alternative reality. In the nearby woods I went in search of faeries under toadstools, nyads at the bottom of wells and dryads hiding…

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Meet Lizzie Lamb, finalist of the RNA Indie Champion 2021

Many thanks to Valerie Holmes for shaping my notes, photos and ramblings into such a fantastic blog post. A great way to end the writing year. Who knows what 2022 might bring ?

valerie holmes, author

Welcome, Lizzie!

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Having just listened to your interview on radio Leicester I wondered what it was that swayed you away from fantasy and faerie folk of your younger years to the romance genre?

Growing up in Scotland with the Ravenscraig Steel Works literally at the bottom of my garden I, along with my friends, created an alternative reality. In the nearby woods we went in search of faeries under toadstools, nyads at the bottom of wells and dryads in the trees. Having no luck in finding them I started reading historical novels, starting with the Prisoner of Zenda, Robert Louis Stevenson, Walter Scott, Rosemary Sutcliffe, Margaret Irwin et al. Via their work I discovered the romance of history, castles, knights and feisty princesses prepared to give any dragon a run for its money. Having found my milieu, I never looked back until . . . I read my first Jilly…

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The results are in . . .

my glittery runner-up certificate

Although I wasn’t lucky enough to win my category at the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards Ceremony I was proud to be nominated. And, in true Lizzie fashion, I made quite an event of it: travelling first class from Leicester to St Pancras with husband Dave, lunch in the Betjeman Arms, overnight stay at the Leonardo Hotel in view of the Tower of London. There was even time for a bit of a shopping expedition on the way home.

Looking back over the event I’ve come to see it as a marker of how far I’ve come over the last nine years. I am very proud of what I’ve achieved:

  • six published novels on Amazon with number seven under way
  • the establishment of the Leicester Chapter of the RNA (over 60 members)
  • the network of friends, readers and other author made via social media
  • the help and support I’ve shown other authors via workshops, meetings and talks

One of the best bits of the evening was the chance to meet up with fellow RNA members, many of whom I hadn’t seen for about three years. It was a bit nerve wracking wondering whether it was safe to journey to public transport and to mingle with a large crowd of people when Covid is still prevalent. However, having had both jabs and with my booster lined up the following week I took a rapid flow test and went for it. The room was busier than I expected but was well ventilated and folk pretty much kept to social distancing.

I was ably supported by my husband Dave who’s shared the ups and downs of indie publishing with me over the years. I was also very gratified that my BFF Adrienne Vaughan travelled down to London for the night to show her support. One of the best things about being an author and a member of the RNA is the number of friends I’ve made over the years – that’s what makes me keep coming back for more.

Here’s gallery of some of the images from the evening. You might even spot yourself there !

The award ceremony was the start of pretty hectic month of writing related activities. Restarting the Belmont Belles and Beaux after a hiatus of almost two years. Getting over the shock of discovering that the room which we use was no longer available free of charge (!) and that I’d have to find £80 every time we meet from now on. Luckily, about fifteen members were kind enough to pay their ‘subs’ in advance and we’re covered for most of 2022. Phew. Here we are with our latest ‘offerings’.

The Belmont Belles – no beaux present

I received my booster jab and spent some time online trying to find a new computer and printer. In the end I plumped for a Dell Inspiron desk top (in spite of the young man at Curry’s trying to sell me and Apple Mac!) I’ve investigated Amazon Advertising and my first month is about to come to an end – you’ll know how well it’s gone if you see me flying off into the sunset in my private jet.

One of my former pupils who is now a teacher and writer helped me to create a QR code for my Amazon page. So, I’ve spent some time updating that, too. If you do go over there, I’d really love it of you were to click on ‘FOLLOW’ to keep in touch with me and my writing. No idle moments in an author’s life, is there?

And, finally – just gearing up to send out my Christmas Newsletter to my friends and followers and write my Christmas Cards. Once that’s done I can return to writing the new novel – working title, DARK HIGHLAND SKIES and sharing some photos of our amazing summer spent in the highlands of Scotland. We travelled over 3,000 miles and we loved every moment.

Have a great run up to Christmas, find some time for yourself and if you fancy a romantic trip to the highlands of Scotland without leaving your armchair please consider downloading one of my super romantic novels, or buy a signed paperback for a friend or family member via my blog page and I’ll post it out to you.

Sue Moorcroft is my #AuthorInTheFestiveSpotlight today – Underneath the Mistletoe – @suemoorcroft @AvonBooksUK

Welcome to a brand new feature on my blog. From now until Christmas, I’ll be sharing two posts a week featuring authors who have Christmas or wintry,…

Sue Moorcroft is my #AuthorInTheFestiveSpotlight today – Underneath the Mistletoe – @suemoorcroft @AvonBooksUK

My best week ever . . .

For those of you who read my previous blog post about being shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists” Association Indie Champion of the Year I have some follow-on news to share.

I learned via Melanie Griffiths (PA to the RNA Committee) that BBC Radio Leicester would like to interview me about my path to publication and my thoughts on being shortlisted for the award.

Many moons ago, when Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Mags Cullingford and I formed New Romantics Press, Radio Leicester – thanks to Adrienne’s PR contacts – sent two reporters to find out what indie publishing was all about. We met in The Bell, Burton Overy and had a fabulous morning talking about books and hopes for the future. A four legged friend even came along to boost our confidence – not that we stopped talking all morning.

But last week’s interview was different. I now have six books under my belt and the RNA kindly arranged everything. Sadly, because of the pandemic I was unable to go into Radio Leicester’s studios and the interview had to be conducted over the phone. As a former teacher, I’m used to public speaking and over the years have held workshops and given talks in libraries and to other writers’ groups without blinking. But this was different. It was the first time I’d been interviewed without any of New Romantic Press being present. Luckily, the journalist who interviewed me, Summaya Mughal, was professional and a really lovely person and soon put me at my ease.

You can listen to the whole interview here. I hope you find time to listen to my interview as it will disappear off the Radio Leicester website by Friday 5th November..

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p09xcd8c

Summaya asked me:

  • how did I get into writing
  • where my love of romantic fiction stems from
  • how ‘Scottish-themed’ romance differs from other romantic genres
  • what attracts readers to romantic fiction
  • how Leicestershire and Rutland Chapter of the RNA came into being
  • how did it feel to be nominated for the award
  • what is novel #7 about

Summaya said: “I haven’t really read any romantic novels”. Naturally, I had to rectify that. I headed for the Radio Leicester studios two days later to drop off a copy of Harper’s Highland Fling along with a thank you letter. However, due to Covid, the premises were locked and barred so left the package in the mail box. On my way back to the car park I called into newly opened indie bookshop FOX BOOKS. It’s such a rarity to find an independent bookshop which looks favourably on indie authors and is willing to stock their novels. Look out for future blog posts about Fox Books and me.

And, finally . . . I learned that I’d had a press release in the Leicester Mercury, too, so my week was complete.

For now, though, it’s back to the keyboard, getting on with #7 – working title: DARK HIGHLAND SKIES – and biting my fingernails until the award ceremony of October 28th. It would be nice to win, of course it would, but I’ll carry on writing, flying the indie flag and supporting the RNA whatever the outcome

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My WIP stands at 42k but I need to get motoring if I want to have it ready to send to my formatter before spring 2022. My ancient computer is about to give up the ghost but I don’t want to buy a new one and have to learn its idiosyncrasies before I finish the novel. Luckily I store everything on ‘DROPBOX’ in case of system failure and email copies to myself every night before I switch off. Maybe in my next blog post I’ll give you a hint what the novel is about.

Have a great weekend

BREAKING NEWS – RNA INDIE CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD

I’m super thrilled to announce that I’ve been shortlisted for the inaugural ‘INDIE CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD 2021′ by the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

I’ve been blogging for quite some time but some of my newer followers might not know the story behind my writing journey. So I thought it might be a good idea to bring you all up to date. If you’d like to learn more about the award, here’s a link to the article in The Bookseller.

This link takes you to the RNA blog and more information.

Being shortlisted for such a prestigious award has given me a chance to reflect on what – to date – has been a wonderful career as an author. I am grateful for the fabulous friendships I have made throughout this journey, hopefully helping and inspiring others to achieve their publishing dream too.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer of romantic fiction. Being an indie author works for me as it gives me the opportunity to work at a pace which suits me. Going it alone, without the backing of a publisher/agent has been challenging at times and I wouldn’t have come this far without the expertise and generous support of the Romantic Novelists’ Association at local and national level. I was one of the first full members of the ‘Independent’ arm of the RNA and, with a little help from my friends, have gone on from strength to strength, learning all the time.

This support has spurred me to write and publish six novels with the seventh currently underway. Here are some photos I thought I would share with you.

I’ve never been a ‘lonely in a garret’ type and embraced the notion of networking with and learning from other writers early on. I joined the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and formed the Leicestershire & Rutland Chapter – the Belmont Belles and Beaux – with June Kearns almost fifteen years ago. From a standing start we now have 63 members and as part of our ethos of being inclusive and sharing our experiences, we have organised and hosted a range of events including talks from:

  • Bestselling authors: Carole Matthews, Cathy Bramley, Sue Moorcroft and Louise Jensen
  • Workshops & writing groups
  • Plus ‘sharing-knowledge’ events featuring invited book bloggers/agents & publishers and other publishing technicians.
RNA writers meeting in my garden at the end of a workshop which I organised.
The writer on the back row in the kingfisher blue cardigan is Sarah Houldcroft of Goldcrest Books who formats my books and uploads them on to Amazon.
Highly recommended.

Nearly ten years ago along with June, Adrienne and Mags I co-founded an indie publishing group – New Romantics Press. To date we have published a total of 15 books between us – many of which have won awards for romantic fiction. 

I’ve written and published six novels, with no 7 well underway. Of those, Scotch on the Rocks and Girl in the Castle have been shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize with Harper’s Highland Fling and Bootcamp Bride and Take Me, I’m Yours becoming #1 in their genre on  the Amazon charts. I am very proud of my achievements and still think back to the heady days when I published Tall, Dark and Kilted and reflect how much publishing has changed since then.

I was a primary school teacher for 34 years and am happy that I’ve been given the chance to help others achieve their publishing dream. Once a teacher, always a teacher – right?

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

So, to conclude this blog pots, I’ve booked the train, bought the ticket and reserved a room for October 28th – the night of the ceremony. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see how I get on. In the meantime I’ve got a new novel to write, currently standing at 40:110k words. Is it set in Scotland / does it feature a new hot hero in a kilt? You bet it does.

Have a great weekend and enjoy reading my blog. Please leave a comment if you have time. It’s always refreshing and inspiring to hear from my followers. All the best –

Sometimes you just have to admit when an idea isn’t working #amwriting #writingcommunity #writingtips

Some great writing tips here from Sue Moorcroft. I found it very enlightening and helpful.

Sue Moorcroft blog

I generally like to think I have the hang of putting a plot together. I’ve published eighteen novels, a writing guide, writing courses, hundreds of short stories and more than a dozen serials.

Recently, though, for the first time in years, I gave up on an idea (though I termed it ‘putting it on the back burner’ because that sounds less defeatist than ‘gave up’). I wrestled with it in a large notebook and a small notebook. I printed out what I had and made notes on it. I cut bits out of a notebook and tried to force some kind of order and spark into the operation. I even wrote with different coloured pens.

Nope.

What had seemed like a great idea on Sunday was dead by Tuesday, even though I had what seemed like some promising elements:

  • A setting – Malta, one of my favourite places in the…

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My Scottish holiday and Harper’s Highland Fling

Many thanks to Sheila Johnson for this great blog about our mutual love for Scotland. So glad that you enjoyed Harper’s Highland Fling, too.

Journojohnson.com

Over the August Bank Holiday, my husband and I took my elderly mother-in-law to visit her family in Scotland. The weather was brilliantly sunny. Indeed, we were probably in the best part of the country for the weather. We visited Perth, Dundee, Broughty Ferry, St Andrews and Pitlochry. To accompany all this wonderful scenery and good weather, I was reading Harper’s Highland Fling, by author and Scottish enthusiast, Lizzie Lamb.

Lizzie in Scotland

This is the third book I have read by this author. I really enjoyed the conflict between the two main characters of the book, Rocco Penhaligan and Harper MacDonald as they travel together in search of their gallivanting teenagers – Rocco’s son, Pen, and Harper’s niece, Ariel. It all made for page-turning fun as they chased the youngsters all the way from Cornwall to Plockton in Scotland.

Lizzie says, “Having independently published six novels to date I’ve got…

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