Many thanks to RNA chum and writer Anne Stormont for including Harper’s Highland Fling as one of the books she’s read and enjoyed this year. Check it out and see if you feel the same. Have a cool Yule . . .
Books are my thing – writing them and reading them but this year, more than any other, books have provided some much-needed solace and escapism.
Writing my own books
During the initial Covid lockdown and the various tweaked versions/restrictions that followed her in Scotland, I was so glad to have my writing. I did find my concentration was a bit compromised at first but since I got my mojo back it’s been so good to have an imaginary Covid-free world to escape to – a world where I’m in control.
It was a real morale booster when the final part of my Isle of Skye trilogy, Fulfilment,was published. It was lovely to have brought Jack and Rachel’s story to a satisfying conclusion – although I must admit I do miss them. And it’s also been lovely to have so much wonderful feedback from readers. Thank you all of you…
Originally posted on JO LAMBERT: Today, I’m pleased to welcome author Lizzie Lamb onto my blog. Her latest book Harper’s Highland Fling was published on 9th November and is her seventh Scottish themed novel, all of which feature feisty heroines and handsome, kilted heroes. ? ABOUT HARPER’S HIGHLAND FLING After a gruelling academic year head…
After a gruelling academic year, headteacherHarper MacDonaldis looking forward to a summer holiday trekking in Nepal. However, her plans are scuppered when wayward niece,Ariel,leaves a note announcing that’s she’s running away with a boy calledPen. The only clue to their whereabouts is a footnote:I’ll Be in Scotland. Cue a case of mistaken identity when Harper confronts the boy’s father -Rocco Penhaligonand accuses him of cradle snatching her niece and ruining her future. At loggerheads, Harper and Rocco set off in hot pursuit of the teenagers, but the canny youngsters are always one step ahead. And, in a neat twist, it is the adults who end up in trouble, not the savvy teenagers. Fasten your seatbelt for the road trip of your life! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!
I’m really thrilled to be able to share Harper’s Highland Fling with you. Within a day of publication it reached #1 spot in ‘hot new releases’ and (briefly) #1 in Scottish Historical Romance – happy days.
It’s been a tough year for all of us with the pandemic breathing down our necks and to make things worse, my home town of Leicester has been in lockdown since the beginning of June. Seriously. So it was a blessed relief to be able to lose myself in my novel and join Harper and Rocco on their road trip as they set out to track down Pen and Ariel and bring them home. This is my sixth novel and I hope, by the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll be tempted to download it.
Here’s the BLURB
I wanted to incorporate the notion of a road trip featuring the uptight head of a federation of failing primary schools, a bohemian garage owner with a tragic past and a couple of teenagers who couldn’t understand why going AWOL might upset their responsible adults. Sound familiar? I take them on a road trip from the toe of Cornwall to Plockton in the beautiful west highlands of Scotland – stopping off at Bristol, Leicester (where else?), Penrith, and Gretna Green. I’ve travelled that route many times so I was able to get out all my old photos and have my own private road trip. As for the uptight headmistress – I wonder who she was based on ?
Click on this link to be taken straight to my Amazon page where you can read an extract/share/buy a copy. Or, if you prefer to order a signed copy click here. Above all, enjoy your trip to Scotland and please leave a review on Amazon. A review really helps an indie author to stand out on the ‘Zon.
To celebrate the launch of Harper’s Highland Fling I’ve organised a GIVEAWAY for newsletter subscribers. All you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter and follow the instructions there for a chance to win a signed copy of Harper’s Highland Fling and magnetic bookmark, a FREE kindle download of Harper’s Highland Fling, a gorgeous notebook, shortbread Scottie dogs (!) or Emma Ball notelets. The newsletter will be sent out on Monday 30th November – St Andrew’s Day, of course.
Caring is sharing - I'd love you to share my blog with your friends
I doubt the collective noun for book bloggers is ‘an appreciation of’ but I feel as if it ought to be. How can I fail to be appreciative of a body of people who like books enough to make reviewing them a big part of their lives? In the book blogging community I’ve made friends with people who don’t glaze over no matter how much I talk about books. (Any book, not just mine.) Through following their blogs I’ve found new authors to read.
And oh, to return to blogger-author meet-ups in crowded pubs, usually on a Saturday afternoon, or meeting book bloggers at book shop and library events!
To make up, even if in a small way, I decided to ask some book bloggers to tell me about what they do.
Boot Camp Bride is about to celebrate its birthday and, before lockdown, I re-visited Norfolk and the sites which inspired the novel. I’d love to share them and take this opportunity to remind you of what a great romcom Boot Camp Bride is. Of all my novels I think that Boot Camp Bride is the one which would most easily translate onto the silver screen. To find out if you agree, I’m making Boot Camp Bride FREE to download over the weekend – so let your fingers do the walking and follow Charlie and Rafa’s adventures on the Norfolk Marshes.
There’s also a chance to win a signed paperback copy (UK only) – details at the end of this blog. Join in the fun and you could be a winner.
Blurb? I’ll allow one of my reviews to do the talking for me –
“Charlee is forced to attend a boot camp to get a scoop for the magazine she works for. I adored the situation set up for this story – such fun! The author is very clever at painting her characters and adding poignant brushstrokes of humour and vulnerability. Oh my, Charlee’s anecdotes will chase away the winter blues! Charlee guided me through her adventure, and I could not stop laughing. How does Lizzie Lamb manage to combine humour, adventure and romance? Charlee was feisty, fun, intelligent and clumsy – perfect. Undeterred by the alpha male, she managed to fight him with wit and stubbornness. Lizzie Lamb’s characters and style of writing sparkle in Boot Camp Bride. This romantic comedy is classic gold: it is the equivalent of comfort food and a good night out with friends.”
As the tagline says – meet Charlee Montague – your new best friend. This is how I imagined her and delicious alpha hero, Raphael Fonseca Ffinch (aka Rafa) . . .
Noel Coward famously quipped: awfully flat, Norfolk. That’s what I thought the first couple of times I visited Thornham where the novel is set. But I soon learned to appreciate the beauty of the this beautiful landscape. Here’s what Charlee thinks as she looks out across the marshes for the first time, Rafa at her side.
Now she was out of the wind and the sun had come out, the marshes didn’t look so grim after all. There was a stripped back beauty to them, she could see that, and the flocks of birds heading for the feeding grounds down by the shoreline ensured the view was ever changing. And she had to admit, just sitting there, eyes closed, face soaking up the weak January sun, was the perfect antidote to the last couple of manic weeks. When she glanced at Ffinch he was scanning the marshes through his binoculars, his cup of hot chocolate untouched on the bench beside him. Why did she get the impression it wasn’t the birds he was watching so intently? ‘What’s out there?’ Charlee asked, slipping on her sunglasses against the almost overwhelming expanse of bright blue sky that filled three quarters of the landscape. ‘The Wash. And over there you can see the wind turbines on the shoreline at Skegness.’ Charlee followed his pointing finger and squinted at the distant shore where almost a hundred huge turbines were turning like quiet ghosts.
Boot Camp Bride is set in Thornham, near Hunstanton. The Lifeboat Inn, an alleged haunt of smugglers, doubles for The Ship in the novel. This is where Rafa and Charlee spend their first night together – strictly business, natch – very much aware of a growing physical attraction.
“Charlee and Ffinch climbed the stairs to their respective bedrooms. Charlee was rather unsteady, a combination of vertiginous heels and the quantity of wine she’d consumed. She pulled a face and groaned, thinking of the hangover she would wake up with and the windswept salt marshes dashing ice-cold rain and sleet into her face. Ffinch walked up the stairs behind her, his hand resting lightly on her waist as if keeping a loving eye on her, whereas in reality he was holding her upright. Bidding the other guests goodnight, he whispered in her ear. ‘Smile, for goodness sake. You look as if you’re going to your doom, not a night of passion in The Ship’s best room. Stay in role.’ ‘I’m concentrating on my balance, if you must know, and,’ Charlee whipped round as his words sank in, almost falling backwards into his arms. ‘A night of passion, now hold it right there, mate. It’d take more than two glasses of champagne -’ ‘Half a bottle of Rioja, a sticky with your pudding and cognac with coffee – to do what? Make the thought of sleeping with me more palatable?’ Although he kept a straight face, Charlee detected banked down humour there.”
My friend Joan and I sitting in the hall of The Lifeboat Inn on MY birthday. It was while staying at her and husband Roger’s place in Thornham that the idea of Boot Camp Bride came to me.
It was easy to imagine Thornham Manor as the phoney Boot Camp for Brides – the front for drug smuggling on the marshes. At high tide it would be easy to land contraband on the nearby quay without arousing suspicion. You can read an extract HERE
Boot Camp Bride is also available as a paperback and would make an ideal present for someone who enjoys reading romance laced with humour and quick fire dialogue. Oh, and there’s a classic VW Camper Van featured in it, too. What’s not to like?
If you’d like to enter Boot Camp Bride’s Birthday Competition and win a signed paperback , all you have to do it FOLLOW my blogand/or share this post on any of the links below. Take a screenshot and send it to me via email. The winner will be notified once the competition has ended.
And, finally – If you’d like to read more download a copy of Boot Camp Bride while it’s FREE (Friday 2nd October to Wednesday 7th). If you enjoy Boot Camp please consisted leaving a review. It’s one of the best things a reader can do to help a writer . . . apart from downloading more of their novels, obvs.
Caring is sharing - I'd love you to share my blog with your friends
I’ve been nominated for the Not The Booker Prize. Eek!!!!!!
What is it?
You’ve probably heard of The Booker Prize but were you aware of the existence of the Not The Booker Prize?
It was launched by The Guardian in 2009 so this year is its twelfth year. Whereas The Booker Prize is judged by a panel of experts, the Not The Booker Prize invites public participation and the aim is therefore to have a wider commercial appeal.
The longlist is derived purely from public nominations. Launched on 20th July, the public had until 1st August to nominate a book which met certain eligibility criteria (e.g. had to be written in English and published between certain dates). You can read about this stage here.
Which book was nominated?
Yesterday, the longlist was announced (you can read the article here) and I am thrilled to say that one of…
Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a good summer in spite of ‘everything’. Here in Leicester we’re still on lockdown and seem set to remain so until the situation is reviewed on July 31st. One positive outcome is that I have finished my new novel – hurray – and have written the synopsis for the one after that. Number Seven? How did that happen?
My five romance novels will soon be joined by number six.
To celebrate this milestone I’m offering my ‘Scottish’ novels at below the usual price. Normally, I don’t put my books up for FREE, in fact the last time I did so was December 2012 (!) So make the most of this promo and get them while they’re hot.
Want to know what my novels are about? Click on each the link to be whisked over to Amazon where you can READ AN EXTRACT/SHARE/BUY.
Like many of you, we’ve had to put our holiday plans on hold for 2020. Sadly, Bonnie Scotland will have to wait another year before our caravan rolls across the border. So, if you are visiting Scotland from your armchair do consider downloading on of my novels at this very special price – The promo only lasts FIVE DAYS from Tuesday July 28th until Saturday 1st of August.
Should you enjoy reading my work please consider leaving a review, they are an author’s life blood.
And, just in case you wondered what next novel is all about, here’s the blurb . . .
PENHALIGON’S HIGHLAND BRIDE
Head teacher Eilidh MacDonald is looking forward to a much needed summer holiday. However, her wayward niece Ariel upsets her plans, leaving a letter announcing she’s run away with a boy called Pen. Cue a case of mistaken identity when Eilidh confronts the boy’s father – Rocco Penhaligon, and accuses him of cradle snatching her niece and encouraging her to abandon a bright future. At loggerheads, Eilidh and Rocco set off in hot pursuit of the teenagers to the highlands of Scotland, but the canny youngsters are always one step ahead. Cupid has his work cut out to convince these two commitment phobes they have found their soul mates. And, in a neat twist, it is the adults who end up in trouble – not the savvy teenagers.
White sands at Morar – David Crocker / The Sands at Morar / CC BY-SA 2.0
Just one last word – my novels are also available in paperback via my website at WAYYY below Amazon prices. Each paperback will be dedicated to YOU and arrive through your door via Royal Mail delivery. For more information click here.
So, I’ll say goodbye for now and hope to be in touch soon via social media,
Caring is sharing - I'd love you to share my blog with your friends
My thanks, as ever, to the fab team at Avon Books UK and Blake Friedmann Literary, Flim and TV Agency for their fantastic support.
The idea for Summer on a Sunny Island was sparked by a service kids’ reunion in Malta, where I was brought up for several years. My brothers, my sister-in-law and I managed to convert one lunch into a ten-day holiday so I didn’t see why such a reunion shouldn’t for part of a novel too. It’s about Rosa, who’s supporting her celeb-cook mum Dory in Malta and Zach, who’s looking after his Maltese grandmother’s property. They’ve both left tricky situations behind them in England but, of course, those situations don’t just go away.
I really hope that you enjoy the opportunity to travel to Malta by book, even if you…