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 investigate 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

.

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.

Journo Johnson's Jottings

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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Book News from Melanie Robertson-King

Melanie Robertson-King is thrilled to announce the upcoming release of the third book in her It Happened series featuring the Scott and Layne families, set in picturesque locations in Canada.

Blurb:

Beaches meets Born on the 4th of July

When Melissa Scott flees to the village of Percé, she’s determined to leave her painful memories behind her.

Gareth Young, a soldier with the Canadian Forces, never got over losing his friend in the war in Afghanistan. Nowadays, he’s happier in his own company than that of others, until she enters his life.

Despite her recent breakup and knowing rebound relationships don’t work, Melissa falls head over feet for the handsome military man, only to discover he comes with enough baggage to fill an army cargo plane.

Will the couple be able to work through their issues and achieve a happy ending together?

Excerpt:

At the set of wooden stairs leading to the shoreline, Melissa picked up Buddy and descended. It was a short walk from here to the shoal, where she would cross. Once she reached the bottom, she put the dog back down, and the pair struck out.

Water lapped over the edges of the causeway and pooled in the lower sections of the sandbar. Melissa lifted her dachsie before stepping from the drier beach towards the mammoth chunk of shale and limestone. A lump formed in her throat as she stood gaping at its near-vertical cliff faces.

With Buddy tucked under her arm, she picked her way across. Unsure if it was due to the time of day, the time of year, or the bad weather forecast, there were not many people wandering around. No one strolled along Rue Mont Joli either. Strange.

Because he was well behaved and came when called, Melissa had no qualms about unclipping Buddy’s leash and putting him down. At first, he stayed by her side, sniffing the ground or raising his nose to catch a whiff of something. The scent of rotten eggs wafted through the air, no doubt brought on by rotting seaweed, occasionally overpowering the more pleasant aromas.

Melissa made herself comfortable on a boulder and pulled out her phone while Buddy amused himself. She had no new messages. Not hearing from Iain was a blessing. Maybe he realized they were finished.

She took pictures of the village from this vantage point and Buddy playing on the sand and pebbled shore. She was far too close to the rock to photograph it. She would have to wait for another time. The quay where the tour boats left from would be the best location. Melissa snapped a couple of selfies with Percé looming behind her — some smiling, some with pouty lips before returning the device to her back shorts pocket.

Loud barking and growling jolted her from her reverie as Buddy antagonized a company of gannets. Squawking seagulls soared overhead. One landed nearby and stared at Melissa with its beady yellow eyes. It took a few steps closer, ruffled its feathers and stepped back again. Living and working near the water in Saint John, she was used to seeing them. This one was different. It was more intimidating, almost like it was daring her to move so it could attack, like in the movie The Birds.

Water splashed by her feet. The tide was coming in. She wasn’t here that long, was she? Pulling her phone out, she checked the time. Yes, she had been. She had to act and fast or be cut off. “Come on, Bud, it’s time to go,” she called to her dachshund, but the animal continued harassing the waterfowl. She lunged for him, and he darted away closer to the arch — the most dangerous place of all here.

A clap of thunder rumbled in the distance. Things were quickly becoming dire. Melissa had to get her dog and return to the mainland before the thunderstorm hit. Too late. The skies blackened, and the rains pelted down. Lightning streaked across the sky, followed by yet another crash. How close was the storm? If she counted between the flash and the thunder, the longer the gap, the farther away the inclement weather was. There was more to the calculation, but at this point, it made no difference.

Strong winds pushed the incoming tide and created whitecaps. Huge waves churned and crashed over the sandbar cutting the two off from the shore …

It Happened at Percé Rock is available to pre-order for the low price of 99¢/99p. You can get your copy here https://books2read.com/u/b6OJdp

After the June 6th launch date, the price will rise, so take advantage of the pre-order special!

About the author:

Melanie Robertson-King has always been a fan of the written word. Growing up as an only child, her face was almost always buried in a book from the time she could read. Her father was one of the thousands of Home Children sent to Canada through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland, and she has been fortunate to be able to visit her father’s homeland many times and even met the Princess Royal (Princess Anne) at the orphanage where he was raised.

It Happened at Percé Rock is Melanie’s eleventh book.

You can follow Melanie at the following links:

Website | Celtic Connexions Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Pinterest

GIVEAWAY

You could win a mobi or epub version of It Happened at Percé Rock

Simply follow this link

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f805159b1/?

It simply remains for me to wish Melanie all the best with her new novel and to pre-order a copy, read and review. Go Melanie.

#BlogTour Harper’s Highland Fling by Lizzie Lamb

Many thanks to Cheryle for reading and reviewing Harper’s Highland Fling. You rock!

Cheryl M-M's Book Blog

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Harper’s Highland Fling by Lizzie Lamb.

About the Author

After teaching her 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, Lizzie decided to pursue her first love: writing. She joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted (2012), quickly followed by Boot Camp Bride. She went on to publish Scotch on the Rocks, which achieved Best Seller status within two weeks of appearing on Amazon and her next novel, Girl in the Castle, reached #3 in the Amazon charts. 

Lizzie is a founder member of indie publishing group – New Romantics Press, and has hosted author events at Aspinall, St Pancras and Waterstones, Kensington, talking about the research which underpins her novels. Lizzie romance Take Me, I’m Yours, set in Wisconsin, also achieved BEST SELLER status >travel>USA. Her latest novel – Harper’s…

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The Last Hurrah

Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey for organsing my week long blog tour and to all the bloggers who took the time to read Harper’s Highland Fling and to write a review. Here is a link to the final review – https://t.co/CGvub3ju9t?amp=1

Off to get stuck into number seven – Dark Highland Skies which I hope to finish before the autumn’s out. Thank you for staying with me on this journey.

Harper’s Highland Fling by Lizzie Lamb

Harper’s Highland Fling by Lizzie Lamb

Harper’s Highland Fling by Lizzie Lamb


— Read on eclecticreview.com/2021/03/17/harpers-highland-fling-by-lizzie-lamb/

A fabulous blog post from Sharon of eclectic review.

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