Most of January 2020 was spent planning a six week writing/research trip to Scotland. Then Covid-19 struck and it became clear that we’d have to put our plans on hold. The first casualty was the Braemar Highland Games organised for the day before Dave’s 70th birthday. They refunded our money without a quibble. Sadly, our lunch at the Fife Arms, Braemar celebrating Dave’s BIG BIRTHDAY had to be cancelled, too.
The master plan had been to set off for Kendal on August 8th and wake up on the shores of Loch Lomond at Malarochy on August 11th – our 47th wedding anniversary. However, to quote Rabbie Burns – the well laid plans of mice and men gang aff a gley. Everything went pear/shaped and we had to cancel all our bookings. So, rather than put all that planning to waste, I thought I’d take you on a virtual tour of Scotland. In this post we’ll be travelling from Lockdown Leicester via Kendal to Loch Lomond.
So, make yourself comfortable and journey to Bonnie Scotland without leaving your favourite armchair.
First stop – the Caravan and Motorhome Club site in Kendal built on the site of a 19th century gunpowder mill. Sounds horrendous, right? Wrong. It is a haven of peace and tranquility with a river running through it. There are lots of parking bays surrounded by woodland and you hardly notice the other campers because there is so much space and you park in tree-covered bays. I’d love to spend a week there writing and visiting the surrounding towns but, inevitably, Kendal is a stopping off point on the way north.
Two years ago we unexpectedly met Sharyn Farnaby and husband Rod on the campsite. Sharyn was one of the proofreaders of Take Me, I’m Yours so I was able to share the cover with her. (I’ve since changed the cover but you can read an extract of Take Me, I’m Yours/share and download here.
Although we weren’t able to wake up to a view of Bonnie Loch Lomond on August 11th, we derived great pleasure from reading the 200+ comments from friends and followers on Facebook. Forty seven years together – how did that happen? Loving’ the hairstyle, Dave, by the way.
Much as we love Loch Lomond it is another stopping off point on the way to the highlands and our all-time favourite campsite -Bioran Dhub- overlooking Castle Stalker. The thrill of waking up to a view of the castle every morning (see below) is spine chilling. If you ever rock up in Fort William check out Castle Stalker’s website and book yourself on a guided tour. Monty Python fans might recognise Stalker which featured as Castle Argh in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Visiting Castle Stalker a few years ago inspired me to write Girl in the Castle which is one of my best selling novels. Check it out here to read an extract/share/buy.
Over recent years, while staying near Fort William, we’d been keen to discover the exact location where some of SKYFALL had been filmed. Previously, it had been a closely guarded secret and we’d travelled the length of Glen Etive trying the find where the iconic shots had been taken. Last summer we found the GPS coordinates and set off bright and early to get ahead of the crowds.
Here is Dave standing by THE VERY STONE where Bond and M had posed a couple of years earlier. Dave has an electric screwdriver for raising and lowering the caravan wheels, not a Walther PPK. But a boy can dream, can’t he?
If you ever find yourself staying near Fort William, consider taking the Scotrail train to Mallaig. It crosses the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct (aka the Harry Potter Bridge) and follows the same route at the Jacobite Express for a fraction of the price. The train is only in Mallaig for a couple hours, so buy the best fish and chips you’ll ever taste and eat them sitting on the harbour wall as you watch the boats going in and out.
What next from Lizzie Lamb?
I’ve finished my sixth romance – Penhaligon”s Highland Bride – and I hope to publish it very soon. You’ll be the first to know when I do.
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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…
It’s three hundred and fifty years since the famous witch’s leap happened in the North Yorkshire town. Riverside Walk is swarming with eager tourists, wanting to pay tribute to the legendary Blaise St Clair. It’s also Christmas Eve, and the family has gathered to celebrate an eventful year, and to look forward to even better times ahead.
But a shock event changes everything, bringing a whole lot of trouble to the door of Castle Lodge.
For something big is happening in Castle Clair. Strangers are arriving, a prophecy is unfolding, a mystery is deepening, a reckoning is coming … and someone’s getting rather too fond of Mrs Greenwood’s baking.
The past is colliding with the present, and the future is…
So pleased to congratulate wonderful friend and author Jan Brigden on the publication of her sequel to AS WEEKENDS GO. If oyu love football, the world of WAGS and a great story, download it today. https://amzn.to/2ScspEU
Happy Tuesday to you all! And Happy Publication Day to Jan Brigden for the release of IF I EVER DOUBT YOU!! Hopefully you’ll all be downloading this later to enjoy!
Jan has been kind enough to write a guest post for me to share with you all today to give you a bit more of an insight into the book and the characters within the story!! Over to you Jan….
Challenging the celebrity footballer stereotype: If I Ever Doubt You by Jan Brigden
My main characters Rebecca and Alex first encountered one another in my debut As Weekends Go. Family-oriented small-town woman meets big league professional footballer. We saw the huge impact on their lives during and after that eventful summer weekend.
If I Ever Doubt You continues their story, charting each cheer, dip, drama and dilemma their relationship throws up: how Rebecca adapts to and copes with the reality…
I’m so pleased to be taking part in the official launch celebrations for the Romantic Fiction Book Club Facebook group. Their aim is to create a warm and cosy place for members to engage with readers, bloggers and authors of romantic fiction.
This is a Facebook group supported by the Romantic Novelists’ Association but membership is open to all authors of novels with a romantic element, as well as readers who love romantic fiction and bloggers.
And what better way to start off than with a competition? This will be run in conjunction with the publisher 0ne More Chapter and will be open to all members of the group. 0MC have donated a first prize of 60 romantic novels. There will be 60 runners up prizes of one book from a selection…
The second my book deal was announced and I was able to share I’d now also be writing love stories under the pen name Amelia Henley (you can read about that here), I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. The very second. Before I tweeted my news or posted on Facebook, I was eagerly signing up for membership.
I had waited a long time to join. I didn’t know exactly what the RNA was but isn’t the name wonderful? Romance conjures such evocative images (raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens).
After I’d joined I was super excited to discover there are ‘chapter’ meetings held in various locations throughout the UK. My local one was Leicester. I was thrilled. My son is at Uni in Leicester so I’d be able to go to a meeting and then see him afterwards. Immediately I sent him this message telling him my news…
Originally posted on jan brigden, writer: ? The Sunshine Blogger Award allows bloggers to highlight and celebrate their fellow bloggers’ creativity and positivity within the blogging community. I am thrilled to have been nominated, along with ten other bloggers, by Jessie Cahalin of the fabulous Books in my Handbag blog. Jessie was herself previously nominated. Congratulations! …
Writing thrillers is something I am super passionate about. It fulfils the Enid Blyton’s Famous Five obsessive inside of me, the Scooby Doo and the gang need to solve the mystery addict. But I’ve always had another dream. A dream I clutched tightly to my chest promising it one day, eventually, and when I’ve got more time but I never seemed to have more time and eventually never came. It felt like a secret. A secret I couldn’t quite share. You see, I’d had my heart broken at the age of eight after reading Little Women and that was when I knew with certainty I wanted to one day write a story which would make readers fall in love with the characters, cry for them, hope, question ‘what would I do in that situation.’
It was while I was on holiday in Lanzarote, gazing out to sea that…