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Boot Camp Bride – Book Birthday Blitz and Giveaway

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. 

my bookshelf – making room for #6

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.

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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 friendThis is how I imagined her and delicious alpha hero, Raphael Fonseca Ffinch (aka Rafa)  . . .

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Awfully flat, Norfolk?

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.  

windmills on the fens
The windmills at Skegness seen across the marshes from Thornham

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.

the lifeboat inn
lifeboat stairs.jpg

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 blog and/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. 

All my novels are now free on #Kindle Unlimited

All of my novels are now free on Kindle Unlimited. If you are a subscriber, download one today.

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Men in Kilts (and the women who love them…) by Emma Seaman


Many thanks to Emma for joining me on my blog and allowing me to share this fabulous post with you.  If you like Men in Kilts and novels about Scotland (good or bad), read on . . . 

One of the advantages of a Kindle is that the moment you’ve finished a good book, you can download the sequel, or more by the same author, right away. E-books can also be dirt-cheap, or even free, which gives me the impetus to explore genres and authors I wouldn’t previously have tried.

Screen-Shot-2015-05-11-at-10.56.47One of the downsides of the Kindle is the amount of (often self-published) weirdness out there…

I’ve been addicted to Diana Gabaldon’s fabulous ‘Outlander’ series since a friend recommended them last year. They hit every button for me – amazing settings, suspenseful plots, masses of fascinating historical detail, a strong-minded heroine and a frankly swoonworthy hero. The first book has just been made into a TV series (available on Amazon Prime) and though at first I had doubts about the casting of the book’s iconic Jamie Fraser, I’ve loved every minute. I’ve been saving the last (8th) book in the series to read later, because I’m pretty sure that either Jamie or the heroine Claire is going to die, and I’m not ready to lose them just yet… so I recently decided to browse on my Kindle for something similar.

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The eternal fascination with what lies beneath…

Well, I have to say, I didn’t realise ‘Men in Kilts’ were such a big thing, if you’ll excuse the innuendo… I’ve always had a sneaking fondness for a man in plaid, ever since the Highlander film in the 1980s (my husband does a pretty good Christopher Lambert impersonation), but I had no idea that Gabaldon’s books had sparked such a surge of hormone-fuelled fantasy.

Screen-Shot-2015-04-28-at-16.57.23There are novels in every genre – from ‘Outlander’ time-travel copycats (though I haven’t found any as good as the original) to bodice-ripping drama and contemporary romance. As you’d expect, the quality varies hugely – I soon abandoned the ‘historical’ romances, which were often unreadably awful, with hideous ‘Forsooth, ma brae lassie’ dialogue and paper-thin characters. Authors, please note: a hero with a kilt, an accent and an improbably large sword does not make up for lousy writing.

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Who designs these book covers? His boobs are bigger than mine.

Speaking of large swords, there is a frankly incredible amount of ‘Scottish erotica’ out there (don’t tell the Scottish National Party about this – they’ll only get ideas).  It seems the Highlands are positively awash with passionate Celts who will tear off their tartan at the sight of a heaving bosom.

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Really? Surely no self-respecting gay man would wear THAT striped shirt with THAT tartan…

It’s not just ladies who like the idea of a laird – kilted gay erotica is  particularly popular, though queerly enough, much of it is still written by women – for women?

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Eeuuwww. Wrong on so many levels.

There’s even a sub-genre of ‘Scottish Historical BDSM Fertile Erotica’, which is a very niche interest. Dearie me.

Screen-Shot-2015-04-28-at-17.04.09The contemporary women’s fiction scene is generally more wholesome (and rather better-written). Lizzie Lamb’s “Tall, Dark and Kilted” is a good, fun read with likeable characters, making great use of the romantic Scottish setting. I’ve also read a couple of entertaining supernatural stories where the kilted Highlander appears in ghostly form, to break a curse or charm the repressed English heroine.

If you’re more interested in the ‘real’ history of Scotland, you’ll find literary fiction re-imagining every era from the Picts to the 1960s, or you could venture into the murky realms of crime with Scottish Noir (though, to be fair, there’s not a lot of hot kilt-action in those).

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Ouch. That’s what chaps were invented for

There’s so much kilted-ness to explore – I’m quite intrigued by the sound of the ‘Kilts and Quilts’ cosy mystery series, and more so by the probably dreadfully-chafed Cowboys in Kilts (c’mon guys – even Jamie Fraser wears trousers on horseback).

I’ve found Vampire Scots (do they bleed Irn-Bru?), Scottish Fairies (harking back to the magic of the standing stones in Outlander), Scottish Dragon-Shifters (Oi! Bob! Help me shift this bloody great dragon!) and even Footballers in Kilts (now that would REALLY liven up Match of the Day).

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A kilt too far..

Still, I think the prize for ‘freakiest kilt-related fantasy’ and possibly the oddest book title ever, must go to “Men in Kilts with Tentacles – and the women who love them”.

 

I am NOT going to download that one, BTW –  some things are definitely best left unexplored…

 

 

 

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Emma Seaman lives in Devon with her young family, and is a freelance Marketing & Social Media professional. She has been writing fiction for ten years, winning awards including the Jeremy Mogford Food & Drink writing prize and the Wells International Literary Festival Award.

Her short stories have featured in eight anthologies published by Legend Press, Exeter University, The Yeovil Prize and The Harrow Press (USA), with another due this October from the Bath Short Story Award.

She finds inspiration in long walks on Dartmoor, lazy days at the beach, from the people she meets and the fascinating minutiae of everyday life.

You can discover more about her writing at: www.emmaseaman.co.uk and her books at:  http://www.emmaseaman.co.uk/blog/books/

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While we’re on the subject of Men in Kilts, dear reader, let me lead you gently by the hand towards my latest Scottish themed novel – Scotch on the Rocks which is available over on Amazon as a kindle download and as a paperback.

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