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The Exeter Novel Prize – and a fabulous birthday weekend

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Many thanks to Isabella Tartaruga for making this collage. Isabella is one of my beta readers and helped me with the Italian in SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS, which reached the final of the Exeter Novel Prize. I named a character in the novel after her –  hence the plaque in the top left hand corner.

Here’s my report of the Exeter Novel Prize

& fabulous birthday weekend

First up – The Exeter Novel Prize, organised by Creative Writing Matters. Check out their website if you are just starting out on your writing career. Their slogan is: WHAT’S YOUR STORY and you’ll find lots of advice to help you achieve those famous words at the bottom of your manuscript THE END!

Exeter Novel Prize  the award ceremony was held in St Stephen’s Church, Exeter High Street. There were over 300 entries from all over the world and I was thrilled to be one of the six finalists. The  prize is held in high esteem by writers and comes with the added bonus that the short list is commented upon by respected agent Broo Doherty. 

 

Here’s what she said about SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS 

The novel opens with Ishabel Stuart racing across a Scottish causeway to her aunt’s house seeking comfort and solace, having discovered her fiancée has been unfaithful. She has the added burden of her recently deceased father’s ashes in her car; he has requested that his ashes be scattered from a Munro and Ishabel is expected to know how to organise it. 
Her aunt, Esme, a life long protester, runs a B&B on the island, and inevitably the hotel is full when Ishabel arrives.  Not only full, but full of an unwanted American who is going to stay on in the hotel while Esmee heads down south with her ancient hippy dippy friends to protest about fracking in Manchester.
This is a lively and amusing opening to a romantic novel. The setting is authentic, the characters original and the stroppy parrot who has the perfect answer for every situation certainly raised a smile whenever he appeared. 
2016-03-12 17.55.28Pershing – the parrot in the  novel is based on our parrot, Jasper. Here he is with my award. Or should that be, his award ?!

Although I wasn’t overall winner, it was still a great day and a validation of me as a writer. Many thanks to Margaret James, Cathie Hartigan and Sophie Duffy for all their hard work. Now all I’ve got to do is write the next one. Simples.

If you’d like to see a full report and more pictures of the event, go to the website

Here are some snaps of what I DID NEXT

 

  • Opened some birthday cards and had breakfast of croissants and bucks fizz in bed (!)
  • Had lunch at the Oxenham Arms, South Zeal, touched the lucky standing stone – and sat in the VERY place where David Bowie ate lunch.
  • Met up with friends  Sharyn Farnaby and Lin Tredgold
  • Returned to Exeter, had coffee in Patisserie Valerie and went on a birthday shopping spree
  • went home to find a lovely shout out from Amazon for SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS

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Exeter Novel Prize – here comes Lizzie

 

Just leaving for Devon where the Exeter Novel Prize ceremony will take place on Saturday 12th March – the day after my birthday. I’m a finalist for the award and have beaten hundreds of other writers to get here. I’m the only indie author to have made the final. Even better, the short list has been drawn up by fabulous agent Broo Doherty. Woo hoo. Go me! The novel which has been short listed is my #1 best seller – Scotch on the Rocks. If you want to find out more about  that novel, read this blog. I’ll report back next week, hopefully clutching one of the prizes.

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Lovely blogger and huge supporter of indie authors – Rose Amber – reads her review of SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS

 

If you’d like to read about the locations I use in my novels – then check out this fabulous blog post by Barb Taub

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And finally . . . a heart warming review by Sharon Booth

My favourite bit? This . . .

“Romance? The best kind. It starts off with mistrust and doubt, sparks fly, passion ignites and then…Well, some romances are forever. There’s nothing so romantic as a hero who vows never to hurt the heroine, never to leave her, and to love her forever. Especially when you just know he’s speaking the truth.”

 

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