Blog Archives

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

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. 

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