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Tuesday, 2 September 2014


Facebook friends have been tagging each other asking which books we could never ‘let go’. I sat for ages drawing up my bucket list and then I imagined I was moving to a house with no bookcases (shock, horror) and listed the ten books I’d take with me to perch forlornly on my mantelpiece. If houses still have mantelpieces, that is! Here’s my list:

Tristan and Iseult - Rosemary Sutcliffe

Lady of Hay - Barbara Erskine

Emily - Jilly Cooper

Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt

How Green is my Valley - Richard Llewellyn

Friday's Child - Georgette Heyer

Can You Keep a Secret? - Sophie Kinsella

A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemmingway

Hons and Rebels - Nancy Mitford

Love in a Time of Cholera - Marquez


As you can tell from this list I love humour and history in equal amounts and my first attempts at writing produced a civil war novel which is now gathering dust under the bed. One day I’ll return to it. In the meantime here are two romantic comedies I’ve written, I hope someone, somewhere will add them to their bucket list.  Do feel free to comment below telling us which books you could never let go.

Boot Camp Bride - Romance and Intrigue on the Norfolk marshes 


Tall, Dark and Kilted Notting Hill Meets Monarch of the Glen


"when I'm not writing - I'm dreaming"

twitter: @lizzie_lamb            


Monday, 1 September 2014

Head Banging and Brick Walls


Huge congratulations to Gilli Allan, but you'll need to read this before all is revealed!

If I’ve learnt anything in life it’s this.  If your head’s hard enough, and you bang for long enough, that brick wall may ... just may ... eventually start to crumble.
My first career was as an artist, in advertising.  When my son was a toddler I didn’t want to leave him and go back out to work. I wondered what I could do from home to earn a bit of money.  Suddenly I had the not very original idea of writing for Mills & Boon - how hard could it be? (Famous last words, and very insulting to those talented authors who do make a success of writing for HM&B - I now know it’s a lot harder than its detractors might think.)
I’d written as a teenager, but not since, and I’d never actually completed a novel, but undaunted, I hardly paused for breath between the initial idea and finishing the book. And two years after writing ‘the end’, Just Before Dawn was rolling off the printing presses (but not Mills & Boon’s printing presses, as it happens.)

I can’t pretend that I wasn’t rather pleased with myself.  I complacently thought I’d ‘made it’, that this writing lark was easy, and I looked forward to living the rest of my life writing a novel whenever the fancy took me and seeing it published and acclaimed. 
In truth there was less in the way of acclaim than I’d optimistically hoped for. My novel’s arrival in the world was unremarked by anyone of note. I didn’t even see it in a book shop apart from the one in my own home town that I’d browbeaten to stock a few.

The remit of my publisher - the newly formed ‘Love Stories’ - was to publish unconventional, unclichéd romantic fiction, characterised at the time as the “thinking woman’s Mills & Boon”.  But the company was too small to achieve the publicity, marketing and distribution necessary to ensure success for itself or its authors.  Although my second book, Desires & Dreams was published a year later, the publisher failed a few years after that.

By now, even though I’d a more realistic view of the likelihood of authorship leading to fame and fortune, I’d caught the bug.  I still wanted to write contemporary, unconventional, romantic fiction, but couldn’t find a publisher who wanted what I was offering them. “We don’t know how to sell you” was the repeated response.  Year followed year, during which I was advised by the well-meaning to “write to the market” - I assumed this meant spotting a bandwagon, preferably before it drew abreast of me.  I’m not that clever, and anyway, what was the point?  I’ve nothing against Sagas, Regencies, Rom Coms, Chick Lit or whatever, but I just wanted to write what I wanted to write.  I say I’m stubborn, others might say I’m bloody minded and self-defeating! 

Anyway, with the advent of Kindle, I decided to self-publish and brought out my three novels as ebooks but, to my disappointment, a word of mouth runaway success did not follow.  Try as I might, I have found it very hard to sell my books in any numbers and until now - more than two decades since my last publisher folded - it has seemed an insoluble problem.

I’ll be forever grateful to the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I attended the RNA conference this year, held at Harper Adams University in Shropshire. There I met Hazel Cushion, whose Accent Press, is going from strength to strength.  We had a chat and the rest is history.  I have signed a three book contract with Accent and they are going to republish TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY OR FALL, primarily as ebooks, and POD print, and who knows? Fame and fortune may still await me. I did tell you I’m an optimist, didn’t I?

Gilli's Blog ....

Saturday, 30 August 2014

HUG A BOOK with My Life in a Nutshell by Tanya J Peterson

Hug A Book is sponsored by

It’s HUG A BOOK and this weekend it’s with Tanya J Peterson


My Life in a Nutshell

Meet Tanya

Tanya J. Peterson has been on both sides of the proverbial couch, both as a nationally certified counselor and as a client herself. She has worked as a teacher and a counselor in a school for homeless and runaway adolescents, she’s been a play therapist, a leader in her local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and she’s given presentations nationwide about mental health and mental illness. She is also a regular columnist for It is from this arena that she reaches out to the world, using fiction to increase understanding and empathy; she is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, Leave of Absence and My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel, each featuring characters living with mental illness and addressing themes around mental health.

Details of My Life in a Nutshell

My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel is the story of one man's struggles with debilitating anxiety. Brian Cunningham has severely isolated himself, and while lonely, he feels powerless to change his life. Unexpectedly, his safe little world is invaded by one Abigail Harris, a seven-year-old girl who has bounced from foster home to foster home until recent placement with an aunt and uncle she has never known. Unsure if she can trust her new environment, she turns to Brian. Neither quite knows how to live in the world. Can they possibly help each other?

Available for Kindle & paperback


Now my heart is pounding again. I’m dizzy. I have to get off this bike. I dismount and look around. Where did I even end up? I didn’t pay attention to where I was going. Yet another example of my pathetic irresponsibility. What is saving me is the fact that I’ve lived in this town my entire life and I know it well. I’ve stopped in an area nicknamed Bohemia, and I’m near a joint called Little Bohemia. The place sits between a second-hand clothing shop and a tobacco bar in a four-story brick building. Elaborate batik tapestries cover both of Little Bohemia’s large windows, concealing the danger that lurks within. The mini lights strung around the tapestries warn rather than welcome; their nearly imperceptible flickering sends a code carrying a simple message: run away as fast as you can.
I wish I could heed the warning, but I was ordered to eat, I’m running out of time, and I have no choice. I wipe my sweaty hands on my pants and breathe deeply, waiting for the lightheadedness to pass. I absolutely don’t want to go inside. I don’t enjoy cafés and restaurants. That’s why I take my own food to work. If I could, I would just turn around and go back to work, but I don’t know if Mrs. Clark will still be there. She’ll be disappointed in me if I come back hungry and she hears my stomach growl again. I’m not close enough to home to ride all the way there, eat, and then return to the school in time considering I should only take a thirty-minute break. So I suppose I don’t have a choice. I have to go in. This should be okay, though, as Little Bohemia tends to be more of a lunch and afternoon hang-out. With a deep breath, I swing open the door and step inside.
I was wrong. This isn’t okay. Light fixtures covered in stained glass mosaics descend and hang at various heights. There’s a veritable crowd in here. They’re cackling loudly. The entire atmosphere makes me think I’ve just burst into a coven. My heart is trying to match the speed of light, and it’s beating so hard my chest hurts. There’s a loud crash. I jump. I need to leave I need to leave I need to leave I…

Tanya’s Links

You can now watch the Trailer

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Reviewed: Applause by Madalyn Morgan

Nikki from Nikki's Books4U reviews Applause by Madalyn Morgan

Margaret Burrell had always dreamed of being an actress, a big star in London’s West End. So when she begins working as an usherette at a theatre she hopes this will be her first step onto the show business ladder. What follows is an emotional rollercoaster of an emotional journey, as Margaret Burrell turns herself into acting and singing sensation Margot Dudley.

The story is set during the Second World War and all the nostalgia of the time is captured in this book. The story is filled with the highs and lows of fame.  The desperation and determination and lengths Margot is prepared to go to, to achieve her dream made me really liked the character of Margaret/Margot. I will really look forward to reading more of Madalyn Morgan’s books, she is an excellent storyteller.

Find out more about Nikki's book reviews by visiting her Blog 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Advertising on Famous Five Plus!

There a THREE opportunities to showcase your book on Famous Five Plus -
Book cover / Banner / Trailer

Book cover - £12.00 for four weeks.
£24.00 for ten weeks

No erotica covers are considered.
Famous Five Plus reserves the right to refuse any book cover.

Banner -  £10 for 7 days (starting on a Monday)

No erotica covers will be considered. Famous Five Plus reserves the rights to refuse a banner if deemed unsuitable for the web site.

Banners should be 560 x 160

Trailers - £12 for four weeks

No erotica is considered.
Famous Five Plus reserves the right to refuse any book cover.

Book covers and trailers will appear in the left hand side bar

Banner at the top of posts

Payments are made via Paypal

If you are interested in any or all of the above please email 

Oh by the way you can see the hits on our web site by taking a peek in the top left hand corner!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Yay! It's in Paperback!

What if...? and If only... are common human ruminations, quick thoughts perhaps to aid procrastination or avoid responsibility, minor daydreams to stave off boredom.

But luckily for readers, for unknown reasons novelists grab those thoughts and obsess about them until they gel into book-long tales.

I obsess about many things but mostly about death and it ticks me off that I'm not going to be alive to see where technology takes the human race. Without a surreptitious break, I won't be here to meet and greet the astral aliens, either.

That I have to leave such exciting times for my children and grandchildren to experience, is utterly frustrating. My generation worked so hard to create the miracles in computing, communications, transportation and space travel. It seems unfair that the universe requires we pass the torch to our descendants and let them reap the benefits.

Ah, yes. I can only imagine what it is going to be like in 2035 and you can imagine along with me between the covers of my latest release DISPASSIONATE LIES. Now available in paperback this amazing tale explores the good, the bad and the amazing in the world we bequeath our children. Here's hoping the coming generation is as strong, moral, clever and brave as Ladesque, the heroine in DISPASSIONATE LIES.

 The world was depending on her; she had promises to begins the tale.

In celebration of the release of the paperback, please enter this rafflecopter draw for a copy (paperback or ebook, winner's choice) of  SCHRODINGER'S CAT my first sci-fi novella that explores the theory of multi-universes. 
In one universe her daughter is dying in another, her life is rosy--which world will Chordelia choose?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Cover Reveal!

Today I am so excited to reveal the cover for my latest book, In the Cold Light of Day. This beautiful cover was produced by the wonderful Cathy Helms from Avalon Graphics

Scheduled for October publication, here are a few words which I hope will tempt you to consider reading when it comes out in October...

Set in 1967, London, In the Cold Light of Day is an emotional story of Bertie and Kitty Costain, intelligent, mature and wealthy, who appear to have a perfect life, but their life is a lie and only one of them realises the deceit when it is all too late.

Addiction comes in many guises and when it takes hold even the addicted cannot see the destruction left in their wake or the pain that eventually squeezes the life out of everything.

As night turns into the cold light of day is love strong enough to cope and hold the tangled threads together to prevent the inevitable?