Category Archives: Fun Stuff

185 Grrr-eat Reasons to Check out Today’s Post

May madness brings prizes, promotions, a mega-giveaway and some crazy weather! Pam is basking in English sunshine while Lorraine and four horses shivered this weekend through a foot of snow dumped on Colorado after the driest mildest winter ever.

Meanwhile we’re packing for our next exciting destination, Costa Rica where we’ve planned some intensive explorations – searching for toucans and howler monkeys, along with the best beach, best national park, best zip-lining experience, best lethal cocktail – naturally, all done in the worthy and extremely professional goal of collaborating in some future Central American novel 🙂 And of course we’re bringing hubbies and Pam’s family along to, well,  assist in the…ah-hem…hitherto-mentioned research and also because they refused to let us go without them.

And here are the promotions we promised. 

For all Australian readers


Looking for La La has been chosen by Amazon to be in their Mother’s Day Sale. Price drop to AUS $1.49.

For all UK Readers

For those in the UK, both of these novels are on a 99 pence May Madness sale.

Looking for La La UK                 How to Survive Your Sisters UK

For US Readers

   For readers in the US, here’s two new Amazon giveaways. Love, Lies & Other Deceptions, our brand new collection of short stories, and When Good Friends Go Bad, our chicklit romance. All you need do is follow us on Amazon for a chance to win – 22 winners!

For Love, Lies & Other Deceptions Click Here   

For When Good Friends Go Bad    Click Here

And for everyone else: Authors XP are holding a MEGA giveaway where you can win e-books from 180+ of your favourite authors.

Win up to 180+ eBooks!

(1) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!
(1) Gift Basket for each major genre!
(180+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

So choose your favorite genre, pick your favourite authors, and good luck to all.

See ya!

FREE short story! Plus Giveaways and chance to win 50+ Sweet Romances

Hi Folks, 

Seeking your opinion on book trailers (our new one is below) but first some people have asked us about Lorraine’s dog, Remy (aka) Rembrandt.  He’s a whoodle – a wheaten terrier/poodle mix -abandoned by a puppy mill and rescued from a Kansas City shelter. Lorraine had to drive 9 hours to get him but she feels it was worth it.  He’s non-shedding (which basically means a dirt and mat magnet) and has to have his dreadlocks shaved off at least once a year.  It’s a bit like owning two dogs, one of which happens to be a Wookie.

 

 

 

 

 

About those book trailers…do you watch them?  Do they make you want to know more?  Or are they just another distraction you don’t have time for?  Personally we love them.  And the lovely Rachel Bostwick has produced another just in time for the launch of Love, Lies and Other Deceptions. (Still on sale at 99 cents)

If you’d like to read one of these stories, see below

Simon Says

‘I said may I help you?’
I look up. There’s a young guy standing beside my table, pen poised waiting to take my order.
‘Sorry,’ I mumble. ‘I didn’t see you there.’
‘No problemo,’ he says cheerfully, flashing me a friendly grin. ‘Would you like something to drink? Wine, beer, cocktail?’
‘Mineral water please.’ One part of me wants some alcohol, needs some alcohol, but at the same time I must keep my wits about me... 

Amazon Giveaways of Love, Lies and Other Deceptions

To celebrate, during launch week we have three Amazon Giveaways: 

For a chance to win an e-copy of Love, Lies and Other Deceptions, all you have to do is tweet a message

Click here

or to watch the book trailer

or

enter this giveaway by following our  

Unfortunately Amazon Giveaways are for US residents only, but for everyone in all territories, we’ve news of another AXP Giveaway. This weeks it’s sweet romance and includes some fabulous novels

(2) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!
(40+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

That’s it for now. Good luck everyone and have a great week!

Ellie Campbell

Help the Zombies are Attacking!

Happy January!

To start the year right, Lorraine downloaded a trial coupon for a health club because a friend was extolling the virtues of her boxing coach. The minute she walked through the door, she realized how much she hated gyms and working out, but one smooth operator later, she found herself signed up for 3 packs of 5 sessions each. Wish her luck!

She actually prefers her app Zombies Run where you get to “Run in the Real World and Become a Hero in Another”. Even if her run is more of a zombie shuffle it’s much more her cup of tea.

Pam meanwhile has taken up jogging, hates every minute, but is using a new app Couch to 5K.  So far she’s only missed two days (snow in Surrey), and is hoping that if she keeps it up she might start enjoying it a few months down the line. Let’s see how long that lasts…

Win up to 35+ Romantic Suspense eBooks!

(2) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!
(35) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

Another great giveaway from Authors XP! This time the genre is Romantic Suspense and it includes our very own When Good Friends Go Bad.

Three once inseparable friends in middle school begrudgingly unite as adults to track down the missing schoolfriend who disappeared from their lives years earlier. In the attempt loyalties will be tested, secrets exposed, first loves re-ignited and a very real danger faced by all. 

Click here to enter

Ends 23rd January

 Good luck everyone!

Pam and Lorraine (Ellie Campbell)

Balance in the Life of A Writer

I was at a party once where a well-established mystery novelist told me she was lucky if she managed to write for an hour or two a day, the bulk of her schedule being consumed with book promotions, Twitter, Facebook, newsletters, her blog. Seems that many writers are performing the same high-wire act. Without a social media presence, without Bookbub, 99 cent promotions, Goodreads competitions, mailing lists, and all that ongoing effort, chances are that even the best-crafted novel will languish, lost and crying out unnoticed, in the wasteland of Amazon’s millions of fiction books. Well, boo-hoo, I can almost hear you say. After all, this isn’t high school English – no hoary old professor is forcing us to come up with the next Ellie Campbell book. And juggling time is nothing new for writers. Most of the literary greats had to fit in their artistic endeavors with full-time jobs, squeezing precious hours out of the early dawn or burning the midnight oil.

But still I wistfully think – wouldn’t it be nice to get a sense of balance? And have a life beyond the laptop? Are we all being forced to multi-task way beyond our natural capacity, checking our emails while sitting on the toilet while brushing our teeth? Lifting your nose from your mesmerizing screen only to discover six hours have vasalesnished, the husband has walked in the door and dinner is still a frozen chicken and a bag of groceries lying unpacked on the counter along with the breakfast dishes. We all have responsibilities shrieking for our attention: children, elderly parents, pets that need feeding or walking, even horses, (some of us). We have bodies that ought to be exercised more, friends that are feeling neglected, the guilty sense that however we spend our precious time, there is so much out there being left undone…

Read more at Take Five Authors blog

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Right now for this week’s fabulous competition.  Too good to let it go by.  It’s the humor giveaway at Authors XP and it runs through to Nov 7th and includes our very own Looking for La La. We would love our blog followers or newsletter subscribers to win one or more of these fabulous novels.

Win Up To 20+ Humor eBooks!

(2) Grand Prize Kindle “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!
(20+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)
Nov. 1-7

 One last thing we heard about and again it’s an offer to good to miss – Count the Roses by Jackie Weger’s novel and it’s free until 5th Nov. Check it out below

Count The Roses 2nd imageAMAZON EXCLUSIVE
First time offered FREE

“Fantastic.Really a Wonderful read…Just a job well done.” ~ avp

“The author’s descriptions of the bayou and New Orleans are fantastic. I loved the characters–all of them.” ~ avp

Travel with Jennifer DeWitt from New Orleans—that humid, high-stepping city of music and magic on the Mississippi River to the depths Louisiana swamps where real life happens. And a sexy Cajun just happens to live.

FREE ~ AMAZON EXCLUSIVE ~ FREE
November 2- 5, 2016
Print edition on Amazon
Print edition on Barns & Noble

Win Up To 40 Romance Novels!

Win Up To 40 Romance Novels!

(2) Grand Prize Kindle “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks (sweet or spicy!)!

+ Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)!

Loincloths, Spankings and Sexy Rexy's

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In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day in the US, India, Brazil, etc. (UK have had theirs 6th March, but hey, why not celebrate twice) Pam and I have compiled a countdown of the old classic movies and stars that won my mother’s heart. And yes, there does seem to be a common thread.

10. Samson and Delilah.

Victor_Mature_-_publicity

Mum had a thing for Victor Mature. He ran around in Biblical epics like ‘the Robe” and ‘Demetrius and the Gladiators’ displaying his shaved bare chest, emanating square-jawed virility. He was what Mum called a ‘sexy rexy’. She wasn’t particularly religious so I don’t think it was the content that thrilled her so much as those muscular thighs.

9. Tarzan.

Tarzan_the_Ape_Man_1932_posterWe had to watch every Tarzan movie that ever came out and it wasn’t just for the elephants and chimpanzees. Nothing thrilled Mum more than a man in a loincloth (see Victor Mature). Especially if he was pounding his chest, yodelling and flying through the air on a dangling vine or diving into a jungle pool and emerging half-naked and dripping wet. Her favorite Tarzan was Johnny Weismuller who was an Olympic gold medallist. She liked the other Tarzans too although we were all somewhat dubious about the one who ran around in slippers. In the jungle? Really?

8. Spartacus.

Another stud in a loincloth (see Tarzan and Victor Mature) although any movie Spartacus_-_1960_-_poster (1)with Kirk Douglas was a fave. He was a bit too intense for us as children but he was the definition of manliness and Mum liked his passion and the dimple on his chin which I convinced Pam was caused by falling on a nail. She liked his son Michael Douglas too until she saw him in Fatal Attraction having sex on the kitchen sink with Glenn Close. We could never persuade her that it wasn’t real and they were merely acting. But then again who knows… After all Mum was right about David Bowie (and all the other stick-thin pop singers) being on drugs in the 70s when we as innocent teenagers hotly denied the possibility.

7. Robin Hood.  Or Captain Blood.

Robin_hood_movieposterErrol Flynn was a real Hollywood bad boy, handsome, dashing, with a womanizing reputation and a flashing blade that dared anyone to suggest his tights were in the tiniest way unmasculine. He laughed with head flung back, hands on hips, his grin was pure devilment and when he swept a woman into his arms…. Well, no wonder Mum swooned. We did too.

6. Top Hat.

astaire_rogers - CopyWe could never miss a Fred Astaire musical, not matter how often it was repeated on TV. Didn’t matter if he looked like a turtle and lacked some of the physical attributes of the loincloth brigade. My mum and grandmother always had the same eternally entertaining conversation as Fred tripped lightly around the ballroom with Ginger in his arms. Nana: “I just don’t understand why he didn’t marry Ginger Rogers.” Mum: “Because she couldn’t stand the man, Mother.” Two minute pause, then… Nana: “It’s such a shame those two never married.” Mum: “Mother, I just told you, she hated him.” And so on until closing credits.

5. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.

Seven_brides_seven_brothersHoward Keel was big and brash with a fine head of hair, a swagger in his step, and a beautiful deep voice. Mum loved him in buckskins singing “Bless Your Beautiful Hide” and slapping his thigh and she loved him as Fred/Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate, waggling his funny pointed beard and spanking Kathryn Grayson. There was nothing like a good spanking to titillate the older generation. I seem to remember Maureen O’Sullivan was always being bent over John Wayne’s knee in all those old Westerns and given a sound thrashing to show her who was boss.

4. Going My Way.

220px-BingCrosbyTheBellsofSaintMarysTrailerScreenshot1945Yeah, Bing Crosby could always make her cry but put him in a dog collar standing over a dying priest singing ‘Too-ra-lora’… You’d need boxes of Kleenex. Maybe a bucket.

3. Singing In The Rain.

Singing_in_the_rain_posterWell, of course. Terrific story, fantastic singing, dancing and comedy and it starred two of mum’s favorites, Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. Gene Kelly could do no wrong, especially dancing in a downpour with his good looks, natural athleticism and unstudied grace. But Donald O’Connor almost elbowed him out of mum’s heart clowning about in the song, ‘Make ‘Em Laugh.’

2. The King and I.

Lawrence_BrynnerNo offence to Rex Harrison who played the role in the dramatic film version, Anna and the King of Siam, but there’s no way he could compete with Yul Brynner. Bald head, exotic accent, open-legged arrogant stance, Yul played the fiercely unpredictable king with colourful costumes and yet another bare chest – what’s not to love! Yes, there’s some great musical numbers. – ‘ Whistle A Happy Tune could be Mum’s theme song – but Yul as the King of Siam, prowling around his palace, barking out orders followed by ‘etcetera, etcetera, etcetera’ to a bemused but feisty schoolteacher, was the showstopper. Not to mention the story of star-crossed lovers was guaranteed to get the tear ducts flowing.

1. Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.

Poitier_croppedBig stars in this one – Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn but most of all…trumpet blast, please… Sidney Poitier. He was Mum’s all-time hero, partly because he was tall, handsome and soft-spoken, partly because he’d done the unthinkable in his era, become a black leading man and box office star, the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. And this was such a great movie. Even if Sidney spends all of it wearing a boring old suit.

DON’T MISS OUT. 

To celebrate Mother’s Day we have four offers for you.

First, for all in the UK, How to Survive Your Sisters and To Catch a Creeper are in a monthly Amazon sale, both at 99 pence.

 

And for lovers of cozy crime in the US, we have our latest novel,  Meddling With Murder still at the launch price of 99c but that’s only for a few days more, so grab it while you can.


Lastly but not leastly (is that even a word? – no I guess it isn’t), for Australian readers of contemporary romance, Million Dollar Question, is on a Mother’s Day sale in Australia – at AUS $1.99.  Ends in just over a week.

That’s all folks. Here’s a photo of Lorraine’s beautiful horse mother Sugar (on the right) , giving her daughter, Luna a big fat juicy kiss.

IMG_1060

Have a great day y’all

Lorraine and Pam (Ellie)

Cover Reveal Day and $25 Amazon Voucher to be won!

Although followers of our blog have already had a sneak preview, today the rest of the world is taking a look and the reactions so far have been gr-r-r-reat!

dfw-ec-mwm-cover-mid

Publishing on 9th April, Meddling With Murder is now available for pre-order here at the special price of 99c US and 99p UK.

And check out our book trailer.

 This is new for us, and we can’t thank Rachel Bostwick, the creator, enough for making the magic happen.

Other news is that this week in celebration of Meddling with Murder emerging from her chrysalis, we’re sponsoring Fussy Librarian’s Blog Giveaway and donating 4 paperbacks and 5 ecopies, plus Amazon giftcard.

Lots_of_gifts

For chance to win paperback copies of Looking for La La, To Catch a Creeper and Meddling with MurderHyperlink 107

For chance to win ecopies
Click here 1

And for a chance to win Amazon Gift Vouchers – entry into this giveaway also qualifies you to win a $25 Amazon gift card from Fussy, so well worth having a go. 109 click here

 

 

So that’s all folks. You might not hear from us for a while. Pam’s flying off with her family to Colorado in two days’ time and she’s busy packing for snow, sun, strong winds and a huge celebration party on 9th April – publication day, which just so happens to be Lorraine’s birthday. Celebrations all around.

Bottle_drunk

Have a great Easter! Not too much chocolate.

big chocolate bunny

Oh go on then. We are!

Birthday Swag Bag – Blog Hop

Birthday Swag Bag: Blog Hop

We’re chuffed that the fabulous Cathy Bramley, author of Conditional Love and the Ivy Lane series has invited Pam to take part in a Birthday Swag Bag: Blog Hop started by Susie Orman Schnall, author of On Grace who started it all (see original post here).

I have to decide what to include in a swag bag to celebrate a milestone birthday with friends. Categories are book, beauty product, snack food, music album, and “my choice.” It’s an imaginary, virtual swag bag, so the cost of the items isn’t an issue… and best of all I don’t have to trudge around the shops, feeling desperate and frazzled.

So here goes.

Book

One of my favorite reads recently is Kirsty Greenwood’sYours Truly debut novel, Yours Truly. Originally self-published it was quickly snapped up by Pan Macmillan and no wonder. Funny, clever, it had me laughing out loud in several places. And my friends love a good giggle so what could be more right and perfect for an extra-special birthday swag bag… be it 40, 50 or 29 again?

Beauty Product

I’m a simple lass and very rarely splash out onChanel No. 5 expensive beauty products (as you could probably tell from the state of my skin).  I do like a drop of perfume to dab behind the ears though.   And since it’s hard to beat the classics I’m choosing an old favourite, Chanel No. 5.  Marilyn Monroe claimed it was the only thing she wore to bed… although if she’d lived to be 40, I’m pretty sure she’d have added at least a pair of knitted bed socks on those cold winter nights. 

Snack Food

My tastes may be basic but I’m not sure a bagchocolate dipped strawberries of prawn cocktails crisps is going to cut it on this festive occasion.  So instead I think I’d bring along my favourite luxury snack food. Chocolate-coated strawberries.  Well you have to have chocolate, don’t you?  And strawberries… so healthy…and yet with a touch of decadence.  Yumm!

Music Album

I’m really an old rocker at heart, so I’d go for Dark Side of the Moon. Can’t beat a touch of Pink Floyd.  And this album reminds us it’s OK – maybe even important – to be just slightly crazy.

Dark side

My Choice

Ichampagne don’t believe we could celebrate without at least one bottle of champagne (per person). I’m going to go for Lanson Black Label Champagne but really anything with a bit of fizz would do ☺

 

 

Next on the blog hop: Posting Monday, June 30th  will be Louise Charles, author of historical novel, The Duke’s Shadow. Louise is a member of Writers Abroad. Check out her website at http://www.louisecharles.com

So, what would be your must-have items?

Meet My Main Character – Blog Hop

We’ve been tagged by Louise Charles, author of historical novel, The Duke’s Shadow to take part in this blog hop about main characters and our latest work in progress.  Louise is a member of Writers Abroad.

Meet My Main Character

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

The entire story is fictional.  We have two main characters.  Olivia Wheeler is a high-flying star in the world of Wall Street hedge funds, engaged to a wealthy society bachelor.

Rosie Dixon is a good-hearted, somewhat naïve London primary school teacher and divorced mother, struggling to support her two boys and still mourning the loss of her marriage.

2) When and where is the story set?

The story is set in the present day.   It goes from Manhattan to London with stops in Spain and also the Scottish island of Skye.

3) What should we know about him/her?

Olivia, despite all her money and cynicism is insecure, stressed and a workaholic who has lost her way in the search for superficial success.  Easygoing Rosie just wants everyone to be happy, including her cold critical mother, but is secretly hoping that one day she’ll win back her philandering husband.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Both girls find their lives overturned by a lightening bolt of luck.  In Olivia’s case she loses everything – job, money and reputation – and Rosie gets an unexpected windfall.  Both of them have to learn to deal with very changed financial circumstances and the myriad problems that come with them.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

Essentially they’re both after security.  World-weary Olivia thinks it comes with money, naive innocent Rosie yearns for the traditional happy family life with husband and kids.   But on a deeper level, as Olivia struggles to survive in an unfeeling world and Rosie tries to sort out real friends and true love from greed, envy and self-interest, their goal is to take charge of their own lives, overcome unexpected obstacles and find out what is really important to them- while destiny may just be lending a helping hand.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The working title is Million Dollar Question.  As it’s closer to publication we’ll have more about it on our blog .

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

Sometime in 2014 if we decide to self-publish.  If we go the traditional route, it would probably be 2015.

If you’re enjoying the ‘Meet My Main Character’ blog hop, we have another for you in about a week from now.  The author we’ve tagged to follow us  is the talented Celia Kennedy author of Charlotte’s Restrained (2012) and Venus Rising (2013). Look for Kathleen’s Undressed, a companion novel to Charlotte’s Restrained, to be published in 2014.

Currently she lives in Washington State with the loves of her life.

You’ll find Celia on http://celiakennedy.weebly.com

TinasBookReviews: The Saturday Spotlight with Ellie Campbell and Giveaway of Looking for Lala

TinasBookReviews

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Saturday Spotlight with Ellie Campbell and Giveaway of Looking for Lala

Welcome to the Saturday Spotlight, a weekly feature that shines the light on Indie and Debut authors. This week I have the pleasure introducing readers to:

ELLIE CAMPBELL    ~Author of Looking for Lala~

10 Random and Possibly Uninteresting Facts about Ellie Campbell

May~2014 by Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell

Pam is a pescetarian and eats salmon and sweet potatoes almost every night. Mainly because it only takes two minutes to prepare and she can’t be bothered thinking of anything different for herself. She will however happily burn a variety of meals for the rest of her family.

Lorraine is addicted to coffee, tea and wine and gets very grumpy if deprived of one or all. She wouldn’t care if she never saw another piece of salmon in her entire life

The best present Lorraine ever got was when her husband’s friend gave her his Arabian horse Sylvarr. Lorraine’s husband is still cursing the ‘free gift’………..

Pam wants to own a horse again one day but of late has had to settle for the rear end of a tandem.

Lorraine once nailed Pam on the head with a well-aimed rock when they were kids. Lorraine cried so hard from fear of reprisals their parents didn’t even notice Pam staggering around bleeding

Pam once nailed Lorraine on the head with a golf club, practicing her swing at one of Edinburgh’s free courses. She claimed it was an accident

Lorraine is visiting Pam on the way to a wedding in India this Spring. She will only be at Pam’s for one night and half a day.

Pam is hoping in that brief jet-lagged period of time that Lorraine will help write some blog posts

Lorraine hates exercise of all kinds, but did once walk the West Highland way. 100 miles. All uphill.

Pam hates exercise of all kind but she has somehow found herself signed up with a group of long distance challengers to cycle on the back of husband’s tandem from Biarritz to Barcelona. A distance of approximately 600 kilometers. She is dreading it. Especially the Pyrenees mountains in between.

Today Ellie Campbell is giving away a copy of Looking for Lala to one lucky winner, everyone is welcome to enter. International entries can choose an eBook copy, US can choose Ebook or paperback. To enter please fill in the Rafflecopter.

Ellie Campbell says: Thanks for featuring us on your Saturday Spotlight, Tina! Click on the link below to enter the giveaway for LOOKING FOR LA LA.

via TinasBookReviews: The Saturday Spotlight with Ellie Campbell and Giveaway of Looking for Lala.