Tag Archives: How To Survive Your Sisters

Frothy Reads Review: Looking For La La by Ellie Campbell

Frothy Reads review for Looking For La La  – now only 99c. 

Ellie Campbell is actually a team of two sisters who kindly offered me a review copy, which I had to decline…. because I’d already bought it! It’s akin to recently reviewed Goodness, Grace and Me in general theme- batty housewife investigates possibly cheating husband and uncovers all sorts of neighbourhood shenanigans. Luckily I read a palate cleanser inbetween to avoid confusion.

Kooks for your Kindle?– There’s almost an overabundance of characters here, it’s quite a busy book. Everyone is well characterised though, and everyone’s a possibility in the hunt for La La: Many varied mum friends, some old friends, some random acquaintances. Declan is Cathy’s stressed husband who is mostly on board with Cathy’s scatty nature, but has his impatient moments and he’s oblivious to the manipulations of his assistant at work. Raz is an old mate who enjoys a child-free, career-minded life while temporarily inhabiting Cathy’s loft conversion, while Rupert is her boyfriend who seems to have a creepy fixation on Cathy.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor- Cathy begins the tale as a rudderless housewife, struggling with domestic chaos even though her kids are at school and she has a weekly cleaning lady. Although her husband Declan first fell for her nuttiness, he’s running out of patience now and is pressuring her to rejoin the paid masses. Despite Cathy’s loopiness, she has her feet on the ground some of the time, has a refreshing outlook on life and can put away an impressive amount of alcohol. She’s kind and good to her friends, bordering on too soft especially where creepy Rupert is concerned. Now that I think of it, she reminds me of an older, domesticated Bridget Jones- I’ll have to read her latest to check.

Evaluation of your eBook?- For such a frothy book it has a cast of thousands, and more red herrings than sea world. If you can guess whodunnit before the end, bravo, I was certainly still guessing. I did like Cathy, even though her insane decision making made me shout at her occasionally. There’s a lovable collection of extras, almost all of whom are suspects at some point, and made for a warm, chaotic, dramatic and funny read.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

via Frothy Reads.

HO HO HO – Have a very merry 'Ellie' Christmas… free books and more…

Happy Christmas, everyone,  from Ellie Campbell (Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell.)  We’re putting up tinsel and uncorking the sherry.  And in the spirit of the season… IMG_1066

—AMAZON USA PROMOTION– ELLIE CAMPBELL FOR FREE!

TWO very special promotions this Christmas for all you US kindle owners..

First… WHEN GOOD FRIENDS GO BAD is on sale from December 20th to January 3rd for ONLY 99 cents!

IMG_1047 - Version 2‘Bloody Good.  Quirky humor, crazy personalities, zany situations… This book has it all.’ 

‘A most wonderful book….the best book I’ve read in a while. CONGRATULATIONS Ellie Campbell you knocked it out of the park…’

http://www.amazon.com/When-Good-Frien…IMG_1031 - Version 2

Second… our first novel HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR SISTERS is FREE from December 25th to December 29th. Treat yourself to this wonderfully warm and witty debut novel about family secrets and sibling rivalry.  Don’t forget – even if you already have it on your kindle, you can still gift it to a friend.  Or to your sisters. For FREE!

2013-12-22 14.20.27‘A great book for anyone with a sister! Heck you don’t even have to have a sister to get the humor!’ Reading Renee Reviews
‘The writing achieves the balance between lightheartedness and truth to look at family ties — cosy, lovely, messy, and uncomfortable, all tangled up — with real affection and honesty.’ Vine Voice.

http://www.amazon.com/How-To-Survive-…

Extra-special holiday pricing! Get all 3 books for under $5:DSCI0154

FREE – How to Survive Your Sisters amazon.com/dp/B00BJH2D2G

99¢ – When Good Friends Go Bad – amazon.com/dp/B00BJH2FRE

$3.99 – Looking for La La – amazon.com/dp/B00BJH29QQ

And for all those who loved LOOKING FOR LA LA and asked about a sequel… Yes, sshhh, keep it under your Santa hat, but it’s coming in the New Year.

So HAPPY HOLIDAYS to one and all…  Naughty or Nice!!!

IMG_1050 - Version 22013-12-22 14.25.17

Three Great Reviews: Looking For La La

Hope you enjoy these three fabulous reviews.   I know we were thrilled by them.  As always click on the links to check out the original and discover some great fiction blog sites.

Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Review.

Who the heck is La La and why on earth is she making  Cathy’s life hellishly unbearable?  Go on an amazingly funny, brilliant and entertaining ride with Cathy (the neurotic and humorous main character) and her crazy cast of friends and neighbors!  Looking for La La is so much more than British Romantic Comedy at it’s best, but also a story about the fractures of marriage,  facing ones own insecurities and learning to  find happiness within one’s life!   I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read  When Good Friends Go Bad and How To Survive Your Sisters.  I recommend this book and rate it 4 stars!

via Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews: 
Dot Scribbles: Book Review: Looking for La La by Ellie Campbell

When Cathy O’Farrell’s husband, Declan receives a saucy postcard from the mysterious La La, Cathy is thrilled. Not seriously suspecting that her husband is having an affair, Cathy and her friend Raz start an investigation aided in part by the Tuesday Twice Monthly’s, a tight knit group of local moms. Soon the notes turn sinister and Cathy notices a red estate car following her. Is this mystery perhaps more than she bargained for?

I really enjoyed Looking for La La, I think it is an original and entertaining read. Part chick-lit, part mystery, the authors keep your interest throughout.

Ellie Campbell is actually sisters Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell and the book was apparently inspired by Pam’s husband receiving anonymous postcards in real life. When Cathy’s husband receives the mail signed from La La, she decides to investigate. Worryingly Cathy is more excited that this postcard will bring some excitement to her life rather than being concerned that her husband is having an affair.

I liked Cathy’s character, her two children are at school now and Declan is talking about her returning to work but she really doesn’t want to. I felt a little sorry for Cathy, she doesn’t seem to know what she wants at the start of the book; her role of wife and mother is changing and I think that is something that many female readers will identify with.
One of my favourite characters was Raz, along with Cathy’s personality, they bring a lot of humour to the story which gives it a chick-lit feel.
I would recommend Looking for La La if you are after a chick-lit read with a slightly more engaging storyline. I hope that Pam Burke and Lorraine Campbell have more books to offer in the future.

Dot Scribbles Rating: 4/5

From: http://dot-scribbles.blogspot.co.uk

Jessie Kimmel Freeman:  The Insane Ramblings of a Crazed Writer:
Review: Looking for La La

Source: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4.5/5

The Review:
I like when women aren’t just a decoration character. They are more than the eye-candy on the arm of our hero or the damsel that needs rescuing because of some fault in her own judgement that has left her in this peril. What these sisters (Ellie) do is craft characters that have weight. They aren’t wallflowers, no. They’re a group of real-life women.

Cathy is an amazing character. One we don’t necessarily want to know, but by the end we are right there with her. She speaks out to elements inside all of us. The sisters have developed their characters in an amazingly real way. They are more than just words on a page, but real people. The character arcs are well developed and the book is great.

This is a great book for those that like chick-lit with British humor and rememberable characters. Yeah, they might be a little quirky and different, but that is what makes them real- they are not cardboard cut outs!

Grab it. Read it. And make your own judgements. It’s a good book and these sisters have done an amazing job!

From: http://networkedblogs.com/MSUEc

Are we delighted – you bet we are!   I am in Connecticut learning colt starting with the amazing Anna Twinney and her Reach Out To Horses method.  Obstacle CourseEvery day is a novel in itself as we work at preparing some awesome horses for their first riders, taking them through spook busting, obstacle courses, saddling and being ponied from more experienced mounts. Maybe one day horses will be the main topic of a new Ellie Campbell book…who knows?  But in the meantime it’s lovely to know that people are enjoying Looking For La La and we want to thank everyone who’s taken the time and effort to write a review, be it on Amazon, GoodReads or their own website.  Hooray to all of you!

10 Lows And Highs Of An Author's Life

One of the highs of being an author is being invited to do a guest post.  Thanks to Bookish Whimsy for inviting us on their site.    Click on the banner if you want to see the whole thing.

bookishwhimsy-header
THE LOWS

1. Lorraine: The dire feeling all creative people share that they’re not good enough, that their books aren’t the masterpieces they visualized. The ‘mean blues’ when you read someone else’s brilliant prose and decide it’s time to throw in the towel. Both Pam and I try not to read other people’s fiction when we are deep into writing a novel, in case we start comparing or find ourselves unconsciously imitating their style. (Not so great when you start off sounding like Ellie Campbell and end as a bad Ernest Hemingway). If at all, Pam will dip into various autobiographies, while I manage a couple of pages on horse training before I fall asleep.

2. Pam: The walking into a bookstore and seeing millions of books on the shelves and wondering why you feel impelled to add to the madness. Aren’t there enough books in the world, historical novels, romantic novels, horror novels? Bookstores bulging with authors who have profoundly important things to say as opposed to our inane ramblings.

3. Lorraine: The days when you’re stuck and think you’ve forgotten how to write and will never manage another sentence let alone another book. Or someone hears you’re a writer and expects witty imaginative things written on their birthday cards or signed in their copy of your novel. It’s like going up to a comedian and saying “Go on then, be funny. Go on.” Like our heroine, Cathy, in Looking For La La we usually find ourselves scrawling a lowly ‘best wishes’. And then think of a million brilliant alternatives when the moment has gone.

4. Pam: The marketing of your novel, having to sell yourself, when you’d rather hide away in your warm house behind your PCs. Lorraine and I are both naturally quite shy and there was quite a lot of firsts for us when we published our first and second novels, How to Survive Your Sister and When Good Friends Go Bad. First radio interview, first phone interview, first photo-shoot, first book signing. There were all wonderful in their own way and we will be forever grateful to Laura, our great publicist at the time, but boy did we find it hard putting ourselves forward and “tooting our own trumpets”.

5. Lorraine: The * or ** star reviews. Ugh. The minute you see them, all those **** and ***** stars are obliterated from your mind and you immediately start wondering if it’s too late to train for that alternative career… like sword swallower, tightrope walker, cliff diver, tarantula trainer… Or maybe just give it all up and sail off into the sunset.

THE HIGHS

1. Pam: Doing a job you would rather do more than anything else in the world. I work part time in a college, during term time, which I love doing while Lorraine is busy working with horses which she is totally passionate about, but we both still consider writing novels as our main occupation. When it’s going well, you think, gosh I’m my own boss, I get to do the hours that I want, the days that I want. Total freedom. And if I want a holiday (depending on deadlines of course), I can have one. Great thing is, you can take your laptop with you, lie on a hammock maybe, tropical beach and still be “working”.

2. Lorraine: The fantastic feeling you get when you finish a paragraph, a scene, or a whole chapter and love what you wrote. Some days things go perfectly. Words seem to come out of nowhere, pages write themselves. Even better when there’s two of you writing and you wake up and the other has written all the bits you were struggling over. These days we’ve even started enjoying the editing process. There’s a weird satisfaction in cutting out words and characters and huge chunks of text. Sort of like the joy of cleaning out your closet, recycling unwanted clothes and feeling so virtuous afterwards.

3. Pam: Seeing your book in bookstores and especially in the library. I love picking out our Ellie Campbell novels on the library shelves, and seeing that people have actually borrowed them out of all the fantastic old and new books that they lend there. I’ve also spent afternoons looking them up on the libraries’ online sites. Sad I know, but you can see how many copies they have and how many are out and you can visualise those people sitting there, reading and (hopefully) enjoying them.

4. Lorraine: Imagining how proud our parents (long deceased) would be to know we became published novelists. They died relatively young and poor Mum wanted so badly for us to do something – anything – she could boast about. I swear she used to make things up because aunts, uncles, people she worked with, were always complimenting us on great accomplishments that were total news to Pam and myself. She was ecstatic when I got my first short story in print. The sales of Woman magazine must have rocketed that day – I pity the poor neighbours!

5. Pam: Having your agent ring you up and tell you, you have a two book publishing deal. Fantastic. Then seeing one of your books finally in print, glancing through it and realizing it’s your baby and – huge relief – you love it. Sometimes you find bits you’d totally forgotten and actually laugh aloud. Sometimes you can’t believe those words came out of you and when writing in partnership like Lorraine and I sometimes they didn’t. (We get very confused about who wrote what.) Our latest Ellie Campbell novel, Looking For La La, was inspired by a prank love postcard someone sent to my husband and when I look at that opening scene it still makes me chuckle. Especially imagining what the postcard-sender will think if she ever happens to read it.

Excerpted from Bookish Whimsy.

Reading Renee: Review: How to Survive Your Sisters by Ellie Campbell

A big thank you to Reading Renee for a fabulous review of How To Survive Your Sisters. She likes it so much she’s even doing her own giveaway of all three of our books!!!  Click the button below to visit her website and sign up.

How To Survive Your Sisters is special to us because the mother in it, Peggy, was based on our own wonderfully wacky eccentric mother – Pam and I wanting to preserve the memories of her originality and humour.  Look out for our post dedicated to her on Mother’s Day, May 12th.

Reading ReneeHow to Survive Your Sisters by Ellie Campbell **review** @ecampbellbooks

First let me say “refreshing” that is how I will describe this book. I was loving the witty take on weddings. Of course the entire family is supposed to be bowing at Natalie’s feet. She wants the perfect wedding and I will compare her to a bridezilla.  Another sister Milly just wants to be out of maternity clothing, and Hazel (love the name) wants everyone to take her serious. Avril could be my fave sister!

The premise is Natalie and Jeremy’s wedding. It is ideal and the fact that this is the reason why they are thrown together. I sometimes think that if I was to spend a week with my sisters we would be in an odd circumstance. Funny how families are family, but they grow apart. After about six years of being engaged, they set a date! So the sisters unite, not easily or truly wanting to reunite. They all come back to Little Hooking. There is a reveal from a sister who gets there with a guest. Her plus 1 blows everyone out of the water. (I hate holding secrets, but I ain’t a plot spoiler.

happy-thinking

Milly is the only married one. Her and Ivor (strange name to me) have four kids. They seem to be happy and have a good relationship. While Avril is older and single living in London. So there is a certain event that gets the girls together. There are a few demons, shall I say, that interfere. There are many (I almost think too many) turbulent waves coming to the MacLeod shores.

The conversations between the sisters and Hazel urging her to go to the wedding. Then urging her to get fitted are hilarious. I hope they were meant to be funny, because I laughed!

I totally ate this one up. I know lot’s will say it is a great vacation or beach read. There is a lot of humor, which I liked. There is also an equal amount of family squabbles. A great book for anyone with a sister! Heck you don’t even have to have a sister to get the humor!

via Reading Renee: How to Survive Your Sisters by Ellie Campbell **review** @ecampbellbooks.