Tag Archives: humor

Special launch price – Love, Lies and Other Deceptions!!!

New Release!

Yes, it’s just out – our short story collection, Love, Lies and Other Deceptions. Available now on Amazon at the very special launch price of $.99  or equivalent in your area. Each story was written either by Pam Burks or by Lorraine Campbell (writing as Chris Grant) but we intentionally left it to you to guess which sister wrote which!  For those of you who like the feel of a real book, the paperback will be available soon. Watch this space. Price is going up soon so don’t delay!

Love can be quite a trip.  Whether it’s that first magnetic encounter with a fascinating stranger, the desperate wait for a call that never comes, or even the lies and deceptions of an illicit affair, there’s nothing like the power of attraction to have us acting like crazy fools. Many of these twenty funny, twisty or thoughtful short tales by bestselling novelist Ellie Campbell, (aka sisters Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell), were first published internationally in top women’s magazines like That’s Life, Bella, Take A Break, Woman, Woman’s Own and Chat. So grab a glass of wine, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a bumpy ride along the rocky road to romance.   It may be turbulent but it’s still a whole lot of fun!

And twenty get all twenty for free!

If you’d like to be part of our review team for this very special launch, email us at chicklitsisters@gmail.com and we’ll gift the first twenty to respond either a mobi or epub copy.  Limited time only.

Happy Easter everybody!


Pam enjoying herself on her friend’s farm.  Don’t you just love springtime!

Pam and Lorraine (Ellie Campbell)

Calling all cozy mystery fans. Warning, Cathy's on the loose!

Meddling with murder full cover

Publishing globally on April 9th, 2016 by Across the Pond Press.

Yes, the secret’s out.  Cathy’s back and this time our madcap housewife, mother and wanna-be sleuth is MEDDLING WITH MURDER in our third cosy Crouch End Confidential mystery series that started with LOOKING FOR LA LA and TO CATCH A CREEPER.  And how do you like our stunning new cover from the very talented Design for Writers?

In this hilarious stand-alone novel, Cathy’s up to her usual crazy antics, juggling best friends in trouble, delinquent teens, illicit murder weapons, stolen bicycles and  drug-dealing yobbos, while masquerading as an extremely inept maths tutor and scheming to derail husband Declan’s plans to move the family to rural Norfolk.  Yes, it may help if you’re familiar with the first two books but even new readers will enjoy this one!

And you have the chance to read it first for free!

We made this offer to our newsletter subscribers and now we feel it’s only fair to extend it to a few of you.  If you’re a discerning reader (or blogger) who is interested in joining our Review and Launch Team, drop us a line at chicklitsisters@gmail.com.  We’ll send those selected the ecopy of Meddling with Murder in either mobi (kindle), pdf or epub format, in exchange for an honest review on Goodreads or Amazon around publication date.   And anyone who contacts us will be entered  into a prize draw to win one of our six paperback novels!

Meanwhile stay tuned for news of our blog tour and pre-order date on Amazon.  It’s only the beginning of the pre-launch fun!  And don’t forget to check out our other co-hosted writers blog at Take Five Authors.

Finally, for news of special offers, giveaways and other fun stuff, sign up for our newsletter and/or  just follow us at the sites below.

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ellie-campbell

http://www.amazon.com/Ellie-Campbell/e/B0034OURJ8

And, whew, aren’t you all relieved to see the end of another winter?  We just can’t wait for April 9th to arrive! Pam will be flying to the States to join Lorraine in a celebratory bottle or two of bubbly. Bottle_drunk

That’s all, folks. As the horses and the rest of us kick up our heels, we wish you all a happy Spring!

daffodils

 

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The amazing horse rescue… and other distractions in an author's life

Hooray, it’s February and Amazon Australia has decided AGAIN to promote How To Survive Your Sisters, Looking For La La and To Catch A Creeper.   Also Amazon UK is also doing a 99 pence sale with Sisters.  Pam and I are busy with Twitter and Facebook, trying to spread the word. And I’ve been nominated to update the blog.

So once again the day is sliding away from me.   Admittedly I sometimes have a little trouble with time management.  There may be two of us writing, but at least one of us can always find a million distractions.

1503825_10100778876911739_8510128431740271215_nSeriously intended to write beaucoup pages this weekend until I had an emergency call telling me to bring my horse trailer because 23 horses had to be rescued from feed lot before they were shipped to a kill auction.

1964793_10100778877490579_6866542196854390963_nOf course same estimated 2 hour rescue operation turned out to occupy 3 days, including repairing fences in temporary field, and moving horses yet again two days later. Great sense of personal satisfaction but not a lot of time left for writing. And yes, now that they’re safely installed at Zumas Rescue Ranch they will need training…and homes.268531_10100778877460639_5325315518308154703_n

My own lovely horses are galloping around, just outside the window, playing in the snow. Is there any sight more beautiful than that? What, you expect me to be staring at a computer screen? It’s all I can do not to run out there and join them. Besides it’s imperative I watch and see no one gets kicked.IMG_3466

Long, long phone conversation – all work-related of course – with writing partner, Pam, who has finished for the day, thanks to 7 hour time difference, and is probably sitting with feet up and a glass of wine. Well, actually she claims she’s working like a dog till midnight, answering our chicklit sisters email, and contacting promo sites for our future book launch. But then sometimes I’m incredibly productive too.  I remember there was that time back in…

I need to check my email, Facebook and Twitter and then Google something amazingly trivial.  By the time I load up tweetdeck, pick up a package from the post office, (hopefully the saddle I bought on ebay) and drive to the ranch store for horse feed, I’ll be lucky to get any words on pages, except perhaps for this long overdue post.

IMG_3461Remy, the wonder dog, wants to go for walk. And I did make that resolution about keeping fit. 10,000 steps, I think it was.   Probably got another 9,400 to go. Besides I do have those errands to run.

Cat keeps walking all over the computer keyboard, demanding to be petted. Which reminds me her litter box needs cleaning.IMG_3381

The kitchen is a mess. And while I am tidying it, I might as well have a snack/lunch/coffee/tea.

The laundry basket is overflowing.   I’ll be able to concentrate much better without that nudging persistently at the back of my mind.

The feed tubs and water tanks absolutely HAVE to be filled before it freezes tonight. Likewise the chicken’s water.   And there’s manure to scoop. Might as well start feeding all the animals now.

Husband arrives home early, wanting to know what’s for dinner. (Good question.) And why I’m eternally tapping on the computer, filling up Buffer, and ignoring him. Must be time for a glass of wine. And maybe an early night, yawn, yawn. After all I did get up at 5.30 so I could cram it all in.   Just let me quickly check this one thing on Google.

Oops, it’s midnight. And I didn’t even ride my horse or get a useable paragraph out of the day. But seriously intend to write beaucoup pages tomorrow…

Given my ability to procrastinate, it’s frankly amazing that we actually have a new novel, Million Dollar Question, coming out this year – and you’ll hear more about that soon, I promise.

But all that said, the good news is that three of our books are once again rapidly rising up the Australian Amazon charts…  Will they do as well as last time?  We have our fingers crossed…  Ah, well back to Twitter.

Cheers,

Lorraine Signature

ELLIE CAMPBELL AUDIOBOOKS! JUST LISTEN TO THOSE SISTERS SQUABBLE.

We’re over the moon now that How To Survive Your Sisters and Looking For La La are available as audiobooks on Amazon, I-Tunes and Audible.com. Best of all – if you already own the kindle copies you can get huge savings (like 90%) from the regular price.  And with whisper-sync technology you can switch back and forth between reading and listening and never lose your place!

It’s been so exciting putting these books into production. (More about that on another blog.)

How To Survive Your Sisters audioHow To Survive Your Sisters is performed by popular Audible narrator, the fabulous Elizabeth Klett, and we’ve fully enjoyed listening to her interpretation as the McLeod sisters battle it out with ghastly bridezilla Natalie and her excruciating wedding plans, not to mention sibling rivalry, tormented affairs, complicated romances, family drama, death and disasters.  But as you all know, drive us crazy though they may, we do love our sisters!  Pam and I are two of four girls so we understand the dynamics.

Looking For La La audioAnd then the talented Stevie Zimmerman, with her theatrical background and range of accents, is hilarious as she brings long-suffering wife and mother Cathy O’Farrell and all the cast and characters of Looking For La La to crazy comical life. As each chapter arrived we found ourselves eagerly checking our inbox wanting to hear what happens next.  And we’re the authors!

Incidentally if you’re not a member of Audible’s subscription service, this might be a great place to start. For a monthly fee you get one or two credits, allowing you to buy audiobooks at huge savings, as well as a daily newspaper digest and access to special deals and sales.  Since I listen to audiobooks whether driving my car, cleaning the kitchen or mucking out corrals, I couldn’t live without Audible these days.

You can find both books on Amazon, Audible.com and the I-tunes store and listen to samples at the links below.

HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR SISTERS (Audible.com)

LOOKING FOR LA LA (Audible.com)

How did we do it…?  Well, I’ll tell you in the next post.

Giveaway for Mystery Lovers

Yes, it’s one of the six books you can win on Reading Renee’s giveaway.  Read the review here.

To Catch a Creeper by Ellie Campbell #review @ecampbellbooks #giveaway

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Giveaway for Mystery Lovers

ENTER

In order if you have not read Looking for LaLa please GRAB it here Cathy is the funny and zany character from LaLa. When she starts working of course there is not love fest there. I mean every office has a psycho, a loser, a slut and a nut job right? I guess only mine then. Follow Cathy in the den of the beast! There are characters from LaLa, like Hugh, Sophie and Rosa. I will say that In the office you will laugh a lot. There are so many humorous quips. I felt I was relating more to Cathy here because at times she was VERY unappreciated. I think any mother who has to work and juggles feels like she is unappreciated. That is how I felt at times myself. I wanted to pinch Declan at times and hug him at others.

Follow Cathy through her zany and somewhat I Love Lucy type scenarios. She tries to find out who is burglarizing homes in her neighborhood. It is a cozy type mystery. People who are fans of Pamela Fagan Hutchins will love this series and these great authors.

I will say Cathy is lovable, enjoyable to read, and the book is light and oh so easy to love.

5 half star blog  book

 

Giveaway for Mystery Lovers

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99c/99p promo and great summer giveaways!

NEWSFLASH!!!!!

To welcome in a fun-filled summer, we’ve some July offers for you. Two of our novels have been globally reduced – 99cents/99pence or equivalent from 8th to 14th July, so don’t forget to  pack your kindle along with your beachwear!

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*GOOD READS GIVEAWAYS*

And for those who love the chance for a free paperback, we are holding four (4!) giveaways on Goodreads!

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To Catch a Creeper  (Click on link)

When Good Friends Go Bad

Looking for La La

How to Survive Your Sisters

Dates for your diary: NOW until 1 September

 Meanwhile Lorraine will be working on trust, handling and starting under saddle the horse she brought home from a rescue (only for a few weeks, honest, Gary!) Spicy Mocha came from an Indian reservation, never touched apart from branding, and was rescued with her foal and five others from a slaughter auction. She was wild, fearful and ready to fight people when she arrived at Zuma’s horse rescue.   We had to teach her that we were OK really, that she didn’t need to defend herself, and now we’re moving along her lessons, hoping to get her on the trail this summer. She looks pretty relaxed here enjoying our lush grass.

Mocha eating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Pam will be testing herPam lifting lucy's bike endurance by joining a unique but gruelling 600K charity cycle ride from Biarritz to Barcelona (via the Pyrenees!).

 

 

Then, when she comes back she has a week to recover before flying to Nice and cycling (again!!) to Rome – on the tandem.  She must love her husband very much to endure such torture.

photo of pam on bike

And if you want to hear how she got along, discover if her marriage survives the ordeal, or just want to hear of any future offers, then sign up to our newsletter here

And for a moment of nostalgia…

How we present ourselves to the world…

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What we really think of each other…

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Those were the days!  Not that we’re any less silly now.

Have a fabulous summer!

 

Girls Love To Read – Author Article: Five Simple Twists of Fate by Ellie Campbell

Thanks to GIRLS LOVE TO READ for publishing my guest post on destiny!

Today we are super pleased to welcome Ellie Campbell to the site! The lovely Lorraine, one half of the duo, has written us a fantastic guest post on the five simple twists of fate!

In To Catch a Creeper, Cathy has some real ups and downs where her path seems to be merrily going in one direction only to be sideswiped and sent off on a completely different track.   It occurred to me we all have some of those events that look like destiny when we realize how they’ve shaped our lives.   Here are a few of mine.

1. Fed up with my boring dead-end job as a clerk in a swimming pool company, I flipped open the evening paper and saw an ad for a literary agent needing a secretary.  I’d always been a total bookworm but it had never occurred to me that such things as literary agents and book publishers existed or to wonder how those pages got into my hand.  I went for the interview the next day and knew this was what I wanted more than anything else in the world.  The agent (now novelist) Carol Smith called me that evening and told me I had the job.  It was the event that changed my life, led to me becoming a writer and so much else.

2. Fast forward about ten years.  I was 4 days into my planned adventure of travelling solo in South America for a year, newly arrived in the small town of Otavalo, Ecuador.  Feeling lonely (already) I visualised asking the universe to meet a kindred spirit.  Next morning I walked into a café for breakfast and a nice-looking Frenchman started to talk to me.  Others joined in the conversation and frustrated by the language barrier, he left.   After a full day’s hike I returned to my hotel to be told my ‘amigo’ was looking for me.  I found the same French guy coming down the stairs.  As luck would have it, it was his birthday and he’d tracked me down to have dinner with him.  He’d been searching the many backpacker and tourist hotels for a ‘Dutch girl’ because he’d thought I’d said I was from Holland instead of England.  Once my trip ended, I lived with him in France for three exciting, wonderful and tempestuous years.  After that I never could see returning to my old life in London and on our break-up I took up my backpack again.

3. Shortly after leaving France I was working on a boat in a marina in Guatemala, cleaning, sanding and varnishing when my employer, a nice American I’d met on a chicken bus, told me his friend needed a cook for a weekend charter.  Terrified about airing my limited culinary skills and possibly poisoning paying guests I insisted I couldn’t cook.  The whole marina insisted I could.  Remembering my vow to always say yes to opportunity, I was reluctantly persuaded and for the entire weekend, the captain cooked the meals for me and I served them to his wealthy Guatemalan clients.  However, Captain W. and I had such a laugh together that he offered me the permanent position of cook and crew of his 47’ yacht, breaking the bad news to the person he’d hired who arrived the next week and paying her for the inconvenience of finding her job gone.  The joke around the marina was that Captain W. had paid $100 to get rid of a girl who could cook in favor of one who couldn’t.   I fooled them by managing to produce edible meals, pour unlimited amounts of alcohol and handle the dinghy for snorkeling.  It was two years of paradise and partying.  But that decision led to…

4. One year later, on that same boat, four male clients arrived from Colorado for a sailing trip around Honduras.  Three I knew from their boys trip the year before but the fourth was a stranger, a single guy from Boulder.  Not my type at all – shorter than me, he was unusually quiet (suffering from an ear infection), wearing nerdy-looking glasses, missing a tooth (he’d taken out his temporary implant), sporting his sneakers, socks and favourite ragged and hole-y old swimshorts. (OK, I was wearing my favorite ragged and hole-y old sweatshirt, not to mention a bra that had most definitely seen better days, but at least I knew not to wear shoes on a boat.)  Between bouts of seasickness (mostly his) we chatted about our love lives and he turned out to be excellent at kitchen prep because he couldn’t stand how long it took me to produce a meal.  His three pals invited me to Boulder for a river rafting trip, where Gary and I ended up sharing an inflatable kayak and he offered me his spare guest room as a place to stay – just for a week. And, yes, reader, I married him.

5. I was settled in Boulder when sister Pam and I came up with the idea of writing together despite – or maybe thanks to – the ocean separating us. We set out to find an agent for our first Ellie Campbell novel and a young agent, Caroline Hardman, wrote to us and said she wanted to take us on.  She admitted that we would be her first ever clients and we confessed that Ellie Campbell was not one but two people.  Caroline promptly got us a two-book contract with a brand-new editor, Emma Rose, making us the first authors that Emma acquired for Arrow Books and How To Survive Your Sisters her first production.  It was a whole lot of firsts for all of us… most of all the first time Pam and I realised we might actually accomplish our dream of being novelists.

Yes, when it comes to luck and opportunity I’ve definitely had more than my fair share – and certainly more than Cathy although things always seem to work out for her in the end.  There’s a few other events that spring to mind but I think I’ll save them for another day…

via Girls Love To Read – Author Article: Five Simple Twists of Fate by Ellie Campbell.

A Whirlwind Year : Me, Bookshelf and I (guest post & giveaway)

From Me, Bookshelf and I

1st Birthday Celebrations– Day 5

Welcome to another great Guest Post as part of my Blog’s 1st Birthday Celebrations!  I reviewed lots of books during my first year of blogging and I invited the Author’s of those books to write a guest post around the theme of “A Year …”.  Today, Lorraine (one half of Author duo, Ellie Campbell) tells us about the whirlwind that was 2013 …

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A Whirlwind Year by Lorraine Campbell

A Whirlwind Year - Ellie CampbellJanuary – My sister Jo is visiting from Ecuador along with her son Ben who lives in China. Lucky for me because they help cook meatballs, sausage and peppers and a roast turkey for our annual New Year party of 150 people at husband Gary’s office. Of course I have to take my visitors to our local cowboy dance hall, the Grizzly Rose, and of course we all have to ride the mechanical bull. Then off to Indianapolis for Auntie Annie’s 90th birthday, driving back to Colorado with Gary’s new car. The next weekend another flight to New Orleans for a wedding. I don’t remember much of it beyond throwing mardi gras beads at innocent bystanders from a balcony on Bourbon Street because in between partying, I fall sick with a killer flu and apparently alcohol, antibiotics and codeine cough medicine don’t mix well. This is a bug that lasts for weeks.

Meanwhile Pam and I have made the bold decision to try our hand at self-publishing with not one but three books, Looking For La La – our latest novel – and our first two, How To Survive Your Sisters and When Good Friends Go Bad, which have never been published in the US. Suddenly emails are flying about, demanding edited copy, blurbs, permissions to use old jacket covers. Needing a cover for Looking For La La we decide to go with Design For Writers. And, boy, will we be glad we did. Pam buys a new paperwhiteKindle and experiments with her first two tweets on Twitter.

Looking for La LaFebruary – Still suffering from flu, pneumonia, whatever. Anna Twinney of Reach Out To Horses – with whom I did an intensive horsemanship course last year persuades me that in between preparing three books for publication, I have plenty of time to complete her trainers’ course this year. This means I need 20 case studies done by exam time in November. My first is an off-the-track thoroughbred who had a bad experience with ahorse trailer and has to be persuaded that loading again will not kill him. One down, nineteen to go. Meanwhile Pam’s flying with her family to visit Jo in Quito, popping into Peru on the way there and the Galapagos on the way back (wondering if she can fit this into writing expenses – don’t be surprised if our next novel’s not set there). In our Ellie Campbell mode we’re struggling with the technicalities of putting Sisters and Friendson Kindle, writing strap lines for La La, taking part in a Valentine’s Day week of fun questions with best-selling author, Michele Gorman and 11 other fabulous women fiction writers. Oh, and a skunk seems to have taken residence under the cabin. But we do have a great new cover for Looking For La La.

 A Whirlwind Year - Ellie CampbellA Whirlwind Year - Ellie CampbellMarch – Off to Indianapolis for Passover with Gary’s family. I also start working case studies at two horse rescues, Zuma’s and Shiloh Acres, both over an hour from home. La La is available in paperback for the first time ever and Friends and Sisters are published in US. Our agent tells us we need more reviews and web presence to be eligible for Amazon promotions. We do? Duh! We are so green at this game. We create a new website – Chicklitsisters.com, get an Ellie Campbell Gmail account, and start feverishly contacting bloggers and reviewers.

April – Leave for Connecticut for my first ROTH trainer’s clinic – foal gentling, working with rescued nurse foals who have been motherless almost since birth, teaching them to trust people, to accept a halter, grooming, to be led, wear a blanket, go through an obstacle course. When I get back my friend and I add two mostly untouched Arabs to the rota of horses in training, hampered by the fact we are suddenly knee-deep in snow. On the La La front, we now have 36 reviewers and bloggers who want to feature us and more in the pipeline. We have to write guest posts. Help! Pam slinks off to Budapest but thanks to Skype and email, she can’t escape and has to help. Our German publishers make us a bookclub offer for the German translation of Friends, or rather Freundschaftsspiel. Luckily we don’t have to do anything apart from agree and sign. Yippee.

 A Whirlwind Year - Ellie Campbell

May – Unseasonable amount of snow – will it ever stop? Pam stumbles across information about KDL free promotions in an author chat group. She decides to tie one in with Mother’s Day with about two days’ notice. I have another flu virus but that doesn’t stop the frenzy of spreading the word. La La gets into the top 12 of Amazon free books with over 10,000 downloads in a weekend. Oh and Gary has knee surgery. The snow continues slowing our horse training progress. I should have bought those studded snow tires after all.

A Whirlwind Year - Ellie CampbellJune – Spring arrives – or is it summer? Volunteering to assist at a 3-day ROTH clinic in Littleton, watching participants work horses in the round pen and obstacle course. Oh and I decide to bring a shy, terrified young horse, Avery, home from the horse rescue to gain his trust – just for two weeks, I promise Gary. Pam’s away for a long weekend, supporting a group of charity fundraisers cycling from Redhill to Paris, just thankful she’s not been bamboozled into cycling herself. Her husband decides he’d like to do the 175 miles in 24 hours, so Pam’s cooking breakfast for groups of 30 at a time at 5.30 am. Meanwhile thanks to our reviews and friendly bloggers, La La gets selected for an Amazon UK promotion and starts moving up the paid charts reaching #3 in humour. Hooray. It is now officially a best-seller!

July – Off to Lake Powell for our annual houseboating trip and then back to Connecticut again, this time for a colt starting clinic, training two and three year olds to accept a saddle and rider for the first time. Pam’s unfortunately not been able to get away with avoiding the next cycling charity challenge – 500k to Copenhagen in 4 days – on the back of a tandem.

A Whirlwind Year - Ellie Campbell

Meanwhile back in London my nephew Anthony has a premier of his movie Mistaken and we do another KDP promotion of Looking for La La, jumping up the rankings from 121,000 to #1 in US free charts in five days and #38 in paid.

August – Pam arranges a holiday to visit our old haunts in Skye with my two sisters, nephews and nieces. 90% holiday but also research for our 5th novel (still to be published).

A Whirlwind Year - Ellie CampbellI go to Wyoming for a mustang gentling clinic and see my first moose on the way there. We visit the wild mustang herds and work to gentle mustangs and some feisty untouched Paso Finos. A day after I get back, Pam’s daughter visits with two friends. And Pam wonders why I don’t get any work done!

Also my elderly Arabian has his third eye ulcer of the year and we are in the middle of yet another book promotion. Plus we’ve got attached to the young colt, Avery so it is obvious he’s never leaving. Somewhere in there we are also working on our new novel.

A Whirlwind Year - Ellie CampbellSeptember – Off to Las Vegas and Los Angeles with Lucy and two friends. They head for Moab when we get home and suddenly Boulder is flooding, creeks turning to raging torrents, people killed, others losing their homes or having them filled with four feet of water or – worse – sewage. Our power dies just as I get the call for an emergency evacuation at two a.m. Don’t want to leave the horses, cats, dog, etc. so decide to stay. Our house is unscathed but the rental properties Gary manages aren’t so lucky. Meanwhile at Zuma’s horse rescue, four foals and two highly defensive ‘wild’ mares are saved from a kill auction and given to us to gentle.

A Whirlwind Year - Ellie CampbellOctober – A week of ROTH trainer’s exams with colts to start, problem horses to train and a final demo day of the methods. Not to mention the panic of finishing and writing up the case studies of horses I’ve been working with all year. I have three fellow students staying with me, two from Sweden, one from Nigeria. Meanwhile we are also doing final edits of the follow-up toLooking For La La and trying to decide a title both for the book and the mystery series.

A Whirlwind Year - Ellie CampbellNovember – Off to Mexico to the small village of Yelapa by Puerto Vallarta for a week. Two people get stung by scorpions while we are there – but none of our friends, luckily. On the book front we commission a cover for our new novel – again from Design For Writers – and decide to call it To Catch A Creeper. Oh, and we have 26 people for Thanksgiving Dinner. And more blurbs and promotional copy to write.

December – Ah, the joys of Christmas. Our first year as indie authors almost at an end with us, leaving us so much wiser and familiar with the ways of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Good Reads, etc. etc. We have now made friends with so many fellow authors and bloggers and reviewers, it’s hard to keep up. But what an awesome bunch. I am now a certified ROTH trainer and still volunteering at horse rescues. ‘Ellie Campbell’ is preparing once again for the launch of a new novel. I have 25 people sitting round the fireplace singing carols at Christmas, horses and dog out frolicking in the snow. And of course food to cook for the business/friends annual New Year party. Meatballs anyone?

A Whirlwind Year - Ellie Campbell

About Lorraine

Ellie Campbell - Lorraine and PamLorraine is one half of Author duo, Ellie Campbell – a pseudonym for her and Sister, Pam who collaborate across the mighty Atlantic from their respective homes in Surrey, England and Colorado, USA, finding writing together a great excuse for endless phone conversations.

Together they have written four novels How To Survive Your SistersWhen Good Friends Go BadLooking For La La and To Catch a Creeper. They love any chance to connect with their readers.

Ellie Campbell is represented by the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency. For further information and to get in contact with them please visit their website: www.chicklitsisters.com.

via Guest Post & Giveaway: A Whirlwind Year : Me, Bookshelf and I.

Writer's Corner: Survival Skills For Writing Partners

Writer’s Corner

Survival Skills for Writing Partners by Ellie Campbell

Hi, we’re Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell, the ‘chicklit sisters’ who write under the name of Ellie Campbell.  538a9-elliecampbell1This always brings up questions, mostly about how we manage to avoid killing or alienating each other.  People understand creativity is an intensely personal thing – as one variation of a famous quote has it: ‘Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed’.  Given the intense emotions and vulnerability the process inspires, involving another person could be considered nearly as touchy as sharing a boyfriend – let’s just say you’d better have some strategies in place.   And frankly we are not the angelic siblings portrayed in “Little Women”: the four of us Campbell girls were infamous for flare-ups, squabbles, fist fights, marathon sulks – all the fun family dynamics we explored in our first novel ‘How To Survive Your Sisters’. But with our fourth novel, ‘To Catch A Creeper: A Crouch End Confidential Mystery’, ready to be launched on March 24th, we’ve decided to unlock ten of our deepest darkest partnership secrets.

What can you do to assist you and your writing partner in developing a common ‘authorial voice’?

Arrange to grow up in the same family, telling and retelling the same old stories, preferably with a Scottish accent that it will take years to tame into semi-intelligibility.  And make sure the younger one slavishly follows the elder, imitating her every gesture and move.

What do you do if you start to suspect you’re actually the better writer?

Keep it to yourself.  Remember all those times you’ve been stuck and unable to produce a coherent intelligible sentence and realize your partner is probably suffering from the same illusion.

What if there is a point on which you really can’t agree?

Maintain that this is an equal partnership and a democracy.  Ask her if she’d rather be right or be happy.  And argue that 18 months age difference carries a lifetime of seniority.

What do you do if you hate the pages your partner has just spent the whole day writing?

Say nothing.  She might hate it herself the next day when the glow wears off.

What if you had just had a disagreement with your partner about something else, do you take it to work with you?

Hell yeah. Add in a character that has all her bad characteristics.  And then give her boils, warts,  and whatever other awful retribution fits the scene.

What do you do if your partner is reading aloud a really bad joke which she thinks is hilarious, so much so that she can’t get it out for laughter

Agree that it is terrific.  Try your best to laugh alongside. Delete it slyly months down the line.

What if your partner takes credit for writing a scene or chapter that you have written?

Silently seethe.  Then later take the credit for something she has written.

What do you do if the story is taking a direction you don’t like?

Subtlety is required here.  Send her a day pass to a Spa that has to be used next day and take over.              

What do you do if your partner accuses you of slacking off? 

Insist you’ve spent the last few days on brainstorming, research and character background.  If all else fails, tell her your computer has malfunctioned and the internet is down.

What do you do if your partner is doing all the writing and you aren’t?

Accept that is the way that writing works.  Don’t fret too much unless she’s finished the book and insists on publishing it as her own sole work. Then that is worrying.

And finally, a freebie:

What do you do if you have a row so violent that you feel ready to storm over there and wring each others’ necks?

Feel grateful you live thousands of miles and an ocean apart.  Pour a large vodka, bitch to your husband and cut off all communication.  Hopefully you can laugh about it tomorrow.

Posted by Jencey Gortney 

via Writer’s Corner: Survival Skills for Writing Partners by Ellie Campbell.

Ellie Campbell says:  Thank you Jencey.  And remember that How To Survive Your Sisters is FREE this week on Amazon.com and Looking For La La is just 99 cents/99 pence until Sunday.

A Spoonful of Happy Endings: Review and Interview

Spoonful of Happy Endings

From: A Spoonful of Happy Endings:

Review & Interview: ‘Looking for La La’ by Ellie Campbell (2014)

A few weeks ago I was contacted with a review request for Ellie Campbell’s new novel ‘Looking for La La.’ I had already seen several messages on Twitter and within the book blogging world about this book and have to admit I was quite curious! Ellie Campbell is actually a pseudonym for Pam and Lorraine, two sisters who write novels together, and ‘Looking for La La’ is slightly based on Pam’s own experiences of her husband receiving anonymous postcards. I’ve also had the chance to interview Lorraine and Pam about their work, writing in general, and their plans for the future, so make sure you also check out the author interview below!

Housewife Cathy is getting a bit bored with her dull life as a stay-at-home mum. However, her life is suddenly shaken up a bit when her husband Declan starts receiving strange anonymous postcards from someone who calls themselves ‘La La.’ At first, Cathy is thrilled with the excitement and decides to investigate together with her best friend Raz. Soon, though, things get tricky as Cathy discovers she has her own secret admirer to deal with, her friends are hiding all kinds of secrets from one another, and the relationship between Cathy and Declan starts to tense up more and more…

This book was quite a whirlwind, but a pleasant one! While the story starts off with Cathy living the life of an average stay-at-home mum, as soon as a bit of spice is added in the form of these postcards from the unknown La La, everything is turned upside down and all kinds of things start to happen. One of the most wonderful things about the novel was that the authors managed to keep me guessing until the very last pages; I had no idea what was going to happen and I was really surprised by some of the twists and turns in the book. While the story might perhaps here and there be a bit too fast-paced to some readers, I did really enjoy that it was different and fun.

I’m not quite sure whether I really fell in love with the heroine of the novel, Cathy, but she was certainly entertaining and I got caught up in her story. Both the primary and secondary characters in the book were worked out very realistically; all of them were flawed in their own personal ways and especially the bitchy side of Cathy’s friends made me laugh out loud several times. I wouldn’t necessarily say this book is 100% chick lit, but more of an interesting mix of chick lit, a bit of women’s fiction, and a touch of mystery/detective novel. As a whole, ‘Looking for La La’ is a fast-paced and quirky read, filled with lots of entertaining moments and twists and turns you will not see coming!

Rating: 7,5/10

For more information about this book: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads 
Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Author Interview with Ellie Campbell 

  

I’m delighted to have Pam and Lorraine, a.k.a. Ellie Campbell, on the blog today for an author interview in which they tell us more about their book ‘Looking for La La’, their plans for the future and their career as authors!

Can you tell us something about your new novel, ‘Looking for La La’?

Looking For La La is the story of a bored frazzled mother-of-two who is initially excited when someone mails a love postcard to her husband.  As she enlists her best friend in a quest to discover the sender, secrets are exposed, suspicions rife, romance kindled and she ends up putting her marriage, her friendships and even her life in jeopardy.  It’s a humorous mystery and at the same time a look at that limbo stage in a woman’s life when her kids have returned to school, her marriage is well past the honeymoon stage and she’s suffering the frustrations of not quite knowing what her new role should be. 

Where did you find the inspiration for ‘Looking for La La’? Is it in any way based on your own personal experiences?

Actually Pam’s husband did receive an almost identical postcard and they never did find out who sent it.  But instead of driving herself crazy the way our heroine Cathy does, Pam laughed it off and decided it would be a great opening scene for our latest book.  Plus she well remembers how bonded she and her girlfriends were in the days when they were all at-home mothers and children ruled their lives.  However, the postcard is the limit of actual events we used. There were no murderers in our neighbourhood.  (Or if there were, we weren’t involved in them.)

Which character in the novel did you most enjoy writing about and why?

Well, Cathy was a lot of fun to write because while she has a lot of good qualities she’s not exactly the perfect wife or mother – she’s scatty, impulsive, sometimes jealous, often childish in good and bad ways and she gets up to some crazy antics.  But her neighbour Zena was also a favourite – a prissy, eccentric clean-freak with terrible dress sense.

What is it like to write as a duo? How did the two of you decide to start writing novels together?  

We began by showing each other our short stories just for interest…which turned into sending stuff we felt needed some critical advice or a little help…which led to us deciding to write a book together – mainly because we both wanted to write about the sister thing and include some of our childhood memories and our mother’s stories.  We could hardly have two similar books using the same material to so we decided to co-write ‘How to Survive Your Sisters’.  It’s fun, challenging but mainly it removes the lonely aspect of being a writer.  We get constant feedback and can be quite put out if one of us writes a bit we think is brilliant and the other doesn’t rush to email us back and compliment it.   Well, maybe I’m not entirely serious there but it is nice to have someone to share the load.

Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans as an author? Are you already working on a next novel?

Well, yes, funny you should ask.  We actually have a lot going on.  The sequel to ‘Looking for La La’ entitled ‘To Catch A Creeper’ is about to be published on March 24th this year.  We also have our fifth novel Million Dollar Question in the final editing stages and we are working on a third in the Crouch End Confidential Mystery series which is based on Cathy, the main character in ‘Looking For La La’ and ‘To Catch A Creeper’.  We’re hoping even more books about her sleuthing skills will follow.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Above all, sit down and write.  Many people think they have a novel in them but never get past the dreaming stage.  There’s much to be said for writing what you know about, what interests you, or what you yourself would love to read rather than what you think will sell.  Don’t waste creative energy discussing your ideas with others and don’t let people discourage you.  Enjoy the amazing changes the internet has brought to book publishing. It’s never been easier to self-publish and find readers.  But keep your standards high.   If you put your ebook up on Amazon, you’re responsible for the final product and at the end of the day people still get annoyed with typos and sloppy writing and don’t hesitate to show it with those killer one star reviews.  Finally, a great cover is your best publicist.  (That’s a lot, isn’t it?  Sounds very bossy.) 

What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?

Lorraine: I really enjoyed ‘The Affair’ by Colette Freedman.  A friend gifted me a copy when I was in Los Angeles recently and I read it all on the plane on the way home.  The story is written from the point of view of three different characters in a love triangle, starting with the wife, then the husband and then the mistress.  I liked the way there weren’t any blanket villains in the scenario, just ordinary people dealing with age-old issues and human weaknesses.

Pam: ‘Yours Truly’ by Kirsty Greenwood.  It was such fun and made me laugh out loud quite a few times.  Well done to her. 

Which book could you not live without?  

Lorraine: OK, I’m going to try really hard not to say Pride and Prejudice although I know it almost by heart and pick The Famous Five by Enid Blyton.  Even though I haven’t seen a copy for years and they are kind of laughable, Blyton’s adventure series were the easily accessible novels that got me into reading at a very young age and made it an essential part of my life.  From there I became a total bookworm and went on to Swallows and Amazons, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe… I get chills just thinking of those childhood friends.

Pam: I have always loved Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.   It had everything – adventure, pirates, buried treasure, a talking parrot, Long John Silver.  It was the perfect novel , inspired me into wanting a life of adventure and I always used to think of it when Lorraine was off sailing around the Caribbean. So jealous. 

And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘Looking for La La’ in just three words, which words would you pick?

Funny,  Quirky.  Unique.

Thanks so much, Pam and Lorraine! 🙂