Tag Archives: romance

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)

HAPPY NEW YEAR

AND ALL THE BEST FOR 2016

Now that the festivities are over, (even if I’ve yet to take down my Christmas decorations), Pam and I wanted to wish you all the most amazing year ever from Ellie Campbell.

We’ve also been looking over the events of 2015 and realizing what an action-packed crazy year that was for both of us!  I think the collage below gives just a hint.

 

We published our fifth Ellie Campbell novel MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION in April, thrilled by its positive reviews.  There were some exciting moments in March as WHEN GOOD FRIENDS GO BAD reached #1 in Amazon Australia and then in May became a #1 best-seller in Humor and Dark Comedy in the UK charts. In June, TO CATCH A CREEPER soared into the Amazon UK Top 100 and LOOKING FOR LA LA was in the Amazon Canada Top 20. MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION got its turn in the UK Top 100 in July and reached #112 in Amazon US.

There was fun and laughs working on our new Cathy O’Farrell novel, MEDDLING WITH MURDER, the third in the Crouch End Confidential mystery series which began with LOOKING FOR LA LA. We also got invited to be part of a brand new five author blog. Expect to hear more very soon…

In our other lives, I (Lorraine) attended a wedding in Costa Rica in February while Pam headed to Innsbruck, Austria, proving the biggest hazard on the ski slopes.

In Spring, while I assisted Zuma’s Rescue Ranch in saving 23 horses headed for slaughter auction, nursed my husband Gary through two ankle surgeries and acquired a new kitten and six baby chicks, Pam was traveling through Vietnam and Cambodia, encountering our nomadic sister, Jo, along the way. Next stop, Paris, for Pam, venturing out solo by Euro-star and bus to meet her husband who was leading a group of cyclists from Redhill, Surrey on their annual charity bike ride.

In June as we hosted a wedding at our ranch, Pam took part on a 3-day 160-mile bicycle challenge from Redhill to the fairy-tale medieval town of Bruges, Belgium. July started for me with an amazing Alaskan cruise, followed by a horse-hauling trip to Oregon and a family visit to Indianapolis, only days apart.  Meanwhile Pam cycled 700 miles to Avignon and up the infamous Tour de France mountain, Mont Ventoux for another charity challenge.

August found me supporting horse whisperer Anna Twinney at a ROTH Holistic Horsemanship clinic while Pam joined a group of fundraisers walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall. Pam arrived a few days in and just managed to struggle through the last twenty miles before collapsing with cramp.  Still she refused a kindly policeman’s offer of a ride to the finish line.Then, just for a change, she and her husband took a holiday in Belgium –  yes, you guessed it – cycling again but this time just for fun. She swore she’d never ride another bike again!

In October Pam travelled to Barcelona to watch her fitness-crazed husband compete in an Ironman contest – full marathon, ocean swim and 90 km bike ride. November for me involved muchas margaritas in Mexico, and the usual 25 people arriving for Thanksgiving dinner back in Colorado.

In December while Pam was catching lots ofGift exchange little Santas at a Santa run I tried my luck at craps in Las Vegas. For us the holidays featured a white and bitterly cold Christmas, more turkey, and our usual zany white elephant gift exchange game. If anyone wants one of these fine discarded presents, they’re up for grabs.  The flying pig might be a particular favorite.

Sadly 2015 also saw the passing of my 27-year-old Egyptian Arab, Sylvarr, who was my true wonder horse and the best of all steeds.

Lorraine and Sylvarr

 

Phew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.  Wonder what 2016 will bring?

Happy New Year to all!

 

Million Dollar Question – 5 star review

Great 5 star review. Thank you so much

From A Drip Of Truth:

Honestly this isn’t my sort of book in the least… have no clue why I agreed to read it… and went in expecting to be drudging through pages of boredom… obviously that wasn’t what happened… instead I was up reading till I couldn’t keep my eyes open and picked back up the moment I woke up again… and it’s a rather realistic look into someone whose life has undergone a huge change… this is sadly a look at how people tend to react when you’re in the midst of a scandal… or when you win a lot of money and people either try and take advantage of you or hate you for being better off… Olivia and Rosie are both people that could easily be someone you know… they’re not stereotypes… but genuine people trying to come to terms with what life has thrown their way… just as I could see myself reacting the same way they do even as I want to smack them upside their head for their stupidity… but the best part was just how Campbell managed to tie in every little piece that was mentioned… everything building up to a surprisingly plausible end… nothing was mentioned just for the heck of it… there isn’t anything random and tossed in just to help with the wrap up… it was a perfectly laid out story of two people whose lives were intertwining in ways they could’ve never seen coming…

.

Here it is – cover reveal for Million Dollar Question

What’s this – a chicklit cover without a chick?  Or a pair of high heels?  Or a beautiful landscape?  Yes, we went a completely different direction on this one with our paparazzi snapping pictures over the fence which is funny because Million Dollar Question is possibly one of our most romantic novels to date.  But we just loved the whole look that Design For Writers came up with. Think those clouds are fluffy enough that it won’t be mistaken for a thriller and the book definitely has its gritty urban elements.  (It also features the Isle of Skye which is as romantic as settings get.)  What do you think?  We’d love to hear your opinions.

Ta ra ta ra – drum roll please.

dfw-ec-mdq-cover-large

Yes, it is a book about luck, coincidence, money and scandals… which is where that paparazzi fellow comes in.  (He looks a bit like the Cadbury’s Milk Tray man – or maybe that’s my chocolate obsession again.) We’re excited because we love this story of two very different women – one who loses everything and one who wins a million.   If you want to be the first to know when it hits Amazon.com, sign up for our newsletter.  Hint:  It’s gonna be soon.

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.

Exciting news from Down Under. La La No. 1 in Oz.

Have we had some exciting adventures in Oz!!!!   animated-kangaroo-image-0007

Amazon Australia (finally!) discovered Ellie Campbell, picking three of our novels for their Kindle Daily Deal. Looking For La La promptly shot up the charts and actually reached No. 1 in the whole of Australia Kindle Paid. Wow, that’s not something you experience every day.

And How To Survive Your Sisters and To Catch A Creeperanimated-kangaroo-image-0010 performed amazingly too, fighting back and forth for the Number 5  and No 6 position.

Also, not to forget the UK, land of our birth…

animated-great-britain-flag-image-0001Looking For La La was chosen to be promoted in the monthly UK deals. Great exposure and greatly appreciated by us!

Since we can’t resist blowing our own trumpets… boast, boast…check the photo below and see the great company we’re in.  Not every day we push Gone Girl down the charts or hang out with Nora Roberts.

Australia No 1 La La, 5 Creeper, 6 Sisters

 

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!

Slide1

*GOOD READS GIVEAWAYS*

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

reading thing

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…

img092

 

 

 

 

 

What we really think of each other…

img083

 

 

 

 

 

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

Have a fabulous summer!

 

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! 🙂

To Catch A Creeper…the official singing and dancing launch party…

Hooray, it’s finally here.  Publication day for our brand new novel!!!    To Catch A Creeper: A Crouch End Confidential Mystery.  Bring out the balloons and the dancing girls.

(Or rather since we can’t afford dancing girls, click here to see EllieAy Caramba Campbell celebrate in style.   Margaritas anyone?)

And if your favorite words are ‘free’ and ‘almost free’  don’t miss the two very special offers further down this page…

“TO CATCH A CREEPER: A CROUCH END CONFIDENTIAL MYSTERY”

Yes, our favorite dysfunctional wife and mother, Cathy O’Farrell, is on the loose again… this time taking on the advertising world and also seeking to discover the identity of a notorious burglar, known to the press as the Crouch End Creeper.

dfw-ec-tcac-cover-mid

Of course being Cathy things never go quite as planned but you can bet there’ll be plenty of laughs, surprises and twists and turns along the rocky way…

(Those burglars can be tricky… even murderous at times.  Always popping up where least expected…  ) And talking of unexpected, as hinted above…

Creeper 3 (1)

ALMOST FREE…in UK and USA

LOOKING FOR LA LA 

All this week – 24th to 30th March – we’re reducing the price globally of our #3 humor bestseller Looking for La La in kindle edition to  the bargain price of .99 (cents or pence.) And don’t forget, you can get kindle apps for your smartphone, computer, i-pad or nook.  And if that wasn’t bargain enough…

WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN THAT…?

A GIFT FOR OUR US READERS

dfw-ec-htsys-cover-small

FREE FOR JUST A FEW DAYS.   We’re offering How To Survive Your Sisters for free download Wed 26 March to Sunday 30th March on Amazon.com.  (Sorry, doesn’t apply to Amazon UK but soon, very soon…)

And, man, do we know all about the joys and pains of sisterhood…

fourgirls

Thanks for celebrating launch day with us,

Lorraine and Pam