Friday News! – 4 new books to be published from 2017!

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Happy Friday everybody! Today I have some wonderful news that I can’t wait to share with you. For the past year I’ve been working on a super secret project, telling the story of four English sisters who are searching for love in the modern world. Featuring a variety of fabulous locations, The Shakespeare Sister Quartet will be published by Piatkus, with the first book being launched in 2017. Here’s what the fabulous people at Piatkus have to say:

Carrie Elks is the bestselling author of the ‪#‎FixYou‬ and the ‪#‎LoveInLondon‬ series – and now she’s joining us with the Shakespeare Sister quartet – launching in Summer 2017.

“If music is the food of love, then books are definitely the appetizers” – the Shakespeare Sisters series tells the stories of four English sisters: Francesca, Juliet, Lucy and Kitty, each book focusing on one sister and their search for love in the modern world.

If you like Samantha Young or Kirsty Moseley you’re going to love Carrie – and the first in the Love in London series is currently FREE! http://amzn.to/2agB5Hr

Welcome Carrie, we can’t wait to work with you!

I’m looking forward to sharing more details over the coming months, including my very favourite part — the cover reveal. And in the meantime I’ll be having a glass (ahem) or two of bubbly tonight. Hope you can all join me!!

Love,

Carrie Pink

Let’s Talk Vacations! #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from A. S. Fenichel’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

This week’s we’re talking vacations. 

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I love summer. I love the sun beating down, I love the sound of the gulls overhead, I love the warm ocean lapping at my feet and the feeling of sand between my toes.

Sadly, it’s quite hard to get that experience in Essex, UK. Unless you count Southend — which does have a beach of kinds, not to mention the longest pleasure pier in the world (the best claim to fame ever). But sadly the water there is anything but warm, and I’m more likely to feel rain plastering my hair to my head than the blissful rays of the sun.

Case in point – I was at the seafront in Southend yesterday. Here’s the pic I took. Welcome to the British summer.

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Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK

This is pretty much why I start planning our family vacations in January. Because we need something to look forward to! This year we will be vacationing in Italy, first spending ten days on the banks of Lake Garda. Looks kind of lovely doesn’t it? And a bit of a contrast to the UK.

Aerial view from Scaglieri castle on Lake Garda and town of Sirmione in Italy.

Lake Garda

Our lakeside visit will be followed by a few days exploring Venice. As an author (and loving wife😉 ) the idea of a few days in the city of lovers appeals to me. Especially as we’ll be dragging two reluctant teenagers around with us! Ah the romance…

Beautiful water street - Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Venice

So the big question is will I be writing when on holiday? I guess the truism is that writers never take a vacation, we’re too busy soaking everything up for that. But the good thing is that the whole reason we’re vacationing in Italy this year is because I spent most of January researching the country to write a book, and fell in love with it. Though I can’t tell you much about the book yet, it is a romance (of course) set in a beautiful villa on the banks of Lake Como. George Clooney’s favourite hideout. As soon as I looked into the beauty of the country, the magnificence of the food, and the fact the sun actually shone there in the summer, I was hooked. So while I’m there I’ll be checking everything out, to make sure I’ve described it accurately. I suspect I’ll need to eat a lot of ice creams just to make sure!

How about you? Are you going anywhere nice this year? And by the way, despite my miserable picture, Southend on Sea on a warm day is a wonderful place to visit. So if you have no other plans, jump on a train and come down there. I’ll meet you on the pier with a bag of chips.

Now let’s hop over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog to see what she thinks of vacations. And when you’re done there, don’t forget to check out some of her books!
 Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Depositphotos & authors own.

What’s in your bag? #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop


What's in your bagWelcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Brenda Margriet’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

Brenda’s asked us all to share what’s in our bags. So with a little trepidation (because it can get scary in there) here goes!

Bag

 

KINDLE

I never go anywhere without it. I’d even go as far as to say I have a pathological fear of being stranded somewhere without a book. Like so many others I have about 200 unread books on there, just waiting for me to land on that desert island. Maybe one day!

NOTEBOOK & PEN

I’m an old fashioned kind of gal, so if I see some plot or character inspiration while I’m out, I like to be able to jot it down. That notepad is full of ideas and throwaway lines, ones that catch my fancy. And the older I get the more I need to write things down, otherwise I forget them!

LIPGLOSS

Just because!

HAND LOTION

This was given to me by a lovely reader and blogger at a signing event. It has the most delicious smell, and I take it everywhere with me.

BACH FLOWER REMEDY

This is supposed to calm me down when I get too stressed, except when I’m stressed I forget to use it. Doh!

TRAIN TICKETS

I seem to be getting a collection of these. I have to keep the ones I use for work to put into my accounts. The rest, well I guess I’m just a train ticket hoarder!

UMBRELLA

Because I live in the UK!

PURSE / WALLET

It’s a big one, but it fits everything in. Notes, credit cards, receipts, they’re all in there and stuffed to the gills!

 

I was actually surprised to find so little in there. The reason for this is that yesterday I travelled to London for the evening, and had a good clean out before I left. I did come home with half a bottle of wine in there, but luckily for me and you, I took it out as soon as I got home. Otherwise this picture would paint a different story altogether!

Now let’s hop over to S.C. Mitchell’s blog to see what’s in his pockets, because I don’t think he carries a bag!. And when you’re done there, don’t forget to check out some of his books!

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Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Author’s own.

Summer Memories #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Leslie Hachtel’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

This week the authors of Romance Writers’ Weekly are talking about about Summer, and the warm memories that make us feel good all year round.

Ah, Summer memories! The ones where the sun is always shining, my body is always beach ready (whatever the hell that means) and there’s always something delicious cooking on the barbecue.

Um, yeah, sorry, I’m confusing memories with fantasies. My bad.

I should probably caveat this with explaining that here in the UK summer can be as short as one day. And if on that one day you happen to be at work, doing something indoors, or catching up on some sleep, then too bad. Hope you like the rain!

Okay, I’m kidding. Well kind of. But summers here in England really are a hit and miss affair. I only realized how bad we had it when I lived in Virginia, USA for a few years, and got to experience what real summers are like. In my case they were hot, humid and were mostly spent around a pool. Yep, hard times. But the thing that really separated the US summers from our UK ones was consistency. Apart from the rare thunderstorm (which was always over quickly and then the sun came out again) I wouldn’t need to check the weather forecast to see how warm it was going to be the next day. Because it was always going to be hot.

Of course, this had it’s downsides. My hair, for one, didn’t like the humidity. I’d go from sleek straightness to crazy frizz as soon as I stepped outside the door in Virginia. Ponytails became my friend. It was also too hot to do much (I’m laughing at this right now). I tended to go from my air-conditioned house into my air-conditioned garage where I’d get into my air-conditioned car. Then I’d arrive at the air conditioned building, and still manage to work up a sweat in the five or so steps it would take me to get in there.

Apart from days in the pool, we rarely spent a lot of time outside in the Virginia summer. As the sun went down and the air cooled, that’s when the insects would come out. And these guys weren’t run-of-the-mill midges we’re used to in the UK. No, they were the Arnold Schwarzenegger of mosquitos. A few seconds outside in the evening would mean a nighttime of scratching and cursing. Even the strongest insect repellent wasn’t enough to stave off those beasts.

Even so, those were some of the happiest days of my life. My kids were little, and they absolutely adored swimming in the pool. We made a lot of friends at the pool, too, and we’d sit with our legs dangling in the water while the kids splashed around, shooting the breeze (not that there was any breeze) and laughing. We’d all take our lunches there, big freezer boxes filled with sandwiches and sodas, fresh fruit and treats. And at lunchtime we’d sit at the covered tables, trying to stop the kids from running back into the water, so the poor lifeguard could have his break, too.

Then in the evening – in spite of the insects – we discovered the best side effect of the pool was the way the kids would be out like a light by eight, their bodies heavy with the exhaustion that only a day at the pool could give. That’s when my husband and I would sit in our netted lanaii – no mosquitos allowed – and stare out at the fireflies that nestled in the trees, lighting them up like it was Christmas. I think that’s the memory of summer I’ll always carry around with me. And even now – in the cold, English weather – it’s warming me up.

I don’t miss those insects, though!

Now let’s hop over to Kathryn Reynard’s blog to get some more mouthwatering recipes. And don’t forget to check out her book, Sidelined!

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 Until next time,

Carrie Pink

Let’s share barbecue recipes! #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Jenna Da Sie’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

This week the authors of Romance Writers’ Weekly are sharing recipes. We’re posting our favourite barbecue food – just in time for the sun to come out:)

Before I start, can I just say that I LOVE barbecues. There’s something about lighting that grill that makes me smile every time. We have a gas grill, the pride and joy of Mr Elks, and it’s a thing of beauty. So whenever I get the chance I’ll shove some food in the fridge to marinade, toss a salad together and we’ll eat al-fresco. If I can pour a cheeky glass of Prosecco to go with it, I’m pretty much in heaven. And this recipe is one of my faves. It’s loved by all the family – the kids included. Hopefully I don’t have to put a huge disclaimer, but obviously if you, or anybody you’re cooking for, has a nut allergy, then SKIP THIS ONE!

Without further ado, I present my recipe for Chicken Satay Skewers. Hope you enjoy it!

BARBECUE CHICKEN SATAY SKEWERS (feeds 4)

Ingredients

1 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy – I use both)

4 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tbsp Curry powder

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp hot sauce

4 chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks

8 Wooden skewers (pre-soaked)

 

Method

Mix the first 6 ingedients together into a satay sauce. Add the chicken pieces, and stir until all are covered with sauce. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours. I find the longer you marinate them, the better they taste. About 10 minutes before you’re ready to cook, thread the chicken pieces onto the pre-soaked skewers. Warm the barbecue up and then grill for around 5 minutes on each side, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

I like to serve with some boiled rice and an asian salad, but you can also eat these with wraps, grilled vegetables, or just on their own.

Now let’s hop over to Xio Axelrod’s blog to get some more mouthwatering recipes. And after that, be sure to check out some of her books!

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 Until next time,

Carrie Pink

Where I write… #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Victoria Barbour’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

This week’s topic comes from author Brenda Margriet – and we’re talking about our perfect writing space.

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One of the best things about being a writer is the versatility of it all. Unlike my previous jobs which involved being tied into a location — whether that be an office, a factory or a shop — when you’re a writer, the world really is your oyster. I’ve written in so many places it’s hard to keep track. In the kitchen, the dining room, in bed, in the garden; and that’s just in my own home. As long as I have a pen and paper (or in my case a Macbook) I can pretty much write wherever I go.

Last year on vacation I spent an hour a day writing on our beautiful patio overlooking the pool. That was pretty memorable, and I have to admit that it may be my ideal place.

I also spent a day last year writing at Hampton Court Palace. Once the home of Henry VIII (and many of his wives!) writing in the beautiful gardens gave me a sense of history and longevity that made me feel energised.

On a normal (!) day, I’ll mostly write in my dining room. Here’s a picture of my space here:

Carrie

One of the things I love about writing in my dining room is the sense of light and space it gives me. I have a lovely view of the garden here, and can watch the birds, the cats, and my dog chasing around on the grass. I’m also within easy reach of the kitchen, which means coffee on tap – a must for writing days!

I also like the fact that I have a big table to spread out on. The wooden surface is usually covered in sheets of paper — character bios, locations, story plots etc. And then at the end of the day I’ll gather it all together and put on the shelf behind me, ready to serve up dinner to the masses, a real one-stop shop.

Of course, the real question is, where would my ideal writing spot be. For me there’s no question. It has to be hot, needs a good view, and most of all it needs to be comfortable. A cabana on a tropical beach springs to mind. Preferably one that has waiter service (with cocktails on tap in the afternoon). Now I just need to win the lottery!

Beach Cabana on a maldivian island

Now let’s hop over to S.C. Mitchell’s blog to see where he likes to write. And when you’re done there, don’t forget to check out some of his books!

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 Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Depositphotos & authors own.

A Love Letter to Berlin

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Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Berlin Loveletter Convention 2016. This is an event that brings together Romance writers, readers, bloggers and publishers, and I have to admit that it absolutely blew me away.

I was invited to attend because my book, Kiss You, will be released in Germany this June. And if you haven’t seen the cover yet, here’s a little gratuitous plug! (I love this cover!)

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My lovely German publishers, Ullstein Buchverlage, were kind enough to host me in Berlin, and provided excerpts of Kiss You to every attendee of the convention in this fabulous book. Though I can’t understand much of it, I’m so excited to see Richard and Hanna’s story in another language.

The convention took place over two days, and included a mixture of workshops, q&a sessions, meet and greets and a signing. Even though my book isn’t yet released, the German readers were so welcoming and kind, and it was a real pleasure to talk to them about our shared love of romance books.

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I also got to meet some of my own heroes, including the lovely Mhairi McFarlane, who I took part in a q&a session with. It took place at 10am on the Saturday (after a fairly heavy night out) but despite the early hour the audience threw themselves into the session and we had a lot of fun.

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On Sunday, I took part in a workshop about agents and authors. I was privileged to meet the amazing Simona Ahrnstedt whose book, Ein Einziges Geheimnis, has recently been released in Germany.

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As we had a break in the afternoon, my agent, Meire Dias, and I had the privilege to visit the Berlin Wall Memorial. Both the remains of the Wall and the stories of the German people who were affected by it were breathtaking and humbling. We were there for three hours and both of us were extremely moved by this tribute to Berlin’s recent history. It’s difficult to believe that such a historic and beautiful city was divided in such recent times (the Wall fell 26 years ago), and yet reading about the heroism and stoicism of those who lived there made me feel proud to be able to visit their lovely city.


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On Monday, I had to return home, as both work and my family called. I left Berlin feeling very honoured to meet so many lovely readers, writers, publishers and bloggers, and also knowing that I will be returning to that lovely country as soon as I can. Germany, thank you so much for your lovely hospitality. I loved every minute that I spent there.

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Kiss You will be released in Germany in ebook on 17th June and in paperback on 9th September by Ullstein Buchverlage.

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Danke,

Carrie Pink