Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 12 #BeachBooks @lizzie_lamb

Day 12 of our lovely beach holiday where all we are doing is sitting back with a book or two.

Lizzie Lamb

My guest today is Lizzie Lamb.

Beach Read Postcard

A few lines about my ideal holiday destination where I can sit back and relax with a book

My ideal holiday destination where I can kick back, relax and read a book would be an air conditioned villa whose garden leads on to a tropical beach. That being unlikely in the grand scheme of things, I’ll settle for our caravan on the edge of a Scottish loch in high summer when it is possible to read out of doors without a light until well after 10pm.


The ideal format my choice of book would be available in (for me as a reader) –why?

I spend a lot of time in front of a screen – writing, texting, blogging etc. I have an array of glasses (and contact lenses) for distance, reading and using computer glasses. When I read, it’s the one time when I don’t need glasses and I prefer to get away from the screen and read a paperback, thus giving my eyes a rest. I don’t fare very well with audio books as they lull me to sleep! If I travelled abroad, I’d take my iPad and listen to audio books, read kindle downloads that way.

Link (s)

blog website:

Amazon page:


Rosie Amber’s blog – BEACH READS

All the books I’ve mentioned are available in both paperback and kindle form.

An Easy ReadTristan and Iseult – Rosemary Sutcliffe



This is my comfort read, the one (along with The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer) I return to from time to time. I have read this story to the children I have taught (10+) and it holds the attention of boys and girls alike. Not the easiest of tasks. The children have often recommended it to their parents who have later commented to me how much THEY loved the story, too. I read it to remind myself what a great story teller Rosemary Sutcliffe was; her language is spare yet descriptive and it is hard not to be caught up in the romance of the times and the love between Tristan and Iseult. The end always has me in tears. Although once, when I closed the book and looked around the children sitting at my feet for a reaction, one boy put his hand up and asked: ‘is it playtime yet?’ Which just goes to prove, you can’t win ‘em all.

 A book from my favourite genre (rom com)Notting Hell – Rachel Johnson



I’ve long been a fan of Rachel Johnson’s writing. I loved this book because I read it as I was writing Tall, Dark and Kilted – which opens in Notting Hill, and then moves on to Wester Ross, in the highlands of Scotland. Inspired by the novel, I took advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to look round the private gardens enclosed by Elgin Crescent, Rosemead Road and Ladbroke Grove – and sat on the bench featured in the film Notting Hill. I used the novel as a way of getting into the mind-set of the uber rich who inhabit the grand houses surrounding the communal gardens. And, in a moment of pure synchronicity, there was an article in the Times about the daughters of a certain nobleman who were causing mayhem while their parents were away. Just like the Urquhart sisters in my novel. A great summer read and one I return to many times.


A book I’ve been meaning to read for agesRiver of Destiny – Barbara Erskine



I’ve been a fan of Barbara Erskine since The Lady of Hay (1986); over three million copies sold to date, so I’m not alone. I enjoyed this author’s books because they are (generally) time slip novels, meticulously researched, involve a high degree of the paranormal and the ‘heroine in jeopardy, trope. In particular, I want to read River of Destiny because I have visited the Sutton Hoo ship burial site, which is bordered by the River Debden, many times and thought what a great setting it was for a novel. I am also considering writing a paranormal/time slip and I can do no better than to immerse myself in Erskine’s great writing. Pleasure and research at the same time – a no brainer.

A book that interests meThe Goldfinch – Donna Tartt



I have added this to the list because I really do have to give Ms Tartt’s writing another go. I started (and later abandoned) her earlier books because they didn’t strike a chord with me. However, I am assured by friends that I will enjoy this one. Checking the reviews for Goldfinch (2346 – wow) I see that she has been awarded four stars overall, so it’s worth a punt. Tartt has also been awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, not just for this book but for her body of work. It’s a bit of a massive tome so I think I’ll take it on holiday with me to read when there are fewer distractions. I hope I do enjoy it and it doesn’t remind me too much of books I had to read when I was studying for my degree, many moons ago.


My own bookScotch on the RocksLizzie Lamb


Coming soon to Amazon


When I was teaching full time I was always on the lookout for feel-good romantic comedies which would raise my spirits at the end of a long, hard day. Now, as a writer, I want to create novels with the same ‘ahh’ factor, where my reader becomes so immersed in the story that she forgets her cares and woes for a time. As one of my reviewers said of Boot Camp Bride –“It’s impossible not to love the main characters and to dream you could live their story!” So, if you like love stories with a light, comedic touch, sexy Americans researching their Scottish roots and a hardworking, believable heroine you can root for – give Scotch on the Rocks a try.


And, if you’re still looking for some really great holiday reads, let me add the three books from the New Romantics Press, all of which are available on Kindle and in paperback.


An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy – June Kearns

Secrets of the Heart – Adrienne Vaughan

Twins of a Gazelle – Mags Cullingford.

38 thoughts on “Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 12 #BeachBooks @lizzie_lamb

    • I’d forgotten how Much I loved her until I re-read THE GRAND SOPHY recently. The writing was so sparky that I thought it’d make a great modern day rom com. Sophy is a fabulous heroine and completely out talks and outguns the hero (who is quite delicious).

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  1. Interesting collection Lizzie, I too love Barbara Erskine, so a timely reminder of a brilliant novelist, haven’t read Notting Hell, but sounds fun, poked my nose into The Goldfinch and thought, a long stretch of time needed to read this, so a beach holiday.Tristan & Iseult on my ‘must read’ list as is your new novel Scotch on the Rocks …can’t wait!


  2. Lovely mix of styles here, Lizzie – which pretty much sums you up! Your love of history and sense of place, too.
    Have to say, I loved Donna Tartts first two books, but the Goldfinch defeated me! Brill in places, (but still haven’t finished it.)


    • Thanks June, as you know, history is my first love. Who knows, one of these days I might give up the rom coms and return to historical novels. Maybe I could write a historical rom com – that’s be a hoot.


  3. Lizzie, high fives for the destination! The Barbara Erskine book looks right up my street – I’ve never read her! Now, The Goldfinch. Would you believe I started it last night? My tablet has broken (disaster!!) so am stuck with paperbacks for now (I prefer Kindle, always). A friend bought me this for my birthday (last August!) and I hadn’t looked until now. To be honest, it didn’t strike a chord with me – yes, it’s fabulously well written, of course (thus the Pulitzer), but it didn’t make me think, I HAVE to keep reading this. I’ll give it another go, though – probably this week, as I am SANS Kindle!

    Best of luck with the new book! x


    • Terry, I know you love history, too. I think Erskine’s first book – Lady of Hay – is her best, but they’re all great in different ways. I feel the same way about The Goldfinch, Pulitzer prize notwithstanding (!) Maybe its a case of Emperor’s New Clothes? Hope you soon get another kindle; and thanks for the good wishes for Scotch on the Rocks. Will have to get my rear in gear when I get homer on Monday.


  4. Ive never read anything of Barbara Erskine’s, Lizzie. Sounds as though I should. As Ade says interesting choices. And The Goldfinch is. Something else, as the saying goes, but well worth a read, but not an easy one.


      • Thanks Mags, I know I can always count on you. Looks like the jury’s out on The GOldfinch. I decided a while ago that life’s too short for reading books I don;t enjoy . . .but I’m prepared to give it a go. B Erskine is a much easier read, and very enjoyable.


    • Judith, I recently took two large Ikea bags of books to the local hospice shop. But another cull is needed. I figure, if I really feed theneed to re-read an old favourite I’ll download it onto kindle. I did this recently with Catherine Gaskin’s


  5. What a great selection Lizzie. I have loved Rosemary Sutcliff since I was 11 and, like you, introduced her to the classes I taught. Barbara Erskine books, once started, can’t be put down. I loved the first few chapters of The Goldfinch but then it began to disappoint me, but it was worth reading to the end. Now I think i should pick up one of your books!


    • Liz – I’d be thrilled if you;d read one of my books. On the subject of Rosemary Sutcliffe, I was ordering copies of Tristan and Iseult for school (in Leicester) when the bookseller told me her husband was Rosemary Sutcliffe’s godson. Apparently, she left all the royalties from her books to HIM. My other favourite of hers is SIMON – set during the English civil war.


  6. Sometimes I wonder what I’ve been doing with my time…here are another 5 books I haven’t read and now want to – great sales job with them all Lizzie, though I’m not sure about The Goldfinch, it sounds terrifically long. I love your holiday destination too 🙂


    • Georgia, I must have missed my vocation. I see that Rachel Johnson is doing a follow up to Notting Hell, I’ll definitely be ordering that one. I should have added some insect spray to my list of books (if I go to the highlands of Scotland between June and September). So unromantic !!


    • Looks like the Goldfish is getting the thumb’s down. Thank you for your kind words re: SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS. It was a labour of love (as they all are). Thank you for dropping by.


  7. Reblogged this on Lizzie Lamb and commented:
    more great books to think about from Rosie’s fabulous blog tour. I’m honoured to have taken part in it.


  8. Adrienne, good thing I checked back because my reply to your comment has disappeared. You would like Tristan and Iseult because she is an Irish princess who has to marry the king of Cornwall to bring peace to their countries!!


  9. Some great choices, Lizzie. I loved Secret History and The Little Friend and I have Goldfinch in paper back but the sheer size of it keeps putting me off. You’ve inspired me to get on with it now though 😀


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