Tag Archives: holidays

The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea

For those of you who have followed me for a while now, you will know that I have a secret fetish: chocolate box romance novels. Reading through heavy texts from the classics to modern literature, my get away novel has to transport me to a place where I can relax in a world with enough drama to distract me from everyday life without taxing me with its heavy language and drawn out plot.

There are few contemporary romance writers that I enjoy as much as Lizzie Chantree. Her books are fun, uplifting and carry realistic characters that any reader can relate to within a setting that feels familiar and welcomes you in with open arms. Her style of writing fits the modern reader with its twists and suspense that keep us guessing whether the protagonist will end up with his or her love interest and live happily ever after.

Lizzie is releasing a new book called, The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea. I can’t wait to add it to my TBR (to be read) list.

Before I do, let’s find out more about her book and what inspired her to write The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea.

Tell us the basic premise of your novel.

The little ice cream shop by the sea is about a close family who run a seaside business buried in tradition, but a sudden incident throws them into turmoil and they all try to cope with the repercussions in their own way. The main character, Genie, doesn’t know why her family suddenly decides to sell the family business that she’s worked in since before she left school, but she’s determined that they won’t throw away her heritage so easily and fights to make them stay. 

The friendship between genie and pensioner Ada, who starts as a customer, becomes a lifeline for both women. Throw in some dashing locals who set their heart on helping Genie and a furious grandson who is out to protect his grandmother, and you have a sizzling story full of sunshine, secrets and finding love when you least expect it.

Lizzie’s book is available at a special price of 99p/99c for 7 days only, from launch day: 19/02/2021.

Now that we know more about her new book, let’s find out about the author herself.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I love to paint huge canvases of colourful landscapes. I find painting really relaxing and I enjoy capturing a view, especially if it is by the sea.

What was your dream job when you were younger?

When I was younger I wanted to do a creative job, but I didn’t know which one. I studied in art, graphics and display and design. I also went on courses about business and social media. I always knew that the creative industry intrigued me and being surrounded by a family who run their own businesses gave me the courage to start my own company selling products I designed, when I was eighteen.

For more information on the best selling author, check out her bio below and links to her social media pages. Don’t forget, Lizzie’s book is on offer for the next seven days.

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantreehttps.

To access Lizzie’s collection of books, click here.

Social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizzieChantree/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

FB Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lizzie-chantree

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizzie-chantree-03006425/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnCop-RlAcGqggZG3JfE-Mw

The Adventurous Four: Search for the Amoulean Staff

For the first chapter, please click here.

CHAPTER TWO Continue reading


Three weeks into the holidays and I feel only slightly relaxed and rejuvenated. Why? Well, have you ever been stuck in a house with four children of varying ages and degrees of personality, just waiting to challenge you on whatever strays from your tight lips? Add a broken (hearted) car and torrential rain into the mix and it becomes the tasty cocktail known as school summer holidays. 

The forest has lost its appeal and my photography is as mundane as the same old trees barking for a picture. Change is required before the apes (my sprogs in union) decide to conquer civilisation and tear down the fragile structures of society we have left on our lonesome postage stamp known as home. With no escape in sight, my only option is to call on the soothsayer, the one who holds the golden key to my children’s hearts: their father!

He has the ability to tame the natives into submission and coerce them to follow basic rules like make your bed, yes you do have to wear clean underwear everyday or do the wash up without killing each other. 

As a side bar, it always amazes me how children are so enthusiastic about washing up till it becomes a chore. Suddenly the plates are too heavy, the pots will be stained forever and utensils are weapons in soapy water hunting their unwary fingers. My last Sprog fought for his right to do the wash up like the others at the beginning of the summer holidays. Now, when I see his face grimace at the mere thought of it, I cry a little inside knowing he has taken that step to becoming a big boy and feeling the pain of responsibility. 

So, with a ticking time bomb of mutinous imnates walking around my prison, I am counting down the days to their father’s vacation time. With him  as the main focus, I might just get away with planning mini escapes from this paradoxical paradise.

If you don’t hear from me, know that I love you all and the natives have probably disposed of me!

Monday Midnight Tea

Hello and welcome to Wildmoor Heath. We have to be quiet so as not to upset the locals. Their bushy tails and gleaming eyes are barely visible in the surrounding darkness, but we know that they are out there, somewhere.
Do be careful as you enter the den. The children made it today and spent quite a few hours finding the branches and twigs to create the little  hideout. In case you’re wondering what it looked like during the day, below is a picture of the finished product. 

Right! Now that you’re settled on the purple blanket, I’ll make some tea from the flasks we’ve carried up here with us. One lump of sugar or two? Sorry, no milk tonight – too much weight!

After we’ve had our tea and a packet of crisps (kindly packed by my youngest Sprog), let’s go for a walk in the rest of the forest and see what we can find. 

Earlier this evening, we spotted fireflies on the heath; a most spectacularly sight as I’ve never seen one before. The moment was spoilt as Henry decided to eat each one as it lit up! Needless to say we had to move along swiftly to avoid exterminating the few fireflies left. 
If you’re up for a little adventure, we could take the path leading through the red barked conifers. It’s so silent there, you can hear your heartbeat and flutter of your eye lashes. Further on, the stench of swampy water is a clear warning to watch your step in the darkness. If you miss the signs, Henry will remind you as he loves to take a dip in the stinkiest bog and shake himself close to you. So beware.

Once we’ve had our walk and return to the den, we can use our torchlight to make shadow puppets and animals until it’s time for bed. Fierce competition will arise between those that can create the perfect kangaroo and bear. Whomever wins getting bragging rights and the first share of the slab of chocolate. 

You look as though you’ve nearly finished your tea. I’ll pack up the rest of the things and we can start the evening’s adventures. 

I’m so glad you’re here to experience it with me. The kids loved it as the first activity for their summer holidays. I hope you do too! 

Monday Coffee

The soft sultry voice of Kat Edmonson croons over the loudspeaker as we sit on the veranda of our favourite coffee house. Children scream past with mothers looking less than relaxed as the holidays kick in, promising long days and short nights spent cramming in ways to entertain sprogs. 

I turn my attention back to you, fiddling with your coffee mug with a smiley emoji on its side. How are you, I wonder? After many weeks of fobbing off proper libations with you, I haven’t had a chance to find out. 

So many writing friends have been laboriously working towards the end of their novels, stress and stars swimming past their eyes intermittently, whilst I have slowed to a stop yet again. Yes, I’ll admit it only you and our coffee mugs – I’ve lost my mojo again. 

It’s not so much the loss of vision, more the lack of motivation. Lazy would be the perfect description for it! Don’t worry. I promise I will finish the book/s in the near future. They’re too close to the end to leave them now. Those lovely detectives of mine will be square dancing down the kindle pages, solving dastardly crimes soon enough!

Do you ever contemplate dropping everything and following your dreams? What would your biggest dream be? Mine? Well, that’s a hard one because I love my job and writing equally. Both are important so leaving one for the other would be like cheating on the love of my life with my muse. Tough one. 

As the sun drops behind the trees and the lazy buzz of insects descend towards fresh prey sitting with exposed arms thinking summer’s here, I watch you swirl the cold coffee dregs and dread the thought crossing your mind: it’s time to go. 

With one warm hug and a promise to meet again next week, we part ways along the riverside, following our separate paths home. I wish you a wonderful week and imagine you saying the same to me. Until we meet again. 

Last day

Last day of school

Works already gone

Submitting like fools

To the shopping throng
Get out our wallets,

Purses and bags

Time for festivities

January’s the drag!

Out After Dark

Out on the open field where mice and hedgehogs stay, four children are playing hide and seek whilst others sleep away. Darting in and out of shadows, stifling giggles and snorts, they watch for movement and quickly scuttle to the next place before they get caught.

Some children prefer to watch television, or play on their PS4s. Not mine, oh no, they prefer the dark where only the moon glows.

“Tell their father.” some might say, “He’ll take better control.”

Alas, he is the one hunting his little ones, sending them running into the unknown. Foxes run back into their holes; pigeons shuffle their feathers to block out the laughter; teenagers sitting quietly on the bench watch the craziness they are after.  Unfortunately, their own parents are at home, not hunting children in the park.  Sitting there, on their phones – it’s not quite the same as searching for Pokemon after dark.

There’s nowhere to hide that is safe – their faithful dog is always at bay. His panting as loud as a lark, showing the hunter the way. As we sprint this way and that, carefully avoiding the cats, we find another place to hide; under the hedgerow close to the slide. Chests heaving with hearts thumping, the children disperse, forgetting bites and grazes which we’ll later nurse, once our game ends for this night; once the clouds claim the moonlight.

Time is up, everyone is found. Someone says, “Heel!” to the hound. Black and white cats draw near, once they see his lead on and it’s clear. We all head back through the grass; a slight dented pathway we must pass. Then on down the lane to our house; that’s four children, four cats, a dog and probably a mouse!

Now who could possibly wish for more – a house with an open green next door? So, if by chance you hear a noise and see six figures frolicking in a haze – that might be my family playing there.

Come and join us, if you dare!

Henry Visits the Seaside

Sprinkles of sunlight littered the beach as Henry took his first dip into the ocean.  The water was freezing cold, as always, but that didn’t deter him.  After all, all the other dogs were watching!

With big tigger leaps, he pounced above the foamy white waves, gulping salty water as he chugged along in the water.  Each choppy swish of waves swept over his head but his determination to continue outweighed the salty drink trying to pull him under.
At last he turned back to shore, a smile surfacing as he spotted us and galloped towards us.  His soaking body shook as his wet paws mixed with the sand and he shook half the ocean onto us with relish.  His grin said it all: swimming in the sea was fun!

Once the novelty wore off, his tired body craved fresh water and a blanket.  After a short rest he was up and about again, meeting friends and searching the wind blown sand dunes protecting the beach.  

After a spot of football with some four legged friends, it was time to return home. Unfortunately, with all the excitement, he was sick in the car and decided to do it on one of the sprogs!  She was not impressed at all!  Well, at least it was a safe trip home and a nice hot bath to remove the salty coat on his fur and replenish the clean water in his body.  And what better way to end the day but to curl up on the sofa and doze in front of the telly watching the olympics.

Good-night from Henry and he hopes you had a good Sunday too. 

Monday Coffee

Here we are, warm and snug in my bat cave enjoying a strong brew of Colombian coffee. Tinsel and twinkling lights profile your face in dark and light shadows as we listen to soft music from Katie Mellua.  It is a very chilled evening after last week’s dinner party at the coffee house.  I’m glad it’s a bit more subdued this week and in an intimate location because I didn’t get a chance to chat to you last week.

So, how are you?  Did the week bring anything new?  Trent celebrated his bloggiversary and reaching 1000 followers this week and mentioned how hard it can be at times to keep up with all our friends in the bloggosphere. I find it difficult to comment every time I visit as I am pressed for time and usually quickly reading your latest post before going to my next chore/mission/job! How do you cope with visiting blogging friends? He wasn’t the only one to celebrate his bloggiversary as Teagan just celebrated hers on the 2nd of December. Her series of books have been a source of entertainment and I would definitely recommend you visit both bloggers when you get a chance.

I have a nasty cold at the moment and it’s an absolute torment to breathe.  Nevertheless, your company lifts my spirits and the lovely aroma of the coffee is slowly permeating through my blocked sinuses.  Will you be getting time off work for the Christmas holidays?  I know that quite a few companies close during the holiday season, but others don’t.  Which category do you fall under.

Did I tell you about my books?   They were wiped from my son’s computer during the NaNoWriMo month and I lost over a year’s worth of writing.  Some it it was backed up but it was such an old version, I would have to start editing and creating again.  Fun times.  This, of course, puts a damper on my launch of Cecil The Bully until next year.  I have to admit it has knocked me for a six and I almost feel like throwing in the towel.  I’m not angry, just tired and disappointed that I didn’t back up more frequently.  This lesson has taught me one thing though – to get my own computer!  Has anything ever happened to your work leaving you gasping for solutions?  I think I need to take a page out of Victoria’s book and just let it go. She wrote a fantastic piece about nature and the truth of our work ethic.

The one thing I love about being a part of the blogging community is the inspiration it gives when you are feeling low.  Take Brey for example; she is following her dreams and has just found out that she cannot complete grad school to become a teacher without a little help.  Has that stopped her?  No!  She has set up a gofundme page and has asked her fellow bloggers and friends to help her out. Now that is enough to stop the pity party about my books!  I wish her all the best and hope you get a chance to visit her page.
Well, I have rattled on, so whilst I refill our mugs, fill me in on your day…

Monday Coffee


It’s a brisk, cold Monday and the moon is showing her pretty face tonight.  As we walk to the coffee shop together, let’s stop by the river and look at the stars for a minute or two.  It has been a hectic day couple of weeks and just pausing to look at something so serene has a calming effect.

Now that we are here, what shall we drink this week?  I fancy a cappuccino for a change with extra chocolate sprinkles!  What about you?

Well, my weekend has had its highs and lows.  The highs were attending a fantastic baby shower on Sunday and watching the Hindu ceremony before it to bless the mum, dad and baby.  The lows were damaging the car on a speed bump (I promise I was not driving fast!) and of course, my mum’s six month anniversary since her death.  Sad and happy mixed.

As we sip our hot beverages, tell me about your weekend.  What highs and lows did you have?

This week is half term which means lovely late mornings and relaxation.  My sprogs are looking forward to Halloween and have started decorating the house!  What plans do you have for Halloween?  We will probably go trick or treating and spend the night watching Disney horrors. Party party!

Well, that’s all the news I have and I’m hoping you will have something to share with me!  So, I’m sitting here…waiting to hear from you! 😀