Update on Lizzi Tremayne and Get Your Free Sampler!

Hello All!  I hope March finds you well! I’ve been busy marketing the three books I released in 2017,

history   history

marketingas well as my first, A Long Trail Rolling.marketing

The biggest challenge I find as a full time writer, part time veterinarian, small farm owner, and manufacturer/distributor of Equi-Still Portable Equine Stocks is organizing my time for writing as well as marketing (publicity, social media, etc.) my books, with all the other things to boot.

Certainly, I need to improve in this area (Perhaps by stopping some of it? Doh?), as my ticker is not handling the load, but with the right meds and more sleep, I’m staying out of atrial fibrillation this week.  That’s good. Marketing isn’t as important as my health. Contrary to my belief, I’m not 21 anymore. 🙂

Thus I find myself again with the ever-present spreadsheet and Asana (It’s on my resources page, here), working on organization.

What I’ve done well lately…

One of the great things I did in February was putting together a Lizzi Tremayne Sampler of the first books in The Long Trails series, so you can have a taste of my writing!

marketing

It’s free here, just for signing up to my newsletter list.

I keep my newsletter subscribers updated on news, special offers, and contests–open only to them!

Sign up here

So what am I up to now? More marketing?

Well, always… but I’m planning and researching three more novellas to be publishe this year, two for Authors of Main Street boxed sets, more of the Once Upon a Vet School series, and one for the Bluestocking Belles’  Christmas boxed set, which will be a side-novella off my The Long Trails series!

And one more book… just one more…

Research continues for Tatiana, the upcoming Book Four of The Long Trails series, and if you read my latest blog post here, you’ll see how far down rabbit holes I can fall!  Come have a read!

marketing  marketing

That’s it for me tonight, off to bed, nearly on time. I hope you have a lovely March!

Remember to get your free copy of my Lizzi Tremayne Long Trails Sampler today!

Take care, until next time,

xx

Lizzi Tremayne

 

 

“But why do you write about history?” They Ask….

Many have asked why I write about history.

“Writing about history takes so much time, you know, all that research!” they say.

Let me introduce some of my history… about history.

I love the Old West. I love New Zealand. I love stories of “the old countries”.  I have relatives from Denmark, Scotland, Russia, and the American South, all of which interest me no end. My genealogy charts are getting more branched as I continue to delve!

  • I grew up on Highway 84 in La Honda, CA…
  • where the Younger Brothers used to hang out after big heists…
  • where the Stage ran through…
  • and the Peek-a Boo Inn (yes, it was what it sounds like), the eleven bars, three churches and one store were the standard, back in the day. La Honda and some of its history is now featured in the third story of The Long Trails series, in  A Sea of Green Unfolding)history

Then I went away to university, finished veterinary school…(had to be a hoss-doc, didn’t I?)…

  • and lived in Placerville, CA on the Pony Express Trail.history

So, I was rather steeped in the Old West from a very young age.

Well, things led to things and I made my way to New Zealand, where I’ve lived for the past 27 years and have just published my fourth book. They comprise three 1860’s historical fictions in The Long Trails series and the newest, a contemporary novella, placed in the middle of the new Once Upon a Vet School series.

“But I hate reading about history,” some others say.

I love and write history, but rather than vomiting facts and figures all over the pages in what authors call “info-dumps”,  I offer it in a palatable way, by letting my fictitious characters interact with real historical ones in real historical settings. In essence, offering history in a tasty mix. It might just make history buffs of some people who didn’t think they’d ever go there!

History is good, but what about Food?

Recipes, oh yes, did I mention recipes? history Each of my books contain a recipe, pertinent to the story and time. Food. Always important, but I digress…

In case you were wondering what my historicals are about, have a read!

The Long Trails Series

Tales of factual fiction, adventure stories rich in historical detail, following the escapades of Aleksandra, Xavier, and Tatiana as they travel across continents and seas through the 1860’s.

Book One: A Long Trail Rolling history

She didn’t expect to become a target…but she is one now.

Aleksandra is alone and running to prevent her father’s killer from discovering their family secret. Disguised as a Pony Express rider in 1860’s Utah, Aleksandra winds up in even deeper trouble when she rides full speed into the Paiute Indian War. With Xavier, her compelling Californio boss, can she escape the Indians on the warpath and evade the man who’s already killed her father—and set his sights on her?

Book Two: The Hills of Gold Unchanginghistory

No one will stand in their way—and live.

As the Civil War rages, secessionists menace California. Aleksandra and Xavier are trying to get back home—through the oncoming Civil War, the mining camps of 1860’s Nevada and California, and the Sacramento floods—to Xavier’s Californio Rancho de las Pulgas. Embroiled in the Confederate’s fight to drag the new state from the Union and make it their own, can Aleks and Xavier survive?

Book Three: A Sea of Green Unfoldinghistory

When you’ve lost everything, the only way to go is up—isn’t it?

Follow the young couple’s journey to adventure in the turbulent wilderness of 1861 New Zealand. Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly found paradise on their California Rancho and von Tempsky’s invitation draws them to a new life in New Zealand—where the land wars between the European settlers and the local Maori have only just begun.

Book Four: Tatiana   Due out 2018!history

When the tsar holds the reins, nothing is certain—even life itself.

Stableman’s daughter Tatiana rises to glamorous heights by her equestrienne abilities—but the tsar’s glittering attention is not always gold. She and her husband Vladimir become pawns in the emperor’s pursuit of a coveted secret weapon. While Tatiana and their infant son are placed under house arrest, Vladimir must recover the weapon, or risk losing his wife and young son. With the odds mounting against them, can they find each other again—half a world away?

Find my books here!

Tatiana is my WIP (Work In Progress) right now. Does anyone have anything they’d especially like to see in the story? 

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Take care,

Lizzi

Ready for Another Release? A Sea of Green Unfolding is Out!

Good morning!  Thanks for coming along!

I’m very excited to tell you that 

A Sea of Green Unfolding 
is
Now Available!

(and I redid the cover!  I hope you like it!)

It’s out in ebook and will soon be available in print as well!

I Can’t Wait for You to Read

A Sea of Green Unfolding !

It’s the third book in
The Long Trails series.

~ When you’ve lost everything,
the only way to go is up—
isn’t it? ~

Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly-found paradise on their California Rancho de las Pulgas. Von Tempsky invites them on a journey to a new life in peaceful New Zealand, but change is in the wind. When they reach Aotearoa, they disembark into a turbulent wilderness—where the wars between the European settlers and the local Māori have only just begun.

Here’s this month’s giveaway!

If you’d like to go into the draw to win a copy of the regular print edition of newly-released A Sea of Green Unfolding (when it’s available, soon!),

1-leave a review of A Sea of Green Unfolding where you purchased your eBook or paperback, then

2-message me on the contact form at the bottom of this page with your email address and the site (URL ideally!) where you left your review

and you’ll be in the draw!

It’s available on Amazon right now for just $2.99 USD!

Amazon        iBooks         Kobo        Nook

(will be released on other sites on the 10th)

If you’d like to be kept up to date on new releases, special offers and the inside story, you can subscribe here!

And an excerpt!

 

March 1863  Rancho de las Pulgas,  San Mateo County,  California

Aleksandra Argüello’s brother-in-law peeked out through the slits between his lashes, and his bloodshot eyes widened at her in horror. He scrambled to his feet and bolted for the kitchen door—but she beat him to it.

“I repeat, Sancho, what did you mean when you said our baby was born out of wedlock, and that she’d never inherit the rancho?” she said past gritted teeth, as she stood against the plank of solid oak barring his way.

No se, no se, I don’t know,” he stammered, and began to spin toward the window, then froze at the sharp edge of Aleksandra’s sword across his throat.

Xavier Argüello chose that moment to open the door, and stopped short.

¿Cómo? What’s going on?” Aleksandra’s husband’s eyes narrowed at the pair of them.

“That’s what I’d like to know,” Aleksandra said. Sancho turned his head and she winced, blinking at the alcohol fumes wafting from his breath.

“Sancho?” Xavier’s long legs covered the distance to them in two steps.

Aleksandra tightened her grip on the sword and the miscreant inhaled sharply, but otherwise didn’t move.

Su hermano,” she said, directing her words to Xavier, though she never looked away from Sancho, “your brother, showed up three hours ago, just after you left for morning feeding, reeking of tequila and looking like he’d been out drinking all night. He was mumbling something about Melissandra, ‘our poor little girl’, I think he said, ‘pobre niña’.”

“That’s right,” Xavier said.

“And that Rancho de las Pulgas should be hers, but it was ‘too bad she was born out of wedlock’. Then he passed out on the floor. When he finally stirred just now, I asked him to repeat what he’d said, and to explain himself. He tried to bolt, so I’m encouraging him to stay and talk awhile.” She gave Xavier the hint of a grin.

 

Xavier’s brows shot up as he flicked his head sideways, his frown now fully on his brother. “Illegitimate, eh, hermano? ¿Come se dice? What did you say? Out with it.”

With a desperate sideways glance, Sancho ducked and spun, swinging a fist at Aleksandra as he pulled away. Xavier’s punch caught him first, and Sancho’s head snapped back and he dropped to the floor.

Aleksandra ducked down beside him to check his pulse, then stood up, shaking her head, as she sheathed her shashka.

“Are you even carrying your sword around the house?” Xavier asked, his dark brows lowering.

“It’s only been two weeks since your daughter and I were kidnapped, from this house,” she said, fixing him with a stare. “I’m happier with it by my side.” She shook her head. Xavier must be upset to even think of asking about it.

Xavier shifted his gaze to his brother.

“I thought he’d stopped the drinking episodes,” he said.

“So did I, but he left three days ago, so I guess he had plenty of time to get drunk.”

Xavier’s jaw was tight as he reached for her. He closed his eyes for a moment as he pulled her in close, and slid his fingers along her arms.

“Mmmmm. You’ve been baking. You’re covered in flour.” He looked down at her with a hint of a smile, then a frown. “And you’ve gotten dough in your hair,” he said, picking up her long blonde braid from where it hung down nearly to her knees.

Aleksandra shook her head. “It happens,” she said, and glanced toward the kitchen table. “Adelita’s already begun making the tortillas without me, while we’ve been playing here.”

“I’m worried about Sancho. Mama is too,” he murmured.

“Xavier, do you know anything about what he said?”

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” he said, and turned toward their Indian sirvienta, who stared at them all, her mouth agape. He nodded to her.

Buenos tardes, Adelita,” he said, as he reached for the water jug. He poured himself a cup and took a long drink. “We were married in Virginia City,” he told the woman. “Sancho is drunk.”

 

“But what if it were true?” Aleksandra looked sideways at him. “My mama and papa would turn over in their Catholic graves if it were.”

Xavier stilled. The black fringe of his forelock half-hid his brown eyes, flecked with gold, as he shifted his gaze to his brother.

“Sancho,” he said, loudly.

Nothing.

“It’s an issue easily resolved for us, really,” Xavier said, as he knelt beside Sancho and shook him, “but it could be a little tricky in that Melissandra should by rights be first in line to inherit Rancho de las Pulgas. Mi hermano knows it well.

“Sancho,” he barked, but his younger brother never flinched. He shook his head.

“What if he knows something we don’t?” Aleksandra said, shivering as a chill settled in her gut. Sancho could be telling the truth. “The Methodist pastor in Virginia City thought he could perform the ceremony in the absence of a priest, but what if…”

Señor Argüello,” Adelita bit her lip, and looked at them, her brow furrowed, “a letter came for you and la señorita,” she nodded at Aleksandra, “from Virginia City, but I don’t know who it was from. I put it on the desk of el señorito.”

“Sancho’s desk? When was that, Adelita?”

,” she nodded. “It was many months ago, just before you returned from picking up the colts from Utah and Molly and Sebastian from Virginia City. Before the bebé was born.”

“I think it’s time to look around the office,” Xavier said. “Let us know if he moves, por favor, Adelita?”

They left her patting out tortillas, between nervous glances at Sancho, and headed for the rancho office.

Sí, sí, por supuesto,” she called after them.

They searched the desk and shelves for an hour, but found only piles of long-overdue bills and a stack of notes with odd, illegible scribbles. The only figures decipherable on them were the rather large dollar amounts scrawled upon their face.

“More bills, no doubt,” Xavier said, with a shake of his head. “Guess I’ll have to take over the books, too.”

“We should’ve looked before, but…Sancho has been a bit displaced, with your return.” Aleksandra winced.

“I wanted to leave him a little pride,” Xavier lifted a brow, “but we need to keep the rancho solvent.” He looked at the heap of chits, his lips in a hard line. “Difficult enough, without having creditors breathing down our necks. I wondered why all the storekeepers were giving me sour looks.”

“We’ve found nothing here. Perhaps he’s ready to wake up now,” Aleksandra said.

This time, when Xavier shook his shoulder, Sancho struggled to a sitting position.

“Wha—? Oh, Xavier,” he said, his brows narrowing at his brother for a moment, then he shrugged and rubbed his eyes.

Buenos días, hermano.” Xavier sat on a stool beside him and regarded him over his coffee. “Hard night?”

“Must’ve been. I feel like—”

“—don’t say it,” Aleksandra cut in. “My Spanish is improving.”

He turned to face her, an odd look upon his face.

 

“I was wondering,” she went on, “what you meant when you said Melissandra was born out of wedlock, earlier?”

Sancho’s mouth dropped slowly open and his eyes widened, then he glanced toward the doorway. He lunged toward it, but Xavier had him in a head lock before he took three steps.

“Tell us about it, hermano,” Xavier said, his voice cold steel.

“Ah, ah…I was going to give you the letter, but I…lost it.”

“You can do better than that,” Xavier growled low.

“Maybe, if you let me go, I can…”

Xavier’s jaw locked, along with the grip on his brother’s throat.

“Where are we looking?” Xavier enunciated each word.

“The office,” he whispered, eyes closed.

Xavier hustled him along before him, his arm still locked around his neck.

“You can let go, now,” Sancho whined.

“If you like,” Xavier said, and shoved him through the open office doorway.

After Aleksandra entered, the door slammed shut behind her, and a key scraped in the lock. Xavier pocketed it.

“Now, tell us about it,” he said.

“Well, it should be here.” Sancho riffled through piles on the desk, then glanced at the drawers down the side.

“Granted, we don’t know exactly what we’re looking for,” Xavier said, “but we’ve already looked.”

Sancho stopped, mid-shuffle, and turned, a tight smile on his face.

“Then, I don’t know what you’re talking about. She’s lying.” He looked at Aleksandra in triumph.

Xavier narrowed his eyes at them both for a moment.

She raised her brows in return.

“Absolutely not,” she said, and drew her shashka from its place at her hip. She walked with measured tread toward Sancho. Morning sunlight glinted off the polished metal of the short Cossack sword.

Her brother-in-law paled and took a step back, before he whipped around toward the window. He stopped short just before he got there, with a whimper.

 

If you’d like to read more, it’s out TODAY

on Amazon here

for only $2.99 USD

Available in paperback soon.

Thanks for coming by!

Hope to hear back from you soon!

xx

Lizzi

Lizzi grew up riding wild in the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods, became an equine vet and emigrated to New Zealand. With her first novel, Lizzi placed or won RWNZ contests in 2013, 2014 and 2015. She can’t wait to get into her first contemporary vet-girl novella—to be published for Christmas with Authors of Main Street!

 

 

 

Nothing Makes you a Better Writer than Writing

Hello, welcome, and thank you for stopping by!

I had a blog post all prepared, when I realized that my posting date was Cinco de Mayo, or Mexican Independence Day! But then, being the writer of historical fiction that I am, I want to start looking things up.

Bad call.

My internet is still out after a week. To post this blog for you, I am currently at the Waihi Public Library in town. My little Main Street Town of Waihi, in New Zealand. So please leave comments for me, just be aware I may not get to answer it for several days! My apologies, but they’re redoing the whole internet tower, as we speak. 🙂

So, in honor of Xavier, Aleksandra and the rest of the Argüellos, and all of my Mexican friends around the world, happy Cinco de Mayo!

So, back to the title: Nothing makes you a better writer than writing.

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? It’s easy to get stuck in the writing conference-, workshop-, and course- mode. Don’t get me wrong, they are essential, but nothing, NOTHING, will substitute for your time getting words down on the page. I was reminded of this recently, in a way even I couldn’t miss. Read on, for a giggle or two, at my expense.

The good news is that my writing has improved over the past three years. The corollary to that, is The Long Trails series Book 3, A Sea of Green Unfolding, is not ready for release on 1 May, as planned. Trust me, you wouldn’t have wanted to read it in the state it was in.

‘Sea of Green’ began its life as my 2013 NaNoWriMo project. It was my first NaNo. I won, and boy, was I excited! My first novel, A Long Trail Rolling, had been handed to my beta readers. Through that November of NaNoWriMo, I wrote faster than ever before. More importantly, that month, I taught myself to get words down out of my head, and onto that page, rather than mulling about writing and rewriting and never finishing a story. Always a useful thing, if one wants to publish more than one book.

The news coming back from my beta readers was good, despite the fact that most of them were readers of anything other than the genres encompassed by my first novel, they liked it. Pshew, what a relief!

However, independently, two of them were of the firm–FIRM–opinion that another novel was needed between Book 1 and its then-epilogue.

I blinked when the first one beta reader said that, and blinked even harder when the second one uttered the same comment.

Independently.

They didn’t even know each other.

To both, I shook my head.

 

It Wasn’t going to happen. Book Two, A Sea of Green, was nearly complete by this time. Contemplating another book in between would mean of Sea of Green wouldn’t be out for over a year, maybe more

Inconcievable

(Yes, I love The Princess Bride.)

I tried to avoid their recommendation. After all, I was head down, bum up, working to complete Book 1 and learning how to self publish. A steep learning curve, for a veterinarian and teacher. Photoshop, Scrivener, Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, copywriting, Ingram-Spark. Between workshops, conferences, writing books, and life (oh yes, and a teaching degree and teenaged sons), I managed to avoid thinking about intervening book. And then I was talked into becoming secretary for the Romance Writers of New Zealand. Another steep learning curve. In the back of my mind still niggled, very quietly, this idea about inserting a book into the sequence…but I kept working on Sea of Green.

As time went on, one of my beta readers, previously my friend and medieval fencing instructor, became my love interest.

Now I was stuck. He asked about this intervening novel from time to time, one brow raised, with ‘that look.’

Things got busier…then I became president of Romance Writers of New Zealand…a good move for the club, not a good move for my writing.

I managed to squiggle out of any conversations about the now-interloping book…that is, until that fateful day at a local RWNZ Chapter meeting, where the splendid writer Sheryl ‘B’ handed all of us tray upon tray of materials, with which to create our storyboard masterpieces.

I got all excited! I would do one for the book I’d just finished, or maybe one for Sea of Green! I studiously avoided looking at Matt.

He sat down beside me and gazed out the window at the lovely view from Sheryl’s huge window. Finally, he turned and looked long and hard at me.

“So what book are you going to ‘storyboard’ today?”

My mouth suddenly wouldn’t work, and I averted my eyes.

“Book 2,” I mumbled. “Sea of Green,” I almost whispered, turning away.

That look again. I caught it from the corners of my eyes.

“There really is another book in there,” he said, and got up to collect his creation materials. He’s a master of subtlety. He knows anything else would’ve gotten my dander up.

I sat at my place, tears filling my eyes in frustration. Surrounded by ribbons, chips of coloured glass, feathers and glittering papers, something within me answered.

With a deep breath, I began assembling bits and pieces from our hostess’ primary-teacher treasure trove of goodies and glue sticks and let the creative juices drag the story out of me.

Today, I sit before the lovely storyboard I created that day.

 

It became the inspiration for The Hills of Gold Unchanging. Once the storyboard was done, I was keen to write it.

I chuckled beneath my breath. I’d write a quick novella to get the two betas off my back, and get back to Sea of Green. How many pages could I possibly write about the wee gap between A Long Trail Rolling and its two-page epilogue?

Well, it seems…a few. Quite a few—certainly more than I’d smugly planned, that fine summer day in 2015. That book, The Hills of Gold Unchanging, published at 510 pages or so, this February.

Hence, my long ramble to get back where we started today. After I published Hills of Gold on 18 February, 2017, and announced to all and sundry (printed it in the back of the everlovin’ BOOK, for chrissake…), that Book 3, A Sea of Green Unfolding, would be released on 1 May. I would leisurely complete the beginning (as that had changed) and the end (hadn’t quite discovered yet how it was going to end) of Sea of Green, finish the covers, and get it published on time. Yes, 1 May of this year.

We have a saying with the Tui Beer ads down here…

“Yeah, Right.”

I’m rolling my eyes, as we speak.

Wrong.

I went straight to work on the beginning. Thankfully, the research had been…(exhaustively? Pedantically?) done, even if it was four years previously, and I only needed to refamiliarize myself with it. Just a short beginning—a few hundred pages or so. Well, ok, it took longer than I’d thought.

Then onto the end. I wrote most of that, but until two weeks ago, I struggled a little with the finale.

Yay! A quick edit of the main portion, already written, then I’d be done.

Uh oh.

I read page after page of the original, (2013!) manuscript, my heart sinking deeper with each word. There were eighty thousand of them. I thought I might never get air again.

It didn’t need a light edit, it needed a bulldozer.

I have yet to complete this portion. It showed me, however, that my writing has indeed improved, since I wrote the first draft of my now-Book Three.

This draft also gives me some great practice copy to use for participants in a workshop on editing for deep POV, POV full stop, and info dumping via the use of excruciating dialogue.

Oh   My   God.

LOL.

No matter how bad, however, writing 500 words of another book has helped me. This will be a better book for it. I shudder to think of how it would have turned out if I’d written Sea of Green first? At least after I finished the tome of The Hills of Gold Unchanging, I could edit the crap out of the first half of the book. J

So, long story short, A Sea of Green Unfolding will not be ready by 1 May (clearly…). This book is a baby of my heart. It covers territory I know and love—the trails I rode as a youngster in the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods, and special places in my new home of New Zealand. It also speaks of issues here in Aotearoa, the ‘Island of the Long White Cloud,’ which have been buried for a century and a half too long.

I hope you’ll think it’s worth waiting for.

When will that be? (I say, twirling the end of my long hair…)

When it’s done…

…but now I’ve decided it’ll be released 27 May. J Let’s hope so, because it’s available on for preorder on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, at least, in digital for that date.

Best get back to it…

 

If you subscribe to my newsletter at my website , you’ll be the first to hear!

in case the link fails, it ‘s a  http://lizzitremayne.com

Then it’s on to finish the first in my new series of contemporary-girl-horse-vet stories, which will be part of the Authors of Main Street’s Christmas Boxed Set!  Keep an eye out here for the details!!!

 

 

Below, you can find preorder links, where to find Lizzi, blurbs for A Sea of Green Unfolding, awards for The Long Trails series, more about Lizzi, and an excerpt from the book!  Enjoy!

A Sea of Green will be released on 27 May!  Preorder it until 27 May 2017 for the special price of only $3.99 USD at:

Amazon         Barnes and Noble      Kobo      Smashwords

 Find Lizzi at: 

Lizzi’s Website   Lizzi’s Blog    Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page    Instagram

 A Sea of Green Unfolding:

1862, Rancho de las Pulgas, San Francisco Bay

Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly-found paradise on their California Rancho de las Pulgas. Von Tempsky invites them on a journey to a new life in peaceful New Zealand, but change is in the wind. When they reach Aotearoa, they disembark into a turbulent wilderness—where the wars between the European settlers and the local Māori have only just begun.

BOOK THREE IN THE LONG TRAILS SERIES, FOLLOWING THE HILLS OF GOLD UNCHANGING.

In the multiply-awarded A Long Trail Rolling, Lizzi Tremayne told the story of Aleksandra Lekarski, a trapper’s daughter who finds herself alone—and running to prevent her father’s killer from discovering their family secret.

The third story, A Sea of Green Unfolding, finds Aleksandra and Xavier in California.

 

AWARDS FOR THE LONG TRAILS SERIES

This is the third novel in the series of historical romantic suspense sagas following Aleksandra and Xavier from the wilderness of 1860 Utah to Colonial New Zealand.

With Book One, A Long Trail Rolling, Lizzi Tremayne was: Finalist 2013 RWNZ Great Beginnings; Winner 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award; Winner 2015 RWNZ Koru Award for Best First Novel plus third in Koru Long Novel section; and finalist in the 2015 Best Indie Book Award.

 

A Sea of Green will be released on 27 May! Preorder it until 27 May 2017 for the special price of only $3.99 at: Amazon Barnes and Noble Kobo Smashwords AUTHOR LINKS: (website, FB, twitter, blog, etc.) Find me at: Lizzi’s Website Lizzi’s Blog Twitter Facebook Pinterest Goodreads Amazon Author Page Instagram

About Lizzi:

Lizzi grew up riding wild in the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods, became an equine veterinarian at UC Davis and practiced in the California Pony Express and Gold Country before emigrating to New Zealand. When she’s not writing historical romantic suspense, veterinary nonfiction and fiction (pending), Lizzi practices equine medicine, teaches, farms, rides and drives horses, swings rapiers and shoots bows in medieval garb. With her first novel, Lizzi was awarded Finalist 2013 RWNZ Great Beginnings, Winner 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award, Winner 2015 RWNZ Koru Award for Best First Novel plus third in Koru Long Novel section, and finalist in the 2015 Best Indie Book Award.

Here’s an Excerpt!

Aleksandra took a deep breath, and looked around them, into the first rays of sun, shining across the sea. In its path, the barque lay silhouetted–mainsail gone, the other two masts forlorn in their nakedness. There was movement on board, but Aleksandra couldn’t make out what was happening. She turned back to the shore. In the rapidly growing light, the beautiful white sand beach arced away in a long bay. A short distance away, a wide river mouth opened onto the beach, coming from a big valley in a wall of steep mountains. The beautiful sea of green that started at the shoreline seemed to go on forever, as far as the eye could see.

“Well, boy, how about some fresh water?” Aleksandra managed a smile and took a deep breath. “I don’t know where we are, but if Jacob’s right, this should be the East Coast of New Zealand, our new home.”

Dzień flicked his soggy ears, shook the rest of the sea water from his coat, and together they headed for the river.

There was so much green, green upon green, it dazzled the eyes. There was no sign of habitation. The massive trees were unlike any she’d seen before. Some were like the ferns in the redwoods of California, except that they were not bushes, but big trees. Fern trees. Amazing. Something moved to her left amongst the trees, and her hand slid to her hip, but her shashka was gone.

Her heart pounded against her ribs, before she remembered it was in her pack. She reached back to check it was still there. At the feel of its outline through the canvas, she broke out in a cold sweat.

She glanced skyward.

Thank you again.

Aleksandra slowly let out her breath.

A small stream crossed the beach ahead of her and she followed it toward the trees. She parted the bushes and peered into the darkness.

“Oh,” she breathed.

From over the sea, the sun’s early rays slipped inside the edge of the forest and caught a tiny, perfect, waterfall. It flowed from a stand of ferns, high up in a wall. The water glittered, as it tumbled from rock to rock, until it reached the stream at her feet.

She’d never seen anything so beautiful.

She scooped up a little of the water, drank a handful, then offered some to the old gods of the place. She bowed, then with one last backward glance, turned to go.

Dzień took advantage of her absence to browse on the bushes beside the beach.

“Let’s go find that river,” she said, and continued on until they came to the wide river. Untying the waist strap, she slid out of her knapsack. Dzień drank while she stripped off her wet clothes, shivering in the early morning air. Aleksandra followed him in, gasping at the temperature, then ducked all the way under and came up giggling. She slid under again, and rubbed her hair until it was cleaner than it had been for their months at sea. She never thought she’d be so happy to smell clean water, and feel clean herself.

Opening the pack, pulled out her wet shashka and bow, then extracted an oilskin-wrapped bundle. Her packed clothes were dry, as were her knives. Her hat was a little worse for the salt water, but it would do.

After her sodden garments, the soft warmth of her buckskins and her sequestered weapons were familiar and welcome. Dzień nearly inhaled the handfuls of corn she put into her hat for him and she repacked her bag, slinging it on again.

“First things first, pony.” She rubbed his neck, as they walked up the trail beside the river. “We’re looking for a needle in the haystack here…somehow, we need to find Gustavus von Tempsky.”

Something niggled at the back of her mind as she rambled on to the horse, but her brain wasn’t clear enough to grasp it.

“I think we’re in the right country, but I have no idea where we are, nor if there are any people here, nor how to find the—”

Aleksandra’s heart froze and she stopped dead.

The trail beside the river. With footprints.

In an uninhabited wilderness…

It wasn’t uninhabited, either.

Before her on the trail was a pair of bare feet. Big ones.

Slowly, heart pounding in her chest, she lifted her eyes to meet those of what could only be a native of this land.

She gulped.

His dark face and body were covered by swirling tattoos—and very little else. The massively muscled, taut warrior, for he could be nothing else, held in his hand a big, heavy club, carved from a glossy green stone…

and he wasn’t smiling.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Until next time, or hasta luego, as my hero, Xavier, would say!

Xx

Lizzi Tremayne

 

 

Casket or Coffin? The rivulets down which writers may find themselves…and does it really matter?

Not to be getting morbid on you this early in the piece, but really, it’s important. Getting the detail right makes a difference to the discerning reader. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, a writer may have to leave the main stream and travel down smaller and smaller rivulets until the detail becomes clear—and correct, to the best of their understanding.

I’ve known this for quite some time, but was reminded the other day, when writing a scene for one of my 1863 historical fictions. In the interest of avoiding word repetition—by using varied words to say the same thing, I used the word coffin in one line, and casket in the next…and then, as I often do, began to wonder whether substituting one for the other was appropriate…for now, and as well as 1863. As my best friend, a techie, tells me whenever I ask him a question, “Google is your friend.”

So I went online…once again.

As any writer of historical works will tell you, do your research before you begin. I do, I do…but ‘when in the course of human events, it become necessary’ to figure out the plausibility of, for example, substituting ‘casket’ for ‘coffin’, one must hit the proverbial books again.

In this case, it turned out that mere word substitution was definitely not OK.

The name selected for the burial container of your historical heroine’s uncle implies vastly different things, with respect to the period in which he lived, his cultural affiliations, and his social status as well. The number of sides? Coffins have six or eight, while caskets, in North America, at least, have four, and are designed to look like a bed—apparently, to ease the mourning process—sheltering those left behind by making the deceased seem less dead than they are. (Really? No amount of makeup could have made my grandfather look alive, to my eight-year-old eyes.) Are they shaped like the deceased, as in the anthropoid shape of a coffin, wide at the shoulders and narrow toward the feet, or rectangular like a casket? How many layers?  And the composition of those layers? While common in England a few centuries ago, a tri-layered coffin, with the middle one of lead, would have been difficult to manufacture for burial of one’s loved husband while crossing the Sierras in a covered wagon. There certainly wasn’t the space to carry a spare.

So you see why it takes a writer so long to finish even a simple paragraph?

Likewise, some readers are pretty particular about their hobby. Take, for instance, horsey people. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been riding since I was seven, and luckily, made a career out of my love for horses. I’m not a snob in general, but when I pick up a book that has a horse in it, and its characters do something a horse person would consider just plain stupid, I tend to drop the book. Say, if a character does something like whip their reins around a hitching rail (your horse will rip their mouth to shreds if they panic and pull back), wrap the reins or lead rope around their hand (good way to lose fingers), or drive a pair or team from the wrong side of a carriage (the reins are buckled together at different lengths, specifically for the side on which the driver traditionally sits). I don’t want to read any more.

Some may call it snobbery, but it’s really more that the author has just lost credibility in the reader’s eyes. If they couldn’t bother to research enough to get that simple detail right, what else could be a lie in the story?  Research, research, research, and then run it by a person in that hobby. An author won’t always get it right, but they earn points with me for doing their best.

Detail, detail, and more detail.

During The Great Flood of Sacramento, having your fictional steamboat pilot tying his boat up to the dock would have local history buffs jumping up and down in hysterics, because the pier was beneath three stories of water.

The piles for said docks were just not that long. There was an awful lot of water filling up Sacramento, not to mention the whole Central Valley of California.

In fact, there was so much water that Leland Stanford had to go to his inauguration in downtown Sacramento in a rowboat. I can suppose his wife would not have been amused. Imagine the difficulty that would have posed for management of her crinoline, and keeping her ankles covered.

HOWEVER, and this is a big one…one can research and research…and then put it all into the story.

No, you say? Whatever can you mean? I’ve discovered all this information, and I want to tell the world, now that I’m an ‘expert’ on the topic!

It won’t fly. It just won’t.

If a reader wanted a history book, they would seek out a history book.

If one is writing historical fiction, the historical detail must be used with delicacy. Subtlety. It is far too easy to launch into historical exposition, and bury the story in pet research.

I know. I did it. And I must constantly prevent myself from doing it again.

Other authors ask why I released a 3rd edition of A Long Trail Rolling.

“Move forward,” they said. “It’s your first novel, get on with the next book!”.

I couldn’t.

This may have been my first book, but it was also the launching pad for my first series. The suboptimal reviews I’ve received (from the first edition) have complained of historical exposition, or history book-type rants about what I loved from my research. As Stephen King says, “Kill your darlings”. To those of you who offered these comments, thank you—it’s helped my writing evolve.

Writing historicals can be an exercise in trying to get out of the research and into putting words down on the page—for me, anyway—but maybe I’m just easily distracted. It’s also my excuse to keep delving deeper into the period in which I’m engaged. I love it, but it’s a bit of an addiction, this research. I can’t seem to get enough, and it will probably remain a compulsion, best kept under control.

Maybe we can start a new club. RA—Researchers Anonymous.

Maybe I’ll write a contemporary. A short one. I might finish it a lot faster…

Oh yeah, I’m doing that…soon…for Authors of Main Street’s next Christmas Boxed Set!

Here’s a teaser for that story…horsey girl in veterinary school…what she gets up to—and beyond.

 

   

I’m getting set to release Book Three in The Long Trails series of historical romantic thrillers, called A Sea of Green Unfolding, in digital and paperback.

During the run-up to release day, I’ll be offering digital copies of Book One of the series, A Long Trail Rolling, for only 99c, and preorders for A Sea of Green Unfolding at a discounted rate until release day!  Come on by my author site to sign up for my newsletter to stay informed!

Thanks so much for reading, I’ll see you again soon!

xx

Lizzi

Lizzi Tremayne