Category Archives: Amaranth Alchemy

Read and Review – How to Save an Author

If you read and love books you will appreciate the
time, energy, love, and passion that goes into writing a book.
This is how you can pay it back and forward…

read-and-review-the-last-krystallos How to Thank an Author

Add to that list angst, frustration, low financial reward, and you’ve got what it means to be an author. There’s plenty of love and passion, days of writing with your muse whispering in your ear and the true wonder of watching a story, an adventure, open up beneath your fingertips, but there are days and weeks when your muse goes AWOL, when your fingers bleed (figuratively), and you hate everything you write. Novel writing is not easy, but it is extremely rewarding.

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Raven says “Review…” © Lisa Shambrook

Writing a review can make all the difference. Reviews not only tell the author that their book has been purchased, read and enjoyed, but it tells others what they can expect, what there is to love about the book, and lots more. On top of that online reviews add to the visibility of a book (and an author). It is said, that once a book receives over 25 reviews on Amazon, Amazon will add your book to its ‘also bought’ and ‘you might like’ lists – thereby increasing your visibility. Once you receive over 50 reviews it is thought that Amazon will highlight, spotlight and include your book in newsletters. Of course, Amazon’s algorithm and marketing strategies change all the time, but the more reviews a book receives the more it helps the author.

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Books I’ve written and contributed to © Lisa Shambrook

It can take from between 6 months and 2 years (or more) to write a book, and the process is tough.  We write the first draft in which we hammer out words and we hope it’s a story that makes some kind of sense. Then we’ll go over said first draft revising and rewriting, in an attempt to find that sense we thought we had first time around. Then will come several further drafts of revising, reading, correcting, cutting huge chunks and adding others, and much more.

We will cry, we will laugh, we will love, and we will think all is lost.

We then do another round or two of revising and editing. Then our beloved beta readers will get the draft, the one that makes sense, to read through. They will return it with corrections, notes, errors they’ve found, and plot holes they’ve discovered, and they’ll tell you what they loved. The author will then bite their tongue, ‘til it probably bleeds, and try desperately not to take the critique personally while they, again, think, all is lost.

When they’ve picked themselves up, they will resume revisions, edits, line edits, and more until they send it to their editor, who will pick more holes that no one else noticed, and return it for further work. In the end the writer will, hopefully, have a polished manuscript ready for publication. It doesn’t matter if you’re being traditionally published or independently published at this point, we’ve been through the same things and now we will await cover art and formatting, or do it ourselves, and finally publish.

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Independent and Traditionally Published books – we all need reviews © Lisa Shambrook

It’s not over at that point either. Most authors market their own books, even those published by the Big Five. Those of us without outside help will market, advertise and publicise, even though authors are in general, introverts! And then we wait…

An eBook generally costs about the same as a cup of coffee, or a hot chocolate, yet it takes two minutes to make a coffee and about two years to write a book…Books are great value!

When sales come through we celebrate, even the pennies that come in are welcome and embraced!

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The difference between a book and a hot chocolate © Lisa Shambrook

This is where you, the reader, come in. If you buy the book, and you read it, and you love it, then the best way you can thank us for those months of hard work is to write a review. Let the world know that the book is out there, that you loved it, and why you loved it.

You don’t have to write much, literally, just a sentence or two is worth everything to an author. Just award your stars and say “I loved it!” That works. Or you can write a paragraph or an essay, it’s up to you!

Of course, we want truthful reviews, and we’re big girls and boys, we can handle that our book might not be your thing, feel free to say so, as long as you’re honest and not rude. Don’t be nasty about a book you didn’t like, not every book will suit every reader. And try to judge the book and not the author. On the other hand, we love it if you spread the word when you found a book delightful, or rewarding, or helpful, or fun, or inspirational… Tell everyone.

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I always leave reviews for the wonderful things I find on Etsy © Lisa Shambrook

You can leave reviews anywhere these days. Most people when planning to travel will check out Trip Advisor, a very valuable site for companies within the industry. It exists to help. Many will search reviews for technology, cars, movies, etc. We are a society who wants to know what we’re buying and if it’s worth it. I also sell on Etsy with Amaranth Alchemy, and reviews of my products help others to see what quality they are getting. I always check the reviews on Etsy and Ebay before buying anything. Books are the same.

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Amaranth Alchemy Etsy © Lisa Shambrook

You can leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, on Facebook, Twitter, your Blog, anywhere you wish. We share our opinions on politics, TV, and everything else on social media, why not tell people about that book you just read and loved?

I’ve just finished reading Stacy Bennett’s Quest of the Dreamwalker and have left a review on both Amazon and Goodreads. I have been completely enchanted by it and adore the writing. If that’s all I wrote the review would be worthwhile, however, I wrote more than that because I was completely bewtiched! Here’s my Review…

And I have to ask, if you’ve read and loved my books and you haven’t reviewed them, please do… You’ll make me very happy and will help me to further my writing career! ❤

Share your last favourite book with us here…
Why did you love it so much?

The Hope Within Novels and Review Quotes Lisa Shambrook

The Hope Within Novels and Review Quotes © Lisa Shambrook

Christmas Stocking Filler Amaranth Alchemy Offer

Christmas is only five weeks away,
and if you’re looking for beautiful and unique gifts for the
reader/writer/wordy person in your life
then look no further than Amaranth Alchemy on Etsy…

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And take advantage of our 25% OFF EVERYTHING offer until the 5th December 2016.

Just use the coupon code CHRISTMAS16 at the Etsy shopcheckout for 25% off…

All our products are great stocking fillers and no two items are the same.

We rescue old, worn, torn, damaged and abandoned books from landfill and breath new life into old pages…

The vintage book pages we use in our craft are always ethically sourced and we promise never to take pages from new books unless they are irrevocably damaged.
We will always recycle where we can, reusing envelopes and packaging to help protect the environment, but you can be assured your gift will arrive beautifully wrapped and ready for a new home.

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Take a look at our range and make someone happy with beautiful words..
. Like our Facebook Page to keep up to date with Special Offer Discount Codes and Giveaways!

Get your 25% off today – until the 5th December 2016!

Come and Visit Llandeilo Book Fair 2016

I’m taking part in my first Book Fair on Saturday 30th April
in the picturesque town of Llandeilo in beautiful West Wales

llandeilo book fair 2016

Llandeilo is a gorgeous setting close to Aberglasney Gardens and Gelli Aur in the pretty Tywi Valley. So if you’re local or at a loose end this Saturday and fancy finding some new books by some great authors, then pop along and meet us. We’ll be very pleased to see you!

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I’ve spent some time planning my table and set up, especially as I haven’t done this before, and I think I’m ready!

llandeilo book fair 2016, lisa shambrook, bookmarks, banner, business cards, the hope within novels,

I’ll be there with paperback copies of my Hope Within series. Beneath the Rainbow, Beneath the Old Oak and Beneath the Distant Star. There will be free bookmarks and business cards for the Hope Within novels and you can see some props from Beneath the Rainbow too.

lisa shambrook books, hope within novels, amaranth alchemy, bookspine bookmarks, bookpage bookmarks,

We’ll also be selling bookspine and bookpage bookmarks from my Etsy shop Amaranth Alchemy, where we rescue old, unwanted and damaged books and breathe new life into their pages.

llandeilo book fair 2016, carmarthen journal, posters and leaflets on Morris Travel,

Article with Christoph Fischer in the Carmarthen Journal Twyi Valley, and leaflets and posters on Morris Travel buses across Carmarthen

We’ve had leaflets and posters up for a while and had some great interest in our competitions and talks and fun! Check out our Time Table of Events.

llandeilo book fair 2016 poster,

Llandeilo Book Fair will be open on Saturday 30th April 2016 from 10.30am to 4.30pm, free entry, and refreshments are by Caffi Iechyd Da from Carmarthen. There will be competitions, prizes, readings, workshops and lots and lots of books for all ages.

Come join us and find your next read!

You won’t regret it!

Christmas Gifts Amaranth Alchemy Offer…

As Christmas arrives…and it will, take advantage of our new offer at Amaranth Alchemy. Use coupon code: CHRISTMAS15 and get 25% off everything until 5th December 2015…

19. Christmas Collection Amaranth Alchemy Nov 2014It’s worth it! If you’re overseas it will help offset the shipping costs, and all our products are priced within £2 and £20. You’ll find original gifts for the book lover and reader in your family, and a plethora of stocking fillers.

 

6. CHRISTMAS Etsy 25 off 2015 JPEGMake your bibliophile happy with a bookmark, or print. Decorate with our Christmas plaques and tree ornaments, and tag your parcels with our beautiful gift tags.

amaranth alchemy winter gifts, etsy shop christmas, christmas shopping, stocking fillers, the last krystallos,Fix your notes upon your fridge with our pegs, and wear one of our stunning Scrabble style necklaces.

amaranth alchemy winter gifts, etsy shop christmas, the last krystallos,Pop over and see what you’d love…0. Logo Complete Rectangle

Halloween – No Tricks just Treats at Amaranth Alchemy…

With Halloween just around the corner,
we’ve recently restocked our Etsy shop and it’s all good!

amaranth alchemy etsy shop, bookpage gifts, bookmarks, scrabble style necklaces, bookspine bookmarks,So pop over and have a look and see if anything catches your eye…at Amaranth Alchemy

amaranth alchemy, etsy shop, halloween gifts, sherlock holmes, the hobbit quote,

We’ve got necklaces, and boookmarks and quotes… Think Dictionary, Sherlock and The Hobbit

amaranth alchemy, etsy shop, bram stoker's dracula, mary shelley's frankenstein, bookmarks, bookpage bookmarks,

Dracula and Frankenstein…bookpage bookmarks…

ravens, amaranth alchemy etsy shop, dictionary necklace, scrabble style necklace, halloween,

Ravens…black as night…on our Dictionary Scrabble style necklace…

welsh language, peg magnets, fridge magnets, peg fridge magnets,

Welsh peg magnets to hold your precious secret recipes and potions…

scrabble style necklaces, halloween, smaug the hobbit, the moon jewellery,

The moon on a dark Halloween night, and Smaug…dancing with fire before it…

Wizardry with Harry Potter, Cheshire Cat's smile, boookpage bookmarks, halloween,

Wizardry with Harry Potter and the Cheshire Cat’s smile…creepy…

the hobbit jewellery, dragon jewellery, scrabble style necklace,

Dragons flying across the full moon…on our Scrabble style necklaces…

We’re gearing up for Halloween and then there’ll be, dare I say it, Christmas…

Like our Amaranth Alchemy Facebook Page and you’ll be the first to know when our Giveaway starts and you’ll always know when we put out our special offers!

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Find us on Etsy

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Mother’s Day Sale – Amaranth Alchemy and Beneath…

We have a generous 40% off everything in the lead up to Mother’s Day, we’ve had our UK Mothering Sunday, now it’s time for the rest of you to treat your mums.

mother's day, gift, discount, etsy, code, 40%, unique gifts, book craft, book page, writer's gifts,
Use Etsy Code: MOTHERSDAY15 and find something special!

As we’re a UK company, this offer can help you find a beautifully unique gift and offset the higher cost of international shipping!

dragon, dragon necklace, dictionary necklace, Amaranth Alchemy, gifts,

My own Dragon dictionary necklace.

I still wear the very first necklace we made, a prototype, one of our Scrabble style dictionary necklaces, perfect for any writer or for anyone who loves words. This one’s not for sale, but message us via our Etsy shop and see if we have the perfect word for you, or for you Mother, or your loved one. We have some very happy commission customers.

See what we can do for you!

amaranth alchemy, gifts, book craft gifts, book page art,  unique gifts, mother's day,

I am also offering my two novels at sale prices for Mother’s Day. Both these books cover the deep and complicated relationships between mothers and daughters, and would be an ideal addition to your mother’s, or your own, bookshelf…

Beneath the Rainbow, Beneath the Old Oak, Lisa Shambrook, books, mother daughter relationship, grief, enchanting, sale,

Beneath the Rainbow, Lisa Shambrook, grief, heartbreak, rainbow, bluebells, enchanting, uplifting,‘Freya won’t let death stand in her way. When she dies Freya knows she needs to move on, but is caught within her mother’s grief and the discovery of terminally ill Old Thomas. Beneath her Rainbow…Freya needs to reach her mother, wait for Old Thomas and be ready to move on.’

Praise for Beneath the Rainbow:

“Every parent or indeed anyone who remembers the magic of their own childhood will identify with this book from the very first page. What starts off as a personal tragedy quickly blossoms into an enchanting story of joy, happy memories, and hope.
On a literary note, the book employs a stream of consciousness style that bears a well-deserved comparison with Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway.
A cracking good read that even the most cynical of us are likely to be left with perhaps a tear of joy, and a hope that maybe, just maybe, there could be an element of truth in its vivid description of Freya’s journey and what lies beyond…” ~ Paul (read more)

Beneath_the_old_oak_lisa_shambrook_signed_etsy‘Meg thinks her mother is broken. Is she broken too? Meg’s life spirals out of control, and when she mirrors her Mum’s erratic behaviour, she’s terrified she’ll inherit her mother’s sins. Seeking refuge and escape, she finds solace beneath a huge, old oak. A storm descends, and Meg needs to survive devastating losses.’

Praise for Beneath the Old Oak:

“A lightning bolt of a story that burns from the inside out.
Maneuvering through early teen years is difficult at best. Add a mother with mental illness, a family history riddled with mystery, and an ancient oak eager to share its secrets, and you have a beautifully poignant tale.
Beneath the Old Oak delves deeply into the helplessness of a family torn apart by depression, leaving hope scattered like fallen leaves.” ~ LaDonna Cole RN, BS, CAR Therapist and Author of Heartwork Village, Grief Recovery Curriculum (read more)

beneath the rainbow, beneath the old oak, lisa shambrook, books, grief, hope, depression, The Kindle eBooks are on sale from 26th April to 10th May on Amazon.

‘Beneath the Rainbow’ is just $1.50 (£0.99) 
‘Beneath the Old Oak’ is only $3.00 (£1.99)

Both books are also available in paperback at Amaranth Alchemy on Etsy offering 40% off  – thus giving you a substantial discount off signed books!

Note: Mothering Sunday is on Sunday 10th May in the US and much of the rest of the world.

Give your mother the gift of an enchanting read…

Mother’s Day Sale – Reach Beneath for Enchanting Reads…

Your mother’s heart will be captured with an enchanting
and uplifting gift for Mother’s Day this year…

Beneath the Rainbow, Beneath the Old Oak, Lisa Shambrook, books, mother daughter relationship, grief, enchanting, sale,

Both these books cover the deep and complicated relationships between mothers and daughters, and would be an ideal addition to your mother’s, or your own, bookshelf…

Beneath the Rainbow, Lisa Shambrook, grief, heartbreak, rainbow, bluebells, enchanting, uplifting,

Beneath the Rainbow – Lisa Shambrook

‘Freya won’t let death stand in her way. When she dies Freya knows she needs to move on, but is caught within her mother’s grief and the discovery of terminally ill Old Thomas. Beneath her Rainbow…Freya needs to reach her mother, wait for Old Thomas and be ready to move on.’

Praise for Beneath the Rainbow:

“Every parent or indeed anyone who remembers the magic of their own childhood will identify with this book from the very first page. What starts off as a personal tragedy quickly blossoms into an enchanting story of joy, happy memories, and hope.
On a literary note, the book employs a stream of consciousness style that bears a well-deserved comparison with Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway.
A cracking good read that even the most cynical of us are likely to be left with perhaps a tear of joy, and a hope that maybe, just maybe, there could be an element of truth in its vivid description of Freya’s journey and what lies beyond…” ~ Paul (read more)

Beneath the Old Oak, Lisa Shambrook, depression, run away, loss, oak tree, family,

Beneath the Old Oak – Lisa Shambrook

‘Meg thinks her mother is broken. Is she broken too? Meg’s life spirals out of control, and when she mirrors her Mum’s erratic behaviour, she’s terrified she’ll inherit her mother’s sins. Seeking refuge and escape, she finds solace beneath a huge, old oak. A storm descends, and Meg needs to survive devastating losses.’

Praise for Beneath the Old Oak:

“A lightning bolt of a story that burns from the inside out.
Maneuvering through early teen years is difficult at best. Add a mother with mental illness, a family history riddled with mystery, and an ancient oak eager to share its secrets, and you have a beautifully poignant tale.
Beneath the Old Oak delves deeply into the helplessness of a family torn apart by depression, leaving hope scattered like fallen leaves.” ~ LaDonna Cole RN, BS, CAR Therapist and Author of Heartwork Village, Grief Recovery Curriculum (read more)

‘Beneath the Rainbow’ is on sale from 1st to 15th March on Amazon. Kindle eBook £0.99 ($1.50).  ‘Beneath the Old Oak’ is only £1.99 ($3.00). Also available in paperback (see below).

Amaranth Alchemy, UK Mothers day, sale, book page art,

Both books are also available at Amaranth Alchemy which is also offering a 20% off everything Mother’s Day sale – thus giving you a substantial discount off signed paperbacks!

Note: Mothering Sunday is on Sunday 15th March in the UK and Sunday 10th May in the US and much of the rest of the world.

Give your mother the gift of an enchanting read…

Amaranth Alchemy: The Gift of Words

Amaranth Alchemy Winter/Spring Collection

Amaranth Alchemy Winter/Spring Collection

In a few weeks Amaranth Alchemy will have been trading for five months, we’ve had fun and unexpected success and we offer much gratitude to everyone who has supported us! It’s been a delight to share wordy and bookish crafts and rescue books at the same time.

Old, worn and torn books, destined for the county tip, have come into our lives and we’ve been able to use them to enrich and create. Another offer of thanks go to all those who own a piece of our work, especially over Christmas, we hope you love it!

Pooh_Alice_and_Adventure_Amaranth_Alchemy_valentine_2015

Winnie the Pooh, Alice and Adventure – Amaranth Alchemy

Right now, we’re preparing for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day and Easter won’t be too far behind. February sees lovers sharing hearts and flowers, and if I have anything to do with it, chocolate too, then 15th March celebrates Mothering Sunday in the UK…in the US I am reliably informed by my ‘the bright side’ diary that May 10th is ‘Mother’s Day (not the UK)’.

We have gifts for both him and her and would love you to take a peek

Gifts for Him and Her

Gifts for Him and Her – Amaranth Alchemy

Aragorn_loved_arwen_LOTR_B&W_scrabble_pendant_necklace_amaranth_alchemy_2015

Aragorn Loved Arwen – Amaranth Alchemy

We cater for fans of all variety…so if The Lord of the Rings is your beloved’s passion, then fall in love with Arwen and Aragorn

Winnie the Pooh delights all ages, especially mothers on Mother’s Day…

Winnie the Pooh - Amaranth Alchemy

Winnie the Pooh – Amaranth Alchemy

Sun and Moon Dictionary Necklaces - Amaranth Alchemy

Sun and Moon Dictionary Necklaces – Amaranth Alchemy

You can even find something for the Game of Thrones couple – My sun and stars… and, The moon of my life…

Poetry in motion with Dictionary Scrabble tile style necklaces…choose one of our premade pendants, or contact us and see if we have your special word and tile letter. We have some very happy commission customers!

Love, Star, Elvish Runes and Raven - Amaranth Alchemy

Love, Star, Elvish Runes and Raven Dictionary Necklaces – Amaranth Alchemy

It’s also highly likely that when we reach our six month mark, we may celebrate with a giveaway…don’t miss out, like our Facebook page and you’ll be ready!

Love Dictionary Necklace - Amaranth Alchemy

Love Dictionary Necklace – Amaranth Alchemy

Valentine’s Day is on its way! But don’t forget Mother’s Day too!

Little Women Bookmarks and Quote Plaques - Amaranth Alchemy

Little Women Bookmarks and Quote Plaques – Amaranth Alchemy

*All the photographs on this post belong to Amaranth Alchemy, but feel free to share them, especially on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter etc!

Fandom Character List Prints - Amaranth Alchemy

Fandom Character List Prints – Amaranth Alchemy

Amaranth Alchemy: breathing new life into old pages…

When you grow up losing yourself in books you can’t help but have an affinity to the written word that will last a life time.  Amaranth Alchemy’s brand of creativity involves rescuing old, unwanted and damaged books breathing new life into their pages.

Amaranth Alchemy products...

Amaranth Alchemy products…

My daughter, Bekah, and I recently embarked on a new adventure and created Amaranth Alchemy and we’d love to introduce you to our work!

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Winnie the Pooh necklace, Dream necklace and Alice bookmark…

Both of us spent our childhoods engrossed within the adventures laid down on pages; words that took us away and threw us into other worlds, other lives and allowed us to escape and experience so much more than our own small worlds could let us! I was the proverbial bookworm, never happier than when I was curled up with a good book. I loved searching my local independent bookstore for second hand books I could spend my pocket money on. The shop owner helpfully rescued tattered copies of The Famous Five and each of The Silver Brumby books so I could immerse myself amongst my favourite things!

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The Lord of the Rings products…

My book collection grew and I was always saddened when my beloved books began to fall apart, spine glue disintegrating, pages slipping out, accidents, a book left out in the rain, pages torn, and general wearing out. I kept a lot of my books, reluctant to release them, and unable to throw them away, despite having bought a better condition copy! Over the years my old books vanished to charity, or final acceptance of the dreaded bin, sacrilegious!

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This is the average state of the books we use before rescue…

These days charity shops are overrun with books, too many to sell or recycle and many are pulped. Those that don’t make charity are often thrown away to rot in landfill.

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Marvels of Nature, Oliver Twist and Dracula bookmarks, and Winnie the Pooh wall art…

Bekah and I decided to do something about these lost and abandoned books and created a rescue service!

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Alice wall art, The Story of English Literature bookmark, Birdcage quote plaque and Winnie the Pooh necklace… (clockwise)

Our choice of name epitomises our ethic…unfading creation
Amaranth: a purple flower whose name derives from the Greek ἀμάραντος (amarantos) which means ‘unfading’ and is what books are, unfading stories, and Alchemy: a magical process of creation, turning old books into new.

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Dictionary word necklaces…

The vintage book pages we use in our craft are currently sourced from the Healthy Planet (a charity that gives away donated books preventing them going to landfill or being pulped) or from books lost within the dusty back rooms of charity shops or donated to us. Each item we make breathes new life into old pages.

We promise never to take pages from new books unless they are irrevocably damaged!

GIVEWAY: you can own Mrs Tiggy Winkle! Go to our FB page to take part!

GIVEWAY: you can own Mrs Tiggy Winkle! Go to our FB page to take part!

You can have a chance to win the necklace above! It’s our very first giveaway and all you need to do is pop over to Facebook and ‘like’ our page Amaranth Alchemy, like and comment on the Giveaway photo…very easy and Mrs Tiggy Winkle is waiting for a lovely new home…could it be yours? 

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15% Etsy voucher…

Even if you don’t win…you can have 15% off in our Etsy shop until the 15th October 2014...use the code above when you go through to pay for your purchases. Go and take a look and end up with a beautiful package delivered to your door!

Amaranth Alchemy's first packages all packed up pretty before posting...

Amaranth Alchemy’s first packages all packed up pretty before posting…

Amaranth Alchemy is a mother and daughter team who adore words and art of every kind.

Lisa is an author, photographer and an all-round artsy dreamer. Her first novel ‘Beneath the Rainbow’ is available to critical acclaim. When she’s not writing her second and third novels she can be found tinkering with other arty projects.

Bekah is an artist and designer by trade, spending time as a Make-Up Artist out on photo shoots, and designing websites, logos and all manner of arty things. She can be discovered at Masterpiece Artistry.

Lisa and Bekah have an eye for all things of natural beauty and a talent for putting creative arts together.