Report on Library Talk in Evesham and Why it’s Never too Late

I did a library talk at Evesham on Friday 9 February along with poet Suz Winspear and non-fiction and fiction author, Helen Barrell.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore about my co-speakers later, but as I was preparing my talk about how I came to be a published author, several things occurred to me.

I began the talk by saying that I am a good advert for several things :

  1. It’s never too late to begin writing
  2. Enter competitions
  3. Attend writing courses
  4. Keep going

My mother always read to me when I was little. By age seven, my inner life was full of gold ingots, caves and big brothers – did you guess the reading matter? Enid Blyton was our favourite, my nan having acquired a big box of Famous Fives and Secret Seven’s from somewhere. You can imagine what my junior school essays were about. We always went to the library as a family on Saturday mornings too, so I continued to be an avid reader.

By age twelve I was hiding away in the little attic room behind the chimney at home writing stories and poems. On Friday, I showed the library talk attendees my box of treasures and inspiration from that time. Aged fourteen, I penned my first novel. After my O-Levels, my writing life became academic essays and work reports – life got in the way!

Or so I thought – after writing notes for my talk to the effect that I’d done no creative writing from that point until much, much later in life, I opened my box of treasures and inspiration referred to above and found whole novel plots and copious poems that I’d forgotten writing at all, some whilst I was at university.

Fast forward through my life and I found myself a little lost after a late pregnancy left me recovering from two operations and not returning to work. So I began writing more seriously, entering competitions, attending writing courses (including Sue Johnson’s courses who set up the library talk for me), joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writer’s Scheme and then in 2016 won Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition and got my break into publishing.

Back to my fellow speakers at the library talk.

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Helen Barrell, Morton Gray, Suz Winspear

Suz Winspear was Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2017. Her poems, performed in her own individual style were amazing. She described the initiatives she was involved with during her year as poet laureate, including combining poetry and dance. You can find her latest poetry collection The Awkward People here.

Helen Barrell is a fascinating lady who talks with great passion about her subjects. We share a love of family history. She has conducted in-depth research into poisonings in Essex in the 1840s and also for a book about Alfred Swaine Taylor who was instrumental in the dawn of forensic science. She has also written romance novels as Eleanor Harkstead. Links to Helen’s non-fiction books Poison Panic can be found here and Fatal Evidence here and her romance novel here.

Thanks to Helen‘s other half, Gordon for the photographs.

It was a very interesting morning in Evesham.

 

Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – to pre-order now click Amazon.img_2806

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Guest Post by Author Lynda Stacey – Nothing would have ever prepared me for being an author…!

Choc Lit author Lynda Stacey has written an interesting post for my blog about how nothing prepared her to be an author. Over to Lynda

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I can honestly say that I was rubbish at school, I hated school with vengeance, I had no interest what-so-ever in being there, in being told what to do or being surrounded by hundreds of teenage girls and boys who I had absolutely nothing in common with. That’s not saying that I didn’t have friends, I did… but they were few and the ones that mattered are still a part of my life.

It didn’t help that I had the attention span of a goldfish…. I hated it, I didn’t want to be there, I was bored…!

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At around thirteen years old, I was bought a Lilliput typewriter, which I banged around on for hours. It was something I enjoyed. I made small stories, wrote first chapters, attempted making up novels and for as long as I can remember I told everyone I was going to be an author…. if only I actually got around to writing a whole book.

Even with all of this in mind, I can honestly say that nothing prepared me to become an author, not even myself. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done as an adult via my everyday working life. I’ve worked hard, I’ve always had two jobs, one in the day and one either of an evening or on a weekend, because just sitting and watching television was never really on my radar. I spent my time doing sports, I did Tae Kwon Do, Kick Boxing, I was in a brass band, and in my thirties, I became a Scuba Diving Instructor, opened my own school and spent many years between England, the Caribbean and Egypt.

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But then, I was stopped in my tracks. I was in a huge car accident in 2008. I found myself sitting for long periods of time, which drove me just a little bit insane. It was at this time that once again I began jotting down ideas… scribbling down odd sentences… and making up characters, their names, their lives and what might just happen to them, should I write the story.

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It was at this time that Tell me no Secrets was born, it began as a very story with a secondary character called Kate Duggan, who was a private detective with a back story of her own. The more I wrote of the original story, the more it became apparent that Kate Duggan was screaming out from the page to become the dominant character. She had personality, I could empathise with her and what’s more, the more I got to know her, the more I really wanted to tell her story. So… I did what most authors would hate to do, I completely deleted everything I had and totally re-wrote the whole story, from Kate’s point of view.

The twists and turns within Tell me no Secrets just grew and grew. I surprised myself with how the story seemed to move along. The characters came to life and took on personalities of their own. But saying that, I still spent many days staring at the laptop, and of falling out with the whole story. But then, I’d sigh, I’d take deep breaths, and I’d glare at the page. I’d walk away, sleep on the ideas. I’d find myself falling in love with my characters, only to fall out of love with them two minutes later.

The trouble with being an author is that we go through various levels of emotion. Our world is like being on a giant rollercoaster and some days we’re on a high, other day’s we’re on a low. We think our stories are the best we could ever write and then, without warning, our stories seem like the worst thing ever, we honestly believe that no-one would ever publish them and that we’d most probably just wasted a whole year of our lives writing it.

I had no choice but to put the file away, I tried to forget about it and in the meantime, I wrote House of Secrets. To my delight it won the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition and I literally bounced around a room. I was finally going to be published, I’d completed my childhood ambition and I loved House of Secrets with all my heart. But deep down, my mind would always go back to the novel I’d written first, Tell me no Secrets. I’d spent far too many hours writing it to let it go and once again I got the file out, re-read it and then, I gave it a total re-write. Same plot, better words. It took hours, weeks and when I finally hit the submit button, I felt a mixture of nerves and relief. Then, I waited…and waited…!

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Finally, after around four months came that moment when the contract dropped into my inbox. This was the moment that my very first novel became a reality. It was the moment when the first book I’d written would be the second book that I’d have published. But this moment of sheer exhilaration was quickly followed by a moment of complete horror. I suddenly realised that people were actually going to read my book…  they would review it, judge it and mark it and suddenly, I felt as though I were that thirteen-year-old child, back at school, back in the classroom and once again, I didn’t like it.

So, I nervously waited for publication day… the day when Tell me no Secrets first came out as an e-book. When people would first download it, read it and judge it. And I can honestly say that I literally held my breath and watched the platforms all day, while waiting for the first reviews to drop in.

And then they came… here are just a few of them…

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5.0 out of 5 stars

Romance, intrigue and appalling secrets

Strong ‘marmite’ characters that you either love or hate drive the pace of this well written book. Kate’s vulnerability is exceptionally well portrayed and although I wanted her to fight back I felt why she couldn’t through the strength of the text. The story gripped me from the word go and it continued to build, adding layers of suspense until it reached its shocking conclusion. A ‘must read’ story.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Second book smash for Lynda Stacey

Writers fear the second book, and with good reason. It’s an important book to send out into the world, and Lynda’s book does not equal House of Secrets, it surpasses it. Stacey is an author who shows that she can flex her writing muscle, both books are as different as night and day – both are 5 star reads that keep you turning those pages. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next.

5.0 out of 5 stars

A real page turner – a must read in my opinion – excellent..!

I really could not put this book down and read it in a couple of days at any opportunity I had. Tense moments and twists and turns entwine with wonderful characters, some I loved like Kate and others who I hated with a passion, such as Kate’s Fiancé Rob.

I really felt for Kate, who following a car accident which proved fatal for a member of her family and life changing for others, has low self-esteem due a nasty scar on her face. Starting her new job as a Private Investigator, after a period of recovery, Kate investigates a suspected drug dealer, with the bonus being she gets to work with a gorgeous guy called Ben.

There are other characters such as Kate’s Mum, who is always full of put downs for Kate, however as the book progresses you get to understand her more and the beauty in Lynda’s writing is that she can change your feelings for a character from loathing to caring due to the finer details about a character.

I fell a little in love with Ben who was kind, supportive and himself had a sad past but on the other side of the coin was Rob, full of secrets and lies, which slowly unravel throughout the book.

I really loved this book, wonderfully well written, fantastic characters, romance, suspense, secrets, it has it all for me and I can’t wait to read more from Lynda in the future.

 

Thank you for this guest post, Lynda. I find this insight into your life fascinating. I want to know what instrument you played in the brass band? I too get that moment of horror when I realise that people are going to read my book!

L (1) copy-1About Lynda Stacey

Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire.

Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.

To contact Lynda use the following links:-

Facebook – www.facebook.com/lyndastaceyauthor

Twitter – @Lyndastacey

Website – www.Lyndastacey.co.uk

Tell me no secrets

BOOK BLURB – Tell me no Secrets

Can a secret be worse than a lie?

Every time Kate Duggan looks in a mirror she is confronted by her guilt; a long, red scar reminding her that she was ‘the one to walk away’ from the car accident. Not everyone was so lucky …

On the surface her fiancé Rob is supportive – but the reality is different. He’s controlling, manipulative and, if the phone call Kate overhears is anything to go by, he has a secret. But just how dangerous is that secret?

When Kate begins work at a firm of private investigators, she meets Ben Parker. His strong and silent persona is intriguing but it’s also a cover – because something devastating happened to Ben, something he can’t get over.

 As Kate and Ben begin their first assignment, they become close. But, what they don’t realise is how close to home the investigation will bring them, or who will be hurt in the process …

To buy Tell me no Secrets use the following links – now available as an e-book or paperback.

Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tell-Me-No-Secrets-gripping-ebook/dp/B06Y5LN8BP/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497552462&sr=8-1&keywords=tell+me+no+secrets

Choc Lit – TELL ME NO SECRETS

 

Links to Lynda‘s other books:

HOUSE OF SECRETS

HOUSE OF CHRISTMAS SECRETS

 

 

Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – to pre-order now click Amazon.img_2806

 

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Spring and Exciting April News

Signs of Spring make me happy. I caught sight of lambs and snowdrops at the weekend and one day last week was nice enough to open all of the windows and air out the house. I’m ignoring the blustery weather today – I’m convinced Spring is on the way!

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It has been a year now since my debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published by Choc Lit. I have been heartened by the response from readers. The book has sold steadily through the year and now has over seventy reviews on Amazon. I couldn’t resist sharing a couple of my recent favourites.

5.0 out of 5 starsA gripping, absorbing debut

ByGeorgia Hillon 20 January 2018

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Part romance, part suspenseful mystery, part thriller. A gripping, absorbing debut novel. Recommended.

5.0 out of 5 starsI really enjoyed this book

ByMrs M J Clackon 5 December 2017

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I really enjoyed this book. It started well and had me intrigued right from the off. What I particularly liked was the way the tension went up a gear at the point when a lot of books dip. It was impossible to put down.

5.0 out of 5 starsI loved this book

BySoosieMacon 16 October 2017

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I loved this book! As an artist, I found the detail of the heroines artwork authentic and realistic. Great suspense and build up, but I’m not giving away any spoilers. Can’t wait to see what Morton’s next novel will hold.

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The Girl on the Beach is currently in the Choc Lit January sale, 99p on Amazon and in a Buy One Get One Half Price deal on Kobo UK, so if you haven’t read it yet you can grab a bargain copy.

10 April 2018 is going to be a special day for me with both the release day for the paperback of The Girl on the Beach (already up for pre-order on Amazon) and the e-publishing day for my new novel!

My publisher, Choc Lit and I haven’t agreed a title for this new one yet, working title is Rock, Paper, Scissors and the cover is being designed – can’t wait to share these with you. I’m hoping readers will love my moody carpenter, Carver Rodgers and his dog, Wilf.

Join me next week for an enthralling insight into author Lynda Stacey‘s world – Nothing Prepared Me For Being An Author!

 

Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – to pre-order now click Amazon.img_2806

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Spotlight on Guest Author Juliet Bell

I have a slightly unusual guest on my blog this week – Juliet Bell. Juliet is actually two people, or rather the pen name of two authors, Alison May and Janet Gover. The Heights is their first novel written together.

I asked Juliet some questions, which Alison and Janet answered over celebratory cocktails for their book release, apparently in the same restaurant where they met to plot the book.

What made you decide to write a book together and was it difficult to work as a team?

It all started at an RNA conference. Alison gave a talk about adapting classic literature into modern settings, and Janet mentioned that she’d always fancied adapting Wuthering Heights, but she felt it needed a Northern voice. Janet is terribly Southern (Australian in fact, which is very Southern indeed), but Alison is a Yorkshire girl, so we realised that between us we might just have what it takes.

Working as a team was great fun actually. It involved a lot of very long lunches. We had to change our working methods – neither of us are big planners, but for a collaboration, unless you’re actually in the same room together to do the writing (which we weren’t), you do need to agree in advance where the story’s going. We’re rather proud of the fact that we only had one incident where we both wrote the same scene in completely different parts of the book!

The flies in the ointment of collaboration were generally tiny things. Janet lays out documents like a crazy person, and saves her novels in separate documents for each chapter (which seems completely mad to Alison.) To even things up, Alison makes Janet pull her hair out by being apparently allergic to dialogue tags, and hardly ever bothering to use one.

How did you go about choosing a joint pen name?

Bell was easy. That’s the surname that all the Brontë sisters used for their pennames – they were originally published as Currer, Acton and Ellis Bell – so we liked the idea of having a nod to them in our penname.

Juliet, to be honest, was an accident. We hadn’t decided on a first name, and the publisher was briefing the cover designer for the book. They needed a placeholder name to prepare the cover layout. Not wanting to favour either Janet or Alison, our editor suggested using our agent’s first name, Julia. The cover designer misheard or misremembered and Juliet Bell was born.

What are the main issues in taking a classic tale and transplanting it into another time?

All the dying. Seriously so many people die in Wuthering Heights. Which is all right if you’re living in an era where you can get away with characters looking a bit peaky in Chapter 2, taking to their beds in Chapter 3 and being dead by the start of Chapter 4. That’s more challenging if you’re writing about the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. We actually have fewer deaths in The Heights than in the original novel, and we made a feature of all the death, in that that’s what initially brings Lockwood to Gimmerton. It’s just not usual – that many people dying associated with one family.

So those kind of plot issues can be tricky, but the themes in a really great classic novel are generally universal. Wuthering Heights is about obsession, and passion, and family, and social status, and all those things are still absolutely relevant today.

If your book was filmed or televised, which actors would you choose to play the main parts?

Here we got into some debate. Janet likes the idea of a scruffy, roughed-up Aiden Turner as Heathcliff, but Alison still thinks he’s too pretty! Alison thinks Ramona Marquez would make an interesting Cathy – remembering how young Cathy is, and how much her immaturity drives the story. Janet had to google Ramona, but agrees that she has the right look. And for Edward, we actually managed to agree that Eddie Redmayne would be an interesting choice.

Are there any more joint writing ventures planned?

Well, no spoilers, yes, there are. It’s another classic that we both think is misunderstood, and you might be a bit surprised by what we do with one of everyone’s favourite novels.

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About Juliet Bell

Juliet Bell is the collaborative pen name of respected authors Janet Gover and Alison May.

Juliet was born at a writers’ conference, with a chance remark about heroes who are far from heroic. She was raised on pizza and wine during many long working lunches, and finished her first novel over cloud storage and skype in 2017.

Juliet shares Janet and Alison’s preoccupation with misunderstood classic fiction, and stories that explore the darker side of relationships.

You can find out more about Juliet on her website www.juliet-bell.co.uk, on facebook https://www.facebook.com/JulietBellBooks/, or on Twitter @JulietBellBooks

Alison also writes commercial women’s fiction and romantic comedies and can be found at www.alison-may.co.uk

Janet writes contemporary romantic adventures mostly set in outback Australia and can be found at www.janetgover.com

The Heights

About The Heights

Two hundred years since Emily Brontë’s birth comes The Heights: a modern re-telling of Wuthering Heights set in 1980s Yorkshire.

A grim discovery brings DCI Lockwood to Gimmerton’s Heights Estate – a bleak patch of Yorkshire he thought he’d left behind for good. There, he must do the unthinkable, and ask questions about the notorious Earnshaw family.

Decades may have passed since Maggie closed the pits and the Earnshaws ran riot – but old wounds remain raw. And, against his better judgement, DCI Lockwood is soon drawn into a story.

A story of an untameable boy, terrible rage, and two families ripped apart. A story of passion, obsession, and dark acts of revenge. And of beautiful Cathy Earnshaw – who now lies buried under cold white marble in the shadow of the moors.

To Buy The Heights use the following links

Out now: kindle- mybook.to/TheHeights

iTunes – itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-heights/id1296793813

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-heights-a-gripping-modern-re-telling-of-wuthering-heights

Google play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Juliet_Bell_The_Heights_A_gripping_modern_re_telli?id=eD45DwAAQBAJ

Thank you for visiting my blog, Juliet Bell. I wish you lots of sales for The Heights.

 

Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – to pre-order now click Amazon.img_2806

 

 

 

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Where Am I?

I have some interesting guest posts coming up on the blog in the next few months – Juliet Bell, Lynda Stacey, Marie Laval, Kirsty Ferry and Caroline James – and I’m sure I’ll add a few more along the way.

My second novel is now with my publisher Choc Lit completely edited with the help of my wonderful editor, so watch this space for title, cover, release date announcements. I’ll be so excited to share this one with you!

The Girl on the Beach, my debut novel has sold steadily since its release in January last year. It hit number 1 slot on the Kobo UK Romantic Suspense chart again just after Christmas! The novel is to be released as a paperback on 11 April 2018 and is already up for pre-order on Amazon. It’s been lovely to be e-published, but I can’t wait to be able to put a physical book on my shelves. Still absolutely love the cover.

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I shall be taking part in a free event at Evesham Library between 11.00-12.30 on Friday 9 February. There are three authors there that morning, myself, Helen Barrell and Suz Winspear. Come along if you are able. I went to the January event and it provided an interesting insight into the publishing journey of the three speakers. Address is Evesham Library, Oat Street, Evesham, WR11 4PJ. There is limited parking at the library but lots of pay and display car parks close by.

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The dreaded lurgy got me in the end! Having spent a week fighting my son’s high temperature, I succumbed to the flu. I’m still coughing and have a head that feels as if it’s full of feathers.

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Picture taken by my sister StephieJ

I didn’t manage to achieve my 50,000 word NaNoWriMo challenge in November, due to the arrival of my second novel edits, but I did write the majority of a Christmas novella, which when I’ve finished posting this blog I’m off to complete.

Hope all is well in your part of the world.

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Character Post by Daisy Wickens, heroine of Bella Osborne’s Ottercombe Bay

Daisy Wickens, heroine of Bella Osborne‘s new novel series Ottercombe Bay has her say on my blog this week.

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Welcome Daisy

“My name is Daisy Wickens and the world is my oyster. Well, that’s what people say when they’re trying to distract others and, sometimes, themselves from the reality of their situation. Everything I own can be fitted into one rucksack and I can move on at a moment’s notice. That’s how it’s been most of my life, so it’s what I’m used to.

I’m tired from my shift at the local pub and feel a bit grumpy, which isn’t helped by my sitting on a lumpy hostel bed. My phone rings and my heart lifts to see that it’s Great Uncle Reg’s number on the screen. He’s my dad’s uncle and although he’s someone I rarely see he means a lot to me. I snatch up the phone. ‘Hello,’ I say, trying to plump the lumpy pillow and settle myself for the inevitable long catch up.

‘Daisy?’ says the hesitant female voice on the other end.

‘Yes. Aunt Coral?’ My Aunt lives with Great Uncle Reg but I rarely speak to her. I prefer to keep a distance between my past and my present. ‘Oh, Daisy. I’m so sorry.’ Aunt Coral’s voice is full of tears. I screw up my eyes as if to protect myself from what I know she is going to say next.

In my mind I can picture her standing in the hall at Sea Mist Cottage in the small seaside town where I lived as a child. Memories flood my mind like a fast forwarded movie of my childhood: learning to swim in the sea, playing cricket on the beach, picnics on the headland, hide and seek behind the beach huts and snuggling up with a giant mug of proper hot chocolate with my beloved Great Uncle Reg.

Aunt Coral speaks at last. ‘He died peacefully in his sleep. The funeral’s on Monday.’

Then without thinking I say something I didn’t ever expect to hear myself utter. ‘Then I’ll be coming back to Ottercombe Bay.’”

Thank you, Daisy. I’m sorry for your loss – big hug.

I look forward to reading how your trip to Ottercombe Bay goes. Lovely cover by the way.

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About the Ottercombe Bay series by Bella Osborne:-

Escape to the Devon coast, with Part One of a brand-new four-part serial from the author of Willow Cottage.

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

Buying Links:-

 

About the Author – Bella Osborne

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Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year she finished a full length novel. She’s now written four romantic comedies and been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year.

Bella‘s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you.

She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s dog. When not writing she’s usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella and her other books, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media –

Twitter@osborne_bella

 

Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – pre-order now at Amazon.img_2806

 

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Merry Christmas to all readers of this blog and especially those who have read and reviewed my debut novel The Girl on the Beach. I have been so thrilled with the response to my first published book.

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Happy New Year to you all too! The Girl on the Beach originally published as an ebook will be issued as a paperback on 10 April 2018 (already up for pre-order here). Yay! It will be lovely to have it on my study shelf. My next novel, as yet hasn’t been given its publication title. It’s working title is Rock, Paper, Scissors and it should be out in early 2018.

I love Christmas decorations, so thought I’d share some picture of my trees, fireplace and a few little stories to go with them.

My Santa sleigh was bought for me by my Nan, she died in 1978, so it’s quite old. When I put it out, I take a moment to remember my Nan. I have lots of other decorations she gave to me too. She taught me to knit, crochet and love crafts, so she is still a large influence on my life.

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My brown Santa always has a place on my Christmas fireplace. He shouldn’t have been brown of course, but I don’t care. He was made on a pottery course I attended in 1981 the year I returned home from university. The glazing went wrong in the kiln and the whole class ended up with brown Santas.

The pottery teacher was very dishy and an abiding memory is of my friend Sue, who I met at the course, making a pot on the pottery wheel with the teacher guiding her with his arms around her. She was swooning rather than concentrating on the pottery!

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When I married my husband, I inherited the lovely decorations and baubles his late wife had collected. I love all of them and find it very poignant as I arrange her things on the tree. I never met her, but always think of her when I do this.

This year has been challenging for me health-wise. I began to notice a lot of unicorns in the shops – toys, ornaments and pictures and have taken this as a symbol that things will get better in 2018, so I couldn’t resist buying this unicorn Christmas decoration when I came across it.

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Here’s hoping that you have a lovely festive season and that Santa brings all that you desire. I’ll be back in the New Year with some more guest blogs, kicking off with Bella Osborne.

Xxx

 

Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – pre-order now at Amazon.img_2806

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