Crafting Update

I had a weaving loom for Christmas. Now even though I went on a day course about weaving, it was quite a challenge to warp the loom and begin weaving. Got it wrong the first time and ended up un-weaving! Lol I’ve always said I’m good at un-knitting, well now I’m good at un-weaving too! Once I got the hang of it, I’m very pleased with my first piece of cloth.

Last Friday was my fused glass course. I can only show you the “before” pictures as the pieces have to be fired! Two hours disappeared very quickly and I was amazed I didn’t cut myself.

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I’ll show you the finished items when I have them. The above should melt into a coaster, two pendants and a cocktail stirrer.

In book news, thank you to anyone who has borrowed my books from a library. You may not know but each time you borrow a book the author gets a small payment, currently 9p. It soon mounts up over a year and allows the author a little more income. I was thrilled by how many of you had borrowed my books. 😄

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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.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. It is also available as a paperback and audiobook.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available now as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

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What Did I Blog About in 2019?

As we start a new decade and I begin to plan my blogging year, I thought it was worth having a look back at the fantastic posts I featured in 2019.

I posted 41 times in 2019 and these consisted of fifteen author spotlight posts, four extracts from author’s books, two posts by a character from a guest author’s book, ten features on five things you would never guess about an author and ten personal posts. Phew! How many did you read? You can catch up below…

8 January – Where did Christmas go?

14 January – Five Things You Would Never Guess About Author Caroline James

21 January – Five Things You Would Never Guess About Author Morton Gray

28 January – Five Things You Would Never Guess About Author Alison May

5 February – Looking Forward to Exciting Times

18 February – Out of My Comfort Zone

4 March – Updates

12 March – Excited! 

18 March – Five Things You Would Never Guess About Author Tora Williams

25 March – Spotlight on Guest Author Jenni Keer

3 April – Mother Sayings From The Truth Lies Buried

15 April – Five Things You Would Never Guess About Author Carol Thomas

22 April – Focus on Daughter of the House by Victoria Cornwall

20 May – Spotlight on Guest Author Sadie Ryan

27 May – Excerpt from Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas

10 June – Return to the Spotlight – Author Kate Field

24 June – Five Things You Would Never Guess About Author Sharon Ibbotson

1 July – Excerpt from Daring to Love the Duke’s Heir by Janice Preston

15 July – Spotlight on Guest Author Jackie Ladbury

22 July – Excerpt from A Paris Fairy Tale by Marie Laval

29 July – Spotlight on Guest Ruby Fiction Author Wendy Dranfield

12 August – Character Post from The Purrfect Pet Sitter by Carol Thomas

19 August – Spotlight on Guest Author Hannah Pearl

26 August – Spotlight on Guest Author Jo Lambert

3 September – Holidays, Birthdays and Giveaways

9 September – The Spotlight Returns to Guest Author Marie Laval

16 September – Five Things You Would Never Guess About Author Kirsty Ferry

23 September – Spotlight on Guest Author Lucy Keeling

30 September – Return to the Spotlight – Guest Author Lynn Forth

7 October – Five Things You Would Never Guess About Author Angela Barton

14 October – Spotlight on Guest Author Chris Penhall

21 October – Spotlight on Guest Author Margaret James

28 October – Lynda Stacey Returns to the Spotlight

4 November – Five Things You Would Never Guess About Author Berni Stevens

11 November – Five Things You Would Never Guess About Author Angela Britnell

25 November – Character Post Featuring Janice Preston’s Heroine Lady Jane Colebrooke

2 December – The Adventures of Morton S. Gray

9 December – Let’s Talk About Christmas with Tora Williams

16 December – Excerpt from Murder at The Dolphin Hotel – Helena Dixon

23 December – Merry Christmas

30 December – Happy New Year

Looking forward to more blogging in 2020. If you have a favourite feature please let me know in the comments below. See you soon and thank you for reading.

 

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.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. It is also available as a paperback and audiobook.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available now as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

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Happy New Year

I’d like to wish my blog followers a Happy New Year!

Where did Christmas go? We seemed to be on a fast toboggan ride towards Christmas Day and then in a blink of an eye it is all over and we are nearly at New Year.

Hope that you all had a great Christmas period. I can sum up our quiet family Christmas in three photographs.

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After my weaving course in December, I requested a small weaving loom for my Christmas present from my husband – I’ll let you know how I get on with it. In line with my vow to add to my craft skills, I’m already booked on two courses in January – a fused glass workshop and a soap making course – I’ll report back on my blog of course.

I don’t go in for New Year’s resolutions these days, but if I had to make a wish, it would be for a peaceful, happy and healthy 2020 for everyone in our world. Make next year a good one …

 

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.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. It is also available as a paperback and audiobook.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available now as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

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Merry Christmas

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my blog readers a happy Christmas.

We are looking forward to a busy family Christmas Day. My eldest son and his girlfriend have moved back into our house after their house sale completed, but their house purchase sadly fell through at the last minute when the vendors decided that they didn’t want to move after all. My youngest son still lives at home and together with my mother, who will be collected on Christmas morning, we will have Christmas lunch, before being joined by my sister and her tribe for present opening in the afternoon.

I am, of course, thankful that I have a close family and I am very aware that not everyone is so lucky. Whatever your circumstances, I hope that you each have a peaceful and contented time.

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.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. It is also available as a paperback and audiobook.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available now as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

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Excerpt from Murder at the Dolphin Hotel – Helena Dixon

Helena Dixon joins me this week to share an excerpt of her new novel, which was published on 11 December 2019 – Murder at the Dolphin Hotel. It is right now storming up the UK and US charts 😀.

About Murder at the Dolphin Hotel

A room with a view… to murder.

 June 1933. Kitty Underhay is a modern, independent woman from the top of her shingle bob to the tip of her t-strap heels. She prides herself on the reputation of her family’s ancient hotel on the blustery English coast. But then a body is found, rooms are ransacked and rumours begin to circulate that someone is on the hunt for a valuable stolen ruby – a ruby that Kitty’s mother may have possessed when she herself went missing during the Great War. Before she can do more than flick a duster, Kitty finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation.

 When the local police inspector shows no signs of solving the shocking crimes plaguing the hotel, Kitty steps briskly into the breach. Together with ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, her new hotel security officer, she is determined to decipher this mystery and preserve not only the name of her hotel, but also the lives of her guests. Could there be a cold-blooded killer under her own roof? And what connects the missing jewel to the mystery from Kitty’s own past?

 A classic page-turning murder mystery! Fans of Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Edmondson and T.E. Kinsey will love this unputdownable whodunnit.

Published by Bookouture 11 December 2019.

Excerpt:

Dartmouth 1933

Kitty Underhay was on reception duty at her grandmother’s hotel. Outside the revolving doors lay a fresh, sunlit afternoon. Inside the lobby there was the scent of beeswax and lavender with dust motes floating in the air.

‘They fetched a body out the river this morning,’ Cora murmured to Kitty as she whisked her duster across the top of the reception desk. The older woman glanced around the lobby to check there were no guests within earshot before continuing with her tale. ‘Foreigner, Dutch they said. And it looks a bad business. Constable told me he’d had his head bashed in.’

‘Cora, really.’ Kitty glared at her employee. ‘You are the limit.’

Cora loved a titbit of gossip, and in a small, sleepy riverside town like Dartmouth, foul play on this scale was unusual to say the least. She bustled around the desk, her round, middle-aged face avid with glee at being the bearer of news.

‘Police is searching the banks down by the lower ferry. Mr Farjeon found him in the water when he went to open up his booth. Says he thought it were a dead dog, so he fetched a long stick and there was a face looking back up at him, all glassy-eyed and weed-covered.’ The maid’s stout frame shuddered at the thought.

Kitty sighed. Once Cora got started it was difficult to stop her, but she had to admit that her curiosity was piqued, even if she could have done without the details. As in any town that had a high number of holidaymakers and boats calling in to port, one expected some issues, especially with the naval college on the hill at the edge of town. Even so, a murder, especially of a stranger, was indeed news.

‘You can’t trust foreigners.’ Cora pursed her lips and rubbed at an imaginary spot in front of the visitors’ ledger. ‘I heard as well, that—’ Whatever else she was about to add was left unsaid as Kitty’s grandmother, small and elegant in a tweed suit, silk blouse and pearls, swept up to the reception area.

Buy link: https://t.co/654oQkUnYj

About Helena Dixon

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Helena Dixon splits her time between the Black Country and Devon. Married to the same man for over thirty five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 and Love Story of the Year 2010 as Nell Dixon. She now writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime. Nell enjoys hearing from readers and you can read her news and contact her via her website at http://www.nelldixon.com visit her blog at http://www.nelldixonrw.blogspot.com find her on Twitter @NellDixon and friend her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nell-Dixon/228642037151856

Thank you for sharing this excerpt Helena. If you enjoy Murder at the Dolphin Hotel, Book 2 in the Miss Underhay Mystery series is available for preorder – Murder at Enderley Hall is published by Bookouture on 19 March 2020.

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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.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. It is also available as a paperback and audiobook.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available now as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

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Let’s Talk About Christmas with Tora Williams

This week I’m joined by fellow author and friend, Tora Williams as she talks about her family Christmas traditions and shares an excerpt from her Christmas book The Gift of Time.

Over to Tora

When Morton first asked for a piece about my favourite Christmas traditions, my first thought was to talk about the Christmas tree or the food. Then I thought about the way anything my family does two years in a row suddenly becomes a tradition, and these traditions have become weirdly important. So here is a list of my favourite Christmas traditions that might not feature in your typical Christmas book or film.

Watching disaster movies, especially 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow. There’s no denying we get a special festive glow watching the world as we know it disappear beneath a seething mass of lava or become a frozen wasteland.

Power cuts. A few years ago, we had a power cut on Boxing Day that lasted hours and totally ruined the timing of our dinner. We lit candles and huddled around the log fire, and my niece loved it so much, she asked for a power cut the following year. Sadly, Western Power has completely failed to deliver a Christmas power outage after that one time, but we manage by just turning all the lights out for a while.

Climbing the Wrekin. This is the highest hill in the area and climbing it has become a favourite way of working off the Christmas calories. The view from the top is stunning and well worth the effort of getting there. Plus there’s nothing like having your ears ripped off by an icy gale to work up an appetite for the next meal.

View-from-Wrekin

Finding the tackiest light display. When I was growing up, there was a house on the outskirts of town that we loved driving past because it would be ablaze with colourful lights from the start of December. Whenever we were returning home after dark, my brothers and I would always beg our dad to take a detour past it. Since then I’ve always looked out for the place with the gaudiest display. I now live near the village of Haughton, which is famous for its Christmas lights, so I make an effort to drive through every December. It’s not properly Christmas until I’ve had the lights of a thousand Christmas trees burned permanently into my retinas.

 

Exerpt From The Gift of Time:

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This was, without a doubt, one of the most stupid things she had ever done. Kat hesitated at the end of the jetty and gazed at the reflection of the moon, alternately disappearing and reappearing behind the clouds scudding across the surface of the mere. Somewhere in the woods, an owl hooted. She hugged her arms to her chest. It had seemed like such a good idea in the comfort of her house—offer up a symbol of her past as a sign she was ready to embrace life again. But what good would it really do?

The wind sighed through the rushes; a whisper of breath chilled the back of her neck. She shuddered, overwhelmed by the sensation of being watched. Darting fearful glances over her shoulder, she jogged back down the jetty, the rapid tap, tap of her boots echoing around the still mere. Another twenty paces and she could laugh off the whole crazy business in the safety of her own home.

Home. Yeah, because shutting herself away at home had worked out so well for her until now. And what was it now, but a lonely house beside the mere, with no presents under the tattered tinsel Christmas tree and three framed photos on the mantelpiece her only company? She stopped a few steps shy of the bank and clenched her fist around the coin dangling at her throat.

“Admit it, Kat, it’s not home anymore.” She jumped at the sound of her own voice, oddly loud in the darkness.

Bloody hell, if she was going to start talking to herself, she needed to make a change right now. She unhooked her necklace. “Come on,” she muttered, fingering the ancient silver penny threaded upon the chain. “I might as well get it over with.” The Game of Thrones box set could wait a few minutes longer.

A bat swooped so close its wings fanned her face. Kat flinched, jolting the penny from her fingers. It clattered onto the wooden jetty, the sound magnified in the stillness of the night.

“No, no, nooo!” She dropped to her knees and patted the gritty planks. Oh, God, don’t let her knock it in. According to local legend, the offering had to be freely given. Would it count if the coin fell in by accident?

A splinter drove into her thumb. Bugger! She should have brought a torch.

This was turning into a farce, far from the dignified ceremony she’d envisaged. Maybe dashing out here at the dead of night hadn’t been the best idea, but once she had made up her mind, she hadn’t wanted to do anything as sensible as wait for daylight. A new start. Time to turn her back on the past and rejoin the rest of the world.

Her questing hand fell upon the smooth, cold penny and its fine chain. She blew out a breath of relief and rose to her feet. Higher up the valley, the church clock struck midnight. Christmas Day. A time of hope. What better time to mark a new start in her life?

She closed her eyes. “Goodbye, Rob. I’ll always love you.”

A brief press of the coin to her lips, then she hurled it out as far as she could. She counted three seconds before the pendant hit the water with a small splash. Then nothing.

 

About The Gift of Time

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Hoping to escape her dismal life, young widow Kat Beaumont throws a treasured coin into a lake. But how did a wish send her back in time? Now she’s in a snowbound medieval castle complete with vertigo-inducing staircases and smelly drains. While participating in the Christmas festivities, she continues to search for a way home and fights her attraction to the castle’s lord, Ralph d’Eyton.

Ralph needs an alliance through marriage to protect his lands and live up to his father’s legacy. But Kat, with no influential family, would not make a suitable wife. He resists his fascination with this mysterious and beautiful woman who appeared out of nowhere.

Can Ralph reconcile his dawning love with his need to protect his people, and can Kat let go of her fear of loss and surrender to love?

Buying Links:

The Gift of Time is currently on sale for just 99p at these sites:

Amazon: mybook.to/GiftofTime

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-gift-of-time/id1437727021

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gift-of-time-tora-williams/1129728605

About Tora Williams:

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Tora Williams writes historical romance with a dash of intrigue and adventure. When she was a child, family holidays usually involved visiting Welsh castles, where she would make up stories in her head about the women and men who once lived there. When she started writing she naturally set her stories in medieval Wales and the turbulent border between England and Wales. She lives in Shropshire, England in a house that doesn’t contain nearly enough bookshelves.

Twitter: @ToraWilliams1

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ToraWilliamsAuthor/

Website: www.torawilliams.uk

Thank you for joining me to talk about Christmas, Tora. The power cut tradition made me laugh and your excerpt had me rushing over to buy the book 😄. Hope you have a lovely Christmas this year. Mx

 

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.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. It is also available as a paperback and audiobook.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available now as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

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The Adventures of Morton S. Gray

I’ve been busy having lots of lovely guests visiting my blog, so I haven’t done a personal update for quite a while.

I’m still enjoying adventures, particularly in the crafting world. My most recent course was a taster day in weaving! I absolutely loved it and at least it gives me something to ask for as a Christmas present from hubbie – a table-top weaving loom.

The pictures are of the sample piece that I completed on my taster day using different yarns and techniques. I can’t wait to get my own loom and experiment.

*Warning to relatives – you are more than likely to get a hand-woven scarf for your present at Christmas 2020! *

Other adventures included an immersion in the English Civil War last week! I had already booked on a “behind the scenes at the archives tour” at The Hive in Worcester to see some of the original civil war documents they hold. The tour was fascinating and the temperature controlled strong rooms were as I imagine a nuclear bunker to be like.

Coincidentally, I became aware of two talks on exactly the same week, one in Ludlow about sieges in Shropshire during the civil war and one in Cradley, entitled “Cradley and its vicinity in the English Civil War (1642-1660)”, so how could I resist? Both talks and the tour were fascinating and I made copious notes. In case you hadn’t gathered I am fascinated by this period of history and already have a 52,000 word draft novel set at the time which I may finish at some point.

For those of you who have kindly read my books, you will realise that I haven’t published anything for a while. I assure you I am working away in the background on another two Borteen novels, but a period of ill health and problems with my mother’s health too have delayed things somewhat. I’m hoping to send my next book, draft title Mandy’s Story to my publisher soon.

Meanwhile my second novel, The Truth Lies Buried is on sale at just 99p as part of the Black Friday events until midnight on 3 December, so grab it if you haven’t read it. 

Back next week with Tora Williams and Nell Dixon the week after that!

 

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.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. It is also available as a paperback and audiobook.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available now as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

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