Angela Britnell – Three Lesser-Known Facts About Me

This week it’s Angela Britnell‘s turn to tell us three lesser known facts about herself. Angela is just about to release her latest Christmas book for Choc LitA Cornish Christmas at Pear Tree Farm. Over to Angela

Thanks so much, Morton for inviting me on your blog and I decided to pick ‘three lesser-known facts about me’ from your topics to come and chat about. It took a bit of thinking about and some things I thought might be best left unsaid in a public forum had to be weeded out!

I once fired a Bren gun at some of my fellow trainees in the WRNS.

Before you panic no one was hurt because it was firing blanks. The story of how this came to be illustrates my natural lack of physical ability and general clumsiness. This happened during basic training and we were spending the weekend at an army camp doing various things including an assault course. That didn’t go too badly until the part where we were supposed to climb a ten-foot wall and drop down the other side. I managed to get up to the top but then took the ‘drop down’ part too literally. I landed badly on my ankle and badly sprained it. I was limping too badly to run around in a night exercise later that day where the instructors were trying to stop the trainees from reaching a certain point so I was put on the enemy side instead. That’s why I ended up crouched behind a bush firing a Bren gun. If my husband reads this he’ll laugh his head off and say that no one would’ve been in danger because I couldn’t shoot straight to save my life – as I proved when we did target practice together at our NATO HQ in Denmark several years after the Bren gun incident and scored an abysmal 14 out of 100.

If food is supposed to be hot then I want it hot!

I’m not referring to the spice level because I’m something of a wimp there but the temperature it’s served at. My mother was a great believer in serving and eating foot straight out of the oven so I thought it normal developed what my husband calls my asbestos mouth. His mother was the complete opposite so after the first few times he ate food I’d prepared and burned his mouth he learned to be far more cautious! I tried to moderate my tendencies when my children were small but only recently my youngest son told me that one of his friends complained about a meal being too hot at a restaurant but Mark happily wolfed it down.

I absolutely love luxury hotel rooms!

How can anyone not be happy at the sight of a smoothly made bed with immaculate bed linens and a gleaming bathroom with huge fluffy towels ready for them to enjoy? I look for bonuses like a generous tea-tray with more than a miserly ration of T-bags and biscuits, heated towel rails, good Wi-Fi, a generous selection of channels on the TV and an extensive room service menu too. It would be my idea of bliss to spend a week in a luxury hotel with no commitments and nothing to do apart from enjoy myself!

About Angela Britnell

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee to visit family and friends, drink tea and eat far too many Cornish pasties! 

A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her wonderful American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Her first novel ‘Truth and Consequence’ was published in 2006 and she’s now had 35 novels published internationally and multiple short stories in women’s magazines.

To keep in touch with Angela, you can use the following links:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/angelabritnell

Twitter – www.twitter.com/angelabritnell

Instagram – www.instagram.com/angelagolleybritnell

About A Cornish Christmas at Pear Tree Farm

My latest book ‘A Cornish Christmas at Pear Tree Farm’ is out on 7 December 2021 and is a sequel to my August 2021 release ‘A Cornish Summer at Pear Tree Farm’ although can certainly be read on its own. Here’s a little about the book:

Pairing up at Pear Tree Farm in time for Christmas …

Pear Tree Farm in Cornwall, owned by the kind-hearted Nessa Vivian, is known for taking in lost souls, and ex-soldier Crispin Davies is certainly one of those. But the once sleepy caravan park is now a thriving business, and far from the peace and quiet Crispin was craving, he soon finds himself roped into helping out with a short-notice Christmas festival, organised by Nessa’s force-of-nature sister, Lowena.

But despite Crispin’s initial reluctance, his involvement in the festival serves to throw him together with Ashley Spencer, an American woman and fellow lost soul, who works at the nearby Tregereth House. Could Lowena’s ambitious scheme result in a more hopeful Christmas and New Year for them both – with a few surprises along the way?

This is a buy link for ‘A Cornish Christmas at Pear Tree Farm.’

mybook.to/christmasatpeartree 

Thank you for joining me this week, Angela and I wish you every success with your new book. 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.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge published as an eBook, paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What I Envy About My Fictional Heroines By Helen Buckley

This week fellow Choc Lit author Helen Buckley, author of the Spotlight Series, who has just released Strictly Christmas Spirit, is here to tell us what she envies about her fictional heroines. Over to Helen

There are three books in my Spotlight Series – thrilling and dramatic standalone stories about fame and love. I love each of my female heroines and I hope readers will root for them to have their happy ever after.

My husband often says that my fictional heroines from my Spotlight Series are a little bit like me, and in some ways I think they are. But in other ways they are very different to me, and although their lives aren’t always easy, they do have some very enviable characteristics.

Katie – Strictly on Ice

Katie is prodigiously talented on the ice. Determined and focused, she has set her sights on Olympic Gold at a very young age, and pursued her dreams with utter single-mindedness. I admire this tenacity as I am a person who tends to flit from one thing to another. I love Katie’s focus and dogged determination, even in the face of injury and abuse. I’m also somewhat envious of her amazing skating abilities, as I can’t skate at all!

Katerina – Celebrity SOS

Katerina’s quiet strength is an enviable quality. She has been through some tough times, including heartbreak and family loss. But she has carried on, crafting out an enviable acting career and winning accolades for her work. She is also a brilliant mum and deeply kind, although she has made mistakes in her life!

Emily – Strictly Christmas Spirit

Emily is an ex-dancer turned charity worker, who runs services for the homeless. I absolutely love her heart for the local community, the way that she serves others so selflessly. Sometimes her motivation isn’t quite in the right place, but her heart always is. She’s turned her life around and she’s also a wonderful dancer – something I definitely can’t say about myself!

About Strictly Christmas Spirit

Strictly Christmas Spirit is my latest novel and my first Christmas story. Find out more below… 

Ex-dancer Emily Williams turned her back on the sparkle of popular dancing show Strictly Dancing with Celebs to help those in need. Now the only dancing she does is teaching lonely pensioners to waltz, and the closest she gets to disco balls is making baubles with the homeless people in her Christmas crafts class.

She’s certainly not star-struck when Hollywood heart-throb Blake Harris is sent to her at short notice for community service, and has no desire to babysit the arrogant actor with his bad boy antics and selfish ways. Christmas might be a time for miracles, but Blake seems to be a lost cause.

But Emily’s reasons for abandoning her dancing passion means she understands the Hollywood wild child more than she’d like to admit. Could their time together, coupled with a dash of Christmas spirit, lead to a miracle change of heart for them both?

Available now on the following link: https://mybook.to/StrictlyChristmas

About Helen Buckley

Ever since I was little I wanted to be a writer, to turn daydreams into books. I’m fascinated by fame, in love with Happy Ever Afters, and enthralled by slow-burn romances. I squeeze in time to write around looking after my two sons and working as a charity communications officer.

Find out more about me on my links below:

Website: www.buckleybooks.org

Facebook: Helen Buckley author

Instagram: Helen Catherine Buckley

Twitter: HelenCBuckley 

Thank you for joining me this week, Helen. Your post has made me want to dive into your books as soon as possible. Mx

Morton Gray News – Two 99p bargains available from me at the moment!

The ebook of Summer at Lucerne Lodge is 99p until midnight on 29 November 2021 so you need to be quick! On this link: http://getbook.at/SummeratLucerneLodge

The ebook of my Christmas book Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe is currently available at 99p on this link until 30 November 2021

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.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Three Lesser-Known Facts About Author Victoria Walker

I know it’s going to be a good guest blog post when I get carried away reading it rather than preparing the blog! This week I’m joined by an author who doesn’t live too far away from me, although her new novel, Snug in Iceland is set much further away! Victoria Walker is here this week to tell us three lesser-known and fascinating facts about herself. Over to Victoria

Huge thanks to Morton for inviting me onto her blog today! I am a fellow author and member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and have just released my first novel, Snug in Iceland. Writing for blogs has been a relatively new thing for me and I love thinking about what to say, it’s a real treat to be able to write about yourself once in a while! 

Three Lesser-Known facts about me

I was the founding president of my local WI

10 years ago, I was quite keen to join the WI. I think it was from watching the BBC series Jam and Jerusalem, although disappointingly the first thing the WI elders said was ‘It’s not all Jam and Jerusalem’. As that was exactly what I wanted, our WI quickly became known for being the ‘modern’ one locally. Having just wanted to learn to make jam and meet with like-minded people, I was surprised what the WI had to offer. As well as a couple of highlights when I met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2012 and going to the annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall, a hugely uplifting gathering of thousands of women that I felt proud to be part of, I now have valued friendships with women of different generations to myself but am still rubbish at making jam.

I taught knitting at Liberty London

My mum and I used to own a knitting shop. It was one of the first cool ones and we became quite well-known in that world. When we sold the business on, I had the opportunity to teach for Rowan, a prestigious yarn brand. I loved visiting different knitting shops, meeting people who loved knitting as much as me and basically talking about knitting all the time. Then, after a couple of years, I was allowed to teach at Liberty. I had terrible imposter syndrome – it doesn’t just affect writers! – and was in awe of the fact that I had to enter the store through the staff entrance, through tunnels under Kingsley Court, and taught in the wood-paneled board room. The lighting was terrible in there, but nobody really cared because we were secretly knitting in a room just off the sales floor and that felt amazing. And the best thing was that a full cream tea was served in the afternoon. Yummy.

I haven’t really left the knitting behind. I constantly have something (more than one thing if I’m honest) on the go and I wrote a pattern so you can actually knit the bobble-hat that my heroine knits in my novel, Snug in Iceland.

I used to be a cinema projectionist

When I was at University, I joined the film society and learned how to be a projectionist. It was a way to watch the odd film for free and I quite enjoyed the jeopardy – there are numerous things that can go wrong. When I graduated and needed a job, the local cinema was advertising for a projectionist, and I got the job. I think they were amazed that anyone local already had experience. As part of the job, I had to help out in the theatre which ended up being the best bit. It sounds great being able to watch the films all the time but the same film for a couple of weeks gets boring quite quickly although I did get a lot of knitting done. It’s also massively anti-social if you have a partner who works nine to five which is ultimately why I gave it up. 

But the theatre part was brilliant. Hard work because you have to literally carry the set in every week and assemble it and then pack it away again late on a Saturday night, but the camaraderie was the best I’ve ever had at work and the late-night drinking and curries with famous people was so much fun.

The experience has come in handy as I’ve just written a book about a small cinema which opens again after many years. It probably has too much technical detail in it which will get edited out, but it was nice to reminisce!

About Snug in Iceland

Snug in Iceland is my first novel and was inspired by a holiday to Iceland. I loved it there. I’d only just started thinking about writing a novel and had been reading a lot of books that were set in New York. I thought I ought to have somewhere just as iconic and typically romantic as a location and straight away I knew Reykjavik was perfect. The days were very short when we went which adds to the cosy feel of the place. There are fairy lights in all the trees, we went swimming in a hot pool in the dark and everywhere is warm, cosy and conducive to romance. Plus, there are so many locations to set the action; just like New York, it gives an author plenty to work with.

Rachel Richards is stuck in a rut. Her boyfriend Adam barely notices her most of the time and her life in London isn’t as exciting as it should be. When the company she works for, Snug, asks her to oversee the opening of a new store in Iceland, she jumps at the chance for a change of scenery. Exploring Reykjavik with the help of Icelandic tour guide Jonas, Rachel discovers that life is out there waiting to be lived. As she falls in love with Iceland, she begins to see what is important to her and wonders whether the life she left behind is what she wants after all…

To buy Snug in Iceland you can use the flowing link : https://amzn.to/3FyFKxs

About Victoria Walker

Victoria Walker has been writing romantic fiction since a visit to Iceland in 2014 inspired her first novel. As well as writing, she spends her free time dressmaking, knitting and reading an inordinate amount of contemporary romance, occasionally punctuated by the odd psychological thriller and saga.

To keep in touch with Victoria you can use the following links:-

Blog: www.victoriaauthor.co.uk

Twitter: @4victoriawalker

Instagram: @victoriamakes

Thank you for joining me this week, Victoria and for your enthralling facts. I also spend a lot of the time when I’m not writing moulding wool to patterns, having rediscovered crochet and in particular learned mosaic crochet over the last couple of years. We’ll have to have a “writers with wool” meeting sometime as I know several other authors who knit, crochet and weave 😄

Morton Gray News – The ebook of my Christmas book Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe is currently available at 99p/c on this link

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.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

What I Envy About Chloe – My Fictional Heroine by Author Helen Bridgett

My guest this week is Helen Bridgett who writes for Ruby Fiction. Her latest novel Christmas at Serenity Bay is released on 16 November 2021. Today she is going to tell us why she envies Chloe, the heroine of the book and can I just say that I envy Chloe too. Over to Helen

First of all, I’d just like to say thank you for inviting me onto your blog, Morton. You’ve had some fabulous authors on here and I’m delighted to appear alongside them.

My latest novel – Christmas at Serenity Bay launches on 16th November 2021 and the main character is a lady called Chloe Walsh. She has recently moved up to a small village on the beautiful Northumberland coast and is doing her best to make it a great place for film and TV shoots.

When I started to think about this question – what do I envy about Chloe? – I realised there was actually quite a lot to talk about!

First of all, I envy where she lives.

I have lived all over the UK and recently moved back to the North East of England. I’ve always known that the coastline was spectacular but now I walk it several times a week with my dog and I truly appreciate it at all times of the year.

The bays go on for miles and they’re usually quite empty, the sand is like velvet under your feet and the waves were built for surfing and kayaking. 

And don’t let me start on the sky! I don’t think there is as much sky anywhere as there is up here – it is vast and so atmospheric. Whether it’s a sunny day or a stormy one, the sky is a picture any artist would want to paint.

Although I don’t live far from the coast, Chloe lives on the seafront and gets to see the magnificent sunrises – even writing this makes me want to move house right now!

The second thing I envy about Chloe is her job.

She’s a location scout and works to attract film and TV companies to the area. A friend of mine once told me that her son was a location scout and I thought it must be a really fascinating job – you must get to see some extraordinary places. Just imagine being asked to find a stately home for a period drama or a remote island for a murder mystery.

It must make you see the world through a different lens and I think that would be fabulous. Chloe only works within Serenity but she has film crews arriving on her doorstep. I used to work in advertising and loved being on location. You were really part of a team, everyone knowing their small role in this production. We worked long hours but it was great fun.

Thirdly, I envy Chloe being able to go sea kayaking.

Chloe’s boyfriend is a kayak instructor so he could take her out on the waves every day. I love the idea of kayaking around the islands off our coastline and seeing the dolphins and seals that live here. I’m sure I would be absolutely terrified of any huge waves but I’d give it a go. I’ve tried kayaking on rivers and it really is quite tranquil, just gliding through the water. I imagine being out at sea, perhaps as the sun is setting, would truly feel like serenity.

Thank you for joining me this week, Helen. Your book sounds most intriguing and I must visit Northumberland again very soon. Mx

About Helen Bridgett

Having failed miserably with every New Year’s resolution that involved diets, one year, Helen Bridgett set herself a completely different goal – to write a novel and give it as a Christmas present. Having written one, she couldn’t stop!

All Helen’s novels feature strong female leads who are faced with situations that they have to resolve. Her goal is to create characters that you would want to get to know better in real life.

Her first novel, The Mercury Travel Club featured laugh-out-loud characters who took on a life of their own resulting in the sequel, The Heat is On. Then, in 2020 a new set of characters took up the main stage in Summer at Serenity Bay – a fictional village on the glorious Northumberland coast. These characters are back on November 16th for Christmas at Serenity Bay.

As well as feel-good fiction, Helen also writes crime. January 2021 saw the publication of Helen’s debut crime novel – One by One – featuring Professor Maxie Reddick. The second in the series – Wrong Sort of Girl – was published by Ruby Fiction in October.

Outside of writing, Helen loves being outdoors walking with her chocolate Labrador or enjoying a glass of wine and banter with friends.

You can follow Helen on

Twitter – www.twitter.com/Helen_Bridgett

Facebook – www.facebook.com/HelenBridgettBooks

About Christmas at Serenity Bay

A peaceful Christmas in Serenity Bay? Think again!

Chloe Walsh’s skills as location manager for the beautiful seaside village she calls home have come up trumps again, and Serenity Bay is now the setting for cosy crime drama The Montgomery Mysteries, starring amateur sleuth Dominic Montgomery and his crime-solving dog, Agatha.

But Chloe is in a race against time. Filming has to finish before the village Midwinter Festival but schedules are tight – and a mystery saboteur is intent on slowing things down even further. Not only is Chloe facing problems with the shoot, she also has some personal conundrums to solve – a diva actor has commandeered her flat, her mum is having a late mid-life crisis, plus she has no idea what to buy for her Christmas-obsessed boyfriend!

Can Chloe sort out her life and save Christmas for an entire village?

To order Christmas in Serenity Bay you can use the following link here

Morton Gray News – The ebook of my Christmas book Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe is currently available at 99p/c on this link

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.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

What I Envy About My Fictional Heroines by Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty Ferry is a regular visitor to my blog – this week she is celebrating the publication of Christmas of New Beginnings, the first in a new series for Ruby Fiction, by talking about what she envies about her fictional heroines. Over to Kirsty

Thank you so much to Morton for having me back again on your blog. This time, you’ve really set me a challenge: what I envy about my fictional heroines.

Can I start with the fact that they can be a perfect size ten, eat chocolate and cakes and drink wine until they pop, but not put any weight on, and can also have beautifully behaved swishy hair as well, if I so choose. They can look good in any outfit I put them in, have their dream job, solve any problem that they encounter, and can always stand up for themselves with anyone at all. They have the art of witty banter, and always, of course, a gorgeous man falling for them hard. And they always live happily ever after!

Seriously, though, I once did an author talk with a group of other Choc Lit authors, and one of the questions we were asked as a panel was how we wrote conversations with our characters, and how we knew how the heroes would react and what they’d say in response to our heroine’s comments – whether, for example, the heroine or hero would win the argument. Our Choc Lit and Ruby girls are, I think, rarely scared of having it out with someone or telling them how they feel and we were so glad the lady who asked the question recognised that and also thought the girls were fearless enough to confront the heroes if need be. It was a very sweet question, with, of course, a very simple answer. Our characters just do as we tell them. We create them, we make sure their conversations go the way they need to, and we always make them get the resolution they want. In short – we make them win the argument, and the hero just has to roll with it! We will rewrite if necessary until that happens! Authors, at a very basic level, manipulate characters into doing what they need to do to tell the story effectively, and sometimes our girls have to be put back in their boxes, and do lose arguments, but it’s always a way of driving the story forward and keeping that romantic tension going.  I loved, for instance, writing the early scenes with Angel and Kyle in Spring at Taigh Fallon. We got both of their opinions, and they argued pretty much all the time – until they both realised they were simply wildly attracted to one another.

I would, however, argue that making our girls do as they’re told isn’t always the case! Yes, I envy my heroines their witty rejoinders, and how they, Elizabeth Bennett-like, always have a clever comeback or think quickly in a heated debate. This isn’t something I, personally, can do very often in real life. I’ve often thought about a situation I’ve been in later on, and thought ‘I wish I’d said that!’ But with our heroines, we get the opportunity to think about their conversations and actions, and write how ‘we’ would like that to play out. It’s a literary form of empowerment, I guess. But sometimes the girls are so single-minded, that as you develop the characters you simply can’t manipulate them as you’d like to. They, I think, are some of the best heroines to work with as they make writing the book rather exciting.

Christmas of New Beginnings is the first in a new series for Ruby Fiction, and written in first person point of view, told by Cerys, the heroine. There are no hero’s words to give us another perspective, and therefore the story may be a little biased in some ways. We don’t really know what’s going in in Sam’s life, so all we have is Cerys’ observations. However, it was a great way to get into Cerys’ character, and she is a heroine I really like. She’s made a big life change and is doing something she loves, somewhere she loves and finds someone to love. And is surrounded by friends and family who love her too. I think that’s a lovely situation to be in – and there is obviously something quite enviable about that; but in a nice way, I hope. I’d love people to close the book and be happy for Cerys and envy her in a ‘good’ way … because I certainly did when I typed “The End”, and I definitely felt I knew her better than anybody else, at that particular point in the journey!

How exciting that you have a new series for Ruby, Kirsty. Can’t wait to see how that line develops and good luck with it. Mx

About Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 and has had articles and short stories published in various magazinesHer work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.

Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.

Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.

For more information on Kirsty visit:

Twitter – www.twitter.com/kirsty_ferry

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kirsty.ferry.author/

Kirsty’s Website – www.rosethornpress.co.uk

About Christmas of New Beginnings

Not all festive wishes come true right away – sometimes it takes five Christmases …

Folk singer Cerys Davies left Wales for the South Downs village of Padcock at Christmas, desperate for a new beginning. And she ends up having plenty of those: opening a new craft shop-tea room, helping set up the village’s first festive craft fair, and, of course, falling desperately in love with Lovely Sam, the owner of the local pub. It’s just too bad he’s firmly in the clutches of Awful Belinda …

Perhaps Cerys has to learn that some new beginnings take a while to … well, begin! But with a bit of patience, some mild espionage, a generous sprinkling of festive magic and a flock of pub-crashing sheep, could her fifth Christmas in Padcock lead to her best new beginning yet?

To buy Christmas of New Beginnings you can use the following link – Christmas of New Beginnings: A heart warming and uplifting Christmas romance eBook : Ferry, Kirsty: AmazonSmile: Books

The book is also now available as a paperback 😄 

Morton Gray News – As this blog post is published the ebook of my Christmas book Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe is currently available at 99p/c on this link

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.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My Real Life Heroine by Anni Rose

A really special post this week as I’m joined by fellow Choc Lit author Anni Rose to talk about her real life heroine. Over to Anni …

Thank you for inviting me on to your blog today Morton. A real-life hero was a tricky question for a girl, whose first love was Ivanhoe (apparently he might not have been real and so doesn’t count), and who had the poster of a wrestler on her wall as a young teenager. But, I have been incredibly lucky to have met many amazing people through my life, so being asked to pick just one real-life hero or heroine was difficult and required much thought.

Xenia is a good friend and another writer. We met many years ago at a writing class, held in our local arts centre. Twenty something years on, we still meet regularly to talk about all things writing related and she is still one of the only people I allow to see my first drafts —and criticise them. Currently she is writing her life story, which is full of many fascinating details and tells of a world far removed from my own. She has taught me so much. Xenia has already had part of her own story published by Penguin in their second decibel prize anthology, “From There to Here” which told of her arrival in the UK after the second world war as a stateless person under the Nansen passport scheme.

Xenia was from a large family, with a Russian father, a theologian and a choirmaster in the orthodox church who was forced to flee Russia in 1917. He met Xenia’s Dutch mother in Wiesbaden when she joined his choir as his principal soprano. They married in 1926, rendering her stateless as well. They had seven children, all of whom were also stateless. Xenia was number six.

In 1933, under Hitler’s regime, all foreigners became unable to work, those that could, left Germany. The regime closed all churches and took over most religious properties. When, Xenia’s father, trained in canon law, objected to the transfer he was further ostracised by his own church. They lived in a house next door to the church, some distance away from the town, without gas or electricity. Now unemployable, Xenia’s father grew food for his family, raising over 100 chickens — Xenia is still very fond of eggs! They weren’t persecuted, a woman who could produce seven children was respected by a regime who encouraged women to have at least four. And there was always a box of toys donated to them at Christmas.

They played a lot of games round the table, and had some lovely family times, life wasn’t bad. Xenia remembers being picked on and laughed at for being different, and when her eldest sister became 10, she wasn’t allowed to join the BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel) The girls’ wing of the Nazi Party youth movement which all girls providing they were Ethnic Germans, German citizens, or free of hereditary diseases were forced to join. The BDM’s refusal to take Mausi highlighted how different the family were.

Xenia started school at six, but her school was soon closed when the bombing became more intense. She and her brother took to playing in the next-door churchyard or surrounding woods. In 1941 when Russia declared war Xenia’s father was arrested and taken away. He was returned after a week, but the situation had changed. Anybody not fighting on the frontline, had to work and he was given a job in an armaments’ factory.

When a whole block only a street away from Xenia’s family was hit one night by a failed German V-1, flying bomb, they survived, but lost all their windows, and everything was covered with an inch of dust. They were evacuated the next day to a room in pub in Michaelsbach, where they stayed until the end of the war. An eleven-year-old Xenia remembers that day clearly; everyone standing outside their houses watched as a German walked down the road, holding his gun above his head in surrender. Tanks and lorries, full of American troops, turned up their street. The man was taken away, but the tank guns circled threateningly.

Suddenly Xenia’s mother screamed ‘Where’s Vera?’

A desperate search ensued until they checked the cellar, where they found a terrified, shaking, youngster who had taken the instructions about where to hide when the enemies invaded to heart.

After the war, the Orthodox church in London and the Archbishop of Canterbury pulled out all the stops and flew her father into London aboard a British Army flight. He went on his own, but as soon as visas could be obtained, three of Xenia’s siblings joined him in 1948. The Home Office quota allowed Xenia and her sister to join them in 1949/50. A trip that involved both a lengthy train journey and a boat across the channel. Despite Xenia’s fear of water, she boarded the boat, promising herself it would be the only time she ever did it, even if that meant staying in a country where it always rains.

Their first day in the country was spent obtaining ration books and Alien Certificates of Registration which they had to carry at all times. In 1957, she applied for British citizenship, having to find four British sponsors and advertise her intention in the local newspapers. Finally, after much form filling and lengthy interviews it was granted and at the age of 24 she had a nationality, she belonged to a country and returned her Alien Certificate of Registration to the police. She was British, something her parents never achieved. They were older and both died stateless.

When finally, Xenia’s mother and two sisters travelled on German travel documents in August 1950 the family were reunited in London. Although Xenia was by then living with her aunt, following her uncle’s death, where she learnt a lot about church traditions and customs, while her youngest sister was sent to boarding school, a convent in Abingdon to learn English six days after she’d got off the train in England.

On a five-month course at a college in London, Xenia studied English for Foreigners, and flew through the exam in May, but struggled with the English language and all the colloquialisms. An employment agency finally found her a job in an office, where as office junior, one of her tasks was operating the telephone switchboard. She says, she hated it, because she couldn’t understand a word anybody said, or which buttons to press. But she persevered and with the help of women’s magazines, which she read voraciously, her English improved and she started to enjoy life in England.

Her eldest sister had joined the YWCA in London and one day took Xenia to a Christmas party organised by the Chalfont Park Canoe Club where she met her husband Ron, who was also a great friend.

Ron and I shared a love for photography and were members of the same camera club. Sadly, prostate cancer took Ron far too early in 2010, two years after their Golden anniversary.

Despite her fear of water and the fact she couldn’t swim, in their younger days they were both accomplished slalom canoeists. Xenia has a cup to prove this and Ron and his brother were part of the British slalom team.

Xenia

Xenia has achieved many of her childhood ambitions, including that to be a mother, and a good one. She brought up four children who can all vouch for that and six grandchildren of whom she is inordinately proud. She has helped me with crochet. Her sauerkraut recipe is something we’d all rather forget, but as I write this, she is writing another part of her life story. My “Favourite Old Woman” and definitely somebody I am glad to count as a friend and my real life heroine.

Wow! I often describe my blogs as fascinating in a bid to get people to read them, but this one truly is fascinating! Thank you Anni and Xenia for sharing. Mx

About Anni Rose

Anni Rose

As a child, Anni loved writing fiction, producing reams of stories, thankfully most of them have been lost over the years. She hopes these days her stories are a little more plot and character driven than the “Missing Custard” or the “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” both of which turned up recently, but the love of creating a fictional world is still very much there and Anni says, ‘If I am stuck on a plot or a character, I find writing in long hand with a lovely pen, is a really good way to get rid of any blocks’. 

At the age of eight she came second to a good friend in the school writing competition and won a bag full of gobstoppers, fruit salad and blackjack sweets and thought she had hit the big time! 

Further successes, if you exclude the weekly 37½ p postal orders that would regularly turn up from the Junior Bracknell News’s weekly spot the difference or word competitions, took a while longer to achieve.

On leaving school, despite harbouring desires to be a journalist, the need to earn a living sort of got in the way of writing and she became an accountant where her only published work apart from regular financial reports was the employees’ handbook.

A local writing course and an encouraging group of writing friends re-ignited the fiction flame many years later.

Anni would describe her writing these days as mainly modern romantic stories with a healthy dollop of humour thrown in.

Away from writing Anni can usually be found behind a camera, walking the dogs, enjoying one of her husband’s curries or sister’s bakery treats.

To keep in touch with Anni you can use the following links:-

Website: https://bit.ly/3AsYFHc

Twitter: @AnniRoseAuthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AnniRoseAuthor

Website: https://anniroseauthor.co.uk

Instagram: anniroseauthor

About Recipe for Mr Perfect

How do you know if you’ve found Mr Perfect or Mr Perfectly Useless?

Jess Willersey realised things with Martin weren’t perfect, but it’s still a shock when he leaves. Is she destined to a singleton lifestyle with only her cat for company, or could a certain hat-astrophic encounter with a handsome stranger at a rather unusual wedding signal a turning point?

At the same time, Jess’s best friends and work colleagues, Maggie and Sarah, are going through their own personal disasters – from shocking family revelations to dodgy dating app-related drama.

To top it all off, it seems that the handsome stranger won’t remain a stranger – and when Neil Jackson turns up at the friends’ offices with yet another bombshell, how long will he stay ‘Mr Perfect’ in Jess’s eyes?

Book buying links below :

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lqwepf

Apple: https://apple.co/3BpysL9

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3iM3p4H

Google Books: https://bit.ly/3uVCGYv

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3AmzplN

As I was preparing this blog, Recipe for Mr Right was showing a lovely orange bestseller flag on Amazon. 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.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Jenni Keer – Tweaking Genres

This week my guest is fellow author Jenni Keer. She’s talking about her gradual move from contemporary to historical writing as she has just released a new novel with Headline AccentThe Secrets of Hawthorn Place. Over to Jenni

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Morton, where today I’d like to talk about tweaking genres.

Back in 2019 I released two contemporary romcoms, The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker and The Unlikely Life of Maisie Meadows, and was delighted when Lucy Baker was shortlisted for two awards. Despite their success, however, my new plot ideas increasingly had historical threads – history being a lifelong passion of mine. Museums always give me tingles, and, hey, who doesn’t love a period drama? These story ideas wouldn’t leave me, so I decided to dip my toe in the waters by writing a dual timeline. This is always a risk because readers, but especially publishers, want you to be a brand, and Brand Jenni Keer was contemporary romcoms… 

Undeterred, I embarked on The Secrets of Hawthorn Place – an idea I had about two freakily identical houses with an unbelievable connectionThe key to the story was always the architect who designed them, the fictional Percy Gladwell, and once I’d settled on the Arts and Crafts period (late Victorian, and a fascinating movement in terms of art and design) I realised I had A LOT to learn – not only about architecture, but also about that period generally. 

I’m a big fan of research, even for my contemporary stories, and love to feed in those extra details that prove I know my subject. Everyone who read Lucy Baker assumed I was a knitter but the truth is I couldn’t tell you which end of the needle to poke in the wool. Instead, I thoroughly researched the subject to make sure my character was believable. It’s not always a case of “write what you know”. Sometimes “know what you write” is equally valid. 

There are a lot of things I took for granted when writing my contemporary novels because I automatically know, for example, which TV shows are popular, or what appliances a modern kitchen contains. Percy’s story was set in the 1890s and suddenly I had to consider how a room might be lit, or what mode of transport he was using to get from one place to another, with the knowledge that if I got something wrong, an eagle-eyed reader would call me out. This meant, for me, that writing in a different period took much longer.

I thought hard about Percy’s voice in this book, not just the structure of his sentences, but also the words he used. The etymological dictionary was my best friend because I found that I couldn’t use words like “weekend” or “hug”, or phrases such as “cut the mustard”, or even have him “doodling” when he drew up his architectural plans. (The word doodle wasn’t in common usage until the 1920s.) These are details that are important to get right, because it doesn’t take much to pull a reader out of your story. Arghhh, so many pitfalls for the historical author… 

I learned quickly that, when writing an historical novel, not everything has to come from that exact date. I looked about my house and considered my clothes, and realised that most of my possessions are not from 2021. My car is 15 years old, the furniture in my house is antique, and my favourite cardigan is from the 1990’s. So I found it useful to remember, especially when Google couldn’t answer my questions, that if I couldn’t find a description of a lamp from the 1890s, I could easily substitute an earlier one, safe in the knowledge we don’t update our household items on a yearly basis. I also began to amass a collection of reference books from late Victorian to the 1920’s, including a fantastic Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management – first published in 1861 and used by generations of women – and a set of encyclopedias from 1910. Seeing, touching, or even owning, objects from the period is useful, and I found it hard writing in a pandemic, when I couldn’t visit Arts and Crafts houses, or visit my locations. There is only so much you can learn online.

Don’t get me wrong, there are unexpected advantages to writing about the past. The number of times I’ve heard authors curse mobile phones because they spoil plot lines – particularly my crime writer friends. In many ways, life was simpler in times gone by. And you don’t have to be an expert on everything from a particular era to be able to write about it. I don’t want to swamp my reader with info dumps, because a few carefully chosen details are enough to submerge them in the period. I have adapted the way I work now – often giving myself a broad overview of the period, but doing the detailed research as I write, so I’m not wasting time researching things that I don’t need for the story. That doesn’t stop me from getting sucked down research rabbit holes though, and I can waste hours investigating things I won’t use, but that I find fascinating. But who knows? Maybe these snippets will be useful for a future story.

Often, when authors change genre, they use a pseudonym so that readers know what to expect when they read the book. (Think of J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith.) However, I am only tweaking what I write and the novels still have my Jenni Keer voice, so I have kept my name, even though what I am working on now is totally historical. The transition has been gradual, so hopefully I will carry me readers with me, and my genre still falls under the broader romance category. With some VERY exciting things in the pipeline, I hope readers enjoy The Secrets of Hawthorn Place and follow me on my exciting author journey as I get pulled further and further into the wonderful world of historical fiction.

Thank you so much for listening to my rambles.

Jenni x

About Jenni Keer

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing commercial women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere, with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.

To keep in touch with Jenni you can use the following links:-

Facebook : Jenni Keer Author

Instagram : jennikeer

Twitter : @jennikeer

Tiktok : @jennikeer

About The Secrets of Hawthorn Place

Two houses, hundreds of miles apart . . . yet connected always.

When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast.

But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Arts and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery.

Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason.

What follows is a summer which will change Molly for ever . . .

Buying Link : Here

A very interesting post, Jenni, especially as like you I write contemporary but want to write historical novels too – I may join you on the historical side one day! 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.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

My Garden Inspiration by Evonne Wareham

I’m joined by fellow Choc Lit author Evonne Wareham as she talks about the inspiration for the garden in her latest novel A Villa in Portofino. Over to Evonne

Many thanks to Morton for inviting me on to her blog today as part of the blog tour for the third in my romantic suspense series set on the Riviera – A Villa in Portofino.

When she gave me the list of possible topics that she was featuring at the moment, there was really only one I could chose. It had to be my garden. But this choice is very much tongue in cheek, and possibly not the kind of post she was expecting. I don’t think there will be any cases of garden envy today. 

Why did I have to choose it? Well my new book A Villa in Portofino is all about the efforts of my heroine Megan Morrison to restore the property that she unexpectedly inherits on the Italian Riviera – which includes a huge garden that has run wild. She is helped in this by the hero of the book, Gideon West, who happens to be a landscape gardener. It’s a love story, with added mayhem, as there are lots of secrets and mysteries, large and small, as well as someone else who wants the estate for themselves. 

When I was looking for inspiration for the mass of overgrown roses and brambles surrounding the villa I only had to take a few steps outside the back door, as you can see from the pictures. Everything out there seems to be very prickly, which is exactly what I wanted to conjure up for Megan’s garden – Sleeping Beauty’s castle. I’m not sure if growing my own brambles counts as research. It certainly didn’t take any effort from me. 

The usual order of things is before and after, but in the case of my own plot it’s after and before! You can see from the other photographs what it is meant to look like. The top part of the garden is in terraces with steps in between and is mostly gravel – well now mostly weeds. The small courtyard part close to the back door was inspired by Mediterranean style display gardens at various flower shows, in the days when we had flower shows. It’s got in its overgrown state for a number of complicated reasons and I know I am going to have to have professional help to sort it out. Unfortunately Gideon is a character I have created – it would be lovely to be able to enlist his help in real life. 

There are still some good things going on amongst the wildness. There are lot of things in pots, from bulbs to the beautiful dark pink hydrangea. It wasn’t always beautiful. I bought it as a baby at a horticultural show and had terrible trouble keeping it alive. The slugs and snails in my garden considered it just the sort of tasty little snack they were looking for. In the end, in desperation, I asked my mum to foster it on the windowsill in the hall of her block of flats. As I hoped, with her loving care it got big enough for the slugs to lose interest. It’s one my sadnesses that she never got to see it flower. 

I have lots of lavender and scented geraniums, also in pots, and jasmine and honeysuckle grow like weeds, so the undergrowth usually smells good. The little daisy like plant, Erigeron Karvinskianus, commonly known as Fleabane, also seeds itself all over the place. The birds like the dense vegetation, so I get a bonus of being able to watch them from the window. I have an Acer in a pot that will be turning to its autumn colours in the next few weeks. 

I really want my Mediterranean haven back. I have begun to do some clearing – it was a lot worse earlier in the summer. It will probably be slow, but I will get there. And, like Megan, I’ve got a nice new pair of stout gardening gloves.

About Evonne Wareham

Evonne is an award winning Welsh author of romantic suspense – more crime and dead bodies than your average romance. She likes to set her book in her native Wales, or for a touch of glamorous escapism, in favourite holiday destinations in Europe. She is a Doctor of Philosophy and an historian, and a member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Crime Writers’ Association.

To keep in touch with Evonne you can use the following links:-

Twitter  https://twitter.com/evonnewareham

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

Website  www.evonnewareham.com

Blog  www.evonneonwednesday.blogspot.com

About A Villa in Portofino

Third in the ‘Riviera’ Series of romantic suspense: love and mayhem in the sunshine of the French and Italian Riviera

From chambermaid to “got it made” …

When hotel cleaning temp and poetry academic Megan Morrison finds out she’s inherited an Italian villa and small fortune from her estranged great-great aunt Olwen, she doesn’t quite know how to react. That is, until she travels to Portofino to see Il Giardino delle Rose for herself. Then she knows exactly what she has to do: live there!

Enchanted by the beauty of the house and gardens, fascinated by the history, and more than a little intrigued by handsome hired landscape gardener Gideon West, Megan can immediately see the villa’s potential as a dream home.

But having long-lost relatives sometimes means long-lost secrets – and it seems that Olwen had plenty of those. Could these secrets and a jealous obsession be powerful enough to drive Megan out of the house that she’s already fallen in love with?

Available as an e-book from 

Kindle https://www.amazon.co.uk/Villa-Portofino-Evonne-Wareham-ebook/dp/B09CDPWB98/r?tag=smarturl-gb-21

Apple https://books.apple.com/gb/book/a-villa-in-portofino/id1580723491?id=1580723491&ign-itsct=books_box_link&ign-itscg=30200

Barnes and Noble/Nook   https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-villa-in-portofino-evonne-wareham/1139997714?ean=2940162375562

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-villa-in-portofino

Google playbooks  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Evonne_Wareham_A_Villa_in_Portofino?id=JylAEAAAQBAJ&gl=GB

Goodreads Reviews  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58773338-a-villa-in-portofino?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=1t6hnjlD7p&rank=6

Thank you for joining me, Evonne and your garden looks lovely despite what you say 🥰 but I do think we could all do with a Gideon. 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.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Not Holding Back: Heroine Envy by Lisa Hill

A thought provoking post this week, as Lisa Hill tells us what she envies about her heroines. Lisa released Riders and Rosie which is published by Manatee Books in August 2021. Over to Lisa

It’s been over a decade now since I created my first heroine. The very wise Julie Cohen once instilled in me, at a writing workshop, that the first draft of my novel is for me and the second draft is for my readers; I needed to extricate myself from that first draft! But I’d be lying if I said there aren’t still aspects of my personality lurking within every one of my heroines. So, what’s there to envy then, I hear you ask? Well, that’s the magic of fantasy; the heroines get to do and say all those things I’m afraid of.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I don’t give my heroines their own fears to overcome but the beauty of sublimination, creating a world of my own, is that my heroines get to act out some of my fears. Be it rejection, the wrath of another person’s anger, saying things to others which might cause offence, my heroines get to do all those things I often find unbearable. Sometimes the fears are nuanced. In my Heart series the heroine, Lottie, has a desire to develop her career, having spent the best part of a decade raising her three children. Lottie has a need to be more than just a mother but in doing so, through her growth, she must suffer the loss of part of her identity, a letting go of just being ‘Mummy’, which is scary for her. Will her children still need her? There is no doubt that the same sort of shifts were happening in my life when I wrote this storyline. The benefit of writing it in fiction is that I get to play out all the different outcomes in my mind. Although, eventually, I must separate myself from the character and give her the best possible outcome for her. That doesn’t mean that I don’t throw a few obstacles in along the way, to make it harder for her to achieve her ultimate goal. For example, Lottie has to juggle prioritising her career, being mum and a husband who begins to feel neglected, causing more challenges for her to overcome. Without those threads of conflict, there’s no momentum for the reader to keep reading on and, ultimately, the reader is the most important character in all my writing; who knows what challenges they’re currently facing? What if they’re sitting with similar fears and are inspired to face and overcome them, having read about my heroines’ fears? 

My heroines: boldly going where I’m a little afraid to follow. What an enviable position to be in.

Lx

Thank you for this post Lisa. It really made me think about my own heroines and also about using writing as a therapy. Mx

About Lisa Hill

Lisa grew up in the village of Bussage, near Stroud, in the Cotswolds until she returned to Cheltenham as a teenager. She is married to her very own hero, Matt, and has three sons, Hamish, Archie and Laurence. Her first encounter of a romance author was chats over the garden wall between her father, Godfrey, and Mrs Cooper from the neighbouring village of Bisley. It came as quite a surprise in later life to find that Mrs Cooper was in fact Jilly Cooper! Lisa’s writing inspiration now comes from other Cotswolds authors including Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde. 

Lisa writes contemporary women’s fiction with a light-hearted tone. What interests her most is people, their interactions, emotions and relationships. It’s probably why her career to date has been based in property; she confesses herself that she is ‘naturally curious’. 

When she’s not busy writing, helping Matt run his electrical empire, or being her sons’ taxi service, Lisa enjoys long walks with her dogs, Sparky and Lilly, and is training to be a counsellor where she hopes, one day, to be able to provide therapy in the form of writing. 

Lisa is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme and attributes this supportive and informative scheme to her career to date, including her debut novel, Meet Me at Number Five, and her latest heart-warming, Cotswold caper, Riders & Rosie.

To connect with Lisa, you can use the following links:-

Twitter:           @lisahillie

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

Insta:               @lisahillie

Website:          https://lisahillie.com

Amazon:         https://amzn.to/3mqG35L

Goodreads:      https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17037611.Lisa_Hill

About Riders & Rosie

When Rosie Fields’s mother dies, she leaves Rosie lost, lonely and orphaned. Or so Rosie thinks…

When a Google search on her childhood home, coupled with a letter divulging the truth about what really happened to Rosie’s absent father, reveals that perhaps her mother wasn’t entirely truthful even in death, it leaves Rosie with a mission; to reconnect with her estranged father. And when a job becomes available working near his estate, it seems like the perfect solution. Until Rosie finds that she is not the only one keeping secrets in the Fields household…

A story of family, secrets and romance set against the backdrop of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

Available at Amazon.

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.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

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

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My Real Life Hero by M W Arnold

This week I’m pleased to feature Mick Arnold who writes popular World War Two novels featuring the Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery Club as M W Arnold. I’ve known Mick for many years now and often seem to be photographed with him at writing events!

Mick is going to talk to us about his real-life hero – Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys. Over to Mick

Music is a big part of my life and so one of my heroes is a certain Brian Wilson. Don’t worry if you’ve not heard of him, you will have heard his music, particularly on the radio in the summer, for he was the chief songwriter (and also shared lead vocal duties) of the Beach Boys. You know, Surfin’ USA, Good Vibrations.

I’d begun to hear his music back in the mid-seventies, though had no idea who was who in the group, let alone that there was a musical genius in the group. I soon progressed past the hits which we’ve all heard and begun to dig into their more obscure material. Back then, this meant delving into record fairs and second hand shops, I had such fun! Gradually, through the music and the few books around then, I learned about this man and discovered a genius, a very flawed genius.

Brian Wilson

Physically abused by his father, he’d taken refuge in his burgeoning musical talents. Often described as a musical genius, yet an amateur human being, this is a very apt analogy. Generally, only comfortable making music than making conversation, this is as true now as it was back when he began creating music in 1961. I’ve met him twice and treasure the memories, though I couldn’t tell you a word he said, if any to me. Yet, a day rarely goes by without my listening to at least a few of his songs. No-one else in the world (at least in my opinion) can match his musical composing skills, though Paul McCartney comes close.

Do I have any of his attributes? Only shyness. This is one trait Doris in my ‘Broken Wings’ books has in abundance. Actually, she’s the exact opposite. At first glance, a brash Yank, but that’s only on the surface as the brashness is merely a cover for complete self-confidence.

Brian Wilson had to break free of a controlling influence, as did Penny who had a father who wished to control her. Though she understood this behaviour only manifested itself after the death of her mother, his wife, she also fought to free herself. Successful, she found her true place amongst the girls of the Air Transport Auxiliary, finally able to fly free, exactly as she’d always hoped and wished for.

Mary is the girl we know the least about, even though we’re now in book 2. She keeps her heart close to her chest, only allowing snippets about her life prior to the ATA to leak out. For all this, she is a loyal, determined girl, albeit one who sometimes steps back and lets others take the lead. This is very similar to Brian and the music he records. Back in 1967, there was supposed to be an album called, ‘Smile’. However, circumstances conspired against Brian and the album never came out. True, many drugs were being taken back then, but these were by no means totally to blame for its non-appearance. It took years of the music leaking out before everyone knew the full story of this ground breaking album and could fully appreciate his genius.

I’m not saying it’ll be the same with Mary, or the other girls, but I keep finding out new things about these characters, and I love that! Long may it continue!

Now, I’m going to go and put ‘Pet Sounds’ on my record player, close my eyes and lose myself in the music.

About Mick Arnold (M W Arnold)

Mick is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association who spent sixteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots and realizing how much he missed the travel. He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian Werecats bent on world domination and is mad on the music of the Beach Boys.

Get in touch with Mick using the following links:

Facebook – facebook.com/MWArnoldAuthor

Twitter – @mick859

Instagram – @mick859

YouTube channel – tinyurl.com/zav3r9kx

Wild Blue Yonder – Broken Wings book 2

Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Doris Winter is accused of stealing a valuable item from a famous Hollywood movie star, now a Captain in the US Army Air Corps, after a dance at the air base in England where he’s stationed. Gathering her close friends together, she’s determined to clear her name.

Ruth’s POW son suffers a life-changing injury just as her own cottage takes damage in an air raid and Penny’s estranged little sister unexpectedly turns up, having run away from school. Together with the ongoing thefts of items of clothing and surprise personal revelations, these all threaten to hamper their investigation.

In spite of the worsening war situation, they must band together to rise above their troubles and prove love and friendship is worth fighting for.

Book buying links:

Amazon Universal link – mybook.to/WildBlueYonder

iBooks – tinyurl.com/2dvavjm4

Nook – tinyurl.com/nntrssny

Kobo – tinyurl.com/3ntnv8wk

Thank you for this post, Mick and good luck with your books. 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.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments