Jane Cable – An Ornament I Love

My series about loved ornaments is proving popular with visitors to my blog! This week Jane Cable tells us about hers. Jane has just published a superb new novel, Endless Skies published by Sapere and I’ve included my review at the bottom of the post.

It seems to be becoming a habit that I cry when preparing these blogs and this one was no different when I read Jane‘s Mum’s advice…

IN WITH THE NEW… AN ORNAMENT I LOVE

In my study I have a china cabinet full of old ornaments – in fact it was my mother’s china cabinet and it stood in her living room, loaded with family photos, for as long as I could remember. We started to clear the house together just before she died and she told me something very helpful and wise; something along the lines that I would find many things that had meant a great deal to her, but to only keep them if they meant something to me as well.

Freed from feeling I should keep everything I was able to keep what I really love… the tiny strawberry cup and saucer my grandmother took to the soup kitchen during the Welsh coal strike of 1898, a china chicken with the Wembley emblem on it my grandfather bought her when Cardiff were in the FA Cup final in 1926, the mug my mum always drank her tea from. To name but a few.

Rachel, the main character in my latest book, Endless Skies, loves old ornaments. Some of her happiest memories are mooching around antique shops with her beloved grandma and it breaks her heart when she is forced to move into a modern flat and Gran’s Murano glass animals and Royal Albert Festival tea set look so out of place she has to relegate them to a box in the cupboard.

But I digress. Slightly. Like Rachel I would be hard pushed to choose a favourite inherited ornament. So I’ve chosen a brand new one. When Jim and I moved to Cornwall three years ago we had cupboards and shelving made to fit the longest wall in the living room of our flat, with plenty of space for ornaments. New ornaments. The ones we would buy as we set out on our adventures together, travelling the world making memories.

no14-Fitted-Furniture-by-Samuel-F-Walsh-furniture-Maple-and-Oak-Shelving-and-Storage-1180x787

Photo credit to Samuel F Walsh Furniture

There was only one rule – whatever we bought, we both had to love it. What we didn’t expect to do was find the first item just twenty-five miles away in Padstow. We weren’t even there to shop. But we walked past the window of a gallery and there it was. A vase. We walked past it – we looked at each other – we went back. It was Cornwall recreated in glass; the gritty golden shades of the sand, the swirl of the waves and the clear blue of the sky.

Vase for Morton's blog

And because it was the first of a new chapter in our lives it has a very special place in our hearts. And it just goes to show you can go chasing around the world but still find what you’re looking for closest to home.

(What a lovely post – thank you, Jane)

About Jane Cable

Jane Cable 2019

Like Morton I write romance with a twist only my books tend to be more ghostly. After winning a national award I published my first two novels independently before being signed by Sapere Books in 2018. Both my Sapere titles are standalone contemporary romances with a nod over the shoulder to World War Two. My first dual timeline, set in Cornwall in 2015 and 1815, will be published next year.

I’d love to meet you on Twitter @JaneCable or through my Facebook page, Jane Cable Author. My website is www.janecable.com, where you can also sign up for my infrequent newsletters.

About Endless Skies

endless skies cover

What are the echoes of the past telling Rachel? And will she listen?

After yet another disastrous love affair – this time with her married boss – Rachel Ward has been forced to leave her long-term position in Southampton for a temporary role as an Archaeology Lecturer at Lincoln University.

Rachel has sworn off men and is determined to spend her time away clearing her head and sorting her life out. But when one of her students begins flirting with her, it seems she could be about to make the same mistakes again…

She distracts herself by taking on some freelance work for local property developer, Jonathan Daubney. He introduces her to an old Second World War RAF base. And from her very first visit something about it gives Rachel chills.

As Rachel makes new friends and delves into local history, she is also forced to confront her own troubled past. But could a tragic World War Two love story hold a lesson for her too?

https://getbook.at/EndlessSkies

 

Morton’s Review of Endless Skies

5 Stars – What a Delight

Loved the characters, the setting, the premise of the book. This author has a polished writing style that makes reading effortless, enjoyable and involves you in the story. Relished the echoes of the past and the hard-won romance. Stopped reading with a tear in my eye, which to me is always an indicator of a good novel.

 

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.

Exciting News New Book Sunny Days at the Beach coming on 18 August 2020!!! Pre-Order here

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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.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple 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 Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

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Carol Thomas – A Charity Close to my Heart

This week I’m joined by a regular visitor to my blog, Carol Thomas, this time to talk about a charity close to her heart. Over to Carol

I am a regular supporter of a few different charities, but the one closest to my heart would have to be Cancer Research UK, as I have volunteered in my local charity shop, in Arundel, for the past six years.

My mum is a breast cancer survivor. And so when my son started school, and I became a full-time writer, I decided to give something back to the charity by becoming a volunteer.

It wasn’t an entirely selfless act. As a writer, you spend many hours alone, and so volunteering allowed me to keep one foot in reality. Working with, and meeting people, feeds the imagination. Volunteering enabled me to take a break from my characters, and people watch while doing something useful.

My manager, Sue Stoves-Clark keeps our little Arundel shop looking good, smelling wonderful (she loves her diffuser), and stocked with quality items. The team of volunteers I work with are great – warm, full of good humour, and welcoming, as well as supportive of each other.

During lockdown, we’ve stayed in touch via a very positive WhatsApp group. Through this, Sue has organised a rota, to ensure a couple of volunteers who are having difficult times medically are receiving a card a day to remind them we are thinking of them. How lovely is that!

The people at the shop have also been very supportive of my writing. For three consecutive years, during the Arundel Festival, I ran a bookstall outside the shop, with a group of local writers called the Chindi Authors. We sold our books, come rain or shine, donating a percentage to the charity from each sale. It was a wonderful experience; we gained publicity for the shop, as well as our books, and raised funds at the same time.

Video about raising funds during the Arundel Festival

Cancer Research UK is dear to my heart in so many ways. My mum, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, when she was 57, is now the incredible age of eighty-two. Two years ago, my sister was diagnosed, while she is still monitored, she is, to date, all clear. And my niece, who was diagnosed and treated in her twenties continues to work hard to highlight that being breast aware is essential no matter what your age.

Cancer is a disease that has touched many people. I’m pleased I can support the charity with time and donations. As well as spending money in the shop – ask any volunteer, we spend way too much while giving our time! I’m grateful for all the charity has done, and for the lovely people and experiences volunteering has brought into my life.

About Carol Thomas

Carol Thomas 300dpi

Published by Ruby Fiction, Carol writes for both adults and children: Her contemporary romance novels, have relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads; while her children’s books have irresistibly cute, generally furry characters young children can relate to.

Carol lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador.

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

Website

Facebook Author Page

Twitter 

Pinterest

Instagram

Blog

About Carol Thomas’ Books

Introducing Lisa Blake!

Do you believe in second chances? Find out what happens when Lisa Blake rediscovers the one she let get away.

The Purrfect Pet Sitter (Lisa Blake #1)

“The storyline is delightful and includes romance, drama and plenty of humour.”

getbook.at/TPPSAmazon

Maybe Baby (Lisa Blake #2)

“Fantastic characters, both furry and human – I loved it – very highly recommended!”

getbook.at/MBAmazon

Crazy Over You

Crazy Over You

Love can drive you crazy … in more ways than one!

“Affecting, absorbing and delightfully entertaining.”

getbook.at/COYAmazon

 

Thank you for joining me Carol and it’s lovely to learn about your charity work and the poignant reasons for you choosing this charity. Amazing to hear about your Mum too! 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.

Exciting News New Book Sunny Days at the Beach coming on 18 August 2020!!! Pre-Order here

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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.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple 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 Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

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Book 4 – Sunny Days at the Beach

My fourth book for Choc Lit, Sunny Days at the Beach will be published on 18 August 2020 and is available for pre-order here.

If I am honest, I never thought I would be saying those words, because after publishing The Girl on the Beach, The Truth Lies Buried and Christmas at Borteen Bay I was hit by a period of ill health. This included severe migraines, strange food allergies and an excruciatingly painful shoulder. My days narrowed into inactivity, the highlight of my day became an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. If you know me at all, this is most unlike my normal way of being.

My doctor sent me to see consultants.

For the migraines, I was tested for brain tumour, mini-strokes, MS (and this one was scary as my dad had this condition). The last consultant I saw was in danger of me asking him to marry him, (if I hadn’t already been married), because he said he was convinced I was suffering from hormone surges at the end of the menopause and prescribed high doses of Vitamin B2 Riboflavin and acupuncture. I began to feel better almost immediately on the vitamins. Still have the occasional bout of bad heads, but nothing like the incapacity I had been suffering.

For the allergies, I had lots of tests and was said to be suffering with Oral Allergy Syndrome – a cluster of allergic reactions in the mouth and throat in response to eating certain (usually fresh) fruits, nuts and vegetables that typically develops in adults who suffer with hay fever. This consultant also concurred that the changes could be wrought by hormone surges at the end of the menopause. I have an Epi Pen in my handbag, but now I’m cautious around raw fruit, nuts and vegetables, I seem to be fine.

As for the shoulder, one consultant said I needed an operation, the next one disagreed (cue almost marriage proposal x2) – I’d started to see a structural alignment therapist, Ellie, who works with the Egoscue method – designed to get your body working properly – and this second consultant wanted me to continue persevering with her sessions before any drastic action was taken – and they worked, I’m now pain free. You can read more about this therapy on Ellie’s website here.

All in all, I’m in a much happier and healthier place now, but boy what a journey and a consequent gap in my writing career!

So, after thinking I would never write again, I have a three book deal with Choc Lit and my new book is out on 18 August. I had a few dicey headachy episodes during the editing of this novel, but it’s done now and I’m very excited that you will meet my gin distiller, Graham and craft shop owner, Mandy in my fictional seaside town of Borteen.

The inspiration for this book came many years ago when I read an article about a craft gin distillery in my favourite magazine, Landscape. My husband was treated to a tour of this gin distillery for his birthday, thinly disguised as my research trip.

About Sunny Days at the Beach

Cover art

From party nights at the pub to sunny days at the beach …

Craft shop owner Mandy Vanes has always enjoyed a commitment-free singleton lifestyle — in fact, she’s well-known for her wild ways in her small seaside town on the coast.

But when local teenager, Nick Crossten, turns to her for help, Mandy has the opportunity to prove she can be a responsible adult. Although things get tricky when gin distillery owner Graham Frankley comes to town with some unexpected news.

Could this mean that Mandy the party girl is finally ready to grow up?

You can pre-order Sunny Days at the Beach here.

 

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.

Exciting News New Book Sunny Days at the Beach coming on 18 August 2020!!! Pre-Order here

 

F25DEF06-6FA8-4AC6-8956-76E862A3448F

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.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple 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 Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

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Vicki Beeby – An Ornament I Love

Vicki Beeby is with me today to talk about a fascinating ornament that she loves. I’ve known Vicki for many years now, so it’s lovely to find out something different about her. Vicki has just published The Ops Room Girls with publisher Canelo. I’ve read the book and loved it, so will share my review below. But first, back to the ornament that Vicki loves …

I may be cheating a bit, because my favourite ornament isn’t in my own home, but my mother’s. I’m also not sure it really counts as an ornament, being part of an ostrich egg. However, it has fascinated me all my life and, indirectly, led me to an unforgettable three years in Botswana.

ostrich-egg-display

During my childhood, the egg lived in a display cabinet in my grandparents’ house. It belonged to my grandma, who collected it during her childhood in South Africa. When she was only a few months old, her parents, my great-grandparents, moved from Somerset to South Africa in the hope the dry climate would cure my great-grandfather’s asthma, this being long before the days of Salbutamol. They set up an ostrich farm—ostrich feathers were a desirable fashion accessory in those days—and my grandma spent the first ten years of her life on this farm in the Eastern Cape. I don’t know how she came to own the egg shell, but I like to think it was an egg that hatched rather than one used to make a giant omelette!

Sadly for her, but luckily for my future existence, the family were forced to return to England at the outbreak of the First World War. My grandma often spoke of what it was like to grow up in South Africa, and I developed a longing to visit Africa for myself. My wish came true when I was employed via a British Council scheme to teach maths in state schools in Botswana. I’ll never forget the thrill of being driven out to my first school on the edge of the Kalahari, seeing an ostrich striding alongside the road on its powerful legs. Who knows, it might have been a descendent of the ostriches on my great-grandparents’ farm!  So now the ostrich egg is doubly special. It’s a reminder both of my grandma and my own time in Botswana.

How fascinating, Vicki Mx

About Vicki Beeby

Vicki-Beeby-Author-Pic

Vicki Beeby writes historical fiction about the friendships and loves of service women brought together by the Second World War.

Her first job was as a civil engineer on a sewage treatment project, so things could only improve from there. Since then, she has worked as a maths teacher and education consultant before turning freelance to give herself more time to write.

In her free time, when she can drag herself away from reading, she enjoys walking and travelling to far-off places by train. She lives in Shropshire in a house that doesn’t contain nearly enough bookshelves.

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

Twitter: @VickiBeeby

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

 

About The Ops Room Girls

I’ve put this cover in full size so that you can see the lovely detail Mx

The Ops Room Girls_amazon

It is 1939 and working class Evie Bishop has received a scholarship to study mathematics at Oxford when tragedy turns her life upside down. Evie must seek a new future for herself and, inspired to contribute to the war effort, joins the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force as an Ops Room plotter.

Posted to a fighter station on the Sussex Coast, Evie befriends two other WAAFs – shy, awkward May and flirty, glamorous Jess. Faced with earning the approval of strict officers and finding their way in a male dominated world, the three girls band together to overcome challenges, navigate new romances and keep their pilots safe in the skies.

But the German bombers seem to know more than they should about the base’s operations, and soon Evie, May and Jess are caught up in a world more dangerous than they ever imagined…

Buying Links

Amazon: Mybook.to/OpsRoomGirls

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-ops-room-girls

Google: http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN9781800320888

Apple: https://books.apple.com/book/the-ops-room-girls/id1509441974?app=itunes

 

Thank you for joining me, Vicki and for such a fascinating post Mx

My review of The Ops Room Girls

5 Stars : I so enjoyed this book! I was right there with the heroine, Evie all the way through each page, feeling her emotions and was sure I could even hear the aircraft engines. What a great depiction of life in World War Two as a WAAF. Loved all of the characters, especially Evie, May, Jess and Alex. Finished reading the story with a tear in my eye. I need the sequel now please.

 

And the good news is that Vicki’s next book, Christmas with the Ops Room Girls is now available for pre-order here

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When there’s so much to be afraid of, can May help bring festive cheer to the Ops Room?

After failing to help evacuee siblings whom she witnesses being separated, May wishes she’d had the confidence to speak up. When Jess suggests a pantomime to boost morale on the station, May is desperate to help – but is held back by her own insecurities.

With her low self-esteem also affecting her relationship with Squadron Leader Peter Travis, May is fed up with being her own worst enemy and decides to take charge of her destiny. But the past she ran from plus a crisis with one of the evacuees throw May into the midst of a drama that will test all of her newfound confidence.

May, Jess and Evie must work together once again to help each other through the challenges of war and of their own hearts.

 

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.

Exciting News New Book Sunny Days at the Beach coming on 18 August 2020!!! Pre-Order here

 

F25DEF06-6FA8-4AC6-8956-76E862A3448F

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.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple 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 Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

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The Day That Changed My Life by Sue McDonagh

This week I have a very special blog post by fellow Choc Lit/Ruby Fiction author Sue McDonagh. I know and love Sue in real life and don’t see her often enough for my liking, so I was totally unprepared to sob my heart out when I received her blog post entitled The Day that Changed My Life. Over to Sue

Warning – you will probably need tissues!

I woke up in a single side ward, feeling weirdly pinned by the oxygen mask, drip and something on my stomach, none of which I’d had yesterday.

My best friend, Terry, was standing at the foot of the bed. She burst into tears as she met my eyes. I swivelled my gaze to take in my parents, alongside me. They looked grave.

Dad said, ‘Sorry Sue, it’s bad news. It’s cancer.’ I had just turned twenty four. It’s weird to think of it, but I was almost relieved.

I’d spent a fortnight on a hospital bed, with my stomach grown to the size of a full term pregnancy within that time, and various doctors shaking their heads and pronouncing that ‘my womb was tipped backwards. We want you to lie on your stomach and drink lots of water.’

What kind of quack remedy that was meant to be, I never discovered, as once I’d drunk litres of water, the giant tumour inside me blocked all the exits so I never managed to wee any of it out.

The turning point came when I asked the nursing sister on duty for a sick note to give my sergeant. I was in the police then. She told me, ‘we don’t give sick notes to people who swing the lead.’ Unbelievable. Thankfully, not all nurses are like her. Most really are angels.

They told me I could go home, as ‘there’s nothing wrong with you.’ My stomach had protruded so far by then that the loose, button through skirt I’d been admitted in was about twelve inches apart. In a week. As some of the guys from my shift sauntered in, wearing their uniforms, to visit me, I had a meltdown, kneeling on the bed with that skirt in my hands.

‘There is something wrong with me,’ I snarled, ‘and I’m not going anywhere until you find out what it is!’ Then I burst into tears. My mates muttered something about it not being a good time and backed out. I can’t really blame them. I can still picture it in my head.

Even after that, it was still a good few days before they sent me to be scanned. I came back up to the ward and they sent me back down for another one straightaway.

And then they said they’d found something, and I might need a hysterectomy. Definitely surgery. When? The following morning. Seriously? The previous week they were sending me home and now I apparently needed an emergency hysterectomy? I was twenty four! Single, childless, but with dreams of a family in the future.

My parents had gone camping, clearly also not believing that anything serious could be wrong with me. I was a fit policewoman. I thought nothing of cycling a hundred miles a day, and walking the length of the county with a tent on my back. How could there be anything seriously wrong with me? I rang the police station and asked the other WPC, Jo, who happened to be working the front desk, to track my parents down wherever they were camping. Both of us were in tears at the horror at what was happening to me. To their huge credit, they did find them. The next time I saw them, was the following day, after my surgery. The surgeon came in later and told me they’d taken a biopsy and to expect the worst. I had ovarian cancer, and it was not a very encouraging prognosis.

Well, I didn’t die, and that was a surprise to my oncology team at Barts Hospital, London, where I was transferred. I was lucky, and I had the best team in the world.

If anyone knows Dr Maurice Slevin, and Mr John H Shepherd, tell them I’m still here, and I still have so much living to do! X

IMG_0408Me as a Police Probationer at Training College, 1977, with some of the other girls from different forces. Spot which one is me!

IMG_8673Me on my motorbike with my camper van, packing my life with as much as I can!

About Sue McDonagh
IMG_3896

My career as a policewoman in the Essex Police was interrupted when I was twenty four by ovarian cancer. A year of surgery and chemotherapy meant a successful recovery, which led to a convalescent year in the Essex Police Press Office. This suited me as I’d always fancied being a journalist, and meant that I could play with joined up writing and stationary.

When I moved to Wales to marry a man widowed by cancer and became instant mum to his two little boys, I used my Press Office skills and wrote press releases and eventually, blog posts for the various clubs and organisations I was involved with.

Art evolved into a full time occupation and I made a living teaching and sketching portraits on the spot at agricultural and seaside shows, moving into more considered work as time went on and appearing on Sky TV in 2014 in the regional finals of the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year.

I now work almost exclusively to commission, but also give demonstrations and talks to art societies and other groups, which I enjoy.

In 1982, following chemotherapy, I cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End in ten days, fundraising over £8000 towards a cancer scanner for St Bartholomew’s Hospital, where I was treated.

After my first hip replacement sixteen years ago, I and three friends took part in the Four Inns Challenge and walked 45 miles across the Peak District in 16 hours, raising £10,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support.

When my second hip needed replacing, I thought about commemorating it with a further bonkers fundraising idea, but to everyone’s relief, found my excitement in writing.

Ten years ago I learned to ride a motorbike, and now help to run Curvy Riders, a national, women only, motorbike club.

I live in Wales, a mile from the sea. My Border terrier, Scribble, comes to work in my open-to-the-public studio/gallery with me, and thinks the customers only come in to see him. Sometimes, I think that too.

When I’m not painting, I’m writing or on my motorbike.

I belong to a local writing group and the Romantic Novelist’s Association.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SueMcDonaghLit

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mcdonagh.sue/

ChocLit Author page: https://www.choc-lit.com/productcat/sue-mcdonagh/

My blogspot: http://suemcdonaghwriter.blogspot.com/

About books by Sue McDonagh

Sue‘s latest novel Escape to the Art Cafe is out now:

Escape to the Art Cafe by Sue McDonagh

Heartbreak and cake at the Art Café …

It was meant to be the perfect romantic holiday. But then Flora Bexton’s boyfriend does the unthinkable, and she responds in the only logical way: she steals his motorbike and escapes for a holiday by herself on the Welsh coast.

Far from the lonely trip she imagined, Flora soon finds comfort at the friendly local Art Café where the legendary hot chocolate and cake help to ease her troubled mind. And when Aussie-Welsh lifeguard Jake Foley steps in just when Flora needs help the most, she realises that her ‘holiday’ feels more like home with every passing day …

Links for Sue‘s books:

Summer at the Art Cafe, Book 1 of the Art Cafe series, https://tinyurl.com/y8dgszmn

Meet Me at the Art Cafe, Book 2 of the series, https://tinyurl.com/yd6h4zy5

Escape to the Art Cafe, Book 3, https://tinyurl.com/yavtk7al

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I told Sue that she had made me cry when I was preparing her blog and this is what she said:

I’m sorry I made you cry!

It’s a shocking story though, and even as I write it, it still feels horrific. Some things really do stick in your mind. But hell, I survived and it made me strong and now I use all those experiences in my books.

It’s why I always feature stepchildren, and how life threatening illness changes your life.

What a fantastic attitude and I’m so glad you are still here, Sue! 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.

Exciting News New Book Sunny Days at the Beach coming on 18 August 2020!!! Pre-Order here

 

F25DEF06-6FA8-4AC6-8956-76E862A3448F

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.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple 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 Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

DED25A3E-2CEB-4E56-BE67-4784041D9BD5

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

My Writing Journey by Ian Wilfred

I’m pleased to welcome another new guest to my blog this week. Ian Wilfred is one of the most supportive writers of other authors I know. He is so generous with his retweets and sharing.

Also, we share a love of little white dogs! Here is Ian‘s Lottie and my Lily (right).

Ian is here this week to tell us about his poignant writing journey and his new novel One Summer In Spain. Over to Ian

Hi Morton. Thank you for inviting me over for a chat about how and when I started writing. Well, it all happened overnight really, over a few days in January 2011.

My father was living with me and my other half. He needed 24/7 care and I gave up work to nurse him. He slept a lot and also, I was up quite a bit in the night with him, so there were many spare hours when I needed to do something. I’m not one for a lot of television, but I did read a lot. I thought – this is my time to put pen to paper or actual fingers to the keyboard and this led to my first book – Putting Right The Past. This is a romcom set on the island of Tenerife, which was first published in 2013.

After my father died, we moved from the Midlands to Norfolk and time just flew by with very little writing. Then in 2107, I published – The Little Terrace Of Friendships – which was set in London and on Martha’s Vineyard.

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Moving on from that one, I’ve published books set on the fictional quay side town of Saltmarsh here on the Norfolk coast, but my love of Greece kicked in and my next two books were set on a fictional Greek island called Holkamos. I loved writing these with the island and the characters. I had planned a third on the island, which would have come out this year, but for some strange reason the setting changed when I was writing the book.

The story wouldn’t have been right on that Greek island, but I moved it to Spain and that’s the book that’s just come out – One Summer In Spain. It tells the story of Gemma, who becomes the housekeeper to two retired best friends and the three of them head off to a villa on the Spanish coast. There is a lot more humour in this book and of course Gemma has to have a romance. However, the big question is what happens to the three of them when the summer is over?

So, mine was not your normal start to writing a book. Strange circumstances, but as well as writing the first novel, which was very enjoyable, it was also a special time for us as a family.

Thank you for letting me talk about my writing journey.

About Ian Wilfred

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Ian Wilfred’s debut novel ‘Putting Right The Past’ is set on the island of Tenerife and was published in 2013. Since then he has gone on to publish other books set in his beloved Norfolk, the Greek islands and Martha’s Vineyard.

In 2020 Ian has chosen a new location for his next feel good read; he’s heading off to sunny Spain.

Ian lives on the Norfolk coast with his husband and west highland terrier. He is a member of the Romantic Novelist Association.

You can follow Ian onTwitter @Ianwilfred39

About One Summer in Spain

IMG_7267Twenty-five year old Gemma is still unsure where her life is leading. Her parents are exasperated at the way in which she flits from one thing to another. A chance encounter helping Dulcie, an elderly lady who has had a fall in the street, leads to Gemma becoming housekeeper to Dulcie and her friend, Rupert.

Following a lottery win, Dulcie and Rupert rent a Spanish villa for six months and Gemma goes with them for a working holiday. It’s all one long adventure for the three of them, filled with fun days out, nights in the best restaurants and plenty of laughter.

Dario, the local taxi driver becomes fond of Gemma. Likewise, she thinks a lot of him too, but he harbours a secret.

Jamie, Dulcie’s grandson, pops over to Spain to check on his grandmother. but she’s not his only reason for visiting.

Craig, an old friend of Gemma’s, is also an acquaintance of Dulcie and Rupert. When he visits from England, Gemma’s life becomes a little uncomfortable.

How can ONE SUMMER IN SPAIN change everyone’s life? Will it be for the good, and how do their lives pan out after the six month holiday is over?

To buy One Summer in Spain you can use this link Amazon.co.uk/dp/B089NYW4PQ

You can find Ian‘s other books on this link Amazon.co.uk/Ian-Wilfred/e/B06XWC2FDM

 

Thank you for joining me, Ian and sharing your story. I hope that you sell lots of copies of One Summer in Spain.

 

 

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.

 

Exciting News New Book Sunny Days at the Beach coming soon!!!

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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.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple 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 Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

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Gina Hollands – From Reader to Writer

Gina Hollands joins me this week to talk about her personal journey from being a reader to becoming a writer. Gina‘s novel Little Village of Second Chances was published by Choc Lit on 23 June 2020. Over to Gina …

Although I was over 30 by the time I decided to write a novel, I think in the back of my mind I always knew I would – I was just waiting to become patient enough! From the moment I learned how to read, I was hooked and became a huge bookworm. I don’t think, when I was young, my family got a lot of conversation out of me because I usually had my head stuck in a book. I vividly remember sitting in my school uniform at the kitchen table, eating breakfast and refusing to look up from the page. This happened every day. It was probably a bit rude, when I think about it now, but my pleas of “Just let me get to the end of this chapter” were usually heeded by parents who thankfully encouraged my reading hobby – or should I say ‘addiction’, and were keen readers themselves.

I knew the shelves of the village library like the back of my hand. When I was a young teenager, the section for ‘young adults’ was fairly limited, and I think I must have read every book they had. In the case of the Point Horror novels, more than once!

Pocket money was spent on books, as was birthday money, and my best friend and I owned row upon row of Sweet Valley High books by Francine Pascal. We adored them and desperately wanted to be Jessica and Elizabeth – the main characters in the series. Oh, to live in California, be beautiful and popular and have hunky boyfriends who adored us – our first foray into escapism, and a million miles from our own school days in rainy Britain where every day we’d trudge to school in our ghastly uniforms.

My love of reading never waned, even when I went to university and after graduating. The only years I read very little were when my son was very young.. There wasn’t a lot of time for luxuries like reading in those days! As he’s got older, however, I’ve picked the books back up and now share the joy of reading with him as we work our way through the Harry Potter series, which he’s loving. My husband, who has never voluntarily read a book in his life, can’t understand how I can remember all the different voices for all the different characters, or how you can tell so quickly who’s saying what. Ha ha! It’s practice, I tell him – a lifetime of it.

Funny, though, that even having read countless novels, when it came to writing my own, I didn’t initially pass the all-important hurdle of having it accepted by a publisher. Several attempts later, an offer came in from the US-based publisher, The Wild Rose Press. When I think back now to my poor editor who had to deal with this novice writer – me – I can’t believe how patient she was. I was making all the classic errors – head-hopping, not delving deep enough into my characters’ emotions, and even changing their eye colour halfway through!

Now when I read – which I do all the time – I do it as not just a reader but as a writer too, and I’ve found the experience entirely different but also enjoyable. It’s like I’m learning to read all over again. I pick up tips on how to use linguistic devices and often marvel at the way an author has cleverly used their words to evoke their readers’ emotions. I’m racing through a page-turner of a crime novel at the moment by Peter James and have mentally banked several ways in which he has (I’m assuming, deliberately) chosen words and phrases because they lend so much to the narrative.

I have not known one author who is not also a lover of reading. I can’t imagine my life without reading, and these days I can’t imagine it without writing. The jump from reader to writer is huge but rewarding, and the great thing about it is that there’s always something new to discover.

Thank you, Gina. I can’t believe how much you sound like me – I could have written this article about myself! Mx

About Gina Hollands

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Originally from Yorkshire, Gina now lives by the sea in West Sussex with her husband and son. When she’s not working in her job in marketing and PR, or writing her latest book, Gina can be found dancing everything from lindy hop to salsa, shopping (she loves clothes far too much for her own good), eating out (she hates cooking far too much for her own good), or relaxing, which generally involves reading a book someone else has written or indulging in her new hobby of learning to play the piano. She has a sneaky suspicion she may be a musical genius in the making, but isn’t about to give up the day job just yet.

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

Twitter: @ginaholls
Gina’s blog: ginahollands.com

 

About Little Village of Second Chances

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Surely everyone deserves a second chance?
Ex-fireman and edible flower farmer Shay McGillen has plenty of reasons not to give Sarah Pickering even one chance when she turns up in his small Yorkshire village. After all, she is only there to try and convince him and his fellow villagers to sell up so her company can build a bypass. If Sarah thinks she can make Shay give up his farmhouse and his business, she has another thing coming!

 

To buy the novel use the link here

Thank you for joining me Gina and for inviting me to join you on your blog soon. 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.

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.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple 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 Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

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Claire Sheldon – The Day That Changed My Life

I’m joined by Ruby Fiction author, Claire Sheldon, as she tells us about the changes in her life since she encouraged her husband to follow his dream on 1 January 2017. Over to Claire

January 1st 2017 I encouraged my husband (Andrew) to fill out an application form to become a retained fire fighter for Nottinghamshire fire and rescue. Little did I know that, that year was going to become one hell of a roller coaster ride as my husband started his training. My work holidays that year were now days when he was at training, mostly Fridays and Mondays and then a full week in August when he did some intense BA (Breathing Apparatus) training.

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My oldest, Alex was in school full time and my youngest Melanie was in nursery and I would be lying if I say it wasn’t a challenge! I will freely admit that I am not the most patient person in the world but I was now at home when I wasn’t working with two kids, long weekend stints when I didn’t know when Andrew would be coming home. I remember one time him coming home and finding me crying on the sofa, having spent the day watching TV because the kids had wound me up so much. I had put my daughter on my computer and my son was on his and neither of them cared about me. I also couldn’t partake in Parkruns anymore. ☹

Andrew would get stressed about revision he needed to do for the exams, or when he had done something wrong on the course. For instance, once when they were doing a ladder drill, he forgot to put his foot on the ladder which meant he had failed that section. Who knew how important a foot on the bottom of the ladder would be.

Andrew had always said he wanted to be a fire fighter but had been put off at a younger age because he had asthma, but now he was “living the dream.”

He passed out with his cohort, including his now friend Gavin, who he had been training with and would go on to work with at Stapleford Fire station. On a cold wet November evening in front of me and the kids and no doubt others who were looking down on him as pleased and as proud as I was.

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But the fun didn’t stop there, as once you’ve done basic (!!???) training there is now on-the-job training. Out all day and all night at the bonfire display Stapleford fire station were part of. Then someone set fire to Nottingham train station!

It was a Monday in January and I remember it being dark when the pager went off! Once the kids were at school and I made it to work slightly more panicked than normal. I then spent the day searching the local newspaper website wanting to know Andrew was okay and what was happening, as I hadn’t heard anything from him since he told me it was happening. Then a picture of him came up queuing for food so I knew there was no need to worry.

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Being married to a retained fire fighter has been endless fun… Especially when that bloody pager goes off in the middle of the night or some other inconvenient time! Living life around him maybe having to go out so I need to take one child with me because she isn’t old enough to stay on her own. Having to return home from work early to pick the kids up because he is out at some incident and then spending the rest of the evening trying to do what I had left earlier at work.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way! Andrew has supported me through so much and continues to this day. So the fact he is now doing something that he has always wanted to do it my way of giving back…

About Claire Sheldon

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Claire lives in Nottingham with her family, a cat called Whiskers and a dog called Podrick. She suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and as a result of the disease had to reduce her hours working in insurance for an Insolvency Insurer. This spare time enabled her to study a creative writing course which inspired her to write her debut, Perfect Lie.

When Claire isn’t working she enjoys reading crime novels and listening to music – the band Jimmy Eat World is her biggest muse! Claire is also an avid reader and book blogger. The inspiration for her novels comes from the hours spent watching The Bill with her grandparents and auntie; then later, Spooks and other detective programmes like Morse, A Touch of Frost and Midsummer Murders.

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

Twitter@ClaireEESheldon

Facebook Author Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/clairesheldonauthor

About Perfect Lie

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What is ‘perfect’ trying to hide?

Jen Garner tries her best to be ‘wife and mother of the year’. She helps organise school plays and accompanies her husband to company dinners, all with a big smile on her face.

But Jen has started to receive strange gifts in the post … first flowers, then a sympathy card.

It could just be a joke; that’s what she tells herself. But then the final ‘gift’ arrives, and Jen has to question why somebody is so intent on shattering her life into pieces …

To buy Perfect Lie you can use the following links:-

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XdiWyM.

Kobo: https://bit.ly/36T7mO0

Ibooks: https://apple.co/2TVYvpj

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3dj40WZ

Barnes Noble: https://bit.ly/3gAeT8V

 

 

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Claire. I hope that your debut novel for Ruby Fiction is very successful. 😄

 

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.

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.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple 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 Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

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Eleanor Harkstead – An Ornament I Love

This week I’m joined by Eleanor Harkstead as she talks about an ornament she loves. Eleanor writes alongside Catherine Curzon and their latest novel is The Colour of Mermaids published by Totally Bound. Over to Eleanor

A seaside souvenir

I’m sure most people’s favourite ornaments are antiques handed down through the family, or a keepsake given by a loved one. I’m slightly embarrassed to say that my favourite ornament isn’t like that at all. It’s someone else’s souvenir that I bought in a charity shop, a plastic model of the Isle of Wight filled with coloured sand. The sand might come from Alum Bay, the dramatically streaked yellow, pink and brown cliffs near the Needles. Then again, it’s more likely someone has taken some ordinary sand and dyed it.isle-of-wight1The ornament must’ve found its way to a charity shop after a Brummie went on holiday to the Isle of Wight, or a friend did and thought that their life wouldn’t be complete without it. I lived on the Isle of Wight when I was a teenager and I felt a connection with it, this rather out of place souvenir. I used to see ornaments just like it in the tourist shops on Union Street in Ryde, along with sticks of rock and buckets and spades.

Living in a seaside resort all year round was rather strange. Big chunks of Ryde, the town that I lived in, were designed for inducing glee in tourists. In summer, a lot of town was too busy to visit myself (and you risked being run down by the Dotto Train that travelled up and down the prom as well), then in winter the weather was so awful, sometimes with massive waves breaking over the sea walls along with buckets of heavy rain, that I mainly stayed indoors. Out of holiday season, our school bus was an open-topped bus used in the summer for touring visitors around the island’s beauty spots. We’d deliberately sit on the top deck and get blustered about and rained on.

When Catherine and I decided to set our novel The Colour of Mermaids in Brighton, I drew on my memories of living in a seaside town as well as on my own visits to Brighton. Not that there are any schoolkids travelling on open-topped buses in the story, but when you live on the coast – in fact, when you live on an island that’s twenty-three miles long and thirteen miles wide – you become attuned to being so close to the sea. It’s always there, the waves drawing back and forth on the beaches like a pulse, and it’s partly why I love the novel’s cover because it emphasises the presence of the sea.

The humble souvenir of someone else’s holiday reminds me of where I’ve been in life. And it’s quite a fun thing, really, a memory of someone’s happy time that somehow ended up in a charity shop, and now lives on my shelf.

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About Eleanor Harkstead and Catherine Curzon

 

Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead began writing together in the spring of 2017 and swiftly discovered a shared love of sauce, well-dressed gents and a uniquely British sort of romance. They drink gallons of tea, spend hours discussing the importance of good tailoring and are never at a loss for a double entendre.

They are the authors of numerous  short stories and two novel series, the de Chastelaine Chronicles, and the Captivating Captains, published by Totally Bound and Pride. Their novel The Ghost Garden has been shortlisted for the 2020 Romantic Novel Awards.

Find out more at www.curzonharkstead.co.uk

Follow Eleanor at: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Bookbub.

Follow Catherine at: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Bookbub

Sign up to their newsletter and receive a free, exclusive short story “Brighton Beaux”.https://curzonharkstead.co.uk/newsletter

About The Colour of Mermaids

 

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When artist Eva Catesby is invited to an exhibition in honour of art world enfant terrible Daniel Scott, she’s expected to follow the crowd and sing his praises. Instead she tells him what she really thinks and sparks fly. As they plunge headlong into a wild affair, Eva becomes the target of unwanted attention from an unseen enemy.

Daniel Scott is famous for his paintings. Filled with darkness and tormented imagery, his canvases are as mysterious as his background. Until he meets Eva, Daniel is a stranger to criticism and doesn’t know what it means to fall in love.

Can Eva help Daniel overcome his childhood demons or will a fatal secret from the past destroy their future?

Published 24 March 2020 by Totally Bound. Available in ebook and paperback.

To buy – Amazon: https://mybook.to/thecolourofmermaids

 

Thank you for joining me, Eleanor. I loved the story about the school bus and that, like me, you find great pleasure in things found by accident in charity shops. Good luck with your latest novel – I’m just off to sign up for your newsletter!

 

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.

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.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple 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 Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

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Book News from Morton S. Gray

I did it! I signed a book deal with Choc Lit on 1 June for three more novels set in my fictional seaside town of Borteen!

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Some people know that I have had a period of ill health, where I suffered almost constant migraines and strange allergies, so I’d begun to think that I would never have another book published, because I couldn’t even sit at my computer for any length of time. Fingers crossed that horrible phase of my life is in the past, and whereas I suffer occasional “bad head” days, I feel so much better following the advice of my health consultants.

I’m so excited that readers will get to visit Borteen again and find out more about some familiar and new characters living in the town. Thank you to Choc Lit and I can’t wait to add three more covers to the three below!

 

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.

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.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple 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 Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

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