Home Thoughts – Morton S Gray

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been reading some fantastic blogs about how people are coping in this current coronavirus situation and when it came to my own blog, I found myself unsure what to write. The days have taken on a different pattern, that’s if you can even remember what day it actually is. My calendar, normally my bible, has lots of crossings out where events, meetings, appointments and holidays used to be. I am luckily someone who can always find something to do, so I’m not short of activities – gardening, weaving, making soap and shampoo, decluttering, family history, reading, combing the dog …

I find myself feeling fortunate that we have enough to eat, are warm and safe and so far, have managed to occupy our time. Our household expanded at the end of last year when my eldest son and his girlfriend sold a house and the one they were buying fell through. It looks as if their stay with us will be a bit longer than originally intended. In the first week of restrictions, we had my husband working in his study, me in mine, big son and girlfriend working either side of the dining room table and little son doing online lessons from school at his bedroom desk. Big son’s girlfriend now furloughed. Who knows what the next few weeks will hold. The challenge is to produce interesting meals for five.

Hugs to anyone sick, or grieving. To be honest, I’m having to avoid reading all of the news reports and my social media feeds. I’m trying to safeguard my mother, who thankfully lives in the same town. So far, she’s managed to stay in good spirits, but it can’t be much fun on her own with only the television and telephone for company, especially with her memory fading these days. She’s never embraced the internet. I’m posting food and medication through her window, but even that feels risky and I have to stop myself getting paranoid about it because I’m doing the best I can in the circumstances.

I’m struck by several things especially the resourcefulness of people, be it those like my sister, posting an uplifting poem and picture on her Facebook page every day, another friend who has started an online club to share recipes for those items found languishing at the back of your store cupboard, or even the school design technology department, now involved in making protective masks for the NHS.

We as a species are very adaptable and as long as we can keep well, I believe we will get through this and develop a vaccine. Applause to all of the key workers be they in the NHS, delivering post and parcels, manning our supermarkets, emptying our bins, or many other unsung heroes we probably won’t ever get to know about.

If you feel like a little distraction reading, I’ve put some details of my three books published to date below. Stay safe.

The Girl on the Beach

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To buy The Girl on the Beach use this link 

The Truth Lies Buried

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To buy The Truth Lies Buried use this link

Christmas at Borteen Bay

298E02A5-4F7D-4D57-99F0-C182E746D9FCTo buy The Truth Lies Buried use this link

Watch out over the next few weeks for blog posts featuring authors Kathryn Freeman, Jan Brigden and Sue Fortin.

 

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. This will be available 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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Researching a Novel by Helena Dixon

I’m pleased to welcome Helena Dixon back to my blog. She’s been busy since the last time she appeared on my blog on 16 December 2019 to introduce us to the first book in her Miss Underhay Investigates series Murder at the Dolphin Hotel  – you can read that blog post here.

dolphin final cover

Today she’s here to tell us about the next book in her cosy mystery series Murder at Enderley Hall and to share some tips on researching a novel, which give quite a few insights into her new mystery series.

Five top tips for researching your book by Helena Dixon:-

  1. Define your search – If your question is too wide you increase the risk of becoming side-tracked or failing to find the information you need. So be specific, for example, I wanted to know where the police station was sited in Torquay in 1933 and what the front entrance looked like. So, the research question had to cover the location, time period and image.
  2. Set boundaries – Research can be fascinating, and you can easily lose hours reading and looking at things that you don’t need but which seem interesting. Bookmark those sites for later and look at them once you’ve acquired the material you’re searching for.
  3. Use a variety of sources – online is great but don’t forget printed materials, audio recordings and film and photographic archives. If possible, go yourself to  interviews or to see locations – depending on what you need to know of course. For example, I recreated a trip taken by my heroine, Miss Kitty Underhay by taking a steam train from Paignton to Kingswear, crossing the Dart on a passenger ferry, taking a water taxi to Dartmouth Castle and having tea in the tearoom before walking back down into Dartmouth. This added a huge amount to the authenticity of the story.
  4. People like to help – Don’t be frightened to ask questions or to seem nosy. By and large many people are happy to answer questions from people who are genuinely showing an interest in something. For my third novel, Murder on the Eleventh Tee, I approached Churston Golf Club who took me out in a buggy to the tee and answered all kinds of questions for me. Remember to make a note of their names so you can thank them in your acknowledgements and to let them know when your book or story is published.
  5. You don’t need to include everything – If you’re writing a fictional story you don’t need to include everything you’ve discovered during your research – no matter how fascinating you think it might be. The research should anchor your story in reality and help enrich the picture so there are no glaring errors, but putting in everything will kill your story dead and you will lose your reader. For example, when I researched Torquay police station, in my story I simply needed to know that there were some steps leading to the front door. I didn’t need to say how many or what they were made of or how long they had been there.

 

Thank you, Helena. I found that fascinating and I hope that my readers do too. Mx

 

About Murder at Enderley Hall

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Set in 1930’s Dartmouth, the Miss Underhay Investigates series is the perfect Golden Age escape.

An escape to the country… ends in death.

Summer 1933.

Fresh from the discovery that she has family living nearby, Kitty Underhay has packed her carpet bag, commandeered a chambermaid and set off on a visit to stately Enderley Hall. She’s looking forward to getting to know her relatives, as well as the assembled group of house guests. But when elderly Nanny Thoms is found dead at the bottom of the stairs after papers of national importance are stolen, Kitty quickly learns that Muffy the dog’s muddy paws on her hemline are the least of her problems.

Calling on ex-army captain Matthew Bryant for assistance, Kitty begins to puzzle out the mystery. And when more shocking murders follow, the stakes are raised for the daring duo as never before. Which of the guests stand to gain from the theft of the documents? And which, as the week progresses, stand to lose their lives?

Endearing, engaging characters; and a fast-moving plot line filled with unexpected twists and turns. This is a whodunit that you will not want to put down till it’s done!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

I loved this cosy mystery. There were many twists and turns and I couldn’t wait to find out the identity of the perpetrator behind the crimes. I look forward to reading more in this series.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Gripping from the very first page. It was quite difficult to put the book down… Very deserving of 5 stars and more.’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0825Z6KBR/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0825Z6KBR?notRedirectToSDP=1&ref_=dbs_mng_calw_1&storeType=ebooks

Released on 19th March 2020 from Bookouture in ebook, audiobook and paperback. Murder at Enderley Hall is the second in the Miss Underhay Investigates series. The first book in the series, Murder at The Dolphin Hotel was an Amazon bestseller. Book 3 in the series, Murder at The Playhouse is available for preorder and will release in June.

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About Helena Dixon

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

 

Thank you for 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. This will be available 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 Victoria Cornwall

I’m pleased to welcome my friend and fellow Choc Lit author, Victoria Cornwall to my blog as on the eve of the publication of her sixth novel, Daniel’s Daughter. She talks about the day that changed her life …

As I look back on my life I realise that there are many incidences/days that have changed the course of my life, however, for this post I am going to stick to writing and what happened which had the biggest influence on my writing career.

It was 2014. As a result of my first manuscript receiving numerous rejections from agents, I had taken the self-published route. Despite positive feedback, I still wanted to secure a traditional publishing contract for my second book. At that point I had lost confidence in the submission process so when I was notified my second manuscript had been shortlisted for the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award, I set out to the event in Leighton Buzzard in the hope of meeting an agent or two.

Now you have to remember that at the time I was very naïve about the publishing world. I was under the impression that writers were insular characters, represented by agents but largely out on their own. I had spent most of my adult life as a nurse at that point which was very different from the creative industry.

I travelled to the event and entered the auditorium, which was full of writers (some unknown to me, some quite famous) chatting like old friends with each other, publishers, agents and fans of romantic fiction. It felt like everyone knew everyone and although I felt welcome, I did feel like a fish out of water. Sadly, I did not win, however it was there I learnt three things.

  • Writers are not insular people, they have access to an amazing network of friendship and support if they choose to tap into it. I had not been aware it existed until that day and I knew I needed to be part of it to gain experience, advice and support.
  • I discovered the Romantic Novelists’ Association and their New Writers’ Scheme, where manuscripts are assessed, feedback given and members have access to the RNA network, events and meetings. I had not heard of the RNA before that date, and when enrolment time came around, I ensured I was one of the first in the queue.
  • I learnt about the award winning publisher, Choc Lit, who uses readers, rather than agents, to help decide what is published. As I was receiving positive feedback from readers who had read my self-published book, this method of submitting sounded perfect for me.

I went on to submit my third novel (The Thief’s Daughter) to the NWS. The feedback was excellent and I was encouraged to submit to a publisher. By then, thanks to the RNA, I knew who (and how) to submit successfully. On 24th March, Daniel’s Daughter, my sixth historical romance will be published. That day in 2014, was a major turning point in my writing career. I did not win the New Talent Award, but I came away from the event with so much more…

How interesting, Vicki, especially since I was shortlisted for the New Talent Award in 2013 with the novel that went on to be published by Choc Lit as The Truth Lies Buried!

About Daniel’s Daughter

Daniel's Daughter Book Cover

Sometimes the truth is not easy to say and even harder to hear …

Cornwall, 1895

Grace Kellow is a young woman with a strong sense of who she is and where she comes from. As the daughter of a well-respected Cornish dairy owner Daniel Kellow, her existence in the village of Trehale is comfortable and peaceful.

But then handsome Talek Danning comes striding over Hel Tor, and soon after his arrival Grace is hit with a revelation that leaves her questioning her identity and her place in the Trehale community.

In her hour of need, Talek and his sister Amelia offer Grace sanctuary – but wherever Grace runs, her secret will follow …

To buy links:-

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daniels-Daughter-Victoria-Cornwall-ebook/dp/B084MJRB1T/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/Daniels-Daughter-Victoria-Cornwall-ebook/dp/B084MJRB1T/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

ibooks

https://books.apple.com/gb/book/daniels-daughter/id1498439679

Nook

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daniels-daughter-victoria-cornwall/1136400758?ean=2940162742005

Kobo Still waiting!

About Victoria Cornwall

Victoria Cornwall author photo 2020

Victoria Cornwall grew up on a farm in Cornwall. She can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century and it is this background and heritage which is the inspiration for her Cornish based novels. Following a fulfilling twenty-five year career as a nurse, a change in profession finally allowed her the time to write.

Victoria’s writing has been shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction and twice nominated for the RONÉ “Best Indie or Small Published book” Award. In 2017, her debut novel, The Thief’s Daughter, was published by award winning independent publisher, Choc Lit, and was a finalist for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award.

Victoria is married and has two grown up children. She likes to read and write historical fiction with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.

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

Website: www.victoriacornwall.com

Twitter: @VickieCornwall

Facebook: www.facebook.com/victoriacornwall.author

Instagram: www.instagram.com/victoria_cornwallx

Pinterest: uk.pinterest.com/vickiecornwall

 

Thank you, Vicki! Watch out next week for Nell Dixon

 

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. This will be available 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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Spotlight on Guest Author Christina Courtenay

This week, I’m pleased to welcome Christina Courtenay to the blog spotlight. I’ve just read her fantastic new novel Echoes of the Runes and it is a real treat. See my review below.

I asked Christina some questions…

What originally made you start to write?

I had just had my first child and wanted to stay at home with her rather than go back to work so I was looking for some way of earning money from home. I stupidly thought it would be easy to write a Mills & Boon novel – in fact, I wrote two and sent them both! Needless to say that didn’t work out so well … (I was eventually published 21 years later, the week after my daughter left home).

Do you think what you write is influenced by the area in which you live?

It is certainly influenced by places I have lived in and visited, but I don’t stick to just the particular place where I am based now. My first novels were set in Sweden and Japan, because that’s where I grew up. Later I wrote a story about Raglan Castle (which is near my present home), and now I’m working on a series about Vikings, thus returning to my Scandinavian roots.

Swedish lake

A Swedish lake

If your novel was made into a film, which actors would play the leading roles?

The heroine could perhaps be played by Lily Collins (although they’d have to make her hair long and curly and change her eye colour). As for the hero, it has to be Chris Hemsworth 😀

What is your favourite childhood book and why?

All twenty-one Famous Five books! I absolutely adored these and no birthday or Christmas was complete unless I received at least one as a present. I’m not quite sure why I loved them so much – perhaps it was the freedom those children had to roam the countryside at will, combined with their knack of finding treasure. It all sounded so idyllic! (Plus I wanted a dog and when I eventually got one, I named him Timmy).

(I loved Famous Fives too! I so wanted to have a big brother called Julian 😄 Mx)

What are you working on now?

I have just finished edits on the second book in my Viking series (the first one is out in March and the next one will be published in December this year) and I’m now working on the third. The research for this will involve going on a one-day course in silversmithing, which I’m looking forward to immensely, and possibly some travelling!

Viking loom and yarn

A Viking loom and wool

(Christina and I both share a love of weaving and are interested in natural dye methods. We’d like to go on a course to learn to use a Viking loom like the one in the picture! Mx)

About Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay and her dogs

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories. She lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) and is married with two children. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) and has won several of their awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014).  Echoes of the Runes (time slip published by Headline 5th March 2020) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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

Website – http://christinacourtenay.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/christinacourtenayauthor?fref=ts

Twitter – https://twitter.com/PiaCCourtenay

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ChristinaCourtenayAuthor/

About Echoes of the Runes

Echoes of the Runes_cover MEDIUM

Their love was forbidden. But echoed in eternity.

When Mia inherits her beloved grandmother’s summer cottage, Birch Thorpe, in Sweden, she faces a dilemma. Her fiancé Charles urges her to sell and buy a swanky London home, but Mia cannot let it go easily. The request to carry out an archaeological dig for more Viking artefacts like the gold ring Mia’s grandmother also left her, offers her a reprieve from a decision – and from Charles.

As Mia becomes absorbed in the dig’s discoveries, she finds herself drawn to archaeologist Haakon Berger. Like her, he can sense the past inhabitants whose lives are becoming more vivid every day. Trying to resist the growing attraction between them, Mia and Haakon begin to piece together the story of a Welsh noblewoman, Ceri, and the mysterious Viking, known as the ‘White Hawk’, who stole her away from her people in 869 AD.

As the present begins to echo the past, and enemies threaten Birch Thorpe’s inhabitants, they will all have to fight to protect what has become most precious to each of them…

To buy Echoes of the Runes, you can use the following link –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Echoes-Runes-sweeping-epic-forbidden-ebook/dp/B07T65CZPX/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=christina+courtenay&qid=1579114778&sr=8-1

Morton’s review – 5 star – A Viking delight! I always enjoy stories involving history and at one time wanted to be an archaeologist, so this book was right up my street. The weaving of the past and present stories and the echoes of the past in the present were skilfully handled and enthralling. I always know when a book is good if I’m tempted to sneak away to read when I should be doing something else and this book was definitely enticing me away from daily activities. Definitely a book where you can lose yourself in the story and imagine yourself in the two heroines’ shoes. Next book please … Mx

 

Watch out for Victoria Cornwall next week.

 

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. This will be available 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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Linda Huber – An Ornament I Love

Someone new on my blog this week – Linda Huber! She’s here to tell us about an ornament she loves. Over to Linda

Jack the sheep – a treasured ornament

Jack the sheep

In 2008, my parents moved – reluctantly – into sheltered housing in Glasgow, and I went over from Switzerland to help them settle into the new place. Mum especially was upset to leave the old house, her home since their wedding day nearly sixty years beforehand, and it had been Dad’s family home since he was eleven years old. It was quite an intense time, so I was glad when an old friend whisked me off for a trip down the Clyde coast one afternoon.

Clyde Coast

On the way home, we went into a garden centre for coffee, and that’s where I saw Jack (his name’s on a label on the sole of one foot). He was all by himself on a shelf of miscellaneous bits and pieces, and I snapped him up at once – I knew Mum would love him.

And she did. He took pride of place on the little table by the front window in the new flat – when she wasn’t sitting holding him! It wasn’t until the following year when I was back in Scotland that I went into a shop in Edinburgh, and realised Jack was one of a series of fun and funky sheep. I bought another to take home to Switzerland, thus starting a years-long tradition – every visit to Scotland, I bought a new sheep.

In 2012, Mum passed away, and shortly afterwards, my first novel was accepted by a London publisher. In beside the elation about the book, I was gutted. Mum had been a great reader and my biggest fan from the very first short story I ever had published in a women’s magazine. She’d have been so proud and happy about my books, but it wasn’t to be. She never knew. Dad was proud as punch, of course, but he wasn’t a reader. Mum was.

Jack the sheep, meanwhile, was given a new place in the display cabinet beside Mum’s other (rather more valuable) treasures. And there he stayed. Every visit, I would give him a pat for Mum, and buy a new sheep to take home. My collection was growing…

Jack and flock

Six years later, Dad passed away too, and Jack came back to Switzerland with me, the first sheep and the last in my collection, because my UK visits since then have been to England only. I love all my sheep, but Jack is special – in a funny way, he connects Mum and my first book in my head. Not logical at all, but that’s how it is. He has a flock of ten to look after, and I’m sure there’ll be another someday soon!

Oh, how lovely, Linda – I shed a tear as I prepared this blog Mx

About Linda Huber

LindaHuber

Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Currently she teaches one day a week, and writes psychological suspense novels and feel-good novellas with (most of) the rest of her time.

Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty short stories published in women’s magazines. She then turned to psychological suspense fiction, and has had eight novels published. Stolen Sister, the latest, is set mostly in her old home town, Glasgow.

Linda’s newest project is a series of feel-good novellas written under the pen name Melinda Huber and set on the banks of Lake Constance, just minutes from her home in north-east Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views enjoyed by her characters right on her own doorstep!

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

Amazon Author Page: viewAuthor.at/LindaHuber

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaHuber19

Website: http://lindahuber.net/

 

About Stolen Sister

Stolen Sister

Twenty-two years ago, Erin and Vicky’s parents were killed in an explosion.

Now grown up, Erin and Vicky – who have been separated – are unaware they are siblings. But when Vicky is called to her great-aunt’s deathbed, she learns that she isn’t alone after all. Where is Erin? Vicky’s search begins.

Elsewhere, Christine is having problems too. In the first week of her new job and struggling to come to terms with impending motherhood, she makes a disturbing discovery.

Vicky is almost ready to give up her search when an old foster mother calls with shocking news.

What links Vicky and Christine?

Will Vicky ever find her sister?

And can Christine’s baby escape the past that befell her mother?

Buying Link Stolen Sister: getbook.at/StolenSister

 

Thank you for your moving post, Linda and I’m intrigued by your book already Mx

 

Watch out for Christina Courtenay next week …

 

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. This will be available 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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What Am I Up To?

First of all I would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s RoNas (Romantic Novel Awards). The Romantic Novelists’ Association award night was held in London on 2 March and unfortunately I couldn’t go.

You can check out all of the shortlisted books here. I haven’t read many of the winning books so my to be read pile has grown. The link to read about the winners is here but I’ll put the covers of the winning books below.

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Particular congratulations to Sue Moorcroft, A Summer to Remember is one of my favourites from her.

Now, in common with many people, I am more aware these days of single use plastic and have been trying to find ways of reducing this in my home and particularly in the bathroom.

I’ve tried to reduce cling film use by using reusable stretchy lids, which are affectionately called my bowl condoms by the family 😱. I use net bags for loose fruit and veg in the supermarket too.

Some of you may have read my post about going on a soap making course recently, if not, it’s here. Well, I decided to try to go one better than home made soap and very successfully made some bar shampoo, which despite my trepidation actually suits my hair very well.

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Yesterday evening, I had a go at making a conditioner bar. I haven’t tested it yet, but it is a very different thing to the soap, as you don’t want lather, rather moisturiser.

 

It has come out a lot softer than I expected and I’m not sure if it will disintegrate in the shower, but it smells heavenly! I’ll let you know.

Hubbie did point out that the ingredients are very often housed in plastic packaging and I do accept that, but I am so enjoying using products I have made myself, know exactly what they contain and last for absolutely ages. The experiment continues…

In other news, I sent my fourth novel to my publisher this week and am well on the way to finishing a Christmas novella! My writing mojo is well and truly back – yay!

Look out for Linda Huber featuring on my blog next week.

 

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. This will be available 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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Reality is Stranger than Fiction – A Post by Angela Barton

This week I have a sobering post from Angela Barton, which explains how a true life occurrence ended up in her third novel for Choc Lit/Ruby FictionYou’ve Got My Number. Over to Angela

It’s said that reality is stranger than fiction. Sometimes you read something that seems far-fetched in a novel and you begin wonder whether it’s true or not, therefore distracting you from the storyline.

I’ve written a short thread in You’ve Got My Number, about a parrot! It happened to us some years ago and I thought I’d share it in my latest novel. After all, they say that writing about something helps you to overcome it.

My hero’s twin sister, Denise, finds a breast lump and visits her GP. The doctor tells her to come back in two weeks to see if the lump has gone and informs her that, “there are more sparrows in the sky, than parrots.” This was said to my husband. He’d gone to his doctor to explain that he felt ‘different’ but couldn’t quite explain why. Instead of doing a few tests, he dismissed my husband with the parrots and sparrows quip.

In my story, a week later, Denise is clearing up after her sons and takes some dishes to the sink. Unbelievably, a parrot is sitting on a fence in the garden. This is just what happened one morning after my husband’s visit to his GP. Maybe his illness was exotic, instead of something ordinary.

Several weeks after seeing the parrot, my husband had a grand mal seizure. He was taken to hospital and I went with him for a scan. We reached reception and looked at each other in disbelief. Behind the reception desk was a large colourful poster with the heading, Parrots Of The World, with images of parrots from different countries. We felt it was a bad omen but tried to stay positive.

When the scan was read by my husband’s consultant, it showed he had a brain tumour. Thankfully, it was successfully operated on, but I always wished we’d gone back to the GP and told him his illness was a parrot, not a sparrow!

Is Denise’s lump serious or just a scare? You’ll discover what happens in You’ve Got My Number.

Wow, Angela, that must have been a very scary time. So glad the operation was successful Mx

About You’ve Got My Number

9781781894484

Three isn’t always a magic number … 

There are three reasons Tess Fenton should be happy. One, her job at the Blue Olive deli may be dull, but at least she gets to work with her best friend. Two, she lives in a cosy cottage in the pretty village of Halston. Three, she’s in love with her boyfriend, Blake.
Isn’t she? 

Because, despite their history, Blake continues to be the puzzle piece in Tess’s life that doesn’t quite fit. And when she meets intriguing local artist Daniel Cavanagh, it soon becomes apparent that, for Tess, love isn’t as easy as one, two, three …

Buying Link

You’ve Got My Numberhttp://amzn.to/35Q19jB

About Angela Barton

Angela Barton was born in London and grew up in Nottingham. She is married with three grown up children and adorable five-year-old twin granddaughters. She is passionate about writing both contemporary and historical fiction and loves time spent researching for her novels. In 2018 Angela signed publishing contracts for three of her completed novels with Choc Lit’s new imprint, Ruby Fiction.

In addition to writing, Angela also relaxes by making landscapes using free motion sewing on a machine. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a reader for their New Writers’ Scheme. Angela is also a member of Nottingham Writers’ Studio, the Society of Authors and Ellipses and Ampersands’ fiction critique group.

 

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

 

Thank you for sharing your story, Angela. I hope the book is a tremendous success. 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. This will be available 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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