Wendy Clarke – The Day That Changed My Life

I’m joined by Wendy Clarke, author of The Bride, to tell us about the day that changed her life. Over to Wendy

The Day that Changed My Life

I’d love to say I’m one of those writers who was born with a pen in their hand, but it wouldn’t be true. In fact, I took up writing quite late in life. Despite loving creative writing at school, it had never occurred to me that I might one day make it my career.

It was eight years ago, just after the February half term holidays, when my life changed. I remember it as though it was yesterday. I had just been told that the small primary school, where I taught English, was closing and all the staff were to be made redundant. I felt numb but it didn’t really sink in until the following Monday when, instead of going into class to teach, I remained at home contemplating an uncertain future.

As luck would have it, my brother had just completed an online creative writing course which he thought I might enjoy. With nothing better to do, I took his advice and enrolled. I hadn’t expected to enjoy it so much, and when it ended, I felt bereft. That was when I knew I’d caught the writing bug.

It was my course tutor who suggested I try writing stories for one of the women’s magazines. Missing the challenge of writing, I decided to give it a go. At first, I had the expected rejections, but I didn’t let it put me off. I carried on writing and submitting and my patience paid off when, three months later, I had a letter from the People’s Friend saying they liked one of my stories. Hurray! This was quickly followed by sales to Take a Break Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly. It was becoming clear that what had started as a hobby was turning into a new career.

That was seven years ago. Since then, I’ve become a regular writer for The People’s Friend and have had around three hundred stories published in magazines along with two serials. I also write articles for Writing Magazine and have been a judge for several short story competitions. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe it!6DEAD8E2-5D65-425E-B03C-9BBD02DD433A_1_201_a

A few years ago, my writing changed direction again. With the magazine market for short stories shrinking, I turned my thoughts to writing a novel. My first attempt was a romantic mystery which bagged me an agent, but what they really wanted me to write was a suspense. Did I think I could do it? My degree was in psychology and I’d always had an interest in how the human mind can affect behaviour, so I decided it might be interesting to explore a darker side to my writing. A year later, I’d written What She Saw, a psychological thriller set in the Lake District.

It didn’t work out with the agent, but my novel went on to win first prize in a competition and was picked up by digital publisher Bookouture in a two-book deal. What She Saw was published the following year along with my second, We Were Sisters, and just two weeks ago, I celebrated the launch of my third psychological thriller The Bride.

Eight years ago, through adversity, my life took a new direction. I didn’t find it, it found me, and I’m proof that it’s never too late to follow a different path.

I would agree with you, Wendy. I’ve changed direction several times in my own life and truly believe that it’s never too late. Mx

About Wendy Clarke

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Wendy Clarke started her career writing short fiction and serials for national women’s magazines. With over three hundred stories published, she’s often asked to judge short story competitions. Wendy has had three psychological thrillers published by Bookouture – What She Saw, which won the Flash500 Novel Competition, We Were Sisters and The Bride which was published on May 20th. Wendy lives with her husband and step-dog in Sussex and when not writing is usually dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food!

Wendy can be found on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendyclarke99

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wendyclarke99/

Her website is http://www.wendyclarke.uk

You can buy Wendy’s novels here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Clarke/e/B00OW7Z7UU

About The Bride

The-Bride-Kindle

When Alice receives an invitation from her best friend, Joanna, to meet her fiancé, she has the terrible feeling something’s wrong. Despite telling her everything, Alice has never even heard of Mark. After only a month together, can Joanna really be sure he’s the man with whom she wants to spend the rest of her life? Alice travels to Joanna’s London apartment with the intention of telling her to slow down but when she arrives, only Mark is there to greet her. He tells her Joanna is missing and Alice’s world comes crashing down.  She thought she’d found her happy ending. She was wrong.

To buy the novel follow the link here

 

Thank you for joining me this week, Wendy. I think this post gives a wonderful message that it is never too late to change your life. x

 

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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Inspirational Finds aka Searching for Mermaids by Adrienne Vaughan

This week I’m joined by Adrienne Vaughan for a fascinating insight into the world of an author.

Being an author is definitely one of the best jobs in the world!

Why?

Because we just sit at our desks making things up. Great, when ideas flow and the muse rests serenely on your shoulder, fingers flying across the keyboard as the screen fills with lyrical prose, scintillating dialogue and the best side-splitting gags ever written. Happens all the time, every day without fail, it’s so easy!

Of course, that’s a big fat fib! Which is why, as soon as a story starts formulating in whichever part my scrambled brain that miracle occurs, I start collecting things. Things, that when I first started on this journey, I didn’t realise were remotely related to what I was doing at all.

For instance, my debut novel The Hollow Heart (bit.ly/HollowAV) is set on a remote Irish isle and one of the characters is a wonderfully eccentric postmistress called Miss Kathleen MacReady. In her head, Kathleen lives in a far more glamourous era and is a true romantic. Before long I had gathered MacReady evening gloves, brocade shoes studded with rhinestones and a decapitated head which now sits on my dressing table modelling my favourite hat. I just had to gaze at her belongings and whatever she wanted to say next popped into my head. (Ooo I wish you’d given me a photo of those! Mx)

Fast forward to my latest novel, That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel (amzn.to/2rP6nxb) and I’m now the proud owner of herds of seahorses in all sorts of guises plus I can swan about in a vintage Japanese red kimono, identical to the one found on the secret staircase in the book! It’s fascinating how having these little prompts scattered about help keep me focused on my story while walking and talking with the characters in my head.

My new novel is more challenging. It’s called The Shell Sisters and luckily my sister Reta and I are avid shell collectors, so I have lots to inspire me. And as the story touches on one of our most sacred myths − Mermaids − there are plenty to be found to add to my collection, from jolly little fun ones to some very grandiose artistic interpretations indeed.  

Just part of my collection includes this divine Little Mermaid bronze who magically appeared in a local charity shop recently, Mary the Mermaid swam over from Ireland the Christmas before last, (hadn’t even started writing the book then) and the beautiful mermaid doll was caught peering at me from behind a bookcase in a nearby antique centre. She now plays a big part in the new novel, and why not, just fabulous, isn’t she? (Lovely. Mx)

But it’s the real thing I’m having a problem with. Google all you like, they’re so difficult to track down and then I worry, when I do acquire a fully grown, live mermaid, will she be happy in the bath, the dogs’ paddling pool or do we need a special tank? (😱 Mx)

You see, even if an author has everything to hand to write that perfect scene, a reason to procrastinate can be weaved out of thin air, or mermaid hair, if only I could find one!

About That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel

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Mia Flanagan has never been told who her father is and aged ten, stopped asking.

Haunted by this, she remains a dutiful daughter who would never do anything to bring scandal or shame on her beautiful and famously single mother.

So when Archie Fitzgerald, one of Hollywood’s favourite actors, decides to leave Mia his Irish estate, she asks herself – is he her father after all?

That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel is a tale of passion, jealousy and betrayal – and the ghost of a secret love that binds this colourful cast yet still threatens, after all these years, to tear each of them apart.

To buy the book you can use the following links:-

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2rP6nxb

Amazon US http://amzn.to/2GudjTH

(And I don’t know about you but I’m itching to buy the book having read this post! Mx)

About Adrienne Vaughan

Adrienne Vaughan - Looking for mermaids

Adrienne Vaughan is a journalist and author. A writer from an early age, it was no surprise she grew up to be a journalist and after studying at the Dublin College of Journalism dived headfirst into her career. She has worked in magazines and newspapers for many years.

To date, she has written four highly acclaimed novels, the latest That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel published by The Paris Press, together with an award-winning collection of poetry and short stories, Fur Coat & No Knickers. Her short story Dodo’s Portrait was short-listed for the Colm Toibin Award at the Wexford Literary Festival in 2018.

A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she edited the membership magazine Romance Matters for seven years and launched the RNA Industry Awards which are hosted annually in London.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Journalism and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Adrienne also has a degree in business leadership and management.

Currently working on her latest novel, which her agent is expecting next month, she divides her time between Ireland and rural Leicestershire where she lives with her husband, two cocker spaniels and a rescue cat called Agatha Christie – ‘So named because we never know who she’s going to kill next!’ 

Although being a writer is the day job, Adrienne freely admits she still harbours a burning ambition to be a Bond girl.

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

Twitter: @adrienneauthor

Email: adrienne@adriennevaughan.com

Website: www.adriennevaughan.com

Thank you for such an interesting insight, Adrienne. I can really see you as a Bond girl 😄💕 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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Henriette Gyland – An Ornament I Love

I’m joined this week by author, Henriette Gyland as she tells us about an ornament she loves…

ONE ORNAMENT FROM MY HOME AND WHY I LOVE IT

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Some might argue that this old swing handle sewing machine isn’t an ornament as such, but it has been my steadfast companion since I was in my late teens.

Many years ago my mother had a machine similar to this one, and I spent my adolescence and teens making clothes, bags, soft furnishings and even dolls clothes. My parents didn’t have much money to spend on teenage fashion, so I had to mend and make do, as they say. I remember revamping one of my father’s old shirts into a top and sewing a skirt from some leftover curtain fabric. A happy, creative phase although, to be honest, I did spend some of that time cursing and swearing because it was a rather temperamental machine …

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When I left for university, my maternal grandmother gave me her old swing handle machine (pictured), and it’s been with me ever since. I carried on sewing throughout uni, mainly by upcycling charity shop finds. Eventually, one by one, the needles that came with the machine broke, and modern needles sadly weren’t compatible so I had to upgrade to an electric sewing machine.

Which has been a god-send for a lover of bargains and the home-made like myself!

Since then the old machine has graced the shelves wherever I’ve lived. It hasn’t always been to everyone’s taste over the years, causing a few eye-rolls in my ex-husband because he found it ugly, but I insisted that it stayed on display. I understand that it may be difficult for some to see the beauty in this slightly scratched and no longer functioning piece of machinery, but for me it’s not so much about aesthetics – instead it’s about the beauty of the memories it holds.

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I’m grateful to my mother for teaching me to sew, and to my grandmother for this extraordinary gift. The skills I have passed on, but the memories are mine to treasure forever.

I love your sewing machine and I too am grateful for the craft skills passed on to me by my nan and mom. Mx

About Henriette Gyland

Author photo, doorway, BW

Henriette Gyland grew up in Northern Denmark but moved to England after she graduated from the University of Copenhagen. She wrote her first book when she was ten, a tale of two orphan sisters running away to Egypt, fortunately to be adopted by a perfect family they meet on the Orient Express.

Between that first literary exploit and now, she has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and for a county court before setting herself up as a freelance translator and linguist. Henriette recently began to pursue her writing in earnest winning the New Talent Award in 2011 from the Festival of Romance and a Commended from the Yeovil Literary Prize.

Henriette lives in London.

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

Twitter: @henrigyland

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/henriette.gyland

Website: https://henriettegyland.wordpress.com

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Henriette-Gyland/e/B00AVZQQZW?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1589030009&sr=8-1

About Up Close

Up Close - Updated cover

When Dr. Lia Thompson’s grandmother Ivy dies unexpectedly, Lia leaves her life in America and reluctantly returns to Norfolk to handle her estate. The homecoming stirs not only memories of old childhood fears but new suspicions, as well. When Lia discovers that her grandmother was considered a town gossip—and a woman with many secrets—Lia can’t help feeling that there’s more to her death than meets the eye.

Lia finds an ally in her former teenage crush, ex-navy man Aidan Morrell, and a reignited attraction. But the emotionally scarred Aidan has secrets of his own, and his motives for helping Lia may be hidden in a very dark and personal place. In a world of increasing danger, is Aidan someone she can trust to help retrace her grandmother’s final steps? Or is Lia slowly being edged toward the same chilling fate?

To buy Up Close please use the following links:-

mybook.to/UpClose

mybook.to/HenrietteGyland

 

Thank you, Henriette.

Readers don’t forget to check out the Choc Lit online festival over the next two weeks, #ChocLitFestival, which features myself and Victoria Cornwall on Thursday 14 May!

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Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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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On-Line Festival Appearance and VE Day!

I’m late blogging this week 😱 No excuse really, apart from I don’t know where the days are going at the moment.

Two bits of news I’d like to share today.

Look out for the Apricot Plots Facebook and Twitter celebration of VE Day. Carol Thomas has hosted various panels featuring World War Two authors and each video seeks to answer a question about writing in the genre. Check them out on Facebook here and Twitter here.

I will share a vivid memory of VE Day from my mother –

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Next week is Choc Lit Publishing’s online festival #ChocLitFestivalWith lots of book festivals set to be cancelled, they thought the Choc Lit and Ruby authors could bring the festival to you! They will be running #ChocLitFestival from next Monday so get ready for two weeks of author chat, fab books, #competitions, exclusive interviews and more.

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Victoria Cornwall and I are taking over next Thursday 14 May 2020. We’ve been having fun interviewing each other. We have always got on very well and even though she is in Cornwall and I’m in Worcestershire, we message most days. Tune in to our day and I think you will see evidence of our friendship 😄 and you might even be able to win one of the prizes we have on offer.

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Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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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My Personal Fight Against Plastic by Author Sue Fortin

Something slightly different this week – I’m joined by Sue Fortin, author of The Dead Wife published by Harper Collins, as she tells us about her personal fight against plastic. This is particularly interesting to me as I’m also trying to reduce the plastic in my life – see my own post here. Over to Sue

Today we’re all very aware of the terrible effect of single use plastic and how much waste is produced as a result. It used to be a case of throw it in the recycling bin and pat yourself on the back because you’re helping save the planet.

In recent years various reports have shown that a vast amount of the plastic isn’t recycled into more plastic or something useful but is, in fact, just shipped somewhere else in the world and it was a case of out of sigh out of mind. Since seeing those reports, I’ve really questioned my consumption of plastic.

At home I’ve tried and tested various different ways to cut down on single use plastic – in some respects it sounds a very easy thing to do but in a modern fast living environment where convenience is queen, it’s proved more challenging.

Below are some of the ways we’ve experimented to cut down on our use of plastic.

Milk Bottles

Milk bottles

Switched to home delivery, glass bottles which are recycled many, many times.

Pros: early delivery. Milk on the doorstep. Bottles recycled

Cons: Expensive – roughly twice the price per pint. Increase in carbon footprint due to single journey made by milkman/woman to deliver to your door.

Bathroom Products

Bathroom products

Pros: Soap and shampoo bars are easy to get hold of and relatively practical to use.

Cons: They are not that cheap so if you are part of a large household, it can work out quite expensive.

I’ve dabbled with making my own but again it is not cost effective, it takes up quite a lot of time and the results are OK, rather than great. Also, the ingredients needed all come in plastic bottles so you’re buying at least three or four other plastic bottles to save one bottle of shop bought body wash/shampoo/etc.

(I’m hooked with making my own soap and shampoo – haven’t perfected conditioner yet. Had to weigh up the packaging issue, but the fact I get so much product out of the ingredients and I enjoy making the products so much won. Mx)

Laundry Products

I bought some soda crystals and added the ingredients to make some nice smelling washing powder.

Pros: Cheap to source. Easy to make.

Cons: Doesn’t smell as strong.

Washing powder usually comes in a cardboard box which can be recycled so it worked out more convenient and cheaper to buy it already made.

Food Wraps

Food wraps

Have switched to wax papers recently and this has been one of the more enduring and useful changes.

Pros: Wax paper can last up to 2 years. Easy to use. Easy to clean. Easy to store.

Cons: Initial cost is a bit pricy. Can’t be used in the oven.

Fruit & Veg

I try to buy as much as I can loose rather than in the plastic wrappers. I’ve found this to be quite easy where the vegetables are concerned, but not so easy to buy soft fruit as these are in punnets to protect them. I’m sure supermarkets could switch the cardboard punnets if they really wanted to.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to cut down on single use plastic but have to admit, at times, I still do buy for convenience, practicality and cost.

About Sue Fortin

Sue Fortin March 2019

Sue Fortin is an award-winning USA Today and an Amazon best-selling author, an international bestseller and has reached #1 in the Amazon UK Kindle chart. Sue writes mystery, suspense and romance, sometimes combining all three.

Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex where she now lives with her husband and family.

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

Twitter www.twitter.com/suefortin1

Facebook www.facebook.com/suefortinauthor

Instagram www.instagram.com/sue_fortin

About The Dead Wife

TDW UK Cover

SINCLAIR WIFE DEAD! HUSBAND CLEARED!

Police have ruled out suspicious circumstances in the investigation into the death of Elizabeth Sinclair, wife of charismatic entrepreneur Harry Sinclair, found drowned in the lake of the family’s holiday park.

It’s been two years since the Sinclair case closed but when reporter Steph Durham receives a tipoff that could give her the scoop of the year, she’s drawn deeper and deeper into the secretive Sinclair family.

Elizabeth’s death wasn’t a tragic accident. And the truth will come at a deadly price…

Buying Link https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Fortin/e/B00ATEEEB8

 

Thank you for joining me, Sue, very thought provoking. I would love it if readers of this blog include their own tips for reducing plastic in the comments…

I hope everyone is safe in these strange times. I’ve been over on Eleanor Harkstead‘s blog, so if you’d like to read more about me, you can read the article here.

See you 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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The Day That Changed My Life by Jan Brigden

I’m joined by fellow Choc Lit author, Jan Brigden as she tells us about the day that changed her life. Jan‘s new novel If I Ever Doubt You, a sequel to As Weekends Go is out on 28 April 2020 and is available for pre-order now. Over to Jan

I believe fate had more than a hand in the day that changed my life, by reuniting me with the man I’m now married to.

Rewind to the early eighties when the two of us first encountered each other at a house party. Me, huddled in one corner of the lounge with my girlfriends, wearing my new red dress and sipping a glass of fizz. Dave, also in red, a V-Neck jumper which he insists to this day wasn’t patterned (it was!) camped in the kitchen (where else?) with several other blokes, clutching a can of lager. We locked eyes numerous times, exchanging little smiles here and there, but we never actually managed to speak to each other before my taxi arrived. I never forgot him though. I once spotted him from afar at a pub family fun day but felt too shy to go over and tap him on the shoulder in case he was with someone or didn’t recognize me.

Fast forward fourteen years from that first encounter and there we both were at the same party again. As were my parents, my older sister, her husband and a good few other people I knew. All there to celebrate the 60th birthday of a long-standing family friend.

Little did I know that Dave also knew the birthday boy.

Spookily, I should have been at a music event with a friend that evening, but she’d cancelled the night before due to illness.

Free to now go to the birthday party, I wasn’t feeling particularly tip top in myself, having recently come out of a long-term relationship, and was worried I might feel like a gooseberry as it would mostly be couples going. My older sister talked me into it; said it was better than sitting on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.

The first person I saw when I walked into the party that night was Dave – very much single – having not long come out of a relationship himself. He recognised me straight away and we spent the whole evening chatting to each other and laughing about old times. Our fellow guests, necks craning our way, eyes bulging, couldn’t have been more delighted when we managed to sneak in a slow dance.

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It transpired that Dave and I had been playing cat and mouse for years; frequenting the same pubs, clubs and restaurants, even staying at the same holiday park, missing each other by two days.

During the dates that followed I also learned that Dave had been born at home in the same road I lived in for part of my childhood. His family moved when Dave was two years old. I also share the same birthday as my late father-in-law.

Those dates soon led to me moving in with Dave who happened to live in the same road that one of my uncles had previously lived in.

Six years later we got married and I shudder to think that had I not gone to that 60th birthday party, Dave and I may never have got together.

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Unimaginable.

So thank you dear sis for talking me into going. It definitely changed my life.

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About Jan Brigden

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Jan lives in South East London with her husband and motley crew of cuddly toys. Jan’s written for pleasure from a young age; short stories for classmates, odes for workmates, fun quizzes for family and friends, progressing to the contemporary uplifting dramas she writes today.

The idea for her debut novel, As Weekends Go, sprang from a script she composed as part of a creative writing course assignment via The Writers Bureau. The novel went on to be published by award winning UK independent publishers Choc-lit after winning their Search for a Star competition.

Jan’s latest novel, If I Ever Doubt You, also published by Choc Lit, is the sequel to her debut.

An avid reader, reviewer and all round book devotee, Jan is also one eighth of online writing blog The Romaniacs who successfully self-published an anthology of short stories and flash fiction entitled ‘Romaniac Shorts: Fashionably Brief’.

Jan can be contacted via Twitter @JanBrigden or @TheRomaniacs

FacebookJan Brigden

Jan blogs at  https://janbrigden.wordpress.com/

Also at  https://theromaniacgroup.wordpress.com/

 

About If I Ever Doubt You

MORTON POST IIEDY

She might have scored a celebrity footballer, but the game isn’t over yet …

Rebecca Dunning should be blissfully happy – after a whirlwind weekend, she and top footballer Alex Heath are still going strong. But as the murkier side of the celebrity lifestyle reveals itself, so does the creeping doubt.

Rebecca finds herself isolated in the fake, flashy world of toxic WAG cliques and ruthless reporters, and when a mysterious online admirer follows Alex’s every move, she struggles to cope. Can she keep playing the media game for the man she loves, or will she have to admit defeat?

Sequel to  As Weekends Go.

Buying Link

If I Ever Doubt You – Amazon.co.uk

 

Thank you for telling us about the day that changed your life, Jan. How romantic! It sounds as if you were meant to be together.

I hope that all of my readers are safe and well. Watch out for a feature from Sue Fortin 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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Five Things You’d Never Guess About Author Kathryn Freeman

This week I’m joined by One More Chapter author Kathryn Freeman as she reveals five things that you probably would not guess about her. Over to Kathryn

Thank you so much for inviting me on to your blog – it’s so lovely to be here.

Five things you would never guess about this author

One – I have a tennis trophy

Really I should leave it at that, and have you wondering how good I am. In truth, the trophy is for the ladies’ doubles event at my (small) village club, and the reason I won it isn’t down to my tennis skills, but my partner picking skills – my buddy happens to be the best female player in the club.

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Two – I get my best writing ideas while swimming or running.

I start every week day morning with some form of exercise – swimming, running or playing tennis (though thanks to Covid-19, recently it’s been running, running or running…!). I can’t say I enjoy the solo sport, but I do appreciate the time to turn off my brain and let it wander. It’s when plot knots are unravelled and characters created. All assuming I’ve been able to hold the ideas in my head long enough to reach for a pen and paper. Advancing age has not helped this…

Three – I was in New York when Superstorm Sandy hit

We were safely tucked away in a hotel the night the storm itself arrived, but I will never forget the chaos it left in its wake. The power cut in Lower Manhattan (all around Wall street) where people in cars offered to charge mobile phones. The fallen trees in Central Park and Greenwich village. No subway, no ferry, no Broadway. No shops open on fifth avenue (or any other avenue come to that). It was both eerie and fascinating. Thankfully two days later the sun shone. And four years later we took the boys back, to show them what New York city is really like.

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Four – I’ve spent many summers sitting in windy fields

That’s the price you pay when you have sons who play cricket. I blame the husband, who also plays, and who put a bat in their hand before they could walk. Because hubby was the colt team coach, I was given the score book (apparently ‘no thanks’ wasn’t an option). So not only did I have to sit in a field, I had to watch intently so I didn’t miss a run, a no-ball or a leg bye. Confession…my attention span isn’t that good, the matches weren’t always that interesting, and I was often so cold (why are cricket pitches the windiest places on earth?) I could barely write. Thank God for opposition team scorers, who I was often found frantically copying from…

Five – The idea for the plot in The New Guy, came from the male members of my family

My publisher was keen to have a book set in the tech industry. No problem, I told her. After all, it’s the romance that’s important, not where it’s set. Panic set in a few days later, because though I could clearly see the characters, I couldn’t for the life of me see what they were doing, in between falling in love. Then I realised I’ve two university aged sons (one doing a computer science degree) and a hubby who thinks he’s a tech wizard. Why not make them useful, for once? Despite their collective groans, I quizzed them over dinner on ideas for what my heroine’s company (yes, I wanted her to be the CEO) could be doing. And so the Privacy App was born (though if asked, they would deny helping their mum with her romantic fiction till they’re blue in the face).

About Kathryn Freeman

Kate Freeman-58

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

I’ve two sons and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), so any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

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

Website: http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

About The New Guy

The New Guy. png

Sam Huxton doesn’t do one-night stands, especially not with men she’s just met! But the hot guy at the bar was hard to resist and one night is all they share – no names, no numbers, just some much needed fun…

Until the same guy walks into Sam’s life the next day as her new employee.  Sam never mixes business with pleasure and makes it clear an office fling with Ryan is off-limits.  But after-hours…one thing can lead to another. Can Sam trust her heart and her business with the new guy?

Purchase links:

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Guy-Kathryn-Freeman-ebook/dp/B07WQ2G7QL

US: https://www.amazon.com/New-Guy-Kathryn-Freeman-ebook/dp/B07WQ2G7QL

Thank you for joining me, Kathryn. I enjoyed your post. 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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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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