Which Books… Morton S Gray

The warmer weather looks to be nearing so tomorrow Choc-Lit have an extra summerary book being released by Morton. So of course I sat down with her for a chat about her favorite books

So here we go…

Which book do you wish you’d written

I guess it would be nice to have written one of the books that have remained popular over the years. Something like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, or North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. It would be lovely to leave a lasting legacy with a book, one that’s made into films and television series and studied in schools.

Which book cover have you looked at and gone that’s amazing.

I love book covers. Book cover designers put so much work into them. It would be almost impossible to choose just one. Some covers are also special if you know the story behind them, for example, I know that Sue McDonagh paints her covers for her art café series with Choc Lit. I tend to like covers that show you something of the story and make you curious. I’ll list a few that have appealed – Sycamore Gap, L J Ross, Echoes of the Runes, Christina Courtenay, The Daughter of River Valley, Victoria Cornwall.

Which book character/s would you protect from the world.

I always say that a book that makes me cry is a good book. The last book I finished with a tear in my eye was Jane Cable’s Endless Skies.

Which book would you rewrite in a different genre.

Having been writing for quite a few years now, I’ve experimented with several genres. My books in whatever genre tend to include a mystery and romance. I’ve written romantic suspense so far for Choc Lit, but I also hanker to publish timeslip, futuristic and historical novels. I’ve already got novels in these genres planned and in some cases almost finished. So watch this space.

Which book taught you the largest lesson about life.

Again, it’s so hard to choose just one. My choice would probably be Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, as I get something different from it each time I read it and I have read it about six times.

Which three books would you take on holiday in 2021.

I’ll tell you the next three books on my to be read pile:-

Currently reading an advance copy of Eva Glyn’s The Missing Pieces of Us. Next up is an advance copy of Janice Preston’s The Cinderella Heiress. And then I shall be reading Carol Thomas’ A Summer of Second Chances.

 

 

Could a beautiful old house and a handsome stranger hold the key to a life-changing secret?

Rosie Phillips could be forgiven for not being immediately won over by Tanner Bryant. After all, their first meeting involves him knocking a tray of prawn cocktail over her very expensive dress at a charity event in the grounds of Lucerne Lodge.

But little does Rosie know how pivotal that awkward first meeting will be, or how the Lodge will become the unexpected backdrop for a summer spent finding out who she really is, and who she could be …

 

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You can keep up with all things Morton S Gray related

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Christmas At The Little Beach Cafe – Morton S Gray

Christmas At The Little Beach Cafe – Morton S Gray

Did someone say it’s nearly Christmas? There are only 29 days to go!!!!

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Welcome back Morton, I’m looking forward to catching up and talking about all things Christmas and of course your new book

 

Are you a lover or hater of Christmas Morton?

I hate the frenetic quality of the build up to Christmas, those times when you can’t park because the carparks are so full and everyone seems to lose basic civility. I hate the pressure of trying to get Christmas presents and the Christmas food.

However, I love sending Christmas cards. I love Christmas decorations, Christmas trees and lights. I love spending time in a relaxed way with my family. So on balance, I love Christmas.

Do you have any Christmas traditions, if so what are they are they carried on from your childhood or have you created your own?

We tend to have a quiet time really, maybe do a couple of jigsaws together and watch films. My husband is brilliant at cooking Christmas lunch thankfully, because meals with so many elements like that tend to get me very flustered – I’m more a one pot type of cook.restaurant-690975_640 On Christmas day, we fetch my mother in time for lunch and share our meal with my two sons and the eldest’s girlfriend. In the afternoon, my sister and her family join us and they take mom home.

Do you think we’ll have a white Christmas this year?

No! I can’t actually ever remember a snowy Christmas. It’s more likely to be cold and sunny, or misty and moist.

What is your earliest Christmas memory?

Difficult one. I was an only child until I was seven. I enjoyed Christmas much more once I had a sister. I used to like watching her open her presents first. I remember one confusing Christmas when Santa left presents all over my parents’ bedroom instead of in the usual pillow cases at the end of our beds! They weren’t even in piles for my sister and I. I realise now that my mom and dad must have overslept, but as children, we wondered what was going on. Mom retrieved the situation by getting us to guess who each item was for, so it turned out as great fun in the end.

What was the best present you received as a child?

As part of our Christmas stockings we always used to have huge boxes of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolates – I don’t even see boxes that big for sale any more. But, I think my favourite single item would be my talking doll. She was about two feet tall and had a string to pull in her back. Her conversation was limited to a few sentences, of course – “I am Little Poppet” was her first phrase. My mother was brilliant with the sewing machine and had made her a full wardrobe of clothes. Now I think about it that must have taken her so many nights of sewing when I was asleep or at school. That memory made me a little teary as my mother now has Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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What is your favourite Christmas film?

I adore Love Actually and The Holiday and have watched them numerous times, but never tire of the stories or sound tracks.

What would you buy the main characters in Christmas at Moonshine Hollow for Christmas?

Silvie would be easy. She loves Christmas, so anything sparkly, probably a nice jumper to wear and a necklace. Justin is more difficult, because anything to do with Christmas propels him back into horrid Christmas memories. He loves drumming, so I guess a drum of some kind would always be welcome.

 

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Run away to the little beach café this Christmas …

Five years ago at Christmas, solicitor Justin Sadler made the decision to leave his comfortable existence behind and move to the coast. Since then, he’s tried his best to ignore the festive season and, as he sits in the little beach café and reflects on that fateful night when his life was turned upside down, he expects his fifth Christmas alone to be no different to any of the others since he made his escape.

But when he encounters a mystery woman on the beach, he soon realises he may have found a fellow runaway and kindred spirit. Could Justin finally be ready to move on and let Christmas into his life again?

 

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Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.

Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won the Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition. This story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s new headteacher, Harry Dixon. The book is available as a paperback and e-book.

Morton’s second book for Choc Lit The Truth Lies Buried is another romantic suspense novel, The book tells the story of Jenny Simpson and Carver Rodgers as they uncover secrets from their past. This book is available as an e-book, paperback and audiobook.

Christmas at Borteen Bay was Morton’s first Christmas novella. It is set in her fictional seaside town of Borteen and follows the story of Pippa Freeman, who runs the Rose Court Guesthouse with her mother, and local policeman Ethan Gibson, as they unravel a family secret as Christmas approaches.

Bestselling Sunny Days on the Beach, is her fourth novel for Choc Lit. Again set in Borteen, this book is the story of what happens when craft shop owner, Mandy Vanes takes in an abandoned teenager, Nick Crossten and the repercussions when Graham Frankley, a gin distiller, arrives in town to say he has received a letter telling him he is Nick’s father.

Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.

If you’d like to find out more of what Angela gets up to (Advance warning: this may include references to wine, dark chocolate, Poldark and the hunky Aidan Turner)

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I previously spoke to Morton as part of my welcome to the family series, that can be found Here!

Meet The Family – Morton S Gray

Meet The Family – Morton S Gray

 

Today, I have caught up with Morton to talk about her new book “Sunny Days at the Beach”

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Hi Christine and welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” I was so excited to get to sit down and chat to another member of the Choc-Lit family and learn about your new novel.

 

 

What inspired you to write “New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun?”

Sunny Days at the Beach features a gin distiller for a hero. This character, Graham Frankley, was inspired by an article I read several years ago about a craft gin distillery. I followed up the article by taking my husband for a tour of the gin distillery for his birthday treat, thinly disguised as my novel research trip.

I needed someone to pitch up against Mandy Vanes, a character who has featured in several of my novels to date. She runs Owl Corner Crafts in my fictional seaside town of Borteen. I also avidly watch Long Lost Family on television and the link will be clear when you read the book.

What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?

I entered a competition with Choc Lit – Search for a Star – and unbelievably I won with my debut novel Who is Harry Dixon in 2016, which became The Girl on the Beach.

If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

Believe in yourself and your writing! I think I could have been published much earlier if I had believed in my work enough

If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

If I’m not writing, you can find me researching family trees or engaged in a new craft adventure.

I’ve traced my family history and other peoples for many years and there is nothing I like better than a family mystery to solve. When I first started tracing, I had to travel around the country to access original documents. I have to say that those were probably the most exciting times, especially if you discovered a family will or other unexpected document. For many years now I’ve researched on the internet, but the latest excitement concerns the advances in DNA research, which I’m just getting to grips with.

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Craft-wise I’ve tried most things. At the moment, I’m enjoying weaving and creating my own solid shampoo and soap.

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How did you deal with rejections when you started out?

I never really had any rejections as such, probably because I didn’t start submitting my novels until just before I won Choc Lit’s Search for a Star. I had begun to shortlist in first chapter novel competitions by then and was getting more confident. One of the best things I did was to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. This scheme allows for a critique of a full-length novel for each year that you are a member and the feedback I received definitely contributed to my growth in confidence with my work.

What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Just do it! A lot of people talk about writing, but unless you actually start you will get nowhere. Join a writing course, learn the craft, make all of the mistakes and learn from them. Go for it.

Do you have any writing routines or rituals if so what are they?

Lol I wish I did have routines!

I like to write longhand into notebooks when I’m feeling my way into a project. That way the first time I type things onto the computer I am performing a first edit as I go along.coffee-2306471_640

I don’t have any set routines as regards when I write, it’s usually when I get chance with a busy household and an elderly mother to keep an eye on. I have ideas for stories, poems and novels all the time, particularly in the shower, so I could do with finding a way to speed up my process. At the end of the day I try to write the sort of books I like to read. I never plan, so each manuscript is an adventure for me and hopefully the reader too and that’s the way I like it.

Which authors inspired you to write?

Sue Moorcroft has to be the main one. I admired her books and wanted to write like her. I’ve been on her courses and she used to be with the publisher I’m with now too!

Other influences would be Jane Austen, Pamela Belle, Lucy Dillon and Linda Gillard.

Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Rachel McAdamsI always find this a difficult question. The reason being that I think Dan Stevenseveryone who reads your book will imagine someone different. It’s actually the reason why authors don’t describe characters too closely, so that people can use their own imagination. But, if I had to choose – Graham would be Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame and Mandy would be Rachel McAdams (About Time, The Notebook, Eurovision).

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I published three books with Choc Lit after my competition win and have just signed a further three book deal with the publisher. Sunny Days at the Beach is the first of these three. I have a Christmas novella out later this year and I’m working on another book for 2021.

More About Morton

Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.

Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won the Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition in 2016. This story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s new headteacher, Harry Dixon.

Morton’s second book for Choc Lit The Truth Lies Buried is another romantic suspense novel, The story of Jenny Simpson and Carver Rodgers as they uncover secrets from their past.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is Morton’s first Christmas novella. It is set in her fictional seaside town of Borteen and follows the story of Pippa Freeman, who runs the Rose Court Guest House with her mother, and local policeman Ethan Gibson, as they unravel a family secret as Christmas approaches.

Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.

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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?

 

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ChocLit-logo-WebCheck out Morton S Gray on the Choc Lit website for more information    on her  books!