Monthly Archives: October 2021

Publication day! #UnderTheMistletoe @AvonbooksUK @BlakeFriedmann

Doing a happy dance because Under the Mistletoe comes out today!

This was an unusual book to write. I struggled to get the messages spot on. Author and artist Sue McDonagh was my research source for Laurel’s life as an artist and when she read an early version she said, ‘I wondered how you were going to make it all come right in the end.’ I replied, ‘So did I!’

The story was sparked by a memory of something that happened to someone else and I’ve pretty much used her situation. I didn’t know her personally, but the incident was much talked about locally. Opinions were divided as to who was at fault but I do remember, even in my teens, being astonished and affronted when someone said, ‘But surely, it was just horseplay that got out of hand?’

Was it? Read Laurel’s story and see what you think.

Buy Under the Mistletoe in ebook

Buy Under the Mistletoe as a paperback

Buy Under the Mistletoe in audio

Snuggle up with a mince pie, a cup of cocoa and the most heartwarming book this Christmas from the bestselling Sue Moorcroft.

Christmas. A time for family, friends – and rekindling old flames…

When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.

Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going.

However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac…

Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream?

An enchanting, festive read, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Carole Matthews.

PRAISE FOR SUE MOORCROFT:

‘This book is a tapestry of all the feels and emotions – loved it!’ Milly Johnson

‘Evocative, engaging and gloriously romantic.’ Cathy Bramley

‘A glorious adventure… perfect escapism to brighten the greyest of days.’ Fiona Gibson

‘Full of sunshine and secrets.’ Heidi Swain

‘It whisked me off to sun-drenched Italy…I could feel the heat on my face and taste the wine!’ Phillipa Ashley

‘Sue’s novels are the perfect escape. You’re guaranteed a warm and cosy read whatever the weather.’ Bella Osborne

‘A magical escape with all the ingredients of a perfect romance.’ Helen Rolfe

’An absolute gem – I just couldn’t put it down!’ Christina Courtenay

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Filed under Apple Books, Audio, Authors, Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Book bloggers, christmas, ebook, Launch, Paperback, publication day, readers, reading, Sue Moorcroft, Winter book, Winter read, Writers, writing

A Home in the Sun by Sue Moorcroft #contemporaryfiction #NetGalley @AvonBooksUK #bookreview

Huge thanks to Yvonne of Me and My Books for this wonderful review of A Home in the Sun.

Yvonne - Me and My Books

I am delighted to share my review today for A Home in the Sun by Sue Moorcroft. I requested this book from the publisher Avon Books via NetGalley.

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Home is where the heart is…but what if your heart is broken?

When Judith loses her partner, she loses her life in Malta too – including the beautiful view from her sun-warmed balcony of the sparkling blue waters of Sliema Creek.

Back in England, Judith finds a spare room in her sister’s house where she grew up – but with it comes a whole host of family dramas.

Nursing a broken heart, Judith knows she must find happiness again – and rebuild her life on her own terms. Could an island in the sun be the answer she is looking for?

A wonderfully escapist summer read, perfect for fans of Katie Fforde and Carole Matthews.

MY REVIEW

When I am looking for…

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Sometimes you just have to admit when an idea isn’t working #amwriting #writingcommunity #writingtips

I generally like to think I have the hang of putting a plot together. I’ve published eighteen novels, a writing guide, writing courses, hundreds of short stories and more than a dozen serials.

Recently, though, for the first time in years, I gave up on an idea (though I termed it ‘putting it on the back burner’ because that sounds less defeatist than ‘gave up’). I wrestled with it in a large notebook and a small notebook. I printed out what I had and made notes on it. I cut bits out of a notebook and tried to force some kind of order and spark into the operation. I even wrote with different coloured pens.

Nope.

What had seemed like a great idea on Sunday was dead by Tuesday, even though I had what seemed like some promising elements:

  • A setting – Malta, one of my favourite places in the world
  • conflicts
  • a past issue between hero and heroine (not always necessary but often helpful)
  • sympathetic characters (designed for readers to like)
  • unsympathetic characters (who readers will probably curl their lips at)
  • secondary characters
  • a pivotal character (again not vital but I like to recognise when there’s a character without whom the plot wouldn’t work)
  • appropriate careers for hero and heroine
  • a contemporary issue to shine a light on

…but the idea didn’t ‘work’.

So, what went wrong? I think I had a list, not a plot. If a plot is a map through a story, mine had no roads – just the places, and nothing to link them. It feels like a pretty rookie error that I forgot my own first principle – make the conflicts of hero and heroine in some way impact upon one another. Make him want to develop a property and her have reason to try and stop the development; or have them both want to help an elderly character but have opposing views on how to do it. In other words, make sure they have a stake in each other’s story.

I didn’t start in the wrong place in my story, I started in the wrong place in my planning.

Not every writer plans, but I do. My planning is often haphazard, the method varies from book to book, but, as I’ve just found out, it’s important to get it right.

Luckily – I have another idea to work on, so I think I’ll just get on with that.

If you liked this post you may also like:

Should I write a prologue?

What happens in Chapter One?

Chapter Two and beyond

Final Chapter(s) and (possible) Epilogue 

Act, react and interact – breathing life into my characters

My plotty head, Fiction Land and my dad

Descriptive writing

Learn about publishing

Agent or no agent?

Sue Moorcroft’s recipe for a short story

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Filed under Authors, Malta., Plotting, readers, reading, Sue Moorcroft, Writers, writing, writing tip

Southam Book Festival 2021 @southambookfest @Osborne_Bella @SueMoorcroft

Image of Southam Book Festival banner

At 12.15pm on Sunday 24th October 2021 I’ll be ‘in conversation’ with Bella Osborne at the Southam Book Festival. Did you know she had two novels published in the past few months? The Promise of Summer and The Library join all her other fantastic titles. Find out more about her writing here.

This is my first in-person event since early last year so I’m really looking forward to the Southam Book Festival. It’s a free event and we’d love to see you, too. Signed books will be available from many of the attending authors so you might even get in some great Christmas shopping!

Find out more about the free festival here.

Image of programme of events, Southam Book Festival

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#UnderTheMistletoe #Lakeland voucher competition @AvonBooks

Letting you know about this fab competition run by Avon Books UK in the run up to publication of Under the Mistletoe.

ENTER HERE

And be in with a chance of winning a £100 Lakeland voucher! To enter, all you have to do is answer one simple question by Wednesday 27th October at 23:59pm. Terms and conditions apply. Good luck!

Under the Mistletoe will be published on on October 28th 2021. Don’t miss out! Preorder it here:

Preorder Under the Mistletoe in paperback

Preorder Under the Mistletoe as an ebook

Preorder Under the Mistletoe in audio

Christmas. A time for family, friends – and rekindling old flames…. 

When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.

Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going.

However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac….

Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream?

An enchanting, festive story, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Carole Matthews. 

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Filed under Audio, Authors, Avon Books UK, Book bloggers, christmas, competition, ebook, HarperCollins, Launch, Paperback, Preorder, readers, reading, Sue Moorcroft, Winter book, Winter read, Writers, writing