Category Archives: HarperCollins

#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

#WritingTip: should I write a prologue?

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I’m always surprised when someone tells me editors, agents and readers don’t like prologues. Many of my books have a prologue. No editor has asked me to remove one and I’ve even been specifically asked to include one. As a reader, I love them. I find them intriguing.

What do I think a prologue is? Typically, three to five pages of introductory material. Its importance often doesn’t become clear until it shows itself as a catalyst or significant background to the main story. It’s often characterised by being distanced from the opening of Chapter One in time or location so wouldn’t flow easily into Chapter One.

Are prologues necessary? I think the easiest litmus test is to take out the prologue and see if a book still makes sense. If it does then I guess it was written to “set the mood”. But if it later proves crucial to the backstory and/or will impact the main plot, it’s earning its place. In The Little Village Christmas the prologue is made up of a conversation between Ben and his mother. It’s about what he’s just lived through and why he’s in such a rocky emotional state. There were reasons for me deciding to write the scene as the prologue rather than include the information elsewhere in the book:

  • I wanted the reader to know this about Ben but I didn’t want the heroine, Alexia, to. Her not knowing creates conflict between them that lasts for most of the first part of the book.
  • Knowing his backstory would allow the reader to forgive his inconsistent behaviour towards Alexia in the first couple of chapters.
  • I didn’t want to tell the reader everything about Ben’s past. I wanted them to know there was still lots to uncover.
  • I write from at least two points of view and I like the first and last chapters to be through the eyes of the heroine, not the hero. Giving Ben the Prologue was like an aside.

I like my prologues to be:

  • short, so readers aren’t wrong-footed when Chapter One begins
  • self-contained, to some degree so they’re not dissatisfied by the transition to Chapter One
  • comprehensible but intriguing.

The reader knows full well while reading a prologue that the real story is waiting and some people think it makes the readers start the book twice. Is this a bad thing? In The Little Village Christmas it meant readers had to first immerse themselves in Ben’s past, his old world in his old house near Swindon and then immerse themselves in Alexia’s present world in Middledip, but this could just as easily have happened in Chapters One and Two. I tried to make sure it was worth the readers’ mental energy by treating both the prologue and Chapter One like the opening of a novel in terms of energy and impact. Each were emotional and gave the readers plenty to think about.

Having a prologue gives me the chance to hook the readers in twice in other words.

My favourite prologue was in Starting Over. It was only one page and took the form of an email from Tess’s fiancé, telling her their relationship was over. A lot of readers said, ‘I just had to read on to find out what happened next!’ I counted that a success.

You may also like:

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?

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Filed under christmas, ebook, HarperCollins, Paperback, Prologue, readers, reading, Starting Over, Sue Moorcroft, The Little Village Christmas, Writers, writing, writing tip

Thanks to ManyBooks.Net for making me their Author of the Day

Isn’t it great when a website asks to feature you? You might already be familiar with ManyBooks.Net not just for their author interviews and other free content but because of their free downloads of out-of-copyright books. They contacted me recently and offered me the opportunity to be interviewed for Author of the Day.

Here’s the feature for you to read. Haven’t they done a great job?

 

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Filed under Audio, Authors, Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Book bloggers, ebook, HarperCollins, Paperback, readers, reading, Sue Moorcroft, Summer on a Sunny Island, Summer read, Sunday Times bestseller, Writers, writing

Publication Day for #SummerOnASunnyIsland @AvonBooksUK @BFLAgency

Here it is at last! Publication day has arrived for Summer on a Sunny Island!

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My thanks, as ever, to the fab team at Avon Books UK and Blake Friedmann Literary, Flim and TV Agency for their fantastic support.

The idea for Summer on a Sunny Island was sparked by a service kids’ reunion in Malta, where I was brought up for several years. My brothers, my sister-in-law and I managed to convert one lunch into a ten-day holiday so I didn’t see why such a reunion shouldn’t for part of a novel too. It’s about Rosa, who’s supporting her celeb-cook mum Dory in Malta and Zach, who’s looking after his Maltese grandmother’s property. They’ve both left tricky situations behind them in England but, of course, those situations don’t just go away.

I really hope that you enjoy the opportunity to travel to Malta by book, even if you can’t travel in real life during the pandemic. Malta’s a glorious, golden nugget in the blue Mediterranean sea and a part of my heart will always be there.

Thanks to every single blogger who’s signed up to read and review the book. Here’s details of the blog tour for you to follow:

Summer on a Sunny Island Blog Tour Banner

In addition, fab bloggers, including several from Team Sue Moorcroft, are kindly hosting extra posts from me.

Mark West, Strange Tales, 27th April.

Anne Williams, Being Anne, 29th April.

Samantha Smith, Written by S J Smith, 30th April.

Karen Cocking, My Reading Corner, 1st May.

Lucy Catten, Lucy Literati, 2nd May.

Sherry Gloag, Heart of Romance, 3rd May.

If you read Summer on a Sunny Island it would be fantastic if you could pop a review online. Every single one is appreciated.

On the evening of Friday 1st May I’ll be appearing on a screen near you as part of the Avon Book Fest. Bella Osborne, Phillipa Ashley and I will be live at 5.30pm BST and you can send us in your questions using the chat feature. It’s free and you can sign up here.

And no publication day blog post would be complete without buy links – so here they are!

Summer on a Sunny Island on UK Kindle

Summer on a Sunny Island on UK Kobo

Summer on a Sunny Island on UK Apple

Summer on a Sunny Island paperback

Summer on a Sunny Island audio

Summer on a Sunny Island in the US

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Filed under Apple Books, Audio, Authors, Avon Book Fest, Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Book bloggers, ebook, HarperCollins, Juliet Pickering, Launch, Malta., Paperback, publication day, readers, reading, Sue Moorcroft, Summer on a Sunny Island, Summer read, Team Sue Moorcroft, Writers, writing

#AvonBookFest Free virtual event @osborne_bella @PhillipaAshley @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK

FINAL PHILLIPA SUE BELLA AVONBOOKFEST

 

The virtual Avon Book Fest continues with authorly chat between Phillipa Ashley and Bella Osborne, an event for which I’ll be acting as chair, on the screen of your device.

Join us on Friday 1st May, 5.30-6.30 p.m. BST for a conversation about books and writing. Register for this free event here and get ready to type in your questions! We’ll answer as many as we can. Registration ends at 5pm Wednesday 29th April 2020.

The full Avon Book Fest programme can be found here and you can register for any event that takes your fancy.

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Filed under Authors, Avon Book Fest, Avon Books UK, Bella Osborne, ebook, HarperCollins, Literary festival, Phillipa Ashley, readers, reading, research, Speaker, Sue Moorcroft, Writers, writing

Free event #AvonBookFest 3 April 5.30-6.30 pm BST @LornaCookAuthor @FionaGibson @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK

Avon book fest 3 Apr copy
Friday 3rd April 2020, 5.30-6.30 p.m. BST you can join me, along with Fiona Gibson and Lorna Cook for a virtual author event as part of the Avon Book Fest. Click the link to register for this free event then join us as we chat about books and writing. You’ll be able to ask your own questions and we’ll answer as many as we can. Come along!
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I’ll let you know about my other virtual events as soon as dates and times become available.

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Filed under Authors, Avon Books UK, ebook, Fiona Gibson, HarperCollins, Literary festival, Lorna Cook, Paperback, readers, reading, Speaker, Sue Moorcroft, Summer on a Sunny Island, Summer read, Writers, writing

A dream comes true for Sue @RNATweets @BFLAgency @AvonBooksUK @GoldsboroBooks #RNA60

The Romantic Novelists’ Association (@RNATweets) is sixty years old this year. You can read a little of its history here. I’ve been a member for twenty of those years, initially as a member of the New Writers’ Scheme and then graduating to full. During those years I’ve given talks and workshops at various of their meetings and conferences, been minutes secretary, vice-chair and editor of its two anthologies, Loves Me, Loves Me Not and Truly, Madly, Deeply. The Association has been instrumental in my connecting to publishers and agents, making a huge number of friends and developing a can-do attitude.

I’ve attended the annual Romantic Novel Awards just about every year and coveted winning one of those crystal stars so much! Dream a Little Dream and Just for the Holidays were shortlisted and I went along to the awards revelling in being amongst the chosen few. I didn’t think I’d win and I was proved right.

This year, A Summer to Remember reached the shortlist and I plunged into the fun of shortlistee photographs and the champagne reception with utter enjoyment. I’d got into a dress that I hadn’t been able to wriggle into for a while, my shoes were reasonably comfortable and settled in to chat with the other shortlisted authors.

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Shortlistees for the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award 2020. L-R Bella Osborne, Jeevani Chakira, Jules Wake, Sophie Kinsella, Victoria Walters and Carole Matthews. Imogen Clark somehow missed the photos.

Eventually, the reception expanded to encompass the rest of the guests, including my husband, who had waited out the photoshoot in the bar. It was time to claim our name badges, check our table numbers and find our seats at the circular tables dressed with snowy cloths. My agent Juliet Pickering from Blake Friedmann Literary, Film and TV Agency and editor Phoebe Morgan from Avon Books UK joined us, along with authors Dorothy Koomson, Lorna Cook, Jenni Keer and Bella Osborne.

8BC49185-5222-4AB2-B63D-5B18DF5AD1FDThe first excitement on the table was when Lorna Cook won the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award for The Forgotten Village. As this book had also lifted the Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Award, Lorna’s obviously written something special! The awards were presented by performer and broadcaster Jenny Eclair and compered by the ever-lovely Jane Wenham-Jones.

I’d backed Jules Wake to win my category, which was seventh in the running order, because Notting Hill in the Snow is such a charming book, but had also suspected it would go to one of the top-selling authors on the list, Carole Matthews or Sophie Kinsella. When Jenny Eclair announced that I had won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award 2020 my jaw must have almost hit the table!

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Jenny Eclair presents the award

I remember very little about the next few minutes apart from chanting ‘Don’t fall up the stairs’ to myself as I made my way through the tables, doing the bump with Jenny Eclair as ‘social distance’ was being (somewhat) observed in view of Coronavirus concerns and grabbing my crystal star with both hands. I know I attempted a speech and choked up and I’m glad I retained enough presence of mind to thank the RNA, my fab agent and wonderful Team Avon and also Goldsboro Books for sponsoring the award.

RNA_Awards_2020_Ceremony_139I made my way back to my table with lots of lovely people shouting congratulations but I was too much in a daze to respond much. Sorry if I just gazed through you. Winning ‘a RoNA’ was such a dream come true for me that I was somewhere between Cloud Nine and Over the Moon. I have seen other winners act with dignity or with cool professionalism. I was just an over-excited mess!

At the end of the other awards, which I was too dazed to really concentrate on – even the wonderful speech given by Milly Johnson who received an outstanding achievement award – I was ushered off for more photographs with all the other winning authors.

RNA_Awards_2020_Winners_Group_01

Me, Anstey Harris, Lorna Cook, Samantha Tonge, Milly Johnson, Jenni Fletcher, Natasha Lester, Ruth Hogal, Mary Jayne Baker and Tania Crosse.

Thank you not just to my agent, publishers, the RNA and the sponsors but to the volunteers who run the RNA and make it what it is, including working hard to give awards to authors like me at a glitzy event I’ll remember forever.

RNA_Awards_2020_Sue_Moorcroft_contemporaryThank you to the readers who read A Summer to Remember and loved it enough to put it at the top of the scoresheets.

Thanks to everyone who wrote the hundreds of congratulations I received on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, email, text and WhatsApp. This post is partly the speech I wish I’d had the presence of mind to make at the time.

But being an over-excited mess is what happens when you have a dream … and eventually, it comes true.

Romantic Novel Awards 2020 in The Bookseller

Milly Johnson’s excellent speech in The Bookseller

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Filed under A Summer to Remember, Authors, Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Dream a Little Dream, Goldsboro Books, Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award 2020, HarperCollins, Jules Wake, Juliet Pickering, Just for the Holidays, Notting Hill in the Snow, Paperback, readers, reading, Romantic Novelists' Association, Writers, writing

Woman & Home chooses ‘A Summer to Remember’ AND ‘Let it Snow’!

I’m feeling VERY loved up by the fab team at Woman & Home!

They chose A Summer to Remember in their Best Books to Read this Year edit. Read the full list here.

AND they chose Let it Snow for their Top Books to Snuggle Up with this Winter! Read the full list here.

Huge thanks to all at Woman & Home for pinning a very happy smile to my face. I’m thrilled.

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Filed under A Summer to Remember, Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, christmas, HarperCollins, Let it Snow, readers, reading, Summer read, Winter book, Winter read, Woman & Home, Writers, writing

Paperback publication day for ‘Let it Snow’ @AvonBooksUK @BFLAgency

 

Today sees paperback and audiobook release for

Let it Snow!

I’m excited that it will be on book shop and supermarket shelves today, especially after the ebook has done so well, bobbing about in the top 100 for most of the past few weeks, rising as high as #26. Thanks to all the readers who have bought it.

Last night we had a launch event at Rothwell Library where I sold out of all the prepublication stock I had. The audience was fantastic and my friend Mark West a great organiser and interviewer. Thanks also to the Friends of Rothwell Library for putting on the event. Rothwell is a community library now and volunteers are keeping libraries going.

I hope that readers enjoy Lily’s journey, both emotional and physical, from the frosty cottages of Middledip to the snowy mountains of Switzerland. It begins with a determination to find her half-brothers and ends with a lot of hard choices.

Let is Snow is available in paperback, audio and ebook now!

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Filed under Audio, Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, christmas, ebook, Friends of Rothwell Library, HarperCollins, Launch, Let it Snow, Library, Library talk, Mark West, Paperback, publication day, readers, reading, Rothwell, Rothwell Library, Speaker, Winter book, Winter read

Publication day in Canada and the US

 

Today sees The Christmas Promise published in Canada and the US. This is a huge thrill for me, especially to see The Christmas Promise with its gorgeous new cover for a new market. I hope that North America likes this story of Ava trying to keep a very special promise to Sam and Wendy. The Christmas Promise was my breakthrough book in the UK, flying up to the #1 spot in the Amazon Kindle UK chart and sticking there for five days.

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What else can I tell you about this book? Oh, yes: handmade hats and revenge porn. For how I combined these elements just read the book. Enjoy!

Buy link: The Christmas Promise in Canada 

Buy link: The Christmas Promise in the US

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.

Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.

So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…

Readers LOVE The Christmas Promise – and soon you will too!

“Simply gorgeous Christmas story with a difference” Reader review

“Superb novel!” Reader review

“Perfect pre-Christmas read. I promise.” Reader review

“When a book keeps you reading until five o’clock in the morning, it’s a sure sign of a fantastic read!” Reader review

“Original, poignant, relevant and romantic.” Reader review

“A wonderful cosy Christmas read.” Reader review

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Filed under Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Book bloggers, christmas, Cover, ebook, HarperCollins, hats, Juliet Pickering, Launch, millinery, Paperback, publication day, readers, reading, The Christmas Promise, Winter book, Winter read