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A Christmas Gift by @SueMoorcroft #TenThings @AvonBooksUK #BlogTour

Thanks to Portobello Book Blog for inviting me on to share #TenThings people may or may not know about me. I thought it would be nice to share it here too.

Portobello Book Blog

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know I am a big fan of Sue Moorcroft’s book. It’s a little too early for me to start reading Christmas books but I couldn’t miss out on the chance to take part in the blogtour for her latest novel, A Christmas Gift. It is published by Avon Books and available in ebook just now – order your copy here– and it will be published in hardback on 1st November. I will, of course, be reviewing the book, probably sometime in November. Today I’m sharing #TenThings that Sue Moorcroft would like her readers to know about her.

#TenThings

 Sue Moorcroft

I write two books a year for Avon: one for Christmas and one for summer. It’s a lot of writing but it’s great to have the publication day excitement twice a year – or three times a year, really, as…

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A Christmas Gift by Sue Moorcroft #Review #Romance #Contemporary #Christmas

I’m so lucky with the reviews that A Christmas Gift is receiving. I thought I’d share the love around a bit …

splashesintobooks

Title: A Christmas Gift by Sue Moorcroft

Author: Sue Moorcroft

Publisher: Avon Books UK

Pages: 400

Published: October 4th, 2018

Rating: 5/5

This is a superb seasonal read with great characters, plenty of background as well as turmoil in a fantastic second chance romance – no wonder it is tagged as “The #1 Christmas bestseller returns with the most feel good romance of 2018”!

Starting with debt collectors knocking, the story has so many dramatic moments and even has a Christmas production to be performed! Much of it is based at Acting Instruments, the performing Arts college in Middledip and revolves around one the the staff there, Georgine France and someone who unexpectedly joins the staff.

It is so emotive as they discover more from the past and move on to future possibilities. What happened to them both in the past and how their lives have changed is such a…

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e-Publication Day for #AChristmasGift and a Middledip catch-up @AvonBooks @BFLAgency

Whoopee! Today’s the day when A Christmas Gift hits the virtual shelves.

A Christmas Gift screenshot

I absolutely love the cover. I can say that without fear of being thought boastful because that’s the part of the book for which I bear no responsibility! And I know I say, ‘I love the cover!’ of all of my books. They just seem to keep getting better.

So, what’sA Christmas Gift about? Here’s the official blurb:

One Christmas can change everything…

Georgine loves Christmas. The festive season always brings the little village of Middledip to life. But since her ex-boyfriend walked out, leaving her with crippling debts, Georgine’s struggled to make ends meet.

To keep her mind off her worries, she throws herself into organising the Christmas show at the local school. And when handsome Joe Blackthorn becomes her assistant, Georgine’s grateful for the help. But there’s something about Joe she can’t quite put her finger on. Could there be more to him than meets the eye?

Georgine’s past is going to catch up with her in ways she never expected. But can the help of friends new and old make this a Christmas to remember after all?

If you’d like a little more: A Christmas Gift is about Georgine, who’s trying to ignore her ex-boyfriend’s debt collectors at her door, help her sister in the immediate aftermath of relationship’s end and her dad cope with life after a series of strokes. It includes musicians, dancers, actors and a rock band but, with apologies to animal-loving readers, no ponies, owls, dogs or cats. Regular readers of my Middledip books may wonder where in a small village I could shoehorn a performing arts college. Well, it’s easy. I just took the property where the shady characters lurked in Is This Love? and developed the site a bit! Anything is possible when you’re an author. There’s also a new road at Bankside (an estate also known as Little Dallas) and you get to see a few characters from earlier books, like Carola, Ratty, Tess, Ben and Alexia.

For regular Middledip readers, in My Weekly in early December you’ll be able to read a bit more about Tubb at the pub and the barmaid, Janice! I’ve always wanted to know more about them, so, again, anything being possible for an author, I decided to find out.

I’m already thinking about my Christmas 2019 book, when Tubb goes to Switzerland and we get a relief manager at The Three Fishes …

Meantime, here are the links for if you’d like to download A Christmas Gift.

Get A Christmas Gift on Kindle

Get A Christmas Gift on Kobo

Get A Christmas Gift on iBooks

Enjoy!

 

 

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#Review One Summer in Italy by Sue Moorcroft (@SueMoorcroft) @AvonBooksUK #OneSummerInItaly

Sorry that my blog has been so quiet – I’m wrangling my next summer book into submission! 🙂 I can’t resist sharing this lovely review of One Summer in Italy though. Thanks to Gem’s Quiet Corner.

Gem's Quiet Corner

About the book

One Summer in Italy is published by Avon Books and was available to buy from 17th May 2018 in paperback and digital form.

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When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her…

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One Summer in Italy – Sue Moorcroft – 5* Review

Lovely five-star review for ‘One Summer in Italy’! My thanks to Jane Hunt.

Jane Hunt Writer

When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

Italy, family secrets, realistic characters and a coherent plot make ‘One Summer in Italy…

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Thanks to @KuoniTravelUK @KuoniDorking – event

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of visiting Kuoni, the travel company, in Dorking to be part of their Books and the Beach event, as they’re providing a GREAT competition for One Summer in Italy. More about that on publication day …

DSC01016It was lovely to meet not just those from Kuoni Dorking and Kuoni‘s head office but so many residents of Dorking and the surrounding area. Even the sunshine joined us as we mingled over prosecco and nibbles.

DSC01023Later, Rachel O’Reilly of Kuoni interviewed me and I answered questions from an attentive and generous audience. It was a pleasure to share the evening with them all.

DSC01049A wonderful lady called Susan even offered to help me with my research for next summer’s book!

My publisher, Avon (HarperCollins), had kindly sent down hot-off-the-press copies of One Summer in Italy to be raffled off, which I was very happy to sign.

My friend Anita Chapman of Neetswriter and Neetsmarketing was able to attend and we rounded out the evening with fish and chips in the dining room of my hotel.

Thanks to Kuoni and all the guests for making me so welcome and sharing the excitement in the run-up to the publication of One Summer in Italy!

OSII bookshot

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THRILLED to announce …

… that Just for the Holidays has been shortlisted for a RoNA!

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The Romantic Novelists’ Association runs the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards every year and they’re currently sponsored by Goldsboro Books. You can read more about this year’s awards on the RNA blog here but, in short, the event will take place on the 5th of March at The Gladstone Library in London. There are seven categories – my shortlisting is in the Contemporary category – and each category has a winner, who’s presented with a trophy sometimes referred to as ‘a RoNA’. Then the winners of the categories go forward for the overall award of £5,000 and a trophy to keep for a year. The latter is usually called ‘The Rose Bowl of Doom’ because everybody dreads dropping it.

This year the awards are to be presented by Rev Richard Coles, who happens to come from the town I live in now, and the judges for the overall award are: Matt Bates, the Fiction Buyer for WH Smith Travel, editor Alex Hammond, writer Elizabeth Buchan and Liz Robinson, book reviewer for Lovereading.co.uk.

It’s a PHENOMENAL shortlist, but I’m happy to be in such fab company. The shortlist for the Contemporary Romantic Novel:
Together, Julie Cohen, Orion
The Picture House by the Sea, Holly Hepburn, Simon & Schuster
The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan – Two Roads, John Murray Press
The Dangers of Family Secrets, Debby Holt, Accent Press
The Queen of Wishful Thinking, Milly Johnson, Simon & Schuster
Just For The Holidays, Sue Moorcroft, Avon Books
My Summer of Magic Moments, Caroline Roberts, HarperImpulse
Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage, Heidi-Jo Swain, Simon & Schuster
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I’ve only been lucky enough to be nominated for a RoNA once before, for Dream a Little Dream, when, unfortunately, somebody fainted in front of me, dumping me hard on my bum, drenched by my wine and that of two other people I crashed into. Richard & Judy were presenting the awards that year and they did ask over the microphone whether we were all OK. I was, apart from a bruise and a bra full of wine. (And I didn’t win.)

DALD_v12.2 revise

I always go into awards with the view that I won’t win, and I’m usually right (though Love & Freedom did win a Readers’ Romantic Read of the Year Award), but to be nominated is just SUCH a pleasure.

I’m

absolutely

thrilled.

LoveAndFreedom:Layout 1

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The 12 Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas

I decided to celebrate Christmas by sharing my top writing tips on social media, culminating in sending out #12 today, Christmas Eve. You can find them all by searching for the hashtag #12WritingTips, but I thought it would also be a nice idea to collect them all on my blog. So here they are:

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #1

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #2

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #3

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #4

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #5

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #6

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #7

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #8

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #9

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #10

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #11

The Twelve Writing Tips of Christmas #12

 

That’s it! Have a fantastic festive season, everybody. I wish you peace and happiness.

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#TheLittleVillageChristmas – a magical #99p on #Kindle

TLVC 99p Kindle glitter

One snowy day, an author decided to write a blog post to tell everybody that her latest book, The Little Village Christmas, is on sale throughout the land (or UK-based cyberspace) for the magical price of 99p.

A Christmas fairytale? Sorcery? ‘Tis not!

You can make The Little Village Christmas appear on your device. All you must do is click here and a window will emerge. Upon entering the window, the first step in your quest is to discover a button like this:

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Be not afraid to click it! And your path to Christmas in the little village of Middledip will appear.

The author sends you luck upon your quest! The way is clear for you. Hurry now before the chance has gone …!

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An Interview with Mark West @MarkEWest

mark west by liz kearns

I’m welcoming Mark West onto my blog today to talk about his new novella, Polly.

Mark’s one of my oldest writing buddies, one of my most local writing buddies, one of my beta readers and a member of Team Sue Moorcroft.

So, Mark, tell us a bit about yourself, and about Polly.

Okay, I’ve been writing fiction since I was about eight (I wanted to know what happened next to The Six Million Dollar Man and also the Star Wars characters and decided to make up the stories myself). I wrote some short horror stories in the late 80s, moved to contemporary novels in the early 90s then went back to horror and started getting published in the small press in 1999 (when I first met you). Polly is a dark thriller about a woman who goes to Paris when she realises her marriage is over.

When we first met you wrote the kind of horror that gave me nightmares (literally). In recent years you’ve moved over into chillers and thrillers. I’m glad, because, a wussy wimp when it comes to scary things, it means I can read your stories again, but what has made you change direction?

I loved writing horror (and still do) but one of my writing goals is to get a mass-market deal and that will just never happen with horror. I wrote a novella called “Drive” a few years ago, which isn’t horror and I was worried about how it’d be received and it went down very well, even getting nominated for a British Fantasy Society Award. Based on that, I decided to move into thrillers and you & I talked it over in-depth at the time during one of our Trading Post meet-ups. Polly was the first step towards that, to see if I could do it again, and my novel-in-progress is a psychological thriller.

I’m always surprised at your writing output, considering you have a full-time job and a family. You’re active on your blog and on social media too. Where do you find the hours?

I don’t really know and I worry that it’s one of those things where, if I figure it out, it’ll all collapse like a house of cards.

What’s your planning process? You write short stories, novellas and novels – does the process vary from one form to another?

I make a LOT of notes. I’ve been more suited towards shorts and novellas the past few years, to be honest, so going back into a novel was a big step for me and I’ve been like a magpie, stealing ideas and processes from all over.

Which is your favourite form?

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on the novel but I still prefer the novella – it’s long enough to stretch out and luxuriate in the space, but not get bogged down in the length.

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But back to Polly, I love the cover art. Did you have much input on that? Are you pleased with it?

I really like the cover art and didn’t have any direct input, other than to say I didn’t think the first image represented the character properly. It was well done, a woman in front of Notre Dame (which is key to the story) but the model was clearly in her twenties (too young for Polly) and had a lot of tattoos (which Polly doesn’t have). But the one that we ended up with is marvellous, very elegant and also nicely noir-ish.

Is there an audio version of Polly coming along?

There is, and it’s the first audio version I’ve had of one of my books.

What made you write this particular story? How did you find the right publisher?

Stormblade Productions, the publisher, asked me, and I knew Carrie Buchanan would be narrating the audiobook. That led me towards writing with a female POV (which also helped as a good exercise to get me up to speed with the novel), I quite liked the idea of writing about Paris and once I’d got the notion that her marriage had collapsed, it all laid itself out. Though, if you remember, my original ending was a lot darker and you & I, in another Trading Post session, brainstormed pretty much what’s there now.

I know you’re working on a novel right now. How’s that going? Can you give us an idea of what it’s about?

I am, it’s into the second draft now and seems to be going well, though I’m currently at the “this is rubbish, it’s not original, nobody’s going to like it” stage. It’s about Claire, a woman in her mid-forties, who is on the verge of divorce and having to start things over. Unfortunately, at the same time, she realises that someone is stalking her.

I know that stage! But I’m sure you’re wrong, it’ll be great, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for chatting.

Thank you for having me! J

Mark West lives in Northamptonshire with his wife Alison and their young son Matthew. Since discovering the small press in 1998 he has published over eighty short stories, two novels, a novelette, a chapbook, a collection and three novellas (one of which, Drive, was nominated for a British Fantasy Society Award). He has more short stories and novellas forthcoming and is currently working on a novel.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading, walking, cycling, watching films and playing Dudeball with his son.

He can be contacted through his website at http://www.markwest.org.uk and is also on Twitter as @MarkEWest. Click here if you’d like to know more about Polly.

 

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