The joys of research

What’s not to love about research?

My next book, A Summer to Remember (2 May 2019), is set in north Norfolk. When I decided to make Clancy, the heroine, run away from A Situation in London, where better to run to than a remote village with rubbish mobile and broadband signals?

Writers vary in the way they choose their settings. Some choose real places; others create entire countries or even worlds. I’m comfortable with a technique halfway between these two as I create fictitious towns or villages set in proximity to real places, and my characters move between the two. The real places provide authenticity and the created places give me freedom. I don’t have to worry about whether you can really get from A to B in twenty minutes or whether a business I depict as a grotty pick up joint will be recognised.

I began with iMaps, searching the coast until I found a place where I felt I could realistically bisect the salt marshes and shove a headland in on which to build my village. I asked my street team, Team Sue Moorcroft, for suggested names for the village and took one from Manda Ward: Nelson’s Bar. Then I booked a couple of nights at a lovely pub in a village called Thornham, very close to my Nelson’s Bar spot, and set off on my research trip. Spending time on the coast in gorgeous sunny weather, taking photos and making notes – well, it doesn’t sound like hard work, does it?

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Over the course of several days, I built up a collection of leaflets and maps from Hunstanton Tourist Information, books on local history at the pub where I stayed and, like most writers, I used the Internet to research businesses and study aerial views. It was essential to my plot to know where I could and couldn’t get a mobile signal so I did a lot of sending experimental texts too. North Norfolk has several of its own free newspapers and they were invaluable in getting a feel for the area. I read them in the pub garden with a glass of wine on a sunny evening.

And I spent hours and hours walking in the area. The salt marshes and the beaches, the villages and the resorts. I took hundreds of photos with my digital camera and my phone so, once home, I could check out the undulating stripy cliffs, the beach, the breakwaters … Pretty much anything I could think of was recorded whilst I was on the spot.

I don’t yet have the final cover of A Summer to Remember to share with you but it’s nearly ready! Meantime, if you’d like your appetite whetted, here’s the back-of-book blurb:


WANTED! A caretaker for Roundhouse Row holiday cottages.

WHERE? Nelson’s Bar is the perfect little village. Nestled away on the Norfolk coast we can offer you no signal, no Wi-Fi and – most importantly – no problems!

WHO? The ideal candidate will be looking for an escape from their cheating scumbag ex-fiancé, a diversion from their entitled cousin, and a break from their traitorous friends.

WHAT YOU’LL GET! Accommodation in a chocolate-box cottage, plus a summer filled with blue skies and beachside walks. Oh, and a reunion with the man of your dreams.

PLEASE NOTE: We take no responsibility for any of the above scumbags, passengers and/or traitors walking back into your life…


A Summer to Remember is available to preorder now and will be released in paperback, ebook and audio by Avon Books (HarperCollins) on 2 May 2019.



Filed under Authors, Avon Books UK, Cover, ebook, Paperback, reading, research, Team Sue Moorcroft, Writers, writing

Season’s Greetings!

I wish you the best of the season



A safe place


And I hope that 2018 has been kind to you.


Merry Christmas sparkles


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A Christmas Gift by Sue Moorcroft – Full of life, it is a perfect book for Christmas @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK @HarperCollinsUK #NewBook #Review #Readers #Christmas #music #bands #theatre

Just time for one more great review of A Christmas Gift before Christmas, I think. Thanks to Louise of Bookmarks and Stages for this shining-bright five-star review!

Bookmarks and Stages

A Christmas Gift
by Sue Moorcroft
Rating: 5 Stars *****

About the Author

Sue Moorcroft A Christmas GiftSue Moorcroft writes award-winning contemporary fiction of life and love. The Little Village Christmas was a Sunday Times Bestseller and The Christmas Promise went to #1 in the Kindle chart. Her latest release, The Christmas Gift has also become The Sunday Times Bestseller this year (2018). She also writes short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing “how to” guides.

An army child, Sue was born in Germany, then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK, and still loves to travel. Her other loves include writing (the best job in the world), reading and hanging out with friends, dancing, yoga, wine and chocolate.

Links to Sue Moorcroft’s website and social media



One Christmas can change everything…
Georgine loves Christmas. The festive season always brings the little village of Middledip…

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How to wrap A Christmas Gift

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A Christmas Gift by Sue Moorcroft

A lovely review from Linda Hill of Linda’s Book Bag. I just wanted to share this one as I try very hard for authenticity in my books and Linda’s comments have painted a big smile on my face.

Linda's Book Bag

A Christmas Gift 1

I always feel so privileged to be part of Sue Moorcroft’s street team and so it gives me enormous pleasure to be part of the launch celebrations for her latest book, A Christmas Gift, by sharing my review today.

Sue is a regular here on the blog and you can see other Linda’s Book Bag posts with Sue in the following links:

Discussing One Summer in Italy

An interview with Sue Moorcroft

A guest post from Sue on over-sharing and my review of The Christmas Promise

A guest post from Sue on her fantasy holiday companions

My review of Just For The Holidays

A guest post from Sue on loving a village book

My review of The Little Village Christmas

A Christmas Gift was published by Harper Collins imprint Avon on 1st November 2018 and is available for purchase through the links here.

A Christmas Gift

A Christmas Gift 1

Georgine loves…

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‘A Christmas Gift’ by Sue Moorcroft (Part One)

Lovely review here from The Ginger Book Geek.


My blog post for my stop on the blog tour for ‘A Christmas Gift’ is going to be slightly different to the majority of my blog tour posts in that this one will come in two parts.  The first part (this part) contains my review and the second part contains an extract from the book to give you a taster of what to expect when you pick the book up for yourselves.  I hope you enjoy reading it just as much as I did.


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…

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For the love of Christmas books

To continue the celebrations of publication of A Christmas Gift, I’ve invited a few people to tell us what they feel about fab Christmas books and to include a Christmassy pic if they felt so inclined.

First up is Helen Huthwaite, Publishing Director, Avon HarperCollins:

“Reading my first Christmas book of the season gives me all the happiness and warmth of biting into a festive mince pie or slurping delicious mulled wine on a cold winter’s evening. As the dark nights draw in, a Christmas story brings light, fun and hope – a teaser for the many festivities that lie ahead. And that’s why I can’t possibly confine myself to a Christmas read for just one season – they bring me joy all year round!

Mark West, author, a great writing buddy and my long-standing beta reader:

Mark x 2

“Until you started writing Christmas books, I never even realised they were a “thing” but I was very happy to discover their existence. I love Christmas and everything about it but, for me, a Christmas read brings to mind happy hours spent lying on the floor as the smells of Christmas dinner suffused the house, reading the latest Look-In or Six Million Dollar Man (or whatever else had taken my fancy that year) annual.”

Hattie Grunwald, literary agent at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency:

Hattie doing Christmas

I’m a big fan of Christmas traditions – visiting Christmas markets, hosting a Christmas dinner for my friends or seeing the panto with my family – and for me, reading a Christmas book is another magical way of welcoming in the festive season every year. Whether it’s a classic you re-read every year, or the newest offering from your favourite author, there’s nothing better than snuggling up with a paperback full of Christmas magic!”

Heidi Swain, author:

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“All books are special, but there’s something truly magical about Christmas books. Nothing comes close to snuggling under a fleecy blanket on a chilly day with a mug of marshmallow-topped hot chocolate and a plot packed full of festive events and seasonal spice!

Heidi has her own brand-new Christmas book out, too! Look out for Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland. Congratulations, Heidi!

Susan Baker, a stalwart member of my street team, #TeamSueMoorcroft:


“I love Christmas. It’s the very best time of year. It’s not the day itself, it’s the run-up and all the prep work. Yes, it’s manic, but my escape at the end of the day is to curl up with a Christmas book. It has to be a romantic story, all snowflakes and tinsel.  It is by far the best way to escape the world that is supermarkets and worrying if Amazon will deliver on time. I love to be able to curl up and immerse myself in a wonderful Christmas Wonderland before reality strikes and I’ve got to worry about Turkey timings!

I adore giving and, for that matter, receiving books as Christmas gifts – the best Christmas gift of all is a Christmas book.”

Bella Osborne, author:

Bella's cat“I am a huge fan of Christmas and it is, without doubt, my favourite time of year. I’m relatively new to Christmas novels but now really enjoy curling up with a mince pie, glass of mulled wine and a Christmas book that immerses me in the festivities. I’m even going to have a crack at writing one myself!”

Anne Williams, blogger on Being Anne and member of #TeamSueMoorcroft:

“Tinsel and lights, snow and the man in the red coat, the magic of the season, a nice touch of romance – I’m an unashamed fan of Christmas books, and always try to read as many as I possibly can. When you’re a blogger, Christmas books start to appear before you’ve put away your suntan lotion these days, but the season can’t start too early for me – I get to excited by every new sparkly snow-covered cover I see.”


And from me:

I love Christmas books more every year! Until I began to write them I simply hadn’t realised how many readers looked to them for Christmas build-up excitement, Christmas reading-time and Christmas gifts. Right from my first Christmas book, The Christmas Promise, I got swept up in the fun – especially when The Christmas Promise rewarded me so handsomely by being a Christmas #1 on Amazon Kindle – and it’s great to see my latest, A Christmas Gift, on the shelves. All my life, books at Christmas have been favoured gifts, both to give and to receive, whether they’re set at Christmas or not.



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My first hardback – A Christmas Gift



Today A Christmas Gift is published as a hardback. Even the picture above doesn’t really do it justice, as it’s ornamented with foil and shiny things.


There’s something special about a hardback book. So far as I’m concerned, this particular volume is special because it’s my first ‘proper’ hardback, so it feels like a promotion. I’ve had occasional hardback library editions or foreign editions but nothing quite so special as this.

A Christmas Gift it is for me!

And we hope it will find its way under a lot of tees and into a multitude of stockings this Christmas. It is, after all, such a lovely easy shape to wrap.

However many people read it, a gift from themselves to themselves or from someone special, I hope they all enjoy reading how this Christmas changes everything for

  • Georgine France, who surely deserves a little more shine on her life
  • and Joe Blackthorn, who’s disillusioned not by success, but by what some people are prepared to do to achieve it.

A Christmas Gift, published in hardback today, 1 November 2018


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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.


 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 …


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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