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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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





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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.


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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How to write 47,000 words in two weeks


The house at Arte Umbria

I increased the length of my manuscript by 47,000 words between the 20th of June and the 4th of July this year.

For me, it’s a massive result, because I’m not the fastest writer in the world. How did I do it? I went on a writing retreat.

Before I began going on retreats I looked askance at other writers going to lovely venues to write. Was this not a thinly-disguised holiday? A bit of a jolly with your mates? I’m the first to admit that I love going to Italy to work on a sunny terrace and also to enjoy the company of other writers at meal times and in the evenings, but it is not a holiday to write approximately half a first draft of a novel in two weeks.


I love the sun so put my laptop into a handy box to enable me to see the screen. Other writers took the more conventional route of writing in the shade.

So how does a retreat work for me?

  • By freeing me from domestic responsibility, gym classes and social engagements and the only timetable being dictated by mealtimes.
  • I took time off to watch the Formula 1 races and their qualifying sessions but, apart from that, I began after breakfast and finished just before dinner every day.
  • Maybe I should have taken more time out to visit nearby Citta della Pieve or Orvieto but I found that having almost no distractions meant my story occupied centre-stage in my mind, allowing each writing session to follow seamlessly from the last. I didn’t want to disrupt that.

In case you’re wondering if the 47,000 words were a fluke, last year I was only on the writing retreat for one week and wrote 23,000 words.


Part of my apartment

I suppose if I stayed at home, cancelled my classes, ignored my family and friends and had meals delivered I might achieve a higher writing output than the norm but somehow I don’t think it would be the same as ‘getting away from it all’ to a peaceful, beautiful venue that inspires as well as frees me.

Pick your spot- sun or shade

I love Arte Umbria. I taught writing courses there for several years but now I’ve moved onto heading up writing retreats instead. In my mind, it’s also the setting for One Summer in Italy, the town of Montelibertà being built around it. My imagination grew the house into Casa Felice, the hotel where Sofia and Amy work, and the view Levi paints in watercolours is the view from the terrace.

OSII bookshotWill I return next year? Absolutely! For one week beginning 26 June 2019.


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