I’m pleased to be joined by Morton S Gray today whose Christmas novella, Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe is published by ChocLit and available now in ebook and as an audio download. Buying details here: Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe Morton is sharing #TenThings she’d like her readers to know about her and I’m sharing my thoughts on the book. First of all, here’s what the book is about.
Run away to the little beach café this Christmas …
Five years ago at Christmas, solicitor Justin Sadler made the decision to leave his comfortable existence behind and move to the coast. Since then, he’s tried his best to ignore the festive season and, as he sits in the little beach café and reflects on that fateful night when his life was turned upside down, he expects his fifth Christmas alone to be no different to any of the others since he made his escape.
But when he encounters a mystery woman on the beach, he soon realises he may have found a fellow runaway and kindred spirit. Could Justin finally be ready to move on and let Christmas into his life again?
The opening of this book really intrigued me. Lots of people aren’t fans of Christmas but why did Justin have such a physical reaction to even just hearing Christmas music? Clearly something had happened in the past to provoke such a response and I was very keen to find out what it was. Well. I quickly found out and what a surprise that was! Equally intriguing was our introduction to Silvie, who Justin meets briefly on the beach at Borteen and then again soon after in what seems like a dangerous situation. She’s obviously trying to hide from someone but why?
Although we find the answers to both these questions quite early on in the story, that sense of danger and suspense continues throughout the book. Coupled with a gently developing romance and misunderstandings (usually on Justin’s part), this made for a very engaging read.
Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe is a sweet, short read, a beautifully told story of two people learning to trust once again and finding their way to love. There’s more than a sprinkling of Christmas joy working its magic too. Borteen sounds like a charming place to spend Christmas and such a lovely community.
Now over to Morton to tell you the #TenThings
she’d like you to know about her
- I met my husband online! – It actually made me believe in love at first sight, as I swear that I fell in love with his photograph on the dating website. We emailed for several months before meeting each other half way as we happened to be living two hundred miles apart when we first made contact. We’ve been together nineteen years and married for eighteen in January.
- I love making soap. I went on a course in early 2020 to learn how to mould, colour and scent soap. Little did we know what would happen next, but I loved making soaps in lockdown. I have a thing for bath and shower products in general, but making my own is very special. My next project is to make Christmas presents for my friends and family.
- Growing things makes me happy. This year we have concentrated on chillies and tomatoes grown from seed. Hubbie is making fermented chilli sauce and I’ve made various tomato and chilli jams, some with both ingredients. However, I have a go at growing all sorts of other things – I’ve a huge tree grown from an apricot kernel and once grew a lovely delicate plant from an avocado stone.
- I love unicorns! My study is full of them in the form of soft toys, pictures and Christmas tree decorations.
- I’m allergic to lots of things and those allergies have increased as I’ve got older. I’ve always been allergic to pollen and animal fur, but have recently become allergic to certain foods.
- With number five in mind, I become a first-time dog owner five years ago and this was only made possible because my dog has hair and not fur. She is a beautiful white Maltese and most importantly I’m not allergic to her.
- Tracing family trees is like breathing to me. I decided to begin this hobby many many years ago and I find it fascinating because there is always something else to find out. Someone once described genealogy as a jigsaw with no edges and I have found that to be true. The hobby has led me to meet lots of people, to travel around the country, find out about all sorts of obscure occupations and documents. Last year I met up with someone from America whose link to me was an ancestor in 1851 and we connected through taking a DNA test.
- I mentioned soap making above, well another craft I’ve recently got into is weaving! I went on a one-day course and am hooked. I have a table loom and am enjoying learning about different patterns achievable on such a small loom. Having made a lot of scarves, my next challenge is to combine my woven pieces with knitting and/or crochet to make some cardigans and waistcoats.
- I’m never without a book. Ever since I learned to read, before I went to school aged five, I have had a book on the go. Makes me wish I’d kept a word count, lol. Currently reading Caroline James’ Boomerville at Ballymegille (such fun), and have recently read Heidi Swain’s Winter Garden and Bella Osborne’s One Family Christmas.
- I don’t plan my novels, because I enjoy the journey to find out what happens. For instance my latest release, Christmas at the Little Beach Café started with a scene where my hero, Justin Sadler, the solicitor of my fictional seaside town of Borteen catches a red hat which is blown across the beach. I then had to find out whose hat he had caught and the story that linked the two characters.
More about Morton S. Gray
Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.
Morton’s latest release is Christmas at the Little Beach Café published as an e-book and audio download on 17 November 2020.
Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition. This story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s new headteacher, Harry Dixon. The book is available as a paperback and e-book.
Morton’s second book for Choc Lit The Truth Lies Buried is another romantic suspense novel, The book tells the story of Jenny Simpson and Carver Rodgers as they uncover secrets from their past. This book is available as an e-book, paperback and audiobook.
Christmas at Borteen Bay was Morton’s first Christmas novella. It is set in her fictional seaside town of Borteen and follows the story of Pippa Freeman, who runs the Rose Court Guesthouse with her mother, and local policeman Ethan Gibson, as they unravel a family secret as Christmas approaches.
Bestselling Sunny Days on the Beach, is her fourth novel for Choc Lit. Again set in Borteen, this book is the story of what happens when craft shop owner, Mandy Vanes takes in an abandoned teenager, Nick Crossten and the repercussions when Graham Frankley, a gin distiller, arrives in town to say he has received a letter telling him he is Nick’s father.
Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.
You can catch up with Morton on her website www.mortonsgray.com, on
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/morton_s_gray/
Purchasing links for The Girl on the Beach at http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-girl-on-the-beach/ e-book and paperback
Purchasing links for The Truth Lies Buried at http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-truth-lies-buried/ e-book, audio and paperback.
Purchasing links for Christmas in Borteen Bay at https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/christmas-at-borteen-bay/ e-book and audio
Purchasing links for Sunny Days on the Beach at https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/sunny-days-at-the-beach/ e-book, audio and paperback
Purchasing links for Christmas at the Little Beach Café at https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/christmas-at-the-little-beach-cafe/ e-book and audio.