Posted in Writing

Today Tuesday Talk welcomes author Angela Barton chatting about the inspiration behind Arlette’s Story and choosing some interesting dinner guests choices…

ANGELA BARTON PICHi Angela and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

I’m a proud mother to three wonderful children who have all flown the nest. I’m married to my best friend, Paul, and I’m a happy slave to two spaniels. My favourite things to do are writing (of course), reading, making jewellery and creating artwork out of natural objects, such as pebbles, dried flowers etc. Two years ago Paul and I planted a lavender field in France and this year we moved there, to live. A new adventure!

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer and what were the first steps you took towards this?

Looking back I realise I was so naïve about the writing process when I began to write seriously ten years ago. It was only through failure and rejection over the following years that I began to learn the technique of writing. I read how to books, joined two writing clubs, started a blog and read other authors’ blogs, attended workshops and master classes on novel writing, visited The London Book Fair every year, made contact with authors, publishers and agents on Twitter and Facebook, listened to author talks, read a lot of novels, oh the list is endless! After ten years, I’m still learning. Only last month I learned the correct form of dashes to use – em dashes or en dashes! Who’d have thought?

What would your advice be to newbie writers?

I’d give three main pieces of advice to new writers. Write what you want to write, not what’s vogue at the moment. By the time you’ve written your novel the popular theme of the moment will have moved on. Never stop reading and get a professional critique before submitting your work.

Beach or City Girl – where are you happiest when on holiday?

I’m definitely a beach girl. I love the sun and being on holiday gives me the opportunity to read all day and every day without feeling guilty about unfinished jobs.

What inspired you to write your debut novel Arlette’s Story?

ARLETTE'S STORY PICAbout five years ago I visited the martyred village of Oradour-sur-Glane in France. I was incredibly moved by what I saw there that I decided there and then to tell the story from a survivor’s point of view. It wasn’t so much of a thought – more of a compulsion to write an historical novel telling the story of when the Germans visited this small town on 10th June 1944. Charles de Gaulle once declared that the ruins must be left untouched, so now French officials are panicking that Oradour won’t survive for another seventy-four years of hot summers and freezing winters. I thought that, in some small way, I could help to keep the memory alive.


Part of your novel is centred on events which actually took place. How did you carry out research for this?

Research is a vital part of making a book appear believable to our readers. I’ve now visited Oradour-sur-Glane five times, taken photographs and listening to recorded conversations from the handful of villagers who survived. I’ve read factual books on the massacre and visited the cemetery where the townspeople are buried. There is now a museum in Oradour with footage from before the war and the discovery of what had happened. The Internet is a wonderful place to look for information and I also watched many WW2 films with notebook in hand to jot down interesting facts. War museums are also invaluable for discovering new information to add depth to a war story and I’ve read articles in The Guardian and Times newspapers that have run with stories about Oradour.

And finally, you are organising a dinner party and can invite four famous guests (past or present). Who would you choose and why?

Ernest Hemingway. Not only was he an accomplished journalist, novelist and short-story writer, he was also present at the Normandy landings and the liberation of Paris, so I’d have lots of questions about writing and history to ask him about.

Dame Margot Fonteyn. For me she was the inspiration to start ballet lessons as a child after my mother took me to see Swan Lake. Sadly I never continued with dancing but I’d love to meet her at my fantasy dinner party.

Louis Pasteur. He was a French chemist and microbiologist who developed antidotes and cures to many dangerous illnesses such as anthrax and rabies. He also successfully invented a way to pasteurise milk and make it safe from tuberculosis. He also proved that germs grew from contamination and disproved the theory of spontaneous contamination. Basically, he has saved millions of lives and I’d like to let him know how grateful mankind is to him.

Cillian Murphy. Well – because he’s gorgeous! I fell in love with him after watching Peaky Blinders.

Posted in Writing

It’s Tuesday 13th November – publication day for Christmas at Borteen Bay by Morton S Gray


Christmas at Borteen Bay

Christmas has a way of bringing family secrets to the surface …

Christmas is a bittersweet time for Pippa Freeman. There are good memories, of course – but some painful ones too.

Then her mother is implicated in a mysterious occurrence in their home town of Borteen, and Pippa wonders if she’ll ever experience a happy Christmas again – especially when a family secret is revealed.

But when police officer and old school friend Ethan Gibson offers his support, Pippa begins to realise that even though her life has been turned upside down, a happy and hopeful Christmas isn’t impossible …


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This latest offering from Morton S Gray is another of her romantic mystery stories. Set in Borteen Bay, a place we have become familiar with since The Girl on the Beach was published, we  meet new characters Ethan Gibson and Pippa Freeman.  Pippa has given up her career in order to return home and help her widowed mother run the Rose Court Guesthouse. An incident on the beach brings her back into contact with Ethan, now the local policeman. Romance blossoms, but before Pippa gets her happy ever after, first she has deal with the discovery of a shocking family secret.  Ethan easily takes on the mantle of Choc Lit Hero. He’s strong, kind and everything Pippa needs to help her get through the current upheaval in her life. A thoroughly enjoyable read – one you’ll be reluctant to put down until you’ve reached the last page.


Proudly writing for Choc Lit-8


Version 2Morton 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.

Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition. The story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s headteacher, Harry Dixon. This 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 and will be issued as a paperback in 2019.

Christmas at Borteen Bay published on 13 November 2018 is 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.

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 on
Twitter – @MortonSGray, her Facebook page – Morton S. Gray Author – and
Instagram –

Purchasing links for Christmas in Borteen Bay at