Today I’m delighted to feature Sunday Times bestselling author Sue Morrcroft. She’s reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle UK and Top 100 on Kindle US. Her latest book Under the Mistletoes was one of the fabulous Christmas that helped to re-ignite my love of all things ‘romance’
She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Novel of the Year, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary.
Her novels, short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared around the world.
Over to Sue :
Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Thanks for the Memory by The Platters reminds me of my parents because it includes a line that always made them laugh: ‘… nights in Singapore, you may have been a headache but you never were a bore…’. They met and married in Singapore and definitely never bored each other.
Ob-la-di Ob-la-da is not my favourite Beatles song by a long way, but when I was a schoolkid in Malta I was part of a group playing in on recorder and melodica. It was carefully arranged and, to my young mind, pretty good. We played it at a concert at the Anzac Hall and it was recorded and broadcast on British Forces Radio. At the end, you could quite clearly hear my dad give an admiring, ‘Yes!’
Good Riddance (Time of your Life) Greenday. My eldest son used to play and sing this and it always makes me think of him.
It’ Ain’t Me, Babe by Bob Dylan. This is one that I associate with my youngest son. He was a music student and played Bob Dylan to practise playing the guitar and harmonica simultaneously. I used to stop writing and go into his room to sing along with this one.
I Guess that’s Why They Call it the Blues by Elton John is an ‘our song’ and if I happen to hear it I always stop to listen.
What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
The outside world
Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?
Try harder at school
When agents or editors say nice things, they’re not just ‘being nice’. They don’t tend to bother with that, so follow your opportunities.
Travel more, while you can
Be more forgiving
Don’t smoke (I did stop at age 22)
Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you
I don’t like boats. I always wanted to dive on the Great Barrier Reef… until I discovered that you had to get there by boat. I’m incredibly motion sick on the sea, though river boats are usually OK.
I used to have one short-sighted eye and one long-sighted, but I had one fixed and it helped my migraines.
There’s a security fence around a local school because I led the campaign for it. Teenagers used to short-cut through the playground and one punched my five-year-old son in the face.
The hospital in Germany in which I was born is reputed to have been used for euthanasia in WWII.
This one isn’t directly about me but there’s a crater on the moon named Moorcroft as my nephew discovered it when an astro-physics student.
Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.
I’d like to go to Malta again, after a two-year absence. I lived there as a child.
To visit Singapore and Australia.
I’m a best-selling author but I’d like to be a top-seller! (No harm in aiming high, is there?)
To stay as healthy as possible.
To be a nice person.
Many thanks for joining me today Sue, some great music choices and I love the story that goes with Ob-la-di Ob-la-da, it would be lovely to have a recoding of that for posterity. Good to see you’re a fellow member of the books and chocolate club – there are quite a few of us! I worry you’re selling yourself short with the need to be a nice person. Anybody who writes the books you do, can’t possibly be anything else I’m sure. How exciting to have a ‘family’ named crater on the moon, that’s some claim to fame for your nephew. Really hope you get to achieve the items on your list and at least you can tick off Singapore and Australia on the same trip. Here’s to claiming that top-seller title!
(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)
Under the Mistletoe
When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.
Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going.
However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac…
Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream?
A Home in the Sun
Home is where the heart is…but what if your heart is broken?
When Judith loses her partner, she loses her life in Malta too – including the beautiful view from her sun-warmed balcony of the sparkling blue waters of Sliema Creek.
Back in England, Judith finds a spare room in her sister’s house where she grew up – but with it comes a whole host of family dramas.
Nursing a broken heart, Judith knows she must find happiness again – and rebuild her life on her own terms. Could an island in the sun be the answer she is looking for?
**Previously published as Uphill All the Way**
Under the Italian Sun
A sun-baked terrace. The rustle of vines. And the clink of wine glasses as the first cork of the evening is popped…
Welcome to Italy. A place that holds the answer to Zia-Lucia Costa Chalmers’ many questions. Not least, how she ended up with such a mouthful of a name.
When revelations close to home turn Zia’s world upside down,she realises the time has come to search out the Italian family she’s never known.
But as she looks for answers, she can’t help but notice Piero, the vineyard owner next door – a distraction who may prove difficult to ignore…
This summer, join Zia as she sets out to uncover her past. But can she find the future she’s always dreamed of along the way?
Hannah and Nico are meant to be together.
But fate is keeping them apart…
As soon as Hannah bumps into her brother Rob’s best friend Nico in Stockholm, the two rekindle a fast friendship. But Hannah has a boyfriend – and Nico has two children to look after.
When Hannah loses her beloved shop in Stockholm, though, she is forced to move back to the little village of Middledip – only to find Nico has just moved in too. Under the same snowy sky, can the childhood friends make a romance work – or are there too many obstacles standing in their way?
Summer on a Sunny Island
This summer, sparks are flying on the island of Malta…
When Rosa Hammond splits up from her partner Marcus, her Mum Dory suggests a summer in Malta. Not one to sit back and watch her daughter be unhappy, Dory introduces Rosa to Zach, in the hope that romance will bloom under the summer sun. But Rosa’s determined not to be swayed by a handsome man – she’s in Malta to work, after all.
Zach, meanwhile, is a magnet for trouble and is dealing with a fair few problems of his own. Neither Rosa or Zach are ready for love – but does fate have other ideas? And after a summer in paradise, will Rosa ever want to leave?
Let it Snow
Family means everything to Lily Cortez and her sister Zinnia, and growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.
So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’d always believed – and is in fact the result of her mum’s reckless affair with a married man.
Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known; an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a memorable romantic encounter along the way…
A Summer to Remember
COME AND SPEND SUMMER BY THE SEA!
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 Christmas Gift
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?
One Summer in Italy
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…
The Little Village Christmas
Alexia Kennedy – interior decorator extraordinaire – has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community café it’s always dreamed of.
After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started – but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.
But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.
However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village – and their lives – together again…
Just for the Holidays
In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.
Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.
But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…
The Christmas Promise
On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.
Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.
So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…
The Wedding Proposal
Elle Jamieson is an unusually private person, in relationships as well as at work – and for good reason. But when she’s made redundant, with no ties to hold her, Elle heads off to a new life in sunny Malta.
Lucas Rose hates secrets – he prides himself on his ability to lay his cards on the table and he expects nothing less from others. He’s furious when his summer working as a divemaster is interrupted by the arrival of Elle, his ex, all thanks to his Uncle Simon’s misguided attempts at matchmaking.
Forced to live in close proximity, it’s hard to ignore what they had shared before Lucas’s wedding proposal ended everything they had. But then an unexpected phone call from England allows Lucas a rare glimpse of the true Elle. Can he deal with Elle’s hidden past when it finally comes to light?
Is This Love?
How many ways can one woman love?
When Tamara Rix’s sister Lyddie is involved in a hit-and-run accident that leaves her in need of constant care, Tamara resolves to remain in the village she grew up in. Tamara would do anything for her sister, even sacrifice a long-term relationship.
But when Lyddie’s teenage sweetheart Jed Cassius returns to Middledip, he brings news that shakes the Rix family to their core. Jed’s life is shrouded in mystery, particularly his job, but despite his strange background, Tamara can’t help being intrigued by him.
Can Tamara find a balance between her love for Lyddie and growing feelings for Jed, or will she discover that some kinds of love just don’t mix?
Dream a Little Dream
What would you give to make your dreams come true?
Liza Reece has a dream. Working as a reflexologist for a troubled holistic centre isn’t enough. When the opportunity arises to take over the Centre she jumps at it. Problem is, she needs funds, and fast, as she’s not the only one interested.
Dominic Christy has dreams of his own. Diagnosed as suffering from a rare sleep disorder, disillusioned with his live-in girlfriend and discharged from the job he adored as an Air Traffic Controller, he’s single-minded in his aims. He has money, and plans for the Centre that don’t include Liza and her team.
But dreams have a way of shifting and changing and Dominic’s growing fascination with Liza threatens to reshape his. And then it’s time to wake up to the truth …
Love & Freedom
New start, new love.
That’s what Honor Sontag needs after her life falls apart, leaving her reputation in tatters and her head all over the place. So she flees her native America and heads for Brighton, England.
Honor’s hoping for a much-deserved break and the chance to find the mother who abandoned her as a baby. What she gets is an entanglement with a mysterious male whose family seems to have a finger in every pot in town.
Martyn Mayfair has sworn off women with strings attached, but is irresistibly drawn to Honor, the American who keeps popping up in his life. All he wants is an uncomplicated relationship built on honesty, but Honor’s past threatens to undermine everything. Then secrets about her mother start to spill out …
Honor has to make an agonising choice. Will she live up to her dutiful name and please others? Or will she choose freedom?
Want to Know a Secret?
Money, love and family. Which matters most?
When Diane Jenner’s husband is hurt in a helicopter crash, she discovers a secret that changes her life. And it’s all about money, the kind of money the Jenners have never had.
James North has money, and he knows it doesn’t buy happiness. He’s been a rock for his wayward wife and troubled daughter – but that doesn’t stop him wanting Diane.
James and Diane have something in common: they always put family first. Which means that what happens in the back of James’s Mercedes is a really, really bad idea.
Or is it?
All That Mullarkey
Revenge and love: it’s a thin line …
The writing’s on the wall for Cleo and Gav. The bedroom wall, to be precise. And it says ‘This marriage is over.’
Wounded and furious, Cleo embarks on a night out with the girls, which turns into a glorious one night stand with…
Justin, centrefold material and irrepressibly irresponsible. He loves a little wildness in a woman – and he’s in the right place at the right time to enjoy Cleo’s.
But it’s Cleo who has to pick up the pieces – of a marriage based on a lie and the lasting repercussions of that night. Torn between laid-back Justin and control freak Gav, she’s a free spirit that life is trying to tie down. But the rewards are worth it!
New home, new friends, new love. Can starting over be that simple?
Tess Riddell reckons her beloved Freelander is more reliable than any man – especially her ex-fiancé, Olly Gray. She’s moving on from her old life and into the perfect cottage in the country.
Miles Rattenbury’s passions? Old cars and new women! Romance? He’s into fun rather than commitment.
When Tess crashes the Freelander into his breakdown truck, they find that they’re nearly neighbours – yet worlds apart. Despite her overprotective parents and a suddenly attentive Olly, she discovers the joys of village life and even forms an unlikely friendship with Miles. Then, just as their relationship develops into something deeper, an old flame comes looking for him …
Is their love strong enough to overcome the past? Or will it take more than either of them is prepared to give?
Loves Me, Loves Me Not
With over forty stories to choose from, this fabulous collection has something for everyone – from bittersweet holiday flings to emotional family weepies; from fun chick-lit tales to Regency romances – Loves Me, Loves Me Not is a true celebration of the very best in romantic fiction.
Truly, Madly Deeply
From wedding days to special anniversaries, steamy one-night encounters to everlasting loves, Truly, Madly, Deeply takes you on an unforgettable romantic adventure where love really is all you need.
This collection brings together all-new specially selected stories from star authors from the Romantic Novelists’ Association, including international bestsellers Adele Parks, Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Miranda Dickinson, and many, many more and is edited by Sue Moorcroft.
Love Writing : How to Make Money Writing Romantic or Erotic Fiction
Love sells and sex sells and you can earn your living writing about them for novels, novellas and short stories as well as serials for magazines, anthologies and websites.
This book holds the secrets of how to achieve success.
As well as drawing on her experience as a fiction writer and creative writing tutor, in this ‘must-have’ book Sue has included questions from aspiring writers – with illuminating responses from published writers and industry experts.
Romantic fiction encompasses everything from chart-topping chick lit and romantic comedies, through gritty sagas, sweeping historicals and smouldering erotica to liver-twisting affairs with vampires. Bright, emotional, involving, intelligent storytelling about love and desire is what readers want and will pay for.
Do you want to know how to create emotional punch? (Or even what emotional punch is?) How to control dual time lines? Spring your work out of the slush pile? Write a tender love scene that excites passion rather than hilarity? This book reveals all.