Books make super Christmas presents so I thought I’d gather together a selection of gorgeous Christmas books that would make perfect stocking fillers. And my book for day six is a festive story with a suspected murder! The thrilling Christmas at Borteen Bay by Morton S Gray.
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 …
Purchasing links for Christmas at Borteen Bay at https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/christmas-at-borteen-bay/
I asked Morton to share her experience of writing the story.
Christmas at Borteen Bay is set during the month of December and finishes on Christmas Day. It is the story of Pippa Freeman who runs the Rose Court guesthouse with her widowed mother in my fictional seaside town of Borteen and Ethan Gibson, a local policeman who has idolised Pippa for as long as he can remember.
I think the Christmas period can easily amplify family problems and stresses and the families in this book experience just this when family secrets come to light that have Pippa questioning everything she has ever believed about herself. Ethan is there to help her through the difficult time, but quickly discovers some home truths of his own and some things he finds out along the way make being friends with Pippa difficult too.
In real life, Christmas has the potential of bringing communities and families together, but it also has the potential to drive them apart due to the pressures and expectations of present buying and having that perfect time with your loved ones.
Writing a Christmas book is quite tricky out of season. My editor kept telling me to put in more Christmas! One of my editing notes said “inject more Christmas into the vicar” lol. The result is that Christmas at Borteen Bay has carols, a choir, tricky Christmas present buying, community Christmas tree decorating and … a body on the beach!
It sounds fascinating, Morton. Can you tell us a bit about how you celebrate Christmas? What is your favourite Christmas memory?
This has to be the year Santa got confused! When I was growing up, we used to put empty pillow cases at the bottom of our beds for Santa to fill. At that time, I shared a room with my sister, who was seven years younger than me. I always enjoyed watching her open her presents before I even looked at my own.
One Christmas morning, my sister woke me up very concerned that Santa hadn’t been. Our pillow cases were still empty. We went across the landing to tell our parents and discovered that their room was festooned with Christmas gifts. Mom and Dad must have overslept their ‘Santa alarm’. My sister and I then had to guess which gift was meant for each of us – which was actually quite fun. A Christmas to remember for sure!
I bet you had fun! When do put up your Christmas tree? Do you prefer a real or artificial one?
I always used to have a real tree, but since we’ve moved to this house we’ve put up three artificial trees, one at the front door, one in the lounge and one in the dining room.
I love Christmas decorations and have a wide range, some very old, like the glass icicles my grandfather bought home from somewhere during the war. Other decorations have sentimental value, my childhood Santa sleigh and the brown Santa I made in pottery class (the glazing process went wrong, he was supposed to be red, but I love him anyway).
What lovely decorations. And how do you spend Christmas Day?
Christmas Day is very much a family day. My husband, youngest son and I usually start by giving our presents before breakfast. My husband loves cooking Christmas lunch and I am happy to let him take the lead. We have turkey and ham with pigs in blankets, vegetables and gravy. I usually end up peeling the potatoes, carrots and sprouts. My eldest son and his girlfriend pick up my mother to join us for lunch. We pull crackers, tell the jokes and wear the hats. We finish the meal with Christmas pudding.
In the afternoon, my sister and her family come over to see Mom and to share presents. My sister is a great photographer, so we usually have lots of photos to mark the occasion. When everyone has gone home we often watch a film to unwind.
It sounds a wonderful day. What present are you hoping to receive this year?
I can’t think of anything in particular I need. A nice box of chocolates is always gratefully received and my husband usually buys me a few surprise presents. He’s very much a Christmas Eve shopping kind of guy!
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas day, Morton. And thank you for dropping in to talk to us.
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.
Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition. Morton’s second book for Choc Lit The Truth Lies Buried is another romantic suspense novel set in her fictional seaside town of Borteen. Her latest book Christmas at Borteen Bay is Morton’s first published Christmas novella.
You can catch up with Morton here
Her website www.mortonsgray.com
Twitter – @MortonSGray
Facebook author page – Morton S. Gray Author – https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/morton_s_gray/
When Saffy’s sister called to say she was stuck abroad with no hope of getting home to run her usual ‘singles Christmas lunch’, Saffy knew she would have to abandon her plans for wild festive parties in the city and head down to remote Cornwall to save the day. But family parties are so not her thing and both her sister Hannah and sexy single dad Logan seems certain she’ll never manage. Can she prove them wrong? Now available in print and as an ebook: