New Start, New Love

Authors, Books By May 02, 2011 29 Comments

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?

When I began writing Love & Freedom I decided that American Honor Sontag had come to Brighton, England, searching for her English mother who had left when Honor was a baby.

I didn’t immediately realise that it would represent a new start – like her, I believed she was just taking time out, a four-month odyssey that would allow her a break from a bad situation in her Connecticut home town of Hamilton Drives. Although, I suppose, having taken such a radical step as to take off without even telling her family where she was going, it was logical that she was ripe for change.

And beginning a story at a point of change gives the writer the ideal springboard for forward impetus. Novels that keep sending the action backwards rather than forwards can become static and slow – and they’re not the stories that I like to write. But, with Starting Over already published, I suppose that readers might be forgiven to think that I have a thing about fresh starts! That’s not really true but characters do need to change and learn and one of the things all of us might learn in our lifetime is that certain situations are best left behind.

I don’t write novels that are backward-looking (I think!) but the history of a character is vitally important. History shapes a person’s attitudes and beliefs, as well as giving them something they can react to. Honor really has troubles – I didn’t hold back – centring on Stef, who has done something so stupid that Honor has lost her job and a lot of respect. I don’t like to write predictable books, either, so I gave her more than one option when it came to moving forward in her life. A penitent and persistent Stef, a family who is worried about her, and a whole cast of characters in Eastingdean, near Brighton, to involve her with their lives: 14-year-old Rufus, whose happy hippy mum, Robina, is a liability; mysterious Martyn Mayfair whose eldest sister is really his mum and whose family seems to have a finger in every Eastingdean pie; Frog, the local bully. And, to keep things interesting, I made Robina Martyn’s stalker.

It made choosing the correct ‘new start’ kind of interesting … But – eventually – I think I chose for her the best kind, the kind to make every day a day of excitement and joy.

Love & Freedom will be published by Choc Lit on 1 June 2011. You can pre-order it now. Tell us where you’d make a new start & why (in the comments below) to be in with the chance of winning a copy. Deadline for entries is midnight on Sunday 8th May 2011.

Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes for Choc Lit. Combining that success with her experience as a creative writing tutor, she’s written a ‘how to’ book, Love Writing – How to Make Money From Writing Romantic and Erotic Fiction (Accent Press). Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and courses and is the head judge for Writers’ Forum. She’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner.

Check out her Author Website and her Blog for news and writing tips. You’re welcome to befriend Sue on Facebook or Follow her on Twitter.

All of Sue’s Choc Lit novels and Love Writing are available as ebooks.



  1. kath says:

    Thanks for coming on the blog today and guest posting, Sue! I can’t wait to read Love & Freedom, after what you’ve told us – I need to know what new start Honor goes for!

    I think I’d either opt to go to Italy, which is somewhere I would love to live for a while, or New York, a city where every kind of fresh start seems possible.

  2. I can’t wait to read Love & Freedom!
    If I moved for a fresh start, I’d go to France. I’ve always loved the country, people and the food (which is vital!).

    1. kath says:

      Bon voyage, Sarah – and it’s not too far for you to go, either!

  3. Lucie says:

    Great post, Ladies! I am really looking forward to reading this book.

    A new start? Australia for me – if I’m to make a new start I’d want to do it drastically and go as far away as I could…..maybe one day….

    Good luck with the book, Sue!

    1. kath says:

      Oh wow, that is drastic. Have you ever been there, Lucie? I think I’d want to have been somewhere on a holiday or business trip before I considered a big move there.

  4. Angi says:

    My fresh start would have to be somewhere – anywhere! – peaceful, where I could settle to write without constant interruptions. Though of course I’d want to take my OH and my son, and for my daughters and friends to visit, and I’d want internet access, and….. Good job this is just a fantasy “fresh start”, eh?

    1. kath says:

      I hate to bring this up, Angi… but if you take your OH, son and daughters and friends come and visit, aren’t all your interruptions also going with you?

  5. Sylvie says:

    Great blog! I do a Shirley Valentine and run away to a Greek Island where I could indulge in my passion of writing and painting in such beautiful countryside, overlooking the sea where the food is fab, the people more fab and the weather perfect. That way I wouldn’t make the mistakes of the past again.
    Love your books!

    1. kath says:

      Sounds good to me! I took a year out and went to live in Greece – and it largely came about because I’d watched Shirley Valentine and decided that’s where I wanted to go next!

  6. At this moment in my life I am perfectly content. I couldn’t even think about what I wanted for my birthday! So no new start wanted for me 🙂

    Looking forward to the new book though. I tried to eek the last one out, but to no avail.

    1. kath says:

      That’s wonderful to hear, Christine. Good for you. 🙂

  7. Morton Gray says:

    I too am pretty happy with my lot, but if I di want a new start it would be by the seaside, somewhere I could wander on the beach. Life would be nicer if hubbie didn’t have to work such long hours and I was a successful author. Love Sue Moorcroft books. Hope I win. Mx

    1. kath says:

      I miss being by the sea, too – I lived on a coast until I was 19 and sometimes find it very difficult being inland now.

  8. I’d make a new start in Southern Italy. I fell in love with the Amalfi when I went years ago, but watching Monty Don’s Italian Gardens has me all fired up again. I am now officially OBSESSED with wanting one of those clifftop villas, a small one will do. Will have to crack on with that bestseller this week without fail …

    I’d love to win a copy of Love & Freedom too, it sounds fab!

    1. kath says:

      I’ve been watching Monty Don’s Italian Gardens, as well! Hasn’t it been a brilliant programme? I could so easily escape to Italy, Rach – I think we might have discussed this before, on the odd occasion…

  9. Ruchita says:

    Hi Sue,
    Congrats! Love the cover. In answer to your question, I’ going to sound a bit philosophical don’t mind, but am too rooted in my home to want to go anywhere else. For a break I would go to some place in the mountains where one can feel alone and appreciate the grandeur of nature and feel a bit like – my problems aren’t so big in this whole cycle of universe.
    Your book sounds wonderful. Would love to read it.

    1. kath says:

      That’s a great idea, Ruchita. I think sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our lives that we don’t realise how minor most problems are.

  10. Hi Everyone, and thank to Kath for letting me guest on her blog.

    I suppose I ought to talk about my own fresh start, were I to make one. I’ve always thought that if I ever went anywhere else, it would be to Malta. But, as that doesn’t seem practical at the moment, I’d settle for getting a spacious, new apartment, where there was no maintenance to do and no garden. But don’t tell my husband, who has been rebuilding our present house for 19 years …

    1. kath says:

      Lovely to have you here, Sue. Happy to be able to give you some respite from the ongoing building works! 😉

  11. I love to read about characters that grow, heal and come into the women (or men!) they have the potential to be. Sounds a fab read with plenty to become absorbed in.

    My fresh start would have to be in Villefranche Sur Mer and the only reason, six years ago we were fortunate enough to take a cruise and anchored at the bay to be able to access to Nice and Monaco – I just had a feeling it was the right place for me and it felt so accepting and I felt like I belonged 🙂

    1. kath says:

      That sounds like the place for you, then. I love it when I get that feeling of almost coming home or that I belong somewhere. I felt like that the first time I went to Florence – and twenty years later, I’m still working on making it home!

  12. Aileen Russell says:

    I love your books and can’t wait until your new book, sounds brilliant.
    I am always saying I am going to move back up to Dundee to be nearer my friends and Family, however with my oldest starting GCSE Course work and my youngest starting Comprehensive School, plus the jobs situation ,

  13. Aileen Russell says:

    I can not seeing me doing it at the moment, the other problem is my Husband says he will not move!! I will just have to keep on dreaming.

    1. kath says:

      Even if you can’t move there, I hope you manage to get back to Dundee to visit friends and family occasionally, Aileen.

  14. Debs Carr says:

    I can’t wait to read this book, thanks for telling us all about it.

    If I could make a fresh start it would be in Southern Italy. I love it Italy and am thrilled to be going again shortly.

    1. kath says:

      Do you have room for Rachel and me in your suitcase, Debs? Or we could carry them, perhaps? Have a wonderful time in Italy!

  15. kath says:

    Congratulations to Sarah who wins a copy of Sue’s new book, Love & Freedom!

    Thanks to everyone else for commenting and telling us where you’d make your new start. I hope you’ll get a copy of Sue’s book when it comes out at the beginning of June.

  16. I’m so thrilled. I love all and every single book of Sue Moorcroft’s. Thank you so much.
    Do I have to give a speech? I had one prepared for the Oscars but it doesn’t seem as if I’ll get a chance to say it…

  17. Oh, big whoop Sarah!

    Thank you everybody for commenting and entering the draw. It’s been great to be here and read all about everyone’s new starts. And thanks for the nice things people have said about the book. I have to admit that it has a special place in my heart.

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