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The Girl on The Beach

Published Date: April 11, 2017

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Available as an eBook & paperback


2016 Search for a Star Winner!

300 pages


Who is Harry Dixon?

When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon, she can’t help but feel she recognises him from somewhere. But when she finally realises who he is, she can’t believe it – because the man she met on the beach all those years before wasn’t called Harry Dixon. And, what’s more, that man is dead.

For a woman trying to outrun her troubled past and protect her son, Harry’s presence is deeply unsettling – and even more disconcerting than coming face to face with a dead man, is the fact that Harry seems to have no recollection of ever having met Ellie before. At least that’s what he says …

But perhaps Harry isn’t the person Ellie should be worried about. Because there’s a far more dangerous figure from the past lurking just outside of the new life she has built for herself, biding his time, just waiting to strike.

‘Intriguing and, ultimately, satisfying, with a wonderful romantic element.’ Bestselling Author, Sue Moorcroft

Winner of our Search for a Star!

Borteen Secrets series. Other books in series – The Truth Lies Buried & Christmas at Borteen Bay . All books based in Morton’s fictional village of Borteen Bay but they can be read as standalone.

Available in paperback from all good bookshops and online stores. eBook available on all platforms. 

Morton S. Gray

Morton S Gray

Morton S. Gray lives with her husband, sons and Lily, the tiny 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, the plot of which closely resembled an Errol Flynn film.

Life got in the way of writing for many years, until she won a short story competition and the spark for writing was well and truly reignited. She carries a notebook everywhere as inspiration strikes in the most unlikely places.

She studied creative writing with the Open College of the Arts and joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme in 2012.

Previous ‘incarnations’ were in committee services, staff development and training. Morton has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She has diplomas in Tuina Acupressure Massage and Energy Field Therapy.

She enjoys history, loves tracing family trees and discovering new crafts. Having a hunger for learning is a bonus for the research required for her books.

The Girl on the Beach is her debut novel with Choc Lit and winner of the 2016 Search for a Star competition.

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Customer Reviews


  1. LostinbooksSam / Mummy Sam
    LostinbooksSam / Mummy Sam at

    Ellie Golden is a single parent to Tom Golden, a shy young man who saw things that a young boy should never see. Even more so when it is happening to his Mummy.

    Ellie experienced a terrible ordeal from her ex husband, Rushton and lives in fear of his release from prison and his threat of finding her and finishing her off.

    Although she has this to live with, Ellie is a strong and independent woman and will do anything for her son.

    Ellie is a local artist who owns a shop in the seaside town of Borteen. Ellie runs some art classes at the local school, where her son attends and is planning to run after school art classes from September also.

    Ellie is judging the exhibits for her competition when she is introduced to the lovely Harry Carter. She’s finding it a little difficult to concentrate though. Those eyes …. Wow …. but there are also some familiarites about Harry that Ellie finds it hard to focus. Her mind keeps wandering about how it would be to have those fingers touching her hair .. a long with many more thoughts.

    Harry has arrived at the town to take over as Headmaster at the school in September. He has a deep and dark secret and a very carefully and painstakingly constructed story of his own which nobody can know about.

    Harry is wary. Ellie is asking too many personal questions. She could be dangerous. He needs to be careful.

    Ellie keeps digging for information as well and can’t escape the thought that she has met Harry before. ….

    Ben Rivers … but it can’t be …. he died before her beautiful Tom was born.

    John Williams is retiring from being the Headmaster but before the school year ends, he speaks to both Ellie and Harry about a mentoring scheme, which they both agree to if not a little reluctantly.

    When the mentoring scheme is about to start, Ellie is distraught to find that her son is named as being one of the pupils picked. She then discovers Harry is his mentor and takes some time to accept this. Deep down she still has this nagging feeling that Harry is not being entirely honest and she can’t move on from that.

    Ellie then finds out that her ex husband has been released from prison, and although she has changed her name and moved to a completely different town, there is also the worry that Rushton could use his contacts to find her.

    Does Harry have a secret and will Ellie ever be safe from the past ?

    A gripping read. Unputdownable. Pure brilliance.

  2. KT
    KT at

    I have really enjoyed reading Girl on the Beach; Harry, Ellie, (Mad) Mandy and Tom became part of my life for the week. With Morten’s descriptions it was easy to build up a picture of Ellie’s gallery, Borteen Beach, Quarry Cottage and their new life in Sydney; a fabulous step out of every day life even when I felt a Ellie’s concern for Tom and Harry, and herself – great tension, So glad that Harry (Alex) joined Freya and Lucus, it would have been so disappointing had he not. Yay a super read, thank you!

  3. Melissa Borsey
    Melissa Borsey at

    I absolutely loved this book. This story has it all, great characters, secrets, twists and turns, action, and romance. Wonderfully written, I look forward to reading more books by this author.

  4. Marsha S
    Marsha S at

    With scenes that are tenderly crafted, at times frightfully real The Girl on The Beach is a striking debut story from Morton S. Gray. One that I can only hope is the first of many in a long, successful career.
    Reviewed by Marsha at Keeper Bookshelf
    Read the full review here ..

  5. Jo Lambert
    Jo Lambert at

    Ellie Golden is introduced to Harry Dixon, the new headmaster of Borteen High and knows she’s seen him somewhere before. Gradually it comes to her, but it doesn’t make sense because then he was known as Ben Rivers and he’s no longer alive.

    So from page one you have this mystery about Harry. Is he really Ben and if so, who was buried in his place? As the story progresses we get glimpses of the truth told from both Harry’s and Ellie’s perspectives. Both have physically changed since they last saw each other. Harry, an undercover detective working in Cornwall, was beaten and left for dead by a drugs gang. Ellie had to have reconstructive facial surgery after being attacked by her husband Rushton, a member of the same gang, who is currently serving time in prison. Since his change of identity and hair colour Harry has left the police force and gone into teaching. He’s lived abroad but is now back. The beating left him with gaps in his memory and he certainly doesn’t remember Ellie.

    Once Rushton was jailed Ellie, a painter and potter, filed for divorce and left the area with her son Tom, now fourteen. For the past few years she has run a small art gallery in Borteen. When Rushton is released from prison, he comes looking for Ellie and the money she took from him. Tracking her down to Borteen, he discovers Ellie is not the only past he needs to catch up with. There’s a man there who bears a striking resemblance to Ben Rivers and he has a score to settle with him too.
    It’s a well-paced story, with lots of twists and turns to keep you wondering what happens next. There’s a good selection of supporting characters too, from Ellie’s bubbly friend Mandy to Nicholas a disadvantaged boy with a talent for painting. There’s everything there – romance, drama, danger and some sad moments too. All in all a lovely debut novel.

  6. Denise Bonham
    Denise Bonham at

    I couldn’t put it down the characters are brilliant.
    The romantic suspence is gripping.
    Harry Dixon is every woman’s dream hero.

  7. Mick Arnold
    Mick Arnold at

    Recently, I’ve had the privilege of reading some novels before their published date; my thanks to those who’ve been so generous to allow me to do so, you know who you are. Around two weeks ago, I was accorded the honour of being sent a copy of the author Morton S Gray’s debut novel ‘The Girl on the Beach’, published by Choclit.

    I’ve read a few debuts over the years and obviously some are better than others. If you’re lucky, you’re left doing a passable goldfish impression with your mouth simply repeating, ‘OMG! OMG! OMG! Whilst some honestly leave you wondering how on earth they got published. This novel sits firmly, as in set-in-stone firmly, in the former category. I finished it last night and just sat there enjoying a special feeling…you know the one where you know, you just know that you’ve found a special author and you’re going to be ticking off the days on your calendar until their next release!

    Those who read my reviews will know that I don’t tend to give much away about the plot, it spoils the twists and turns – and there are plenty here – that a good author will sprinkle around their work. Ms Gray’s story is as much ‘Suspense’ as ‘Romance’ and considering the subject matter, this is just as well. Because of this, I have to explain what I mean and tell you a little more of the story than I normally would. I prefer to concentrate on how the writer…um, writes.

    Ellie Golden is an artist who’s recently moved to a seaside resort with her son Tom, but Ellie is a lady of secrets and her carefully planned world is turned upside down by the appearance of the new headmaster of Tom’s school, a gentleman who bears more than a passing resemblance to someone from her past she thought long gone, the mysterious Harry Dixon. Ellie is convinced she knows who Harry really is, whilst he’s just as certain that he doesn’t know who Ellie is. As a kind of status que is reached, Elli’s ex turns up and rarely have I so enjoyed someone getting their comeuppance so much. A tale of bluff and double-bluff which shows the best and worst of people, often on the same page, there is a satisfying ending for the protagonists, though not quite how you’d expect.

    That doesn’t give too much of the plot away, but you need to be aware that this isn’t a piece of fluff. Yes, it’s a romance and a very well written and plotted one, but it’s so much more than that and is much more enjoyable for it. This is a novel which obviously took some serious research to bring together and the fact that generally everything holds and comes together so well to a satisfying conclusion, bodes very well for her future undertakings I look forward to reading them very much.

    My thanks to the author for allowing me to read her novel.

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