A BEWDLEY author is celebrating the paperback release of her award-winning debut novel The Girl on the Beach.

The writing success of Morton S Gray – the pen name author Jayne Hall first chose for herself at the age of 14 – followed her 2016 win of the Choc Lit ‘Search for a Star Competition’.

The mother of two, who lived in Halesowen for most of her life before moving to Bewdley, saw The Girl on the Beach beat entries from across the UK in the prestigious contest.

The book was previously released as an eBook, but has today (Tuesday, April 10) been made available in paperback form from book shops and online retailers.

Jayne, who does most of her writing with pen and notebook in local coffee shops across Worcestershire, said: “It’s been a phenomenal couple of years. To win the competition and to see The Girl on the Beach out there as an eBook was wonderful.

“To see it do so well and to then actually get to hold it in my hands as a paperback is a dream come true.

“I will definitely be celebrating with a skinny flat white as I work on my next novel.”

Hot on the highly successful heels of The Girl on the Beach is the second in Jayne’s Borteen Secrets series The Truth Lies Buried, which is being released as an eBook on May 1.

Lyn Vernham, Choc Lit’s managing director, said: “'Morton’s success is down to the simple fact that she is an excellent writer and can create great suspense stories with strong compelling characters.

“We could see her potential when she entered the competition.

“We are delighted but not at all surprised by the success of The Girl on the Beach. With The Truth Lies Buried, Morton goes from strength to strength.”

She added: “Her fans are in for a treat.”