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Saturday, 28 July 2018

Here's to Happy Endings...

There's nothing better on these bright summer days than a happy ending, so I've chosen a very special book to review for my last blog post this summer: Miss Moonshine's Emporium of Happy Endings.  The idea came from Yorkshire author Helena Fairfax who, along with eight author friends,  decided to write an anthology based loosely on the picturesque town of Hebden Bridge in the Calderdale Valley, where they regularly meet.

Says Helena 'The idea for Miss Moonshine came as we were all talking as a group. We were looking for one central idea to tie all the stories together - something that would work both for the historical fiction writers and the contemporary. There are lots of lovely old buildings in Hebden Bridge, and so we gradually pieced together our picture of a shop, based on a real 18th century building in the town - a former chapel, now an art gallery. The shop needed a shopkeeper, and Miss Moonshine gradually came to us. Now we think of Miss Moonshine as real, and we've all become very fond of her!'

Having recently finished the book, I must confess to feeling quite fond of the mysterious old lady myself! The reason?  Miss Moonshine manages to move through time with the most amazing agility, despite rarely leaving her  mysterious shop full of unfathomable things. She turns sadness into happiness, despair into delight  and tragedy into triumph without ever seeming to move a finger. And how does she work this magic? Even the authors don't know for sure...

The real triumph of this anthology is the way the authors have come together with one thought in mind - to seamlessly join their stories into an exceptionally good read, leaving the reader wondering what exactly is going to happen next. It's romantic escapism at its very best.

So here are the authors, in alphabetical order.

Mary Jayne Baker

Mary Jayne Baker is a novelist from Bingley, West Yorkshire. Since her debut in 2016, she has published four romantic comedies with two publishers, HarperImpulse and Mirror Books. Her latest, A Bicycle Made for Two – set in Yorkshire against the backdrop of the 2014 Tour de France – was published in April 2018. Find out more about Mary Jayne

Sophie Claire

Sophie Claire writes emotional stories set in England and in sunny Provence, where she spent her summers as a child.

Previously, she worked in marketing and proofreading academic papers, but now she’s delighted to spend her days dreaming up heartwarming contemporary romance stories set in beautiful places. Find out more about Sophie

Jacqui Cooper

Living on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, Jacqui Cooper doesn’t have to look far for inspiration for her writing. Her short stories regularly appear in popular women’s magazines, including Woman’s Weekly, The People’s Friend and Take a Break. Writing has always been her dream and she is thrilled to now be able to do it full time.

Helena Fairfax

Helena Fairfax is a freelance editor and author. Her novels have been shortlisted for several awards, including the Exeter Novel Prize and the Global Ebook Awards. Helena lives in an old mill village on the edge of the Yorkshire moors with her husband and their rescue dog, Lexi. Find out more about Helena

Kate Field

Kate Field writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and hyperactive cat.

Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award for new writers. Find out more about Kate

Melinda Hammond

Melinda Hammond lives in the Pennines, where she weaves her stories full of romance and adventure. Since her first book was published by Robert Hale in 1983, she has had around 50 historical novels published. She won the Reviewers' Award in 2005 for Dance for a Diamond and her novel Gentlemen in Question was a Historical Novel Society Editors' Choice in 2006. Writing as Sarah Mallory, she has won the prestigious RoNA Rose Award from the Romantic Novelists Association in 2012 and 2013.

You can find her on her website,; Twitter @SarahMRomance, Facebook Melinda SarahMallory Hammond

Marie Laval

Originally from Lyon, Marie Laval now lives in the beautiful Rossendale Valley in Lancashire, and writes contemporary and historical romance with a French twist. Her latest romantic comedy, bestseller Little Pink Taxi, is published by Choc Lit.   Find out more about Marie

Helen Pollard

As a child, Helen Pollard had a vivid imagination fuelled by her love of reading, so she started to create her own stories in a notebook. She still prefers fictional worlds to real life, believes characterisation is the key to a successful book, and enjoys infusing her writing with humour and heart. Helen is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and The Society of Authors.

You can find her online at:

Angela Wren

Angela Wren is an actor and director at a theatre in Yorkshire, UK.  She loves stories, reading and writes the Jacques ForĂȘt crime novels set in the CĂ©vennes in south-central France.  Her short stories vary between romance, memoir, mystery and historical.  Angela has had two one-act plays recorded for local radio.

Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings

Sometimes what you need is right there waiting for you...
Miss Moonshine’s Wonderful Emporium has stood in the pretty Yorkshire town of Haven Bridge for as long as anyone can remember. With her ever-changing stock, Miss Moonshine has a rare gift for providing exactly what her customers need: a fire opal necklace that provides a glimpse of a different life; a novel whose phantom doodler casts a spell over the reader; a music box whose song links love affairs across the generations. One thing is for certain: after visiting Miss Moonshine’s quirky shop, life is never the same again...
Miss Moonshine's Emporium of Happy Endings is available from Amazon in print and as an ebook. Buy link:

A final note from me. After eight years, endless posts on every topic you can think of and tens of thousands of  hits from all over the world, it's time for me to  take a break. And what better place for me to do it than in the land of happy endings?

Au revoir and thanks to everyone for your loyal  support.

A Guernsey girl living a long way from home.



Angela Wren said...

Thank you, Marilyn. Lovely blog post and I can honestly say that working on the anthology with the other authors was an absolute pleasure and a wonderful learning experience.

Guernsey Girl said...

Great to hear from you,Angela. The book struck a real cord with me, especially as it was obvious how much you all enjoyed writing it.

Marie Laval said...

Thank you so much, Marilyn, for your kind words about Miss M. I am delighted you enjoyed the stories. We all hope to be able to see you soon in Hebden Bridge!

Helena Fairfax said...

Thanks so much for having us, Marilyn. I'm really touched to have our book featured as your last blog post, and by the lovely review. I do hope this is only a break, and you'll be back blogging soon. Have a lovely summer, and hope to see you in Hebden Bridge again soon!

Guernsey Girl said...

Thanks for your good wishes, Marie and Helena. I have a feeling your stories will bring lots of extra tourists to Hebden Bridge, too!

Elaineyross said...

A lively and enjoyable (last) review that really brought the main character to the reader, enough to make me want to read it right away! Thanks so much for all your previous articles which have, as you say, covered many topics over the years. Enjoy your “break” - make the most of it and good luck with any future ventures, whatever they may be!

Guernsey Girl said...

Thanks, Elaine. I have got some plans for future ventures but right now... that would be telling!

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Marilyn, I thoroughly enjoyed your review and can’t wait to read Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings.
Have fun on your break but please don’t stay away for too long. x

Guernsey Girl said...

It's so good to hear from you Barbara, as always! It'll be a struggle to keep away but I've been told to put my health first so that's what I'm doing!! So glad you enjoyed the post and I'll continue to keep in touch. Mx

Barbara Fisher said...

In that case, you really must stay away. I didn't think I would be able to manage it but it gets easier especially when the sun is shining. xx

Mary Jayne Baker said...

Thanks so much for featuring us, Marilyn! I hope your break does you a world of good, and best wishes for the future xxx