Christmas at Miss Moonshine’s Emporium: An Anthology of Festive Stories is a Christmas and Holiday F
Title: Christmas at Miss Moonshine’s Emporium: An Anthology of Festive Stories
Nine members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association: Helena Fairfax, Mary Jayne Baker, Sophie Claire, Jacqui Cooper, Angela Wren, Marie Laval, Kate Field, Helen Pollard, Melinda Hammond
Genre: Contemporary and Historical Romance
When the magic of Christmas is just what you're looking for... There’s something magical about Miss Moonshine’s Wonderful Emporium, and at Christmas she brings an added sparkle to the inhabitants of the pretty Yorkshire town of Haven Bridge. Customers who step over her threshold find an eccentric collection of gifts, but Miss Moonshine has a rare knack for providing exactly what they need: a strange Advent calendar whose doors give a glimpse of a happy ending; a vintage typewriter that types a ghostly message from Christmas past; a mirror in a silver case that reflects the person you’d like to be.
Step inside Miss Moonshine’s quirky shop, and the thing you need most for Christmas will be right there, waiting for you...
Excerpt from My True Love Gave to Me, by Sophie Claire:
Jason waved as he crossed the yard, but Mandy didn’t wave back and he felt a shot of disappointment. He told himself not to be irrational. They had a date tonight, but it was dark out here and she couldn’t see him, not when the lights were on inside her mum’s terraced house. She was sitting at the kitchen table in deep conversation with someone – her sister? – and stroking her fingers through her liquorice-black hair, a sharp frown pulling her brows together. She looked beautiful but worried, and it made him want to wrap his arms around her.
As he approached the back door, a cat scooted out from the shadows and rubbed itself against his leg. He put his briefcase down. ‘Good evening, Elton,’ he murmured, and bent to scratch the cat’s chin.
‘…I don’t know what to do, Lola. He’s going to be here any minute and I don’t want to hurt him, but I can’t carry on as things are.’
A spidery sensation tiptoed down his spine and he squeezed the bouquet in his hand. He’d bought the flowers to make peace after their argument yesterday. Mandy had mentioned wanting to expand her beauty salon and hire three new members of staff, so Jason, having expertise in that kind of thing, had offered to go through her books with her. But he’d taken one look at her accounts and warned her she couldn’t afford it.
She hadn’t taken the news well, yet he still couldn’t understand how she’d ended up in tears, sobbing that he didn’t have faith in her. He’d only been trying to help, and of course he had faith in her. He just didn’t want her to end up bankrupt.
Elton rubbed against his leg, but Jason’s attention was focused on the conversation happening on the other side of the door and the words he’d just heard. I can’t carry on as things are. He couldn’t imagine a world without Mandy. She was the sun in his sky, the North in his compass; she was everything. He stepped closer to the door to listen. Eavesdroppers never heard any good of themselves, he knew, but he was too afraid to knock now.
‘He doesn’t make you happy?’ asked Lola.
Silence followed. Jason’s shoulders dropped. Elton stared up at him, his eyes green beacons in the dark.
‘He’s so down about everything. And I mean everything – not just the salon business. I suggested we go away for the New Year, but he’s saving for a car. I asked if he wanted me to buy him a watch for Christmas, but he said it would be a waste of money, because the one he has is perfectly fine. It’s driving me mad, Lo. It’s like being with the Grinch.’
Her sister’s laughter tinkled like bells and Jason had to close his eyes against the dart of pain that shot through him. The Grinch? Was that really how she saw him?
Lola’s voice cut through his thoughts. ‘Are you sure you’re not still sulking about your argument? He’s an accountant, Mands. He knows what he’s talking about, and if he says it’s risky to expand too fast, perhaps he has a point. You do sometimes get carried away when you have an idea.’
The scrape of a chair against the tiled floor made Jason jump back.
But she didn’t come to the door. The sound of running water told him she was at the sink. ‘You always say that and it’s so unfair.’
‘It’s true! You’re a dreamer. Me and Mum took care of the practical stuff so you never had to. It must be a big adjustment for you to suddenly be running the salon single-handedly.’
He heard a sigh. ‘It is hard. It was much easier when Mum ran the business side of things and I just did the treatments.’
‘So maybe you should think this over before you do anything hasty? I think you and Jason are good together. You balance each other out. Like yin and yang, that kind of thing.’
Mandy’s reply took a little while coming. ‘Maybe. Or maybe I’m fed up of being with someone whose glass is always half empty.’
Jason’s pulse hammered in his ears as a long silence followed. He squeezed the flowers so hard the rose thorns dug into his palm.
‘So what are you going to do?’ asked Lola.
‘I’m not sure. Perhaps it would be good for us to have some time apart.’
‘Oh Mands, are you sure? I mean, it’s nearly Christmas. And is a break really what you want anyway? Anyone can see how much he adores you.’
‘If he does he’s never said it.’
Her words made him flush and he tugged at his shirt collar, suddenly feeling hot despite the chilly December air.
Love was such a nebulous concept. He loved being with Mandy, he loved her bubbly character and caring nature – but he could never say those three words unless he was one hundred percent certain of his feelings. He was a man of his word. And perhaps he also wanted to be sure she would reciprocate. Hadn’t he always worried Mandy was out of his league? By the sounds of this conversation, he was right.
‘To tell you the truth, Lo, I’m not sure how he feels about me.’
‘We’ve never discussed anything like that.’
‘How long have you two been together?’
‘Nearly three months.’
‘That’s not very long –’
‘But you’re right. I can’t break up with him just before Christmas. He’s got no family left since his mum died.’
‘Well, that gives you twelve days to think about it. And whatever you decide in the end, you’ll be sure you’ve made the right decision.’
Share a holiday family tradition:
My family members live far apart, and some of us have jobs that involve working over the Christmas period. We can’t always get together on Christmas Day, so we have what’s come to be known as ‘Second Christmas’ – a day when we can all come together. Second Christmas can be as late as May, but we get out the tree and the decorations, have turkey and Christmas crackers, and share our presents. It’s so much more relaxed – and I’ve come to enjoy it more than the real Christmas!
Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood:
We’ll let this Amazon review say it all!
“I'm not a huge Christmas Romance reader … but this collection of short stories was absolutely wonderful - love, love, love it!
“Well crafted, cosy and genuinely heartwarming … each story brings something different to the table … and together they make a fabulous tapestry of life and love.
If this anthology doesn't put you in the mood for Christmas you really are the Grinch!”
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Runs December 1 – 31.
Drawing will be held on January 3, 2020.
Christmas at Miss Moonshine's Emporium is an anthology put together by a group of romantic novelists and short story writers from Yorkshire and Lancashire in the north of England. The group meet regularly in the little town of Hebden Bridge, and this location, lying as it does on the moors near the border between the two counties, led to the group name “Authors on the Edge”. Hebden Bridge was the inspiration for the town of Haven Bridge in the anthology. Much cake was consumed by the authors in putting this collection together.
Social Media Links:
Helena Fairfax website www.helenafairfax.com
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