Tuesday 22 May 2018

Spotlight on Miss Moonshine's Emporium of Happy Endings by Authors on the Edge..

Nine romantic novelists from Yorkshire and Lancashire, including best-selling and award-winning authors, have joined together to create this collection of uplifting stories guaranteed to warm your heart. This intriguing mix of historical and contemporary romances will make you laugh, cry, and believe in the happy-ever-after.

Authors on the Edge
18 May 2018

My thanks to the authors for my copy of this book

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...

I'm delighted to welcome back to Jaffareadstoo, Helena Fairfax to tell me all about 

Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings

How a Beautiful Building in Hebden Bridge Inspired 9 Northern Romance Authors

A few years ago a group of northern romance writers began to meet up regularly in Hebden Bridge for lunch and a chat. This old mill town is the perfect place for us to meet, as it lies on the border between Yorkshire and Lancashire - and we now call ourselves Authors on the Edge!

Hebden Bridge is also a lovely place for a day out, with little streets full of interesting shops, a canal towpath to wander down, lined with narrowboats, and stunning views of the hills and the moors all around. An article once called Hebden Bridge ‘a little rain-soakedparadise’, and even when it’s raining here (which it does a lot) there are lots of cafรฉs to keep dry in – which all happen to serve delicious varieties of home-made cake!

The nine of us romance authors – that is, Mary Jayne Baker, Sophie Claire, Jacqui Cooper, Helena Fairfax (me), Kate Field, Melinda Hammond, Marie Laval, Helen Pollard, and Angela Wren - have just released an anthology of stories, which are all linked together. When it came to the setting for our collection, the ‘rain-soaked paradise’ of Hebden Bridge was obviously the perfect place! Our central character, who appears in every story, is called Miss Moonshine, and she’s the eccentric owner of a quirky shop on Market Street. We based Miss Moonshine’s shop on a real building in the town. There are lots of lovely old buildings in Hebden Bridge, but the Heart Gallery in particular seemed absolutely just right. 

Heart Gallery
Hebden Bridge

If you look at the photos, you’ll see the windows of the gallery building are quite high off the ground. This is because it was originally built for use as a Baptist Chapel. The lintel over the doorway shows the year 1777. There is a beautiful rowan tree outside the door, and an arch of roses at the entrance. There is so much about the outside of the building that makes you want to step inside. It was perfect for our stories.

Heart GalleryHebden Bridge

Melinda Hammond (who writes for Mill and Boon as Sarah Mallory) starts the anthology off with her Regency romance, and she reveals what Miss Moonshine’s shop was like two hundred years ago:
‘…a strange sort of shop, for the windows, though large, began at least four feet from the ground. A lamp burned in one of the windows, its golden light glinting on the objects displayed. A Malacca cane with a chased silver top was propped against the glass in one corner. In front of it was a metal birdcage and a bronze desk-set that appeared to be missing one of its inkwells. In the centre of the window was a small shepherdess figurine that could be French. 

Then comes my own story, set in 1908, when the heroine is amazed to see a gleaming motor car parked outside Miss Moonshine’s. The car belongs to the hero, and…well, I don’t want to give too much away! The stories go on to show Miss Moonshine’s Emporium as it is today –and it lives up to its name as a Wonderful Emporium! Miss Moonshine is the same mysterious, quirky and marvellous character throughout.

Working on this anthology, with this brilliant group of northern authors, has been really good fun from start to finish. We’ve even started to believe that Miss Moonshine is a real character, and that’s she’s worked her magic on all of us.

Available from Amazon in print and as an ebook. 

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Find out more about the Heart Gallery  in  Hebden Bridge

My thoughts about Miss Moonshine's Emporium of Happy Endings ..

This collection of nine romantic short stories, each with a theme in common, really lightened my heart and, as each story ended, I was left with a rosy, warm glow, and an eager anticipation of what was to come in the next magical story.

Each of the stories are a perfect length to be read over a cup of tea and a Jaffa Cake, and even though the stories differ in content and even in timescale, the fine attention to detail and the love of writing comes across with each author's delicate contribution.

The appeal of good short stories is that they showcase just what the author is capable of, and it gives the reader a chance to sample the author’s individual writing style. And even though in Miss Moonshine's Emporium of Happy Endings the nine authors have very different writing styles, the generosity they have to each other in their collaboration works really well, with none of them wanting to outshine the others, and all of them making a generous contribution to the anthology as a whole.

It would be unfair of me to choose a favourite amongst the nine as I found something equally enjoyable in all of them, so I won’t single any out, but what I will say, is that this team of best-selling northern writers have a real hit on their hands with Miss Moonshine and her Emporium, and I really hope that they go on to work in partnership again in future anthologies.


  1. Thank you, Jo - it's lovely to know you enjoyed the book so much!

    1. Hi Helen, thank you for writing such a lovely story ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Thanks for this lovely review, Jo. x

    1. My pleasure, Kate. Thanks for a lovely story ๐Ÿ˜€


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