My third post of the day, and back to more familiar territory – I’ve read and loved Helen Rolfe’s writing already, and I’m delighted to join the first birthday celebrations for Christmas at the Little Knitting Box, available for purchase via Amazon in the UK and US. I’m rather sad I couldn’t fit in the reading of this one – and how on earth did I miss it last year?! – but I bet Helen’s writing is just perfect for Christmas…
Christmas is coming and New York is in full swing for the snowy season. But at The Little Knitting Box in the West Village, things are about to change …
The Little Knitting Box has been in Cleo’s family for nearly four decades, and since she arrived fresh off the plane from the Cotswolds four years ago, Cleo has been doing a stellar job of running the store. But instead of an early Christmas card in the mail this year, she gets a letter that tips her world on its axis.
Dylan has had a tumultuous few years. His marriage broke down, his mother passed away and he’s been trying to pick up the pieces as a stay-at-home dad. All he wants this Christmas is to give his kids the home and stability they need. But when he meets Cleo at a party one night, he begins to see it’s not always so easy to move on and pick up the pieces, especially when his ex seems determined to win him back.
When the snow starts to fall in New York City, both Cleo and Dylan realise life is rarely so black and white and both of them have choices to make. Will Dylan follow his heart or his head? And will Cleo ever allow herself to be a part of another family when her own fell apart at the seams?
Full of snow, love and the true meaning of Christmas, this novel will have you hooked until the final page.
Oh my goodness, I love the look of this one! Let’s take a look at an extract where Cleo ends up making an unexpected friendship…
Cleo sipped her coffee and turned the sign on the door of The Little Knitting Box to Open. She started when she saw a man scurry past outside, head down against the wind. He reminded her of Dylan, had the same dark blond hair, mussed on top. But it wasn’t him.
She thought about the restaurant, the café afterwards, when he’d touched her hand and she’d panicked. No doubt he assumed it was because of his role in the termination of the lease here, but it wasn’t that. It was everything to do with the fact he was a single dad and she never wanted to be the woman who tried to step into another life as though it was hers.
After Cleo’s mum Diana passed away, her dad had taken a long time to get back into the swing of life, and by the time he met Teresa, Cleo was in her early teens, probably the worst time to be introducing a new member of the family. At first Cleo had assumed the relationship wouldn’t last and had been nonchalant when Teresa was there, polite enough and didn’t think too much about it. It was only when she came home from an awful day at school following a tough maths test and her dad tried to cheer her up by telling her he’d booked a family holiday for the three of them that she started to realise Teresa had become a part of their lives. It was as though the woman had planned it, strategized to get Cleo at her most vulnerable, sneak in when she wasn’t looking. And there was no telling a fourteen-year-old girl with a rush of hormones that flowed as fast as the Mississippi River that it was simply because her dad had met the right person.
Cleo sipped her coffee. She’d never been interested in giving Teresa a chance. Teresa was the person who’d taken her dad’s attentions away, the woman who’d taken her mother’s place in the household. Cleo became well versed at snide comments and generally making Teresa feel unwelcome, and she continued her offhand behaviour when her father married Teresa, because even though she knew they must love each other, she still couldn’t accept this person jumping into their lives with both feet. She’d forced a smile in the wedding photographs but it was one that left her eyes without shine, her face without any unnecessary animation.
The bell above the door tinkled and the first customers of the day drifted in. Cleo took her mug out back and then returned to tidy the shelves beneath the cash register. She filled the baskets to the side with yarns, and she’d wait until she got the signal to help a customer. This was something she’d learnt gradually. At first, she wanted to leap in and make sure every person through the door immediately got the help they needed, but over time she’d learnt to read people better. Now she knew when someone had no clue as to what they were looking for—they’d stare intently at the shelves and eventually their gaze would lift and meet hers, a smile would be exchanged and she’d go over to discuss requirements. Other times she’d pass a customer as she was restocking shelves and she’d ask whether they needed any help. If they didn’t, the reply would be polite and she’d go back to whatever else she was doing.
‘I’m wondering if you could help me.’ The latest customer stood beside Cleo as she replenished hanks of one of their most popular yarns.
‘Of course.’ The young woman who Cleo estimated to be in her twenties had seemed to know what she was doing, which was why Cleo had been waiting for her to ask for help, not the other way round. She finished hanging the last two hanks on the wall ladder at the side of the store. ‘What is it that you’re looking for?’
The young woman extended a hand. ‘I’m Kaisha.’ She unbuttoned her orange duffle coat now she’d met the warmth of the store. She had on inky blue jeans and an ivory shirt with ruffles up the front to the collar.
‘It’s nice to meet you, Kaisha. And what can I help you with today?’
Oh Helen, please celebrate the second birthday next year… I’d love to read this one…!
I’m really delighted too to bring you news of a second book in the New York Ever After series – Snowflakes and Mistletoe at the Inglenook Inn will be released on 12th December, and is now available for pre-order from Amazon in the UK and US, and only 99p/99c until publication day. Love the cover, love the look of the story… preorder now!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but is it the time to fall in love? As the flames on the log fire flicker and the snowflakes swirl above the New York streets, maybe this Christmas could be the one that changes everything…
When Darcy returns to Manhattan, she’s put in charge of the Inglenook Inn, a cosy boutique hotel in the heart of Greenwich Village. The Inn needs a boost in bookings if it’s to survive the competition, so Darcy is convinced that hosting Christmas this year is the answer. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a face from the past, which can only spell trouble.
Myles left England behind and took a job in New York. It’s a step forwards in his career, and has the added bonus of being nowhere near his family. He’s also hoping to avoid Christmas, the worst time of the year. But when his company puts him up at the Inglenook Inn and he recognises Darcy, it isn’t long before they clash. When disaster strikes, can Myles and Darcy put their differences aside to make Christmas at the Inglenook Inn a success?
Fancy winning a paperback of Christmas at the Little Knitting Box and some chocolate?
With thanks to the author and tour organiser Rachel’s Random Resources, here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
About the author
Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction with an emphasis on relationships and love. She enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and characters who face challenges and fight to overcome them. Helen enjoys creating strong female lead characters and although her stories often deal with serious issues, they always have a happy ending.
Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.
Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in IT. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the IT world one little bit, although the IT skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.
After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.