Today’s post takes us to lovely Yorkshire, where I’ve spent many holidays visiting friends and family. So when I met ‘Yorkshire lass’ Helen Pollard on Twitter a few months ago, we hit it off straightaway. Helen writes contemporary romance novels, and her book Warm Hearts in Winter is on special offer at the moment. I invited her here to tell us something about it – and about Yorkshire. Over to Helen:
When I started writing Warm Hearts in Winter, I needed my hero and heroine to be isolated in a winter landscape.
They say you should write about what you know – and so, without much hesitation, I chose the beautifully bleak landscape of the moors near Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters, an area I know well.
When I was a child, we had a family tradition of visiting Haworth in the run-up to Christmas. We would park near the old parsonage where the Bronte sisters once lived, then potter past the lovely old church and down the steep cobbled main street.
We popped into the sweet shop to buy sugar mice, the grocer’s to buy nuts, the apothecary to sniff at the old-fashioned bath salts and soaps, and little gift shops to look for stocking fillers for Christmas.
Then we would warm up with lunch in a pub that offered a welcoming fire, before heaving ourselves back up the hill to the car.
We’ve done the same with our own children occasionally, and once took them for a ride on the steam train that runs from the bottom of the village, with Santa and elves and all!
I vividly remember watching the passing scenery from the car as a child.
Dry stone walls are a feature of the Yorkshire landscape, criss-crossing the fields . . .
As I set to writing Warm Hearts in Winter, I thought about some of the old stone houses looking out over those wild moors. Who might live in a house like that? Who would want to be out there in the middle of winter?
My imagination came up with Jack, a widowed novelist who uses it as a retreat for solitude, writing, and nursing his broken heart . . . until temporary personal assistant Abby comes along.
The snow-covered moors fit perfectly with my characters and the romance I wanted to write.
So – where is all that wintry atmosphere in your photos, I hear you ask? Well, hubby and I did go up to Haworth recently to get some for this post. Unfortunately (?!), as you can see from the photos so far, the weather was absolutely glorious! Would you believe, we sat outside a café on the first of November and we were too hot! Lovely day out for us – but not what I’d intended for the photos!
So, to give you an idea of a wintry (but similar) landscape, I’ve had to resort to a couple of older photos taken just a few miles away, but they give you the idea . . .
This was taken on the moor above Baildon . . .
In Warm Hearts in Winter, Abby and Jack enjoy wintry rambles from the house, and when the weather lets up, Jack takes Abby to look around Haworth and visit the Bronte parsonage museum. Jack’s house may look dour and forbidding from the outside, but it’s cosy on the inside, with a log fire for our hero and heroine to curl up in front of after their brisk walks in the snow. Perfect!
Can two hearts thaw on the midwinter moors?
Forced by circumstance into the world of temping, when Abby Davis accepts an assignment in the wilds of Yorkshire as personal assistant to a widowed novelist, she assumes he is an ageing recluse.
Thirty-something Jack Blane is anything but. Still struggling to get his life and writing career back on track three years after his wife’s death, Jack isn’t ready for a breath of fresh air like Abby.
Snowed in at his winter retreat on the moors, as the weeks go by and their working relationship becomes friendship and maybe more, Abby must rethink her policy of never getting involved with someone at work … and Jack must decide whether he is willing to risk the pain of love a second time.
Warm Hearts in Winter is ON SALE at $0.99 / £0.99 for the month of November at:
Amazon UK Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
About the Author:
Helen Pollard writes contemporary romance with old-fashioned heart. She firmly believes there will always be a place for romantic fiction, no matter how fast-paced and cynical the world becomes. Readers still want that feel-good factor – to escape from their own world for a while and see how a budding romance can blossom and overcome adversity to develop into love … and we all need a little love, right?
A Yorkshire lass, Helen is married, with two teenagers and a psychotic cat. Antiseptic cream is always close at hand. When Helen’s not working or writing, it goes without saying that she loves to read. She also enjoys a good coffee in a quiet bookshop, and appreciates the company of family and close friends.