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Tag: Helena Fairfax

Guest Post: Twists and mystery in A Year of Light and Shadows, by Helena Fairfax

I’m delighted to welcome Helena Fairfax to my blog today, to talk about her brand new book, A Year of Lights and Shadows.

Over to you Helena…

This time of year, when the nights are drawing in and the days seem to be eternally shrouded in gloomy mist, is traditionally full of mystery, mischief, and trickery. I live in Yorkshire, and the tradition of “Trick or Treat,” which takes place on Hallowe’en, is more treats than tricks in our part of the world. Hallowe’en is for children in cute fancy dress, and if we’ve run out of sweets to give them, we don’t really expect the “trick” to follow; at most, just a look of disappointment.

Mischief Night in Yorkshire is different. It takes place on 4th November, the night before Bonfire Night, and it’s a time for proper mischief. Householders can wake up in the morning to find broken eggs on their car windscreens, treacle on the gate handle, and flour down the garden path. For mischievous teenagers, it’s a night of fun. For everyone else, it’s a right royal pain…!

A season of tricks and deception is the perfect time to release A Year of Light and Shadows –  a collection of two romantic suspense novellas and a short story in which trickery and deception play a major role. I can’t give away too many of the twists without spoiling the plots but I can say that the stories revolve around the fictional country of Montverrier – a principality so tiny that the inhabitants have come to rely on sly cunning rather than brute strength. My heroine, Lizzie, begins to realise that the people of Montverrier are a force to be reckoned with…


Here is the blurb to the anthology:

A Year of Light and Shadows contains three romantic mysteries in one volume.

Palace of Deception

From the heat of the Mediterranean….

When the Princess of Montverrier goes missing, Lizzie Smith takes on the acting job of her life. Alone and surrounded by intrigue in the Royal Palace, she relies on her quiet bodyguard, Léon. But who is he really protecting? Lizzie…or the Princess?

The Scottish Diamond

To the heart of Scotland…

Home in Scotland, Lizzie begins rehearsals for Macbeth, and finds danger stalking her through the streets of Edinburgh. She turns to her former bodyguard, Léon, for help – and discovers a secret he’d do anything not to reveal…

A Question by Torchlight

A story of mystery and romance…

The approach of Hogmanay in Edinburgh means a new year and new resolutions. Lizzie and Léon have put their year of danger behind them. But something is still troubling Léon, and Lizzie fears the worst…


BUY LINKS: A Year of Light and Shadows is available on pre-order on Amazon:

and on Kobo

and other major e-retailers. The print version is coming soon!

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Author Biography Helena Fairfax writes engaging contemporary romances with sympathetic heroines and heroes she’s secretly in love with. Her novels have been shortlisted for several awards, including the Exeter Novel Prize, the Global Ebook Awards, the I Heart Indie Awards, and the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme Award. Helena is a British author who was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She’s grown used to the cold now, and these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in the north of England, right next door to the windswept Yorkshire moors. She walks this romantic landscape every day with her rescue dog, finding it the perfect place to dream up her heroes and her happy endings.

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Do you have a Mischief Night in your part of the world? Or any other local traditions? If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!

 Thanks very much for having me today, Jenny. It’s been fun revisiting the devious inhabitants of Montverrier!


Huge thanks for such a great blog Helena,

Happy reading,

Jenny x

Guest Post by Helena Fairfax: New Beginnings

I am delighted to introduce my very first guest blogger of 2015 today! Please welcome my fellow Accent author, the lovely Helena Fairfax.
Over to you Helena…

New beginnings

A new year is the time when most of us try to make some sort of improvement to our lives. The month of January takes its name from the Roman god Janus, who was the god of new beginnings and transitions. January is a time of year I usually love, as it means a feeling of being “cleansed” and ready to start life afresh with a clean slate.

For some people, though, the New Year can be a time of terrible sadness. If you’ve suffered a recent bereavement, it’s incredibly difficult to look forward with any sort of hope to the future; for the bereaved, the new year often means looking back to the past and the heartache of dwelling on times that are gone.

A Way from Heart to Heart-1

The heroine of my latest novel, A Way from Heart to Heart, suffers the agony of loss when the husband she is devoted to is killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. It’s the latest in a long line of losses for Kate Hemingway, and in an attempt to prevent further hurt, she’s developed a hard shell around herself.

At the start of my story, Kate has mentally removed herself from the world around her, and her son, George, and her best friend, Orla, are the only people she allows herself to be close to. Kate spends her free time helping disadvantaged teenage girls, one of whom is a refugee from Afghanistan. I took the theme of my story from an old Afghan proverb: ‘There is a way from heart to heart.’ My story is filled with differences in culture: between town and country, between East and West, between rich and poor. And yet despite all these differences, where basic emotions are concerned, the human heart is the same the world over, with the same capacity to for love, and the same ability to endure, despite all the odds.

At the core of my book is a romance, which is the story of Kate’s growing love for the hero, Paul Farrell. But A Way from Heart to Heart also deals with the love between best friends, between families, and with the intensity of teenage love. ‘There is a way from heart to heart’ is the positive, uplifting message I wanted to leave readers with at the end of my novel. I was delighted to read this five-star review on Amazon shortly after the book was released, which said, “Sad in places but lovely book.” I think that summed up what I was trying to achieve!

A Way from Heart to Heart was released by Accent Press on 18th November.

Here is the blurb:

After the death of her husband in Afghanistan, Kate Hemingway’s world collapses around her. Her free time is spent with a charity for teenage girls in London, helping them mend their broken lives – which is ironic, since her own life is fractured beyond repair.

Reserved, public school journalist Paul Farrell is everything Kate and her teenage charges aren’t. But when Paul agrees to help Kate with her charity on a trip to the Yorkshire moors, he makes a stunning revelation that changes everything, and leaves Kate torn.

Can she risk her son’s happiness as well as her own?


Amazon Buy Link:

Helena Fairfax photo

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Helena Fairfax writes engaging contemporary romances with sympathetic heroines and heroes she’s secretly in love with. Happy endings are her favourite, and when the ending of one of her novels won a reader competition for “The Most Romantic Love Scene Ever” it made her day. Helena was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She’s grown used to the cold now, and these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in Yorkshire. After many years working in factories and dark, satanic mills, Helena has turned to writing full-time. She walks the Yorkshire moors every day with her rescue dog, finding this romantic landscape the perfect place to dream up her heroes and her happy endings.


Many thanks for dropping by today Helena.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xx


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