Will the war be over by Christmas?
As the war moves into 1945 the lives of the women of Woolworths continue. When store manager, Betty Billington, announces she is expecting Douglas’s baby her future life is about to change more than she expects.
Freda has fallen in love with the handsome Scottish engineer but will it end happily?
Maisie loves being a mother and also caring for her two nieces although she still has her own dreams. When her brother appears on the scene he brings unexpected danger to the family.
Meanwhile Sarah dreams of her husband’s return and a cottage with roses around the door but Woolworths beckons.
Will our girls sail into times of peace, or will they experience more heartache and sorrow? With a wedding on the horizon, surely only happiness lies ahead – or does it?
What Elaine Everest adores about Christmas
Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Luna.
There is so much to like about the Christmas holidays that I had to stop and think for a while.
- Number one for me it has to be the publication of another of my books and hearing from the readers who have looked forward to another Woolworths story. So many of them visit me Facebook Author Page or send me a tweet to chat about their memories of Woolies or even to tell me about the years when they worked for the iconic store.
- The build up to those few magical days. I can remember well what it was like as a child and deep inside that feeling can still bubble away with the anticipation. My parents did the best they could to create a splendid Christmas in the fifties and sixties without going over the top like so many people do these days. My memories are also tinged with sadness as my Mum died just before Christmas 1972 when I was seventeen and my siblings much younger. These days I can smile as I think back but I still wonder what it would have been like to have Mum with us,
- Food and crafts are high on my list. I love to cook and plan for the big day even though there are just the two of us. My husband will grumble that I cook enough for an army but at least the dog eats well! There were years when I’d decide to make my gifts. The ‘knitting machine years’ were fun but I recall with a smile the year I knitted a cardigan for my young niece who returned it on Boxing Day as the sleeve had dropped off!
- Old films. I’m a sucker for an old movie and if it includes Christmas then all the better. White Christmas is my all time favourite along with the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sims – for modern movies my favourite is The Holiday. There’s a wonderful TV channel called Talking Pictures, which has become my ‘go to’ channel for old films. As a saga author I call this research!
- My birthday. I was born on Christmas Eve – in fact it was twenty minutes to midnight. The local newspaper, The Erith Observer covered my birth, as there was no Christmas Day baby in 1953. I was born in Erith where my books are mainly set and not only have my Woolworths girls also given birth at the Hainault but The Erith Observer has featured in the books.
Christmas should be magical but for those who cannot conjure up the magic and dreams we should always remember the advice of the late Denise Richardson who would tell us that Christmas is just a couple of days out of the year. If we are grieving or cannot face the happiness we can always shut ourselves away and do as we please. It will soon be over.
I wish you all a peaceful Christmas
Elaine Everest, author of Bestselling novels The Woolworths Girls, The Butlins Girls, Christmas at Woolworths, and Wartime at Woolworths was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty years and has written widely for women’s magazines and national newspapers, with both short stories and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio from canine subjects to living with a husband under her feet when redundancy looms.
When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school at The Howard Venue in Hextable, Kent and has a long list of published students.
Elaine lives with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, in Swanley, Kent and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, The Crime Writers Association, The Society of Women Writers & Journalists and The Society of Authors.