IT'S SAGA SATURDAY!! I am thrilled that saga author Elaine Everest is visiting with me again today...



 I’ve always been a crafter and love to sew. I grew up making clothes as well as soft toys, rag dolls and coats for dogs – yes, dogs! At one time I had a small business making bespoke raincoats for show dogs. It was lovely to attend shows with a tape measure and a clutch of swatches taking orders from proud owners. At one time you could spot dogs on television as they entered Birmingham NEC for Crufts. I would be shrieking at the screen ‘I made that -and that…!’  

No wonder then there is always at least one woman in my sagas who enjoys sewing, while many others ‘make do and mend’ in order to keep their families warm and well-dressed during the war years. Many of these memories come from my mum, who showed me how important it was to be able to sew, knit and be creative.

In The Patchwork Girls Helen has returned home to Biggin Hill in Kent after the sudden death of her politician husband. Life in Biggin Hill is fraught with difficulties and when Helen comes across a talk arranged by the local vicar’s wife she goes along just to get away from the house. The talk is about patchwork quilts and at once Helen is attracted to the stories behind the making of quilts and intrigued by how they are made.

 The cover of The Patchwork Girls shows the intricate design of the quilt Helen sets out to make. The fabric is made up of special memories and is called, Double Wedding Ring.

I’m about to start making my own patchwork quilt, but nothing as intricate as the one made by Helen – and I don’t have Helen’s story to stitch into the quilt either, although the first quilt I completed perished in our house fire back in 1987. I’m enjoying choosing colours and fabrics along with a special design – breathing in the smell of new fabric is almost like sniffing a new paperback book!

Wish me luck as I set out on my own patchwork journey!


About The Patchwork Girls:

 1939. After the sudden and tragic loss of her husband, Helen is returning home to her mother’s house in Biggin Hill, Kent – the one place she vowed she’d never go back to again.

Alone and not knowing where to turn, Helen finds herself joining the local women’s sewing circle despite being hopeless with a needle and thread. These resourceful women can not only make do and mend clothes, quilts and woolly hats, but their friendship mends something deeper in Helen too. Lizzie is a natural leader, always ready to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. Effie has uprooted her life from London to keep her two little girls away from the bombing raids, and the sewing circle is a welcome distraction from worries about how to keep a roof over their heads and about her husband too, now serving in active duty overseas.

When the reason for Helen's husband's death comes to light, her world is turned upside down yet again. The investigating officer on the case, Richard, will leave no stone unturned, but it’s not long before his interest in Helen goes beyond the professional. As she pieces together old fabrics into a beautiful quilt, will Helen patch up the rifts in her own life?

The Patchwork Girls by Elaine Everest is a moving story about the ties of friends and family, set during the turbulence of the Second World War.


About Elaine:

Elaine hails from North West Kent and grew up listening to stories of the war years in her hometown of Erith, which features in her bestselling Woolworths Girls series. A former journalist, author of non-fiction books for dog owners, and qualified creative writing tutor. Elaine has written hundreds of short stories for the women's magazine market. When she isn't writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Hextable, Kent.

Elaine is currently published by Pan Macmillan for her Sunday Times Bestselling historical sagas including the Woolworths Girls series and The Teashop Girls series. Her latest novel, The Patchwork Girls is published on 14th October. She lives with her husband, Michael and Polish Lowland Sheepdog Henry.

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