I’m delighted to be able to share an extract from Elaine Everest’s newest book, The Teashop Girls, today. She is the author of the bestselling Woolworths series of books – I still miss Woolworths! This book is set during the Second World War follows three friends, Rose, Lily and Katie who are ‘Nippies’ , the nickname given to girls who work in the Lyon’s Teashops. I haven’t had time to read this book myself but passed my copy on to my mum who zipped through it and said she thoroughly enjoyed reading it. She liked the friendship between the girls, the romance in the story and especially the tearoom setting. In this extract we meet Rose and Lily as they are hurrying to work on a chilly January morning.
Rose Neville shivered as she hurried up the street towards the Ramsgate branch of Lyons teashop, hugging the straps of her black leather handbag and gas mask holder close to her side in case they slipped off her shoulder and were lost in her haste. She dreaded the day she would need to use the ugly gas mask; like so many in the small Kent seaside town, she hoped the war would be over before they saw enemy action. So many people were using the words ‘phoney war’, but as her mum was fond of saying, she could feel it in her water that something would happen before too long, and she wanted to be prepared.
Rose wasn’t keen on the early morning starts, especially with a cold wind blowing off the nearby seafront and snow threatening to fall again. Her pert nose was frozen cold even though she’d wrapped a bright red knitted scarf across most of her pretty face. Waving to an old school friend who was opening up the doors of a nearby cafe, she thanked God she was working for the prestigious Lyons teashop chain, who even had posh Corner Houses in London. So much better than the small cafe where staff did little more than fry eggs and serve mugs of tea all day long. Not only were Lyons staff taught how to serve food and be the best waitresses, but they wore smart uniforms and went by the name of Nippies. That couldn’t be said for any other waitresses, she thought, feeling proud. Why, she’d even been trained in London, just as other Nippies had.
‘Hey,’ a voice shouted from close behind her. ‘Didn’t you hear me calling for you to wait?’
Rose stopped suddenly and turned as her friend Lily barrelled into her. ‘Oops, sorry, I can’t hear a thing wrapped up in this scarf. Aren’t you cold?’ she asked, seeing Lily’s coat flapping open and her hair flowing free while she held a green felt hat in her hand.
‘I was late getting up and I’ve run all the way. My hat blew off back at the corner. I’ve lost my hatpin,’ she added, seeing Rose shake her head in despair.
‘Again? You’d lose your head if it was loose,’ Rose said. ‘Now stand still while I do up your coat, or you’ll catch your death . . .’ She froze as the words came tumbling out. What an idiot she was. ‘I’m sorry, Lily. That was thoughtless of me.’
My thanks to Bethan at EDPR for inviting me to take part in the blogtour. The Teashop Girls is published by Pan MacMillan and available now in paperback or ebook. You should be able to buy or order a copy from your usual book retailer or can order a Kindle copy online here: The Teashop Girls
From the back of the book
The Teashop Girls is a warm and moving tale of friendship and love in wartime, by the bestselling author of the Woolworths series, Elaine Everest.
It is early 1940 and World War Two has already taken a hold on the country. Rose Neville works as a Lyon’s Teashop Nippy on the Kent coast alongside her childhood friends, the ambitious Lily and Katie, whose fiancé is about to be posted overseas in the navy. As war creates havoc in Europe, Rose relies on the close friendship of her friends and her family.
When Capt. Benjamin Hargreaves enters the teashop one day, Rose is immediately drawn to him. But as Lyon’s forbids courting between staff and customers, she tries to put the handsome officer out of her mind.
In increasingly dark and dangerous times, Rose fears there may not be time to waste. But is the dashing captain what he seems?
About the author
Elaine Everest, author of Bestselling novel The Woolworths Girls and The Butlins Girls 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 loomed.
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, Crime Writers Association, The Society of Women Writers & Journalists and The Society of Authors as well as Slimming World where she can be seen sitting in the naughty corner.