The Friday Read this week is The Chocolatier's Secret by Helen J Rolfe, which will be released 28 June. Helen writes contemporary women's fiction with an emphasis on relationships and love. She enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and characters who face challenges and fight to overcome them. Some of her stories deal with serious issues, but they usually have happy ending too. Her debut novel, The Friendship Tree, was published in February 2015, closely followed by Handle Me with Care in June 2015, and then What Rosie Found Next, the first book in the Magnolia Creek Series. The Chocolatier’s Secret is book two of the series – although it can be read as a standalone novel.
Will one mistake ruin everything?
Andrew Bennett has an idyllic life in Magnolia Creek, Australia. He runs a chocolate business he adores, is married to Gemma, the love of his life, and has a close relationship with his father, Louis. But when Andrew receives a message from his high school sweetheart, it sends his world into a spiral, and the relationships he holds dear will never be the same again.
Molly Ramsey is looking for answers. After her last attempt, she believes the only way to get them this time is to face her past head-on. But to do this, she has to fly to the other side of the world – and she’s afraid of flying. Her search for answers lands her in an emotional tangle, not only with her past but also with a man very much in her present.
Family is everything to Gemma Bennett and she longs to have a house full of kids, but it just isn’t happening. And when Andrew’s past makes an explosive impact on the family, Gemma must decide whether she can accept the truth and open her heart in a way she never thought possible.
In this story of love, family ties and forgiveness, will past mistakes be the obstacle to a Happy Ever After?
Buy link to pre-order The Chocolatier's Secret
I asked Helen to tell us a bit more about herself
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
When I was a teenager it was the only career I was interested in, but life has a funny way of leading you in different directions and I ended up going into I.T. as a computer programmer. This career took me to Australia and in 2011 the fiction bug bit and I started writing novels.
Has any author inspired you?
There are too many to mention! It’s a challenging job and I have such admiration for authors in the genre I read. When I read a book and am left feeling uplifted or thinking about the characters long after I finish, that’s when I know they’ve done a fantastic job.
What are your hobbies?
Reading, watching movies, walking, pilates and yoga.
What advice would you give to other writers?
To never give up – your writing dreams will happen with enough determination and hard work. And also learn the art of saying no! Sometimes friends or family may assume that ‘writing’ is your little hobby, but if you want to make it a career it has to be treated like any other job. Which means sitting down regularly and getting on with it! (even when you don’t want to J )
What do you like writing most?
I like writing women’s fiction. I enjoy reading it and for the moment, can’t imagine writing anything else.
Do you have a special place for writing?
I write in the top room of our house, away from everyone else. But sometimes I find a change of scene works wonders…even if it’s just moving my laptop to another room.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I’m a bit of both. I think it’s important to have a plan at the start, to give you direction, but I also think it’s important to let your characters evolve which means staying flexible. Often I find my story taking on a new direction and it’s quite exciting!
Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?
Of course. What goes on around me, the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been, all inspire my stories.
What are you writing at the moment?
I’m working on a Christmas novel which I’m hoping to have out towards the end of the year! It’s set in an entirely new location so stay tuned…
What inspired you to write this book?
I have set my stories in Australia so far and I will continue to do so, but I love exploring new settings and new worlds. I’ve always been inquisitive about different places – probably why I moved to Australia in 2000 – so for me it’s part of the adventure in a new work of fiction.
What time of the day do you write best?
Whenever it’s quiet!