Today I am so pleased to welcome Hettie Bell to Joyfully Jay. Hettie has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Knit, Purl, a Baby and a Girl. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Our conversation meanders from K-Dramas to our jobs to how pretty Getty Square looks at night before circling inevitably back to knitting.
“So how long have you been a knitter?”
“Oh, man, I don’t know, I think I was eleven, maybe twelve?” Rhiannon stares into the distance wistfully. “My grandmother taught me. Idle hands are the devil’s plaything, and all that.”
“She was religious?”
“No, just Irish. My mom and dad both worked so much she kind of took over parenting duties. I think teaching me to knit was just her way of finding me an after school hobby that wouldn’t take her away from her stories. I take it you didn’t have any knitters in your family?”
I shake my head. “My grandparents retired to Florida so I didn’t really see much of them growing up unless they were taking us to Disney World. And my mother wasn’t interested in any hobby that didn’t have an elected committee attached. I think even her book club had meeting minutes and a treasurer.”
“Oh, so you’re rich-rich.”
“I mean, I don’t think so?”
“You know that’s exactly what a rich person would say, right?”
“Oh God, it totally is, isn’t it?” I wish I could pull my scarf up to cover my entire face in shame.
Unlike Rhiannon, I never had to do the math and decide whether my education was worth going into six figures of debt for. My parents both had jobs—we weren’t quite “never work a day in our lives” rich, thank you very much—but growing up I had a nanny looking after me, not an unpaid grandparent.
Just as the chasm of class threatens to divide us, Rhiannon’s arm around mine clamps down, yanking me close in defiance.
I stumble against her, enjoying the feeling of her pulling me off balance perhaps slightly too much.
I valiantly try to laugh it off with a quippy, “Damn, you’re pocket-sized but mighty, huh?”
“It’s all the bags of coffee beans I have to toss around on a daily basis.” Even through the layers of our jackets, I could swear I can feel the hardness of her bicep where it presses against mine. Or maybe I’m just fantasizing way too hard. Before we know it, we’re coming up fast on my apartment building. We’ve walked arm-in-arm the whole way here, and although it started out on my part as gossipy friends gesture, it’s definitely morphed into something else by this point.
“This is me,” I say regretfully, coming to a stop at my apartment door. I know it’s time to let her go—holding on now would definitely be weird, right?—but I can’t seem to extricate myself from her elbow.
When we finally separate, Rhiannon’s hand lingers on forearm. The tips of her fingers brush my sleeve as she pulls away.
Is it too much to hope that she doesn’t want to separate, either?
“You have roommates?” She stuffs her hands into the pockets of her leather jacket and cranes her neck to take in my building’s six stories looming above us.
I shake my head. “I have a studio. Just don’t ask me what percentage of my monthly expenses goes to rent.”
“Just so long as you don’t ask how much of my spending goes to tea and yarn.” She chuckles and rocks on the balls of her feet. “Anyway. No roommates. Good to know.”
“Is it good to know?” I tilt my head at her inquisitively.
Her eyes widen. “Uh, I mean. Good to know because…because…” She circles her hand in the air. It’s like she’s spinning the tires of her car, unable to get traction. “You know, because now I know it can be done. You can live without roommates in the state of New York.”
I should really let that explanation fly. My decision that we should be just friends depends on me not cracking this conversation open to expose the obvious subtext inside. On the other hand, Rhiannon and I combining flirting and teasing is kind of becoming our thing and she’s given me the perfect opening. It’s just teasing, I tell myself. Just because I don’t intend on going anywhere serious or not-so-serious with Rhiannon doesn’t mean I have to give that up. I don’t want things to be weird by suddenly acting all different around her. “For sure. That is good to know. No other possible reason for you to be happy I live alone now that we’re standing at my door and it’s late…”
“Oh God!” She pulls back her coat, checking her oversized man’s watch. She’s not blushing or laughing. She looks genuinely awkward. “It is late, isn’t it? And shit, you have a day job! You probably have to be up super early in the morning, right?”
Looking at her all hangdog, something in me snaps. “It’s not that late.”
Some people can’t wait to have babies. They’re ready for it—with their perfect lives and their pregnancy glow…
Poppy Adams doesn’t have a perfect life, and she wasn’t ready for the positive test. An unexpected baby—Poppy’s unexpected baby—won’t exactly have her family doing cartwheels. But she’s making the right choice.
Poppy’s totally got this. She just needs a little encouragement, and a knitting group is the perfect place to start. Baby blankets, booties, tiny little hats—small steps toward her new life. But she feels like she’s already dropped a stitch when she discovers the knitting group is led by the charismatic Rhiannon.
It’s not exactly a great time to meet the woman who might just be the love of her life. While the group easily shuffles around to make room for Poppy, it’s not so easy fitting her life and Rhiannon’s together. With the weeks counting down until her baby arrives, Poppy’s going to have to decide for herself what truly makes a family.
Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.
Hettie Bell grew up in small towns in New Brunswick and British Columbia, and now lives outside Edmonton Alberta with her family. She first fell for Highland historicals as a preteen, and that love deepened as the romance genre grew more diverse and queer. A proud bisexual woman, she’s honored to write all the happy endings she never thought she’d get to read. When she’s not writing, she’s knitting one of the at least three projects she has on her needles at any given time.
Connect with Hettie Bell
- Website: https://www.hettiebell.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HettieBellAuthor
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/HettieBelleau
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5365291.Heidi_Belleau