‘BEING born a woman was just so unfair.’

Beatrice Diamond always wanted to train to become a doctor. She spent as much time as possible pouring over medical books in Miss Moonshine’s upstairs room.

She was more than able, correctly diagnosing ailments among residents of the West Yorkshire community of Haven Bridge.

But, this being the turn of the century, women were excluded from medical school and there was no hope of her having the chance of a career in medicine.

However, all that was about to change, thanks to the quirky Miss Moonshine and her happy hub of life-changing activities.

Beatrice is the central character in ‘Beatrice Marches for Women’ a short story that sees the young would-be medic meet a doctor, Edward Lawrence. The pair hit it off and Edward seals their romance with a passionate kiss. The tale concludes with the creation of new opportunities for women, leading to Beatrice taking up a post to train as a doctor.

But before this neat wrapping up, events are anything but straightforward. Miss Moonshine even ends up arrested, while fighting for women’s rights: ‘Miss Moonshine raised her umbrella and brought it down smartly on the policeman’s forearm, causing him to give an astonished grunt.’

The lovely feel-good story, by Saltaire-based author Helena Fairfax, is one of nine heart-warming tales contained in an anthology Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings. The collection is penned romantic novelists from Yorkshire and Lancashire, including best-selling and award-winning authors.

Insightful and mischievous, Miss Moonshine - who lives with her pet chihuahua Napoleon - possesses the gift of giving her customers exactly what they need, even if it solutions seem impossible.

Canal boat café owner Callie is the focus of The Last Chapter, by Bingley-based novelist Mary Jayne Baker. With business partner Megan moving to Canada, she is left worrying as to how she will cope. A visit to Miss Moonshines, some decorated pebbles, a man called Richard and a box of second-hand books are thrown into the mix to smooth the waters and bring light at the end of the tunnel.

‘…Callie noted how happy she was to see him. It felt like a gap was being filled, whenever Richard was up this way and came to help out. A gap Megan had left, yes, but a gap that in her mind had become very much Richard-shaped…’

Each tale is set in the fictitious Haven Bridge, inspired by the bohemian town of Hebden Bridge, home to many writers and artists. The authors - Helena, Mary Jayne, Sophie Clare, Jacqui Cooper, Kate Field, Marie Laval, Helen Pollard and Angela Wren - are all members of the Romantic Novelists' Association.

“A group of us meet regularly in Hebden Bridge, and we thought how brilliant it would be to have a collection of stories set in the same fictional shop in the town,” explains Helena. “We hope it will be a great celebration of northern writing.”

These uplifting stories, injected with humour, pathos and fun, provide a ray of sunshine to gladden the heart.

Fair Fugitive by Melinda Hammond, who lives in the Yorkshire Pennines, finds Diana Riston seeking a new start after her fiancé Andrew was killed at war. ‘I think my heart died with him,’ she says.

She finds her way to Miss Moonshine’s, setting in motion a chain of events that sees her find a home and a job. More good news, albeit shocking, follows and there’s a happy ever after conclusion.

‘Off you go then, my dears,’ Miss Moonshine tells Diana and her new love Andrew. ‘And while you are there,’ she called after them as they hurried down the path, ‘you should ask him to call the banns. There can be no reason for you to wait any longer. And tell the vicar that I will dance with him at your wedding.’

Another match successfully sealed by the quirky Miss Moonshine.