The Perfect Blend: Coffee and Kane


The Seven Ages of Writing

I’m delighted to be joined by fellow writer and historian, Janet Few today. Take a seat and enjoy this excellent blog about a life in writing.

Over to you Janet…

Early in 2016 I entered my seventh decade. Throughout all those years, words have skittered, swirling and whirling, dervish-like through my brain. Sometimes, they have made it from brain to paper, or, more recently, keyboard. Each of those seven decades has seen me embark on a new phase of writing. As a small child, I crafted Blytonesque adventure stories, populated with improbable numbers of characters and involving tortuous plots that were rarely resolved. My very early education was in an old-fashioned private school which encouraged ‘compositions’ scribed with a quaint, Victorian turns of phrase. I find stealthy reflections of this technique creeping into my writing still.

My teenaged years were characterised by angst-ridden prose, leavened with a smattering of blank verse. It is probably just as well that most of this never emerged from my graffiti- emblazoned notebooks. One ability that I did acquire as a school-girl was the facility for writing in very different styles. We had two English teachers. One was the archetypal ‘school marm’; bespectacled, with chunky ankles encased in lisle stockings and a bun scraped back from a moon-shaped face. Essays for Miss P*** were full of verbose language that verged on the Shakespearian and convoluted sentences in the dreaded passive voice. Her colleague was daringly modern. Miss S***, it transpired, even lived with her boyfriend. This was the early 1970s; we never did know how she slipped through the interviewing net of our ultra-conservative school. Work for her demanded snappy phrases and a contemporary vocabulary.

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As a student, my output was circumscribed. Academic essays meant that fiction writing was consigned to a forgotten corner of my life. In pre-computer days, writing techniques were so very different. Cutting and pasting involved, quite literally, hacking pieces of paper into strips, arranging them in a suitable order and praying that no one created a draught before you had laboriously copied them out in the desired sequence. In my fourth decade, my life was filled with nappies, building-blocks and modelling clay; I barely had time to write a shopping list. Although I wrote little at this time, my writing garnered a new dimension. My husband died suddenly. He had worked away from home and we had exchanged lengthy letters. Unlike me, he had a dry and pithy, darkly humorous style. After his death I found that, unintentionally and by osmosis, this had, on occasions, become grafted on to my own.

Children grown and it was ‘me time’. So, in my forties, I embarked upon a PhD. As I hewed an 80,000 word thesis from the stony gleanings of my research, I sometimes doubted the wisdom of this endeavour. Magnum opus submitted, I went on a well deserved overseas trip. Strangely, as part of the re-acclimatisation process, I found myself unable to stop writing. This led to the first of a series of lengthy travel diaries, the later ones of which appear on my blog.

It is only comparatively recently that I have become a published author and my output is non-fiction evidence of both my academic leanings and a life long obsession with the past. I believe good history is for everyone. As The History Interpreter, I aim to bring history alive in a variety of ways. I am passionate about encouraging young people to become interested in the past, especially through living history or family history. I therefore shared many of my ideas in the booklet Harnessing the Facebook  Generation:  ideas for involving young people in family history and heritage. I spend part of my time as my alter ego, Mistress Agnes, living in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, managing the Swords and Spindles team of historical interpreters. My social history book Coffers, Clysters, Comfrey and Coifs: the lives of our seventeenth century ancestors, emerged out of this experience.

I enjoy dissecting small, rural communities and trying to understand how they functioned in the past; a branch of research that is known as a One-Place Study. I have written a guide to that peculiar blend of local and family history: Putting Your Ancestors in their Place. I also research my own family history, with an emphasis on putting the lives of my ancestors into a wider context. I am responsible for the latest edition of the classic family history handbook Family Historian’s Enquire Within. I am particularly interested in the role of women in the past. When I was writing Coffers, Clysters, I regretted that I did not know more about the lives of the ordinary women of the time and that I could not ask them questions. I thought that perhaps now was the time to capture the period 1946-1969, whilst there were still first hand accounts to work with. I recruited eighty lovely ladies and helped them to recall their memories of this pivotal period. These have been merged together in Remember Then: women’s memories of 1946-1969 and how to write your own.

Realistically, the change of direction that my writing has taken since my ‘big’ birthday earlier this year can scarcely be called a ‘mid-life’ crisis but it is certainly a watershed. I have been persuaded, after over forty years, to return to fiction writing. Unsurprisingly, the novel that I a working on does have an historical slant. It is based on the true story of a mother accused of killing her child and it unravels the psychological twists to characters who struggle with surprisingly modern anxieties. I do hope that it won’t take me the whole of my seventh decade to finish. My self-imposed deadline for publication is November 2018, which will be the centenary of the death of my heroine. Who knows what my eighth decade will bring?

Janet Few

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Janet’s website is The History Interpreter: resenting and preserving the past. She can be followed on Twitter @janetfew but beware, she has no idea where she is going.

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Wonderful blog! Thanks you Janet.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x


OUT TODAY: THE OUTLAW’S RANSOM

I’m delighted to announce that my first publication as

Jennifer Ash is available

TODAY.

I just love this cover!!

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Blurb

The first in an exciting new series by acclaimed author Jenny Kane writing as Jennifer Ash.

When craftsman’s daughter Mathilda is kidnapped by the notorious Folville brothers, as punishment for her father’s debts, she fears for her life.  Although of noble birth, the Folvilles are infamous throughout the county for disregarding the law – and for using any means necessary to deliver their brand of ‘justice’.

Mathilda must prove her worth to the Folvilles in order to win her freedom. To do so she must go against her instincts and, disguised as the paramour of the enigmatic Robert de Folville, undertake a mission that will take her far from home and put her life in the hands of a dangerous brigand – and that’s just the start of things…

A thrilling tale of medieval mystery and romance – and with a nod to the tales of Robin Hood – The Outlaw’s Ransom is perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and Jean Plaidy.

If you’d like to read my first medieval mystery, then The Outlaw’s Ransom is available for your Kindle here –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outlaws-Ransom-Jennifer-Ash-ebook/dp/B01LZDKPQM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1475660907&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Outlaw%27s+Ransom+Jennifer+Ash

https://www.amazon.com/Outlaws-Ransom-Jennifer-Ash-ebook/dp/B01LZDKPQM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475660990&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Outlaw%27s+Ransom+Jennifer+Ash 

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To mark the occasion I’m going on a blog tour- starting today!! Do drop by and say hello to get some insights into my medieval mystery and romance.

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I’m off to have a celebratory coffee and watch an episode of Robin of Sherwood!!

Happy reading,

Jennifer xx


How did the Folville family view the Robin Hood ballads? Outlaw’s Ransom OUT TOMORROW

outlaws-ransom-5-star

Tomorrow is a big day for me. It sees the launch of my very first title under the name of Jennifer Ash.

Blurb

The first in an exciting new series by acclaimed author Jenny Kane writing as Jennifer Ash.

When craftsman’s daughter Mathilda is kidnapped by the notorious Folville brothers, as punishment for her father’s debts, she fears for her life.  Although of noble birth, the Folvilles are infamous throughout the county for disregarding the law – and for using any means necessary to deliver their brand of ‘justice’.

Mathilda must prove her worth to the Folvilles in order to win her freedom. To do so she must go against her instincts and, disguised as the paramour of the enigmatic Robert de Folville, undertake a mission that will take her far from home and put her life in the hands of a dangerous brigand – and that’s just the start of things…

A thrilling tale of medieval mystery and romance – and with a nod to the tales of Robin Hood – The Outlaw’s Ransom is perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and Jean Plaidy.

The Outlaw's RansomThe Outlaw’s Ransom (which originally saw life as part of my contemporary fiction/medieval mystery timeslip novel, Romancing Robin Hood), is a book that’s very close to my heart.  Anyone who follows this blog will know that it is my love of all things Robin Hood which led to me researching the real life criminal gang, the Folville brothers, and considering how they might have been influenced by the outlaw ballads that would have been circulating at the time.

It was interesting to be able to give, what I imagine, the Folville family’s perspective on the Robin Hood stories might be.

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Extract

…Eustace de Folville continued, ‘You know something of us, Mathilda, from living in these parts. And, I have no doubt, my dear brother has explained to you our beliefs on maintaining our lands and beyond, keeping a weather eye on the dealings of all men in this hundred.’

Mathilda bit her tongue in an effort to remain demurely mute, trying to concentrate on what Eustace was saying and not on the unknown fate of her younger brother.

‘He has also, I believe, told you of his fascination with stories,’ Eustace gave Robert a blunt stare; leaving Mathilda to wonder whether it was his brother’s passion for the minstrels’ tales, or the fact he’d shared that belief and interest with a mere chattel, that Eustace disapproved of.

‘The balladeers have become obsessed of late with the injustices of this land. Often rightly so. Naturally the fabled Robyn Hode has become a hero. An ordinary man who breaks the law, and yet somehow remains good and faithful in the eyes of the Church, is bound to be favoured. In years past such a character’s popularity would have been unthinkable, but these days, well …’

Eustace began to pace in front of the fire, reminding Mathilda of how his brother had moved earlier, ‘Now we are empowered by the young King, the Earl of Huntingdon, and Sheriff Ingram, to keep these lands safe and well run, and by God and Our Lady we’ll do it, even if we have to sweep some capricious damned souls to an earlier hell than they were expecting along the way.’

Eustace was shouting now, but not at her. His voice had adopted a hectoring passion, and Mathilda resolved that she would never willingly disappoint this man; it would be too dangerous.

‘Many of the complaints of crimes and infringements that reach my family’s ears are not accurate. Far more felonies are alleged out of spite or personal grievance than are ever actually committed. We require more eyes and ears, girl. Accurate, unbiased eyes and ears.

‘The sheriff of this county is not a bad man. No worse than the rest anyway; but Ingram is sorely stretched. He has not only this shire, but Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire within his writ. The man cannot be everywhere at once. No man can.

‘We are believed to have a band of criminals under our control, Mathilda. This is not true. I’m no Hode, although I am lucky to have the respect of the immediate population, and although I know that respect is because they go in fear of me, I’d rather have that than no respect at all. Hode’s principles I embrace, as I do other outlaw heroes’ who have flouted a law more corrupt than they are. Those such as Gamelyn can give a man a good example to follow. What was it he declared, Robert, to the Justice at his false trial?’

Moving into the light of the table, Robert thought for a second before reeling off a verse he’d probably known by heart since childhood, ‘Come from the seat of justice: all too oft Hast thou polluted law’s clear stream with wrong; Too oft hast taken reward against the poor; Too oft hast lent thine aid to villainy, And given judgment ’gainst the innocent. Come down and meet thine own meed at the bar, While I, in thy place, give more rightful doom And see that justice dwells in law for once.’

Eustace nodded to his brother, who’d already shrunk back into the shadows of the nearest wall, ‘I do not have such a band at my beck and call, Mathilda. When I need help I have to pay for it.’

***

The values that – in my mind at least- the Folville brothers see in the stories of Robin Hood form an important undying theme to this tale- and to Mathilda of Twyford they will make the difference between life and death…

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I’d like to thank all of you who have already pre-ordered your copy of The Outlaw’s Ransom. I can’t wait until tomorrow!! The medieval ale will be a flowing…

If you’d like to read my first medieval mystery, then The Outlaw’s Ransom is available for your Kindle here –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outlaws-Ransom-Jennifer-Ash-ebook/dp/B01LZDKPQM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1475660907&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Outlaw%27s+Ransom+Jennifer+Ash

https://www.amazon.com/Outlaws-Ransom-Jennifer-Ash-ebook/dp/B01LZDKPQM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475660990&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Outlaw%27s+Ransom+Jennifer+Ash

Happy reading everyone,

Jennifer (aka Jenny!!) xx

 


End of Month Blog from Nell Peters: Considering November

It’s that time again! The end of the month means it’s time to hand over to my good friend Nell Peters (aka Anne Pohill Walton), for a romp through November. Get yourself comfy – you’ll want time to sit down and enjoy this.

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Only thirty-one days to the end of the year – yikes! Although many of us won’t be too sorry to see the back of 2016, as it’s been a sad and demoralizing year in many ways.

mork-mindyThose who have embraced the challenge of National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo (always makes me think of Mork and Mindy. Did you know that actor Mark Harmon – Jethro Gibbs in NCIS – is married to Pam Dawber, aka Mindy? Now you’ll be able to sleep at night …) have just hours left to clock up their target of 50,000 words. To achieve that total over thirty days, participants need to quit procrastinating on social media and bash out an average 1667 words a day, preferably in some sort of logical order – either as an opening to their novel or the completed work. This may seem a little on the stunted side, but The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Brave New World, and The Great Gatsby are all novels of approx 50K words.

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Started in July 1999 by Chris Baty, with twenty-one participants in the San Francisco Bay area, the NaNo project was moved to November the following year to take place during the cooler season, when writers wouldn’t be distracted by the need to swat mosquitoes, prance around in embarrassing beach wear, slather themselves in suntan lotion, go for a dip (leaving oily slicks of suntan gloop in their wake), or eat copious amounts of ice cream to cool off. NaNo has since evolved into a huge annual global experience – let’s all listen out for the collective sigh at 23.59 hours.

November is also the month to grow a sponsored moustache for Movember, raising funds for research into prostate cancer and to generally boost awareness for men’s improved health. I guess it’s predominantly a male thing, but hey – it’s for charity, ladies, so you could always knit a moustache or go all Blue Peter and fashion one out of sticky-backed plastic. #3 son takes part every year, although I suspect it’s so he has a legitimate excuse not to shave for a month (he doesn’t worry about the tache thing, just gradually morphs into his stubbly tramp persona as the days go by.)

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While males with mature follicles cultivate whiskers to fundraise nowadays, in America during the mid-to-late 19th century, they had a very different reason for growing facial adornments during November – which, as we all know only too well, is election month over the pond. As visual confirmation that they were old enough to vote, ‘virgin voters’ or ‘twenty-onesters’ (the age of majority at that time being twenty-one) would grow ‘facial foliage’, to prove they were adults and not mere ‘beardless boys’ – and were therefore entitled to scrawl their X in the box. Apparently the registration of births was an extremely random affair in those days, varying a lot from city to city and state to state – quite handy for identity theft and other things criminal.

save-the-children

At least the good folk at the Movember Foundation don’t turn a hair (sorry!) about how the money is raised, unlike some. I’ve contributed to two charity anthologies recently – the first a collection of horror/scary short stories (though mine wasn’t really either!) written in aid of Save the Children … except that after everyone was on board and a great deal of blood, sweat and tears had been spilt by the organisers, the charity decided it wasn’t something they wanted to sully their name with by association. They magnanimously agreed to take the money, though, as long as the book was advertised as benefitting ‘an international children’s charity’. Some of the authors – me included – ignored those precious corporate protestations and still flogged it for S t C. How fussy do you think the children who will gain are about the genre of stories in a book sold to get money to provide them with food, shelter, blankets, inoculations etc?

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The second anthology features crime and thriller shorts and was originally intended to equally benefit UNICEF and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Guess what? First one, then the other decided the genre was unsuitable for their image. What? Again, huge amounts of work had gone into getting the project together before they dropped their ‘thanks, but no thanks’ bombshells. This insane scenario was repeated with other charitable bodies (who don’t appear to be that charitable) – who would have thought it would be so hard to give away money, with no strings attached, to worthy causes? I despair. Meanwhile, there was a release date set for 13th December and a launch party in London, all arranged and paid for by the authors, on the 17th. Eventually, a small, localised charity in Hampshire and a national organisation, Hospice UK, decided we weren’t actually too bad after all …

churchill-dogThis day in 1874, Winston Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace – I wonder how he’d feel about his illustrious name being taken in vain by an insurance company fronted by an annoying cartoon dog? Winston would have been 142 years old – that’s even older than Rolling Stone Keith Richards! (I was actually quite surprised to learn that Keith is only just coming up to his seventy-third birthday in December, because he seems to have been rocking {sorry again!} the pickled walnut look for some decades. You’d think he could afford a vat of anti-wrinkle cream?) There are many memorable Churchill quotes, but the one that might resonate with struggling authors is, ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’ Or maybe even more so, ‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.’ OK, if neither of those grab you, how about simply this; ‘Never, never, never give up.’ He possibly didn’t think that one up himself …

Before Winston’s father, Randolph, was even a twinkle in Pater’s eye, Samuel Langhorne Clemens entered this world in 1835. Unfortunately, his own father died prematurely and Samuel was forced to leave education to work in the print industry. Aged seventeen, he moved to St Louis to take a printer’s job, and while there became a river pilot’s apprentice, gaining his licence 1858. Samuel’s pseudonym, Mark Twain, comes from those days as a pilot – it’s a term meaning the water is two fathoms or 12-feet deep when sounded, and so it is safe for a vessel to navigate. I imagine Winston C would have known that, having been – amongst so many other things – First Lord of the Admiralty.

mark-twain

One hundred and thirty-one years after Mark Twain, another writer chose this as his birthday in 1966 – and (silly Billy) missed England winning the FIFA World Cup by a good few weeks! Step forward David Nicholls to answer your starter for ten – name at least four of the footie squad who beat Germany at Wembley. OK, ignore me!  I bet you could name ex-footballer Gary Lineker, though? He also shares your birthday, born in 1960.

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David Nicholls was hatched on the very same day as funny man John Bishop and they are both (as the mathematically-inclined amongst you will have twigged) clocking up their half-century. Happy Big 5-0 birthday, guys! I wonder if either agrees with Twain’s sentiments, ‘Write without pay, until someone offers to pay.’ I’d hazard a wild guess, though, that Bishop got a pretty healthy advance for his autobiography, so didn’t have to worry about that – lucky thing. By the way, only one of the birthday celebrants is on my list of FB ‘friends’ – maybe I’ll give you a clue one day, but for now suffice to say it’s not Winston Churchill.

Strange that not one of the folk mentioned was called after Andrew, patron saint of Scotland – also of Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, San Andres Island (Colombia) and St Andrew (Barbados). My, he and his sporran got around. In 2006, St. Andrew’s Day was designated an official bank holiday by the Scottish Parliament and it’s also been a national holiday in Romania since 2015. Which rather begs the question, what is St George’s Day on April 23rd to the English, chopped liver?

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In Scotland, and many countries with tartan connections, 30th November is marked with a celebration of Scottish culture and traditional Scottish food, music and dance – Highland Fling, anyone? It is the start of a season of winter festivals, including Hogmanay and then Burns Night, when you can knock yourself out with haggis, neeps and tatties – or not – and sink a few wee drams. Edinburgh holds a week of celebrations, concentrating on musical entertainment and traditional ceilidh dancing (a ceilidh being a bun fight with couples or sets of six or eight people dancing in circles. Especially after those few wee drams.) In Glasgow city centre, a public shindig with traditional music (bagpipes ahoy!) and a ceilidh is held – is that song Donald Where’s Your Troosers by Andy Stewart a tradition, I wonder? Hopefully not.

reindeer-socksRight – I’ve prattled on for long enough. I opened by saying there are just thirty-one days left to the end of the year, but that glosses over the big C; Christmas. In our house it’s an annual triple whammy, with our anniversary (thirty years? How can that be when I am only twenty-one?) on 23rd, #4 son’s birthday on Christmas Eve and the big day on 25th, with a houseful as usual. Since I won’t be here again before you all sit down to eat, drink and be merry, pretending to be the overjoyed recipient of musical reindeer socks from Great Aunt Aggie (again), I’ll wish you Happy Christmas and resist the temptation to bah-humbug about the whole ridiculous affair, that has got completely out of hand through overt commercialisation. There were Christmas cards in shops before the children went back to school, for goodness sake! And if I never hear Slade again, it will be far too soon.

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Toodles!

NP                      Author.to/NellPeters

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Thanks again! Another brilliant blog-wonderful!!

Happy reading,

Jenny xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Guest Post by Jo Bartlett: A Proper Family Christmas

I’m delighted to be joined by fellow Accent author, Jo Bartlett. Today, she is thinking Christmas.

Over to you Jo…

A Proper Family Christmas

I wonder if you’ve got a picture already conjured up in your head when you read that title? Is your family Christmas like the squabbling brother and sister who eventually come good in the new M&S advert, or is the dog the number one priority in your house, as John Lewis depicts? Or perhaps it’s such a unique family dynamic that no advertiser has ever managed to represent a family like yours at Christmas.

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Growing up, there was plenty of squabbling in the house between me and my sister.  Less than two years apart in age, we had a love/hate relationship and presents had to be duplicated to ensure that we didn’t come to blows over whose turn it was to give Tiny Tears her never ending bottle. Looking back it was a fairly traditional family set up, we had an older sister and brother who came home for Christmas too and extended family who we got together with over the festive season.

Fast forward over thirty years and many families are scattered across wider geographical distances, and the ability to use technology to interact with friends and loved ones perhaps means we don’t make as much effort as we could to see people face to face. Perhaps the biggest change, though, is what family *looks* like. The days of a family simply equalling mum, dad and 2.4 children is as outdated as the Sodastream which made us feel so cutting edge back in those 1980s’ Christmases of my youth.

I love exploring the dynamics of family life and the relationships which make a house a home, something that always seems to be a theme of my books. St Nicholas Bay is a fictional seaside town on the Kent coast, where rumour has it that Charles Dickens penned A Christmas Carol.  In ‘The Gift of Christmas Yet to Come’, which is set in St Nicholas Bay, the plot explores perhaps the greatest love story of all – adoption. It’s also about how the best of friends can become as close as family and that the family you end up with isn’t always the one you expect. The heroine’s journey to motherhood was partly inspired by a true story and the childhood friend to whom the book is dedicated.

I’m part of a jigsaw family, as we’re called, made up of birth children and step-children and I truly wouldn’t want it any other way. I’ve included a picture here from when my children were younger and I made them all pose like this for a family Christmas card – we laugh about it together now and they’ve forgiven me for being such an embarrassing mum and stepmum, like families do. Perhaps it’s this that draws me back to telling stories about families who might never feature in a Christmas advertisement, but who know that being a family is about so much more than genetics.

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However, you spend your Christmas this year, I hope it’s surrounded by the people you love – your family – whatever that might look like.

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‘The Gift of Christmas Yet to Come’ is priced at just 99p and is available here – http://tinyurl.com/glxkdu3

‘Somebody Else’s Boy’ is a St Nicholas Bay novel and is reduced for one week only from £2.99 to 99p and is available here – http://tinyurl.com/gt3dusg

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Jo Bartlett is an author and lecturer who lives with her husband and four children, in a part of Kent that’s so close to south east corner of England that they’re almost French.

You can find out more about Jo on her website at jobartlettauthor.com or via Twitter @J_B_writer

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Thanks ever so much for such a great blog Jo.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x


Coffee at Christmas: Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection is OUT NOW!

Today I’m in festive mood with news of the release of my festive triple bill

Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection!

Comprising of my three previously published novella length sequels to my debut novel, Another Cup of Coffee (- Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas at the Cotswolds, Christmas at the Castle – ), Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection is available in both e-book format – and will be available as a paperback very soon!

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Blurb for the Jenny Kane Christmas Collection-

There is something very special about Christmas…

Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection combines all three seasonal shorts from Jenny’s best-selling Another Cup of … series in one festive anthology.

In ‘Another Cup of Christmas’, we return to Pickwicks Coffee House in London, the setting for Jenny’s bestselling novel Another Cup of Coffee. Together with old friends Kit, Amy, Scott and Peggy, we meet new Pickwicks waitress Megan, who’s in charge of organising a charity event for the local hospital…is romance as well as seasonal goodwill in the air?

‘Christmas in the Cotswolds’ sees Megan, now an established face at Pickwicks, travelling to the beautiful Cotswold countryside after an emergency call from her friend Izzie. Can Megan help Izzie pull off the perfect Christmas at her Arts and Crafts Centre – and save the business from disaster?

Kit Lambert, Pickwicks’ writer-in-residence, takes centre stage in ‘Christmas at the Castle’. Already nervous about appearing at her very first literary festival, in the grounds of a magnificent Scottish castle at Christmas time, Kit suddenly finds herself co-organising the whole thing – and trying to repair old friendships – with the deadline fast approaching…

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Each novella is deliberately short, so that you can fit a peaceful moments reading into your busy Christmas preparation schedule. Either Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas at the Cotswolds, or Christmas at the Castle, can be easily consumed in one delicious ginger and nutmeg flavoured mouthful at a time!

You can still buy each story as a separate e-book, but now you can buy them in one book as well-

Amazon UK- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jenny-Kanes-Christmas-Collection-Short-ebook/dp/B01M0ICD7A/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1474386377&sr=8-2&keywords=jenny+kane%27s+christmas+collection

Amazon.com-  https://www.amazon.com/Jenny-Kanes-Christmas-Collection-Short-ebook/dp/B01M0ICD7A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474387008&sr=8-1&keywords=jenny+kane%27s+christmas+collection

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To celebrate the release of my Pickwick’s festive package, here’s the very beginning of Another Cup of Christmas

December 4th 2012

Having politely escaped her third ‘So what are you doing for Christmas?’ conversation of the day, Megan Johnson was retreating back to the counter when she spotted Pickwicks’ most regular customer sit up from her work and brush a stray red hair from her eyes.

Knowing it had been at least half an hour since Kit’s caffeine addiction had been attended to, the waitress swiped up the percolator jug and headed in her direction.

Without bothering to ask if it was required, Megan poured the steaming liquid with practised care, before taking advantage of the lull in Christmas shopping trade, and sitting down opposite her friend. ‘Going OK?’

Swivelling the laptop round to face Megan, Kit rubbed the back of her neck, ‘I’m sure I’ve missed something. What do you think?’

Pickwicks Festive Fundraiser!

Spoil Yourself With An Afternoon of Pickwicks’ Finest Festive Fare.

 In Aid of the Royal Free Hospital’s Spinal Ward.

Saturday 22nd December from 2pm.

Deluxe Buffet And Festive Fundraising Fun!

Tickets are ONLY £25 per person

Don’t miss out!

Book your place at Pickwicks Coffee Shop, Richmond – NOW!!

Megan scanned the poster. ‘Oh, that’s fabulous! I thought you were writing your latest novel.’

‘To tell you the truth, that’s exactly what I should be doing, but Peggy asked me to do some publicity for the fundraiser and I thought I’d better get on with it. Time seems to be dissolving. It’ll be the 22nd before we know it.’

‘I know what you mean.’ Megan started to collect the dishes left by a couple who’d just vacated a nearby table. ‘The next three weeks are going to fly by.’

‘Two and a half weeks!’

‘Oh, hell! Really?’

‘That’s why I want to get these done; otherwise everyone will be too booked up with their own celebrations to have time to come.’ Gesturing towards the kitchen, Kit asked, ‘How’s Scott doing out there, or shouldn’t I ask?’

Megan’s permanent smile widened further across her lightly freckled face. ‘He’s amazing. I have no idea how he does it. The temperature in that kitchen is tropical, and yet Scott’s still beaming that massive toothy grin of his. I’m seriously beginning to think he is physically unable to stop cooking! Surely he must have pre-prepared as much as he can for the fundraiser by now?’

Kit nodded. ‘He probably has, but Peggy is getting paranoid there won’t be enough food.’ Glancing around, checking that Megan wasn’t needed by a customer for a moment, Kit pointed to a fresh pile of abandoned cups. ‘If I clear those, will you have a proper read of the poster? I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious but I can’t put my finger on it?’

Kit was already standing up and taking a tray from Megan’s hands before the waitress said, ‘On one condition.’

‘Which is?’

‘I can check my emails? I’m supposed to be liaising with the hospital about this for Peggy, but we’ve been so busy over the last few days I haven’t had time to see if Nick has got back to me about how many of the ward staff are coming.’

‘Nick?’

Megan silently cursed her inability to prevent the involuntary warm pink blush that hit her pale cheeks, ‘Yeah, he’s the admin guy for the ward that cared for Scott after his accident.’

‘Nice, is he?’ Kit gently teased the petite blonde waitress, wondering, not for the first time, why someone as kind and pretty as Megan hadn’t been snapped up years ago.

‘I’ve never met him, but he seems friendly. Well, he does via email and over the phone at least.’

‘You’ve spoken to him then?’

‘There are loads of things to sort out.’ Megan, knowing that the crush she’d developed on Nick’s Irish accent was utterly ridiculous, turned her full attention to the poster on the screen before her…

***

jennykanes-christmas-collection-new

I hope that snippet has tempted you into taking a look at my coffee loving, friendship enhancing, romance brewing, mulled wine sipping, stories.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xx

PS – These Christmas tales come before the novel, Another Glass of Champagne in the Another Cup of series…

AGOC


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