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Opening Lines: CRONE by Jeannie Wycherley

Posted by on Mar 22nd, 2018 in Blog, Fantasy, Fiction, Jenny Kane, News, Opening Lines Blog | 5 comments

Welcome to my brand new ‘Opening Lines’ blog series. Each Thursday an author will share a little about their work – and JUST the first 500 words of one of their novels – even if that means leaving things mid-sentence… I’m delighted to welcome Jeannie Wycherley as my first guest of the series. Over to you Jeannie… Crone is my debut novel, set in and around Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth in Devon (the fictional Abbotts Cromleigh and Elbury of the novel). It’s a story that emanates very much from the landscape. The physicality of Aefre, whom we meet as she is being reborn in the opening lines, is actually drawn from the detritus of the forest floor. Birth and death are central to the novel, and in between those events some of the intriguing characters, such as the enigmatic Mr Kephisto (also known as the Story Keeper) live extremely long lives. Crone is a dark fantasy novel, so as the author I was able to play with the longevity of each character’s existence, but at its heart it is actually a mystery with supernatural elements, and I have been contacted by many readers who start their email with the words, “This isn’t the sort of book I would normally read, but …” I am so thrilled that Crone has drawn such a diverse audience and appeals to such a cross section of readers. It was vitally important to me to maintain truth within the supernatural, so yes, you have to suspend some disbelief as you do in any fantasy novel, but all the magic involved, among the elderly Guardians who are hunting Aefre for example, is ultimately feasible. I wasn’t interested in writing about sparkly wizards, and glittery unicorns. This is witchcraft with dirty hands and broken nails. It’s about real human experience. But ultimately, it is the age old story of a mother’s love for her child. Crone Blurb Heather Keynes’ teenage son died in a tragic car accident. Or so she thinks. However, deep in the wilds of the Devon countryside, an ancient evil has awoken … and is intent on hunting the residents of Abbotts Cromleigh. No one is safe. When Heather delves into a series of coincidental deaths, she is drawn reluctantly into the company of an odd group of elderly Guardians. Who are they, and what is their connection to the Great Oak? Why do they believe only Heather can put an end to centuries of horror? Who is the mysterious old woman in the forest and what is it that feeds her anger? When Heather determines the true cause of her son’s death, she is hell-bent on vengeance. Determined to halt the march of the Crone once and for all, hatred becomes Heather’s ultimate weapon. Furies collide in this twisted tale of murder, magic and salvation.     500 words – Opening Lines Prologue The cracking and snapping of dry bones reverberated through the stillness of the night. In the freezing air, at the very heart of the wood, in the slumped ruins of a long-forgotten dwelling, something dark began to manifest itself. Little more than a mummified corpse, she unfolded her outer layer in a shower of dust and dry mould. Her skin, what remained of it, creaked like ancient leather...

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PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE: The Winter Outlaw

Posted by on Mar 18th, 2018 in Blog, crime, Fiction, Historical fiction, Jennifer Ash, medieval, Romance | Comments Off on PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE: The Winter Outlaw

The Kindle edition of ‘The Winter Outlaw‘ (Book 2 of The Folville Chronicles) Available for pre-order. Blurb 1329: It is the dead of winter and the notorious Folville brothers are on edge. There are rumours of an unknown outlaw terrorising the Leicestershire countryside. Could this man be Adam Calvin, who is being pursued for a crime he did not commit? Mathilda of Twyford, newly betrothed to Robert de Folville, believes Adam’s story. But after an attack on the household’s trusted housekeeper, it falls to Mathilda to work out who can be trusted and who can’t… With the Folvilles’ past about to trip them up, it’s going to take a level head and extreme bravery if Mathilda and Robert are ever going to make it to their Winter Solstice wedding. The Winter Outlaw is the sequel to The Outlaw’s Ransom. *** Pre-order links- UK- http://ow.ly/RsKq30j0jev  US –http://ow.ly/EvyF30j0jfk  I hope you enjoy the second of Mathilda of Twyford’s adventures! Happy reading, Jen x Share...

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Opening Lines: The Outlaw’s Ransom

Posted by on Mar 15th, 2018 in Blog, crime, Fiction, Historical fiction, Jennifer Ash, medieval, News | Comments Off on Opening Lines: The Outlaw’s Ransom

Today I am launching a brand new blog series: ‘Opening Lines.’ Every Thursday I will be featuring a different author and the first 500 words from one of their novels. I thought I’d kick off the series today with the opening lines from my own latest release, The Outlaw’s Ransom– The Folville Chronicles. Mathilda thought she was used to the dark, but the night-time gloom of the small room she shared with her brothers at home was nothing like this. The sheer density of this darkness enveloped her, physically gliding over her clammy skin. It made her breathless, as if it was trying to squeeze the life from her. As moisture oozed between her naked toes, she presumed that the suspiciously soft surface she crouched on was moss, which had grown to form a damp cushion on the stone floor. It was a theory backed up by the smell of mould and general filthiness which hung in the air. Trying not to think about how long she was going to be left in this windowless cell, Mathilda stretched her arms out to either side, and bravely felt for the extent of the walls, hoping she wasn’t about to touch something other than cold stone. The child’s voice that lingered at the back of her mind, even though she was a woman of nineteen, was telling her – screaming at her – that there might be bodies in here, secured in rusted irons, abandoned and rotting. She battled the voice down. Thinking like that would do her no good at all. Her father had always congratulated his only daughter on her level-headedness, and now it was being so thoroughly put to the test, she was determined not to let him down. Stretching her fingers into the blackness, Mathilda placed the tips of her fingers against the wall behind her. It was wet. Trickles of water had found a way in from somewhere, giving the walls the same slimy covering as the floor. Continuing to trace the outline of the rough stone wall, Mathilda kept her feet exactly where they were. In seconds her fingertips came to a corner, and by twisting at the waist, she quickly managed to plot her prison from one side of the heavy wooden door to the other. The dungeon could be no more than five feet square, although it must be about six feet tall. Her own five-foot frame had stumbled down a step when she’d been pushed into the cell, and her head was at least a foot clear of the ceiling. The bleak eerie silence was eating away at Mathilda’s determination to be brave, and the cold brought her suppressed fear to the fore. Suddenly the shivering she had stoically ignored overtook her, and there was nothing she could do but let it invade her… Here’s the blurb to The Outlaw’s Ransom- When potter’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 using crime to rule their lands—and for using any means necessary to deliver their distinctive brand of ‘justice’. Mathilda must prove her worth to the Folvilles in order to win her freedom. To do so, she must go...

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The Winter Outlaw is coming…

Posted by on Mar 14th, 2018 in Blog, crime, Fiction, Historical fiction, Jennifer Ash, medieval, Romance | 2 comments

You may be thinking it’s one book after another from me at the moment- and you’d be right! Romancing Robin Hood and The Outlaw’s Ransom have recently flown forth from Littwitz Press. These novels were both re-releases. They have been reedited, recovered and given a whole new lease of life. Today, however, I can proudly reveal the cover of a BRAND NEW NOVEL. Isn’t it beautiful! Not seen before, The Winter Outlaw, is the second book in ‘The Folville Chronicles.’  It follows on from The Outlaw’s Ransom (or Romancing Robin Hood– which includes a slightly briefer version of The Outlaw’s Ransom within its pages). Continuing the story of Mathilda of Twyford, potters daughter and hostage to the infamous criminal gang, the Folville brothers, The Winter Outlaw, is a non-stop medieval adventure. So buckle up…because the winter outlaw is coming… Happy reading, Jen xx PS- pre-order links VERY soon x     Share...

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Best Foot Forward by Bea Stevens

Posted by on Mar 13th, 2018 in Blog, Contemporary fiction, Contemporary Romantic Fiction, Fiction, Jenny Kane, Romance | 2 comments

I’m delighted to have Bea Stevens with me today, sharing a little from her brand new romance: Best Foot Forward. Blurb Liberty ‘Libby’ Lawrence adores designer labels – even though she can’t afford many. And she especially loves shoes. Her favourites are Christian Louboutins – though not those fake ones Bianca Morrison-Wright gets from the market (the red paint rubs off the soles and everything!) She’s working as a manager (albeit junior manager) at a London hotel, when the boss announces that there has been a theft from his office. Libby couldn’t help noticing some strange marks on his carpet when she was called in for a reprimand recently (not that it was her fault, or anything) which lead her to surmise who the thief is. Detective Sergeant James Harper, the hunky policemen who is assigned the case, seems interested in her theory – until she names her number one suspect. Libby is devastated, not only because he doesn’t believe her but – more importantly – that this guy knows NOTHING about shoes! As Libby struggles to convince the sergeant that her hunch is right, her boss that she’s ready for promotion and herself that she’s not really falling for the gorgeous copper, she realises that maybe she’s wrong about the theft, she’s not suited to the hotel industry and that the handsome hunk is married! Excerpt I’m busy watching a yummy copper-haired guy who’s just walked through from the bar and is looking around. It’s him. It’s Mr Handsome Hunk himself. Oh my God. My heart pounds like a bass drum. Cassie’s nearest and goes up to him, seating him on table twelve, just next to the deuce by the window. That’s a table of two, by the way, not just a tennis term. I quickly pick up a menu and head over, trying not to catch the attention of the two reporters on the next table. Cassie’s eyes flash at me as our paths cross, and I suspect she’s thinking the same as me – what a stud! ‘Good afternoon, sir.’ I smile as I hand him the menu. ‘The soup today is potato and leek, and I’m afraid we’ve run out of lamb.’ He doesn’t even smile as he takes the menu from me. There’s a thud in my stomach. ‘Pity, I quite fancy lamb today.’ I daren’t tell him what – or rather who – I fancy. ‘Sorry, sir.’ He frowns; I hope it’s not because of the lamb. ‘Just be careful of the vegetables,’ Ben calls over from the next table. ‘You’re okay if you just want a pea, though,’ Rob chimes in with a chuckle. Very funny. I shoot them a dirty look, stick my nose in the air and walk away. Or at least, I would have walked away if my heel hadn’t got caught in the tablecloth as I spun around. I yelp as my ankle twists and there’s a clatter of silverware as the contents of table twelve hurtle through the air, firing all around me like bullets as I fall with a hefty slam, ending up sprawled across the floor in between the two tables. ‘Libby, are you okay?’ Cassie’s there in an instant. I peer up gingerly, having covered my head with my arms in case the wineglasses...

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Coffee and Champagne: Lazy weekend reads

Posted by on Mar 10th, 2018 in Blog, Contemporary fiction, Contemporary Romantic Fiction, Fiction | 2 comments

I went on quite a journey with the main characters in the ‘Another Cup of….’ series of books, from the full length novel Another Cup of Coffee, through three Christmas novella’s, (Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds and Christmas at the Castle), and then the final full length novel, Another Glass of Champagne! Amy, Kit and Jack were all in the their thirties when I began to tell their intertwined stories of love, friendship and coffee sipping. By the time I’d finished the adventure they were in their forties, and facing the fact that age doesn’t give you the answers to your problems. In fact, all it does is add to them… Blurb A warm-hearted, contemporary tale about a group of friends living in a small corner of busy London, by bestselling author Jenny Kane. Fortysomething Amy is shocked and delighted to discover she s expecting a baby not to mention terrified! Amy wants best friend Jack to be godfather, but he hasn’t been heard from in months. When Jack finally reappears, he s full of good intentions but his new business plan could spell disaster for the beloved Pickwicks Coffee Shop, and ruin a number of old friendships… Meanwhile his love life is as complicated as ever and yet when he swears off men for good, Jack meets someone who makes him rethink his priorities…but is it too late for a fresh start?  Author Kit has problems of her own: just when her career has started to take off, she finds herself unable to write and there s a deadline looming, plus two headstrong kids to see through their difficult teenage years…will she be able to cope? A follow-up to the runaway success Another Cup of Coffee. *** Why not put your feet up and indulge in some coffee and champagne this weekend? If you’d like to see how the story ends, then you can buy Another Glass of Champagne from all good bookshop and e-retailers. (You don’t need to have read the previous novels to enjoy this one) Buy Links – Another Glass of Champagne http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Another+Glass+of+Champagne+Jenny+Kane http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/188-7813436-7626710?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Another+Glass+of+Champagne+Jenny+Kane *** Happy reading, Jenny x Share...

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Let’s talk about sex. Or not.

Posted by on Mar 6th, 2018 in Blog, Fiction, Historical fiction, Jenny Kane, News | 2 comments

Today I’m delighted to welcome back Tom Williams to my site to talk about…well…sex actually. Over to you Tom… With The White Rajah having just been republished by Endeavour, I find myself thinking once again about sex. As you do. The thing is that there is a bit of sex in The White Rajah. Hardly any. Rather less than the average romance these days and almost certainly less than today’s Daily Telegraph. It’s all very sweet, and very consensual, because although The White Rajah tells the true story of James Brooke – the man who Conrad based Lord Jim on – and it features pirates and battles and Victorian politics, there is at its heart a love story. And [spoiler alert] there are no female characters. It turns out that there are people who still get quite agitated about this. Who knew? Sex in books, it seems, is still a pretty contentious issue. Back in the days of obscenity trials, it was clear what you could and couldn’t write about when it came to sex. Lady Chatterley’s Lover is possibly the most famous example, but other books to run foul of the UK censor included Ulysses, Lolita, The Well of Loneliness, and Tropic of Cancer. Nowadays, though, we (or at least all the nice liberal London folk and the sort of people who read blogs like this) like to mock gently at the poor repressed darlings of yesteryear. Today writers can write, and readers read, pretty much whatever they want to. Well, as Evelyn Waugh’s Mr Salter might say, ‘Up to a point, Lord Copper.’ For while my literary friends are happy to explore the “thematic explorations of the relationship between surrender and freedom, the nature and demands of love, and the spiritual aspects of sexual desire” in Pauline Reage’s Story of O (thank you Book Rags Study Guides for that gem), there are other readers out there who see the world rather differently. This is from an Amazon review of Leslie Thomas’s The Secret Army: But we also see a country overflowing with sexual immorality. Yes, s£x [sic] did and does take place, but open oral s£x in streets or respectable married women regularly having multiple partners, even being passed from person to person? Perhaps, but surely very rarely, and not anywhere else as a regular occurrence except in Mr Thomas’ mind, I expect. The question of how much sex is too much (or too little) is, apparently, a constant concern of publishers. One author I know, whose ‘erotic’ novella seems pretty tame, told me that her publisher had asked her to hold back on the kink, while another, writing a straightforward romance, was apparently told to include more explicit sex. Adding homosexuality into the picture and some Amazon reviewers are ready to condemn The White Rajah out of hand: Pity that such an excellent story should be ruined by the sexual obsessions of the author. I think Tom Williams spoiled a great yarn by introducing a ‘gay’ element into a well known and loved adventure. At the same time, several reviewers on other sites have complained that I shy away from explicit details. (Apparently I’m not nearly obsessed enough.) The one disappointment I had, and why I give it three stars rather than four, is that the relationship between the narrator and Brooke is related in very timid...

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OUT NOW IN PAPERBACK: The Outlaw’s Ransom

Posted by on Mar 3rd, 2018 in Blog, crime, Fiction, Historical fiction, Jennifer Ash, medieval, News | Comments Off on OUT NOW IN PAPERBACK: The Outlaw’s Ransom

Only yesterday I had the pleasure of announcing that The Outlaw’s Ransom was out on Kindle- today I can shout loud and proud that it is… OUT IN PAPERBACK AS WELL Here’s the blurb… When potter’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 using crime to rule their lands—and for using any means necessary to deliver their distinctive 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 betrothed of Robert de Folville, undertake a mission that will send her to Bakewell in Derbyshire, and the home of Nicholas Coterel, one of the most infamous men in England. With her life in the hands of more than one dangerous brigand, Mathilda must win the trust of the Folville’s housekeeper, Sarah, and Robert Folville himself if she has any chance of survival. Never have the teachings gleaned from the tales of Robyn Hode been so useful…  *** Here are those all important buy links- Paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outlaws-Ransom-Folville-Chronicles/dp/1999855264/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520007697&sr=1-2&keywords=the+outlaw%27s+ransom https://www.amazon.com/Outlaws-Ransom-Folville-Chronicles/dp/1999855264/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520007771&sr=1-1&keywords=the+outlaw%27s+ransom Kindle (Those of you who have read Romancing Robin Hood, will already recognise The Outlaw’s Ransom. It is the same tale of Mathilda of Twyford that appears within my Jenny Kane novel. However- it has been expanded slightly, with more history added in. The story I must stress- IS THE SAME. If you want a new Mathilda story you will not have to wait long- Book Two of The Folville Chronicles- The Winter Outlaw– will be out next month.) Happy reading, Jennifer xxx Share...

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OUT NOW ON KINDLE: The Outlaws’ Ransom

Posted by on Mar 2nd, 2018 in Blog, crime, Fiction, Historical fiction, Jennifer Ash, medieval, News | Comments Off on OUT NOW ON KINDLE: The Outlaws’ Ransom

The Outlaw’s Ransom is OUT NOW on KINDLE!! Every single book I am lucky enough to have published means a lot to me. Writers talk about ‘putting something of themselves’ into their work – and it’s true. For the months while we are writing a story, we live it- breathe it- sweat over it- and become part of it. This book however- which will become a series of 5 novels called The Folville Chronicles– has a special place in my heart. For a start, it was inspired by my love of the stories of Robin Hood – but it isn’t about him. It’s about a family who took crime as their way of life in the Fourteenth Century- the Folvilles. The parallels between their real lives and the stories of Robin Hood have not gone unnoticed by historians- including myself. I studied the Folvilles in depth for five years back in the 1990’s- and I knew then that they had a story worth telling. Writing a novel about the Folville brothers was only a distant dream back then. I had never written anything other than essays and research papers- 24 years later things are rather different… I now have one or two novels under my belt. It wasn’t until I wrote Romancing Robin Hood however, that I felt brave enough to have a go at writing a medieval crime series. Something I was encouraged in by the good folk I met at the last Hooded Man Event in 2016 (A conference/event for Robin of Sherwood fans), where I was selling my earlier novels. Here’s the blurb… When potter’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 using crime to rule their lands—and for using any means necessary to deliver their distinctive 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 betrothed of Robert de Folville, undertake a mission that will send her to Bakewell in Derbyshire, and the home of Nicholas Coterel, one of the most infamous men in England. With her life in the hands of more than one dangerous brigand, Mathilda must win the trust of the Folville’s housekeeper, Sarah, and Robert Folville himself if she has any chance of survival. Never have the teachings gleaned from the tales of Robyn Hode been so useful…  Those of you who have read Romancing Robin Hood, will already recognise The Outlaw’s Ransom. It is the same tale of Mathilda of Twyford that appears within my Jenny Kane novel. However- it has been expanded slightly, with more history added in. The story I must stress- IS THE SAME. If you want a new Mathilda story you will not have to wait long- Book Two of The Folville Chronicles- The Winter Outlaw– will be out next month. *** Here is that all important KINDLE buy link- The Outlaw’s Ransom will also be out in paperback very soon. Happy reading, Jen xx Share...

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End of the Month Blog: Farewell February

Posted by on Feb 28th, 2018 in Blog | 15 comments

Another month has whizzed by with lightening speed – and a few coughs and colds (and a broken foot in my case) Let’s see what the lovely Nell Peters has to say for herself this month… Over to you Nell… Hi y’all! Good to see you again, on this last day of February – 28th, as it’s not a Leap Year (just in case you hadn’t noticed). The proposals will have to wait, ladies. Let’s dive straight in, shall we? Looking at a web site listing those with birthdays today, I noticed quite a few of them described as YouTube or Instagram stars – seriously? Needless to say, they’re all very young, mostly American, and I’ve never heard of any of them. Best of all, however, has to be Australian Kai Saunders, seventeen today, whose slightly iffy claim to fame is that he’s a Scooter Rider. My first thought was that the older Grands are scooter riders also – even I can ride a scooter, though it’s been a while – but I hope their achievements later in life will be a little more worthy and substantial. Kai’s mini bio includes the info that he rides for Phoenix Pro Scooters who competed at the Auckland Street Jam in 2017. Now we know. I wonder if TV chef Ainsley Harriott will be baking his own birthday cake today – he’ll need sixty-one candles. Born in London of Jamaican heritage, as well as training and working as a chef, he dabbled in comedy and singing and formed the duo Calypso Twins with old school friend, Paul Boross. They released a hit record in the early 1990s and went on to be regular performers at the Comedy Store, before crossing the pond to appear on American TV and radio shows. It was via radio that his prolific UK TV career was launched. And he never seems to stop smiling that brilliant smile. Celebrating his seventy-eighth birthday today is Barry Fantoni, whom I knew very briefly eons ago. As a gangly late teen, I was at St Martin’s Art College (I had a few false starts before I decided what I wanted to do) when Gary Withers, as editor of the college mag, took advantage of students and Private Eye bods frequenting the same Soho pub (St M’s was then in Charing Cross Road) to approach BF bar side and request an interview. Gary couldn’t keep the appointment and asked me to go instead, as chez Fantoni wasn’t a million miles away from where I lived, a smallish detour on the way home. I duly presented myself at the door of the Clapham Common basement flat, pad and pen poised for action and absolutely no idea what I was doing, as I seldom read the publication let alone contributed to it. It went surprisingly well, as I recall, and for someone very much in the public eye at that time, he came across as super-friendly and refreshingly modest. I learned later that he had a bit of a dodgy reputation for female conquests, but I have to say he was a perfect gentleman while I perched on his uncomfortable sofa. I sent him a copy of the piece I’d written for approval and we stayed in touch for a while. I once met...

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