The Perfect Blend: Coffee and Kane


Currently Browsing: medieval

Who the hell are you?

Hello, it’s Jenny Kane here – or is it?

Last week I was lucky enough to go to the Exeter Writer and Blogger Meet Up, organised by the lovely Kim Nash and Holly Martin. It was a relaxed affair, with the only request made of us being that we wore name badges. I decided, in the interests of simplicity, just to use two of my many names- more for my sanity than anything else!

It was so busy – really wonderful! However, I had an attack of shy syndrome, and so I sat and chatted to many of the folk I’d met before- despite telling myself I must be brave and mingle!

This situation was not destined to remain however…

The pub in which was all met was open to the public as well as to us writer types. Unbeknown to me (as I had my back to the bar and am as deaf as a post), a stag party had come in. There they were, all dressed as characters from Top Gun, merrily ( I use the word advisedly) chatting to some of my fellow writers. Then, suddenly, there was a tap on my shoulder, and the words, ‘Hey, you’re the porn woman’ were being hurtled towards me at high speed…

Cue some good natured banter with said stag party.

Letting my inner Kay Jaybee take over, I coaxed the lads outside, where I took lots of photos for them – of them I hasten to add- and was about to make my way off when one of them produced a Sharpie…A little clothing signing later and I bid them a fond farewell and returned to the writer throng.

It was at that moment when a lady – who I regretfully didn’t catch the name of- turned to me and uttered the immortal words ‘Who the hell are you?!’

And so…maybe it’s time for a recap…

Jenny Kane writes RomCom style contemporary fiction – with a hint of romance and a healthy spattering of coffee drinking included. (Tea drinkers are also welcome)

book-pile

Jenny Kane also writes children’s picture books of the very quirky variety. There is no coffee on offer, but cookies are involved by way of compensation.

title-page

Jennifer Ash writes fourteenth century medieval mysteries– also with a hint of romance, but with no coffee whatsoever. There is ale though – lots of ale.

The Outlaw's Ransom

Kay Jaybee writes award winning, full on, adult only, erotica (not porn, despite the claims of the aforementioned stag party). It has been known to include coffee… Enough said… If you wish to learn about Kay, then feel free to visit her at www.kayjaybee.me.uk You should NOT visit Kay unless you are over 18. If you are under 18 and you visit her, you’ll make her very cross- not something I’d advise you doing…

best-of-kjb

There is another ‘ME’, but that name is not shared…ever…

And then of course, there is me. The actual me, who looks remarkably like Jenny and Jennifer and Kay. I can’t tell you that much about her except she works 12-14 hour shifts as a writer every day, and goes to work, and runs a house, and has a family (pretty much like every other writer I know). She often has moments of total forgetfulness, is very clumsy, drinks WAY too much coffee, loves Malteasers, and is rather keen on all things Robin Hood…Oh, and she is generally a very happy person.

Hope that’s helped a bit.

After the stag do incident I became much braver, and I spoke to some wonderful people in Exeter- although not as many as I’d have liked to as time ran out on me. Maybe next time.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny/Jennifer/Kay/Me xxx

crazy

 

 


Robin of Sherwood is coming back: Are you listening?

Robin of Sherwood is coming back: Are you listening?

Yes- you are reading this correctly, my favourite show of all time, that classic of the 1980’s- Robin of Sherwood- is making a comeback – on audio!!

Last year my blog was awash with the excitement of a one-off audio episode of Robin of Sherwood starring Jason Connery as Robin, and the rest of the original 1980’s cast. That episode, The Knight’s of the Apocalypse, was a runaway success – and so the boys are getting back together again- as well as the gorgeous Judi Trott as Marian of course!

Audio programme makers Spiteful Puppet are now taking pre-orders for 4 brand-new adventures of Robin of Sherwood on audio, with the return of the original cast and – even more excitedly – both Robins. Yes, Michael Praed is returning to the role of Robin of Loxley in two stories and Jason Connery comes back as Robert of Huntingdon in the other two stories.

As with last year’s audio production, work cannot go ahead with a large number of pre-orders to fund production. Spiteful Puppet are now approximately 100 orders away from doing that, with a deadline of the end of February. If we don’t manage to hit the target by then, then I’m afraid we have to halt production and refund all orders!!!

DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN!!! You’d make this author a very unhappy soul if it the episodes couldn’t be made. Yes, I am still obsessed with Robin Hood! Just one peep inside my novel, Romancing Robin Hood is enough to confirm that for you!

In case making me happy isn’t enough incentive for you to place your order this very moment- how about this…

…everyone who pre-orders their 4 episodes gets put into a draw to visit one of the recording sessions and there will also be signed scripts available to others!!! I had the sheer luck to be at the premier of last years episode- and it was AWESOME. Being at the actual recording would be even better!!

Sadly, at the current time, Spiteful Puppet can’t take orders for the CDs or the Download if you haven’t got a UK address, due to the complicated and expensive nature of the international rights issues. However, if you can find a fan friend in the UK who will buy it for you, then please do so!

So – here is that all important pre-order link: https://www.spitefulpuppet.com/shopp.php

Robin of Sherwood has been a major part of my life since I was 14 – I can believe I’m getting the chance to hear new episodes now I’m in my 40’s!!!

If you have any questions re the pre-orders or Robin of Sherwood in general, I’ll be happy to pass them on, or try and answer the queries myself.

Happy listening,

Jenny xx


Romancing it medieval style

Romancing Robin Hood is a contemporary romance all about history lecturer Dr Grace Harper- a woman nuts about Robin Hood (especially the 1980’s television show, Robin of Sherwood).

Not only does Romancing Robin Hood tell the story of Grace’s fight to find time for love in her own busy work filled life, it also contains a secondary story – a medieval mystery that Grace is writing.

history-of-ashby-folville

In the story Grace is writing, her fourteenth century protagonist, Mathilda, is getting to know the real life outlaw family- the Folville’s- rather better than she would have liked. As well as living with them, Mathilda suddenly finds herself under a very frightening type of suspicion.

RRH- new 2015

Here’s an extract from Mathilda’s story as Grace sits and writes it…

Mathilda thought she was used to darkness, but the dim candlelight of the comfortable small room she shared at home with her brothers was nothing like this. The sheer density of this darkness seemed to envelop her, physically gliding over Mathilda’s clammy goose-pimpled skin. This was an extreme blackness that coated her, making her breathless, as if it was stealthfully compressing her lungs and squeezing the life from her.

Unable to see the floor, Mathilda presumed, as she pressed her naked foot against it and damp oozed between her toes, that the suspiciously soft surface she was sat on was moss, which in a room neglected for years had been allowed it to form a 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 out her arms 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, still clapped in irons, abandoned and rotting. Mathilda battled the voice down; knowing it that would do her no good at all. Her father had always congratulated Mathilda on her level headedness, and now it was being put to the test. She was determined not to let him down now.

Placing the very tips of her fingers against the wall behind her, she felt her way around. It was wet. Trickles of water had found a way in from somewhere, giving the walls the same slimy covering as the floor. Mathilda traced the outline of the rough stone wall, keeping her feet exactly where they were. In seconds her fingers came to a corner, and twisting at the waist, she managed to plot her prison from one side of the heavy wooden door to the other, without doing more than extending the span of her arms.

Mathilda decided the room could be no more than five feet square, although it must be about six foot 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 her determination to be brave, and the cold brought her suppressed fear to the fore. Suddenly the shivering Mathilda had stoically ignored overtook her, and there was nothing she could do but let it invade her small slim body.

Wrapping her thin arms around her chest, she pulled up her hood, hugged her grey woollen surcoat tighter about her shoulders, and sent an unspoken prayer of thanks up to Our Lady for the fact that her legs were covered.

She’d been helping her two brothers, Matthew and Oswin, to catch fish in the deeper water beyond the second of Twyford’s fords when the men had come. Mathilda had been wearing an old pair of Matthew’s hose, although no stockings or shoes. She thought of her warm footwear, discarded earlier with such merry abandon. A forgotten, neglected pile on the river bank; thrown haphazardly beneath a tree in her eagerness to get them off and join the boys in their work. It was one of the only tasks their father gave them that could have been considered fun.

Mathilda closed her eyes, angry as the tears she’d forbidden herself to shed defied her stubborn will and came anyway. With them came weariness. It consumed her, forcing her to sink onto the rotten floor. Water dripped into her long, lank red hair. The tussle of capture had loosened its neatly woven plait, and now it hung awkwardly, half in and half out of its bindings, like a badly strapped sheaf of strawberry corn.

She tried not to start blaming her father, but it was difficult not to. Why hadn’t he told her he’d borrowed money from the Folvilles? It was an insane thing to do. Only the most desperate … Mathilda stopped her thoughts in their tracks. They were disloyal and pointless…

…Does Mathilda seem miserable and scared enough? Grace wasn’t sure she’d laid the horror of the situation on thick enough. On the other hand, she didn’t want to drown her potential readers in suffering-related adjectives.

No, on reflection it was fine; certainly good enough to leave and come back to on the next read through. She glanced at the clock at the corner of the computer screen. How the hell had it got to eight thirty already? Grace’s stomach rumbled, making her think of poor Mathilda in her solitary prison.

Switching off her computer, Grace crammed all her notes into her bag so she could read over them at home, and headed out of her office. Walking down the Queen’s Road, which led from the university to her small home in Leicester’s Clarendon Park region, Grace decided it was way too hot, even at this time of the evening, to stand in the kitchen and attempt, and probably fail, to cook something edible, so she’d grab a takeaway.

Grateful it wasn’t term time, so she didn’t have to endure the banter of the students who were also waiting for associated plastic boxes of Chinese food, Grace speedily walked home, and without bothering to transfer her chicken chow mein to another dish, grabbed a fork, kicked off her shoes, and settled herself down with her manuscript…

***

Romancing Robin Hood – Blurb.

Dr Grace Harper has loved the stories of Robin Hood ever since she first saw them on TV as a girl. Now, with her fortieth birthday just around the corner, she’s a successful academic in Medieval History, with a tenured position at a top university.

But Grace is in a bit of a rut. She’s supposed to be writing a textbook on a real-life medieval gang of high-class criminals – the Folvilles – but she keeps being drawn into the world of the novel she’s secretly writing – a novel which entwines the Folvilles with her long-time love of Robin Hood – and a feisty young girl named Mathilda, who is the key to a medieval mystery…

Meanwhile, Grace’s best friend Daisy – who’s as keen on animals as Grace is on the Merry Men – is unexpectedly getting married, and a reluctant Grace is press-ganged into being her bridesmaid. As Grace sees Daisy’s new-found happiness, she starts to re-evaluate her own life. Is her devotion to a man who may or may not have lived hundreds of years ago really a substitute for a real-life hero of her own? It doesn’t get any easier when she meets Dr Robert Franks – a rival academic who Grace is determined to dislike but finds herself being increasingly drawn to…

***

Buy Links

Available in e-format and paperback.

Amazon UK- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Romancing-Robin-Hood-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00M4838S2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407428558&sr=8-1&keywords=romancing+robin+hood

Amazon.com- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Romancing-Robin-Hood-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00M4838S2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407428558&sr=8-1&keywords=romancing+robin+hood

Kobo link – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/romancing-robin-hood

Nook link- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/romancing-robin-hood-jenny-kane/1121088562?ean=9781783754267

***

Since I wrote this medieval sub plot to the main romance of the modern part of Romancing Robin Hood, I have rewritten it, expanded it, and re-released it as a separate novella – The Outlaws’ Ransom. This means you have a choice of how to read the story of Mathilda of Twyford.

You can buy The Outlaw’s Ransom here- http://amzn.to/2dr5ZPo

Happy reading everyone!

Jenny Kane xx


Robin Hood: A Very Mini Medieval and Tudor Ballad History

I admit it- I had a lot of fun writing my novel, Romancing Robin Hood and my novella The Outlaw’s Ransom. Each project gave me the chance to take a self indulgent trip down memory lane, and dig out all my PhD notes on the ballad history behind the Robin Hood legend. Although Romancing Robin Hood is a modern contemporary romance, it also contains a second story- a medieval mystery which has more than a hint of the Robin Hood’s about it.

The earliest balladeers sang tales of Robin Hood long before they were written down, and audiences through history have all had different ideas of what Robin Hood was like in word, action, and appearance. Every writer, film maker, and poet ever since the first tales were spoken, has adapted the outlaw figure to fit their own imagination.

Lytell Geste

The Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode

 

The earliest mention found (to date), of the name Robin Hood appears in the poem The Vision of Piers Plowman, which was written by William Langland in c.1377.

A long ballad, Piers Plowman was a protest against the harsh conditions endured by the poor in the Fourteen Century. Not only did it mention Robin Hood, but makes reference to he outlaw gang, the Folvilles, who research suggests were an influence on those whose exploits wrote the Robin Hood ballads.

 

“And some ryde and to recovere that unrightfully was wonne:

He wised hem wynne it ayein wightnesses of handes,

And fecchen it from false men with Folvyles lawes.”

The Folville family were incredibly dangerous, influential, and had great impact on the Midlands of the UK in the Fourteenth Century. I’ll be introducing this family of brothers to you properly very soon; for they are something of an obsession for historian Dr Grace Harper- the lead character in Romancing Robin Hood.

RH and the monk

Robin Hood and the Monk

 

In 1450 the earliest single short ballad, Robin Hood and the Monk, was committed to paper, but it wasn’t until 1510 that the original story (Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode), was recorded in its entirety.

With the arrival of the printing press in Tudor and Elizabethan times, all of the most popular stories we recognise today were recorded for prosperity. Some of these stories had medieval roots, but many were were brand new pieces. The Tudor audience was as keen for fresh tales containing their favourite heroes as we are today. These ‘new’ tales included Robin Hood and Gisborne (c.1500) and Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar (c.1550) – who became known as Friar Tuck.

The Tudors loved the stories of Robin Hood. He was more popular then than he is now. Tudor documents are littered with mentions of Robin Hood’s all over Britain. For example-

– in 1497 Roger Marshall called himself Robin Hood, and lead a riot of 200 men in Staffordshire.

– in 1509, ten Robin Hood plays were banned in Exeter by the city council, as they had become a public nuisance.

Robin Hood’s most famous Tudor fan was Henry VIII himself. In fact, apart from hunting, eating, and getting married, Henry’s favourite hobby was acting. Sometimes he dressed up as Robin Hood. The king would wear a mask, and his audience had to pretend they didn’t know it was him, and had to look surprised when he revealed his true identity at the end of the play.

In 1510 Henry VIII and eleven of his nobles dressed as Robin Hood and broke into the Queen’s private rooms, apparently giving her the fright of her life! (Up to that point anyway!)

Thank you for letting me share a little of my Robin Hood passion with you today.

Romancing Robin Hood is available now on Nook, Kobo, Kindle and in paperback from all good retailers, including-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Romancing-Robin-Hood-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00M4838S2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407428558&sr=8-1&keywords=romancing+robin+hood

The Outlaw’s Ransom is available as a Kindle download – (published under the name Jennifer Ash, this novella was previously published as the medieval part of the Romancing Robin Hood novel mentioned above.)

http://amzn.to/2dr5ZPo

Happy reading,

Jenny xx


Bring it On…

There’s no need for me to say things like “2016 was just so awful….” Hardly anyone would argue that it wasn’t a pretty big disaster all round the world stage. So, enough said.

2017 now lays ahead of us like a pristine blank notebook, just waiting for the world’s storytellers to fill it up.

OK- so they’ll be more political chaos etc- but here in my own small corner of book land, there is much to look forward to.

For a start I have 2 brand new novels coming out during 2017 – one as Jenny Kane, and one as Jennifer Ash.

My Jenny Kane novel comes out in June, and will be entitled Abi’s Neighbour – the sequel of my bestselling novel, Abi’s House. I will have a cover for you to look at shortly (I’ve seen it already- and I love it!), as well as a blurb. All I can tell you at the moment is that the main characters, Abi, Max, Beth, Jacob and Stan, are still in Sennen Cove in Cornwall- along with a few new faces. And before anyone asks- no, I haven’t killed the dog. You’d be amazed how many emails I got asking me not to kill off Sadie, Stan’s Golden Retriever. As if I would!

My Jennifer Ash book this year will be a full length novel which carries on a few months after the end of the novella, The Outlaw’s Ransom. The new novel, The Winter Outlaw, will be out in November. It is that novel I’m working on at the moment. So I’m starting 2017 by doing a rewrite of the first draft of the book which will probably end up being the last publication of the year.

Along with these two novels, I also have short stories and a novella coming out under my adult pen name.

In between the editing and writing, I’ll be teaching as many writing workshops as I can squeeze into the days, drafting yet another novel (not saying what that’s about yet….), and taking on freelance writing assignments.

2017 is only a few days old, but it’s already shaping up to be one of the busiest yet, and after the publication of Another Glass of Champagne, The Outlaws’ Ransom, Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection, and several other pieces for the ‘other’ me in 2016, I wouldn’t have thought that possible!

Happy reading,

Jenny/Jennifer x

 


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