Jenny Kane & Jennifer Ash

Jenny Kane: Coffee, cupcakes, chocolate and contemporary fiction / Jennifer Ash: Medieval crime with hints of Ellis Peters and Robin Hood

Interview with Lynne Shelby: Rome for the Summer

I’m delighted to welcome Lynne Shelby to my blog for a chat about her brand new novel, Rome for the Summer.

Pop your feet up for five minutes and join us for a cuppa and some book chat.

Welcome Lynne. So, what inspired you to write your book?

The idea for Rome for the Summer first came to me when I was walking through Rome (my husband and I were heading back to our hotel after a day’s sightseeing) when I overheard two girls – one Italian, one American – talking, the American telling the Italian girl that ‘the job will only be for six months.’ I still have the notes I wrote as soon as were reached our hotel: ‘American in Rome. Why? What job? Is she working in Rome for six months? Or going back to the States for six months? Does she have an Italian boyfriend she is leaving or an American boyfriend pining for her return?’ I didn’t start writing the book immediately – I was writing another book at the time – but back in England, I happened to fall into conversation with a woman sitting at the next table in a restaurant who turned out to be an American professor with a very interesting reason for visiting Europe, which gave me the answer to what the American girl was doing in Rome – and she became my English heroine, Kate, who escapes to Rome for the summer. Then, of course, there is Rome itself – wandering around the narrow, cobbled streets, stopping to eat a gelato by a fountain in a flower bedecked, sun-drenched piazza, certainly inspired me to write a novel set in this beautiful city.

What type of research did you have to do for your book?

I did more research for Rome for the Summer than any other book I’ve written so far, mainly because, while I wouldn’t describe the book as having a dual timeline, some events that took place in 1816 – which my heroine discovers as she explores Rome – are an important part of the story, and I wanted to be sure that the historical scenes described could have occurred in the Regency era. At the beginning of the book, my heroine is working in an art gallery, and although I enjoy visiting art galleries, I’ve never worked in one, so I read up on the sort of tasks working in a gallery would entail. I also needed to find out more about the art world, such as how paintings are valued and sold at auction. I’ve visited Rome several times, and would have loved to go back on a research trip to make sure I’d remembered the layout, and to choose the best area of the city for my heroine to live in, but with travel restrictions still in place when I was writing the novel, I had to rely on photos, maps, guide books, and Google Earth. My social media newsfeeds are now full of adverts encouraging me to attend an auction of Old Masters or purchase a gorgeous apartment in Rome – sadly I will be doing neither!

Which Point of View do you prefer to write in and why?

I prefer to write in the first person, from the POV of my heroine, as I find this allows me to get right inside her head – to the extent that it often feels as if she is doing exactly what she wants rather than sticking to my plot! I also hope that telling the story through my heroine’s eyes will create an immediacy which will help readers to empathise with the character and drawn them into her world – even when it is clear that she sometimes gets things wrong or makes the wrong choice at some points in the story.

Do you prefer to plot your story or just go with the flow?

In the past, when I’ve first started writing a book, I’ve known the beginning and the end, but have had only the vaguest idea what happens in the middle, so I tended to go with the flow, throwing my characters together and seeing what happened. Then, there came a point, usually about two-thirds of the way through, when I started to see the shape of my story, and that’s when I started planning. With Rome for the Summer, I knew far more about the way I wanted the plot to go before I started writing, and made notes for each chapter as I wrote the first draft – although I still needed to do a lot of editing in subsequent drafts!

What is your writing regime?

I’d love to be able to say that I get up at dawn and write 2,000 words before breakfast, but in reality, on a typical writing day, I go to my writing room (aka the spare bedroom) and sit down at my desk by about 9.30. Before I start writing, I read back over what I wrote the day before to get back into my story, and then I write up to lunchtime – although I have been known to keep writing and forget to have lunch if the words are flowing really well – and sometimes go back to my desk to write for another couple of hours in the afternoon. I used to aim to write 1,000 words a day, but as I’m a relatively slow writer, I’ve found it’s more realistic to aim for 500 words and then be delighted when my word-count is over 800. On the occasional day when I hit 2,000+ words, I’m ecstatic!

What excites you the most about your book?

Although Rome for the Summer is a contemporary romance like my earlier novels, I very much enjoyed writing a book with a historical element, a two-hundred-year-old secret, and with more twists in the plot than my earlier books. I’m also excited that the book is set in Rome, and I hope that readers will enjoy visiting the Eternal City as much as I did when I wrote about it, and that they will like my heroine and hero, Kate and artist Jamie, as much as I do!

Purchase Link for Rome For The Summer: https://t.co/GefWLvcH7X

Bio:

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, French Kissing, now re-published in ebook as Meet Me In Paris, won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition, and her fifth novel, Love On Location, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novelists’ Award. Her latest novel, Rome For The Summer, is out on 23 June 2022. She has done a variety of jobs from stable girl to child actor’s chaperone to legal administrator, but now writes full time. When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre or exploring a foreign city, writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

Website: www.lynneshelby.com

Twitter: @LynneShelby5

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LynneShelbyWriter

Instagram: lynneshelbywriter

Many thanks for visiting today, Lynne. Good luck with your lovely new book.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

 

50 Things: Part 4

Part 1 of my ’50 Things’ series saw me contemplating the things I (personally) needed in my life to be able to write.

Today, the focus is more general

5 THINGS A WRITER SHOULD NEVER DO

(assuming they are writing to build a readership, rather than just for fun)

Never underestimate the importance of reputation

While you need to be able to write well to get on as an author – that isn’t enough.  Building up a readership and good networks with publishers and reviewers is vital to your survival. To do that you need a good reputation.

Always keep deadlines; be known for being reliable.

Don’t be an author who hangs on the coat tails of other people’s successes. Don’t copy in famous people (you don’t know) on FB and Twitter etc, just because you think you write like them, or have characters like theirs in your work.  (unless you have their permission)  Behaviour like this gets noticed – and not in a good way.

Don’t add your successes onto other people social media streams without permission. It’s rude.

Don’t boast.

Don’t lie.

This all sounds so obvious – and a bit killjoy like perhaps – but the fact is, you don’t know who is reading your social media posts or you blog. If you are hoping for an agent, new publisher, or a book club to contact you – your chances are much lower if you have a reputation for poor social media etiquette, or for being unreliable.

Never cut corners

Just don’t. All that work you’ve put into writing a story will be wasted if you are in a hurry.

If you need to edit – then edit.

If your cover needs improving- improve it.

If you need to do one more redraft – do it.

Cutting corners might get your work out faster – but readers aren’t stupid- they can tell if an author has rushed their work. And if you don’t care enough about your work to address every issue and make it as good as you can, then why would a reader care enough to come back to you a second time?

(Of course, no one’s work is ever 100% perfect – but we should try to get as near toperfect as possible)

Never think you’re alone

Writing can be lonely – and writers are often their own worst enemies. We constantly question our ability -living hand in hand with imposter syndrome.

Social media is awash with writer’s groups. You can meet other writers, and have a good old moan about what ever part of the writing process is getting you down. Within minutes you’ll find you are not the only one going through it.

There are also in person local author groups all over the place. Be brave and join one. Chances are, it’ll be full of people obsessing over the same things you are.

Never take any success you have for granted

If you get a good book deal – embrace it. Love it. Enjoy every second of it. But do not take it for granted. One deal, does not mean they’ll be another one.  Never assume you won’t have to work just as hard for the second one. (Sounds cynical – but it’s true)

Never think you have to write if it isn’t fun anymore

Writing is hard work – but it is also great fun. What better way to earn a living than to make up lies all day?

But if it isn’t fun anymore – stop. Life’s too short!

So- that’s 2 lists down – 8 to go!

Jenny xx

Autumn Leaves Goes Audio

Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange is now available as an audio book!

This means you can now listen to book one, Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange, and book two of the #MillGrange #series, as well as reading them.

Blurb

‘I am a big fan of Jenny Kane’ Katie Fforde.

At Mill Grange, the work – and the fun – never stops! As autumn brings coolness and colour, change is in the air for all at the manor…

Sam Philips’ time in the forces changed him forever. Supported by his friends, Sam is keen to help make beautiful Mill Grange a safe retreat for injured army personnel… but his crippling claustrophobia means Sam is living in a tent on the grounds! Enlisting the help of charming village stalwarts Bert and Mabel Hastings, Tina Martins is determined to find a way to help him conquer his fears. But why does she feel like he is keeping a secret?

After discovering evidence of a Roman fortlet on the manor’s grounds, Thea Thomas is thrilled at the chance to return to her archaeological roots and lead the excavation. She spent the summer with handsome celebrity archaeologist Shaun Cowlson – but now he’s off filming his Landscape Treasures show in Cornwall, and Thea can’t help but miss his company. Especially as someone else is vying for his attention…

Available from Nook, Kobo, as well as Amazon UK and Amazon US  in paperback, ebook, and audio formats.

With the summer holidays not far away, why not relax back on the beach, in the car, or as you go for a walk, and listen to the scone and bacon sandwich fueled adventures of the  #MillGrange team.

Happy listening,

Jenny x

50 Things: Parts 2 & 3

I’m thinking likes and dislikes today.

First off:

5 THINGS I LOVE (apart from my family and friends!)

Walking in the countryside

Preferably over moorland or through woods – I simply love to pack up some coffee and biscuits and pop on my walking boots.

I rarely have time off, and I’m useless at resting, so walking time in the fabulous UK countryside is my main way to escape reality (or fiction).

Robin Hood

Hardly a surprise to find this on my list! My passion for all things Robin Hood has been part of my life since I was 14 years old – and I can’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.

Rewriting

I’ll be honest – I don’t enjoy writing very much. I slog my way through every first draft. When it comes to the rewriting process however, it’s a different matter. I love redrafting my work – that magical process of improving each sentence and making every word work hard for its right to be there.  It’s both challenging and satisfying.

Eating Out

I love going to cafes and restaurants. Even though I sit in a cafe corner every day, I never get bored of the experience. Whether it’s just for a cuppa, or for a scone and coffee, or a three course dinner – I simply adore the process – and all the people watching that goes with the environment! (I’m also quite keen on other people doing the cooking and clearing up!)

Weekend reading time

Time off is a bit of a luxury for me, so for the past few years – in order to enforce some down time on myself – I put aside one hour each Saturday and Sunday where all I do is sit and read (and drink coffee). It is pure bliss to enjoy words I haven’t written.

5 THINGS I DISLIKE

‘May I reach out to you’ or ‘I’m just reaching out to you…’

UG! Every time I hear those words I have the instant urge to have a wash. There is something horribly clammy about them – and ever so slightly creepy. (Not to mention needy.)

So please, NEVER reach out to me. You can ask for my help, my time or my advice. You can visit me, email me and talk to me – but PLEASE do not reach out to me.

Laziness

I simply don’t get it.  How can people not do things, because they can’t be bothered?

(This is different from resting or being unable to do things)

Humiliation humour

Humiliation forms a big part of TV and social media culture these days – and I hate it. Laughing at someone who is being humiliated is just cruel. Don’t even get me started on humiliation in general.

Loud noises – especially shouting and music

I dislike loud noise.  I don’t understand people why shout rather than talk (outside of extreme anger or fear).

Sometimes, when I’m sat in my cafe corner, I have groups on nearby tables (usually women), talking at each other, rather than having a conversation. They each talk louder and louder, until they are all basically shouting – while no one actually listens to a word anyone else is saying. It drive me nuts – they are inches from each other, and they’re shouting.

Oh – and I don’t want to hear other people’s music either!

Yes – I’m turning into a grumpy old woman!

So – that’s likes and dislikes – I’ll be back some with some more ‘5 things’ lists.

Happy reading,

Jenny x

 

 

COVER REVEAL: Bluebell Season at The Potting Shed

Not long ago I had the pleasure of sharing the cover for my forthcoming novel with you.

Frost Falls at The Potting Shed

Published on Oct 27th, Frost Falls, is the first novel in a new series of books based in Devon.

Now I can announce that:

Book two – Bluebell Seasons at The Potting Shed is also complete.

Today, I’m delighted to be able to give you a super early peep of that cover as well!

Out on March 30th 2023 – Bluebell Season at The Potting Shed continues the story of Maddie Willand and her sister Sabi, and their gardening nursery, The Potting Shed.

I’ll say no more for now, as I’d hate to give away a spoiler! BUT – if you want to get ahead of the game and preorder it on Amazon now you can!

If you’d like to pre-order Frost Falls at The Potting Shed, you can do so at all bookshops and online retailers – many of the relevant links can be found here.

Many thanks to the team at Aria for all their hard work on this new series.

I hope you love these covers as much as I do. 

Happy preordering,

Jenny xx

 

 

50 Things: Part 1

As I approach my 50th birthday, I’ve decided to share 50 different thoughts, tips, snippets from my life – plus some general dos and don’ts, moans and groans – in list form.

I’m diving straight in today with –

5 THINGS THIS WRITER COULDN’T DO WITHOUT

Luck

This should never be underestimated. And while you can make your own luck to some extent, (by working hard and paying attention to the world around you so you are aware of the opportunities out there), pure chance can make a huge difference to life.

Of course – luck isn’t always good, and I’ve had my fair share of bad luck – but often it’s a positive thing.

My first piece of luck came when I was 3 days old – I was dying – there was nothing that could be done. My father – a truly wonderful man for so many reasons – wouldn’t give up, and went from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital, until he found someone willing to do something – anything – to try and save me. As luck would have it, a locum – fresh out of training – had heard of an experimental drug that might help me. To cut a long story short, he got hold of some and risked his whole career to administer it. If he hadn’t I’d not be here. I have no idea who he was- but THANK YOU!

Anyway- to back to the writing…

My first piece of good luck in the writing world came at the very beginning of my career. Without it, I would not have become a writer.

As many regular readers of this blog will recall – I wrote my first short story, almost 18 years ago, on a serviette in a cafe. The need to write that day was a whim that came from nowhere- and to this day, I don’t know where the idea for that (erotic) story came from.  At the tender age of 33, it was the first story I’d written since school. I only sent it off to a short story publisher to stop a friend from nagging me to do something with it. It didn’t cross my mind that the story would be taken. But it was.

If another editor, rather than the fabulous Violet Blue, had read it, they might not have liked it – if I’d picked a different anthology to sub to, then it may not have got anywhere. I knew nothing of the business at all –  I’d employed the eenie-meenie-miney-mo technique when it came to picking who to send the story to.

Yet – luck was on my side – and suddenly, thanks to my story ‘Jen and Tim’ and Cleis Press, who published the very adult collection, Lips Like Sugar – I suddenly had a brand new – and very unexpected – hobby. Six months later, it had become a career.

Another example of luck came not long after the publication of my part crime/part romcom novel, Romancing Robin Hood. If it hadn’t been picked up by a random Amazon advertising hit due to a mistake by my publishers, it wouldn’t have been noticed by the team relaunching the 1980’s TV series,  Robin of Sherwood  – they wouldn’t have looked at the novel and discovered my fascination with the series  – and so wouldn’t have invited me to their convention- and so I wouldn’t have been asked to try to write for them.

One or two more miracles later, and now I’m their chief writer. (Thank you Barnaby Eaton-Jones, The Carpenter Estate and Spiteful Puppet)

My family and friends

It’s quite simple – I couldn’t do this without my family and friends help, support and love.

The people I love are amazing. Enough said.

An insane, nonstop imagination

I’ve always had a nonstop imagination. Long before I had ideas about writing for a living, I was a day- dreamer.  This was a survival instinct thing throughout my childhood. I was forever working out escape scenarios from the bullies at school – and that developed into me working out every conceivable way anything could go wrong for the rest of my life! I generally know how to cope with problems when they arrive, because I’ve worried about them in advance.

This forever asking questions of every situation now serves me very well when I’m constructing plotlines. I use it to ask myself how every character would behave and every point of conflict would pan out.

I have so many ideas for novels, scripts and short stories, that there is a queue of stories awaiting my attention at all times – each clamouring for their turn to see the light. I dread the day my ideas dry up!

Coffee – black (Strong – none of this Mellow Birds cobblers)

My fuel. Without it I simply don’t operate.

Readers

My lovely readers – THANK YOU ALL.

Without the people who take the time to read my stories, I’m simply a person who plays with words.

Over the last 17 (almost 18) years, I’ve developed a solid fan base/ readership for all three of my pen names – and I appreciate each and every one of them.

 

SO – that’s the first list done! That means there are nine more to come!

You have been warned!

Jen xx

 

 

FREE WEEKEND: The Outlaw’s Ransom

FREE WEEKEND!!

17th – 19th June

From today until midday on Sunday, you can pick up the e-version of the first novel in The Folville Chronicles – The Outlaw’s Ransom – for FREE on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com!

(My thanks to Hello Books for their assistance with this promotion)

BLURB

When potter’s daughter Mathilda is kidnapped by the notorious Folville brothers as punishment for her father’s debts, she must prove her worth in order to win her freedom. With her life in the hands of the most infamous men in England, 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…

Based on the real crimes of the Folville brothers – who operated in the Midlands of England in the 1320’s and 1330’s – The Folville Chronicles are murder mystery and crime novels – which get steadily longer and darker as each book goes on. Seen through the eyes of Mathilda of Twyford – these stories have been blessed with some fabulous reviews,  including:

I was utterly enthralled by this fabulous book. Meticulous historical detail given to the reader with a beautifully light touch. The romance is heart stopping, the action compelling. Fabulous!”  Victoria Dowd (Bestselling crime writer)

What a lovely way to spend Easter Sunday, curled up under my blanket and being whisked back in time. Mathilda is a woman who isn’t afraid to say what she thinks and reveals a truth about a mystery, knowing it may cost her dearly. I truly felt as though I was at the market with her and also felt the soreness from being on a horse. A really good tale with a happy ending. Historic books are ones I love to read and I was so glad I picked this up!” Elly Ellis (Bestselling crime writer)

If you enjoy The Outlaw’s Ransom, you can find the other 3 books in the series here –

The Winter Outlaw- mybook.to/thewinteroutlaw

Edward’s Outlaw – mybook.to/EdwardsOutlaw

Outlaw Justice – mybook.to/OutlawJustice

I hope you enjoy this medieval crime/mystery!

Happy FREE reading,

Jennifer. x

PS – You can fine more free crime/mystery novels here – https://hellobooks.com/mystery

Opening Lines with Karen King: The Spanish Wedding Disaster

This week I’m delighted to be bringing you the opening lines from Karen King’s new novel, The Spanish Wedding Disaster. It sounds fabulous.

BLURB

Some people are romantics. Some aren’t. When Sophie and Maddie are summoned to a mysterious, top-secret meeting by their best friend Kate’s partner, and told that he’s planning to whisk Kate away for a surprise wedding in Gibraltar, it’s immediately clear that bubbly florist Sophie is a total romantic. And that freewheeling, purple-haired Maddie is not.

Soon, Maddie finds herself reluctantly organising venues, planners and ceremonies; trying not to think of her own memories of Andalucía, and those she’s lost touch with there. Meanwhile Sophie’s hoping this dreamy gesture might spur on her own boyfriend to similar plans . . . and absolutely not thinking at all about Kate’s gorgeous brother-in-law-to-be.

But Kate’s got no idea what’s going on. And as the stress piles up and the group jet off to the sunny south, it seems it’s not just Kate who might get a surprise in Spain – one that could change everything .

FIRST 500 WORDS

‘Maddie!’ Sophie shouted, as she spotted her best friend about to go into the café where they’d arranged to meet, recognising her instantly even though her shoulder-length hair was now bright purple rather than the luminous green it had been the last time they’d met. Sophie never knew what colour hair Maddie would turn up with, or what colour eyes for that matter. Her friend had glasses with a variety of frames and also often wore contact lenses, though not always the clear kind that showed her natural hazel eyes, but turquoise, honey, pearl ones –  and once she even turned up with tiger eyes.

Maddie turned at the sound of Sophie’s voice, her hair blowing in the March wind as she moved to the side of the door and waited for Sophie to catch up.

Now she’d turned around, Sophie could see that she was wearing huge, red-framed glasses today. Only Maddie would be able to wear such a rainbow of colours – a three-quarter length blue, red and white striped coat over orange and black striped jeggings tucked into black Doc Martens boots decorated with hand-painted red roses – and pull it off. Sophie grinned and ‘increased her pace, the wind biting her cheeks. It was bitterly cold today and she was glad of the warmth of the fur-trimmed hood of the cream parka she was wearing, over a thick pastel blue jumper, indigo jeans and black boots.

Maddie was shivering slightly, hands thrust deep into her coat pockets as she waited for Sophie to join her.

‘It’s so good to see you again. It’s been ages!’ Maddie wrapped Sophie in a big hug.

Whenever they met, no matter how long had elapsed, it always felt like they’d only seen each other yesterday, Sophie thought as she returned the hug. ‘I know. I don’t know where the time goes.’

‘Let’s go inside and have a quick catch-up while we wait for Steve.’ Maddie pushed open the door of the café and scanned the room, her gaze resting on an empty table for four by the window. ‘That’s perfect.’

Sophie followed her, wondering what new tales Maddie had to tell. Her work as a publicist for a media agency meant a lot of travelling and meeting interesting people, whereas Sophie worked in a local florist, and while she loved the job it wasn’t as exciting as Maddie’s – something that Sophie was very pleased about. She preferred a quiet life. She was happy living with her boyfriend Glenn in their one-bedroomed flat in Worcester near the river, but she still enjoyed listening to Maddie’s tales.

The café was waitress service, so they both pulled out a chair and sat down on one side of the rectangular black table, leaving room for Steve to sit opposite.

‘I wish Kate was coming too, we haven’t seen her for a while,’ Sophie said, hanging her bag on the back of her chair. She left her coat on, still feeling a bit chilly even though the café…

***

Buy Link: http://smarturl.it/thespanishwedding

BIO

Karen King is a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. The Spanish Wedding Disaster is her twelfth published romantic novel. Her third psychological thriller The Mother In Law is out in July, and a fourth one in February 2023. She has also had 120 children’s books, two young adult novels, and several short stories for women’s magazines published. Her thrillers, The Perfect Stepmother and The Stranger in my Bed and her romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became International Amazon bestsellers. Karen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. Karen now lives in Spain where she loves to spend her non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with her husband, Dave, when she isn’t sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is.

https://linktr.ee/KarenKing

Many thanks for sharing your opening lines today, Karen.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

Almost 50 and counting…

As my 50th birthday approaches at top speed, I’ve caught myself thinking a lot about all the things I’ve done with my life so far – and all the dreams I still hope still to fulfil.

One minute I was a teenager with dreams of being an archaeologist or medieval historian – the next I’m writing erotica – then romcoms- then crime – then scripts. What next I wonder? I used to think, when I was a kid, that life would work to a nice easy plan once I was a grown up. How foolish I was. Adulthood is basically a mad scramble for coffee with money earning obligations.

I’ve learnt a few bits and bobs over the years – especially about this writing lark. Most of these things come directly from the mistakes I’ve made and the hurdles I’ve overcome during my 17 year career. (And boy – there have been SO many.)

I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of guiding a few others along their writing journeys – and they – in turn – have taught me so much. (As well as sharing lots of laughs)

I’ve had two amazing children, an incredible husband, and am blessed with a great family and many friends. Yet, as the half century mark approaches, I feel the need to take stock of a few things.

The fact of the matter is – I shouldn’t have got this far. I’ll not bore you with the details, but my life expectancy wasn’t long after my arrival on 13th July 1972.  Somehow, however, I hung on – and hung on a bit longer- and here I am, proving that pure stubbornness can go a long way.

When I was a little girl, my Nan would  often tell me that “I was born to make my mark”. I never took that to mean anything other than that she loved me. Now though, as I sit writing this blog I can see my novels sitting on the bookshelves before me, and my Nan’s words have taken on a more literal meaning. Whatever happens in the future, there will always be a little bit of me here – and on bookshelves across the world. This is a humbling feeling- and even as I type it I can feel the imposter syndrome tapping me on the shoulder.

“Don’t be ridiculous woman, why would anyone want one of your books on their shelves?”

The imposter monster and I have been adversarys for a very long time!

Normally, folk share their bucket list dreams at a time like this – but I finished my bucket list years ago and I’ve never got round to writing another one.  Instead, I thought the fact I’m nearly 50 gives me a fabulous excuse to share various top tips/thoughts/ideas with you all.

So – you’ve been warned. Many ‘Top 5’ lists will be coming your way very soon!

Happy reading,

Jenny xx

 

 

Let’s Focus On: Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange

This week, let’s skip a few seasons, and focus on,

Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange.

Blurb

‘I am a big fan of Jenny Kane’ Katie Fforde.

At Mill Grange, the work – and the fun – never stops! As autumn brings coolness and colour, change is in the air for all at the manor…

Sam Philips’ time in the forces changed him forever. Supported by his friends, Sam is keen to help make beautiful Mill Grange a safe retreat for injured army personnel… but his crippling claustrophobia means Sam is living in a tent on the grounds! Enlisting the help of charming village stalwarts Bert and Mabel Hastings, Tina Martins is determined to find a way to help him conquer his fears. But why does she feel like he is keeping a secret?

After discovering evidence of a Roman fortlet on the manor’s grounds, Thea Thomas is thrilled at the chance to return to her archaeological roots and lead the excavation. She spent the summer with handsome celebrity archaeologist Shaun Cowlson – but now he’s off filming his Landscape Treasures show in Cornwall, and Thea can’t help but miss his company. Especially as someone else is vying for his attention…

Welcome back to Mill Grange and the beautiful village of Upwich, full of larger-than-life characters you can’t  help but adore.

Available from Nook, Kobo, as well as Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Here are some of the lovely reviews my readers have left for Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange

 

“…Autumn Leaves At Mill Grange’ is extremely well written and I can’t believe that I have left it this long to discover how fantastic an author Jenny Kane is. She grabs your attention and draws you into the story. You then end up becoming that wrapped up in each character and their story that you couldn’t stop reading even if you wanted to. Jenny has one of those writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with. In fact reading one of Jenny’s books seems more like a chat between friends than reading an actual book. I felt as though I was part of this story which is all down to Jenny’s characters and her fantastic, realistic and very vivid storytelling….” Ginger Book Geek

 

“I absolutely loved this story about two archaeological sites, both country house based and two couples and being a huge Time Team fan enjoyed the filming element and subsequent tensions associated with this in the story. Shaun is presenting archaeological shows for filming and is close friends with Sam who has bought a country house which he hopes to use for recovering ex army traumatised people where they can relax, participate and join in the archaeological discovery of a Roman site, unusual for Cornwall. There is jeopardy all round – the young Sophie whose crush on him threatens Shaun’s relationship with Thea. There’s Sam who has a huge phobia about entering buildings and sleeps in a tent outside. Tina whose story I very much enjoyed is working on her relationship with Sam. The story follows many twists and turns as there is a race against time and a competitive film company pitching to film at Mill Grange. Even so all is not what it seems. Will Sam overcome his phobia, will Sophie see sense; can Thea untangle mysterious occurrences ; will the filming happen at Mill Grange. As in Shakespeare there’s a long way to go before all falls into harmony and the read to find out what happens is compulsive. I highly recommend this start to a new series from Jenny Kane. The plotting and characterisation is flawless.”  Netgalley 

 

“I have read all of the Mill Grange books. Absolutely loved them. I love this writer, one of the very best.

As soon as I started reading each book, I was hooked. In fact I would have loved another one about these characters, but the ending was satisfactory. Thank goodness we have excellent authors like Jenny, who share their wonderful talent with us. Reading Jenny Kane stories, I am reading more of her books now, has brought me out of the misery of our COVID crisis for a while. I have lost loved ones, as so many have, and being able to escape for a while into another world, another place, had been a life saver. A huge Thank you, Jenny!”  Amazon

 

“A great follow up in the series at Mill Grange. It was lovely to be in the Exmoor countryside again, and to visit the Culmstock Beacon, an added bonus. This second in the series at Mill Grange was a wonderful re-introduction to some of the larger than life characters – I especially like Bert and Mabel. Looking forward to the next adventures at Mill Grange.” Netgalley 

 

“…This is such a lovely novel, and a perfect sequel to Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange. I love the setting of Mill Grange, and it was such a treat to return there to learn more about these characters. Sam is a fascinating character and whilst his situation is difficult, watching him work to overcome his problems is inspiring, particularly while he works hard to help others in similar situations. The change in Tina was also lovely to follow, as she finds her way in a new relationship, particularly one which comes with issues.

“…This instalment has been a delight to read. The writing style of the book flows well and you can almost smell the scent of autumn dripping from each page…” Coffee and Kindle Book Reviews

 

“…What Kane has done here is brought in the archaeological moments and friendships (along with hiccups to work out along the way) and added new people into the mix, changing dynamics while pushing our main characters forward in their growth. With the addition of Helen, opportunities to use archaeology and the tasks required are highlighted for the veterans coming to Sam’s program while money woes, a new employee, a new batch of chickens to mix with Tony Stark’s crew and some lovely moments featuring the wise words of a five-year old boy bring us to new opportunities, new hopes and plenty of smiles all around.  A lovely foray into friendships, romances, the steady if not always forward progression of overcoming limitations and trauma, and plenty of laughs and advice from unlikely corners, I can’t wait for the next installment. ” I am Indeed

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