The Perfect Blend: Coffee and Kane


Currently Browsing: Contemporary fiction

Abi’s House and Abi’s Neighbour: Time for a warming read

I don’t know about you, but the  sudden cold winds, and constant damp mizzle in the air after so much sunshine, is making me feel rather chilly.

I thought it might be nice to escape the extremes of weather for a moment to take a dip into my 2 Cornish summer reads, Abi’s House and Abi’s Neighbour.

 

Here’s a reminder of the Abi’s House blurb!!

Newly widowed and barely thirty, Abi Carter is desperate to escape the Stepford Wives lifestyle that Luke, her late husband, had been so eager for her to live.
Abi decides to fulfill a lifelong dream. As a child on holiday in Cornwall she fell in love with a cottage – the prophetically named Abbey’s House.
Now she is going to see if she can find the place again, relive the happy memories and maybe even buy a place of her own nearby?
On impulse Abi sets off to Cornwall, where a chance meeting in a village pub brings new friends Beth and Max into her life. Beth, like Abi, has a life-changing decision to make. Max, Beth’s best mate, is new to the village. He soon helps Abi track down the house of her dreams … but things aren’t quite that simple. There’s the complicated life Abi left behind, including her late husband’s brother, Simon – a man with more than friendship on his mind…
Will Abi’s house remain a dream, or will the bricks and mortar become a reality?

Check this out this video about Abi’s House!!-  YouTube link https://youtu.be/VAumWAqsp58

You can buy Abi’s House from all good bookshops and retailers, including

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Abis-House-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00UVPPWO8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1426711175&sr=1-1&keywords=Abi%27s+House+Jenny+Kane

http://www.amazon.com/Abis-House-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00UVPPWO8/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426711253&sr=1-2&keywords=Abi%27s+House+Jenny+Kane

Abi’s Neighbour Blurb-

Abi Carter has finally found happiness in beautiful Cornwall, with her old tin miner’s cottage proving the perfect home. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door…Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. She’s obnoxious, stuck-up, and hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, she seems to have designs on Abi’s boyfriend Max…But Cassandra has her own problems. Her wealthy lawyer lover has promised to leave his wife and join her in their Cornish love nest – but something always comes up. Now, not only is Cassandra stuck on her own, miles away from her city lifestyle, but someone seems intent on sabotaging her successful business. Will she mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are the two just destined not to get along? Complete with sun, sea and adorable Labrador Sadie, Abi’s Neighbour is the fantastic new novel by bestselling author Jenny Kane.

You can buy Abi’s Neighbour from all good bookshops and retailers, including-  amzn.to/2rl4Tdh 

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Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xx

 


Summer Wedding: Romancing Robin Hood

Summer has arrived in the UK with style this year! What better time for a wedding?

Romancing Robin Hood is a contemporary romance is based on the life of Dr Grace Harper, a medieval history lecturer with a major Robin Hood obsession. So much so, that instead of writing a textbook on medieval life, Grace is secretly writing a novella about a fourteenth century girl called Mathilda, who gets mixed up with a real outlaw family of the day, the Folvilles. (Which you can also read about within this same novel)

The problem is that Grace is so embroiled in her work and passion for outlaws, that real life is passing her by. A fact that the unexpected wedding announcement of her best friend Daisy, has thrown into sharp focus…

Extract from Romancing Robin Hood

…Daisy hadn’t grown up picturing herself floating down the aisle in an over-sequinned ivory frock, nor as a doting parent, looking after triplets and walking a black Labrador. So when, on an out-of-hours trip to the local vet’s surgery she’d met Marcus and discovered that love at first sight wasn’t a myth, it had knocked her for six.

She’d been on a late-night emergency dash to the surgery with an owl a neighbour had found injured in the road. Its wing had required a splint, and it was too big a job for only one pair of hands. Daisy had been more than a bit surprised when the locum vet had stirred some long-suppressed feeling of interest in her, and even more amazed when that feeling had been reciprocated.

It was all luck, sheer luck. Daisy had always believed that anyone meeting anybody was down to two people meeting at exactly the right place, at exactly the right time, while both feeling precisely the right amount of chemistry. The fact that any couples existed at all seemed to Daisy to be one of the greatest miracles of humanity.

She pictured Grace, tucked away in her mad little office only living in the twenty-first century on a part-time basis. Daisy had long since got used to the fact that her closest friend’s mind was more often than not placed firmly in the 1300s. Daisy wished Grace would finish her book. It had become such a part of her. Such an exclusive aim that nothing else seemed to matter very much. Even the job she used to love seemed to be a burden to her now, and Daisy sensed that Grace was beginning to resent the hours it took her away from her life’s work. Maybe if she could get her book over with – get it out of her system – then Grace would stop living in the wrong timeframe.

Daisy knew Grace appreciated that she never advised her to find a bloke, settle down, and live ‘happily ever after,’ and she was equally grateful Grace had never once suggested anything similar to her. Now she had Marcus, however, Daisy had begun to want the same contentment for her friend, and had to bite her tongue whenever they spoke on the phone; something that happened less and less these days.

Grace’s emails were getting shorter too. The long paragraphs detailing the woes of teaching students with an ever-decreasing intelligence had blunted down to, ‘You ok? I’m good. Writing sparse. See you soon. Bye G x’

The book. That in itself was a problem. Grace’s publishers and colleagues, Daisy knew, were expecting an academic tome. A textbook for future medievalists to ponder over in the university libraries of the world. And, in time, that was exactly what they were going to get, but not yet, for Grace had confided to Daisy that this wasn’t the only thing she was working on, and her textbook was coming a poor third place to work and the other book she couldn’t seem to stop herself from writing.

‘Why,’ Grace had forcefully expounded on their last meeting, ‘should I slog my guts out writing a book only a handful of bored students and obsessive freaks like myself will ever pick up, let alone read?’

As a result, Grace was writing a novel, ‘A semi-factual novel,’ she’d said, ‘a story which will tell any student what they need to know about the Folville family and their criminal activities – which bear a tremendous resemblance to the stories of a certain famous literary outlaw! – and hopefully promote interest in the subject for those who aren’t that into history without boring them to death.’

It sounded like a good idea to Daisy, but she also knew, as Grace did, that it was precisely the sort of book academics frowned upon, and she was worried about Grace’s determination to finish it. Daisy thought it would be more sensible to concentrate on one manuscript at a time, and get the dry epic that everyone was expecting out of the way first. Perhaps it would have been completed by now if Grace could focus on one project at a time, rather than it currently being a year in the preparation without a final result in sight. Daisy suspected Grace’s boss had no idea what she was really up to. After all, she was using the same lifetime of research for both manuscripts. She also had an underlying suspicion that subconsciously Grace didn’t want to finish either the textbook or the novel; that her friend was afraid to finish them. After all, what would she fill her hours with once they were done?

Daisy’s mobile began to play a tinny version of Nellie the Elephant. She hastily plopped a small black guinea pig, which she’d temporarily called Charcoal, into a run with his numerous friends, and fished her phone from her dungarees pocket.

‘Hi, Marcus.’

‘Hi honey, you OK?’

‘Just delivering the tribe to their outside quarters, then I’m off to face the horror that is dress shopping.’

Her future husband laughed, ‘You’ll be fine. You’re just a bit rusty, that’s all.’

‘Rusty! I haven’t owned a dress since I went to parties as a small child. Thirty-odd years ago!’

‘I don’t understand why you don’t go with Grace at the weekend. It would be easier together wouldn’t it?’

Daisy sighed, ‘I’d love to go with her, but I’ll never get her away from her work more than once this month, and I’ve yet to arrange a date for her to buy a bridesmaid outfit.’

‘Well, good luck, babe. I’m off to rob some bulls of their manhood.’

Daisy giggled, ‘Have fun. Oh, why did you call by the way?’

‘Just wanted to hear your voice, nothing else.’

‘Oh cute – ta.’

‘Idiot! Enjoy shopping.’

As she clicked her battered blue mobile shut and slid it back into her working clothes, Daisy thought of Grace again. Perhaps she should accidentally invite loads of single men to the wedding to tempt her friend with. The trouble was, unless they wore Lincoln Green, and carried a bow and quiver of arrows, Daisy very much doubted whether Grace would even notice they were there…

RH- RoS 2

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 Romancing Robin Hood is available from all good paperback and e-retailers.

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Happy reading,

Jenny x


The One That I Want Blog Tour: Opening Lines

Today I am delighted to be hosting the latest leg of Lynne Shelby’s blog tour for her brand new novel, The One That I Want.

To help celebrate her release, Lynne is sharing the first 500 words (exactly) of her novel, in the style of one of my ‘Opening Lines’ blogs.

Over to you Lynne!

I’ve always been fascinated by theatre and film – my ideal night out is a trip to see a West End play or musical – and my new novel, ‘The One That I Want,’ is set in the world of showbusiness. In the book, Lucy Ashford, my heroine, is unexpectedly swept up into a celebrity lifestyle…

Here’s the first 500 words:

The front doorbell rang, and went on ringing. I sighed. My brother must have forgotten his key again. Still clutching the spoon with which I’d been stirring the bolognaise sauce, I went out of the kitchen and along the narrow hallway. A glance at my reflection in the hall mirror showed me that my face looked much as it always did, if a little pale. Reassured that none of my family would suspect I’d been crying, I opened the front door.

A fairy-tale princess, wearing a long white dress embroidered with a scattering of green leaves, was standing on the doorstep. I started in surprise, and then, for the first time that day, I smiled.

‘Lucy?’ The princess was staring at me.

‘Hi, Cassie,’ I said.

‘Lucy! Oh, it’s so lovely to see you.’ The star of The Adventures of Princess Snowdrop flung her arms around me. It was only with difficulty that I manage managed to avoid smearing bolognaise sauce all over her voluminous white skirts.

‘It’s great to see you again too,’ I said. ‘It must be – what? At least twelve years. Of course, I’ve seen you on TV since then.’

Cassie laughed, and reached up to straighten the crown of white flowers that perched somewhat precariously on top of her blonde curls. She’d grown up extraordinarily beautiful. It was no wonder that Prince Oak and Prince Ash obeyed her every whim.

‘I’ve been doing a Snowdrop publicity gig just a few miles from here,’ she said, ‘and I decided to take a detour on my way back to London and pay you all a visit. May I come in? If it’s convenient.’

‘Oh… That’s what you always used to say…’ For a moment, it was as though we were children again, Cassie walking home from school with me and my stepfather, taking a turn at pushing my brother in his buggy, and when we reached our gate, asking very politely if she might come in, if it was convenient… Back then, it had never occurred to me to wonder why she spent so little time in her own family home, across the road from ours. Suddenly, my throat felt a little tight.

‘Come in Cassie,’ I said. ‘Everyone except me is at work right now, but they’ll be home very soon, and I know they’d love to see you.’

‘I’ll just speak to my driver.’

‘You have a driver?’ For the first time, I noticed the white limo with the blacked-out windows parked in the road outside. Cassie darted along our garden path and spoke to someone inside the car, which then drove off.

‘I’ve told him to amuse himself for a couple of hours,’ she said. ‘I’ll phone him when I want picking up.’

Cassie Clarke is a TV star now, I thought. Of course she has a limo and a driver. I stood aside to let her into the hall, and she headed straight for the kitchen.

‘Oh, it’s just the same.’ Her gaze travelled….

Blurb:

When Lucy Ashford lands a top job at a leading theatrical agency in London, work mixes with pleasure, as she literally falls into the arms of Hollywood heartthrob Daniel Miller. Handsome, charming and irresistible, Daniel is just what unlucky-in-love Lucy needs, and she is quickly drawn into his glittering celebrity lifestyle. But can she tame the A-list bad boy or is she just one more girl in Daniel s long line of conquests? And then there’s up-and-coming actor Owen Somers, fiercely talented but as yet uncast in a starring role. After she takes him onto the agency s books, Owen and Lucy s friendship slowly grows. If she looks closely, Lucy’s leading man might be right before her very eyes…

Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-That-I-Want-ebook/dp/B07D2FGCX1/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1526906516&sr=8-1

Bio:

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, ‘French Kissing’ won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition. 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 – Paris, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, Seattle, Reykjavik – writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.lynneshelby.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LynneShelbyWriter

Twitter: @LynneB1

Instagram: lynneshelbywriter

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Many thanks Lynne. Have a fabulous blog tour.

Happy reading,

Jenny xx

 

 

 


Opening Lines: The Wedding Date with Zara Stoneley

It’s ‘Opening Lines’ time. Today I’m welcoming Zara Stoneley to my site to share the first 500 words (exactly) of her romantic comedy, The Wedding Date.

So, put your feet up for five minutes, find some shade and have a read.

Blurb- THE WEDDING DATE

One ex.
One wedding.
One little white lie.

When Samantha Jenkins is asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding, she couldn’t be happier. There are just three problems…

1) Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Liam, will be the best man.
2) His new girlfriend is pregnant.
3) Sam might have told people she has a new man when she doesn’t (see points 1 and 2 above)

So, Sam does the only sensible thing available to her… and hires a professional to do the job.

Actor Jake Porter is perfect for the role: single, gorgeous and cheap! Sam is certain it’s the perfect solution: no strings, no heartbreak and hopefully no chance of being found out.

But spending a week in the Scottish Highlands with Jake is harder than she imagined. He is the perfect boyfriend, charming, sexy and the hottest thing in a kilt since Outlander! And his dog Harry is quite possibly the cutest things Sam has ever seen!

As the wedding draws closer, Jake plays his part to perfection and everyone believes he is madly in love with Sam. The problem is, Sam’s not sure if Jake is acting anymore…

First 500 words of ‘THE WEDDING DATE’ 

ACT 1 – THE INVITE

Chapter 1

Reasons I, Sam Jenkins, cannot go to this wedding:

  1. I’m too fat, and just don’t have time to get down to a look-okay-in-a-posh-summer-frock weight.
  2. Lemon is so not my colour (which is the colour theme – Jess knows my aversion to over the top dresses and so has gone for a theme rather than providing the type of dress she loves and I hate). Mum says it drains me.
  3. I have far too much work to do. And house-cleaning, and gardening.
  4. I don’t have a date.
  5. The last man I dated ripped my heart out, stamped on it and is going to be the best man.

Reasons I have to go to this wedding.

  1. Jess was is my best friend.

I could add ‘and my hair looks crap’ but that one is easily handled. Much more easily handled than losing the chocolate-cake-and-chips stone in weight that has very comfortably settled itself round my stomach like an unwelcome lodger who intends to stay. Healthy food is on my to-do list, it just hasn’t made it on to my shopping list yet. I mean, you have to prioritise, don’t you? And I’m not quite ready.

Now don’t get me wrong, I can be pretty determined when I want to be, and show amazing self-control (last summer I lost 5 lb in weight the week before we went away, which meant the 7 lb I put on during the week was totally acceptable), but there are times in life when only a super-size bag of crisps and a bottle of wine will do, and the last few months has been one of those times. It has also been a time for espresso martinis and bumper bags of gin and tonic popcorn.

I was dumped, and now this.

A wedding invite. Well, advance warning of a wedding invite to be more precise.

Normally I love a good wedding, who doesn’t? But, right now, cheering on any happy couple would make me feel slightly hopeless and weepy for all the wrong reasons. And this is worse. This is the worst.

This isn’t just any wedding invite; it’s from Jess. My bestie.

We’ve known each other forever. She told me some time ago to ‘save the date’ (when I was still the deluded half of a happy couple), and now she’s emailed to tell me why.

She is getting married! The invite is in the post! It will be here any day! She is excited! Dan is excited! Everybody is excited! Her mum has already bought a hat!!! The wedding is going to be A-MA-ZING!! (The exclamation marks are hers, not mine – she is excited.)

Normally I’d be pretty thrilled too – after all, I love her to bits. I want her to be happy, I truly, truly do, and she will be. But normally was the time before Liam shredded my heart, hopes, and the perfect future I’d created in my head, as thoroughly as…

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‘The Wedding Date’ is available now from Amazon and all other good retailers as an ebook and in paperback.

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BIO

Born in a small village in Staffordshire, Zara wanted to be James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. Writing novels means she can imagine she is all these things, and more!

She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a naughty cockapoo, and a very bossy cat, and loves spending time in sunny Spain.

Where you can find her-

Website: http://www.zarastoneley.com
Twitter: @ZaraStoneley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ZaraStoneley

Instagram: zarastoneley

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Fabulous stuff! Thanks Zara.

Next week please join Lynne North for the opening lines of one of her children’s novels.

Happy reading,

Jenny xx


The Prosecco Effect by Cheri Davies

I’m delighted to welcome Cheri Davies to my site today to share an extract from The Prosecco Effect.

Why not grab a drink- possibly a prosecco – and have a read?

Blurb

Can love shine brighter than a super trouper spotlight for Felicity and Orlando?

Felicity Joy is a fallen star: axed from the leading role in a TV drama and jilted at the altar, her life is a mess. A six month theatrical tour of Italy offers escape: a chance to rebuild her career, mend her broken heart and indulge in her favourite cuisine.

Orlando Locatelli is an Italian restaurateur superstar. But his family are trouble – his theatre director father has a penchant for his leading ladies.

Damaged by secrets and with careers their number one priority, Felicity and Orlando aren’t looking for love. But when they meet, the attraction is instant.

Will theirs be a brief encounter or can they overcome their fears to be together forever?

An uplifting, sweet romance set in Italy and the glamorous world of show business – a perfect holiday read

Here’s an extract…

They ate in companionable silence; Susi’s proposition swirling around Felicity’s head, competing with the memory of the sexy waiter, wondering if he’d come back to top up their drinks. He never did, which was probably just as well, Felicity reasoned.

Susi paid the bill and they prepared to leave. ‘Think I’ll pop into the little girls’ room before I go. Call me as soon as you’ve decided, darling. End of the week deadline. And say, yes, for Pete’s sake.’

Susi kissed the air either side of Felicity’s cheeks and went. Felicity pulled her old parka back on, climbed the stairs to the exit, noting a hole in her leggings at the knee. Even before she had fully stepped out onto the pavement, camera bulbs starting flashing.

‘Fliss, Fliss, darlin’. Got a minute?’

‘Hello, gorgeous, give us a smile now!’ The yells and jeers cut through the air. Elbows jostled and shoulders shunted Felicity from side to side. Instinctively, she raised her forearm to cover her face and began to shout, ‘No comment.’

How the hell did they know I was here?

And then one question cut through the rest: ‘Fliss! How’d you feel about Rafe’s forthcoming fatherhood? Did you know she was pregnant when they married?’

Felicity dropped her arm and stared at the journalists. The crowd was smaller than it seemed, a bit pathetic really.

‘How does it feel to find out they were seeing each other for months before you guys broke up?’ another hollered, a short man with a shiny head and thick rimmed glasses.

There was silence. It felt like minutes, though it could only have been seconds. Felicity stared at the rabid faces. ‘I didn’t know,’ she whispered and the yelling seemed to grow yet louder as lights started flashing again and everything came flooding back: the hurt, the humiliation, the confusion, the loneliness. Felicity started to shake and tried to push her way through the little throng, holding onto her wig for fear it might come off. She scuttled along the pavement, the paparazzi sliding alongside, like a Roman legion in battle formation, cameras like shields, determined to march on for the kill. Felicity wanted to scream. Instead, dizzy with wine and fear, she ploughed on.

She stumbled. The dark pavement rose before her eyes, pigeon droppings and encrusted gum zoomed towards her. She put out her hand to break her fall but before she could meet the unforgiving ground, a powerful hand grasped her wrist, heaved her upright and pulled her down a side street. Heart hammering at her ribcage, hand held tight in her rescuer’s, Felicity ran on through the alleyway, weaving this way and that, led by the shadowy form in front of her.

The swell of paparazzi faded and Felicity’s pace slowed, as did her saviour’s. He stopped abruptly and glanced to his right. Felicity was certain it was the waiter who’d served her and Susi earlier. She was about to thank him when the noise of the journalists drew louder again. Without missing a beat, the waiter yanked open a metal door to their right and pushed Felicity inside. Once inside himself, he slammed it shut, plunging them into darkness.

The Prosecco Effect is currently on sale for ONLY 99p 

You can buy The Prosecco Effect from https://www.amazon.co.uk/Prosecco-Effect-heart-warming-glamorous-business-ebook/dp/B07D6V754H

Bio

Cheri Davies is a mother to ginger boys and author of the new novel The Prosecco Effect. A former actor, Cheri loves to write romance and intrigue set in the glamorous world of show business. The Prosecco Effect is the first book in the Stage Door series, following the adventures of Felicity Joy and Orlando Locatelli in Italy. Cheri has published four novels and numerous short stories in another guise. An unsporty girl, Cheri surprised herself, and many others, when she broke the school long jump record aged 12. It was the first time she’d jumped – competitively.

http://cheridaviesbooks.wordpress.com

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Don’t miss your chance to snap up this story at its current bargain price of 99p!

Happy reading,

Jenny xx


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