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

Category: Contemporary fiction Page 1 of 48

Let’s Focus On: Romancing Robin Hood

Let’s focus on…

Romancing Robin Hood.

Blurb

When you’re in love with a man of legend, how can anyone else match up?

Dr Grace Harper has loved the stories of Robin Hood ever since she first saw them on TV as a teenager. Now, with her fortieth birthday just around the corner, she’s a successful academic in Medieval History—but Grace is stuck in a rut.

Grace is supposed to be writing a textbook on a real-life medieval criminal gang—the Folvilles—but instead she is captivated by a novel she’s secretly writing. A medieval mystery which entwines the story of Folvilles with her long-time love of Robin Hood—and a feisty young woman named Mathilda of Twyford.

Just as she is trying to work out how Mathilda can survive being kidnapped by the Folvilles, Grace’s best friend Daisy announces she is getting married. After a whirlwind romance with a man she loves as much as the creatures in her animal shelter, Daisy has press-ganged Grace into being her bridesmaid.

Witnessing Daisy’s new-found happiness, Grace 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? Grace’s life doesn’t get any easier when she meets Dr Robert Franks—a rival academic who she is determined to dislike but finds herself being increasingly drawn to… If only he didn’t know quite so much about Robin Hood.

Suddenly, spending more time living in the past than the present doesn’t seem such a good idea..

Available as a paperback or ebook from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Here are some of the lovely things my readers have had to say about Romancing Robin Hood…

“As a scholar of the Robin Hood legend, this novel is right up my street. (Watling St. – where 14th century highwaymen lurk.) The main part of the novel follows medieval historian Dr. Grace Harper . As Grace’s best friend is getting married, Grace discovers a romance of her own. But outside of academic, Grace is writing historical fiction based on the real-life 14th century crime family – The Folvilles. (Jenny Kane in her Jennifer Ash persona has spun this off element into a superb series.) Amazon.com

“I normally don’t really read romance novels but the historical part around the legends of Robin Hood made me curious. I wasn’t disappointed: loveable characters that I could identify with, funny and a very personal feeling to it. Thoroughly enjoyed it.” Amazon UK

“I had always wanted to read a Jenny Kane book. so I was thrilled to bits when I won a signed copy of Romancing Robin Hood. It was a brilliant book and I would recommend it if you are thinking of trying Jenny Kane for the first time.” Amazon UK

“I love Jenny Kane’s books and this one is no exception. Grace is such an engaging character, so in love with her hero, Robin Hood, that she almost misses the hero right under her nose. The pacey plot and sparkling dialogue held me right to the end. A recommended read for all romance lovers out there.” Amazon UK 

“As a massive fan of all things Robin Hood I was intrigued by this book. I am not a big romance fan but this story was absorbing and witty. A lovely twist on historical and fiction. I look forward to reading more by this lovely lady who I happen to of met at a Robin Hood convention.” Amazon UK

“This book had my heart from the start – how I loved Robin of Sherwood back in the 80’s!  Grace is stuck in the middle ages – well not really – but she might as well be – living, breathing, teaching and ever so slightly obsessed by one of the great British stories – Robin Hood.  I loved the idea of having the book Grace is writing in the story – I was just as keen to see this story wrapped up as I was the modern day romance…” Amazon UK

“This was one of the most original romances I’ve read. I just loved the addition of the mini medieval crime story within Grace’s quest to find a love in the modern world – a love to rival her affection for her outlaw heroes of literature and TV!” Amazon UK

“I really, really, really liked this story! In the beginning I wasn’t so sure about all the hoping back and forth from Dr Grace Harpers story to on of her own she is writing. I ended up wanting more of each. Jenny would tease us a little with one then tease us a little more with the other. Grace is a REALLY BIG Robin Hood fan and her life is revolved around him. She is supposed to be writing a textbook for her college but she is coming up with her own novel instead and of course you know what it is going to be about. One sad thing about Grace is that she compares everyman she meets to Robin. Is she ever going to find a man like him? Well she just might in this story but things do get a little hairy. How will it end you ask? Sorry I can’t tell you but I DEFINITLY recommend you read this story. Go on a little medieval journey with Grace to see what kind of Robin Hood story she comes up with. I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. I received this book as a gift from the author.” Amazon UK

“…Jenny Kane must have spent so much time on her research. I loved Grace’s story. I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen between her and Robert. Robert understands her love for Robin Hood and her academic passion and it was great to see her with a potential soulmate. Mathilda’s story is really good as well. There’s a bit of mystery combined with a lot of politics and some romance. It’s a great mix. I quite liked this book, it’s a fast paced story that has a few unexpected twists.” ajbookreviewclub

“Lovely engaging take on an old, old story. Terrific heroine and very intelligently written dual narrative. I loved it.” Carol McGrath

***

Don’t forget that Romancing Robin Hood contains the first of The Folville Chronicles within its pages. For it is this story – The Outlaw’s Ransom – that lead character, Grace Harper, writes within the novel.

Happy reading,

Jenny x

Focus on: Spring Blossoms at Mill Grange

Now spring has well and truly sprung, let’s take a look at Spring Blossoms at Mill Grange – book 3 in the #MillGrange #series.

Blurb

Helen Rogers has been lying to herself over her feelings for Tom since the moment they met. And for good reason; not only are they colleagues, working together with the archaeology groups at Mill Grange, but her sabbatical is almost over and she’ll soon have to return to Bath.

Tom Harris knows he’s falling in love with Helen. How could he not? She’s smart, kind and great with his son Dylan. But with his ex-wife suddenly offering him a chance to spend more time with Dylan, and the staff of Mill Grange about to host a wedding, everything else has to be put to one side. Even his feelings for a certain archaeologist.

As Helen’s time at Mill Grange runs short, the two are forced to consider what matters most…

OUT NOW AS AN EBOOK AND PAPERBACK

 

Here are some of the lovely things my readers have said about Spring Blossoms…

“Don’t you just love a book that’s sweeps you away from where you are and transports to a sunnier happy time. Well this book is the perfect escape. Curl up and enjoy. This romantic comedy. I loved it.” NetGalley

“…What a lovely feel-good story! It’s a fantastic mixture of romance, humour, and filled with just enough laughable and serious moments to balance it out. I appreciate being able to read a clean romance. In fact, there’s a couple of romances in this story. Kane has figured out the perfect recipe! Her lovingly crafted characters are true to life and experience believable life events. Northmoor House, a Victorian manor, in Somerset, on the edge of Exmoor near Dulverton (Upwich in the novels) is the setting and the star of the show. The idyllic landscape is perfect for anyone wanting to escape for a while. Kane’s writing style with its gorgeous and vivid descriptions, allows readers to visit the places and follow the characters as if they’d been there themselves.  For returning readers, you’ll be able to catch up with Tina, Sam, Thea, Shaun, Bert and Mabel as well as get to know Tom and Helen better. The author’s love for the series shows, making this a novel to be on your radar come publication….” NetGalley

“What a fantastic story this was, I loved it from start to finish. This is a well written, truly delightful read” NetGalley

“This is a really easy read which definitely had me smiling and maybe I did shed a tear or two, as well. This the third story from the Mill Grange series and I really recommend reading them all. I will be waiting impatiently for the next instalment.” NetGalley

“Ah, Jenny has done it again …  I am already champing at the bit for book 4! Back with the gang at Mill Grange is like meeting up with long lost friends.” NetGalley

“Kane’s writing style with its gorgeous and vivid descriptions, allows readers to visit the places and follow the characters as if they’d been there themselves.” NetGalley 

“What a fantastic story this was, I loved it from start to finish. This is a well written, truly delightful read, set in Exmoor, in the fictional town of Upwich, Jenny conjures up the feel of the area and the people who live there perfectly. Jenny Kane’s expressive descriptions of the area certainly bring it to life.

The book revolves about the lives of four couples, Tina and Sam, Shaun and Thea, Tom and Helen, and Bert and Mabel, each of them is intrinsic to the story and the running of Mill Grange. I loved catching up with the lives of the people from Mill Grange and the characters themselves in this series of books. They are well rounded and I felt like I know them well, like old friends. Seeing how their lives and relationships are evolving was wonderful.

This is a really easy read which definitely had me smiling and maybe I did shed a tear or two, as well. This the third story from the Mill Grange series and I really recommend reading them all. I will be waiting impatiently for the next instalment.” Amazon

“Having read the first two books in this series I was really looking forward to reading this book, and I wasn’t disappointed.
A fantastic story, hard to put down. Read it in nearly one sitting.
A well – written, enjoyable read, it’s set in Exmoor. The people of that area were so well written and so were the descriptions.
This story revolves around the lives of four couples – Tina and Sam, Shaun and Thea, Tom and Helen, and Bert and Mabel, each couple being a key part of this story and the continuous running of Mill Grange.
It felt so good to catch up with everyone. Felt like meeting old friends after a while.
There were moments when a tear was shed white reading..
I would definitely recommend reading this series. Eagerly awaiting the next one.”  Amazon

 

Opening Lines with Anna Legat : Cause of Death

It’s Opening Line’s time! This week, I’m welcoming Anna Legat to my site – as part of her #blogtour – with the first 500 words of her brand new  mystery – Cause of Death.

Over to you Anna…

Cause of Death is the third instalment in my cosy crime series, The Shires Mysteries. I enjoyed writing it immensely – it was good fun and a true labour of love. It could be because of my affinity with and affection for my two protagonists, Maggie and Sam, or maybe because of its light-hearted and humorous tone, but whatever the reason I was swept into the story from the off. So, I am delighted that I can share the opening lines of Cause of Death here on Jenny’s blog.

BLURB

Maggie and Sam’s crime-busting exploits continue in Cause of Death, book 3 in The Shires Mysteries.

All is not well in the village. The local meadows have been the pride of Bishops Well for hundreds of years, but now they are facing the sharp blades of developers. The landowner is a rich and reclusive author who is happy to see them destroyed, but the villagers – including Sam Dee and Maggie Kaye – are fighting back.

Until, that is, someone decides to silence one of their number permanently.

As Maggie and Sam soon discover, there is more than a quick buck to be made in the developers’ plans. There are age-old secrets and personal vendettas that could have deadly repercussions in Bishops Well today.

With Sam’s legal expertise and Maggie’s… well, Maggie-ness, they delve into the past, determined to unearth the truth. And, as sparks begin to fly, could there finally be something more between this sleuthing duo?

FIRST 500 WORDS-

The full moon was their silent accomplice – it shone brightly, illuminating the finer detail of the grand forgery they were carrying out on the ground. It wasn’t an easy job. The work had to be conducted on the uneven surface of the south-facing slope of a hill which by day was home to a herd of Friesian cows. A hill covered in cowpats was like a minefield, especially to those who had made the unfortunate choice of sandals for footwear. Old cowpats pretended to be dormant, but once stirred they could explode in a bouquet of unpleasant odour. That became evident when Rumpole, Vera Hopps-Wood’s Irish wolfhound, was detected smeared with cow excrement and stinking to high heaven. He appeared as happy as a pig in . . . mud, but Vera was inconsolable. No one showed her any sympathy. She should not have brought her pet to work. Forgery was no walk in the park.

The first part of the operation was the painstaking removal of topsoil together with all vegetation and the offending cowpats. That task had been conducted under the watchful eye of the designer and project manager – Maggie Kaye. The whole undertaking was her idea. The loosely organised but fiercely proud community of Bishops Well, in the shape of the Bishops Well Archaeological Association, had rallied round, as they usually did.

Sam Dee had had his reservations, but it was that or desecrating Harry Wotton’s wheat fields with crop circles. He had gone with the lesser evil. At least the injured party would be harder to establish. The ownership of the hill was disputed and claims to it were laid by three warring parties: the folk of Bishops Well, local magnate Lord Weston-Jones, and the parish of St John the Baptist.

By midnight the works were in full swing. The forgers were careful to stay within the outline of the shape, delineated earlier by the best art students recruited by Maggie and fellow teacher Cherie Hornby from Bishops Ace Academy. The labour distribution had been thoughtfully planned: the fairer sex was engaged in the finer art of scraping off the soil and staying within the lines (that required attention to detail and a steady hand) while the men carried bucketfuls of soil, grass, and the ever-present cow muck, which required little more than brute strength, to the top of the hill. There they distributed it evenly so that no one would detect it in the morning.

‘If Alec knew what I was getting up to, he’d have to divorce me,’ Vanessa Scarfe whimpered as she shovelled a stubborn tuft of grass out of existence. ‘I had to say I was staying at Vera’s tonight!’ Her chubby cheeks reflected the ghostly moonlight in all its fullness. Crime didn’t become her. And it shouldn’t – after all, she was the wife of Detective Chief Superintendent Scarfe, a pillar of the community and a man beyond reproach. He couldn’t afford to be linked to a common trespasser …

You can buy a copy of Cause of Death from…

Cause of Death: The Shires Mysteries 3: A gripping and unputdownable English cosy mystery eBook : Legat, Anna: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Cause of Death: The Shires Mysteries 3 eBook by Anna Legat – 9781786159892 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom

Cause of Death by Anna Legat, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Cause of Death: The Shires Mysteries 3 by Anna Legat | Waterstones

Cause of Death: The Shires Mysteries 3: A gripping and unputdownable English cosy mystery by Anna Legat | WHSmith

BIO

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She read law at the University of South Africa and Warsaw University, then gained teaching qualifications in New Zealand. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

www.annalegat.com

Twitter @LegatWriter

Facebook @AnnaLegatAuthor

Instagram @LegatAuthor

Many thanks for your opening lines, Anna.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

Focus on: A Cornish Wedding

This week, let’s focus on, A Cornish Wedding…

Blurb

Abi has what she’s always dreamed of: her perfect Cornish cottage, great friends and a gorgeous boyfriend. But her idyll is shattered when a new neighbour moves in next door.

Rude and obnoxious, Cassandra doesn’t make a good first impression on Abi. But with the unexpected wedding of one of her friends to prepare for, Abi has bigger things to worry about.

However, avoiding her new neighbour proves harder than expected and Abi and Cassandra soon realise they might have more in common than they first thought.

But with the wedding only weeks away, can they set aside their differences before the big day?

(A Cornish Wedding was previously published as Abi’s Neighbour)

***

Sequel to A Cornish Escape, A Cornish Wedding, can be read as a standalone story. It is available as an ebook or paperback from all good retailers, including –

Amazon – mybook.to/CornishWedding

Waterstones- https://www.waterstones.com/book/a-cornish-wedding/jenny-kane/9781786157843

Kobo- A Cornish Wedding eBook by Jenny Kane – 9781472275448 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom

Nook – A Cornish Wedding by Jenny Kane, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Here are some of the lovely things, readers have said about A Cornish Wedding –

“…Well Jenny has been able to give us another fantastic book! Well I really love all of her books to tell you the truth. I am glad the see that all of the old gang in back in this installment and it wasn’t just about two new characters alone. The new character’s blend in so extremely well you would have thought they should have been with Abi’s crew the whole time. We have Cassandra who is trying to figure out what is really going on with her life with a certain man. What she really doesn’t expect is to fall for someone who she thought would never be on her radar. Now that she is away from the stress can she see what is really in front of her? Can Cassandra really handle the country life away from the big city? Will she find her true self? Abi’s Neighbor has all the answers for you. You will fall in love with all the characters again and grow to love the news ones too…” Goodreads

“Absolutely fantastic couldn’t put it down in do hope at a later date we will catch up with Abi, Max, Beth, Justin, Cass, and Dan etc . I’m sad that I have finished they all feel like my friends.” Amazon

“Can you have a stand alone sequel? Well yes definitely…. It was lovely to revisit the beautiful Sennen Cove (I nearly went there on holiday just to see where Abi lived but it’s sooo far south!) And it was great to catch up with the characters. However, if you haven’t read Abi’s House, don’t let it put you off – this really would stand alone. Or better still, read both and get twice as much reading pleasure!” Amazon 

“A thoroughly enjoyable read. It was lovely to have a peak into what happened next for Abi and her friends and how she settled into her cottage on Miners Row. I felt almost as if I knew the characters and would love to know what happens next for Beth and whether Cass finds happiness in her new venture.”  Amazon 

Mill Grange goes audio!

Today, I’m delighted to be able to announce that all four of my Mill Grange novels are soon to be available as audio books!

The first in the series – Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange – is now available as an unabridged audio story this week

Blurb

Thea Thomas needs to get away from her old life…and the interfering ex who won’t leave her alone. When she lands a job heading up the restoration of Mill Grange, a stunning Victorian manor in Somerset, it feels like the perfect opportunity to start afresh.

What she didn’t anticipate was how hostile the volunteer team – led by the formidable Mabel Hastings – would be about accepting new leadership. And with the deadline looming before the grand opening, Thea is in desperate need of more volunteers.

A broadcast appeal on the local news attracts the interest of troublesome but undeniably attractive celebrity historian Shaun Cowlson, who wants to make a TV programme about the restoration. It’s hard enough adding one more big personality to the mix – but then her ex turns up as one of the volunteers! What seemed like a dream come true is fast becoming a total disaster! Can Thea find a way to save the manor?

A warm-hearted, feel-good romance from Jenny Kane, a Kindle number one best-selling author.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about the Mill Grange series becoming audiobooks. I’m a big fan of listening to stories, so having my own work converted into 10 hours and 19 minutes of gentle fiction, read to you by renown audio narrator, Emma Powell, is something of a dream come true. I’m very much looking forward to hearing how Thea, Tina, Mabel and friends will be portrayed as they get to grips with life at Mill Grange – a Victorian manor on Exmoor.
You can order your audiobook from all good retailers, including…

Focus on: A Cornish Escape

This week, let’s focus in on my first Cornish romance/romcom – A Cornish Escape.

Abi’s life is turned upside down when she is widowed before her thirtieth birthday. Determined to find something positive in the upheaval, Abi decides to make a fresh start somewhere new. With fond childhood memories of holidays in a Cornish cottage, could Cornwall be the place to start over?

With all her belongings in the boot of her car but no real plan, a chance meeting in a village pub brings new friends Beth and Max into her life. Max soon helps Abi track down the house of her dreams but things aren’t as simple as Abi hoped.

Can Abi leave her past behind and finally get her happy ending?

(A Cornish Escape was previously published as Abi’s House)

Buy Links– A Cornish Escape is available from all good bookshops and e-retailers – including…

Amazon – mybook.to/ACornishEscape 

Waterstones- https://www.waterstones.com/book/a-cornish-escape/jenny-kane/9781786157683

Kobo – A Cornish Escape eBook by Jenny Kane – 9781472275431 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom

Nook – A Cornish Escape eBook by Jenny Kane – 9781472275431 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom

***

Here are some of the lovely reviews my kind readers have given A Cornish Escape

‘…I often caught myself smiling for pages on end and found it nearly impossible to put down. It’s a genuine treat to read, with a dual narrative (easy to follow) and not too short chapters to allow you to get into the story, but not too long so it breaks the flow.

‘It had the right amount of romance, to perfect scenery, and exciting plot which just makes A Cornish Escape an all-round lovely read.

‘It’s got an original concept and is all about finding yourself with a gorgeous backdrop – I often want to escape and move to France/ New York, so it was nice to see someone else do this (albeit fictional, but Abi feels real!), and her journey towards becoming happier.

‘I genuinely sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book by this author – I can’t get enough of Kane’s writing style and heart-warming stories which keep you engaged throughout….’

You can read the rest of this incredible review at Bookmark That 

‘…I absolutely loved it and only have positive things to say!  The storyline is wonderful, enchanting and draws you in. Jenny Kane does such an amazing job of describing the scenery and I honestly felt like I was there, in Cornwall, on the adventure with Abi.  It made me really want to be in Cornwall right now!  From the sea, to the little tea/coffee shops, to the shop and the houses – you can see and feel it all.  I could even imagine the seagulls having a sing in the morning (easy when I live near the sea I suppose!).  A Cornish Escape has just re-enforced the fact that I have to visit Cornwall at some point – I seem to be drawn to it and this made me love it so much more.

So on to the characters…….I adore Abi, the protagonist.  She has had a bit of rough time, her Husband has recently passed away, and she is trying to re-find herself.  Learning about what she’s been through, and making new friends with her, you can’t help but fall in love with her. I was behind her every decision and felt so protective; just like she’s one of my real life friends!!  Beth and Max are both equally amazing.  They’re exactly the sort of people you’d want to bump into and be taken under their wing.  Again, you can’t help but love them and only want the best for them.  And probably my ultimate favourites – Stan and his dog!  Amazing and utterly adorable, I just wanted to hug him constantly! But as you would expect, not everyone can be nice…..and there is one character you will not love and not route for.  He is a piece of work and the things he gets up to will shock you – I honestly just wanted to punch him myself!

Although this is a happy and heartwarming story, don’t be fooled.  This will also take you on a bit of a rollercoaster as you go on the journey with Abi.  At points I was fuming, then I was hoping and had everything crossed, then I was nearly in tears, and then I’d be smiling!  But this is because Jenny Kane has done such a wonderful job of making the characters relatable, real and loveable.

The story is enjoyable to read; a dual-narrative that is easy to follow with a beautiful plot.  I honestly couldn’t give this any more praise!  If you’re looking for your next read and fancy something that you will enjoy reading, will draw you in and make you completely invested in the characters; whilst taking you on a journey to beautiful Cornwall then this is for you.  You really don’t want to miss this, it will warm your insides and put a big smile on your face.  This comes highly recommended by me – I’m glad I have the paperback to keep and read again and I’m so excited that there is another book, A Cornish Wedding which I cannot wait to read!… ‘  You can read the rest of this amazing review at Curled Up With A Good Book 

 

‘…Chicken soup for the soul!

A Cornish Escape isn’t just about romance. It is also about loss, recovery, starting over, and many acts of basic human kindness. It doesn’t feature only the young and the beautiful. There is a wide spectrum of characters, including the elderly who are portrayed with great sensitivity. Stan is my absolute hero, and he is no spring chicken!

If you’re feeling slightly under the weather and a little bit stuck in emotional lockdown, warm your heart up with that lovely story. It is well written with beautiful descriptions of Cornwall which are vivid enough to make you feel, just for that one fleeting moment, that you are actually there….’ BookMarkedReviews 

‘…A Cornish Escape by Jenny Kane was a wonderfully uplifting, cosy and fun-loving story with a cast of chatty, vibrant characters and a setting so delightfully charming it will entice you in a way that you’ll find impossible to ignore. This is the first of Jenny Kane’s books I’ve had the pleasure of reading and I can honestly say I’m already looking forward to more from the author. This story tugged me into its pages and wrapped me up in the wonderful world within, so much so that I really didn’t want to stop reading for having to return to reality, which seemed nowhere near as picturesque and romantic as the Cornish coast….’ The Book Babe Reviews

‘I love this book so much…just reading it can make me smell the beaches, the vinegar on the chips, the clotted cream mmmmmm …’  Reader review from Facebook.

‘Its’ a fabulous fabulous fabulous. You wont just read it, you will live it…and who wouldn’t want to live in the best place called Cornwall…’ Reader review from Facebook.

Focus On: Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange

As I head off for a week of teaching and guest-care at the Northmoor Writing Retreat, I thought it would be nice to leave you with a little look at the first in the #MillGrange #series – Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange – a set of novels inspired by Northmoor itself.

Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange

A warm-hearted, feel-good romance from Jenny Kane, a Kindle #1 bestselling author.

Thea Thomas needs to get away from her old life… and the interfering ex who won’t leave her alone. When she lands a job heading up the restoration of Mill Grange, a stunning Victorian manor in Somerset, it feels like the perfect opportunity to start afresh.

What Thea didn’t anticipate was how hostile the volunteer team, led by the formidable Mabel Hastings, would be about accepting new leadership. And with the deadline looming before the grand opening, Thea is in desperate need of more volunteers.

A broadcast appeal on the local news attracts the interest of arrogant but undeniably attractive celebrity historian Shaun Cowlson, who wants to make a TV programme about the restoration. It’s hard enough adding one more big personality to the mix – but then her ex turns up as one of the volunteers! What seemed like a dream come true is fast becoming a total disaster! Can Thea find a way to save the manor?

Available from all good bookshops, and as an ebook, from Nook, Kobo, as well as Amazon UK and Amazon US,

                                                             Northmoor House

Here are a few of the very kind reviews, Midsummer Dreams, has prompted.

‘… I particularly liked the book’s setting – Mill Grange is vividly drawn, the details of its renovation, the impending opening celebrations and the question mark over its future driving the overarching story. The surroundings of Exmoor are well used too – there’s that really strong sense of place that I always look for and enjoy.

The romance elements are something I equally enjoyed – both romantic threads have their unexpected twists and turns, and both are entirely satisfying (and particularly heartwarming) in the way they’re resolved.

But there’s also a fair bit of well developed tension too – both over the future of Mill Grange and the dogged and determined pursuit by Thea’s increasingly sinister ex. And there’s one particular episode that had me on the edge of my seat, real danger particularly well handled and very well written.

And while I’m talking about the writing, I will mention how much I loved that too. The author has a style that’s very easy to read, comfortable to relax and disappear into – this was perfect summer reading, and most definitely recommended…’ Being Anne

‘Another book that feels like a cuddle from Jenny.

Set against the romantic backdrop of Exmoor this book helps you escape for a few hours. We meet new friends working to restore one of Exmoor’s treasures. A lovely cast of characters had me rolling my eyes at their antics and cheering for a certain couple. Looking forward to see what else is going to happen at Mill Grange.’ Goodreads

Thea Thomas needs to get away from her old life…and the interfering ex who won’t leave her alone. When she lands a job heading up the restoration of Mill Grange, a stunning Victorian manor in Devon, it feels like the perfect opportunity to start afresh…
I hadn’t realised when picking this book that it was set in the lovely Exmoor, not too far from where I live. The various mentions of local landmarks, from Tarr Steps to Cold Harbour Mill, just added to the warm feeling I got from reading this great story… My first #jennykane read but definitely not my last.’  Goodreads

‘Thea, smart, focused, and an expert in her field, all she wants is to successfully complete her project … and to avoid a thorn in her past that keeps popping up. Fortunately, there are far worse places to soak up a challenge than Mill Grange. Author Jenny Krane expertly wraps Thea’s problems around one of the most enchanting settings of the year, and it’s fascinating as she taps into the nitty gritty and some of the challenges—especially the financial—that come with large scale restoration projects.

Of course, while the landscape provides plenty of fun and tension, the real heat stems from Thea herself. Krane has written her with such a vulnerability that, when she senses the first bit of tension on the horizon, there’s genuine worry. Will the project finish on time? Will she get the volunteers on her side? How will she handle her ex? Thea has a headache around practically every corner. Even so, Krane balances everything out with plenty of levity. A cast of quirky cast, small town drama, and the potential spark of romance all blend together to keep things jaunty.

A total joy from beginning to end, Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange, unlike the titular property, needs no renovation. It’s downright sweet.’ Netgalley

‘A lovely book set in a beautiful stately home which you can imagine yourself there as you read.’ Netgalley

‘Very enjoyable. Being part of a small team dealing with a local restoration project and volunteers made this book all the more enjoyable.  I know I have met a few Mabel’s in my life. As with all Jenny’s books she easily captures your imagination and makes you feel like you are there getting stuck in.’ Netgalley 

Happy Birthday to Spring Blossoms at Mill Grange

Book three in the #MillGrange series is a year old today!

Spring Blossoms at Mill Grange.

BLURB

Helen Rogers has been lying to herself over her feelings for Tom since the moment they met. And for good reason; not only are they colleagues, working together with the archaeology groups at Mill Grange, but her sabbatical is almost over and she’ll soon have to return to Bath.

Tom Harris knows he’s falling in love with Helen. How could he not? She’s smart, kind and great with his son Dylan. But with his ex-wife suddenly offering him a chance to spend more time with Dylan, and the staff of Mill Grange about to host a wedding, everything else has to be put to one side. Even his feelings for a certain archaeologist.

As Helen’s time at Mill Grange runs short, the two are forced to consider what matters most…

 

Set in the beautiful Exmoor countryside, on the border of Devon and Somerset, Spring Blossoms, continues the story of Thea, Shaun, Sam, Tina, Mable and Bert – as well as Helen and Tom, who were newcomers to the house in Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange.

Here’s the prologue…

Helen cradled the stone in her palm. The size of a cookie, grey in colour, it was jagged on one side and smooth on the other. Once upon a time it had been part of the bedrock; a tiny fragment of the geology that had formed the basis of the village of Upwich and its surrounds. Now, however, it felt like the most precious possession she’d ever owned.

She hadn’t had the heart to tell Dylan that it wasn’t an exciting find from the Roman fortlet they were excavating in Mill Grange’s garden. The five-year-old had been so thrilled to be able to help his dad, Tom, when they’d peeled the tarpaulin off the archaeological site after a frosty winter, that when he’d picked up the stone and run to her, his face wide with pleasure, she’d held it with a reverence normally reserved for the crown jewels.

The boy’s eyes had got wider and wider as she’d told him about the land beneath Exmoor, how it had formed, and how the stone he’d found was part of that.

Helen had been conscious of Tom’s eyes on her as his son had sat on her knee and listened with rapt attention to every word she said.

Laying the stone back on her desk, tucked neatly in the corner of the store room, Helen sighed. She had come to Mill Grange to take a break from the pressures of her management job. She had not come to fall in love – especially not with Tom – a man with a horrendous track record with woman – and a son…

You don’t have to have read Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange or Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange, to enjoy Spring Blossoms, although you’d probably get more from the story if you have. Spring Blossoms is then followed by Winter Fires at Mill Grange.

If you would like to buy a copy of Spring Blossoms at Mill Grange, you can purchase a copy from all good retailers, including…

Many thanks for dropping by today,

Happy reading,

Jenny x

Focus On: Another Glass of Champagne

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.

Available as:

A paperback or ebook from Amazon UK, Amazon.com, Nook, Kobo, and all good retailers.

***

Reviews:

“It’s nice to have the whole gang back together for the series finale, along with a couple of new faces to join in with – and add to – the drama along the way! Jenny Kane has tied up some loose ends perfectly, whilst at the same time creating enough new openings to wish that this wasn’t the last we will see of Jack, Amy, Kit et al.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was sad to get to the end (even though I raced through to find out what would happen next!) I hope someone can convince the author to give us one last visit to Pickwicks… or maybe two ;)” Amazon UK

“…Going to miss this bunch, a lot…” Amazon UK

Paperback cover

“I adore delving into the lives of these characters. Their stories make me feel like I’m sitting in the coffee shop, sharing them with them as old friends. I really hope this fabulous book won’t be the final chapter in this beautiful world where I feel completely at home. Please Jenny, treat us to a little cup or glass of something else.” Amazon UK

“I just can’t get enough of Jenny Kane & her lovely characters. Reading her novels renew your faith in mankind & leave you with a warm feeling inside. So we’ll written are the characters that you expect to see them in every café you visit. Brilliant escapism & best drank sipping hot black coffee.” Amazon UK

 

Opening Lines with Morwenna Blackwood: Underrated

I’m delighted to be welcoming Morwenna Blackwood back to my blog today, with the first 500 words from her brand new novel, Underrated.

Underrated is the third novel in the Glasshouse series. The novels stand alone as stories, but they are interconnected. In Underrated, we get Will’s version of events and find out why you should never underestimate a friend…

BLURB

I stand as close as I can to the Liver Building without looking proper weird and tip my head back. My eyes can’t focus properly, but I can make out a turquoise shape right at the top, soI mouth ’iya to Bella. I’m a bit soft on the Liver Birds. They’re 300-odd feet up in the air, so they should be able to see everything, but they’re chained down…

A story of the far-reaching effects of unrequited love and drug (ab)use, Underrated follows five lads who are just trying to make things better for themselves. In Liverpool and on the south Devon coast, their lives entangle as they turn to cocaine.

While some people take drugs to escape their circumstances, others deal drugs to escape theirs. But is escape ever really an option?

First 500 words of Underrated

It’s like tinnitus.

The silence with Mum and Dad in the front room is deafening and all-encompassing. Dad’s pretending to read the Sunday paper, and Mum’s pretending to read the magazine that came with it. I’m scanning the free paper for cheap, second-hand cars, but the pressure in the room renders me incapable of it, so instead I stare out of the patio doors at a load of crows that are hopping about on the lawn. There’s that phrase – you could have cut the tension with a knife. In all honesty, I wish one of them would cut the other with a knife – or me, or, better still, darling Dominic – because then it would be over with. The atmosphere in here is so tense that it’s given me a blinding headache. I stand, deciding to retreat up to my cave, and the sudden movement makes the crows take flight. I wish I could just fly away. Why the fuck do we all go on with this charade?! I can feel myself going mental; at some point I’ll crack and then I’ll take things into my own hands and force a change. Because this is absurd. It’s pathetic. It’s fucking killing me!

My bedroom – I think of it as my cave – is small; a dark box with a north-facing window. Even though I’m the oldest, I got last pick – or rather no pick – of the bedrooms, but mine does have a built-in wardrobe, so that, apparently, makes everything all right. Anyway, this room is all I’ve got, so it’s my refuge.

Though I want to slam it, I close my door quietly. It doesn’t matter how loud I am – no one notices me, so I don’t bother any more. I stare out of my bedroom window onto what is probably the most uninspiring view known to man: the length of our parquet-paved cul-de-sac, with its widely spaced four-bedroom houses and their uniform lawns that run flat from the house to the kerb. All the front gardens sport the designer slash that the housing developers refer to as ‘landscaping’, which is basically a strip of clay soil planted with hardy shrubs and a rowan sapling that wears a wire mesh dress. Outside every door are the generic pansies and lobelia in pots, in varying states of health. And then there’s the big, posh house – the former show home – at the open end of the cul-de-sac, blocking out the rolling hills and anything else that might be behind it, except the main road that connects our estate to everything and everywhere else in this shitty little town, which is basically nothing and nowhere.

I can hear my younger sister, Sally, in the kitchen; her overbright voice chirping on about biscuits and essays, while she makes another fucking cup of tea. I want to scream at her to stop it! I grab the nearest sheet of plain A3 to me – I draw a lot, there’s stuff everywhere – and shove it up against the window…

Buy-links:

The (D)Evolution of Us – mybook.to/devolution

Glasshouse – http://mybook.to/glasshousenovel

Underrated – mybook.to/underrated

Author biog:

BIO

When she was six years old, Morwenna wrote an endless story about a frog, and hasn’t stopped writing since.

She is the author of bestselling noir psychological thrillers, The (D)Evolution of Us and Glasshouse, has an MA in Creative Writing, and can usually be found down by the sea. Her third novel, Underrated, was published by #darkstroke 14/02/22.

She often thinks about that frog.

Social media links:

www.morwennablackwoodauthor.com

www.amazon.com/author/morwennablackwood

www.facebook.com/morwennablackwood

Twitter: @MorwennaBlackw1

Instagram: morwennablackwood_

TikTok: @morwennablackwood

Many thanks Morwenna.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

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