The Perfect Blend: Coffee and Kane


Currently Browsing: Contemporary Romantic Fiction

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…

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

Happy reading,

Jenny xx


Interview with Julie Ryan: Going Greek

I’m delighted to welcome Julie Ryan to my place today. We are chatting fiction, the Greek Islands and romance.

Grab a cuppa and come and join in!

What inspired you to write your book?

I lived in Greece in my twenties but it wasn’t until I was at home in Gloucestershire years later that I idly began to wonder how my life would have been different if I’d stayed there. I began writing what I thought would be a short story but ‘Jenna’s Journey’ took on a life of its own. I love the idea of ‘What if..?” and gave my book a kind of ‘sliding doors’ double ending.

Do you model any of your characters after people you know? If so, do these people see themselves in your characters?

A lot of my friends look at my characters to see if they can see themselves in my books. The truth is I may take an element from someone I know and then mix it with the looks of a person I’ve seen on TV and the voice of someone I overheard on the bus. I don’t consciously base my characters on anyone I know but if you look closely enough you may find just a little bit of you in there.

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

I chose to base my book on what I know so that’s why it’s set in Greece in 1987. I didn’t have the opportunity to go back and see how Greece has changed so I deliberately set the story on a fictional island. I did do a lot of online research into Greek customs as well as getting out all my old photos and a map of Athens from the period. I think setting it during the time I lived there gives the book a sense of authenticity that I wouldn’t have got by just Googling it.

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

It really depends. I chose third person for most of Jenna’s Journey but sometimes find myself using first person too. The characters and storyline usually decide for me as I often find that I need to switch person if it’s just not working. Third person is useful as the narrator can tell the overall story from different characters’ points of view, whereas first person means you are usually limited to just one character.

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

I like to have a general idea of where the story ends and then throw in a few characters and a setting and see where it takes me. I can’t possibly plan out all the novel in detail chapter by chapter as it wouldn’t be a surprise to me either. I rather like not knowing where the story is going but it does mean a lot of revisions!

What is your writing regime?

I write when I can and wherever I can. In practice this usually means in the morning at my dining room table once my son has gone to school. I fit it around teaching and am lucky that I work from home. As I’m nearing the end I may take my laptop to bed and write for an hour or so. I also write longhand in a notebook on long car journeys. It really is a case of when inspiration strikes – write! The opposite is also true. If I have writer’s block there is no point just looking at a blank page – I just get on with something else.

What excites you the most about your book?

Finishing it! I’ve always been a reader and admired writers for the pleasure they bring. I never actually thought I had it in me to finish a book. Seeing it in print ranks up there as one of the top three moments of my life, after my wedding and the birth of my son. It’s hard to  believe that I’ve now written four books in total, three in the Greek Island mystery series and a Christmas humorous romance.

***

Blurb for Jenna’s Journey – the first book in the Greek Island Mystery series

Heading to the Greek Isles without telling husband or friends is heady medicine for a failing marriage. Seduced by Grecian sun and sky, Jenna innocently obtains an ancient urn that tangles her into a web of a criminal world more sinister then she could ever have imagined. Romance is always afoot in the Greek Isles and Jenna gets a large helping with the seductive Nikos.
Twenty-five years later, Allie takes this same journey in a story that spans 25 years and intertwines the lives of mother and daughter. Twisty as the streets in a Greek island village, full of unexpected characters and threatening villains, Jenna’s Journey will keep you turning pages far into the night.

***

Buy links

JENNA’S JOURNEY

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jenna s-Journey-Island-Mystery-Myste ries-ebook/dp/B01GGOCKLK

SOPHIA’S SECRET

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sophi as-Secret-Greek-Island-Mystery -ebook/dp/B00LFJGCWA

PANDORA’S PROPHECY

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pando ras-Prophecy-Greek-Island-Myst ery-ebook/dp/B00V6CWVBW

CALLIE’S CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Calli es-Christmas-Countdown-Julie-R yan-ebook/dp/B0188T7H2I

Bio

Julie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles.

Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far and promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles.

In a new venture, Julie’s latest book is a short rom-com called Callie’s Christmas Countdown.

A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.

You can find Julie on her websites:

Website/blog for book reviews

Blog

Twitter @julieryan18 

***

Many thanks Julie. Do drop around for coffee and cake again!

Happy reading,

Jenny xx


The Story Behind Another Cup of Coffee

I’ve been thinking back to how the “Another Cup of…” series, which began with the novel, Another Cup of Coffee, first saw the light of day. It was certainly a long time in the making!

 

Blurb

Thirteen years ago Amy Crane ran away from everyone and everything she knew, ending up in an unfamiliar city with no obvious past and no idea of her future. Now, though, that past has just arrived on her doorstep, in the shape of an old music cassette that Amy hasn’t seen since she was at university.

Digging out her long-neglected Walkman, Amy listens to the lyrics that soundtracked her student days. As long-buried memories are wrenched from the places in her mind where she’s kept them safely locked away for over a decade, Amy is suddenly tired of hiding.

 It’s time to confront everything about her life. Time to find all the friends she left behind in England, when her heart got broken and the life she was building for herself was shattered. Time to make sense of all the feelings she’s been bottling up for all this time. And most of all, it’s time to discover why Jack has sent her tape back to her now, after all these years…

With her mantra, ‘New life, New job, New home’, playing on a continuous loop in her head, Amy gears herself up with yet another bucket-sized cup of coffee, as she goes forth to lay the ghost of first love to rest…

***

As the blurb says, it took Amy thirteen years to come to her senses and sort her life out – it took me thirteen years to write how she did just that! Not that I’ve been sat puzzling at the pages everyday in all that time- far from it.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin the story of my story…

The idea for Another Cup of Coffee came to me all that time ago, but was originally only intended to be a short story for a competition. I had never written a story before beyond the requirements of school homework, although I had written poetry, some of which I’d been lucky enough to have published. The story, Getting It Back, was all about a quiet girl, who’s cut herself off from her old life after her heart had been broken, and told of how, out of the blue, a package had arrived through the post that made her look at her life afresh. That package was an old fashioned cassette tape, which had a variety of different songs recorded onto it- as was the craze in the 1980’s and early 90’s.

That short story was not well written, and quite rightly got nowhere at all. I gave up writing after that. I’d only entered the competition so that I had a project to do that would occupy my mind and keep me awake. I had a one year old at the time- and she never slept and was a pain to feed- totally the opposite of now bless her!!

So the story was shelved, and I didn’t go back to it for two years went, you guessed it- I had another child- and I remembered the story I’d written. Being the type of person who never throws anything away, I dug it back out, and in fits and bursts I turned it into a novel based on my experiences as a student, my time as an archaeologist, and a friends music obsession.

I’ll be honest- it was not a good read. So again, I shelved it.

Then, a few years later my children went to school- and as is fairly well documented, I had an idea for a very different type of story- an erotic story which I simply had to write down. The result was a persona I called Kay Jaybee. (Kay is for OVER 18’S ONLY)

Such was the unexpected success of Kay Jaybee, that I had no time to look at my first early attempt at a novel for years. I also had no confidence in it at all. I had become Kay, and Kay was good at stories that oozed kink- I wasn’t sure I could do a story that kept the pages turning without it.

It wasn’t until ‘Kay’ had a handful of novels, novellas and short stories under her belt, that I decided the time had come to prove to myself that I could do more- and so I rewrote Another Cup of Coffee– and to my surprise it was taken by a publisher.

 

So- if you fancy delving into the story of Amy, her ex boyfriend Jack, and his best friend, erotica writer and Mum, Kit (sound familiar at all?), then why not give Another Cup of Coffee a sip

You can buy Another Cup of Coffee as either a paperback or an eBook from Amazon and all good online and high street book stores, including-

http://www.bookdepository.com/Another-Cup-Coffee-Jenny-Kane/9781783751129 

Then – if you enjoy this novel- there are three seasonal follow on novella’s (available in Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection as well as standalone Kindle publications), and the novel, Another Glass of Champagne, to read afterwards!

 

 

Happy reading and coffee drinking,

Jenny xx


The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma Blog Tour: Opening Lines

I’m delighted to be hosting Karen King as she embarks upon a blog tour for her new rom com, The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma. Why not settle down a enjoy the very beginning of Karen’s latest publication?

Over to you Karen…

Thanks so much for inviting me over, Jenny. The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma is my third romcom for Accent Press and is mainly set in Majorca. Whenever I’m at a resort I always admire how the reps deal with the various holiday makers, the activities they do with them from poolside exercises, kids clubs and putting on shows. I was on the aeroplane once with a stag party, and they were quite raucous but seemed nice guys, so the idea of a travel rep having a holiday romance with a guy from a stag party that books into her hotel probably stemmed from these two things. The setting was definitely inspired by a trip to Majorca with my husband a couple of years ago to celebrate our third anniversary. It’s a beautiful island, and we actually took a trip to the Caves of Drach which feature in the novel. I really had fun writing this book and hope that readers love Jess and Eddie as much as I do.

Here’s a bit about the book:

Fun-loving travel rep Jess doesn’t want to be chief bridesmaid at her snooty cousin’s wedding, but it will cause a family feud if she refuses. She doesn’t want to fall in love either but when a raucous stag party arrives at her Majorcan hotel, Jess hits it off instantly with best man, Eddie. A summer romance is exactly what commitment-phobe Jess needs and, as the stag-do draws to a close, so does the holiday fling. She has no intentions of carrying on the summer fun but when Eddie turns up again, Jess is faced with a big dilemma.
Will this bridesmaid get the happy-ever-after she never knew she wanted?

The Bridesmaid Dilemma is published on 7 June, in paperback and as an ebook. You can n preorder it here:

https://tinyurl.com/y8z6k8ut

Opening Lines

Jess stretched out on the sunbed, factor fifteen and the parasol protecting her already golden skin from the heat of the afternoon sun. It was lovely to finally have the chance to relax by the pool. As usual, the morning had been full-on. She and Libby – lounging on the sunbed next to her – were in charge of the Fitness Classes and had spent two hours jumping, bending, stretching, and jogging on the spot with a group of holidaymakers. Being a holiday rep with Time of Your Life Holidays was fun but exhausting.

‘This is heaven. I could lie here all day.’

‘Me too. This week’s been so hectic. It’s going to be non-stop now the schools have broken up.’ Libby sighed. ‘Lucky you, having next weekend off. I wouldn’t mind flying back home for a few days.’

‘I’d like it a lot more if I didn’t have to be chief bridesmaid at Charlotte’s wedding,’ Jess replied. ‘That’s going to be a barrel of fun – not.’

Her first reaction when her cousin Charlotte had asked her to be chief bridesmaid was astonishment – she and Charlotte had never got on and usually tried to avoid each other.

Her second reaction had been panic. She didn’t do weddings, or frothy dresses, and she knew that Charlotte, with her obsession for perfection, would be the bridezilla from hell. She couldn’t refuse though, not when she knew how much it meant to her mum. And so, Jess had reluctantly agreed, even though she suspected that she’d only been asked because Charlotte had no sisters and precious few friends – even the other two bridesmaids were sisters of her fiancé, Russell.

‘It might not be that bad. And I bet the best man is a hunk. You know what they say about the chief bridesmaid and best man,’ Libby teased. ‘It’s compulsory for them to have a dance together and a few kisses – at the very least.’ She grinned at Jess and cocked her head to one side. ‘What’s her fella like?’

‘No idea, never met him. I haven’t seen Charlotte for years. All I know is that his name’s Russell and his work involves something to do with exports.’

‘I can’t believe your cousin doesn’t have a Facebook page. We could have a nose then, see what this Russell is like.’

‘Charlotte “doesn’t approve of society’s obsession with social media.”’ Jess made finger quotes as she said the words. It would have been a lot easier to keep in touch with Charlotte if she was on Facebook – and if she was less of a nightmare person – but as it was, wedding-related messages were coming solely through email.

‘She sounds a right barrel of laughs. So, you’ve no idea who the best man is?’

‘Mum said he’s an old school friend of Russell’s. I expect he’ll be very staid and boring. Russell will be, too. Charlotte’s boyfriends always are.’

Author Bio

Karen King writes sassy, heart-warming romance and edgy YA with a heart. ‘The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma ‘ is her third romcom for Accent Press. Her second title, ‘The Cornish Hotel by the Sea’ rose to #3 in the Amazon Bestseller Holiday Charts in the UK, #2 in Australia and was in the top hundred overall bestsellers. Her first title, I do?… or do I? has recently been published in France under the title ‘Un Fiancé Inattendu’. In addition, Accent Press have republished her earlier romance novels, ‘The Millionaire Plan’ and ‘Never Say Forever’.

Karen has also written several short stories for women’s magazine and had 120 children’s books published. She started her writing career writing scripts and articles for Jackie and other teen and children’s magazines.

She is member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists,

When she isn’t writing, Karen likes travelling, watching the ‘soaps’ and reading. Give her a good book and a box of chocolates and she thinks she’s in Heaven.

Author links

Website: http://www.karenking.net/

Twitter: @karen_king

Karen King Romance Author Facebook Page

Karen King Young Adult Books Facebook Page

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/karenkingauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenkingauthor/?hl=en

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/3187489145

***

Good luck with your new book Karen,

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x


« Previous Entries


The Romance Reviews
© 2018 Jenny Kane | Site Designed and Maintained by Writer Marketing Services