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

Category: Contemporary Romantic Fiction Page 1 of 54

For the love of Arthur

Over the years I’ve developed something of a reputation for the inclusion of older characters in my contemporary fiction. Without conscious thought on my behalf, I always seem to develop plotlines that involve pensioners – and I love it!

Bert and Mabel in my #MillGrange series are enduringly popular- and Stan in my #Cornish novels has carved a little place for himself in many of my reader’s hearts.

When it came to writing Summer at Sea Glass Cove, I found myself drawn, once again, to an older character – but this time he was not entirely of my own creation.

Arthur – retired fisherman and passionate collector of antique gaming pieces (especially chess pieces)  – was inspired by my daughter, Lucy.

Lucy and I were sharing a scone and coffee moment in a local café, as we often do when she is visiting. I had just written, ‘The End’ on the final novel in #ThePottingShed series, and Lucy asked what I was going to write next. I outlined my idea for Summer at Sea Glass Cove – but at this stage, I only had a plot, locations, and my three lead characters, but I knew it needed another dimension.

My daughter looked at me as if I was crazy – not uncommon – and told me I needed to get an older dynamic because, and I’m quoting Lucy directly here, “you’re really good at doing the oldies, Mum.”

Within minutes – the time it took me to get up and fetch her a second scone – Lucy had invented Arthur, his husband Jeff, and their cat, Shark. And – I have to say – they are my favourite characters in the book. Not just because my daughter helped bring them to life, but because there is something magically endearing about them. As I wrote them onto the pages, I knew they’d be the sort of chaps that would make solid friendships with people of all ages and walks of life.

When Lauren, marine archaeologist, and the novel’s main protagonist, first meets Arthur, she’s in the Museum by the Sea (run by Phil and Sally) –  they are chatting about The Vissen – a wreck that Lauren is currently excavating:

EXTRACT:

…‘Welcome to the best museum in the county.’ Arthur’s eyes twinkled. ‘Pleased to meet you.’

‘Likewise.’ Lauren returned his generous smile. ‘Sally said you’re a regular here.’

‘Once a week, every week since I was a kid.’

‘Really?’

‘Yep. Missed the odd visit when I was at sea, mind.’

‘A fisherman?’

‘Man and boy.’ Arthur brushed down his navy jumper. ‘Was it the top that gave it away? Seen better days but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.’

Lauren laughed. ‘It does give off that sea fisherman vibe. Aren’t you a bit hot though?’

‘My body stopped bothering to keep me warm the second I reached seventy-five. This jumper will see me out.’ He started to chuckle. ‘Unless Jeff throws it away while I’m not looking!’

‘Jeff?’

‘My husband. He hates me wearing something so tatty. When I point out that I’m looking rather tatty myself these days, he rolls his eyes and goes to talk to the cat.’

Phil laughed. ‘I don’t know how he puts up with you.’

‘Nor me.’ Arthur tapped the tray before them. ‘Now then, Lauren, what do you make of this lot?’

Stepping forward, Lauren lowered her coffee cup and looked at the artefacts spread out before her. ‘Gaming counters!’

Arthur’s eyebrows rose so high, they were almost hidden by his navy cap. ‘I’ve not heard those two words spoken with such enthusiasm before.’

Knowing she ought to keep the discovery of the Vissen’s chess pieces to herself, Lauren went to pick up a pawn. ‘May I?’

‘Certainly.’ Exchanging a glance with Arthur, Phil asked, ‘You know about these things, Lauren?’

Cradling the bone pawn in her palm, Lauren admitted that she did, and asked, ‘Where’s this from?’

‘It was washed up on Lyme Bay.’ Arthur picked up another piece. ‘I think this one’s from the same set. Possibly a queen – maybe a bishop. The sea has worn it too much to say for sure. I’d put my pension on it being Tudor though.’

‘Do you know about chess sets then, Arthur?’ Lauren laid the pawn down next to a collection of pottery dice.

Sally burst out laughing. ‘That’s like asking if the Pope reads the Bible.’ …

If you’d like to find out what happens next – and why chess pieces are so important to Lauren and her new friends – you can find Summer at Sea Glass Cove in all good bookshops and online retailers, including:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

WHSmith

Waterstones 

BLURB

Welcome to Sea Glass Cove!

Marine archaeologist Lauren Sunshine is used to life on the go. Her suitcase is always packed ready to explore the country’s underwater heritage so when a shipwreck is found off the Dorset coast, she is thrilled to be leading the excavation team.

Philippa Silver, ‘Phil’ to the folk of Sea Glass Cove, has devoted her life to the Museum by the Sea. But funding is tight, and despite subletting half of the museum to her best friend Jules’s sea glass shop, she fears for the museum’s future.

Phil hopes the wreck discovery could bring more visitors – but there’s a problem – the museum’s too small to house its treasures. Thankfully, new friend Lauren seems as determined as she is to save the museum.

But, when Phil’s brother Ollie catches Lauren’s eye, she begins to wonder if she has more than one reason to be interested in life at Sea Glass Cove…

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

 

10 years of Romancing Robin Hood!

Unbelievably, it is 10 YEARS, since the first edition of my part contemporary romance / part medieval crime novel, Romancing Robin Hood was published!

Since that time, it has been through two incarnations, with two different publishers.

At first it looked like this…

At the moment, it looks like this!

Will the cover change again? Quite possibly, for my previous publisher has retired from the business, and I’m on the hunt for a new one…so who knows! In the meantime, Romancing Robin Hood, is available – with the above cover – as a self published tale.

Here’s the 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 from all good retailers, including : Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Romancing Robin Hood is a contemporary romance about history lecturer Dr Grace Harper, who is passionate about Robin Hood and the historical outlaws that may have inspired him. Not only does this novel tell the story of Grace’s fight to find time for romance in her busy work filled life, it also contains a secondary story about the fourteenth century criminal gang Grace is researching- the Folvilles. This family, based in Ashby-Folville in Leicestershire, were a group I researched in-depth as a student many moons ago.

In the novella she is writing, Grace’s fourteenth century protagonist Mathilda is getting to know the Folville family rather better than she would have liked. As well as living with them, she suddenly finds herself under a very frightening type of suspicion. I rather enjoyed weaving this sub plot around the main romance of the modern part of Romancing Robin Hood. This was the first time I’d ever written any sort of crime, and I’d had no idea killing someone off could be so much fun!! It was rather like doing a jigsaw from in the inside out, while having no idea where the corners are! I loved it so much, that it led to me writing all four of the #FolvilleChronicle novels.

In fact, the writing of Romancing Robin Hood has led me on many an adventure; none of which I saw coming. It was this novel that inspired Barnaby Eaton-Jones to invite me to the Hooded Man event in 2016 to sell my books – this celebration of all things Robin of Sherwood,  changed my life forever. After the success of my sales and the wonderful feedback from the guests there,  I was invited to have a go at writing audio books and novels for the ongoing series; a series which just happened to be my favourite of all time.

Now, 8 years later, here we are celebrating the show’s 40th anniversary, and I’m still writing scripts and books for the fans to enjoy. And I love it!!!

Not only that, but my many visits to Robin Hood events and conventions have led me to begin a brand new series of #cosycrime novels- the first being Manuscript Mysteries at The Robin Hood Club.

Manuscript Mysteries at the Robin Hood Club

I had no idea, when I wrote Romancing Robin Hood, that it would take me so far from being a romcom writer. While I still love writing romcoms and romances, I am now also a crime writer, a cosy crime writer, and audio script writer and more…

Best of all – I’m a happy writer.

Thank you to everyone for their ongoing support!!

Jenny xx

Summer Reading

As I take a little time away to have a short holiday and teach at the Penzance Literary Festival, I thought I’d leave you with a reminder of a few of my #summer based reads.

***

Summer at Sea Glass CoveWelcome to Sea Glass Cove!

Marine archaeologist Lauren Sunshine is used to life on the go. Her suitcase is always packed ready to explore the country’s underwater heritage so when a shipwreck is found off the Dorset coast, she is thrilled to be leading the excavation team.

Philippa Silver, ‘Phil’ to the folk of Sea Glass Cove, has devoted her life to the Museum by the Sea. But funding is tight, and despite subletting half of the museum to her best friend Jules’s sea glass shop, she fears for the museum’s future.

Phil hopes the wreck discovery could bring more visitors – but there’s a problem – the museum’s too small to house its treasures. Thankfully, new friend Lauren seems as determined as she is to save the museum.

But, when Phil’s brother Ollie catches Lauren’s eye, she begins to wonder if she has more than one reason to be interested in life at Sea Glass Cove…

Available from:

Amazon UK , Amazon US,  Kobo,  WHSmith, Waterstones 

***

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 as a paperback, audiobook and ebook from Nook, Kobo, as well as Amazon UK and Amazon US, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com.au, and Amazon.com.NZ 

***

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 from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Happy holiday reading everyone,

Jenny x

A Tiny Taster: A Cornish Wedding

This week, I thought I’d share a ‘Tiny Taster’ from A Cornish Wedding 

Sequel to A Cornish Escape, this feel good romance returns you to the world of Abi, Max, Beth and Stan in sunny Sennen Cove.

Blurb

Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Heidi Swain and Milly Johnson, A Cornish Wedding is the best kind of summer escape.

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 Abi’s 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?

Sennen Cove

Here’s a Tiny Taster…

Cassandra stared at the ‘For Sale’ sign in the front garden. A fresh slogan had been pasted proudly across it, proclaiming Another House Sold!

She frowned. The estate agents must have made a mistake. Justin had talked about renting the cottage, this poky little two-bed terrace in some Cornish backwater, but he’d never once suggested buying it.

Sitting on the low stone wall that ran in front of the row of cottages, with her back to the sold sign, she let out a string of vehemently whispered expletives. Resisting the temptation to throw a pebble at the seagulls which were squawking their hearts out on the roof behind her, she steadied her breathing, like she did when faced with a particularly demanding client.

Shrugging off her suit jacket in deference to the early summer sunshine that poured from a cloud-free sky, Cassandra tried to focus, but doubts continued to assail her. She hadn’t misunderstood Justin, had she?

They’d been laughing over the breakfast table at one of the most exclusive hotels in London when the subject of Cornwall had first come up. Making plans for their future life together, they’d celebrated in grand style the fact that Justin had, after six years of secret trysts and stolen nights together, decided to leave his wife; the dreadful Jacinta.

Excitedly they’d plotted and planned over plates of eggs Benedict and smoked salmon, raising their glasses of Buck’s Fizz to Justin’s promotion to senior partner at the law firm. A promotion which meant that, providing they merged their finances, Justin could afford to get a divorce without being catapulted into penury.

There was only one snag…

If you’d like to read A Cornish Wedding, (previously published as Abi’s Neighbour), you can buy it as a paperback or ebook from all good retailers, including

Universal link – mybook.to/CornishWedding

Happy reading everyone.

Jenny xx

Shipwrecking it: Summer at Sea Glass Cove

Lauren Sunshine arrives at Lymeton (known to the locals as Sea Glass Cove), in Dorset as the chief marine archaeologist in charge of excavating a shipwreck off the Jurassic Coast.

In my fictional world, Lauren and her team are investigating the wrecked Tudor ship, The Vissen. This is a Dutch merchant vessel known as a fluyt – and would have been one of the first ships to cross the channel simply to trade rather than to carry passengers and carry cargo.

***

Here’s a mini extract from Summer at Sea Glass Cove…

Sitting on the sand, Lauren gazed at the sea. For a moment she followed the ebb and flow of the tide before closing her eyes. Behind her eyelids she pictured the underwater world in which sat the wreck of the Vissen; a Dutch Fluyt cargo vessel which had set out from Holland in 1590 and never made it home. Lying in approximately nine metres of water, with its long axis orientated north-east to south-west, the stern had broken free from the main body of the ship, lying at an awkward angle which was proving a challenge for her and her divers, and a haven for the local marine life who’d changed the fallen ship into an artificial wooden reef.

As she considered the hidden timbers, Lauren found herself picturing the vessel as it had once been. One of the first fluyts – a new type of ship, designed specifically for transporting goods, rather than, as with almost every vessel before, an all-purpose ship that could be used either for trading or as a warship in times of need. It must have been the pride of the fleet.

Now, this once magnificent ship was losing its 434-year battle with the elements. The combined forces of immersion in salt water, the abrasion of the seabed’s sediment, and the exposure of the timbers to the air at low tide were making it increasingly vulnerable. To Lauren, it was a mystery why the Marine Heritage Trust hadn’t acted sooner to save the many artefacts that had gone down with the ship.

Not such a mystery. She opened her eyes. There’s a great many wrecks off the UK coast, and only one pot of money.

Refocusing on the world above sea level, Lauren took in the picture postcard  view. The sun blazed across a baby-blue sky, despite it being almost six o’clock. The sand, a dusky yellow, was light and clean, and the sea glistened as though dotted with crystals, making the tips of the wreck’s timbers, which just protruded from the water, look mysterious, magical, and enticing all at once. To her right, a row of cliffs that had been there since the Jurassic period and beyond, rolled around the coastline towards nearby Lyme Regis, while to her left, the town of Lymeton sat like a younger sibling to its more famous neighbour. She knew it would be easy to fall in love with the place, with its myriad of craft shops, cafés, ice cream parlour, and stunning scenery….

I’ve always been interested in shipwrecks. They have a tragic magic about them; forming a time capsule of history for us to explore and learn about our past. While the ships themselves can be fascinating, it is the small, personal, finds that appeal to me the most. The items which can tell us about the people who sailed; the buttons, hairbrushes, cutlery, chess pieces, and so on.

It is the discovery of chess pieces that puts The Vissen’s wreck on the map and introduces Lauren to my favourite character in Summer in Sea Glass Cove – Arthur; gaming piece collector extraordinaire.

To meet the adorable pensioner, Arthur, his partner Jeff, and their cat, Shark, then you can find them within the pages of Summer at Sea Glass Cove.

Blurb

Welcome to Sea Glass Cove!

Marine archaeologist Lauren Sunshine is used to life on the go. Her suitcase is always packed ready to explore the country’s underwater heritage so when a shipwreck is found off the Dorset coast, she is thrilled to be leading the excavation team.

Philippa Silver, ‘Phil’ to the folk of Sea Glass Cove, has devoted her life to the Museum by the Sea. But funding is tight, and despite subletting half of the museum to her best friend Jules’s sea glass shop, she fears for the museum’s future.

Phil hopes the wreck discovery could bring more visitors – but there’s a problem – the museum’s too small to house its treasures. Thankfully, new friend Lauren seems as determined as she is to save the museum.

But, when Phil’s brother Ollie catches Lauren’s eye, she begins to wonder if she has more than one reason to be interested in life at Sea Glass Cove…

Available from:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

WHSmith

Waterstones

Happy reading!

Jenny xx

 

OUT NOW: Summer at Sea Glass Cove

IT’S PUBLICATION DAY!!

Summer at Sea Glass Cove is out now!

The novel was an utter joy to write. Wrapped around the friendships forged when a shipwreck excavation off the coast of Lymeton Cove, near Lyme Regis, takes chief marine archaeologist, Lauren, into a local art gallery, it takes us into the world of  sea glass jewellery and a very small museum…

Blurb

Welcome to Sea Glass Cove!

Marine archaeologist Lauren Sunshine is used to life on the go. Her suitcase is always packed ready to explore the country’s underwater heritage so when a shipwreck is found off the Dorset coast, she is thrilled to be leading the excavation team.

Philippa Silver, ‘Phil’ to the folk of Sea Glass Cove, has devoted her life to the Museum by the Sea. But funding is tight, and despite subletting half of the museum to her best friend Jules’s sea glass shop, she fears for the museum’s future.

Phil hopes the wreck discovery could bring more visitors, but there’s a problem – the museum’s too small to house its treasures. Thankfully, new friend Lauren seems as determined as she is to save the museum.

But, when Phil’s brother Ollie catches Lauren’s eye, she begins to wonder if she has more than one reason to be interested in life at Sea Glass Cove….

Why Sea Glass Cove? Well, mostly because sea glass is so beautiful and I’ve always loved it. Therefore, featuring it in a novel was bound to happen sooner or later.

In my fictious location, Lymeton Cove (nicknamed Sea Glass Cove by the locals), sea glass flecks can be found twinkling in the sand. Consequently, the village of Lymeton plays host to a fabulous shop called All at Sea, where local craftsman, Jules, makes and sells sea-glass jewellery and all manner of things from driftwood that has washed into Lymeton and Lyne Regis’s shore lines.

As you will have seen, if you read the opening lines from Summer at Sea Glass Cove in my previous blog, the novel opens when Lauren visits Jules’s shop for the very first time. Not only does she fall in love with his amazing craftsmanship, she also notices one or two things that really ought to be in a museum – the shelving units made out of old ship planks for a start…

You can buy your copy of Summer at Sea Glass Cove from all good retailers (ebook and paperback) from today, including:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

WHSmith

Waterstones

Many thanks for pooping by today. Happy reading!!

Jenny xx

 

 

Meet Lauren Sunshine: Summer at Sea Glass Cove

Tomorrow sees the launch of my latest novel –

Summer at Sea Glass Cove!!

Let me introduce you to Lauren Sunshine…

Thirty-two year old Lauren Sunshine has already heard every joke you can think of that could be connected to her surname.

Lauren is single. Having vowed never to bother with men again after a disastrous relationship, she’s determined to be a career girl.

A marine archaeologist, who is visiting Lymeton – known to the locals as Sea Glass Cove – for the first time, Lauren is in the process of managing the exploration of the sunken Tudor merchant ship (The Vissen), a few miles off the coastline.

Nervous, but excited, to be in charge of such an important offshore investigation/ excavation, Lauren is working with her right hand man, Dave – a seasoned marine archaeologist – and two students from the local university: Ali and Jack.

When we first meet Lauren she is exploring the village during her lunch hour – and is amazed to find a small museum tucked away at the back of a craft shop. She instantly falls in love with the Museum by the Sea and the All at Sea shop – and forms a bond with Phil (Philippa) and Jules who work there.

But, as can imagine, for Lauren and her new friends, life won’t all be plain sailing…

Extract.

(Lauren has just walked into the museum for the very first time, and is about to meet the Museum by the Sea’s rather acerbic assistant, Sally…)

Stepping through a single green door, which led from the cramped reception into the main body of the museum, Lauren was glad to be alone.

            She found herself standing at one end of a long, slim, clean and well-lit room. Narrow, waist high display cases ran through the centre of the room, while mounted cabinets filled every available wall space, each of them a museum piece in its own right. The units’ contents, clearly labelled, were laid out in an eye-catching fashion, despite being packed to capacity. Instantly, Lauren could see what Phil meant about the difficulty of school visits. There was no way more than six people could fit  at once without everyone having to breathe in.

            Savouring the sense of history that emanated from the walls, Lauren found herself eye to eye socket with the skeleton of a pterosaur, which hung from the ceiling. Having greeted him warmly, Lauren moved on to a display of fossilised insects, and soon became engrossed in reading the associated information panels.

            ‘This stuff is fabulous,’ she muttered as she moved onto a cabinet full of musket shot, cannon balls, chess pieces and pewterware, all washed up from local wrecks. ‘Criminal to be so hidden away. They need more space.’

            ‘Chance would be a fine thing!’ A young woman, a set of keys swinging from her fingertips, stepped through the door. ‘Phil said we had an important visitor.’

            ‘I’m just an archaeologist. This is such a fabulous place. I’m so glad I found it.’

            ‘You didn’t. Jules told you about it.’

            Surprised by the woman’s bluntness, Lauren spoke fast. ‘Well, yes, that is true, but…’

I’m so excited about the launch of this book!

(I can’t wait for you to meet Arthur and Jeff!! – Just saying!)

If you visit this blog tomorrow, you will learn a little more about sea glass cove.

In the meantime, if you would like to get ahead of the game, and pre-order the book, you can buy it from all good retailers, including:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

WHSmith

Waterstones

Happy pre-ordering,

Jenny x

 

Welcome to the Jurassic Coast

My latest work of #contemporayfiction, Summer at Sea Glass Cove comes out on 6th June.

This is my third novel with a seaside connection. The first two, A Cornish Escape and A Cornish Wedding, were set in Sennen Cove, which lies within the Penwith area of Cornwall. This time, the action takes place in Dorset, on the world famous Jurassic Coast, in the fictional village of Lymeton Cove – which I have placed a short distance from, the very real, Lyme Regis.

Famous for its stunning geology, and the vast numbers of fossils that have been found along its coastline, the appropriately named, Jurassic Coast, has long been a place of pilgrimage for geologists, palaeontologists, archaeologists, and anyone with a love of dinosaurs, the prehistoric world – or indeed the seaside!

As a former archaeologist and historian, I’ve long been fascinated with all aspects of our countries past, a passion I’ve shared with my lead characters Lauren and Phil.

Summer at Sea Glass Cove

Blurb

Welcome to Sea Glass Cove!

Marine archaeologist Lauren Sunshine is used to life on the go. Her suitcase is always packed ready to explore the country’s underwater heritage so when a shipwreck is found off the Dorset coast, she is thrilled to be leading the excavation team.

Philippa Silver, ‘Phil’ to the folk of Sea Glass Cove, has devoted her life to the Museum by the Sea. But funding is tight, and despite subletting half of the museum to her best friend Jules’s sea glass shop, she fears for the museum’s future.

Phil hopes the wreck discovery could bring more visitors, but there’s a problem – the museum’s too small to house its treasures. Thankfully, new friend Lauren seems as determined as she is to save the museum.

But, when Phil’s brother Ollie catches Lauren’s eye, she begins to wonder if she has more than one reason to be interested in life at Sea Glass Cove….

***

It isn’t just Lauren and Phil who are passionate about history. Local pensioner, Arthur, has a passion for the past too. His love of gaming pieces through history, especially chess pieces, helps forge a friendship between himself and Lauren which becomes vital in the quest to save the museum, when its future falls into jeopardy. Add to that, the excavation of a shipwreck, and its all set to be a summer of discovery at Sea Glass Cove.

And we haven’t even discussed the sea glass itself yet…

You can pre-order Summer at Sea Glass Cove from all good retailers, including:

Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Happy pre-ordering,

Jenny x

 

Opening Lines: Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my Opening Lines. I’m putting that right today by sharing the first 500 words from… 

Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange

which is now 4 years old!!

Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange

This, the first in a series of four novels, introduces you to Thea Thomas, Tina Martin, Shaun Cowlson, Sam Philips, and the unstoppable Mabel Hastings. Taking you into the beautiful Exmoor countryside, on the Somerset/Devon border, adventures await, once the doors to Mill Grange are opened…

Blurb

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?

FIRST 500 WORDS

Thea Thomas checked her mobile. EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY was written in bold type across the top of the screen.

She tried connecting to her Wi-Fi.

Nothing happened.

Relief made her shoulders sag, as a wide smile knocked away some of the nervousness she felt about starting a new job in an unfamiliar part of England.

Here, she could avoid the constant barrage of social media alerts and unwanted texts, calls and emails. Here, she could start over.

***

Positioned at the top of a high rise of land, not far from the southern border of Exmoor, the Victorian manor house called Mill Grange rose from the centre of a gravelled drive, taking command of the surrounding scenery. Three tiers of a once-loved terraced garden fell away from the house in tatty overgrown rows. At the foot of these gardens ran a semi-encircling band of encroaching woodland, which the Ordnance Survey map Thea was clutching declared to stretch down to the River Barle on one side and the meandering River Exe on the other.

Huddled beneath her thick jumper against the sharp March wind, Thea was enfolded in a sensation of freedom and peace. The very stillness of the air, the lack of any visible overhead wires or street lighting, made her feel as if she’d driven into a Victorian time capsule. A Roman historian and archaeologist to the bone, she felt daunted by the prospect of taking on the restoration of a manor centuries removed from her field of expertise. With its fourteen bedrooms, seven bathrooms, numerous associated rooms, outhouses, and the mill after which it was named, a quarter of a mile away on the edge of Upwich village, it was not a task for the faint-hearted. However, the early spring sunshine, which caused the house’s granite walls to glitter with welcoming promise, seemed to be telling her it was going to be alright.

Alongside her Roman studies at university, Thea had trained in industrial archaeology and museum management, and was well-qualified for the job in hand. But this challenge, to turn Mill Grange into a heritage centre, was vastly different from her last posting at the Roman Baths in Bath. She could feel herself prodding the outer edges of her comfort zone.

At least she wouldn’t have to face the unknown alone. Her best friend, Tina, had been associated with the project for some time. Then there was the team of volunteers who’d been working on restoring Mill Grange, on a casual basis, for the last five years. A tingle of anxiety dotted Thea’s palms as she wondered how they’d take to being guided in their endeavours after pleasing themselves for so long.

Flicking an unruly stray brown hair from her eyes, she circuited the outside of the manor house. Thea’s boots made satisfying crunching sounds against the gravel as she attempted to banish her nerves, peering through each window as she went. The eclectic mix of original Victorian and reproduction furniture and artwork she saw within took…

If you’d like to read on, then Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange is now available as an eBook or paperback from all good retailers, including…

Amazon UK 

Amazon.com 

Kobo 

Nook

Midsummer Dreams is the first in the #MillGrange #series. It’s followed by Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange, Spring Blossoms at Mill Grange and Winter Fires at Mill Grange.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xx

Opening Lines: Summer at Sea Glass Cove

Summer at Sea Glass Cove will be published

NEXT WEEK

on 6th June!

Today I’m sharing its #openinglines.

Blurb

Welcome to Sea Glass Cove!

Marine archaeologist Lauren Sunshine is used to life on the go. Her suitcase is always packed ready to explore the country’s underwater heritage so when a shipwreck is found off the Dorset coast, she is thrilled to be leading the excavation team.

Philippa Silver, ‘Phil’ to the folk of Sea Glass Cove, has devoted her life to the Museum by the Sea. But funding is tight, and despite subletting half of the museum to her best friend Jules’s sea glass shop, she fears for the museum’s future.

Phil hopes the wreck discovery could bring more visitors, but there’s a problem – the museum’s too small to house its treasures. Thankfully, new friend Lauren seems as determined as she is to save the museum.

But, when Phil’s brother Ollie catches Lauren’s eye, she begins to wonder if she has more than one reason to be interested in life at Sea Glass Cove….

FIRST 500 WORDS:

As Lauren stepped through the low stone-framed doorway, the instant dip in temperature after the relentless heat of the midday June sun felt like balm against her tanned skin. Sliding her sunglasses up, so they secured her sea-soaked hair away from her eyes, she gave a small sigh of pleasure.

The shop was beautifully laid out. Shelves of various shapes and sizes lined the walls, each one carved out of driftwood. Upon these were displayed unique items of jewellery, all made out of sea glass. Every polished shard radiated its own aura of light which, as Lauren meandered between the shelves, she noticed changed colour depending on where she was standing.

Drawn to a large, teardrop-shaped pendant in the window, Lauren marvelled at its vivid sapphire glow. As she stepped closer the light changed, and it became an emerald green. Catching her breath, caught between the desire to discover if the glass was as smooth as she suspected, and knowing she ought not touch, she became conscious of a voice nagging at her.

Ships’ planks.

A frown puckered her forehead as her attention shifted from the pendant to a distinctive groove in the shelf upon which it was being displayed.

Tudor?

Instead of reaching out to feel the cool glass beneath her fingertips, Lauren gently caressed the bowed wood.

A nail once sat there – a long one – iron. It would have secured this plank to the next and…

Lauren focused her attention onto the eclectic shelf collection rather than the exquisite jewellery. That one’s more modern – from a warship – twentieth century. I wonder which…

‘It’s from the HMS Formidable – at least, that’s where I’ve always assumed it washed in from.’

As Lauren spun around, she found herself face to chest with a faded blue shirt. Stepping back so she could see the wearer properly, she saw a welcoming grin and a multi-coloured bandana that neatly trapped his shoulder-length greying hair.

‘You know these are ships’ planks then?’

‘From local wrecks to be exact.’ He put out a hand for her to shake. ‘I’m Jules. Not often someone looks more closely at my shelving than my jewellery.’

‘I don’t often see ships’ planks used like this.’ The urge to ask him what the hell he thought he was doing using historical artefacts in this manner was stifled by the strength of his smile.

‘If I hadn’t picked them up, they’d only have been washed out again, or worse – someone would have used them for firewood. Anyway, they’re in keeping with the theme of the shop.’

‘Jewellery?’ Lauren’s eyes strayed back to the pendant. It had developed a lighter, more peppermint sheen.

‘More using nature’s bounty – well, the sea’s bounty to be specific. These are all made from sea glass. And over there—’ Jules gestured to the back of the shop ‘—I have a few sculptures made from driftwood, along with some more useful stuff – coasters, doorstops, door handles and such like – all carved from driftwood.’

Turning to follow his…

If that has tickled your reading tastebuds, then you can #preorder your copy of Summer at Sea Glass Cove from all good retailers, including:

Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Happy pre-ordering!

Jenny x

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