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

Category: Fiction Page 2 of 63

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

Preorder: Frost Falls at The Potting Shed

 My next novel, Frost Falls at The Potting Shed is now available for preorder!

(Out on 27th October)

A long time to wait perhaps, but while you’re busy reading lots of other books in the meantime, I promise I’m hard at work writing it’s sequel.

Scroll down to read the blurb!

BLURB

It has always been Maddie Willand‘s dream to take over her father’s plant nursery. But after his sudden death, she is devastated to discover that she might lose The Potting Shed forever.

Maddie’s bossy older sister, Sabi, is joint owner of the nursery, and she’s convinced that the best thing for both of them would be to sell up. Determined to keep the business going, Maddie can’t afford any distractions, but staying focused might be harder than she thinks when – after a major garden centre chain puts in an offer – her search for legal advice throws her into the path of attractive lawyer Ed

As frost begins to fall over The Potting Shed, will Maddie find the strength to save her father’s legacy and open herself up to new beginnings?

***

If you fancy ordering either the paperback or ebook version of Frost Falls, then you can do so at all good retailers, including –

More news about The Potting Shed series coming soon!
Happy preordering, 
Jenny x

Opening Lines with Rachel Brimble: A Very Modern Marriage

Opening Lines time is with us once again, and this week I’m delighted to welcome my friend and fellow author, Rachel Brimble, to share the first 500 words from her latest historical romance/saga,

A Very Modern Marriage.

Over to you, Rachel…

Hi Jenny!

Thank you for having me back on your blog and giving me the chance to share the Opening Lines of my latest release A Very Modern Marriage.

This is the final instalment in the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy (all the books can be read stand alone) and tells Octavia’s story. She is one of the three women who live and work together in a brothel situated in the backstreets of the Victorian city of Bath.

In books 1 & 2 (A Widow’s Vow & Trouble For The Leading Lady), we saw Louisa and Nancy struggling to find their true life purpose while facing the world with an unshakeable determination to survive. The same is now true of Octavia.

As her friends’ lives change, Octavia realises hers must too and decides that drastic action is necessary…whatever that might mean!

BLURB:

He needs a wife…
Manchester industrialist William Rose was a poor lad from the slums who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, but in order to achieve his greatest ambitions he must become the epitome of Victorian respectability: a family man.

She has a plan…
But the only woman who’s caught his eye is sophisticated beauty Octavia Marshall, one of the notorious ladies of Carson Street. Though she was once born to great wealth and privilege, she’s hardly respectable, but she’s determined to invest her hard-earned fortune in Mr Rose’s mills and forge a new life as an entirely proper businesswoman.

They strike a deal that promises them both what they desire the most, but William’s a fool if he thinks Octavia will be a conventional married woman, and she’s very much mistaken if she thinks the lives they once led won’t follow them wherever they go.

In the third instalment of Rachel Brimble’s exciting Victorian saga series, The Ladies of Carson Street will open the doors on a thoroughly modern marriage – and William is about to get a lot more than he bargained for…

FIRST 500 WORDS

Chapter 1

Octavia Marshall blinked back tears as her newly married best friend stood alongside her husband outside the green arched door of Bath’s town hall. As Nancy and Francis were showered in rose petals, Octavia’s lips trembled under the strain of her forced smile, anxiety for her uncertain future tightening her chest.

She despised her selfishness. Nothing but her friends’ happiness should be at the forefront of her mind today, but she could not stop fretting about what this wedding meant for the brothel on Carson Street – for her – now that Nancy, who had worked alongside her for so long, was respectably married.

The house meant everything to Octavia. Since her harsh separation from her father several years before, she had gone from being a privileged young girl living in a beautiful home, to homeless and hawking herself on the streets. Then Louisa Hill, the owner of the Carson Street house, had found her – saved her – and their home and workplace became Octavia’s haven, her sanctuary – the people living with her there, her saving grace.

Now she feared if the brothel collapsed, she would too.

Why had she allowed herself to believe it would be her, Nancy and Louisa, side by side against the world for as long as they could work? Louisa had fallen in love with Jacob, their doorman and all-round protector, over a year before. And now Nancy was wed. Yet, the loss of Louisa’s heart to Jacob had not affected Octavia as much as Nancy’s falling in love with Francis. After all, as madam and owner of the house, it was inevitable Louisa would come to distance herself from the practicalities of the brothel in time.

But with Nancy’s wedding came her permanent departure from the house and a ticking clock in Octavia’s mind. It was only a matter of time before Louisa wanted to start a family and then the Carson Street house would close for good.

Taking a deep breath, Octavia tried her best to shake off her melancholy and walked closer to her friends. She pressed a firm kiss to Nancy’s cheek. ‘You look beautiful, darling. Absolutely beautiful.’

‘Thank you.’ Nancy’s cheeks flushed with happiness and her auburn hair, speckled with white flower buds, gleamed beneath her ivory veil. ‘I can’t quite believe a good-time girl like me is actually married.’

‘Married and expecting,’ Octavia said, as she nodded towards Nancy’s slightly curved stomach. ‘All too soon there will be a tiny Nancy or Francis running around and then where will you be?’

Nancy laughed. ‘As happy as a pig in sh—’

‘Um, darling…’ Francis raised his eyebrows. ‘Shall we head to the White Hart before your happiness bursts forth in a barrage of unfettered expletives?’

‘It’s too late to start looking down your nose at me now, Francis Carlyle,’ Nancy sniffed, her gaze soft with love even as she feigned a scowl at her new husband. ‘Like it or lump it, I’m yours for the rest of our lives. Unfettered expletives and…’

***

You can buy your copy of A Very Modern Marriage here: https://geni.us/xa9ln5

BIO:

Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of over 25 published novels including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin). In January 2022, she signed a contract with the Wild Rose Press for the first book in a brand new series set in past British Royal courts.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association as well as the Historical Novel Society and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.

To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click here: https://bit.ly/3zyH7dt

Website: https://bit.ly/3wH7HQs

Twitter: https://bit.ly/3AQvK0A

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3i49GZ3

Instagram: https://bit.ly/3lTQZbF

Many thanks for your wonderful Opening Lines, Rachel,

Happy Reading,

Jenny x

Cornish Romance for St Valentine’s Day?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Why not treat yourself, or a loved one, to a little Cornish romance? 

My first Cornish novel, A Cornish Escape, was never meant to be a romance. I hadn’t noticed, until after I’d written it, that within this tale of friendship and self discovery there lies an old fashioned love story. 

Newly widowed at barely thirty, Abi Carter is desperate to escape the Stepford Wives-style life that Luke, her late husband, had been so keen for her to live.

Abi decides to fulfil a lifelong dream. As a child on holiday in a Cornwall as a child she fell in love with a cottage – the prophetically named Abbey’s House. Now she is going to see if she can find the place again, relive the happy memories … maybe even buy a place of her own nearby?

On impulse Abi sets off to Cornwall, where a chance meeting in a village pub brings new friends Beth and Max into her life. Beth, like Abi, has a life-changing decision to make. Max, Beth’s best mate, is new to the village. He soon helps Abi track down the house of her dreams … but things aren’t quite that simple. There’s the complicated life Abi left behind, including her late husband’s brother, Simon – a man with more than friendship on his mind … Will Abi’s house remain a dream, or will the bricks and mortar become a reality?

If your loved one – or you – enjoys the Cornish countryside, a touch of romance, a story with twists and turns- and a cute Labrador…then this is the book for you! 

A Cornish Wedding also contains a love story- but this time it’s the older generation having all the fun!

Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door.

Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max.

But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business.

Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get along?

Complete with sun, sea and a gorgeous Cornwall setting, A Cornish Wedding is the PERFECT summer escape.

***

Buy Links-

A Cornish Escape is available as an ebook or paperback from all good retailers, including Waterstones and Amazon 

A Cornish Wedding is available as an ebook or paperback from all good retailers, including Waterstones and Amazon.

 

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xx

 

Opening Lines with Ashley Lister: Conversations with Dead Serial Killers

I’m delighted to be welcoming Ashley Lister back to my blog today, to share the Opening Lines from his latest novel, Conversations with Dead Serial Killers

Over to you Ash…

Thank you to the awesome Jenny Kane for inviting me here today.  She genuinely remains one of my favourite writers and I feel honoured to call her a friend.  I hope she still feels the same about me after reading this blog post.

The idea for Conversations with Dead Serial Killers came to me as I was watching a TV show about psychics.  I’m neither a believer nor a disbeliever in the spirit world. I’m simply an idiot who gets drunk and is too lazy to shift away from the TV, regardless of what it’s playing.

So, there I was, watching this show with a person purporting to be a psychic, telling the viewers that they were being helped by a spirit guide and I thought, “What if that spirit guide was a dick? What if that spirit guide’s sole purpose in life (or should that be ‘in death’?) was to make things uncomfortable for the psychic they worked with?”

Whilst that’s ended up as one of the predominant themes in the story, I think it’s fair to say that Conversations with Dead Serial Killers has become something a little more than that.  I’ve tried to blend the tropes of true crime stories with a narrative about mediumship, some of the grisly and distasteful things you’d expect to find in horror stories, and a soupcon of my dark and twisted humour.

Blurb

“A clown can get away with murder.”
John Wayne Gacy, the killer clown.

Derek Turner makes his living as a psychic. But, when he makes his first genuine contact with the spirit world, it is an encounter that starts him on a pathway to holding conversations with dead serial killers.

FIRST 500 WORDS

The thing that few people appreciated about Ed Gein was his skill as a seamstress. Clive had sat through every episode of the Great British Sewing Bee and, whilst the finalists on that show invariably produced some nice-looking creations in the last episode of each series, and sometimes that was when they were working with awkward fabrics such as organza, pleated lace or chiffon, none of them had (yet) been challenged with creating something original from human skin. To Clive’s mind it was an injustice that everyone looked at Ed Gein’s work (the belt made from nipples, the lampshade made from Mary Hogan’s face, and the chairs, fully upholstered, in human skin) and all they saw was the Grand Guignol horror that came from murder, the desecration of graves, and the violation of corpses. No one appreciated the man for his craftsmanship and finesse with a needle and thread.

Clive sat back at his desk, surveying the screen that held his notes on Gein and wondering how close his latest book was to being ready for publication. There were hundreds of biographies covering Gein, describing him as the Plainfield Butcher, the Plainfield Ghoul and the Grandfather of Gore, and explaining how he had been the role model for fictional monsters such as Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Norman Bates in Robert Bloch’s Psycho, and even Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs.

Clive’s approach to the biography had been different. Rather than go on about the lawlessness and illegality of Gein’s actions with the usual ghoulish voyeurism concerning murder, grave-robbing and skin-removal, Clive wanted to celebrate the Ed Gein that the history books had overlooked. Gein was a hard-working labourer. Gein was a loving son who aspired to be just like his mother. And Gein was a diligent researcher who had studied subjects as diverse as the Nazis, cannibalism and, if his well-thumbed copy of Grey’s Anatomy was any indicator, human biology.

Not that Gein was the only subject of the biographies he had written. Clive had published one volume on the comforting bedside manner of Dr Harold Shipman foregrounding the under-reported benevolent side of the world’s most prolific serial killer.  He had also written about the forbidden romance between Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, and wanted to write about the passion that kept Fred and Rose West together.  Importantly, and it was a consistent theme throughout all of the books he was writing, Clive wanted to talk about the fact that some of these ‘notorious killers’ had managed to grow up to appear like unassuming and normal adults despite the trauma of abusive childhoods. He knew they’d grown up to appear unassuming and normal because neighbours, witnesses and others involved in testifying against these people, always described them as being ‘unassuming and normal.’

He supposed the project struck a personal chord for him because, if not for fate and circumstances, he figured he too could have been another name on the long list of serial killers who had…

***

Conversations with Dead Serial Killers is currently available for Pre-Order and will be released on Valentine’s Day, 2022.

Pre-Order link: http://mybook.to/cwdsk

To find out more about Ashley Lister you can check out his website: www.ashleylister.com, his FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/ashley.lister, and Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashleylister.

Huge thanks Ashley, for sharing your Opening lines today – I’m still talking to you after reading that- although I have hidden my sewing kit… just to be on the safe side. (Remembers pin cushion is on the table and dashes off)

Happy reading everyone, 

Jenny xx

Welcome to The Potting Shed

About an hour after I’d put my pen down after finishing the edits on Winter Fires at Mill Grange, the final novel in the #MillGrange #series, I picked it up again and began to plan out the structure of the first novel in a brand new series, all based around a small gardening nursery – The Potting Shed.

Book 1, Frost Falls at The Potting Shed, will be out this coming autumn. 

I hope you love the cover as much as I do. The cover designer has worked incredibly hard to get everything about the appearance of The Potting Shed perfect.

Set in Devon – my home county for the last 16 years – The Potting Shed introduces us to the horticultural world of Maddie Willand and her family nursery. (I’m learning  A LOT about flowers and gardening as I write).

As frost begins to fall over The Potting Shed, will Maddie find the strength to both save her father’s legacy & open herself up to new beginnings?

I can say no more for know, but keep posted for preorder news!

Happy reading,

Jenny x

 

 

Focus on: Another Cup of Coffee

Paperback cover

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…

Available from:

In eBook and paperback format from Amazon UK,  Kobo, Nook, and all good book stores.

Reviews:

‘This book is definitely my cup of coffee

Gosh, where to start with this review?!

The characters: you laughed with them, cringed, hated, wanted to shout at the book because you cared so deeply. Every character had their own story, and I loved that this was intertwined with Amy’s story, waiting to see how it panned out. Big round of applause for Kane for the characters on its own.

Another Cup of Coffee itself: very realistic and a delight from start to finish. I felt like I was sitting on the outside looking in all the time, and I’d known this group of people for my entire life.

A wonderful piece of literature which will fill your heart with warmth as you get sucked in to every aspect. My heart has grown 100 sizes, much like The Grinch (too early for Christmas references?!). This could also be due to the amount of coffee I consumed due to having FOMO every time one of the characters were having coffee. Which was basically every other page (help)…

The romance aspect wasn’t too in your face, if you know what I mean? Kane tackles issues such as still being attached to someone so long after they have left, the “how am I gay if I’ve loved a woman?” question and running away from your problems.

I didn’t feel like I was reading a piece of fiction – I felt like this was a real-life story told at a dinner party around coffee, with an ending that can only be adored.

A timeless piece and one worth picking up big time.

This book is definitely my cup of coffee (sorry, I had to). Bookmark That approved. Loved!’ BookMarkThat UK

Ebook cover

‘Delicious, delightful and simply irresistible, I devoured Jenny Kane’s wonderfully romantic tale, Another Cup of Coffee, in a single sitting!

Thirteen years ago, Amy Crane had looked at her life, her family and her friends and decided that she wanted and needed a change. A fresh start where nobody knew anything about her and where she had no ties or commitments was of paramount importance, so she ran away from everyone and everything and made a new life in a new city where nobody knew the first thing about her. Amy had thought that her old life had been consigned to the past and that she needn’t be troubled or worried by the stirrings of memories of a time she would much rather forget. However, the past does have a habit of rearing its head again when one least expects it, as she discovers when an old music cassette which she has not seen since her university days turns up, bringing to the fore feelings, emotions, fears and resentments which she had thought long buried.

Digging out her walkman and listening to the soundtrack of her university days is an experience that leaves a profound effect on Amy. Realizing that she cannot continue to hide from her past, she decides to tackle her fears head on and to confront all those uncomfortable feelings which she has kept locked away for thirteen years. Amy is well aware that her decision to face her old demons is not going to be a walk in the park, but how can she achieve closure, if she continues to hide herself away?

The time has come for Amy to track down the friends she had turned her back on thirteen years ago, piece together the pieces of a life that had come to a sudden and shattering halt and uncover the reason why Jack has, after all this time, decided to send her a tape and forced her to reexamine and reevaluate her life and her relationships. Had Amy done the right thing in walking away from her relationship? Should she have fought for the one she loved? Or should she let bygones be bygones?

Armed with a bucket sized cup of coffee, will Amy manage to lay old ghosts to rest? Or will she find the answers to all the questions she has been asking herself for well over a decade?

An absorbing read which I thoroughly enjoyed, Another Cup of Coffee is an uplifting and feel-good romance about facing the past, second chances and first love that I simply couldn’t put down. Jenny Kane’s story is fast-paced, emotional, feel-good and compelling and once you start reading Another Cup of Coffee, you will find yourself completely and utterly hooked.

A fabulous read that I absolutely loved, Another Cup of Coffee is a wonderful book from a talented writer I have added to my list of must-buys: Jenny Kane!’  Bookish Jottings

‘Reading Another Cup of Coffee is almost like being a fly-on-the-wall of the lives of the book’s main characters. Kane makes use of her clear writing skills by having the reader shadow Amy’s, Jack’s and Kit’s lives as they try to make sense of the changes that begin to form an iron grip around their relationships. A simple tape is all it takes to shake Amy out of her self-imposed solitude and casts the first stone in a sea of change for all involved. I found her an incredibly complex character and it’s very telling how an event can have some people bouncing back after a broken heart, whilst for others, it can alter the direction of their entire life. Jack, himself, is not so complicated. His eternal confusion over his feelings leads to a self-absorbed character that hurts the people he loves the most, albeit unintentionally.  I did like him though and found myself willing him to make the right choices. Kit was my favourite throughout. She really reminded me of a well-known writer but my lips remain sealed on whom! Although her emotions were as much of a jumbled mess as the other two, she seemed more rounded and open to the changes happening around her. The dynamics of the friendship-triangle, along with the old and new friends surrounding the trio, had a nice comfortable feeling to it. Throughout the book you are aware that feelings run extremely deep but the friends will always have each other’s backs, no matter what.  As the story moves on, you, as the reader, are privy to the realisations and resolutions that begin to form and take place, which lead to a very satisfying conclusion. I did develop a borderline caffeine addiction whilst reading this but, thanks to the great storyline, it’s totally worth it!’ BestChickLit

****

‘…The characters seem so real. It was as if I have known these characters and actually lived their story right along with them. She sure does know how to draw in a reader. I can’t wait for Jenny’s next story to come out. I am sure she is going to be a star!’ Goodreads

****

‘…A good story of real people. It has light humorous moments and piquant passages. “Another Cup of Coffee” is definitely refreshing…’ Amazon UK

****

‘The sign of a great book….I sat up until 2.00am reading Jenny Kane’s Another Cup of Coffee….’ Twitter

****

‘I couldn’t put this book down. couldn’t wait to turn the page for the next adventure into the lives of these friends. Thank you, please write more books like this, easy too read with a brilliant storyline.’ Amazon

 

Kindle Monthly Deal: Spring Blossoms at Mill Grange

I’m delighted to announce that, for the duration of February, Spring Blossoms at Mill Grange will be part of Amazon’s Kindle Monthly Deal.

Grab your #kindle copy of the third book in the #MillGrange series for only 99p, while you can.

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…

***

You can grab your AMAZON deal here.

“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

“….I’m a huge fan of this series – Kane’s ability to build these characters: real, flawed, strong and resilient makes them compelling and people that you want to know – and are always happy to see them return again and again….” I am Indeed 

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

The Genesis of World War When by Elliot Thorpe

This week I’m delighted to be welcoming Elliot Thorpe to my place to tell us about his latest story, World War When.

Over to you Elliot…

I was involved in a book project back in the distant past of 2016, an anthology of stories and verse to commemorate the (then-upcoming) centenary of the end of the First World War. While the project went in other directions, the work I had put into my contributions I didn’t want wasted. Any writer will tell you that an author never throws away an idea! I’d toyed with any number of scenarios and plotlines and saw mileage in expanding beyond the short story remit to a full-length novel.

I’d always found both World Wars to be fascinating, extremely dark chapters in recent history that have hopefully taught us lessons. I’d never written anything directly linking to modern warfare before, although I did delve into the skirmishes between the Ottoman Turks and the Wallachians in a horror novel in 2013. That previous novel, currently out of print, took a hugely fantastical liberty with the source material – something that seemed permissible bearing in mind that the protagonists and antagonists lived in a world wholly unlike our own some 500 years ago.

The idea then of taking a slice of history that is well-known, deeply researched, intimately documented and only a handful of years falling out of living memory I have to confess gave me moments of internal conflict. I didn’t want to make light of the events between 1914 and 1918. I didn’t want to flippantly create characters that existed as unflappable heroes. Nor did I want to step on the experiences those who served had been through. But that’s the art of storytelling, to weave a fiction that is believable, to conjure up heroes who aren’t two-dimensional, to place a tale in front of a backdrop that both thrills and chills.

I did my research. I would have been daft not to – because historians at all levels would find something that I got wrong in my prose. I created a past that was recognisable, a close as I could make it to reality following said research, with healthy influences thrown in for good measure: anything from Buchan to Elton to Faulks to Meredeth to Moffatt to Mukherjee to Sapper. I wanted a world of action, intrigue, drama and romance, of excitement, danger, love and loss. Then I went off-piste: the story mutated into how the Allies had lost the Great War and what happened after.

This alternative history, as I saw it, hadn’t been truly explored before in fiction. We have countless ‘what if Hitler had won’ tales, but no one had seemed to have asked what if the Kaiser had won in 1918?

And so World War When was born: a new, exciting reinvention of the end of 1914-1918 conflict.

But then I realised I had re-ignited my own conflicts: by telling a story of how the Central Powers had stormed across Europe to raise the Kaiser’s flag atop Buckingham Palace, I was erasing all the pain and suffering that our great grandparents had gone through. Perhaps I was looking too deeply into this. My solution? I made my characters, my protagonists, question the world they were living in. Could it be better? Could it be changed? Was the Great War fought for nought? Was all the pain and suffering they had gone through prior to 1918 a waste? When one of the characters answered ‘yes’, I knew I had my novel’s hook.

World War When poses the question: What if the Allies has lost the Great War?

Find out the answer when the novel, published by AG Books, is released 22 January 2022 in paperback, hardback and on Kindle. You can buy it from Amazon and all good bookstores.

Keep reading for an exclusive extract…

The war began with two shots and it would end with one.

At least that was what Daniel Restarick hoped, waiting in the bombed-out shell of what had been a shop, judging by the strewn cans of food.

The US Army had withdrawn some hours ago, successful in pushing the German offensive back towards Metz. The air was thick with death and rain. Spirals of smoke drifted on the air of the autumn afternoon; devastated buildings forlornly lined either side of the main street. At one end, a Renault FT tank was upended in a crater, having been shelled by enemy artillery. Even at this distance, Restarick could smell the petrol settling in a pool at the bottom of the jagged hole.

He was across the street from the church—one of the few fully standing structures, as if some providence had kept it free from the conceit of humanity. He was tired but focused, the rum from his weekly ration having been spilt during the night. Patience, too, was a prerequisite of a man like him.

At twenty-nine, Restarick was considered a veteran, having seen conflict almost from the moment war broke out. Formerly of the Essex Regiment, he had been hand-picked, during the summer of 1916, by Naval Intelligence—to work in the field for the Factory or, more formally, Room 40, the predominant section in the British Admiralty that handled cryptoanalysis. Covert operations had led him here, with the knowledge that vital information and thus advantage was going to be passed to the Central Powers,. His mission was simple: prevent this by any means necessary.

If the war ended on this one shot, the euphoria and relief across the world would be his doing. It was a heady thought.

It began to rain again, thunderstorms having relented only yesterday evening, almost concurrently with the exchange of fire. Restarick hated the feeling of the cold water against his back, hated the sight of his rifle becoming obscured, hated the stinging in his eyes. Further, he wore no gloves, so the damp had a habit of making his grip more precarious on the lengthy barrel.

He wanted a cigarette but the smoke would give away his position. It would have to wait.

Wiping the sight, he scanned the rubble-strewn street before him, waiting for his quarry and thinking of his return to England, to Surrey and to what he had already lost.

He and Lita had only been married for five months when she died and they had spent very little time together as a couple, stolen moments while he was on leave. There had been no honeymoon. They’d written, of course, as much as the Army Postal Service allowed, but it was a poor replacement.  Still, she had not given any indication of unhappiness or discontent. Although, perhaps that was the role of those left behind. Just as those on the battlefield had to callously dismiss them from their minds.  Lita had worked at the Silvertown munitions factory. The previous year, she had survived an accident that had killed over seventy and injured in excess of four hundred more. Survived to perish later, in a fire in their home in Surrey; she’d been trapped as the ceiling above her collapsed, bringing the bedroom down around her. The ARP wardens and the fire brigade had been unable to save her.

Her funeral had been a small affair. She’d left Spain as a young teenager and found her own way in life. Most of the mourners had been from Restarick’s side of the family, and a handful of officers with whom he’d served. The memory of the day itself was now obscured by the rage that had consumed him. He and Lita, however, had shared a passion for freedom, that fragile bloom, and this pushed him on, to fight against those who would crush it underfoot.

Her portrait, folded away in his pocket, served as his constant reminder.

The land surrounding the town was forest with the occasional patterns of farmland, not easily traversable by vehicle. The target, he had to assume, would arrive in the town on foot and, with both the Rue des Chanoines and Eglise Saint-Etienne mentioned in intercepted messages, the church was the most logical choice for the information exchange to take place.

In the distance, he heard the world rumble. Not thunder, that was too natural a sound. This was the result of mortar shells, ripping into bodies, into metal and into the earth some miles away. The shelling continued for a good hour or so, during which Restarick pushed his mind away from the devastation.

And there was his target, clear as day through his rifle sights. A trench coat, its large collar turned up, obscured any sign of expression or guise, a large grey woollen hat pulled low over the spy’s face. Over one shoulder, they held a khaki hold-all and it was this, Restarick knew, that held the papers he needed to intercept. On reaching the church door, the figure appeared to look around briefly, before ducking into the building.

Restarick cursed and shuffled forward on his belly, careful not to be seen. He couldn’t risk going into the church itself in case the spy wasn’t alone, though he suspected the spy would be making the exchange while out of sight. He would need to be damned fast to shoot down whoever came out of there.

He aimed for the bell tower, firing and quickly reloading. The bell tolled deeply and Restarick refocused his sights on the church door.

Then it was no longer the church door in the crosshairs. Now it was the traitor’s head.

This was it, the moment that would bring the war to an end.

Restarick quickly checked his watch and smiled to himself. 1700hrs. The Great War, 28 July 1914 to 13 September 1918.

He would be the bringer of peace.

He pulled the rifle into his shoulder, the weapon tight in his arms, and squeezed the trigger.

To be continued…

You can find all the buy links for World War When here – https://worldwarwhen.co.uk/shop/

BIO

Elliot Thorpe is a freelance writer, having previously worked for Starlog and written for the sites ‘Den of Geek’, ‘Shadowlocked’, ‘Doctor Who TV’, ‘Red Shirts Always Die’ and ‘TrekThis’, as well as for Encore, the magazine for the theatre professional.

He scripted the full cast audio drama Doctor Who – Cryptobiosis for Big Finish in 2005 and in 2013, his first novel Cold Runs the Blood was published.

He also has contributions in Seasons of War: Tales from a Time War (2015), Grave Matters (2015), Doctor Who – A Time Lord for Change (2016), The Librarian (2017), The Wretched Man (2020) and Sherlock Holmes and the Woman Who Wasn’t (2021).

For many years he enjoyed a working relationship with the West End production of The Definitive Rat Pack and in 2017 co-wrote Just Dino – A Recollection of Dean Martin with Bernard H Thorpe, which was expanded and re-released the following year as Dean Martin – Recollections. To date, three further volumes have followed: Dean Martin’s Movie Moments, Dean Martin – A Discography and For The Good Times: The Dean Martin Compendium. https://www.facebook.com/The-Dean-Martin-Association-110034111572241

He is a long-term regular columnist for the US-based magazine Search (searchmagazine.net), writes for thedoctorwhocompanion.com and co-hosts Sid & Terry’s Doctor Who Podcast on YouTube.

Please visit worldwarwhen.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/World-War-When-A-Novel-112564057994522

Author photo courtesy A E Abbottson

World War When © 2022 Elliot Thorpe

Thanks for visiting today, Elliot,

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

 

Page 2 of 63

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén