Jenny Kane & Jennifer Ash

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

Happy Birthday: Bluebell Season at The Potting Shed

Bluebells Season at The Potting Shed is a year old!

Bluebells is the second book in #thepottingshed #series.

To help celebrate it’s birthday, Bluebells Season at The Potting Shed is one of Amazon’s Monthly Kindle Deals until the end of April!!

Blurb

Maddie and her sister Sabi are back at The Potting Shed, but are their troubles over?

Bluebell Season at The Potting Shed is the sequel of Frost Falls at The Potting Shed, part of a new series by #1 Kindle bestselling author, Jenny Kane, that revolves around a family-run garden centre.

Spring has arrived at The Potting Shed and things seem to finally be going Maddie’s way. Her relationship with lovable lawyer Ed is going well and the business is thriving with the help of her new friend Jo and his bright orange coffee van.

But troubles are just around the corner… The upgrade of The Potting Shed from a nursery to a garden centre is at a critical point – turning part of Maddie’s business into a building site, and just as she has to temporarily move out of her home, a major garden centre announces its grand opening only twenty miles away.

With money running out Maddie and her sister Sabi must think fast – they only have until the end of bluebell season to save The Potting Shed…

Here are the novel’s opening lines…

MARCH – Chapter One

Maddie’s breath caught in her throat as she saw the glass panel fall towards the gravel path. A vision of half of The Potting Shed’s new greenhouse roof being reduced to smithereens flashed through her mind as a workman dived forward and caught it a split second before it hit the ground.

‘I can’t watch this anymore.’ Maddie turned her sister. ‘It took us so long to decide whether we should splash out on a greenhouse for my herbs or not, I don’t want to look again until it’s up. It’s too stressful.’

Sabi gave the two men the full force of the haughty glare she reserved especially for tradesmen. ‘Let’s go inside. We’re supposed to be talking battle plans for the nursery’s expansion, and I for one could murder for a cup of tea.’

*

‘You know the greenhouse’s roof wouldn’t have smashed, don’t you?’

‘Logically, yes.’ Maddie placed the biscuit tin in the middle of the kitchen table. ‘No point in paying for reinforced glass if it’s not going to do its job, but instinct still told me it was going to break.’

‘Have you worked out which herbs you’re going to grow yet?’

‘Almost.’ Maddie glanced down as Florrie’s wet nose nudged at her hand. ‘Yes, I know you want a biscuit, but you’ve already had one, and they aren’t good for you.’ She ruffled the puppy’s black and white fur, before returning to the point. ‘I’ll start by increasing production of the herbs I already grow. All the favourites: thyme, mint, chives, parsley, and such. But I also want to produce some less common varieties too. See if I can tempt people to be braver in their tastes. Borage definitely – it’s good in a jug of Pimm’s; maybe some caraway and chervil.’

‘Not coriander and dill? I use all of those – and basil of course.’

Maddie’s eyebrows rose. ‘You mean Henry uses all of those.’

‘Yes, well, it’s hardly my fault if my husband loves to cook.’

‘You’re a lucky woman, Sabs.’ Patting her sister’s arm, Maddie selected another biscuit. ‘But I’ll leave out those particular herbs for now. They tend to bolt if you don’t keep on top of them, and as we can’t afford to employ any more staff, I want to keep things low maintenance.’

Sabi delved a hand into her massive handbag, pulled out a state-of-the-art tablet, and opened it at a list of jobs that needed doing. ‘Maybe we should have ordered a bigger greenhouse.’

‘Anything bigger wouldn’t have fitted between the first polytunnel and the path to the car park.’

‘I still can’t see why it couldn’t have been built on the scrap of land at the far side of the nursery.’

‘Light.’ Maddie bit back the temptation to ask Sabi how many times they needed to have this conversation. ‘While the rear of The Potting Shed does enjoy the sunshine, overall, it’s lighter at the front of the nursery for longer each day.’

Sabi grunted reluctant acceptance of the situation as she pulled a cookie from the tin, brushing a crumb away as it hit her tablet’s screen…

If that extract has whetted your appetite, you can order your copy of Bluebell today.

 Amazon UK, Amazon US, Kobo, Nook and Waterstones

Bluebell Season at The Potting Shed follows Frost Falls at The Potting Shed, and precedes Misty Mornings at The Potting Shed. 

Happy Reading,

Jenny x

Welcome to The Robin Hood Club

Over the past 10 years, I’ve been lucky enough to write audio stories and short novels for the fans of the 1980’s television series, Robin of Sherwood. This dream job is sadly, although not unexpectedly, coming to an end later this year.

This is absolutely the best time to call it a day; for 2024 sees the 40th anniversary of the show. To go on would risk diluting the product – and that would be a terrible thing. Love for this epic television programme – the creation of the late, great, Richard Carpenter – is as strong as ever, and I’d hate to start letting its fans down by going on too long.

Cast and crew of Robin of Sherwood – and me!

The writing of the aforesaid stories has led to me having many adventures.  Amongst these, comes the attending of a number of fabulous events, including the Robin of Sherwood fan conventions. (The Hooded Man events). I loved each and every one of them – the people, the places, the things I saw, heard, experienced… (I’m leaving that there!)

I always said these events would inspire me to write a novel one day. Well, they have – in fact, they’ve inspired an entire series.

I’m therefore delighted to be able to introduce you to The Robin Hood Club!

This new series sees the light of day for the first time on 28th April this year. A date that is special to me for two reasons – first of all, it is my eldest child’s birthday – secondly, it is Robin of Sherwood’s birthday!

A cosy crime series, the tales of Dr Harriet Danby, writer-cum-reluctant sleuth, open with a visit to Buxton in the beautiful Peak District: Manuscript Mysteries at The Robin Hood Club.

The cover reveal is coming soon. In the meantime, have a read of the blurb!

A brand new cosy crime series! Welcome to the Robin Hood Club!

There’s great excitement when a previously undiscovered Robin Hood ballad manuscript, Robin Hood and the Carter, turns up in the same town as the Robin Hood Club’s latest fan convention.

But the Robin Hood Club’s special guest – Harriet, “Hari”, Danby, writer and creator of the hit TV series, Return to Sherwood – can’t help thinking the discovery is rather too coincidental.

With her best friend, Dot, at her side, Hari finds herself taken out of her quiet writing life and catapulted into a world of enthusiastic fans, actors egos, and jealous fellow authors.

As the Robin Hood Club event gets underway, speculation about the new ballad grows… and then Hari notices that one of the Robin Hood Club’s most devoted followers has gone missing…

***

Not only was The Robin Hood Club influenced by my Robin of Sherwood experiences, but it was coloured by another novel of mine – Romancing Robin Hood.  This novel – which was responsible for bringing me to the attention of Barnaby Eaton-Jones, (the man behind the new audios and books), – concerns an academic called Grace Harper, who is obsessed with Robin Hood. I had always intended to expand this story and give it sequels. However, each time I tried, I accidentally killed a character – not something that happens often in a romcom. To get around this, I decided to reinvent my original idea and, so, The Robin Hood Club was born.

A happy moment with Barnaby Eaton-Jones at one of the Hooded Man Events

If you are keen to get your copy of Manuscript Mysteries at The Robin Hood Club, then pre-order links are already available for the #kindle version. The paperback will be out in May 2024.

Preorder:

More news soon…
Jennifer xxx
(Photos @Kim Jones)

Twenty Questions With Jenny Kane

I have been neglecting this blog a little lately, and thought I should put that right! So, I asked a friend to pretend she didn’t know me, and ask me 20 quick-fire questions she thought my readers might want to know the answers to! Yes- I know that’s a little bit mad- but I’m a writer- insanity is only ever inches away!!

  1. 1.Why have you neglected this blog lately?

The other me- Jennifer Ash – has written a new novel that is almost ready to release – so it’s been a case of juggling the final proof read, while writing the next Jenny Kane book, and catching up on all my teaching and editing obligations after a period of illness.

  1. 2. You have three versions of you – are you more like Kay Jaybee (erotica), Jennifer Ash (historical/crime) or Jenny (romance) in real life?

Jenny

  1.  Do you love coffee as much as the characters in Another Cup of Coffee?

Even more than they do!

  1. How do you take your coffee?

Black- nothing added- Americano for preference

  1. 5. How many cups do you drink a day?

Three

  1. 6. Do you really write in cafes and coffee shops?

I really do.

  1. 7.What is your favourite hot drink – apart from coffee?

Coffee is the only hot drink I like- I HATE tea, and I don’t like milk, so can’t have hot chocolate, latte etc

  1. Favourite colour?

Purple

  1. Boots, trainers, or heels?

Boots – I am not sporty, and I’d break my neck in heels. I am very clumsy!

  1. Are the characters in your books based on real people?

Most of the characters in Another Cup of Coffee, A Cornish Escape, the Mill Grange series and The Potting Shed series are based on real people.

  1. Which ones?

My lips are sealed.

  1. Spoil sport- give us a clue?

Okay, so in Another Cup of Coffee,  two of the characters are me and three of them were my best friends at University- (obviously wrote exaggerated versions of them- and they are all still my friends and totally lovely.)

The Potting Shed crew were inspired by the folk at the Old Well Garden Centre in Willand, Devon.

  1. What did you study at University?

I did an Archaeology degree, and then a Medieval History  PhD.

  1. Ohhh-  like Amy did in Another Cup of Coffee.

Yes- just like Amy did- well, the archaeology bit anyway- I think I can guess the next question!

  1. So  are you Amy?

I am a little tiny bit, but only a little bit. I am more like Kit- but not too much!!!

  1. You are known to be mad about Robin Hood – would you ever write your own version of the Robin Hood legend?

Never say never, but I’ve no plans at the moment…

  1. Is Robin of Sherwood still your favourite version of the story?

What a silly question!. YES!

  1. What would you say always surprises people when they meet you?

That I wear hearing aids. (I’m 80% deaf)

  1. Do  you prefer being Kay Jaybee- Queen of BDSM Kink-  Jenny Kane- Writer of  book chocolate – or Jennifer Ash – Robin Hood junky?

I love being all of them – it is wonderful to be able to create such different styles of work, and thus- hopefully- make more people happy when they read! (Well- that’s the plan!)

  1. You mentioned a new Jennifer Ash book – what’s that going to be about?

I can’t say yet – but it isn’t a Robin of Sherwood book (although there is another of those to come), nor is it the next Folville novel… Watch this space!!

I hope my answers made you smile! 

Thanks for dropping by!

Jenny xx

 

A Coffee Shop Habit

Okay- I admit it, I have a serious coffee shop habit! I am addicted- not just to the coffee itself- but to the cafes themselves. I just love them- all of them. From the little independent cafes, the truckers rest stops, one or two of the chains, and the coffee stops tucked away in department stores- I adore them.

I love to watch the people around me, to smile at strangers to see how they respond, to wrap my hands around a coffee mug and inhale the aroma of the drink within. For me, there is something very soothing about these places. Whether they are jammed packed and noisy, or as quiet as the proverbial grave, I simply feel at home in coffee shops.

 

It won’t surprise you to learn then, that – even before I was lucky enough to become a writer in residence in a café, and have my very own corner (with a plaque on the wall!!!), every novel I have ever written has taken shape in various different coffee shops.

From my earliest days writing children’s stories (I used to go into schools and jump around, making up tales about cows, hats, and Doctor Who- yes Doctor Who), to my erotica, my poetry (yes- I write poems as well – naughty ones), and on to my romances, each has begun life with a cup of café poured black coffee to hand.

It seemed totally natural to me therefore, that when I came to create my first non-erotic novel – Another Cup of Coffee – to make coffee shops the main places of meeting and discussion for the main characters.

The coffee shop that features most within Another Cup of Coffee is Pickwicks. Tucked away on a side street in Richmond, London, Pickwicks is run by the ever bubbly Peggy, and her husband Scott. It is here that, newly arrived in London from Scotland, Amy is to find a refuge from her troubles, a temporary job, a possible future, and a potential friend in Kit- a woman who spends her days sat in the corner of Pickwicks writing erotic stories for an American Internet company…

Blurb- Another Cup of Coffee

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…

Here are the opening words…

Taking refuge in the kitchen, Amy placed her palms firmly onto the cool, tiled work surface, and took a couple of deep yet shaky breaths. Forcing her brain to slip back into action, she retrieved a bottle of white wine from the fridge, poured a large glassful and, squaring her shoulders, carried it through to the living room.

Perching on the edge of her sofa, her throat dry, Amy stared suspiciously at the tape for a second, before daring to pick it up and click open its stiff plastic box. Two minutes later, her hands still shaking, she closed it again with a sharp bang, and drank some wine. It took a further five minutes to gather the courage to re-open the case and place the tape into the dusty cassette compartment of her ancient stereo system. It must have been years since she’d seen a cassette, she thought, let alone listened to one. She wasn’t even sure the stereo still worked …

Swallowing another great gulp of alcohol, Amy closed her eyes and pressed Play, not at all sure she wanted to take this trip back in time …

Available from:

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

Coffee smile

Who says coffee shops are just for drinking coffee???

Happy reading,
Jenny xx

The Clarks Factory Girls at War: Blog Tour

I’m delighted to be hosting one leg of May Ellis’s #blogtour for her brand new #saga ,

The Clarks Factory Girls at War.

BLURB: The Clarks Factory Girls at War

Can love blossom in times of trouble?

Life-long friends Louisa, Jeannie and Kate are following in the footsteps of their families, working at the Clarks shoe factory.

But when Britain declares war on Germany, the Somerset village of Street is shaken to its core. The Clarks factory is at the heart of life in the village, but the Clark family are Quakers and pacifists. Before long, there are fierce debates amongst the workers and tensions between those who oppose the war and those who believe the village men should go to fight.

Each of the girls must decide her own position but as brothers and sweethearts leave for France, Louisa is relieved that her sweetheart Mattie, a Quaker, who won’t be signing up. But she’ll soon find that they face fierce opposition at home as well as across the Channel.

Will the girls’ friendship be enough to keep them together, as everything around them falls apart?

A heartwarming and gripping new saga series perfect for fans of Elaine Everest and Rosie Clarke.

My Review

This is the first novel in a new series of sagas, written by May Ellis, for Boldwood Books.

Set in and around the Clarks shoe making factory in Street, Somerset, England, the reader is quickly drawn into the world of three young women – Louisa, Jeannie and Kate. It is 1914, and war has just been declared.

Wartime brings new challenges as the friends face abrupt changes in their home and working lives. With their private dreams of romance and fun in jeopardy, the girls are fearful for the countries future, the fate of their brothers, other family members, and friends who are heading off to fight. A situation made even more uncertain by their employers, the Clarks family, who, as Quakers, are vehemently against the hostilities.

Will the Clark’s men by arrested if they refuse to fight? Will the Clarks family welcome back those factory men who chose to go and fight, once the war is over and they come home again? If, they come home.

At a time when it was the norm for women to give their wages to their fathers rather than keep their hard earned money themselves; when they were raised with no other expectation than to find husbands and have families of their own, The Clarks Factory Girls at War takes Lousia, Jeannie and Kate on a three separate, but interconnected, journeys from girlhood to womanhood. We learn how they cope – or struggle to cope – with what life throws at them and their families, friends and factory colleagues.

This is a lovely story of hope, friendship, and the joy and heartbreak of romantic aspirations…

Purchase Link – https://mybook.to/clarksfactorysocial

Author Bio –

May Ellis is an historical saga author published by Boldwood Books. She lives in a house on a road named after a Clarks shoe, on the site of a former boot and shoe factory, so it was inevitable that this writer would want to write about the people who worked for Clarks in days gone by. The first in her series, The Clarks Factory Girls at War, is available from 9th March 2024.

She also writes gritty dramas set in the 1960s and 70s as Alison Knight, which are published by Darkstroke Books.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alison.knight.942

(This blog forms part of a Rachel’s Random Resources #blogtour.)

ONLY 99p Romancing Robin Hood

From today, until 11th March, you can purchase the #kindle version of Romancing Robin Hood for ONLY 99 pence.

67% OFF!!!

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

Here are a few of the lovely things people have said about Romancing Robin Hood:

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Lovely engaging take on an old, old story. Terrific heroine and very intelligently written dual narrative. I loved it.” Carol McGrath (Best selling historical fiction author)

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

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

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

Happy bargain hunting!

Jenny x

Opening Lines: Her Scandalous Suitor by Rachel Brimble

I’m welcoming my friend and fellow author, Rachel Brimble, back to my website today with the #openinglines from her brand new novel.

Thanks for hosting me today, Jenny!

I am thrilled to be here to share the Opening Lines of my latest historical romance, HER SCANDALOUS SUITOR (previously The Seduction of Emily). The novel is set in the beautiful city of Bath and follows Emily Darson and confidence trickster Will Samson as they are unexpectedly thrown together only to embark on an adventure filled with drama, intrigue & romance. Let the fun & games begin…

BLURB

Emily Darson assumed her future of propriety and privilege amid a loveless marriage was set in stone. At least, she did until confidence trickster Will Samson came into her life…

Then everything changed.

With each revelation about her fiancé and herself that Will uncovers, he also reveals a little more of who he is, what he has suffered, and the volatile vengeance that burns in his heart.

Can Emily really risk security for scandal? Loyalty for love? Only time will tell…

FIRST 500 WORDS

Will Samson stood at the back of the auction house, watching and waiting. Over two hundred people stood around him. Rather than part with their hard-earned cash, he suspected they were there hoping to catch a glimpse of one man in particular. The same man he waited for.

Mr. Nicholas Milne. One of Bath’s most eligible bachelors. Milne was a celebrity. A man written about and either admired…or feared. Will curled his hands into fists.

He was a rapist. A woman-beater. A dead man walking.

Today, Will was coming for Milne, ready or not. He lifted his hat and pushed the hair back from his face. The tension in his neck and shoulders grew worse as each second passed, and the ache in his temples throbbed mercilessly.

He turned his gaze once again to the open double doors at the back of the room. “Come on, you bastard. Where are you?”

The furor surrounding the sale of the day’s most prestigious lot, a diamond, ruby, and pearl necklace known as the Heart of Kingston, had escalated to fever pitch over the last few weeks. The auction house had taken full advantage of the waiting crowd by dragging out the suspense. What better way to heighten the nerves and hunger of bidders than to have them think the real prize—Milne—might not materialize after all?

Replacing his hat, Will slid out of sight behind a marble pillar. Discretion was key. Although confident the people of Bath were unaware of his real occupation, he daren’t run the risk of his carefully prepared disguise as a middle-class gentleman being exposed. When was a confidence trickster ever welcome at a high-class auction?

He closed his eyes and leaned back against the wall, planting the sole of his boot against the white alabaster. His mother’s beautiful face appeared behind his closed lids. She’d asked him countless times not to avenge the beating Milne had inflicted on her two years before, but the fire inside Will would not be extinguished until Milne was nothing but ashes.

Resentment and hatred swirled in his gut. The same emotions had long ago burned and scarred any love he was once capable of feeling for another. So many months of tracking Milne down, so many weeks of wanting to get his hands around his neck had left Will a shadow of his former self. Maybe once Milne was dead or behind bars, Will could start living again. He opened his eyes. But, in the meantime, he would make the man’s life a living hell until he decided how to ruin him completely. The only promise Will would keep to his mother was he wouldn’t hang by the neck for his endeavors. When the fever took her into God’s arms, Will’s heart and soul filled with the heinous intention to wreak vengeance on Milne. God only knew how many more women Milne had hurt in the months it took Will to track him from Bristol to Bath…

***

You can buy Her Scandalous Suitor from all good retailers, including: https://geni.us/yA4XqFR

BIO:

Rachel lives with her husband, two adult daughters and beloved Labrador in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of 30 novels and has been published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, Kensington Books and others. Her latest series includes the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy and the Shop Girl series, both published with Aria Fiction. She also has several single titles with The Wild Rose Press. Her debut novel with Harpeth Road Press, Dressing The Countess, will be released in May 2024.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Female Entrepreneur Association and has thousands of social media followers all over the world. She is also studying for a history degree with the Open University in her spare time…

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

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

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Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

OUT NOW: Not That Kind of Witch by Lucy Felthouse

OUT NOW—Not That Kind of Witch, A Brand-new M/F Steamy Contemporary Romance by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #contemporaryromance #romance #steamyromance

The latest release from Lucy Felthouse, Not That Kind of Witch is a M/F steamy contemporary romance filled with fun and steam, which also tackles some serious topics. So if you’re looking for a hefty dollop of realism in your romance, then check this one out!

Blurb:

Can Willow let go of her fears and begin living her life again, or will her issues get the better of her?

Willow Green is having a hard time of it. Losing her job at the beginning of the pandemic and her elderly grandmother’s ‘clinically vulnerable’ status have resulted in her becoming housebound. While her entrepreneurial, hard-working spirit and the knowledge passed down through generations of green witches in her family mean she has solved her employment problem, her fear of going out, of allowing the dreaded virus into the house she shares with her grandmother, is far from resolved. In fact, it seems worse than ever.

That is, until Joe Lane comes along. The handsome care worker turned delivery driver does Willow a favour, gaining her attention and reluctant admiration. He’s got plenty of baggage of his own, but he also has the skills and temperament to help her with her problem—and he really seems to care.

The question is, will she let him get close enough to try?

Available in eBook and paperback formats: https://books2read.com/ntkow

Excerpt:

Willow Green had just stepped into the kitchen from the back garden when there came an almighty hammering on the front door. Panic and irritation flared in equal measure and she dumped her loaded wicker basket on the huge farmhouse-style table before hurrying through the house towards the source of the noise.

Another hammering. The irritation started to outweigh the panic. Whoever was there was in danger of waking the dead, never mind disturbing mostly-deaf Grandma Annie, whom Willow had left happily knitting in the conservatory with a cup of tea on the table at her side before she’d headed out to the garden.

Willow cast her gaze to the ceiling and grunted with frustration. The whole point of installing the smart doorbell and having it set to only sound an alert on her phone had been to prevent Grandma being tempted to get out of her chair and make her way to the door, putting her at risk of a trip or fall along the way, or placing her in a vulnerable position with a complete stranger. The added bonus being, Willow could be at the furthest reaches of the garden, and her phone would cleverly let her know someone was at the front door.

Had this person not seen the sign? Smack dab in the middle of the door: Please use doorbell. With an arrow pointing to it. Couldn’t they read?

Then she remembered. The last time this happened, which had been a while ago, prior to getting the doorbell camera in the first place, it had been kids at the door. Kids who, once she’d opened up, backed off down the path and began flinging jibes and questions at her from what they considered a safe distance.

Hey, witch.

Been out flying on your broomstick?

What’s bubbling in your cauldron?

You gonna turn us into toads?

Did your ancestors get burned at the stake?

Where’s your black cat?

Her heart sank. She sighed and prepared herself for more of the same. It was unlikely, after all, they’d have come up with something new or more original—despite the astonishing wealth of information the human race had at its fingertips these days. Perhaps they hadn’t bothered to look, to educate themselves, or simply thought it was fun to torment a forty-year-old woman who’d never harm anything or anyone—not even if it was possible to turn people into toads. Though, admittedly, if she were a lesser woman, she’d be sorely tempted to throw out a few fake incantations to scare them, make them think she’d cursed them.

Maybe she should. Yes, it was stooping to their level, but if it stopped them coming back…

No. I’m not going there. She briefly considered not answering the door at all. She could access the doorbell speaker and tell them to clear off from the safety and comfort of her hallway, but she didn’t want them to think she was weak, or frightened. That’d just enhance the thrill for them, encourage them to harass her more often. Not happening. Not on my watch. I don’t have time for that kind of idiocy.

She shook her head, unlocked the door and yanked it open, her annoyance already spilling forth. Generally speaking, she was an incredibly placid person, and slow to anger. But she didn’t want these kids to think this house was an easy target. She’d kept the previous incident from Grandma, not wanting to worry her, and had hoped the addition of the doorbell camera might deter them from returning. “Have you horrible toerags seriously got nothing better to do? You should be ashamed of yourselves, pestering people like this! I’ve a mind to contact your parents—”

She stopped dead as the door swung wide enough to provide a view of who was on the other side of it. Not kids—horrible or otherwise—but a man. With a large cardboard box at his feet, bearing a familiar logo. Uh-oh.

A glance past him to the gravel lane leading to her house confirmed her fears. A white Transit van sat there.

She cringed and forced her gaze back to the man. A navy-blue T-shirt bearing the delivery company’s logo was stretched over his muscular biceps and chunky abdomen—a dad bod, she supposed it’d be classed as, though she didn’t really agree with the terminology—as well as a pair of tan shorts and some beat-up looking trainers. He was tall, well over six feet, and she had to crane her neck to meet his eyes. “I’m so sorry. The last time someone hammered on my door like that, it was a bunch of kids shouting abuse. I thought you were them. If you’d just rung the doorbell, like the sign…”

The frown that appeared on the man’s face as she spoke made her shift her attention to her right, a sinking feeling taking over. Where there should have been a sign attached to the centre of the door, were now only six evenly-spaced blobs of Blu-Tak.

Heat flared into her cheeks, and she let out a groan and closed her eyes momentarily. “Well, there was a sign. It’s obviously fallen off. I had no idea. Or I wouldn’t have… never mind. I’m really sorry. And now I’m waffling.” She gave a pained smile, her face threatening to burst into flames. “Anyway. You have a parcel for me?” Her voice went so high at the end she was surprised she hadn’t summoned the neighbourhood dogs.

To his credit, the man simply shrugged. “No worries. I’ve been called worse. You’re…” he consulted the screen of the smartphone in his hand, “Willow Green?”

Given the circumstances, she let the slight waver of amusement in his voice at her name slide. “Yes,” she replied resignedly. “That’s me.”

“Great. It’s a tracked parcel, so I need to take a photo to prove I’ve delivered it…”

“Okay. Go ahead.”

He tapped his phone screen a few times, then lifted the device and stepped back, presumably ensuring he got the right angle so his image would contain both the parcel and her feet inside the open doorway. Pressed the button. “Got it. Thanks. Do you want me to bring it in for you? It’s pretty heavy.” He pocketed the phone.

“No,” she said quickly, recoiling as he approached and made to pick up the box. “I mean, no thank you. I’m fine. I need to find the sign before I go indoors, anyway. Don’t want to shout at any more undeserving delivery drivers, do I?” The chuckle she let out sounded forced, even to her own ears.

“Guess not.” He backed off and clasped his chin, then stroked his thick beard, more grey than black—the colour of his thick, plentiful hair, which had only a dusting of grey at the temples. He glanced at the doorbell and wrinkled his nose. “Should’ve spotted that, really. Especially when no one answered after I knocked a few times. The Blu-Tak should have provided a clue that maybe there was a sign there, and I could have put two and two together. I’m sorry. Such an idiot. Won’t make that mistake again though, will I?” Despite the weakness of his smile, it transformed his face enough that Willow’s stomach flipped. Goodness, he’s handsome.

Available in eBook and paperback formats: https://books2read.com/ntkow

Add to BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/not-that-kind-of-witch-a-contemporary-steamy-romance-novel-by-lucy-felthouse

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/203844879-not-that-kind-of-witch

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight, Curve Appeal, and The Heiress’s Harem and The Dreadnoughts series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 175 publications to her name. Find out more about her and her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/linktree

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

Jenny Kane’s Cheese Scones: A Taste of Mill Grange

As regular readers to this blog will know, my  #MillGrange novels, feature a serious amount of scone consumption.

I’ve recently been asked to re-share my own cheese scone recipe – Sybil approved, of course!

If you’d like to bake some Sybil style cheese scones, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 55g chilled butter, cut into cubes
  • 100g mature cheddar –  grated (reserve some for sprinkling on top prior to baking)
  • 100-110ml milk – plus 1 tbsp for glazing

And here’s what you do:

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas mark 6
  2. Place the flour, salt, cayenne pepper and baking powder into a bowl, and stir together. (You can sift it if you like- but I can never be bothered!)
  3. Add the butter to the bowl and rub with your fingertips to make breadcrumbs.
  4. Sprinkle almost all the cheese into the breadcrumb mixture and stir in.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the milk, a little at a time, until you have a firm dough. (Do not be afraid to add a fraction more milk if required)
  6. Lightly flour a surface and push/fold the dough a few times, until it is approximately 2cm thick. Cut out the scones with a medium (about 8cm) cutter.
  7. Lightly flour a baking sheet, and place the scones on top. Glaze scones with a little milk and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15-ish mins or until cooked through.
  9. Eat with way too much butter  and enjoy without guilt.

I hope Sybil’s scones put a smile on your face!

If you’d like to read Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange, Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange,  Spring Blossoms at Mill Grange or Winter Fires at Mill Grange, to see what else the workers at Mill Grange like to eat, you can find all the buy links here.

Have a lovely weekend.

Jenny x

 

Opening Lines: The Poster by James Marshall

After a bit of a break, I’m pleased to be bringing back my #openinglines blog feature.

It’s always a pleasure to share the work of fellow authors, but this time it is particularly good to be able to share with you the first 500 words of a novel written by one of my former students. 

I knew James had what it took to become a fabulous writer the moment I read the first short story he created for me a mini-fiction class a few years ago.

Over to you James… 

Blurb

Seemingly abandoned by their parents, siblings Lena and Alek are caught up at different ends of a war – while Lena designs propaganda posters in Plymouth, Alek is forced into the army. Both dream of escape, of another life … but as the war continues and they find each other, they start to question who they can really trust.

When survival is everything, is everyone an enemy?

“It’s brilliant. I was completely engrossed. This isn’t the type of novel I would typically read but I was riveted.” Leslie Wells.

Introduction

“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” John Stuart Mill.

In order to set the background of the story, I read a lot of books about East Germany. I wanted to tell a story about what could happen to young people if they didn’t pay attention to the world around them.  What would a group of young women do to get food on the table and shoes on her feet?

As fast as I could write the dystopian aspect of this novel, real events were catching up with the fiction. I wrote about conscripts being used in a political war in the second piece I ever sent to Jenny.

In the week of publication of The Poster, the head of the British armed forces stated that conscription would have to be introduced in a war with Russia.  I am hoping no further similarities occur.

Opening 500 words of The Poster

Alek Wasilewski hurdled the yellow gorse bush and sprinted towards the cover of a low stone wall. The enemy was dug in on the edge of a copse seventy-five metres ahead. Alek pushed his heavy helmet back up over his sweaty forehead, his chest heaving as he tried to regain his breath. His section commander, Swales, was signalling to the rest of the boys to catch up.

‘Get a fucking move on,’ Swales said.

Alek wiped his palms on his combat trousers. His neck ached from the rifle sling and helmet strap, his calves were burning from his too-tight combat boots, and he needed to pee.

Swales made several hand signals to accompany his instructions to the section. ‘We’ll have to go around to the left following the stone wall.’ He pointed at Murdo and Trowbridge. ‘You two stay here and lay down covering fire. The rest of you, follow me.’

Alek gripped his empty rifle and bent as low as he could to follow Swales, keeping his head below the wall. His knees groaned after thirty metres and screamed after sixty. He sighed when Swales held up his fist to signal a stop.

‘Hold it here.’ Swales dropped to his stomach.

Alek copied Swales and wriggled forward, thankful that his legs could rest.

‘Check ammo; fix bayonets,’ Swales said. ‘Ski and I will take the left trench. Evans and Williams, the middle trench, and you two –’ Swales pointed at the last members of the section – take the right-hand trench.’

Alek pretended to check his ammo and fix his bayonet. They had neither ammo nor bayonets but had to go through the motions.

‘Ready?’ Swales said.

Alek nodded.

‘Go!’ Swales jumped over the wall.

Alek vaulted the wall and then ran forward. ‘Bang, Bang!’ he shouted, firing invisible rounds from the hip.

Swales dropped to one knee, yelling, ‘Bang, bang!

Alek ran past him and knelt, aiming at the two men in the left trench who were also shouting ‘bang’ as Swales ran a zig-zag pattern to the edge of the trench. Alek leapt up to sprint and jumped into the trench.

‘Bang, bang!’ He pointed his rifle at the enemy soldier still standing.

The soldier did a theatrical spin and dive, clutching his chest and wriggling his legs before letting out one last groan. He grinned at Alek.

‘Stop! End-Ex,’ Corporal Sanderson, their training instructor, shouted from above them. He waved his clipboard in the air and beckoned the support soldiers up to the position. ‘Well done, Swales,’ he said. ‘Good effort from your team.’ He pointed to Murdo and Trowbridge as they walked towards the copse. ‘I can see why you put those slackers in the fire support team.’

Swales turned and winked at Alek.

Alek slumped to the bottom of the cool trench and blinked as salty sweat ran into his eyes. He took a swig of the lukewarm water from his canteen, wishing it was ice-cold lemonade. He had forgotten its taste but could see…

  • You can follow his writing journey on Substack here
  • You can buy, The Poster,’ here

 

Bio

James is a 54-year-old father of two, husband of one. He lives and works in Devon,UK, running a sports club for local children and young adults in Willand.

He started fiction writing under the tutelage of Jenny Kane at her Imagine writing group in Cullompton.

He won the ‘Pen to Print’ 2022 short story competition, and ‘The Poster,’ has been shortlisted for their 2023 ‘Book Challenge Award.’

Apart from writing, James is a Masters weightlifter, a keen barbecuer, and an avid reader.

***

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xx

 

 

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