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

Tag: Accent

Sunshine Dreaming: Abi’s House is ONLY 99p

With the weather wet, windy and cold, what could be better than escaping into a book of Cornish sunshine?

I’m delighted to say that my Cornish friendship and romance novel, Abi’s House is on special offer, at only 99p or 99c on Kindle!!

Sennen

Blurb

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?

Abi's House_edited-1

Here are some of the lovely review’s Abi’s House has received…

A summer read as scrumptious as its Cornish backdrop. Brilliant!”

“This novel is a box of delights…the perfect escapist read…”

“Better than a Cornish Cream Tea…”

“Reading a Jenny Kane book is like opening a journal by a much loved friend…”

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To pick up your copy Abi’s House at only 99p or 99c, visit these links

 
Happy reading,
Jenny xx

Guest Blog from Deborah Carr: Looking Forward to Welcoming 2016

I’m delighted to welcome Deborah Carr, aka Georgina Troy, back to my site today to reflect on a truly non-stop 2015!

Over to you Deborah….

I write under my own name D M Carr (historicals for Green Shutter Books) and also a pseudonym Georgina Troy (my Jersey Scene Series for Accent Press). Writing is an addiction for me and one I can’t imagine ever wanting, or being able, to give up. It’s one activity that you can work hard at for years and still not achieve your ambitions, but it’s also something that you can completely lose yourself in, and seeing your books available to buy online, or in the shops is a joy I’ll never get used to.

D Carr

2015 has seen a few writing changes for me. Firstly, A Jersey Kiss (the first book in my Jersey Scene series) was a finalist in the Joan Hessayon Award for new writers and then I amicably parted ways with my fabulous agent, who represented me as Deborah Carr for three years.

Writing is an activity that rarely runs smoothly. Just when you think you’ve achieved something it doesn’t end up as you had expected it to. For example, my historical novel, Broken Faces beat 7,000 other entrants to be a runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition 2012, the book then received a Special Commendation from the Harry Bowling Prize, and then as if that wasn’t exciting enough, Luigi Bonomi, one of the judges of the Good Housekeeping competition asked to see the full manuscript and then offered to represent me. 2012 was an amazing year and I thought 2013 would be ‘my year’ – it was a good year but not in ways I’d expected. Luigi was wonderful and when Broken Faces almost, but not quite found a home with a publisher, I then wrote two psychological thrillers for him. Both were well received, but didn’t get taken up.

A Jersey Dreamboat

I then concentrated on my contemporary romances – The Jersey Scene series – which are based in Jersey but also Sorrento, South of France and Vietnam. This series is published by Accent Press with book 4, A Jersey Bombshell coming out next April. So, in 2013 I saw my first two books for sale online and in local book shops, then I signed a contract with Accent Press in 2014 for four books in the series and 2015 saw the third book in the series being published.

Still though, Broken Faces was languishing in the ether and having spent six years promoting other authors as deputy editor for Novelicious.com looking after the Alternative Thursday posts, interviews, reviews, etc, I decided I needed to step back and rethink my writing career. So Luigi and I parted ways, amicably, and for the time being I’m just reviewing and contributing for Novelicious – because they are the greatest team ever. This month my debut novel as D M Carr (me), Broken Faces, was published by Green Shutter Books. To finally see a book that’s so close to my heart finally published is a dream come true.

I’m excited to welcome 2016. I’ve already been contacted about three exciting events during the year, but none that I can share with you, just yet. All I know is that whatever happens I’ll keep on writing and loving it. Perseverance is the key when it comes to writing and I’m nothing if not persistent.

Happy 2016 everyone!

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Georgina Troy -Headshot
Twitter:
@DebsCarr
@GeorginaTroy
Facebook:
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Many thanks for a great blog Deborah, I wish you a very productive and happy 2016,
Happy reading everyone,
Jenny x

Guest Post from Jane Jackson: Being Mysterious as Rachel Ennis

Today I am welcoming the lovely Jane Jackson back to my site. On this visit Jane is chatting about her latest book, The Loner, which was written by the ‘other her’- Rachel Ennis!

Over to you Jane (or should that be Rachel?)…

For the past fifteen years I have been writing historical romantic fiction. I’m fascinated by life in the past, especially my chosen period of 1795 – 1905. Momentous changes were taking place in every aspect of life: the Napoleonic wars with France, railways that spread like tentacles across the length and breadth of the country, physician Edward Jenner’s development of a smallpox vaccine saving thousands of lives, the Falmouth-based packet service transporting mail all over the world, dispatches to theatres of war, and bringing back gold bullion from the sugar plantations of Jamaica.

The Loner

Society was changing too. The industrial revolution brought a massive exodus from countryside to cities and jobs in the new factories whose prosperous owners were the basis of a new middle class.

The fun and frivolity of the Regency was crushed beneath the repression and hypocrisy of Victoria’s reign. I’d need another lifetime to write all the books I have ideas for.

Then in November 2014 I was offered the chance to contribute to an anthology of Christmas stories published by Accent Press entitled ‘Wishing on a Star.’

Wishing on a Star

This was a great opportunity to write a contemporary story. But as I was stepping outside my comfort zone I decided to set it in a location familiar to me – a Cornish coastal village. I named it Polvellan (translation from Cornish is top – or head – of the mill, because there is an old mill at the back of the quay) and the story featured the birth of a baby during a carol concert, but with a very contemporary twist.

I loved writing it. My editor enjoyed it and suggested a series. That was how ‘Polvellan Cornish Mysteries’ and my new name of Rachel Ennis came into being.

Several authors published, like me, by Accent Press write murder mysteries and they are excellent. But this wasn’t a direction I wanted to take. Then I had my lightbulb moment. I would make Jess Trevanion – my main character – an amateur genealogist. Asked to find people’s ancestors she makes unexpected, shocking, remarkable, and occasionally tragic discoveries. And I get to explore more recent history!

Born and brought up in Polvellan, Jess returned to live there after her husband’s unexpected death left her in desperate financial straits. Because she is known and trusted, people confide in her.

Each of Jess’s friends: Annie, Gill, Morwenna and Viv, has their own story gradually revealed throughout the series, as are Jess’s past and current problems. She and childhood sweetheart, Tom Peters, are rebuilding their romance but both carry baggage from the past.

I never take people from real life as characters. Yet the villagers in Polvellan are as real to me as my family. In some ways I know them better, because in each story they reveal more about their secrets, fears and hopes.

As Jess’s reputation spreads she is asked to undertake more investigations. But some people aren’t happy, afraid of what might come out.

‘The Loner’ is the third in the series. Calling at the cottage of recluse John Preece to give him some tomato plants, Jess finds him dead on the floor.

Police and Coroner deem it an accident: he tripped on the rug and hit his head on the granite hearth.

When talk turns to the funeral arrangements Jess’s sadness becomes resolve when she realises that, like herself, very few people knew the real John Preece. Though he lived in the village for many years, his background is a mystery. Using her investigative skills to research John’s family, she is surprised and horrified by what she finds out.

Meanwhile, she is also investigating the history of Marigold’s, a famous local venue recently inherited by the new heir to the Chenhall estate. Who was Marigold and what was her claim to fame?

***

You can buy ‘The Loner’ 3rd of the Polvellan Cornish Mysteries as an Ebook Pub. for 99p from- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Loner-Polvellan-Book-3-ebook/dp/B01613GQNO/ and all good eBook retailers.

***

Jane Jackson TTH pic

You can find more about the work of Jane Jackson (aka Rachel Ennis) at-

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PolvellanCornishMysteries

Blog: http://writethepast.co.uk

Website: www.janejackson.net

***

Many thanks for a great blog Jane.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x 

Blurb Reveal: Christmas at the Castle

On Friday I revealed the gorgeous cover for this year’s  Christmas’s novella from the Another Cup of…series.

Christmas at the Castle

Today, I’m delighted to be able to be able to share the blurb!

Christmas at the Castle is a seasonal treat from Jenny Kane, featuring much-loved characters from her bestselling novel Another Cup of Coffee.

When hotshot businesswoman Alice Warren is asked to organise a literary festival at beautiful Crathes Castle in Scotland, her ‘work mode’ persona means she can’t say no – even though the person asking is her ex, Cameron Hunter.

Alice broke Cameron’s heart and feels she owes him one – but her best friend Charlie isn’t going to like it. Charlie – aka famous author Erin Spence – is happy to help Alice with the festival…until she finds out that Cameron’s involved! Charlie suffered a bad case of unrequited love for Cameron, and she can’t bear the thought of seeing him again.

Caught between her own insecurities and loyalty to her friend, Charlie gets fellow author Kit Lambert to take her place. Agreeing to leave her London comfort zone – and her favourite corner in Pickwicks Café – Kit steps in. She quickly finds herself not just helping out, but hosting a major literary event, while also trying to play fairy godmother – a task which quickly gets very complicated indeed…

***

A few of the regular followers to this blog may now have a wry smile about your features after reading that blurb. ‘Hang on a minute’, you may well be saying to yourselves, ‘but didn’t Jenny help run a literary festival not long ago?’

Those of you thinking that are spot on- and I am here to tell you that, organising just one literary festival gave rise to enough story material to last me the rest of my life, let alone one novella length romance! It isn’t long until myself and my friends, Kerstin Muggeridge and Susie Griggs (to whom Christmas at the Castle is dedicated), start work on Tiverton Literary Festival 2016…I wonder what I might be writing after that one?

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Christmas at the Castle will be released on 12th November. It.is already available for pre-order however. (Amazon have put up the wrong cover picture for now. The new one will be up soon. The story inside is correct though!!)

Pre-order for Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-at-Castle-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B015J87DTI/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1442588560&sr=1-2&keywords=christmas+at+the+castle

Pre-order for Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-at-Castle-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B015J87DTI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1442603723&sr=1-1&keywords=christmas+at+the+castle

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I’ll be back with more info about Christmas at the Castle nearer Christmas!!

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

 

 

Robin of Sherwood Dreaming: Romancing Robin Hood

Last night I enjoyed a rare moment of pure television indulgence- I watched the first two episodes of  wonderful 1980’s television series, Robin of Sherwood with my teenage daughters. They bore up remarkably well with me pretty much quoting every line spoken before it came out the actor’s mouths!

RH- Michael and Judi

Ever since I was a teenager I’ve had a serious outlaw obsession- all thanks to Robin of Sherwood. The moment I saw the first episode I was hooked- not just on the show, but on anything and everything to do with the legend. I watched every film and read every book on the subject of Robin Hood I could find. This interest lasted through my GCSE years, took me through an A’ level history project, a degree, and a PhD in Medieval ballad literature and crime!

For the past twenty years I’ve been looking for an excuse to go back through my old books- and with the writing of my latest novel, I found it. Although Romancing Robin Hood is 60% modern contemporary romance, the remaining 40% is a fourteenth century adventure. It was a real joy to read through all my old Robin Hood notes and relive the obsessions of my formative years.

Romancing Robin Hood – Blurb

Dr Grace Harper has loved the stories of Robin Hood ever since she first saw them on TV as a girl. Now, with her fortieth birthday just around the corner, she’s a successful academic in Medieval History, with a tenured position at a top university.

But Grace is in a bit of a rut. She’s supposed to be writing a textbook on a real-life medieval gang of high-class criminals – the Folvilles – but she keeps being drawn into the world of the novel she’s secretly writing – a novel which entwines the Folvilles with her long-time love of Robin Hood – and a feisty young girl named Mathilda, who is the key to a medieval mystery…

Meanwhile, Grace’s best friend Daisy – who’s as keen on animals as Grace is on the Merry Men – is unexpectedly getting married, and a reluctant Grace is press-ganged into being her bridesmaid. As Grace sees Daisy’s new-found happiness, she 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? It doesn’t get any easier when she meets Dr Robert Franks – a rival academic who Grace is determined to dislike but finds herself being increasingly drawn to…

RRH- new 2015

 

Here’s an extract from the modern part of the story to whet the appetite…

It was all Jason Connery’s fault, or maybe it was Michael Praed’s? As she crashed onto her worn leather desk chair Grace, after two decades of indecision, still couldn’t decide which of the two actors she preferred in the title role of Robin of Sherwood.

That was how it had all started, ‘The Robin Hood Thing’ as Daisy referred to it, with an instant and unremitting love for a television show. Yet, for Grace, it hadn’t been a crush in the usual way. She had only watched one episode of the hit eighties series and, with the haunting theme tune from Clannad echoing in her ears, had run upstairs to her piggy bank to see how much money she’d saved, and how much more cash she’d need, before she could spend all her pocket money on the complete video collection. After that, the young Grace had done every odd job her parents would pay her for so she could purchase a myriad of Connery and Praed posters with which to bedeck her room. But that was just the beginning. Within weeks Grace had become pathologically and forensically interested in anything and everything to do with the outlaw legend as a whole.

She’d watched all the Robin Hood films, vintage scenes of Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Errol Flynn, Richard Greene, Sean Connery, and Barry Ingram. As time passed, she winced and cringed her way through Kevin Costner’s comical but endearing attempt, and privately applauded Patrick Bergin’s darker and infinitely more realistic approach to the tale. Daisy had quickly learnt to never ever mention Russell Crowe’s adaption of the story – it was the only time she’d ever heard Grace swear using words that could have been as labelled as Technicolor as the movie had been.

RH- RoS 2

The teenage Grace had read every story, every ballad, and every academic book, paper, and report on the subject. She’d hoarded pictures, paintings, badges, and stickers, along with anything and everything else she could find connected with Robin Hood, his band of outlaws, his enemies, Nottingham, Sherwood, Barnsdale, Yorkshire – and so it went on and on. The collection, now over twenty years in the making, had reached ridiculous proportions and had long since overflowed from her small terraced home to her university office, where posters lined the walls, and books about the legend, both serious and comical, crammed the overstuffed shelves.

Her undergraduates who’d chosen to study medieval economy and crime as a history degree option, and her postgraduates whose interest in the intricate weavings of English medieval society was almost as insane as her own, often commented on how much they liked Dr Harper’s office. Apparently it was akin to sitting in a mad museum of medievalism. Sometimes Grace was pleased with this reaction. Other times it filled her with depression, for that office, its contents, and the daily, non-stop flow of work was her life – her whole life – and sometimes she felt that it was sucking her dry. Leaving literally no time for anything else – nor anyone else. Boyfriends had come and gone, but few had any hope of matching up to the figure she’d fallen in love with as a teenager. A man who is quite literally a legend is a hard act to follow…

***

Buy links (Available in all e-formats and paperback)

Amazon UK- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Romancing-Robin-Hood-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00M4838S2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407428558&sr=8-1&keywords=romancing+robin+hood

Amazon.com- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Romancing-Robin-Hood-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00M4838S2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407428558&sr=8-1&keywords=romancing+robin+hood

Nook- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/romancing-robin-hood-jenny-kane/1121088562?ean=9781783754267

Kobo- http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/romancing-robin-hood

***

I hope you enjoyed that little extract from my time slip novel.

Happy reading

Jenny

xxx

 

 

 

 

Christmas in August

Every year since I began to write I’ve dreamt up an annual festive story- which means that for the past ten years I’ve been making it Christmas on paper during the summer months!

This year, as sunshine blasts the country, I’ve been conjuring up frost covered scenes based in the Cotswolds- where Megan Johnson (last seen waitressing in Pickwicks Coffee House in Another Cup of Christmas) is helping her old college friend Izzie Spencer-Harris (well, Isadora actually- but she hates that!) get her brand new business, The Cotswold Art Centre ready in time to host the renown Cotswold Choir’s annual carol concert.

Cotswold in snow

All was going according to plan, until a storm sends a branch crashing through the roof…will everything be ready in time? And how does the carpenter, Josh Parker, fit into the scheme of things…?

Well, I’ll just go and slap on some sun cream, and go and decide which carols my made up choir is going to sing…

I’ll be back with more news about this, the third book in my Another Cup of…series, very soon!

christmas mock-up

Happy Reading,

Jenny xx

 

 

A Funny Sort of Heaven

old books

Some people feel at their most relaxed playing sport, others sit watching their favourite television programme; some read, or knit, or sew, or hang-glide, or do whatever it is that floats their boat (including boating), to help them feel, well, like themselves!

I do all these things (apart from the sport, hang-gliding, boating….) OK, I hardly do any of it. I read a lot, watch a bit of TV sometimes, and I can knit when I need to, but what I really like to do, to feel totally at peace and 100% me, is to hide in a room- preferably one that smells ever so slightly musty- that is filled from top to bottom with old books and maps. Not just a library- but an archive.

I admit, it’s not the most obvious place to find inner peace, but for me, to be able to immerse myself in a haven of historical documents is escapism of the highest quality.

History books

To be lost in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls from the fourteenth century (which contain land purchases, and criminal records), or to pour over old maps, records of births and deaths, to feel the satisfaction of tracing the life, death, or (more frequently for me), the criminal career of a figure form the past, is both absorbing and fascinating. It’s like being a time-distanced detective in search of an elusive story from a character long departed.  Or perhaps I’m just an eccentric… (No need to answer that!)

Recently, I had the great pleasure of being take to visit the wonderful resource, the Devon and Exeter Institution, by the ultra lovely, Michael Jecks (yes-THE Michael Jecks!!). This beautiful building houses a historical heaven, and I have every intention of getting back there to soak up the ‘dusty book’ atmosphere at the next possible opportunity! Just being there made me want to write a medieval murder mystery on the spot!

The Devon and Exeter Institution

The Devon and Exeter Institution

For me, one of the joys of writing Romancing Robin Hood, has been revisiting many of the historical texts I grew to know and love (and a few I’d happily never see again- the handwriting was so challenging), when I initially researched the real historical criminals of the fourteenth century for my PhD. I have been like a pig in muck, like some jelly in custard, like my daughter with a pile of chips…. you get the idea!

romancing robin hood

Not that you should expect Romancing Robin Hood to be set in the past- well, not completely in the past. But with its leading lady, Dr Grace Harper, a lecturer in medieval studies who has a serious Robin Hood obsession (and who only technically lives in the present day), how could it be anything but a half modern/half fourteenth century tale…

The release date has been set for October- then you’ll see!

Happy reading everyone…

Jenny xx

Romancing Robin Hood: Final Pre-Publication Edit Time!

I always await the arrival of the pre-publication edits from my publisher with a sense of trepidation. Until that point, there is no way of knowing if my work has reached the standard they expect- and I admit, paranoia does set in a little while I’m awaiting my editors verdict!

It is with a sense of relief however then, that my editor declared Romancing Robin Hood a great read- I hope you agree once the time comes!!

This is my last chance to get my novel just as I want it. It’s a buffing up, polishing, and tweaking process that I enjoy very much. The final chance to play with my brand new novel before I hand it over to be enjoyed, criticised, and reviewed…

romancing robin hood

If you want to check out the blurb- just follow this link.

And if you fancy reading a little bit of the introduction- just follow this link.

So, I’m off to make a start- while I’m gone, why not enjoy a few Robin Hood pictures!

RH- Michael and Judi

RH- E Flynn

RH- RoS 2

Lytell Geste

Happy reading everyone- I’ll be back with a publication date for you soon.

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 mega chains, to the little independent cafes, the truckers rest stops, and the coffee stops tucked away in department stores- I adore every one of 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, with myself being the only one in residence,. I simply feel at home in coffee shops.

Costa ACOC

It won’t surprise you to learn then, that 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), 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, 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…

Coffee smile

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

Happy reading,
Jenny xx

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