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

Tag: children’s picture book

BLOG CHAT: Jenny and Loreley talk “HALLOWEEN HOLLER”

Hello and welcome on this (still dark) morning, it’s Jenny here!

As the days are getting shorter and the nights longer- alongside  my working hours- I thought it was a good time to share some much needed caffeine with an equally worn out writer.

So, let me introduce you to Loreley Amiti- fellow writer and all round lovely person.

This morning Loreley and I have put our pens aside so we can chat in front of an open laptop. Let’s see what happens… Are you ready, Loreley?

Yes, definitely. As ready as I’ll ever be at this early hour. Hello everyone!

So, tell me, what are you up to at the moment?

That’s a good question, as there are so many things going on at once. I have two readings coming up on 26th and 27th October, which I’m really looking forward to.

Are these for your children’s books?

Yes, I’ll be reading my latest picture book “Halloween Holler”, which is about the grumpy cats of the North of Exeter who want to take over the feared dogs of the South. They’re planning on conjuring up a mighty cat army on the night of Halloween but unfortunately for them, the dogs have the same plan and things go terribly wrong.

When you say “terribly”…

No, no, it’s not that bad. It’s for small children, after all. Just really funny, because they’re all hilariously grumpy and in the end, they make friends when they least expect to do so.

What made you write this story?

I think it came up during endless hours on the bus with my small daughter. Most ideas for my children’s books have actually been born either on the bus or wherever we had a longer wait. We have to travel between the famous North and South a lot and at some point, I had to come up with some sort of entertainment. I love Exeter, but I’m in the process of getting a car now…

Does that mean you will stop writing children’s books then?

Hopefully not, but I will definitely take a break from it at some point soon to focus on my adult fiction. Children’s books are great and I love meeting my youngest readers, but as soon as I have covered every season with one book, it’s time to move on with my fiction books. So many ideas, so little time…

I know what you mean! Have you got a favourite book among the ones you have written?

I should be saying “all of them”, shouldn’t I… Of course, I love them all for very different reasons. I don’t have a favourite to be quite honest, but I love “Halloween Holler”, for example, because the leader of all the grumpy cats, Luke, was based on the character of our own cat. It’s just heart-warming to see my little daughter showing our cat the illustrations of Luke and telling him the story in her own words. She also told him off for always looking so extra grumpy in the book. She is not very impressed with me though, because Luke lives with a boy called Ben, which is clearly wrong. – Silly Mummy!

That’s brilliant! So where can we find you and your new book?

Well, it’s obviously on Amazon and can be bought or ordered in bookshops. But I hope to get to see many of my local readers on 26th October at the Exeter Halloween Fun Run and on 27th October at Exeter Library, of course.

Thank you, Loreley! I hope you’ll get a full house.

Thanks for having me, Jenny! Loved our caffeine chat!

You are very welcome. Come by again soon!

You can find information about Loreley and her events here-

COMING SOON: Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure

Fanfare please!!


I am delighted to be able to announce that my second children’s picture book, Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure is on its way!

At this very moment the printer is zipping it through its machine, so it will be available for pre-order really soon!!

Title Page

Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure was inspired during my time baby sitting (well, child sitting really), for my best friend’s two boys.  The lengths they’d go to in their attempts to persuade me that they really were allowed extra biscuits before bed could have won an Oscar!

I originally wrote this story as a gift for the real Ben’s birthday. It was printed on plain paper with brightly coloured words, and plenty of spaces so he could add his own pictures. I never dreamt Ben’s story would be published one day.

As with There’s a Cow in the Flat, Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure has been illustrated by the brilliant Ryan Doherty. I just love how he has brought my characters alive.

Many thanks to Ryan, and to Hush Puppy Books for helping turn Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure into a ‘reality.’

As soon as I have a pre-order link I will let you all know!

Happy reading,

Jenny x

Coming Soon: Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure!

I’m delighted to be able to announce that my second children’s picture book, Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure will be out this summer!!!

Title Page

My quirky story of cookie sneaky retrieval has been brought to life by the brilliant illustrations of artist, Ryan Doherty.


Ben’s stomach won’t stop rumbling in the middle of the night. As he lies in bed, Ben begins to plan how he can secretly sneak a biscuit from the biscuit tin.

But Ben is only seven, and rather short, and the biscuit tin is hidden at the very back of the highest shelf of the tallest cupboard in the kitchen. Working out how to reach the tin is going to take a lot of imagination…string, tape, springs, and maybe even some stilts…

Here’s one of Ryan’s lovely pictures!

page1 cupboard

Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure has come along after my first children’s book, There’s a Cow in the Flat (again with wonderful pictures from Ryan), caught the imagination of so many children.

cow in flat cover

I’ll bring you more information about Ben and his biscuit adventure very soon,

Happy reading,

Jenny xx


Bookshop Loving: “There’s a Cow in the Flat” Goes Walkabout

One of the very best things about my job is meeting the lovely people who read my books- especially the children.

I’ve been writing stories for children for far longer than I’ve been writing for adults, although I’ve only invested effort in getting one of them published so far- others are on the way!

cow in flat cover

This week I was extremely flattered to be invited to the Books Yule Love bookshop in Moreton-in-the -Marsh, Gloucestershire. I was there to read my children’s picture book, There’s a Cow in the Flat, to three groups of very well behaved school children from the nearby St David’s Primary School.

As well as reading to the children, I had the pleasure of chatting to them, and sharing in their vivid imaginations. It is wonderful, in this age of 2D entertainment, to see that the imagination of children is alive and well and as delightfully abstract as ever! When I asked them all how they thought the cow had got into the flat in the first place, the answers ranged from the common sense replies of “the cow came through the door”, to “she beamed in from space”, was sent “via remote control”, and flew in through the window via “airplane” or “jumped in with the aid of a trampoline”. Wonderful!!

Not only was I made very welcome my Mike and Richard of Books Yule Love, but I was overwhelmed with the number of happy faces, the number of books sold, and – the icing on my cake- to see a copy of my contemporary romance, Another Cup of Coffee, popped neatly on the bookshop shelf!!

So, I’d like to extend a big thanks to the people of the Cotswolds, for making me so welcome last week – I look forward to seeing you all again on World Book Day!!

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

Stocking Filler Anyone?

It’s nearly Christmas! Yeah!!

Got all those last minute gifts yet? Need a paperback to bulk the stocking out a little?

christmas stocking

Here’s a couple of ideas for young and old readers alike…

Another Cup of Coffee

ACOcoffee FRONT 2014


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 got completely 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 a bucked-sized cup of coffee, as she goes forth to lay the ghost of first love to rest…

Buy links, Amazon UK, Amazon US


There’s a Cow in the Flat

There's a Cow in the Flat


A cow has managed to stray into Oscar’s third storey flat! But how? Has she beamed in from outer space? Is she an acrobatic circus cow? She certainly really loves eating all the furniture! As Oscar imagines how the cow could have got into the flat, he and his Mum try everything they can to get her out again, before there is no sofa left! The cow however, has other ideas…

Space Cow

Buy Links, Amazon UK, Amazon US


Romancing Robin Hood

Romancing Robin Hood


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…

Buy Links, Amazon UK, Amazon US


Hope these suggestions have helped you out a bit!!

Happy shopping!

Jenny xx

Interview with Ryan Doherty: Illustrating There’s a Cow in the Flat

I’m delighted to welcome Ryan Doherty to my place today. Ryan isn’t just any old ace illustrator, but the illustrator of my very first children’s book, There’s a Cow in the Flat
There's a Cow in the Flat
When I heard that Ryan was to do the pictures I was over the moon- I just adore the fun style of his work.
Ryan, There’s a Cow in the Flat was the first children’s book you illustrated, was it a big decision to take Hush Puppy Books offer of work?
Not at all, I knew I wanted to work with you and Hush Puppy Books immediately, I saw it as a great opportunity to try something new and exciting.
I just adore how you have interrupted the characters in the book; did you find it easy to decide how to make Oscar look?
It took me a while to decide what I wanted Oscar to look like, but after a few thumbnail sketches he started to naturally form into the character that you see in the story.
My children each have their own favourite pictures in There’s a Cow in the Flat, do you have a favourite of all the illustrations you have drawn?
Definitely the space cow! That was also my favourite page to illustrate.
Space Cow
Children’s fiction is quite a departure from your usual work. What are you working on at the moment?
It is very different to what I’m used to, but it seems I’ve caught the bug for children’s literature, I’m currently working on my own children’s book complete with illustrations by myself.
Would you consider doing another picture book in the future?
Yes, without a doubt. I already cant wait to get stuck into new ideas.
Where can we find you on Facebook and Twitter?
You can find me on twitter here @artofryan1
Thanks ever so much Ryan!
When I took There’s a Cow in the Flat into the local primary school they liked the space cow and the juggling cow best!
Good luck with your solo book- can’t wait to read it! Would love to work with you again.
Juggling cow page 32
If you’d like to buy a copy of There’s a Cow in the Flat, you can buy it from-
Happy reading everyone,
Jenny xx

There’s a Cow in the Flat – My First Picture Book is OUT NOW

I am delighted to be able to announce that my very first children’s story, There’s a Cow in the Flat is out NOW!!

There's a Cow in the Flat

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. I wrote this story for my children when they were very small. It was then polished and developed during a handful of creative story telling sessions I taught at two different primary schools- Crombie Primary in Aberdeenshire and then- right down the other end of Britain- at Heathcoat Primary School in Devon.

It’s been 6 years since I took There’s a Cow in the Flat (and all my other children’s stories), into a school, and I’m really looking forward to taking it back on the road again- but this time, with a copy of the published book in my hand, rather than just a handful of well remembered notes!!!


A cow has managed to stray into Oscar’s third storey flat! But how? Has she beamed in from outer space? Is she an acrobatic circus cow? She certainly really loves eating all the furniture! As Oscar imagines how the cow could have got into the flat, he and his Mum try everything they can to get her out again, before there is no sofa left! The cow however, has other ideas…

I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the wonderful illustrator Ryan Doherty for bringing my cow, Oscar, and his mum to life with his brilliantly bright pictures, and to Hush Puppy Books for letting me add another literary genre to my bow!

I’ll be back to tell you more about Oscar’s adventure soon, but for now- here are those all important buy links!!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Happy reading

Jenny xx



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