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

Tag: contemporary romance

Opening Lines: Just Sam by Kristy Brown

This week I’m sharing the opening lines from the YA romance, Just Sam.

Many thanks to Kristy Brown for visiting today with her first 500 words.

Over to you Kristy…

“Just Sam.” Is A YA Contemporary romance about a girl who dreams of becoming the next big tennis champion. She suffers a huge loss at a young age, which totally knocks her confidence. We follow Sam on her journey to  believing in herself again. Although she’s into tennis, the reader doesn’t have to be. Sam thinks life is out to get her and her heart is broken, so she feels like she’s in an epic tennis match against life itself. She has to trust in love again and open up her heart.

Blurb – Just Sam

All Sam dreams of is being the next big tennis champion.

But when she suffers a great loss at such a young age, she finds it hard to believe in herself.

She becomes so scared of losing people that she hides her feelings to protect her heart.

Will she ever let anyone close enough to truly love her?

She never realised, her toughest match would be against life itself.

The first 500 words…

1: The Secret Club

I remember watching my first Wimbledon grand slam with mum. I could only have been around four or five, but I knew it was something special. The look on her face was one of pure joy as she sat on the edge of her chair, completely engrossed. Of course, I didn’t understand any of the rules or the weird scoring system, thirty- love and what on earth was a deuce? But as I watched my mother becoming bright red in the face, yelling at the TV and jumping up and down, I knew I wanted to join in with her happiness. I understood that this game was something that she loved.  I remember it like it was yesterday. The way she turned from the screen and smiled at me so widely, that I knew right then, that I too wanted a piece of this special thing called ‘tennis’.

For the next few years we’d sit together and watch the magic of Wimbledon. I waited for it, like I waited for Christmas. Two weeks in a year when my mum became almost giddy and more importantly for me, it was ‘our’ time, our unbreakable thing that no one could ever intrude upon, our little club for two.

Each year, she’d try to explain the rules and stuff to me and as I got a few tournaments under my belt, I finally started to get it. The game took on a whole new meaning when I knew that ‘love’ equalled zero and ‘deuce’ meant forty – all. It was like I’d cracked long division; I’d finally got the tennis code. I became a member of a very elite club and in my head, I was as clever as my mum, cleverer than my perfect sister.

I asked if I could join a tennis club, which seemed to please mum no end. After some ringing around, she found a suitable one just twenty minutes away by car. She asked my sister Claire if she’d also like to come along. I recall holding my breath for the entire thirty seconds that it took her to decide. She, to my utter delight, decided she’d rather hang out at the shops with her friends, which was what she did whenever she wasn’t in school or in bed. Mum told me that teens needed a lot of sleep, but to me, she was just lazy. This meant I got to keep Mum all to myself, at least on a Saturday morning anyway. After every visit, we’d stop at Maccies for a sneaky cheeseburger — another secret for just us.

I was nervous at first. I was eight years old and all the kids there seemed to already know each other and play amazingly well. I never thought I’d match up to any of them.

After my first session, I ran off the court in floods of tears. In my head, I’d believed myself to be the best player ever, because I’d played a few games in…


Buy links


Kristy Brown lives in England with her husband and two sons. She trained as an actress and has a degree in Contemporary Arts. After her first child was born she began writing a short story whilst he took a nap. That was the beginning of the “Kiera’s Quest” teen fantasy series, which is published by ‘Muse It Up Publishing.’
Kristy then went on to write “Summer’s End,” a YA Paranormal romance series, which will also be published with Muse It Up Publishing.
“Just Sam,” is a YA/ Teen contemporary romance book set loosely in the world of tennis.
Kristy is currently editing her YA modern retelling of Cinderella, “Cinderfella.” She is also writing the third book in the “Summer’s End” series and has many more stories in mind, yet not enough time in the day!

Amazon author page – 




Thanks ever so much Kristy.

Happy reading everyone,

Come back next week for some more opening lines.

Jenny xx

Opening Lines; By Virtue Fall by Carrie Elks

‘Opening Lines’ time is here!

This week I’m welcoming romance writer, Carrie Elks, to the blog with her brand new release, By Virtue Fall.

Over to you Carrie…

First of all many thanks to Jenny for featuring me on your blog. I was excited because as an author I spend hours trying to get the first few pages of a book completely right. 500 words isn’t a lot – for me it probably works out at a third of a scene – but it SHOULD be enough to engage the reader, give them a bit of information about the characters and set the scene for the rest of the book.

The extract below is from my newest release – By Virtue Fall. It’s the fourth book in a series (The Shakespeare Sisters) but can be read as a standalone romance. It’s set in a small town on the East Coast of America (think Gilmore Girls meets the Chesapeake Bay), and features a single mother called Juliet who’s trying to juggle a divorce, bringing up a six-year-old daughter, and getting her new floristry business on its feet.

As if she doesn’t have enough to contend with, a new man moves into the vacant house next door. Ryan Sutherland is a travel photographer, a single father of a six year old boy, and is so attractive Juliet finds him impossible to ignore.

Here are the first 500 words.

‘But I’ve always dreamed of yellow roses,’ the bride said, leaning forward. ‘Yellow roses mixed with white lilies, hand tied with string.’

‘Yellow is very vulgar, Melanie,’ Mrs Carlton, the older woman replied, waving her hand as if to dismiss her future daughter-in-law. ‘At the Smithson wedding they had peach flowers. They were very elegant and tasteful.’ She gave a nod at the end, as if that was her final word.

Juliet chewed the top of her pen lid, watching the two women debating their wedding flower preferences. Since she’d started her florist business a year before, it had become a familiar scene. Sometimes she felt more like a therapist than anything else.

Pulling the blue pen lid from her mouth, Juliet scribbled on the pad in front of her. ‘You know, yellow and peach roses can look fantastic together,’ she suggested, quickly sketching out a picture of a bouquet. ‘We did something similar at the Hatherly wedding in the summer, and it looked divine.’ She leaned in towards Mrs Carlton, as if they were bosom buddies. ‘And you know how discerning Eleanor Hatherly is.’

She was name-dropping but she didn’t care. Though she was an outsider, she’d lived in Maryland long enough to know that in these circles snobbery was still a thing. Hell, she’d been married to one of the biggest snobs in Shaw Haven, after all.

Was still married to him, she corrected herself. For now, at least. Thanks to  Maryland divorce laws, she and Thomas had to live separately for a year before their divorce could be finalised. Six months in, and she was already counting the days.

Melanie looked up at Juliet, a flash of hope in her eyes. ‘I’d love a peach and yellow bouquet.’

Patting her on the hand, Mrs Carlton smiled. ‘I knew we’d be able to agree on this. It’s the small details that are so important. You’ll learn that when you’re a Carlton, too.’

Grabbing her tablet, Juliet scrolled through her catalogue to show them the different arrangements, helping them narrow down the choices until they found the perfect one.

Welcome to married life. A world where you’ll run yourself ragged pleasing your husband, your in-laws and even your friends, while putting all your hopes and dreams on the backburner.

Juliet found her thoughts drifting back to her own wedding. She’d met Thomas when she was studying Fine Arts at Oxford Brookes University, and he’d been a Rhodes Scholar, an American studying at the more prestigious Oxford University. It had been a meeting of pure chance – she’d been working in a local florist at the weekends to try and eke out her student loan, in charge of deliveries in the local area. As she was walking up the path to Christ Church College, dodging the students and tourists who were admiring the fountain in the middle of the green, she’d been practically run over by the suave American post-grad who was running late for dinner.

He’d swept her off her…


By Virtue Fall was released last week on October 11th – and is available to buy right now!

Amazon UK ➜

iBooks UK ➜

Kobo UK ➜



Carrie Elks writes contemporary romance with a sizzling edge. Her first book, Fix You, has been translated into eight languages and made a surprise appearance on Big Brother in Brazil. Luckily for her, it wasn’t voted out. Carrie lives with her husband, two lovely children and a larger-than-life black pug called Plato. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found baking, drinking an occasional (!) glass of wine, or chatting on social media.


Huge thanks Carrie. Good luck with your novel.

Come back next week to read another 500 words.

Happy reading,

Jenny x


To continue or not to continue…Another Glass of Champagne

It was with a sense of excitement, tinged with sadness that, a couple of months ago, I celebrated the launch of Another Glass of Champagne. Obviously I was excited because the publication of any novel is a very special moment. To see the words you’ve woven together, that you’ve sweated over, sworn at, caressed, and loved, take their final form is a thrill that never fades. In a world where it is increasingly difficult to find a publisher that will risk its expenditure on printing your book, rather than leaving it as eBook only, the sense of joy is even greater.

And the touch of sadness? Well, that is because Another Glass of Champagne is the final instalment in the Pickwicks Coffee House adventures, and I’m going to miss Amy, Kit, Jack, Megan, Peggy and the crew. They have lived with me, in my head for five years now, and – at the risk of sounding a little unhinged- they have become my friends. (Obviously I don’t actually talk to them- really…OK, I do, but only a little bit.)


Another Glass of Champagne follows on from my (bestselling!), novel, Another Cup of Coffee, and the seasonal Christmas novella’s Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds, and Christmas at the Castle. (You don’t need to have any of these earlier tales to enjoy 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 is 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.

 Another Cup of Coffee - New cover 2015

My affection for Amy, Kit and Jack comes, not just from the fact I have lived with their unique voices in my head for so long, but because each of them is based on a real person. When I wrote Another Cup of Coffee, it was with a sense of trepidation. If those whose essence I’d used to create the three lead characters in the book hadn’t liked the story, I would never have sent it to a publisher to be considered for publication in the first place.

Luckily for me, they were- and still are- incredibly supportive of me and my words. I am blessed to have friends who are willing to have their lives expanded into fiction on the page. In fact, it has been immense fun chatting with the ‘real’ Jack and seeing which direction he’d like his ‘on page’ persona to travel.

Ever since Another Glass of Champagne came out I’ve been privileged to be the recipient of many requests for more future episodes in the coffee shop saga.

Just one more story to see what happens next…. I can’t tell you how flattering that is- and I’m touched and very grateful that my readers care enough to want to know what happens after Another Glass of Champagne ended.

I can’t pretend I haven’t thought about it. It would be so easy to write another Pickwicks tale about the characters I love. To take Jack, Amy and Kit on “just one more” turn around the coffee shop block. It would also however, be the height of laziness on my part- and very probably a mistake.

We’ve all watched television shows that have done one series too many, and read book series that should never have tried to squeeze out one more novel. I don’t want that to happen to my Another Cup of…series.

I’d hate to hear anyone say, ‘those first Jenny Kane coffee shop books were good- but that last one wasn’t up to it really was it…’– I’d be mortified!

The little voice at the back of my head told me to call it quits after Champagne, and so I’ve done just that.

Will I live to regret the decision? Possibly. I’ve loved writing these books very much indeed.

Would I change my mind if a nice film or television producer came along with some screen ideas? Of course I would! Sometimes it’s fine to be a hypocrite!!

In the meantime, I shall continue to enjoy sharing the story of Amy, Kit and Jack’s interconnecting lives with you for as long as you’ll put up with me doing so- while also getting down to writing something new.



Mini Extract

Sticking her head out of the bedroom window, Amy took a huge lungful of fresh air. Even though her morning sickness had passed with merciful speed, the aroma of the paint she and Paul were decorating their spare room with was making her decidedly queasy.

‘I thought this was supposed to be odourless paint?’

‘It is.’ Paul smiled at his wife as he put down the yellow paint-covered roller. ‘Why don’t you take a break? There’s not much left to do now.’

Amy leaned against the windowsill. ‘I’m fine – and anyway, it’s my own fault. I should never have got on my hands and knees to paint the skirting board. Thank you for not saying “I told you so,” by the way.’

Sinking onto the chair Paul had placed in the middle of the decorating chaos, Amy rubbed a palm over her bump in wonder. It seemed to be getting bigger by the hour, never mind by the day.

‘Have Phil and Rob managed to make any contact with Jack yet?’

‘Not a word.’ Paul scraped the remains of the paint from the roller tray onto his brush and dabbed at a patchy place on the wall. ‘Rob hasn’t had any replies to his texts and emails. He reckons Jack is probably somewhere really remote with no Wi-Fi.’

‘Hmmm. Well, I hope he resurfaces soon, or I’ll have had this baby before he even knows I’m expecting one.’

Paul stretched his arms above his head to loosen the muscles cramped from painting. ‘He’ll turn up sooner or later. Jack always does…’


If you’d like to discover how what Jack is up to, then you can find Another Glass of Champagne in all good bookshops and via online retailers (in paperback and e-format).

Buy Links

Happy reading,

Jenny xx

PS – You can pre-order the Jenny Kane Christmas Collection – which contains 3 seasonal Pickwick’s stories!


An Interview with Charlotte Philips: Access All Areas

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Charlotte Philips. So why not grab a cuppa, grab some cake, and come and put your feet up with us for five minutes…

coffee and cake

What inspired you to write your book?

Access All Areas is part of a series of five books set in the same fictional boutique hotel in London, so my story brainstorming had to tie into that setting. Over the course of writing the books, the Lavington Hotel and its staff and guests have developed and now I can almost walk down the luxury hallways in my mind! I loved the idea of having a celebrity stay at the hotel with all the mayhem that could cause, and when I thought around that a bit more I came up with the idea of having a photographer as my heroine, desperate to sneak a photo of the star to sell. The hero is the Head of Security at the hotel, so he’s directly in conflict with her. Unfortunately a paparazzi photographer isn’t the most sympathetic of characters, so instead I made Anna a portrait photographer who urgently needs money to save her house. She normally does school or wedding pictures, and is completely out of her depth, plus the idea of taking unsolicited pictures doesn’t sit well with her conscience, but she’s desperate and has run out of other options

Do you prefer to plot your story or just go with the flow?

I am absolutely a plotter, and the thought of just sitting down with nothing more than an idea to go on fills me with horror! I am in awe of people who can do that. The more books I’ve written, the more I have gravitated to planning rather than going with the flow. In my early books there were moments where I crashed my head on the desk in despair because I’d written myself into a corner or I simply couldn’t see a way forward. On one occasion I had to rewrite the first third of a book because it just didn’t work, and that was a horrible, draining experience. I now spend lots of time on the planning of my books. By the time I start writing I have a full scene list, character charts, biographies, timelines, the list goes on. It isn’t set in stone – sometimes ideas come to me along the way that work better than my original plan, but as a general ballpark guide it works for me. I like the security that it provides and I believe it helps me write faster and better.

What is your writing regime?

I work on my writing Monday to Friday, although I may do bits and pieces over the weekend. Generally my routine is to drop my youngest daughter at school and spend the next two hours on my writing. After that other things have to take over. If I’m writing draft rather than planning or editing I aim for 2k words a day on weekdays, and that’s generally achievable for me in the time I have. I fit in social media wherever I can, often I’ll tweet from the car outside school or check Facebook while I’m cooking dinner. It’s all about juggling, just as it is for everyone with a family or commitments.

Access all areas

What excites you the most about your book?

The release of Access All Areas, and the final book in the series, Meet Me at the Honeymoon Suite, which comes out next month (June 25th), means my Do Not Disturb series is finally complete. It’s going to be so lovely to have the full set of five books available in time for summer!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m just starting to write my very first single title. Planning is in full swing and I’m currently buried in post-it notes and character charts. It’s a very exciting move forward for me but also a bit scary. Wish me luck!


Blurb- Access All Areas – Do Not Disturb #4

Can you hold onto the past without living in it..?

After losing her elderly parents, portrait photographer Anna will do anything to avoid losing the family home, it’s all she has left of her perfect childhood. A hot tip from a friend raises her hopes – an A-list film star is secretly staying at the Lavington Hotel, London, with her rumoured toyboy lover. A photo of them together could be the answer to all Anna’s money problems.

Unfortunately Anna is the worst paparazzi photographer on the planet and Joe, the hotel’s new head of security, back in England in his first permanent job after years of globetrotting as a bodyguard to the stars, isn’t about to allow a picture on his watch. No matter how cute the photographer might be…



Amazon UK –

Amazon US –

iBooks –

Barnes & Noble –

Google Play –




Charlotte Phillips writes funny, sassy, sexy stories for Harlequin KISS/Mills & BOON ModernTempted and HarperImpulse.

She is also mum to three kids and a mad dachshund and terrible housewife to a heroic husband who doesn’t notice he is living in a hovel. She loves her sofa, her SkyPlus, her Apple TV and her pyjamas.





Many thanks for being interviewed for us today Charlotte! Good luck with Access all Areas.

Happy reading,

Jenny x

OUT NOW!!- Romancing Robin Hood

Today’s the day!!

Romancing Robin Hood, my second full length novel under the name Jenny Kane, hits the e-shelves today!! (Paperback coming soon)

Switching from the modern romance (or lack thereof), of Grace Harper, to the fourteenth century tale of Mathilda de Twyford (the fictional heroine Grace has created within her own novel), Romancing Robin Hood is a tale of friendship, romance, the medieval criminal nobility, and a teenage obsession with Robin Hood…

Romancing Robin Hood


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…


If you’d like to buy a copy, Romancing Robin Hood is available in all e-formats, from Accent Press and all good e-retailers including-

Amazon UK

Happy reading,


Exciting Times…

Hello lovely readers- my apologies for leaving it so long since I’ve written a blog, but my goodness I’ve been busy busy busy…

Here’s a potted summery of everything that’s going on!

To my great delight, from 18th September my very first contemporary romance, Another Cup of Coffee, will be available, not just via the Internet, but in bookshops!!! So if you fancy a read, and you can’t see it on your local bookshop shelf, don’t be afraid to ask your nearest bookseller- they’ll be able to get a copy in for you!!

E-book Cover

I can’t even begin to describe how excite I am about this! It’s a dream come true, and I can’t wait to spot my first copy of Another Cup of Coffee on a bookshop shelf!! If any of you happen to be in the Devon area, then on 29th September, I’ll be holding a book launch- details here.

As well as getting ready for this re-launch, I have been busily writing a brand new follow up novella to last years seasonal story, Another Cup of Christmas!! I am thrilled at how popular this series is proving to be!! The new novella (so far untitled) will be out in November in good time for Christmas.

christmas mock-up

If that wasn’t enough to keep me out of mischief, my next new full length novel, Romancing Robin Hood, is out in e-format on 5th September!! I’ve been busy making sure it’s all ready to hit the e-shelves. It is already available to pre-order, so if you want to make sure you get your copy the second it hits the Kindle/iTunes world, then you can order your copy from Amazon now!!

Romancing Robin Hood

Oh- and I’ve been working hard sorting out my very first children’s picture book as well (more on that soon!!)

Happy reading everyone.

Jenny xx





Pre-Release News: Romancing Robin Hood

The e-format version of my latest novel, Romancing Robin Hood, is out on 5th Sept, and is available for pre-order NOW!!

romancing robin hood

Out as an e-book in September (paperback in October), Romancing Robin Hood is part contemporary romance, and part medieval mystery-

Pre-order your ebook from Amazon UK and 


What happens when your love is stuck in the past…

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…


Happy reading,



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

I Write Real People: Guest Post by Kemberlee Shortland (@kemberlee)

WMS_blogtourI’m delighted to welcome Kemberlee Shortland to my site today as part of her latest blog tour.

Over to you Kemberlee…

Looking for a royal prince, a rich tycoon, or a Fortune 500 exec? You won’t find anyone like that in the books I write.

I’m not saying the prince, the tycoon, and the exec aren’t real people, but they don’t circulate in normal circles and they don’t struggle like most people . . . you know, the 99%. The people who have crap jobs with crap hours, who struggle with the rent or a mortgage, who can’t afford to get the car fixed (let alone being able to afford to own a car), or who have kids with problems of their own or even emotional or physical challenges. And those people who, no matter how hard they try reaching for the gold ring, usually always fall on their face . . . metaphorically speaking . . . through no fault of their own.

Let’s look at my Irish Pride series —

Rhythm of My Heart is the story of a woman who’s suffered sexual discrimination and physical abuse to the point of giving up her dreams of singing. He’s a down-on-his-luck musician who’s been trying to catch up financially so he can put his energy into his music and get noticed. She’s managed to work her way up in another avenue in the music business to help struggling performers like herself, and help them avoid that ‘casting couch’. He’s not just a struggling musician, but as much father and brother to his only sister, so he has responsibility to her, especially when she needs help. Real people.

A Piece of My Heart is the story a palliative care nurse who gave up working to care for her dying neighbors. He’s a guy working as a cataloger in a museum. She’s not a doctor, and has no God complex about saving lives. She’s probably the last face a dying person sees before closing their eyes for the last time. He’s not a famous archaeologist, and has no ego to feed by finding the first or rarest ‘whatever’ in the ground. He’s essentially a paper-pusher. Real people.

Shape of My Heart is the story of a woman who’s skated along since her teen years, ‘looking for love in all the wrong places’ and taking whatever job she could to pay the rent. He’s a police detective who’s worked hard to get where he is, working his way up the ranks and giving up what he had to in order to earn his stripes on the job, often working those crap hours and taking the worst cases going. She’s trying to get her life together, learning to make responsible decisions so she can better her life and prove she can make something of herself, but it doesn’t work out the way she plans. He’s gone undercover to solve a crime, one that could get him killed, including the woman he loves.  Real people. Okay, a little more real-real for the detective, but still, these are real jobs that normal people work.

What makes my ordinary characters extraordinary, and what makes readers want to read these stories, is how each character meets and deals with each challenge as it comes. We are who we are though our actions, not the figure on our bank statement, or the size of the house we live in, or the speed at which our car goes . . . or what the car looks like. A person in the real world is just as rich, or richer, by their actions.

The stereotypical rich executive is usually written as a glamorous and much-coveted mate, and the stereotypical down-on-his-luck guy with revenge in his mind is usually hunted by police. These characters fill the pages of a lot of genres, but how would we react to that same rich executive if we knew he tortured puppies in his spare time? Or how would we feel knowing that down-on-his-luck guy with revenge on his mind worked in his spare time at the local shelter, and is finding a way to save the puppies from the sadist executive?

A man is just as much a hero, if not more, if he works in a gas station, drives a Gremlin, and can just barely afford to pay his rent, as long as his actions speak for his character.

Certainly, a rich person can afford to do good things and thus bolster his/her character, but sometimes (well, most of the time, I find) the best things in life come from real struggle. A man or woman who struggles to achieve anything appreciates it more than if they can just go out and buy it. And at the end of the day, it’s those people on the ground we rely on every day but who mostly go unnoticed. It’s my hope that my stories give those people a high five and make them the heroes and heroines they deserve.

Kemberlee ShortlandAUTHOR BIO

Kemberlee Shortland was born and raised in Northern California in an area known as America’s Salad Bowl. It was home to many authors, including John Steinbeck, and for a while Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson. In 1997, Kemberlee had the opportunity to live in Ireland for six months where she ended up meeting a man who convinced her to stay. Kemberlee is now celebrating her seventeeth year in Ireland and has been lucky to travel the country extensively, picking up a cupla focal along the way—a few Irish words.

Kemberlee was an early-reader and has been writing since a very young age, and over the years she has published many travel articles and book reviews, as well as worked some notable authors who’ve set their books in Ireland.

After publishing travel articles since 1997, Kemberlee saw her first short stories published, and now has eight published books to her name and half a dozen others languishing in a drawer.

Away from the computer, Kemberlee enjoys knitting and other needlecrafts, playing with her Border Collies, castle hunting, travel, reading, gardening, and cookery. One day she hopes to have time to learn to play guitar properly.

Time suck! Not on there. But I’m sure it’s only a matter of time
Amazon Author Page:
Tirgearr Publishing:




Irish Pride series, book one

Kemberlee Shortland



Artist Representative, Eilis Kennedy, gave up a singing career so that other women could have a fair chance at having their music heard. Having suffered rejection from callous men in the industry, she thought she would get away from ‘casting couch’ mentality. But when she finds herself in the office of Fergus Manley, all bets are off. Disgusted by his continual come-ons and lewd invitations, Eilis is looking for ‘the one’ who will take her career to the next level, getting out from under Fergus’s controlling thumb.

Aspiring blues guitarist, Kieran Vaughan, is looking for his big break. But after suffering near bankruptcy at the hands of an unscrupulous business partner, Kieran is left picking up the pieces. He’s unsure if the debts will ever be paid or if he’ll ever have a chance to do something with his music. At his whit’s end, he’s about ready to throw in the towel and find a full-time job with real hours.

When Eilis discovers Kieran playing in a seedy pub in Dublin’s Northside, she knows he’s the one rare talent she’s been searching for. With her know-how and his talent, Eilis will finally get everything she’s been waiting for. Neither of them count on the powerful attraction from first meeting. Eilis is so rocked by Keiran’s forthright words that it sends her running. Kieran risks being arrested as he chases Eilis across Ireland.

Seeing what’s happening between Eilis and Kieran, anger wells inside Fergus and he steps up his pursuit of Eilis. Refusing to let Kieran get in his way, Fergus vows to add Eilis’s notch to his bedpost, whatever it takes.

Will Kieran be able to protect her?



Dublin’s Northside looked far different by day than it did at night. Last night’s storm had been one of the season’s worst. Huge puddles hampered traffic, and trash had collected in the corners of doorways and blocked the gutters. The lingering breeze was still crisp and signaled the imminent winter. Wisps of dark clouds streaked the pale blue sky but remained reminiscent of last night’s tempest.

As the taxi drove through Dublin’s inner city, a blur of tacky euro shops, shoddy newsagents and off-licenses, all with shop fronts that had seen better days, flashed by.

Finglas wasn’t noted as one of Dublin’s prime locations. This was a large blue collar suburb in a rapidly expanding city. Lack in a pride of ownership was evident, as residents struggled to make ends meet, which gave the area a rough underbelly. The Little Man Pub was a perfect example of both.

Eilis wrapped her arms around her middle, instinctively protective. Was this the compromise she must face to get where she wanted?

When the taxi slowed at a junction, she pressed herself back in her seat. A group of out-of-work young men sipping something from a paper bag spun their heads and looked at her.

Just this once, just this once, she chanted to herself.

Just this one trip to find Kieran Vaughan and that would be it. She’d never have to come back to this place ever again. She could stay safely tucked away in her D2 house for the rest of her days. She’d worked hard for that house. She deserved it. She deserved it all the more now by putting herself through this.

Long ago, Eilis had vowed never to set foot in the Northside again. But if it took this one last visit to get what she needed, it would be worth it.

The taxi pulled around the corner and the now familiar entrance to The Little Man Pub came into view. Nicotine-stained curtains were pulled across windows, reflecting the unkempt street. The façade’s red and black paint was weather-faded to pink and gray. The ‘M’ on the sign hung askew and swung in the breeze, and the ‘P’ was missing altogether. Had she not been here last night she would have thought the place was shut.

She pulled some money from her purse to hand to the driver. “I’ll wait fer ye, luv,” he said, waving her money away. “Taxis can be hard to come by ‘round here.”

Eilis was suitably taken aback. “Thank you. I won’t be a moment.”

She swallowed hard, got out of the taxi then entered the pub.

Her eyes slowly adjusted to the dark room. The few men sitting around the bar turned their gazes in her direction. Understandably. A well-groomed businesswoman in the pub was surely a novelty. These men were long since retired, or long since employed. Their stubbled faces meant they hadn’t shaved in several days, or possibly weeks. The dim light hid the worst of their unkempt appearances, but nothing could disguise their unwashed clothes. A pong in the room wafted into her nostrils, causing her stomach to lurch again.

Shoulders back, she strode to the bar.

The same man from last night stood behind the counter. He was short and pudgy with missing front teeth. His disheveled appearance made him look like one of his patrons. Had he not been behind the counter she wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.

His striped brown and white shirt had frayed cuffs and was open to mid-chest, showing a sweat-stained t-shirt underneath. His brown trousers had seen much better days and were held together not with a button or belt, but with a bit of twine looping between his belt loops, his round belly spilling over. The only thing holding up the trousers was his equally round bum. It seemed to push the waistband up in the back as his belly pushed it down in the front. The sight would have been funny if her stomach hadn’t been flip-flopping.

Her voice cracked when she first spoke, but it picked up strength in her determination to make something of this horrid trek. “A-are you the proprietor?”

A broad gap-toothed grin creased the man’s face and, loud enough for his patrons to hear, he said, “I’ll be who ever ye want me to be, luv.”

His friends burst into laughter. Eilis felt the flush rise in her cheeks. Not because she was embarrassed, but from frustration. She just wanted to get this meeting over with and she wasn’t in the mood to spar.

She stood her ground. “I’m looking for the man who played guitar here last night. Kieran Vaughan. We have business. Will you please tell me where I can find him?” She looked the man in the eye, much as she could, considering she stood a good half-foot taller than him, even without her heels.

“No, miss, I doubt you have any business with himself. ‘Speshly a fine lass such as yerself. Now, if ye were to come home with a real man like meself, well . . .” He left the rest unsaid, the insinuation hanging in the air.

Her gaze never wavered as she stared the little man in the eye.

“Sir,” she smiled sweetly, honey dripping from her words. She leaned over the bar just enough to give him a glimpse of the swell of her breast through the opening of her blouse. “I doubt you have anything I would be interested in. Besides, you don’t really want me to find out why this place is called The Little Man, do you?”

This earned the publican long oohs and sniggers from the patrons, who were now on the edges of their seats waiting to hear the disagreeable little man’s response.

Obviously taken aback by such a brazen retort, the man stood gaping and red-faced at her for a moment before he got his wits about him. He winked at the men around the bar. “Oy does like me birds feisty!” That only encouraged more laughter.

Eilis could have enjoyed the banter if only the man wasn’t so repulsive. All she wanted to do was meet Kieran Vaughan and get out of Finglas as quickly as possible.

When the laughing stopped, Eilis’s gaze never wavered as she said, “Well?”

“Well what, loov?” he asked, wiping the tears from his eyes with a dirty bar towel.

“Are you going to tell me where to find Kieran Vaughan?” He was trying her patience, but she did her best to keep the frustration out of her voice.

Then she sensed someone step up behind her and straightened instantly. Somehow she knew it was Kieran. The feral scent of him permeated her senses and quickened her pulse. Butterflies replaced the strange ache in her stomach that had been there just moments before.

She slowly turned and looked up at the most handsome man she’d ever seen in her life. She found herself instantly speechless.

She’d seen him on stage the night before and knew he was handsome. But this close up . . . Never before had she seen such blue eyes. As she gazed into them, they changed from the light steel blue to the color of storm clouds heavily ringed with gunmetal. That he had dark brows and thick lashes only made his gaze seem more intense.

“Ye’ve found him, loov,” said the little man, taunting her. “Now what are ye goin’ ta do with him?”

The hammering of her heart and the pulsing blood in her temples blocked out the noise in the room as she looked into Kieran Vaughan’s eyes. To her dismay, her knees actually quivered.

Something in the pit of her belly ached. No, something else. It was like warm melting honey running through her marrow. In that moment she longed to touch him, to brush the unruly wave of his dark hair away from his face, to feel his lips against the pads of her fingers, to . . .

When he spoke she almost didn’t hear him.

“Like the man said, now that you’ve found me, what are you going to do with me?” His eyes sparkled with unabashed mischief.

“Anything you want me to.”



Irish Pride series, book two

Kemberlee Shortland



Mick and Kate thought they were falling in love. Kate hadn’t been just the girl next door. She’d been Mick’s life, and he hers. When an unforeseen force draws them apart they’re left with wounds that refuse to heal. Now, ten years on, Mick’s father’s will should have been straightforward, except his addendum was like ice water in Mick’s face.

It’s essential that Mick and Kate work together to save his family’s farm. Mick doesn’t count on his new manager being accused of murder, and Kate doesn’t expect a dangerously seductive woman from Dublin to claim Mick is the father of her child.

Kate thought she was falling in love with Mick all over again; however this newest revelation is too much for her. She is determined to finally say goodbye to her childhood sweetheart forever, but Mick has other plans for Kate’s future. And none of them involve goodbye.



Irish Pride series, book three

Kemberlee Shortland



Gráinne has moved back to Dublin to get her life straightened out. She dreams of college and a better life. She’s working for her brother, Kieran, in his newly reopened pub, The Blues Tavern, but the money isn’t enough to support herself and pay tuition. Moonlighting at The Klub! as an exotic dancer seems to be her answer fast money.

John ‘JD’ Desmond is a detective working undercover in the Blues Tavern. The Klub!, owned by Jimmy Malloy, is being used as a drug front, headed by the notorious Taylor Wade. JD had intended to get Gráinne to snitch for him, but when he falls in love with her, things get complicated.

When Gráinne witnesses Jimmy’s murder, she and JD are forced to go on the run until Wade can be apprehended. Wade lives up to his nickname, The Hunter, and JD and Gráinne quickly find themselves at the end of a gun and running for their lives.

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