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

Tag: marine archaeology

Shipwrecking it: Summer at Sea Glass Cove

Lauren Sunshine arrives at Lymeton (known to the locals as Sea Glass Cove), in Dorset as the chief marine archaeologist in charge of excavating a shipwreck off the Jurassic Coast.

In my fictional world, Lauren and her team are investigating the wrecked Tudor ship, The Vissen. This is a Dutch merchant vessel known as a fluyt – and would have been one of the first ships to cross the channel simply to trade rather than to carry passengers and carry cargo.

***

Here’s a mini extract from Summer at Sea Glass Cove…

Sitting on the sand, Lauren gazed at the sea. For a moment she followed the ebb and flow of the tide before closing her eyes. Behind her eyelids she pictured the underwater world in which sat the wreck of the Vissen; a Dutch Fluyt cargo vessel which had set out from Holland in 1590 and never made it home. Lying in approximately nine metres of water, with its long axis orientated north-east to south-west, the stern had broken free from the main body of the ship, lying at an awkward angle which was proving a challenge for her and her divers, and a haven for the local marine life who’d changed the fallen ship into an artificial wooden reef.

As she considered the hidden timbers, Lauren found herself picturing the vessel as it had once been. One of the first fluyts – a new type of ship, designed specifically for transporting goods, rather than, as with almost every vessel before, an all-purpose ship that could be used either for trading or as a warship in times of need. It must have been the pride of the fleet.

Now, this once magnificent ship was losing its 434-year battle with the elements. The combined forces of immersion in salt water, the abrasion of the seabed’s sediment, and the exposure of the timbers to the air at low tide were making it increasingly vulnerable. To Lauren, it was a mystery why the Marine Heritage Trust hadn’t acted sooner to save the many artefacts that had gone down with the ship.

Not such a mystery. She opened her eyes. There’s a great many wrecks off the UK coast, and only one pot of money.

Refocusing on the world above sea level, Lauren took in the picture postcard  view. The sun blazed across a baby-blue sky, despite it being almost six o’clock. The sand, a dusky yellow, was light and clean, and the sea glistened as though dotted with crystals, making the tips of the wreck’s timbers, which just protruded from the water, look mysterious, magical, and enticing all at once. To her right, a row of cliffs that had been there since the Jurassic period and beyond, rolled around the coastline towards nearby Lyme Regis, while to her left, the town of Lymeton sat like a younger sibling to its more famous neighbour. She knew it would be easy to fall in love with the place, with its myriad of craft shops, cafés, ice cream parlour, and stunning scenery….

I’ve always been interested in shipwrecks. They have a tragic magic about them; forming a time capsule of history for us to explore and learn about our past. While the ships themselves can be fascinating, it is the small, personal, finds that appeal to me the most. The items which can tell us about the people who sailed; the buttons, hairbrushes, cutlery, chess pieces, and so on.

It is the discovery of chess pieces that puts The Vissen’s wreck on the map and introduces Lauren to my favourite character in Summer in Sea Glass Cove – Arthur; gaming piece collector extraordinaire.

To meet the adorable pensioner, Arthur, his partner Jeff, and their cat, Shark, then you can find them within the pages of Summer at Sea Glass Cove.

Blurb

Welcome to Sea Glass Cove!

Marine archaeologist Lauren Sunshine is used to life on the go. Her suitcase is always packed ready to explore the country’s underwater heritage so when a shipwreck is found off the Dorset coast, she is thrilled to be leading the excavation team.

Philippa Silver, ‘Phil’ to the folk of Sea Glass Cove, has devoted her life to the Museum by the Sea. But funding is tight, and despite subletting half of the museum to her best friend Jules’s sea glass shop, she fears for the museum’s future.

Phil hopes the wreck discovery could bring more visitors – but there’s a problem – the museum’s too small to house its treasures. Thankfully, new friend Lauren seems as determined as she is to save the museum.

But, when Phil’s brother Ollie catches Lauren’s eye, she begins to wonder if she has more than one reason to be interested in life at Sea Glass Cove…

Available from:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

WHSmith

Waterstones

Happy reading!

Jenny xx

 

Meet Lauren Sunshine: Summer at Sea Glass Cove

Tomorrow sees the launch of my latest novel –

Summer at Sea Glass Cove!!

Let me introduce you to Lauren Sunshine…

Thirty-two year old Lauren Sunshine has already heard every joke you can think of that could be connected to her surname.

Lauren is single. Having vowed never to bother with men again after a disastrous relationship, she’s determined to be a career girl.

A marine archaeologist, who is visiting Lymeton – known to the locals as Sea Glass Cove – for the first time, Lauren is in the process of managing the exploration of the sunken Tudor merchant ship (The Vissen), a few miles off the coastline.

Nervous, but excited, to be in charge of such an important offshore investigation/ excavation, Lauren is working with her right hand man, Dave – a seasoned marine archaeologist – and two students from the local university: Ali and Jack.

When we first meet Lauren she is exploring the village during her lunch hour – and is amazed to find a small museum tucked away at the back of a craft shop. She instantly falls in love with the Museum by the Sea and the All at Sea shop – and forms a bond with Phil (Philippa) and Jules who work there.

But, as can imagine, for Lauren and her new friends, life won’t all be plain sailing…

Extract.

(Lauren has just walked into the museum for the very first time, and is about to meet the Museum by the Sea’s rather acerbic assistant, Sally…)

Stepping through a single green door, which led from the cramped reception into the main body of the museum, Lauren was glad to be alone.

            She found herself standing at one end of a long, slim, clean and well-lit room. Narrow, waist high display cases ran through the centre of the room, while mounted cabinets filled every available wall space, each of them a museum piece in its own right. The units’ contents, clearly labelled, were laid out in an eye-catching fashion, despite being packed to capacity. Instantly, Lauren could see what Phil meant about the difficulty of school visits. There was no way more than six people could fit  at once without everyone having to breathe in.

            Savouring the sense of history that emanated from the walls, Lauren found herself eye to eye socket with the skeleton of a pterosaur, which hung from the ceiling. Having greeted him warmly, Lauren moved on to a display of fossilised insects, and soon became engrossed in reading the associated information panels.

            ‘This stuff is fabulous,’ she muttered as she moved onto a cabinet full of musket shot, cannon balls, chess pieces and pewterware, all washed up from local wrecks. ‘Criminal to be so hidden away. They need more space.’

            ‘Chance would be a fine thing!’ A young woman, a set of keys swinging from her fingertips, stepped through the door. ‘Phil said we had an important visitor.’

            ‘I’m just an archaeologist. This is such a fabulous place. I’m so glad I found it.’

            ‘You didn’t. Jules told you about it.’

            Surprised by the woman’s bluntness, Lauren spoke fast. ‘Well, yes, that is true, but…’

I’m so excited about the launch of this book!

(I can’t wait for you to meet Arthur and Jeff!! – Just saying!)

If you visit this blog tomorrow, you will learn a little more about sea glass cove.

In the meantime, if you would like to get ahead of the game, and pre-order the book, you can buy it from all good retailers, including:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

WHSmith

Waterstones

Happy pre-ordering,

Jenny x

 

Welcome to the Jurassic Coast

My latest work of #contemporayfiction, Summer at Sea Glass Cove comes out on 6th June.

This is my third novel with a seaside connection. The first two, A Cornish Escape and A Cornish Wedding, were set in Sennen Cove, which lies within the Penwith area of Cornwall. This time, the action takes place in Dorset, on the world famous Jurassic Coast, in the fictional village of Lymeton Cove – which I have placed a short distance from, the very real, Lyme Regis.

Famous for its stunning geology, and the vast numbers of fossils that have been found along its coastline, the appropriately named, Jurassic Coast, has long been a place of pilgrimage for geologists, palaeontologists, archaeologists, and anyone with a love of dinosaurs, the prehistoric world – or indeed the seaside!

As a former archaeologist and historian, I’ve long been fascinated with all aspects of our countries past, a passion I’ve shared with my lead characters Lauren and Phil.

Summer at Sea Glass Cove

Blurb

Welcome to Sea Glass Cove!

Marine archaeologist Lauren Sunshine is used to life on the go. Her suitcase is always packed ready to explore the country’s underwater heritage so when a shipwreck is found off the Dorset coast, she is thrilled to be leading the excavation team.

Philippa Silver, ‘Phil’ to the folk of Sea Glass Cove, has devoted her life to the Museum by the Sea. But funding is tight, and despite subletting half of the museum to her best friend Jules’s sea glass shop, she fears for the museum’s future.

Phil hopes the wreck discovery could bring more visitors, but there’s a problem – the museum’s too small to house its treasures. Thankfully, new friend Lauren seems as determined as she is to save the museum.

But, when Phil’s brother Ollie catches Lauren’s eye, she begins to wonder if she has more than one reason to be interested in life at Sea Glass Cove….

***

It isn’t just Lauren and Phil who are passionate about history. Local pensioner, Arthur, has a passion for the past too. His love of gaming pieces through history, especially chess pieces, helps forge a friendship between himself and Lauren which becomes vital in the quest to save the museum, when its future falls into jeopardy. Add to that, the excavation of a shipwreck, and its all set to be a summer of discovery at Sea Glass Cove.

And we haven’t even discussed the sea glass itself yet…

You can pre-order Summer at Sea Glass Cove from all good retailers, including:

Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Happy pre-ordering,

Jenny x

 

Opening Lines: Summer at Sea Glass Cove

Summer at Sea Glass Cove will be published

NEXT WEEK

on 6th June!

Today I’m sharing its #openinglines.

Blurb

Welcome to Sea Glass Cove!

Marine archaeologist Lauren Sunshine is used to life on the go. Her suitcase is always packed ready to explore the country’s underwater heritage so when a shipwreck is found off the Dorset coast, she is thrilled to be leading the excavation team.

Philippa Silver, ‘Phil’ to the folk of Sea Glass Cove, has devoted her life to the Museum by the Sea. But funding is tight, and despite subletting half of the museum to her best friend Jules’s sea glass shop, she fears for the museum’s future.

Phil hopes the wreck discovery could bring more visitors, but there’s a problem – the museum’s too small to house its treasures. Thankfully, new friend Lauren seems as determined as she is to save the museum.

But, when Phil’s brother Ollie catches Lauren’s eye, she begins to wonder if she has more than one reason to be interested in life at Sea Glass Cove….

FIRST 500 WORDS:

As Lauren stepped through the low stone-framed doorway, the instant dip in temperature after the relentless heat of the midday June sun felt like balm against her tanned skin. Sliding her sunglasses up, so they secured her sea-soaked hair away from her eyes, she gave a small sigh of pleasure.

The shop was beautifully laid out. Shelves of various shapes and sizes lined the walls, each one carved out of driftwood. Upon these were displayed unique items of jewellery, all made out of sea glass. Every polished shard radiated its own aura of light which, as Lauren meandered between the shelves, she noticed changed colour depending on where she was standing.

Drawn to a large, teardrop-shaped pendant in the window, Lauren marvelled at its vivid sapphire glow. As she stepped closer the light changed, and it became an emerald green. Catching her breath, caught between the desire to discover if the glass was as smooth as she suspected, and knowing she ought not touch, she became conscious of a voice nagging at her.

Ships’ planks.

A frown puckered her forehead as her attention shifted from the pendant to a distinctive groove in the shelf upon which it was being displayed.

Tudor?

Instead of reaching out to feel the cool glass beneath her fingertips, Lauren gently caressed the bowed wood.

A nail once sat there – a long one – iron. It would have secured this plank to the next and…

Lauren focused her attention onto the eclectic shelf collection rather than the exquisite jewellery. That one’s more modern – from a warship – twentieth century. I wonder which…

‘It’s from the HMS Formidable – at least, that’s where I’ve always assumed it washed in from.’

As Lauren spun around, she found herself face to chest with a faded blue shirt. Stepping back so she could see the wearer properly, she saw a welcoming grin and a multi-coloured bandana that neatly trapped his shoulder-length greying hair.

‘You know these are ships’ planks then?’

‘From local wrecks to be exact.’ He put out a hand for her to shake. ‘I’m Jules. Not often someone looks more closely at my shelving than my jewellery.’

‘I don’t often see ships’ planks used like this.’ The urge to ask him what the hell he thought he was doing using historical artefacts in this manner was stifled by the strength of his smile.

‘If I hadn’t picked them up, they’d only have been washed out again, or worse – someone would have used them for firewood. Anyway, they’re in keeping with the theme of the shop.’

‘Jewellery?’ Lauren’s eyes strayed back to the pendant. It had developed a lighter, more peppermint sheen.

‘More using nature’s bounty – well, the sea’s bounty to be specific. These are all made from sea glass. And over there—’ Jules gestured to the back of the shop ‘—I have a few sculptures made from driftwood, along with some more useful stuff – coasters, doorstops, door handles and such like – all carved from driftwood.’

Turning to follow his…

If that has tickled your reading tastebuds, then you can #preorder your copy of Summer at Sea Glass Cove from all good retailers, including:

Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Happy pre-ordering!

Jenny x

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