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

Tag: murder mystery

Opening Lines with P J Reed: Welcome to Witherleigh

Opening Lines time has arrived once more!

This week I’m delighted to welcome my friend and fellow author, P J Reed with the first 500 words from her brand new release,

Welcome to Witherleigh.

Over to you Pam…

I would like to thank Jenny Kane for inviting me onto her wonderful blog to write about my new novel ‘Welcome To Witherleigh.’

I am P.J. Reed, a multi-genre writer, from Devon. My background is in history and archaeology research which I like to use to add authentic flavours to my writing.  I have written several short horror stories, six poetry  collections, and one high fantasy novel. Most of my work is set in Devon, Exmoor, and Dartmoor and explores the darker side of country living. Welcome To Witherleigh is based on the little village of Witheridge, set on the outskirts of Exmoor. If you visit Witheridge after reading this book, you might even recognise some of the buildings described within its pages.

This book concerns a young man, Richard Radcliffe who has left the stresses of London under in order to start a new life for himself in Devon. He finds work as a church appointed playleader and looks forward to the local villagers and living life at a gentler pace. Unfortunately, as soon as he arrives in Witherleigh,he realises that something is very wrong with the village as he is pulled into an alley and warned that he will be next. He then sets out to solve the riddle of the village and to find out why the ghosts of Witherleigh still walk the streets.

This book is a paranormal, murder mystery with a dark vein of humour running through it.

The story appeared to me when one day Richard Radcliffe walked into my walk, sat down next to me, and told me about his adventures in Witherleigh.

First 500 words of Welcome To Witherleigh –

CHAPTER ONE

The car jolted unhappily through the mud-splattered lane. At least he hoped it was mud. Black and white cows peered knowingly at him through breaks in the overgrown hedge. That’s the last time I clean you until we get safely back to London, Richard thought grimly as he slowed to avoid a pair of suicidal pheasants. One stood in the road, frozen in fear, the other ran and disappeared into the hedgerows. He stopped the car and let the pheasant cross safely to rejoin its companion. He saluted the bird and watched as it ran into the lines of gnarled trees which flanked each side of the narrow road. The trees stooped over each side of the road. Their branches joined together above the middle of the lane, like skeletal brown arms twisting into each other, blocking out the late autumn sun. Richard stared at the crowding trees. There were melted faces in the lines of the bark. He shivered as a feeling of panic surged through his body.

Richard gripped the steering wheel. His knuckles whitened as electrical pulses ran up and down his spine. He swallowed and pinged the rubber band around his wrist. The sharp pain broke through his thoughts. The trees straightened, and their faces became lost in the creases of the bark. He twanged the band again. Important things had to be performed twice. Then he restarted the car and drove carefully past the sullen trees.

He had to be at the Witherleigh Day Centre by two o’clock. The ladies of the Anglican ministry were putting on a special cream tea and he could not be late.

The cluttered trees gave way to the rugged open fields of the North Devon wildlands. Undulating fields of dark green, broken by rows of hedges and the occasional windswept tree; dejected and alone amid a sea of grass.  This was a harsh land. Richard felt as if every mile nearer Witherleigh dragged him further backwards in time. He pinged the rubber band around the wrist twice. The change to a simpler life will be good.

‘It’s just what I needed,’ he whispered to himself.

He drove past a long wooden farm fence. A buzzard perched on a fence post sat so still it looked like a wooden carving. The bird flew away disturbed. Richard half-smiled.  He had never seen a bird of prey in flight and was captivated by the effortless majesty of its wings slow movement as it soared into the steel grey sky.

A four-wheel drive beeped loudly. Richard swerved back to his side of the lane, the old cars wheels squelching to a halt in the mud which ran in gulley’s along the side of the road. He let out a deep breath and waved an apology at the red-faced driver who shouted something inaudible as the Range Rover roared past him.

The little white pills were not good for his concentration levels. He shook his head. Perhaps down here he could be rid of them…

***

Welcome To Witherleigh is available to download from kindle on…

amazon.co.uk – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07SVQJ6ZR/ref=rdr_ext_sb_ti_hist_1

amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SVQJ6ZR/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

***

Bio

P.J. Reed, writer of warlocks. Destroyer of worlds.

She is an outrageously eclectic writer. Reed lives in Devon with her two daughters, a rescue dog, and one feral cat called Sammy.

poetry by P.J. Reed

Flicker

Haiku Yellow

Haiku Sun

Haiku Gold

Haiku Ice

Haiku Nation

Website – https://pjreedwriting.wixsite.com/horror

Twitter – https://twitter.com/PJReed_author

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/p.j.reedauthor

***

Many thanks for sharing your opening lines with us today, Pam.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

Coming Soon: The Folville Chronicles Box Set

I’m thrilled to announce that the first three novels in The Folville Chronicles will soon be available as

an eBook Box Set!

The perfect way to binge read the series so far while I’m writing Book 4!

The Outlaw’s Ransom

When potter’s daughter Mathilda is kidnapped by the notorious Folville brothers as punishment for her father’s debts, she must prove her worth in order to win her freedom. With her life in the hands of the most infamous men in England, Mathilda must win the trust of the Folville’s housekeeper, Sarah, and Robert Folville himself if she has any chance of survival.
Never have the teachings gleaned from the tales of Robyn Hode been so useful…

The Winter Outlaw

1329: It is the dead of winter and the notorious Folville brothers are on edge. There are rumours of an unknown outlaw terrorising the Leicestershire countryside. Could this man be Adam Calvin, who is being pursued for a crime he did not commit?
Mathilda of Twyford, newly betrothed to Robert de Folville, believes Adam’s story. But after
an attack on the household’s trusted housekeeper, it falls to Mathilda to work out who can be trusted and who can’t… With the Folvilles’ past about to trip them up, it’s going to take a level head and extreme bravery if Mathilda and Robert are ever going to make it to their Winter Solstice wedding.

Edward’s Outlaw

1330: King Edward III’s England is awash with the corruption and criminal activity that his mother, Queen Isabella had turned a blind eye to- providing it was to her advantage.
Now, having claimed the Crown for his own, Edward is determined to clean up England. Encouraged by his new wife, Philippa of Hainault and her special advisor- a man who knows the noble felons of the countries Midland region very well- King Edward sends a messenger to Roger Wennesley of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire with orders to work with the county sheriff to arrest five of the Folville brothers…including the newly married Robert de Folville.
Robert takes his wife, Mathilda, to Rockingham Castle for her own safety, but no sooner has he left, when a maid is found murdered in the castle’s beautiful guest suite, the Fire Room. The dead girl looks a lot like Mathilda. Was she the target, or is Mathilda de Folville’s life in danger?
Asked to investigate by the sheriff in exchange for him deliberately taking his time in the hunt for her husband, Mathilda soon uncovers far more than murder…a web of carefully laid deception which trails from London, to Derbyshire, and beyond…

***

The Box Set pre-order link will be coming soon!

Information about Book 4 is just around the corner…

Happy reading,

Jennifer

Reintroducing The Outlaw’s Ransom: Coming Soon!

What better way for me to beat my flu bug blues than to announce the imminent arrival of the first story in…

The Folville Chronicles – The Outlaw’s Ransom.

Those of you who have come across my Jenny Kane novel, Romancing Robin Hood, will know that it contains a medieval murder mystery alongside a contemporary romance.

My first bookish outing as Jennifer Ash has taken the medieval part of Romancing Robin Hood and turned it into a standalone novel entitled The Outlaw’s Ransom…just check out this beautiful cover!!

Blurb

When potter’s daughter Mathilda is kidnapped by the notorious Folville brothers as punishment for her father’s debts, she fears for her life. Although of noble birth, the Folvilles are infamous throughout the county for using crime to rule their lands—and for using any means necessary to deliver their distinctive brand of ‘justice’.

Mathilda must prove her worth to the Folvilles in order to win her freedom. To do so, she must go against her instincts and, disguised as the betrothed of Robert de Folville, undertake a mission that will send her to Bakewell in Derbyshire, and the home of Nicholas Coterel, one of the most infamous men in England.

With her life in the hands of more than one dangerous brigand, Mathilda must win the trust of the Folville’s housekeeper, Sarah, and Robert Folville himself if she has any chance of survival.

Never have the teachings gleaned from the tales of Robyn Hode been so useful…

***

Although the story of Mathilda has been updated for The Outlaw’s Ransom, if you’ve already read Romancing Robin Hood, then you will recognise this story already.

So why the new author name? Why not release The Outlaw’s Ransom as Jenny Kane?

The answer is simple- my Jennifer Ash writing is very different from my work as Jenny Kane.

Whereas Jenny Kane writes cosy Sunday afternoon contemporary fiction with a hint of romance, and a feel good factor, Jennifer Ash writes medieval mysteries with an edge of uncertainty- albeit with a hint of romance in the background!

And will there be another Jennifer Ash book?

Yes indeed. A brand new full length medieval mystery called The Winter Outlaw (Book 2 of The Folville Chronicles), will be out this April. Not only that, but a further sequel, Edward’s Outlaw (Book 3 of The Folville Chronicles), will be released at the end of 2018/early 2019. In fact, I’m writing it at this very moment!

So if crime is your thing, if you like medieval mysteries, or even if you have a soft spot for Robin Hood (whose ballads are a favourite of the main protagonists within The Outlaw’s Ransom), then why not give my Jennifer Ash persona a try?

You will be able to buy The Outlaw’s Ransom for your Kindle and as a paperback in early March.

(Please note that The Outlaw’s Ransom is a re-release. It is now published by Littwitz Press- who will also publish the rest of the (brand new) Folville Chronicles.) 

If you like the sound of my Jennifer Ash work, then maybe you’d like to listen to my Robin of Sherwood audio stories. You can check them out here-

https://spitefulpuppet.com/product/the-waterford-boy/    

Mathilda’s Legacy

Happy reading everyone,

Jennifer/Jenny

xx

 

 

Introducing Jennifer Ash and The Outlaw’s Ransom

Jennifer Ash is a new name on the block – but only newish…

She is a historical mystery writer – but with a romantic edge…

On closer questioning Jennifer will admit to a life long love of all things medieval…

Oh…and she loves Robin Hood – a lot.

20160630_135550-1

And yes – she does look a lot like me.

So when I say Jennifer Ash is a new name on the block, what I really mean is that I have another brand new pen name specifically for my historical mysteries – medieval ones to be precise.

Those of you who have come across my Jenny Kane novel, Romancing Robin Hood, will know that story includes a medieval murder mystery alongside a contemporary romance.

My first outing as Jennifer Ash has taken the medieval part of Romancing Robin Hood and turned it into a stand alone novel entitled The Outlaw’s Ransom…just check out this beautiful cover!!

OUTLAWS RANSOM FINAL

 

Blurb

The first in an exciting new series by acclaimed author Jenny Kane writing as Jennifer Ash.

When craftsman’s daughter Mathilda is kidnapped by the notorious Folville brothers, as punishment for her father’s debts, she fears for her life.  Although of noble birth, the Folvilles are infamous throughout the county for disregarding the law – and for using any means necessary to deliver their brand of ‘justice’.

Mathilda must prove her worth to the Folvilles in order to win her freedom. To do so she must go against her instincts and, disguised as the paramour of the enigmatic Robert de Folville, undertake a mission that will take her far from home and put her life in the hands of a dangerous brigand – and that’s just the start of things…

A thrilling tale of medieval mystery and romance – and with a nod to the tales of Robin Hood – The Outlaw’s Ransom is perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and Jean Plaidy.

***

outlaws-ransom-5-star

Although the story of Mathilda has been updated, The Outlaw’s Ransom, if you’ve already read Romancing Robin Hood, then you will recognise this story already.

So why the new name? Why not release The Outlaw’s Ransom as Jenny Kane?

The answer is simple. As my Jennifer Ash work is very different from my Jenny Kane work, my publishers decided that a new persona was required to go with that style shift.

Whereas Jenny Kane writes cosy Sunday afternoon contemporary fiction with a hint of romance, and a feel good factor, Jennifer Ash writes medieval mysteries with an edge of uncertainty- albeit with a hint of romance in the background!

And will there be another Jennifer Ash book?

Yes indeed. A brand new full length medieval mystery called The Winter Outlaw, will be out next year. In fact, I’m writing it at this very moment!

***

outlaws-ransom-pre

So if crime is your thing, if you like medieval mysteries, or even if you have a soft spot for Robin Hood (whose ballads are a favourite of the main protagonists in The Outlaw’s Ransom), then why not give my Jennifer Ash persona a try?

You can pre-order The Outlaw’s Ransom for your Kindle here –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outlaws-Ransom-Jennifer-Ash-ebook/dp/B01LZDKPQM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1475660907&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Outlaw%27s+Ransom+Jennifer+Ash

https://www.amazon.com/Outlaws-Ransom-Jennifer-Ash-ebook/dp/B01LZDKPQM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475660990&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Outlaw%27s+Ransom+Jennifer+Ash

Happy reading everyone,

Jennifer (oh- that felt weird writing Jennifer!)

xx

PS- Jenny Kane is still here – ‘Her’ next novel will be released in April 2017.

PPS – I now have four names badges which I wear, just in case I forget who I am on any given day…

 

 

Accidentally plotting a murder…

The last thing I expected I’d be doing during the drafting of my latest romantic novel, Romancing Robin Hood was plotting my first murder- and yet, that is exactly what I’ve been doing over the past few days.

dagger

Perhaps, with a legendary outlaw in the title, it isn’t so surprising that I have found myself sorting out the finer points of a murder mystery- and yet I didn’t see this coming.

Whenever I begin a new novel, I have plenty of ideas, sketch out a plotline, and cobble together a synopsis, but at the same time I very much like my characters to take hold of the story themselves. I enjoy travelling with them, and being as surprised (hopefully) as my readers will be when they read my finished work.

Although Romancing Robin Hood is a contemporary romance, it also contains a secondary story about a fourteenth century criminal gang- the Folvilles. This family, based in Ashby-Folville in Leicestershire, were a group who I researched in-depth when I was a student many moons ago. Of the lower nobility, they took crime (both violent and otherwise), as a way of life.

My latest novels Fourteenth century protagonist Mathilda, is getting to know the Folville family rather better than she would have liked… (you’ll see!!) As well as living with them, she suddenly finds herself under a very frightening type of suspicion…

history-of-ashby-folville

I must confess, I’m rather enjoying weaving this sub plot around the main romance of the modern part of Romancing Robin Hood.

I had no idea killing someone off could be so much fun!! It’s like doing a jigsaw from in the inside out, while having no idea where the corners are…I’m loving it- but whether you’ll work out who did it before Mathilda does…

I’m hoping not…but we will see…

Happy reading,

Jenny x

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