Over the years I’ve developed something of a reputation for the inclusion of older characters in my contemporary fiction. Without conscious thought on my behalf, I always seem to develop plotlines that involve pensioners – and I love it!

Bert and Mabel in my #MillGrange series are enduringly popular- and Stan in my #Cornish novels has carved a little place for himself in many of my reader’s hearts.

When it came to writing Summer at Sea Glass Cove, I found myself drawn, once again, to an older character – but this time he was not entirely of my own creation.

Arthur – retired fisherman and passionate collector of antique gaming pieces (especially chess pieces)  – was inspired by my daughter, Lucy.

Lucy and I were sharing a scone and coffee moment in a local café, as we often do when she is visiting. I had just written, ‘The End’ on the final novel in #ThePottingShed series, and Lucy asked what I was going to write next. I outlined my idea for Summer at Sea Glass Cove – but at this stage, I only had a plot, locations, and my three lead characters, but I knew it needed another dimension.

My daughter looked at me as if I was crazy – not uncommon – and told me I needed to get an older dynamic because, and I’m quoting Lucy directly here, “you’re really good at doing the oldies, Mum.”

Within minutes – the time it took me to get up and fetch her a second scone – Lucy had invented Arthur, his husband Jeff, and their cat, Shark. And – I have to say – they are my favourite characters in the book. Not just because my daughter helped bring them to life, but because there is something magically endearing about them. As I wrote them onto the pages, I knew they’d be the sort of chaps that would make solid friendships with people of all ages and walks of life.

When Lauren, marine archaeologist, and the novel’s main protagonist, first meets Arthur, she’s in the Museum by the Sea (run by Phil and Sally) –  they are chatting about The Vissen – a wreck that Lauren is currently excavating:


…‘Welcome to the best museum in the county.’ Arthur’s eyes twinkled. ‘Pleased to meet you.’

‘Likewise.’ Lauren returned his generous smile. ‘Sally said you’re a regular here.’

‘Once a week, every week since I was a kid.’


‘Yep. Missed the odd visit when I was at sea, mind.’

‘A fisherman?’

‘Man and boy.’ Arthur brushed down his navy jumper. ‘Was it the top that gave it away? Seen better days but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.’

Lauren laughed. ‘It does give off that sea fisherman vibe. Aren’t you a bit hot though?’

‘My body stopped bothering to keep me warm the second I reached seventy-five. This jumper will see me out.’ He started to chuckle. ‘Unless Jeff throws it away while I’m not looking!’


‘My husband. He hates me wearing something so tatty. When I point out that I’m looking rather tatty myself these days, he rolls his eyes and goes to talk to the cat.’

Phil laughed. ‘I don’t know how he puts up with you.’

‘Nor me.’ Arthur tapped the tray before them. ‘Now then, Lauren, what do you make of this lot?’

Stepping forward, Lauren lowered her coffee cup and looked at the artefacts spread out before her. ‘Gaming counters!’

Arthur’s eyebrows rose so high, they were almost hidden by his navy cap. ‘I’ve not heard those two words spoken with such enthusiasm before.’

Knowing she ought to keep the discovery of the Vissen’s chess pieces to herself, Lauren went to pick up a pawn. ‘May I?’

‘Certainly.’ Exchanging a glance with Arthur, Phil asked, ‘You know about these things, Lauren?’

Cradling the bone pawn in her palm, Lauren admitted that she did, and asked, ‘Where’s this from?’

‘It was washed up on Lyme Bay.’ Arthur picked up another piece. ‘I think this one’s from the same set. Possibly a queen – maybe a bishop. The sea has worn it too much to say for sure. I’d put my pension on it being Tudor though.’

‘Do you know about chess sets then, Arthur?’ Lauren laid the pawn down next to a collection of pottery dice.

Sally burst out laughing. ‘That’s like asking if the Pope reads the Bible.’ …

If you’d like to find out what happens next – and why chess pieces are so important to Lauren and her new friends – you can find Summer at Sea Glass Cove in all good bookshops and online retailers, including:

Amazon UK

Amazon US





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…

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x