Welcome to my blog. I am not a very regular blogger, but I try to keep this site updated with news and information. If there's none of the above I may just share my random ruminations.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

ABI'S NEIGHBOUR the new book from Jenny Kane

I don't often host guests on 'Writer Cramped' but today I am delighted to welcome fellow Accent Press author and friend, Jenny Kane, who is on her bog tour telling us all about her great new release, Abi's Neighbour.

 


As well as Abi's Neighbour (Accent Press, 2017), Jenny is the author of 4 further full length romance novels  - Another Glass of Champagne (Accent Press, 2016),  Abi’s House (Accent Press, 2015), the contemporary romance/medieval crime time slip novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), and the best selling contemporary romance novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013). She has also written 2 novella length sequels to the latter - Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle (Accent Press, 2015).



Cassandra comes to Cornwall: Abi’s Neighbour
Jenny Kane

"Thank you for inviting me to come along today to talk about my latest novel, Abi’s Neighbour!

Abi’s Neighbour is the second novel to feature former Surrey resident Abi Carter. In the first book, Abi’s House (which doesn’t have to be read to enjoy Abi’s Neighbour), children’s picture book illustrator Abi, leaves her perfect house in Surrey- complete with perfect neighbours- perfect cars- perfect furniture- and a feeling that she would never ever be good enough to fit in.
            This existence of bossy career wives and inadequacy came to an abrupt end for Abi when her husband, Luke, died suddenly of an over-exercising induced heart attack. Taking her chance, Abi leaves everything behind, and heads south in search of a childhood dream. A house in Cornwall- a house her parents had always joked should be hers because it was called Abbey’s House.
            In Abi’s Neighbour, happily established in a beautiful Cornish end terrace in the village of Sennen, Abi is relaxing into her new life with new friends. All is looking fantastic- until Abi discovers that the life she left behind is about to move in next door..."

Blurb
Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door.
Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max.
But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business.
Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get along?
Complete with sun, sea and a gorgeous Cornwall setting, Abi’s Neighbour is the PERFECT summer escape.

"It is always fun writing a ‘bad guy or gal’. In this case, the baddies come in the form of Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton and her married lover, Justin Smythe.  If they aren’t names to strike terror into the heart of a Stepford Wives escapee, then just one look at Cassandra’s perfect complexion, figure and clothing would do the job!

Cassandra however, has her reasons for being as sharp as a drawer of knives. For a start, she really does not want to be in Cornwall..."


Extract from Abi's Neighbour ~

She’d only come to Sennen in the first place because Justin had been so excited about their new start together. Cassandra had never imagined that start would begin with her hundreds of miles away from her lover, in a clapped out house with none of the comforts and amenities she took for granted in London. Hating how lonely and out of routine she felt, Cassandra abruptly stood up and began to visit each room in the house. The sooner she pulled herself together and got this place habitable, the sooner Justin would put it up for rent, and they could plan a proper future together. 
Telling herself to be realistic, and that it wasn’t that unreasonable that Justin was required to work a weekend so soon after his promotion, Cassandra started to make a list of everything that had to be bought for the house. Quickly feeling better for being productive, she soon realised it was going to be a lengthy list despite the fact there were only two tiny bedrooms, one bathroom, a lounge-diner and a kitchen. Top of the list, she wrote, bed linen. 
An hour later, blindly staring at the Cornish scenery as it disappeared and reappeared between the high hedges that sporadically lined the roads the taxi travelled the long miles to Truro, Cassandra made another list. A private one for her own sanity.  
 1. Call Justin 
2. Rent a car 
3. Find a hairdresser 
  ‘Are you sure you haven’t taken a wrong turn?’ Cassandra addressed the cabbie as she glared at her watch accusingly. ‘This journey seems to be taking for ever.’ 
With the patience of someone used to ferrying unrealistic tourists around, the driver replied with steady practicality, ‘I’ve been driving this route for longer than you’ve been on this earth, me ’andsome. It always takes over an hour to drive to Truro. I’m sure they’d ’ave told ’ee that when ’ee booked the ride.’
 ‘I thought they were joking.’ 
‘This is Cornwall. This is how it is, me ’andsome.’
 Cassandra bit her lip, refraining from sharing her own opinion about Cornwall with a man whose relaxed acceptance was more annoying than if he’d got cross with her for being impatient. ...

*** 

 "Cornwall is going to have its work cut out winning over Cassandra. But perhaps, with the help of her next door neighbour, even that miracle is possible...

Many thanks for hosting me today Gilli. Happy reading, Jenny xx"

It was a great pleasure. I wish Jenny Kane every success with her new book.  Keep your eyes on www.jennykane.co.uk for more details about what she is up to and about her writing career. 
Jenny also writes erotica as Kay Jaybee and historical crime as Jennifer Ash.

Buy links for 'Abi' Neighbour' ~





































Link up with Jenny Kane via ~
Website ....................... www.jennykane.co.uk
Twitter.......................... @JennyKaneAuthor
Facebook ......................https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance?ref=hl  
Amazon Author Page....https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jenny-Kane/e/B00HYZIL1E/
Goodreads.....................https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7255618.Jenny_Kane?from_search=true

Thursday, June 1, 2017

So what are the odds against lightening striking 3 times?!!!!!


I know!  It's almost embarrassing!

As well as the becoming blush, ­čś│  I am deeply indebted to the Chill With A Book Award, its readers and its creator, Pauline Barclay,  for selecting all three of my books for this honour.  What can I say? Thank you thank you thank you!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

They Say that Lightning Doesn't Strike twice.

But it just has! 



I am extremely surprised to report that my book TORN, has won a 'Chill with a Book award'. In itself, this is brilliant news. But what makes it astounding is that LIFE CLASS won the self same award a couple of weeks ago.
I am so grateful to the indefatigable Pauline Barclay, who designed the 'Chill with a Book' website, and who has developed this award.

For the criteria see the post below.   




Thursday, September 29, 2016

LIFE CLASS IS A WINNER

I am absolutely delighted to report that LIFE CLASS has just won the 'Chill With A Book' Award.




To win this award a book has to score top marks with the judges on each of the 5 criteria listed.

1) Were the characters strong and engaging?
2) Was the book well written?
3) Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
4) Was the ending satisfying?
5) Have you told your friends about it?

My thanks go to Pauline Barclay who set up the Chill With A Book site and who established the award, and also to her panel of anonymous judges.




Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Blissfully Romantic Location.

We have just come home from two weeks in Greece.  The unarguable beauty; the warmth; the scents of pine resin, thyme and sage; the continuous swooshing of the sea and the clanking of goats’ bells - and from our vantage point high above it, we even saw a huge turtle swimming up the bay - all combine in a seductive sense memory that I've filed away to be revisited whenever I need a boost.

Our villa is terracotta, halfway up the slope
















Add caption
















By the time it came to leave it was a wrench, not just because we had enjoyed a lovely holiday,  but because we felt we were leaving friends.  Betty and Venettia, the caretakers of our villa, took us on a trip - it was at their own instigation. We prefer not to have a hire car and they were concerned we were missing out. They refused any contribution towards petrol, and collected us and drove us home, despite our insistence that we would get a taxi.

Venettia
Betty














Members of the older generation of the family
The brothers












Dimitris and Christophoros, seemed bafflingly interchangeable, popping up to 'wait' at one or another bar or taverna. We then discovered that many of the eateries are a family concern, and that they are only two of the four brothers and three sisters of the family.

Andreas and Anait run the delightful and invariably excellent Nefeli taverna, with the help of Aleko (or Oleg) at front of house, and many others - including Anait's mum - in the background.

Aleko
Anait with her fianc├ę and business partner, Andreas



The Nefeli












I have to mention Katerina and her daughter, Maria, who run the Minimarket, and their cat Nausicca. (Poor Nausicca was pregnant when we first met her, but by the end of our holiday she had given birth and then lost her first litter of kittens. It is thought they were predated.)
When I went to buy some olive oil made from the olives grown on their own farm, they insisted on giving it to me.

Last but not least, marathon man, Christos. He is the owner of the villa we stayed in and could not have been more charming, enthusiastic, helpful and eager to chat to us - despite his pidgin English, and our, even more pidgin, Greek. Amazingly fit, he had retired as a colonel only four years previously, from a 36 year career in the Greek army, in the paratroop regiment.

Christos and me - enjoying his famous frapp├ę
I can understand why Romance writers choose places like the Greek islands to set their stories.  The location is idyllic, lending itself to languorous glances across a candle-lit dinner table; the balmy evening breeze and the lulling sound of the sea; fragrant evening strolls among the Oleander trees and the Gardenias, but.....

When I am asked if I am a romance writer, I usually disclaim the description, or at least attempt to qualify my kind of fiction. I am not a snob about it - I'm a member of the Romantic Novelists Association after all - but I need to manage the expectations of my potential readers. If someone picks up one of my books wanting to immerse themselves in an escapist world of hearts and flowers, yachts and fast cars, glamorous locations, then they will feel very let down. But, if the reader wants a more down-to-earth story about real people, in real-life situations, then my books might be just what they’re looking for. 

Life is not a fairy tale - most of us, at some time, have to deal with bereavement, marriage, childbirth, infidelity, separation, illness and ... love, in its many facets.  There is the love of parents for children, and vice versa.  There is the love between brothers and sisters. There is love between friends.  Even the love in a relationship, is not always - or only - romantic.  It grows, changes, deepens and sometimes, sadly, fades.  I see love as a part of life, probably THE most important part, but still only a section woven into the plait that makes up our lives. 

So, of course, I write about love, but I don’t just write about its heady and breathless joys. I write about love where it’s gone wrong or dies. I write about the bad consequences of love and sex, as well as its rewards. And I don't deny that locations such as the one I've just left, are very very romantic. I just don't write that kind of book. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

BLUEBELLS




A week or two ago I went for a solitary walk in the woods above our house.  I needed the exercise, but I was going with intent. I knew there would be bluebells. It is a favourite time of year for me, some years better than others. 2016 was a good year, made more enchanting by the fact that the wood anemones, wild garlic and violets were also out at the same time.















In LIFE CLASS, my character Stefan lives in a house on a wooded hillside. So how could I resist including a passing reference to one of my favourite flowers?

Stefan wants, above all things, to concentrate on his career as a sculptor. It is his intention to live as a solitary artist, without the messy demands of love - in any of its incarnations.   The ghosts from his past are his object lesson; love only comes with shame and guilt.

In this section, his mood is understandably depressed. His neighbour, an old lady he helps out with shopping and odd jobs, has died. But more than this, he is continuously troubled by Dominic, the damaged young man currently living with him. Dom has been living dangerously and has put his health at risk.  And now there is a woman, a member of the art class he teaches, who intrudes too often and too disturbingly into his thoughts ... and into his life. How did he find himself in this position? He wanted to keep his life clear of the clutter of the unnecessary emotions that come with caring about other people.

It was cool but bright. As Stefan walked from the house to the barn, he saw a violet haze, wreathed smoke-like beneath the trees. Bluebells plus sunshine should have raised his spirits but, since the death of his neighbour, he’d yet to fully appreciate a lifting of his sense of responsibility. Was it because that weight had been replaced by another burden that touched his emotions far more closely? As he pulled open the barn door he was relieved to see Dom drawing at the table.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Jeff Gardiner visits WRITER CRAMPED

I am pleased to welcome a fellow Accent Press author to my blog.  Hello, Jeff. Thank you for visiting me and telling me all about PICA. It sounds like an enthralling read.

Jeff Gardiner's YA novel, PICA, explores a world of ancient magic, when people and nature shared secret powers. 
Luke hates nature, preferring the excitement of computer games to dull walks in the countryside, but his view of the world around him drastically begins to change when enigmatic loner, Guy, for whom Luke is reluctantly made to feel responsible, shows him some of the secrets that the very planet itself appears to be hiding from modern society.
Set in a very recognisable world of school and the realities of family-life, Luke tumbles into a fascinating world of magic and fantasy where transformations and shifting identities become an escape from the world. Luke gets caught up in an inescapable path that affects his very existence, as the view of the world around him drastically begins to change.





PICA Extract

A magpie (Latin name – Pica pica) has been persistently knocking on Luke’s window, and everywhere he goes he sees magpies. One day he decides to let the magpie in…

As soon as I pushed the window outwards the waiting bird hopped in, making a sound that almost equated to a tut. That can’t be right. I was imagining things again. My first fear that the magpie would squawk and flap about madly was unfounded, but I still felt nervous in its unpredictable presence, and had to keep trusting it wouldn’t poo on my bed. 
But it didn’t. In fact, it acted with excellent manners. What kind of bird was this? Wild birds don’t enter houses after knocking politely. If a bird does accidently get into a house it goes completely mental and craps everywhere. This one looked at me with eyes that gleamed with intelligent understanding. It knew me. I swear, it looked at me and knew I wouldn’t hurt it. In the old days I would have looked for a stick or a weapon. Now things were different, and I stared back at him with utter fascination. I moved even closer, confident I wasn’t in any danger.
‘You need to choose your friends more carefully, Luke.’ 
I stumbled slightly and had to grip the windowsill with my fingertips to hold myself up.
What the –?
The sodding bird had only gone and spoken to me. It snapped its beak, glared at me sideways, then flicked its tail. 
Was that for real, or had I lost the plot? Being with Guy had obviously turned me into a nut-job.
Up to now, I’d witnessed some amazing sights – but they could all be explained in encyclopaedias. However amazing the creatures Guy showed me, each one existed in the real world. But a talking bird? Now we’d suddenly jumped into a different dimension. 
And it had used my name. 
Had Guy sent this amazing bird to me to blow my mind even further?
It had to be Guy’s doing – sent on a crazy mission … unless …
‘Guy?’
Now I felt really stupid talking to a bird. 
‘Hello, Luke.’
Bloody hell. Take me to a padded cell. I’d lost it. Maybe I never had it!
‘Guy? Is that …’ This was crazy. ‘… is that you?’

If, like me, you've been inspired by this tantalsing extract to seek out Jeff's book, you can find PICA at W.H.Smith or at  Barnes & Noble . Of course, it can also be purchased through Amazon - UK, US or Australia