It’s always a pleasure to hand over the keys to the blog to Jenny Kane – not only is she one of the hardest working authors I know, she also does almost all of the work for me! Today I’m welcoming her as my guest on the second day of the blog tour for her latest romance, A Cornish Wedding, published yesterday by Headline Accent. A gorgeous cover again, eh? Here’s Jenny to tell us more… a post she called “With Love to my Grandparents”…
Many thanks for joining me on Day 2 of my A Cornish Wedding #blogtour, and to Anne for hosting me.
The two novel Abi Carter series (A Cornish Escape and A Cornish Wedding – previously known as Abi’s House and Abi’s Neighbour), is dedicated to my grandparents. All four of them were an inspiration to me as I grew up, and prior to writing A Cornish Escape, I had long wanted to write a book that included them in some way.
Set in the Sennen Cove area of Cornwall, the two part adventure of Abi Carter, has provided me with such an outlet.
My maternal grandparents lived in Buckinghamshire. My Nan was the life and soul of the local WI, and my Grandad was the local cobbler.
In Abi Carter’s Sennen, her best friend Beth owns an art gallery that was once her much loved grandfather’s cobbler’s shop. An art gallery which is appropriately called Art and Sole.
A Cornish Wedding introduces the character of Dora Henry into the lives of Abi and her friends. The life and soul of the local sheltered housing development; Dora is the youngest octogenarian in town! And boy has she got a story or two to tell… just like my Nan did.
My paternal grandparents lived in Cornwall. My father was born and raised in Penzance, only a few miles from Sennen. Most of my childhood summer holidays were spent in the region. My family would stay with my Cornish Nan (who ran a lodging house), and my Grandad (who was a butcher in Penzance’s long forgotten International Supermarket). My Grandad was the son of a tin miner – just like Stan Abbey in my novels.
Stan is the owner of Abbey’s House – the home that Abi Carter’s parents used to joke should be called Abi’s House.
Oh – and my Buckinghamshire Grandad had a Labrador/Retriever cross called Brandy. I loved that dog so much. There was no way I could leave him out of the story – and so I introduced Sadie, a four legged companion for Stan.
A Cornish Escape was written as a private thank you to my much missed grandparents. I never imagined that I’d have the chance to write a follow up novel. In A Cornish Wedding, I have tried to keep faithful to their memory – and to write the sort of story that both my Nan’s would have liked to read themselves. Something full of friendship and adventure, with some love- but nothing too sugary!
I can hear my Nan now- ‘Don’t you go and write anything too soppy.’
As if I would!
Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Heidi Swain and Milly Johnson, A Cornish Wedding is the best kind of summer escape.
Abi has what she’s always dreamed of: her perfect Cornish cottage, great friends and a gorgeous boyfriend. But her idyll is shattered when a new neighbour moves in next door.
Rude and obnoxious, Cassandra doesn’t make a good first impression on Abi. But with the unexpected wedding of one of Abi’s friends to prepare for, Abi has bigger things to worry about.
However, avoiding her new neighbour proves harder than expected and Abi and Cassandra soon realise they might have more in common than they first thought. . .
But with the wedding only weeks away, can they set aside their differences before the big day?
Here’s an extract which introduces you to my favourite character from A Cornish Wedding – Dora. I aspire to be like Dora when I grow up!
…As the front door opened, Sadie pushed her nose against her former owner’s legs, and Stan beamed his ever-ready smile at his visitors as he affectionately ruffled the golden retriever’s fur. ‘How are two of my favourite girls then?’
‘Well, Sadie here is just fine.’ Abi unfastened Sadie’s lead and followed Stan through the hallway into his small open-plan living and dining room.
‘But I’m…’ About to tell Stan about her new neighbour, Abi abruptly stopped talking as she realised they weren’t alone.
Stan’s grin became even broader, as he turned from Abi to the lady on the sofa, and back again. ‘Dora, may I introduce you to my very dear friend, Abi Carter. Abi, this is Dora Henry. And this beautiful creature is Sadie.’
Temporarily silent, Abi quickly came to her senses. ‘Hello, Dora, I’m very pleased to meet you. You’re Stan’s bridge partner, isn’t that right?’
‘I’m a bit more than that, I hope.’ Dora winked at Stan, and Abi felt discomfort ripple up her spine as she noticed that the table was laid for three and not two as usual.
Abi was spared from saying anything for a moment, as Dora said, ‘I’ve heard so much about you. I’ve been dying to meet you. I hope you’re OK with me gatecrashing your dinner?’
‘Of course!’ Abi wasn’t sure if she minded or not, but her inbuilt politeness had automatically engaged, and anyway, she wouldn’t want to upset Stan for the world. Right now he was looking more proud than she’d ever seen him. ‘I’ve heard plenty about you, too. I believe you’re the terror of the bridge club!’
‘Dora is something of a card shark,’ Stan said with a twinkle in his eye. Dora laughed. ‘I shall overlook that dubious accusation, seeing as you’re being so generous as to feed me, Stanley Abbey.’
Then, speaking more seriously, she said, ‘I’m very pleased to meet you, Abi, but if you object to me stealing some of your alone time with Stan, then I’m more than happy to disappear.’
‘Not at all.’ Abi found her natural curiosity kicking in about this small, elegant woman in Stan’s living room. ‘Shall I put the kettle on, Stan?’
‘It’s already on, Abi my girl. I tell you what, I’ll leave you two chatting, and I’ll make the tea and get Sadie some water.’
Watching Stan disappear into the kitchen, Abi sat next to Dora. ‘I’m pleased to have the chance to meet some of Stan’s friends.’
‘As am I.’ Dora focused her pale green eyes on Abi kindly. ‘Stan always keeps you all to himself. He’s very protective of you, Abi.’
Abi’s initial disquiet at Dora’s presence eased as Dora received the Sadie seal of approval. The dog, as if sensing Abi needed reassurance, padded across the room, and placed her chin on a delighted Dora’s knees.
‘You, my lovely,’ Dora stroked the retriever’s golden back, ‘are also at the top of Stan’s list to talk about. And who can blame him? Not many blokes his age have two beautiful females as regular visitors.’
Abi wasn’t sure what to say as she looked at Dora, who, although almost as old as Stan himself, retained the air of a classic beauty. The tone of her words was gentle, and Abi detected no sarcasm or jealousy, but there was something… something Abi couldn’t put her finger on, that was hanging unsaid in the air. Deciding she was being ridiculous, Abi asked, ‘How long have you been living at Chalk Towers, Dora?’
‘Five years this coming Christmas.’ Dora’s warm smile lit up her eyes as Stan walked about in with a tray of tea, and the unease Abi had felt instantly returned.
They aren’t… are they? Hoping she was letting her imagination run away with her, Abi stuck firmly to small talk. ‘Do you like it here?’
‘I love it.’
With one eye on Stan as he sat down and served the tea, knowing he would never have invited Dora to join them if he wasn’t very fond of her, Abi said, ‘I take it Stan has told you how I ended up living in his house?’
‘It’s your house now, Abi.’ Stan passed her a mug.
‘True – but it took ages before I stopped feeling like I’d evicted you.’
Stan regarded his young friend. ‘I’ve said it before, and no doubt I’ll have to say it again, but this is the best thing I’ve done in years. I was so lost after my Mary passed away. You did me a favour, Abi, coming along when you did.’
Abi squeezed his hand, and passed a cup and saucer to Dora. ‘Do you take sugar?’
‘She’s sweet enough without!’ Stan said.
Abi was about to laugh at the old cliché, but the expression on Dora’s face stopped her. There was no doubt about it – her suspicions had been correct…
If you’d like to read on, then you can buy A Cornish Escape from all good retailers, including Amazon – here’s the universal buy link.
Happy reading everyone. I hope you enjoy all the stops on my tour.
Yes, I think I’d rather like Dora too – thank you Jenny, and wishing you every success with this one!
About the author
‘I love Jenny Kane’s writing.’ Katie Fforde
From the comfort of her cafe corner in Mid Devon, award winning author, Jenny Kane, wrote the contemporary women’s fiction and romance novels, A Cornish Escape (2nd edition, HeadlineAccent, 2020), A Cornish Wedding (2nd edition, HeadlineAccent, 2020), Romancing Robin Hood (2nd edition, Littwitz Press, 2018), Another Glass of Champagne (Accent Press, 2016), and Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013).
She has also written 3 novella length sequels to her Another Cup of… books: Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle(Accent, 2016). These three seasonal specials are now available in one boxed set entitled Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection (Accent, 2016)
Jenny is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015)
Under the pen name, Jennifer Ash, Jenny has also written The Folville Chronicles (The Outlaw’s Ransom, The Winter Outlaw, Edward’s Outlaw – published by Littwitz Press), The Power of Three(Spiteful Puppet, 2020) and The Meeting Place (Spiteful Puppet, 2019). She also created four audio scripts for ITV’s popular 1980’s television show, Robin of Sherwood.
The Waterford Boy, Mathilda’s Legacy, The Baron’s Daughter and The Meeting Place were released by Spiteful Puppet in 2017/2018/2019.
Jenny Kane is the writer in residence for Tiverton Costa in Devon. She also co-runs the creative writing business, Imagine. Jenny teaches a wide range of creative writing workshops including her popular ‘Novel in a Year’ course.
All of Jennifer Ash’s and Jenny Kane’s news can be found at www.jennykane.co.uk.