I’m interviewing bestselling fellow Accent author Jenny Kane about her Christmas Collection for my Friday Read blog this week.
I’ll let Jenny tell you all about it.
Many thanks for inviting me to visit your wonderful blog today, Karen, to have a Friday Reads chat about my seasonal three novella anthology, Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection. There is something very special about the Christmas season- the extra levels of hope, love and kindness the season engenders make it the perfect time in which to set a romantic story. Writing the three seasonal novellas, that form part of the Another Cup of…series, was tremendous fun.
I swear that when I wrote them all – even though each tale was created in the July preceding its release – I could almost smell the mulled wine. I certainly got into the mood by humming Christmas carols while I wrote. As I write all my stories from the corner of a cafe in my local town, this caused much bemusement and amusement amongst my fellow coffee shop dwellers.
I adore writing in cafes, so it was perhaps inevitable that I’d end up creating an entire series of books centring on a coffee house and its staff and customers. At Christmas time in particular, cafes are a haven of people watching potential. As I sit in my writing corner, I am forever speculating about what might be inside the vast number of shopping bags beneath the tables. I marvel at the speed at which dedicated Christmas gift purchasers arrive, down their drinks, and go!
Frequently, I have no choice but to overhear the simmering discussion’s that are destined to grow into full fledged rows by the time Christmas dinner comes around. Then again, I often smile as I hear parents and grandparents urging their offspring to be good while they grab a much needed five minutes sanctuary from the stress of the season, with mentions of how Father Christmas rewards good children…
Coffee stops are always a mine of inspiration for the writer. Coffee stops at Christmas are a gold mine just waiting to be tapped!
Totally agree, Jenny!
Blurb for the Jenny Kane Christmas Collection-
There is something very special about Christmas…
Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection combines all three seasonal shorts from Jenny’s best-selling Another Cup of … series in one festive anthology.
In ‘Another Cup of Christmas’, we return to Pickwicks Coffee House in London, the setting for Jenny’s bestselling novel Another Cup of Coffee. Together with old friends Kit, Amy, Scott and Peggy, we meet new Pickwicks waitress Megan, who’s in charge of organising a charity event for the local hospital…is romance as well as seasonal goodwill in the air?
‘Christmas in the Cotswolds’ sees Megan, now an established face at Pickwicks, travelling to the beautiful Cotswold countryside after an emergency call from her friend Izzie. Can Megan help Izzie pull off the perfect Christmas at her Arts and Crafts Centre – and save the business from disaster?
Kit Lambert, Pickwicks’ writer-in-residence, takes centre stage in ‘Christmas at the Castle’. Already nervous about appearing at her very first literary festival, in the grounds of a magnificent Scottish castle at Christmas time, Kit suddenly finds herself co-organising the whole thing – and trying to repair old friendships – with the deadline fast approaching…
Another Cup of Christmas was the first festive special to follow on from my bestselling novel, Another Cup of Coffee. (It isn’t necessary to have read the first novel to enjoy the Christmas stories.)
Another Cup of Christmas is set five years after the first story of life, love and friendship in and around Pickwicks Coffee House in Richmond, London. Café owners Peggy and Scott and their waitress Megan, are organising a Christmas fundraising auction for the local hospital to thank them for all the help they gave Scott after he was involved in a traffic accident
So, rather than simply serving copious amounts of coffee to Pickwicks’ writer in residence, Kit, as she writes away in the corner of the cafe, Megan is spending most of her days emailing, Nick, the hospital liaison clerk about the charity event. As the auction draws nearer, Megan becomes more and more curious about meeting Nick in person…
Here’s how Another Cup of Christmas begins…
Having politely escaped her third ‘So what are you doing for Christmas?’ conversation of the day, Megan Johnson was retreating back to the counter when she spotted Pickwicks’ most regular customer sit up from her work and brush a stray red hair from her eyes.
Knowing it had been at least half an hour since Kit’s caffeine addiction had been attended to, the waitress swiped up the percolator jug and headed in her direction.
Without bothering to ask if it was required, Megan poured the steaming liquid with practised care, before taking advantage of the lull in Christmas shopping trade, and sitting down opposite her friend. ‘Going OK?’
Swivelling the laptop round to face Megan, Kit rubbed the back of her neck, ‘I’m sure I’ve missed something. What do you think?’
Pickwicks Festive Fundraiser!
Spoil Yourself With An Afternoon of Pickwicks’ Finest Festive Fare.
In Aid of the Royal Free Hospital’s Spinal Ward.
Saturday 22nd December from 2pm.
Deluxe Buffet And Festive Fundraising Fun!
Tickets are ONLY £25 per person
Don’t miss out!
Book your place at Pickwicks Coffee Shop, Richmond – NOW!!
Megan scanned the poster. ‘Oh, that’s fabulous! I thought you were writing your latest novel.’
‘To tell you the truth, that’s exactly what I should be doing, but Peggy asked me to do some publicity for the fundraiser and I thought I’d better get on with it. Time seems to be dissolving. It’ll be the 22nd before we know it.’
‘I know what you mean.’ Megan started to collect the dishes left by a couple who’d just vacated a nearby table. ‘The next three weeks are going to fly by.’
‘Two and a half weeks!’
‘Oh, hell! Really?’
‘That’s why I want to get these done; otherwise everyone will be too booked up with their own celebrations to have time to come.’ Gesturing towards the kitchen, Kit asked, ‘How’s Scott doing out there, or shouldn’t I ask?’
Megan’s permanent smile widened further across her lightly freckled face. ‘He’s amazing. I have no idea how he does it. The temperature in that kitchen is tropical, and yet Scott’s still beaming that massive toothy grin of his. I’m seriously beginning to think he is physically unable to stop cooking! Surely he must have pre-prepared as much as he can for the fundraiser by now?’
Kit nodded. ‘He probably has, but Peggy is getting paranoid there won’t be enough food.’ Glancing around, checking that Megan wasn’t needed by a customer for a moment, Kit pointed to a fresh pile of abandoned cups. ‘If I clear those, will you have a proper read of the poster? I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious but I can’t put my finger on it?’
Kit was already standing up and taking a tray from Megan’s hands before the waitress said, ‘On one condition.’
‘I can check my emails? I’m supposed to be liaising with the hospital about this for Peggy, but we’ve been so busy over the last few days I haven’t had time to see if Nick has got back to me about how many of the ward staff are coming.’
Megan silently cursed her inability to prevent the involuntary warm pink blush that hit her pale cheeks, ‘Yeah, he’s the admin guy for the ward that cared for Scott after his accident.’
‘Nice, is he?’ Kit gently teased the petite blonde waitress, wondering, not for the first time, why someone as kind and pretty as Megan hadn’t been snapped up years ago.
‘I’ve never met him, but he seems friendly. Well, he does via email and over the phone at least.’
‘You’ve spoken to him then?’
‘There are loads of things to sort out.’ Megan, knowing that the crush she’d developed on Nick’s Irish accent was utterly ridiculous, turned her full attention to the poster on the screen before her…
I hope you enjoyed that little festive taster!
I certainly did, Jenny!
All three of my seasonal novellas, Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds and Christmas at the Castle, can be read in isolation, or in order. They can be purchased as separate downloads, together, within Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection.
And if you love reading them as much as I loved writing them, then you could finish off the series, by searching out the final tale in the series, Another Glass of Champagne.
A full length novel, Another Glass of Champagne, brings big changes for all of the Pickwicks team- especially Jack and Amy…
Jenny Kane is the author of Abi’s Neighbour, (Accent Press, 2017), Another Glass of Champagne, (Accent Press, 2016), the bestselling novel Abi’s House (Accent Press, 2015), the bestselling novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and its novella length sequels 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)
Jenny also writes medieval crime under the name, Jennifer Ash.
Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.
Many thanks again for letting me visit today.
It’s a pleasure, Jenny. xx
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