A Cornish Coincidence
I’m delighted to be back here, on the wonderful Family Lifestyle Cornwall, blog, as part of my blog tour for A Cornish Wedding (previously known as Abi’s Neighbour).
A follow on story to, A Cornish Escape, A Cornish Wedding takes you on an adventure of friendship, romance and cream teas in the Penwith region of Cornwall.
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?
I was inspired to set Abi Carter’s new life (which begins in A Cornish Escape), in the Sennen Cove/Penzance area of Cornwall for two main reasons.
The first is that my father is Cornish. Consequently, I spent every childhood holiday in and around his home town of Penzance, and so I know the area very well indeed. From a tin mining family, my Grandad followed in his father’s footsteps until after the war, when he began a butcher. My Nan, also from a mining family, ran a lodging and guest house in Penzance.
The second reason I sent Abi to Penwith is that – having learnt of a series of coincidences that link my family to the very tip of Cornwall– I wanted to add another one!
Fifty years ago this year, on the 28th April, my parents met in the tiny harbour village of Mousehole, Cornwall. My mum was there on a geography field trip as part of a teacher training course she taking in Cheltenham, and my dad was there because he and his workmates liked the pub.
Twenty-one years ago this year, on the 28th April- exactly fifty years later- my eldest child was born.
OK- so that is a coincidence; but there isn’t too much Cornish about it.
That is, until you add this into the equation.
Seventy-four years ago, my mum’s parents were on their honeymoon. In Penzance. They stayed in a guest house on a street called Alma Place. Two doors away there was another guest house. Now that guest house was the very one I mentioned above; run by my Nan. Which means that my two year old father was running around in their guest house garden – with only one house dividing him from where his future in-laws were having their honeymoon.
You can see why then, that when I decided to write a story about a young widow escaping from a life she hated, I should give her a new start somewhere which held happy childhood reminisces for her. It just so happens that Abi Carter’s childhood memories are – not just entwined with my own – but with my families.
The house she dreams of finding in Abi’s House, is a house I fell in love with as a child.
The places Abi and her friend Beth eat fish and chips, the beach she has ice creams on, the walks she goes on – even the dog Abi encounters – they are all as real to me as the keyboard on which I’m typing this blog.
No such thing as coincidence? Cornwall doesn’t seem to agree!
Here’s a short extract from the novel… (Abi’s best friend Beth- and her partner, potter, Jacob- are looking for a new studio…)
Beth slipped the last of the completed school reports into her bag, and smiled across the kitchen table to where Jacob sat with his laptop, ordering a new range of glazes for his ceramics business.
‘Have you decided which of your pots you’re going to exhibit in the gallery in August?’
‘I think so.’ Jacob glanced up from the screen. ‘That’s why I want these new glazes. I thought I’d try a few new colour schemes, with a slightly different style, and see if the tourists go for them. Although,’ he lifted up the collection of estate agents’ particulars he had on the table next to him, ‘if I can’t find a new studio soon, then they’ll be the last new pieces for a while. I’m going to have to work like stink in order to build up enough stock to tide us over if I can’t find anywhere new by October.’
Beth couldn’t help feeling guilty. If it hadn’t been for her, then Jacob wouldn’t have been hunting for a new studio in the first place.
Almost a year ago Beth, with Abi’s help, had turned the cobbler’s shop she’d inherited from her grandfather into the Art and Sole gallery. Jacob had taken up her invitation to be the first visiting artist for her new enterprise, and it had been lust at first sight. A feeling that had resulted in Jacob never managing to go home for more than a change of clothes. Their lust had quickly grown into a love that had shocked them both with its arrival. He’d been happy potting away at his current place in Hayle for years, building up a stock of stunning ceramics, before that wonderful, fateful day.
‘You OK, Beth?’ Jacob reached a hand across the table. ‘I wasn’t complaining about having to move the studio, it’s just proving a bit harder to find something suitable than I thought it would.’
‘Are you sure you don’t mind? I feel bad about you having to leave your lovely studio because of me.’
‘It isn’t because of you, it’s because the drive to work during the tourist season is a nightmare. Anyway, now I’ve given up my home over there, it seems mad to commute to Hayle if I don’t have to.’
Beth pointed at the studio specs on the table. ‘Any of those any good?’
‘One of them is possible. It’s in St Just, which makes it handy distance-wise. I thought I’d go and see it tomorrow.’ Jacob pushed the relevant paperwork across the table and went to the fridge to get them both a bottle of lager.
Beth read the specs carefully. ‘It looks lovely, but isn’t it a bit small on the storage side?’
‘It would be a bit of a squeeze if I made the volume of stuff I do now, but I thought, if you didn’t mind, that I could keep any overflow in the gallery store downstairs.’
‘Of course you could. You could always display your work in the gallery full-time, you know.’
Jacob sighed in his girlfriend’s direction; they’d had this discussion more times than he cared to remember. ‘Beth, the whole point of your gallery is that Abi works there all the time, so that people can see an artist in action, and then, on the other side of the gallery, you have a turnover of fresh art each month. If my stuff was always there, that freshness would be lost, and people wouldn’t come back every four weeks to see what treasures you have for sale this time.’
‘I guess you’re right. Abi tells me we’ve started to get regular visitors who always nip by to see what’s new.’ Beth took a swig of lager. ‘Talking of which, when I was checking the schedule of who was booked to come over the next six months, I noticed you’ve already nabbed August for next year. The main month of the season!’
‘Perk of the gallery manager being one of my best friends – and of sleeping with the boss!’ Jacob shut down his laptop. ‘Talking of which,’ he put down his bottle, ‘I think it’s time I reminded myself of just how good your lips taste…’
If you’d like to buy A Cornish Wedding (which can be read as a standalone novel or after A Cornish Escape), then you can buy it from all good bookshops and online retailers, including – mybook.to/CornishWedding
Happy reading everyone.
I hope you enjoy the rest of my blog tour.
‘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. (www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk)
All of Jennifer Ash’s and Jenny Kane’s news can be found at www.jennykane.co.uk
Jennifer Ash https://www.facebook.com/jenniferashhistorical/