Ms. Jenny Kane is here today to talk about friendships and how the heroine of her new book realized what she could gain from healthy friendships. Jenny?
Many thanks for hosting the fourth day of Abi’s House blog tour!
Newly widowed at barely thirty, Abi Carter is desperate to escape the Stepford Wives-style life that Luke, her late husband, had been so keen for her to live.
Abi decides to fulfil a lifelong dream. As a child on holiday in a Cornwall as a child she fell in love with a cottage – the prophetically named Abbey’s House. Now she is going to see if she can find the place again, relive the happy memories…maybe even buy a place of her own nearby?
On impulse Abi sets off to Cornwall, where a chance meeting in a village pub brings new friends Beth and Max into her life. Beth, like Abi, has a life-changing decision to make. Max, Beth’s best mate, is new to the village. He soon helps Abi track down the house of her dreams…but things aren’t quite that simple. There’s the complicated life Abi left behind, including her late husband’s brother, Simon – a man with more than friendship on his mind… Will Abi’s house remain a dream, or will the bricks and mortar become a reality?
The friendships Abi makes with Beth and Max, after she meets Max quite by chance in the local pub, are life changing. Suddenly, against the backdrop of beautiful Cornish scenery, Abi has a chance to visit new places, have new experiences, take control of her life and, most important of all, follow her childhood dream and search out Abbey’s House. And for once in her life, she doesn’t have to chase her dreams alone.
The arrival of lunchtime menus on their tables made both girls simultaneously check their watches.
‘Good heavens!’ Abi couldn’t believe it. ‘It’s twelve already. We’ve been chatting for two hours!’
It had been years since she’d had a proper conversation like that. A broad grin crossed Abi’s face as she allowed herself to accept that she was already making new friends here. It was more than she’d dared to hope for.
Over their empty coffee cups, Abi had heard all about Beth’s grandfather and the consequential lack of relationship opportunities beyond the occasional brief physical liaison since she’d moved in with him seven years ago. Beth had explained about how she’d not been able to face emptying the old cobbler’s shop he’d left to her, but now she knew she couldn’t put off making a decision about the property’s future any more, she was torn between running it herself, or leasing the premises to someone else.
In return Abi had told Beth about how suffocated the business wives Luke had so approved of made her feel, and how their disapproval of her working and not just being the perfect wife had worn her down. Then, when Luke had died, the wives’ inability to accept that Abi could look after herself, along with the attitude of Luke’s family, had started to drive her mad.
‘And that’s why you came to Cornwall? To escape the Carter family and the wives of the county set?’
‘That, and because I’ve always wanted to live here, ever since I was little.’
‘Since you fell in love with Abbey’s House?’
‘Yes.’ Not wanting to add that she also wanted to move far enough away from her old life as possible so she could escape, not only the ghost of being Luke’s wife, but also to make some friends that had never met him, and hadn’t known what she was like when she was with him. ‘I guess it sounds a bit strange. Of all the places I could have decided to live, and I could literally go anywhere, that I have come here. But it just felt so much like the right thing to do.’
‘Do you really have no idea where the house is?’
‘To be honest, if my brother hadn’t found an old photograph of it for me I’d have thought I’d been imagining Abbey’s House. I haven’t seen it since I was eight years old.’
‘What happened after you were eight?’
‘My father was promoted and we could afford to take holidays abroad. I was very lucky, I saw a great deal of the world, but nowhere’s stayed in my heart like Cornwall has.’
Beth drained the dregs of her cold coffee. ‘I don’t suppose you have the photograph on you?’
‘Stupidly I’ve left it in the hotel. I meant to bring it, but, well, to be honest I was a bit nervous about meeting you today. It might have looked a bit pushy if I’d brought it with me.’
Beth grinned. ‘To tell you the truth, I was nervous as well. It’s been a long time since I had a female friend.’
‘I’ve always preferred male company. Women can be so darn catty. I don’t have the time or the patience for it.’
Abi laughed. ‘I can’t argue with that!’
‘So, it’s called Abbey’s House?’ Beth looked thoughtful. ‘I can’t say it’s a name I recognise off the top of my head, but I might when I see it.’
‘Maybe if it hadn’t been called Abbey’s House I wouldn’t have had a connection with it. A silly childhood ideal, perhaps. I always wondered if there was an old abbey or monastery around here that it was named after.
‘More likely to be a family name. Maybe the Abbeys were a tin mining family or something? It could be worth having a dig into the local archives at the library.’
‘That’s a great idea, thanks, Beth.’ Abi’s confidence rose a notch as she watched a group of holidaymakers passed the window, ‘I remember the house being at the end of a short row of houses. Terraced, stone built, and painted a creamy white colour. Although you can’t see it in the photograph I’ve got, I’m fairly sure that when I was sat on my father’s shoulders I could see the sea, but when I was stood on the pavement I couldn’t see it, although I could hear it and smell the salty air.’
‘Which probably means that it has sea views from upstairs, but not from the ground floor. That would place Abbey’s House somewhere up the side of slope that forms the village, not at the bottom, nor the top. So I guess that narrows the hunt a little,’ Beth smiled.
‘I really should have brought the photo.’
‘Never mind. Why don’t I come back to the hotel with you later and take a peep? You never know, I might recognise it on sight.’
‘Are you sure? That would be great. Thanks, Beth.’
‘So if you find it, are you hoping to see a For Sale sign in the garden?’Abi blushed. ‘If I’m honest, I’d love it, but that might be a miracle too far...’
Thank you, Jenny, for stopping by today! I hope to read more about Abi's new friends and the new life she makes for herself with them to support her.
Title: Abi's House
Author: Jenny Kane
Publisher: Accent Press
Release Date: June 18, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Women's Fiction, Romance
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Jenny Kane is the author of the full length romance novel Abi’s House (Accent Press, 2015), the contemporary romance/medieval crime time slip novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and its novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), and Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014).
Jenny’s fourth full length romance novel, Another Glass of Champagne, will be published in 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 (Coming soon from Hushpuppy).