I interviewed fellow Accent Press author Jenny Kane last year (interview here) and it’s a great pleasure to welcome the lovely Jenny back to my blog again today to tell us about her new novel Another Glass of Champagne.
Congratulations on release, Jenny!
From Coffee to Champagne
by Jenny Kane
This month I am celebrating the release of Another Glass of Champagne, the final instalment of my Another Cup of…series.
Following on from the novel, Another Cup of Coffee, and its seasonal Christmas novella length sequels, Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds, and Christmas at the Castle– Another Glass of Champagne tells the story of the continuing journey of friendship through life’s adventures, for coffee shop friends, Amy, Jack, Kit and their friends.
A warm-hearted, contemporary tale about a group of friends living in a small corner of busy London, by bestselling author Jenny Kane.
Fortysomething Amy is shocked and delighted to discover she s expecting a baby not to mention terrified! Amy wants best friend Jack to be godfather, but he hasn’t been heard from in months. When Jack finally reappears, he s full of good intentions but his new business plan could spell disaster for the beloved Pickwicks Coffee Shop, and ruin a number of old friendships…
Meanwhile his love life is as complicated as ever and yet when he swears off men for good, Jack meets someone who makes him rethink his priorities…but is it too late for a fresh start?
Author Kit has problems of her own: just when her career has started to take off, she finds herself unable to write and there s a deadline looming, plus two headstrong kids to see through their difficult teenage years…will she be able to cope?
Based around the pivot of Pickwicks Coffee House, Another Glass of Champagne, like its predecessors, has coffee featuring as much as a character as the people themselves. For it is while Amy, Kit, Jack, Peggy, Megan and their friends are clustered around the tables of Pickwicks, their hands wrapped around a steaming cup of coffee, that life is discussed, laughed over, cried over, and problems resolved.
Well, I say coffee- but this time around, the coffee obsessed Amy is heavily pregnant and the smell of coffee is making her nauseous…When Jack finally catches up with Amy after a long absence, he can’t decide what shocks him most, seeing that his best friend is pregnant, or that she isn’t drinking coffee!
Amy squinted into the sunshine. It wasn’t the first time she’d thought she’d seen Jack when he wasn’t there. In those long days of getting over him as a boyfriend, she’d seen him everywhere she looked. Somehow his features had been reflected in every male face, his words in every song she heard; his voice echoed in every place she’d visited.
She was seeing things now because she’d been thinking about Jack a lot lately, worrying about how he was. Hoping to talk to him about her fears about becoming a mother so late in the day. Fears she hadn’t even confessed to Paul. It’s your addled pregnant woman’s brain playing tricks on you, girl. Or was it? She stopped dead.
Hang on a minute. Jack?
Amy’s smile mirrored the feeling that started in her heart and filled her from top to toe.
Dropping her shopping, she called out to him, opening her arms wide in welcome. ‘If you want this to be like the movies, you’ll have to be the one to run to me. I can’t: whales don’t run!’
Grateful for the ice breaker, her grin contagious, Jack dashed forward and wrapped Amy in a gentle cuddle, scared to squeeze her too tightly. ‘It is so good to see you!’
‘You too.’ Amy held him briefly, before abruptly drawing back and giving him a sharp clout around the ear. ‘Where the bloody hell have you been?’
Dumping Amy’s shopping bags on the kitchen table, Jack apologised for the third time in as many minutes for not having been in touch.
‘I get it, Jack. You’ve said you’re sorry for the lack of contact. You haven’t told me why yet, though. I know you’ll have your reasons, and as far as you’re concerned they’ll be good reasons, even if no one else would think so. But what are they?’
Amy automatically put the kettle on as she signalled for Jack to sit at the table.
‘You’ll understand though, won’t you?’
Amy nodded her head ruefully. ‘Probably. But then I’ve always been an idiot where you’re concerned, Jack Brown.’
Resting her back against the kitchen sink, she regarded him carefully. ‘I was worried about you. So was Kit. What did she say when you saw her?’
‘I haven’t seen her yet. I only just got back.’ Amy tried not to feel pleased that he’d come to see her first, and failed. ‘Coffee, I assume? Do you still have it the same way?’
‘Yes please, and yes.’ Jack looked around him. The kitchen had changed since he’d last been there. It was no longer painted stark white, but a warm cream colour. It was then that he picked up the faint aroma of fresh paint. ‘You’ve been decorating?’
‘Why? This place was lovely as it was.’ ‘Oh, I can’t think!’
Amy couldn’t prevent the sarcasm escaping from her lips. ‘Could it be because Paul and I want our child to live in a house that is clean and fresh, with a perfect room of its own, adapted especially for his or her needs?’
Passing Jack his coffee and putting her own mug down in front of her, Amy slid into a seat as gracefully as her current size would allow. Seeing the shocked expression on her friend’s face, Amy spoke more gently. ‘Honestly, Jack! We haven’t all been stuck in a timewarp waiting for when you came back. Life carries on, even when you aren’t here to help it along. Whether you like it or not, things change.’
Silent for a second, Jack pointed at Amy’s cup. ‘Like you not drinking coffee. What the hell is that stuff?’
‘Fruit tea. Cranberry and orange, to be precise.’
Jack couldn’t help but laugh. ‘I never thought I’d see the day.’
‘You only got a coffee for old times’ sake. I can’t even stand the smell right now, and I can’t drink it at all. Makes me feel awful. It’s quite common to go off coffee in pregnancy, apparently.’
‘That must be a nightmare for you! I’ve never known you have anything other than coffee or the occasional hot chocolate. Certainly never tea.’ Jack pulled his mug as far away from her as he could, and put his hand over the top, as if to protect her from its delicious aroma.
Appreciating the gesture, Amy said, ‘You aren’t kidding. I mostly have cold drinks, but sometimes I crave a warm one. Hot chocolate is out because it gives me and the bump indigestion.’
Jack, who Amy noticed had been avoiding looking at her swollen belly, swallowed carefully, ‘So when is it due then?’
‘My baby is due on the twenty-sixth of August.’ Jack almost choked on his coffee.
‘Blimey, that’s ages yet. I mean, you’re so big I thought it must be sooner, and … Ouch!’
He drew his leg up and hugged it. ‘You kicked me!’
‘Yes, I bloody well did! I am not that big. I’m actually quite small for someone seven-ish months gone, so less of the cheek. Now, enough small talk. Where the hell have you been, and why the radio silence?’…
Although Amy is off coffee, and her pregnancy prohibits more than the odd sip of alcohol, as the group of friends reunite after Jack’s absence, they discover they all have far more to celebrate than they’d imagined. Before long the coffee cups are replaced by champagne glasses. However, there are a few obstacles to overcome before the champagne corks can actually be popped…
If you would like to find out how the Pickwicks crew tackle the joys and woes of life in their early forties, then you can buy Another Glass of Champagne in paperback or e-Format from all good bookshops and online retailers, including-
Many thanks for letting me visit today,
Jenny spends a large part of her time in the cafe’s of Mid Devon, where she creates her stories, including the novels Another Glass of Champagne, (Accent Press, 2016), Abi’s House (Accent Press, June 2015), Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and the novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds, (Accent Press, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle, (Accent Press, 2015).
Her next full length novel, Abi’s Neighbour, will be published by Accent Press in Summer 2017. She is also working on a short historical novel, which will be published in November 2016.
Jenny Kane 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).
Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog for more details.
Jenny’s Facebook page
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Thanks so much for sharing your new release, Jenny. I can sympathise with your heroine, Amy. When I was pregnant I couldn’t abide even the smell of tea – and it’s absolutely my favourite drink!
Best wishes on publication!
If you’ve enjoyed Jenny’s post, or have any questions or comments at all, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!