Something different for you all today! I am absolutely delighted to welcome author Jennifer Ash, also known as Jenny Kane, as my guest on Curled up with a good book. Today is day three of Jenny’s Blog Tour for her newest book, Edward’s Outlaw which I cannot wait to read (watch out for my review!). Also as a Archaeology student, I’m loving having some historical content!!
So without further ado, over to Jenny!
I’m delighted to be visiting Curled up with a good book today as part of my blog tour for Edward’s Outlaw. This novel, the third in The Folville Chronicles series, takes you into the world of fourteenth century England.
My fascination with this period of time, and ultimately the Folville family from Ashby Folville in Leicestershire, began long before I ever dreamt of being a fiction writer. It began when I fell in love with Robin of Sherwood as a teenager, and grew while I was a trainee medieval historian at Leicester University; specialising in crime and Robin Hood literature.
As part of my research I read literally hundreds of original court rolls, goal delivery rolls and Calendar of the Patent Rolls for the years, 1300-1348. I concentrated my studies on the East Midlands of England – largely because I’m a self confessed Robin Hood obsessive, and wanted to make sure I included not just Nottinghamshire and Sherwood in my research area, but also Leicestershire. In particular, Ashby Folville, the area of Leicestershire, where the Folville family ruled via crime and intimidation throughout the 1320’s and 30’s.
Many of the Folville family deeds reflect the stories of the original Robin Hood ballads so closely that I got to thinking…what if the Robin Hood ballads were inspired by the actions of Robert de Folville and his band of brothers? Or, what if Robert de Folville loved the Robin Hood stories and decided to live his life using the legendary outlaw’s principles as his code of honour?
It was this latter, admittedly whimsical, theory which inspired me to write The Folville Chronicles. So, if you like medieval mysteries steeped in historical reality, but with a touch of Robin Hood-ish values thrown in for good measure, then these are the novels for you!
Although Edward’s Outlaw is Book Three of the series (Book One-The Outlaw’s Ransom; Book Two- The Winter Outlaw), it can be read as a standalone book if preferred.
January 1330: England is awash with corruption. King Edward III has finally claimed the crown from his scheming mother, Queen Isabella, and is determined to clean up his kingdom.
Encouraged by his new wife, Philippa of Hainault, and her special advisor ‑ a man who knows the noble felons of England very well ‑ King Edward sends word to Roger Wennesley of Leicestershire, with orders to arrest the notorious Folville brothers… including the newly married Robert de Folville.
Robert takes his wife, Mathilda, to Rockingham Castle for her own safety, but no sooner has he left than a maid is found murdered. The dead girl looks a lot like Mathilda. Was the maid really the target ‑ or is Mathilda’s life in danger?
Asked to investigate by the county sheriff in exchange for him slowing the hunt for her husband, Mathilda soon uncovers far more than murder… including a web of deception which trails from London, to Derbyshire, and beyond…
The third thrilling instalment in Jennifer Ash’s The Folville Chroniclesseries.
Here’s a snippet from chapter one to whet the appetite…
The sound of a fist hammering at the door to the bedchamber broke through Mathilda’s contented slumber. Slower to react than her husband of just three days, she blinked the sleep from her eyes as Robert de Folville leapt from their bed. Wrapping a cloak around his naked frame, he responded to the urgency of the rapping by flinging the door wide open.
‘Adam, whatever’s wrong?’
Clutching the bedclothes to her chest, Mathilda tried to hear what was so pressing that their steward had had to wake them so unceremoniously. The draught, which shot with cruel enthusiasm through the open doorway of the manor house’s second-best bedchamber, made the new Lady Folville shiver, but not as much as her suspicion that something was wrong.
One look at Robert’s expression as he turned from the door confirmed Mathilda’s fears. ‘Something’s happened.’
Instead of elaborating, he threw open the clothes chest in the corner of the room and began piling garments onto the bed. ‘There is a linen roll under the bed; could you fetch it?’
Recognising the determined set of her husband’s face, Matilda hooked a layer of bed linen around her shoulders and dragged a bundle of bound material from beneath the bed. ‘You’re packing?’
‘We’re packing.’ Robert stopped moving as fast as he’d started and beckoned her to his side. ‘I’m so sorry, Mathilda. This isn’t the start to married life I’d imagined for us.’
Engulfed in his arms, relishing the closeness of his flesh, Mathilda concentrated on remaining calm. ‘What do you mean?’
‘We have to go away for a while.’
He stroked a hand through her wavy hair, teasing out the stubborn red tangles that had formed overnight. Even through the tenderness of the gesture, Mathilda could feel the tension rising in him. ‘Away?’
‘I’ll explain while we pack.’ Robert produced another roll from beneath the bed. ‘Separately.’
Determined not to neither shout nor give in to the tears that unhelpfully threatened to escape from the corner of her eyes, Mathilda spoke firmly. ‘Husband, the road to our marriage was not a smooth one. Are you telling me that, only three days after our wedding, we have to part?’
Robert’s eyes flashed with both regret and devilment. ‘Wife, you married into a family of felons. You didn’t expect we were going to live here happily ever after, did you?’
where can you buy edward’s outlaw?
Thanks again for inviting me to visit today.
With a background in history and archaeology, Jennifer Ash should really be sat in a dusty university library translating Medieval Latin criminal records, and writing research documents that hardly anyone would want to read. Instead, tucked away in the South West of England, Jennifer writes stories of medieval crime, steeped in mystery, with a side order of romance.
Influenced by a lifelong love of Robin Hood and medieval ballad literature, Jennifer has written The Outlaw’s Ransom (Book One ofThe Folville Chronicles) – a short novel, which first saw the light of day within the novel Romancing Robin Hood(written under the name Jenny Kane; Pub. Littwitz Press, 2018).
Book Two of The Folville Chronicles– The Winter Outlaw– was released in April 2018. (pub. LittwitzPress)
Book Three of The Folville Chronicles– Edward’s Outlaw– was released in December 2018.
Jennifer Ash writes audio scripts for the acclaimed ITV series, Robin of Sherwood. These are available from www.spitefulpuppet.com
Jennifer also writes as Jenny Kane. Her work includes the contemporary women’s fiction and romance novels, Romancing Robin Hood (2ndedition, Littwitz Press, 2018), Abi’s Neighbour (Accent Press, 2017),Another Glass of Champagne (Accent Press, 2016),and the bestsellers, Abi’s House (Accent Press, June 2015), and AnotherCup of Coffee(Accent Press, 2013).
All of Jennifer and Jenny Kane’s news can be found at www.jennykane.co.uk