Poppy Jenkins with Clare Ashton PLUS GIVEAWAY!

And the winners are:
Cheryl H
and
Beth Goodman-Williams

Thanks, everybody, for playing!

Hey, kids! Happy Sunday (to those of you who actually are still in Sunday) —
PoppyJenkinsSmall
Today, award-winning author Clare Ashton joins us to chat about her brand spankin’ new book, Poppy Jenkins.

Not only is Clare going to be doing that, she’s also DOING A GIVEAWAY. Holy new releases, Batman. 2 FREE EBOOKS!

Here’s Clare with the deets:

Giveaway
I’m giving away two copies – ebook or paperback – of Poppy Jenkins. As in all of my books, food, in particular cakes, feature prominently. So to enter the draw, leave a comment telling me your favourite pud [British puddings, y’all, but if you don’t indulge in such, tell Clare your fave cake] so I can expand my culinary horizons.

Oh, myyyyyyy. I do love me some food. And some dessert-ish food at that. So readers, turn it LOOSE and let Clare know. We’ll draw winners on Thursday, 30 June, at 10 PM EST.

Speaking of Clare, back to her and Poppy Jenkins.

Poppy Jenkins
Clare Ashton

I grew up in Mid-Wales, a beautiful green country of rolling hills and picturesque castles with fresh air a plenty. It drove me bonkers. As a teenager I thought it the most frustrating place on the planet. So did all my friends and we sat on the common room sofa at school dreaming of places we’d rather be. And we did all leave, but just a few years later, one after another of my friends was tempted back, and suddenly we all looked at the country with fresh eyes and realised what an incredible place it was.

So finally, I too have made it home in my new book, Poppy Jenkins, set in those gorgeous rolling hills.

Instead of choosing the perspective of prodigal daughter returning, I chose to tell the tale through the eyes of Poppy Jenkins, the one who stayed behind and who always saw the beauty of the place, and I think that is what made writing the book so wonderful for me.

Poppy is an uplifting character with a kind thought and word for everyone – someone whose smile brightens the day. Life is fine and cosy at Poppy’s ramshackle family home with everyone from her naughty sister to her tempestuous nain. She lives in the idyllic fictional town of Wells – inspired by the real-life beauty of places such as Montgomery and Berriew, with their bucolic timber-framed houses, a ruined castle and the meandering river Rhiw.

But in walks Rosalyn Thorn, her old best friend who spurned Poppy and the village a few years before. Her presence shakes up the lives of both Poppy and the villagers, stirring up all kinds of prejudices. But Rosalyn is not without appeal — quite the opposite with Poppy in thrall to the beautiful woman her former friend has become, and Rosalyn has some useful home truths if only people would listen.

To these two sparkling heroines I’ve added a whole load of personalities from my youth – formidable Welsh matriarchs, tenacious wiry spinsters, and kind souls who make life glorious.

I’ve had a ball mixing up the vivid characters from my youth and running around my favourite places in the type of long hot summer you remember from being a kid. I’m actually quite teary to leave. So if you pick up Poppy Jenkins and stay a while in Mid-Wales, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
____

Clare Ashton’s first novel, Pennance, was long-listed for the Polari Prize and After Mrs Hamilton is a Golden Crown Literary Society (Goldie) award winner. Her first foray into romantic comedy, That Certain Something, was a Goldie and Lambda Literary Award finalist.

Clare grew up in Mid-Wales and having a brain stuck somewhere not particularly useful between the arts and science, ended up studying History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University. After college, and still at a loss as to what to do with such a brain, she bimbled around the UK from London to Sheffield being everything from Little Chef waitress to software engineer. On the way she met a wife, had two children, and recently came to a rest in the Midlands with the vocation of lesbian romance writer – nothing like the career they suggested back at school.

FIND CLARE:
Website
Facebook
Twitter (@RClareAshton)

Links to ebooks:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Smashwords

There you have it, friends. Clare Ashton on this fabulous Sunday. Cheers, all.

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70 thoughts on “Poppy Jenkins with Clare Ashton PLUS GIVEAWAY!

  1. I grew up in the UK too, so I have to admit that my favourite pudding is… ( I know the Yanks will find this name hard to believe but what can I say?) Spotted Dick. Yes, folks, that’s honestly the name of it. I will admit that I haven’t eaten it since I came out, but that’s because I kinda outgrew sweet english puddings 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spotted dick?! Gosh, I haven’t had that since school, and actually I’m not sure if the canteen did it justice. I will have to rectify this neglect forthwith and try some at home!

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  2. Your book sounds delightful! I moved from Texas to Wales 10 years ago to be with my darling partner. Personally I adore Welsh Cakes, especially made with cinnamon! Mae nhw’n blasus go iawn!

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  3. Clare – I love your books. It would be wonderful to win Poppy Jenkins. I am from Australia so I am going to suggest an Aussie favourite – Pavlova. A great dessert cake.

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  4. Americans don’t really do the pudding thing, it’s kinda plain Jann, Vanilla, chocolate, tapioca, and if you are lucky pistachio. It’s not commonly served here. Now cake and pie on the other hand is an explosion of flavors and types. I have to say my cake favorite is a toss between Red Velvet and Carrot Cake. My pie favorite, Old fashioned Cherry, though I do love me some Apple Crumb with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yummy.

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  5. Okay, tough one as I’m more of a savory, salty eater (I know shameful). German Chocolate Cake was the favorite from childhood. That was all of our (the siblings) favorite for birthdays, so give me a book! 🙂 Just kidding, I’d be happy to be entered to win. Thank you.

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    1. You weirdo! 🙂 That’s just like my wife – she’d much rather have crisps than cake. Ooo… I’d never heard of that particular chocolate cake – just been to look it up – so thanks for the tip. And I’ll enter you into the draw with a star for being cheeky 🙂

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  6. Favorite cake is Boston Cream Pie, which is a cake :). It brings back memories of my childhood in NH and running across the field and through the lumber mill yard to my great aunt’s house where she would always have homemade Boston Cream Pie and a can of Coke for my cousin and me.

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  7. Not much of a pudding fan, do biscuits and cheese instead. However, I do remember as a kid my granny, who was a bit scary, made clouttie dumplin’ and hot with custard was definitely a treat. But the next day, fried for breakfast, was the best way to eat it! Today, can’t beat a homemade strawberry tart with fresh Scottish strawberries and single cream poured over the top. Trying out people’s suggestion will be immense fun but highly fattening! Enjoy!

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  8. Well, my mother used to make a GREAT plum pudding for Christmas, with Nun’s Butter topping! Um, yum. But I have never tried to make it, so I’m nominating a great American mid-western treat: The Dump Cake. (Yeah, I know, little better than Spotted Dick for a name.) Dump cake is spreading very juicy fruits (gotta be a lot of liquid, like canned pineapple w/juice mixed with maraschino cherries and some juice) in a flat cake pan, then covering it with your favorite yellow or white cake mix powder from a box. Dot butter over the top, put it in a mid-heat oven (325 degrees F) and let it bake for between 45 minutes to an hour. It is fantastic!! I make a variation in the autumn by mixing up a dynamite pumpkin pie filling, add pecans, and use that for the bottom. Oh, great. Now I’m off to the kitchen to mix one up with peaches, nectarines, and cherries… yum.

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    1. I think that might be similar to fruit cobbler in the UK. Never had many actually but my mouth’s watering at the idea of cherries and nectarines or a pumpkin version! Thank you 🙂

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  9. My new favorite is Tiramisu, homemade by my sweet southern Mississippi friend. Second fav is Hot Fudge Cake. And I just love your books Tig!

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  10. well, now I have to look up what a Spotted Dick is…personally, as a good Swiss, I prefer a double chocolate cake, chocolate on the inside and on the cover

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I wouldn’t know a British pudding … but a new Clare Ashton is great news! As would be a redux of my mother’s fabulous “special white birthday cake with boiled frosting and coconut!!!”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Good luck with the new book, it sounds like a great read! I can’t go past Double Lemon Pudding as a favourite of mine 🙂

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  13. Carrot cake is actually my favourite cake but if it’s pudding then it would have to be sticky date.
    Looking forward to reading all about Poppy Jenkins and her many friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am afraid a good pudding is not common around the Midwest in the United States. On the other hand, there is nothing quite like a large piece of Gooey Butter Cake. Warm, right out of the oven is the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Karen B, fellow Midwesterner. I sadly haven’t thought of Gooey Butter Cake in over a year now … until reading your comment & my mouth is watering. I haven’t been home in STL, MO since December 2014!! I will now be researching & searching for a Midwest recipe … Unless you have one to share 🇺🇸!! Cheers 😋😃

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  15. I am certainly hungry now. My favorite cake is chocolate with chocolate frosting. My aunt, who passed away several years ago having lived to be nearly 100, made the best chocolate cake. It was moist and dense like a pound cake and had a fudge like frosting. It was served in square pieces and best eaten by breaking the piece in half and placing the frosting in the middle.
    My grandmother made a poppyseed cake with a lemon curd pudding on top as frosting. Very tasty.

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  16. After not much thought at all my favourite, is a Cornish cream tea!! Perfectly baked scone, butter, strawberry jam and lashings of clotted cream – with with a cup of twinnings tea!!! Xxx

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  17. Looking forward to adding another Clare Ashton book, to readings. I’m not a pudding person, so the cake for me would be pineapple upside down cake, yum.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Being German I have yet to experience British desserts, cakes and puddings.
    But I can tell you about my favorite German cake. It’s a delicious mix of sponge, gooseberry and whipped cream with meringue topping. It’s German term is “Stachelbeer Sahne Torte”.
    I love the combination of sour and sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve already bought your book! But I love lemon tart or Lemon meringue pie and bread and butter pudding. Not all on the same plate!
    Love your books more than any pudding, though.

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  20. I love most puds and cakes 😛 but I can’t eat any right now as I’m 3 weeks away from my holiday and trying to get some form of summer body hahaha…. I just can’t take the whisk!!! whisk, haha get it?! Ok i’ll stop before I fill this comment with puns. But I love my mum’s egg custard tart the most I think

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  21. Cake/desserts = LIFE!

    I had cake for breakfast twice last week. A large piece of my wife’s birthday cake on Tuesday and a vanilla slice on Thursday😋. My top three are cheesecake, lemon meringue pie and lemon and poppy seed cake. I think I should win a copy of ‘Poppy Jenkins’ based on the fact that one of my favourite cakes has the word POPPY in it😏😉. Hee hee!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m not much of a dessert eater, but I can never resist anything with rhubarb. Your books sounds really interesting, I’ll probably want to spent my next holiday in Wales after reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thank you for this wonderful offer. I was born in London and also lived in NE Scotland during my teenage years but now live on the west coast of the US – I have to say that while I love high tea with scones, clotted cream and jam, as well as Scottish shortbread and oatcakes, I think that my favorite “pudding” is probably now either custard slices or lemon bars. (It used to be that my favorite “pudding” was in fact a white pudding supper which is probably not something that I would enjoy now (but was great after a few beers late at night – ha!).

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  24. Nothing like British pudding in my part of world, I go for pies with fruit of the season – beginning with rhubarb, through strawberries and so on, either classical, like my granny used to make, or crumble.

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  25. As an American I know nothing about English pudding and really don’t have a typical sweet tooth. But giving the ole college try I’ll say my Mom’s banana pudding and coconut cream pie, Grandms’s pumpkin pie (like pudding? In a pie crust) and apple or cherry pie.

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  26. Typically a savory over sweets kinda gal, however, my wife Sarah Shaw loves sharing her treats and getting me to try new ones. From St. Louis, Missouri and now loving my life in the UK, I’d have to say a new fave is Sticky Toffee Pudding, following close to Vanilla Bean Cheesecake and Mom/Grandma’s Pumpkin Pies.

    Clare, I have to say Sarah doesn’t know I’m adding a comment in hopes to help her win your book. She stopped the family before and said, “please pray that I win Clare’s book.” Kind regards & thanks for making my wife smile!! 🌈

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww, thank you!! I wish you could have seen her reaction to seeing a FB Message off you!! She had the biggest smile ever!! 😃 Thanks again, you have made our one year together even better today!! Just seeing her smile like that means the absolute world to me!! 💗 CHEERS x

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Give me some crunchy cheesy-goodness, and I’m happy. But if we’re talking pudding, it’s tapioca for me. Oh, or bread pudding! And cake? Pineapple upside-down cake, which, if it is made well, is so moist, it could almost be a pudding!!!!

    Looking forward to reading your new book!

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