Poppy Jenkins is out now!

Poppy Jenkins 05_9I am thrilled to bits that my new romance, Poppy Jenkins, is finally out!

I’m very fond of this one. It’s set in beautiful Mid-Wales, where I grew up, during the kind of long hot summer you remember from a kid. The settings and characters are inspired by the people and places I adored from ruined castles and gorgeous countryside to formidable Welsh matriarchs.

The blurb’s below and here are the links to Kindle versions on Amazon UK and US (paperback to follow) and the Smashwords link for other formats:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poppy-Jenkins-Clare-Ashton-ebook/dp/B01HC65VIK

US – https://www.amazon.com/Poppy-Jenkins-Clare-Ashton-ebook/dp/B01HC65VIK

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/644580

Two old friends, one hot summer, a whole load of confusion.

Poppy Jenkins makes everyone smile. She’s the heart of Wells, a beautiful village in mid-Wales, leaving light and laughter in her wake. She has a doting family, an errant dog and a little sister with a nose for mischief. But she’s the only gay in the village and it’s a long time since she kissed a girl: the chance of romance in sleepy Wells is rarer than a barking sheep.

If she doesn’t think too hard, life is cosy, until a smart sports car barrels into town with the last woman Poppy wants to see behind the wheel. Beautiful Rosalyn Thorn was once Poppy’s high school BFF even though she was trouble. Then one day she abandoned Wells and Poppy without explanation. Now the highflier is back and bound to cause fresh havoc in the village and with Poppy’s heart; folk are not happy.

Wells needs to wake up to the 21st century and Rosalyn can help, but old prejudices die hard. If they can be friends it could be the chance to make everyone’s happy ever after. Couldn’t it?

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Cover reveal for Poppy Jenkins

Poppy Jenkins 04_5Not long to go now and it’s starting to get very exciting for me. I’ve been working on Poppy Jenkins for months and have loved its beautiful setting and joyous heroine. I’m thrilled to bits that Jayne Fereday has come up with a cover that captures the book so well. Here’s that cover. The novel is due out end of June.

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Poppy Jenkins – chapter one of a forthcoming romance

DSC_3634It’s been a long time, but I’m finally into the last stages of writing a new romance.

I’ve been back to some favourite childhood haunts for this one, and it’s set during a beautiful Mid-Wales summer. I’ve adored remembering the Welsh hills, paddling in the river Rhiw, exploring Montgomery’s ruined castle and square – all places that have inspired the setting.

I’ve also been chuckling away while drawing on some characterful people from my childhood to populate the novel.

Here’s a taster with chapter one. Poppy Jenkins is out this summer.
Continue reading

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Review: Cari Hunter’s No Good Reason. A great writer just got better.

caribookcoverI’ve been a fan of Cari Hunter’s writing ever since reading Snowbound. In this excellent thriller-romance debut, her vivid and economic style was already evident – very effective and affecting – as was her ability to bring alive brutal scenes in a way so realistic as to make many other books seem cartoonish. The injuries and scenes of violence are so intimately realised that if you didn’t know she was a paramedic by career you’d have serious misgivings about the author’s mental well-being and pastimes. But with Tumbledown, and even more so with No Good Reason, Cari is now delivering complex plots and sets of characters that go well beyond a simple adventure or thriller romance.

No Good Reason is classified as a crime novel but the reader is still in for an emotional rollercoaster as gripping as any romance. Free from the restrictions of the romance genre formula, the heroines in No Good Reason are two life-long friends who occasionally sleep together – a relationship that feels real and is refreshing to see in a lesfic novel and one which I think many readers may root for even more strongly. Meg (a medic) and Sanne (a policewoman) both become involved in a case of a young woman found horrifically injured on the Peak District moors from a fall and showing signs of torture. Investigations stay close to home, in the hills and the deprived city areas of the heroines’ backgrounds. The story unfolds skillfully, giving a feeling of following a genuine investigation rather than being mislead by literary red-herrings.

No Good Reason is a rich book with much to enjoy and admire. It has captivating settings from lonely moors to gritty northern city estates. The characters who span classes, careers and geography, from working class girls come good to slippery drug dealers, all ring true. Cari is a skilled writer and her unflowery and vivid style is particularly suited to crime. Her assured writing allows her to build layer on layer of story, setting and characterisation with captivating and beautiful detail and then casually twist the story to send chills down your spine, or ramp up the action to make your heart race.

Fans of lesfic and British crime really shouldn’t miss this one. A difficult one to beat Cari Hunter, but I hope you do.


No Good Reason is ready for download from the Bold Strokes site and available for preorder on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk.

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That Certain Something short-listed for a Lammy

LammySealI am over the moon because That Certain Something has been short-listed for a Lambda Literary Award!

The awards are among the most prestigious for LGBT literature and That Certain Something is listed in very good company in the Lesbian Romance category. You can find the full listing here.

Winners are announced in June. In the meantime, I’m going to stay a little bit giddy from being shortlisted.

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Reading from the Polari Tour

polarireadingI’ve been wanting to do a reading from The Dildo in the Kitchen Drawer ever since writing it, and the Polari night in Birmingham seemed a great place to take it out for a spin.

It was a great night, packed theatre and lovely audience, and the readings from VG Lee, Kiki Archer, Frances Gapper and Gerry Potter were all top notch. I can’t recommend catching a Polari night enough!

Here’s my reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp79iK02jcI&feature=youtu.be

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That Certain Something cover through to final round of voting

cover20aThe cover for That Certain Something has made it through to the final round of the Rainbow Awards!

I think this competition is very nicely set up because you have to vote for at least three covers so you can support more than one book.

Please vote for your favourite covers here:


You have to pick three and if one of those three is That Certain Something, that’s grand🙂


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