Jennifer Bohnet AuthorJennifer Bohnet
Oct 8th, 2017

Let's give a warm welcome to Jennifer Bohnet, who is here talking about her latest release, "Summer at Coastguard Cottages." (There's a sample at the end of the interview!)

Are you a pantster or a plotter?

I'm definitely a pantster, who is trying desperately to plan more. I've discovered I like writing stories where several characters are involved in the storyline and their lives are all entwined. This means that unless I do a certain amount of not exactly plotting but working out how the threads will weave together, I can get into a dreadful muddle.

Do you ever write longhand?

Yes. Somehow there is something about the co-ordination between brain and a hand with a pen in it actually putting words on the paper that seems to help creativity flow. Well it does for me - if I'm stuck over something, writing out the last few paragraphs or even a page or two will invariably throw up a new idea or two and then I go back to the computer.

What genre do you write and why did you pick this genre?

I write the kind of books I enjoy reading, women's contemporary fiction.

Tell us about your current release. What inspired you to write it?

Summer at Coastguard Cottages is my sixth book with HQDigital/HarperCollins and my eleventh in total. Years ago I lived with my family in a coastguard cottage on the south coast of England and when I was thinking about a setting for a community of people a picture of the cottages sprang into my mind and I realised I had the perfect setting for ‘Eight Weeks in Summer' the books original title. It's a story of relationships, friendship, love and loss.

Where is your book set?

Summer at Coastguard Cottages is set in Devon, England and the story takes place over the two months of July and August. Secrets are revealed and lives change as summer passes.

What are you reading right now?

One of my favourite authors is Veronica Henry and I've just finished re-reading How To Find Love in a Bookshop.

If you could give advice to a new writer starting out, what would that be?

It is impossible to second guess what is going to be the next big thing in publishing, so write from the heart and write the story you would like to read. And above all enjoy the writing.

A summer of secrets!Karen is escaping to her little cottage on the Devonshire coast this summer - it's the perfect way to forget about her ex-husband. So she's surprised to find love again when she least expected it!Bruce is learning to live again after the death of his beloved wife. She loved their cottage by the sea but Bruce is torn by the bitter sweet memories - should he sell up and stay in the city?Carrie is at a crossroads in her life after inheriting a fortune from the father she never met. Now she must make a life-changing decision that will affect her new friends, too...Could eight weeks at Coastguard Cottages change all of their lives - forever?

Short extract:



‘I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.'

(Stephen Covey)

Ten days ago when Carrie Penfold had gone home for Sunday lunch, Elizabeth her mother, had handed her a thick official looking envelope.

‘This arrived on Friday for you.'

‘Postmarked Bristol,' Malcolm her father said in his slow Somerset way of speaking. ‘Looks important. We had to sign for it.'

Elizabeth handed her the paperknife from the bureau. ‘You'd best open it. No point in playing guessing games.'

Carefully slitting the envelope open, Carrie pulled out the letter. The clearly expensive and embossed creamy coloured paper, had the name of a firm of lawyers printed across the top.

Carrie quickly scanned the typewritten words before looking at her parents.

‘It's from a firm of solicitors who want me to contact them as soon as possible in connection with the estate of one Robert Trumble, deceased. I don't know anyone called that,' she said puzzled.

Her parents had looked at each other in consternation before Elizabeth had said quietly ‘Trumble is a name on your birth certificate,'.

It was Malcolm who, ignoring her protests, had insisted on ringing the lawyers Monday morning and make her an appointment.

‘You can't ignore letters like this.'

Carrie who had planned on doing just that didn't answer.

She'd had known practically from the moment she was placed in the antique wicker rocking cradle, lovingly recovered in her honour, that she was special. Adopted. It had never been a secret. Calling her their special chosen daughter Elizabeth and Malcolm had lavished love and praise on her all her life. Even through her difficult teenage years.

When at 18 Elizabeth had given her the original birth certificate and told her she was free to try and contact her biological parents if she wanted to, Carrie had looked at her horrified.

‘Why would I do that?' she'd asked. ‘Do you want me to find and contact them?'

Elizabeth had shaken her head. ‘No. But you do have the right these days. Dad and I wouldn't ever stand in your way. Even if we'd rather you left the past undisturbed. Selfishly we'd feel hurt if we weren't enough for you.'

‘You're my Mum and Dad,' Carrie said hugging her tightly. ‘As if I'd ever do anything to hurt you two.'

The birth certificate had been replaced alongside her adoption papers in the ‘Important Documents' file in the ancient wooden bureau in the farm office. Where it had stayed forgotten and unlooked at for the next ten years. Until now.


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