Inheritance Books: April Taylor

This week’s guest on the Inheritance Books sofa is librarian/ information ninja and novelist April Taylor. Hi April. Can I get you a cuppa? While you’re waiting, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

avril-portrait_0004-with-books-2-copyHaving worked in public libraries, a prison library and a pharmaceutical research library, I gave up my career as a chartered librarian in 2003, so that I could write full time. I have always loved crime fiction, both historical and contemporary. The three books in my historical crime fantasy series, The Tudor Enigma were published by Harlequin/Carina. My contemporary detective is an early-music soprano, Georgia Pattison. The books I write denote my passions. For history, for magic, for singing and music in general and for all things crime related. I moved from Yorkshire to Lincolnshire in the UK in 2015 and find I have come to a county so full of history it is like a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. I live in a Victorian cottage in the middle of nowhere with my patient husband and my less-than-patient blind, rescue, golden retriever. I am known locally as the lady who is the guide for the blind dog! I spend most of my time writing, but now have to schedule gardening time, too.


Which book have you inherited from a generation above you? Why is it special?

I inherited Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels from my mother. It is a poor battered thing that has travelled with me through about ten house moves, but as the years have gone by I realise I inherited my passion for crime and history from Mum. Ammie contains all the elements we both loved, a mystery, some history and with the added element of the supernatural. Mum was psychic although it was not a part of her that she developed; it was something that fascinated her. I read Ammie about once a year; it brings Mum close and is a treasured possession. The book follows Ruth Bennett’s life when her niece, Sara, comes to live with her in Georgetown, Washington, how Sara is the conduit to call the spirit of frightened forlorn Amanda Campbell from her time in the American Civil War and into the 20th century she reveals a terrible crime. Written in 1969, Ammie is still a fine piece of atmospheric writing with a wonderful sense of period and incredible storytelling.


That sounds intriguing. Which book would you leave to generations below you? Why?

The book I would like to leave to future generations is Simon Thurley’s enormous book on Hampton Court Palace. Most people associate this most iconic of buildings with Henry VIII, but the book covers the whole of its history from its time as a house of the Knights Hospitallers through to the present day. It includes architectural changes made by the various monarchs and how the gardens developed in each reign. I am a firm believer that unless we know where we have come from, we cannot plan where we are going. If we look at history, how often does it repeat itself? How often do we make mistakes our forebears made but which we have ignored? During WW2, Winston Churchill once told the actor David Niven that something momentous was about to happen. When Niven asked how he knew, Churchill replied, “Because, young man, I study history.”

Thank you so much for sharing your favourite books with us April. Best of luck with your latest book!drs-small

You can find out more about April on her website, on Facebook or by chatting to her on Twitter (@authapriltaylor. You can buy her latest book, Dearly Ransomed Soul on Amazon and other ebook retailers.



If you would like to share your Inheritance Books, please contact me on rhodabaxter(at)

Inheritance Books: Chrissie Bradshaw

This week’s Inheritance Books come from romance author Chrissie Bradshaw. Hi Chrissie, welcome to Inheritance Books. Please take a seat. While I make the tea, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself.

img_2468I live beside the Northumbrian coast with my family and love taking my Welsh terrier,Oscar, for a daily run along the seashore. My other feel good essentials are tea, chocolate and a good book. A career in education, as a teacher then as a literary consultant, has given me the chance to share my passion for reading with young people. I believe that there are books to suit every taste and love match-making a book with a reader. That’s why I think your ‘inheritance’ slot is such a good idea! This year has been an exciting one because I won the Elizabeth Goudge award 2016 from the RNA and published my first novel A Jarful of Moondreams. It is available as a paperback or ebook.

How cool, well done you! You’ll be getting your name added to all the famous ones on the Elizabeth Goudge trophy. 


Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?

Ifullsizerender-2 Capture the Castle was published in 1948 by Dodie Smith, before I was born, but the characters still seem fresh today. I first read Dodie Smith’s The 101 Dalmations, as a child but wasn’t given I Capture the Castle until I was an adult. It’s a book I treasure because Cassandra is, like me, a secret scribbler and her observations capture her castle environment and its inhabitants vividly. I’d pass this book to teens or adults because Cassandra’s teenage concerns are still relatable to other generations.

Cassie’s voice is engaging from start to finish, I love it from the first sentence to the last and both of those sentences are memorable. I won’t spoil it by quoting the last sentence but I can share the first. She starts with ‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink….’ Why? How did you get in there? Who are you? Where are you? I’m hooked.

I usually like a novel with a resolution and I Capture the Castle has an unresolved ending yet it still remains a satisfying read. Cassandra Mortmain and her cast of characters are both complex and entertaining and, as a reader, I was totally involved in castle life and cared about what would happen to her troubled father, her moody beautiful sister, the eccentric Topaz and hardworking handsome Stephen and wanted the American Brothers, Simon and Neil, to come to the rescue in some way.
It’s a book I’ll pass on to my niece and granddaughters and I‘m sure they’ll be enthralled as I am by the Mortmain family.


That’s an excellent book. Which book would you leave to future generations? Why?

fullsizerenderMy sister recommended Still Alice by Lisa Genova and the story haunts me..
Alice Howland is a Harvard professor who discovers she has early-onset dementia. She tells her story for as long as she can tell it.
Alice starts out with a successful career, a husband and three grown children. When she first begins to grow forgetful, she dismisses it but eventually, when she gets lost in her own familiar neighbourhood, she realises that something is wrong. She is only 50 years old. As she loses her memory, will she lose herself? Alice has to learn to live in the moment but she is still Alice. This addresses one of my worst nightmares and Alice’s story helped me to discover and come to some understanding of the illness. I’m glad I read it and I hope future generations come to read it with the comfort of knowing Alzheimer’s disease has since become a treatable condition.

I also identify with Lisa Genova’s struggle to get this novel published. She self published in the end and, when the novel became a best-seller, she was accepted by a mainstream publisher and her novel was made into a film. Now who wouldn’t love to follow in those footsteps?

Who indeed. Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Chrissie. All the best with your latest book.


Chrissie’s book A Jarful of Moonbeams is available in ebook and print on Amazon. You can catch up with Chrissie on her blog, on Facebook or on Twitter@Chrissiebeee (3 eees).  



Would you would like to share your own Inheritance Books? Just email me on rhodabaxter(at)!

Inheritance Books: Victoria Cornwall

After another long hiatus, I’ve taken the dust covers off the Inheritance Books sofa and dusted it down in order to welcome a new guest. (Okay, you got me, there weren’t any dust covers, but I did vacuum the sofa so it’s clean. I found £3.24 hidden down the back too!). Anyway, without further ado, please welcome my fellow Choc Lit novelist, Victoria Cornwall.  

Hi Victoria, please make yourself at home. While I get the tea and gingerbread, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself.

victoria-cornwall-author-photoThank you for inviting me here, Rhoda. I grew up on a farm in Cornwall and still live in the county, which probably doesn’t sound very adventurous to your more globetrotting readers. As a child, I thought it was normal to help muck out the cow’s shed, feed baby lambs with bottles of milk and walk several miles to meet my friends. It was an idyllic childhood and I felt very safe, although it is a miracle I survived it as I nearly drowned on two separate occasions. If it had not been for my mother and school teacher dragging me out of the swimming pools, I would not be here now.

When I left school I trained as a nurse and worked for many years in intensive care, a minor injury unit and later as a health visitor. My drowning experience and nursing career have given me a healthy regard for health and the fragility of life. You won’t find me bungee jumping, skydiving or skirting the Alps in a wing suit.

Following a career change, I finally had the time to write, something I had always wanted to do. My debut novel as a traditionally published author is called The Thief’s Daughter and will be published in January.

Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?

I have inherited a love for reading fiction from my mother, but I have only had one book physically passed down to me through the generations. It is an antique bible which came from my husband’s side of the family.inherited-book

It is large, as you can see from the comparison with the pen next to it, and very heavy. It is a genuine antique; with metal clasps and corner protectors. The cover is heavily embossed and inside there are numerous bright, colourful pictures depicting biblical scenes. In the centre of the bible are a number of pages for the owner to record family names and display portraits. Many have been left blank, but two have handwriting on them. The first, which is titled “Children”, have four names recorded. The second page is titled “Deaths” and, heartbreakingly, two of the children are recorded here too, one dying in 1894 and the other in 1896. It appears they were probably 6 months old and three years old when they died.

The book is beautifully made, but it also has a history and tells a story of heartbreak way beyond the printed words inside. The size and embellishment of the bible depicts the influence and significance Christianity held at the time the deaths were recorded inside. I am sure it would have given the owner some comfort to record their children’s existence for future generations to see. I love the book because it is a relic, a work of art and also a reminder of a different time.

Oh, that is sad. My grandmother used to make a distinction between how many children someone had and how many they raised. It’s very rare to lose a child in infancy now and we take for granted something that is a minor miracle in itself.

Which book would you leave to future generations? Why?

It would have to be Winston Graham’s Poldark series. I read the first six books when I was about seventeen years old. I had watched the original television adaptation of Graham’s novels in the 1970s and instantly fell in love with the story. However, I did not realise the TV series was based on a book series until I met my future mother-in-law and noticed the first Poldark book on a shelf in her home. I wasn’t surprised that she had enjoyed Poldark as she had named one of her children after a character in the books.


As soon as I started to read the first book I was hooked.  I loved the characters, but more importantly I adored Graham’s writing style; his detailed descriptions invoked vivid imagery yet remained easy to read. Their standard and storytelling have spoilt me for everything I have read since. In my opinion, there are very few books that meet the same literary standard.

So it is only natural that I would want to pass the series onto the next generation. The first book was originally published in 1945 and has been read by many generations since. I am happy to recommend them and pass my editions on to the next generation, although they are looking rather battered and crumpled now as I have read them so many times.

Excellent choice! I’ve not read any of them (yet) but I watched it on telly – the new version, I mean, with Mitchell  Aidan Turner in it. 

Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us Victoria, all the best with you new book. It sounds brilliant.

the-thiefs-daughterVictoria’s new book The Thief’s Daughter is published by Choc Lit and available to buy now. You can find out more about Victoria on her website, or chat to her on Twitter (@VickieCornwall), Facebook or stalk her on Instagram.





If you would like to share your Inheritance Books, please contact me on rhodabaxter(at)

Inheritance Books: Catherine Ryan Howard

This week’s guest on Inheritance Books is Catherine Ryan Howard – who was primarily known for her non fiction (and her fabulously useful Catherine Caffeinated blog). Her latest book Distress Signals is a thriller set on a cruise ship. Hi Catherine, have a biscuit. Why don’t you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Catherine Ryan Howard by City Headshots Dublin
Catherine Ryan Howard by City Headshots Dublin

I live in Dublin, Ireland, but I’m from Cork. I’m currently studying for a BA in English Lit as a mature student in Trinity College Dublin and trying to finish my second thriller before the excitement of the first one, Distress Signals, coming out gets too much for me! I’ve self-published a number of non-fiction titles about some of my travel adventures, and then the obligatory ‘how to’ self-publishing guide. I’ve been blogging since early 2010 and love Twitter. It’s caffeine that flows through my veins and I still want to be a NASA astronaut when I grow up.


Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special? 

I didn’t inherit any physical books, but a book my mother bought for me helped change the course of my life and get me where I am today. Now, don’t laugh, but it’s Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.


The movie came out in the summer of 1993, when I was just eleven, and I convinced her to buy the movie tie-in paperback of it for me. I can still remember that her, my brother and sister and I were en route to the caravan we kept by the seaside in East Cork, and she stopped at a shopping centre so I could run in and pick it up so I’d have it to read while we were down there. I just loved, loved, LOVED that book. The mixture of fact and fiction, the imagination needed to create that park and bring it to life… It was fantastic. It made me want to create something like that. I re-read it every year and still have that 23 year-old paperback, which is only held together now by tape and love.

I’m not laughing. I was totally blown away by Jurassic Park when it came out. So much so that I did my A-level English lit dissertation on it (comparing it to The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle). 


Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?

I think Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s one of my favourite novels. So simple in terms of the language he uses, but so utterly devastating in its impact. I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone, but it also gives you a stark reminder of how short our time here is, and why you should make the most of this great adventure of life while you can. Because of its setting, it also has a kind of timeless quality, so I think future generations will find it as relevant as we do now.


Excellent choices. Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us. All the best with Distress Signals. It sounds great.


Catherine’s new book Distress Signals is available now! You can read the first three chapters on her website. You can find out more about Catherine in her website, Twitter (@cathryanhoward), Facebook or Instagram. 

PS: If you’re a huge fan of Jurassic Park, you might be interested in Chip Kidd’s TEDtalk about how he designed the iconic cover.


Inheritance Books: Jeannie Von Rompaey

Today on Inheritance Books, we’ve got Jeannie Von Rompaey. Hi Jeannie, welcome to Inheritance Books. Please, make yourself comfy on the sofa. I’ll put the kettle on. While I’m doing that, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?

Cheers! JeannieI’m passionate about reading, writing, art and the theatre. I was born in London, brought up in a village in Northamptonshire and now live on the subtropical island of Gran Canaria with my husband, TJ, a historian. I love living in a warm climate with blue skies above and a light breeze; but enjoy visits to London and other cities to see my daughter, go to the theatre and visit art exhibitions.

I have an MA in Modern Literature from The University of Leicester and have had a varied career as lecturer, theatre director and actor. As Jeannie Russell I’m a member of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators and adjudicate at drama festivals in Britain and Europe. Next year I’m off to Frankfurt to adjudicate there.

I write novels, short stories, poems and plays on subjects I feel strongly about, including: the complexity of human nature and the future of our planet.


Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special? 

image1Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A Mackenzie was given to me by a friend of my mother’s who had travelled in India. I was fascinated by his stories about a continent I knew little about.

From the first I loved the cover of the book, its intricate patterned design that promised entrance to a different world. I also loved the gold leaf that edged the pages, now unfortunately faded.

The inside did not disappoint either with its tales of Indian traditions and myths. The black and white photographs of Indian temples, sculptures and ceremonies are combined with coloured prints from paintings of deities and nymphs. I’ve found the names of the divinities and the myths surrounding them useful when inventing names and characters for my dystopian novels in the Oasis series. For example the wives of Shiva: Durga, the Destroyer and war goddess; Kali, the black earth-mother with her built in serpents; Jagadgauri, the yellow harvest bride and Sati, the ideal of a true and virtuous woman. The latter is satirised in my novel, as she is promiscuous. A touch of irony, that I love.


Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It’s dystopian fiction, set in a terrifying but fascinating future. Reading this book marks the beginning of my interest in this genre.

image2I love the cover of this paperback because of its vibrant primary colours. Every woman in Gilead is defined by the way she is dressed and colour-coded. The women on the cover are handmaids because they dressed in red, the colour of blood. Their only function is to breed. The Marthas, who cook and do household chores, are in dull green robes with bib aprons over them. The gowns of both handmaids and Marthas are long and concealing. These examples of the dress code give an insight into how detailed and cleverly constructed this novel is. I admire the way Atwood has created such a complete, imaginary world. The men of Gilead imagined they were creating a utopia, but even they become disillusioned and victims of the rigid system. Reading this book made me realize that utopias are impossible to create. Human beings are flawed and so when trying to form a perfect society are bound to fail.

I’d like to leave this book to my daughter because it not only acts as a warning to future generations but also celebrates the resilience of women in a male orientated world.


Fabulous choices. Thank you for letting us peek into your bookcase. Your novel sounds like fun (I’m a sucker for folklore absorbed into modern fiction). I hope it does really well.

Oasis Ascension Front FinalYou can find out more about Jeannie by visiting her website or her Amazon page. Her new book Accession is available to buy now.

Guest blogger: Rhoda Baxter

I’m getting out and about today. I’ve never been to Australia in real life…

Australian Romance Readers Association

Rhoda BaxterThe wonder of a slow burn romance

I write romance, but my TV viewing is mostly comedy and detective series, rather than love films. In my childhood I loved shows like The Scarecrow and Mrs King, Dempsey and Makepeace, Moonlighting, then there was Friends and Spaced and now I adore Castle and The Big Bang Theory. What do these shows have in common? It’s the slow burn of romance. That delicate dance between two people who fancy each other, but don’t want to admit it. The tension between them leads slowly, inevitably to that first kiss. Even in Friends (do people still watch Friends?) the romantic tension was at its best before Ross and Rachel finally got together. After that … well it was still funny, but no longer the same.

In Doctor January, Hibs is in love with Beth from the very start…

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Come and meet Rhoda Baxter …

The Romaniacs

DrJ cover

Today we’re to find out what makes Choc Lit author Rhoda Baxter tick.

Hi Rhoda, and welcome to one of the comfiest sofas in the entire universe. Jane Lovering left a few Hob Nob crumbs but I think we’ve got rid of most of them now.

I see she’s left some chocolate stains too. I’ll just sit here on the other side of the sofa…

Put your feet up, grab a scone or a bit of cake and I’ll pour the coffee.

Ooh, cake please. That looks lovely. Yum. I’ll try not to get crumbs on the sofa. I’m usually well house trained.

It’s great to see you.There’s never enough time at the RNA conference for a proper chat, so here are some of the questions the Romaniacs would have liked to ask when last we met.

How did your writing career begin, and is it now a full time…

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Blog hit – Crazy Undercover Love

A few weeks ago, my friend Nikki Moore asked if I’d like to participate in a blog hit to celebrate the publication of


Nikki Moore’s Blog Hit

New Release – Crazy, Undercover, Love

Crazy Undercover Love Cover

The day has finally arrived!! Nikki Moore’s debut novel with HarperImpulse – Crazy, Undercover, Love – is released as an ebook today, 24th April 2014.

If you like pacy, sexy romance and fancy a long weekend in Barcelona with a smoking hot guy this one’s for you!  Want to know more…?

When uber-feisty career girl Charley Caswell-Wright takes on the assignment as PA to the gorgeous Alex Demetrio, CEO of Demetrio International, she’s there under entirely false pretenses; to get her life back on track. Having lost the job she worked so hard to earn, she’s determined not to give it up so easily, especially when she didn’t deserve to lose it in the first place.

Mr Dreamy CEO is her only chance of clawing back her career – and her reputation. So she has to keep things strictly professional… boy, is she in trouble!

To buy Crazy, Undercover Love as an ebook:-



Google Play




Or to buy it as a paperback on pre-order, released on 26th JuneAmazon


What people are saying about Nikki’s other stories…

The Love Letter and A Day in the Life… HarperImpulse short story collection Be My Valentine, with Teresa F Morgan and Brigid Coady, attracting 4 and 5 star reviews.

‘I loved all 5 stories and will look our for more books by each author.’

CometBabesBooks, Amazon

‘Whilst I enjoyed all of the stories, I particularly liked Nikki Moore’s … her voice as an author really resonated with me and I can’t wait to read more of her work.’

Kate Beeden, Goodreads

Nikki’s short story A Night to Remember in the Mills & Boon/Romantic Novelists Association anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply which has also attracted 4 and 5 star reviews.

‘My favourite story was A Night To Remember. I think what drew me to this … was its resonance with real life. I’m not going to spoil the story but I could feel the emotions spilling out of the page – it was beautiful.’


‘A Night to Remember – Beautiful, devastatingly so.’

Cheryl M-M, Goodreads &


Nikki Moore Author Pic 1 Nikki Moore lives in beautiful Dorset and writes short stories and sexy, pacy romances. A finalist in several writing competitions including Novelicious Undiscovered 2012, she graduated from the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers’ Scheme after four years and and has contributed to their magazine Romance Matters. She has far too much fun attending the annual RNA conference and has previously chaired a panel and taken part in a workshop at the Festival of Romance.

She blogs about some of her favourite things – Writing, Work and Wine – at and believes in supporting other writers as part of a friendly, talented and diverse community.


You can find her on Facebook at or on Twitter @NikkiMoore_Auth and she invites you to pop in for chats about love, life, reading or writing!


Karen Rock – His Hometown Girl tour

His Hometown Girl banner

Today is my stop during the blog tour for His Hometown Girl by Karen Rock. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from March 31 till April 13, you can view the whole tour schedule here.

His Hometown Girl

by Karen Rock

his hometown girlBlurb:
He’d always managed to best her:

Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he’s not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that’s always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

You can add His Hometown Girl to your to-read list on Goodreads.

You can buy His Hometown Girl here:
Amazon U.K. (Print and Kindle) 
eHarlequin (Print Book)

3D"karen"About the Author:
Karen RockKaren Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. Since then, her first Harlequin, WISH ME TOMORROW came out in September, 2013 and her next novel HIS HOMETOWN GIRL comes out in March, 2014 with three more releases expected this year.
When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of ‘fetch’though they know a lot about love. For more information about Karen’s upcoming books, check out her website at (, Facebook page (at or follow her on twitter (at . She’d love to hear from you!

You can find Karen here:

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of His Hometown Girl. These are the prizes you can win:

– Grand Prize: $50 gift card and a signed copy of Karen Rock her earlier Heartwarming Wish Me Tomorrow and her YA contemporary romance, Camp Boyfriend.
– Two runner-ups both win a 15$ amazon gift card


For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway