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: Ellie Gray

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

This week on the Inheritance Books sofa, we have romance novelist and fellow East Riding lass, Ellie Gray. I have cake. I’ll go put the kettle on and locate the cake. While I’m doing that, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself, Ellie.

Ellie Gray Profile PicI live in a small village just outside the beautiful market town of Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It’s only about ten miles away from where I grew up, living in a little cottage on the edge of woods where my father was the woodman and my mum a nurse. My two brothers and I spent a halcyon childhood exploring those woods, building dens and having adventures. Come to think of it, perhaps that’s why I loved Enid Blyton books so much – maybe I felt we were somehow living one of those adventure novels in some small way.

I’ve always loved reading and, to some extent, I’ve always written stories – I kept them in my head when I was younger but, oh they were so very detailed. It was only later, in my teenage years, that it occurred to me to write them down. My first full novel (if it can be called that, as it is unlikely to ever see the light of day) was written when I was about 18 years old. Since then I’ve written quite a few (again, maybe best kept hidden in that drawer) but my first ever published novel, Beauty and the Recluse, was released earlier this year, swiftly followed by my second, Love on the Nile.

I work full-time for the local authority and, having just completed a Masters Degree, am now concentrating hard on producing my third novel. The ultimate aim, of course, is to one day be able to write full time.

Ha! I know exactly what you mean about first books. Mine will never see the light of day either.


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

IMG_1668Sax Rohmer’s Tales of Secret Egypt. This book wasn’t passed down to me as such but my dad found it during one of his many forays into old, hidden second hand bookshops and bought it for me, knowing how fascinated I was by anything to do with Ancient Egypt. I inherited my father’s love of both books and history and, since he passed away, I often think back to my childhood, where Dad and I would spend hours wandering around castles and museums, my mum and my brothers waiting impatiently for us in the carpark or café! This book reminds me of my dad and our shared love of reading.


Which book would you leave to future generations? Why?

IMG_1669My daughter has not inherited my love of books or of reading, although she has inherited my creative side but expresses hers through art. My son, however, has inherited my passion for books and is an avid reader. JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is the one I would like them to inherit. It might seem like an obvious or over-used choice, but the reason I would like them to inherit is more to do with the ethos of the book and the story, of good triumphing over evil, of the message that ‘even the smallest person can change the  course of the future’. It’s a message I feel very strongly about.

Brilliant choices! Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Ellie. Best of luck with your new book. 

LoveOnTheNilebyEllieGray-500You can buy Ellie’s book Love On The Nile from all good ebook retailers. You can find out more about Ellie on her website, Facebook or Pinterest. Or you could chat to her on Twitter (@elliegray58)






Would you like to share your Inheritance Books with us? If so, please drop me a line – either in the comments or by email.

Inheritance Books: Bethan Darwin

Today’s Inheritance Books come from Superwoman Bethan Darwin. Hi Bethan, welcome to Inheritance Books. Take a seat on the sofa. Would you like a slice of cake? Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about yourself.

BethanDarwinphotoMay 2014I’m a lawyer based in Cardiff, specialising in employment and corporate law, a proud Mum of two and a happy wife which is just as well as my husband is also a lawyer and we work together.  I run a women’s networking group called Superwoman which also raises money for charities at its events, I write a bi-weekly column on law for Wales’ national newspaper The Western Mail and regularly review the papers for a variety of BBC Radio Wales programmes.  

I was born in Toronto but from the age of 5 I grew up in Clydach Vale in the Rhondda Valleys where my mother also grew up.   My parents didn’t speak Welsh themselves (my Dad is a proud Lancastrian) but they sent me and my three siblings to Welsh medium schools and I am fiercely proud of being a fluent Welsh speaker.  My children also attend Welsh medium schools.

I wrote my first novel, Back Home, mostly when on maternity leave with my daughter Megan who is 11 now.  It was published by Honno in 2009 and my second, Two Times Twenty, was published in 2010.  It has taken a while for me to write a third – Thicker than Water – and it features the Rhondda, lawyers and Toronto.    There are always lawyers somewhere in my books!

My favourite way to relax is for the four of us to walk our two dogs on the beach at Barry Island.  I am a better version of myself when I am by the sea.  


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

My mother had the Enid Blyton “Adventure” series as a child and they were on a bookshelf in my grandmother’s house when I was growing up.    They had hardback brown covers and had a particular special smell.  My grandmother liked them to stay at her house so I wasn’t allowed to take them home with me and I read the entire series during visits to my grandmother, lying on the landing upstairs next to the bookshelf.  I don’t know what happened to the books in the end but they sparked a love of reading that has continued throughout my life.    13882505_1631432853852169_8864405124452179880_n


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

East of Eden by John Steinbeck.  I read it first at school and loved it and have read it every five years or so since.   It’s a long story of family and love and landscape. My 17yo son is named Caleb so he’s already inherited something from the book.  He read it last year.

I had a similar relationship with Enid Blyton, starting with The Famous Five. Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us. All the best with your latest book!


Bethan’s book Thicker Than Water is available to buy now. You can catch up with Bethan on Twitter (@bethandarwin).

Inheritance Books: Kate Frost

This week’s guest on Inheritance Books is Kate Frost. Welcome to the sofa, Kate. I’m sorry, we haven’t had a guest in a while. Let me dust it down for you. There you go. I’ll go put the kettle on, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself.

KateFrostHeadShotI live in Bristol, a city I was born in and have always lived in, apart from three fabulous years spent at university in Aberystwyth. I grew up in the 1980s in a Victorian terraced house with a park at the end of the road. I have fond memories of my childhood with Sunday afternoon tea in front of the telly watching nature programmes; camping holidays with my Mum, Dad and younger brother getting bitten by mosquitos, discovering beautiful places and having barbeques in the rain; and Christmas spent with my Grandparents on their farm in Norfolk. I also have vivid memories of being in hospital when I was seven and undergoing open heart surgery to fix a hole in my heart. I was at that blissful age where it was an adventure rather than a traumatic experience. It also put me on the path to becoming a writer, as I had an amazing home tutor during the months following the operation, who taught me all about dinosaurs and how to write stories.

I studied drama while at Aberystwyth, but after graduating got disillusioned with the whole audition process of having to look a certain way or know the right person to get a role. I started writing again and over the next few years had articles and short stories published in magazines such as New Welsh Review and The London Magazine. I had various jobs along the way including being a bookseller at Waterstones, a Virgin Vie consultant hosting make-up parties, and putting my drama background to good use working as a Supporting Artist appearing in the films Vanity Fair, King Arthur and The Duchess. I did a MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University in 2004-05 and then wound up working out of hours for NHS Direct for a few years while I finished writing my debut novel, The Butterfly Storm and built up my freelance writing business writing blogs and features for easyJet.  

The past few years have been busy. I got married in 2008, and later that year we bought a house in need of complete renovation so spent the next couple of years doing it up. We then got our dog, Frodo, a gorgeous Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, struggled through four rounds of fertility treatment, during which I published The Butterfly Storm, finished writing my first children’s book and was made redundant from NHS Direct. In February 2014 our miracle son was born and now my life is happy and hectic and revolves around a very energetic toddler while trying to write novels.


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

Narnia seriesThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – well in fact C.S. Lewis’ whole series of Narnia books. They weren’t passed on to me but bought for me by my parents. Despite my mum being a prolific reader now, she was never interested in reading when she was a child, as she was too busy playing outside (she lived on a farm near the north Norfolk coast) to be interested in books. As an adult she realised what she’d been missing out on all that time and encouraged me to read. I remember being about eight or nine years old and getting swept up in Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy’s adventures and devouring the whole series of seven books. I also remember being bitterly disappointed when the back of my wardrobe didn’t lead into a snowy Narnia. But my love for books was cemented and I quickly realised the power of imagination, and so started writing my own stories.

Yay! An excellent choice!


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

Year of WondersI’m fascinated by the Restoration period with the plague and the Great Fire of London and so I loved Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, a novel about the plague set in 1665-66. I first read it when I was in my mid-twenties, just as I was really focused on writing for a living and not long before I did my Creative Writing MA, and so it was a book that influenced me greatly. It’s also one of a handful of books that I wish I’d written.

Apart from being based on a true story, which in itself is fascinating, it’s beautifully written, descriptive, emotional and poignant. It’s one of those novels that stays with you long after you’ve read the last line and I’d encourage anyone to read it.

I’ve not read that. It sounds really interesting. Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us Kate. Good luck with the book.



Kate’s latest book Beneath the Apple Blossom is out now. You can find out more about Kate on her website, Facebook or Twitter (@kactus77)


Inheritance Books: Patricia Marie Budd

Today’s guest on Inheritance Books is Patricia Marie Budd. Hi Patricia. Have a seat on the sofa. Would you like a biscuit? Tea? Coffee?  While I’m doing that, please tell us a bit about yourself. 

unnamedI am a high school English teacher by trade. How I wound up teaching is quite funny. Back in my early twenties when I was living in Toronto studying mime I loaned a friend $100.00. Sadly she was never able to pay me back. Her partner at the time was an astrologer so in lieu of the money I was offered a class in astrology and a chart reading. I knew I’d never see the money so I took the class and chart reading. According to my chart I was destined to be both a writer and a teacher. The writer part made sense as I had already written my first play and had it produced in the Rhubarb Festival in Toronto but the teacher part seemed a bit weird. Still, I figured, why not, I’m not making any money as a mime so I applied for Education at the University of Regina.

When the English department learned of my having produced a play they convinced me to study to become an English teacher. Feeling cocky from my recent (albeit brief) success in theatre I agreed. And then I took an English class. Why hadn’t I remembered having had to drop out of English 200 because I was failing miserably? My counselor warned me that if I didn’t improve my spelling and grammar ‘yesterday’ they were pulling me from the Program. That is when I learned the real meaning of hard work. I am pleased to say I succeed and have been teaching high school English since the fall of 1991.

I never did have any real success in theatre, just marginal recognition. My third play received honorable mention in the 2001 Alberta Playwriting Network’s competition but it never saw the light of stage. It was shortly thereafter that writing novels became my passion. My first novel, A New Dawn Rising came out in 2006, Hell Hounds of High School came out in 2011. Hadrian’s Lover was released in 2013 and Hadrian’s Rage will be out May 3 of this year.


 That is quite a weird way into the teaching profession, but what a great story!

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

unnamed (1)When I was a little girl I used to read a book belonging to my mother titled Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette: A Guide to Gracious Living. I know my mother read it and had incorporated some of its advice into her life, especially the sections on “Dress and Manners” and “Home Entertaining”. My mother was an extremely beautiful woman and when she dressed for a social night out she was absolutely stunning. I remember she had this beautiful green dress she kept in her closet. She had worn it in her youth and I secretly told myself my mother had been wearing that dress when my father had fallen in love with her. She also threw the most amazing parties. She dressed my siblings and I in our Sunday best to serve her guests. I loved serving dainties to her guests; it always made me feel so grown up. Though it has been decades since I’ve opened this book it sits on my bookshelf and I always think fondly of my mother when I see it.


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

unnamed (2)I wouldn’t leave just one book. I would leave the entire series. The first book I recall sparking my love of literature was Laura Ingalls-Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. I could smell Pa’s pipe and feel his rough beard against my cheek. One time when my uncle tickled me with his beard I pretended I was little Laura Ingalls. I read the entire series from beginning to end and then I read it again. I even picked it up later in life when I found the set at a used bookstore. Even in my forties I loved the story of this little girl and her life in the woods, on the banks of Plum Creek, on the prairie, in the town, during the harsh winter, being a young teacher, falling in love and becoming the mother of her own children. I most especially loved her telling her fiancé that she would not say the word ‘obey’ in their wedding vows. I smiled and was proud of Laura Ingalls. This series turned me into an avid reader.

I haven’t read any of the books, but I used to watch the TV series as a child (and loved it)! You’ve prompted me to go look for the books now. Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Patricia. All the best with your own books.

Cover - Patricia M Budd 2015 v2Patricia’s book, Hadrian’s Rage, is available to buy now. You can find out more about her on her website.

Inheritance Books: Marie Laval

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

Today’s guest on Inheritance Books is fellow RNA member and all round lovely person, Marie Laval. Hi Marie, take a seat. Why don’t you introduce yourself. 

MarieLaval (2)I am French and have been living in Lancashire for quite a long time, almost long enough to have got used to the rain! I grew up in a small village near Lyon.  I studied law and history at university there and for many years my ambition was to be a journalist. I was always very attracted to England and to anything English – I blame great authors like Daphné du Maurier, Jane Austen and Wilkie Collins – so I came to live in England shortly after graduating. Unfortunately, I did not become a journalist, but held a variety of jobs, mostly in admin at the University of Manchester. I retrained as a teacher a few years ago and now work in a large secondary school. When I’m not busy looking after my family and planning lessons, I dream up romantic stories! I started writing short stories and now write full-length contemporary and historical romance. My novels are published by Accent Press.


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

DSCF1718It was so difficult to pick just one book, Rhoda! I inherited a lot of books from my parents, mainly novels, which are at present sitting in cardboard boxes because I am supposed to be moving house in the next few weeks.

One of the books that means a lot to me is a collection of humorous texts by the talented French comedian and writer Raymond Devos. The man was so much more than a comedian. He was a genius with words, and I remember how proud and grown-up I felt when as a teenager I was able to finally understand some of his jokes and puns! ‘Histoire d’en Rire’ was the last ever book my sisters, mother and I bought for my father for his birthday, and I will always cherish it.

Most comedy writers have some genius with words. (Terry Pratchett, PG Wodehouse…)


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

Once again, a very difficult choice. I hesitated between two but in the end chose ‘Le Lion’ DSCF1722by Joseph Kessel (apologies because it’s in French!). ‘Le Lion’ is a novel I treasured since I first read it aged twelve or thirteen. I brought it to England with me when I moved here, and as you can see the cover is rather battered. The story is set in Africa, in the land of the Massai people, and is the tale of an incredible friendship between a little girl and a …lion, of course! After many adventures and plot twists, the story doesn’t end well for the lion. Joseph Kessel was a great writer, a journalist and adventurer, and a pioneer of aviation in the 1920s. I read most of his novels, which gave me a yearning for literature and faraway lands. Many of his stories were made into films, starring great French actresses such as Catherine Deneuve and Romy Schneider.

I do hope my children grow up to be as fond of ‘Le Lion’ as I was.

Merci beaucoup!

You’re welcome! Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Marie. All the best with the new book!

BLUEBONNETSBlue Bonnets, the second in the Dancing For The Devil Trilogy are now out and are available from Accent Press and Amazon 

 You can find out more about Marie at her website, or on Facebook.  


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.