Inheritance Books: Sharon Booth

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

This week’s guest is Sharon Booth, writer of cosy rom coms and books about modern witches. Hi Sharon, welcome to Inheritance Books. I’ve got chocolate Hobnobs, especially. While I go find them, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, Rhoda, and thanks so much for inviting me onto your blog. I grew up in Hessle, East Yorkshire, and spent a lot of my time reading. I was a real bookworm and frequently visited the local library which, in those days, was above the town hall. I can still hear the creaking of those stairs as I climbed up to what was then my favourite place in the world — usually in the company of my dad. 

Both my parents read a lot. Mum mostly read Catherine Cookson novels and Dad preferred non-fiction, and almost every evening they would sit in the living room, each absorbed in their current read. I’d be in an armchair, head buried in another book. I’m very grateful that I had parents who loved books. 

Reading was probably the reason I loved school. I was lucky because all three of my schools had well-stocked libraries, so I had loads of material to go at. It wasn’t unusual for me to stagger home with seven or eight library books in my school bag. Once the teacher realised I actually read them all, he helped me search for suitable novels to take home. He knew I was pony mad and scoured the shelves for pony books for me. The shelves were full of them and I was in heaven!

Enid Blyton kickstarted my passion for reading. The first book I was ever given was a Noddy book, which I treasured, but I soon progressed through the likes of Brer Rabbit and Mr Twiddle to the Secret Seven, Hollow Tree House, Mistletoe Farm, Willow Farm, Cherry Tree Farm, Malory Towers and of course the Famous Five. My favourite presents at Christmas were always the three books that my parents bought me. Before long, I wanted to try my hand at writing my own stories, just like Enid Blyton. Who’d have thought it would lead me to becoming a full-time author?

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

I didn’t inherit this book, but it’s one I’ve loved since my primary school days. It’s Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm by Enid Blyton (who else?) and it was the book that sparked my interest in ponies and pony books. I quickly followed it up with the sequel, Six Cousins Again. I just loved the story of two sets of three cousins who, through difficult circumstances, find themselves sharing a home, even though they barely know each other and have little in common. The three country children live on Mistletoe Farm and are appalled to have their three townie cousins thrust upon them. And, to be fair to them, the townie children are pretty awful — particularly Melisande, who thinks her country clod cousins are beneath contempt. The story shows how the six of them learn to get along together, and how each of them gradually changes in some way, becoming more tolerant and understanding of their cousins and their own siblings. The sequel is equally as good. I lost my childhood copies, but I found this edition on eBay and snapped it up. It contains both stories in one volume and I still love them. Reading them takes me straight back to summery childhood days, lying on my bed, sun streaming through the open window, book in hand, lost in the world of Mistletoe Farm, while downstairs Mum was busy cooking and Dad was out in the garden, mowing the lawn. I can almost smell that freshly cut grass. Happy days.  

Oh, I loved the Mistletoe Farm books. To this day, Stir up Sunday makes me think of them.

Which book would you leave to future generations? Why?

I thought long and hard about this, but eventually realised there was only one real contender. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend is, for me, an absolute classic. It was a book that I loved immediately. I knew Adrian! I understood him completely, and I could relate to his family and friends and neighbours. These were people I felt at home with. It’s hilariously funny, but also incredibly moving at times. The things that happen to Adrian aren’t huge events on a global scale, but they affect him deeply and are extraordinary in their ordinariness. His mother’s shenanigans with Mr Lucas, her ardent feminism, the boil-in-the-bag curries, his father’s unemployment, the dog’s frequent trips to the vet, Adrian’s incessant worries about his lack of vitamins and the state of his skin, not to mention his yearning for the unattainable Pandora — it’s perfection. And it’s a brilliant social commentary on working class life in the eighties. Everyone should read the Adrian Mole books!     

Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us Sharon. Best of luck with your latest book.

You can find out more about Sharon through her various online homes. Her latest book, To Catch a Witch, is the third and final novel in The Witches of Castle Clair series. It will be published on April 28th and is available to pre-order now.

Inheritance Books: Jenni Fletcher

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

This week’s Inheritance Books are from romance and fellow cake aficionado, Jenni Fletcher. Welcome to Inheritance Books, Jenni. Have a biscuit. Why don’t you set things off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Jenni Fletcher

I’m from Aberdeenshire, but now live in East Yorkshire with my family. I spent seven years at university studying English and never wanted to leave so becoming a writer seemed like a good solution. I could happily spend every day in a library, although I spent a couple of years working in various admin jobs, writing in my spare time. My favourite hobby is baking and, because I have to do exercise occasionally, I like mountain biking and hiking. I also teach creative writing part-time.

Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?
My mother gave me her copy of Here be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman when I was fifteen. She was a history teacher so there were always a lot of historical novels in our house, and she knew I liked the Medieval era. It’s all about King John and Llewellyn the Great and I remember being absolutely engrossed, reading until 3am on a school night. Katharine by Anya Seton was the first historical novel I ever read, but Here Be Dragons is the one that made me fall in love with the genre. Fortunately, my mum also had most of Penman’s other novels so they kept me busy for a while. Then we got to have discussions about Simon de Montfort and Welsh history over cake – I was that kind of rebellious teenager!

Picture of Jenni's messy bookshelves

That sounds like a lovely discussion to get into. Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
I’m a bit wary about recommending books to other people because I think we should all read whatever we want, BUT having said that,The Crimson Rooms by Katharine McMahon is one of my all-time favourites so I’d leave it as an example of just how wonderful and thought-provoking a book can be. It’s a combination of historical (it’s set just after WWI and looks at the psychological and practical impact of the war on women), crime (there’s a murder), and romance novel (with a truly gorgeous, but very flawed hero). It also has a sad ending, which is absolutely necessary to the plot and I’m so glad that the author wasn’t forced to write a happy one. I think you can tell when that’s happened and it can undermine the whole book. Fortunately, in this case there’s a sequel (The Woman in the Picture) which allows for a HEA eventually. So this is my ‘you really should read this book, book‘ – I hope to write one just like it someday.
Oh, and if I’m allowed just one other, Horton Hears a Who by Dr Seuss. It’s my favourite book to read to my children at bedtime and I quote it way too often. 

Oh, sneaky, getting an extra book in! But who doesn’t like Dr Seuss?!

Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Jenni. All the best with your new book … and huge congratulations for being shortlisted for a RoNA award with Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess.

You can find out more about Jenni on her website, or tweet pictures of cake to her on Twitter (@jenniauthor). Her latest book The Unconventional Countess is available to buy now.

Inheritance Books: Eleanor Harkstead

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

This week’s guest on Inheritance Books is Eleanor Harkstead. Hello Eleanor. Why don’t you take a seat on the Inheritance Books sofa and tell us a little bit about yourself.

Profile picture of Eleanor Harkstead

I’m Eleanor Harkstead. I co-write romantic fiction with my friend Catherine Curzon. We’ve adventured into all sorts of genres: contemporary, historical, romcom, paranormal, romantic suspense… By day I’m a librarian. My interests include family history and the history of forensics.

Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?
When I was about 8 or 9, my dad gave me a book that had been his favourite as a child. Now, my dad’s ambition was to be a lighthouse keeper, and to visit every RNLI lifeboat station in the country. He loves Douglas Reman’s WW2 naval adventures, so the book he gave me, and which I read very carefully because it was clearly precious to my dad, came as a surprise.

It was “The Family from One End Street” by Eve Garnett. And there’s very little nautical action in there at all.

The novel was first published in 1937, and it has gorgeous illustrations. The family struggle to get by, the children have adventures, and by the end of the novel, you feel like they’re your friends. Although the novel was almost fifty years old when I read it, it still had the power to enchant me as a reader because the characters, their adventures and their world were so realistic and engaging.

Eleanor Harkstead's bookshelf!

At the beginning of the story, the mum and dad have just seen John Singer Sargent’s painting “Carnation Lily Lily Rose” and they decide to name their daughters after it. And around the time I read the book, we went on a trip to the Tate (you won’t be surprised to learn we only had time for a quick jaunt round the galleries because we’d spent most of the day at the Boat Show in Earl’s Court) and I saw the painting in the flesh. The light from the lanterns in the painting seems to glow. It’s an astonishing artwork, and had an even greater effect on me as it came leaping out of a book at me too.

The Family from One End Street” showed me that even though fiction comes from the imagination, it’s perfectly okay for it to be rooted in the real world too. And it gave me a glimpse into the world of my father’s childhood. Unfortunately, I don’t have the book anymore – I gave it back to my dad!

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
My niece and nephew love books – they view them in the same way they do their toys, they’re sources of fun and amusement to them. I’d leave them Jill Murphy’s Worst Witch novels. They’ve been overshadowed by you-know-who, that wizard boy, but Mildred Hubble will always be my heroine. Those stories told me that even the kid who struggles, who’s awkward and odd, can triumph in the end, and that’s a powerful message for any child when they’re growing up and all at sea.

We love the books and the TV series in our house. Well met!

Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us Eleanor. All the best with your latest book.

Book cover for The Dishevelled Duke by Eleanor Harkstead and Catherine Curzon

You can find out more about Eleanor Harkstead and her books on her website, Twitter , Facebook or you can follow her on Bookbub (always a good idea!). Her latest book The Dishevelled Duke is available to buy now

Inheritance Books: Celia Anderson

Welcome back to Inheritance Books! I’m hoping to run this ‘season’ for a year.

Kicking off the 2020 season, here’s Celia Anderson, writer of women’s fiction with all the feels. Hi Celia, welcome to the Inheritance Books sofa. While I go put the kettle on, why don’t you plump up a cushion and tell us a bit about yourself?

Author photo of Celia Anderson

I live in the heart of the Midlands, a long way from the sea in every direction. Like many Midlanders, I love wandering along a beach, and I often write about idyllic coastal places to kid myself I can paddle at the drop of a hat. Although writing stories and plays has always been in my blood, it’s taken me many years to reach the point where I can honestly call myself an author. It wasn’t until early retirement from teaching happened that there was time and energy to have a proper stab at the book I’d always wanted to write and concentrate on finding the right home for it.
When my agent Laura Macdougall (United Agents) and I first met over a cup of tea in the peaceful surroundings of Fortnum & Mason’s café on St Pancras station, it was clear she was the one. I did my very best not to slurp my tea or knock anything over, and it seemed to work. Laura understood exactly what sort of readership 59 Memory Lane was right for, but even better, she knew how to make it really shine. We worked on the book together for some months until she decided it was ready to send out into the world. When Charlotte Ledger offered a publishing contract with Harper Fiction we were both delighted! The sequel to 59 Memory Lane, The Cottage of Curiosities will be published this summer. Both are set in Pengelly, a fictitious Cornish village where all is not as it seems.

I’ve only been to Cornwall once. I thought it was beautiful. I can see why you’d want to set a book there!

Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?
The book that I’m going to tell you about is one of a very precious and tatty collection left to me by my mum. She loved the author D.E Stevenson (a relative of Robert Louis Stevenson) and I’ve read every one of her treasured set over and over again. They’re all beautifully-rounded stories of relationships, romances and small-town life, often set in the rolling Scottish borders or cosy English villages. My all-time favourite is Miss Buncle’s Book. It tells the tale of single lady Barbara Buncle, who has fallen on hard times and has to make money somehow. Her two options are keeping hens (messy and time-consuming) or writing a book – dead easy. Or so she thinks.
I first read this when I was so young that I thought Barbara must have been in her dotage but it turned out, as I re-read it through the years, she was only thirty something and still had all her own teeth. As an impatient mum-to-be, the next in the series, Miss Buncle Married, got me through a very long night in the labour ward (well, that and quite a few Cadbury’s Cream eggs). You can see from the yellowing sticky tape and brown pages in the photograph how well-loved this paperback is.

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
The one I’d like to pass on is a trilogy – it was published in three parts but also as one volume, as you can see by my tattered copy which is now missing its spine. These novels are by Elizabeth Gouge, a wonderfully skilled writer whose talent is still celebrated through an award given at the RNA conference every year for the best short story. I’ve never won it yet. I haven’t given up …
The Eliots of Dameroshey compilation contains three books of such stunning quality that it’s hard to describe their incredible craftsmanship. The Bird In The Tree, The Herb Of Grace and The Heart Of The Family have everything. They follow the Eliot family and their friends through years of ups and downs. Set in Hampshire, you can almost smell the sea breeze from the salt marshes, experience the drama and history of Bucklers Hard and slip into the deep, loamy peace of the woods. Perfection.

It took me a while to decide whether a trilogy is allowable … but since it’s a complication edition, I think it’s fine.

Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Celia. All the best with your books!

You can find out more about Celia on her website, or chat to her on Twitter (@CeliaAnderson1). Her wonderful book 59 Memory Lane is available to buy now.

Inheritance Books: Carrie Parker

This week’s Inheritance Books come from Carrie Parker. Welcome to the Inheritance Books sofa, Carrie. Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy name is Carrie Parker and I live on the beach near Rye in East Sussex, England.  At least, Carrie Parker is my pen name.  My day job as a horticultural consultant involves writing factual, accurate reports for my clients and I don’t want them getting confused with my novels of pure fiction!  

I chose my pen name in honour of my grandmothers:  Carrie was my paternal grandmother’s name and Parker was my maternal grandmother’s name.  Both of them were extraordinary women, in completely different ways, and both were strong influences in my life.  As a young child, we lived in my grandmother Parker’s small terraced house in Yorkshire.  One of my earliest memories is of being left outside the local lending library in my large, old-fashioned pram, my older sister on guard, whilst my mother performed the weekly ritual of changing Gran’s library books.  When we got home, Gran would seize the books and start reading immediately, late into the night, by gaslight.  I can remember wondering what it was that was so interesting about reading books – it wasn’t long before I found out and it has stayed with me all my life.

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

20170622_134148 (2)
Black Beauty

When I was six, I won a prize at school for “Superior Answering”.  The prize was a book and my mother was asked to select one for me.  She chose a favourite of hers:  “Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell.  My sister and I would sit on the sofa with my mother, in front of the fire, as she read a chapter of the story to us every night before bed.  We both liked animals but an “animal autobiography” was new to us.  As a young child, in some ways it was a difficult book to cope with, but its powerful anti-cruelty message has stayed with me.  Published in 1877, Anna Sewell didn’t write it as a children’s book but to draw attention to animal cruelty.  Its message is clear and not out-dated – alongside the obvious concerns for the treatment of animals runs the theme of how we should all respect and show kindness to others.  Which is what my mother always did.

Which book would you leave to later generations? Why?

A Suitable Boy

The book I would like to leave for future generations is “A Suitable Boy” by Vikram Seth.  This is a wonderful book of epic proportions – certainly physically, at almost 1,500 pages.  It will be a bit of a challenge, as we are told the attention span of the younger generations is already diminished by our current technologies, but it is a brilliant example of the sustained pleasure to be had from immersing oneself in a really enthralling book.  The book is set in the newly-independent India of the 1950s and centres around four families and, in particular, one mother’s efforts to arrange a marriage for her daughter to “a suitable boy”.  Beautifully written, without pretension, the book gives a real insight into the political and societal changes happening in India at that time.  How the characters deal with the emotions of heartache and disappointment that accompany the pursuit of happiness and the quest for love in a complex and changing world has universal resonance.  

I was drawn to this book after working in India for several years and seeing first-hand the trials and tribulations facing young Indians seeking happy relationships amidst the religious, caste, sex and political complexities still prevalent in India in the 1990s.  Although times and attitudes continue to change, essentially this is a book about family and I think it will speak to many generations to come.

Thank you so much for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Carrie. Best of luck with your latest book.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACarrie’s book A Chateau For Sale is available to buy now. You can find out more about Carrie on her Facebook page.

You can win a copy of A Chateau For Sale by entering the competition below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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: 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: 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.