Inheritance Books – Lynda Renham

Lynda Renham, author of books with hilarious titles, is visiting Inheritance Books today. 

Hi Lynda, welcome to Inheritance Books. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Copy of Copy of DSCF4175My name is Lynda Renham. I am the bestselling author of the romantic comedies Croissants and Jam Coconuts and Wonderbras, Pink Wellies and Flat Caps and The Dog’s Bollocks which is my latest novel. I also have a little ditty out titled The Confessions of a Chocoholic, which is a collection of short stories about my mad life.

I live in Oxfordshire with my second husband and our little cat Bendy. I have been writing for 25 years but only had success in the past three, when I decided to write comedy. I have a contemporary novel out titled The Diary of Rector Byrnes which is written under the pseudonym of Edith Waylen. It is very different to my comedy novels.

I love chocolate and music and need both when writing. I have talked on radio and written political articles before turning my attention mostly to novel writing.

I live in the country and absolutely love it. We take lovely walks through our village and I take many photos and share them on my Facebook page.

I love having contact with my readers and love to hear what they like about my novels and which ones are their favourites. I produce a monthly newsletter and anyone can subscribe to it by going to my web page at I’d love to hear from you so please do contact me. I’m on Twitter as well as Facebook and you can always contact me via my website.

Oxfordshire is lovely. The countryside is so heartbreakingly beautiful in the summer.

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

IMAG0148The book I have inherited and love dearly for many reasons is The Sea The Sea by Iris Murdoch. My mother bought it many years and gave it to me and so began my love and addiction for Iris Murdoch. I have all her books. And what makes this introduction so special is because twenty years later after being introduced to Iris Murdoch a wonderful film was made about her life based on the book written about her by her husband John Bayley. I discovered after seeing the film that Iris had lived in Oxfordshire and not far from me. I found out from a friend where it was and learnt that John still lived there. I found the house and popped a note in asking John Bayley if I could pop round for tea and see where Iris had written her books as I was such a big fan. The biggest shock was when he answered the note and invited me for tea. It was amazing. I saw Iris’s study and her home and met John Bayley and best of all John read my book The Diary of Rector Byrnes and said it was highly publishable. From a Professor of English that was praise indeed.  That was one of the highlights of my life.

Which book would you leave for later generations? Why?

The book I would leave for future generations is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. It was recommended to me and is a fine balancebeautifully written novel and so compelling. Absolutely beautiful and I want to buy a copy for all my friends. It is a book that has made me desperately want to go to India. I have many books recommended to me but this one was most certainly the best ever.

Thank you for sharing our Inheritance Books with us, Lynda. All the best with your books.

dogbsLynda’s latest book The Dog’s Bollocks is out now. You can find out more about Linda on Facebook, Twitter or her website.

Inheritance Books – Melinda Hammond

This week, award winning historical romance novelist, Melinda Hammond shares her Inheritance Books.

Hello Melinda. Welcome to my blog. Tell me a bit about yourself.

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making up stories, and had my first historical romantic adventures published in the 1980s by Robert Hale, in 2008 I began writing as Sarah Mallory for Harlequin Mills & Boon and now have over 20 titles published, most of them Georgian or Regency romances. I live in an old farmhouse on the Pennines, quite close to Bronte country and I keep hoping that some of their brilliance will rub off on me!

 I used to live in West Yorkshire and visited the Bronte parsonage every time we had guests from overseas! It’s a very inspiring space.


 Which book have you inherited from the generation above you?

I grew up in a working class household in the centre of Bristol. Money was tight but my father’s prize possession was his bookcase. It was filled with an assortment of books from the Bible to a complete set of Dickens. The books I loved most were the adventure books – The Count of Monte Cristo, Captain Blood, Tarzan, Biggles – I loved them all. When my parents died the books were shared out amongst the four of us, but most of the adventures books came to me!

When Rhoda asked me to nominate a special book that I had inherited, I went back to the bookshelf to see which one had inspired me most and the truth is, they all did, but there is one that is quite special, and Rhoda, I hope you don’t think I am cheating but I have decided to nominate a compendium. It is called The Favourite Wonder Book, and is full of stories and poems by such great authors as P G Wodehouse, A A Milne, Eleanor Farjeon, E Nesbit, Alexander Dumas, Oscar Wilde, Leo Tolstoy and many, many more.  The date in this book is 1938 and my father bought it long before I was even a twinkle in his eye!  I think it must have been bought for the eldest of my three brothers, who was born around then. It is quite a heavy volume with a beautiful blue cover of embossed leather and I always thought it very special. In those between-the-war days when this books was published there was no TV to speak of and very few books had illustrations – this one has over 300, but tellingly only 5 of them are in colour.

I loved this book, my parents used to read it to me, and when I was old enough I was allowed to take it carefully from the bookcase and to dip into it myself. This book has everything – stories of the wild west, re-told Greek myths, fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Anderson, poems by Wordsworth, Shelley, Christina Rossetti and Longfellow, a stirring yarn called “An Alligator Hunt” by R M Ballantyne and even a couple of children’s stories by Charles Dickens! I read it to my own children when they were young and I still go back to it sometimes: whether I am in the mood for fantasy, romance, adventure or a thought-provoking poem I can still find something here to entertain me.

I love it because it is full of good writing – it doesn’t matter that much of it was written more than a century ago, the authors were all masters of their craft, and although the stories are aimed at youngsters they are none the worse for that. Good stories, well told, are ageless and it is what I aim for in my own writing.


I guess it is cheating a bit, but I’ll let you off! Which book will you leave to the generations below you and why?

There are so many – the classics that I grew up with, Georgette Heyer, who was my inspiration to write historicals and the Harry Potter books which I believe has encouraged a whole new generation of readers. There are also so many good new writers today that choosing just one is well night impossible, but maybe I will plump for my favourite Jane Austen novel. I discovered Austen when I was a teenager and had soon devoured every one of her books.  I loved the fun and energy of Pride and Prejudice, the contrasting characters of Marianne and Elinor in Sense and Sensibility, but it is Persuasion that is my all-time favourite.  It has a more mature, thoughtful mood about it, and I find Anne Elliott’s quiet eloquence quite heart-breaking.  Quite simply it is a good story, well told.


Thank you so much for sharing your Inherited Books with me, Melinda. It was lovely to see you. Do come visit again soon!

Melinda’s latest book  Beneath the Major’s Scars  (written as Sarah Mallory) is published by Mills and Boon and will be on sale in December.  You can find out more about Melinda on her website (, on Twitter (@SarahMRomance) or on Facebook (


Inheritance Books – Maryann Miller

This week’s Inheritance Books are from Maryann Miller, writer  of crime novels and friend of libraries.

Hi Maryann, welcome to my blog. Tell me a bit about yourself. 

Hi, I’m Maryann Miller, an author and part-time farmer here on my little ranch in East Texas. My latest release is a police procedural mystery, Open Season, which just came out as an e-book, and it got terrific reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal. It was first released in hardcover and went through three printings. It is available for most electronic devices that have reading apps.

Which book did you inherit from the generation above? Why is it special?

I am so pleased that you invited me to come over to the blog today and share with you about one of my most precious possessions. It is this 1916 edition of The Fairy Tales of the Brother’s Grimm, Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. This wonderful old book was passed to my mother from my grandmother, and then to me.

We did not have many books to read when I was a child, so I read this one over and over, while being ever so careful not to tear a page or touch it with dirty hands.

The illustrations are quite lovely, some done as detailed ink drawings in black and white, others in color, and the title page is also a work of art with the beautiful fonts and the border. I remember enjoying the artwork as much as the stories, and so have my children and grandchildren.

Which book would you pass on to future generations?

I would actually pass on the same book. The early introduction to how important a book can be certainly played a part in my becoming a writer, and while my books may not be passed from generation to generation like some others, they have been favorably received by readers. It is always such a thrill to hear from someone who enjoyed one of my stories, and I’m sure the Brothers Grimm felt the same way.

My mother told me how special the book was because it came from her mother, who received it from an uncle who had first had it when he was a child. It has passed through many hands and is one of the family treasures that several of my children are hoping they will inherit when I am gone. I may surprise one of them and gift them with it before I go. I would like to be here and see the delight when they receive it.

That’s a beautiful book. The illustrations are amazing. Thank you for sharing your lovely book with us.

  You can buy Maryann’s book Open Season on Amazon.

To find out more about Maryann Miller’s books, check out her website

Find her on FaceBook or Twitter

Romantic Novelists’ Association conference 2012 (Penrith)

I spent last weekend at the Romantic Novelists’ Association annual conference in Penrith. It was the first time I’d been to a full conference (I’d been before for the day only). I had a wonderful time being a writing geek and discussing all sorts of random things relating to writing and romance. I feel like I’ve been talking and laughing for 72 hours straight.

We discussed heroines, heroes, Joss Whedon, Terry Pratchett, the perfect dinner date, the man with universal appeal (doesn’t exist), the films of Pixar, the writing of Joss Whedon, the cheekbones on Johnny Depp, the appeal of nerdy men, the general awesomeness of Jim Parsons, vampires, merkins, cats, bats, spanx and did I mention Joss Whedon?

There was food, wine, tea and cake and writing. Lots of talk about writing. I learned so much that my head is still buzzing with ideas and tips. I met some wonderful people and made a whole load of new friends. I talked so much that my face hurts. I think I’ll shut up for a bit now. Maybe catch up on some sleep. Here are some pictures.

Evonne Wareham getting the Joan Hessayon trophy
Evonne Wareham getting the Joan Hessayon trophy

Jane Lovering getting a big pink bowl for winning Romantic Novel of the Year
A random rose covered walkway at the Newton Rigg campus. I thought it was romantic.
I have dinner with award winning novelists don’t-cha-know.
More dinner with novelists
An explanation as to why the photos are so blurry?