Today I’m delighted to welcome author Claire Brown to Jen Med’s to help me spread a little more book love. We’ll be taking a look at some of Claire’s all time favourite books, just as soon as we’ve found out a little bit more about Claire.
Claire L Brown was born in Sunderland, Northeast England.
She currently resides in her native Northeast with her dog Hero and her family.
Claire is a BA Honors Graduate in Media with American History from Sunderland University and was an exchange student attending Western Washington State University, USA for period of time.
As well as writing her novels, Claire is a blogger charting her lifestyle and is the Chief Executive of The Poppy Garden Appeal a charity established to fund a recuperation centre for service personnel and their families.
Claire concentrates mostly on fantasy, mystery, romance and thriller genres.
Her favourite authors include Jane Austen, Gaston Lerox, Charles Dickens, Shakespere and Arthur Conan Doyle.
The Poppy Garden
Six months after her perfect wedding day, Sky is woken by a Military Officer brining her news of her husband, Nick. Injured in a bombing he is on his way home to a military hospital. Filled with relief as he opens his eyes for the first time, Sky’s world falls apart when he can’t remember who she is or anything about their life together. Now Sky must fight to save her marriage and help her husband recover from both physical and mental scars of war.
Inspired by memories of her grandfather and how he channeled his PTSD into his garden she sets out to create somewhere for not only Nick to recover but to help other recovering service men and create a place of beauty to share with their families. But will the beauty of the garden be able to heal her husband’s wounds and bring him home to her forever?
Favourite book from childhood
I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t read or was read to. As a child I loved reading fairy tales, while I loved the Disney versions of them I also found the original folk tales endearing and attractive. I loved Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. From there I moved on to Phantom of the Opera which I some may find strange as a childhood book but in my family the musical was loved and adored so it seemed only natural I would adore the book too – even if it is a lot darker than the musical or movies have ever portrayed
The first book you fell in love with
I had a beautiful copy of A Christmas Carol my mam and dad gave me. It was beautifully illustrated and I’ve always been a bit of a Christmas nut so that book was always on my beside table. I think it’s the epitome of Christmas and probably what drives my internal imaginings of what makes the perfect Christmas.
Biggest book crush
The book character you’re totally in love with
Books were always my best friend, I was a bullied as a child from the age of five to sixteen so for me friends where the characters in books. They were the people I could rely on, identify with, feel safe with, they wouldn’t judge me or hurt me in the way others did.
I remember sitting watching Pride and Prejudice when it was dramatized on the BBC with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and I fell in love with those characters and their relationships. I loved Darcy and how complicated he was, how deep down you knew he was likable but his actions always made him seem the opposite.
Weirdest book crush
Wuthering Heights – there’s something so dark and disturbing about the story of Cathy and Heathcliff, I had a real obsession with the book when I was younger. There’s something enticing about Heathcliff as a character and I think I was often intrigued about what had happened to him in the time he spent away from the moors. I think because it’s not explained in the book it made me more anxious to know.
Guilty Reading pleasure
Probably a love for Young Adult books every now and again I go back to reading something like Harry Potter or the Hunger Games. I used to love reading Point Horror and Point Romance as a teenager so sometimes it’s nice to go back and re-read and relive what you used to love.
Love one, love them all
Favourite series or genre
Miss Marple – I love Agatha Christie, her crime novels were always a cosy fireside read. The crimes were never so detailed and horrific as you sometimes get in modern thrillers and crime dramas. I loved the little old lady who people assumed because of her age and her background she knew nothing. She was highly intelligent but to me she had the measure of everyone else, she knew how much they would underestimate her and she used it to her advantage. She was brilliant and I loved reading every adventure she had.
Your latest squeeze
Favourite read of the last 12 months
Shadows of the Work House – Jennifer Worth. I read the first Call the Midwife book a couple of years ago, I’ve had the second and third on my TBR pile for quite a while. I started this one around Christmas and it was just so well written and the characters so real, it had everything love, laughter, sadness and hope.
Greatest love of all
Favourite book of all time.
Pride and Prejudice – it always stays with me, I have this love of a golden age and I gravitate to books that offer that.
Thanks Claire. Some really classic choices in there. I loved reading all the Ladybird Fairy Stories like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast as a child so that’s really brought back the memories there. And I love a bit of MIss Marple. If you’re talking TV/Film adaptations then I don’t think anyone will ever beat Joan Hickson for me. She was Miss Marple, in every way.
What do you reckon folks? Agree with Claire’s choices? Any books you would recommend?
Have a fab weekend of bookish fun all