Stand by for some lovely pics – today we’re visiting Yorkshire, one of my favourite places in England, along with my fellow Fabrian Books writer Sharon Booth, who sets her books there. Over to Sharon to tell us about her new release:
Any Brontë fan knows that Charlotte lived in Haworth, West Yorkshire, and most likely set her novel on the moors around her home. As an East Yorkshire girl, who regularly visits the North Yorkshire Moors, but seldom gets over to West Yorkshire, I decided it was probably wiser to base my own novel in more familiar territory. My Mr Rochester’s home, Moreland Hall, is therefore located near the fictional village of Hasedale, somewhere around the real Glaisdale/Egton/Grosmont area.
Most of my books are based in or around the Yorkshire Moors, and I’ve built up quite a network of fictional villages and towns similar to real-life ones. Central to this fictional region is the market town of Helmston, which was inspired by Helmsley. I moved Helmston further north than Helmsley actually is, nudging it closer to Robin Hood’s Bay, the inspiration for Kearton Bay. Orbiting Helmston are various fictional villages, such as Bramblewick, Farthingdale, Thornley Beck and Hasedale—all inspired by real places. I mention one or more of these villages in each of my books (apart from the Skimmerdale books, which are located in the Yorkshire Dales), and I also mention York and Whitby frequently, to anchor the stories in a real location.
Another new place makes its debut in Resisting Mr Rochester—Newarth. It’s inspired by the main street in Haworth. I pictured the quaint little shops and cafés, and the pub at the top of the hill. I named the pub in Newarth The Cock and Bull, as a tribute to Branwell Brontë’s favourite Black Bull, the inn he frequented, where you can still find his favourite chair. Newarth is the birthplace of my heroine, Cara Truelove, who is a true child of the moors. All Cara wants to do is go back there and be in the place she loves. Home.
The best holiday I ever had was in Whitby. The sun shone all week, and I had my fifteenth birthday there. Every day, Dad would devise a different walk for us, and with cries of “Follow the pathfinder”, he would lead us off on our travels. We discovered so many beautiful places that week, and I made my first visit to Robin Hood’s Bay—setting eyes for the very first time on the place that would one day mean so much to me. Such happy memories of a very special time in my life ensures that I consider the area my second home. I can definitely relate to Cara’s longing.
The villages are so stunningly pretty, and the scenery so breathtaking, that they make the perfect locations for my novels. Plus, I have a great reason to visit often. Research! That’s what I tell my husband, anyway. 😊
Thank you, Sharon! I feel a Yorkshire trip coming on… soon, hopefully.
Here’s the blurb for Resisting Mr Rochester:
Cara Truelove has always been a romantic, burying her head in books and dreaming of being swept off her feet by her very own Brontë hero. When she was a gullible teenager, she believed boyfriend Seth to be a modern-day brooding Heathcliff. Fourteen years later, when Seth has proved to be more like Homer Simpson, Cara vows never to fall in love again, and turns her back on romance for good.
Leaving Seth behind, Cara secures a job as nanny at Moreland Hall on the Yorkshire Moors, but is shocked to discover her new employer is none other than the tall, dark, and disturbingly handsome Mr Rochester.
Her resolve to be more level-headed is soon tested when strange things begin to happen at Moreland Hall. Why is Mr Rochester’s mother hidden away upstairs? What are the strange noises she hears from the attic? Why is the housekeeper so reluctant to leave her on her own? And where is Mr Rochester’s mysterious wife?
As events unfold, Cara knows she must keep a cool head, curb her imagination – and resist Mr Rochester at all costs. After all, one Brontë hero in a lifetime is more than enough for any woman. Two would be downright greedy.
Sharon Booth wrote her first book when she was ten. It was about a boarding school that specialised in ballet, and, given that she’d never been to boarding school and hadn’t a clue about ballet, it’s probably a good thing that no copy of this masterpiece survives.
She is the author of six novels, and has also written for The People’s Friend.
Sharon lives in East Yorkshire, with her husband and their dog. She is one tenth of The Write Romantics, and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
She has a love/hate relationship with chocolate, is a devoted Whovian, and is shamefully prone to all-consuming crushes on fictional heroes.