Friday 6 July 2018

Janice Horton - My Life In Books @JaniceHorton #TheBackpackingHousewife @HarperImpulse

The Backpacking Housewife: 
One mum is leaving it all behind for the adventure of a lifetime… Lorraine Anderson was meant to be making a Sunday roast, not swanning off to Thailand, backpack in hand! But when she finds her husband and her best friend in bed together there’s only one thing to do – grab her passport and never look back! Now, with each mile travelled Lori sheds the woman she once was and finds the woman she was always meant to be. A woman of passion and spirit who deserves to explore the great unknown… and to indulge in the temptation she encounters along the way! 

The Backpacking Housewife by Janice Horton is published today (6 July 2018) by Harper Impulse. To celebrate publication day, I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today. She's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life in Books.

My Life in Books - Janice Horton

I began reading at an early age and in particular I loved Enid Blyton books – I have a good memory and I can remember being delighted with Noddy books and The Magic Faraway Tree. This led to many hours in my impressionable youth reading Mallory Towers and Famous Five and Secret Seven books. All wonderful. This was in the 1960’s and books would all be borrowed from either the school library or local library. We didn’t have money at home for buying books, although, I would of course have books given to me as presents at Christmas time or for my birthday.

The first children’s novel that made a big impression on me was Heidi by Joanna Spyri. I loved Heidi so much I must have read it over and over. I so wanted to be her best friend. This was the first time I’d really identified with a fictional character as if they were a real person.

I then went on to discover Ruby Ferguson. Ruby Ferguson wrote a series of ‘Jill’ pony books and I devoured them. I didn’t just want Jill to be my friend – I wanted to be her – and told everyone I’d changed my name from Janice to Jill. My mother wasn’t impressed!

Many years later, I discovered that Ruby Ferguson also wrote romance novels and romantic suspense novels as R.C. Ashby (her maiden name). They were written many years before her ‘Jill’ pony books in the late 1930’s and 1940’s and 1950’s. Over the years, I made a point of sourcing and reading them. I now have a lovely collection of Ruby Ferguson first editions. Now that I’m travelling, they are some of the few and precious books that I have in storage.

Janice's collection of Jill books 

As a young woman, I read and loved both the classics like Wuthering Heights and Madame Bovary as well as the big epic bonkbuster novels of the day and they all opened my eyes to a very different world than my own. Books like The Thorn Birds by Collen McCullough (1977). A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford (1979). Mistral’s Daughter by Judith Krantz (1982). All and anything by Jackie Collins. I called my first dog Cleo (a little Yorkshire Terrier) after the heroine in the Jackie Collins book that I happen to be reading at the time. Several years ago, I had a little West Highland Terrier called Ruby and named after Ruby Ferguson.

Clearly, some books and authors and characters stay in my heart!

Then I discovered Jilly Cooper in 1985 when Riders came out and I’ve probably now read everything she’s ever written both before and after Riders. I have many of her books – mostly in first edition – in my precious book boxes in storage. I love her author voice, her wit, her characters that seem so real and the glamourous country settings and animals – especially horses – in her stories.

Janice's Jilly Cooper collection

These days I read widely. I enjoy many genres and many different authors. I adore women’s commercial fiction and chick-lit but I also love action packed adventure novels and historical fiction and biographies. I read both traditionally published books and I also read indie ‘self-published’ books in equal measure. It’s not how they are published that is important but how they are written.

What am I reading right now? Pharaoh by Wilbur Smith

Janice Horton writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. 
In 2014, as empty-nesters, Janice and her husband set off to explore the Caribbean. 
In 2015, they returned to the UK only to sell their material possessions in favour of travelling around the world. 
To date they have explored over 50 countries and are still travelling. 
Janice's new and exciting 2018 summer release is from Harper Impulse ' The Backpacking Housewife'. 

Look out for her bestselling romantic adventure novels - 'Bagpipes and Bullshot' and 'Reaching for the Stars' and 'Castaway in the Caribbean' - a #1 Kindle Bestseller shortlisted for the prestigious Love Story Awards. 

Janice also writes under the author name of Janey Travis. Look out for her fun romantic comedy 'I Need a Doctor'. 

Janice blogs about travel and books from her website at and you'll also find her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

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