I write fiction about the distant past. My first novel is The Errant Hours, a headlong journey through the physical and spiritual dangers of Plantagenet Britain.

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Welsh Marches, July 1284. The uprising in Wales is over, the leader, Dafydd, gruesomely executed, the dead are buried. But for Illesa Arrowsmith the war’s aftermath is just as brutal. Her brother, Kit, has been thrown into the Forester’s prison on false charges, and her mother’s death has left her with crippling debts. All Illesa has left is the secret manuscript entrusted to her – a book so powerful it can save lives, a book so valuable that its discovery will lead to her death.

Inspired by the seductive art of illuminated manuscripts, The Errant Hours draws from the deep well of medieval legend to weave a story of survival and courage, trickery and love.

“Kate Innes’s glorious first novel is a lyrical joy.  Up there with the best of Pat Bracewell and Elizabeth Chadwick, it offers utter immersion in an intricate, plausible world.  A must read for the autumn.” Manda Scott

Taymouth Hours – A woman hunting

“A thoroughly compelling historical epic, elegantly woven and atmospheric – I loved it.” Nicky Tate

“Immaculately researched and beautifully written, this is also a rollicking historical adventure which will grip you to the last page.” Sarah Vincent

“A very fine novel. The narrative itself is gripping and the background historical and theological context gives added depth and nuance.” Ted Eames

“The book is a page-turner; it is also very well-written. Essentially, for an historical novel, it has authenticity – by which I mean, not just factual accuracy, but a truthfulness of mind. The author has imagined herself very successfully into the various times; into the way people thought and felt.” Vuyelwa Carlin

The Errant Hours

From an obscure Forester’s prison in a Shropshire valley to Stokesay, Clun and Criccieth Castles, and from the humble village church of Eaton-under-Heywood to Wenlock Priory, the reader follows Illesa on her perilous course to the western reaches of medieval Britain, and the holy shrine of Bardsey Island.

lleyn peninsula in 13th century

  • Wenlock Priory – a Cluniac house (photo by Grahamec)
    Wenlock Priory - a Cluniac house

  • Acton Burnell Castle
    Acton Burnell Castle

  • Clun Castle
    Clun Castle

  • Criccieth Castle – Wales
    Criccieth Castle - Wales

  • St Edith’s Church – Eaton-under-Heywood, Shropshire
    St Edith's Church - Eaton-under-Heywood Shropshire

  • Stokesay Castle, Shropshire (photo by Andrew Matthewson)

    Stokesay_castle, Shropshire

  • Bardsey Island from Lleyn Peninsula – Wales
    Bardsey Island from Lleyn Peninsula - Wales

  • Bardsey Island from Lleyn Peninsula
    Bardsey Island from Lleyn Peninsula