Monday, 27 February 2012

Review of Discovery at Rosehill by Kathryn Brown

Discovery at Rosehill is a paranormal romance. It is a move away from my normal read, but I loved every minute of this book.

Camilla Armstrong is a medium who falls in love with Rosehill; a beautiful run down Manor House that she is led to by her Grandmother. It soon becomes apparent that there is some paranormal activity taking place at Rosehill and Camilla begins to communicate with the spirits.

An unlikely romance begins to blossom between Camilla and Rev Marcus Calloway,
even though they seem to differ in their beliefs. However, a secret from Marcus’ past threatens their relationship.

This is a fantastic, well researched novel with great characters and is full of suspense. The plot is fast paced and keeps the reader wanting to know what will happen next.
I think Discovery at Rosehill is definitely worthy of 5 stars and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic fiction.

Interview with Kathryn Brown - Author of Discovery at Rosehill

What are you top five books?

I have so many books on my shelves that I don’t think I could ever choose a top five! The majority of my books are of paranormal reference. Two of my favourite books are the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Thesaurus. I probably use those two books more than any other. I do enjoy reading suspense, romantic comedy and women’s fiction also, generally a plot that will take me away from reality for a while.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Whenever one gets asked this question, one hesitates and has to think of something interesting. But really, we are all interesting in our own unique way. My life is quite varied and there is never a dull day. I live on a sheep and arable farm on the Northumberland coast, a beautiful part of the country. I help out with the farm work occasionally but my main tasks consist of admin. I have a daughter called Amy who is twelve years old. She has autism and is the love of my life. I guess my passion of writing has always been a huge part of me though it wasn’t until 2007 when I finally made the decision to write a book, my debut novel, Discovery at Rosehill.

So, what else? I’m a telly addict, a lover of chocolate, fish and chips and Vimto. I don’t drink because I’m epileptic and rattling with medication to keep me sane! My four working sheep dogs keep me on the straight and narrow, as do my two cats and thirty-four hens. I adore animals, of any variety. Unless they have eight legs.

How did you begin writing and what was your inspiration for Discovery at Rosehill?

I’ve always loved writing short stories, ever since I was a young girl. I won a story-writing competition when I was ten years old, a mere 32 years ago now! That was an amazing moment in my life because I was bullied at school and it was like blowing a bit fat raspberry in the faces of the two girls who used to taunt me. In 2002 I undertook a creative writing course which lasted for two years, consisting of assignments and writing short stories. It was a fabulous learning curve for me and opened the door to the next course I did with The Writers Bureau. I sent off many short stories to lots of different magazines, particularly People’s Friend, but I was never successful. I never realised how hard it was, and still is, to get published in a magazine. My next goal was to publish my book.

Discovery at Rosehill was borne out of my love for my late father who passed in 2001. I am sensitive to spirit presence and decided to turn my paranormal experiences into fiction, thus creating the character of medium Camilla Armstrong. Using phenomena and the incredible atmosphere in my home, I based the book on my farm house and called it Rosehill. Many of the descriptions of Rosehill are how I would describe my own house, a large Georgian farm house that is filled with spirit presence, a wonderful ambience and enough activity to create 250 pages of what became my debut novel.

What do you like to do outside of writing?

My main hobbies are blogging and social interaction. I’ve met some fabulous people around the world and made many good friends. With my daughter’s condition, I don’t get much free time as she needs constant supervision when she’s at home. During the hours she’s at school, I tend to try catching up on housework, writing and running the farm. If you’d have asked me this question years ago, before Amy was born, I would have answered it very differently. But I would never wish to turn the clock back; having Amy in my life is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. To have my novel published was the icing on the cake.

I am editing my current novel, Hideaway. It’s a murder mystery surrounding the investigation of the murdered ex-husband of Lydia Mansfield. I hope to have this book published later this year.

Discovery at Rosehill by Kathryn Brown
available in paperback or download at
Watch the book trailer:

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Review of Wedlocked by Bonnie Trachtenberg

Wedlocked opens on Rebecca and Craig’s wedding day, a lavish, no expense spared celebration in a castle.

Normally dubbed as the happiest day of your life, but not for Rebecca. Instead, it is the moment where she realizes she has just made a big mistake. Just as Rebecca drops this bombshell, the author then takes us back through Rebecca’s path from New York to Hollywood and Italy. The descriptions of these places, particularly Italy are so vibrant that you feel you’re really there with the characters. I really enjoyed seeing Rebecca’s life before the wedding as I thought it helped readers get to know Rebecca.

The plot is fast paced and I found it kept me wanting to read more. There are also quite a few surprises that kept me guessing for a while. I particularly liked the way that Rebecca’s family is so central to the plot. Trachtenberg is an engaging writer and makes the reader feel like part of the storyline.

This is a great book with strong, likeable characters and almost like a modern day fairytale. I read this on a cold evening in front of the fire and I just could not put it down. Recommended for romance and chick lit fans.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Review of Lucifer's Tears by James Thompson

This is the second in James Thompson`s Finnish Inspector Vaara series and the first one I have read. 
Kari Vaara climbs an impossible mountain of trying to solve a seedy murder with hidden political ramifications with his new assistant Milo. Milo is an over- enthusiastic solver of crime with a superb knowledge of computers, is a member of Mensa and has an inflated ego as well as a morbid, if expert, interest in firearms of all kinds.

At the same time, Vaara has to deal with the requested extradition to Germany of Arvid, a 90-year-old Finnish hero accused of collaborating with the Gestapo’s extermination of Jews and Russians in a Finnish POW camp during WW11. Vaara`s American wife Kate is about to give birth and has invited her brother John and sister Mary to stay for a few weeks – family ties are not all that they seem and this puts more pressure on Kari. He, meanwhile, is suffering from crippling migraines which painkillers fail to alleviate so he visits his estranged brother, a neurosurgeon, for help. Add the accidental killing of a young man by bouncers in a bar, a difficult psychologist, lots of Finnish history and you have a very eventful read.

I found the historical background very educational and Thomson evokes the social and cultural side of life in Finland. The descriptions of the characters are vibrant but Thomson`s dialogue includes a plethora of profanity which, while illustrative in some areas, could be offensive to some readers. I would recommend this book for those who prefer lighter crime reading in the modern idiom.
The author lives and works in Finland and has a Finnish wife. 

Reviewed by Liz.

Thank you Liz for reviewing Lucifer's Tears and thanks to Avon books for sending us a copy to review. 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Review of The Apothecary's Daughter by Charlotte Betts

The Apothecary’s Daughter is a stunning first novel from debut author Charlotte Betts.

I was drawn to this book whilst attending the Festival of Romance last autumn. The beautiful cover and fascinating description sold the book to me instantly and I was not at all disappointed.

Susannah is shocked when her widowed father decides to re-marry and her life is thus changed forever. She loves working in the Apothecary, but the ensuing chaos that comes with her father’s marriage and subsequent step-children means that Susannah accepts a proposal of marriage from the young Henry Savage, who has recently arrived from the Barbados.

However, all is not as it seems and London becomes a deadly place to keep secrets. The plague and great fire sweep through the city and leave few un-touched by tragedy.

I felt really attached to Susannah’s character and couldn’t believe all of things that happened in her life. What really made this book special for me was the beautiful language and description used throughout.

Betts’ writing is so evocative and she really makes 17th century London come to life. This is such a brilliant novel and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

You can find out more about Charlotte Betts and her work at: