Book Review: Waking the Witch by Rachel Burge

With a wet start to the day at Whitby, it’s time to share another review from the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf. With a vibrant book cover, Waking the Witch by Rachel Burge caught Amber’s attention when it arrived courtesy of Bonnier. Scroll down for her unbiased opinion.

Book Review: Waking the Witch by Rachel Burge

Cover for Waking the Witch by Rachel Burge,
Red and white lighthouse emitting red rays of light. A large black cormorant with wings spread in the fore ground is guarding a person in the foetal position. They are surrounded by a circle of runes.
Waking the Witch by Rachel Burge

Title: Waking the Witch

Author: Rachel Burge

Publisher: Bonnier

Genre: YA fantasy, witchlit

Release Date: 18th September 2022

Blurb

A darkly spellbinding story of witches, sisterhood and coming of age, steeped in Welsh mythology and Arthurian legend.

Ivy has spent years looking for her birth mother, but when she finally finds her on Bardsey Island, she is shocked by what greets her. According to folklore, the cormorants that fly over the remote Welsh isle are the terrifying witches of Arthurian legend – and they are searching for Ivy.

Her mum warned her not to come and to stay away from the lighthouse, but now it’s too late. As the shadows draw closer, Ivy must look deep within herself if she wants to survive. For not every story in folklore is true, and some evils aren’t what they seem…

An unputdownable new stand-alone novel from the bestselling author of THE TWISTED TREE and THE CROOKED MASK.

Thoughts from the Emporium

Waking the Witch resulted in Amber having no sleep and arriving late and bleary eyed for her weekend shift at The Enchanted Emporium. Thank the Goddess for the glamour spell she’d been practising. From the first page she was hooked. Having discovered her own powers as an adolescence, she related to Ivy’s bewilderment and fear as magic entered her life with horrifying results. Amber found it impossible to put the book down as Ivy made the road trip to the remote island and the awaiting dangers. The haunting imagery of the cormorants and witches are powerful and added to the tension as Ivy’s past was revealed.

Amber’s patchy knowledge of the Arthurian legends didn’t put her at a disadvantage as the folklore was explained in the prose but it has made her want to read more. There is so much more to them than the few episodes of Merlin she’s watched. Spellbound the ending arrived too quickly and longed fro more. She didn’t want to let the characters go. She hopes the standalone statement in the blurb is a lie and there will be a sequel. Until then, she’ll recommend it to other witches visiting the store and put it on her reread pile.

Its perfect for the upcoming spooky season and beyond.

Author Biography

photo of author Rachel Burge. White woman with beaming smile and brown straight long hair
Rachel Burge

Website: https://rachelburge.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelABurge

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelburgewriter/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachelburgeauthor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/burge0709/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rachelburge99

Book Review: The Lighthouse Witches by C.J Cooke

As far as those at the Enchanted Emporium is concerned, September is really a precursor to Halloween so it’s the ideal time to share reviews for witchy books old and new. The Lighthouse Witches by C.J Cooke was released last year but deserves to be shouted about again now it’s spooky season.

With a hauntingly beautiful cover, it oozed darkness and menacing which meant Amber couldn’t wait to read it. Scroll down to see if it met her expectations.

Book Review: The Lighthouse Witches by C.J Cooke

Book cover for The Lighthouse Witches by C.J Cooke. Dark cover with red and black lighthouse amidst dark blue and grey stylised waves.
The Lighthouse Witches by C.J Cooke


Title:
The Lighthouse Witches

Author: C.J Cooke

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre: witchlit, paranormal, Gothic

Release Date: 30th September 2021

Blurb

The brand-new chilling gothic thriller from the bestselling author . . .

Upon the cliffs of a remote Scottish island, Lòn Haven, stands a lighthouse. A lighthouse that has weathered more than storms. Mysterious and terrible events have happened on this island. It started with a witch hunt. Now, centuries later, islanders are vanishing without explanation.

Coincidence? Or curse? Liv Stay flees to the island with her three daughters, in search of a home. She doesn’t believe in witches, or dark omens, or hauntings. But within months, her daughter Luna will be the only one of them left. Twenty years later, Luna is drawn back to the place her family vanished. As the last sister left, it’s up to her to find out the truth . . .

But what really happened at the lighthouse all those years ago?

Thoughts from The Emporium

Based on an isolated Scottish island, The Lighthouse Witches is a deliciously dark tale full of gothic atmosphere. The descriptions of the lighthouse’s interior provided the location for an unnerving, fear based reading experience. Told by several narrators, including an ancient grimoire, it followed Luna as she returns to the island to discover the truth about her mother and sisters disappearance in 1998. The hostile welcome from the close-knit community added to the mystery and tension. With links to the 17th century Scottish witch trials, both witches were hooked until the end. Even then their thoughts were drawn back to it. Thankfully, they had each other to discuss things with.

There were moments when Amber wondered how dark the story would go and began reading behind a cushion, Dr Who style. It may not be graphic but it forced both witches to use their imagination which may have made things worse. With increased tension, it hurtled towards an unexpected but satisfying conclusion.

If you want a chilling witchy pageturner with strong female characters, this is one to pull from a bookshelf. A perfect Halloween read.

Have you read it? The witches would love to know you thoughts.

Author Biography

black and white photo of author C.J Cooke. White woman with dark shoulder length hair and friendly smile
Author C.J Cooke

C.J. Cooke is an acclaimed, award-winning poet, novelist and academic with numerous other publications written under the name of Carolyn Jess-Cooke. Her work has been published in twentythree languages to date. Born in Belfast, C.J. has a PhD in Literature from Queen’s University, Belfast, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health. C.J. Cooke lives in Glasgow with her husband and four children. She also founded the Stay-At-Home Festival.

Book Review: Kindred Spirits: Regal Retribution by Jennifer C Wilson

It’s midweek and time for another review. This novel, Kindred Spirits: Regal Retribution by Jennifer C Wilson, arrived on the bookshelf thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources and thank you for inviting us to the blog tour.

Book Review: Kindred Spirits: Regal Retribution by Jennifer C Wilson

Book Cover for Kindred Spirits Regal Retribution by Jennifer C WIlson
Dark cover of a old fashioned street with a gaslit lamp
Kindred Spirits Regal Retribution by Jennifer C Wilson

Title: Kindred Spirits: Regal Retribution

Author: Jennifer C Wilson

Publisher: Darkstroke

Genre: Paranormal

Release Date: 8th August 2022

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B3238S5Y/

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0B3238S5Y/

Blurb

A visit to London’s West End sends an already angry ghost into a fury, vowing revenge on those he believes have wronged him in life (and in death).

Soon, the attacks begin – across the city and beyond – revealing that rarest of beings: haunted ghosts!

When a pattern starts to emerge, a council is established to formulate a plan, but can they work out who is behind the hauntings? As the severity escalates, can the combined force stop the avenging spirit, before the worst happens?

Bringing together the ghostly communities of the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and other places, discover friendships and feuding in the race to retaliation…

Thoughts From the Emporium

This is the first time Willow had read a Kindred Spirit novel despite there being several from the series on the lending library shelf. A short humorous story with a full cast of historical characters, she found herself swept away by the ghosts’ banter, relationships and hunt for the revengeful spectre who is terrorising anyone who’d crossed him in life and beyond.

Though Willow enjoys historical fiction, many years have passed since she went to school and her knowledge of the monarchs is patchy but luckily there is a useful who’s who guide at the beginning. This proved invaluable as monarchs from different eras interact and develop friendships from beyond the grave. With a murderous ghost on the rampage, this is an entertaining, hectic read which explores what happens when feuds from life continue and ghosts take offense when modern historians and society view past monarchs differently to how they want to be perceived.

It was lovely to see how the ghosts at different well-known locations have developed over the centuries and have a separate life away from the tourists who visit. It can be read as a standalone, but you’d get a fuller experience by reading the others in the series.

Willow would recommend to history fans who want some light-hearted escapism and a historical novel with a supernatural twist.

Author Biography

Black and white photo of white woman standing in front of stone ruins. Light, medium brown hair and wearing glasses
Jennifer C Wilson

Jennifer has been stalking dead monarchs since she was a child. It started with Mary, Queen of Scots, then moved onto Richard III. At least now it results in a story!

She won North Tyneside Libraries’ Story Tyne short story competition in 2014 (no dead monarchs, but still not a cheerful read), and has been filling notebooks and hard-drives ever since. Her Kindred Spirits series, following the ‘lives’ of some very interesting ghostly communities, is published by Darkstroke, and her historical romances by Ocelot Press.

Jennifer is currently exploring some new ideas for historical romance, and hoping to visit Kindred Spirit friends old and new, north of the border…

Social Media Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkjunkie1984

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifercwilsonwriter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennifercwilsonwriter/

Blog: https://jennifercwilsonwriter.wordpress.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jennifer-C-Wilson/e/B018UBP1ZO/

Book Review: The Change by Kirsten Miller

No one could miss this book when it arrived on the bookshelf with its simple but effective bright orange and black cover. It promised to be a unique and refreshing read, just what Willow needed after a run in with a certain member of the community. Revenge would have been high on her agenda if there was no consequences so when the book followed her into the store, she suspected her anger would be released into the story.

Scroll down if it hit the spot.

Book Review: The Change by Kirsten Miller

Book cover for The Change by Kirsten Miller
Black background with stylised female face in bold orange and a bee under it.
The Change by Kirsten Miller

Title: The Change

Author: Kirsten Miller

Publisher: HQ

Genre: Feminist fiction, fantasy

Release Date: 18th August 2022

Narrator for the audio version: January LaVoy

Blurb

Nessa: The Seeker
Jo: The Protector
Harriett: The Punisher

With newfound powers the time has come to take matters into their own hands…

After Nessa is widowed and her daughters leave for college, she’s left alone in her house near the ocean. In the quiet hours, she hears voices belonging to the dead – who will only speak to her.

On the cusp of fifty Harriett’s marriage and career imploded, and she hasn’t left her house in months. But her life is far from over – in fact, she’s undergone a stunning metamorphosis.

Jo spent thirty years at war with her body. The rage that arrived with menopause felt like the last straw – until she discovers she’s able to channel it.

Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio discover the abandoned body of a teenage girl. The police have written off the victim. But the women have not. Their own investigations lead them to more bodies and a world of wealth where the rules don’t apply – and the realisation that laws are designed to protect villains, not the vulnerable.

So it’s up to these three women to avenge the innocent, and punish the guilty…

The time has come to embrace The Change.

* * *

‘Part crime thriller, part extended howl of pure rage, The Change takes a scalpel to the cancer of misogyny that infects every cell of western culture, with biting wit and a burning, righteous anger that never lets up. Powerful and original’ Tammy Cohen

‘A brilliant book. Thrilling, fast paced and original. I couldn’t stop reading’ Sarah Morgan

‘A revenge fantasy and feminist fist-pump – and a balm for trying times’ Grazia

Thoughts from the Emporium

Wow, fantastic and superb were the initial reactions by the witches and Rosa when they finished reading The Change. They’re concerned this review won’t do this novel justice. The three women and Kirsten Miller’s narrative are as powerful as the bold cover depicts.

Willow started reading this after a tiresome day involving clashes with several male customers and a run in with a certain estate agent. The first few chapter made her grin and nod in agreement. She was hooked. The three protagonists are all strong women whose personalities leap from the page and their backstories and story arcs are empowering, and equally immersive. When faced with multiple POVs, everyone agreed there is usually one character they preferred, but not in this case. They all have depth and charisma in different ways – Harriet with her purposeful jungle of a garden that Willow wishes to recreate, Jo with her ability to tap into her hot flushes and make people take note, and Nessa with her empathetic ghost hunting. This multi-layered thriller was impossible to put down.

Initially, Amber screwed her teenage nose up at the idea of reading about the menopause, but relented under the insistence of the others and the lure of the paranormal aspects of the novel. Within pages, she was also hooked. Even at 18, she recognised many of the situations the women found themselves in and especially related to Jo’s fight against her own body. Kirsten Miller has captured all the elements of being a woman at different stages of their lives and the keen, witty observations bring all the readers into the story ready to cheer Harriet, Nessa and Jo in their revenge against misogyny in all its forms.

Willow and Mrs Marley listened to the audio version. The narration by January LaVoy takes this already fantastic read to another level. She tackles each character and personality perfectly, breathing extra wit, power and tension into the thriller. With the amount of swearing, Willow had to convince prim Mrs Marley to continue listening but she soon connected with the women and snapped at Willow when she tried to switch it off at bedtime. Mrs Marley wished they had enlightening books like this in her day, when the change and men’s behaviour was something to whispered about or ignored, leaving her and friends suffering in silence and alone.  

Thanks to its unique premise, soul, emotion and thrilling mystery The Change is by far one of the best books this year. It has triggered refreshingly deep conversations about the menopause, female solidarity and misogyny amongst the Emporium’s customers and would be ideal for a book club. The emporium is recommending this to everyone but especially those ordering Willow’s menopausal tea.

Author Biography

Photo of Kirsten Miller. White women with blonde mid length hair, smiling. Wearing a blue shirt
Kirsten Miller

Kirsten Miller grew up in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. At seventeen, she hit the road and moved to New York City, where she lives to this day. Kirsten’s first adult novel, The Change, is a feel good feminist revenge fantasy–with witches. The Change is a Good Morning America Book Club pick for May 2022. Kirsten also the author of over a dozen middle grade and YA novels, including the acclaimed Kiki Strike books, which tell the tale of the delinquent girl geniuses who keep Manhattan safe, and How to Lead a Life of Crime. She is not the Kirsten Miller who wrote All That Is Left (which appears on the list of the books she’s written), but she assumes that Kirsten is lovely and talented.

A huge thank you to HQ providing an advanced copy on the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf for honest and unbiased opinions.

The Enchanted Emporium @kakenzie101
Candysbookcase.wordpress,com Candysbookcase
Jojo's Over the rainbow blog @Joannalouisepar
Bookmarks and stages @lou_bookmarks
All is full of books @allfullofbooks
From First Page to Last @janetemson
Jane Hunt Writer @Jolliff03
Zoe's Book Nook @radley_zoe
Other blogs on the tour

Book Review: Spellboda by JC Clarke

Today’s review is for Spellboda by JC Clarke that materialised on the bookshelf, thanks to Literally PR.

Spellboda by JC Clarke

Book Review: Spellboda by JC Clarke

Title: Spellboda

Author: J C Clarke

Publisher: The Book Guild

Genre: Middle grade, Children’s fiction, YA, Fantasy

Release Date: 23rd September 2021

Blurb

A journey to trust and self-belief… join Trevor in his adventure as he discovers his incredible gift. Share the magic of his journey as he learns we can achieve anything – when we really, really want to.

For fans of Piers Torday & CS Lewis

Trust, belief and a little magic… then maybe they could both fly free.

Since Trevor’s mum died his dad can barely look at him without yelling. Home is awful, school is worse. People just let you down, and Trevor only talks to Mrs. Bingo-Wings, his mum’s cat. But then he meets Midge, a peregrine falcon in danger, and finds out he has a gift that could change his life forever. Trevor is thrown into the heart of a magical adventure that could promise freedom – for Midge and for himself – but can he overcome his doubts and fears, and take on the destiny he’s only just discovered?

Thoughts From the Emporium

Amber read this first after being attracted by its simple but effective cover and blurb. As someone who has experienced an awful homelife after her mum died, she instantly connected to Trevor but it was the first chapter which captivated all at the emporium. The detailed, immersive description of flight set the story well and captured everyone’s imagination. It was an exquisite experience.

Watching the relationship between Midge, a peregrine falcon and Trevor deepen, and his self belief flourish was a joy to read and the ensuing magical adventure kept the pages turning. The author’s knowledge and passion for falconry and conservation shone on every page and added to the depth of this beautiful novel. It was refreshing to see a child with mutism take centre stage and have those around him accept his disability and make adaptations. The subject matter of grief was tackled sensitively and made Amber tear up on more than one occasion.

Beautifully written, about a child with a unique ability to understand birds and animals this novel will be a firm favourite on the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf. Everyone is looking forward to seeing where Spellboda goes next and Rosa has started to read it to Alejo for bedtime reading.

Author biography

Photo of Jo Clarke, woman with long blonde hair wearing a black top

Previously a falconer, consultant and writer-presenter of CITV’s Wild World, JC Clarke is now loving the writer’s life and is also a script consultant and copywriter.
She’s been involved in falconry and conservation industries for over twenty years and is passionate about protecting wildlife. Having worked with children and young adults as a youth worker, JC Clarke hopes that her writing will help young people believe they are worth something and should aim for their dreams. An alumna of the Curtis Brown Creative Writing for Children Course, Jo was shortlisted for Best Opening Chapter for Spellboda at the 2019 Jericho Writers Festival of Writing. She lives in Ashford, Kent with her family – and a large number of animals!

Social media:

Website: https://www.jcclarkeauthor.com/

Twitter: Jo Clarke

Book Review: The Ghost in Ivy Barn by Mark Stay

The staff at the Enchanted Emporium were thrilled to discover an advanced copy of the third book in the Witches of Woodville series on the bookshelf, thanks to Random Things Tours. Arguments ensued about who would be the first to read The Ghost in the Ivy Barn but Willow won. There are advantages to being the boss.

Scroll down to see if this book matched the joy of the previous books, The Crow Folk and Babes in the Wood.

Book Review: The Ghost in Ivy Barn by Mark Stay

Book cover for The Ghost of Ivy Barn by Mark Stay. Predominately blue cover of a rural village landscape with a bright light coming from a barn.
The Ghost of Ivy Barn by Mark Stay

Title: The Ghost of Ivy Barn

Author: Mark Stay

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Genre: YA, fantasy, witchlit

Release Date: 7th July 2022

Blurb

August, 1940.

 As the Battle of Britain rages overhead, a warlock leader from the Council of High Witches comes to Woodville with a ritual to repel the imminent Nazi invasion. The only catch is it involves full-frontal nudity on the White Cliffs of Dover. The Witches of Woodville are having none of it, but when more witches arrive they realise they might have a spy in their midst, and it’s up to Faye Bright to uncover the traitor.

But she’s got enough on her plate already with the ghost of a Polish Hurricane pilot who may hold the key to the truth.

Thoughts From The Emporium

The witches didn’t think this series could get better, but they were wrong. This is the best book yet – full of humour, magic, betrayal and murder, with a slight inkling of romance between Faye and Bertie.

Like the others in the series, there is a strong sense of place – not only in location but in time. The reader is immersed in the village life which continues despite the increased threat from the Nazis invasion and they feels the collective responsibility people had. Everyone was expected to do their bit for the war effort, witches included.

Amber was excited to read about Faye Bright’s evolving powers and the surprising effects it had on the others, while Willow was hoping the antics of the trio of Woodville witches wouldn’t give her own mentee ideas. Charlotte, Mrs Teach and Faye are witches and women to aspire to with their individual quirks, self-awareness and strong views. There is a witch for everyone.

The dialogue and bickering between the characters allowed their personalities to shine and the more you get to know the witches and the side characters, the more they are loved. The introduction of new witches, including the nudity loving Mrs Housego and formidable Vera Fivetrees added to this book’s charm.

The ghost in the barn and the surrounding mystery added to the tension. With highly visual and creepy scenes, Amber, Willow and Rosa kept reading to see how this thread fitted in with the rest of the story.

Though this novel could be read as a standalone, these events lead on from those in book 2, Babes in the Wood and readers would gain more enjoyment if they read the series from the beginning and watch the relationships and story develop.

This gripping book showcases superb word building and imaginative plot twists perfectly blended with humour and community of times past. Despite the dangers the characters face, this series provide an ideal escape from reality. The Enchanted Emporium bookshelf considers them to be some of the best examples of witchy literature and they appeal to a range of ages. Rosa can’t wait until her son, Alejo, is old enough to read them.

Mrs Marley (one of the Emporium’s resident ghosts) is currently listening to the audio version and is pleased it continues to be narrated by Candida Gubbins.

Just in case you need more tempting to try this series, watch this unique unboxing of the new books

The best unboxing video to tempt you to read 📚

Author Biography

Photo of author Mark Stay.
Mark Stay

Mark Stay co-wrote the screenplay for Robot Overlords which became a movie with Sir Ben
Kingsley and Gillian Anderson, and premiered at the 58th London Film Festival. He is co-presenter of the Bestseller Experiment podcast and has worked in bookselling and publishing for over twenty-five years. He lives in Kent, England, with his family and a trio of retired chickens. He blogs and humblebrags over at markstaywrites.com.

A huge thank you to Random Thing Tours for inviting us to this tour and providing an advanced copy for the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf.

Other blogs on this tour
7th July Ramblingmads @ramblingmads
The Enchanted Emporium Bookshelf @kakenzie101
8th July
Mai's Musings @maitaylor01
11th July
Hair Past A Freckle @karlou
No More Grumpy Bookseller @BeckyLeJeune
12th JUly prdg reads @prdg
13th July Jo's Book Blog @tiny_ickle_jo
14th July Bookshortie @Bookshortie1
Beyond The Books @ShazzieRimmel
15th July Over The Rainbow Book Blog @JoannaLouisePar Random Things Through My Letterbox @annecater
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Book Review: Demon by Matt Wesolowski

Book Review: Demon by Matt Wesolowski

Hi all, Amber here. After the last review The Enchanted Emporium has been awash with chat about romance. Rosa came in with a fresh stash of books from one of the best bookshop’s ever – Whitby bookshop. A must place to visit if you come to our Yorkshire coastal town. I maybe biased – my mum took me there once but that’s another story and way too complicated to explain now but the shop has an adorable children’s section. Every book Rosa had chose had those pastel covers of nice places and a promise of a happy ever after. They give the reader a much needed escape and an emotional hug but I know they’re unrealistic. Happy endings don’t exist, otherwise Lucas Trent, the hunkiest guy in college wouldn’t have dumped me to go off and snog Geraldine Seymour. No, IMO the writers who are more likely to tell the truth about life are those who write horror.

And with a broken heart and hexing exes ban in place, horror books are the must read. Books like, Demon by Matt Wesolowski.

Book Review: Demon by Matt Wesolowski

Book cover Demon by Matt Wesolowski.
Black cover with a pair of devil horns.
Demon by Matt Wesolowski

Title: Demon

Author: Matt Wesolowski

Publisher: Orenda books

Genre: Horror/Crime

Release Date: 20th Jan 2022

Blurb

Scott King’s podcast investigates the 1995 cold case of a demon possession in a rural Yorkshire village, where a 12-year-old boy was murdered in cold blood by two children. Book six in the chilling, award-winning Six Stories series.

In 1995, the picture-perfect village of Ussalthwaite was the site of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, in a case that shocked the world.

Twelve-year-old Sidney Parsons was savagely murdered by two boys his own age. No reason was ever given for this terrible crime, and the ‘Demonic Duo’ who killed him were imprisoned until their release in 2002, when they were given new identities and lifetime anonymity.

Elusive online journalist Scott King investigates the lead-up and aftermath of the killing, uncovering dark and fanciful stories of demonic possession, and encountering a village torn apart by this unspeakable act. And, as episodes of his Six Stories podcast begin to air, King himself becomes a target, with dreadful secrets from his own past dredged up and threats escalating to a terrifying level. It becomes clear that whatever drove those two boys to kill is still there, lurking, and the campaign of horror has just begun…

Thoughts from the Emporium

Podcasts are my go to thing when I can’t sleep or travelling so this unique format suited me and this creepy tale well. Based in the depths of the Yorkshire Moors, the descriptions captured the brooding atmospheric location and added to the eeriness of the crime. This novel has a great sense of place. Setting plays a huge part in the narrative; the old kilns left over from when the village relied on the mining industry are the forbidden playground for the village children lured there by the warnings of danger and whispering of the presence of the devil. The murder of Sidney Parsons by the Demonic Duo adds to this lore.

Scott King’s podcast focuses on this horrific crime but the true horror is revealed when listening to the six people’s versions of the events. The deeper Scott digs the more immersive it becomes and creepier truths are revealed. The spotlight on the village inevitably has consequences and tensions rise when one of the murderers new names is set to be leaked. With twists I wasn’t expecting and superb storytelling, this was a chilling read where less is more and the reader is allowed to use their own imagination to terrify themselves. While some of the threads told can be explained with logic and other versions with supernatural leanings remain unexplained and it’s only when seen as a whole the true story is told.

Not only is this a fantastic horror/crime novel, it has a deeper message about society, prejudice and the increased influence of social media – see I told you horror writers tell the truth.

Demon is a well-crafted story in a clever format that adds to the atmospheric terror of the tale. It will give you nightmares. As the sixth novel in the Six Stories series so I’ve got some catching up to do.

If you want to keep updated on the most recent additions on the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf and some old favourites remember to click follow or pop over to Instagram and follow witch_of_whitby

I’m sure Rosa will keep sharing books from her Box of Romances too.

Author Biography

Photo of author Matt Wesolowski.  Short haired man wearing a Lucifer black T-shirt with occult symbols on it
Matt Wesolowski

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror story set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was a bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WH Smith Fresh Talent pick, and TV rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller, Changeling (2019), Beast (2020) And Deity (2021) soon followed suit.

Book Review: The Forgotten House on the Moor by Jane Lovering

The book chosen from the Enchanted Emporium’s bookshelf today is The Forgotten House on the Moor by Jane Lovering. It was recommended to the staff in the store by one of their regulars, Mrs Ramsey. Set in the Yorkshire Moors and the mention of a ghost hunting, she knew it would be liked. Was she right?

Book Review: The Forgotten House on the Moor by Jane Lovering

The book cover for The Forgotten House on the Moor by Jane Lovering. 
In bright summery colours is a old farmhouse with the Moors in the background. Flowers and a hare is in the foreground.
The Forgotten House on the Moor by Jane Lovering

Title: The Forgotten House on the Moor

Author: Jane Lovering

Publisher: Boldwood books

Genre: Psychological Romance with ghost hunting

Release Date: 22nd June 2022

Blurb

Mystery, mayhem, a manor house and a generous serving of romance…

When police knock on Alice Donaldson’s door at 4am, she knows the news won’t be good. There’s been an accident involving her ex-husband Grant, and as his existing next of kin, they need her help.

Grant is missing up on the North York moors, but the Grant Alice knew could barely be persuaded out on a walk around the block. What on earth possessed him to go on a hike in the middle of the night?

Alice soon finds herself working with Grant’s girlfriend Jenna and Jenna’s gorgeous ‘Lord of the family Manor’ brother Max, to find out what has happened, and what caused Grant’s accident at The Fortune House – the spooky house out on the moors.

The locals tell all manner of ghoulish stories about The Fortune House, which Alice is not minded to listen to. But before long, things take a turn for the strange and Max and Alice have a new mystery to solve. While all the while Alice can’t help hoping she might meet the requirements to be Max’s ‘Lady of the Manor’ at his country pile, Hatherleigh Hall.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3kJNJjd

Thoughts from the Emporium

Yes, Mrs Ramsey chose a good book to share. No one in the store had read a Jane Lovering novel before but it ticked all the boxes for Willow and Rosa.* For a romantic read it is packed with different threads to keep the reader entertained with mystery of Grant’s disappearance, ghost hunting, dealing with emotional turmoil of grief and personal growth.

The witches of the emporium are passionate about the Yorkshire countryside and the descriptions of the brooding moors captured them perfectly and gave an ideal setting for the spooky mystery around Fortune house. The personal recollections of passers-by experiences interspersed in the story was a clever addition and kept Willow and Rosa hooked.

As a romance entwined with a paranormal investigation, this novel could have been placed in either Rosa’s box of Romance or on the ghost and fantasy loving Enchanted Emporium bookshelf so for a while it hovered between the two in the courtyard.

Fed up of its impatience, Amber strolled to Whitby’s delightful bookshop for an extra copy. The new duplicating spell she’s working on may have worked equally well but wouldn’t have given royalties to the author. Currently all the staff are outraged with the Tiktok Amazon scam and she refuses to perform magical piracy. With books at least, chocolate is a different matter.

There will be arguments over the next Jane Lovering novel that arrives in down Black Cat alley especially looking at Jane’s back catalogue. How can any witch book addict resist a title like Hubble Bubble?

*Amber is still in the depths of heartbreak after a row with her now ex-boyfriend so couldn’t face a romantic read but she has added it to her TBR. A good horror is the way to soothe a bruised heart apparently.


Author Biography

Woman with short cropped hair smiling and leaning on a stash of books
Jane Lovering

Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home.

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Introducing The Enchanted Emporium and the Witches of Whitby

Welcome to The Enchanted Emporium’s bookshelf where the witches of Whitby and residents of the store are delighted to share their passion for books they love. Many of these are gathered on the magical bookcase. These can be old favourites and new.

If you love books with a supernatural twist in all it’s forms or have a keen interest in witchy literature, you’re in the right place. So grab a cuppa and discover some new books for your to be read pile.

If magic is not your thing but you adore happy ever afters, Rosa will be sharing her favourites too.

Each person working in the emporium have their particular interests, let’s introduce them.

The Enchanted Emporium

Sketch like image of a back street in Whitby image credited to Mary Grobchenko
Rambling street of Whitby image credited Mary Grobchenko

In the atmospheric coastal town of Whitby, North Yorkshire – famed for its inspiration for Dracula, and the bustling Goth Weekends – is The Enchanted Emporium, a small specialist tea suppliers which also specialises in lotions, potions and witchcraft. It sits hidden down a snicket away from the crowds, on the site of an old apothecary dating back centuries, many people pass it by but once visited it’s never forgotten. Let’s meet the team who work there.

Painting of an old fashioned shop called The Enchanted Emporium. Blue frontage with witches broom and selection of tea and herbs in the window by Jess Titcombe
The Enchanted Emporium by Jess Titcombe

Meet the team and book reviewers:

Willow Anderson – proprietor of The Enchanted Emporium, she practises the art of witchcraft through the teas she blends and handmade cosmetics – The Wishing Spell range. Her favourite books are ancient grimoires full of herbal remedies, witchy romances, spooky tales that make her tingle with trepidation or original ideas that make her think. She is also a keen reader of psychological thrillers with a paranormal twist.

Amber – apprentice and daughter of Willow’s best friend, Louise only recently discovered her witch heritage and powers. Attracted to the darker side, she loves horror, gothic tales, YA witch stories so she feels less of a freak and the grimoires Willow has locked away. She can feel their power and is convinced they are meant for her.

The Enchanted Emporium bookshelf was her idea to share the knowledge she is gaining under Willows care with other witches but it has evolved into something more.

Rosa – the only non-magic member of staff though she is adamant she saw a ghost once. She enjoys some supernatural novels but her heart is with romance novels of all kinds. As a single mum, she’s not given up on a happy ever after so while she waits for Mr Right, she escapes into books full of romance, magical or not. Many books she adores are rejected by the bookshelf for lacking magic so has created her own share and swop box – Rosa’s Box of Romance.

Photo of Whitby Abbey, St Mary's church and beach credited to Zeyu Jiang
Whitby – image credited to Zeyu Jiang

They all have a passion for books and wish to share their favourites with you. Which book from the bookshelf will they review first?

An open book with the illustration leading to a magical place in woods and a girl on a swing from a pink blossom tree
image credited to Darkmoon_Art