Book Review: The Purgatory Poisoning by Rebecca Rogers

Today, those at the emporium are thrilled to be on the blog tour for Rebecca Rogers’ The Purgatory Poisoning and thank you Random Thing Tours for the swift arrival of a copy to read so they could give their honest opinion.

With a striking cover and tagline, it promised to be a novel destined for the Enchanted Emporium’s bookshelf. Scroll down to see if it fulfilled its potential.

Book Review: The Purgatory Poisoning by Rebecca Rogers

Book cover for The Purgatory Poisoning by Rebecca Rogers. White background with red typeface. An illustration of a poison bottle with stopper with red liquid inside. A devil's tail is looped out of the letter O of poisoning. A silhouette of a man with a halo is standing next to it.
The Purgatory Poisoning by Rebecca Rogers

Title: The Purgatory Poisoning

Author: Rebecca Rogers

Publisher: Harper Collins

Genre: Comedy Fantasy

Release date: 2nd March 2023


How do you solve your own murder when you’re already dead?

Purgatory (noun):

  1. Where the dead are sent to atone.
  2. A place of suffering or torment.
  3. A youth hostel where the occupants play Scrabble and the mattresses are paper thin.

When Dave wakes up in his own personal purgatory (St Ives Youth Hostel circa 1992), he’s shocked
to discover he’s dead. And worse – he was murdered.
Heaven doesn’t know who did it so with the help of two rogue angels, Dave must uncover the
As divine forces from both sides start to play the game, can Dave get out of this alive? Or at the
very least, with his soul intact?

Thoughts from the Emporium

Full of humour, Dave’s story conjured up the emporium’s staff’s own memories of youth hostel holidays and childhood especially Willow and Rosa who remembered the 1990s. Setting purgatory in a Cornish youth hostel was inspired as were many of the memorable cast. An angel resembling Michael Palin added to the highly visual scenes which could easily be translated into a movie. Told in an unique voice, Dave and the crime solving angelic duo provided many chuckles and kept everyone turning the pages. They were rewarded with unexpected twists as Dave not only tries to solve his murder but avoid hell too.

With sibling rivalry, complicated a love life and unravelling family secrets, there are many suspects in this unusual murder mystery. Towards the end the busy, character heavy scenes required a reread to understand the mechanics of the murderer’s reveal but all in all, everything came together with a satisfying, clever conclusion.

This novel is an enjoyable fantastical escape with demons, angels and Dave. With its humour and air of supernatural, The Purgatory Poisoning is a welcome addition to the enchanted bookshelf to be recommended to others.

Author Biograpghy

Photo of Rebecca Rogers. Young white woman smiling. Has long brown wavy hair
Rebecca Rogers

Rebecca Rogers grew up in Birmingham on a diet of Blackadder and Monty Python. For a long time, she
thought Michael Palin was her uncle (he’s not). Now a civil servant by day and writer by night, she’s a proud mum to two grown-up boys and lives in the glorious south west of England.
The Purgatory Poisoning is her first novel and won the Comedy Women in Print Unpublished Prize 2021.


Book review and Giveaway: Ellie-May and her Toy Dragon, Ben by Genna Rowbotham

A new arrival on the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf is Ellie-May and her Toy Dragon Ben by Genna Rowbotham, thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources. It instantly caught Amber’s attention as any book containing a hint of dragon always do. Accepting the blog tour invitation, she passed it over to Rosa to review with the help of Alejo.

Scroll down to read their honest and unbiased view.

Book review: Ellie-May and her Toy Dragon, Ben by Genna Rowbotham

Ellie-May and her Toy Dragon, Ben by Genna Rowbotham book cover
a young girl riding a red dragon with a yellow tummy over a city skyline.
Ellie-May and her Toy Dragon, Ben by Genna Rowbotham

Title: Ellie-May and her Toy Dragon, Ben

Author: Genna Rowbotham

Publisher: Adventure Scape Press

Genre: Picture book

Release date: 14th March 2023

Purchase Links

Genna’s website:  

Amazon (Paperback):

Amazon (eBook):   

Google Play: (eBook):


Feeling so excited for a new day ahead, Ellie-May struggles to sleep. So when her toy dragon, Ben

grows into a real-life dragon, they take to the starry skies and embark on a night-time adventure together, where they visit Ben’s castle and enjoy a dragon party.

But as the sun begins to rise and the stars fade, will Ellie-May be able to stay awake?

Thoughts from the Emporium

Before giving it to Rosa, teenager Amber read Ellie-May and Ben’s adventure first with a huge grin, as the simple rhyme immersed her into story and made her younger self happy. Her favourite toy was a dragon, Iggy, making Ellie-May and her Toy dragon Ben the type book she’d have chosen on a bookshop trip as a young child.

Alejo is on the upper end of the recommended age, five but when Rosa read it as a bedtime story, the adorable plot, fun imagery and characters lured him in. You know it’s a good story when a reread is requested. With an easy to follow plot and language he could also join in with some reading himself. He now wants a Ben of his own and more adventures.

Ellie-May and her Toy Dragon Ben is an ideal bedtime story for dragon loving kids and will be a hit on the Emporium’s lending library.

Author Biography

Photo of Genna Rowbotham. Young white woman with light blonde hair, smiling wearing a black jumper
Genna Rowbotham

Genna Rowbotham wrote her first children’s story in 2017, fitting it in around caring for her young family, and is now an author of nine children’s books as well as a short story in a magazine. Rowbotham has a passion to write stories that help entertain, educate and inspire young-ones as the reader can escape the seriousness of life and enter a world of magic.

Her other interests include reading, writing, travelling, astrology, spending time with her family and exploring the great outdoors.

She lives with her lively, imaginative family in Derbyshire in a house full of books, magazines as well as colourful drawings and all sorts of artwork from her children (empty cereal boxes are often taken from the recycle bin to reinvent something wonderful like a spy camera or telescope).

Social Media Links –




You Tube:  


Book Bub:  

Giveaway to Win a bundle of  3 Children’s books by Genna Rowbotham (Open Int)

Giveaway prize of three books.
Ellie-May and her toy dragon Ben
Where is Lamby?
Lottie the Ladybird's Adventure
Giveaway prizes

Prize includes Where is Lamby? (rhyming picture book), Lottie the Ladybird’s Adventure (for ages 7-9) and  Ellie-May & her Toy Dragon, Ben (rhyming picture book)*

Enter here

Good luck!

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review: A Psychic Subterfuge by JP Alters

Today we’re excited to be on the blog tour for a novel with an intriguing premise, A Psychic Subterfuge by JP Alters. Thank you Random Things Tours for the swift arrival of a copy to the Enchanted Emporium so we could give our honest and unbiased review.

The blurb hooked the witches in so scroll down to see if the novel did the same.

Book Review: A Psychic Subterfuge by JP Alters

Psychic Subterfuge by JP Alters
Psychic Subterfuge by JP Alters

Title: Psychic Subterfuge

Author: JP Alters

Publisher: Indie

Genre: Paranormal thriller

Release date: 8th December 2022

Purchase link: Amazon


Mary Obosa Jameson, a diagnosed schizophrenic, attempts to take her own life and is admitted to a state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital.
Mary, hears voices and has friends that nobody else can see… but what she does not know, is that she is actually a powerful medium and that everything, has a plan.
Whilst admitted to the hospital, Mary makes friends who uncover a fiendish conspiracy. Mary’s life, and the lives of her friends are in great danger and only she can save them, but does she believe?
They are her friends. However, when you are diagnosed with schizophrenia, how do you know what is real, and what is not?
A Psychic Subterfuge is the first book in a series of paranormal thrillers featuring protagonist Mary Jameson, by debut author: JP Alters.

Thoughts from the Emporium

There have been discussions previously in the Emporium about mental illness and what would happen if you were psychic too. This novel explores this in a captivating way with intriguing characters and twists leading you to think one thing and then another. 

Mary is a complex character who has constant friends that no one else sees. They are loyal, supportive and keep her safe but when her mental health spirals this isn’t enough. From the beginning, it was clear this novel would delve into dark places such as suicide and abuse so it isn’t for the faint hearted. These topics are always difficult to read and write but the author tackles them with realism, and sensitivity. When friendships are formed with other patients, there are warmer and heartfelt moments making the witches care about all of the group, adding to the tension as they read to the unexpected conclusion. 

The private clinic Mary finds herself in is perfect compared to other places people find themselves in when having a mental health crisis, but the stigma and darker undertones remain. If the paranormal element wasn’t mentioned in the blurb, it wouldn’t have crossed the witches’ mind that this is where the plot would go but it works well and encouraged them to keep turning the page to discover when and how Mary would discover the truth.

A Psychic Subterfuge is a highly readable, thrilling novel which blends dystopia and the paranormal set in a contemporary environment. Those at the Emporium look forward to seeing where Mary’s life leads her next and this copy is a worthy addition to the enchanted bookshelf.

Author Biography

Image of JP Alters holding a book with a dachshund next to them. Their face is obscured.
JP Alters

A debut, indie author, J.P. loves writing, and in December 2022, self-published the first in her series of paranormal thrillers: A Psychic Subterfuge.

J.P. Alters writes under a pen name. A people person, J.P. has enjoyed many jobs throughout the years, working in either social care or mental health. Currently, she has two jobs, sharing her time between being a mum to three children, her role as a mentor, and working for a homeless charity.

J.P. hopes to write books that are accessible and appealing to many. Most of all, she plans to continue to enjoy the writing ride, and hopes her readers will too!

Subscribe to to stay updated

Instagram: @jp_altersauthor

Facebook: JP Alters Author

TikTok: @jpaltersauthor

Other blogs on the tour

Book Review: The Last Tree A Seed of Hope by Luke Adam Hawker

When The Last Tree: A Seed of Hope by the talented artist Luke Adam Hawker, arrived on the enchanted bookshelf, Amber and Rosa squealed with delight and appreciation of the beautiful pencil drawn illustration of an old gnarled tree on the cover. This is a book that demands to be read and everyone at the emporium are grateful to Random Things Tours’ invite to this tour and advanced copy to give their honest opinion.

Is this story as beautiful as the cover promises? Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: The Last Tree A Seed of Hope by Luke Adam Hawker

The Last Tree A Seed of Hope by Luke Adam Hawker

Title: The Last Tree A Seed of Hope

Author: Luke Adam Hawker

Publisher: Ilex

Genre: Picture book for children and adults

Released date: 2nd March 2023


Imagine a world without trees. A world that is in many ways like our world, but where magnificent
canopies, tree climbing and leaves rustling in the breeze are now only distant memories…

Until a young girl comes along, a girl who is brave and spirited and willing to follow where her imagination takes her. Through Olive’s adventures in the world of trees we are reminded of nature’s extraordinary power and beauty, and her actions ultimately sow the seeds of new life in her own world.

From the mind and pen of Luke Adam Hawker, the Sunday Times bestselling author of Together, The
Last Tree is a superbly illustrated narrative that is a powerful evocation of the fragility of our natural world and a magnificent celebration of its beauty

Thoughts from the Emporium

Like many witches, Amber is drawn to nature but particularly trees. The drawing on cover resembled her favourite tree in her garden which was her constant companion during her childhood. It was where she played, climbed, hid and read under. Even without this connection, she’d have wanted to read this book. 

The exquisite illustrations of Olive’s adventure are made more outstanding because of their monochrome simplicity. They urged her to study them rather than skim past which is often the case with picture books. The accompanying words tell the sweet poignant tale of a child climbing into a picture to explore the world of trees. Again the simple adventure adds to the books beauty, tugged at the emotions and made Amber vow to do better at helping the environment and cherish those trees around her.

Rosa read The Last Tree to Alejo as a bedtime story and despite it being a far cry from his usual excessively vibrant, and high adventure books it has become one of his favourites. Olivia’s experiences drew him in, provoked chat and nature walks. 

The Last Tree is a beautiful, subtle story with big message for young and old and would sit proudly on any shelf including the Enchanted Bookshelf. It would make an ideal gift too.

Author Biography

Luke Adam Hawker. Black and white photo of a man sitting in a woodland setting on a log with a large gangly dog. The dog's tongue is hanging out. Like is white with short hair and a closely cropped beard.
Luke Adam Hawker

Luke Adam Hawker worked as an architectural designer before becoming a full-time artist in 2015. He sells his signed and limited-edition prints to fans throughout the UK and the rest of the world.
He has also been commissioned by brands such as the Soho House Hotel Group and has an artwork hanging in the Parliamentary Art collection.
He has over 298k very engaged Instagram followers @lukeadamhawker.
Luke’s first book, Together, was a Sunday Times bestseller. It has sold over 130,000 copies worldwide to date and has been translated into nine languages.
Luke lives with his wife, son and dog Robin in Surrey, England.

Other blogs on this tour

Monday Merry Meet: Kate Baker

We are thrilled to have debut author, Kate Baker visit us to chat about her book, Maid of Steel, writing and ghostly goings on at boarding school. Her Instagram stories, Otis her dog photos, and chats always make us smile especially this week with her book launch. If you don’t follow her, you’re missing a treat.

Grab your favourite beverage and put your feet up for five to catch up with her news.

Monday Merry Meet: Kate Baker

A photo of Otis a black and tan dachshund sitting on a lap

Willow: Welcome Kate and Otis, I hope you found us okay. Pop through to the back and make yourself comfy. Feel free to let Otis on the sofa, Vincent has gone on his daily prowl of the harbour so there will be plenty of room.

Kate: Otis, stop sniffing that door. I’m sure the witches have told their cats to stay away out of sight while you’re here!

Willow: Yes, with Vincent gone Black Cat is doing whatever feline ghosts do when they’re not haunting properties so we’re safe. What can we get you to drink? We have Yorkshire tea, herbal tea, and other blends, coffee or some celebratory Prosecco. We’re so excited about your debut release and have been following the excitement on your social media.

Kate:  May I be greedy and have a glass of Prosecco and a Camomile tea please? I found the latter to be particularly helpful when I was on the radio once.

Pouring prosecco into a glass photo black and white

Amber: I’m so glad you’re finally here as we have cake and Willow refused to let us have any without you. I’ve made Otis some homemade dog biscuits too.

Kate: I think he’s can smell that too – that nose of his will get him into trouble one day. I’d adore some cake, and thank you, Willow, for keeping it safe until I arrived.

Rosa: I’ve just finished reading Maid of Steel and adored the Irish location, and you’ve captured the atmosphere of the time. Emma is strong willed and ready to fight for suffrage. What made you choose this part of history?

Kate:  I was fascinated by the Cobh Heritage Centre, a museum down in the harbour of Cobh, formerly known as Queenstown. Depictions of mass emigration brought home to me how terrible life must have been for people in Ireland after the Potato Famine hit. They left their homes in desperation, and hoping to find a new life overseas. Not everyone made it. That became the backstory to Emma’s tale. Emma is the granddaughter of Ellen, an immigrant to New York who did, in fact, make it. Emma travels back to Ireland to see where her grandmother came from. She finds lots out about her family, and lots out about herself too! It had to be set in 1911 and 1912 because of how the book ends!

Willow: Your book mentions so many historical details we knew nothing about, such as soldier’s homes where soldiers could experience a few hours of normality to help with their mental health. Were you aware of these things before you wrote the story or did they crop up in research?

Kate: No! My dear friend, Hannah, whom travels with me when hubby is too busy to leave the farm, spotted the carved out letters in concrete above a doorway in the harbour. I’d have missed it completely! We returned to our hotel and googled it, and that’s when I discovered Emile Sandes (sometimes she’s known as Elise) and all that she did for the soldiers of Ireland and then when it caught on, England too. Emma wishes something like that had been around in the states for her brother.

Rosa: In essence, Maid of Steel is a forbidden love story. Have you always been attracted to this genre?

Kate: Yes. I love fiction where we can explore the darker side of life.

Amber: This is your debut. What has your publication journey been like? If you did it again, would you change anything?

Kate: Great question, Amber. Do you know something? I wouldn’t. I needed it to take four years for the story to evolve. Over that time, my craft and understanding of character improved and had I released it earlier, I fear it would not be the quality I hope it is today. Having jumped off the Finding-an-Agent path and landing on the Indie Publishing route, I had to learn a whole new approach, but that’s where The Book Guild have come into their own.

A photo of a three-tiered cake stand with cakes, a cup and sandwiches
Afternoon tea

Willow: Emma isn’t the only strong woman in your book. If you could choose one of your female characters to have afternoon tea with, who would you choose and why?

Kate: This is hard to answer! I think Alice is an intriguing devil, but it’s Mrs Walsh who really captures my attention. To seemingly have such an equal relationship with her husband in 1911 seems astonishing, yet he evidently loves her to be in work, and for a good cause, and doesn’t even bat an eyelid when she refused to be counted on the night of the Census! I’d love to know her outlook on life.

Willow: You live on a farm and run your own business, how do you balance writing and your other commitments?

Kate: By being incredibly flexible and not worrying if plans have to change. I can have a rough idea of how I want a day to go, but if one of my commitments becomes more pressing, then it has to come to the forefront and no longer do I let that bother me. I get on with it, get the other side of it and pick up the other stuff after. Chill, chill … whenever possible; that’s my motto!

Notebook open, coffee cup, kindle and pencil

Amber: Many writers visit the Emporium. Do you have any advice for people wanting to write?

Kate: Explore your ideas through free-writing. It’s hugely liberating, especially with a pen and paper. The blank screen of a laptop can be very daunting. A stolen five minutes in a carpark, or at the end of the kitchen table while the peas are simmering, can provide a quick moment of escape and your pen can flow with words as you think them. Not whole sentences; but random thoughts. Get them down, let them out. Often they quickly turn into a scene! And sometimes those scenes can morph into something from your WIP.

Willow: The Enchanted Emporium sells several candles in The Wishing Spell range which promise to help your day go smoothly. Which would you choose?

Kate: (picks up A Good Night’s Sleep candle) THIS ONE! I’m an insomniac so a good night’s sleep is a rare and beautiful thing!

Willow: One candle invokes memories of your perfect holiday or day when lit. Where would it take you?

Kate: Gosh, this is hard. Perhaps the rocky beaches near Padstow in North Cornwall, where we used to go regularly while the children were growing up. But equally can I be boring and say my south-facing patio and describe a ‘holiday’ from work and farm accounts? That’s my special place – and free to get to!

Illustration of a ghost reading a book of ghost stories

Amber: That sounds a perfect special place. Ghosts and paranormal activity plague The Enchanted Emporium. Have had had any spooky experiences – has it influenced your writing?

Kate: Oooh, I have! At boarding school, in Stamford, Lincolnshire. I was about twelve and killing a Saturday afternoon alone in the dormitory, idly playing my recorder. (I wasn’t very good at the recorder, by the way). At one point, a wardrobe door swung slowly open. I stopped playing and watched. The door opened fully. I began to play the same piece (don’t ask; I don’t recall) and one of the school navy tunics began to sway. I stopped playing and got up off the bed. It stopped swaying. I played again; it swayed. I stopped; it stopped. I was spooked by this and told my friends. They wanted me to re-enact it for them a couple of hours later and sadly, one of the girls got behind the wardrobe (unbeknown to me) and pushed it gently as I played. But I swear, that first time, no-one was in the room with me. I haven’t written anything spooky of any length, but have dabbled in a bit of horror writing, and science fiction, following a course last spring.

Willow: If we could blend you a bespoke potion to give you a superpower for 24 hours, what would it be?

Kate: For everything else around me to pause, and for me to be able to type with focus for hours!

Willow: Sounds a good plan. Our Enchanted Emporium bookshelf is a small lending library full of books with either fantastical, horror, witchy or paranormal theme. What would you add to it?

Kate: Have you got the Carlos Ruiz Zafon series? Set in ancient Barcelona? If not, your witches are missing out, as are your readers. They will thank me for this when you add the series!

Rosa: We’ll check. The bookshelf likes hiding books. I have a Box of Romance books I share with friends and customers. What would you add to it?

Kate: Pernille Hughes ‘Ten Years’ is a great one … Lucy Keeling’s series is fun, and I think the Time Travellers Wife is a classic.

Willow: And finally, what are you working on currently? Or is it top secret?

Kate: The Projectionist is an inter-generational friendship story about a 90-year-old man and an eleven-year boy who wants to run away from home before the end of a six-week summer holiday, before he has to go to High School. Frank becomes Toby’s mentor, an unlikely combination which the town frown upon at first, because people always judge books by their covers!

Willow: It sounds fantastic. Thank you and Otis for joining us.

Title: Maid of Steel

Author: Kate Baker

Publisher: The Book Guild

Genre: Historical fiction, romance

Release date: 28th Feb 2023

Purchase Links

Publisher’s link:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:



It’s 1911 and, against her mother’s wishes, quiet New Yorker Emma dreams of winning the right to vote. She is sent away by her parents in the hope distance will curb her desire to be involved with the growing suffrage movement and told to spend time learning about where her grandparents came from.

Across the Atlantic – Queenstown, southern Ireland – hotelier Thomas dreams of being loved, even noticed, by his actress wife, Alice. On their wedding day, Alice’s father had assured him that adoration comes with time. It’s been eight years. But Alice has plans of her own and they certainly don’t include the fight for equality or her dull husband.

Emma’s arrival in Ireland leads her to discover family secrets and become involved in the Irish Women’s Suffrage Society in Cork. However, Emma’s path to suffrage was never meant to lead to a forbidden love affair…

Author Biography

Kate Baker

Kate Baker wrote terrible holiday diaries as a child, which her husband regularly asks her to read out loud for their entertainment. She has since improved and has written with intent since 2018. Maid of Steel is her second novel; the first is lining drawers in the vegetable rack at their farmhouse.



Book Review: Accidental Magic by Iris Beaglehole

Willow stumbled on this book by accident on social media but was drawn to the promise of a midlife protagonist, humour, tea and of course witchcraft. Within seconds, it was downloaded on to her Kindle.

Scroll down to see if it lived up to her expectations

Book Review: Accidental Magic by Iris Beaglehole

Beautiful cover. Dark background with a selection of purple wtchy items surrounding the title eg cat, crystals, book, potion bottle and flowers
Accidental Magic by Iris Beaglehole

Title: Accidental Magic Book 1 of Myrtlewood Mysteries

Author: Iris Beaglehole

Publisher: Te Rā Aroha Press

Release date: 28th February 2022

Genre: Paranormal women’s fiction


Welcome to Myrtlewood, a quirky town, steeped in magic, tea and mystery…

Life’s a struggle for Rosemary Thorn and her teen daughter, Athena. But their regular troubles are turned upside down after Granny Thorn’s mysterious death.

Despite her cousin’s sinister manoeuvrings, Rosemary returns to Myrtlewood and the sprawling, dilapidated Thorn Manor. But there’s more to the old house than meets the eye, as Rosemary and Athena soon find out — in a whirlwind of magic, adventure, mystical creatures and endless cups of tea.

Life in Myrtlewood would be bliss if Rosemary could only clear her name in a certain murder investigation, solve the mystery and stay out of mortal peril – for at least a little while!

A small town with endless secrets, strange activities, and a house with a mind of its own.

If you love mystery, witches, paranormal women’s fiction with a midlife main character and a big dose of humour, you’re going to love Myrtlewood Mysteries Book 1.

Thoughts From the Emporium

This book delivered on its tagline and gave Willow and then the others (they soon downloaded a copy* after she raved about it) some much needed light-hearted, witchy escapism with self discovery of the magical kind and a murder investigation at its core.

Single mum, Rosemary, and teenage, Athena move into the Grandmother’s home and discover the village, Myrtlewood, is nothing like they expected. With ampful mentions of tea to match Willow’s own addiction, quirky and unusual characters mulling around the pub and locality, there was plenty to latch on to and explore in future books.

Amber enjoyed having a fellow teenage witch to relate to despite Athena’s seemingly lack of powers while Rosa and Willow were drawn to Rosemary herself trying to do her best in bad situations and family disputes.

Like many witchy novels, the setting especially the house are characters in their own right and Thorn House is no exception. For many, witch or not. the idea of a self cleaning home is perfection but it is more than that, it’s quirky, shows the author’s imaginative side and is a foundation for the ongoing magical mysteries.

Accidental Magic is an entertaining read, and full of life. With characters ranging from witches, vampires and shapeshifters, this is the strong start to a cosy paranormal series and more than worthy of being the Enchanted Emporium’s bookshelf when they get a physical copy.

*At the time of posting this the first three books are available as a boxset for a bargain of 99p – here

Author Biography

Iris Beaglehole is many peculiar things, a writer, researcher, analyst, druid, witch, parent, and would-be astrologer. She loves tea, cats, herbs, and writing quirky characters

Social Media





Book Review: The Festival of Cats

Today is the review for the Festival of Cats which is anthology full of the works by Diana Alexander, Amaris Chase, Daphne Denley, J. J. Drover, Harriet Hitchen, Rebecca McDowall, Jane Phillips, Angela Reddaway, Margaret Royall, Stuart Samuel and Penny Wright.

Willow was thrilled to be invited to read this book, after all with her feline familiar, Vincent and resident ghostly Black Cat, how could she resist?

Thank you Crumps Barn for the advanced copy to read and offer our unbiased opinion.

Book Review: The Festival of Cats

Book cover for Festival of Cats. Pastel illustration of a tortoiseshell long haired cat, side view.
Festival of Cats

Title: The Festival of Cats

Author: Diana Alexander, Amaris Chase, Daphne Denley, J. J. Drover, Harriet Hitchen, Rebecca McDowall, Jane Phillips, Angela Reddaway, Margaret Royall, Stuart Samuel and Penny Wright

Publisher: Crumps Barn

Release date: 28th February 2023

Genre: Poetry, memoir, fiction anthology


Heroes and danger, comfort and claws

A black cat dreams of finding a new family, and a vampire is woken by a brush with ancient folklore. Then a cat tests just how far his nine lives run, before a stray moves in, and a kitten discovers a thirst for adventure …

Full of playfulness and wildness, this is a vibrant collection from eleven UK authors about the reality of being owned by a cat

Thoughts From the Emporium

Willow began reading this curled up with Vincent beside her, listening to him purr and fell in love immediately with the tale of Moonlight, a black cat longing for adoption. She knows they are less likely to be adopted thanks to their witchy reputation. It was Vampire Cat which drew Amber’s attention. Who knew these felines could raise the dead in one leap? And living in Whitby with its own vampiric folklore, it made her more wary of Black Cat lurking in the shadows.

While there are many cats immortalised in words, black cats win the day which made those in the Emporium smile (just don’t tell Vincent who believes his ginger mane and coat make him superior to threadbare Black Cat).

This wide ranging collection of short fiction, memories and poetry maybe pocketsize but it has heart, emotion and holds the essence of cat ownership making it a joy to read and an ideal gift for cat lovers.

With its tale of witches, vampires and haunted chessboards it’s a must for the Enchanted Emporium’s bookshelf. And with the inclusion of a matchmaking feline, it also earns a spot in Rosa’s box.


This is a unique collaboration of eleven UK authors featuring original work from: Diana Alexander, Amaris Chase, Daphne Denley, J. J. Drover, Harriet Hitchen, Rebecca McDowall, Jane Phillips, Angela Reddaway, Margaret Royall, Stuart Samuel and Penny Wright. All are cat lovers to the core.

Media links

Cotswold Life magazine:

Monday Merry Meet: Wendy Sheffield

Welcome to another week! Today we’re excited to host our first ever spirit writer to the Enchanted Emporium, Wendy Sheffield, to discuss her writing, life and of course, spells.

The review for her book Spirit Writer can be found here but why not grab a cuppa and take a break to discover more.

Monday Merry Meet: Wendy Sheffield

Willow: Welcome to our small shop. We’re excited to have you visit. The Marleys and Old Percy, our resident ghosts are under strict instructions not to badger you with information while you’re here but as the first medium we’ve had visit, I can’t guarantee they’ll behave. Mrs Marley likes to talk.

Amber: Hi, I’m on tea and drink duty today as Rosa’s at a Parent’s association meeting. What can I get you? Tea including Yorkshire tea, coffee or I do an excellent hot chocolate or something stronger or cold.

Wendy: One of your hot choccies would go down nicely!!!! Thanks

Hot chocolate in a pink mug and heart shaped biscuits
Hot chocolate and biscuit time

Willow: We always ask our guests whether they’ve had paranormal experiences and how it affects their writing, but as your book is all about connecting with spirits, we know the answer but can you tell us a bit about how you began?

Amber: And what a spirit writer is? I’ve only ever heard of spirit artists who draw those who have passed.

Wendy: 12 years ago, I did not know that I was a medium and I certainly didn’t know that I had a spirit guide and a host of family ancestors in spirit who would have been only too happy to stop me messing up my life!  Because I did not know I had spirit guidance I made mistakes. I can hear you all saying, we all make mistakes, and in answer to this I would answer…we all do! 

I will not go into my life mistakes because they are not much different to most people’s mistakes!

Basically, I couldn’t understand why I was not happy, and the more I pondered on my past, the more I wanted to change my life. In effect I was asking spirit for help, without even realising the same!

One fateful night, 12 years ago, I went to bed and awoke a different person…a person more confident, a person who believed in the impossible!  A person who wanted to help the world with her gifts, which she was now aware of.

I went to bed not even knowing what spirit was, no mind what spirit writing was! Sorry I am taking a long time to answer the question!

In days of old, people used to spirit write using a pen and paper. I was a lady of the 21st century, I was not going to use pen and paper!  I woke up that night…I grabbed a pen and paper and spirit encouraged me to scribble, letting go of the pain. Even though I did not know about spirit and spirit writing before this time… grandmother told me I was spirit writing! This was the first spiritual gift that she showed me that I possessed. It took me many years thereafter, but I learnt to control my spirit writing. Spirit knew I was a trained legal secretary and could type at least as fast as someone can talk, so they encouraged me to use a keyboard to use the skill that I had. Shortly thereafter, I felt the ned to help others with my newfound skills, and for a time was giving online reading using my spirit writing and my trusted keyboard.

To cut a long story short….spirit writing…..I connect to spirit as a medium and let my fingers fly!

Amber: Your book is based on your life, how difficult did you find writing it?

Wendy: To be honest, it was a great relief, because I knew as soon as I had let go of the past, I knew I would be able to move forwards!

Amber: Spirit Writer is your debut, what has your publication journey been like? If you did it again, would you change anything?

Wendy: I have found my publication journey painful and expensive! As to whether I would change anything, as I have progressed with my books, I have learnt new skills. I have now written Book 2, Pure Spirit and almost finished Book 3, Spirit Healer, and I can now do everything myself and now only have to pay for advertising, which is very expensive in itself!

Rosa: Many of our customers love the idea of writing a book, including memoirs. Do you have any advice for novice memoir writers?

Wendy: Writing the book is the easy bit! Make sure that you are happy with your publisher and be careful with advertising costs!

A lit candle

Willow: The Enchanted Emporium sells several candles in The Wishing Spell range which promise to help your day go smoothly. Which would you choose?

Wendy: A good night’s sleep, as my mind always whirrs around 100 miles an hour, and the spirits don’t help!

Focus and concentration is also an issue for me!

Willow: One candle invokes memories of your perfect holiday or day when lit. Where would it take you?

Wendy: Back into the past to put right wrongs!

Willow: We often blend different potions beyond the love ones that are flying off the shelves this week. If we could create a spell to give you magical powers for 24 hours what would it be?

Wendy: To go into the future to see where my journey is taking me!

An illustrated row of battered books

Willow: Our Enchanted Emporium bookshelf is a small lending library full of books with either fantastical, witchy or paranormal theme, fiction or non-fiction is fine. What would you add to it?

Wendy: My 3 books, of course!

Rosa: I have a Box of Romance books to share my love of the romance genre to the world. What would you add to it?

Wendy: Nowadays, I don’t read such books, but in my younger days I used to like Catherine Cookson’s romance books – No one book in particular!

Willow: I don’t think we have any Catherine Cookson books yet. And finally, what are you working on currently? Or is it top secret?

Wendy: I am now using my ability as a spiritualist healer to help everyone that comes to me for healing. I want people to understand themselves inside and outside and out and to not be afraid to seek healing from whoever they are drawn to!

Willow: That sounds fantastic. We wish you well and thank you for visiting.

Book cover for Spirit Writer by Wendy Sheffield. Black background with an illustrated open book with magic swirls coming out of it
Spirit Writer by Wendy Sheffield

Title: Spirit Writer

Author: Wendy Sheffield

Publisher: Grosvenor House Publishing

Release date: 13th October 2022

Genre: Non-fiction, spirituality



‘Spirit Writer’ is a book written by Wendy Sheffield, a psychic medium, who channels messages from the spirit world. In her book, Sheffield explores the art of spiritual writing and shares her insights on how to connect with spirit guides, develop intuition, and communicate with loved ones who have passed on. The book also delves into the practice of mindfulness and its role in writing as a spiritual practice.

‘Spirit Writer’ is a memoir that reflects on Sheffield’s own spiritual awakening and experiences with mediumship and afterlife communication.

Overall, ‘Spirit Writer’ provides readers with a unique perspective on the power of writing and its potential for connecting with the spiritual realm.

‘A wonderful insight into how the world of spirit can communicate with us’

More about the author:

Wendy Sheffield. A white woman with dark bobbed hair and thick dark rimmed glasses

12 years ago, or thereabouts, my grandmother stood me before a very large old mirror in my old living room and said THIS IS WHO YOU ARE!! 

At the time I had doubts that I would ever reach the level to which she was telling me I was capable of. 

TODAY is that day that I know that I am capable of so much, all i needed to do was allow my love to shine through and BELIEVE. 

It is through my books I hope that I share my LOVE and BELIEF!

SPIRIT WRITER the start of my journey
PURE SPIRIT my refined connection with spirit

My final message is that this is not the end, IT IS the beginning…

Social media:


Twitter: @spiritwriteruk

Facebook: Spiritwriterspeaks

Instagram: Spiritwriteruk7965

Book Review: Together Again by Milly Johnson

Milly Johnson books are always popular in Rosa’s Box of Romance. As soon as one is returned another customer nabs it to read so you can imagine Rosa’s and the witches’ excitement of being invited to her blog tour for her newest novel, Together Again.

Scroll down to see whether it reached their high expectations

Book Review: Together Again by Milly Johnson

Together Again By Milly Johnson

Title: Together Again

Author: Milly Johnson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Release date: 3rd March 2023


Together again after years apart, can they find a new beginning? The brilliant novel full of laughter, love, tears and hope from the Sunday Times bestselling author Milly Johnson.

‘This masterpiece honestly describes the strength and acceptance required to be a family. 5 STARS’ Adele Parks, Book of the Month, Platinum magazine

Sisters Jolene, Marsha and Annis have convened at their beautiful family home, Fox House, following the death of their mother, the tricky Eleanor Vamplew. Born seven years apart, the women are more strangers than sisters.

Jolene, the eldest, is a successful romantic novelist who writes about beautiful relationships even though her own marriage to the handsome and charming Warren is complicated.

Marsha, the neglected middle child, has put all of her energy into her work, hoping money will plug the gap in her life left by the man who broke her young heart.

Annis is the renegade, who left home aged sixteen and never returned, not even for the death of their beloved father Julian. Until now.

So when the sisters discover that their mother has left everything to Annis in her will, it undermines everything they thought they knew. Can saying their final goodbyes to Eleanor bring them together again?

Together, Again is the story of truths uncovered and lies exposed, of secrets told – and kept. It is a novel about sister helping sister to heal from childhood scars and finding in each other support, forgiveness, courage and love.

Thoughts From the Emporium

Wow! Everyone agreed this book took them on an emotional and unexpected rollercoaster. Many tissues were needed.

None in the Emporium have had easy childhoods but Eleanor Vamplew was something else with her narcissistic traits. As with all Milly Johnson’s characters, the sisters had depth, individuality and were relatable making their journeys more impactful. It was refreshing to see a dysfunctional family dealing with the death of a toxic parent rather than one that is loved and it gave a realistic depiction of the fallout and guilt the grief brings.

Told in the different sister’s point of view, it was easy to see how the sisters’ relationships broke and how they need each other to heal and reconcile. Each member of staff latched on to a different sister dependent on their own life experience, age and personality. Once married Rosa connected to Jolene for more reasons than her doing Rosa’s ideal job, workaholic Willow related to Marsha and Amber felt for the youngest sister. They all agreed they couldn’t put the book down. When Annis’ secret was finally revealed it sent them reeling and showed how siblings can have different childhoods despite the same parents and childhood home.

Milly’s warm humour, quirky observations and ability to offer hope to readers while taking them through some hard hitting storylines shone in this book making it one of their favourite reads.

This powerful, emotional but ultimately uplifting read will resonate with many providing them with feeling of being seen.

It has already triggered many conversations in store and provided a platform for the friends to share their of own childhood scars so they could get support to heal. While this novel has less romance and darker themed* than normal, it’ll still go into Rosa’s box and will be a hit in the small lending library.

*That said Milly Johnson’s never shy away from all types of life experiences women find themselves in so has touched on some hefty topics already in previous novels. Within her twenty books, there is at least one that hits the reader and says this one’s speaking to me.

Author Biography

Milly Johnson

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. She is the author of 20 novels, 4 short story ebooks, a book of poetry and a Quick Reads Novella (‘The Little Dreams of Lara Cliffe’) and was an erstwhile leading copywriter for the greetings card industry. She is also a poem and joke-writer, a newspaper columnist and a seasoned after dinner speaker.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016, the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015, the Romantic Novelist Association Outstanding Achievement award in 2020 and the Richard Whiteley Award for Inspiration to the County of Yorkshire in 2022.

She writes about love, life, friendships and the importance of community spirit. Her books champion women, their strength and resilience and celebrate her beloved Yorkshire.


Twitter @millyjohnson,

Instagram @themillyjohnson,

TikTok @millyjohnsonauthor

Facebook @MillyJohnsonAuthor

Monday Merry Meet: Linda Corbett

Welcome to another week to celebrate romantic fiction. We’re excited to have a new romantic author visit today, Linda Corbett whose novel. Love You From A to Z is a new addition to Rosa’s Box of Romance and the review can be found here.

Grab a cuppa and sink down into your seat to catch up with the this week’s chat.

Monday Merry Meet: Linda Corbett

Purple drink in a heart shaped mug
Purple Valentine’s Punch

Willow: Hi Linda, welcome to the Enchanted Emporium. Please have a seat. What can we get you to drink? We have different blends of tea including Yorkshire, coffee, hot chocolate or Valentine’s punch? It’s non-alcoholic but between you and me, the spell Amber has added to it makes you feel a tad tipsy. And are you ok with ferrets? Amber has an exam, so we’re looking after Beetle for her. He’s well behaved but I’d make sure any bags are closed as he likes a rummage.

Linda: Hello Willow! I’m afraid I am not a tea drinker, but Valentine’s punch sounds intriguing. I love all animals, although I’ve never encountered a ferret before, so that will be interesting.

Willow: Love You From A to Z is based on some letters being found in a storage container Jenna’s boyfriend, Matt buys. How did you come up with the idea? We never knew you could do such a thing.

Linda: One rainy autumnal afternoon my husband was watching “Storage Wars” on the telly. It must have stirred my imagination even though I wasn’t watching it, as I began to wonder whether people ever found personal items hidden away in these lockers, and what might happen if they did.

Two tan and black and white guinea pigs
Image by Ilona de Lange from Pixabay

Rosa: Your novel is the first I’ve ever read that has Guinea pigs in a starring roles and your love for them shines through. Did you always plan to include these adorable creatures in your debut? My son Alejo has already told me he wants one when he’s older.

Linda: I decided at the outset that the book would have guinea pigs in it somewhere. After all the stress of the 2020 lockdowns, I just wanted to write something that entertained me and not worry about markets or trends, so I created this fictional guinea pig rescue, which is run by the heroine’s sister and her partner. I then had enormous fun writing those scenes. And guinea pigs are like crisps – you can never have just one or two…

Willow: They’re like ferrets then. I’m amazed Amber just has the one. We loved Jenna and the t-shirt she wears. Your book gives an accurate portrayal of her living with a disability, how important was it for you to have a disabled protagonist in a romantic plot?  

Linda: It was my editor who asked if I would consider writing a disabled heroine, although I’d toyed with the idea previously. Disabled characters have often been poorly represented in fiction and on the screen, portrayed either as figures of fun or more often, deserving of pity. I wanted to show that Jenna sometimes finds life challenging, but she isn’t defined by her disability. At the beginning of the story, it’s her past and upbringing that holds her back, rather than her mobility issues. I grew up reading children’s books like Heidi, where disability was shown as a negative, sad thing, but even in recent years some novels still have an emphasis on pity for disabled characters. This is often an able-bodied person’s perception of disability, not the reality of everyday life with a disability. I believe everybody should have the chance to see themselves as the heroine of a romance novel.

And for anyone who hasn’t read the book, Jenna’s T-Shirt reads: “Legs not working efficiently. (Everything else meets or exceeds manufacturers’ specification)

Rosa: Such a good T-shirt. My mother wants one. Love You from A to Z is your debut, what has your publication journey been like? If you did it again, would you change anything?

Linda: My journey to publication has had plenty of ups and downs. My first attempt at a novel was ten years ago, definitely a practice effort and now buried somewhere on my laptop! However, my second attempt garnered some agent interest, and the third got me an agent. Sadly, the book wasn’t taken up and after I submitted novel number four, my agent contract was terminated. My fifth attempt was written on a wave of inspiration after receiving the Katie Fforde bursary in 2020, so Love You From A-Z is technically book six! In total, I clocked up over 220 rejections before I got that one “yes”. If I had to do the last ten years again, one thing I would definitely do is join the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme much earlier than I did.

Willow: That is some journey and shows determination and perseverance does pay off. Reading your author biography, you’re busy with your charity work. Do you have a writing routine to help you fit it in?

Linda: I don’t have a fixed daily routine, but I’m definitely a morning person, so I’m usually at my laptop by 8:30 a.m. I do most of my writing in the morning unless I’ve reached a really exciting scene and then I just have to carry on! My Shine Surrey work has fitted around the writing, and my fellow committee members are very understanding when I’m knee deep in edits.

Illustration of books, scrolls and ink bottle with quill

Rosa: Many of our customers love the idea of writing a novel. Do you have any advice for novice disabled writers?

Linda: I would definitely recommend reading as widely as possible in your chosen genre, and also books that explain the craft of writing – I have found there are lots of helpful articles online too. Writing a book is a solitary experience, so it is helpful to join a writer’s group where you can have both peer support and some sort of critique of your work. Your mum or your sister may love your novel but won’t give you the honest, critical feedback you need. I know from firsthand experience that professional criticism can feel harsh, even brutal,  at times, but I’ve found out the hard way that you don’t know what you don’t know. Writing involves hours of effort, and having a disability adds another layer of difficulty, so set yourself sensible targets and don’t try to compare your progress to other people’s – that road leads to disappointment.

Willow: The Enchanted Emporium sells several candles in The Wishing Spell range which promise to help your day go smoothly. Which would you choose?

Linda: Ooh, I definitely need to try several of these, but I think I’d choose confidence.

Willow: One candle invokes memories of your perfect holiday or day when lit. Where would it take you?

Linda: I’d love to go back to the day in September 2012 when we visited the California redwoods as part of our road trip down the US west coast. I remember the calm silence of the ancient forest and standing alongside giants that were already fully grown trees at the time of the Norman conquest – it was awe inspiring.

Willow: That sounds amazing. Ghosts and paranormal activity plague The Enchanted Emporium. Have you ever had any spooky experiences – has it influenced your writing?

Linda: I have only once experienced something I couldn’t explain, but I was half asleep at the time so I’m unsure whether it was real or not. However, in Love You From A-Z, Jenna does see a ghost, and she also hears about a legend of doomed lovers cursed by a witch in the wood.

Willow: We often blend different potions beyond the love ones that are flying off the shelves this week. If we could create a spell to give you magical powers for 24 hours, what would it be?

Linda: I’m currently scouting around for story ideas, so I’d love one that gives me a boost of creative inspiration. I’d scribble down all the ideas before the potion wears off!

Rosa: My Box of Romance’s is proving popular thanks to Valentine’s Day. What would you add to it?

Linda: There are too many great stories to choose from – I’d have to visit with a suitcase!

Willow: And finally, what are you working on currently? Or is it top secret?

Linda: My next book is due to be published in the summer. The heroine, Maddy, is a journalist and Jane Austen fan who learns on Valentine’s day that not only has she lost her job, but she’s also inherited a house from a distant relation and black sheep of the family. What she didn’t realise was that the house came with certain obligations as well as an opinionated, romance-sceptic neighbour who also  happens to be a bestselling crime writer.

Rosa: Now that sounds fun. Thank you for coming and hope the punch hasn’t made you too giddy.

Love You From A to Z by Linda Corbett

Title: Love You From A to Z

Author: Linda Corbett

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 24th June 2022

Purchase Link –


Experience has told Jenna Oakhurst that Happy Ever After may happen in all the best stories, but Happy For Now is the best one ought to expect in real life. Yet lately even that isn’t quite enough, so when a strange set of circumstances leads her to discover a mysterious letter in an abandoned storage unit, she takes the chance to embark on a journey into the unknown…just like the heroines from the storybooks.

Reaching out to the letter’s author, Henry Somners, changes Jenna’s world irrevocably and she starts to realise that the magic she believed in as a child might not be such a fanciful notion after all…

Author Biography

Linda Corbett

Linda Corbett lives in Surrey with her husband Andrew and three permanently hungry guinea pigs. As well as being an author, Linda is treasurer for Shine Surrey – a volunteer-led charity that supports individuals and families living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. For many years she also wrote a regular column for Link, a disability magazine, illustrating the humorous aspects of life with a complex disability, and she is a passionate advocate of disability representation in fiction. When not writing, Linda can be found papercrafting, cross stitching, or cuddling guinea pigs.