Archive for December 2012


Brook Cottage Books has only been in existence since 1st December 2012 and I am thrilled to have been awarded a BLOG OF THE YEAR award by those lovely talented lot over at This has really made my Christmas and New Year! Thank you so much. There's not much time left to nominate for this year but here are the rules:

Trying to narrow down the blogs I love was so difficult and it literally took me ages. There are so many wonderful bloggers out there. However, the 6 blogs I have nominated have been chosen because of the wonderful work they do to bring the world of books to so many people. Their committment to promoting wonderful books and authors is outstanding. So, as well as nominating them I am giving them a virtual high five!
So, without further ado (Drum roll please) the 6 bloggers I'd like to nominate for their wonderful blogs are -
1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012? Award.
2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – and ‘present’ them with their award.
3. Please include a link back to this page Blog of the Year 2012 Award – and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
5. You can now also join the Facebook group.
6. As a winner of the award — please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award — and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars… Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once — this award is different!
When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award — and every time you are given the award by another blog — you can add another star! There are a total of 6 stars to collect.
Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

Friends and Rivals by Tilly Bagshawe

Jack Messenger and Ivan Charles are partners in the music management business. Both have very different styles of management. Ivan is ruthless, self-centred, womanising and egotistical. Jack is a kind, reliable and trustworthy with a sensible business head and a set of morals. Into this unlikely partnership throw in Kendall Bryce, up and coming pop sensation who has the same effect as a hand grenade with everyone and anyone she comes into contact with. She is ambitious and selfish and has tunnel vision where her career is concerned. Along the way, there are casualties caught up in the war raging between Ivan, Jack and Kendall. Casualties such as Catriona Charles, Ivan’s wife who is a kind and trusting woman, unfazed by the glitz of the music management business.
This is a story of ruthless characters that don’t care about anyone but themselves. Even those characters that appear to have some scruples are forced to fight dirty. There are very few characters that are likeable in this book. However, I think that’s the point. The book has a feel of Jackie Collins about it and is a very enjoyable read full of interesting, complex and glamorous characters! We are given a glimpse into the star studded world of the music business with all its backstabbing and quests for fame, no matter what the price. Throw in a bit of sex and interesting characters and you have a book that is hard to put down.
*This review appeared on and I was lucky enough to be sent an advanced reading copy of the book which was a lovely limited edition hardback.

Merry Christmas!

The holiday season is finally upon us and for lots of us there's not going to be too much time for reading. However, if you are lucky enough to get some reading time, I hope Brook Cottage Books has helped you choose a good book. It has been a very successful first few weeks for the blog and I'd like to thank everyone for all their support. The response has been just wonderful and lots of lovely people have been tweeting and facebooking their little literary hearts out for me. I look forward to 2013 being the year that Brook Cottage Books really takes off and with all your support I just know this will happen.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year. May 2013 be a year full of love, laughter and books! Just remember, your next adventure is only a page turn away!

Lots of love JB!

Satchfield Hall By Pauline Barclay

Satchfield Hall by Pauline Barclay is an outstanding piece of writing. For all of you who remember the Mallen Streak, this is exactly who our main villain of the piece reminds me of - Thomas Mallen. Henry Bryant-Smythe is the heartless, ruthless and loveless squire of Satchfield Hall. He is unlucky in business and constantly has money worries. He treats his wife and daughter like they are something he has trodden on, and treats his staff as playthings for his own sick gratifications. When his young daughter Celia brings 'shame' onto his family name by conceiving a child out of wedlock, Henry sets off a terrifying and heartbreaking chain of events that have consequences for Celia and all those she loves. Consequences that will continue to change the lives of everyone for many years.

This book is a good old fashioned family saga about love, power, heartbreak and good old revenge and I very quickly become totally engrossed in it. It follows Celia from the time of the second world war when she was just 17, right up until she is a middle aged woman. It is heartbreaking in places and made me sob! It is also maddening in places and Henry is the type of villain you just love to hate! He is such a horrible man and Pauline has created a wonderfully intriguing character in him! He literally made me want to scream!

 All of the characters in the book are introduced and developed so well and you very quickly get caught up in what is happening to them and can almost feel their pain. I found this book very hard to put down. It is definitely a real page turner where you are desperate to find out what happens next because you care about the characters so much. The lives of the central characters are interwoven and Pauline's writing style ensures that each of her characters are equally interesting. By the final chapter I was sobbing over my Kindle. I'd recommend this book! Perfect for sitting down with a cuppa, a chocolate biscuit and a box of tissues because I can guarantee you will be sobbing too by the end!




Sister by Rosamund Lupton

I loved this modern thriller! In the book, Beatrice is very determined to find her missing sister Tess. Her story charts her journey and describes vividly her feelings and heart-breaking moments.

Beatrice gets to know about her sister's life and finds out some very surprising things about her.  It seems she didn't know her at all. She is very  surprised by how little she knew.  Who was this stranger that she thought she knew so well? 

 Walking in her sisters shoes and almost becoming part of her life, Beatrice's own life changes in ways she couldn't imagine. I cried during parts of this book. The very stuffy Beatrice soon becomes a modern Ms Marple and she evolves so rapidly throughout the story. Is she herself finding that in the search for her sister she is actually finding herself too? What Beatrice thought she knew about her life dramatically changes, taking on new form. This is as much as a surprise to Beatrice as it is to those who know her.

This book is a definite page turner with an unexpected twist at the end! The story is very cleverly written and I love Rosamund Luptons writing style as the story is retold through a series of letters and Beatrice recounting the story to a lawyer. All through the book, every time we are introduced to a character I kept thinking 'oh is he involved', or 'I think she had something to do with it'. I kept changing my mind with every page. Drove me nuts but in a good way. Loved it! Would highly recommend it!

Discovery at Rosehill by Kathryn Brown

The story centres around Camilla, a medium, who buys, following the advice of her grandmother, a farmhouse called Rosehill. From the moment Camilla enters the house she is met by a variety of Spirits, all with some sort of story to tell her and a mystery for her to solve! Its a very spooky book and Kathryn's descriptions of Camilla's encounters with the Spirit world make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end! As if that wasn't enough, Kathryn introduces a love interest for Camilla. However, there's a story behind this too and a Spirit is determined to make this relationship as complicated as possible for Camilla. As if a relationship between a Medium and Reverend Marcus Calloway isn't going to be complicated enough!
So, not only do you have a touch of the paranormal, being scared out of your wits and extremely likable characters, and a mystery but you also have romance! What else could you ask for! I'd strongly recommend reading at night, in the quiet! I guarantee you will be a bundle of nerves by the end of the night! I was convinced I could see shadows moving out of the corner of my eye! As I was reading it one night my mobile phone rang just as I got to a particularly spooky bit in the book. I almost jumped right out of my skin! Theres also a really good twist at the end of the story that I didn't expect. So good!

Kathryn Brown is a truly talented writer and I look forward to further books. 
Discovery at Rosehill can be purchased in either paperback format or Kindle format.

Author in the Spotlight - Kathryn Brown

Please Welcome to Brook Cottage Books the wonderful Kathryn Brown. I have Kathryn to thank for introducing me to the world of book reviewing when I was lucky enough to win her book Discovery at Rosehill in a competition run by

Kathryn is the writer of Discovery at Rosehill, a paranormal romance. The story centres around Camilla, a medium, who buys, following the advice of her grandmother, a farmhouse called Rosehill. From the moment Camilla enters the house she is met by a variety of Spirits, all with some sort of story to tell her and a mystery for her to solve!’

Read my full review tomorrow!

 Kathryn is also a featured author in the Famous Five Plus group of authors. Kathryn also runs a farm with her husband and is a very busy mum.
Kathryn, you are obviously a very busy woman running a farm and being a mum to a child with additional needs? Where do you find the time to write?

KATHRYN: I am busy. My daughter has AUTISM and when she is at home she needs constant supervision. But even though I run the farm, my husband does the majority of the grafting whilst I do all the admin. I write when my daughter is at school between 8am and 4pm, so I have plenty time to myself.

Discovery at Rosehill is a wonderful book. Where did you get your inspiration for the book from?

KATHRYN: That’s a good question! I was inspired by my father who passed in 2001. Knowing he is still with me in spirit was the push I needed to get on and write about the paranormal. His presence around me has been a wonderful inspiration. I was also inspired to write the book by the house in which I live. It’s a Georgian residence that was built in 1750 by a Gentleman of high profile. The house oozes character and I have felt a presence in almost every room. The atmosphere is alive day and night and has overwhelmed me with spirit activity. All have been welcoming experiences, and none of them to be scared about. Rosehill was based on my own home.

In Discovery at Rosehill, the central character Camilla is a very strong and independent woman. Is she based on anyone you know?

KATHRYN: I have been asked this question so many times because those who know me personally need me to confirm their suspicions; Camilla is partly based on me. Though I don’t have a romantic involvement with a vicar, I am sensitive to the spirit world. I’ll let you into another little secret; the character of Ross was also based on someone I know, or should I say, someone I knew...
You obviously have an interest in the paranormal and that is evident in Discovery at Rosehill and your great site Marvellous Mable. Where does this interest come from and have you had any paranormal experiences you’d like to share with us?
KATHRYN: I’ve been interested in the paranormal for many years, probably since my first encounter with what I suspect was a spirit presence when I was ten years old. Furthermore, my interests escalated when my grandmother passed in 1990, an inspirational and strong lady to whom I was particularly close. When I was given very personal messages from her, via a medium, I knew then that I needed to pursue my fascination with the world of spirit. In 2001, my beloved dad passed over and it turned my life upside down. But even though he was no longer with us in human form, he was most definitely still around in spirit. He has proved this many times since his passing, not least whilst I was writing and researching Discovery at Rosehill. Many of the experiences that Camilla encounters in the book are my own. I have elaborated on some in order to make them sound more interesting to the reader.
Discovery at Rosehill is a real page turner that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and definitely best read at night when the house is quiet! Where did the idea for this particular type of story come from?
KATHRYN: The romance part of the book came from my imagination. I guess I’m a romantic at heart, though I’m quite hard on the surface! But the paranormal side to the story was an amalgamation of fiction and real-life events.

How long did it take you to write Discovery at Rosehill and what advice would you give any aspiring authors?

KATHRYN: It took me three years from start to finish writing the book. Unfortunately, I have EPILEPSY and spent nearly twelve months unable to concentrate on my writing which delayed publication significantly. I didn’t do much plotting for Discovery at Rosehill because most of the ideas were already in my head; for example, Camilla’s paranormal experiences. But it was evident during the structural edit that I should have spent more time plotting because I am sure it wouldn’t have taken quite so long to finish it. My advice now is to know what you want to write before you write it. Have lots of notes, a synopsis, character names, and places; once you start writing the first draft, everything will fall into place. Otherwise, it makes the editing process particularly tedious and dare I say it, a little disheartening.

Do you write every day and if so for how long per day?

KATHRYN: I do write every day, but I don’t work on a book every day. I write for many websites including my blog, so I make sure I always have something to write about.
Thanks so much Kathryn for telling us a little about your life and your writing career.  Kathryn's career is one we will follow with interest. Don't forget to look out for my  full review of Discovery at Rosehill tomorrow!

The book can be bought in Kindle Format also.

Kathryn’s blog can be found HERE. She also has a paranormal blog called Marvellous Mable which can be found HERE . Both sites are well worth a visit!

Warrant For Love by Sheryl Browne

Continuing the book tour with Sheryl Browne today with a review of her book Warrant for Love. I hope you all enjoyed yesterday's post , reading an excerpt from the book and finding out a little bit more about the talented Ms Browne! I hope you like the review of the book just as much.
Take 3 lovely ladies - Leeanne, Jade and Nicky. Leeanne is very unlucky in love having the odious Richard in her life. He knocks her self-confidence, he spends her money and treats her pretty shabbily. Just when Leeanne thinks things can't get worse, those tell-tale footprints on Richards car windscreen alert her to the fact that snake in the grass Richard has been doing more than just driving in his car! And, just when Leeanne thinks can't get any more complicated, they do! Cue the lovely PC Davis, the 'white knight in blue,' to make Leeanne go weak at the knees and infuriate her all at the same time.
Nicky is having problems at home. Her marriage is on the rocks and all lines of communication are well and truly down! Battle lines are drawn and her marriage becomes a war zone. Having 3 kids and an opinionated mother in law doesn't help either. But, determined to be a good sister to Leeanne, Nicky drops everything to help Leeanne over yet another broken heart.
Jade, the ice queen, is a strong, sophisticated woman and a ruthless lover. Despite all that, she would walk on hot coals for her two friends Leanne and Nicky. Determined to help Leeanne extract sleazeball Richard from his ill-gotten gains, she attempts to come up with a plan to help with this. However, is there someone that can melt Jade's heart? Will she break her own relationship rules?
This is the second of Sheryl's books I have read, the first being Somebody to Love (keep an eye out on the blog diary for that review). I loved it so much I didn't think Sheryl could top it! But, with Warrant for Love, she has again proven herself to be a fantastic writer. You just can't help falling in love with our boy in blue, PC Davis. He sounds absolutely divine! He has a chequered past that adds to his bad boy come good character. He certainly had me swooning! All of the characters have wonderful, interesting personalities and this certainly lends to the dynamics of the book.
This is a great story that will make you mad, happy, sad and go awwwwwwww all rolled into one! Sheryl Browne has managed to take the stories of the 3 female lead characters and make them all merge and fit together wonderfully. The three all have a common theme - a history of terrible or failing relationships! There are plenty of laugh out loud moments within the book and lots of frustrating ones too when you would love to bang everyone's heads together! And, move over Mr Grey but the men in this book made my toes curl! Ohhh la la. Helloooooooo boys! 

 The situations that the characters get themselves into made me laugh so hard as I was able to picture the scenes so clearly! Bravo to Sheryl Browne for yet another fantastic romantic comedy!
The book is available in both paperback and e-book formats.


Author in the Spotlight - BOOK TOUR- Sheryl Browne!

Sheryl Browne grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design. She wears many hats: a partner in her own business, a mother, and a foster parent to disabled dogs.  Sheryl has been writing for many years, the road along the way often bumpy.  She was therefore thrilled beyond words when Safkhet Publishing loved her writing enough to commission her to write for them.
Sheryl's debut novel, Recipes For Disaster - combining deliciously different and fun recipes with sexilicious romantic comedy, is garnering some fabulous reviews and has been shortlisted for the Innovation in Romantic Fiction Festival of Romance Award. Sheryl has since been offered a further three-book contract under the Safkhet Publishing Soul imprint. Somebody to Love, a romantic comedy centering around a single father's search for love and his autistic little boy, launched in July 1st 2012. Warrant for Love, bringing together three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly, released August 1st 2012 and A Little Bit of Madness releases Valentines Day 2013.

 Here's a message from Sheryl!
 'Hi JB! Thank you so much for hosting me! I’m thrilled to be here on your beautiful site! Today, I’m sharing the fourth of eight excerpts from Warrant for Love. I hope you enjoy!  Please do leave your comment and (appropriate) suggestions as to what YOU might do if you found yourself in Lee’s situation.'
Oh time for me to get my thinking cap on! You can read my review for Warrant For Love tomorrow on the blog! 

Warrant for Love

Love, blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment.
Three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly.

Life for Paul sounds like your typical country song. He comes from a broken home, his wife is divorcing him, he's got no place to live, he's losing custody of his son, and his sergeant, who's sleeping with his wife, is a loud-mouthed braggart who won't let up on him – not even at work.

Leanne's caught her (now) ex cheating on her again, but before she can give him the what-for, she's wrongfully arrested for soliciting – by Paul and his partner. One thing leads to another and things could be looking up for Paul, except for Leanne's friends – quarrelling mom Nicky and financial goddess Jade – have it out for her ex.

Leanne wants closure, Paul wants a home, and Nicky and Jade want revenge. Blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment. Will it all work out in the end or will Paul uphold the law? It sounds like he needs a Warrant for Love.


‘Hi, hon, got any plans this evening?’ Jade asked, when Lee answered her mobile half an hour later.

‘No, not really.’ Lee clutched her phone to her ear, glancing at Paul, who’d extracted himself from a conversation to walk back over to her. The other guests were departing, but Lee’d continued to linger, wondering whether Paul wouldn’t perhaps consider being a little dishonourable and invite himself back to her house again, hopefully.

‘Good,’ Jade said. ‘How do you fancy watching a real man get his kit off?

‘Hm?’ Lee started mentally undressing Paul.

‘There’s a Full Monty on at Tenbury Village hall, and I’ve seen one of these guys perform. His routine, that is. Believe me, he’s good.’

‘A strip show!’ Lee gasped. ‘In the village hall! Blimey. That’ll ensure a full house on bingo night,’ she remarked, noting Paul’s sudden choking fit.

Jade laughed. ‘I’ll assume you’re coming, then. Um, what will you wear?’

‘I don’t know.’ Lee pondered her wardrobe. ‘A disguise probably.’

She signed off, wondering whether naked male torsos were quite the thing to take her mind off Paul. ‘I have to go,’ she said. ‘I’ve got to…’

‘Ogle naked men?’ Paul suggested.

‘Girls’ night.’ Lee blushed. Lord, she hoped he didn’t think she made a habit of frequenting sleazy village halls, as well as soliciting.

‘Oh, right. I’ll see you around then.’

‘Yes.’ Lee wavered, then waved her mobile cheerily. ‘See you around.’

She smiled wanly and headed for her car. So, he didn’t really fancy her, then. He was just after a quickie to shore up his confidence, and then he was going to string her along until he was sure she wasn’t going to file a complaint.

And he was now, sure of it, so it was bye-bye, Lee.

Who cared? Lee’s heart belly-flopped into her boots. Not her.

‘Leanne,’ Paul called from behind her.

‘Yes?’ She turned, more eagerly than she should.

Paul smiled, clearly amused. ‘Where are you going?’

Lee cocked her head to one side, confused.

‘Your car’s in Birmingham, Leanne. What are you going to do? Thumb a lift?’


‘Hi.’ The blue-eyed copper smiled, as he opened the front door.

‘Bye,’ he added, squeezing past Nicky and Jade, who stared after him stupefied.

He doffed his cap from what he no doubt considered a safe distance, climbed into his car, and drove off, while Lee refused to elucidate on his presence, other than to say, ‘I showed him some properties, and he gave me a lift home.’

Well, if that’s all he’d done, Jade thought, the man must be…principled?

Lee had to be mad. Jade would swap a relationship with Dickhead for a night with the boy in blue anytime.

But then, she wasn’t Lee.

It was time to make absolutely sure that Richard exited the scene, Jade vowed as she pulled up in front of the village hall.

‘You’re sure it’s not a local craft exhibition?’ Nicky eyed the white walls and wired windows of what looked nothing like a den of iniquity.

‘Trust me, sweetie, the wares on display here would send the crochet club in search of Valium. Come on.’ Jade steered Nicky, who hadn’t quite got the hang of her four-inch heels, through the door.

Lee trailed behind them looking somewhat distracted. Jade hoped it was the blushing policeman providing the distraction.

‘I’ll get the drinks in.’ She nodded towards the bar. ‘You two go and find a table. No, Nicky, not one at the front, hon. Unless you want to help them get down to their socks?’

Jade rejoined them as the lights went down. ‘Strobe lights.’ She ran her tongue over her lips. ‘That definitely looks a bit promising. Drinks, girls.’ She plonked the tray on the table and slipped into her seat, as through a haze of stage-smoke appeared two gleaming chrome and white Harley-Davidson’s, with tell-tale red stripes and blue lights flashing.

‘I don’t believe it.’ Lee clamped disbelieving eyes shut.

‘So, how do they compare to PC Plod?’ Jade gave her an insinuating nudge as shirt-buttons popped.

‘They don’t. I mean… I… don’t… know.’ Lee’s cheeks flushed as two police pelvises simultaneously gyrated. ‘I can’t look,’ she said, peering through fingers.

‘Cor!’ Nicky drooled, as precision-pressed trousers were discarded true Monty style. ‘Oh, wow!’ She fanned herself, gawking as loincloths were removed with teeth. ‘I bet those aren’t standard issue.’


Jade directed Nicky and Leanne towards a double pepperoni for afters. ‘Did you see what the dark-haired hunk was packing under his uniform?’ She smirked.

‘No, Jade. Your tongue was obscuring my view,’ Lee informed her.

Actually, she’d quite fancied the dark-haired hunk in his uniform. Lee indulged another sneaky fantasy about Paul, reprimanded herself, then started all over again. She was all hot-flush and fluster by the time Roberto handed her a menu.

‘Nice buns,’ Jade observed as Roberto hip-swung back to the bar.

Lee’s attention, however, was drawn to another, more familiar derriere. She stopped flapping the menu mid-fan. Sure her eyes must be deceiving her; she wiped a hole in the condensation on the window. Then paled. ‘It’s Richard,’ she said calmly.

Nicky stared. ‘It can’t be. He’s in London.’

‘He’s not.’ Lee ducked below window level. ‘I’d know that self-assured swagger anywhere.’

‘I don’t believe it.’ Jade joined her. ‘Where?’

‘Jade! Get up, and watch what he’s doing. He’s diagonally opposite, heading for his car. And he’s not on his own.’

‘You’re right,’ Jade confirmed. ‘He’s not. And judging by the arm around her waist, she’s either his sister, or…’

‘The trollop with the size-ten feet!’ Lee shot up, just in time to see Richard assisting a long-legged creature into the passenger seat. He closed the door with a gallant smile and headed around to the driver’s side, glancing towards the restaurant en route.

Lee ducked again, almost planting her face in the cheesy-garlic bread. ‘What’s he doing now?’ she asked, as if she needed to know.

Jade squinted. ‘Fastening her seat belt.’

‘Why?’ Lee growled. ‘Have her bloody arms dropped off?!’

‘She might be a client,’ Nicky hazarded.

‘If she’s a client,’ Jade fumed, ‘Roberto’s Italian.’

‘But he is Italian,’ Nicky said, clearly confused as she watched Roberto expound the delights of pesto and pasta to an all-female audience at the next table.

‘Yes, Nicky.’ Jade rolled despairing eyes. ‘Come on… Lee? Lee, sweetie, you’re going to tip it all down your cleavage if you don’t let go, aren’t you?’

Jade wrestled the carafe of wine from Lee’s iron grip and left cash for the bill. ‘Right,’ she glanced out of the window, and then caught hold of Lee’s hand. ‘God’s gift has gone. Come on. We’re out of here.’ 
Finding footprints on the windscreen for her boyfriend’s car as evidence of his infidelity was worst case scenario for Lee. What would YOURS be?  What would you do about it?  Witty but NOT too rude suggestions, please.  One name will be randomly selected from the blogs taking part to receive a copy of Warrant for Love.

 Find out more about Sheryl:

Author Facebook     

Romantic Novelists’ Association

Sheryl is a loveahappyending featured Author and Editor.

Twitter: @sherylbrowne


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