The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick book review and giveaway


The Phantom Tree written by Nicola Cornick, publisher HQ is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio download format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

“My name is Mary Seymour and I am the daughter of one queen and the niece of another.”

Browsing antiques shops in Wiltshire, Alison Bannister stumbles across a delicate old portrait – supposedly of Anne Boleyn. Except Alison knows better… The woman is Mary Seymour, the daughter of Katherine Parr who was taken to Wolf Hall in 1557 as an unwanted orphan and presumed dead after going missing as a child.

The painting is more than just a beautiful object from Alison’s past – it holds the key to her future, unlocking the mystery surrounding Mary’s disappearance, and the enigma of Alison’s son.

But Alison’s quest soon takes a dark and foreboding turn, as a meeting place called the Phantom Tree harbours secrets in its shadows…


I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Nicola Cornick’s latest novel, The Phantom Tree.  Nicola’s stories take you on a journey through time, she opens your eyes to an era long forgotten but with her words history becomes alive in your head entrancing you in another world.

The Phantom Tree is a captivating historical time slip mystery romance that was utterly spellbinding, mystifying, tragic but equally beautiful.  I didn’t want the story to end, I was feeling quite bereft and emotional once I had finished reading … signs of a good story!

The story starts in the present day with Alison walking through the crowded pre-Christmas streets of Marlborough.  By chance Alison sees a portrait of a young woman in an art gallery, the painting takes her by surprise, she is drawn to the image and can’t quite believe what she sees before her eyes.  The painting is listed as Anne Boleyn but Alison knows otherwise.  The image stirs memories of a past that Alison thought she’d never see again, the image is Mary Seymour, daughter of Katherine Parr, who was taken to Wolf Hall in 1557.  Alison knows this fact as she too lived at Wolf Hall in 1557.  Somehow Alison has managed to escape the life she had in the past and has transported over 400 years in the future.  For the last 10 years she has tried desperately to return or to find information about something very dear to her that was cruelly taken from her, her son Arthur.  This portrait has been the breakthrough Alison has been looking for her.

The book continues with the story about two quite different women that were flung together in unusual circumstances.  We follow Mary Seymour’s story back in 1557 with her quest to fit in and escape the visions and words in her head.  We then follow the story of Alison Bannister who had fled time and is desperate to get back as a mother’s love is a bond that is not easily broken.  Clues from the past start catching up with Alison and she starts to question herself whether the risk is too great to go back to the 16th century.

This story was so enthralling I loved the images of the past evoked from the words on the pages.  The rawness of the times with greed and betrayal.  It was so heart breaking for a blossoming love to be cut so cruelly short but time felt like it stood still for this couple till they could be reunited again.

Once again a brilliant historical romance brought to life by Nicola Cornick.  5/5*

The publishers have kindly offered a paperback copy of this brilliant book for one of my readers.  Please click on the rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway.

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To find out more about Nicola Cornick and her books please visit the following pages:




House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick book review

house of shadows

House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick, publisher MIRA, is available in ebook format, and paperback format from TOMORROW Thursday 5th November 2015.

To buy links:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

London, 1662:
There was something the Winter Queen needed to tell him. She fought for the strength to speak.
‘The crystal mirror is a danger. It must be destroyed – ‘
He replied instantly. ‘It will’.

Ashdown, Oxfordshire, present day: Ben Ansell is researching his family tree when he disappears. As his sister Holly begins a desperate search, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an ornate antique mirror and to the diary of Lavinia, a 19th century courtesan who was living at Ashdown House when it burned to the ground over 200 years ago.

Intrigued, and determined to find out more about the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly’s only hope is that uncovering the truth about the past will lead her to Ben.

For fans of Barbara Erskine and Kate Morton comes an unforgettable novel about three women and the power one lie can have over history.

Ashdown HouseI’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for an honest review.

After just recently finishing this truly beautiful, haunting, mesmerising book I felt heartbroken for some of the characters, for a love that could never blossom, but I also felt blissfully happy for others for giving love a chance.  It ws a remarkable read that I would love to see adapted for the big screen.

The story is set in 3 lifetimes; we travel back to the 1600’s with Elizabeth (the Winter Queen) and Lord Craven, a noble soldier dedicated to serve the King and Queen; then to 1801 with Lavinia Flyte, a young woman who had turned to vice to support herself and to Robert Verity, an army surveyor who had a chance meeting with the lovely, brave Lavinia; and forward to the present day we are faced with the story of Holly Ansell, who has just learned of the sudden disappearance of her brother Ben.

Holly is desperate to find her brother so decides to uproot her business and move to the Old Mill house in Ashdown, Oxfordshire, the last place Ben was seen alive.  It soon becomes apparent that prior to Ben’s disappearance he was in the process of researching the family tree.  The only clue that Holly could find as to what Ben was researching was a very old journal written by a young woman called Lavinia Flyte.  Holly started to read this diary to ascertain whether it gave any further clues as to Ben’s whereabouts.

Bit by bit Holly uncovers more about the past with the hope of finding Ben alive.

It was mesmerising to hear about the lives of loves, lost and found back in the 17th and 19th century.  Times were very different then and politics played a part in life and love.  We start to hear about events and people in the past that have links to the old Ashdown House and Mill.  An ornate antique bejewelled mirror and a pearl have strong links in the story and are believed to hold magical, dark powers.  Whilst reading the story I could feel the atmosphere when we learn about the mirror and pearl.  It was enlightening, mystical and quite frightening the auras and beliefs surrounding these objects; two objects of beauty were definitely deceptive to the eye.

The story had 3 tales of love and not all was a happy one.  This was a beautiful, heartfelt, at times tormenting and haunting story that will stay with me for a long time.

A beautiful, haunting, atmospheric 5/5* read.

To find out more about Nicola Cornick and her books please visit the following links: