A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Secret Rose by Kirsty Ferry - Feature and Review


A fabulous new story from Kirsty Ferry set in Cornwall. Perfect summer reading! 
“Wherever you go, I will follow” 
Merryn Burton is excited to travel down to Cornwall to start her first big job for the London art dealers she works for. But as soon as she arrives at Pencradoc, a beautiful old mansion, she realises this will be no ordinary commission. 

Not only is Pencradoc filled with fascinating, and possibly valuable artwork, it is also owned by the Penhaligon brothers – and Merryn’s instant connection with Kit Penhaligon could be another reason why her trip suddenly becomes a whole lot more interesting. 

But the longer Merryn stays at Pencradoc the more obvious it is that the house has a secret, and a long-forgotten Rose might just hold the key 



A Secret RoseA Secret Rose by Kirsty Ferry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Secret Rose by Kirsty Ferry is a 2019 Choc Lit publication.

A tense Gothic mystery!

I’ve been raving about this lovely cover, which caught my eye immediately! But, once I had committed myself to reading this book, I was curious about what was behind all that gorgeous artwork.

Kirsty Ferry has quickly become one of my favorite time slip romance authors. While the mysteries in her previous books have been suspenseful, revealing long buried secrets from the past, bring peace to those in the present, this book has a more sinister quality to it. There is a real and constant feeling of unease and danger from the past which threatens those in the present. In fact, as I was reading this book, it reminded me of the Gothic romance and mystery novels that were all the rage in the 1970s.

Cornwall is, as everyone knows, the perfect backdrop for a good Gothic tale. When Merryn Burton arrives at Pencradoc Mansion, she is upbeat and ready to uncover some valuable works of art.

After meeting the Penhaligon brothers- Kit and Coren, the trio stumbles across the portrait of Rose, the first Duchess of Trecarrow, who was thought to be quite mad.

After the discovery, something odd begins to happen, as Coren and Kit begin channeling Ellory and Jago Penhaligon, brothers from the 1880s, once caught in a bitter love triangle involving Rose.

While Coren becomes surly and rude, Merryn finds herself drawn to Kit as they work to unlock the secrets of the past.

However, as ghostly appearances become bolder and more insistent, the couple may find themselves in grave danger as it appears the past may be about to repeat itself.

I loved this story from start to finish. I loved the dual timeline, of course, but the Cornwall setting, the old mansion, the strong paranormal elements, the old murder mystery, and the present- day tension is a potent combination.

The characterizations are strong, and the plot is both mesmerizing and atmospheric. I was completely caught up in the stories from both time periods, as they slowly merged, finally bringing long overdue peace for those trapped in the past, and much needed answers and closure for those in the present. The two love stories are sweet, and the ending couldn’t have been better.

This book was a labor of love for the author. We have a few things in common with our love of Victoria Holt and this book proves to be a wonderful tribute to Holt’s style of storytelling. But I must say, Ferry’s own writing, and modern spin on the traditional Gothic mystery and romance novel is outstanding, and stands on its own merits.






Kirsty is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale 'Enchantment'.

Her timeslip novel, 'Some Veil Did Fall', a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, 'The Girl in the Painting' in February 2016. The experience of signing 'Some Veil Did Fall' in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!

Kirsty's first timeslip novel 'The Memory of Snow' is set on Hadrian's Wall, not far from where she lives and her second novel, the vampire tale 'Refuge' is set on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, which lies just off the beautiful Northumberland coast.

'The Memory of Snow' was also commended in the Northern Writer's Awards, shortlisted to the top five of Wyvern Publication's novel competition in 2011 and longlisted in the Red Telephone Novel Competition in 2012. 

Kirsty has also put together a collection of short stories entitled 'Turn on a Sixpence' and a non-fiction collection of articles entitled 'History and Mystery - Northern Hauntings Explored'. 

'Skellig' author David Almond has given Kirsty excellent feedback on her work and she recently attended a Crossover Fiction workshop with David, facilitated by the Royal Society of Literature. 

Kirsty has also had articles and short stories published in Peoples Friend, Ghost Voices, The Weekly News, It's Fate, Vintage Script, and Wyvern Magazine. Her short stories also appear in Wyvern Publications 'Mertales' and 'Fangtales anthologies, Whitby Abbey's 'Pure Inspiration' anthology and Bridge House Publishing's anthologies 'Devils, Demons and Werewolves', 'Crime after Crime' and 'Voices of Angels', along with 'The Best of CafeLit 2011'. All of these books are available on Amazon. 

Kirsty was a judge in the Paws 'n' Claws 'Wild and Free' Children's Story competition in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

You can find out more about Kirsty and her work at www.rosethornpress.co.uk, catch her on her Facebook AuthorPage or follow her on Twitter @kirsty_ferry.

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