Thank you to Emma Welton of https://damppebbles.com/damppebbles-blog-tours/ for organising this tour and to Panther and Debbie Ioanna for the opportunity to read and review this book in exchange for a copy.
Two families. 100 years apart. A sinister haunting…
It was supposed to be the dream house for Adam, Catherine, and their daughter, Bella. But dream houses can hold secrets. Settling in to their new home, the family realise they are not the only inhabitants of Abberton House.
A dark past continues to haunt the idyllic Yorkshire home, and those who remain want Adam and Catherine to know the truth. Frightened, Adam and Catherine begin to piece together what really happened at this once perfect abode.
A missing family, an elderly man searching for the truth, and secrets waiting to be revealed, moving in to Abberton House could be the worst decision the family made.
I adore Debbie’s romance novels so I was intrigued to find out how her talents translated into a paranormal novel. And boy does it!
If you’re looking for a gory, in your face and terrifying ghost story then this isn’t it. Debbie cleverly and gently takes a more subtle approach in telling a more traditional ghost story – the sort people tell around campfires and pass down for generations. It works beautifully and still maintains a chilling edge to it without overtly being disturbing (too much) or dark.
Abberton House is told alternately across two timelines a hundred years apart and moves flawlessly between 1916 and 2016. It manages to change eras just at an intense part of the story so I flew through each section trying to return to the previous one.
In 2016, Catherine, Adam and their small daughter Bella have just bought Abberton House as their forever family home. Strange occurrences take place and soon it’s clear that something other than the family live there. Could it be linked to the sudden disappearance of the family (Elizabeth and her children) who lived there in 1916?
Abberton House sounds beautiful and a perfect place to live but the description also maintains a certain atmosphere that puts the reader on edge. Like a mildly malevolent feel that makes the house unsettling and worthy of goosebumps.
Catherine and Adam were a lovely couple. I loved how they worked together and they were certainly calmer and more accepting of the situation that I would have been. Bella is a delightful child too.
It’s through Elizabeth’s 1916 story where many themes are explored. Doctor Husband Henry goes away to work in the war, leaving Elizabeth and their 3 children. Henry sends an injured veteran in her direction and so begins a tale of love and difficult choices. I love how the themes of loneliness, judgement and PTSD were explored in this novel very delicately and without judgement. I couldn’t help but feel for all the characters in the 1916 story – all deeply affected by the war in some way.
This novel is spooky enough to give you some chills but without that Hollywood version of ghosts. I love how it kept to a more traditional style of ghost story and I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended as a light, paranormal read with a thought provoking historical thread running through.
Author Bio – Debbie Ioanna
Debbie is a multi-genre indie author and blogger who was born in Bradford and lives there with her husband, two-year-old daughter and anti-social cat Cleo. When she isn’t busy being a Mum, working for her local council or studying towards her Open University degree, she is busy focusing on her writing career.
Debbie doesn’t write to just one genre as she likes to write about anything. She is currently working on a romantic-comedy series but who knows what she will be working on in the future. As well as writing novels, short stories and blogs for her website, she is also reviewing other works by indie authors. She is passionate about helping other indie authors as she knows it is a hard world to master and getting reviews is a challenge on its own.
Debbie has been a regular attending author at the UK Indie Lit Fest in Bradford for the last few years and will be returning in 2020, as well as attending events in Shipley and Liverpool for the first time.
Debbie began studying with the Open University in 2015, aiming towards a BA Honours in Humanities, focusing on History and Creative Writing which are her two greatest passions. It is a part-time course, due to end in 2021 which Debbie is hoping means she will have more time to write.
Panther Publishing: http://bit.ly/38Ho0C3
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3tqULeY
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3rU3vKe
Published by Panther Publishing on 1st September 2020