Source- Review copy provided by author
Publication date- 21st Feb 2012
Synopsis- “There have always been rumours about that house.” Charlie and Blair are spending the summer in Sage Manor. Their mission was to renovate the old house, but the spirits lurking in the shadows have other plans. In the dark rooms of Sage Manor, ghosts loom. Some are good, some are evil. And they are all playing havoc with the current residents. One will go to great lengths to protect their secret. One will beg for help. The other will use her power to protect the living. What happens when all three meet is horrifying and will permanently scar the group. They need to expose the murderer before the murderer silences them for good. Sage Manor hides a secret, one kept buried for over two hundred years. Evil stalks the corridors and will go to great lengths to protect the past, even if that means repeating history. Don’t think ghosts can hurt you? Think again. Having the gift of speaking to the dead is not something you can turn off.
Review- Gifted is the debut novel by Australian indie author Jamie Campbell, inspired by her experience of a haunted house during her childhood.
Following the death of her husband, Cate invites her sister Charlie and boyfriend Blair to stay with them during Charlie’s uni break to help renovate the manor as a bed and breakfast. Cate and her daughter Rahni are mourning the loss of James and Charlie steps in as a familiar support.
It’s not long before Charlie is questioning the presence of spirits in the home, she’s always been sensitive to the paranormal but she senses the spirits in Sage Manor want her gone. When Rahni’s so-called imaginary friend turns out to be an essence that Charlie interacts with, it becomes clear that there’s a lot of activity happening in the home that they have no control over.
Charlie and Blair investigate the history of Sage Manor and discover a history of murder, deception and a young girl who wants her story told.
The conflict is slow-building- sometimes too slow, but there was always the undercurrent of suspense… the anticipation that something bad was going to happen.
The author’s strength lies in setting the scene at eerie, creepy Sage Manor and the unnerving mood of the house. I felt the characters could have been stronger and the pace of the story a little faster as it didn’t really peak until right near the end. However, it was refreshing to read a self-published novel by an Australian author that is not only set in Australia but also sticks closely to our language innuendoes without stereotyping.
Gifted is a paranormal mystery that awakens the secrets of the disquieting Sage Manor. After reading portions of the story it had me wondering what the creaks in my house were as I lie in bed at night.
Purchase book @ Amazon in print or electronic format
About the author: (from author’s website) Jamie was born in Cowra, New South Wales, Australia in June 1982. She was the last of 6 children – 5 girls and 1 boy. At the age of two, the family moved to Port Macquarie on the mid-north coast. She now currently resides on the Gold Coast, Queensland.
Professional education includes a Bachelor of Business degree from Southern Cross University and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
Jamie started writing professionally at age twenty-five when she remembered how much she loved it as a child. Her wild imagination could now be put to good use within every page of her novels. From ghost stories to murder mysteries, her range is varied and always sure to entice the reader to turn to the next page.