Published: 01/12/2011
ISBN: 9781848767898
eISBN: 9781848768154
Format: Paperback/eBook



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A BIG WELCOME” to all readers. For me, writing is a passion. I love to put my thoughts and those of my characters on to paper. I am also an avid reader ranging across the various genres and often p... read more

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Paper Dreams
by Phyllis J. Burton

Take a recipe for disaster… Start with an illicit love affair in 1952, add a painful parting and three deaths in 1953.

Leave to settle until 2009. Then add a crumbling mansion (Epton Hall), which harbours a scandalous secret... Gradually combine young librarian Katie Nicholson – an incurable romantic trying to get over a failed love affair. Sprinkle a few daydreams, hundreds of books and stir until well mixed.

Carefully blend in a friendly housekeeper, some memorabilia and many books, with Katie’s weekend away, new boyfriend and a prophetic dream. Add the secret arrival of sinister nephew Harold Hapsworth-Cole, the only known heir to the estate, and throw in the evidence discovered by Katie in the attic, that another heir exists in Canada. Combine fear, violence, and theft of that evidence with Katie’s imprisonment in the attic, Harold’s growing mental instability and stir…malevolently.

The resultant mixture should be an explosion of love, financial expectations, inheritance, terror, greed and attempted murder. Then… ENJOY.

Paper Dreams is an unusual read, which plays with the reader’s emotions. It covers family sorrow, obsessions, inheritance, greed, dreams, nightmares, and attempted murder. But above all, it is a story of people’s lives, their loves and how they eventually overcome adversity.

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MY LATEST BOOK - WHEN THE ICE MELTS

This 4* review has been received from Charly Marley NETGALLEY:

"I liked this, an interesting read, that makes you wonder how you would react in Sarah's situation.
It is well written and maintained throughout.
At times sad, at others uplifting and hopeful.
A brilliant read if you want a romance that isn't quite the sappy happy ever after.
Additional Questions:
Would you purchase this book for yourself or a friend? YES
Notes: Good read.

I have just received a very short and very sweet FIVE STAR Review on amazon.co.uk :

5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves the stealing of time...
By Teresa on 18 Oct. 2016
Format: Paperback
"When the Ice Melts" is one of those books which deserves the stealing of time to read far into the night... I loved it!"

And another 5* Review for WHEN THE ICE MELTS on amazon.com, but could this be the shortest Review on record?

It merely said: "SPELLBINDING!">/b>

I received TWO more reviews on WHEN THE ICE MELTS on amazon.co.uk...

"5 stars: A great story
By Marilyn Horobin on 15 Nov. 2016 Paperback
Phyllis Burton's book "When the Ice Melts" is a compelling, romantic and thought provoking drama. Its two part structure and chapters of varying length make it easy to pick up, put down and resume in a busy world. Sarah is a recently widowed solicitor experiencing self-doubt, grief and an unwillingness to look positively at any new romantic relationship. Her legal colleagues and kind friends are extremely sensitive and supportive. She is however, quite antagonistic towards her new male solicitor colleague John and her days at work are tense and testing. Where, if anywhere, will this cold relationship go?
A short holiday in Greece leads Sarah into a potentially dangerous relationship with a local man but once back home her relationship with John slowly softens and strengthens. It will spoil a good story to say too much more but when Sarah suddenly disappears John is able to help the police trace her. After a great deal of trauma the remaining ice in Sarah's heart finally melts once she and John are together again."

And yet another FIVE STAR REVIEW one word review:...

"MESMERIZING

ABOUT THIS BOOK:

"THOU SHALT NOT KILL" is a deadly sin isn't it? So why is Sarah Wenham preparing to end her husband Tom's life.

Prepare for an emotional roller-coaster ride in PHYLLIS BURTON'S Romantic Thriller "WHEN THE ICE MELTS", which was published by Matador on the 28th August, 2016.

Before agreeing to switch off the machine keeping her husband Tom alive following an air accident, solicitor, SARAH WENHAM'S conscience convinces her that she has no alternative. Afterwards, it condemns her. Sarah is grief stricken.

The only way she can cope with the knowledge of what she's done, is to build a wall of ice around her emotions.
How, when and why, the ice finally melts, is the nub of this sometimes terrifying, and yet heart-warming story.
Together with her new love, Sarah goes through a lifetime's worth of trauma before achieving closure.

MORE REVIEWS:

I have received the following review for WHEN THE ICE MELTS:

Reviewed By Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite

"When the Ice Melts by Phyllis J. Burton is a perilous tale of romance. Tom Wenham’s small plane crashes in Switzerland. Comatose, he is sustained by life support. His wife, Sarah, is grief stricken with the decision to turn off the machines. Months pass, Sarah’s guilt leads to depression and mood swings. Her law firm, employees and close friends need her to move on with her life. This task is easier said than done. Reluctantly, Sarah hires a new lawyer, John Bradley, to fill the gap that Tom’s death left at the firm. Sarah and John’s relationship vacillates from friend to foe on a daily basis. However, John is determined to break through Sarah’s icy exterior and see her smile again. Sarah’s life slips, slides and snowballs out of control. After some coaxing, Sarah decides to take a vacation to Greece with her dear friend Heather. At the last minute, Heather cannot go, therefore Sarah ventures out alone. On the Greek island of Kalynithos, Sarah is caught off guard by a charming man, who fascinates her in the beginning and frightens her in the end. This encounter changes her life forever. Sarah returns home. John is waiting for her. Her frosted heart begins to melt. Could love really spring forth again, out of the cold frozen winter of grief? Just when life was beginning to be worth living, a dangerous storm gathers to test Sarah’s resolve and her enduring love.

Phyllis J. Burton’s When the Ice Melts focuses on the traumatized heart of a woman. The narrative is told in a two-part format. The first part is a steady climb to the plateau of the story, and during this segment the author creates the romance and introduces and builds the characters. It is in the second part that the action and suspense are developed. The analogy of ice shapes the theme of the story. Ice is cold and seemingly impenetrable until warmth is added. Then the ice gradually melts. This is true to the character of the heroine; she is hard, cold as ice in the beginning, but through the warmth of love and companionship she becomes vulnerable, her heart softens, and ultimately melts. The characterization of the novel is its nucleus. The narrative’s heroine is both equally strong in spirit and fragile in heart and soul. She is bright, intelligent and easy to relate to in thought and manner. Burton portrays her heroine as both a victim and a victor.

As a reader, you become engaged in her traumatic situation; you sense the stress, fear and horror, as well as the weakening spirit and fight for survival. The heroine’s sidekick is handsome, virile, accomplished, and patient, displaying meekness - strength under control. He gives balance to the heroine’s evolving character by blanketing her soul. The villain is malicious and cunning, his evil intent is deep and dark. The supporting cast of characters is the nuts and bolts of the narrative; they keep the main characters connected, each one playing a significant role in the story. Lastly, Burton portrays the reality of severe trauma; what happens to the body, soul and spirit is at times beyond words. The nightmares, the pain, the memory loss, the brain’s fight to make sense of the senseless are all reflected in a poignant and genuine manner. In the end, Burton leaves the reader thankful for the power of enduring love.
"

I held a successful BOOK LAUNCH for this book at QUINNETTES BARN in Churt, on 31st AUGUST, 2016

After the launch, I received a personal review of WHEN THE ICE MELTS:

"Dear Phyllis, I have just put your book down... it was fantastic and I was reading it into the early hours, and was so sad when I finished it. Congratulations on being the author of a most beautiful book. I certainly would nominate it for being made into a film... and I am so proud to be a long-standing friend of the person who put those special words on to paper..."

***
Here are just some of the other reviews my books have received:


PAPER DREAMS See this excellent 5* review!!!

5.0 out of 5 stars STORY TELLING AT ITS BEST! December 21, 2013
By Joss Landry
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
"Any book that keeps me reading as though I were a young teen again uncaring of responsibilities or things I need to do, without letting the clock’s racing motion spoil my fun is worth the mention … and the 5 stars of course.
I discovered the book quite by accident. Naturally, we no longer spend hours perusing books on dusty library shelves. We hunt them down through the Internet. Where I came upon Paper Dreams, I can’t even tell you. The title attracted me as did the beautiful cover, but then all I had to do was read the first few pages and I was hooked. Phyllis J. Burton uses the omniscient point of view to tell her story and does a superb job of setting the scenes and describing her characters. She is a master at crafting intrigue that tugs you along mercilessly.
I followed Katie Nicholson effortlessly, feeling for her, worrying about her and looking to encourage her along the way. When she loses who she believes is the love of her life, you want to tell her a better one will come around and her friends fill that wish: her employer Brian, her landlady Brenda, and her cousin Helen who introduces her to new possibilities. The intrigue with Epton Hall unfolds quickly and the deeper you get pulled into the old mansion and its secrets, the more you shiver and want to read what comes next.
Love Phyllis J Burton’s voice. Gentle, persuasive, almost hypnotic her cadence and tone is pleasing and very convincing. I will definitely read other books by this author."

PAPER DREAMS received the following review in the June 2012 edition of CORNWALL TODAY:

“Prepare for an emotional roller-coaster in this part-time Helston-based author's second novel. A romantic thriller, it begins with the end of a love affair in the 1950s, and a brief newspaper report of the tragic and mysterious deaths of a father and his two young sons. It then moves forward to 2009, where we meet our heroine, Katie Nicholson, a young librarian whose lover also ends their affair one evening. Over a weekend away at a crumbling mansion, tensions rise as old secrets, the lure of money and the promise of new romance are intertwined in a story which builds to a terrifying climax.”

“WHAT WILL YOU DREAM ABOUT TONIGHT?”

***

PAPER DREAMS has received another 5* Review on Amazon: Mrs. F.H. Mortimer "Faith Mortimer" wrote:

"Adventure, adversity, thrills - a complete recipe for an excellent read - 27th March 2012.
PAPER DREAMS conjures up many thoughts and ideas. Mrs. Burton has taken all the ingredients for a super adventure set back in the 50s.
She knows how to set a scene that will easily enthrall the reader and her prose is excellent…making this an easy and exceptional read.
The author certainly knows how to hook her reader by playing on their emotions and covers almost everything one would expect to find in a good family drama - romance, greed, murder, obsessive love, to name but a few things.
BRAVO! I wait to see what else this fine writer has to offer.”

***

I was warmly welcomed by The Manager of the TRURO (Cornwall) branch of Waterstones recently and signed several copies in store. I was equally welcomed by the Manager of the Godalming (Surrey) branch of Waterstones whilst signing copies of PAPER DREAMS.
***

ANOTHER excellent REVIEW OF 'PAPER DREAMS'from ALLBOOKS REVIEWS (Anthony Lund)

“I have always been a lover of novels that don’t confine themselves to one genre. I recall Dean Koontz saying that he likes to sit down before writing a new book and decide which genres he’s going to use in it.
That puts me very much in mind of Paper Dreams by Phyllis Burton.
I first came across Paper Dreams on Harper Collins’ Authonomy site where the author had posted sections of the book online. On the site, it should be said that the author’s blurb on the story was a lot simpler and straight forward compared to the enigmatic “recipe” on the back of the published book, but it didn’t have the air of mystery about it. in its current form, the blurb compliments the mysterious aspects of the book’s plot so a good decision in the end.
So, about the book itself. The story centres on Katie, a young woman who, like so many, has had a failed relationship but soon has a new man in her life. Add into this the death of the owner of the old mansion Epton Hall and the resulting need for Katie, as librarian, to catalogue the books in the building’s library, which leads to the discovery of a letter and a birth certificate that appears to make life a little more difficult for would-be heir of the estate, Harold. And so truly begins the story of deceit, murder and greed that is promised from the outset.
The characters in the book are generally pleasant to read about, even those who are not too pleasant in themselves and some of the things they do. The good have their flaws, the bad aren’t just a caricature of evil. A good mix of characters also means that they are easy to differentiate between and you don’t find yourself constantly thinking, “Who was that again?” or “What did they do earlier?”
The story reads at a good pace, an intense plot weaving nicely from the mysterious outset, through a little melodrama and finally into a suspense story to rival the best in the business. The plot is complex, but the writing has a simple way of drawing you in and without wanting to sound cliché holds you until the last page.
Overall, Paper Dreams does not change the world, but there aren’t many books that do these days. Instead it gives a good read, takes you away from your own troubles and puts you in the path of someone else’s, just like a good book should and I would highly recommend it for anyone who loves mystery, intrigue and something for a dark winters night.
Reviewer: Anthony Lund, Allbooks Review Int. www.allbooksreviewint.com

***

PAPER DREAMS has received a 5-star Review on Amazon:-

"A letter from the past reveals a secret that sets in motion a story of love, deception and intrigue. A family feud adds to the suspense as the mystery deepens. A beautifully written book that is hard to put down."

***

ABOUT PAPER DREAMS: -
Although the story has a romantic thread running through it, I feel that it would also be enjoyed by readers who enjoy a mystery and a thrill or two!
The plot involves young librarian, Katie Nicholson: she discovers evidence of a past family scandal in a rambling old mansion and her life and those of others, is placed in mortal danger.

PAPER DREAMS

What is life? A frenzy.
What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a fiction
And the greatest good is of slight worth
As all life is a dream
And dreams are dreams…


(Pedro Calderon de la Barca – 1600-1681)

***
THE MAIN CHARACTERS:
KATIE NICHOLSON: A 25 year-old Librarian – a romantic dreamer.
HAROLD HAPSWORTH-COLE, Expecting to inherit his uncle’s estate.
JAMES BUTLER: Living in Vancouver, Canada.
***
THE SETTING:
The story initially centres on the village of ANSTON – near the town of EPTON, Sussex. An obituary in the local paper has started tongues wagging and speculation is rife.
***
THE STORY:

Katie Nicholson is a romantic dreamer and when she moves to the village of Anston, she tries to reassess her life after the deaths of her parents and a broken love affair. Her new job as an Assistant Librarian in the village book shop, takes her to Epton Hall, an ancient large and rambling mansion. The elderly owner, widow, Mrs. Marjorie Hapsworth-Cole, a reclusive figure, has recently died intestate. Whilst cataloguing the enormous number of books in the house, Katie discovers a letter…

Why is a frightening shadowy figure gradually being eaten up by greed, secretly watching Katie? And what is this secret that has been hidden for so many years?

Katie gradually becomes embroiled in a web of deceit, despair, greed and deadly revenge…
***

A REVIEW OF ‘PAPER DREAMS’

“Paper Dreams is a romantic thriller which holds the reader’s interest from the very beginning. The characters are well-rounded, believable and ‘human’. I found myself hating Harold the villain of the story who has been portrayed as quite mad and obviously battling with internal demons. Apart from completely empathising and sympathising with the main character Katie, for me there are several other characters in the book that I was really drawn to. There is intrigue, evil, romance and suspense and together these add up to a novel that is hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to anyone interested in this type of fiction.”
Julia Bodie
***

REVIEWS OF A PASSING STORM:

5* Review of A PASSING STORM… Review of my book A PASSING STORM by NATASHA JACKSON of the Readers’ Favorites site:

A PASSING STORM by Phyllis J. Burton
Romance – Contemporary
352 Pages
Reviewed on 08/07/13
Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers’ Favorite

“Phyllis J. Burton’s A Passing Storm is the intriguing story of Jennifer and Peter, a couple married for more than two decades when things start to change. In their twenty-fourth year together, Peter suddenly becomes obsessed with his career goals and all the trappings that go along with being made Chief Executive of an international company. Unable to face the failings in her marriage, Jennifer seeks refuge in Scotland, where she meets a handsome stranger called Angus. He is warm and caring where Peter is cold and indifferent. Jennifer is torn between going after her own happiness and doing what is deemed “right” by society. Instead of running head first back to Scotland and into Angus’s arms, she stays and puts up with her husband’s infidelity and indifference.

A Passing Storm is written in two parts so we get to know both Angus and Jennifer better and understand the different paths their lives took during their time apart. It was a stroke of genius on Phyllis Burton’s part to tell the story in this manner as it allows the reader to simply get absorbed in one tale, then the other. Every word is written for meaning rather than effect, which made A Passing Storm all the more real. While it seems that Angus grew as a character, I am sad to say that Jennifer did not. She never did take responsibility for her own happiness, and while her choice of partner changed the outcome, I would have loved to see Jennifer become a bit more independent and proactive. Although I did find it difficult to connect with Jennifer, I felt great sympathy for her life and inability to do anything about it and I longed for Angus from his first whispered words.

Phyllis Burton did a fantastic job and her perfectly measured words were soothing, heartfelt, and poetic.”
***

COMMENT:

“Disillusioned housewife, Jennifer Redmond is willing to take the biggest gamble of her life. She runs away to Scotland to find her future, only to come face to face with her past. Jennifer tries to cut out the reality of her life, but it is no use; nothing had changed and she doubted if it ever would. Her marriage had been like a fragile cliff constantly being hit and ravaged by huge devastating waves, each one destroying a little more of the love that had been its true foundation.”

An excerpt from a review by ALLBOOKS REVIEWS on A PASSING STORM:
How could things have changed so much? Jennifer and Peter’s marriage had been great for so many years, yet once their sons left, everything changed. Peter became absorbed in his work, striving for a better position and eventually took an apartment in London and came home at weekends. Then there was a beautiful secretary…

Jennifer left Peter and found herself in a lovely mountain village in Scotland, where she is befriended by a hotel keeper, Angus, but little did she know that disaster would find her there.
Peter eventually persuades Jennifer to return home. Does she stay with him or does she find new love in the mountains and how does a Dingo dog in the outback of Australia influence her decision?


***

REVIEW OF ‘A PASSING STORM
By G. McCullough "Gerry" (N.Ireland)
This review is from: A Passing Storm (Kindle Edition)

“Drama, excitement and romance - what more could you ask from a book?

Phyllis Burton's A PASSING STORM has all this and so much more. Right from the gripping start, as a woman goes through a near death experience and wakes up in a hospital bed not knowing who she is, we are plunged into a page turning story which refuses to let us go.

Phyllis Burton writes beautifully. Her descriptions are full of poetry and are a delight to read. But even more important, her characters are portrayed with depth and understanding. We feel we know them all, not just Jennifer, the central character, but her husband Peter, the two sons, Angus Cameron whom she meets in Scotland and a host of others

The storm of the title is not only the physical storm which puts Jennifer in danger of her life, but also the emotional storm which she has to ride out for over a year, which destroys so many of the things which matter to her and which brings her to the point where she feels life is no longer worth living. The plot moves swiftly from one dramatic happening to the next, and Jennifer is left reeling. Phyllis Burton explores her various characters' feelings and reactions and brings them vividly to life, and helps us to see that many of the events come from the way those characters act out of their natural individuality, whether good or bad.

The ending is particularly satisfying. After the year of torment, Jennifer reaches a place of safety. We can put down the book in content, knowing that she is happy and has weathered the storm.

Warmly recommended.”
***

MOVING ON
(A Poem by Phyllis Burton)

The removal men are coming to take me away.
And I sit in my room, my heart all a flutter.
I look out of my window and panic engulfs me.
I see the garden I have tended so lovingly, so true.
The shrubs and the plants are looking their best,
Oh have pity, do not abandon us, they cry.
The birds sing sweetly and the sun shines above,
How can I move away, but I know that I must?

The removal men are now here,
And my life sits before me in reusable boxes.
Reusable by others, but I fear not by me.
They will take me and my life to the Care Home,
So that strangers can look after me.
I say goodbye to the house and goodbye to my friends,
And goodbye to the life I have loved.
How can I move away, but my children say that I must?

The removal men have all gone.
And I sit in a different room and my mind asks the question,
‘Well I’m here, but what is left for me now?’
My past life has gone and my future’s uncertain,
But I look out of the window at new trees and flowers,
The birds all sing sweetly and the sun shines above,
I can still count my blessings, I have memories so clear,
That even though I have moved, a part of me is still there.


***

HAPPY READING:
19th April 2017

*******


http://www.phyllisburton.com

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Haslemere Herald

Paper Dreams is a romantic thriller which holds the reader’s interest from the very beginning. The characters are well-rounded, believable and ‘human’. I found myself hating Harold the villain of the story who has been portrayed as quite mad and obviously battling with internal demons. Apart from completely empathising and sympathising with the main character Katie, for me there are several other characters in the book that I was really drawn to. There is intrigue, evil, romance and suspense and together these add up to a novel that is hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to anyone interested in this type of fiction.

by Julia Bodie


 

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