#BookReview by Lou of Murder Most Royal By S.J. Bennett @sophiabennett @ZaffreBooks #CosyCrime #CosyMurderMystery @CompulsiveReaders #BlogTour

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Murder Most Royal

By S.J Bennett 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I am on a blog tour today for Murder Most Royal, thanks to Compulsive Readers. Discover the blurb and review below for this cosy mystery.

Blurb

December 2016 – A severed hand is found washed up on a beach next to the Queen’s estate at Sandringham.

Elizabeth has become quite accustomed to solving even the most complex of murders. And though she quickly identifies the 70-year-old victim, Edward St Cyr, from his signet ring, the search for his killer is not so straightforward.

St Cyr led an unconventional, often controversial life, making many enemies along the way in the quiet, rural world of North Norfolk, where everyone knows each other’s business.

But when a second man is found dead, and a prominent local woman is nearly killed in a hit-and-run, the mystery takes an even darker turn.

With the Christmas break coming to an end, the Queen and her trusted assistant Rozie must race to discover how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Or the next victim may be found even closer to home.

Agatha Christie meets The Crown in MURDER MOST ROYAL, the much-anticipated third book in the ‘Her Majesty The Queen Investigates’ mystery series by SJ Bennett – for fans of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin.

Review

Cosy crime readers will enjoy this different take on characters. You’ll see the royals as you’ve never seen them before, nor Sandringham, which is where this book in the series is predominantly set. It’s perhaps a somewhat poignant read knowing Her Majesty the Queen is no longer with us, but still, it’s quirky having her as an investigator. I suspect she may have been a good investigator as it was said that she took interest in people. She has an assistant, Rozie and they’re quite the duo to get to the bottom of a crime and unearth truths.

It is a bit of a different read due to the characters, but it is a cosy read, which brings entertainment along the way.

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#BookReview By Lou of Cooking the Books #ChristmasAnthology By #HobeckAuthors @HobeckBooks #Christmas #Shortstories with #Recipes #Charity #TrussellTrust

Cooking The Books
By Hobeck Authors

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Cooking is Criminal when it comes to Cooking The Books By various authors who are published by Hobeck Books have banded together to create short stories, covering every type of crime fiction, with their favourite recipes, all in one fun and twisty anthology this Christmas. Essentially a crime and cookbook all rolled into one.
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO THE TRUSSELL TRUST (find out more about this charity after my review)
Follow down to the blurb and my review below…

Thanks first to Hobeck Books for inviting me to review on this last day of the blog tour and for the book. 

Blurb

If an army marches on its stomach, what do crime fiction authors do? Here’s your answer, an exclusive collection of recipes from the Hobeck Books authors team served with a dash of brilliant flash fiction too…

If you love a dribble of ketchup or a drizzle of raspberry jus with your fiction, then this is the cookery book for you.


Discover the delights of mouth-watering Maltese rabbit pasta and luscious lamb in coffee. Or dare to sample chicken wings more deadly than a game of chilli roulette.

Then there’s the story of how a midnight cheese, cucumber and salad cream sandwich helped launch Hobeck itself.


This collection guarantees stomach rumbles and belly roils, and all proceeds help others through the Trussell Trust and their network of foodbanks across the UK.

Review

Put in a mixing bowl – Hobeck Authors and Publishers, a spoonful of each sub-category of crime fiction, throw in some recipes people can create real meals from, stir vigorously and bake at a high heat and what is produced is –
Cooking The Books, full of twist tales full of crime and mayhem and authors favourite recipes you can make at home or wherever you may be

There are introductions to each type of crime fiction before each twisty, entertaining
Each introduction is written in recipe form!

Then enter each twisty story, one by one and solve the crime!

Then get busy in the kitchen as at the end of every story is a real recipe you can make from home. The recipes are the authors favourites. I, myself have found a couple I’m definitely going to cook.

There is also an interesting and exquisite foreword by author – RC Brigstock that is sure to get readers in the mood for many types of crime this Christmas.

So, get  your killer kitchen utensils out and bind together with a great dollop of crime fiction to solve the crimes, and with the enticing recipes, you can have the added bonus of eating along the way.

Remember too, this publisher – Hobeck Books is giving back. They are donating All Proceeds to The Trussell Trust that helps those in need with food.

Links to The Trussell Trust   and     Hobeck Books

 

#BookReview By Lou of A Cosmic Kind Of Love By Samantha Young #SamanthaYoung @Bookish_Becky @PiatkusBooks @littlebrownuk #RomanticFiction #RomCom #Space #ACosmicKindOfLove #ContemporaryFiction #BookClubReads #BookClub

A Cosmic Kind Of Love
By Samantha Young

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I have a review of a wonderful romantic comedy, that truly is as cosmic as they come. Thanks firstly to the publisher – Little Brown Books for gifting me a copy of the book. Without further ado, onto the blurb and then find out my thoughts in my review. Thanks to Becky Hunter and Piatkus Books and Little Brown UK

 

Blurb

Space is the last thing an event planner and an astronaut need in this charming new romantic comedy from New York Timesbestselling author Samantha Young.

When event planner Hallie Goodman receives party-inspiration material from the bride of her latest wedding project, the last thing she expects to find in the files are digital videos from Darcy’s ex-boyfriend. Hallie knows it’s wrong to keep watching these personal videos, but this guy is cute, funny, and an astronaut on the International Space Station to boot. She’s only human. And it’s not long until she starts sending e-mails and video diaries to his discontinued NASA address. Since they’re bouncing back, there’s no way anyone will ever be able to see them…right?

Christopher Ortiz is readjusting to life on earth and being constantly in the shadow of his deceased older brother. When a friend from NASA’s IT department forwards him the e-mails and video messages Hallie has sent, he can’t help but notice how much her sense of humor and pink hair make his heart race.

Separated by screens, Hallie and Chris are falling in love with each other, one transmission at a time. But can they make their star-crossed romance work when they each learn the other’s baggage?

Review

Hallie Goodman is an interesting woman, she is an event planner and an astronaut. She has a boyfriend, but tensions and cracks show from the beginning, especially in his behaviour, even though she herself does land herself in the sorts of situations, but his response makes her question her relationship.

Away from her own relationship issues, she has an engagement party to plan for Darcy Hawthorn, a true blue New York socialite.
There is also Aunt Julia, who wants a bachelorette party and there are funny social media consequences to this.
The scene and flavour of what’s to come is set up in the first chapter. The book then goes back to 1 year ago with the chapters going between Hallie and Chris. Chris (Captain Christopher  Ortiz) works for NASA and has spent over a month on the International Space Station. It really works for the background of the characters before switching back to present day.

It is a great story of social media and romance and how events occur and relationships develop. The video diaries from Chris that readers can tap into throughout the story add extra insights and thoughts into his life. They show a certain amount of grounding even though he is in space.
In-amongst the romance is also other tensions, such as within families to follow.

A Cosmic Kind of Love builds into a story that is easy to kick off the shoes and relax on a cold, wintry day (or enjoy in the sun, if it’s your summer) and feel it’s romantic, uplifting vibes.

This is also great for book clubs as there are excellent questions prepared at the end for discussion points.

#BookReview By Lou of The Confession By Maureen Myant @maureenmyant @HobeckBooks #CrimeFiction #Thriller #PoliceProcedural #PsychologicalThriller

The Confession
By Maureen Myant

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today, I’m reviewing the mind blowing, twisty crime fiction book – The Confession, thanks to Hobeck Books for inviting me to review. Discover the blurb and my review below…

 

A house on a quiet street on the southside of Glasgow. Neat, terraced homes with manicured lawns and pruned trees. Not the sort of place that reeks of decay or where dead bluebottles pile up on a windowsill.

When the police break in, there’s a surprise in store for them. They find Julie Campbell’s decaying body at her desk, her laptop open beside her. She’s a well-liked, respectable woman. On the laptop is a confession – to five murders. There’s one major problem though – only one of the victims she names is actually dead.

DI Mark Nicholson is persuaded by his boss DCI Alex Scrimgeour that the confession is a fantasy, and to drop the case, but Mark senses there’s more to it than meets the eye. As he delves further, the darkest of secrets are revealed, and everyone around him is dragged into a vortex of fear, danger and murder. No one is beyond suspicion as The Confession becomes a murderous reality.

Review

The Confession plays with the mind. Set in Glasgow, Scotland, one of its nicer parts, it is part police procedure, part psychological thriller in flavour. There’s a confession that has been made to murders. It’s there in black and white. It’s up to DI Mark Nicholson and DCI Alex Scrimgeour to investigate. This is when it gets twisty as the confession isn’t all it seems…
It is an intriguing concept to have a confession note, whereby its author confesses to more than 1 murder and yet the people are still walking, living and breathing and very much still alive on planet earth. The police, naturally want to let the confession note lie, except there is that pull to investigate further, especially for DI Nicholson even though profiles just don’t fit into the more usual way of things, which makes it even more mysterious.

As secrets worm their way out of the woodwork and the question as to whether the author of the confession note is a serial killer or not and who might be next, as the killings truly begin, makes this a highly captivating and intriguing book.

#Review By Lou of The Cottage in the Highlands By Julie Shackman @G13Julie @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #RomanticFiction #ScottishHighlands #SecondChances #ScottishScenery

The Cottage In The Highlands
By Julie Shackman 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Transport yourself to rural Scotland, so rural is this cottage, it is located in the Highlands. Open the pages and discover that rural doesn’t mean devoid of life, there’s plenty of that to explore in this mysterious part of Scotland… Discover firstly, the blurb and review below… Thanks first to Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to review.

Blurb

When Leonie Baxter finds herself out of a job and out of a relationship, she’s at her wits end. Her life has just been turned upside down and she needs a plan, fast.

By chance, on a walk with her rescue puppy, Leonie stumbles across a striking house in the woods; fully furnished but unoccupied. As a journalist, she is determined to find out more, after all, reporting is in her nature.

But her attempts are thwarted by Lily Cruickshank who lives in the cottage next door. Why won’t Lily help Leonie? And who is the mysterious Flynn Talbot, whose letter Leonie finds inside the house?

And in uncovering the secrets of the abandoned house, will Leonie open her own heart and let love back into her life?

The brand new escapist story from the bestselling author of A Secret Scottish Escape and A Scottish Highland Surprise, for fans of Jo Thomas, Trisha Ashley and Cathy Bramley.

Review 

The Highlands, full of beautiful scenery, romance and mystery and Julie Shackleton brings it all into this lovely book. There are secrets and twists as well as charming characters, coupled together with that second chance at life.

Leonie is the main character who is a journalist, recently losing her job through changes in the way the industry is being made to work, so in a way it really highlights cause and effect and how certain actions can be detrimental to people’s jobs. Leonie gets lucky and gets a chance to have a new life adventure in the Highlands of Scotland, with new people to meet, perhaps some beckoning romance, and a cottage to open up and be in. As she looks round the cottage she finds a mysterious letter…

This is a charming book set in beautiful scenery but with so much to uncover and to delight and be intrigued in.

#Review by Lou of #Middlegrade #ChildrensBook – Which Way To Anywhere By Cressida Cowell @CressidaCowell @HodderBooks #HodderChildrensBooks #HachetteChildrensBooks #WhichWayToAnywhere

Which Way To Anywhere
By Cressida Cowell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I’ve a review from a brand new series from Which Way to Anywhere by Cressida Cowell, author known for How to Train Your Dragon and Wizard of Once series and former Children’s Laureate. Fly down to discover the blurb and my review of this adventurous fantasy/sci-fi middle-grade book.

Blurb

From the bestselling author of How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once comes an out-of-this-world new adventure …

K2 O’Hero is a seemingly ordinary boy – after all, he and his twin sister Izzabird have been sworn to keep their family’s magical history a secret. Not even their infuriating stepsiblings, Theo and Mabel, know that magic exists. They believe K2 to be the most hopeless person they have ever known.

But K2 has a secret gift: he draws maps of worlds that are beyond the wildest of imaginations. Worlds with six hundred moons, burning rivers and dark, twisty jungles alive with plants that hunt by the smell of fear. But what K2 doesn’t know, is that the maps he draws are real.

When their baby sister Annipeck is kidnapped, the warring stepsiblings will have to use K2’s gift to find a crossing point into one of those worlds and embark on a daring rescue mission. With a terrible beast and a petrifying robot assassin in their way, they must learn to work together quickly – because the future of their family is at stake …

Review

The cast list that children will meet is great. It instantly captures your attention, but that’s what Cressida Cowell’s writing and imagination does and this book doesn’t disappoint.

There is a magical world with a beast and a robot assassin, trees and plants that aren’t completely how you would assume them to be, as well as a family with magic powers. Amongst the adventure and all the creatures are themes of blended families and ecology. It is a world that has much depth that is quick to emerge into, with its immersive writing style.

The book is dramatic within the forest and intriguing within the lands and characters. It is also full of humorous situations that brings extra entertainment in its twisty, action-packed fantasy/sci-fi world. It is a treat for the senses that is a twisty fast-paced, exciting page-turner. 

#Interview #QA By Lou with @kathylwheeler, an author of Gaming Hell Christmas Vol 2 @rararesources #BlogTour #Regency #HistoricalRomance #HistoricalFiction #Christmas #ChristmasRead

Interview/Q&A with Kathy L. Wheeler about her and Amanda Cabe’s book Gaming Hell Christmas (vol.2)
Conducted by Louise Cannon (Lou) – Bookmarks and Stages 

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Recently I had the great pleasure of conducting an interview/Q&A session with Kathy L. Wheeler, an author of Gaming Hell Christmas, volume two. There are 2 mysteries set in fashionable Regency, London, one by Amanda Cabe, the other by Kathy L. Wheeler.
Readers, after discovering the blurb, can find out from Kathy herself, what to expect from the book, her inspiration and find out whether she would live in the regency period or not, rule breaking and Christmas, all in 6 questions and answers. Her answers are illuminating and there’s no holding back…
Thanks first to Kathy L. Wheeler for taking part and allowing me to interview you for my blog and as part of Rachel’s Random Resources blog tour, to whom I thank for inviting me on to close the blog tour.
Without further ado, onto discover the delights of the book and what was said by the author…

GAMING HELL CHRISTMAS – VOLUME 2: Mysteries abound at London’s most fashionable Hell.

The Thief Who Stole Christmas – Amanda McCabe
A man who has never broken the rules, and a woman who just might break his heart! But Christmas is always a time for second chances…

As one of Miss Greensley’s Girls, a member of the exclusive club la Sous Rose, and famous author Lady L, Victoria Lanford moves easily through Society ballrooms. Few people know how her unhappy childhood and anxiety led her to pickpocketing (yet, she did return the jewels)! When she comes face-to-face with old flame Rhys Neville, Earl of Hammond, she knows the kind-hearted, straight-laced, devilishly handsome lord is not for her—especially once the past comes back to haunt them. Why, then, can’t she stop thinking about their kisses?

The Kerse Who Saved Christmas – Kathy L Wheeler
Kerse: He, of the no nonsense approach, is stymied by She, a woman considered long past prime marriageability who needs a keeper more than he requires a wife. Yet the dreamy-eyed, impractical, and much too optimistic Philomena still manages to steal his heart despite her unrealistic beliefs and trust in fortune tellers.

  1. What can readers expect from your book?

         Readers can expect a fun group of characters who attended school together from a young age.
Each young woman is her own person and craves their own independence and love story, which Amanda and I strive to provide.

 

  1. You have a man who has never broken the rules before. If you were to break a rule, what would it be and why?

    This is an easy question for us in the twenty-first century compared to the 18th and 19th centuries where things were much more stringent for women. Even men were held to a higher standard. I think those of us who write historical romance are always having our characters “break the rules”. It’s just a matter of degree and what they do when they get caught.

 

  1. Your book is historical romance? What is your favourite time period to write about it and would you want to live in it yourself?

    I love writing the Regency era romance. Would I want to live in that period? Hell, no. Not without a ton of money and great resources to good water and decent medical care.

 

  1. Who inspired you to write?

    I think I was mostly inspired to write by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I’m a huge NFL fan and she wrote the Chicago Stars series. I once met her and asked if she watched (like me). Her answer was a resounding no! I was shocked! And thought, yeah, I could write. Of course, she is miles beyond me, above me, etc. etc.

5.    What research into historical exclusive clubs did you need to do and have you ever been to one in present times?

Mostly, it comes from reading the period. It was a fun idea we came up with. Nothing about La Sous Rose would be legit in the period, but it was still fun.

6.      How do you like to celebrate Christmas?

My husband and I moved to Western Washington about six years ago. We would spend Christmas at his family’s, but they were real big on my family attending when they were in town—sad but true. Since we’ve moved to Washington, we spend the holidays with my family where there are always extra people to be found.

Happy Holidays!

Kathy L Wheeler

 

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