#BookReview By Lou of The Good News Gazette By Jessie Wells @JessieWells22 @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #TheGoodNewsGazette #BlogTour #ContemporaryFction

 Goodnews Gazette
By Jessie Wells

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Hear ye, Hear ye, roll up for the Good News Gazette! A book I am on a blog tour for and today I have a review for you to peruse. Thanks first to Rachel Random Resources and One More Chapter for the invite to review.

 

The Good News Gazette

Because we all need something to smile about!

She may be down but don’t count this determined single mum out just yet…

Nine years ago, Zoe Taylor returned from London to the quiet hamlet of Westholme with her tail between her legs and a bun in the oven. Where once her job as a journalist saw her tearing off to Paris at a moment’s notice after a lead, now the single mum covers the local news desk. At least, she did…until she’s unceremoniously let go.

When Zoe invites her friends over to commiserate, wine and whining soon turns into something more… and before the night is out she’s plotted her next step: The Good News Gazette.

Now, as a developer threatens to force Westholme into the twenty-first century, Zoe’s good news movement finds her leading a covert campaign as a community crusader. She may have started The Good News Gazette as a way to save herself, but she might just be able to save Westholme in the process…

Review 

Zoe Taylor works for the local newspaper in Westholm. Things aren’t always working out too well for her and is made redundant, besides, there’s a lot of bad news to be reporting about, which she was not always enthralled about. She, however has skills, but nowhere to go and a family to support on her own to boot. She gets all entrepreneurial and strikes lucky when an idea hits her friends and grows on her, to start her own newspaper. She calls it The Good News Gazette as she wants to lighten things up a bit, with their being enough depressing things happening and being reported on, so she sets out to report about only good news. The challenge is, trying to find enough to sustain a new newspaper where that’s it’s main focus. Zoe also has a bit of positive activism within her as she also tries to save the shopping centre from closing down. There are also other community stories within the volunteer sector that weaves into her life and gazette ideas. There are community Facebook page comments that are witty at the end of the chapters, something that has grown a lot in recent years, so sort of pays homage to that.

It is an uplifting book about getting on with life and about community and friendship spirit.

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#Review By Lou of A Mother’s Christmas Wish by Glenda Young @flaming_nora @HeadlineFiction @headlinepg @rararesources #ChristmasReads #Saga #FamilySaga #Christmas #BlogTour

A Mother’s Christmas Wish
By Glenda Young

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Feeling Christmassy and/or all hopeful yet? This could be the book for you. It isn’t often that I read sagas, but this caught my eye. Today I’m on the blog tour of A Mother’s Christmas Wish, thanks to Rachel Random Resources and the publisher – Headline. Discover the blurb and review below.

Blurb

A Mother’s Christmas Wish

‘I hope this Christmas is better than last year’s.’

Following a scandalous affair, wayward Emma Devaney is sent in disgrace from her home in Ireland to Ryhope, where she will live with her widowed aunt, Bessie Brogan, and help run her pub. Bessie is kind but firm, and at first Emma rebels against her lack of freedom. Struggling to fit in, she turns to the wrong person for comfort, and becomes pregnant.

Accepting she must embrace her new life for the sake of her baby, Emma pours her energy into making the pub thrive and helping heal the fractured relationship between Bessie and her daughters. She catches the attention of Robert, a gruff but sincere farmer, who means to win her heart.

As December approaches, thankful for the home and acceptance she’s found, Emma is determined to bring not just her family, but the whole Ryhope community, together to celebrate – and to make one very special mother’s Christmas dreams come true.

Review

Behold, December 1923, it was quite a year for Emma and her mother, Nuala. The year they left Ireland to start a new start. They head to Ryhope, after sending a letter to Nuala’s sister, Bessie. Emma is sent there to help her aunt with what seems a high-spirited , lively pub with all sorts of village life within. Emma is feisty and rebellious, sometimes I’ll-tempered coupled with rudeness, but that being said, she still has warmth and that mother’s wish grows within too. She is also absolutely determined to give the pub her best shot and make a go of things to ensure it thrives.

 Her aunt Bessie is however, a kindly soul with heart and warmth, providing hope for the pub’s future too as well as hope that family rifts that occurred, can be healed.

What transpires is a look into small village living where people grow reputation, there’s crime, romance and marriage, employment, poverty. Glenda Young shows it all in a multi-layered story that is well-researched about how some people lived at the time, social views and attitudes and what society was like, especially in small places. It, ultimately gives a great look into the 1920’s (but away from the Flapper’s life) with a bit of grit and a good dose of hope that culminates into an uplifting family saga. This is a book that would be great on anyone’s Christmas list.

As an added extra, did you know Glenda Young also writes cosy crime? There is an excerpt of her next cosy crime novel – Murder at the Seaview Hotel. It gets off to a great start, set in Scarborough and something for readers to also look forward to.

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#Review By Lou of Marple By #AgathaChristie; #NaomiAlderman; #LeighBardugo; #AlyssaCole; @lucyfoleytweets; @ellygriffiths; #NatalieHaynes ; @JeanKwok; @valmcdermid; #KarenM.McManus; #DredaSayMitchell; @katemosse; @RuthWareWriter #Marple @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK

Marple
By Agatha Christie; Naomi Alderman;
Leigh Bardugo; Alyssa Cole; Lucy Foley;
Elly Griffiths; Natalie Haynes; Jean Kwok; Val McDermid; Karen M. McManus; Dreda Say Mitchell; Kate Mosse; Ruth Ware

 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I have been given the wonderful opportunity to read and review Marple, thanks to Harper Fiction/Harper Collins. I myself have read all of the Miss Marple (and Poirot) books and watched many on tv in their many incarnations too.


Blurb


A brand new collection of short stories featuring the Queen of Crime’s legendary detective Jane Marple, penned by twelve remarkable bestselling and acclaimed authors.

This collection of twelve original short stories, all featuring Jane Marple, will introduce the character to a whole new generation. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie’s Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery.
· Naomi Alderman
· Leigh Bardugo
· Alyssa Cole
· Lucy Foley
· Elly Griffiths
· Natalie Haynes
· Jean Kwok
· Val McDermid
· Karen M. McManus
· Dreda Say Mitchell
· Kate Mosse
· Ruth Ware

Miss Marple was first introduced to readers in a story Christie wrote for The Royal Magazine in 1927 and made her first appearance in a full-length novel in 1930’s The Murder at the Vicarage. It has been 45 years since Agatha Christie’s last Marple novel, Sleeping Murder, was published posthumously in 1976, and this collection of ingenious new stories by twelve Christie devotees will be a timely reminder why Jane Marple remains the most famous fictional female detective of all time.

Review

Miss Marple, at first glance, just some old nosy, but endearing woman in St. Mary’s Meed. In reality, she is a warm, astute woman who isn’t anything to do with the police as such, but gets involved in solving all sorts of crimes and delivering her findings to the often unamused police who put up with her; after all, she is always right and knows how to track down the clues and gets the results.

Agatha Christie created around 25 stories surrounding her character – Miss Marple, all complete within themselves and can often be seen within collections or as solo books. They have also been created into tv dramas by at least 5 different actors playing her at various times. She is the ultimate “Queen of Crime!” A title that was bestowed upon her some time ago and is still true today. She has become the benchmark for cosy crime and the author, many of her contemporaries have also clearly studied, admired and been inspired by. The authors involved have all created their own novels and characters within their own right before this book emerged.

Each author, even though they have their original ideas, seems to have respect for Agatha Christie and Miss Marple. This nicely comes through when reading each story. I was excited to receive this book, but also had an air of trepidation as anyone might when other people write with such a well-known character, but that quickly fell away. Each author has their own spin on things, but each has got the essence of Agatha Christie’s writing down rather well. They have captured the personality of Miss Marple and her quirks and created contemporary, twisty crimes to solve. They’ve managed to retain that immersive quality of trying to guess whodunnit that each Christie story has.

It is a good book for people who either have a love of Miss Marple or to introduce and inspire people to read this and then delve into the original stories.

#BookReview By Lou of The Locked Away Life By Drew Davies @Drew_Davies @bookouture #ContemporaryFiction #HeartwarmingRead

The Locked Away Life
By Drew Davies

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have a review of The Locked Away Life by Drew Davies, thanks to the publisher, bookouture an immersive, heartwarming read with chance encounters, different lives and secrets. Discover the blurb and full review below.

 

Blurb

A lonely soul is on the verge of giving up. Can the kindness of a young stranger save her?

Esther has shut away herself in her vine-covered manor house on the top of a hill for as long as she can remember. Everyone in the village whispers about the scandal that broke her heart. She has cut herself off from the world – until now. Now, she needs help uncovering the mystery that has plagued her for decades…

On a sunny spring day, eighteen-year-old Bruno is in the local library when he spots an advert. The old lady on the hill is looking for internet lessons, and Bruno sees his chance. Forever the outsider, he can’t wait to escape the sleepy village – the paid position could be his ticket out of there.

Esther and Bruno have nothing in common, except that they are both in hiding, and their secrets are stopping them from truly living… Esther must come to terms with her past, and Bruno needs to figure out his future. Can these two strangers save one another?

Just as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming, this page-turner is for anyone who has ever felt left behind or came close to giving up. Perfect for fans of Sally Page, Ruth Hogan and Mike Gayle.

Review

Unusually, there are two prologues. The first is heart rendering, with Bruno and the second, a terrifying moment with Esther and then it folds out into chapters with these two main characters, alternating with their colliding stories as it goes along as it explains all, how these 2 people meet. It goes right back to a chance encounter of 18 year old Bruno and an advertisement in the community library, one that is a book swap bit of a hair salon. Bruno answers the ad and this is when life changes for him and Esther, an older lady who requires some help. She’s funny in a way, in the beginning as in haha funny and quirky as well as in the tricky sort of manner of the word.

Esther needs help and Bruno needs money, so takes up the offer. She’s got quite a history and quite an attitude to growing ever older. She is also determined or stubborn and has decided she never wants to leave the Manor House she rattles around in. She would say determined, I’m sure, whereas Jane will reckon more stubborn and sees how Esther is no longer able to be as independent as she once was, which she recognises a little herself, as in a smidging.
It’s an interesting pairing, but a good one, showing young and old can come together in all sorts of circumstances and there be a maturity and a developing of that relationship of sorts, and with it’s these characters, it is engaging to see how they develop in their lives. It is intriguing to see the eaking out of secrets and how they both essentially needed each other, but prior to the chance encounter of an ad, they weren’t aware of each other’s existence.
There is also, throughout the relationship between Bruno and Dominic throughout, which brings some exploration of romance and queries around that and sexuality. It also then weaves into conversations with Esther.

Interestingly, it all ends in 2 epilogues. 1 for Esther and on for Bruno,

The manner the conversations come together are not only well observed, but make reading this book immersive and easy to lose yourself in the book’s, sometimes heart-rendering, sometimes heartwarming pages.

#Review By Lou of #Middlegrade #book The Boy Who Dared By Rachel Coverdale @RLCoverdale #ChildrensBook #TheBoyWhoDared

The Boy Who Dared
By Rachel Coverdale

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have a review for action/adventure middle grade book – The Boy Who Dared. The next book to The Boy Who Couldn’t. An excellent book to also have at home, in libraries, in school book clubs or to open class discussions with. There are questions at the back of the book to assist such activities. Thanks to Rachel Coverdale for getting in touch again to review this next book in the series. Discover the blurb and review below.

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Blurb

Action adventure story, suitable for 8-12 year-olds

A fun camping trip turns dangerous when James, Greg and Ahmed stumble across a dark secret in the beautiful Welsh wilderness. Separated on a mountainside in the dead of night, the boys must face their greatest fears as they are hunted by a ruthless gang. Can they reunite in time to save a hundred starving dogs – and themselves?

Review

The book re-joins readers with the first book – The Boy Who Couldn’t, although there are hints of what happened previously, so it is fine for readers to start here if they so wish. The dynamics of the relationships between Greg, James and Ahmed. Previously not friends, now things have moved on more positively as apologies have been made. The 3 boys are off on a camping holiday in Wales in scenic countryside amongst so much nature. From here, the boys end up in an adventure and mystery surrounding some farmers and dogs. There are also moments of trepidation as they come up against a gang.
Heroes aren’t always in capes. There are characters children can really get behind in this book.

The character and plot development is terrific and there are some great illustrations too.

Its a book that 8 to 12 year olds can so easily get really engaged in, as many have with ‘The Boy Who Couldn’t’.

By the end, it sets itself up nicely perhaps for another book in this series, which is absolutely worth following. This book isn’t just for Christmas, it’s great for all year round reading!

#Review by Lou of The Cruise By Catherine Cooper @catherinecooper @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #CrimeFiction #TheCruise #BlogTour #HolidayRead #ChristmasRead

The Cruise
By Catherine Cooper

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour for Catherine Cooper’s latest mystery thriller – The Cruise, thanks to Random T. Tours and Harper Collins. Join a deadly glamorous trip of a lifetime and follow the passengers to discover the culprit. It’s a great murder mystery as we approach the festive season of Christmas and New Year. Discover the blurb and my review below.

Blurb

A glamorous ship. A mysterious cast of passengers. And a New Year’s Eve party that goes horribly wrong…

During a New Year’s Eve party on a large cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, disappears. The ship is searched and the coastguard is called, but there is no sign of her, either dead or alive.

Lola was popular on the ship but secretive about her background, and as the mystery around her deepens, everyone on board becomes a suspect. Who was she arguing with the night she vanished?

Why did she come aboard the cruise in the first place? What was she running from?

Review

Immanis is is highly glamorous and very large cruise ship captained by Leo. It oozes glamour and the height of sophistication from the start. Just the amount of bars and restaurants are enough to make me gasp! It is a joy to read of such sumptuous surroundings. The cruise ship is so huge, on one hand you’d think it would be hard for someone to go completely missing, with people knowing traveller’s names, and yet on the other hand, so easy as people go about their new year holiday in the Caribbean and because there are so many and it’s so huge. Lola, one of the crew mysteriously goes missing. Superintendent Bailey and Bill are on the case to discover what happened to her, using all the technology they have at their disposal and by conducting the necessary interviews.
There’s also a lot of speculation surrounding her disappearance amongst the crew. It’s also interesting to read about things from the ship’s doctor’s point of view.

The mystery also takes readers to Inverness, a city in the north of Scotland. The book also whisks readers back to 2013, Catford in London. Then the timeline moves again to 2016, a very interesting year and when more of the story comes together, so it’s worth sticking with. It’s intriguing and it intensifies as the story goes on. Between the past and present, it all becomes rather twisty with an unexpected ending.