#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.

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#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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#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.

#BookReview By Lou of A Cosy Christmas With The Village Vet By Eliza J. Scott @ElizaJScott1 #ChristmasRead #Uplifting #ContemporaryFiction @rararesources

A Cosy Christmas Vet
By Eliza J. Scott

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m reviewing A Cosy Christmas with the Village Vet, thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto the blog tour for this Christmas idyll.

Blurb

It’s the most magical time of the year! Will Brogan and Nick find the happiness they crave so they can celebrate the festive season?

Christmas has always been a special time for Brogan, especially since her move to her grandparents’ smallholding. Set near the picturesque village of Lytell Stangdale in the middle of the North Yorkshire Moors, it’s an idyllic location. But with the loss of her beloved grandparents still raw, she’s struggling to find her festive spirit.

Talked into going to a wedding by her friends, Brogan finds herself sitting next to a rather handsome stranger. Thinking she’ll never seen him again, she dusts off her flirting skills and lets her fun-loving side loose.

Newly single Nick Heuston was dreading going to his friend’s wedding. But a chance encounter with a woman with captivating green and eyes makes him think otherwise. He’s gutted when she disappears without leaving any way for him to contact her.

Telling himself he needs a break from relationships, Nick intends to focus all his attention on his job as a vet at a new practice. It proves easier said than done; he just can’t get Brogan out of his mind.

Meanwhile, Brogan’s been looking forward to starting her new job as a vet nurse at the new local practice.

On their first day at Danskelfe Veterinary Surgery, both are stunned when they come face-t0-face once more – something Nick seems very happy about, but Brogan’s not so sure.

Despite her reluctance, it would seem fate is keen to push them together, and Brogan finds her feelings for Nick growing. As for Nick, the more he gets to know Brogan, the more he finds himself falling for her.

Just when their romance looks ready to bloom, something or someone seems to get in its way.

Will Christmas work its magic? Or are Brogan and Nick destined to be nothing more than a brief encounter?

Why not join Brogan and Nick, together with their canine companions Wilf and Maudie – and all the familiar Life on the Moors characters – for a heartwarming, festive trip to the moors?

Review

This is a cosy book set in Yorkshire. It has community, romance and all the spirit of Christmas going on in it. It is an easy-going, snuggle up tight and warmly kind of book and let your mind drift into this kindly community, with its Christmas spirit and easygoing chat and banter.

There are sparks of romance when Brogan, looking forward to her new job posting as a vet, had seen a stranger she never counted on seeing again, but then all of a sudden, around her new practice, there he is.

There are tensions here and there, but ultimately it’s got that uplifting Christmas feel.