2020, Author Love, novella, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Summer – part two- Beauty & the yeast By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Charlie, Delilah and their adorable cream tea bus have found themselves caught up in the filming of a lavish period drama on the Cornish coast and it isn’t long before Lila finds herself drawn to the handsome male lead.
But Lila has made a habit of making rash decisions and it’s one of the reasons she’s hiding out in Cornwall. Could this be one impulsive step too far for her, or is there the promise of something wonderful on the sea air…?

Review: Part two pinged through to my kindle at the right time. A much needed and welcome distraction to the craziness that is the corona virus. None of us could have predicted how this would effect and change our lives. For me this came through on day two with no work schedule, I love reading and having time to dedicate to my blog and to sit with family but I’m desperately missing the routine and day to day that work brings to my life.

In part two Lila is flying solo with the Cornish Cream Tea bus and she’s doing a smashing job of looking after the bus and fulfilling the needs of the cast and crew of Estelle. In this latest instalment Lila’s friendship with Keeley starts to flourish with the pair of them opening up over their separate worries.

Now I have to mention Sam – that sandy haired blue eyed beauty really does need to be on my doorstep especially on days like today. I found myself wholeheartedly embracing the romance of it all. I love how he can seem like two different people the confident actor and the shy guy. I loved seeing him cosy up to a certain someone it seemed to develop slowing but I was embracing it and full of such love – fully immersed in the story.

I don’t want to say too much about the story there is very little of Charlie and Daniel as they are off exploring San Francisco whilst Lila is switching up the coffees and embracing new ideas on the bus. She does get to do some cool stuff with the loveable Sam and Toby and seeing her friendships blossom with the cast and crew.

As her relationships are changing Lila thinks more and more about her fraught friendship with best mate Clara and in a conversation with Keeley she starts doubting herself. I love that the catalyst of that conversation has Lila desperate to prove she’s changed and learnt from her impulsive mistakes can she Sam and Charlie help change the fate of Estelle and the Cornish Cream Tea Bus.

I wasn’t particularly happy with how it ended as I just want to continue reading about the Cornish coast and their gorgeous residents. Part two was a welcome distraction that should have been read quite quickly but it allowed me to delve in and out of real life – during a time when I wanted and needed to escape. I’ve made another book boyfriend giving me unrealistic ideals but I can’t wait for Sam to come back into my life in part three.

Thank you Cressida for being the light in such an unpredictable time for of uncertainty.

2020, Author Love, novella, Publication Day, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Summer: part one All You Knead is Love By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb:Everyone’s favourite bus goes on a summer adventure full of sunshine and the promise of romance…

Charlie has a new helper on her bus, her free-spirited and loveable cousin, Delilah, who’s paid a visit to the charming Cornish village of Porthgolow and is helping out on Charlie’s adorable cream tea bus.
When the Director of a new TV series filming further along the coast tells Delilah that the bus would be the perfect addition to their onsite catering, she takes him a bit too literally, and before long she and the bus have taken a rather unexpected journey…

Review: So if you’re not new to the blog you will remember I was hooked on the first Cornish experience – where I first met Charlie. Who instantly stole my heart and then alongside Charlie I also fell wholeheartedly for Daniel. The rollercoaster ride of the will they won’t they had me itching for the next instalment.

So when Cressida said she would be returning to the Cornish coast, my interest was already piqued. It’s great to have Charlie and the gang back although in this first instalment we meet her loveable cousin Delilah Lila to her friends.

Today is publication day of the second instalment of this story and for me it’s a much needed distraction in a crazy world right now. I loved going back and I’m loving seeing Lila open up to Charlie and in seeing her confidence change. I’m also loving seeing the story of the TV show and in the blossoming friends and romances. I can’t lie it’s also good to have the loveable Daniel back…..

Right without further ado I believe it’s time to put my current book down and to get back to the bus and see what Lila is up to right now….if you’re lucky I maybe back with another review shortly.

2019, A thought? A question, Author Q&A, Uncategorized

Q&A with Cressida McLaughlin

Today I am pleased to share an interview with Cressida McLaughlin and I’m so sorry it’s come so late in the day…I’ve been a tad busy with an awful MRI and it’s my best friends birthday…

So without further ado.

1 The Cornish Cream Tea Bus was my first of your reads although I also have the canal book cafe on my kindle. What was your inspiration for the Cornish Cream Tea Bus???

I have been visiting Cornwall for about four years, after seeing it on the recent BBC adaptation of Poldark, and have completely fallen in love with it. The landscape is so beautiful and dramatic, and it’s so romantic, too, that as soon as I went I knew I wanted to set a book there. It also has some delicious, traditional food – fresh fish, pasties and, of course, the Cornish Cream Tea. I loved the idea of there being a slightly forgotten village, of a determined heroine coming in and trying to rescue it while also trying to get over her own heartbreak. I wanted her to face lots of challenges, some opposition, and I wanted there to be mouth-watering food.

I loved everything about it the setting was atmospheric and pretty something and the characters well they truly touched my heart?

I am so pleased you loved the characters! I really do too – I love all my characters, but I particularly loved creating Porthgolow and all its unique inhabitants: the contrast between Myrtle, who has lived there for decades, and Daniel, with his modern hotel sitting up on the cliff, Jonah with all his knowledge and, of course, Charlie. I loved breathing life into them, and I’m so glad you were touched by them, and thought the setting was atmospheric – that’s exactly the impression I wanted to make.

2. What’s been your best highlight of being a published author?

There are so many – it really is a dream come true! Hearing from readers who have loved my books, who have been touched by them in some way, or just been completely engrossed in the story is amazing, because it means I’ve done my job. I write them to entertain people, and so hearing that it’s worked is the best feeling. Also, the moment you get to hold your paperback for the first time is always thrilling and emotional – and it never gets any less exciting. Holding my first paperback of The Cornish Cream Tea Bus felt as special as holding A Christmas Tail.

3. What’s your average writing day like? Paint us a picture…

My brain is much better in the morning than it is in the afternoon, so I like to start early. I usually get up around 6.30 and then go for a walk round our closest park, meeting all the dogs. We don’t have any pets at the moment, but it’s lovely to meet all the local pooches. Then, when I’m back home, I’ll take a cup of tea up to my office, turn on all my fairy lights and – usually after responding to emails and engaging in some other forms of procrastination – I’ll start writing.

I aim to write at least 3,000 words a day. That’s about one of my chapters, and sometimes I’ll just scrape it, sometimes I’ll write double that, and sometimes I’ll manage 0 good words and get very annoyed with myself! I usually write until about 1.30, then have lunch, and then, depending on how well I’ve done in the morning, I’ll either carry on or I’ll use the afternoon to catch up with blogs, doing any Q&As (like this!) or reading. I’m fuelled by lots of coffee during the morning, and occasionally chocolate! 🙂

4. Where do you get your inspiration?

Inspiration comes from so many different places – an actual location, like some of the places we’ve visited in Cornwall, a snippet of conversation I’ve overheard in a coffee shop, a question that appears randomly into my head – for example: what would it be like to own a café on a narrowboat? – or something very specific.

I remember exactly when the idea for The House of Birds and Butterflies popped into my head. We were visiting Minsmere, which is a wonderful nature reserve in Suffolk run by the RSPB, and it has this very long, windy driveway through the woods, to get to the car park. Nestled in the trees was this beautiful little cottage, so quaint and so remote, but with all these cars going to and from the nature reserve, and hikers walking past it with their binoculars and waterproofs, and I just thought – what would it be like to live in that cottage? How would you feel if you’d just moved there, and realised it wasn’t as quiet as you thought it was going to be? Suddenly I had the whole premise of The House of Birds and Butterflies – Abby working in the reserve, trying to improve its fortunes, and Jack, just moved into the adjacent cottage, grumpy and hurting, looking for some peace and quiet and finding none.

That’s just one example, but it was such a specific moment, and it’s so brilliant when you get flashes of inspiration like that!

5. How do your characters come together? Characters are a huge thing for me….and I loved those you created in the Cornish Cream Tea Bus.

They always come together quite slowly. I start with my heroine, what her predicament is, and what kind of person she is. For example, Charlie is very determined, she’s positive and she won’t let things get her down. She is generous and ambitious, but she also jumps quickly to conclusions, and sometimes her temper gets the better of her.

Once I’ve got my heroine, I have a huge amount of fun creating my hero. I have to think they’re really hot, or I won’t write the tension between them and my heroine convincingly. They have to have things in common with her, but also beliefs or circumstances that mean they will clash in some way, so they won’t immediately fall into each other’s arms. The will-they-won’t-they is very important in my books, one of my favourite things to write – and also to read.

Supporting characters are also great fun to write – family members, friends and the locals in whichever community I’m creating. Those tend to appear as I write, when I need my heroine to face obstacles and also find allies. I start with quite a sketchy idea and as the story develops, all my characters flesh out – quite often very differently to how I first imagine them – so by the time I write ‘The end’ I feel like I know them all pretty well.

6. What’s your earliest memory of books?

My house was always full of books when I was growing up, and I think my first memory was sitting on my bed, my dad showing me a pop-up picture book of The Wind in the Willows. There was a page with a row of bare trees, darkness behind them, and when you pulled the tab, horrible weasels popped out from behind the trees. It always used to terrify me, but at the same time I wanted my dad to go back to that page and pull that tab over and over again. Maybe that’s why I love reading scary books now!

7. When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

Not until my mid twenties. I have always loved reading books, and I did English Literature at University and wrote lots of essays about books I’d read, but never really had ambitions to write them myself. Then I read a few women’s fiction books, most notably Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella and A Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans, and I LOVED them! I loved the way they made me feel – they were so funny and emotional, they made me laugh and cry, and they were beautifully, swooningly romantic. After that, I decided that I wanted to write books like that – that I wanted to control the stories, and create characters that readers loved and heroes they swooned over, and I wanted to make people laugh and cry. Once I’d got it into my head, that was all I wanted to do.

8. What advice would you give to wannabe writers and bloggers?

Read lots of books, and try and read different genres, because you can learn a lot about writing by reading books – what you think works and what doesn’t; the tricks writers use to make you laugh or cry or hide behind a pillow.

I would also say that to be a successful writer, or a book blogger, you need to be passionate about it. Write a story that you feel strongly about, don’t do it because you think it’s going to be a great way of making money. One piece of advice I heard, which I thought was brilliant, was: write the book that you want to read. That way, your heart will be invested in it, and you’ll work hard to make it work. Don’t write a book because you think there’s a current trend or it’s the kind of thing that’s selling. If you don’t care about the story, it’s unlikely that your readers will.

I would also say the same about blogging. I used to blog for the book website Novelicious before I got my book deal, and I loved it – reviewing books, sending Q&As to authors and publicists, typing up the ‘My Book Deal Moment’ feature, always hoping that one day I would have my own. All the book bloggers I’ve come across seem super dedicated – they all love books, and love blogging about them, and I think that’s the main thing you need.

9. What are you working on now??? Can you tell us anything?

I’m working on a book called The Cornish Cream Tea Summer. From the title, you can probably guess that it’s going to involve some familiar characters – but there will also be some new ones!

The heroine, Charlie’s cousin Delilah, comes to Porthgolow after something goes seriously wrong in her life back in London. She’s heard about Charlie’s idyllic existence in the Cornish village and she thinks it’s the perfect place to run to, but she might get more than she bargained for once she gets acquainted with The Cornish Cream Tea Bus, and all that Porthgolow has to offer.

As I write this I’ve only got two more chapters left of the first draft, and even though it’s in a very rough and ready state at the moment, I am so excited about it! I hope you love Delilah and her story as much as I do.

10. What are you reading right now? Have your reading habits changed since being a writer.

I certainly read more since I’ve become a full time writer, because, now I don’t have a standard nine to five job and don’t have to fit my writing into evenings and weekends, I have more time to read.

I’ve always been an avid reader, and I’ve always read quite widely – I love crime and thrillers and ghost stories, as well as romance and women’s fiction – and that hasn’t changed. And I love that I sometimes get sent proofs of books to read, as it means I can discover lots of new authors. It does mean that my TBR Pile is never-ending, but I’ve come to accept that as a (very positive) occupational hazard.

At the moment I’m reading Kiss Heaven Goodbye, by Tasmina Perry. She’s a brilliant author who writes glamorous thrillers, often centred around wealthy people who have secrets to hide. They’re fast paced, full of drama and romance and twists, and are proper escapism. I’m going on holiday next week and I’ve got Mhairi McFarlane’s new book, If I Never Met You, to read, and I am SO excited about that. One of the best things about being a writer is that I can count reading as part of my job. I really am living the dream.

Cressida McLaughlin

Instagram: @cressmclaughlin

Facebook: @cressidamclaughlinauthor

Twitter: @cressmclaughlin

Website: cressidamclaughlin.com

Thank you Cressida for joining me today and I cannot wait to go back To Cornwall for Delilah’s story….

2019, july, Monthly Wrap Up, Uncategorized

What did I read in July?

It’s been a while since I’ve done a round up of my reading. As I’ve usually done a bit so so or haven’t done any.

Having finally passed both my theory exams I wanted to try and push my reading again. I love it so I wanted to embrace it more. In doing so it’s really lifted my mood snatching a few pages or a short chapter during my lunch break and listening to audio on my travels to and from work. It’s really been a breathe of fresh air and a mood lifter.

Those who don’t read will never fully understand the joy of being swept away by a good book. So without further ado let’s look at how I done in July.

The second Zoe May book I have loved and this one has made me so reminiscent of my childhood and those boys that invaded my thoughts. Two in particular still do from time to time, which is where Will and Natalie come in. You can read my thoughts Here although I’m not sure if I’ve done this gorgeous treat justice. I still have two of Zoe’s to devour and I’m hoping to read at least one in August.

I read this in four parts and I loved reading it this way. Dipping in and out. If my head hadn’t been full of As Luck Would Have It part three would have been instantly read.

My thoughts on part two and three can be read Here

https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2019/07/13/book-review-the-cornish-cream-tea-bus-part-three-scones-away-by-cressida-mclaughlin/I wanted to blitz my jobs but I also wanted to be reading – look no further it was time for an audiobook although it wasn’t a one sitting listen it did accompany me through tasks and trains and a plane. I cannot and will not stop gushing over Paige Toon and her truly awesome writing. I loved delving into her YA series I have the physical copies of two and three and I’m hoping to bump them up my TBR list. I think at least book two will accompany me on holiday unless I can try and read it before then. Watch this space….

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson

This gorgeous debut really got under my skin – I loved everything about this novel and it really made me think of how we look at life via social media and how filtered it is.

Living My Best Life

I purchased this as an audible daily deal and had been wanting to listen in forever. George Orwell is a talented author and I’ve been itching to read his classics in forever I think audio is definitely the way to go and Jeremy Northam’s narration was exactly on point, for what I expected. I wasn’t disappointed and I will be reviewing this fully.

This one came through to me after reading the Cornish Cream Tea Bus and I had devoured a few chapters whilst waiting in a queue I was unaware that this was only part one. I look forward to heading back to the Glampers.

The Happy Glampers

So I didn’t do too badly. Those People was also on my list and I finished that just into August and I didn’t read the Lucy Vine novel but I shall be buddy reading that one soon.

There will be a second post from me later today after my Twitter poll had this and Stacking the Shelves so check back later to see my Shelves.

Happy Saturday, I’m already at work and I’ve also already done some reading.

2019, Author Love, july, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part four – The Icing on the cake By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Can Charlie pull off the perfect showstopper?
Charlie has fallen in love with Porthgolow village and they adore her vintage bus, now getting a new lease of life as the best place to have a Cornish Cream tea in the whole of Cornwall. Charlie and her bus have heralded a new start for Porthgolow too, but the one fly in the ointment is Daniel Harper who is still resisting the charms of Charlie and her bus. Can Charlie bake her way into his heart or is it time to admit that her Cornish dream has got a soggy bottom?

Review: Now from how part three concluded I always knew that part four would have a special place in my heart and would be the hardest to finish. I initially read the first chapter just after midnight on release day and had subsequently started reading on my walk into work, however, work, lack of sleep and the heat meant it took me a little longer to finish this beauty.

What I will say is Cressida played an absolute blinder as expected by a series part four had lots of moments that made you gasp. From the very beginning I was heavily invested in these characters and watching them experience full on life changing emotions really got me. I don’t know about those characters pulses racing at that point mine definitely were. I loved what that part of the story suggested and the messages underneath both incidents.

If I had been off work the day after I had started reading at midnight I would have been hooked on this in one sitting. In a way I’m glad I got a little bit more time with Charlie and the gang.

There were a number of quotes from Charlie’s late uncle Hal that really made me stop and think….

There is nothing that can’t be overcome if you believe in yourself

this is definitely something that I should listen to. In my own worst critic.

Another that really made me smile was a description for Porthgolow

It’s a proper slice of magic

I could use that sentence about a few of my favourite places in the world and it’s a line and sentiment that proper made me smile.

The Cornish Cream Tea Bus was an extraordinary treat that will make you salivate for afternoon tea and cake but it will also tug on your heart strings and stay there. A tasty treat with some truly powerful messages one that I won’t forget. I would love to see Cressida revisit these characters someday.

2019, july, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six For Sunday – Books and the Seaside

It’s been forever since I’ve written a Six for Sunday especially since starting Self Care Sunday’s which I’m doing by chilling today. I’m not sure what my week will entail so I would like to rest, get a few things done and organised ahead of my impending holiday at the end of August and I would like to get a fair amount of reading in as I’m truly loving my current reads.

Miranda wrote the most beautiful book based at the seaside. Somewhere Beyond the Sea – is a love story that will stay with me and I shared the story of sea glass with my niece our favourite beach hasn’t had any but we always look now.

After devouring Hannah’s short story I was itching for this I read this whilst on holiday at the seaside last year and I loved every single second of it. I can’t wait to get stuck into another Hannah Pearl novel.

Evie’s Little Black Book

I read these in part and I love love loved devouring this cinema based story. It really did make me think of my Nan who I shared a love of film with.

The Picture House by the Sea

This week the fourth and final part of this novel will ping through to my kindle and I’m excited and sad. I won’t want to say goodbye to Charlie and the gang.

Part one In doing this meme I’ve realised how long this beauty has been on my TBR I really must change this. Although I did read another of Ali’s books whilst last on holiday at the caravan in Dymchurch.

This beauty by Isabelle Broom has me longing for Mojacar I will get there someday….

Then Now Always

Part two Cressida McLaughlin

Part three Cressida McLaughlin

As ever I’ve loved sitting down and penning my thoughts. I love being by the seaside and I still haven’t worked out what I hope to read this year on my travels. I’m loving having my mojo back right must eat breakfast have the soaps on and a book to get back to.

2019, ebook, july, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part Three Scones Away By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Charlie’s toughest technical challenge yet…

Now that Charlie’s Cornish Cream Tea bus has taken off, everything should be going swimmingly- the locals love her baking, Marmite adores getting his paws wet in the crystal-clear sea at Porthgolow beach, but Charlie has managed to get on the wrong side of the mercurial owner of The Porthgolow Hotel, Daniel Harper. He wants her to pack up her doillies and pastry cutters and take her bus elsewhere, but can Charlie convince him that they have just got off on the wrong foot and that her bus could be the start of something wonderful for the little village?

Review: I’ve truly loved every second of Charlie’s story and Cressida has made me excited for my Summer trip to the coast. Although my travels will take me to the Kent coast not the Cornish one but alas it’s given me a spark. Nothing beats that glisten on the water and the feel of sand between your toes.

Anyway that’s enough of my daydreams this beauty pinged through on Wednesday evening at midnight and if I hadn’t been so hot and bothered and still reeling from the last book I had finished I could have easily read at the stroke of midnight. Seeing as the next instalment is the conclusion I may just do that.

Part three – has to have been the most intense of instalments, it’s the real meaty part of the story with lots of OMG moments constantly keeping you guessing. Now in these sort of stories there’s almost always a man behind a woman’s thoughts. In this case in part there is two guys – it’s not quite a triangle but it could have been. So I don’t want to say too much as part three has shaped my opinions on Ollie and Daniel. Although I have to mention Daniel because if you can read this and not feel anything for the hotel owner then hats off to you. I however found myself a little breathless – Cressida describes the perfect kiss on a beach location.

In reading a number of these novella style books part three is always the cliffhanger leaving so many unanswered questions. Charlie has come so far that I hope she gets the ending she deserves and I’d like to hope that it includes Daniel and staying put in Porthgolow. But we shall see.

Once again I’ve had to stop reading this treat as it’s made me extremely hungry at times. I’m going to miss the Cornish coast and watch this space I may have to dive in at midnight on 25th July.

If you fancy a trip to the coast with a slice of afternoon tea look no further. I will miss these guys when this story concludes.

2019, novella, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part Two – The Eclair Affair By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Charlie unveils her signature bake….

Charlie and Marmite finally arrive in the picture-postcard Cornish village of Porthgolow in their vintage Route-master bus. Not everything is as it seems and Charlie’s friend, Juliette, tells her about the owner of the big hotel on the hill who has managed to upset the locals. That doesn’t stop Charlie and Marmite making new friends and the bus finds a new lease of life as the perfect mobile cafe for afternoon tea. But what will Charlie make of enigmatic Daniel Harper when they meet, and more to the point, what will he think about Charlie and her bus parked outside of his lovely hotel?

Review: After loving part one I was itching for part two. Although you have been warned do not read this instalment on an empty stomach, otherwise you will want all the sweet treats you can find.

In diving into part two I had read four chapters really quickly, and I was immersed in every page. I really like Charlie – she’s a likeable character and I’ve loved seeing her change the opinions of some of the more frosty residents of Porthgolow.

Where part one was the groundwork and the foundations of Charlie’s story part two is where you’re caught up in Charlie’s world. In part one we’re left completely unsure of Daniel Harper and his motives all round but in part two there is a much softer side to him and he’s really stirred up a number of emotions for Charlie. Having been betrayed by former love Stuart – she’s been carrying that sadness and as much as she’s been lonely at times she’s threw herself into making a success of Hal’s Gertie. In a short time she’d had so much heartbreak it’s only natural to feel wounded and to want to shut herself off emotionally. Throwing herself into her work seemed to be the answer until she was told to take a break in heading to Cornwall she was meant to be resting but Charlie had to see if she could make a go of the bus. The transformation has been amazing and even her most frosty residents seem to realise she’s not just a flash in the pan – she’s really made a stir in Porthgolow for the better.

I don’t want to give too much away but the situation with Daniel Harper gets extremely intense and a little bit under the collar if you get my drift. Although in saying that I now need to mention the loveable Ollie. There is something about Ollie he’s extremely caring and thoughtful but Charlie cannot deny he doesn’t make her heart flutter and after all she’s been through she deserves the works in the relationship stakes. I love how uncle Hal’s sayings and wisdom seem to come to Charlie at exactly the right time.

I’ve really loved the first two segments of The Cornish Cream Tea Bus and I cannot wait for my next instalment next week.

2019, july, Reading and blogging intentions, TBR, Uncategorized

July TBR

I haven’t done a TBR in forever as I’m usually pretty rubbish with them but this month I’m feeling optimistic now I have a sort of momentum back here at Hayley Reviews. So I’m going to give it a go – hopefully either way there are more books read or listened to in July and that can only be a good thing.

Having finished part one and two I aim to also read three and four of The Cornish Cream Tea Bus series.

I’m hoping to have some proper time for this beauty today so watch this space. Ever since loving the sampler I’ve been eager for this.

Ever since hearing Claire read from this at the Spring Blogger event – I’ve been intrigued by this debut.

Today I have started listening to this beauty alongside sorting stuff in my room. It just seemed apt to listen to this as I have books two and three, and I could tackle some tasks and get some reading in of one of my favourites.

I got this signed at the Waterstones event and I cannot wait to read a Lucy Vine novel I know I will be ready to read Hot Mess straight after.

I’m a huge fan of Zoe May’s so have pre-ordered this so it should ping through to my Kindle this week.

As I’m in Dublin this weekend I’m not sure how much reading I’ll get done and on what format. Although I can safely say my signed hardback won’t be making the journey so I do aim to get some reading of Those People in later today.

What are you wanting to read in July and have I missed anything?

I’m also hoping to add a few more shorts in to break up my reading. So if there’s any I should know about hit me with them.

2019, Author Love, ebook, New Author to me, novella, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part One – Don’t Go Baking My Heart By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Baking fanatic, Charlie Quilter, is surprised when her late uncle bequeaths his vintage bus to her in his will. Charlie thinks it will be the perfect mobile café for afternoon tea, and when her friend, Juliette, suggests Charlie comes to stay with her in the picturesque Cornish village of Porthgolow, she’s thrilled at the chance of a new start.
Charlie and her cute dog, Marmite, make new friends wherever their bus stops – except for the attractive but reclusive owner of the posh spa up on the hill, Daniel Harper, who isn’t very pleased that her bus is parked outside his lovely hotel.
Has Charlie’s Cornish dream developed a soggy bottom? Or can she convince Daniel that her bus could be the start of something wonderful for the little village – and for them?

Review: So I’m going to just say it. I have a few of Cressida’s novels on my Kindle but part one of the Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Don’t Go Baking My Heart is the first I have read, which makes me feel bad but wow what a treat and what a starting point.

I’ve on/off been reading but yesterday I managed to finish part one and I thought it was best to pen my thoughts before diving into part two. These shorts are aiding my reading alongside my hardback – which annoyingly isn’t on Audible yet as I found out yesterday to my dismay.

From the start I really warmed to Charlie and her story. Her connection to her late uncle really made me think of my grandparents – our stories weren’t nowhere near the same but I shared a love or reading with my grandad and a love of film with my Nan. My do I miss them and books like this are heartwarming and nostalgic.

I loved how she wanted to keep her uncles Gertie alive but did so in a way that was part of her. Old and new – keeping her uncles pride and joy and introducing her passion to reinvent the bus and for her to be able to make it work. I loved seeing how taken she was with the task and seeing if she could make it happen. The first event was an eye opener but I loved her can-do spirit when she stepped back from the situation – I honestly believe this is something we should all do from time to time – and this is definitely a lesson I should be listening to and taking note.

I haven’t been to Cornwall in a long time and I have never visited Porthgolow but wow I loved the way Cressida described the town and I think there are probably many seaside towns that need that revitalisation. I regularly visit Dymchurch in Kent with the family and that’s looked tired at times it’s always nice to see new businesses pop up and renovations to happen when we return most years. I also adore Salou in Spain I haven’t been for a few years and sadly it doesn’t look like I will get there this year. At times that’s also needed a boost and a refresh – although for me they are always places I feel at home and calm so I will always visit but there needs to be change to see tourism boom.

I don’t have enough me time but Charlie sure is something else. When she relented and took her best friends advice I was chuffed for her. Charlie getting to Cornwall sure was a journey and some feat. The characters she encounters in Porthgolow are something else although I can’t work out Daniel and I’m pretty sure most people will say the same thing – as I believe that is part of Cressida’s thought process too.

There have been some bumps along the way in inheriting Gertie but wow what a journey in part one. One event that was eventful and then the trip to Porthgolow where Gertie undertakes a major transformation I love all the little things that have been put into the bus really giving it a touristy and nostalgic feeling. It’s like she’s thought of absolutely every trick in the book even down to mementos.

Part one ended with Charlie feeling extremely positive and upbeat for her Summer and for her future with Gertie a major part of it. I finished this part giddy to know more as it was left making me wonder but I knew I had to get my thoughts in order before I continued on this seaside journey.

One thing I will say is in devouring part one I want all the cake and I could murder a hot scone and a good coffee. In reading this you will get hungry, you have been warned.