Blog Tour Q & A and Review of The Once In A Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin

Synopsis

Robin Brennan has come home to Campion Bay. Now her parents have retired, she’s set to become the new landlady of The Campion Bay Guesthouse.
 
Bookings have been as thin as the hand towels, and it doesn’t take long for Robin to realise that the place needs a serious makeover. Perhaps throwing herself into the task will help to heal her sadness at the tragic end to her dreams in London.
 
As she gives the guesthouse a new lease of life, Robin encounters old friends and new, including old flame Tim, who’d clearly like to reboot their romance. But what about Will, the new arrival at No. 4, who’s rocked up with the cutest dog ever?
 
Caught up in a flurry of full-English breakfasts and cream teas, Robin’s never sure what, or who, the next check-in will bring…

Q & A with Cressida

1. Could you give us your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
 
• Believe in yourself, love your writing and don’t let anyone put you off. Constructive criticism is one thing, and is very useful, but don’t listen to other people’s negativity. If you want to do it, then go for it.
• Write first, edit later. Get the words written first and worry about improving them later – you can’t edit a blank page.
• Write a story that you’re passionate about. Don’t think too much about trends in the publishing world, because by the time your book is ready to be published everything will have moved on anyway. You have to love your story first, and then other people will be more likely to fall in love with it.
 
2. Have you ever been stuck while writing one of your books? How did you get over it?
 
I definitely get stuck days, and I find the best thing to do is step away from the words and engage my brain in something else – cooking or hoovering or going for a long walk. Usually, whatever writing knots I’m trying to untangle will work themselves out while I’m not thinking about them, and by the time I sit back down at my desk I’m able to get going again.
 
3. Are you currently reading anything you would like to recommend?
 
As well as romantic fiction, I’m a huge sucker for a good crime novel, and especially a series where the recurring characters – police, forensic experts etc. – are as compelling as the crimes they’re investigating. I’ve recently finished Perfect Remains by Helen Fields, which is a crime thriller set in Edinburgh. It’s gruesome but very gripping, and has two wonderful detectives at its core that I already care deeply about. I’m waiting eagerly for the second book, which is out at the end of July, and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes their crime stories dark, sexy and unputdownable.
 
4. What’s next for you?
 
At the moment I’m writing a two-part Christmas novella – which is proving a bit of a challenge when it’s this hot and sunny outside. It’s going to be called The Canal Boat Café Christmas, and is the next part of Summer and Mason’s story. I hope readers are looking forward to finding out what happens next!
 
Then I’m on to my fourth novel, which is all planned out and which I’m really, really excited about writing. It’s going to have lots of romance and drama in it, a very picturesque setting and also quite a bit of wildlife . . . watch this space!
 
Thank you Cressida! 

Review

I’ve not read any of Cressida’s novel’s before now, but know I have needed to read them for a while now. When I saw this one, I just knew it was the one I was going have to start with, since it’s set by the sea, a favourite place of mine. Even better is that it’s set about 30 miles away from me, which made it all the more special, as me and my parents used to visit that area a lot when I was a child.
 
It was easy to know I was going to enjoy the book, when not even all the way through the first chapter I realised I loved the setting, loved Robin and trusted that the story was going to be as amazing as the first few pages promised. The writing is the perfect blend of descriptive scenery, inner monologue and conversations between the characters who are all wonderful. The guesthouse is cosy at first, but maybe a bit dated. However when Robin gets her hands on it it remains cosy, but has a chic stylish feel to the room as well, making her stand out from the Bed and Breakfasts that are close by. Rarely have I wanted to jump into a book more than when Robin was planning ideas for the rooms, I was almost writing down notes as to what she could do myself, the world was that absorbing, proven again when I was jealous of some walnut bedside tables Robin bought for a room, when I’ve been looking for a pair I like for 10 years. YES, I envied a fictional character’s furniture, I’m beyond help now.
 
Robin is hurting, that much is clear, but her resolve to stay strong and put everything she has into all that she does. Her creativity was fantastic and the care she put into everything was a move and beyond.. She clearly deserves to succeed.
 
I almost loved Will from the moment he appeared. His tale of how he adopted his dog, Darcy was enough to melt my heart (despite being a cat person). There were some reservations initially, he was quite stand offish when it was suggested that he may have made up facts on his stately home tours, even though it was clearly said in jest as gentle teasing, which was at odds to how he was every other time he spent time with Robin. Well, we can forgive minor flaws in this case, he was clearly perfect in every other department.
 
All the neighbours seemed really friendly adding a great community feel to the whole book, they were clearly great friends to help, and it did fit into the cosy nostalgia I feel whenever I think about staying by the seaside and all the people I have met while there. They are clearly happy to go out of their way to help people. I loved Paige, for her age she was really mature (well., most of the time). She was great working for Robin, and it was good to have a side story that focused on a different age range to the lead character.
 
This book is just perfect of the summer, it completely makes me nostalgic. It is funny, especially when Molly and Robin get together, or when Maggie is involved. Also it has plenty of moments filled with emotion. A great blend of all the things that is essential for a summer read.
 
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Published by: HarperCollins
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 

View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

 
Thank you to Cressida and HarperCollins for letting me participate in this fantastic blog
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