Travels, Writing Tips, Promo.

Welcome to new subscribers. Thanks for signing up; it’s so good to have you with us. I haven’t written here for a little while, so this is a catch-up post. Here in lovely Lancashire in the North West of England, autumn is quite stunning. On the edge of the picturesque Trough of Bowland and only a short drive to the Lake District, the autumnal countryside is beautiful at this time of year, especially when the sun is shining.

Lancashire Trough of Bowland

More recently, there has been heavy rain, and threats of flooding in the area and the little town where I live was hit by the deluge.

I’ve been hitting the keyboard hard these last few months and will soon have exciting news of my next book. I am in love with all the new characters and can’t wait for you to meet them. As much as I love writing, it is a job and takes discipline to sit down and slowly but surely work through the process of putting a manuscript together. The new novel has been different for me because I was given a theme and asked to write a story around it. With this in mind, here are a couple of tips that I’ve employed during the process.

Write for yourself, rewrite for others.

So often, writers are told to write for themselves, get the story down, feel the story and let the words flow onto the page. One of the most essential points in the process is listening to an editor and acknowledging their constructive points. So you have your first draft. You think it is brilliant, then your revisions come back with a hell of a lot of suggestions. Don’t cringe away with hurt feelings; take on board the advice from the capable and experienced editing brain that you entrusted your book baby to. They know the market and the reader you are writing for. Learn, write and learn some more.

Make your readers feel something.

If you don’t care about your characters, your readers will feel precisely the same way and soon turn to another book. You have to step into the shoes of the individuals you write about and walk through their lives with them, feeling their highs and lows and understanding what makes them tick. Sometimes I find myself crying when one of my characters is having a tough time, and that’s an emotion I embrace because readers may feel the same too.

Like many, the travel bug has been itching, and last month I was able to scratch it when we caught a last-minute flight and headed to the tiny island of Paxos in the Ionian Sea. Paxos is one of a cluster of islands that dates back to prehistoric times, and the Romans ruled the island from the 2nd century BC. By the end of the 14th century, the Venetians had taken over, and there is still evidence of incredible Venetian architecture throughout the Ionian islands.

With no airport, access to the island is by boat only, and on the day we travelled, the sea was choppy and not for the faint-hearted. October was stormy with heavy wind and rain at times, but it was genuinely glorious when the sun came out. Our home for the duration was a villa set in an olive grove. The house had been the former home of the British Governor of the island during the 19th century when Paxos was a British Protectorate. A perfect place to relax and take stock of the previous year, even when there was no electricity due to the weather and the candles came out.

I love audiobooks, and this month, in my free time, I have been listening to several novels by Diane Chamberlain. My favourite was Big Lies in a Small Town, which slips between 2018 and 1940 and is a great read.

I adored Eva Glynn’s The Olive Grove. It is beautifully written and based in Croatia and made me want to jump on a plane and head off to discover the places so skillfully described. Don’t miss it – it’s a great read.

My book club recommended Mike Gayle’s, All the Lonely People, and given the difficulties of isolating during the pandemic, this book really hit the spot. Another gorgeous read.

If you fancy a fun, cosy mystery to snuggle down with on the dark nights, my novel Hattie Goes to Hollywoodis on promo for you at only 99p/99c. Hattie is one of my favourite characters. Larger than life and full of fun, she gets into a great deal of trouble but somehow digs her way out with a smile on her face and plenty of laughs along the way. I hope you enjoy the story. It’s also available on audio and read by the lovely Gill Mills, also a fan of Hattie.

Christmas is around the corner, and I will write again before then. Do get in touch. I love to hear from you and don’t be shy. I love to chat about all things books and travels and whatever else is on your mind. You can find me on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and I am always delighted to follow back.

Happy reading,

With love,

Caroline xx

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

Moving on…

I haven’t written my blog for some time and apologise to anyone who has missed a monthly update on my books and writing, or new recipe or two. The last twelve months have been the most difficult time of my life, with my beloved sister, Cathy, having been diagnosed with terminal cancer, to her death on 6th May. 

Too soon and so badly missed, she was not just my sister and best friend but also my writing inspiration. As a late starter, from the very first word I ever wrote, she was with me. Encouraging me to glue my behind to a chair and get my fingers tapping out ideas on a keyboard. We plotted each novel together, shared the first draft, the highs and lows of publishing and drank champagne on news of a book’s success. She was my critique and my greatest fan, the one who urged me to write on and take my work seriously. As I sit here, I wonder how on earth I shall pick up the pieces and write again.

But I will. Because that is what Cathy would want me to do.

So, as I begin a new chapter in my life without my darling sister, the page turns and a new book is born. I am up and running again and the words are flowing and I am sure that my beautiful girl is waving her magic writing wand and willing me on.

To all of you who have lost someone close in these difficult and trying times, I send you my sincere love and raise a glass to their memory. 

Cathy – my sister and best friend

Books & offers

FREE

All of my books are free to read on Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime and you can find them by using the link below:

Caroline James Author

You will also find three feel-good books for summer reading on a limited time offer for only 99p/99c on Amazon, and can find them here:

Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me

Coffee Tea the Caribbean and Me

Coffee Tea the Chef and Me

And don’t forget that The Best Boomerville Hotel if a funny, feel-good read and the follow up, Boomerville at Ballymegille continues to get great reviews too. If you fancy more of a mystery to kick back and relax with, why not download Hattie Goes To Hollywood.

RECIPE

Summer fruits are absolutely sublime at the moment so why not cool off with a delicious ice-cream which is so easy to make and light on calories too.

Caroline’s Easy Summer Ice-cream

Ingredients: 2 bananas frozen, 400g frozen raspberries, 500g Greek 0% Yogurt, Sweetener to taste

Method: Whiz all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Freeze.

TIP: If you have bananas that are going black, don’t throw them away. Simply freeze and use in this recipe (or a banana bread recipe). Bananas that have been frozen taste sweeter which means you won’t need to add as much sweetener. You can use any frozen fruit such as strawberries, raspberries or blueberries. Best of all, this ice-cream is ready to eat as soon as you’ve made it! 

For the kids: use lollipop trays and freeze

I hope that the sun is shining wherever you are in the world and that life is treating you well. May you stay safe in the pandemic affected areas. Have a great summer.

With love and happy reading

Caroline xx

Celebrating ‘Shh…It’s Our Secret’ by Lizzie Chantree

Out today!

I am delighted to host the lovely best-selling author Lizzie Chantree to my blog today, as she celebrates the publication of her fabulous new novel ‘Shh…It’s Our Secret’

Shh… It’s Our Secret, by Lizzie Chantree

Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today Caroline. I’m so excited to be sharing news of my latest book with your readers. 

Shh… It’s Our Secret, is about a young woman called Violet, who is learning to accept who she is and trust herself throughout the book. She has low self-esteem, which isn’t helped by a domineering boyfriend, but throughout the story she finds her voice and decides to take a chance and share a secret she’s hidden for too long. The secret could change the lives of the café regulars where she works, and transform the town she lives in. 

The story follows her journey of self-discovery and she has to pluck up the courage to leave a man who doesn’t appreciate her, rebuild her confidence and be true to herself. Can someone who shies from the limelight, step out of the shadows and show the world how incredible she really is?

Book Blurb:

Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.

Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.

When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidently discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered?

Get your copy here: Shh…It’s Our Secret

About Lizzie…

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex.

Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com

or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree

Author page: https://www.viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizzieChantree/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

FB Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

Boomerville and Boom Radio UK

Hello Everyone

I hope that you are all getting through the current restrictions and keeping safe and well. The days seem a little sunnier here with spring flowers beginning to peep through in the garden.

Snowdrops in the garden

RADIO

A new radio station launched last week in the UK called Boom Radio UK a really fun station aimed at ‘Boomers’ – a slightly more mature audience. With great music and interviews, I am thrilled to be invited to chat with host David Lloyd on Tuesday 23rd February. Tune in at around 11am to 11.40am to listen to our conversation on penning novels, my ‘Boomerville’ retreats and writing feel-good fiction. The link is here: Boom Radio UK

Boom Radio UK

GIVEAWAY

The winner of our giveaway this month is Linda Herold. Many congratulations to Linda who will receive a signed copy of The Best Boomerville Hotel plus a lovely box of chocolates.

Keep a look out for our March giveaway, when a very special little soft toy duck will be looking for a new home. ‘Drake’ from Hattie Goes to Hollywood will be up for grabs with a signed copy of the book.

Coming soon – win a gorgeous ‘Drake’

PROMO

This week’s promo is Boomerville at Ballymegille currently on Amazon on a promo at only 99p/c – this offer ends this week. If you fancy a feel-good read during the days of Lockdown book into Hotel Boomerville and join in with the fun and shenanigans at the new retreat in Southern Ireland.

Download your copy: Boomerville at Ballymegille

Wishing you all a wonderful week,

With love

Caroline xx

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

Happy Valentine Weekend Everyone

Spring is on the way; evenings are getting lighter and there are warmer days to look forward to. In the UK we are still in a very strict Lockdown and for many this is tough, with a knock-on effect that complicates so many aspects of our lives. But the Covid19 vaccine is rolling out and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I wish all of you a safe and healthy journey through these difficult days and have included some treats below.

Thank you

Firstly, welcome to all the lovely new subscribers this month. It is great to have you onboard and I hope you enjoy these newsletters. 

Congratulations

A very big congratulations to new subscriber Tina Downs who has won a signed copy of Boomerville at Ballymegille and it is winging its way to you now. I hope that you enjoy reading all about Hattie and the gang at the new Boomerville in Ireland and sharing some of their shenanigans!

Grab a romantic read

My debut novel Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me is FREE to download all weekend on Amazon.

This is the first in a series and shot to #3 in Women’s Fiction when first published. Set in lovely Cumbria it was E-book of the week in The Sun Newspaper and their review included: “A strong plot with likable characters make it a great feel-good 5 star read.”

To grab your free copy use the link below:

Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me

Marmalade

I’ve been making marmalade this weekend while Seville oranges are in season and am trying a new recipe that will use truffles. The marmalade is to be eaten with savoury dishes so I am intrigued to see the results.  Seville oranges make the most wonderful marmalade and although it takes time to prepare them, the results are worth it.

Competition

This month the competition give-a-way is a signed copy of The Best Boomerville Hotel plus a box of delicious chocolates to dip into as you read. Simply head over to my Facebook Page to enter, saying why you would like to win the book or email me here: caroline@carolinejamesauthor.co.uk  This is open internationally, so please do enter. Good luck!

Win The Best Boomerville Hotel & Chocolates

Chocolate Cake

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate – why not bake a gorgeous chocolate cake and indulge. Here’s my recipe for a rich and delicious cake. The recipe uses a lot of eggs but gives a lovely light sponge that keeps well.

Caroline’s Best Ever Chocolate Cake

FREE

Don’t forget that if you are in Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime, you can read my books for FREE. The link is below.

Wishing you a wonderful February

Happy reading

With love

Caroline xx

Motivation Monday with Caroline James

This post appeared on fellow author, bestseller Angela Petch’s blog. I am chatting about writing and motivation. I hope you enjoy it and many thanks to Angela for hosting me xx

Angela Petch's Blog

I don’t know about you, but I feel I’ve trudged through January. Lockdown seems never ending. I’ve enjoyed some fantastic walks, albeit very muddy, but I have to admit to feeling a little muddy in my brain, dragging the words out to write a new book.

But, it’s never too late to kickstart, so I’m inviting fellow authors to chat about how they go about writing their new books. I hope we can pick up a few ideas along the way.

This week, I’m welcoming fellow RNA author, Caroline James.

Angela, thank you for inviting me to chat about writing. I am thrilled to join you and your readers.

You’re very welcome. I hope we get to meet each other soon in real life at the next RNA Conference. Tell me,how do you begin your books?

When beginning a new book, I buy a big A4 notebook, with tabs…

View original post 732 more words

Happy New Year 2021

As we say good bye to 2020 I wish you all a very happy New Year and hope and pray that 2021 will bring an end to the current pandemic and that whatever our ‘new normal’ is, will bring health and happiness to you all in the year ahead.

Giveaway

As a thank you to my wonderful readers there’s a chance to win…

Fancy an online treat from Amazon? I’m giving away a £25.00 Amazon voucher this month and you can stock up with books or whatever takes your fancy. To be in with a chance to win simply head over to my Facebook page and tell me why you’d like to win the voucher, OR you can email me here: caroline@carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

To enter click here: Win an Amazon Voucher

Good luck!

Reading

For my friends in America Boomerville at Ballymegille is currently only 99c (ends 4th January) so if you fancy a feel-good relaxing read in the days ahead download a copy here:

Boomerville at Ballymegille

Also on Promo:

If you would like to read the Coffee Tea series, the books are also on promo for the next few days:

Click here to download: Coffee Tea Series 

Recipe

One of my favourite cake recipes is A Taste of the Caribbean Cake

This delicious cake is full of lemon, coconut and ginger and melts in your mouth. Easy to make too.

If you fancy a taste of tropical sunshine download the recipe here:

A Taste of the Caribbean Cake

Wishing each and every one of you a very safe passage through these difficult days and all good wishes for a happy and healthy 2021.

With love

Caroline

xx

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

November News and Promo Books

Another week in lockdown here in England.

VIRTUAL HUGS

I live in an area that has been in ‘Tier Three’ for some time, with the highest rates of Covid19 and it feels as though we have been isolating for a long time now, in addition to the current nationwide Lockdown. I am fortunate that I work and write from home but I so miss the contact with others face to face, to meet up for a coffee, a chat and a hug. For those of you, like me, unable to see relatives, especially anyone who is ill or going through a difficult time, I’m sending out a big virtual hug to you all.

BOOK PROMO

We’re giving you an early Christmas offer, my ‘Coffee Tea’ series is currently reduced to only 99p/99c per book. These books have received very generous, wonderful reviews by kind readers and are described as feel-good fiction with lots of twists. So treat yourself – grab a coffee and something delicious to munch and snuggle down for a duvet day of reading.

Download Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me (and ‘Chef’ and ‘Caribbean’)

ONLINE COURSES

Have you been trying any online courses during this difficult time? I am a WI member and discovered that the very clever ladies who organise speakers have put scores of classes and talks online. I had three blissful hours listening to the life story of artist Freda Khalo as we learned how to paint a watercolour in her style. I’m not very good, but I really enjoyed giving it a go.

CHRISTMAS BAKING

Christmas is approaching, have you started to prepare? I haven’t done a thing. Its difficult to plan as family members who have to isolate through illness will not be joining, even if we are out of Lockdown over Christmas. But I will make a Christmas cake this weekend and if it turns out well, will post the recipe in the next newsletter. I’ll make a pudding too.

Have you got a favourite Christmas cake recipe? Do share it, send me an email: caroline@carolinejamesauthor.co.uk – I love to try your recipes and will credit and add to my website if they turn out well.

BOOMERVILLE AT BALLYMEGILLE AUDIO BOOK

The audio version of my latest book Boomerville at Ballymegille is now in production and it has been great fun working with narrator Gill Mills again. She is a wonderful actress/narrator and seems to completely ‘get’ my characters. It is fascinating to hear ‘Hattie’ being bought to life again and all the old friends from Boomerville. As the author, I almost feel as though I am listening to someone else’s book!

I hope that the sun is shining in whatever part of the world you are reading this.

Please stay safe, keep well and look after each other.

Happy reading,

With love

Caroline xx

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

Book into Boomerville this Weekend

Happy Saturday! 

I hope your autumn day is sunny and despite Lockdown restrictions, that you are enjoying a happy and relaxing weekend.

BOOMERVILLE AT BALLYMEGILLE

Just a short post here to say that my new novel Boomerville at Ballymegille is only 99p/$1.20 this weekend. So, if you want to download a copy to your e-reader, grab the bargain while you can. The story has received some fabulous reviews, I am so grateful to readers for sharing, and seems to be a feel-good book all round – just what we need right now.

All my novels are FREE to read on KindleUnlimited too.

CAROLINE JAMES BOOKS

My November newsletter will be with you soon and there is a lovely competition coming up just in time for Christmas.

Take care and stay safe during this difficult journey.

With love

Caroline xx 

BOOMERVILLE AT BALLYMEGILLE

Books, Chocolates and a Recipe

Happy weekend everyone!

I hope that you are all staying well and taking good care of yourselves during this horrible pandemic. I live in a ‘high risk’ area and with the many limitations we are being extra careful.

As a comfort during these difficult days, I find that I am reading and baking more than usual and if you are too, I have added a couple of bargain book deals below, plus a lovely recipe for you to enjoy this weekend and don’t miss my special choccie/book giveaway too, detailed below.

THANK YOU

My post today is to thank all the wonderful bloggers and reviewers who have taken part in the online book tour for my new novel Boomerville at Ballymegille. The reviews have been fabulous and I am so thrilled that both readers and bloggers are enjoying the story. If you want to book into Boomerville this weekend, you can download the book here:

Boomerville at Ballymegille

I hope that you have a wonderful time with Hattie, Jo and all the Boomerville gang.

FREE BOOK

Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me

To say a big thank you, my novel Coffee Tea the Gypsy and Me is FREE to download on Amazon this weekend and you can discover where it all began and the story that inspired my best-seller, The Best Boomerville Hotel and the sequel Boomerville at Ballymegille.

Free Download here:  Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me

Download here: The Best Boomerville Hotel

PROMO

HATTIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

To complete the bargains this weekend, Hattie Goes to Hollywood, which follows Boomerville at Ballymegille, is only 99p ($1.20) – so load up your e-reader, put your feet up and have a lovely relaxing weekend!

Download here: Hattie Goes To Hollywood

WIN

Would you like to jet off to the Caribbean for a few hours? I am offering a signed copy of my best-selling novel Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me plus a lovely box of personalised chocolates for one lucky reader to kick back and enjoy. Simply head over to my Facebook page and comment why you’d like to win. If you’re not on Facebook please email your answer to: caroline@carolinejamesauthor.co.uk  Good luck!

To enter click here:  Win a book and a box of chocolates

Download: Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me

RECIPE

RASPBERRY & COCONUT SLICE

Caroline’s Coconut Slice

And if you fancy something to nibble whilst you’re reading, try my Raspberry & Coconut Slice – an easy recipe that is so delicious. Make plenty because it won’t last long! It is my hubby’s favourite tea-time treat.

For the recipe, click here: Caroline’s Raspberry & Coconut Treat

Have a wonderful week ahead, take care, look after yourself and your loved ones and stay safe.

With love

Caroline xx

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES