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Would you like a Bertie Bear?

Its the first day of August and the summer is flying by. In my neck of the woods we seem to have had an awful lot of rain in-between hot and humid weather. I hope that you are all enjoying the varied days and life is good.

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This post is short and sweet and just to tell you that my lovely author friends over at Apricot Plots have lots of summer giveaways if you hop over to their Facebook page (or Twitter: @ApricotPlots)

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This week it is my turn and I am offering a beautiful Boomerville Bertie Bear*, complete with his very own canvas travelling bag and a signed copy of my novel The Best Boomerville Hotel.

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To enter, simply go to this link: APRICOT PLOTS  and leave your comment.

Good luck and as always – happy reading!

With love 

Caroline 

xx

*Competition closes on 4th August and is open internationally

Books by Caroline James

 

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February Newsletter, winter walks with the Westie and more.

February started with snow and ice in my neck of the woods and I’ve enjoyed some lovely wintery walks with Freddie the Westie, my new best friend.

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As the weather got colder I’ve thinking about warmer climes and was pleased to see that readers were too, as my novel, Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me went up the charts to being a #1 best-seller on Amazon again. Huge thanks to everyone who is buying this book and enjoying a slice of sunshine escapism on those cold wintery days.

TRAVELLING

I’m off to the USA this month and can’t wait for my visit. I’ll be wrapping up warm and taking lots of photos and will share my trip with you in the next newsletter.

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DAYS OUT

I had a lovely day out at The Barn at Scorton – an interesting venue if you are in the North West. I was there to interview the owners of this business, located in a pretty picturesque village. I write food related articles for a Lancashire magazine and this place is a real find. Wonderful food, served all day and an eclectic mix of gifts alongside a garden centre with some unusual plants. I can recommend a visit, if you are in the area.

 

Another find on my foodie haunts was on a recent trip to my favourite county of Cumbria in the Lake District. Many of you know that I love to have a tipple of gin occasionally and enjoy sampling flavoured gins.  Gin seems to have exploded onto the beverage scene in the last year or so and I am told that there are now more alcohol distilleries in England than in Scotland. Imagine my delight when I came across a shop that sells over 500 different gins! Chestnut House in Pooley Bridge, Cumbria is brilliant little shop with knowledgeable staff (thank you Darren!) who encourage you to sample their delicious drinks.

 

Warm and fuzzy from several tasters, and with a bottle to take home safely tucked up in the boot of the car, I enjoyed a glorious walk around Lake Ullswater, one of my favourite lakes. Cold, windy and so atmospheric, with snow on the mountains and that divine light that peeks through the clouds on a wintery day and sparkles off the water. As William Wordsworth said about Cumbria, “The loveliest spot that man hath found.”

 

VALENTINE’S DAY

Be sure to follow APRICOT PLOTS this month. This author group, that I a member of,  is running an event for readers in the build up to Valentine’s Day and there will be some great give-aways and interaction. I am hosting on 7th February and want to know all about your worst date ever. There’s a box of chocolates for the one that amuses me the most.

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COMPETITION DRUM ROLL…

The winner of last month’s competition is Linda Gawthrop who correctly named the chef in my novel Jungle Rock .

Many congratulations Linda – a Bertie Bear is heading your way.

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Linda Gawthrop wins a Bertie Bear!

FEBRUARY COMPETITION

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Win a signed copy plus chocolates!

This month’s competition is for a signed copy of my latest book plus chocolates to enjoy while you are reading. Simply name the county in England where my novel The Best Boomerville Hotel is set. Can you name the county? (Hint – my favourite county). Please email your answer to me: caroline@carolinejamesauthor.co.uk The winner will be announced in my March newsletter.

NOSTALGIA

I took a step back in time a few days ago, when I visited the Westminster Tearooms in Southport. This delightful venue is a 1930s time warp and an absolute delight.

 

I was lost in time for a couple of hours as I listened to gentle background music, reflective of the era and ate a delicious afternoon tea.

The ladies on the next table were celebrating a birthday with glasses of Babycham.

$_35Were Babycham glasses really so small? Babycham was launched in the United Kingdom in 1953 and in later years when I was growing up, I remember it being a celebratory drink with the ladies in my family.

As the clock on the mantlepiece chimed the quarter hour in the Westminster Tearooms, I felt that I’d stepped into a bygone period. It was delightful.

I do love afternoon tea, especially one as special as this with cucumber sandwiches and scones. What’s your favourite afternoon tea?

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

If you’ve got a good book to recommend do get in touch and I’ll share your thoughts here. I’m reading Magnolia House by Angela Barton at the moment. It’s her new novel and I’m loving it.

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New novel by Angela Barton

 

Have a brilliant February, lovely readers and followers.

Stay warm wherever you are and keep well and happy.

With love

Caroline xx

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

Books by Caroline James

 

 

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Strictly Come Dancing with Caroline James

 

To celebrate the hugely popular TV Show in the UK, Strictly Come Dancing, this autumn on the BBC, Caroline James joins with Apricot Plots authors, to share a ‘dance’ extract from her new novel, The Best Boomerville Hotel. Here we find Bob, having spent too long in the tepee with the mystical Shaman, dancing his socks off in the garden. Much to the dismay of the hotel manager, Hattie…

Hattie found Bob dancing around the meadow. Jo was going to have a fit and Hattie couldn’t let Bob go back to the hotel in this condition. Damn the Shaman and his herbs. She must do something.

  ‘Oi!’ Hattie called out. ‘Fred Astaire! Get your dancing feet over here.’

  ‘I’m singing in the rain.’ Bob sang as he twirled over to Hattie.

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  ‘And I’ll be singing in the sin bin if you don’t get your act together.’ Hattie shoved one arm under Bob’s shoulder and tried to head him off and away from the caravan. But Bob was not to be stopped and, pushing Hattie to one side, broke into a repertoire of song and dance from all his favourite shows. Kicking his legs in the air and striding across the meadow, he belted out a medley.

  ‘And all that jazz!’ Bob sang.

 fullsizeoutput_12a3 ‘You’re in bleedin’ Marland not Chicago.’ Hattie tried to grab Bob but he twirled away.

  ‘Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.’ Bob held up a finger and Hattie looked around. He clearly thought that he had an audience. ‘Bright copper kettles and warm coloured mittens …’

  ‘Look, Bob.’ Hattie grabbed his arms. ‘There are no brown paper packages tied up with string and these may all be a collection of your favourite things,’ she waved her arms vaguely, ‘but it’s time to get you safely back to your room.’

  Bob shrugged Hattie away and ran to the gate.

  Bursting through, he hooked his thumbs around a pair of imaginary braces and line-5cbe8b0f454d1e7ebf47d3c800d0e5c7danced down the garden. ‘Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day.’ Bob arrived at the top of the steps and his chorus reached a climax. ‘I gotta beautiful feelin’ …’

  A group of guests enjoying a game of croquet on the lawn, looked up as Bob achieved full throttle. They held mallets and one struck a ball in the direction of the hoop nearest the pond. But the player, distracted by Bob, miss-hit and sent the heavy ball speeding across the path where it hit a stone and bounced up. Hattie heard a whoosh as it sped in Bob’s direction.

  In a split second, she pushed Bob out of the way.

  Bob heard the players call out and as Hattie lunged, he turned and missed his footing and fell headlong into the pond. Hattie skidded to a halt and gravel flew in all directions, pebble-dashing the guests.

  Time seemed to stand still as Bob started to sink into the water.

  ‘Help him!’ Hattie screamed and everyone dashed to the pond to pull Bob out. He lay motionless, with eyes closed, and Hattie fell to her knees. ‘He needs the kiss of life,’ she cried and began to rip his shirt open to begin chest compressions.

  ‘Everythin’s goin’ my way!’ Bob woke up and Hattie fell back.

  He looked around and smiled at the crowd, then jumped up and began to wipe at his wet clothes. ‘Has it been raining?’

  Hattie pulled herself to her feet and stared at Bob. ‘Are you all right?’ she asked. A lump had appeared on Bob’s temple. He must have hit his head when he landed in the pond.

  ‘Where am I, sweetie?’ Bob looked vague.

6964143  Thank God! Hattie took his arm. He had a concussion, which could be put down to the fall and would explain his bizarre behaviour. Hattie knew that Jo would murder her if she thought the Shaman had been overdosing the guests again.

  ‘He’s fine,’ Hattie told the anxious bystanders, ‘just a little incident which can easily be sorted out.’ She grabbed Bob’s arm and led him away. ‘Finish your game and we’ll all go and get ready for dinner. There’s hot toddy in the bar if anyone fancies a drink.’

  The croquet players held up their mallets and formed a salute as Hattie and Bob staggered into the hotel.

  Hattie looked back and sighed. Another bleedin’ day at Boomerville!

Head over to APRICOT PLOTS for more dance extracts from the

Apricot Plots Authors

Download the book here:

Extract from: The Best Boomerville Hotel

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Happy reading with love from

Caroline and Apricot Plots xx