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

Happy Easter, chocolate, reading and Free audible book.

Happy Easter Everyone

To everyone who is self-isolating and in lockdown, I send my love and also prayers for those who are suffering from Covid-19. These are dark days for all across the world and I hope that you are coping and keeping your spirits up.

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Its Easter weekend – a celebratory time for being with family or friends for both religious and social events. We had a very special birthday and anniversary celebrations in our family and by the wonders of modern technology managed to all get together for an online ‘pub quiz’ and a bit of fun to lighten the loss of not being together.

CHOCOLATE

I made Easter chocolate bars this year for the family and sent them by mail. Unfortunately, I got a bit mixed up so many apologies to the singles who received family packs and vice versa. Does anyone else find that their brain is scrambled at the moment?

EXERCISE

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I’ve been out on my bike for bursts of daily exercise. We live in a rural area and I am so grateful that I’m able to do this. The countryside is beautiful at this time of year and weirdly quiet with no planes, trains or vehicles.

GIVEAWAY

 

Many people in lockdown are enjoying a good read. My books are available on Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime if you want to have a FREE read. For those who enjoy AUDIBLE, I am giving away 10 copies of my new book Hattie Goes To Hollywood. You can enter on Facebook by going to the link below:

FREE AUDIBLE BOOK HATTIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

HGTH AUDIBLE

Or please email to be entered into the draw. Just say why you’d like to listen to the book.

caroline@carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

Winners will be announced and contacted by 20th April. Good luck!

BAKING

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With more time at home, I’ve been baking and we enjoyed hot cross buns straight from the oven on Good Friday. It also reminded me of my childhood when Mum would come up the stairs early in the morning with a tray of warm, buttered buns and a pot of tea and my sisters and I would snuggle up in bed eating the sticky delights.

WRITING

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I was ‘author of the day’ this week for an online site and if anyone is interested in my writing journey, have a look at the article here:

“Murder, mischief and shenanigans”

Please look after yourselves in these troubled times lovely friends and readers, as we travel through this difficult journey together.

Sending you my love and good wishes.

#StaySafe

With love

Caroline xx

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

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A big thank you plus Brighton, Brownies and a FREE book.

 

HATTIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

I want to say a very big thank you to everyone who has read my new book, Hattie Goes To Hollywood – the reviews are fabulous and make all the hard work worthwhile.

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Hattie seems to have hit a popular note as a private investigator and I am writing the next book in the stand-alone series, which will be titled Hattie & the Heirloom. Hattie Goes to Hollywood is available at the special publication day price of £1.99 / $2.99 for a short while only and you can download a copy here:

Hattie Goes To Hollywood

It is also available in paperback from all retail outlets and the audiobook is coming soon.

FREE BOOK

As an extra thank you to you all, for the next five days, you can download my book:

Coffee Tea The Chef & Me

Chef cover 2017 Kindle copy

Absolutely FREE!!

For several years I worked as an agent representing many celebrity chefs. These were wonderful times, being amongst talented and entertaining individuals, as I helped them carve out their media careers in the world of hospitality. The book is a fictitious novel that reflects that era of my life and I do hope you enjoy it. There’s an excerpt at the end of this newsletter.

Coffee Tea The Chef & Me

BROWNIES

On the subject of chefs and food, here is my favourite chocolate brownie recipe, this is rich and delicious and very easy to make:

CAROLINE’S BEST EVER CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

best ever brownies

INGREDIENTS:

350g dark chocolate / 250g butter / 100g plain flour / 1 teaspoon baking powder / 3 eggs / 250g dark muscovado sugar

Heat oven to gas 3 or 170c / Grease and line a tin 22cm square (or a small ‘tray bake’ tin)

METHOD

Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk eggs and sugar together until smooth, pale and fluffy. Fold chocolate and butter into mixture (use a metal spoon and ‘fold’ in a figure of 8 motion – this keeps as much air in the mix as possible, don’t ‘beat’ it.) Sieve flour and baking powder into mixture. Fold till blended then pour into the tin

Middle shelf of oven for 35 mins until surface is just set (will look slightly cracked on top). Remove and cool completely in the tin. Slice into squares. Store in a tin or container in the fridge.

BRIGHTON

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Spring is in the air at last, after the wettest of winters. My garden has been awash for months and Fred (our Westie dog) almost needs wellies and a life jacket each time he goes out.

We had a wild weekend in Brighton (literally) during a Force Ten Storm called Storm Dennis. The seafront was deluged with huge waves and lashing wind and rain. Despite this, a visit to the Brighton Pavilion (a palace) was a real joy and a pleasure to wander around such opulent surroundings. Don’t miss it, if you ever find yourself in Brighton with time to spare.

COMPETITION

There’s a competition on my Facebook page for a Boomerville Bertie, the travelling bear from The Best Boomerville Hotel. Why not enter and be in with a chance to win Bertie in his own travelling bag and a signed copy of The Best Boomerville Hotel.

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ENTER HERE TO WIN A BOOMERVILLE BERTIE BEAR

Until next time,

Stay safe and keep well,

With lots of love

Caroline

Caroline and HGTH

xx

 Coffee Tea The Chef & Me – Excerpt

The foyer of Hargreaves Promotions was deserted, and Hilary cursed as she swept past Lottie’s cluttered desk. The girl was nowhere to be seen and the switchboard lights flickered like traffic lights as they remained unanswered. A curious sound emanated from Bob’s office, the drone was low-pitched and sounded painful. Hilary peered through the frosted glass on the panel door then thrust the door open.

“Good grief, Bob, have you been tangoed?” Hilary stared at her assistant in his vivid orange outfit. He was all beads, bangles and Buddha since he’d come back from Tibet and Hilary’s patience was wearing thin. “Where in God’s name did you get that suit?” she asked. “You look like a space hopper.”

Bob ignored his boss. He kept his eyes closed and fondled the prayer beads. “Go away, Hilary,” he said quietly. “It’s my lunch break.”

“No, it isn’t,” Hilary said. “It’s three o’clock in the afternoon and this place is like the Marie Celeste. Where’s Lottie?”

Bob tucked himself under the worn leather top of his mahogany desk and folded his arms. “She’s gone to get a panini,” he replied, “we’ve never stopped all day and I shall faint if I don’t get some carbs.”

Hilary stared at a book on Bob’s desk, My Spiritual Journey by the Dalai Lama, as Bob leaned forward and stroked the cover protectively.

“Goolanga,” Hilary muttered, “aren’t you a little old for all this Hari Krishna nonsense?”

“Don’t knock something you know nothing about,” Bob said and gazed fondly at his hero’s image.

“I know that my office has ground to a complete standstill the moment I step out for a quick meeting.” Hilary tapped her elegant 1950s suede shoe. “Go and answer the phones please, then make us both an espresso. I want to hear all about the literary festival in the Cotswolds’.” She turned to leave but called over her shoulder, “When you’re quite sure that your chakras are where they should be and you’re ready to do some work.”

Bob screwed his eyes up and let out a hiss between clenched teeth as he watched Hilary retreat. He glanced at the clock on the wall. Hilary’s quick meeting had been the best part of four hours. Bob stroked his beads and breathed through his nose and filled his lungs with air, then exhaled slowly. He’d give Hilary five minutes then brace himself for her interrogation.

He closed his eyes again and thought about the weekend. It had been awash with literary luvvies who’d flocked to the annual festival. Hilary had insisted that he chaperone one of their clients, Prunella Gray, who was appearing at the festival to talk about her recently published, best-selling, autobiography. The festival was held in Chipping Hodbury; a quintessentially English town in the heart of affluent middle England, where pretty limestone buildings, adorned with flowering window boxes, lined the high street. Prunella had Hilary to thank for her success, but thanks was a swear word to Prunella Gray and she’d been ruthless in her climb to the top. With a rampant appetite for vodka and known as the Poison Dwarf in culinary circles, Prunella was, in Bob’s opinion, an absolute bitch. He’d seen chefs freeze like snared prey and jack-knife away to avoid her at restaurant openings and media events. Her sweet little face peered out from a heavy dark fringe and reminded Bob of Bette Davis in the film, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane.

But Baby Jane was alive and well and lived in a townhouse in Queen’s Park, London.