New Book and a Valentine Recipe

NEW BOOK

HATTIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

IS OUT TODAY!

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Its publication day for Hattie Goes To Hollywood! Huge thanks to everyone who has pre-ordered their copy and is now has the novel winging its way to their e-reader or popping through the letterbox.

The launch of a new book is always very stressful for me. I know that I am supposed to feel elated that the work is done, the book is out in the public domain and publication day has arrived. But until the book has favourable reviews from valued readers who are kind enough to leave a review, I am always very nervous. I do hope that you enjoy the Hattie in her new role as a private investigator and watch this space because this is the first in the stand-alone book series and there is plenty more to come!

Hattie Goes To Hollywood is available online and in book shops and will be available as an audiobook very soon too.

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

HATTIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

“A big fat 5 stars!” Nikki Ashton, Best-selling author

A Cumbrian Village…
Three suicides…
A red-hot summer…

Join super-sleuth Hattie as tempers and temperatures rise in the Cumbrian village of Hollywood. With mischief and shenanigans aplenty, will Hattie discover the truth?

When recently bereaved Hattie Mulberry inherits her aunt’s dilapidated cottage in the village of Hollywood in Cumbria, she envisages a quiet life. But retired hotelier Hattie is bored and when her neighbour asks her to investigate a suspicious suicide, Hattie’s career takes a new direction and H&H Investigations is born. During the hottest summer for years, Hattie discovers there have been three recent suicides in Hollywood and she determines to find out why. Temperatures rise as she throws herself into village life and, with mischief and shenanigans aplenty, Hattie has her work cut out. But will she establish the truth?

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PUBLISHING

WRITER

I’m excited to whisper that I am working with a new company. The Publish Hub is run by authors to enable aspiring and established authors to get published. If writing a book is your dream, have a look at The Publish Hub.

RECIPE

Today is also Valentine’s Day and here’s a recipe for pineapple cake that is full of passion and very easy to make. Pineapple, I’m assured is an aphrodisiac. Enjoy!

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CAROLINE’S PINEAPPLE CAKE

This cake oozes with love and passion and is sexy and sweet – perfect to nibble when snuggling down with a good book or someone…

Ingredients:

250g unsalted butter  250g caster sugar 250g ground almonds

50g self-raising flour 5 eggs  200g fresh pineapple, chopped

50g soft brown sugar

Method:

Heat the pineapple and brown sugar and stew gently till the sugar dissolved, allow to cool. Cream the butter and sugar together until white and fluffy. Beat the eggs well then slowly add to the butter mix. Carefully fold in the almonds and flour. Grease a non-stick baking tray and add half of the sponge mix. Spoon cooked pineapple over. Add the remainder of the sponge mix. Bake in an oven at 325F /160 C /gas mark 3 – until firm to touch and light brown in colour. Cut into squares and keep in an airtight container.

Have a perfect Valentine’s Day, I hope that you enjoy a special treat with your loved ones.

Wishing you very happy reading,

with love

Caroline xx

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

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Ready for the Jungle – Free romcom book

It’s that time of year when TV viewers in the UK can watch a show that comes around every November, titled, “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!” A group of British and American celebrities are sent to a jungle camp for a reality TV show. They face some grisly tasks during their time in camp and ultimately, the public vote for the winner.

I’m not a fan of reality TV but this show always amuses me and a while ago, it inspired me to write a novella:

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If you’d like to download Jungle Rock it is currently FREE on amazon and you can read it on your e-reader. This offer ends on 21st November.

Download: JUNGLE ROCK

Sample the extract of Jungle Rock below:

“HE’S DOING WHAT?” Hattie said. She had a mouthful of shortbread and a mug of coffee in her hand and stopped in her tracks as she watched Jo stare at her mobile phone.

“Zach’s going into the jungle. He’s a contestant on Jungle Survival.”

“Oh my.” Hattie smiled and wiped a spray of crumbs off her chest.

“He’s at the airport with Bob; they’re about to board a plane.”

“Well I never.” Hattie put her mug on the desk and stared at her friend. “How do you feel about that?”

“Astonished.”

“It might do him good.”

“Or not.”

“Fancy a bracer?”

“Start pouring.”

Cradling mugs of coffee, laced with a good slug of brandy, Jo and Hattie sat in the conservatory and looked out at the garden beyond.

“It doesn’t seem five minutes since he was a little boy running all over this lawn with his brother,” Jo said as she stared across the neatly manicured grass.

“And now he’s running off to Australia.”

In the distance, a group of guests appeared from the meadow, where a clairvoyance course was being run in an old gypsy caravan. Originally horse-drawn, the caravan was Jo’s pride and joy, brightly painted with little wooden steps. It was a perfect setting for an intimate group.

“Another successful event,” Hattie said as she watched the beatific expressions of the participants as they drifted down the garden, confident that the spirits of their dead granny and Rover, the family pet, were beside them, whispering and woofing encouraging words from beyond.

“I wish I could see into Zach’s future,” Jo replied. “I hope he’s not making a terrible mistake.”

“Well, if he is, he’s picked the right place to make it. That show’s watched by millions. Perhaps we should run something similar here?” Hattie closed her eyes and began to plan out a jungle camp, set in the meadow. “The old ‘uns would love it! Prancing about like Bear Grylls, cooking over an open fire, sleeping under the stars. It has ‘winner’ all over it.”

“It has mass suicide all over it,” Jo replied, “hyperthermia and food poisoning.”

“Think of the low overheads. We could bring Wonder Boy in to teach them how to skin a rabbit or two, a bit of camp-fire bonhomie and all that stuff.”

“Hattie, will you please be serious. My son is currently on his way to the other side of the world, where he’ll be exposed to any amount of danger; he’s emotionally vulnerable and I’m worried about him.”

Hattie sat up and opened her eyes.

“Oh, get a grip,” she said. “Can you imagine what he’s getting paid for this stint? How can he possibly go wrong? They’ll have him stripped down to his six-pack before the opening credits have run. He won’t even need to open his mouth and the phone lines will be pulsating as fast as every female viewer’s heart. Your Zach has made his finest career move yet.” Hattie reached for Jo’s empty mug. “Get that grumpy expression off your face and let’s send him good luck wishes for his arrival in Australia.” She stood and glanced at the group in the garden. “Perhaps we can get that lot to send him a mystical sign.”

As Jo watched Hattie walk away, she felt cross. She knew that Hattie was right, but Jo had a niggling feeling that Zach’s trip wasn’t going to run as smoothly or as successfully as everyone expected. A mother had an instinct about her offspring, but in this case, Jo hoped that her instincts would be proved wrong.

 

Happy reading everyone,

With love, Caroline xx

JUNGLE ROCK

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BOOKS BY Caroline James

Books by Caroline James

 

 

Do men read romantic fiction?

Whenever I get together with other writers there is often a debate that starts with the question, ‘Do men read romantic fiction?’ As an author of this genre it is fascinating to know where my readers come from, their age, reading tastes and of course gender.

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I gave a talk in a library recently and having arranged my book display, I stood back whilst waiting for the audience to take their seats. A man, whom I’d noticed in the computer area, came forward and started flicking through the books. He made some derogatory comments about never reading ‘chick lit’ and ‘fluffy silly stories with no depth,’ and I was amused to listen to several ladies, who were already seated, engage him in conversation, telling him he was cynical and should listen to my talk. Later, when I was book signing, guess who bought three of my books? Yes, the cynic who never reads romantic fiction.

img_5125Below are a couple of comments that have been mailed to me recently, by men:

Robert, wrote to me on The Best Boomerville Hotel:

“After over half a century of only reading murder mystery novels I was drawn to the book cover of The Best Boomerville Hotel. I certainly did not regret my choice. What a wonder and so very well written, this book caused me to go to bed an hour earlier than usual just to read it in peace. Thank you, Caroline, for such a great read. Hattie has got to be the person I would love to get drunk with and have a curry.” 

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And this from a gentleman on Amazon:

“I’m a man, 71 and read the 4 books in the set and thoroughly enjoyed all and found them very moving, each difficult to put down and I read into the night, 5 stars to Caroline”

I’d like to think that my work appeals to both women and men and aim to write books that have a serious message, taking the reader up and down emotionally as well as providing plenty of love interest.

What do you think? Are you a male who reads romantic fiction or a female who has an opinion on this subject? I’d love to hear your thoughts, please comment below.

Have a great week and happy reading,

With love,

Caroline xx

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BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

Excerpt – coming soon! Hattie Goes to Hollywood

For those readers who want to know what happens next in Caroline’s novels, here is a snippet from Hattie Goes to Hollywood – the first in a new series, coming soon. The much-loved character, Hattie, takes on a new role as private detective.

Follow her shenanigans and scrapes as she sets about clearing up crime in her beloved Cumbria.

Sergeant Harry Knowles liked to think of himself as a chameleon when it came to policing his patch. A man who blended in with his surroundings. This had its good points and served him well as a shadowy observer of situations, swooping in when least expected to utter the phrase he liked the most, ‘You’re nicked!’ Not that he had much opportunity to use the words, for very little happened when Harry was on duty and this he put down to good law enforcement by himself and fellow officers.

Some would say that Westmarland was a sleepy place, where not much happened, other than chasing visitors for speeding fines, or litter-dropping on the pristine streets of the tourist towns and villages of the county. But others, like Harry, found a crime around every corner and made it their duty to investigate each lost kitten and stolen bike.

But that morning, the station at Marland was a quiet as a tomb.

Harry paced around the reception area and straightened posters on a notice board then wandered over to the main desk and tidied scattered pens and miscellaneous memos. He glanced over to the corner of the room where Constable Derek Jones sat with his feet perched on a stool, sipping from a large mug of tea. The local paper was spread out before him and he studied the crossword. The constable was in shirt-sleeves, the buttons of his uniform shirt straining over a paunch. Podgy fingers reached for a biscuit from a half-consumed pack and he dunked absentmindedly as he contemplated clues.

 ‘Pinging call as they search for food around Bassenthwaite,’ the constable said, ‘eight letters, third letter, ‘Z’.’

 ‘Buzzards,’ Harry replied with little interest and stared out of the window.

 It was another hot day and the streets of Marland were filled with holiday-makers in bright casual clothes. Families wandered about, shopping for burgers for their camp-side barbeques and local fudge as a take-home treat. Harry sighed as he watched the world go by. He was bored and longed for some action, something to set the streets alight and prove his worth in his new position. Anything to liven up his day.

 Suddenly, the front door was flung open and a woman bustled into the station. Hot and harassed, she swept up to the front desk and drummed her fingers on the counter. ‘Anyone home?’ Hattie called out.

 Derek whipped his feet off the stool and ambled to his feet, ‘What can we do for you, Madam?’ he said as he straightened his tie and wiped crumbs from his mouth.

 ‘You can make me a brew and shove those biscuits over here,’ Hattie said, ‘is Harry the Helmet at home?’

 ‘Morning Hattie,’ Harry called out, wishing that Hattie wouldn’t be so familiar. ‘What can we do for you on this lovely sunny day.’

 ‘I want to have a word, somewhere quiet,’ she glanced at Derek. ‘Haven’t you got something to do?’ she asked as Derek stepped forward, ‘crime won’t crack itself, Constable.’

 ‘Step into my office,’ Harry said, ‘two teas, when you’ve a moment, Derek.’ He guided Hattie along a dingy corridor and into a small room, where he pulled out a chair. Hattie sat down beside a rickety table. Pulling a chair up for himself, Harry rubbed his hands together. Perhaps Hattie had something interesting for him to get his teeth into?

 ‘So, you’re back.’ Harry said.

 ‘State the bleedin’ obvious,’ Hattie replied, ‘hardly needs a copper to suss that out.’

To be continued …

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

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Paperback Publication Day – The Best Boomerville Hotel

The Best Boomerville Hotel is now available on all platforms – ebooks, audible and paperback! You can find it in all good bookshops or online and there is a sample of the book in audible too, click here: AUDIBLE

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To celebrate the online book tour this week, there is a competition to win a beautiful Bertie Bear in his very own travelling bag.

Click here to enter: WIN A BERTIE BEAR

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Huge thanks to everyone who has read The Best Boomerville Hotel, reviewed and contacted me.

Happy reading,

With love

Caroline xx

Caroline and Bertie the Boomerville Bear
Books by Caroline James

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

Extract from The Best Boomerville Hotel…

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend! Here’s an extract from my new book:

The Best Boomerville Hotel 

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The next morning there was an excited buzz in the Rose Room, where residents gathered for breakfast. Bright sunshine burst through the French windows, latticing light across tables as staff moved around, topping up cups and taking orders. Guests munched on muesli and whispered over plates of crispy bacon and lightly poached eggs.

  Lucinda reached for a jar of gooseberry marmalade. A smug smile crept across her lips as she spread the thick sweet substance over her toast. She broke a piece and popped it into her mouth.

  At last, she had her own class!

  Today, she would endeavour to bring creativity into the lives of a group of guests who would be inspired by her talent. She thought back to the day that she read the advert for Boomerville in her local paper. She’d been blinded by the vision that this was her path, the route to her future and a journey that she had to make. Lucinda had no money and scraped a living by teaching and selling the occasional painting. She lived in a shared house with a handful of other eccentric creatives on the outskirts of London and led a bohemian life, but as the years progressed she knew that she needed some form of security as she got older. Boomerville had come like a bolt out of the blue, a sign that she must follow and, acting on instinct, Lucinda filled in the booking form, reserved a seat on a train and began to pack.

  Now, as she sat in the dining room, she thought about her finances. Her money was running out. She urgently needed a job or a wealthy lover.

  Lucinda smiled to herself as she finished her breakfast and tossed her napkin to one side. She’d been working on her options since her arrival a couple of weeks ago and had high hopes for both. Today would accelerate her mission. A pop-up art class had been announced for that afternoon and Lucinda was to be the tutor.

  As she made her way out of the room, she glanced at the other diners and knew that those lucky enough to have booked a place were wondering what the subject matter would be and whether Lucinda was a suitable instructor.

  Finally, she was going to be put to the test.

Extract from: THE BEST BOOMERVILLE HOTEL

 

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MORE BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

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