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



Autumn News – Cruising, Walking and Working

As November is upon us, it’s time for a blog post. I hope you all had a perfect summer and are settling down to the autumn months with good health and a happy heart.

I recently returned from being a Guest Speaker on a Fred Olsen cruise liner, Braemar. The cruise made history as Braemar is the longest ship ever to cruise through the very narrow Corinth Canal in Greece.

If you want to see how the Captain Glavic achieved this monumental event, have a look at this YouTube video Corinth Canal:

It was fabulous to have some lovely Mediterranean sunshine warming my bones and highlights for me were the old town in Ibiza, where we ate the best tapas I have ever tasted, sitting in the sunshine, in a little bar, beside the entrance to the old town of Ibiza.

I loved the colour and beauty of Ibiza Old Town. From the markets to the buildings and stunning views of Marjoca and Minorca.

Another highlight was beautiful Sicily, where we wandered through the fascinating buildings and churches in Trapani. I bought lots of souvenirs and some lovely keepsakes, and even purchased a huge wedge of aged parmesan for just a few euros.

Back on board, as we left Italy, we cruised past the island of Stromboli. It is a volcanic island and an incredible sight. Captain Glavic sailed the ship around the island so that we could see it puffing out volcanic smoke in the day and as it grew dark, lava spouted and lit up the sky. Even the crew came out to have a look.

Being a guest speaker on a cruise ship is a great privilege and I am grateful to Fred Olsen Cruise lines for the opportunity.  Standing in front of such a large audience is daunting but I took a considerable amount of time to prepare my talks, which were itinerary driven, and I hope that the guests enjoyed them.

I’ve decided that I love cruising and hope to do many more.

The weather has taken an unexpected turn and the days are sunny and cold and a real delight. I’ve managed to get out and do some walking, one of my favourite things to do.  These photos are from a walk in Lancashire, at Rivington Pike.

There is a fascinating area called the Japanese Gardens, where the ruins and follies of Lord Leverhume’s (the ‘soap’ magnate) terraced gardens sit high on a hillside below Rivington Pike.

japanese gardens old
The gardens Rivington Pike in the 1900s

In the early 20th century Lord Leverhulme created a weekend retreat where he could relax and entertain and it consisted of Japanese lakes, pagodas, archways and bridges and even a huge ballroom. There’s a man-made ravine and cascade and formal lawns and gardens which surrounded the residence he built. It all fell into disrepair from 1925 but now the Heritage Lottery Fund as given a £3.4 million funding for restoration and already you can see how the site has been revitalised. I love it there, whatever the weather.

As the nights get darker, I am snuggling down with a long reading list and am currently reading My Name is Eva by Suzanne Goldring and so far, I am finding it a gripping read.

I hope to have news soon of my next book which I am currently editing. It’s been a long time coming, so many apologies to fans of my novels. I promise to step up a gear in 2020.



We have a promotion on one of my novels this month: Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me  and if you fancy a feel-good read for the autumn, download the book while this price is more or less a give-away offer.

The book has received great reviews and although stand-alone, is the first in a series. I hope you enjoy it.

Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me



I’ll end the blog with a recipe. My lovely daughter-in-law is Canadian and hails from Toronto. This is her recipe for a tray bake which we make for family parties. Enjoy!

Ashley’s Tray Bake

1/2 – 3/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups crushed digestive biscuits
2 cans condensed milk
2 -1/2cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups of shredded coconut
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat over to 350F. Coat 9×13” pan with non-stick cooking spray

Combine the biscuits with the butter. Press into bottom of pan. Layer evenly: chocolate chips/coconut/walnuts. Press firmly. Pour condensed milk over dish.
Bake for 25mins or until lightly brown.

Chill overnight. Cut into mini squares and serve.