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Walks, Books and a Giveaway.

January is drawing to a close and here in Lancashire in the north west of England it has been an unusually mild month. Living close to the Lake District in Cumbria I’ve enjoyed the short drive to park then wander, for some happy dog walks with Fred, our Westie. My favourite lake is Ullswater, and you can see from these photos how beautiful it is. On a misty January day, the lake and mountains have an ethereal quality of their own. All the seasons are glorious and it’s no wonder the area is famed for producing so many poets and writers. 

The Lale Dstrict
The Lake District in Cumbria

BOOK NEWS

I am delighted to say that my new novel, The Spa Break is publishing in a few weeks and you can pre-order it today at the promo price of only 99p (the promo price may differ in each country). The ebook will automatically land on your e-reader on publication day. The paperback will follow a few weeks after the ebook.

THE SPA BREAK

The Spa Break – Coming Soon

The publisher is One More Chapter (HarperCollins UK) and I was thrilled to be contacted last year by Charlotte Ledger, the Publishing Director, who had an idea for a novel and asked me if I would expand her thoughts and write the book. The Spa Break finds four friends on a relaxing weekend away to celebrate a big birthday. But as the days unfold, the spa soon has these spicy sexagenarians realising that there are unexpected benefits to age and experience, and that over the hill certainly doesn’t mean out of the game. I loved bringing new characters to life and I hope that this feel-good, funny novel will be one that you enjoy.

The Spa Break Ladies

Emily, Bridgette, Marjory and Serena are entertaining characters and I hope that I will be writing more about their escapades in future books. If this newsletter lands in the hands of any book reviewers, please get in touch for an ARC copy.

CURRENTLY READING

I’m enjoying reading novels by Marius Gabriel and am currently reading The Parisians. He has a wonderful ability to mix fiction with history during WWII, when Paris was occupied. Using real characters in his novels, especially from the world of fashion, such as Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, he brings the stories to life. Clever writing and highly recommended.

GIVEAWAY

This month I have a signed copy of Hattie Goes to Hollywood to giveaway. To enter please go to my Facebook page or you can email me using the address below. Just comment why you would like to receive the book and you will automatically be entered into the draw. Good luck!

E: caroline@carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

Hattie Goes to Hollywood Giveaway

As we head into a new month, please keep safe, happy and well.

Happy reading,

With love

Caroline xx

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

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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

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Publication Day – Boomerville at Ballymegille – ‘Teddy’ Winner Announced – Promo Book

Publication day has arrived! I am thrilled to tell you that my new novel, Boomerville at Ballymegille is now available as an e-book and paperback (audible coming soon) and you can download it here:

BOOMERVILLE AT BALLYMEGILLE

The pre-publication reviews are wonderful and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the bloggers and reviewers who are taking part in the online book launch over the next two weeks.

Boomerville is back!

Join Hattie and Jo as they head to Southern Ireland to open Boomerville Manor, a holiday retreat for guests of ‘a certain age’. There’s Irish craic and shenanigans aplenty for the colourful cast of characters as everyone gathers for the grand opening.

Meet Melissa, an ex-cabaret singer running from her abusive husband, and Bill, a bachelor bullied from beyond the grave by the ghostly voice of his mother. Along with local bobby Harry the Helmet, ageing aquatic team the Boomerville Babes, eccentric artist Lucinda Gray, and heartthrob Finbar Murphy, they gather in Ireland and the fun begins. But murder is in the air and there’s mischief afoot. Will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?

Set in the beautiful Irish countryside, ‘Boomerville at Ballymegille’ is a heart-warming story of friendship, fears and new beginnings.

WINNER OF THE ‘TEDDY’ COMPETITION

DRUM ROLL…

I decided that as so many readers entered the draw to win a lovely ‘Teddy’ from Boomerville at Ballymegille, and because your entries were so wonderful, that there will be THREE Teddy puppies heading to new owners. Congratulations to LINDA, KELLY AND KAREN who will all be getting an email confirmation today.

The puppies look forward to their new homes!

PROMO

And because its publication day there is of course a lovely PROMO for you.

You can download the follow up to Boomerville at Ballymegille for only 99p/$1.30 until 15th October by following the link here: 

HATTIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

Find out what Hattie gets up to next…

I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU lovely readers for all your support and I wish you all a safe passage through these difficult times. 

Stay safe and 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:

JUNGLE ROCK

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

 

 

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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

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January News – Scotland, Scones, Books and Bertie…

Happy New Year lovely readers and followers. I hope that the start of 2019 brings lots of love, good health and happiness your way and that this will be a very special year for all.

SCOTLAND

2019 began for me with family celebrations in beautiful Scotland with a party on New Year’s Eve in Inverness, followed by walks beside the famous Loch – Loch Ness. We didn’t catch sight of the monster but a great time was had by all.

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BEAUTIFUL INVERNESS

BOOK SIGNINGS

The Best Boomerville Hotel went on tour with signings in Waterstones and these pictures  show me at Waterstones Book Store in Carlisle, where I had a fabulous day meeting some lovely readers. Thanks to everyone who bought a book and had a chat.

BOOKS

The Best Boomerville Hotel is currently on a promotion and you can download the novel for only 99p/c on all ereader platforms. Here is the link to Amazon:

The Best Boomerville Hotel

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The Best Boomerville Hotel ebook is on promo – only 99p/c in January!

WIN A BERTIE BEAR!

I’m giving away a fabulous gift this month. Would you like to own your very own Boomerville Bertie Bear? Bertie comes in his very own travelling bag and will make a faithful companion. To be in with a chance of wining, just tell me the name of the chef in Jungle Rock (mentioned in this blog post) and email it to: caroline@carolinejamesauthor.co.uk  The winner will be chosen at the end of January and announced in my February newsletter.

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Win a Boomerville Bertie Bear!

SCONES

As the weather gets colder I had a Sunday afternoon snuggled up with a good book and a plate of scones. I love this recipe, it makes a really light and fluffy scone. If anyone wants to know how to make them, just drop me an email: caroline@carolnejamesauthor.co.uk

 

CRUISING

2019 will see me setting sail as a guest speaker at sea. Do you enjoy cruising? if so, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you enjoy about the talks on the cruises you’ve experienced and what you’d like to hear on your next cruise.

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Caroline is cruising in 2019 as a guest speaker

FREE BOOK & PROMO

FREE! Grab a copy of my novella, JUNGLE ROCK

Available until 21st January 2019 as a ebook download on Amazon worldwide.

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It is really great to see my debut novel, Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me, still gets great reviews.

This one is from ‘Stephanie’ on Goodreads….

“I’ve had this sitting on my Kindle for far too long. My first read from Caroline James was “The Best Boomerville Hotel”. A fabulous page turner, it made me laugh out loud and cry in equal measure, but with “Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me” we meet the main characters Jo and Hattie as they both start new chapters in their lives after both husbands ran off with younger models. We see the trials, tribulations and not to mention the romance. It is a true page turner which is why it was read in 3 days. The characters are fun, firey and very likeable. Although set in the 1980’s the story line is so true of today’s economic situation that you’d be had pushed to believe it wasn’t happening right now. It gave me plenty of laughs, even shed a tear but kept me reading until I was done, already starting thinking about the next one.”

Thanks SO much lovely Stephanie, for taking the time to post a review. Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me is reduced at the moment to £1.99/$1.99 and you can download it here:

Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me

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COFFEE TEA THE GYPSY & ME ONLY £1.99/$1.99C

That’s about it for January. I hope that you have a cracking month and I look forward to catching up again soon.

Happy reading everyone!

With Love

Caroline 

xxx

PS: All my books are available to read FREE on Amazon Prime…

CAROLINE JAMES BOOKS

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The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James @CarolineJames12 BlogTour BookReview

As the paperback blog tour comes to an end, here is another cracking review for

The Best Boomerville Hotel.

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for a lovely Boomerville Bertie Bear

Enter here: Boomerville Bertie

Bertie Xmas 72 DPI

Huge thanks to everyone who contributed.

Happy reading and blogging,

with love

Caroline xx

via The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James @CarolineJames12 #BlogTour #BookReview @RubyFiction @rararesources

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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

Bertie Xmas 72 DPI

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

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The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James #Review @CarolineJames12

As The Best Boomerville Hotel’s reviews on Amazon rise, it is lovely to read this latest one, where the reviewer describes the book as the ‘BEST book I’ve read in a long time…’

Thanks to reviewers and readers everywhere who take the trouble to post their thoughts and comments, it means a great deal.

Caroline xx

via The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James #Review @CarolineJames12

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From Recipes to Romance

It was always my dream to write a book but one that I never imagined would come true.

Educated at an all girl’s grammar, I hated school. The teachers terrified me and it was a very unhappy time. The only classes I enjoyed were English and cookery. My working life took a different direction from the one my parents planned and instead of going into the family business I started work in a hotel, where life in the hospitality industry fascinated me. I loved the environment, being around food and creativity was inspiring; it was a revolving door with new faces each day. Another dream was formed – to own my own hotel.

Fast forward many years.

I got my beautiful hotel. A country house in the Lake District. In fact, I got many things including a wonderful time in the hospitality industry working with some of the best chefs in the business. Food was my life. But there was still that nagging dream to publish a book but the unanswered question was – could I write? A story had been in my head for years, based around an hotel. One day, I had an epiphany. Write and keep writing until I had a manuscript. I stole hours from a manic schedule and wrote Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me It a year. But my elation soon evaporated as it became impossible to find a publisher and the rejection slips piled high. In desperation I learnt how to self-publish and astonishingly the book went to number three in women’s fiction on Amazon. Five books on, my new book, The Best Boomerville Hotel is published my lovely Ruby Fiction and I am writing the next.

I never thought that my recipe writing years would turn to writing romance and that my dream would come true. But they did.

Happy writing xx

 

Books by Caroline James

 

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