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


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





Extract from The Best Boomerville Hotel…

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

The Best Boomerville Hotel 


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.








Coming Soon – Boomerille Two! Excerpt

If you enjoyed The Best Boomerville Hotel enjoy a slice of the follow-up. Here’s an excerpt when Hattie is re-acquainted with Harry…


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. Others, like Harry, who’d recently been promoted, found a crime around every corner and made it their duty to report and investigate each lost kitten and the many stolen bikes.

  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 to tidy 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 called out. ‘Eight letters, third letter, Z.’

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

  It had been a glorious day and now in late afternoon, the streets of Marland were filled with holiday-makers who’d descended for the Easter break. Families bustled about before the shops closed, stocking up on burgers for their Sunday 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?’

  ‘Hello 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,’ she glanced at Derek. ‘Haven’t you got something to do? 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 and sat Hattie 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.’

 Harry looked at Hattie. She was still attractive and vivacious with lovely ginger curls. Her ample chest bounced as she babbled.

  Derek appeared with tea and biscuits, laid out on a china plate. As the door closed behind him, Hattie began.

  ‘My house has been trashed and I want you to find the good-for-nothings who did it.’

  Harry whipped out a notebook and licked the end of a pencil. ‘I thought you’d rented it out?’

  ‘I did.’

  ‘It’s a civil matter then.’ He closed his notebook.

  ‘Aye, it probably is and my own fault for not putting it with an agent but what I am concerned about is a puppy.’

  ‘A puppy?’ Harry asked.

  ‘Half-starved and as good as dead when me and Alf found it in my old shed.’

  ‘Animal cruelty, a job for the RSPCA.’

  ‘No, Harry, it’s a job for you.’ Hattie was adamant. ‘The vet says the puppy will live if properly looked after. He’s got it on a drip and anti-biotics and is hopeful it will recover. We found it just in time but I want whoever is responsible for murdering an animal and trashing my house, to be prosecuted. Criminal damage, animal cruelty, whatever you can throw at them. I’ll give you what details I have of the tenants.’

  ‘They’ll all be false,’ Harry said, doubtful that the tenants would ever be traced. ‘Very well, but before you start, tell me what you are up to now, where are you going to live?’

  ‘I’m going back to Boomerville,’ Hattie said. ‘Jo seems to think the place can’t run without me and I’ll find a bed there while my place is being put back together.’

  ‘Boomerville busy, is it?’ Harry sat back and stretched his legs.

  ‘Booming I hear, you should pay us a call sometime, come and teach the old ’uns a bit of road safety or how to stay safe at home,’ Hattie grinned, ‘I can set up a course.’

  ‘I’d like that.’ Harry returned the smile, he’d jump at the chance of a few hours at Boomerville, anything to break the monotony here. There was always a pot of tea and a warm welcome, if Hattie was in the mood. ‘Jo keeping well?’ he asked.

  ‘She’s grand and will be glad to have me back.’ Hattie stood. ‘I’ll be on my way. I need to find a new home for the puppy but I’ve no doubt Jo will have room for another, she’s daft when it comes to dogs.’

  ‘She’ll have it running about the place in no time,’ Harry replied as he followed Hattie through the station where Derek, now occupied, was busy cracking crime. ‘Don’t forget to have a word about me running a course there.’

  ‘Aye, I will. You know where to find me,’ Hattie nodded to both. ‘I’ll be back at Boomerville.’



Have you read:








The Power of a Review


Are you influenced by reviews?

I try not to get upset by a bad review but I had a real stinker recently and it hurt.

The book in question hasn’t had a review below four stars and most are five, but along comes a one star, which the reviewer says she gave grudgingly and her review is vile. The book clearly didn’t float her boat and looking at her other reviews I can see it wasn’t her usual genre and I wondered why she bothered to read the book at all, let alone leave such a vitriolic opinion on a very public space.

Recently I read a poor review of a book and was so incensed by the arrogant attitude of the reviewer that I immediately bought the book – a sort of two-finger cyber salute. I then went on to enjoy the book immensely. Reading matter is subjective and what suits one doesn’t always suit another.

We are influenced by reviews, whether when buying books, goods or services and have an absolute right to report on poor quality workmanship but shouldn’t reviews, be useful to other people? Positive reviews almost never get challenged but a negative review instantly draws the reader to the reviewer’s poor opinion.

Reviews are incredibly helpful, good and bad. My debut book was self-published and I made grammatical mistakes which were soon screamed out through reviews and never again did a manuscript or piece of work go online unless it was polished to perfection. Reviews stay online forever, you can’t press delete.

I love reviewers, readers and bloggers who review – what author doesn’t? These lovely people read your work and then take the time and trouble to pen their thoughts and opinions and publish online. There is nothing more heartening than being told that someone has genuinely enjoyed your work – months, maybe years of hard slog disappear in a moment of sheer joy, knowing that your story enhanced someone’s life if only for a short while.

I asked a popular reviewer for their tips on reviewing and the comment was, “Be respectful, keep it real and write your review well.”

A negative comment, taken in the right spirit can be very helpful but I do wonder what is behind the mind of a person who slates a book with pure hate.

Thoughts anyone?

C x


Caroline James on Amazon