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

BOOKS BY CAROLINE JAMES

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.

 

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

 

 

July news, sea shanties, recipes and summer reading bargains

Its summer time in the UK with annual sporting events entertaining us, such as the Wimbledon tennis tournament and the tremendous result of England winning the cricket World Cup. In-between my working days, I have been enjoying sunny trips away.

I went south to Falmouth, in Cornwall, for a Sea Shantie Festival. This was a first for me and we spent three perfect days listening to a variety of shantie groups from as far away as Brittany, Holland, Spain, Canada and Ireland. They performed their unique take on sea songs and shanties at different venues in the coastal town from quaint pubs to main stages.

Falmouth has a long history as a safe port of call for deep water sailing ships and tired Capehorners and Clippermen crews, who may have been at sea for months, would stop here and entertain themselves at the many alehouses, with tales and yarns. Their shantie songs are kept alive to this day and locals say if you listen carefully as you walk along the 17th century streets, you can still hear them singing.

The picture below shows the shantie group, Fisherman’s Friends, who inspired the movie of the same name. They were brilliant.

The beaches in Falmouth are stunning, I enjoyed several sunny walks along this one below, at Gyllyngvase, there’s a gorgeous cafe there too!

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Another trip was to beautiful Norfolk. It’s lavender season in this eastern county and fields of the stunning crop give a purple haze and heady scent as you wander through the countryside.

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Norfolk beaches are also lovely, this one is at Hunstanton where relics of fossilised trees can be seen at low tide.

Poppies are in abundance too and the Norfolk coast between Sheringham, Cromer and Overstrand is known as Poppyland, a name first given to the area by the writer, Clement Scott, in the 1880s. I love poppies and am told that the common poppy has been voted the county flower for Norfolk.

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We visited the Queen’s private home at Sandringham House, a country house in the parish of Sandringham. The Queen’s father George VI and grandfather George V both died here. It is a beautiful building standing in a 20,000 acre estate in the Norfolk coast area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is listed as a Grade II building along with the gorgeous landscaped gardens, park and woodlands.

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The house is open to the public in the summer months but closes in October to enable staff to get ready for the Queen, who stays there from December to February. You can wander through the private rooms and have a fascinating guided tour in what feels like a much-loved home. I never tire of Sandringham and always enjoy a visit there.

The lovely folk at Amazon have discounted my novel: Coffee, Tea the Caribbean & Me, throughout July and August and if you fancy jetting off the Caribbean with a feel-good read that has been an Amazon best-seller for some time, grab a copy now at the heavily discounted price of 99p in the UK and Europe and $1.24 in the USA. Happy reading!

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My recipe this month is a favourite with my family. Coconut and Raspberry Slice is an easy tray-bake that is great for picnics.

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If you scroll down on the link, you’ll also find a recipe for Toffee Vodka. This was shared by a friend recently and I have to say it is addictive! You make it in your dishwasher! Check the link to see how: Toffee Vodka.

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Lovely Amazon is also promoting my debut novel in their Prime Reading during the summer and you can grab a copy there for free. Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me is a popular read and gets wonderful reviews. It was E-book of the Week in a national UK newspaper and reached #3 in Women’s Fiction on Amazon when it was released.

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Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me

I was invited to chat to presenter, John Gillymore, on his popular BBC Radio show, which was broadcast from the fascinating Harris Museum in Preston, Lancashire. The Harris Museum is also a public library and art gallery and what better place to sit and chat about books and creativity.

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The founder of the museum, Edmond Harris left a legacy to create this historic building and it officially opened in 1893. The Harris is an important regional museum and holds fascinating collections of fine and decorative art, costume and textiles, history and photography, many of which are of international significance.

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The RNA (Romantic Novelist’s Association) conference was held recently and I enjoyed spending time catching up with writer friends and listening to some excellent seminars. The RNA is a great organisation to be a part of and the conference is a brilliantly well organised affair, offering a great deal to its members.

Audio books are entertaining me more and more. I find I listen when I’m driving, cooking or ironing and I’m currently enjoying The Other Wife by Michael Robotham. It’s a cracking thriller. I’ve just downloaded a new audio book by the brilliant Deborah Moggah, author of many of my favourite novels, including the Best Marigold Hotel. Her latest, The Carer, looks like it has ‘best-seller’ all over it and I can’t wait to listen to it.

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Have a wonderful July lovely newsletter friends. I hope that you all enjoy some of your favourite things this month.

Warmest wishes and happy reading,

with love from

Caroline

xx

Book into The Best Boomerville Hotel this summer!

CAROLINE JAMES (PROMO SHOOT 26.06.2018)
THE BEST BOOMERVILLE HOTEL

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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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Beautiful Cumbria – My Writing Muse

I often write about Cumbria after falling in love with the county many years ago. For me, the Lake District is a creative’s dream.

Cumbria – the inspiration for The Best Boomerville Hotel

My novels often feature a fictional hotel and the latest, The Best Boomerville Hotel is no exception as guests’ flock to the area and book in, to experience the beauty and splendour of the landscape.

For several years, I ran a pub, then a hotel, in the Eden Valley and was captivated by the warmth of the locals who were so supportive to a newcomer. Walking along the shadowy ridges of the fells in my spare time restored my spirits after a hard day at work and spurred my creative juices, for even then I knew that I wanted to write stories based in this special place.

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More recently I was touched by the floods that devastated parts of the country. In particular, the town of Appleby which had once been my home and the floods feature in The Best Boomerville Hotel.

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I write feel-good novels to uplift and inspire and with the magic of the mountains and sparkling waters of the lakes, I owe a great deal to my muse.

Beautiful Cumbria, thank you.

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Novels by Caroline James

The Best Boomerville Hotel is available in paperback from all good bookshops and online as an ebook and audible download.

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

Autumn Promo Plus Recipe

Happy Autumn to you all

Snuggle up this autumn with a warm and sunny read

PROMO – only 99p/99c
Download here:
Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me

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Are you ready for Autumn? The darker evenings and chillier days are perfect for snuggling down and relaxing with a good book. 

Promo – This month my novel, Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me is on offer for 99p/99c as a download on Amazon. This book was Thomson Holidays top read in their inflight magazine, so if you fancy a virtual change of scene and a fun filled, page-turning read, head off to beautiful Barbados with Jo and Hattie and be prepared to hang on tight!

Autumn – I have been busy and I am writing the follow up to The Best Boomerville Hotel. Huge thanks to all you wonderful readers who have left such glowing reviews for Boomerville, all of which encourage me to write on.

Audible – I have only just started listening to books on audible. Where have I been – I love it! I can listen to books whilst driving, walking, cooking and so on. I’m currently listening to Kate Atkinson’s novel, Transcription, and am thoroughly enjoying it. I can’t wait to hear Boomerville come to life as an audible book!

Boomerville Bertie is thinking ahead to Christmas and with a competition coming in November, look out for your chance to win this cute little bear. He’ll make a great stocking filler.

Soup – With autumn days, I always think of warming comfort food and here’s my recipe for pumpkin soup with parmesan croutons:

Ingredients:

2 onions finely chopped, 1kg pumpkin (or squash) – peeled, de-seeded and cubed
700ml vegetable stock, 3cm grated ginger peeled and finely grated, 3 garlic cloves – peeled and chopped, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 142ml double cream, 1 tbsp olive oil

To Serve

Chopped coriander, Parmesan Croutons (see below)

Method

In a large saucepan, gently sauté onions in olive oil until soft, add garlic and ginger and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add cumin powder

Add the pumpkin to the pan, stir into the onion mix and cook for 5 minutes. Pour stock over squash mix and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 – 15 mins until squash is soft. Remove from heat and blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Return to heat and add cream, stir gently until nearly boiling.

Serve in warm bowls with chopped coriander sprinkled on top

You can buy or make croutons – if making cut bread into cubes, place on oven tray (greased with olive oil) sprinkle olive oil over and finely grated parmesan. Roast in oven for 5 – 10 mins till golden brown, turning croutons once.

Happy reading, hope you enjoy perfect autumn days.

Caroline xx

Feel-good reads – free to read on Kindle Unlimited!

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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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