Saturday, 17 March 2018

BLOG TOUR: Extract from The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James

Today, I am delighted to host an extract from the amazing new book The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James.


The writing class had finished for the day and Kate decided to take a stroll. A chill in the air, a harbinger of autumn, was sharp and crisp and soon cleared her head as she walked across the courtyard into the garden, zipping her quilted jacket and pulling on a pair of gloves.
Writing longhand in class all day had strained muscles in her fingers that were tired from years of perpetually tapping on a keyboard. Kate felt a stabbing pain and thrust both hands deep into the warmth of her pockets. The discomfort was worrying and she wondered what she was going to do to stop the spread of arthritis.
Opening an iron gate, Kate stepped into the meadow. She looked up and saw the tepee where puffs of pale grey smoke rose from an opening at the top. A breeze carried the swirling matter towards the fells. She could hear faint chanting, it came from inside the tepee and the vibrating sound reminded Kate of a swarm of bees. She paused to listen.
‘Namaste,’ a voice called out.
Kate spun around and was startled to see the Shaman stood before her.
‘Will you join us?’ he asked and moved a length of brightly covered canvas to one side, indicating that Kate step into the dark abyss beyond.
Despite the warmth of her jacket, Kate felt a shiver run down her spine. She could hear voices and the chant was getting louder. ‘I’m just taking a little exercise,’ she said. ‘I’ve been cooped up in a classroom all day and thought that I’d take a walk to unwind.’
‘I will help you to relax.’
‘That’s very kind,’ Kate mumbled, ‘but I think I’ll pass for now, perhaps later in the week?’ She didn’t want to offend the man but had no intention of venturing into the tepee.
The Shaman looked down. He placed his palms together as if in prayer and bowed slightly. ‘You will come when the time is right,’ he said.
Kate felt her feet turn to stone. ‘What is it that you do in there?’ she asked, rooted to the spot.
‘I heal and you have pain.’
The man looked up and Kate was captivated by his shining eyes. ‘Pain where?’ she whispered.
He held out his hands and Kate stared at the long fingers. She was mesmerised as he reached out to take her hands in his own. His skin felt hot and a burning sensation rippled through her flesh. Her bones cracked and, shocked, Kate pulled away.
‘You can heal my fingers?’ She pushed her hands back into her pockets.
‘I just did.’
A drum was beating in the tepee and the Shaman lifted his head to listen. He swept his cloak around his body and with a nod, was gone.
Kate was speechless.
Falling leaves began to tumble from interlocking branches lining the edge of the meadow. They fluttered down like multicoloured rain in the cool autumn air.

Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, consultant and food writer, Caroline is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and writes articles and short stories and contributes to many publications.

 Her debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me is set in North West England, at the time of a famous gypsy horse fair. The book went straight to number three on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun. So, You Think You're A Celebrity...Chef? was runner up the Winchester Writers festival for best TV Drama and takes a light-hearted look at the world of celebrity chefs as they battle it out for fame and fortune. Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me was runner up at The Write Stuff, LBF, 2015 and is an Amazon best-seller and top recommended read by Thomson Holidays. Jungle Rock, a romcom novella set in Australia, revolves around a TV game show.

In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

The Best Boomerville Hotel Links: Amazon: Kobo: Ibooks/Google: Itunes: Caroline James Links: Twitter:@CarolineJames12

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

COVER REVEAL - The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James

Today I am delighted to share the new cover for Caroline James brilliant new book, The Best Boomerville Hotel.



Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo have a vision – a holiday retreat in the heart
of the Lake District exclusively for guests of ‘a certain age’ wishing to
stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. One hotel
refurbishment later and the Best Boomerville Hotel is open for business! 

Perhaps not surprisingly Boomerville attracts more than it’s fair share of
eccentric clientele: there’s fun loving Sir Henry Mulberry and his brother
Hugo; Lucinda Brown, an impoverished artist with more ego than talent; Andy
Mack, a charming Porsche-driving James Bond lookalike, as well as Kate
Simmons, a woman who made her fortune from an internet dating agency but
still hasn’t found ‘the One’ herself. 

With such an array of colourful individuals there’s bound to be laughs aplenty,
but could there be tears and heartbreak too and will the residents get more than
they bargained for at Boomerville?


Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, consultant and food writer, Caroline is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and writes articles and short stories and contributes to many publications.  

Her debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me is set in North West England, at the time of a famous gypsy horse fair.  The book went straight to number three on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun. 

So, You Think You're A Celebrity...Chef? was runner up the Winchester Writers festival for best TV Drama and takes a light-hearted look at the world of celebrity chefs as they battle it out for fame and fortune. Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me was runner up at The Write Stuff, LBF, 2015 and is an Amazon best-seller and top recommended read by Thomson Holidays. Jungle Rock, a romcom novella set in Australia, revolves around a TV game show.  

In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.






Caroline James Links:
FaceBook:  Caroline James Author

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

BLOG TOUR: The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

The Blurb:
One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there’s a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.

‘The Welcome House’ is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there’s always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.
While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focussed on her work, she’s remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel.

But will she ever discover the real truth behind the mysterious ‘Welcome House’? Or will the house cast its magical spell over Ren and help her to find true happiness?

I loved this book from start to finish, everything from the brilliantly written characters to the amazing scenery to the humour that is contained within the pages of The Summer of Serendipity, are what make this book a winner.

The Summer of Serendipity is the perfect summer read for this year and is a book that I found very hard to put down once I picked it up and started reading.  The thing I loved the most about this book is the fact that it is set in Killarney, Co. Kerry which is about a thirty minute drive from where I live and is extrememly close to where I work.  I loved being able to lose myself in this book and being able to picture the surroundings in my mind, while knowing that the story that I was losing myself in was also so far removed from the real place, that it was still such a sense of escapism for me.  Ali has done such a good job in making the town come to life and has really captured the sparkle of the town, showing why it is so popular.

Serendipity is one of the best female leads that I have had the pleasure of reading.  She has everything that is looked for in a leading lady and she is hands down the thing that makes this book as special as it is.  I fell in love with all of the characters in this novel and being Irish myself, I was very impressed with how well written the Irish characters were and how perfectly the culture was captured.

I really can't recommend this book enough, it will make you laugh and have you smiling from ear to ear throughout.  There wasn't one thing about this book that I didn't like.

4 stars.

About the Author:
Ali McNamara attributes her over-active and very vivid imagination to one thing – being an only child. Time spent dreaming up adventures when she was young has left her with a head bursting with stories waiting to be told.
When stories she wrote for fun on Ronan Keating’s website became so popular they were sold as a fundraising project for his cancer awareness charity, Ali realised that not only was writing something she enjoyed doing, but something others enjoyed reading too. | @AliMcNamara

You can catch the other blog tour posts here:

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

BLOG TOUR: Summer's Lease by Carrie Elks

The Blurb
Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. Six years after the play she wrote bombed at the box office, she’s unable to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and worst of all her family have no idea how far she’s fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her the use of his friend’s Italian villa for the summer, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That’s before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.

When Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton sees his name splashed across a gossip rag, all he wants to do is hide. That’s how he finds himself traveling to Italy, deciding to spend the summer in his family’s empty villa on Lake Como. Except when he arrives it isn’t as empty as he’d hoped.

Over the course of the hot Italian summer, Cesca and Sam have to come to terms with their pasts. What begins as a tentative friendship quickly grows into an intense attraction – and then a scorching fling. But they can’t hide from reality forever . . . as their different worlds collide, Sam and Cesca face a choice: is this just a summer romance, or could their love weather even the coldest winds?

My Review
There really are not enough words to describe how much I loved reading this book. I have really been struggling with reading lately and the minute I started reading this book, it pulled me in and I was totally unable to put it down.  I was transported to Italy with this book, and the way that they country was described really made me want hop on a plane and head out there.  Even on the dullest of days here, Summer's Lease brought some sunshine into my life.

The story is like a huge hug and I adored every single page of it.  Even though this is light hearted read, it did have some serious moments, which really added to the story and gave it an air of mystery.  I loved Cesca and Sam, they were both brilliantly written characters and I really enjoyed getting to know them and learn their stories.  

I was delighted to find out that this is the first book in a series that will follow the Shakespeare sisters because there is no way that I would be able to leave the story there! I am so looking forward to getting my hands on the other books in the series as soon as they come out and get to know Cesca's sisters.

Summer's Lease is the perfect Summer read, that will transport you to sunny Italy and keep you thoroughly entertained throughout,  I can't recommend that you read this book enough.  It has everything that I look for in a book and left me with a huge smile on my face.  Carrie Elks is very quickly becoming one of my very favourite authors and I can't wait to read more from her! 

5 stars.

About the author
Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.

You can catch the other posts on the blog tour here:

Saturday, 8 July 2017

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington

I would like to thank the publisher, Harper Collins, for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Carmel Harrington's books have become the release that I look forward to the most every year, so you can only imagine my excitement when this book came through the letter box.  Of course, the second I opened the envelope, I had to drop what I was doing and get stuck into this book straight away, knowing that this book would bring all of the emotions with it, the give away being the tissues that accompanied the book.  I am so pleased to say that this book is all that I expected and more.

Stella has not had an easy life, so when she met her husband and he swept her off of her feet, she though it was too good to be true, and that's because it was.  A year later, Stella finds herself stuck in an abusive marriage with no way of escaping her husband, who both mentally and physically abuses her on a regular basis.  Rea lives next door and is the woman at 72 Derry Lane, who is hiding a big secret that means she has developed a mental illness that has seen her lose everything and leave her housebound.  When she realises what is going on next door, Rea strikes up a very special bond with Stella and is determined to help her to escape her abusive marriage and see her husband be brought to justice.  The third woman that this book focuses on is Skye and her story takes us back to the St Stephens Day Tsunami, leaving the reader with heartbreaking scene that will chill you to the core.

From the second I opened this book and started reading I could tell that Carmel has but her heart and soul into writing this book and bringing these amazing characters to life.  At times it was hard to read as scenes from the tsunami and the abuse that Stella suffers at the hands of husband are hard to read, but I still couldn't draw myself away from this story and I read it at record speed.  There wasn't one single thing that I disliked about this book and I really can't find one fault with it.  After reading it, it is so easy to see how it is flying up the charts, as it deserves this and so much more.

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane is probably my favourite book of 2017 so far, because it made me laugh and cry, sometimes both at the same time, and at the same sentence.  This book came into my life at a very emotional time for me, so i felt every single emotion that all three of the women felt, leaving me feeling so sad, upset, angry and happy at the same times as the characters were.  You will not find a better book this year and I really cannot recommend that you read this book enough.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

BLOG TOUR: The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle

Today I am delighted to take part in the blog tour for The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle, which is hands down my favourite book of 2017 so far! I'm hosting Hannah's top five must read books, which you can read below!

Image result for the year of saying yes part one

#SayYes to Hannah’s reading challenge – Hannah’s top 5 books you HAVE to read!

Using the power of my detective skills (eg the fact that you’re reading this fab blog) you guys love a good read as much as I do. So to celebrate the launch of my new book The Year of Saying Yes, I thought I’d put together the top five books on my bookshelf which I absolutely LOVE.

A romantic comedy is my go-to genre for a good old LOL at the end of a busy day but I’ve spiced things up with a real mix here. Happy reading, lovelies!

1. All the Poirot
It’s kind of tricky to pick one because I heart all of Agatha Christie’s Poirot books. My husband buys me a couple every Christmas then listens to me chuckle away as the French detective employs his little grey cells. I’d love to say that I always figure out who the murderer is before the end of the book but that would be a big fat lie.

2. Lindsey Kelk, A Girl’s Best Friend
Oh I love this. You’re whisked off to New York at Christmas for a lot of fun with photographer Tess and her hapless ways. Perfect for a wintery night in.

3. Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love

This sparklingly funny book is so, so worth a read. It follows the aristocratic Radlett kids and is absolutely packed with fabulous characters, like terrifying Uncle Matthew and sex-obsessed Linda.

4. Lucy Robinson, A Passionate Love Affair with A Total Stranger

I really like Lucy’s writing, it’s so fresh and funny. When basically every element of Charley Lambert’s life hits the skids, she ends up setting up an online dating service and falling for someone completely unexpected. Such a fun book.

5. Sebastian Faulks, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells
PG Wodehouse’s famous characters, Jeeves and Wooster, have been brought to life again by writer Sebastian Faulks. The haphazard duo end up in a series of scrapes in this jolly old romp, which I seriously recommend for a good giggle.

Monday, 8 May 2017

BLOG TOUR: My Husband's Wives by Faith Hogan

Today I am delighted to host an extract and a review of My Husband's Wives by Faith Hogan as part of the blog tour.

I would like to thank the author and the publishers for sending my a copy of this book in return for an honest review.


Some moments stay with you forever. The day Evie Considine knocked on her door would be one of those that would not fade from Grace’s memory easily, or ever. It was a warm day. They had planned a picnic the evening before, just Delilah and herself.
Delilah left Evie standing in the doorway, as unsure where to put her as Grace was about how to welcome this familiar stranger to their home.
‘Hello,’ Grace said. Her voice held a little trepidation. Why do you always have a fair idea when you are about to hear bad news?
‘Hello – we’ve never actually met, Grace, but my name is Evie. Evie Considine-Starr.’ She was an icy grey-blonde, coiffed and immaculately tailored. Her navy blue eyes were large and childlike beneath lids that hooded with age more than shrewdness. Her voice was porcelain, but softened by nerves. She held herself straight and might be formidable, but there was a little girl quality to her that picked out her vulnerability so she couldn’t hide it, even if she tried. She was absurdly overdressed for the weather and younger-looking than the sixty-five years she must surely be at this stage.
Grace held out her hand. ‘It’s nice to meet you.’ They shared a handshake with no warmth. ‘What can I do for you?’ She reversed backwards into her hallway, feeling as if this perfectly prepared woman who had slipped silently about in her imagination for so long had caught her in the act of some sordid activity. She moved into the nearby dining room that they never used. She could feel Evie inspecting the place as they entered the room. ‘Have a seat.’ But she did not sit. This was not a social visit.
‘I’m here about Paul.’ Her voice was even, unemotional, but Grace knew it couldn’t be good news; she was a million miles off just how bad though. ‘He’s dead.’ Evie said the words with a finality that took all the air from the room between them.
Grace could not speak, she tried to take in the words, but they weren’t hitting home, her lungs had cut off breathing and after a moment she had to remind herself to suck and blow. It was as though someone had bubbled-wrapped the world and insulated her from those two words.
‘I thought you should be first to hear, and of course to tell Delilah.’
‘He can’t be; he can’t be dead – how?’ Grace’s voice didn’t sound as if it belonged to her. She dropped to the nearest chair. Paul, dead? There had to be a mistake. This was all some awful mix up. ‘How…’ Her mind raced. ‘I mean, when…’
‘Look dear, you’re in shock, we’re both in shock, probably. You’ll have to decide how best to break it to Delilah. She’s, what…’ Evie leaned her head to the side. It was strange to hear this woman speak of her daughter as though she knew her well, as though there were some connection there far beyond what Grace felt there was any right to be. ‘She’s sixteen this year, isn’t she?’ Evie nodded sagely, twisted the emerald and diamond band on her wedding finger. ‘A difficult age to lose her father,’ she shook her head, as though it was all a question of timing. Shock, even Grace could see it, she was in shock. ‘All she needs to hear is that it was painless, as far as the doctors are saying. He was driving at the time, so…’
‘Can we see him?’ Grace had to let the fact that Evie knew anything about their lives slip past her. In this moment, she had to concentrate on taking in the news. ‘What about…’
‘It would be better for Delilah to wait; at least until we see what she has to be prepared for.’ Evie picked an imaginary hair from the lapel of her soft expensive jacket. ‘They want us to identify him. Well, they want me to identify him.’ She sniffed. Perhaps it was as close as she came to crying.
‘Oh?’ Grace felt the room spin about her. Her hands were sweating against her bare legs. She’d put on a denim skirt for a day at the beach. It felt sticky and clingy and as though it might have grown a couple of sizes too small. The whole house suddenly moved in closer about her for a moment. She felt she might faint. She took a deep breath, raised her eyes to see Evie regarding her reservedly.
‘It’s shock. Better to be in the boat you’re in than where Annalise Connolly is.’ The words were cold, but maybe Evie too was still in shock. ‘She was in the car with him. They were travelling from the hospital early in the morning, and swerved to avoid a dog.’ Her voice quivered, only slightly, and then she straightened herself, cleared her throat. ‘He careered into one of those big trucks, from what the traffic police could tell me.’ She nodded towards the front of the house. ‘He was trying to avoid a dog. A blasted dog.’
‘Is she… is she going to be okay?’
‘I didn’t ask.’ Evie stared blankly at Grace; perhaps it was just dawning on her that she should have. ‘I suppose she must be or they’d have said, wouldn’t they?’
‘And the boys?’ It was strange talking about Annalise Connolly’s children like this. They never talked about them; Paul talked about everything but his life with Annalise and the two sons they had together.
‘No, it was just Paul and Annalise, from what the guards can make out.’ Evie shook her head. ‘You’d have to wonder…’ She didn’t finish the sentence, but Grace had a fair idea of the sentiment. Maybe before Delilah was born she’d have felt the same.
‘So, do you want to come?’ She was looking at her watch, a simple Cartier gold snake slid about her papery wrist.
‘Pardon?’ Grace had lost track of Evie’s words, as though she’d missed a step somewhere between the kitchen and the front door; the universe had taken a sidestep on her.
‘The guards, they’re waiting outside to take us to see him. It’s only right that you’re there too. After all, you had a child together.’
‘He was my husband,’ Grace said. He’d never divorced her. She still wore her ring most days. He was still a big part of their lives, even if he had fathered the two boys with Annalise Connolly.
‘No, Grace.’ Evie gazed with the fervour of a zealot. ‘No, Grace. He was still my husband. We never got divorced.’


My Husband's Wives tells the story of four women, all of whom have found themselves in a relationship with Ireland's leading Heart Surgeon, Paul Starr.  When he dies tragically in a car accident with a young pregnant woman by his side, Evie, Grace and Annaliese, Paul's wives start up a relationship with the young woman by arranging his funeral and in the process, each woman finds out more about themselves than they ever thought was possible.

I loved this story, I always love a book that switches back and forth between the point of views of the different characters, and this book does just that.  Because the story is told in this way, we get to know each one of the women better and the reader is allowed to get inside the heads of the characters.  I loved each of the women, but for me Grace has that something special to add to the story.  I loved that she is a strong female lead and she is such a believable and authentic character.

There really wasn't one thing that I didn't like about this book and the further into the book I got, the more unputdownable it became, until I was incredibly entranced by the story.  I really can't recommend this book enough and I can't wait to get my hands on Faith's other novel and lose myself in that for a couple of hours! I adored this book and this story and I can guarantee that if you read it, you will not be disappointed!

You can catch up with all of the other stops on the tour here:


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