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Book Review: Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me. By Caroline James

Book Review: Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me. By Caroline James

“The time to be happy is now..”

What a wonderful quote to start your book. Any avid followers of my blog and / or Twitter will know that Caroline James is one of my favourite Authors.

This book is a follow up to ‘Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy and Me’. You can read my review for that book  HERE!

Author Caroline James sent me a wonderful package with this book, all beautifully wrapped with the signed paperback book and a slice of home baked Caribbean cake! Lucky me eh! The cake was delicious and the book great.

This book can absolutely be read as a stand alone, but I would recommend reading both as they are fantastic!

** All views are completely honest and my own, despite eating the Authors cake! 😉

book and pina colada

Description:

Flying solo again in their middle years, can life really begin again for Jo and Hattie? Is there hope for the newly single baby boomers and can romance happen?

Continuing the Coffee Tea… series, join Jo and Hattie as they romp into their future and prove that anything is possible!

Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me is a stand-alone read but also the sequel to Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me which shot to #3 on Amazon and was E-Book of the week in The Sun Newspaper.

Set in Cumbria and the Caribbean.

“A story about friendship and loss…is there hope for those of a certain age?”

‘The time to be happy is now…’ Jo remembers her late husband’s words but is struggling to face the lonely future that lies ahead. A heartbroken widow, Jo finds herself alone with ghostly memories at Kirkton House – a Cumbrian Manor that until recently, she ran as a thriving hotel. Her two sons have moved away, Jimmy to run a bar in Barbados, and Zach to London to pursue a career as a celebrity chef. Middle-age and widowhood loom frighteningly and Jo determines to sell up and start again, despite protestations from colourful friend, Hattie and erstwhile admirer Pete Parks.

Hattie convinces Jo to postpone any life-changing decisions by enjoying a Caribbean holiday but their holiday sets off a course of events that brings mayhem and madness to Jo and her family. Confused and anxious for her future, can life really begin again for Jo?

Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was a finalist at The Write Stuff – London Book Fair 2015. The judge’s comments included, “Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.”

coffe tea carib

Kindle Edition, 334 pages

Expected publication: February 12th 2016 by Ramjam Publishing Company

 

My Thoughts:

This book starts off telling us about Jo and Hattie in Westmorland, unfortunately they are both single again in their later years. But they have a great friendship which we can see throughout the book. The story takes us from Westmorland to the Caribbean to London and back again. You can tell that the Author has a love for all of these places. The way Caroline describes Barbados made me want to go on holiday, and as I couldn’t just jump on a plane to the Caribbean, I made do with a rum punch.   😉

Caroline’s writing is smooth and easy reading with great descriptions. She totally puts the reader in the place, so you can just imagine yourself sitting on the white sands drinking cocktails. 

“..secluded beach-fronted gardens and palm trees swayed, as the turquoise waters lapped..”

I knew before I started this book that I was going to see characters that I had ‘met’ before, and was excited to see what Caroline had in store for them. We also got to meet new lovely characters. We meet Jo’s second son Zach, who is dubbed the ‘Gypsy Chef’. I was especially happy to read of this new character as I love Caroline’s foodie descriptions. There are the deliciously English cooked breakfasts, Caribbean food – mmm Caribbean cake, and of course Zach’s ‘Gypsy Chef’ cooking.

“..chop a bunch of nettles. He tossed them into a pan to saute, along side finely diced wild garlic..”

There are such a wide range of characters in this book. I love the positivity from Hattie, she is always there for her friend Jo with uplifting words, fun and laughter. One of the side characters was Lottie. I would like to hear more from her in Caroline’s future books. She reminds me of Bubble from Ab Fab. I love the way Caroline describes her dress sense, it gives such a sense of her character.

This is what Lottie wore to a birthday party – “..a tight green body stocking, that emphasized every bone and a bright red bob hat. The ensemble reminded Bob of a giant match”

This book is very cleverly written whereby, if like me you have read Caroline’s two previous books you can see how all the characters link up. And wow there are some surprises there with some of the characters. I wasn’t expecting that!! (No spoilers, so you will have to read and find out for yourself). 

I loved this book, it gave me an easy read with a great range of characters. There is love, comedy, emotion and food! What more can you ask for?! It was brilliant. ♥

I had a great interview with Author Caroline James. If you missed it, you can catch up HERE!

 

Links:

GOODREADS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON.COM

Twitter CarolineJames

 

Author-Love-300x120AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES (PROFESSIONAL PROMO SHOTS 14.08.2015)

If you have read any of Caroline’s books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If not, what did you think of the sound of this one? Do you want to read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, I love to read what you think! ♥ 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in Books, Uncategorized

 

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Coffee, Tea and Caroline James. Author Interview

Coffee, Tea and Caroline James. Author Interview

Vacances Plage Couple-couche de soleil

Today, I am bringing you an interview with Author Caroline James whose book ‘Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me’ has just been released. I also have a brilliant book trailer to share with you.

AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES (PROFESSIONAL PROMO SHOTS 14.08.2015)

AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES

I have read Caroline’s book, my review will follow this post. I loved the book, and recommend it to all who enjoy a good hearty book of comedy, romance, food and laughs.

Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me’ by Caroline James. 

February 12th 2016 by Ramjam Publishing Company

 

I loved that clip, and if you read the book you will really want to go to the Caribbean! Now onto my questions for Caroline. 

Hi Caroline, thank you for answering my questions. I was unsure whether to have Tea, Coffee, Champagne or Rum punch to drink during this interview! 😉 

book on beach

1. I love that your book is based in the Caribbean, the West Country (UK) and London. Did you spend time in all 3 places for ‘research’? 

Yes I did. I lived in Cumbria for several years and visit as often as I can. I am very

fond of the Lake District and the beautiful countryside and it is a great pleasure to

write about it. I have family in the Caribbean and have been travelling there for many

years. Barbados is a stunning island and life there is very different from the one I

lead here. It seemed natural to send my two Cumbrian characters, Jo and Hattie, to

a place that I know well and let them, through the pages of the novel, feel the warm

restorative glow of a welcoming Caribbean holiday. 


 

2. It was great to find out what all the characters that I love have been up to. Do you have a favourite character and did they come from a certain inspiration (e.g a person, or people)?

Hattie is probably my favourite character. She is a no-nonsense sort of person who

has a heart of gold and in her own way is very funny without trying to be. She’s not

based on anyone but an amalgamation of characters that I’ve observed in the past. I

would like us all to have a Hattie in our lives – a true friend and supportive rock when

you need her.


 

 3. I love your quote ‘ The time to be happy is now’, do you want to tell us where you got this from?

My mum always said this to me. What she meant was that we should be happy right

now, in the moment, no matter what is going on around us. I think it is a lovely quote

and say it often to myself. She had a very positive attitude towards believing that

living life in the positive not the negative enables good things to happen. I think she

was right.


 

4. Do you have a specific or special place to write? 

Yes, I do. I have a small oak desk that I bought at an auction a few years ago. I use it

just for writing and writing paraphernalia. This is in a corner of the room with a high

ceiling and vermillion painted walls, it is very atmospheric. I tuck myself away with a

favourite chair and cushion, light a fragrant candle,sip from a big mug of coffee and

nibble on a packet of biscuits and then when everything is just right, I begin to write.


 

5. What book are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just read The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. It is a short novel,

beautifully written and I read it very quickly as the tale gathered tension. It is an

interesting analysis of the state of the world we live in today. I really enjoyed it.


 6. I love that your books and characters love their food, especially cake! I understand that you love to bake too. What is your favourite cake or recipe and do these help your inspiration in your books?

My background has always been in the hospitality industry. I loathed school and the

only two subjects I ever took an interest in were English and Cookery. Cookery has

always been a part of my working life and I love to bake and nurture my friends and

family through baking. A visitor will always get a slice of cake with their cup of tea.

My favourite is probably salted caramel brownie – so easy to do but so scummy, but

I made baklava for the first time recently and experimented with the spicy filling, it

was delicious!


7. Are we going to hear more from Hattie, Jo and the rest of the ‘Coffee, Tea’ crew? I hope so. 

Yes, I am afraid you are! Coffee Tea The Boomers & Me will be published later in the

year and introduces some new characters into the mix. We have an aging Major who

is sozzled most of the time and Kate, an IT specialist who has sold her successful

business and is looking for love and finds it in the arms of the irresistible Andy Mack.

The all come together when they stay at Boomerville – Jo’s new business. The book

is about having a blast in middle and later years when most folk think they are over

the hill. With Hattie’s help and hair-brained schemes, life for our boomers most certainly begins again.


 

About Caroline James.

car james


Caroline James was born in Cheshire and wanted to be a writer from an early age. She trained, however, in the catering trade and worked and travelled both at home and abroad.

Caroline’s debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me shot to #3 on Amazon and was Ebook of the Week in The Sun newspaper. Her second novel, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity… Chef? has been described as wickedly funny: ‘AbFab meets MasterChef in a Soap…’

Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was a Finalist at The Write Stuff, London Book Fair 2015 and the judge’s comments included: “Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.” The book will be published February 2016.

Caroline has owned and run many catering related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction. She has published short stories and is a member of the RNA. Caroline writes articles on food and celebrity based interviews and is Feature Editor for a lifestyle magazine. When she’s not running her hospitality business and writing, Caroline can generally be found with her nose in a book and her hand in a box of chocolates, she also likes to climb mountains and contemplate life.

CJ Books on beach background

 

LINKS:

GOODREADS Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me.

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

TWITTER CAROLINEJAMES12

CarolineJamesAuthor.co.uk

Facebook – AuthorCarolineJames

book on beach

 

My book review of ‘Coffee, Tea The Caribbean and Me’ will be on my blog soon, so keep your eyes open for it. If you have read any of Caroline’s other books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

What did you think of the book trailer? Are you inspired to pick up this book? What would you ask an Author if you had the pleasure of asking them a question? 

Until next time, Happy Reading! ♥

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
10 Comments

Posted by on February 27, 2016 in author interviews

 

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