Posted in Writing



A fabulously funny read from Caroline James. Think The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but in the Lake District!

Let the shenanigans begin at 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 its 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?


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Well, what a wonderful way for Choc Lit to launch their Ruby fiction imprint. The Best Boomerville Hotel kept me entertained from the very first page to the last.
After her husband’s death Jo Docherty closed their hotel, the Kirkton House for a year. But now she’s back and with the help of her friend, the larger than life Hattie Contraldo, has reopened as The Boomerville Hotel. The object of their new business is, and I quote, ‘for midlife singles to learn new things and take up fresh challenges’. The hotel offers everything, from spa treats and yoga, to more cerebrally challenging things like creative writing, cookery and art courses. There’s something for everyone, together with a resident fortune teller and shaman.
As Jo opens for business and guests arrive, the reader is introduced to a great group of very different people. One of the central characters is Kate, someone who has spent a good part of her time bringing couples together with her on line dating business. But after selling her company it’s now an opportunity for some ‘me’ time and maybe finding Mr Right? He appears early on as the Porsche driving affluent Andy Mack who Jo and Hattie are quick to nickname James Bond. Could there be romance in the air? Could The Boomerville actually be responsible for two people finding happy ever after?
This is such an entertaining read. OK there are quite a few characters to get your head around but they’re introduced in such a way you have no problem distinguishing who’s who. The story dips in and out of their lives giving a great mixture of drama and comedy during their stay. Caroline keeps the pot boiling so the reader is constantly wondering what’s going to happen next. A first class read, I absolutely loved it!



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. 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.



Posted in Writing


ViennaColour250x250Hi Miriam and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Hi Jo and thank you very much for having me on your blog. I was born and brought up in the UK, but have lived for over forty years in Israel, where I married and had three children, now all grown up. I began my working life as a computer programmer, transferred to technical writing and am now an author and an editor.

The other thing I should say, because it comes up below, is that I developed social anxiety as a child, mostly because of the way I was treated at school, and have lived with it ever since.

What made you decide to move from writing fiction to producing a non-fiction book?

It only seems as if that’s what I did. Actually, I wrote the non-fiction book on social anxiety in 2004 before I wrote any fiction. When I tried to get it published, I began to realise how difficult it is to become a published author and put the book aside. In the meantime, I started to write fiction and eventually got some short stories published in anthologies before being picked up by my publisher, Crooked Cat Books. When Crooked Cat ventured into non-fiction, they accepted my book from 2004, which I enhanced, and which was published in 2017.

Have you any plans to return to fictional work?

Definitely. I’m working on one work of fiction at the moment and have plans for others.

If money were no object where in the world would you love to travel to?

My husband and I have done a lot of travelling in recent years, including exotic places like India, Ethiopia and the Far East. But I’ve never crossed the equator and would love to visit anywhere in the southern hemisphere. I’d probably start with Australia and New Zealand, two places with plenty to discover and no language barrier.

Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?

I’m looking forward to getting back to writing when I return home from my current trip to the UK, during which, apart from visiting several lovely friends, I have given a talk on social anxiety and am about to co-lead a workshop.

In the novel I hope to finish shortly, a man who’s been socially isolated is sent to Japan to represent his company. The business trip is only short, but it has a major effect on his life.

And lastly, you are planning life on a desert island for a year. What four things would you take with you and why?

The thing that springs to mind first is the means for writing. I’m hoping that by wording it in this way, you will regard it as one thing, although it sounds like two: paper and pens. And in sufficient quantities to keep me going all year, please. That’ll keep me busy and happy.

Turning to more practical matters, I’d like a big crate of tinned and other food and drink that’ll last, to keep me alive.

Music would be nice – a wide variety of it, including songs to dance to. And maybe the playlist could include some Radio 4 programmes. I particularly like Woman’s Hour, Just a Minute and the News Quiz. Even Desert Island Discs.

And, of course, lots of books to read, starting with all those on my ever-growing to-read list.

This is beginning to sound like a welcome prospect. When can I go?

Author BIO

image001Miriam Drori was born and brought up in London and now lives with her husband and one of three grown up children in Jerusalem.

With a degree in Maths and following careers in computer programming and technical writing, Miriam has been writing novels and short stories for fourteen years. After some success with short stories, Miriam turned her hand to longer fictional works, publishing “Neither Here Nor There” and “The Women Friends: Selina” co-written with Emma Rose Millar.

Miriam’s latest publication is non-fiction and explores the common but little-known disorder called social anxiety, which has been her companion for most of her life. It looks at social anxiety from different points of view, with the help of many quotes from ‘sufferers’ who agreed for their words to be used anonymously. The book has been highly recommended by ‘sufferers’ as well as professionals in this field.

When not writing, Miriam enjoys reading, hiking, dancing and travelling.

Miriam Drori can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Wattpad and on her website/blog and social anxiety blog.


Neither Here Nor There, a romance set in Jerusalem.

The Women Friends: Selina, historical fiction based on a painting by Klimt.

Social Anxiety Revealed