Happy Monday everyone! Hope you’ve all had a fab weekend! I’m thrilled to be kicking off this week with an extract from a sparkly new mystery series! And what’s more there’s a bit of a giveaway too!
Many thanks to Rachel Gibley of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the blog tour!
You can be in with a chance to win Drake, Hattie’s faithful pet duck! Tall Drake & Handsome – A gorgeous soft toy who will be your friend for life! All you have to do is click on the link below and follow the instructions! Easy peasy! Good luck 🍀🍀
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
A Cumbrian Village…
A red-hot summer…
Join super-sleuth Hattie as tempers and temperatures rise in the Cumbrian village of Hollywood. With mischief and shenanigans aplenty, will Hattie discover the truth?
A funny and intriguing mystery – the first in a new series by Caroline James
When recently bereaved Hattie Mulberry inherits her aunt’s dilapidated cottage in the village of Hollywood in Cumbria, she envisages a quiet life. But retired hotelier Hattie is bored and when her neighbour asks her to investigate a suspicious suicide, Hattie’s career takes a new direction and H&H Investigations is born. During the hottest summer for years, Hattie discovers there have been three recent suicides in Hollywood and she determines to find out why. Temperatures rise as she throws herself into village life and, with mischief and shenanigans aplenty, Hattie has her work cut out. But will she establish the truth?
Having spent the first night in her new home, a run-down old cottage in the Cumbrian village of Hollywood, Hattie decides that it is time to meet her neighbour…
Hattie woke early. Rain pelted against the windows in her room, pounding the frail glass. Ancient cracks leaked water, creating puddles on the sill that dripped steadily onto the floorboards below. ‘Damn!’ she said and swung her legs over the side of the bed. ‘Another job for Alf.’
Hattie padded across the room. She wore a silky negligee, which had been one of Hugo’s favourites. It clung to her voluptuous body and the neckline accentuated her full breasts and cleavage. Hattie was proud of her figure. She was no stick-insect, but neither was she overweight, despite her voracious appetite. With a metabolism that motored along nicely and a face that wore her years well, Hattie knew that she looked good in her fifties and was proud that she could still attract attention.
A towel lay on a pile of clothing, draped across a chair. Hattie grabbed it and dabbed at the pooling water. She looked out to her neighbour’s house, where a woman, wandering around the garden, caught her eye. The woman wore a stylish mac and headscarf and was busy stacking chairs under a gazebo, where the remains of yesterday’s wake lay on a sagging trestle table. With no sign of help from anyone else, Hattie considered giving the woman a hand. It might be a good way of introducing herself and an opportunity to have a nose around next door.
A few moments later, Hattie was dressed and striding along the lane. Her wellies pounded across the driveway of Holly House and she pulled at the hood of her old duffle-coat as she made her way past several outbuildings and into the garden.
‘Hello there!’ Hattie called out and held up her hand. The woman paused in her deliberations to turn and stare at the approaching figure. ‘I’ve moved into Holly Cottage,’ Hattie began, ‘I noticed that you had a bit to do and wondered if I can help clear up.’ Hattie studied her new neighbour. She was similar in age, and attractive, with mid-life beginning to show on lines that crinkled around her eyes. Her blonde hair, beneath the scarf, was straight and long and hung damply across her shoulders.
‘Hello,’ the woman said, ‘I’m Marjorie Delaney.’
‘Hattie Mulberry, pleased to meet you. Should I help with those chairs?’ Hattie nodded towards the gazebo.
Marjorie turned her head and was thoughtful as she stared at the chaos. ‘No, it’s good to have some company, let’s leave them, the gardener can sort it out. We’ll get out of the rain; would you like a coffee?’
‘Sounds like a grand idea, if you’re sure it’s no trouble.’
‘None at all, follow me.’
Marjorie led Hattie through the garden and, as she stepped into a conservatory, she shrugged off her rain gear and indicated that Hattie do the same. Hattie followed her neighbour through the house and while Marjorie prepared their drinks, she gazed around at the luxurious kitchen. The units were of a pale limed wood with Italian marbled surfaces in the softest shades of grey.
‘Have a seat,’ Marjorie said and pulled out a chair. She placed a tray of coffee and biscuits on the table and, sitting opposite Hattie, began to pour. ‘Milk and sugar?’
‘Yes, please.’ Hattie sat down and studied her surroundings. The room was straight out of the pages of a lifestyle magazine and Hattie admired Marjorie’s taste, elegant in a minimalist sort of way.
‘Your home is lovely.’ Hattie reached for a shortbread and took a sip of her coffee.
The house was delightful, and Hattie wondered why on earth Barry Delaney would want to cut short his time there?
Who Is Caroline James?
Best-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often 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, which includes talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer’s & Journalists and the Society of Authors and writes articles and short stories, contributing 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.
Books by Caroline James:
Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me
Coffee Tea the Chef & Me
Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me
The Best Boomerville Hotel
Hattie Goes to Hollywood
Social Media Links –
Facebook: Caroline James Author