Thursday, 31 October 2013

A very special story about Rosemary Craddock and The Lovegrove Hermit

A while ago, I received a phone call from a lovely lady called Rosemary Craddock who told me that she was an author whose typewriter had broken and she asked whether I would be able to type up a manuscript for a book that she had written called The Lovegrove Hermit. 

Rosemary told me that she was an author and that her first book (The Secret House) was published in 1979 and she then went on to have a book published nearly every year until 1986 when The Devil’s Folly was created.  

After writing seventeen chapters of another novel, Rosemary decided that she didn’t feel that the book was right and was missing something and she put it to one side.

Rosemary went along to see a Tom Stoppard play called Arcadia which was set across two periods of time.  It was this play that inspired her to write a book where one of the characters was a hermit and the name The Lovegrove Hermit came to her immediately. 

All bundled up, with the synopsis and a covering letter, the manuscript was sent off to her previous publisher – Robert Hale Ltd, and she called me one evening saying that she’d had a letter asking for an electronic copy and she was most concerned because she had no idea what this meant and what to do about it.

I told her not to worry, that it could be sorted within a few minutes, so I emailed a copy of the word document to the publishers and had the absolute pleasure of ringing up Rosemary after I had received an email back from Gillian Jackson, offering a publishing contract.

Today (31st October 2013) is publication day for The Lovegrove Hermit .  I am so delighted that I was able to play a part in this wonderful story.  You can buy a copy of the book here.

Rosemary is 80 years old and was born and bred in Hednesford, Staffordshire, the town in which I live.  She has been writing since childhood and has published many novels full of mystery, romance and intrigue, most of them set in the nineteenth century. 

Rosemary does not have a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter name, and doesn’t even own a computer or use the Internet.  Hednesford Library are taking this book on board and we are hoping that they will hold a signing event in her honour.   This is wonderful news in itself.  More wonderful news is that the book that Rosemary put to one side, has now also been finished and we hope that in time, the publishers may also agree to publish that one too.  Watch this space. . . . . . . .

Monday, 28 October 2013

Good luck vibes being sent to Nicola May

Well folks - what can I tell you about Nicola May?

I could tell you that at last year’s Festival of Romance in Bedford she won the Best Author Published Read with her fabulous book The School Gates.

I could tell you that this year she’s been shortlisted for not one but two awards at this year’s Festival of Romance with her brilliant book The Bow Wow Club which is a sequel to Working It Out.  The first award is the New Talent Award and the second is once again for the Best Author Published Read.  The awards take place on 9th November and I’d love you to join me in wishing Nicola the best of luck for both categories. 

I could tell you that she’s extremely talented and writes hilarious fiction with a heart that has you crying with laughter one minute, then sobbing your heart out the next. 

I could tell you that on 16th November 2013, Nicola is running a workshop helping people who want to self-publish a book.  She’s an expert having self-published her own books extremely successfully.

I could even tell you that she also offers a 1-2-1 consultancy to authors who want to self-publish.  If you want to learn from someone who has already done it and learnt the right and wrong ways, Nicola can advise you on any aspects that you are struggling with. 

Or, or I could just let you learn even more about Nicola, her writing and her consultancy by checking out her website 

I will just tell you one last thing! If you’ve never read a Nicola May book, then you are really missing out!



Friday, 25 October 2013

Opportunities to work with Kim The Bookworm

I would like say a massive thank you to the fabulous Sue Watson, author of debut novel Fat Girls & Fairy Cakes and her latest novel Younger, Thinner, Blonder.  Sue has taken on the first advertising slot on my little old blog.
This is what Sue said when I approached her about advertising on my blog.
"A reasonably priced advertising slot on a book blog which is well-read, well-respected and interesting is a great opportunity. I’ve known Kim for a couple of years now and we’ve met in real-life as well as chatted online and it’s clear she has a passion for all things books. She dedicates a great deal of her spare time to reviewing and blogging about books and as a result has built up a large following.

“One of the things that us authors tend to forget sometimes is that book bloggers do what they do for free! They give up their spare time, which can be limited when they have full time jobs and families to help authors and publishers to promote their books.

“I’m grateful that as part of the advertising offer, Kim will also be promoting my books on Facebook and Twitter throughout the month. This is great, as I don’t always have the time to do this and it’s great to know if I’m busy writing, someone else is putting a message out into the world about my books. A great word of mouth recommendation is worth its weight in gold.

“I’m really looking forward to working closely with Kim on many other fabulous ideas that we have brainstormed between us. The publishing world is changing rapidly and as an author I am only too aware of this. Kim’s PR experience, insight and social network connections as a reviewer are invaluable to authors, both self and traditionally published because being an author is not just about ‘writing the book’ anymore.

It’s great to have a one-stop-shop to go to who can help to arrange competitions, publicity shoots, blog tours, books signings, talks, promotional material and PR and someone who is as enthusiastic, knowledgeable and fanatical about books as she is!

“Thanks Kim for giving me this opportunity.”

If you would like to advertise your book on Kim The Bookworm, please email me at

Prices start at £20 per month. Payment can be made through Paypal.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Chick Lit authors hold hands across the sea

Fasten your seatbelts and put your tray tables in the upright and locked position. Over the next few days, some of your favourite Chick Lit characters will be jetting across the Atlantic to visit with fictional friends on the other side of the pond.

The event kicks off today, Monday, 21 Oct and here’s a little sneak peek at the fun, frothy books and sassy gals featured in our international promo, all of which are priced at £2.99 or less:

On Tuesday, 22 Oct.: Read about Stella from Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes and Chloe from Lying to Meet You as they travel across the Atlantic to visit each other.
Stella will be on Anna Garner’s blog and Chloe will be on Sue Watson’s blog

Wednesday, 23 Oct., It’s time to discover what happens when Emma from The Pollyanna Plan andKim from Blogger Girl meetEmma will be on Meredith Schorr’s blog and Kim will be on Talli Roland’s blog

Thursday, 24 Oct: Izzy from Izzy’s Cold Feetand Jamie from Finding Lucas will be taking you on a trip alongside their characters. Izzy will be onSamantha Stroh Bailey’s blog and Jamie will be on Sarah Louise Smith’s blog

Friday, 25 Oct. Kate from Sealed with a Kiss and Pilar from In Need of Therapy will be chatting about their overseas experiences. Kate will be on Tracie Banister’s blog and Pilar will be on Rachael Lucas’s blog


Finding Lucas 
by Samantha Stroh Bailey Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turnedmetrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind? Available on 
Amazon UK 
and Kobo

In Need of Therapy 
by Tracie Banister – Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself? Available on
Amazon UK and B&N

Lying to Meet You 
by Anna Garner – Overworked New York fashion girl Chloe Lane has no time for a real relationship, but when her childhood pal asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test a theory, she decides to go for it. The lies start piling up and things start getting crazy. Will Chloe be able to keep it together? Available on Amazon.com
Amazon UK
and B&N

Sealed with a Kiss 
by Rachael Lucas – Kate breathes a sigh of relief when she's dumped at her best friend's wedding. When she takes a job on the island of Auchenmor, she's determined to have a year off men, but that's before she rescues Flora the seal pup with the help of Roddy, her mysteriousnew boss... Available on and Amazon UK

The Pollyanna Plan 
by Talli Roland – Emma Beckett has always looked down on 'the glass is half full' optimists. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancĂ©, Emma makes a radical decision: from here on in, she'll attempt to see the upside, no matter how dire the situation. Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea? Available on 

and Amazon UK

Blogger Girl 
by Meredith Schorr – Kimberly Long has two passions: her successful chick lit blog and Nicholas, her handsome colleague down the hall. But when her high school nemesis pops onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book and eyes for Nicholas, Kim has to make some quick revisions to her own life story. Available on
Amazon UK 

Apple iTunes

 Cold Feet by Sarah Louise Smith – Izzy is engaged to Greg, who is everything a girl could want. The trouble is – all she can think about is the men she loved before she met him. In the week leading up to her wedding day, Izzy is forced to ask herself who she loves the most. And, given the choice, who would she want to spend her life with?Available on
Amazon UK
and UK Nook

Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes 
by Sue Watson – TV Producer Stella is over worked, over weight and under fire battling to balance family, career and those weighing scales. In the past she’s always found comfort at the bottom of her mixing bowl but now the most delicious lemon sponge with zesty frosting has no effect. However, life is about to get even tougher... and Stella has to face some truths about herself, her life and her future. Available on and Amazon UK

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Blog Stop: Poppy Dolan joins me to talk about There's More to Life than Cupcakes

(Published10th October 2013: Novelicious Books)

I'm thrilled today to be joined at my blog by the brilliant author Poppy Dolan.  I finished this book just a couple of nights ago and it was completely fab! Her last book was pretty superb too.  If you've not read anything of hers yet, you really should give her books a try.  Sooooo entertaining! 

Poppy joins me today to talk about her writing.  Thanks so much for taking the time to pop by Poppy.

    This much I know after 3 and 1/3 novels…

I will admit I was ‘writing tips’ junkie. A complete addict. If I saw a tweet or blog post entitled ‘My Top 5 Writing Tips’ I would be clicking in a heartbeat, eager to know what the secret was, how these successful writers did it, book after book, and – most importantly - how they stayed sane through it all. I read writing tips that seem to agree with tips from other authors; I read tips that conflicted completely; I read tips I didn’t really agree with. And now I’ve finished writing my third novel (and a third of a novel that’s staying locked in a drawer) I think I’m over my tips obsession. Because I’ve realised that writing a novel is such a big, sprawling, messy activity that I haven’t even managed to approach each one of my own novels in the same way, so I’m not sure there can be ‘one size fits all’ tips. It’s great to have guidelines to follow and to be inspired by how other people approach their writing, but it’s also important not to feel like you’re somehow lacking or wrong if you tackle your novel in your own style.
I’ve planned religiously and I’ve not planned at all: both times I ended up with lots of problems with structure and pacing. I’ve read lots of other novels while writing and I’ve also read nothing but cereal boxes too, not wanting to be subconsciously influenced. Again, both times I hit on the same problems with clunky dialogue and labouring jokes.
So in future, I’m not going to beat myself if I don’t have a timeline sketched out or post its on a wall. I’m going to go with my gut and work really really hard at writing, rewriting, writing again and editing like crazy. Because the only thing you can count on is that you won’t get it right first time!   

Really interesting for all the budding authors out there who don't know whether they've got it right or don't know where to start.  So, now it's time to hear a bit about the book itself.  Here's the blurb. 

A fresh, sparkling new voice and a wonderful addition to women's commercial fiction!”
Sunday Times Bestselling Author Claudia Carroll

 Ellie Redford has a husband, a job and a home. According to the rest of the world, it’s baby o’clock already. Shame life doesn’t come with a recipe…
Ellie knows that starting a family with lovely husband Pete would be an amazing adventure. Pete would make a brilliant dad and she’d have an excuse to eat shed loads of Cherry Bakewell. But Ellie’s bestie would rather she was up at 3am with a bottle of Malibu, not formula. And with redundancies looming, Ellie’s boss isn’t exactly going to throw her a shower if she disappears for a year, with pay.
While Ellie juggles her feelings (and everyone else’s) as competently as a drunken clown, she finds herself signing up for a baking class, alongside the young, free and sizzling hot Joe. As they work buns and shape tarts, is there more to their friendship than a shared appreciation of Paul Hollywood? 
Ellie’s soufflĂ©s may be rising, but her personal life is one big soggy mess. If she doesn't make a decision soon, she may just lose everything that matters to her. Maybe it's time to take off the pinny and face up to the truth: there’s more to life than cupcakes...


Poppy Dolan is a rom com aficiando. After watching When Harry Met Sally at the impressionable age of 14, she’s never stopped dreaming of having the perfect ‘meet-cute’, that one-liner that steals your heart and the grand romantic gesture to end all grand romantic gestures. Since her real-life dating experiences were more often situated at Nando’s than the top of the Eiffel Tower, she turned to fiction and wrote romantic comedies of her own.
When she's not glued to her laptop, Poppy loves cooking, reading and getting emotional over reality TV. She is in her early thirties and lives just outside London with her husband. She writes in a coffee shop nicknamed Terence and also - when it's not too chilly - in the shed.

Why not connect with Poppy on Twitter @poppydwriter and on Facebook at PoppyDolanBooks. She doesn't bite. Unless you are a muffin.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Review: So, You Think You’re A Celebrity … Chef? By Caroline James


I am completely delighted today to be reviewing this book. 

Here's a couple of quotes pre-publication day. 
"A fabulous story, it made me shriek with laughter and I loved every twist and turn! And so much of it could be only too true! One of my favourite current reads."  Valentina Harris, Author, Chef & International Cookery School Host.
"You'll go NUTS! about this book! A Great read!" Andrew Nutter, Celebrity Chef
Here's some blurb (don't you just love that word!) about the book then I'll tell you what I thought about it. 
Mix together…
A tough-cookie media agent who's clawed her way to the top, and a con-man who wants to open a cookery school.
Add in a washed-up celebrity chef whose career needs re-building…
Flavour with…
An aging rock star fresh from rehab, and a Sloane Ranger food writer who gets her own TV show…
Bring to the boil:
At a Gourmet Food Festival, in Ireland, where anything goes!
When media agent Hilary Hargreaves travels to Ireland to look at a campaign for a new cookery school, she meets a blast from her past - the romantic but feckless chef Mickey Lloyd, who is hell-bent on resurrecting his flagging career. Her tough demeanour is rocked as it becomes apparent Mickey's intentions involve more than a stint behind a stove in his quest to pursue her. But as plans for the school gain momentum, she realises that she's developing more than a passing interest in reformed alcoholic Long Tom Hendry, who owns the crumbling old mansion where the school will be homed. Hilary has many ingredients to juggle with her demanding client list - which looks set to boil over if she doesn't keep control. From London's bustling Soho, to Southern Ireland and the sunny shores of the Caribbean, has Hilary got too much on her plate and is she really prepared to risk it all for love?

Now, do let me tell you what I thought! 

This book was such great fun to read! It was full of shenanigans, full of energy, full of laughter and just superb entertainment. 

I loved Hilary, totally kick-ass when she needed to be, while a great boss and a warm-hearted and good friend to those closest to her. You find out and completely understand why she built a wall around her and didn't really let anyone get close to her. I'd love to work for Hilary and I'd love her as a best friend! Also feel that a special mention should go to Bob who I completely adored! What a wonderfully flamboyant and interesting character he was. 

Vividly colourful descriptions easily conjured up pictures in England, Ireland and Barbados and I quite happily spent time in all three.  I have to confess though that my favourite scenes were set in Barbados as I'd actually visited the small town and the beach that Caroline wrote about which brought back very happy memories of the first of many Caribbean holidays. 

A book full of life, hugely entertaining and an absolute pleasure to read with an ending pretty much perfect. What more can a girl ask for from an author? 

Here's an excerpt from the book to get you in the mood. Enjoy! 


Hilary pressed a security code onto a keypad. It buzzed and she pushed the front door to her office open and entered, then flicked it closed with her kitten heel pump and climbed the stairs. Her footing was cushioned by the soft red pile of an expensive carpet. Bob had assured her that red was a goodfeng shui colour – associated with romance, wealth and happiness. Hilary sighed and wondered why she put up with his nonsense.

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 planted herself in the doorway and stared at her assistant in his vivid 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 apanini,” 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, Dalai Lama. 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’d foot. “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 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. He 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.
Bob 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 Bob chaperone one of their clients, Prunella Gray, who was appearing at the festival to talk about her recently published autobiography. 

The festival was set in Chipping Hodbury, a quintessential English town in the heart of affluent middle England. Pretty limestone buildings, adorned with flowering window boxes, lined the high street which led to a double-arched bridge where the River Hod meandered beneath. Chipping Hodbury Theatre was surrounded by tall weeping willows and gracious lawns which swept down to the banks of the river where ducks and geese waddled about, searching for scraps of discarded sandwiches whilst the literary crowd sipped chilled white wine and picnicked in the glorious sunshine.

Bob thought about the dashing compere, AnthonyMerryweather, who’d watched their arrival and rushed down the theatre steps to open the door of their courtesy car and greet them. He welcomed them to the festival then sweptPrunella away to prepare for her audience. After several drinks backstage, Anthony and Bob exchanged numbers and the weekend suddenly brightened for Bob. 

Prunella had given a riveting talk and left the stage to a standing ovation. Enthralled fans hung onto her every word as she embroiled her life story and described the many perils she’d encountered in the kitchens of well-known establishments during her career progression. Prunella was an established household name in the world of food and drink and her warts-and-all autobiography looked set to be a best seller. She had Hilary to thank for her success but “thanks” was a swear word toPrunella Gray and she’d been ruthless in her climb to the top. Bob had strict instructions to stay with Prunella all weekend and Hilary’s warnings rung in his ears – Prunella was not to be left aloneespecially with journalists!
It had been exhausting as Prunella had a rampant appetite for vodka. She was known as the Poison Dwarf in culinary circles and, in Bob’s opinion, was an absolute bitch. He’d seen chefs freeze like snared prey and jack-knife away to avoid her at restaurant openings and media events, where Prunella tracked her victims. Her sweet little face peered out from a heavy dark fringe and reminded Bob of the Bette Davis film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. Baby Jane was most definitely alive and well and lived in a town house in Queen’s Park, where he’d deposited a drunken Prunella in a heap on Sunday evening.
Bob smiled as he remembered that he was meeting Anthony the following evening at a restaurant called Dabbous. He couldn’t wait to drop this in to Hilary – there was a long waiting list for a table but Anthony knew the manager and had procured a table for eight o’clock.
A tapping sound startled Bob.

Lottie, the company receptionist, pushed open the door with her pert bottom. Her size three feet, daintily encased in pink pumps, danced into the room. She balanced a plate of prawn filled panini in one hand and a mug of peppermint tea in the other and teetered over to Bob’s desk. 
"You’ve got two minutes to eat this. Hilary is on the war-path and wants you in her office pronto.” Lottie shook her tousled hair and adjusted a polka-dot bandana. “Prunella’s been on the phone,” Lottie continued. “She says you abandoned her all weekend and copped off with a compere as camp as Christmas, then left her to her own devices.”
Bob spat out several prawns. He gazed at Lottie with saucer-like eyes. “Shite!” he mumbled.
"That’s not very Dalai Lama – you’d better say a few chants before you go in.” Lottie wandered away to her desk in reception. She slipped a head-set on and began to take calls on the pulsating switchboard.
“Hargreaves Promotions. How may I help you today?”
About the Author

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 
has owned and run many related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction.

Caroline can generally be found with her nose in a book and her hand in a box of chocolates and when not doing either, she likes to write, climb mountains and contemplate life.

She writes fun, romantic fiction and is a member of the RNA and The Society of Authors. She has had numerous short stories published and writes a regular column for a lifestyle magazine.

Caroline's debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me went straight to #3 on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun newspaper. Her next book, So You Think You're A Celebrity… Chef? Will be published on October 4th 2013 by Thornberry Publishing.
Twitter: ​   @CarolineJames12

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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Review: Younger Thinner Blonder by Sue Watson

What a fabulously entertaining book!

I was completely delighted to be invited to read Sue Watson's new book before it's publication date.  Don't worry though, you won't have long to wait and you can pre-order it right here.  Here's what I thought about it.

Tanya Travis is the talk show Queen of Daytime TV and she thinks no-one can touch her.  With toy-boy Nathan, in her shadow, who is according to the press a womaniser and wannabe music star, happily spending all her money, she lives a life where she is always trying to stay ahead of the competition. 

Her crazy life is a daily challenge and because no-one really gets close to her, her only real friends are Donna her ball-busting agent and potty-mouthed Astrid who is her cleaner.  When Donna offers her a place on TV show Celebrity Spa Trek, Tanya feels that it is way beneath her.  However, when her life unexpectedly starts to fall apart, she may have to consider this as her only option. 

OMG! Did I laugh at this book! Astrid was the most hilarious character I think I’ve come across in a book - ever.  Foul-mouthed but with a huge heart I think Mrs Watson should be writing a book all about her next! I can’t really tell you any more about her as it would spoil the read, but I have to just tell you to be prepared! She will have you in bits! I learned lots of new swear words and phrases, which I’m still tittering about a couple of days later, so it was also quite an educational read!

You warm to Tanya throughout the book, realising that she is not the person that the public think she is, and it does make you realise that there are people in the world just like her who must be frightened to death to make friends, speak out of turn or do anything that the press would turn around deliberately to ruin lives.  

I first knew of Sue Watson when I read her debut novel Fat Girls & Fairy Cakes – my review can be found here. 

I also interviewed Sue after she brought out FG&FC and my interview can be found here

That too was a brilliant book and I had high hopes for her second.

Sue Watson has certainly not disappointed me.  In fact, she has totally exceeded over and above my expectations.  I loved every single minute of it.  I loved learning about Nepal and the customs and learning about the beauty in complete contrast to the poverty and suffering.  I strangely loved the way that one minute I was crying with laughter and the next crying with the sheer emotion of her words. 

This book left me with a great big smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.  I hope to read many more of her books in the future.

Sue Watson was born in Manchester and moved to London to work as a journalist on newspapers and magazines.  She then moved into TV and became a producer with the BBC, working on garden makeovers, kitchen programmes and daytime talk shows. 

Sue now writes novels in Worcestershire, and lives with her husband Nick, daughter Eve, two cats and a rather glamorous goldfish.

You can "like" Sue on Facebook 
You can also catch up with Sue's blog

And don't forget to pre-order it right now!