Today I’m delighted to feature author Caroline Roberts. Caroline is the author of eleven heart-warming contemporary fiction novels. She writes about relationships; stories of friendship, love and loss, family and community, that explore how beautiful and at times complex love can be. Her stories are also filled with fabulous food. In fact, she’s recently been described as the ‘Queen of foodie fiction’.
Caroline lives in the beautiful Northumberland countryside with her husband and their cocker spaniel, Jarvis. She credits the sandy beaches, castles and rolling hills around her as the inspiration for her books.
A glass of bubbly, slice of cake and a cuppa, enjoyed with friends, would make Caroline’s day!
Over to Caroline :
Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
The La’s ‘There She Goes’ – it’s so upbeat, makes me smile and gives me confidence to ‘go for it’.
‘Dakota’ – Stereophonics. A great anthem from my younger days. The beat just lifts you, and I love the words, thinking back to those glorious days of your youth and early romances.
Dan and Shay ‘From the Ground Up’ – I’m often inspired by music as I write, and this would be my ‘Rachel’s Pudding Pantry’ anthem. A song can really fit a story and its characters, and this suited Rachel and her grounded farm life. My daughter introduced me to Dan and Shay as I wanted Rachel to love country music in the book.
Coldplay – one of my best concerts ever in Sunderland, in the rain and soaked to the skin but Chris Martin and the band gave it their all. Such talent, such brilliant songs and musicians. One song from them is hard to choose, but I do love The Scientist. The lyrics are beautiful.
‘Three Times a Lady’ The Commodores. If it comes on the radio it makes me think of my parents, who’ve had such a long and happy marriage. Takes me back to my childhood, but also makes me think of them now in their old age, still together and still holding hands.
What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
My gorgeous dog, Jarvis. A crazy and cute black cocker spaniel.
Books and reading. My escape, and I love to learn through reading too.
The beautiful countryside of my home county of Northumberland. Walking here calms the soul and it inspires too.
Food – hmm, I’m torn between choosing chocolate or cheese here, oh and maybe gorgeous warm bread, or a Victoria sponge with fresh cream and strawberries …
Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?
Be more confident! You are great just as you are.
Go for your dreams – not what other people expect of you.
Be kind. (I generally was when I was younger, but it’s a great mantra to live by and can be so rewarding.)
Love Big. Friends, family, romantic relationships … don’t be afraid. These are the most rewarding things in life.
It won’t always be easy, but keep going. Find resilience – it’s how I finally got published after ten years of trying, and it applies to so many other life situations too. As you get older you realise life is a journey and there will many downs as well as many ups, but that’s okay. It’s all a learning curve.
Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you
I love to paint and draw as well as write, particularly watercolour landscapes.
I help to run our holiday park on the Northumberland coast – that’s my other work hat.
I’m a Grandma – I have had two grandchildren of one and four, and am very hands on with their care whilst my daughter (who’s a nurse) works.
I’m accident prone – have been all my life. Always have a bruise somewhere, walk into things, drop things. Think I’ll create an accident-prone heroine for one of my next books!
I was brought up in Cornwall from 4 years old up to 18, when I left to go to university. A beautiful county, and though not quite so wild and rural as Northumberland it’s similar in many aspects with such a scenic coast and countryside. I am a proper ‘country bumpkin’ at heart.
Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.
I’d love to go on more travel adventures. The world is such an amazing place. India and South America are on my list!
To write more books – and fingers crossed, maybe to one day get on a Bestsellers list, that would be fantastic.
Sort my garden out! I enjoy gardening especially when it’s a sunny day, but never seem to have enough time just now.
Be the best Mum and Grandma – I love family time and want to continue to support everyone, and be there for all the fun times too.
And after all of that I’d like to relax a bit more – take some time to chill and live in the moment.
Many thanks for joining me today Caroline, I’m always happy to meet someone who loves books, dogs, hugs and food!! Having just returned from a short stay in Northumberland, not far from the coast, I can fully appreciate your love for the area. I’ll definitely be making a return trip sooner rather than later. You have a great philosophy for living your life, ‘love big and be kind’ should be a mantra for us all. You certainly keep yourself busy with work, child care and writing, I wonder you have time for painting and gardening, maybe taking some time to chill sounds a good plan. That said, you do say go for your dreams so hopefully plenty of time for chilling after you’ve seen the world and got yourself on the Bestsellers list – here’s hoping!
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Cosy Campervan series
Mistletoe and Mulled Wine at the Christmas Campervan
Next stop: seaside, sunshine and romance!
When Lucy isn’t in her cosy cottage by the sea, she’s winding through the Northumberland coast with her loveable Dachsund Daisy, cooking up a storm at the local village celebrations. Inspired by her Italian Poppa, Lucy’s chasing a new dream with her pizza van business. And at one particular party she meets Jack, the brooding but gorgeous owner of the Cocktail Campervan.
Wary of repeating mistakes of the past, Lucy and Jack keep it strictly business. But as the summer drifts by in a swirl of garden parties, fun and fizz, and as the cocktail campervan creates the community they so desperately need, romance starts to blossom – one stop at a time…
The Seaside Cocktail Campervan
Christmas feels like a real gift for Lucy this year. Her cosy coastal cottage is starting to feel like home, her new pizza business is getting the locals ‘All Fired Up’, and she can’t wait to spend it with her new flame Jack, the charismatic owner of the Cocktail Campervan.
Winding along the snow-dusted Northumberland coast for a whirlwind of Christmas markets and celebrations, Lucy and Jack can’t resist stealing a few kisses under the mistletoe. But there’s a twist in their romantic tale when Lucy’s ex turns up in the village. As her past closes in, Jack becomes increasingly distant. And Lucy worries he’s holding back a few secrets of his own . . .
Will Christmas bring a cold spell for Lucy and Jack? Or could it really be the most wonderful time of the year?
The Pudding Pantry series
Rachel’s Pudding Pantry
Step inside Rachel’s Pudding Pantry, a place where love, laughter and scrumptious bakes bring everyone together.
Primrose Farm is Rachel’s very own slice of heaven. Come rain or shine there’s always a pot of tea brewing by the Aga, the delicious aroma of freshly baked puddings, and a chorus of happy memories drifting through the kitchen.
But the farm is in a spot of trouble. As the daffodils spring, Rachel must plant the seeds of change if she wants to keep the farm afloat, and it’s all resting on a crazy plan. She’ll need one family cook book, her Mum Jill’s baking magic – and a reason to avoid her distractingly gorgeous neighbour, Tom . . .
Swapping their wellies for aprons, can Rachel and Jill bake their way into a brighter future? The proof will be in the pudding!
Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry
The first snow is falling over Primrose Farm, the mince pies are warming, and Rachel can’t wait to share a kiss under the mistletoe with her gorgeous new flame, Tom.
If only it was all comfort and joy . . . The arrival of Tom’s ex brings an unwelcome chill to the farm. And despite Master Baker Mum Jill’s valiant efforts, the new pudding pantry business is feeling the pinch.
With a spoonful of festive spirit, a cupful of goodwill with friends, and her messy, wonderful family by her side, can Rachel make this a Christmas to remember?
Summer at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry
The Pudding Pantry opens its doors for summer.
And there are wedding bells on the horizon . . .
The sun is shining as Rachel and her gorgeous beau, Tom, prepare to tie the knot at Primrose Farm.
It takes a village to pull off the perfect country wedding and Rachel couldn’t be more grateful for her friends and family as they roll out the haybales and string up the bunting – all she needs to do is focus on her Happy Ever After.
But no wedding is without drama. A face from the past is looking to stir up trouble in the village and there’s a secret following Rachel all the way up the aisle . . .
With old friends, new promises and a little borrowed time, will Rachel get the wedding of her dreams?
Cosy Teashop series
The Cosy Teashop in the Castle
Can Ellie bake her way to a happy ever after? Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Milly Johnson.
When Ellie Hall lands her dream job running the little teashop in the beautiful but crumbling Claverham Castle, it’s the perfect escape from her humdrum job in the city. Life is definitely on the rise as Ellie replaces spreadsheets for scones, and continues her Nanna’s brilliant baking legacy.
When Lord Henry, the stick-in-the-mud owner, threatens to burst her baking bubble with his old-fashioned ways, Ellie wonders if she might have bitten off more than she can chew. But cupcake by cupcake she wins the locals over, including teashop stalwart, Doris, and Ellie’s showstopping bakes look set to go down in castle history!
Now all that’s missing in Ellie’s life is a slice of romance – can Joe, the brooding estate manager, be the one to put the cherry on the top of Ellie’s dream?
The Cosy Christmas Teashop
From sleigh bells to wedding bells . . .
After a rocky start, Ellie Hall baked her way into everyone’s hearts at Claverham Castle – even the miserly Lord Henry was won over – and the run-down teashop regained its old sparkle.
Now Ellie has upgraded cupcakes for fairytale masterpieces as the proud caterer for an ever-growing list of weddings at the castle. The teashop team love baking to the tune of happy ever afters, but can they pull together when a certain bridezilla pushes them all to boiling point?
Christmas is just around the corner, and a last minute booking threatens to snow the team under. Ellie and her hunky hubby Joe have their own Christmas dreams to chase, but they’re determined to pull through and give this special couple the winter wonderland wedding they deserve.
Will Christmas at the Cosy Teashop be a showstopper to remember?
The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop
The snow is falling, the hot chocolate’s warming, and hearts are melting . . .
Emma is the proud owner of The Chocolate Shop by the Sea, nestled in the heart of the cosy seaside village that’s become her home. With Christmas right around the corner, she and her assistant Holly are busy cooking up the locals’ festive favourites.
From cinnamon hot chocolates to reindeer lollipops, Christmas wouldn’t taste the same without a little cocoa magic. And for Emma it’s the perfect distraction from her romantic pains of the past. So when the shop’s miserly landlord threatens to hike up the rent, Emma’s Christmas and New Year suddenly look a lot less cheerful.
With the whole village rallying behind her – and loyal spaniel Alfie by her side – Emma’s determined to hold onto her chocolate-box dream.
The chocolate calendar countdown is on. Can Emma rescue her business and her broken heart?
The Cosy Seaside Chocolate Shop
When Emma opened her gorgeous little chocolate shop in the harbour village of Warkton-by-the-Sea, she realised a lifelong dream. Love is also blossoming with her hunky beau, Max, who’s slowly healing her fragile heart.
Summer is here and life has never felt so sweet. Until the rainclouds start to gather…
A rival sweet shop and killjoy landlord give Emma a headache, and when a face from the past turns up unannounced, Emma finds herself spiralling down memory lane. With Max’s crazy work schedule driving him to distraction, Emma’s in danger of making some choices she might regret . . .
With close friends, spaniel Alfie, and the whole village behind her, can Emma get the chocolate shop and her love life back on track?
The Desperate Wife
*Previously published as The Torn Up Marriage*
His secret tore her world apart . . .
Kate believed she had it all. A loving husband, two beautiful little girls, and a million happy memories still to collect. Everything was how it should be – a family, together.
But Kate discovers she has been living a lie.
Her husband, Michael, has betrayed her in the most unimaginable way, tearing all love and trust to pieces.
Feeling lost and alone, Kate doesn’t know what to believe anymore. With Michael’s secrets exposed and her marriage hanging by a thread, she fears that life may never be the same again.
Only Kate holds the power to forgive. But what will it take to forget?
My Summer of Magic Moments
When a seaside escape spells a little romance . . .
Claire is ready for a bright new chapter. Winding her way to the coast for a cosy cottage retreat, she prays that three weeks of blissful peace and summer sunshine will wash away the pain of the last year.
Claire’s a survivor – she’s growing proud of the scars that prove it – and she’s determined to make the most of each and every day, to seize those little magic moments that give life its sparkle.
Her plan for peaceful solitude goes awry when handsome, brooding Ed turns up in the cottage next door. Will a little summer romance prove the worst distraction? Or might it be the perfect remedy?