The one where ‘Making Wishes at Bay View’ is in The Works

I adore my Kindle (other eReaders are available!) but I’m sure most people who love reading will admit to getting a little thrill from browsing a bookshop or even simply pausing in a section of a store where books are displayed. A happy place.

As an author, that thrill is multiplied several-fold when the shelves contain one of my own books. I don’t think that feeling will ever get tired!

At the weekend, I was delighted to visit my local The Works store in Scarborough and not only see Making Wishes at Bay View on the shelves but to sign them! The manager in there is lovely and recognised me from when I’d been in to visit The Secret to Happiness at the start of summer just after restrictions were lifted and shops opened again.

Making Wishes at Bay View in the Scarborough branch of The Works with the special home-made ‘signed by author’ sticker

I’d never thought to ask if I could sign copies of Secret but I’d seen photos of other authors signing their books in their local stores and the manager was delighted for me to do so with Making Wishes at Bay View.

What a surreal moment perching on the till and signing the seven remaining copies. They didn’t have any ‘signed by author’ stickers – probably don’t get as many local authors as a large city store might – but she created her own version which was lovely.

Despite the mask, you can probably tell there’s a huge grin on my face!

Today I went into Beverley, East Yorkshire (about 75 mins drive away from me) for a socially-distanced catch-up with my fabulous friend and fellow-author, Sharon Booth. It was the first time since mid-February that we’ve seen each other and we suspect it will be next year before it happens again.

I took the opportunity to nip into town as the branch of The Works in Beverley is about twice the size of the Scarborough one and therefore with much more space dedicated to fiction. Making Wishes at Bay View was in there. I was going to see about signing them too but there was a queue at the till and only one member of staff serving so I thought I’d best not pester anyone!

Making Wishes at Bay View in Beverley’s The Works

It makes me so proud to be on the shelves with other Boldwood authors, a few of whom I met in person at the back end of last year. I’ve taken a few shelfies in Scarborough but, with a bigger selection in Beverley, how lovely it was to see so many Boldwood authors together (okay, so a little re-arrangement was needed to get them all together but I did put them back where they came from!) This is the selection of feel-good books – a mixture of romcoms and contemporaries. That’s twelve amazing titles and, on the 3 for £5 offer, you could therefore get them all for only £20. Bargain!!!

This is the thrillers/crime/other selection looking fabulous too:

You can buy Making Wishes at Bay View from The Works for £2 (or 3 for £5) or online from The Works here. I’ve included the blurb below.

Alternatively, you can download it for Kindle, Kobo and AppleBooks, order a paperback from Amazon or any other good bookstore (it will be a different price as they are printed differently) or on various audio formats including Spotify.

Wishing you a fabulous week.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

Making Wishes at Bay View (Welcome to Whitsborough Bay Book 1)

Never give up on a wish for a happy ever after…


Callie Derbyshire has it all: her dream job as a carer at Bay View, finally she has found the love of her life. Everything is perfect.

Well, almost.

Ex-partners are insistent on stirring up trouble, and Callie’s favourite resident, Ruby, hasn’t been her usual self. 

But after discovering the truth about Ruby’s lost love, Callie is determined to give Ruby’s romantic story the happy ending it deserves. After all, it’s never too late to let love in again. Or is it?

The one where Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe is published

It’s publication day for Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café. Yay! Happy publication day to me!

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café was previously available under the title of Starry Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café. Just like my ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series which got refreshed and re-released under new titles earlier this year, it’s one of my back catalogue books that my fabulous publishers, Boldwood Books, have acquired and breathed fresh life into.

If you’d like to know more about the changes, you can read my previous blog post about this here.

The prequel, Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes, was released last month and it didn’t make sense to have a blog tour for both when there was only three weeks separating their publication dates so, instead, we have an enormous 3-week 63-stops ‘Christmas on Castle Street’ tour. Some bloggers will review both – which is why some names appear twice – and some will review just one.

A huge thank you to Boldwood Books, Rachel Gilbey from RachelsRandomResources, the tour organiser, and everyone who is participating. Book bloggers don’t take any payment for reviewing books. They do it because they are passionate about reading and the support they provide in promoting the work of authors is invaluable.

The links and blurbs for both books are at the end of this post.

What am I doing today? I have finally learned that there’s no point trying to write on publication day as there’s so much activity on social media that it’s hard to concentrate so, for the first time ever, I have taken the day off. I still have lots to do. We had some new bedroom furniture delivered yesterday and it’s still in boxes around the house which will get unpacked later, in between me responding to all the lovely congratulations messages and excitedly checking chart positions!

Tonight I’m on a Facebook Live in conversation with my fabulous editor, Nia Beynon. It will be at 7-8pm over on the Book and Tonic Facebook page so hope you can join us.

Have a fabulous day and hope to see you later at the Facebook Live.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

CHRISTMAS AT CARLY’S CUPCAKES

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
It’s December on Castle Street; the fairy lights are twinkling, snow has settled and the festive season is in full swing.

For Carly, the owner of Carly’s Cupcakes, it’s the busiest time of year getting everyone’s Christmas treats ready on time. However with her clumsy sister, Bethany, as a co-worker, it’s proving a difficult task. They say you shouldn’t mix work with family. Maybe they have a point…

As Christmas approaches, Carly is also eagerly awaiting the return of her best friend to Whitborough Bay. Liam has no idea he’s been the object of her affection since their schooldays. After years of pining after him, can Carly pluck up the courage to finally tell him how she really feels by 25th December?

Could a little festive magic make all of Carly’s wishes come true this Christmas…?

A heartwarming, short festive story of friendship and family from bestseller Jessica Redland. You can find out what happens to Carly next through exploring her best friend Tara’s story in Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café

This is a new and updated version of Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes which has been previously published.


You can buy it here.

STARRY SKIES OVER THE CHOCOLATE POT CAFE

Cosy up with a mug of hot chocolate for some festive sparkle from bestseller Jessica Redland.

Everyone is getting into the festive spirit on Castle Street – snow is falling, fairy lights are glistening and Christmas shopping is underway.

But for Tara Porter, owner of thriving cafe, The Chocolate Pot, this is the most difficult time of the year. From the outside, Tara is a successful businesswoman and pillar of the community. Behind closed doors, she is lonely. 

With a lifetime of secrets weighing on her shoulders, she has retreated from all friends, family and romance, and shut her real self away from the world. Afterall, if you don’t let them in, they can’t hurt you. She’s learnt that the hard way.

But as the weight of her past becomes heavier and an unexpected new neighbour moves onto the street – threatening the future of her cafe – Tara begins to realise that maybe it’s time to finally let people back in and confront her history. It could just change her life forever…

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café was originally released as Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.

You can buy it here.

The one where Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes is published

Carly's Cupcakes Tagline 2 Twitter

Today is the publication day for a brand new version of Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes through my amazing publishers, Boldwood Books. This story was originally a short novel at 46k words and an indie release from me in October 2017. The title hasn’t changed but it has a new cover and some fresh content.

What has changed?

Length: The story is longer by about 12k words

Perspective: It is now a 1st person perspective story instead of 3rd person like the original version

Story: The overall story is the same but I have added in more detail around Carly’s backstory with her best friend, Liam. There’s also more about Carly’s sister, Bethany, which explains why Carly keeps giving her chances despite her being a liability to the business. As a result there are lots of new scenes for the reader to enjoy

I love this book. It still touches on some emotional issues like all my stories but, being set purely in December, it is a little lighter and more romantic.

Carly's Cupcakes Tagline Twitter

Is Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes part of a series?

STARRY SKIES HI RESIt’s the start of two books which follow-on from each other and have an overlap of characters.

I would strongly encourage readers to read Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes before Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café which is currently available for pre-order here. This sequel was previously released under the title of Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café but it has been freshly edited too and is significantly longer.

The owner of The Chocolate Pot, Tara, is good friends with Carly and their businesses are next door to each other on Whitsborough Bay’s Castle Street. Tara features throughout Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes and reveals something about her past to Carly that readers find out a lot more about in Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café. They’re also able to discover what happens next to Carly in Starry Skies which starts the same Christmas of Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes but takes place across a full year, front and back-ended by the festive season.

Carly's Cupcakes Review FB

Should I download it if I’ve already read the original? 

Yes please! It’s FREE so why not treat yourself to the refreshed version? Even if you’re not likely to read it again, I’d still encourage you to download it … just in case. I’m hoping to get near the top of the Free Kindle Chart too.

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Screenshot 2020-08-13 at 16.39.17At the time of writing this, it had already made it to #313 but, just before posting, Amazon’s chart positions updated and it’s shot up to #73! I hope it will go even higher which should then increase awareness of me as an author among new readers who may then discover my other books. So you’d be helping me a lot if you download this. Thank you so much.

It’s also grabbed several number one slots in the free chart, 3 of which are listed above, although free books don’t get the coveted orange bestseller flags.

 

With New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms at #66 in the overall Kindle chart at the time of writing and a #96 position for Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow, I’m thrilled to be able to declare something I never thought would ever happen:

I HAVE THREE BOOKS IN THE TOP 100 KINDLE CHART AT THE SAME TIME!!!!

WOO HOO!!!!!!

Thank you to everyone who has made this possible and an enormous thank you to my brilliant editor, Nia Beynon, for her ever-insightful feedback to shape my work to be even better, and to Ellie Foot at Boldwood Books for the gorgeous graphics.

Where can I find out more?

If you’d like to know more about Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes, I’ve pasted the blurb below and you can read a post on Boldwood Books’s blog about what to expect from the book here.

Hope you enjoy your Christmassy trip to Castle Street. I loved writing this book and hope you love reading it just as much. You can access it for FREE on Kindle here. It is going to be available for free to Kobo and AppleBooks readers too but offering a book for free from publication day rather than as an offer down the line is a little more complicated so it hasn’t materialised on all platforms on the same day.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…


It’s December on Castle Street; the fairy lights are twinkling, snow has settled and the festive season is in full swing.

For Carly, the owner of Carly’s Cupcakes, it’s the busiest time of year getting everyone’s Christmas treats ready on time. However with her clumsy sister, Bethany, as a co-worker, it’s proving a difficult task. They say you shouldn’t mix work with family. Maybe they have a point…

As Christmas approaches, Carly is also eagerly awaiting the return of her best friend to Whitborough Bay. Liam has no idea he’s been the object of her affection since their schooldays. After years of pining after him, can Carly pluck up the courage to finally tell him how she really feels by 25th December?

Could a little festive magic make all of Carly’s wishes come true this Christmas…?

A heartwarming, short festive story of friendship and family from bestseller Jessica Redland. You can find out what happens to Carly next through exploring her best friend Tara’s story in Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café.

This is a new and updated version of Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes which has been previously published.

What readers are saying about Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes:

’Pure Christmas magic! Mix in some fairy lights, snow and sweets and you have a perfect holiday tale.’

’It is a feel-good story that lets you escape into a beautiful setting.’

’My first Christmas book of this year and it will be hard to beat.’

’This well-crafted story was a quick and engaging read that captivated, entertained, and squeezed the heart.’

’This was the right story at the right moment: uplifting, heartwarming and engrossing.’

’I can’t begin to tell you how much I love Jessica’s books’

’Jessica Redland can’t put a word wrong, her books are a real pleasure to read, so well written and you feel as though you are part of the story.’

’Another absolutely fantastic read by a truly fantastic author.’

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The one where Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe has a cover reveal and I talk about changes from the original version

Chocolate Pot Tagline Twitter

I’m excited to be able to reveal the cover for Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café. Isn’t it simply stunning? I absolutely love both the title of this book and the cover. Dreamy.

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It’s out on 8th September but available for pre-order now. It will be released on eBook for AppleBooks, Kindle and Kobo, paperback, large print and audio formats as well as being available via the uLibrary App if your library subscribes. Something for everyone!

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café was previously available under the title of Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café. Just like my ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series which got refreshed and re-released under new titles earlier this year, it’s one of my back catalogue books that my fabulous publishers, Boldwood Books, have acquired and breathed fresh life into.

Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Cafe COVER
The original cover

So what has changed?

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café has changed more significantly than any of the books in the ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series in that it is substantially longer.

25k words longer, in fact. That’s a lot of extra story!

Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café went on a blog tour when it was released in 2018 and was extremely well received. Not all bloggers gave a rating but those who did mainly awarded 5-stars. The reviews started coming in from readers which, at the point of writing this, are all 5-star (88%) or 4-star (12%). I was thrilled with the positive reaction.

But there was something niggling at me. A blogger who I adore loved the book and awarded it 4.5 stars. I love reading her reviews because, if it’s not a full 5-stars, she tends to give a constructive reason why. I don’t want to give any spoilers but there’s a scene near the end where Tara engages with someone from her past and this particular blogger said she’d have loved to see more of that. When I thanked her for the review, this was my comment:

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As per my comments above, I decided that I would maybe work on some additional chapters and re-release Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café the following Christmas including these. Then I secured my amazing publishing deal with Boldwood Books for new books and some of my back catalogue. This included Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café so this plan was put on hold ready for a 2020 re-release.

The revised version as Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café has a longer ending. I loved the original story but think it’s even better now and I’ve already had a lovely comment on Facebook from a reviewer who has read both versions and echos my thoughts – loved it before but loves it even more now.

Both versions start on Christmas Eve one year and finish in December the following one. The original version ended close to Christmas but didn’t go quite as far as Christmas Day. The revised version now ends on Christmas Day with a lot more action happening across that second December.

In the original version, there are chapters that span between the two Christmases but some of the events are summarised. In Starry Skies, there are more chapters spread across the year so the reader can be right there alongside Tara as she progresses on her journey rather than have the key events presented in summary form.

Chocolate Pot Tagline 2 FB

Are the characters different?

No. We have exactly the same characters as before but we get some more insight into some of them than we had previously. However, there is a character who is mentioned in the original version who actually puts in an appearance this time. And there’s another new character who appears near the end. Both of these provide a link to a sequel (more on that later).

Is the plot different?

No. The overall plot remains the same but some aspects of the story switch around to allow for the longer ending. There are more scenes from Tara’s past, both as a child and as an adult. There’s some lovely detail about her finding and setting up The Chocolate Pot which didn’t appear before. There’s a lot more about Jed. Basically, with 25k additional words, there’s just a lot more throughout which I think helps readers engage with and cheer on Tara even more than before.

Do you need to read the new version if you’ve already read the original?

That’s entirely up to you. If you loved it and would like to revisit it anyway, then here’s the perfect opportunity to do so. The original version is no longer available to buy so, if anyone hasn’t already visited The Chocolate Pot but wants to do so, then Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café is the version you’ll be reading anyway.

My little brother made a good point this week when I was talking about this revised release. He said it’s like a Director’s Cut of a film being released or a Deluxe version of an album. Spot on! In both those situations, the essence is still there but you get a whole lot more.

Is Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café part of a series?

Christmas at Carly's Cupcakes Cover (Amazon)
This is the original cover & will change on 13th August

Tara’s story chronologically follows on from Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes as Carly and Tara are friends and their businesses are next door to each other on Castle Street so, for maximum enjoyment, I would encourage readers to read Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes first (and perhaps wait until 13th August when a freshly-edited longer version of this book will be released with the same title but a new cover).

Did somebody mention sequel?

Yes! Although Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café is completely wrapped up with a satisfying ending, I mentioned two characters earlier, one of whom puts in a physical appearance now and one of whom is new. These threads lend themselves to being explored further and I hope to write a follow-up next year after I’ve finished writing the remaining two books in the Hedgehog Hollow trilogy. These threads only appear in the revised version of Tara’s story, though, and not in the original version.

Hope this helps explain everything! Blurb and buying links below.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

You can pre-order Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café on Amazon here.

Cosy up with a mug of hot chocolate for some festive sparkle from bestseller Jessica Redland.

Everyone is getting into the festive spirit on Castle Street – snow is falling, fairy lights are glistening and Christmas shopping is underway.

But for Tara Porter, owner of thriving cafe, The Chocolate Pot, this is the most difficult time of the year. From the outside, Tara is a successful businesswoman and pillar of the community. Behind closed doors, she is lonely.

With a lifetime of secrets weighing on her shoulders, she has retreated from all friends, family and romance, and shut her real self away from the world. Afterall, if you don’t let them in, they can’t hurt you. She’s learnt that the hard way.

But as the weight of her past becomes heavier and an unexpected new neighbour moves onto the street – threatening the future of her cafe – Tara begins to realise that maybe it’s time to finally let people back in and confront her history. It could just change her life forever…

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café was originally released as Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.

The one where you can find The Secret to Happiness in The Works

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Did you know that you can find The Secret to Happiness in branches of The Works? Well, maybe not the actual secret to happiness but you can find my first Boldwood release of that title. Yay!

It appeared online a couple of weeks ago and we nipped into Scarborough last Tuesday to see if stores had taken delivery of it but it hadn’t yet arrived.

IMG_8440I’d hoped by leaving it over a week and going in yesterday that it would definitely be there but it wasn’t on the shelves. Cue sad face. However, I asked one of the very helpful staff and she said they’d not had a chance to fully unpack Tuesday’s delivery. She went upstairs to search and kindly came down with a pile of ten of my books. Yay!

The two staff members in there were so lovely and enthusiastic when I shared that I was the author and that it was a book set in a fictional version of Scarborough written by a Scarborough-based author. They were keen to take a photo of me with my books to send to their Regional Manager and said they’d be directing everyone to my book and telling them the author had just been in. How lovely is that?

There were a couple of other Boldwood authors books in there – Jennie Bohnet’s Villa of Sun and Secrets and Maxine Morrey’s #NoFilter. Jennie lives in France so won’t be able to visit a branch of The Works herself so it was lovely being able to take a shelfie for her. I’ve read both those books and they’re fabulous.

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IMG_8438My hair’s looking pretty messy thanks to me having my hood up in the rain but it was certainly a proud moment. When I was first published with my original publisher, my local Waterstones kindly stocked my books after I asked nicely and it was lovely seeing them in there but yesterday was something extra special, knowing that copies of The Secret to Happiness are not just in my local store but in stores nationwide.

If you’d like to explore The Secret to Happiness (blurb below), you can take a trip into your local branch of The Works or buy online at http://www.theworks.co.uk You can go directly to my book by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can get the eBook for AppleBooks, Kindle or Kobo or choose the audio version.

Thank you so much, Boldwood Books, for fulfilling another writing dream.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

*The Top 10 Bestseller*

Everyone deserves a chance at happiness…

Danniella is running from her past, so when she arrives at the beautiful seaside resort of Whitsborough Bay, the last thing on her mind is making friends. After all, they might find out her secrets…

Alison is fun, caring and doesn’t take herself too seriously. But beneath the front, she is a lost soul, stuck in a terrible relationship, with body confidence issues and no family to support her. All she really needs is a friend.

Karen’s romance has taken a back seat to her fitness business. But she doesn’t want to give up on love quite yet. If only those mysterious texts would stop coming through …

When the women meet at their local bootcamp, a deep friendship blossoms. And soon they realise that the secret to happiness is where they least expected to find it…

An uplifting story of friendship and finding the strength to come to terms with the past. Perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant and Cathy Bramley.

What readers are saying about The Secret To Happiness:

‘An emotional but uplifting page turner. The Secret to Happiness is a beautiful story of friendship and love’ Fay Keenan

‘I loved how realistic and flawed the characters were, no perfect people, just honest characters with real problems.’

‘Easily Jessica Redland’s best novel so far. The amount of heart and depth that has gone into it is astounding.’

‘This is a story that will have you enthralled from the start to the end with its many twists and turns. Jessica has the knack of drawing you into her “heroines”. She always includes some humour in her books but wow, does she know how to bring you to tears as well.’

‘Reading this book is the secret to happiness. Wow!’

‘Loved the characters and didn’t want it to end.

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My author copy (the version available via Amazon or other bookstores) alongside the one from The Works with a glossy cover

 

The one where Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is published

HH Twitter 2

My tenth novel, Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow, was published yesterday – Thursday 2nd July – and what a busy day it turned out to be. So busy that I didn’t even get a chance to write a blog post!

The first thing I did when I woke up was log onto Amazon to see my chart position and was thrilled to be #1,891 on the Kindle chart. I hoped to make it inside the Top 1,000 but was both surprised and delighted when I moved up to #557 just after lunch, #324 by mid-afternoon, #295 by teatime and #291 by bedtime. Wow!

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I secured two category best seller flags and even pushed my own book off the top spot in one of them!

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There was lovely news over on AppleBooks too with a #10 in the Romance chart and #27 in the overall chart.

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And then fabulous news later that day with Kobo selecting Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow as one of their books of the month.

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And it wasn’t just about chart positions. A blog tour kicked off with three of the most gorgeous five-star reviews (you can click on the blog name if you want to read the full review):

Being Anne said: “The characterisation is exceptional … This whole book entirely enchanted me from beginning to end – I lived every twist and turn of the story, and felt a real sense of loss when I reached the end”

Portobello Book Blog said: “It’s a delightful story of friendship, kindness and love and of being true to yourself. It’s a wonderfully heart-warming story which I recommend if you are looking for a really feel-good read”

Books and Bookends said: “This book just hit me hard in the feelings. There’s some really toxic family dynamics and equally some amazing relationships in this story…. It’s well and truly a feel good story with a gorgeous Yorkshire setting and amazing characters”

Thank you so much to all three of you for such wonderful, heartwarming reviews.

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow Full Tour Banner

Over on my publisher Boldwood’s blog, I talked about my Auntie Gwen who is a real-life ‘hedgehog lady’. She’s rescued sick, injured and abandoned hedgehogs for forty years and is such an inspiration. You can read the post here.

The day before, I was guest on good friend and super talented author Sharon Booth’s blog talking about the change of setting in this book and why hedgehogs. You can read that post here. Thank you, Sharon, for being a fabulous host.

Boldwood Books hosted a ‘Summer Moment’ on Zoom for all their authors. They’d have organised a summer party under normal circumstances but this was the next best thing and they sent us a bottle of fizz so we could raise a toast. It was lovely to see the faces – albeit it spread across four different screens – and hear the voices of a writing community with whom I’ve engaged with through social media but, in the main, not met or spoken to.

I needed to dip out of that early as I was hosting my first ever Facebook Live on Book and Tonic’s Facebook page. I had so much fun doing that, answering questions submitted beforehand or posed on the evening, and reading Chapter 1 from Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow. I had an awkward moment at the start where I wasn’t sure there was anyone there and, when I knew there was, whether they could hear me so, if you do listen, you might want to skip past the first minute. It does get better after that, I promise! You can connect to the recording here.

Thank you to everyone who made publication day so special and to all those who pre-ordered or have since bought a copy of Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow. It’s available on eBook for AppleBooks, Kindle and Kobo, audio, large print and paperback so something to suit everyone. Here’s the Amazon link if you fancy meeting the hedgehogs.

Wishing you all the best for a great weekend.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

Can love really be found when you stop looking for it…?

As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.

But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.

Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfil Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.

Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…

Escape to Hedgehog Hollow this summer with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting, feel-good read.

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The one where I celebrate another special anniversary

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A couple of weeks ago, I shared a blog post celebrating five years as a published author and I’m being a bit greedy and sharing another one because it’s also a special anniversary today – 3rd June 2020. As it happens, this should actually be my anniversary for five years as a published writer because my first book – a novella released on 23rd May 2015 – was not originally part of the plan.

3rd June 2015 was the publication day of my very first full-length novel, Searching for Steven, now re-edited and re-packaged as New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms.

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My husband had my debut novel and novella covers printed onto canvas with this gorgeous message. The middle one is on my office wall, above my desk – a reminder of the day when life really did change for me

This was such a momentous occasion that I held a launch party for friends and family in my hometown of Scarborough. I was so excited about it but it didn’t quite go to plan…

IMG_0584A cock-up at the printer meant I had no paperbacks which made me cry. A lot. A book launch with no books? Hmm.

The day itself was very hot and muggy and the function room that should have been fine at that time of year was unbearably melting. My hair was plastered to my head and I had no choice but to expose my arms as the lacy shrug I’d bought to go with my outfit made me too hot.

My sister in law made an amazing cake and I completely forgot to cut it and hand it out.  I promise it wasn’t a deliberate ploy to keep it all to myself! Although it might have been a bonus that I did have lots of cake to eat afterwards.

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One of the few photos that got taken – after everyone had left!

My husband was on photography duty but got so tied up speaking to friends and family that barely any photos got taken so I have very few pictures from the event. I had to put my dress back on the follow day and pose for some photos in the garden.

I did my best to circulate round the room but the hours flew by and I didn’t get to speak to half the guests which made me feel awful and, even five years on, I still feel guilty about it. Mind you, I still feel guilty about guests I didn’t have a chance to speak to at my wedding and that was nearly fifteen years ago! This is something I might need to work on. As the song says, let it go!

As a result of circulating, I was too late for the buffet and didn’t get anything more than a mini sausage roll and a few crisps. Soooo hungry.

I made a speech and forgot what I planned to say including forgetting to thank my SIL for the amazing cake. My daughter (eight at the time) got overwhelmed by it all and burst into tears mid-speech which didn’t help with my recall!

So it definitely didn’t go to plan. But it was still wonderful because it was a once-in-a-lifetime moment. After all, I will never have another debut novel.

I’m so grateful to everyone who travelled to Scarborough to share my special day with me, to those who placed orders for books, and to my publisher at the time who was so gutted for me about the books cock-up that they sent me a teddy bear in the post. She knew how to cheer me up! They also got the printer to cover the postage of sending my books out to everyone after they finally turned up.

Earlier this year, I’d briefly wondered whether I might have another launch party to celebrate the release of Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – the start of a new series – and five years as a published writer. Then a little virus started circulating and quashed any further thoughts of that. I will have a special celebration this weekend, though, as I mark my last ever HR assignment and deal with my final student query then hang up my tutor hat to become a full-time author.

new-years-eve-3894621_1920It’s been five years since my first novel was published but eighteen since I had the idea for it and seventeen since I started writing it. Good things come to those who wait and, my goodness, that’s been a lot of years of waiting, Happy anniversary, me! Cheers!

Have a great week.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

 

 

 

The one where I share some tips about hedgehogs

It’s the final day of Hedgehog Awareness Week in the UK and I posted a true or false quiz yesterday. Today, I’m sharing the gorgeous graphics that my publishers, Boldwood Books, pulled together with my hedgehog dos and don’ts.

They’re divided into 3 x categories of food and drink, in your garden, and finding hedgehogs. Hope you find them interesting and perhaps you might be able to do something in your garden over the weekend, if you have one, to help hedgehogs. It’s been very dry lately so even just putting out a shallow dish of water would be amazing.

1. Screenshot 2020-05-08 at 12.51.54

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I’ve really enjoyed researching hedgehogs. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s website has been exceptionally helpful and I have a gorgeous book called The Hedgehog Handbook by Sally Coulthard which I picked up in the gift shop at Castle Howard when I went on my Christmas visit with my fabulous author friend, Sharon Booth, last year. It’s available on Amazon and, if you are interested in hogs, I highly recommend it. You can find it here.

IMG_8294Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is available for pre-order now – out on 2nd July – and is the first part in a trilogy. The second part (not yet named) is out in January 2021 and I’m writing it as we speak (well, not exactly as we speak as I can’t write a blog post and a novel at exactly the same time but I will be working on it this weekend) and it’s packed full of hedgehogs and I’m learning new things every day.

If you are worried about a hedgehog or find an injured one, you can call The British Hedgehog Preservation Society but make sure you do call them and not leave a Facebook message as it is not regularly checked. There are rescue centres all around the country too so a quick Google should help find yours. Here’s the links to The British Hedgehog Preservation Society if you want to find out more about their work:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

And find them on Twitter @HedgehogSociety

Telephone: 01584 890801

And if you’d like to pre-order my book, you can do so on Amazon, Kindle and AppleBooks. Here’s the Amazon link and I’ve pasted the blurb below.

Have a great weekend and stay safe.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

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As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.

But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.

Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfill Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.

Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…

Escape to Hedgehog Hollow this summer with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting, feel-good read.

The one where I have a true or false quiz about hedgehogs

This week in the UK, it’s Hedgehog Awareness Week (3rd-9th May). Championed by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, this week is well timed for hedgehogs having come out of hibernation and the first babies appearing.

I adore hedgehogs. My auntie rescues them and must have looked after several hundred sick, injured or abandoned hedgehogs over the years. I’ll talk more about this in a future post and the inspiration this provided for my new novel, Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow, out on 2nd July.

One of the things I loved about writing this book was researching all about hedgehogs. I had a basic knowledge already but I have learned so much and, in celebration of #hedgehogweek my publisher has been sharing that knowledge across a couple of postings on social media. Tomorrow I will share some dos and don’ts but today I wanted to share the true or false quiz.

The answers are on the graphics so I thought I’d list the questions here first so you can have a go first and then scroll down to see whether you answered correctly. Try to resist the urge to scroll down immediately! I’ve put an advert for my book in between the questions and answers to keep them separate.

All the question have a TRUE or FALSE response:

  1. Hedgehogs are born with spines
  2. Hedgehogs are good swimmers
  3. Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets
  4. Hedgehogs are nocturnal
  5. Hedgehogs can run in short bursts at speeds of up to 3mph
  6. Hedgehogs lose half their body weight during hibernation
  7. Hedgehogs got their name in the Middle Ages from the word ‘hygehoge’ which translates today as ‘hedge’ and ‘pig’ combined
  8. Hedgehogs have good eyesight
  9. Hedgehogs are quiet eaters

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How did you get on?

Let’s see, shall we…

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Hope you enjoyed the quiz and perhaps learned a thing or two. If you’d like to find out more about Hedgehog Awareness Week and specifically the amazing work of The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, follow the links below:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

And find them on Twitter @HedgehogSociety

 

And if you’d like to pre-order my book, you can do so on Amazon, Kindle and AppleBooks. Here’s the Amazon link and I’ve pasted the blurb below.

Happy Hedgehog Awareness Week.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

Can love really be found when you stop looking for it…?

As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.

But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.

Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfill Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.

Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…

Escape to Hedgehog Hollow this summer with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting, feel-good read.

Hedgehog Hollow Facebook Cover Reveal

 

The one where it’s cover reveal time for Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow

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I am very excited to be able to reveal the stunningly gorgeous cover to my new book. Isn’t it sooooo pretty. I think it might just have become my favourite of all my covers. Those hedgehogs. That farmhouse. The flowers. The sky. All so delicious.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

Hedgehog Hollow Facebook Cover Reveal

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is out on 2nd July but is available for pre-order right now. Here’s the Amazon link but it’s available on AppleBooks and Kobo too. On release day, it will be available on audio format, paperback, via the uLibrary App if your library subscribes to that and, for the first time for any of my books, large print format. Something for everyone!

Here’s the blurb:

Can love really be found when you stop looking for it…?

As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.

But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.

Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfill Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.

Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…

Escape to Hedgehog Hollow this summer with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting, feel-good read.

 

This is the first book in a trilogy. Book 2 and 3 don’t currently have titles … mainly because I haven’t written them yet! I’ll be taking a break from my day job next week and should make good progress with book 2 then and we hope to have a title reveal by the time Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is released.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

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