The one where all my books are Best Sellers at the same time

Ask any author and they’ll tell you that seeing the orange #1 Best Seller tag on Amazon appearing on any of their books for the very first time is a special moment. I can remember the very first time one of mine received one. I nearly fell off my chair with excitement!

What does it mean?

All books are assigned to categories on Amazon based on relevance to the type of book/storyline and they get awarded the tag when they become the top selling book/ebook in that category.

For example, New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms is about a florist and is #1 in ‘Floral Crafts’, The Secret to Happiness is set in a fitness bootcamp and is #1 in ‘Exercise and Fitness’ and Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove is #1 in ‘Divorce’ because the main character’s marriage falls apart.

If an author has several best seller tags at the same time, it’s extra exciting and, since Boldwood Books re-released my ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series earlier this year, I’ve been proud to see the four books in that series regularly displaying their orange tag.

Then I saw six of my books with orange tags at the same time. Then seven. Eight… nine….

I was absolutely thrilled but couldn’t help wishing I could see all ten of them with tags at the same time. But that final tenth tag appeared destined to remain illusive. It seemed that, every time the book without one secured it, a different book would lose it. Or two books would lose it. Then one would get it back but another one would lose it. And so it went on.

But, last night, for the first time ever (or at least the first time that I’ve spotted) every single one of my ten published books was proudly sporting a #1 Best Seller orange tag on Amazon Kindle UK at exactly the same time. Eek! I was like a proud mum seeing my book babies get their little orange awards.

I expected to wake up this morning and one or two books to have lost their best seller status but, so far today, all ten have kept it. Woo hoo!

I am so grateful to readers who have bought or borrowed my books, helping them to get to the top of their categories, and to readers/reviewers who’ve recommended them to others. This is something I never, ever expected to achieve. THANK YOU. You’ve helped me achieve another writing goal and given another slap across the chops to that damn imposter syndrome!

You can find all my books on my Amazon page here. All but two are also available on AppleBooks, Kobo and Audible.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

The one where I have the most amazing news

Followers of my blog will have seen that, last week, I wrote a series of blog posts about imposter syndrome. This is something which has plagued me for pretty much all of my adult life and became particularly troublesome this year when my books started climbing the charts and this previously invisible author stepped out of the shadows.

Something happened in the middle of that series of posts that could not have been more perfectly timed for proving to me that I am not an imposter and do deserve to enjoy the success my stories have had this year: an offer of a new publishing contract from the amazing Boldwood Books.

And not just any contract. A 12-book publishing contract! Eeeekkkk!

I am so surprised, thrilled and excited by this and can’t wait to see where this continued partnership with Boldwood takes me over the next few years.

In 2021, I will still be working out my original contract:

  • Hedgehog Hollow book 2 out on 7th January – New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow (available for Kindle pre-order here. It will also be available in due course for AppleBooks and Kobo pre-order)
  • The revised refreshed re-edited version of Bear With Me (title TBC) out in March
  • Hedgehog Hollow book 3 out in May
  • The revised refreshed re-edited version of Charlee and the Chocolate Shop (title TBC) out in August

Then my new contract will begin in September with a brand new Christmas release. This is set in The Starfish Cafe on the cliffs south of Whitsborough Bay above a seal haven. It’s run by Hollie and regular readers will already have encountered the cafe in Coming Home to Seashell Cottage and Bear With Me although Hollie is only briefly mentioned in one of these books.

It’s actually a story I began writing to release as a Christmas novella in 2017. I hadn’t got very far into it before I realised that the story was quite meaty and it was going to turn into a full-length novel so I parked it and wrote Charlee and the Chocolate Shop and Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes instead. Poor Hollie has therefore been waiting in the wings for quite some time and I can’t wait to get back to the 12k words I’d already written and finish telling her tale.

From 2022, there’ll be a mixture of standalone books and series. There may be some sequels. I even have an idea for a prequel. We’ll return to Whitsborough Bay, go back to Castle Street, and continue to explore the area around Hedgehog Hollow. I have some new settings planned but they’re all in the vicinity of the places readers already know and love.

All twelve of the books on my new contract will be brand new stories as Bear With Me and Charlee and the Chocolate Shop are the last of my back catalogue to get the Boldwood re-touch.

I have been quite overwhelmed with all the lovely congratulations messages I’ve received on social media since announcing my news last night. It’s been extra lovely that some of my fellow-Boldwood authors and a couple of other authors have been in touch privately to express their delight. It means so much to be part of such a supportive community.

From the moment I had my first conversation with my editor, Nia, back in March last year, I knew I’d found the perfect home for my books. Nia and the team at Boldwood have done so much for my career as an author already in just one year and I’m so excited to see where the next few years take us.

If you would like to watch a video of me announcing the news, you can find it here.

Wishing you all the best for an amazing weekend.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

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 I talk about my publication day charms

Yesterday was publication day for Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe and, on the evening, I participated in a Facebook Live with my fabulous editor, Nia Beynon.

The very first Trollbead representing being an author

I was thrilled with the number of attendees and how many have watched the video since. If you would like to watch it, you can access it on Boldwood’s Book and Tonic Facebook page here.

I started to write my debut novel and learned my craft while running my own specialist teddy bear shop so a bear had to feature

There were some fabulous questions posed before the event and some great ones on the night. One came from the 10-year-old daughter of fellow Boldwood author, Emma Murray (do check out Emma’s witty and uplifting debut novel, Time Out, if you haven’t already done so – find it here). Ava asked: “Do you reward yourself for reaching writing milestones? And if so, what do you reward yourself with?”

To the right of the bear is a round charm with hearts on it to represent writing books about love and friendship (apologies for slightly blurred image!)

My initial response was to say that no I don’t, but I probably should and then it struck me that there is something I used to do which I hadn’t really thought of as a reward for reaching a writing milestone yet it is exactly that. More on that later.

This conch represents all my novels being set on the coast and the heart was an added bonus linking it back to them being stories of love & friendship

When my debut novel – New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms – was originally released in June 2015 (under a different title), I held a launch party for friends and family. I certainly wasn’t expecting presents but I was spoilt with flowers, bubbly and other gorgeous gifts. One of my friends, Carrie, gave me a leather thong bracelet with a Trollbead charm on it in the shape of three books. This was extra perfect for me as that novel was originally part of a trilogy (it is now the 2nd book in a 4-book series).

This lovely circle of flowers was for New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms because the protagonist, Sarah, runs a florists

Carrie’s husband’s family owned a jeweller’s at the time but they were selling up as Carrie and her family were emigrating to Canada. We therefore took advantage of their closing-down sale and brought several more troll beads which I felt represented my writing journey so far.

I really struggled for something to represent Making Wishes at Bay View which, at the time, was called Raving About Rhys. Rhys is a gardener and the cover had purple flowers on it so I went for a purple glass bead with flowers on it. If I was to buy a Trollbead now, ‘wishes’ would probably give more inspiration (although see the star later)

The bracelet is now (almost) full and takes me from first putting fingers to keyboard until the publication of my last pre-Boldwood release. All of my back catalogue has already been or will be re-published by Boldwood so the only books not represented here are the ones that were new for Boldwood Books: The Secret to Happiness and Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow. I need to decide whether to buy charms to represent them and squeeze them onto the bracelet, to start a new bracelet or to think of something different. Hmm. If I did stick with charms, a hedgehog is the obvious one for Finding Love… but I’m not sure about Secret. Again, hmm.

In Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove, protagonist Elise drives a lime green Beetle called Bertie which features quite a lot in the story, hence the Beetle

I’m so delighted that my friend brought me my first Trollbead. My bracelet of charms means so much to me. Going back to Ava’s question, I originally thought that adding a charm was simply to remember each book I published but it’s really to celebrate a major milestone achieved and all the highs and lows that may be experienced in getting that book out to publication. Thank you so much, Ava, for making that connection for me as I honestly hadn’t thought of it like that.

I really wanted a four-leaf clover for Coming Home to Seashell Cottage to represent Clare’s Irish roots and part of the book being set in Ireland. I could only get one as part of a special set with a new bracelet. Any excuse!

I hope you enjoy my journey through my Trollbeads. Do you do anything to celebrate milestones achieved, whether that’s relating to writing or any aspect of your life? I’d love to hear your comments.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

PS Apologies for the formatting. It looked perfect until I uploaded it and I’m too lazy to change it as I haven’t got my head around the new block layout yet!

It’s not so easy to make this one out in the picture but it’s a polar bear hugging a baby polar bear. Although Bear With Me (to be re-edited & re-released by Boldwood next year) doesn’t feature polar bears, it does feature bears so this was a perfect fit, especially as I already had a teddy bear to represent my starting point

My next release was Charlee and the Chocolate Shop: A Tale of Two Christmases (also to be re-edited & re-released next year). I struggled to find anything chocolate-related so went for snowflakes to represent Christmas

Making Wishes at Bay View is the amalgamation of a novella and a short sequel novel (formerly Raving About Rhys and Callie’s Christmas Wish). The star therefore represented Christmas wishes (sort of!)
I so wanted a cupcake to represent Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes but didn’t manage to find one. A key scene is where Carly makes snow angels in a deserted Castle Street and therefore mittens seemed appropriate for that

And, finally, we have a mug representing hot chocolate at The Chocolate Pot in Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe

What’s on my wall? (Part 8) Monday Motivation

For part 8 of my ‘What’s on my wall?’ #MondayMotivation series, I’ve selected a really special canvas and probably one of the most important pictures/signs I have on my wall.

My husband, Mark, presented this to me on the day my debut novel was published in June 2015 as part of a 3-set of canvases, the others being the book cover for my debut and for a novella that was released a couple of weeks before.

The two book cover canvases are no longer on my wall because these were the covers from my original publishers who ceased trading. Both books then received a fresh cover when I re-released them as each an indie author. Then another revised one. They have since been re-released through Boldwood Books with different titles and a fourth new cover each!

The quote on this sign is so special:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why” (Mark Twain)

Isn’t that just fabulous?

This quote came up on the credits at the end of a film Mark was watching and it resonated with him as being so appropriate for me in relation to how I feel about writing. If I didn’t write, I wouldn’t be me. I’d be lost. It is very much a part of me and I feel strange when I’m not at my keyboard creating, as though part of me is missing.

The day I finished writing my first book was the day I found out why I’d been born. Writing gave me a purpose and a goal. But this year has brought something unexpected. My books have actually helped others. I’ve been quite overwhelmed by the number of messages I’ve had from readers saying that they have discovered my books and binge-reading them has provided valuable escapism, helping them through these challenging times. It’s really humbling to think that my imagination and words have touched others in this way.

I can’t thank my husband and daughter enough for how supportive they are with my writing and the moments when I’m so lost in my creative world that I’m unable to concentrate on anything in reality. I’ll always cherish this canvas from them, reminding me of the day I fulfilled my first goal of becoming a published author, and the day I became the person I was always meant to be.

Do you agree with this quote? Have you found out your purpose? I’d love to hear from you if you have or you’re on your way.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

The one where Seaside Blooms has done blooming well

This week, New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms – the second book in my ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series has dropped out of the UK’s Kindle Top 100 after nearly four months. Oh. My. God! FOUR MONTHS!!!

This is the first book I ever wrote and was my debut release in June 2015 under the title Searching for Steven. It shifted about 2,000 copies through my original publisher then as an indie author after they ceased trading. It wasn’t setting the world alight but I was fairly pleased. After all, when I wrote it, I had no plans to become a published author; I simply had an idea for a book and wondered if I could write one.

When Boldwood Books took on my back catalogue and we did a fresh edit on Searching for Steven and re-released it as New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms, never did I imagine that I’d be able to add another zero to that sales figure or experience four months in the Top 100, peaking at #14.

I have to be honest and say that it did dip out of the Top 100 once during that four months when, on 20th August, it was only as high as #101. But that’s pretty close isn’t it? I’m allowing that.

I’m thrilled to have gathered 234 reviews/ratings on Amazon, 92% if which are positive. Of course, you can’t please all the people all of the time and I have a few scathing negative reviews including this accolade:

Ouch!

And this 1-star review from someone who definitely didn’t like the main character:

Also ouch!

But so many people have loved this book and gone on to read – and love – the rest of the series. And I’m so very grateful to those who have shared their love in a positive review.

If you haven’t read it yet, you can download it here for Kindle. It’s available on Kobo, AppleBooks and in paperback and audio formats. You can borrow the audio version from your library if they have the uLibrary App or you can listen to it on Spotify. And, if you’re in Australia, it’s on a special offer on Kindle until the end of September as part of Kindle’s Monthly Deal.

I’m so proud of this book. It was a wallflower in the shadows for a long time but found its sunflower moment under Boldwood and took that moment to shine. Sometimes reader love can bloom when you least expect it!

To anyone struggling to make an impact – whether that is in writing or any other aspect of your life – hang in there because your moment to shine could be just around the corner.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

From those who loved it…

The one where The Secret to Happiness is a year old

One year ago today, The Secret to Happiness was published. Happy book-birthday to me! It’s an exceptionally special book-birthday because this was the first of my books released by my amazing publishers, Boldwood Books. It was the book that secured me my publishing deal.

Originally titled Wish I Could Tell You Goodbye, it tells the story of three women – Alison, Danniella and Karen – who are struggling to let go of something/someone from their past. They all meet at a beach-based bootcamp run by Karen and it explores whether the power of friendship can give the women the strength to move on and find the happiness they deserve.

It’s an emotional but uplifting story which I love and I was sure that, after several years as an indie writer, it would secure me a publishing deal. It didn’t at first. When Boldwood opened for submissions, it had been rejected by five different publishers. Five rejections is not a lot in the grand scheme of things but I took each one to heart and was crushed by them. Because I’d already released nine books, originally with a publisher and then via an independent route – all with great feedback – I started to seriously doubt myself. I wondered if I’d tried to be too clever writing about three women instead of just having one protagonist (like in all my books except Bear With Me which has two). I wondered whether I’d lost my writing mojo.

On the shelves in The Works

But this is a positive post and I want to focus on the amazing things that have happened since what became The Secret to Happiness found its home at Boldwood. I have pasted my rejection feedback at the end if anyone is curious. For authors, this may give the encouragement to keep going as, what one editor passes on, another may feel passionate about.

Thankfully, Boldwood thought differently to the other five publishers and offered me a 9-book deal for this book plus another three new ones, and five novels from my back catalogue! Wow!

And I couldn’t be happier. I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. I believe I was always destined to join Boldwood so I’m grateful for those rejections because they meant I could find my true home.

What has The Secret to Happiness done for me?

  • Over 9k paperbacks in branches of The Works around the UK
  • Sold nearly 500 audio copies*
  • Sold nearly 15k eBooks*
  • #122 in the UK Kindle Chart
  • #9 on the Canada Kindle Chart
  • #20 on the Australia Kindle Chart
  • #35 on the overall AppleBooks Chart and #10 on the Romance Chart
  • Secured 123 ratings/reviews on Amazon UK, 92% of which are 4 or 5-star
  • Secured 43 ratings on AppleBooks UK, all of which are 4 or 5-star

* Up until end June 2020

Reviews/Ratings on Amazon UK

This book took a struggling indie writer and turned her into an international bestselling author! Eek! Still can’t quite believe that!

I cannot thank my amazing editor, Nia Beynon, enough for believing in this book and helping shape and polish it ready for publication. And thank you to the team at Boldwood Books and the fabulously talented authors there who’ve supported and promoted my work.

If you haven’t yet read it, now’s your chance as it has been selected for Kindle UK’s September Monthly Deal and is 99p for the whole of the month. Kobo and AppleBooks also have it for 99p.

You can find it for Kindle here or on Audible here.

If you prefer paperbacks, The Works sold out really quickly online but you may still be able to find a copy in your local branch. Alternatively paperbacks can be ordered via Amazon. Or you could win a copy!

Yes, to celebrate The Secret to Happiness’s 1st book-birthday, I’m giving away THREE signed copies. There’ll be one book given away in a competition on Facebook, one on Instagram and one on Twitter. I’ll share details from my various social media accounts but they’ll appear first on Boldwood’s social media. You can find them as:

  • Book & Tonic on Facebook and Instagram
  • @BoldwoodBooks on Twitter

So watch out for news of how to win!

In the meantime, have an amazing week/weekend and thank you once more to everyone who has discovered The Secret to Happiness or is about to discover it!

Big hugs

Jessica xx

And, as promised, here’s the rejections…

“Concept intriguing and writing engaging [but] not suitable for our list.”

“Created a great ensemble cast .. setting well delineated … [but the] concept wasn’t quite ‘hooky’ enough to stand out in a very crowded market.”

“While the premise is fun and engaging and original, we just feel the bootcamp idea is not quite right for us at this time. I do think it’s very well written, however, so please don’t let this stop you – you just need a cracking idea and you’ll be on your way.”

“I absolutely loved diving into the world you’ve conjured here … [but] as the story went on I struggled to empathise with the characters as much as I wanted to. Rather than being invested in their journeys I felt they lacked the necessary depth and layers, I wanted to see more of their emotions and feelings on the page. In such a competitive book market we have to ensure we feel passionate about the book and characters and sadly I just couldn’t find myself getting lost in Alison or Karen’s story as I couldn’t connect with them. In terms of next step I recommend looking at how you can weave more depth into the characters, offering readers different layers to uncover from them all.”

“Your writing is great, and there is huge warmth and emotion in your narrative. All of the women’s stories are hugely poignant, but because there were three of them, it felt at times like there wasn’t quite enough space for each story, including the tragic events before the book begins, to be fully explored. The women’s fiction market is so tricky at the moment, and what we tend to be looking for at the moment are in-depth emotional stories with a tight scope, or high-concept stories that can be pitched in a single line. I’m afraid that Wish I Could Tell You Goodbye didn’t quite hit the mark for me.”

What’s on my wall? (Part 6) Monday Motivation

Happy Birthday AliceToday’s #MondayMotivation is a metal sign that we bought in a furniture store in York shortly before Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes was released.

IMG_8728The reasons for the purchase are hopefully fairly obvious but I was also thinking about this sign a year later when I wrote Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe. I describe The Chocolate Pot as having vintage metal signs all over the walls which are both beach-themed and cafe-themed and I imagine this being one of them.

This sign couldn’t be more appropriate for today because I woke up to some quite astonishing chart positions overseas for Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes.

UK PB #17 Free Kindle Chart Visual - 20:08:20This book was re-released on 13th August through Boldwood Books after a completely fresh edit and it quickly made its way into the Top 50 on the UK’s free Kindle chart. It has twice peaked at #17 which is very exciting.

I was very pleased with how well it was doing overseas but it surpassed all my expectations today.

In the USA, it hit #15 today which was completely amazing, especially when you think of the size of the US market! I certainly never expected to get higher in the USA chart than in the UK one!

Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes also reached #20 in Canada today and #43 in Australia.

STARRY SKIES HI RESObviously I don’t make any money from these high chart positions with the book being free but the hope is that readers might read it, love it and be inspired to read the sequel, Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe, which has also been edited and expanded and will be out on 8th September. Fingers crossed!

Thank you to everyone who has downloaded a free copy in any territory worldwide. If you haven’t got it already, here’s the links to those four markets but you can buy it from your local Amazon site anywhere in the world as it’s free globally.

UK: https://amzn.to/3iJGvIV

AUS: https://amzn.to/2CupTp3

CA: https://amzn.to/3iJnW7D

USA: https://amzn.to/2CsU0gs

It should also be free on Kobo and AppleBooks but hasn’t appeared on either site yet. Not sure why. Hang on in there if you use either of those eReaders as it should appear free on both very soon.

So why is this my choice for #MondayMotivation? It was always there on my wall as a reminder of having written two of my books – a proud achievement in itself – but now it gives me motivation in reminding me of the time I reached #15 in the USA!

Somebody pinch me! Eeeeeeekkkkkk!!!!!

Have a fabulous week.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

Carly's Cupcakes Tagline Twitter

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.

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.

Screenshot 2020-08-13 at 16.36.36

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 the hedgehogs are doing me proud. Let’s do them proud

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A month ago today – 2nd July 2020 – my tenth novel, Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow, was released. The start of a new trilogy set in a hedgehog rescue centre in the Yorkshire Wolds, it features one of the most loved animals in UK wildlife.

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Photo credit: Sarah Howell

The book is doing me proud but, before I come onto that, last week was a sad week for hedgehogs. It was announced that they are now formally classified as ‘vulnerable to extinction.’ In the 1950s, there were an estimated 30 million hedgehogs across England/ Scotland/ Wales. Today, it’s estimated there are only 1 million so it’s not surprising that this has happened.

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Photo credit: Sarah Howell

Why such a demise? There are several factors but the main one is the same thing that leads to reduced numbers across so many species around the world: changing habitat. Hedgehogs need two things to keep them happy – something to eat and somewhere to sleep – and both are provided by rough pasture, hedgerows and woodland, all of which have depleted over the years.

Hedgehogs roam huge distances on an evening – often 2km (1.25 miles) searching for food. Once upon a time, they could roam from garden to garden but housing estates – which have encroached onto land they might have previously roamed freely – get built with fences to the ground meaning roaming is a challenge and therefore finding food is a challenge.

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Photo credit: Stan Potts

I was personally hoping that one positive outcome of Covid 19 would be a boost to the hedgehog population with fewer cars on the roads, particularly in the babies season of May-July, but I haven’t seen any reports to suggest this has been the case.

All is not lost. There are loads of things we can do to help increase population numbers. I did a blog post of do’s and don’ts a little while back which you can find here. There’s loads of helpful information on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s website here and People’s Trust for Endangered Species here. Both are charities seeing financial support.

Screenshot 2020-07-23 at 11.55.08As for how the hedgehogs are doing me proud, they stormed up to #291 on the Amazon UK Kindle Chart on publication day and immediately secured orange bestseller tags. They steadily scampered up the charts over the next few weeks, making it as high as #91 on Tuesday which was amazing. They spent two days in the Top 100 but keep trying to get back in there so I’m hoping they’ll make it. Go, hedgehogs, go!

They also made it to #27 in the overall AppleBooks chart and #8 in the Romance category chart, and #12 in Australia’s Kindle chart.

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What’s been even more amazing is the number of reviews on Amazon. In only one month, they’ve already gathered a whopping 80 reviews or ratings; a speed I’ve never seen for any of my other books. Therefore a huge thank you to anyone who has bought or borrowed Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow and an extra huge thank you to anyone who has reviewed it or even simply provided a rating. I’m so thrilled that readers are loving their journey to Hedgehog Hollow.

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The sequel is with my editor at the moment so I anxiously await the verdict. It will be out in January 2021 and, for anyone who wished there were more hedgehogs in the first book, there are loads of them in this one!

Wishing you a great week and do please put out some food and fresh water for hedgehogs if you’re able to. Water is especially important in the summer months when rainfall may be limited. Those little hedgehogs are going to be pretty thirsty.

By the way, if you’re a Kobo user, my publisher, Boldwood Books, have an amazing offer on Kobo running until 9th August. Readers can buy ANY Boldwood Books release on a 3 for 2 mix and match offer. All six of my Boldwood releases are part of the offer including Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow. There are so many fabulous books you could choose from (the image below shows just a small selection). Happy reading!

3 for £3 Kobo (1)

Big hugs

Jessica xx