The one where the final part of the series is released

Coming Home to Seashell Cottage Cover

I’m a bit late writing this post because release day was actually a week ago on Thursday 12th March but I’ve been deep in my editing cave with the first book of my new series and only emerged on Monday afternoon after some very long hours (think 2.45am on Monday morning). I then had quite a bit of marking to catch up on for the day job and, since then, there might have been something going on in the news that’s kind of been distracting for everyone.

Anyway, I’m thrilled to say that the full ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series – Coming Home to Seashell Cottage – is now available on all formats – eBook on all platforms, audio and paperback. If your local library has the uLibrary platform, then you can request the audio version via your library too. That’s lots of very exciting ways in which you can discover how the series ends.

Although book 2, New Beginnings at Seaside Bloomswill always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first book I ever wrote, Coming Home to Seashell Cottage is my favourite book in the series. I absolutely love this story. Readers first meet Clare in book 2 and she’s a bit of a spiky character who’s very guarded about her past. In book 4, we find out why when Clare’s past catches up with her. It has lots of exciting twists and turns and I love that some readers have compared it to a mystery.

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This book was originally released under the title of Dreaming About Daran and I was absolutely thrilled that it was crowned as the Chill With a Book Book of the Year 2019.

Here’s the blurb:

For Clare O’Connell, home is where the heart aches…


Since the age of sixteen, Clare O’Connell has lived her life by four strict rules:
1. Don’t talk about Ireland
2. Don’t think about Ireland
3. Don’t go to Ireland
4. Don’t let anyone in

And so far, it’s worked well. She’s got a great career, amazing friends, and she’s really happy. The future is all that counts, isn’t it?

However Clare is about to realise that you can run from the past, but you can’t always hide from it…

When her boss insists she travels to Ireland for work, Clare finds herself drawn back to the village of Ballykielty – the home of her family, and the home of her secrets. The one place where vowed never to return to again…

With the door to her past now wide open, the first three rules have gone out of the window. Will Clare stick to rule number four?

Can she be brave and face up to her family and the demons of her past?

An emotional novel of family, friendship and dealing with your past from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

As with all the other re-releases in this series, this re-issue is mainly about tightening up elements and small adjustments here and there. The story and characters remain the same. The main change is that the cottage mentioned in the title features more prominently than it did before and it’s also changed its name. It was previously Smuggler’s View but we already had a property with the word ‘view’ in it in the series – Making Wishes at Bay View – so we needed to rename it but still keep a seaside theme, hence Seashell Cottage. I needed Clare to have more of a draw to it across the story and, as a result, there’s a new chapter and a couple of new scenes that any returning readers might enjoy.

My publishers, Boldwood Books organised a blog tour for me for the series which has been a lovely mix of extracts (written and audio) across books 2-4, a few reviews and several interviews. I’ve posted some links at the bottom of this post if anyone wants to delve into them.

Series Blog Tour Banner

There are currently some really good promotions on the books in the series. Book 2 and 3 are currently on a 99p promotion on Apple following book 1 being the free book of the week there last week. Although they’re meant to be £1.99 on Amazon, their algorithms tend to price-match with other providers so they’re also 99p on there. Books 1 and 4 are £1.99 on Apple and Kobo and 10p less on Amazon (bit random and not sure why).

As for paperbacks, these are £12.99 on Amazon (although they may be offering them at a slightly lower price) because they are print on demand. However, my wonderful publishers have made a very special arrangement with the printers when the paperbacks are ordered via a bookstore – £8.99 in line with other paperbacks from major publishers, which is exciting.

A huge thank you to everyone who has read the originals or the revised versions (or both – looking at you, Mum xx) and anyone who has bought/downloaded them ready to read/listen to.

My love and best wishes to you all as we face a difficult worldwide health and economic challenge. I’m a reader as well as a writer and I know I’m certainly going to be more grateful than ever for the escapism that reading gives me. I hope my books are able to bring some smiles, laughter and comfort to you.

Jessica xx

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Image by Linus Schütz from Pixabay

Blog Tour Links:

Chicks, Rogues and Scandals – Written extracts of books 2-4 and an original interview

Ginger Book Geek – Review of New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms

B for Book Review – Review of New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms, Review of Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove and Audio Extract of Coming Home to Seashell Cottage

Just Katherine – Written extracts of books 2-4 and an original interview

Being Anne – Written extracts of books 2-4 and reviews of the original books 1 and 2

Portobello Book Blog – Written extract of Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove and reviews of the original books 2 and 4

Jorie Loves a Story – Audio extracts of books 2-4 and an original interview

Books, Life and Everything – An original interview

 

 

 

 

The one where Daran is the Chill With A Book ‘Book of the Year’

Untitled-3I had some amazing news today. The final book in my ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series, Dreaming About Daran, won the Chill With A Book Awards ‘Book of the Year’ for 2019. These Awards recognise the best reads from indie authors and independent publishers.

Each book entered into the Awards is read by several readers who rate it against several questions:

  • Were the characters strong and engaging?
  • Was the book well written?
  • Did the story / plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
  • Was the ending satisfying?
  • Would you recommend to someone who reads this kind of story?

If the book meets the criteria, then they could win a Readers’ Award for the month. Those classed as really exceptional may be awarded a Premier Readers’ Award.

In May 2018, Bear With Me won a Readers’ Award and the Book Cover of the Month. In February, Searching for Steven won a Readers’ Award, in March Getting Over Gary won a Readers’ Award and the Book Cover of the Month and then, in May, Dreaming About Daran won a Premier Readers’ Award.

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With 51 books (including Steven and Gary) winning Readers’ Awards across 2019 and 28 (including Daran) winning Premier Awards, I thought there was no chance of Daran getting the Book of the Year but he did. I’m so proud of my boy! What a wonderful way to start 2020!

I absolutely love Dreaming About Daran. It’s my favourite book in the series and I was really pleased with the way it came together and concluded the threads so it’s so thrilling to be selected as the best book that the reader group read last year.

I cracked open the Christmas Maltesers Truffles to celebrate earlier today! I’d like to say I’ve celebrated this evening too but I’ve been taking down the Christmas decorations so that I can focus on editing all weekend.

Thank you so much to Pauline Barclay who runs these amazing Awards, supporting and promoting the best in independent authors and independent publishers and, of course, all the readers who made this possible. Woo hoo!

Dreaming About Daran NEW COVERHere’s the blurb:

Where do you go when it’s your own past you’re running from?

Sometimes, you can run from the past, but you can’t hide. Since the age of sixteen, Clare O’Connell has lived her life by four strict rules:
1. Don’t talk about Ireland
2. Don’t think about Ireland
3. Don’t go to Ireland
4. Don’t let anyone in

And so far, it’s worked well. She’s got a great career, some amazing friends, and she’s really happy. The future’s all that counts, isn’t it?

When her boss insists she travels to Ireland to repair a damaged relationship with a key client. Clare finds herself drawn back to the village of Ballykielty where she comes face to face with the one person she’d hoped never, ever to see again.

With the door to her past now wide open, the first three rules have gone out of the window. Can Clare stick to rule number four?

Making Wishes at Bay View

My fabulous publisher, Boldwood Books, are re-releasing the series in the first quarter of this year, re-edited, with new titles and fresh covers. Making Wishes at Bay View will be out on 14th February, replacing Raving About Rhys (a novella) and Callie’s Christmas Wish (a short novel following on from the novella).

New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms is the new title for Searching for Steven and comes out on 20th February along with Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove which is the new title for Getting Over Gary. 

Then, on 17th March, Dreaming About Daran will be revamped and re-issued as Coming Home to Seashell Cottage. I hope to share the covers for books 2-4 very soon so watch this space.

You can read all about the Chill With a Book awards here: http://www.chillwithabook.com

Pauline is always on the look out for new readers so if you’re a prolific reader, you might want to consider being part of the Awards.

Jessica xx

 

The one where I blush as another award comes my way!

What’s this? Three blog posts in the space of a week? Goodness, me, that’s unknown!

I promise this is only a short one. I’m delighted to say that the final part of my Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series, Dreaming About Daran, has just won a Chill With A Book Readers’ Award too! And not just that, but he’s won a PREMIER award which is for “exceptional high evaluations from Chill readers”. Wow! Just wow!

See here for the announcement on Chill’s website.

My boys have done me so proud. I know you shouldn’t have favourites so, shhh, but Daran is my favourite of the series. Congratulations Daran and thank you to Pauline and all the Chill Readers. I’m ever so grateful.

Jessica xx

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If you’d like to know more, here’s the blurbs for all the books in the trilogy and the buying links:

Searching for Steven (winner of Chill With A Book Readers’ Award)

What if you already know your future… but not the path to take you there?

Searching for Steven NEW COVERWhen Sarah Peterson accepts her Auntie Kay’s unexpected offer to take over her florist’s shop, she’s prepared for a change of job, home and lifestyle. What she isn’t prepared for is the discovery of a scarily accurate clairvoyant reading that’s been missing for twelve years. All her predictions have come true, except one: she’s about to meet the man of her dreams. Oh, and his name is Steven.

Suddenly Stevens are everywhere. Could it be the window cleaner, the rep, the manager of the coffee shop, or any of the men she’s met online? On top of that, she finds herself quite attracted to a handsome web designer, but his name isn’t even Steven…

During this unusual search, will Sarah find her destiny?

You can download Searching for Steven here.

Getting Over Gary (winner of Chill With A Book Readers’ Award and Cover of the Month Award)

How do you move on when life keeps throwing surprises at you?

Getting Over Gary NEW COVERElise married her childhood sweetheart, Gary, straight out of college, and they’ve been happy together for over twelve years. Elise is now desperate to start a family, but Gary doesn’t seem to share her enthusiasm anymore. Arriving home early from a party, she discovers why: Gary’s been keeping a secret from her. A very big secret.

While her own marriage appears to be falling apart, being a supportive bridesmaid for her best friend, Sarah, isn’t easy. Especially not when Clare, her nemesis from day one, is one of the other bridesmaids. If she’s going to get through it, she needs to put her own feelings aside, find herself again, and get over Gary, fast.

Could recently-divorced Daniel be the tonic Elise needs, or is he full of secrets and lies too? Is his hostile, but strangely attractive brother, Michael, the genuine article instead? And why do the good guys like Stevie turn her down?

But then Elise discovers she has a secret of her own and getting over Gary suddenly becomes the least of her worries…

You can download Getting Over Gary here.

Dreaming About Daran (winner of Chill With A Book PREMIER Readers’ Award)

Where do you go when it’s your own past you’re running from?

Dreaming About Daran NEW COVERSometimes, you can run from the past, but you can’t hide. Since the age of sixteen, Clare O’Connell has lived her life by four strict rules:

  1. Don’t talk about Ireland
  2. Don’t think about Ireland
  3. Don’t go to Ireland
  4. Don’t let anyone in

And so far, it’s worked well. She’s got a great career, some amazing friends, and she’s really happy. The future’s all that counts, isn’t it?

When her boss insists she travels to Ireland to repair a damaged relationship with a key client. Clare finds herself drawn back to the village of Ballykielty where she comes face to face with the one person she’d hoped never, ever to see again.

With the door to her past now wide open, the first three rules have gone out of the window. Can Clare stick to rule number four?

You can download Dreaming About Daran here.

The one where I look back at April

I’ve decided to start a new monthly post where I reflect on the previous month. Hmm. Might only remember to do this once but the intention is definitely there!

Award Logo with Gary - CoverApril was an award-winning month. Getting Over Gary won a Chill With A Book Readers’ Award and also a Cover of the Month Award which was a bit exciting. The final book in the trilogy, Dreaming About Daran, is under consideration at the moment so I’ve got everything crossed that May brings exciting award news for Daran.

Award Logo wth Gary

I went to an event in my hometown of Scarborough as part of our literary festival: Books by the Beach. It was a talk with Lucy Diamond and Lynne Truss.

I really like Lucy Diamond’s books. I’ve read a couple and have a few more on my TBR pile. I am more familiar with Lynne Truss for the incredibly successful book about punctuation, Eats Shoots and Leaves. She’s recently written a humorous crime novel called A Shot in the Dark so she was talking about that. Both women read very gripping excerpts from their novels, engaged in conversation with the presenter, and answered audience questions.

My good friend, Sharon Booth, joined me so it gave us a good excuse to go for lunch  to reflect on what we’d heard and have a good old catch-up. There was cake. There’s always cake! Ooh, and we had milkshakes. Yummy.

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I saw Sharon again earlier this week when I joined the monthly RNA Chapter Meeting in Beverley. We decided to meet a little earlier for tea but it went a bit wrong initially. The Chapter changed venue last month to a quieter pub with a little more space for us to get together without being on top of the other patrons. They were serving food so Sharon and I arranged to meet early there only to discover that, somewhere between our March and April meetings, they’d decided it wasn’t financially viable to have the kitchen open on a Monday or Tuesday (not enough punters). Fortunately one of the customers was able to direct us to a pub a couple of minutes’ drive away where there was food. I had a delicious meal and couldn’t resist a spot of pudding: cookie dough cheesecake.

Writing-wise, I’ve been very busy editing my next release. It was a little long at 115k words and I’ve managed to reduce it by 20k. This has really tightened the story and I feel much more positive about it. I’ve also made some progress on the next release after that, which is now at 15k words.

IMG_6086Outside of my writing cave, I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Dumbo at the cinema over the Easter break. Visually, it was spectacular, but it was bit dark and a bit sad for me. I suppose that was to be expected with it being a Tim Burton piece. Sadly, my daughter sobbed all the way through it so it was actually quite a traumatic experience. I think I’d have probably enjoyed it a bit more if she hadn’t been so distraught. Bless her. She needed mummy cuddles throughout!

She put me through another traumatic experience a few days later. We needed to go shopping for holiday clothes for her so we headed through to a retail park in York. Guess how long we spent in Primark? I do not exaggerate when I say we were in there for 2.5 hours. Argh! I didn’t mind the wandering around and picking clothes part but the trying on was hideous as she is unbelievably slow. I’d probably try on 6 things in the time it takes her to pull on one. She was in the changing rooms for about an hour. An hour, I tell you! I was finding it painful enough but poor hubby was losing the will to live as he waited by the basket! On a positive note, she’s fully kitted-out now. Phew. Because I absolutely could not go through that again any time soon! And what did I get as a treat? A pair of shorts and a vest top. Feeling a little short-changed!

IMG_6089We’ve had a couple of family events this month too. My in-laws celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary so there was a family party for that and my nephew on hubby’s side of the family became a dad for the first time too. I haven’t had a chance to meet baby Winnie as she is on the special care baby unit after being born at 32 weeks but hopefully I’ll get a chance to welcome her to the family really soon. Her arrival got my daughter all broody and the ‘can I have a brother or sister’ question arose again. Absolutely not!

My final bit of news is that I’ve resigned from part of my day job. I’m an HR Tutor, marking assignments and answering queries for students studying their HR professional qualification online. I work from home and I love the flexibility this role has around my writing. I did have a secondary role as an internal verifier (IV) with the same company, quality checking the work of other tutors and giving feedback to them. It was something I did quarterly but the volumes massively increased in the most recent round and, for the second half of March and first half of April, I couldn’t squeeze any writing in as I had so much IV work to do. I made the decision to resign from that role as I really can’t afford not to write for a third of the year. I’ll miss the income, but the time back is far more valuable to me.

So, that’s my April. I feel quite exhausted thinking about it!

Hopefully I’ll do one of these for May too and get into a routine. You have permission to slap me with a wet halibut if I don’t!

Have a great May, whatever you’re doing.

Jessica xx

 

 

 

The one where Gary wins another award

Hot on the heels of winning his Chill With a Book Readers’ Award, I’m very excited to say that Getting Over Gary has been awarded the Cover of the Month for April! All the books that win the Readers’ Award for the month are considered for this and a designer from Avalon Graphics picks the winner. The announcement on the Chill With a Book website can be found here.

Bear With Me also won the Cover of the Month last May. This is a proud moment for me because my husband, Mark, designs my covers. He drew the Beatle on the cover of this one, which is the car that the protagonist, Elise drives.

Congratulations Gary and Mark 🙂 xx

Award Logo with Gary - Cover