The one where two of my audiobooks are on a Black Friday deal

If you have been anywhere near your emails or social media this week, you will have been bombarded with Black Friday deals. Some are bargains, some not so much. But Boldwood and Audible UK have a definite bargain this week.

Four audiobooks by Boldwood authors are available this week for only £3 each. Two of my titles are included:

  • All You Need Is Love
  • Coming Home to Seashell Cottage (book 4 in the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series)

And there are two other fabulous Boldwood titles:

  • Life’s a Beach by Portia MacIntosh
  • Prisoner by Ross Greenwood

The offer started on Monday and my two books immediately stormed the Top 100 which was amazing to see. I caught screen shots of Coming Home to Seashell Cottage at #77 and All You Need is Love at #90 although my sales history shows that they made it as high as #70 and #86 respectively on Monday.

I don’t know if the offer ends at midnight on Friday or whether it will continue over the weekend so best grab it before the end of Friday to be sure. Don’t forget, a whopping 6 of my titles are available for FREE as part of the Audible Plus programme. Portia and Ross also have audiobooks in the Audible Plus programmes, as do other Boldwood authors.

Happy Black Friday!

Big hugs
Jessica xx

Meet the Characters – Angie Swinton from Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café by Jessica Redland

I’m the guest over on Karen King’s blog today on a ‘Meet the Characters’ slot. I’ve interviewed Angie Swinton, Assistant Manager at The Starfish Cafe. The interview takes place just before the story starts in Snowflakes Over The Starfish Cafe. I had such fun setting and answering the questions. A huge thank you to Karen for inviting me to her blog. Hope you enjoy Angie’s interview xx

Karen King: Author

I’m delighted to welcome romance author Jessica Redland to my blog today. Jessica is interviewing Angie Swinton from her latest release Snowflakes OverThe Starfish Café.

Blurb

Welcome to The Starfish Café – where you will find stunning views, delicious food and lifelong friendships.

Two broken hearts.

Since she inherited The Starfish Café, Hollie has poured her heart into the business, striving to keep her mother’s traditions and warm-hearted spirit alive. But behind closed doors Hollie is searching for true happiness as she grieves the tragic loss of her family who were once the beating heart of the café…

An unexpected meeting.

Jake lives by two rules: don’t let anyone get close and don’t talk about what happened. Little does he know that a chance meeting at The Starfish Café, facilitated by a fluffy lost dog, is about to turn his world upside down…

The chance to love again.

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Children in Read for Children in Need Part 2

At the start of this month, I posted about the Children in Read auction – an amazing auction of books and book-related items in aid of BBC’s Children in Need. You can read the post here.

At the time, I explained that I’d donated my Christmas on Castle Street trilogy as a lot. It had 7 bids and had already raised £25. I’m thrilled to report that, with still 8 days to go until bidding closes, an 8th bid has raised it to a whopping £45. Eek! Delighted with that.

It’s lot 594 and you can find the listing here.

I have since donated a second lot, this time to win a single signed paperback book – my latest release of Snowflakes Over the Starfish Café.

This is lot 740 and I’m thrilled to say that it already has a £20 bid on it. Woo hoo! You can find it directly here.

There are 745 lots available and they keep getting added. So far, a whopping £16,122 has been raised. You can find the full auction here. All the money goes directly to Children in Need.

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow author videos and latest lots added @ChildrenInRead I recorded a video for Twitter after my last blog post which you can watch here.

A huge congratulations to Paddy Heron and the amazing team bringing all these lots to you and working tirelessly to raise as many book-related funds as they can for this brilliant cause.

Happy bidding!

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one where I signed New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow in The Works

I posted over the weekend to say that New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow – the second book in the Hedgehog Hollow series – had appeared online at The Works and also in stores but I hadn’t seen copies in my local branch.

The munchkin stays for drama club after school on a Monday so I need to pick her up and it’s on the other side of town. I arrived early today but she’d got out early which gave us just enough time to nip into town on the way home and scoot to The Works to see if my book was in. And it was!

The lovely manager Jamie was there and she’d been hoping I’d appear. The books were placed on the shelves on Saturday and half of them have already sold which was exciting so I only had a pile of five to sign but I’ve now done that.

Please excuse the state of me in these photos! This was an impromptu visit prompted by the munchkin being early so I have no make-up on, haven’t run a brush through my hair, and have my super-casual jogging pants on. But that didn’t detract from the excitement of signing copies of my paperbacks in a real shop. This is the fifth book of mine in there and the fourth time I’ve signed copies (never entered my head to ask the first time) and I don’t think it will ever get boring!

It was lovely to hear Jamie telling me that Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot had sold out really quickly and that they’ve had customers in really excited to get their hands on New Arrivals, hence half of them selling already. I also massively appreciate that they always place my books in the eye line buy line position in the middle of the shelves.

Thank you to Jamie and all the staff in The Works Scarborough who are always so welcoming and friendly.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove is in Audible UK’s 2 for 1 Credit Sale

In September, Audible offered New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow in their 2 for 1 credit sale. In October, they offered Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow. In November, they’re offering Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove.

Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove is the third book in the ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series but book 1 – Making Wishes at Bay View – and book 2 – New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms – are already free to Audible UK subscribers as part of the Audible Plus programme so this is an opportunity to add the third book in the series to that at a big discount, just leaving book 4 – Coming Home to Seashell Cottage – at full price. So you can access the whole series extremely cheaply!

The ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series is where it all started for me. New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms (book 2) was actually the first book I ever wrote and I’d never intended to write a series but, once I created the two best friends for protagonist Sarah – Elise and Clare – I realised they both had stories to tell and I had a trilogy on my hands. Book 1 was then a prequel which sets the scene in Whitsborough Bay and introduces a couple of the key characters.

Each book is a complete story and focuses on a different heroine each time. However, the story builds across the series and I would definitely urge readers/listeners to explore books 2-4 in order as they feature the same three women and reading/listening out of order gives massive spoilers. You can get away with exploring book 1 last, but there’s a richer experience from following the pure order.

The 2 for 1 credit sales last exactly a week so this will end at 23:59 on Saturday 13th November although there’s a handy countdown on Audible’s website showing when the deals change.

The two Hedgehog Hollow books rocketed into the Top 100, just outside the Top 50, when they were on offer so I’m wondering it Elise’s story will do the same. Fingers crossed!

Happy listening! Please spread the word.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The blurb:

When it feels like everything is against you, sometimes you just need a little bit of hope…

Married to her childhood sweetheart for over twelve years, Elise feels like starting a family is the next natural step. However her husband, Gary, has other ideas…

Suddenly single, Elise is completely heartbroken and struggling to start over on her own. But when she’s enlisted to be bridesmaid to her best friend, Sarah, she has to put on a brave face, put her own feelings aside and find a way to get over Gary. Fast.

So when she meets handsome, recently-divorced, Daniel, she thinks he could be just what she needs. But why can’t she shake the feeling that he must be too good to be true?

Will she ever be able to take that leap and trust again?

An uplifting read of love, loss and finding yourself from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

This book was previously published as Getting Over Gary

The hedgehogs are back in The Works

I was delighted to get the news a couple of months ago that a fourth title of mine – Starry Skies Over the Chocolate Pot Café – was going into The Works so I absolutely wasn’t expecting to have another title in there but I have exciting news…

I have another book available on The Works right now – New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow.

I was planning to share this news as soon as the book appeared online but it hasn’t appeared on the website yet. However, my great friend and fellow author Jo Bartlett, spotted a copy in her local branch of The Works today in Broadstairs, Kent so it’s out there in some stores and will hopefully appear online really soon.

A Jessica sandwich of book my books with fellow Boldwood authors Lisa Hobman and Rosie Clarke in Broadstairs, Kent

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow is the second book in the Hedgehog Hollow series. The first book – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – went in during the summer so it’s fabulous having book two following its lead.

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow can be read as a standalone book and I know plenty of readers who’ve loved it and followed the story well without reading the first book, especially as I provide a handy ‘story so far’ at the beginning. But I personally think that readers will enjoy a much richer reading experience and get to know the characters so much better by starting with Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow and reading the series in order.

As I’m with a small (but rapidly growing) independent publisher, you won’t find my books in supermarkets or book shops so it’s a real thrill to see them on the shelves of The Works. I nipped into Scarborough’s branch on Thursday and the hedgehogs weren’t there and I was in the Beverley branch today and they weren’t there either so I’ll try Scarborough again next week and hopefully be able sign copies again.

If you spot either book in your local branch, please do share a photo with me on Facebook or Twitter. I love seeing them in the wild (no pun intended for the hedgehogs!)

Starry Skies Over the Chocolate Pot Café appears to have completely sold out online but there should still be copies in store. I think they’re also selling through quickly in store. There are none left in the Scarborough branch, there was one left in Beverley today and any other selfies I’ve seen only seem to have 1 or 2 copies on the photo which is exciting (I put the one copy below in front of someone else’s books for the photo opp!)

Go hedgehogs go!

Big hugs
Jessica xx

One copy of Starry Skies left in Beverley The Works (East Yorkshire)

Children in Read for Children in Need

Children in Need is the BBC’s Corporate Charity whose “mission is to help ensure every child in the UK is safe, happy, secure and has the opportunities they need to reach their potential”. Every year in November, there’s an appeal show – 19th November this year – but there are various other activities which happen in the run-up such as the Countryfile Ramble.

For the past 7 years, the Children in Read campaign has run to raise valuable funds for this charity through an auction of lots provided by authors, illustrators and publishers.

You can find the full auction here.

At the time of writing this post, there are a whopping 740 lots available covering a huge variety of genres, and therefore catering to all tastes. £14,365 has already been raised but, with 18 days still to go, that will hopefully significantly increase.

There are books donated, limited editions, signed copies and a whole host more. Here’s a screen shot of the different filters you can search on…

I have donated lot 594 – a signed and dedicated set of the three ‘Christmas on Castle Street’ paperbacks – which you can access directly here. The series consists of:

  • Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop
  • Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes
  • Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café

My lot currently has 7 bids on it and is at £25 which is fabulous … but, as each book retails at £8.99, that’s less than these could be bought for if purchased separately outside the auction! Hopefully it will rise a little higher for the charity.

Over on Twitter you can find the appeal on @ChildrenInRead Please do bob on over and share the links all over the socials to help boost the bids on all these amazing lots. Could be fabulous for a spot of special Christmas shopping!

Big hugs
Jessica xx

Our Yorkshire Dales Adventure Part 3 – All Things Bright and Beautiful

This is the final part of my blog about our family week away in the Yorkshire Dales. Apologies it’s a day late – something urgent cropped up yesterday (work-wise).

Still staying with the James Herriot theme, I’ve selected another book title – All Things Bright and Beautiful – which is, of course, part of the hymn from which All Creatures Great and Small comes.

I’m focusing on an eclectic mix of beautiful things for this part, whether that’s beauty in nature, food, or simply things that make me happy.

Gayle Beck which runs off the River Ure passes through Hawes and we were staying in a holiday cottage just round the corner from it called The Old Surgery. It was a brilliant location, right at the edge of the town centre so very accessible for everything.

On Sunday morning, the day after we arrived, we went for a little wander and I took a photo of the waterfall – probably one of the most photographed sights in Hawes. As you can see, there was a gentle but steady flow of water. Very beautiful.

As the week progressed and the rain persisted, the flow strengthened…

And by the time we left, it was a raging torrent!

There used to be a mill across the beck from our holiday cottage on the other side of the bridge that that waterfall above flows under. There was an old enlarged photo in the cottage showing what it used to look like with the mill wheel. On the bottom photo, you can clearly see the wall around the wheel although the wheel itself is long gone. What’s particularly interesting is that there appears to have been a wall across the beck, presumably to keep the water higher for the wheel to turn. That’s gone too.

Hawes has a few lovely gifts shops and a particular favourite was one called The Mulberry Bush which stocked Jellycats (I love them) and some gorgeous Christmassy gifts.

A shop I always love to visit is Bear Cottage. It’s an interior designs business but it stocks some lovely gifts and I like to have a hug with the two bears outside although I was conscious this time of not putting my paws on them in this strange Covid world so I had to do a sort of hover thing!

There was a gorgeous bear inside too although it wasn’t so easy to get his photo. I wished I could have taken him home. He’s so gorgeous.

Mid-week, the rain was so torrential with no sign of let up so the munchkin and I left hubby back in the cottage with Ella (our sprocker spaniel) and took a walk to the other end of the town to visit the Wensleydale Creamery.

There’s a visitor centre there and a visit includes cheese-making demonstrations but we were on a mission for a cream scone! We were the only ones in the café at first. The scones were still warm – mmm. I’m not a massive fan of fruit scones, preferring a plain or cheese one. They had cheese but I wanted jam and cream so it had to be fruit. I will eat some of the fruit but then I hit the point where I have to remove it as it’s too much. If you’ve read Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café you’ll know what I mean when I said I did a Mrs Sultana.

Various pictures by my favourite artist, Lucy Pittaway, were displayed around the café and I was particularly pleased to see two of the images from ‘The Home Collection’ hanging right next to each other as, combined, they remind me so much of my Hedgehog Hollow series. I have the print of ‘Happiness is Homemade’ with the hedgehogs surrounded by wildflowers, just like in Thomas’s meadow. The three-storey house in ‘Dream Big’ reminds me of the farmhouse as shown on the cover of Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow.

Lucy Pittaway’s art also inspires part of the storyline in Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café.

The gift shop at The Creamery is lovely and we had a good browse (and little purchase) before stepping back out into the torrential rain.

In the afternoon, we went over to the Dales Countryside Museum a few minutes’ walk from the cottage. It’s all about the people and activities in the Dales over the years and there are lots of activities to keep young children amused – or 14 year olds on a wet miserable day! 

We managed to catch a break in the rain with a trip out to Richmond and Leyburn, including a visit to Richmond Castle. There are fabulous views from the castle and the changing colours of the trees looked lovely, but the photos on a gloomy day like that don’t quite do justice to them.

While we were away, we celebrated a special publication day with the release of my very first foreign rights translation – Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café being translated into Italian. It’s called Festa Sotto La Neve and I hope sales in Italy go well.

And how do you celebrate an Italian publication day? With a takeaway pizza of course! We’re so sophisticated!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the photos from another beautiful part of North Yorkshire, mainly caught during rare breaks in the rain. The ones I posted in Part 2 on our walk were the only day we saw blue sky across the whole week which was a shame and did somewhat hamper our plans for the week, although I’m just grateful for the opportunity to get out and about a bit after so long at home.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

Our Yorkshire Dales Adventure Part 2 – It Shouldn’t Happen to an Author

I posted yesterday about our visit to All Creatures Great and Small country as part of our week-long break in the Yorkshire Dales, and thought I’d continue with the James Herriot theme in this post. It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet is one of Herriot’s books and I had an incident that shouldn’t happen to an author!

My parents don’t live too far away from Hawes where we were staying and my dad has always loved hiking but doesn’t get much of a chance to go these days. We’d suggested that Mum might like to spend some time in the holiday cottage with the munchkin while Dad, the hubby, Ella our sprocker spaniel, and I went for a walk.

The weather forecast for the whole week was pretty dire all week but it looked as though Monday would be the best day so they drove over then. We waited for a break in the rain after lunch and set off on a 2-hour circular walk – about the maximum we were willing to brave knowing it would bucket it down again. For me personally, there’s no pleasure in walking in torrential rain because the joy of walking is the beautiful scenery and if that’s obliterated by cloud and rain, there’s no point.

It was a lovely walk but we certainly encountered some weather during it! Bright sunshine gave way to torrential rain and then back to sunshine. I caught a rainbow but was gutted to realise that taking the time to do a panoramic shot meant I missed a red squirrel! And I wouldn’t care but the panoramic shot didn’t even work so I could have ditched it and seen the squirrel!

Dad had completed this particular circular walk before and had told us that there’d be various stiles across the fields. What we hadn’t appreciated was that many of these would be squeeze stiles. I’m not sure I’ve come across these before. They’re basically a narrow gap in a dry stone wall with a fence on one side to stop sheep getting through them. Did I mention they’re narrow? Did I mention the name ‘squeeze’ stile. Oh my goodness! They are not designed for short fat authors!

This is what a squeeze stile looks like, but this was actually one of the easy ones. As you can see, the stones are all fairly even and the gap is a reasonable size. I wish I’d taken a photo of one of the really challenging ones…

… although you can probably get a pretty good idea from this picture of me being ‘stuck’ in one.

Some of the stiles were up a step and others were up several steps, and this meant that the amount of wall the walker needed to squeeze through varied. Even where there was a lot of wall to pass through, someone of average height or above would pass through the gap with their legs only. But someone who’s 5 ft 2” like me is trying to squeeze the top of their thighs, their backside and their belly through the gap. And that’s one heck of a challenge when the person is as wide as I am, as you can see from the very flattering photo above!

I had to breathe in for every single stile and even sit on top of one of the walls and shuffle across because the gap was way too narrow. I was at serious risk of being wedged and feared we might have to call out the fire brigade to release me! It definitely shouldn’t happen to an author!

At another point, there was a stile by a gate and a metal pin stuck into the ‘gap’ at one side and the solid wooden gatepost was at an angle at the other, making a narrow gap even narrower. This presented another challenge. I couldn’t squeeze my backside or belly through because of the metal pin, and I couldn’t get my boobs past the sloped gatepost! The men tried to open the gate but the string closing it was too tangled so I had to climb over it and hope it would take my weight. That could have been mortifying, although I’d already had significant embarrassment from the squeeze stiles.

My dad, in the meantime, was as spritely as a mountain goat making easy work of the hills and stiles. He’s 76! 

There were only a couple of normal gates on our walk and one opening with no gate at all. What a sight for sore eyes!

My legs are still covered in bruises and my stomach muscles were killing me on Monday night and the following day from all the breathing in. But I did enjoy the walk. And it was worth it for the amazing views.

We joined the Gayle Beck (which runs off the River Ure) at the south of Hawes. The water was pretty fast-flowing and the ford fairly deep. A couple walking their dog at the other side were obviously looking to cross the ford and let the dog test the depth first. They soon turned round and retreated!

Didn’t stop me having a large cream scone at the Wensleydale Creamery the following day, but more about that in Part 3 coming tomorrow.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

Our Yorkshire Dales Adventure Part 1 – All Creatures Great and Small

The hubby, daughter, dog and I have just returned from a week holidaying in the Yorkshire Dales. We live in North Yorkshire ourselves but it’s such a huge county with lots of slow country roads that you can easily travel for several hours and still not have left it! We stayed n a small market town called Hawes, which we’ve visited several times before.

The Yorkshire Dales is James Herriot country. I remember watching the TV series back in the 1970s/1980s and really enjoying it so I was a little unsure about the C5 remake but, my goodness, have they done an amazing job on it. I absolutely love it and the cast are fabulous. It’s heartwarming, funny and the scenery is simply stunning.

We took a drive to Grassington one day which is Darrowby in the C5 version of the programme. It’s only 22 miles from Hawes but the roads are slow and narrow so we’re talking a one-hour journey! The original series was filmed in Askrigg and Thirsk but there has been more development in these towns in recent years and the roads around them in particular did not lend themselves to the 1930s authenticity of the series.

There’s a great article in the Yorkshire Post online about some of the shop transformations here.

It was a wet soggy day (the whole holiday was wet and soggy) so the photos are a little dull but I had a chance to pose outside the building used for the exterior of Skeldale House where the veterinary practice is based and the vets live.

The actual house used in Grassington doesn’t have pillars outside – these are added for the filming along with metal railings and shrubs – but the location is so recognisable on the top corner of the market square that we knew for sure we had the right building. The scenes inside Skeldale House are shot in a studio.

‘Skeldale House’ is the one on the top right by the lamp post

I also posed outside The Drovers Arms which is really called The Devonshire. If you look closely at the frosting on the windows in the second photo, it says The Drovers Arms.

We actually had our lunch in there (and it was delicious). The walls are covered with photos of the cast. As with Skeldale House, only the exterior here is used. The inside was too modern for filming but the inside scenes are within a pub rather than a studio – The Green Dragon Inn at nearby Hardraw. We’ve been there before but didn’t get a chance to visit this time.

Grassington is a very pretty Dales village with lots of cafes and gift shops although there were quite a few closed the day we visited which was a shame. We didn’t think a Tuesday was a typical day for closures but presumably it’s not busy enough out of season (even in half term) to justify the full-time opening hours. One of the closed shops had some fabulous All Creatures Great and Small signs in the window and a wonderful painting above the door.

Although not featured in the series (or at least I don’t think it is), I couldn’t resist taking this photo of The Cake House. Who doesn’t love the idea of a Cake House? It was a café, but also closed so I couldn’t gaze at or sample the cakey loveliness.

On our journey back to Scarborough at the end of our holiday, we stopped off in Thirsk where some filming took place in the second series. James and Helen queued outside the Ritz Cinema shown here.

We would have liked to visit the James Herriot Museum in Thirsk – the World of Jame Herriot – but, being an indoor museum, dogs can’t go in (except assistance dogs), so we’ll hopefully visit another time.

And if you love All Creatures Great and Small, you might also love my Hedgehog Hollow series. There’s a vet, lots of stunning countryside, and hedgehogs.

Watch out for Part 2 of our Yorkshire Dales Adventure – It Shouldn’t Happen to an Author – coming soon.

Big hugs
Jessica xx