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.
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.
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:
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.
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?
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.
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.