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.
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.
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.
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.
As 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.
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.
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!