It’s publication day today for A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow. Woo hoo! I’m so excited (and also a teeny bit nervous) as those hedgehogs make their way out into the world for the fourth time.
The blog tour kicks off today so an enormous thank you to the fabulous Rachel Gilbey for organising this and to all the amazing bloggers/reviewers who have volunteered to take part and share their views.
Some participants have read some or all of the books and, for others, this will be their first trip to the rescue centre. Early reviews coming in suggest that the book can be read as a standalone which is true. I carefully craft all of my books so that a complete story is being told within that book.
However, nearly all of them say they wish they’d read the others first to get the full feel of all the family dynamics. I’m not geeky enough to number-crunch on it but my first impressions are that this fourth instalment has attracted a huge number of 5-star reviews but a large proportion of the 3 or 4-star ones are from readers who’ve not read the previous books and therefore haven’t had the richer reading experience of following the threads that travel through the series. It’ll be interesting to see if this trend is reflected in the bog tour reviews. Having said that, a 4-star is still amazing. The hedgehogs and I will take that!
You can get hold of A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow here:
A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow – the four book in my Hedgehog Hollow series – will be out in the world tomorrow (6th January). Eek!
Those who read Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow when it was published at the start of May last year are probably shouting ‘and not a moment too soon!’ because I did leave things on a whopper of a cliff hanger.
Book 4 will pick up where book 3 left off. Actually, it takes us back a few days earlier to ease us into Christmas at Hedgehog Hollow before that cliff hanger throws everything into disarray.
If you’re familiar with my books, you’ll know that they’re always heartwarming, uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community but they also tackle some pretty tough subjects. A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow is no exception but rest assured the subject is researched and the story unfolds with my usual sensitivity. I write about life and sometimes bad things happen. I’m not going to shy away from that.
But alongside the new challenges facing my characters, there’s the loveliness of Samantha and Josh’s forthcoming wedding. The book is NOT all about the wedding – I don’t think I could personally write 100,000 words about a wedding – but the wedding does feature throughout as the drama that unfolds at Hedgehog Hollow has an impact on the wedding plans.
Yesterday, I sent hubby up into the attic to retrieve the memory box from our wedding (17 years ago this coming September) and my wedding dress/veil to do a photo shoot. We were broke after the wedding and I couldn’t afford to get my dress cleaned. I knew it had some footprints on the train but I hadn’t realised it was in more of a state than that. Oops! So I couldn’t use the front of the dress for any pics but we were able to use the detailing on the back and my tiara and veil were thankfully still in great condition.
So I thought I’d share some of the pics from our photo shoot with you…
What do you think of my little felt hedgehogs? Samantha and Josh Hedgehog were made by the wonderful Emma Stokes from @chillipepperbyemma You can find her on Instagram here or her Etsy shop here. I’ve got a couple of wonderful garlands from her and various other items related to my books, all beautifully made. I highly recommend her.
The hedgehogs are standing on something very special. This is part of a Cherished Teddies bridal set which I bought as a cake topper for my own wedding day. However, it was a little heavier than I’d imagined and I was worried it might tumble off the cake and smash so it stood beside it instead. Here it is with the teddies on it. How cute is the little bridesmaid? I’ve also taken a pic of the Forever Friends bride and groom which sat on our top table. These came from Bear’s Pad, my own teddy bear shop which I’d opened shortly before I met my husband.
One of my cousins gave us another bride and groom bear as a wedding gift and a friend bought me a bride so they had to feature in the photo shoot too!
My husband, Mark, has given me the go ahead to share some of our wedding photos on here. It was the most amazing day. After a dark day of pretty much non-stop torrential rain, the sun came out and the sky was blue (thank you, Grandma, looking down on us).
My Uncle Stan was our wedding photographer but it was the days before digital so please forgive the quality of the images as they’re scanned into hubby’s iPad using an App but, as the originals are glossy, they’ve scanned in a bit like a photo of a photo.
It’s hard to believe this was so long ago. In many ways it seems like yesterday, although I’m sure many of us feel like that about the passing of time. Since then, we’re both looking older, wider and with greyer hair (less of it in Mark’s case). Several of our guests are sadly no longer with us and the amazing venue where we held our wedding – The George in Piercebridge, Co Durham – went into liquidation pre-Covid. But we still have loads of extremely happy memories.
Will Samantha and Josh get their perfect wedding day like Mark and me? You’ll just have to read A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow to find out. You can get it on Kindle here and I’ve pasted the blurb below although there are spoilers in it if you haven’t read the previous books.
Big hedge-hugs Jessica xx
The brand new instalment in Jessica Redland’s bestselling Hedgehog Hollow series!
It’s time for the wedding we’ve all been waiting for…
Life at Hedgehog Hollow is never dull, although Samantha hopes that the new year ahead will be a little less chaotic as she prepares to marry the love of her life, Josh. But disaster strikes when she checks the rescue centre’s bank account after the festive season and discovers it has been emptied. Who would do such a thing, and why? With the future of Hedgehog Hollow now in jeopardy, planning a wedding has lost its shine.
Phoebe is desperate to escape the shadow of her family, infamously known for their attacks on Samantha’s beloved rescue centre. Could the kindness of the Hedgehog Hollow team be the chance she needs for a fresh start, or will her family’s secrets continue to drag her back?
Top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland welcomes you back to glorious Hedgehog Hollow; full of love, family, friendship – and hedgehogs of course!
I hope you’ve had a lovely day so far. Mine has been a very ordinary Saturday – doing a stack of washing, the dog has been for a groom, and I’m doing some prep work for something I’m involved in online throughout January. But, actually, I like that it’s been back to normality. I really struggle with the feeling after Christmas Day that I’m on holiday but not actually away on holiday.
Writing-wise, two of my books have hit amazing reviews milestones today.
Reviews for Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café came in slowly and steadily at first which we expected as it was released in late August and we knew a lot of readers would save it until they picked up their wintery/Christmas reads.
I noticed reviews coming in much quicker during December with 1,500 reached mid-month. With that sort of momentum, I hoped that it might hit the whopping 2,000 milestone on Kindle before the end of the year.
It actually hit it this morning and, across the day, an astonishing 50 reviews/ratings have been added taking it way past that and 92% are positive. If you’d like to see why readers are loving it so much, it’s still on a 99p deal and you can buy it on Kindle UK here.
In the meantime, I’ve been willing the hedgehogs along. Book 2, New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow, hit a 3,000 milestone a few months back and book 3, Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow, has been edging closer but not quite making it. Until today. 3,000 reviews/ratings! Woo hoo! And 94% of them are positive!
On Kindle, the series has attracted a whopping 9,068 reviews/ratings so far. Add in a further 636 on Apple Books and an amazing 1,712 on Audible, and there’s definitely a lot of love around for those hedgehogs.
Which is just as well as book 4 will be out on Thursday (6th January). Eek! It can be pre-ordered for Kindle UK here and Audible UK here.
Happy New Year to you and thank you so much to everyone who has left reviews/ratings for any of my books but especially these two milestone-achievers.