The one where I thank everyone involved in the blog tour for Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

I took a pause from social media after the tragic news on 8th September of the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II. It was a day I’ve been dreading and I knew I’d be upset but I wasn’t quite prepared for how upset I actually was. There seem to be many who have felt the same – an outpouring of grief for someone we didn’t know/had never met, yet who somehow felt like a member of the family and will be missed so very much.

With a brand new book published on 6th September, just two days before the Queen’s passing, I’d normally have been all over social media for the next couple of weeks, promoting it and sharing the reviews from my blog tour. On the evening we found out the sad news and on the day that followed, it didn’t feel right doing this. Then the weekend arrived and it still didn’t feel appropriate. There was the procession of the Queen’s coffin on Wednesday – heart breaking to watch – and it felt to me like the only appropriate time to start sharing promotional posts was after the funeral. And even now it doesn’t seem quite right but more of that in a bit.

I stopped looking at social media too. I found the pictures, poems, photos and memories shared became too overwhelming. They were beautiful and poignant but I felt exhausted from crying. Over on Twitter, I couldn’t bear to see so many negative, hateful comments and cruel hashtags trending. It was easier to stay away.

The only posts I made on the socials were to announce the cancellation of my appearance at the Richmond Walking and Book Festival yesterday as it clashed with the funeral, and to remind readers that there were tickets still available for a talk through Stockton Libraries. I’ll share some photos from that in a post soon.

It’s the day after the Queen’s funeral and I am back on social media, even though it feels strange to be here. But this is my job and I need to return to ‘normal’ even though there’s still great sadness.

I feel bad that so many lovely bloggers have kindly shared their reviews on Twitter during the blog tour for Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow and I haven’t re-tweeted them. I have, however, thanked them on their blog posts… or at least I hope I’ve thanked everyone – no offence meant if I’ve inadvertently missed anyone.

I also feel bad that I haven’t shared news of any other author’s publication days, cover reveals or big successes over the past twelve days. I will be catching up this week. Congratulations to those who have had exciting news recently.

So back to the blog tour, a huge thank you as always to the amazing Rachel Gilbey from Rachel’s Random Resources for organising it. Another whopping 12-day tour with 36 stops, I’ve been thrilled by so many gorgeous reviews. There were three non-posts this time. I know that one of those was a reviewer taking some time out, like me, but I don’t know about the others. They may appear late – some time away while processing the news or perhaps there’s been illness or a family emergency for the bloggers to deal with – or they may not appear at all. To those bloggers, I wish you all the best and am forever grateful that you take the time to read, review and promote my books.

For those who did post their reviews during the tour (which finished on Saturday), thank you so much. There was so much love for this finale and for the series as a whole. There was sadness that the series has come to an end but also excitement to see what I’d write next. No pressure, then! I’ve included a random selection of tour quotes in this blog post.

Have a great week and I have a date for your diary. I was going to be doing a Facebook Live last Friday (16th) talking about the whole of the Hedgehog Hollow series but we decided to delay it and it’ll now be on Monday 26th September at 6pm over on Book and Tonic’s Facebook page. Hope you can join us.

Big hedge-hugs
Jessica xx

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