The one where it’s publication day for Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow

Almost exactly two years since the first book in the series was published (Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow on 2nd July 2020), we return to the hedgehog rescue centre for the fifth instalment with Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow.

I am so touched by how much love there is for this series. The first four books combined have already sold more than 200,000 copies across all formats. Thank you so much to everyone who has made this possible.

Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow is out today in all formats. Publication days are exciting but also a little nerve-wracking, awaiting the verdict. The early reviews have been very encouraging so I hope it will continue that way.

Boldwood Books through Rachel’s Random Resources have organised a blog tour so thank you to the amazing bloggers/reviewers who are participating. The first two reviews in have been gorgeous 5-star ones which have helped allay some of the nerves.

My publication biscuits from Boldwood Books made by Enchanting Bakes have arrived and look delicious and my husband bought me the most gorgeous publication day plant. I love flowers and plants but I’m not very good with them. This one looks pretty hardy so fingers crossed it will last! My mum and dad also gave me the most adorable publication day card. It’s by a North Yorkshire-based artist called Bree Merryn who specialises in wildlife drawings. You can find her website here and she has some stunning hedgehog prints and cushions. Just search ‘hedgehog’ and you’ll feel very happy!

So how am I spending publication day? I’m in the Beverley chapter of the RNA (Romantic Novelists’ Association) and we meet on the last Tuesday evening of the month so it’s our meeting tonight. As Beverley is an hour away from me, I like to make the most of the trip out so meet my bestie Sharon Booth for lunch and we are always amazed how six-and-a-half hours can whizz by before we need to head to our meeting. I only saw Sharon yesterday when we met up with another amazing author, Eliza J Scott, but we’ll still have loads to talk about.

Thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow on eBook, audio, paperback or has ordered a signed paperback from me. I’ll be anxiously checking my chart position across the day. I was very excited to see it at #7 in the overall AppleBooks chart first thing and #1 in the Fiction and Literature category.

It’s Top 250 (not that that’s a thing!) in the Audible chart already and just outside the Top 500 on Kindle but will hopefully make it into the Top 100 before the end of the day based on pre-orders and first day sales. Keep scampering, little hedgehogs!

Tomorrow, Fiona and Sue over on Heidi Swain & Friends – A Facebook Book Club are kindly hosting a publication day party for me. This is a lovely book group so if you’re a fan of Heidi Swain’s wonderful stories and books like those, do consider joining the group. They’re also hosting a Facebook Live with me on Monday 4th July at 7pm. You can join that event here although it’s possible you may need to be a member of the group first. Not 100% sure on that one.

I’m off to eat my publication day biscuits now. Nom nom nom.

Big hedge-hugs
Jessica xx

Samantha has a secret. Returning home from her dream honeymoon to the normality of running her beloved Hedgehog Hollow rescue centre, she’s ready for the next chapter of her life with Josh. Or is she? Samantha is hiding something which could forever change the dreams they shared and bring their happy ever after crashing to the ground.

Lauren has given up on love. Twenty-six years ago the love of her life, Shaun, left her a note and was never seen again. Two painful divorces later she still can’t face opening up to anyone. But little does Lauren know that the closure she’s dreamt of for all these years may be closer than she thinks, and perhaps the only way to let new love in is to forgive and forget.

Samantha and Lauren will need the love and support from the Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever. After all, some dreams are worth chasing…

Top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland welcomes you back to glorious Hedgehog Hollow where love, family and friendship conquer all.

The one where it’s publication day for Spring Tides at The Starfish Café

Happy publication day to me! Spring Tides at The Starfish Café – book 2 in the series – is out today. Yay!

A huge thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered it on eBook or audio formats, or has purchased it today. That’s so kind of you. Happy reading/listening!

I love this story and hope readers and listeners will too. Anyone who read the acknowledgements in the back of book 1 – Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café – will know that part of this story was originally in that book. I submitted it thinking something wasn’t quite right but couldn’t pinpoint what. Thankfully my amazing editor, Nia, could and it was that I had two stories in one book but didn’t have the word count to do justice to either of them. So Snowflakes focuses purely on Hollie and Jake meeting and their tragic backstories, and Spring Tides is about their developing relationship with the storyline removed from Snowflakes and a couple of new characters.

Spring Tides at The Starfish Café embarks on a 15-day / 45 stop blog tour from today. That’s epic! Thank you so much to the amazing bloggers/reviewers who’ve signed up and the amazing Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for organising it. Thanks also to the reviewers who aren’t on the tour but have already or will share their reviews.

One of my Boldwood buddies, the lovely crime author Mary Grand, asked me this week whether I still get nervous about publication day now that I’ve written so many books. The answer is yes! This is my 15th release through Boldwood Books but it’s actually my 28th publication day, having had nine indie release days and four with my original publisher. I’m into more of a rhythm about what to expect but the nerves are always there, bubbling away beneath the surface, typically triggered by my pesky imposter syndrome: What if this is the book readers/listeners hate? What if this is the one where they realise I can’t write?

I’ve been working hard on my imposter syndrome and I don’t feel quite so worried with this release. It helps that there’ve been so many lovely reviews from ARCs (Advance Reader Copies). There have, of course, been some who haven’t enjoyed it – there always are – but it’s overwhelmingly been positively received.

Today I’ll be mostly sharing on social media and responding to the lovely comments that come through. The lovely Fiona Jenkins and Sue Baker are hosting a publication party over on Heidi Swain and Friends – A Facebook Book Club – which is very kind and generous of them. My friends over on The Friendly Book Community have a publication day interview with me and there’s lots more going on. Thank you to everyone who gets involved and makes this day so special.

On Thursday this week, I have a very exciting event planned. I’m going to be joined by members of the RNLI – specifically Scarborough Lifeboat Station – for a Facebook Live. It’s at 6pm on the Book and Tonic Facebook Page and will be available to watch afterwards if anyone can’t join us live. If you can join us live, though, there’ll be an opportunity to ask questions. The crew are so inspirational and I’m so looking forward to chatting with them.

In related news, I was so excited to see Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café reach a whopping review milestone yesterday of 4,000 reviews/ratings over on Amazon. This is my most-reviewed book now, despite it being one of the most recent releases. It hit 4k yesterday, just in time for publication day so what a lovely way to celebrate.

If you haven’t already read Snowflakes, you can grab it for free if you’re in Prime Reading or Kindle Unlimited globally, and it’s only 99p (or equivalent internationally) for the eBook so this is a great opportunity to discover Hollie and Jake’s origin stories before reading Spring Tides. You can read Spring Tides as a standalone book and I do inject some of the backstory so readers aren’t lost but you’ll get a much richer experience if you’ve read the full series.

And, finally, I’m delighted to announce that book 3 – Summer Nights at The Starfish Café – is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Please don’t get annoyed with me but there’s a year to wait for this one. It’s out on 3rd April 2023 and you can pre-order it for Kindle here. The reason for the year is I have the Hedgehog Hollow series to finish first (two books out in June and September) and there’s either going to be a Castle Street standalone book out in January or the start of a new series. Spring Tides doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, though, so hopefully readers/listeners will forgive me for the year and remember that many authors only write one book a year and some even write one every two years.

Big publication day hugs
Jessica xx

Publication day for Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop

It’s publication day today for Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop, the final book in my backlist to be freshly edited and re-released through Boldwood Books (previously available as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop). If you’ve read the original version and are curious about what’s changed, here’s a blog post I wrote about it.

Publication day is always really exciting. This is my 12th book out today but I’ve had way more publication days than that with being published by a different company, then going indie, then getting my Boldwood deal and re-publishing my edited backlist. And, despite 24 publication days, it doesn’t get any less exciting. I know of authors who are 30/50/100 books down the line and say it still doesn’t wear off which is great to hear.

For my very first couple of books, I waited up until midnight to watch the eBook ‘magically’ appear on my Kindle. That was really thrilling! I don’t do that now but I do often struggle to sleep as I keep thinking about it! It’s like the excitement of waiting for Christmas Day to dawn!

When I was first published and when I was an indie author, my books didn’t sell very well so, although I’d keep my eye on the Amazon chart (Amazon being the only place they were available back then), I didn’t expect high positions … and didn’t get them! Reviews would be slow to come in and I wouldn’t get many of them either. And I was working in a demanding day job so I just needed to work as normal and not really think about publication.

Since last year when my writing took off (thanks to the amazing Boldwood Books) and I was able to resign and write full time, publication days have been very different. Initially I’d write but now I find they’re so busy that I never plan to write as I would probably wouldn’t get much done.

Why are they busy? There are publication posts to share on social media, a blog to write and so many gorgeous congratulations messages coming in to respond to. There’s usually a blog tour starting although we’re not having the one for Christmas Wishes… until October to generate a buzz for the book closer to Christmas. There are early reviews to read and I do regularly check chart positions hoping, just hoping, the book might edge close to the Top 100. I’m pretty certain Christmas Wishes… won’t come close, though, as it’s the final backlist book to come out and there are many readers who read it as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop. Pre-orders have been low (probably for that reason and because some readers don’t buy Christmas books out of season) which was expected so they won’t boost it massively up the charts today.

But alongside the publication day excitement there’s nervousness as various questions race through my mind:

  • Will readers love/hate/feel indifferent towards this book?
  • Will it climb the charts or bomb?
  • If it’s the start of a new series, will they engage with that series or not?
  • If it’s a sequel, will they think the previous book(s) was/were better and perhaps even tell me I should never have written this one?

It makes for a rollercoaster day/week/month while the verdict is coming in!

For this particular book, I don’t have those same nerves I might usually have. It had already gathered nearly 450 reviews on previous release and 83% of those are 5-star and 13% 4-star so I already know readers love this story. It has also had 85 ARC reviews (advanced reader copies) on NetGalley from reviewers/bloggers and they are overwhelmingly positive. Phew!

But I do have a little apprehension about chart position as I said. I’m not expecting it to do brilliantly… but there’s always that little sliver of hope!

Overall, any publication day is an amazing day, even with those nerves/worries. It never ceases to amaze me how many gorgeous messages and congratulatory posts come in from readers and authors and I am so very grateful for every one of them.

Today, I was at the hairdresser’s first thing and was scrolling through my Twitter feed while my colour was developing and, since returning home, I haven’t been off social media.

I’m so grateful to everyone who has sent me lovely messages today, shared any promotional posts, has pre-ordered, bought or borrowed Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop.

For those who are coming to Charlee’s story for the first time, I hope you love it and aren’t craving chocolate too much! For those who’ve already read it but loved it so much that you wanted to come back for the new version, you’re absolute stars and I can’t thank you enough.

And, as always, THANK YOU to my amazing publisher, Boldwood Books and my super talented awesome editor Nia for all her brilliant advice. Ooh, and this amazing box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts (pics below the blurb). Yum yum!

Big chocolatey hugs
Jessica xx

Sometimes you just need a little Christmas magic to make your wishes come true…

When master chocolatier, Charlee, takes the leap to move to the picturesque seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, she is determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and set up a chocolate shop.

Luckily, she finds the perfect location for Charlee’s Chocolates on beautiful Castle Street… Now she just has to refurbish it in time for Christmas!

With a useless boyfriend and countless DIY disasters, Charlee doesn’t know if she’ll make it in time. With no ‘traditional’ family to support her, she feels lost in her new surroundings and the secrets of the past are weighing her down.

But the warmth and festive spirit of the Whitsborough Bay community will surprise her, and when plumber, Matt, comes to the rescue, it might be that all of Charlee’s dreams could come true this Christmas, and she could learn what family really means…

I’m in conversation with Jo Bartlett tonight

Today is the publication day for the second book in the fabulous Cornish Midwives series by Jo Bartlett: A Summer Wedding for the Cornish Midwife. Huge congratulations, Jo.

The first book in the series – The Cornish Midwife – is Jo’s first release with Boldwood Books and is performing exceptionally well, still sitting high in the Kindle Top 100 two and a half months on from release, having racked up a Top 10 position. So exciting!

Book 2 looks set to follow. At the time of writing, it’s already #8 in the Apple UK Romance category chart and just outside the Top 300 overall Kindle chart but will rise as the day goes on as it’s usually later in the day when a book gets its highest publication day position on Kindle.

The series – which is planned at seven books – tells the story of the midwives based at the community midwifery unit in the fictional Cornish village of Port Agnes and the books are lovely, warm stories about love, friendship, family and community in a stunning setting. I’ve put blurbs and links below my signature.

I’ve read both and absolutely loved them. This is a quote from me about the first:

‘I love second chance stories. I love returning home stories. So a book combining both is an absolute winner for me. The Cornish Midwife is simply gorgeous. Stunning setting, wonderful characters, and oozing with warmth. A triumph from Jo Bartlett and a cracking start to what promises to be a fabulous series’

I don’t normally celebrate publication days of other authors on my blog (as I’d never get any writing done if I did!) but there’s a special reason for this one. It’s because Jo and I have a joint event planned today…

I’m very excited to be ‘in conversation’ with Jo tonight on a Facebook Live. The session will be hosted on Book and Tonic’s Facebook page which you can find here and will start at 6pm GMT this evening (Thursday 1st July) and last up to an hour.

I’ll be asking Jo questions about her writing journey and the series itself but it will be more of a conversation than an interview so I’ll be sharing some snippets too.

I’m really looking forward to this as, not only are Jo and I publishing buddies, we’re friends in real life. As to how we know each other, all will be revealed during our conversation so I hope you can join us.

We’ll be inviting questions from the ‘audience’ during the Facebook Live and anyone who asks a question then will be put into a draw to win a copy of the paperback of A Summer Wedding for the Cornish Midwife.

If you can’t attend live, then you will be able to catch up on the recording on Book and Tonic’s Facebook page, although wouldn’t be able to ask questions/go into the draw.

We’ll be reuniting on Monday 6th September where the roles will be reversed and Jo will be question-master, helping me celebrate the publication of Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café. The book itself is out on 31st August but we’re waiting until after the distraction of the school holidays to host the Live.

Really hope you can join us tonight. Happy publication day to Jo!

Big hugs
Jessica xx

THE CORNISH MIDWIFE

A fresh start…

Midwife Ella Mehenick left the small Cornish town of Port Agnes for London and never looked back. But when her seemingly perfect life crashes down around her, there’s only one place she can heal her battered heart – the place she once called home.  

A new arrival…

Ella is quickly welcomed into the small community midwife team and loves her new job caring for mums and their precious babies – it’s what she does best! But being back also means facing ex-flame Dan Ferguson…the first man to break her heart. 

A second chance at love?

Dan is still as gorgeous as ever, but he’s never forgiven Ella for leaving. And now she’s back it’s clear that there is unfinished business between them. As Ella settles into her new/old life, she can’t stop the memories of how she once loved Dan so completely – and maybe never stopped.

Maybe coming home to Cornwall is Ella’s chance to love again…

Meet The Cornish Midwives of Port Agnes- where community, friendship and love are always delivered.

An uplifting and escapist read, perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Jessica Redland and Holly Martin!

This book was previously published as Return to Port Agnes.

You can buy it here on Kindle UK but it’s also available as an eBook for Apple and Kobo, as a physical audio, for download, to stream on Spotify and as paperback, hardback and large print formats. It’s also available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

A SUMMER WEDDING FOR THE CORNISH MIDWIFE

It’s wedding day in Port Agnes!

The venue is booked, the dress is picked, and Senior Midwife Anna Jones only has to say ‘I Do!’ to the man she loves! Theirs might have been a whirlwind romance, but Brae Penrose is everything Anna dreamed her husband would be and she can’t wait to start a new life with him…and if they are lucky, maybe even a family of their own. 

But as the big day approaches disaster strikes, and their perfect day looks destined not to happen at all. Anna’s certain it’s a sign to slow things down.

The other midwives won’t hear of Anna and Brae postponing their big day, but can they and the community of Port Agnes pull together to make sure the Penrose summer wedding goes off without a hitch?

Meet The Cornish Midwives of Port Agnes- where community, friendship and love are always delivered.

An uplifting and escapist read, perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Jessica Redland and Holly Martin!

This book was previously published as Christmas with the Cornish Midwives.

You can buy it here on Kindle UK but it’s also available as an eBook for Apple and Kobo, as a physical audio, for download, to stream on Spotify and as paperback, hardback and large print formats. It’s also available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

All I felt was love…

Yesterday was the publication day for All You Need Is Love and, I have to say, all I felt was love all day. How amazing are the reading and writing community?

It was my busiest publication day yet with so many lovely comments on social media to read and respond to and lots of activities going on so Ive just got a quick round up, a few links and some photos…

There were biscuits…

My fabulous publisher, Boldwood Books, always send a wonderful publication day gift and this time it was biscuits with book covers and congratulations messages on them. They didn’t last long! I was under strict instructions from my daughter to save her one of the book cover ones and I had a text from her on the bus to school this morning saying she’d been in such a rush, she forgot to pick it up to take it to school. She has been warned I might have the munchies later!

There was cake…

It was hubby’s birthday yesterday so we had birthday cake too. Mmmm. I completely forgot to take a photo of that, though.

There were books…

My paperbacks arrived. I always look forward to the books coming as it’s such an amazing moment to see them, stroke them and, yes, sniff them. But I’d particularly been excited about the arrival of All You Needs Is Love because of those gorgeous sunset colours and it didn’t disappoint at all. So vibrant! My daughter has announced it’s her favourite cover and it might just be mine too as those colours are simply stunning.

The gorgeous wooden campervan (Thor the campervan in the story) has been well admired. I bought him from my favourite shop in Scarborough: White Beach Designs. The lovely owner, Andie, has a Facebook page if anyone is interested in one (they come in different colours). I do highly recommend the shop for gorgeous handmade jewellery, wooden gifts, pebble art and so much more. You can find the Facebook page here.

There was a party…

Last month I was invited to join a lovely Facebook group called ‘Heidi Swain and Friends’ which is run by Sue and Fiona as a readers’ group/book club for fans of Heidi Swain’s gorgeous books and authors who may also appeal to Heidi’s readers. Heidi very kindly supported Sue and Fiona’s suggestion to host a publication day party for me and they ran a day full of fun questions and quizzes relating to All You Need Is Love. It was fabulous seeing all the interaction from readers and joining in myself. A huge thank you to Heidi, Sue and Fiona. If you’d like to join the group, you can do so here.

I also have a readers’ group of my own on Facebook for discussion about anything related to my books and settings. Thank you to everyone who was so supportive on there and for all the kind messages coming through from those who have already read this book or plan to. If you haven’t already joined Redland’s Readers, you can do so here.

There was a blog tour

My blog tour kicked off yesterday with three lovely reviews. There’ll be 36 stops over 12 days and, as usual, I’ll share a round-up at the end. An enormous thank you to all those who have signed up and those who share their posts. It makes such a difference to get these early reviews and spread the word. Thank you also to those who have read this book under its previous incarnation as Bear With Me for sharing the love for this story.

The All You Need Is Love Blog Tour

There were blog posts

I guested on the Boldwood Books blog talking about my own teddy bear shop which inspired part of the story. You can find that post here.

I also guested on the RNA’s blog (Romantic Novelists’ Association) talking about my inspiration for the story and a bit more about my writing. Thank you to Catherine Lawless and the RNA for hosting me. You can find that post here.

There was music

I pulled together a Spotify playlist of songs which link to/inspire All You Need Is Love. You can find that here. They’re roughly presented in the order of relevance to the story so, if you’ve read the book, you can probably guess which part they may relate to. As you’d expect, not all the lyrics are a perfect match but the general vibe is there. Thank you to my editor, Nia, for pulling this together for me. I hope you enjoy listening to it.

There was a video

I created a publication day video about what to expect and explained the difference between plush bears, collectible bears and artist bears (with gorgeous bears to help me) which you can find here.

And the day finished with a Facebook Live

My amazing editor Nia Beynon hosted an ‘in conversation’ on Facebook for an hour and we had some fabulous questions. I also did a reading from All You Need Is Love. Thank you to everyone who joined us live or who has listened to it since. You can catch up with the video here.

Facebook Live Advert – the competition only ran on the evening but you can still watch the video on catch-up

So, as you can see, an extremely busy but lovely day. Thank you to everyone who made it so special and particularly my amazing husband and daughter, Mark and Ashleigh, without whose support I wouldn’t be doing what I do today.

If you’re interested in reading to All You Need Is Love, it’s available as an eBook for Apple, Kindle and Kobo, and in print format as a paperback, hardback and large print. For those who like to listen, it’s available as an audio download or physical copy and will appear on streaming services soon.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

All You Need Is Love

When you’ve loved and lost, how do you find the strength to let love in again?

Jemma thinks she’s found the love of her life. Scott is everything she ever dreamed of and she can’t wait to begin the next stage of their life together. But just as she is heading for her happy ever after, a shock revelation shatters Jemma’s life as she knows it. Left to pick up the pieces, Jemma’s friends and family rally round to help her find the courage to move on.

Sam think he has his future all worked out. A thriving career, lovely home and an amazing fiancée. But when tragedy strikes, he finds himself alone, far from everyone he cares about. Did he do the right thing by running away and trying to rebuild the tatters of his life alone?

This is the story of Jemma and Sam. Two lost souls, desperately trying to find closure and happiness. When a chance meeting brings them together a friendship is formed, but the guards are up. 

Will it finally be their turn for a happy ever after? Or will the secrets from their pasts prevent them from moving on?

Escape to Whitsborough Bay for an emotional, uplifting story of love and friendship from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland. 

This book was previously published as Bear With Me.

All you need is love to help you achieve your dreams…

Today is the publication day for my latest Boldwood release, All You Need Is Love. Publication days are always special but this one is extra special. It’s my husband’s birthday, it’s my sprocker spaniel Ella’s fifth birthday (happy birthday my lovelies xx) AND this is my tenth book to be released through Boldwood Books. Ten! Eek!

I first thought about writing a book a long time ago – back in 2002 – when a manager at work told me my business reports read like stories and I should write a book. Great idea but what would I write about? Then something happened to me that gave me the premise for my debut novel and I started writing it the following year.

Back then, I never thought about the next stage. Getting the book published wasn’t something I was aiming towards. The goal was simply to get to the end, to write a book. Could I even do that? Could I construct an interesting page-turning story with engaging characters?

It took me a decade to finish the book due to a combination of big life events – wedding, baby, house moves and job changes – but I kept chipping away. I started to think beyond finishing, especially as the idea for one book had developed into a trilogy.

After two critiques through the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) New Writers’ Scheme, my debut novel was ready to seek a publishing deal. For most authors, the road to publication is a bumpy one paved with rejections and disappointments and my experience is no exception. Ten months and twenty-three rejections later, I was seriously thinking about going indie when two very different offers came along: an established US-based digital only publisher v a new UK-based publisher who’d publish in ebook and paperback. I chose the latter.

My debut novel and a prequel novella were released in May and June 2015. My amazing husband surprised me on publication day with a set of canvases: one of each of the book covers and a third with the release date on it and this quote from the author Mark Twain: 

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

The quote made me cry. We both knew that I’d found my purpose in life and, having secured a publishing deal, I was now on my way…

But it didn’t work out. The company failed to make an impact in the publishing world and ceased trading shortly after my final book was released. I was devastated. With my rights back, I re-released the trilogy and prequel novella independently. They tanked.

I thought things might change when I released a brand new book the following year but they didn’t and, for the next few years, I struggled. I was working long hours in a full-time job, I led a Brownie Pack, and I had a family. Finding time to write was a massive challenge. Finding time to explore how to be a successful indie author was an impossibility.

I released another four books – all Christmas ones – and enjoyed some success with them but, mostly, it was days of zero sales and low chart positions. My reviews were great. Those who discovered my books seemed to love them but not enough readers were discovering them so, in summer 2018, I decided that it was time to try to secure a publisher again.

First time around, I had no idea if I had something a publisher might want and saw it as a process: Rejection? Okay, that’s a shame, but who’s next on the list? Second time around, each rejection floored me. A brand new novel provisionally titled Wish I Could Tell You Goodbye received five rejections. I also tried one of my back catalogue, Bear With Me, which gathered three passes. It was really hard to focus on the positive feedback when phrases like “Not suitable for our list”, “Not ‘hooky’ enough to stand out” and “Didn’t quite hit the mark for me” kept leaping out at me.

As 2018 drew to a close, I’d never felt so low about my writing and questioned whether it was time to give up. What was the point in spending months writing a book when hardly anybody was reading it and no publishers wanted it? But the reality was that writing was part of me. I was bursting with ideas. I had stories to tell. It was the only thing I wanted to do. I kept looking at that Mark Twain quote and believing that, one day, it would happen. One day my manuscript would land on the right desk at the right time and my world would change.

And it did.

I spotted an advert for the newly-formed Boldwood Books who’d be opening for submissions in February 2019 and knew I’d found my perfect home. I just hoped they agreed. Thankfully they did and I was offered a whopping 9-book publishing deal for four new books and five from my back catalogue. Another couple of contract addendums added in the remaining three previously-published books.

The book that secured my deal with Boldwood was the five times rejected Wish I could Tell You Goodbye. It was released in September 2019 under the title of The Secret to Happiness and has since sold nearly 50,000 copies and been in The Works. And the rejected Bear With Me is now re-edited and reissued as All You Need Is Love out today.

I’m writing my thirteenth book at the moment; the first for a new 12-book contract with Boldwood. If somebody had told me when I was writing my first novel that I’d be a full-time author releasing my tenth book through the most incredible publisher while writing my thirteenth, I’d never have believed them. When I went through my second submission round and devasted by the rejections, I wouldn’t have done either.

So today as I celebrate my tenth Boldwood release, I am so grateful to my husband and daughter for the canvas that hangs above my desk and reminds me each day of my purpose in life and for their constant encouragement. I’m so grateful for the rejections I had along the way because they brought me to my perfect home with Boldwood Books. And I’m so grateful to all the readers who’ve bought or borrowed my books and audios, particularly those who send me messages or write gorgeous reviews telling me how much they love my books. My tenth book is called All You Need Is Love and it’s a message that applies to authors. We need the love from readers to keep going through the tough times, the love of a publisher who believes in us, and family and friends who support us every step of the way.

If you have a dream, don’t give up on it. Sometimes when it feels like things are falling apart, they might actually be coming together. It might not happen for you immediately … but it could happen down the line. It did for me.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

The hedgehogs are back! Celebrating publication day for New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow

I’m very excited because today is publication day of the second book in my Hedgehog Hollow series: New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow.

The hedgehogs will be embarking on a blog tour starting today and it’s exciting to see lots of familiar names on the schedule but also some reviewers who are new to my books. Anyone who hadn’t already read the first book – Finding Love At Hedgehog Hollow – was given the opportunity to read that first so it will be interesting to see whether everyone has or whether there are some who’ve dived right in at book two.

Several of my books are linked and I have characters who make cameo appearances in other books but this is my second proper series with recurring characters. In the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series, each of the four books tells a different character’s story with them acting as the narrator for their own book. The Hedgehog Hollow series is different in that Samantha – the heroine of book 1 – remains the narrator throughout the series but book 2 onwards has a second voice. For New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow it’s Samantha’s boyfriend Josh but this will change for book 3. Early reviews have indicated that this has gone down well. Phew!

I’ve posted today on my publisher Boldwood Books’s blog about what to expect in this book so I’m not going to repeat that on my blog. You can read that post here.

Instead, I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has shown the love for the first book in the series. It came out just over six months ago and has already (at the time of writing this) gathered 906 reviews/ratings, 93% of which are positive (4-star or 5-star) which is just phenomenal considering this book stemmed from a short exercise while I was studying my Masters in Creative Writing a couple of years ago. I’ll write a blog post about that in the not too distant future. I hope you all love the second part in the series just as much.

I also wanted to share pictures of a few of my hedgehog friends. Some of these were with us before a book about a hedgehog rescue centre was ever even a seed of an idea but others – quite a few others – have joined the household more recently. A couple were Christmas gifts and I may have treated myself a little … a lot … lately. Somebody stop me! My excuse is that there are going to be at least four books in the series so one hog wouldn’t be enough. Hmm. We took some of them outside this morning for a frosty photo shoot courtesy of the super talented hubby. Don’t they look amazing?

The main photo is (and bottom right) is Tootles, my Charlie Bear hedgehog. Top right are a couple of silver-effect hedgehogs (mum and hoglet) from Baytree Interiors and the bottom left ornament is from Sainsbury’s last year. Bottom middle is a lovely soft Jellycat hedgehog called Bashful Spike, although hubby thinks he looks more like a lion than a hedgehog!

And it isn’t just hedgehog ornaments and cuddles that I love. I may have gathered a few other items over time too! As you can probably tell, I’m a particular fan of Wrendale Designs. So adorable.

Happy hedgehog day! The blurbs and buying links for New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow and also Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow are below if you’d like to take a journey to the gorgeous Hedgehog Hollow in the stunning Yorkshire Wolds and meet the hedgehogs.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – Book 1

You can buy it on Amazon here.

Can love really be found when you stop looking for it?

As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.

But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.

Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfil Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.

Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow – Book 2

You can buy it on Amazon here.

With new arrivals comes new responsibilities.

The sun is shining, wild flowers are blooming and Hedgehog Hollow is officially open for business.

For Samantha, the proud owner of this beautiful rescue centre, life has never been busier. But with an influx of new hogs and hoglets to take care of, not to mention a full-time job and ongoing family issues, can she accept the possibility that she has taken on more than she can handle?

Fortunately, she has the love of her life, Josh, by her side for support and encouragement. But Josh has his own family troubles to deal with. And soon he must decide if he’s ready to do the one thing he swore he’d never do – forgive his father.

For both Samantha and Josh it’s a season of change and for figuring out whether the past can ever truly be forgotten.


The one where it’s cover reveal time for New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow

Any readers with an eagle-eye may have already spotted it lurking on Amazon for a few weeks but I’m thrilled to be able to officially reveal the gorgeous new cover and the blurb for the second book in my Hedgehog Hollow series: New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow.

What do you think? Isn’t it just so gorgeous and reminiscent of sunny spring days? Boldwood Books certainly know how to produce some absolute stunners. This may be my new favourite so far.

Time-wise, the story picks up immediately where the first book – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – ends and covers the whole of May and into June at Hedgehog Hollow. I’ve included a recap from Book 1 but I would suggest this is a book best enjoyed after reading Book 1 as it is properly a series.

The cover shows Samantha sat on a bench with Misty-Blue the cast, overlooking Thomas’s meadow at Hedgehog Hollow.

Who are the new arrivals in the title? Samantha, our heroine from Book 1, is a new arrival herself, settling into her new home and, of course, there are lots of hedgehogs because Hedgehog Hollow Rescue Centre is now officially open for business.

There were five hedgehogs in the first book – Spikette, Mr Snuffles, Sonic, Mrs Tiggy Winkle and Quilly – and a few readers said they wished there’d been more. Regrettably, I couldn’t include more because the centre only officially opened for business at the very end of the book but Book 2 is packed to bursting with hedgehogs. And – even more of a treat – there are hoglets in it too because New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow covers babies season! So cute!

If you’d like to know more about a year in the life of a hedgehog, I’ve blogged about that today on Boldwood’s blog and you can access the post here.

This story isn’t just Samantha’s; it’s Josh’s too. He’s another new arrival at Hedgehog Hollow and the book is told in dual perspective.

Here’s the blurb:

With new arrivals comes new responsibilities…

The sun is shining, wild flowers are blooming and Hedgehog Hollow is officially open for business.

For Samantha, the proud owner of this beautiful rescue centre, life has never been busier. But with an influx of new hogs and hoglets to take care of, not to mention a full-time job and ongoing family issues, can she accept the possibility that she has taken on more than she can handle?

Fortunately, she has the love of her life, Josh, by her side for support and encouragement. But Josh has his own family troubles to deal with. And soon he must decide if he’s ready to do the one thing he swore he’d never do – forgive his father.

For both Samantha and Josh it’s a season of change and for figuring out whether the past can ever truly be forgotten.

If I’ve whet your appetite, you can pre-order New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow for Kindle download here. It’s also now available for pre-order on AppleBooks and Kobo.

Released on 7th January 2021, it will be available as a paperback, large print edition, physical audio and audio download as well as appearing on Spotify. Lots of options whatever your reading or listening preferences! Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is also available in all these formats.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

The one where ‘Making Wishes at Bay View’ is in The Works

I adore my Kindle (other eReaders are available!) but I’m sure most people who love reading will admit to getting a little thrill from browsing a bookshop or even simply pausing in a section of a store where books are displayed. A happy place.

As an author, that thrill is multiplied several-fold when the shelves contain one of my own books. I don’t think that feeling will ever get tired!

At the weekend, I was delighted to visit my local The Works store in Scarborough and not only see Making Wishes at Bay View on the shelves but to sign them! The manager in there is lovely and recognised me from when I’d been in to visit The Secret to Happiness at the start of summer just after restrictions were lifted and shops opened again.

Making Wishes at Bay View in the Scarborough branch of The Works with the special home-made ‘signed by author’ sticker

I’d never thought to ask if I could sign copies of Secret but I’d seen photos of other authors signing their books in their local stores and the manager was delighted for me to do so with Making Wishes at Bay View.

What a surreal moment perching on the till and signing the seven remaining copies. They didn’t have any ‘signed by author’ stickers – probably don’t get as many local authors as a large city store might – but she created her own version which was lovely.

Despite the mask, you can probably tell there’s a huge grin on my face!

Today I went into Beverley, East Yorkshire (about 75 mins drive away from me) for a socially-distanced catch-up with my fabulous friend and fellow-author, Sharon Booth. It was the first time since mid-February that we’ve seen each other and we suspect it will be next year before it happens again.

I took the opportunity to nip into town as the branch of The Works in Beverley is about twice the size of the Scarborough one and therefore with much more space dedicated to fiction. Making Wishes at Bay View was in there. I was going to see about signing them too but there was a queue at the till and only one member of staff serving so I thought I’d best not pester anyone!

Making Wishes at Bay View in Beverley’s The Works

It makes me so proud to be on the shelves with other Boldwood authors, a few of whom I met in person at the back end of last year. I’ve taken a few shelfies in Scarborough but, with a bigger selection in Beverley, how lovely it was to see so many Boldwood authors together (okay, so a little re-arrangement was needed to get them all together but I did put them back where they came from!) This is the selection of feel-good books – a mixture of romcoms and contemporaries. That’s twelve amazing titles and, on the 3 for £5 offer, you could therefore get them all for only £20. Bargain!!!

This is the thrillers/crime/other selection looking fabulous too:

You can buy Making Wishes at Bay View from The Works for £2 (or 3 for £5) or online from The Works here. I’ve included the blurb below.

Alternatively, you can download it for Kindle, Kobo and AppleBooks, order a paperback from Amazon or any other good bookstore (it will be a different price as they are printed differently) or on various audio formats including Spotify.

Wishing you a fabulous week.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

Making Wishes at Bay View (Welcome to Whitsborough Bay Book 1)

Never give up on a wish for a happy ever after…


Callie Derbyshire has it all: her dream job as a carer at Bay View, finally she has found the love of her life. Everything is perfect.

Well, almost.

Ex-partners are insistent on stirring up trouble, and Callie’s favourite resident, Ruby, hasn’t been her usual self. 

But after discovering the truth about Ruby’s lost love, Callie is determined to give Ruby’s romantic story the happy ending it deserves. After all, it’s never too late to let love in again. Or is it?

The one where Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe is published

It’s publication day for Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café. Yay! Happy publication day to me!

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café was previously available under the title of Starry 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.

If you’d like to know more about the changes, you can read my previous blog post about this here.

The prequel, Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes, was released last month and it didn’t make sense to have a blog tour for both when there was only three weeks separating their publication dates so, instead, we have an enormous 3-week 63-stops ‘Christmas on Castle Street’ tour. Some bloggers will review both – which is why some names appear twice – and some will review just one.

A huge thank you to Boldwood Books, Rachel Gilbey from RachelsRandomResources, the tour organiser, and everyone who is participating. Book bloggers don’t take any payment for reviewing books. They do it because they are passionate about reading and the support they provide in promoting the work of authors is invaluable.

The links and blurbs for both books are at the end of this post.

What am I doing today? I have finally learned that there’s no point trying to write on publication day as there’s so much activity on social media that it’s hard to concentrate so, for the first time ever, I have taken the day off. I still have lots to do. We had some new bedroom furniture delivered yesterday and it’s still in boxes around the house which will get unpacked later, in between me responding to all the lovely congratulations messages and excitedly checking chart positions!

Tonight I’m on a Facebook Live in conversation with my fabulous editor, Nia Beynon. It will be at 7-8pm over on the Book and Tonic Facebook page so hope you can join us.

Have a fabulous day and hope to see you later at the Facebook Live.

Big hugs

Jessica xx

CHRISTMAS AT CARLY’S CUPCAKES

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
It’s December on Castle Street; the fairy lights are twinkling, snow has settled and the festive season is in full swing.

For Carly, the owner of Carly’s Cupcakes, it’s the busiest time of year getting everyone’s Christmas treats ready on time. However with her clumsy sister, Bethany, as a co-worker, it’s proving a difficult task. They say you shouldn’t mix work with family. Maybe they have a point…

As Christmas approaches, Carly is also eagerly awaiting the return of her best friend to Whitborough Bay. Liam has no idea he’s been the object of her affection since their schooldays. After years of pining after him, can Carly pluck up the courage to finally tell him how she really feels by 25th December?

Could a little festive magic make all of Carly’s wishes come true this Christmas…?

A heartwarming, short festive story of friendship and family from bestseller Jessica Redland. You can find out what happens to Carly next through exploring her best friend Tara’s story in Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café

This is a new and updated version of Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes which has been previously published.


You can buy it here.

STARRY SKIES OVER THE CHOCOLATE POT CAFE

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.

You can buy it here.