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 am thrilled that today is publication day for my very first foreign rights deal. Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café has been acquired by Italian publisher Newton Compton and is released today as an eBook and paperback under the title of Festa sotto la neve.
Isn’t the cover gorgeous?
I don’t speak any Italian so I asked Google translate to help me out and came up with ‘Party in the snow’ which is a little different to the original. Spotting a couple of promotional posts and copying them into Google translate, I also had ‘Party on the snow’ and ‘Party under the snow’ coming up. Which was it? Probably none of them!
I contacted friend and author Isabella Tartaruga who is Italian and she kindly advised me that ‘festa’ does indeed mean party but it also translates as holiday as in festive season as in Christmas although Natale is the actual word for Christmas. Therefore, in this context, the title translates as ‘A holiday under the snow’ or ‘A snowy holiday’. Aw, isn’t that lovely?
The tagline of La magia del Natale, alla fine, conquista tutti… means ‘the magic of Christmas will eventually conquer all’.
Newton Compton describe it as Il libro perfetto per rifugiarsi sotto le coperte e aspettare Natale which translates as the perfect book to take refuge under the covers and wait for Christmas.
A huge thank you to Newton Compton for taking on this book. I’m keeping everything crossed that it will do well and that they might be inspired to take on some of my other titles.
Although the title and cover is different, the story will be exactly the same – just translated into Italian. I’m really looking forward to getting my paperback version so I can see what The Chocolate Pot is in Italian. You can order direct from Newton Compton here or find the listing on Amazon here.
If you have friends/family living in Italy, please do pass this on. If anyone sees a paperback out in the wild, I would be so thrilled to see a shelfie.
Ooh, I’m so late with these! I’ve returned from a wonderful week in the Lake District (post and pics to follow soon) and I meant to write and schedule three posts before I went away – one to celebrate publication day, one to reflect on August, and one to celebrate a book birthday – but time escaped me and none of them got written.
With no WiFi at our holiday cottage, I had to leave it so I’ve combined two of them and decided not to do the reflections posts anymore. Instead, I’ll post more regularly but shorter posts. Me? Short posts? Well, I’ll try!
Firstly, publication day. My 13th novel, Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café, came out on Tuesday 31st August and gathered a category bestseller flag on day one which was lovely. Less than a week after release, it has 69 reviews (at the time of writing this), 85% of which are 5-star which is amazing.
It’s on a super-lengthy amazing blog tour and the feedback so far has been so touching with a mix of regular reviewers and newbies reading my work for the first time. Thank you to everyone taking part.
I may have caused a tissue shortage in the country (and possibly other countries – Belgium has been cited!) as this book is a weepie. It is NOT a light Christmassy rom-com and it doesn’t claim anywhere to be one as you’ll be able to tell from reading the blurb (see below).
I never intentionally set out to write a story that will make readers cry but this was the story that these characters needed to tell and, while there will always be a few critics who call it ‘depressing’, I am blessed with so many amazing readers who completely get the story, who love the light that appears among the tragedy, and who feel the hopeful and uplifting message.
“With courage, nothing is impossible” (Sir William Hillary, RNLI Founder) is a theme throughout. Hollie and Jake have had tragic pasts, but the beauty of this story is how they find their way forward … with the help of the most gorgeous dog who readers have fallen in love with.
Hot on the heels of publication day, I’m celebrating a book birthday.
Friday 3rd September was TWO YEARS since The Secret to Happiness was published by Boldwood Books. And what an amazing two years that has been! (Blurb below too)
This was a book I submitted when I knew I was failing to make an impact as an indie author. I did have some regular readers but I only sold a handful of eBooks a week and there was no way I’d was ever even going to come close to being able to write full-time; my absolute dream.
A few rejections of the manuscript floored me and I had to as myself some tough questions about whether I really was good enough to make it as an author. I could have easily given up at that point but writing is part of who I am and I couldn’t let go.
Around that time, I saw an advert for a newly-formed company called Boldwood Books and thought, “maybe one last try”. Thankfully they loved it and took me on. Boldwood found me my readers and my readers have loved Whitsborough Bay and Hedgehog Hollow and have made my dreams come true. I’m so incredibly grateful to you all.
It’s particularly appropriate that I’ve ended up posting about these two events together because, almost exactly a year from publication of my first Boldwood release, Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café is not only my 13th release but also the start of a brand new 12-book publishing deal with Boldwood Books.
The books in my first contract were a mix of new books (The Secret to Happiness and the three books so far in Hedgehog Hollow series) and re-edited versions of my backlist. Starting with Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café, everything I release from now on will be brand new, never been released before, which is really exciting for me and my readers.
Thank you to everyone who has bought/downloaded/borrowed either of these stories – and any of my others – and shared lovely feedback about them. I cannot thank Boldwood Books enough for taking me on and my amazing editor Nia Beynon for her continued enthusiasm, belief and expertise which help shape each of these stories into the final versions the readers/listeners fall in love with.
Wishing you an amazing start to September.
Big hugs Jessica xx
Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café is available as an eBook on all platforms, a paperback, a large print, a hardback, as a physical audio, for audio download and audio streaming. Please contact me if you’d like a signed copy of the paperback.
Here’s the blurb:
Welcome to The Starfish Café – where you will find stunning views, delicious food and lifelong friendships.
Two broken hearts.
Since she inherited The Starfish Café, Hollie has poured her heart into the business, striving to keep her mother’s traditions and warm-hearted spirit alive. But behind closed doors Hollie is searching for true happiness as she grieves the tragic loss of her family who were once the beating heart of the café…
An unexpected meeting.
Jake lives by two rules: don’t let anyone get close and don’t talk about what happened. Little does he know that a chance meeting at The Starfish Café, facilitated by a fluffy lost dog, is about to turn his world upside down…
The chance to love again.
Can Hollie and Jake break down the barriers that have been holding them back from finding love and happiness, before Christmas comes around? After all, with courage, nothing is impossible…
The Secret to Happiness is available as an eBook on all platforms, a paperback, a large print, as a physical audio, for audio download and audio streaming. Please contact me if you’d like a signed copy of the paperback.
Here’s the blurb:
Everyone deserves a chance at happiness…
Danniella is running from her past, so when she arrives at the beautiful seaside resort of Whitsborough Bay, the last thing on her mind is making friends. After all, they might find out her secrets…
Alison is fun, caring and doesn’t take herself too seriously. But beneath the front, she is a lost soul, stuck in a terrible relationship, with body confidence issues and no family to support her. All she really needs is a friend.
Karen’s romance has taken a back seat to her fitness business. But she doesn’t want to give up on love quite yet. If only those mysterious texts would stop coming through …
When the women meet at their local bootcamp, a deep friendship blossoms. And soon they realise that the secret to happiness is where they least expected to find it…
Yesterday (4th May) was the publication day for the third book in the Hedgehog Hollow series: Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow. Woo hoo!
When I was a struggling indie author, publication day was a fairly ‘normal’ day. I’d post about it on social media and a few family members and friends would congratulate me, then I’d get on with my day to day work. I might nip go out for lunch with the hubby or maybe even an evening meal to celebrate but it was fairly low key because so few readers had discovered my work. I didn’t excitedly watch the charts because there wasn’t an impressive chart entry moment.
Since joining the amazing Boldwood Books, this has completely changed. Publication days are now an excited frenzy of activity on social media, responding to loads of gorgeous congratulations messages, and the start of a blog tour. I’ve learned not to attempt to write or edit as there’s too much else going on but I did slip in an appointment with the hairdresser yesterday and that was a mistake in terms of time but, my goodness, how nice was it to have my hair cut and professionally coloured for the first time since December 2019!
I debuted it during a Facebook Live with my fabulous editor Nia Beynon last night. If you weren’t able join the Live, you can catch up with it here. Thank you to all those who joined us on the evening and for the lovely comments and questions.
It was the perfect opportunity to also debut my new hedgehog print dress (awww) and show off a couple of my soft friends. Thank you to my friend Nic for the lovely knitted sparkly hedgehog, Erin.
The blog tour has started and the reviews yesterday along with the first review I’ve seen posted today are absolutely gorgeous. I also had two lovely reviews from bloggers not on the tour. Thank you to everyone who has signed up. I’m excited and a little trepidatious (is that a word?!) to hear all the comments.
I wrote a post for Boldwood’s blog about one of the themes of this book – forgiveness – which you can find here and I wrote a post for my own blog about the risks of writing about an unlikable character which you can find here.
Fabulous publication day biscuits arrived from my publisher. I love these. It’s so adorable seeing my book in biscuit format. They’re made by a company called Enchanting Bakes if you want to check them out. Amazingly they are still unopened but I suspect they won’t last beyond the morning!
We unveiled the winner of the ‘Name the Hedgehog’ competition for Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow. A draw was made from those who’d signed up to my newsletter and the winner, Kaye, chose Prickles as the name. As we did with the amazing Snoop Hoggy Hog who appears in New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow, my hubby created a cartoon of Prickles. We saw him as a cheeky Yorkshire chappie in a flat cap, drinking his Yorkshire Tea, standing in the meadow at Hedgehog Hollow. Isn’t he fabulous?
We’ll be running another competition to name a hedgehog for book 4 so watch out for details of that late next month.
Speaking of book 4, we revealed yesterday in the Facebook Live that book 4 will be called A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow. We don’t have the blurb or cover yet but it’s available for pre-order now right here! It can only appear as a pre-order for Kindle this far in advance but it will be available for pre-order on Kobo and Apple nearer the release date. It’s out in January 2022.
Finally, let’s talk about those hedgehogs scampering up the charts! I knew I’d had a large number of pre-orders for this book – way bigger than anything I’ve experienced before – so I was hoping I might end up with a Top 100 on Amazon. The chart is meant to update hourly but that doesn’t seem to happen and yesterday it was super slow at moving. I made it to #77 by the end of the day and the full impact or those pre-orders was finally shown this morning at #38. I can’t quite believe that. Hubby had asked me what I would be happy with. Obviously I’m happy with it all and I had anticipated perhaps Top 100 on the back of pre-orders but had hoped maybe 70s. A dream would be Top 50 but I genuinely didn’t think that would happen … yet those hedgehogs went one better with Top 40! So proud!
This position has put the hedgehogs at #11 in the Hot New Releases chart and #1 in the same chart in several categories.
Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow is sporting #1 Best Seller tags in the UK, Australia, Canada and USA which is such a thrill and it was up to #59 in Australia yesterday. Even more fabulous was that 9 out of my 10 released books had a #1 Best Seller flag at the same time. Wow! Six of them are currently sporting one in the UK.
I’ve just checked the USA chart and am astonished to be a little outside the top 1,000 (#1,259) which is such a thrill knowing how enormous the US market is. And the hedgehogs have cracked the top 1,000 in Canada at #785 just now.
Over on Apple, they made it to #43 in the overall chart yesterday and #9 in the category chart of ‘Fiction and Literature’. They’re on the home page of Kobo too as ‘New and Notable’!
My huge apologies to anyone who is wanting to obtain the paperback version or get it from Audible. Amazon are showing the paperback as ‘currently unavailable’ despite it being a print on demand book and very much available. This is an error on their part and my publishers are working hard to rectify it but they’ve had this with another paperback recently and it did take a week so thank you for your patience. It is showing available for order on Waterstones website here. It doesn’t appear to be on Barnes and Noble yet either but should do soon. It can also be ordered from bookshops, as can any of my paperbacks.
As for Audible, it only appeared yesterday afternoon but it appeared as a pre-order with delivery in a weeks’ time. My publisher is also working with them to rectify this and we are hopeful it will properly be available today or tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Thank you so much for your patience if you’re waiting for either of these formats.
I’ll end by saying a huge THANK YOU to all the amazing readers who pre-ordered Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow, making these amazing chart positions possible. THANK YOU to all those who bought or borrowed on publication day. I’m so grateful to everyone who has shared or commented on social media or sent me a private message wishing me a happy publication day and/or telling me how much they’ve loved reading it. It is such a thrill that readers have devoured the book in a day with some even saying they couldn’t sleep until they’d finished it. Wow! That just blows me away!
If you haven’t delved into the Hedgehog Hollow series already, I do strongly recommend starting at the beginning as, although the story in each book is complete, there are themes that carry across the series and threads that further develop. It’s a richer reading experience for starting at the beginning and the great news is that, if you read eBooks, the first two – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow and New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow – are both still on offer. But grab them fast as the prices will go up soon. Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is also in Prime Reading but won’t be for much longer and ALL my books (this series and the Whitsborough Bay stories) are in Kindle Unlimited.
Hope you all have a fabulous week. The hedgehogs and I send you our love and gratitude.