The one with the 3 Audible UK Offers

Hi there, and a warm (or should that be cold?) welcome to December? Have you put the tree up yet? I’d normally have done it this weekend but I can’t. I have a submission deadline tomorrow evening on Summer Nights at The Starfish Café and am way behind where I’d ideally be. I’ve written nearly 40k words of it in the last week, bringing my word count up to 77.5k so far but there’s still a long way to go. My poor editor has already been warned that the words will be there but they may be a jumbled mess full of typos and plot holes as I won’t have had the chance to read it at all. Still, it’s better to have a messy manuscript to edit than no manuscript at all, right?

Anyway, because I have a miracle to pull out of the bag before tomorrow night, this is just a very quick stop by to let the Audible fans among you know that a whopping THREE of my books are on the 2 for 1 credit sale on Audible UK which started today. The countdown is on and it ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday 11th December.

The offer is on:

  • A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow (book 4 in the series)
  • Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow (book 5 in the series)
  • Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove (book 3 in the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series although book 1 and 2 – Making Wishes at Bay View and New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms are FREE on Audible Plus)

I’ve mentioned about the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay Series having the first two books free on Audible Plus. The first book in the Hedgehog Hollow series – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – is also free on that programme, as is Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes, Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café and The Secret to Happiness.

There are loads of other amazing reads from Boldwood authors included in the current 2 for 1 promotion so, if you take advantage of all three of mine, I’m sure you’ll find something fabulous for your fourth pick.

Happy listening! I’m off to bury my head back in my book. Hubby, if you’re reading this – a cup of tea would be lovely!

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one with some Black Friday & Cyber Monday offers on my books

Hi everyone, how was your weekend? Have you been bagging yourself some bargains in the Black Friday sales? There wasn’t anything I particularly needed but I have enjoyed some of the reductions applied across the board like 20% off all TU Clothing at Sainsbury’s, 30% (or 3 for 2 instore) at Paperchase and 20% off Accessorise. When you want to get some Christmas gifts or need to stock up on some office supplies, those discounts to everything are most welcome.

Anyway, I have some discounts on my books to bring to you.

Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes is on a 99p Kindle deal for TODAY ONLY (Monday 28th November). This is part of a Black Friday Goldbox so there’ll be lots of other great offers on other books running alongside it.

You can get it here. To find out more, the blurb is at the bottom of this post.

Staying with the Christmas titles, Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop is in Audible UK’s Cyber Monday sale which starts today and ends tomorrow. They’re offering it for the bargain price of £1.99 across these two days.

You can find it on Audible UK here. The blurb is also at the end of this post.

If you’re not an Audible subscriber already and are thinking of giving it a try, now’s a great time to do so as they’re currently offering the first 4 months at a 60% reduction. Bargain! It’s one of those auto renewals so do watch out for that if you only want to participate in the trial.

You can also find Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop for 99p on Kindle UK at the moment – find it here – and it’s in the Kindle Australia monthly deal, ending on Wednesday. You can find it in Australia for only $1.29 here.

And a reminder that the first and final books in the Hedgehog Hollow series – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow and Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow are free in Prime Reading at the moment and also 99p for Kindle so there are several great offers available.

And if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, ALL my books are FREE on KU. Woo hoo!

Big hugs and happy reading/listening
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 Whitsborough 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


CHRISTMAS WISHES AT THE CHOCOLATE SHOP:

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…

Escape to Castle Street for the perfect uplifting, festive read from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

The one where the hedgehogs start and end in Prime Reading and I talk about reading a series in full and in order

I recently announced that the first book in the Hedgehog Hollow series – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – had gone into global Prime Reading meaning that Prime members can access it for free and find out how it all begins.

I’m excited to announce that the final book in the series – Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow – has also gone into Prime Reading this week so we now have the start and end of the six-book series in there.

You know that weird feeling you get when you see a police officer and you instantly feel guilty, even when you’ve done nothing wrong, or when the boss asks to see you and you instantly feel like you’re going to be in trouble? This is how I feel when I ask readers to read a full series.

It feels ridiculously uncomfortable and I don’t fully know why. Perhaps it’s because I feel bad asking them to buy six books, but it’s not like I’m asking them to shell out for six up-front. Try one and, if you like it, go for the others. Perhaps it’s because I’ve had a few readers telling me they don’t like series and wish I’d write standalone stories and I feel guilty that, each time I try to do that, I think too big and it typically ends up being a series or at least with a connected book.

Whatever the reason, I shouldn’t feel that way. I should be proud to say that I write in series and not feel embarrassed to state the truth: that some series should be read in full and in order. You’ll notice a specifically used the words ‘some series’ because this is not necessarily true of every series. There are some that you can dip in and out of or join in on later books but the Hedgehog Hollow series is not that type of series and here’s why:

  1. There is one consistent narrator – Samantha Wishaw – throughout all six books. It is her story and, running alongside that, we meet her family, friends and members of the local community, some of whom also have stories to be explored alongside Samantha’s, resulting in a guest narrator from book 2 onwards
  2. Samantha grows and develops across the six books and so do some of the characters. Joining the series partway through misses out on their journey and it’s the journey that makes them three-dimensional flawed characters, just like you and me. It’s why we’re rooting for the heroine and hissing at the villain(s)
  3. There are some recurring storylines and themes handled across the series such as the difficult relationship Samantha has with a couple of family members, mental health and forgiveness. Joining the series late misses out on these
  4. I come full circle on a couple of things. I can’t say much more as I’ll give away spoilers but there are some things that happen at the start and end which are poignant but would be missed by anyone who hasn’t followed the full series
  5. There are a lot of characters introduced across the series. They cast grows gradually with each book but, if anyone starts at book 6 when they’re all there, they’ll be lost. There are way too many characters to meet at once
  6. I didn’t design this as six standalone books. I wrote a series set in a hedgehog rescue centre and the full story is roughly 600,000 words long and being told across six books

I do provide a ‘story so far’ section at the start of book 2 onwards, alongside a cast of characters, but these were written to act as a reminder for readers who want a quick refresh on what happened in the previous book before they settle down with the next instalment. They weren’t designed to cover everything that happened in the previous book(s) to negate the point of reading the previous books.

Before Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow came out, it was available for early reviews to bloggers and influencers and pretty much everyone who had read the other books give it a 4 or 5 star rating (mainly 5). All the negative reviews were from those who’d picked up book 6 as their starting point and they didn’t follow what was going on, thought there were too many characters, didn’t understand the connections between characters, believed there were too many issues covered (despite many of those mentioned being ones from previous books which were coming to a conclusion). Basically, they hated it and that was so upsetting.

I felt like I’d scream if I saw one more review open with the immortal words “I didn’t realise this was book six in a series…” What doesn’t make sense to me is why those reviewers continued to read it and leave a negative review. If it was me, my reaction would have been: Oops, better not continue as I’m probably not going to follow this. But maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, the whole point of this is to explain why this particular series really needs reading as a series. Readers will get so much more enjoyment by doing this, seeing Samantha grow and develop and the world of Hedgehog Hollow change so, if you’re new to the series, absolutely do grab yourself book 1 from Prime Reading and maybe book 6 too but do read the four in the middle for a richer, fulfilling story. After all, they’ll both be in Prime right up until the end of the year and probably a little past that so there’s plenty of time to fit them all in:

  1. Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow
  2. New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow
  3. Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow
  4. A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow
  5. Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow
  6. Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

And for those not in Prime Reading, all six are free via Kindle Unlimited, can be borrowed from your library in a range of formats, and book 1 is available on Audible Plus for free if you’re an Audible subscriber.

What are your thoughts on series, as a reader, author or both? Are you very particular about series being read in order or perhaps you don’t mind flitting in and out? Maybe you never start a series until you know the last book has been written or published and then you binge it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

In other news, just a quick heads-up to say that the first book in another series – Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café – is currently part of Audible UK’s 2 for 1 credit deal but it ends at 11.50pm on Saturday (8th October) so do grab it quick.

Happy reading!

Big hedge-hugs
Jessica xx

The one where Coming Home to Seashell Cottage is on an Audible UK Daily Deal

Hello again! Just stopping by very quickly to let you know that Coming Home to Seashell Cottage – narrated by the fabulous Lucy Brownhill – is currently available on Audible UK for the phenomenal bargain price of £1.99. Woo hoo!

This is the daily deal so it’s available at this price TODAY ONLY (Thursday 29th September 2022) right up till 11.59pm and you can find it here

Coming Home to Seashell Cottage is book 4 in a 4-book series so is best read after the others but the extra great news is that books 1 and 2 (Making Wishes at Bay View and New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms) are both FREE in Audible Plus so there’s only book 3 – Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove – needed to complete the series and some listeners might have already bagged that on a recent deal.

Having said that, it is a complete story and there’s enough backstory given that you could read it on its own if you really wanted … but why not go for the full series and really get to know the characters and the gradual build-up until you discover what Clare has been hiding in this series finale? The blurb’s below.

This is my very first Audible daily deal so I’m really excited to see where this audiobook ends up in the charts. We’re only at lunchtime and it’s already in the Top 100 at #67 and likely to climb higher as the chart position impact of deals like this usually hits at the end of the day or even the following day. Eek!

Please do spread the word if you know any Audible listeners. Thank you xx

Big hugs
Jessica xx

Coming Home to Seashell Cottage

For Clare O’Connell, home is where the heart aches….

Since the age of 16, Clare O’Connell has lived her life by four strict rules:

  1. Don’t talk about Ireland.
  2. Don’t think about Ireland.
  3. Don’t go to Ireland.
  4. Don’t let anyone in.

And so far, it’s worked well. She’s got a great career, amazing friends, and she’s really happy. The future is all that counts, isn’t it?

However Clare is about to realise that you can run from the past, but you can’t always hide from it.

When her boss insists she travels to Ireland for work, Clare finds herself drawn back to the village of Ballykielty – the home of her family, and the home of her secrets. The one place she vowed never to return to again.

With the door to her past now wide open, the first three rules have gone out of the window. Will Clare stick to rule number four

Can she be brave and face up to her family and the demons of her past? 

An emotional novel of family, friendship and dealing with your past from top 10 best seller Jessica Redland.

The one with all the Top 100 audiobooks

My audiobooks have been having a party over on Audible UK today and I’ve been celebrating something very unexpected – chart domination!

Ok, not complete chart domination – somewhat dramatic choice of word there – but it has been very exciting.

It all started with an email first thing from my fabulous editor – who is also our Publishing and Sales & Marketing Director at Boldwood Books – congratulating me on having two titles in the Audible UK Top 100! I had a look and was stunned to see The Secret to Happiness at #37 and Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow at #73! Eek!

They’re not on a promotion so I wondered why they’d suddenly stormed the chart. And then it struck me. These two titles are from a selection of six of my audiobooks which are part of the Audible Plus programme and today signalled the start of the second year of the title selection. Some titles may have come out, others been added in, and some will have stayed the same.

In my case, all six of my audiobooks which went in last year have been kept in the programme as Audible have been really impressed with their performance and the impact they’ve had on my other audiobook sales. There’s a mix of start of the series and standalone titles:

  • Making Wishes at Bay View – book 1 in the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series
  • New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms – book 2 in the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series
  • The Secret to Happiness – standalone book set in Whitsborough Bay (although connected to All You Need is Love so best read after AYNIL)
  • Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes – book 2 in the Christmas on Castle Street series
  • Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café – book 3 in the Christmas on Castle Street series (Note: these story follows on from Carly’s Cupcakes but book 1 Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop is more of a standalone and doesn’t need to be read first – they’re a series as they’re all set on Castle Street at Christmas)
  • Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – book 1 in the Hedgehog Hollow series

Subscribers to Audible can listen to the selection on Audible Plus for FREE and this is a great way of trying new authors and even new genres. It has absolutely paid off as I’ve had messages from listeners saying they’d never have tried a particular title of mine but gave it a go as it was free, were hooked, and had listened to the whole series or even my entire back catalogue as a result. How lovely is that?

I’m assuming that there was a big email campaign about the fresh catalogue this morning which is what prompted the leap in the chart for those two audiobooks which, incidentally, are my two bestselling titles across all formats.

I was so chuffed with this unexpected charting but then hubby appeared in my office asking me if I’d looked at the Romance category chart because those two titles were #3 and #5 respectively. Double eek!

After I’d done some excited squealing, I decided to look at the rest of the Romance chart to see whether any of the other titles were there and I couldn’t quite believe what I discovered!

So that was nine of my sixteen titles in the Top 100 in the Romance chart – only three of which are in the Audible Plus programme – and ALL of the Hedgehog Hollow audiobooks in the Top 50. Woo hoo!

I’ve been out today for lunch and a wonderful catch-up with my bestie, author Sharon Booth, and there’s no WiFi or phone signal at the pub we go to so I had hubby keeping a watch on the chart all day but nothing moved. When I got home early this evening, I did a quick check and there had been some movement at last. Some titles had dropped but New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow (book 2 in the series) had climbed a little higher from #39 to #31 and Spring Tides at The Starfish Café had charted in the Romance chart too!

So, although it wasn’t at exactly the same time, 10% of the Romance chart has been given to my audiobooks today. I can’t quite believe it! There are over 200,000 audiobooks on Audible so it blows my mind to see my titles in top charts.

A huge thank you to my amazing main narrators Lucy Brownhill and Emma Swan who have taken the leads on all my audiobooks between them, and to an amazing cast of talented narrators who’ve brought life to the second perspectives in the stories: Gareth Bennett-Ryan, James Dryden, Polly Edsell, Kitty Kelly, and Gloria Sanders.

And thank you to you the listeners for making today’s chart ‘domination’ possible. I’m so very grateful. Happy listening.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one where two of my audiobooks crack the Audible Top 20

Two of my audiobooks have been on Audible UK daily deals. All You Need Is Love was on offer on 19th March and New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow was on offer yesterday (1st April).

I’ve had a few of my audiobooks make it into the Top 100 on a 2 for 1 credit or BOGOF deal but these were my first daily deals and I’ve been so thrilled with the results.

All You Need Is Love cracked the Top 20 at #17 but New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow climbed even higher to #13.

Both audiobooks made it into the #1 slots in two categories with All You Need is Love a best seller in Contemporary Romance and Friendship Fiction and New Arrivals a best seller in Romance and Women’s Fiction

Hurrah for the bears and hedgehogs!

At one point yesterday, the hedgehogs were in a Harry Potter sandwich which made me smile. They were also #1 in the Movers and Shakers’ chart for such a massive move up to #13. I don’t think I’ve ever been at the top of that chart before.

Thank you so much to everyone who bought either or both of these titles making another writing goal come true. I’m so grateful to you all xx

Wishing you a fabulous weekend.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one where Coming Home to Seashell Cottage is in a 2 for 1 Credit Sale on Audible UK

Hello there and a very warm welcome to March. Isn’t it lovely to feel the promise of spring with the crocuses open, the daffodils pushing through and those blue skies? Except today. Very grey and damp in Scarborough but I need to get my head down into edits of Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow so perhaps that’s a good thing.

Just dropping by with news that the fourth (and final) book in my ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series has been picked up by Audible UK as part of their 2 for 1 credit sale today. This is a one-week offer ending on Saturday 12th March just before midnight.

On Audible’s 2 for 1 landing page – which you can find here – there’s a helpful countdown for when the offer ends.

The first two books in the series – Making Wishes at Bay View and New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms are free to Audible subscribers via Audible Plus so, if you haven’t read this series, it’s a great opportunity to grab those two for free, get book 4 on this offer, and use your normal credits for book 3 – Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove, which has previously been on offer.

It’s my personal favourite of the four books although I very much recommend reading the series in order to get the build around main character Clare who is initially a bit spiky and aloof. This book shows us why and, as you can see from the Audible quote above, there are lots of twists and turns in it.

Please do share this offer with anyone you know who’s an Audible UK listener. And if you’re not on Audible but enjoy listening, don’t forget all my books are available in audio format via Spotify and other streaming services.

The blurb’s below my signature.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

For Clare O’Connell, home is where the heart aches…


Since the age of sixteen, Clare O’Connell has lived her life by four strict rules:


1. Don’t talk about Ireland


2. Don’t think about Ireland


3. Don’t go to Ireland


4. Don’t let anyone in



And so far, it’s worked well. She’s got a great career, amazing friends, and she’s really happy. The future is all that counts, isn’t it?



However Clare is about to realise that you can run from the past, but you can’t always hide from it…

When her boss insists she travels to Ireland for work, Clare finds herself drawn back to the village of Ballykielty – the home of her family, and the home of her secrets. The one place where vowed never to return to again…



With the door to her past now wide open, the first three rules have gone out of the window. Will Clare stick to rule number four?

Can she be brave and face up to her family and the demons of her past? 

An emotional novel of family, friendship and dealing with your past from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland

The one with two audiobooks in the Audible UK £3 sale and a double book birthday

Hi there and happy Sunday to you! Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend.

I’m on the penultimate day of writing my 5th Hedgehog Hollow book – Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow – ahead of submission to my editor so am only briefly emerging from the story to bring you the exciting news of two audiobooks in the Audible UK £3 sale this week.

The first title included is book 3 in the Hedgehog Hollow series – Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow – is included. Book 1 – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – is free with AudioPlus anyway and book 2 – New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow – has previously been in the £3 sale.

The second title is Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café, currently a finalist in the RNA’s Christmas/Festive Romantic Novel of the Year.

Even though I’m frantically writing to meet my deadline, I know I’ll find it impossible to resist checking the Audible chart. All the other audiobooks I’ve had in the £3 offer have made it into the Top 100 which is very exciting.

Don’t forget the offer only lasts one week. There’s a helpful countdown on Audible’s sale page…

If you’re an eBook reader instead, Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café is still on a 99p offer on all eBook formats.

I’m also celebrating a double book birthday today.

Books 2 and 3 in the ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series – New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms and Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove – were re-issued through Boldwood Books two years ago today on 20th February 2020.

The re-launch of this series in quick succession across a 2-month period heralded a big change for my writing and, after years of struggling, I finally started to sell more than a handful of books each week. A few months later, I was able to realise my dream of writing full time.

Birthday book New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms is still on a Kindle Monthly Deal for 99p in the UK and an equivalent price in Australia.

Coinciding with its birthday celebration, I’m thrilled to have had the news this week that New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms has passed an amazing sales milestone of 50,000 units so far with Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove only 7,000 units behind so hopefully that will reach the 50k mark very soon too.

Thank you, as ever, to anyone who has bought/borrowed/downloaded any of my books and, to the Audible UK subscribers, I hope you enjoy these two audiobooks on offer. If you’ve already listened to them, do please spread the word to any friends/family members who might be interested.

Happy listening!

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one with the chart neighbours who make me smile

I love watching the chart positions of my books. I’m probably a little more obsessed about it than I should be but there are a few reasons for this:

  1. It’s such a thrill to see my books doing so well after all the years of struggling and I find I need to look just to reassure myself that I’m not just dreaming
  2. My mum keeps a watch (thank you, Mum) so I need to be on the ball too!
  3. There are certain moments that really make me smile which I’d miss if I didn’t keep an eye out

What do I mean by the moments that make me smile? It’s those snapshots in time where my book appears in the chart next to:

  • An author friend
  • One of #TeamBoldwood (my publishing buddies) who are, of course, also friends but most are only virtual friends as Boldwood have mainly existed during a pandemic world so we’ve never met
  • An exceptionally famous author / an author I’m in awe of
  • A non-fiction author who is an expert in a subject connected to my books
  • An author who has a connection to my past

This first instance I can remember of this happening was before I joined Boldwood. In the year I released Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop (called Charlee and the Chocolate Shop at the time) and Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes (title unchanged), I put them in relevant category charts where they toppled experts from the #1 spot. Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop appeared in a chart about cooking ingredients (chocolate), knocking Jamie Oliver into the #2 position and Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes was in cake-making and did the same to Mary Berry. I probably do have the screenshots somewhere but no idea where I’ve filed them!

Of course, Jamie Oliver and Mary Berry will have sold absolutely monster quantities of their books as hardbacks but this brief snapshot of time where I was next to these experts in the charts was a special (and amusing) moment.

There were many occasions after that where I was chart buddies with my writing family, The Write Romantics, including when the Top 10 in the Christmas category chart was dominated by our Christmas releases. Aww.

Yesterday, I checked the UK Kindle Top 100 first thing and was greeted by this lovely sight:

As you can see, A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow is at #58 in this screenshot but positions #54 to #57 are all held by Boldwood authors! Jo Bartlett, Alex Stone and Alison Sherlock are all publishing buddies and Jo is also the co-founder of the Write Romantics with me so what a special moment this was. Not quite sure who invited Kazuo Ishiguro to the party but he was welcome to join us as long as he’d brought cake with him!

The past few days have also brought some special moments over on Audible but before I share those, I have to share a special moment of a different kind because the hedgehogs surpassed themselves in the Audible Top 100 yesterday…

I casually checked the Audible chart first thing, wondering if they were even still in the Top 100 as they’d been at the lower end over the past couple of days so I was astonished to see that they’d made a huge leap into the Top 40. Only just – at #40 itself – but that’s still Top 40 so I’m claiming that status! Book 4 had also finally hit the #1 position in the Romance chart which was thrilling.

But back to the special chart neighbours moments… The first was on Thursday when, as I said before, the Audible position of A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow was a little lower. When I was at university, many moons ago, I studied Banking & Finance with the intention of becoming a bank manager. Except I hated the finance part of it which was a bit of a problem. Thankfully, among the dreaded accountancy, economics and quantitative analysis modules, there were interesting subjects I did understand like HR, marketing, management, strategy and banking law.

In our management module, we studied the work of an American management guru called Stephen Covey. First published in 1989, it was a huge bestseller. Sitting in lectures discussing Covey’s principles, I could never have imagined there’d be a day where I’d be an author sitting beside that man in the charts. I literally couldn’t have imagined it because the audiobook wasn’t invented then – although the precursor of listening to books on cassettes and CDs had been – and being an author wasn’t even close to being on my radar then. I’d already sussed that being a bank manager wasn’t for me either but writing was an idea that emerged about a decade later.

After graduating, I followed a career in HR, specialising in recruitment, training, coaching and mentoring, and Covey’s work frequently popped up.

Then this morning, I had another blast from the past moment with another management guru. I was sponsored to go to university by TSB which basically meant I received a book grant each year (and text books were expensive so it was very much needed!), did a year out with them in my third year, and undertook holiday work in a local branch. I knew I wanted to work in HR or marketing at this point and managed to secure a placement in their Head Office in Birmingham for my year out.

One of my roles was organising and managing the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) which was a room full of books, cassettes, CDs and videos relating to leadership and management. I loved working in there. It was like being in charge of my own little library. There were workstations where staff would work their way through interactive videos – huge laserdiscs (the size of a vinyl album) where they could watch a scenario, make a decision on how they’d handle it, and watch that good or bad decision play out.

Anyway, one of the resources was Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People and who should I be next to in the Audible UK chart this morning but Mr Carnegie himself? In the LRC, it was such a popular book that it had a waiting list and I frequently had to chase staff to return it. Again, who’d have thought that when I was working in my own little library that books I’d written would one day appear in libraries? Or that I’d be one step ahead in the charts of the book that was the most popular when I ran that little library?

So there you go. A few moments that have really made me smile. I hope there are many things that make you smile across the weekend. Have a good one!

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one with 2 audiobook offers, 2 milestones & a trip to Whitby

Five more sleeps until Christmas. Eek! Are you all sorted? We had a quick nip into town first thing, before it got busy, and bought the last of our gifts. I wrapped them as soon as I got back so I think we’re there now.

AUDIOBOOK OFFERS

If you’re an Audible UK subscriber and fancy something Christmassy to listen to while you’re wrapping the gifts or preparing the Christmas dinner, look no further because Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop is in their sale for £3 right now. It was a thrill to see the audiobooks storming straight into the Top 100 and almost getting into the Top 50, peaking (so far) at #51.

If you’d like something non-Christmassy to listen to, the third book in my ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series, Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove, is also £3 in the sale. It was meant to be on this offer a few weeks back but it didn’t get activated so they’ve added it in now. It also went straight into the Top 100, peaking (so far) at #65 which is so lovely to see.

It was also special to see them side by side in the two top positions in the audio Women’s Fiction chart…

These sales usually last a week but, because of Christmas, they’re on for a fortnight, ending on 3rd January 2022.

Thank you to all the lovely listeners who have bought them during the Audible sale so far. Please do spread the word!

MILESTONES

I’ve had a couple more reviews/ratings milestones on Amazon in the past few days. Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop has hit the 1,000 mark and Coming Home to Seashell Cottage, the fourth and final book in the ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series has hit 1,500.

An enormous thank you to anyone who has helped them get to these amazing milestones. I have to still pinch myself to see my books having so many reviews.

A TRIP TO WHITBY

And, finally, we had a lovely trip up the coast to Whitby yesterday. I was concerned it might be a little busy as there are lots of delightful gift shops, ideal for Christmas gifts, but it was actually fairly deserted. The weather probably didn’t help as it was cold, misty and damp as you can probably tell from the photos.

There’s a fabulous heritage trail with amazing wire sculptures depicting the fishing industry in Whitby. Hubby snapped these couple of pics. I love how you can see iconic images in the background like the lighthouse on the one on the left and St Mary’s Church (near Whitby Abbey) in the one on the right. There were several other sculptures and hopefully we’ll return soon and go round them all.

There’s s a lifeboat station at Whitby and, on the other side of the river, an RNLI shop where the lifeboat station used to be. I couldn’t resist a few purchases, especially when Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café strongly features the RNLI in its storyline.

The quote on the tote bag and the wooden box – the call from Sir William Hillary, founder of the RNLI in 1823 to form a national institution to save lives at sea – appears at the start of the book and is a recurring theme throughout. I love it so much.

There’s a branch of The Works there so we popped in to see if they had any of my books in. Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café appeared to have sold through but the hedgehogs were there. I definitely don’t think they’ll sell through quickly this side of Christmas when readers of this genre are after their festive reads, but hopefully they’ll fly off the shelves in the New Year.

On the Abbey side of the river, there are two lovely discount bookshops on the same street almost opposite each other, one having a range of books, jigsaws and toys – Good Reads Whitby – and the other focusing purely on Whitby with Whitby-based books, merchandise, photographs etc.

Whenever we see an independent bookshop, I like to go inside to see whether there are any of my books or books by Boldwood Buddies. This is because, when there’s a print run from The Works, more books than they need are printed to make the low cost of selling them financially viable. The excess are bought by a third party and distributed round the UK to indie bookshops, garden centres, post offices, local supermarkets etc., and others go abroad, particularly to Canada to an online retailer/bookstore called Indigo.

We paused to look in the window and how delighted was I to see Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café in there! What a treat!

Inside, there were loads of Boldwood Buddies which is always so exciting to see. And two more of my books! There were copies of Making Wishes at Bay View and The Secret to Happiness.

So if you live in or near Whitby and didn’t get a chance to pick up these books while they were in The Works, now’s your chance!

Big Christmassy hugs
Jessica xx