The one where it’s publication day for Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn

Happy publication day to me, happy publication day to me… Yay! I’m so thrilled that my first of four releases in 2023 is OUT NOW.

Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn is a brand new standalone story but, for fans of Hedgehog Hollow – and particularly those who were so disappointed about the series ending with book six last year – there’s are some special treats in store. The main character in this story is young farmer Barney Kinsella who is the brother of Fizz – one of the Hedgehog Hollow team. We therefore get to see Fizz again and a couple of the other characters from the rescue centre. It’s set a year later so readers get some insights into how things at Hedgehog Hollow have moved along since Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow. However, please do NOT be put off if you haven’t read the Hedgehog Hollow series because you don’t need to have for this book to make sense.

I say it’s a standalone book but there have been so many lovely comments in early reviews about how much readers would love it to be the start of a series. Yesterday, I pitched an idea to my editor for a sequel and she loved it. My releases for 2023 are already planned so it wouldn’t be out until 2024 if I do write one, but it’s looking good for a sequel at the moment. I’m not going to give any spoilers for what it would be about other than to reassure those who prefer standalone books that Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn is a complete story with no cliffhangers and any sequel will also be a complete story which could be read as a standalone too.

In my acknowledgements at the back of Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn, I talk about this being a difficult book to write. There were a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, I’ve been living with the concept of the story – a farmer entering a reality TV show to find love – for a couple of years, ever since Fizz first mentioned her brother in the Hedgehog Hollow books. I don’t like ‘brewing’ my stories for this long because my writing style is pantser, meaning I ‘fly by the seat of my pants’, letting the story unfold as it goes. Having a story develop in my head for so long goes against this and, when I started writing, the characters didn’t want to do what I’d planned for them so my first draft was a bit of a mess!

Secondly – and actually a much bigger issue – was the immense pressure I felt after the success of the Hedgehog Hollow series. I absolutely love this series and I’m so touched by the way readers have taken it to their hearts. It was incredibly flattering that readers didn’t want the series to end. Some readers expressed disappointment but also excitement for what was to come next, which was a huge relief, but others seemed genuinely annoyed with me and I feared losing them as readers. It would probably have been ‘safer’ to make my next book a Whitsborough Bay one as, even though there isn’t the same buzz about the Whitsborough Bay books as there is about the Hedgehog Hollow ones, they have been really popular too. In fact, although my best-seller so far is Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow, the next two best are Whitsborough Bay books – Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café followed by The Secret to Happiness. Barney’s story burned to be told, though, so I took that risk and I think it might have paid off. I’ve even had comments from early readers saying they didn’t think I could surpass Hedgehog Hollow… until they read Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn.

It’s actually one of my favourite stories out of the nineteen books I’ve written so far. (This is book eighteen but I’ve already finished the nineteenth one). I love the setting and the characters so much and writing it just gave me the warm and fuzzies.

When I first announced that it was included a reality TV show, some readers expressed surprise as that was a very different subject matter for me, but I’d like to think that all my books have something different about them. I’d say that my “thing” is my setting and this book has an amazing setting in Bumblebee Barn, but I need to mix it up as to how a story comes together and reality TV gave me another different scenario to explore. I know there’ll be readers out there who aren’t fans of reality TV, but please don’t let it put you off because that’s merely the scenario which brings the story together. I haven’t changed genre and written a romcom. This is still the type of book readers would expect from me – emotional but uplifting with a strong setting and relatable characters.

Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn embarks on a whopping blog tour this morning. With 16 days at 3 stops a day, this 48-review strong blog tour must be my biggest yet. A huge thank you to Rachel Gilbey from Rachel’s Random Resources for organising it on behalf of Boldwood Books and to all the wonderful bloggers/reviewers who have signed up. Thank you also to those who aren’t on the tour but will share their reviews independently. I’m excited to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn.

It’s out in ALL formats today – large print, hardback, paperback, audio, and all eBook formats. It was exciting to see it at #3 in the Apple Fiction & Literature chart first thing this morning (#17 in the overall paid chart).

The impact of pre-orders and on-the-day purchases on the Amazon and Audible charts won’t kick in until later today but Kindle Australia, being way ahead of us time-wise, is showing #143 in the overall chart already which is amazing. I don’t know if that will be the peak or if there’s one more rise in there. Go Australia! Thank you for your support!

Right, that’s enough from me for now. Thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn in any format and to those who get their copy today. I hope you love your visit to the farm.

If you haven’t already dived in, here’s the blurb to hopefully whet your appetite and you can get it from Kindle UK here:

A brand new standalone novel from the bestselling author of the Hedgehog Hollow and Starfish Cafe series!

Welcome to Bumblebee Barn, home to wonderful animals, stunning views and spectacular sunsets – and resident young farmer, Barney.

While Barney loves his life at Bumblebee Barn – a farm that has been in his family for generations – he’s struggling to find someone to share it with. The early mornings quad biking through muddy fields and the long hours looking after the crops and animals are proving to be a deterrent to finding love.

So when his sister, Fizz – desperate for Barney to find his soulmate – sees an advert for Love on the Farm, a new reality TV show to help farmers find love, he has nothing to lose by applying. After all, he isn’t meeting anyone suitable down the traditional route and surely he won’t be picked anyway…?

Thrown into the chaos of reality TV, Barney could never have expected that his whole life would be turned upside down, with buried secrets to be uncovered and his heart on the line. With his family and friends rooting for him, could the magic of Bumblebee Barn heal his broken heart and help him find love on the farm?

Join top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for a brand new standalone novel of love, family and second chances.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one where I look back on 2022

It’s Christmas Eve! We’ve been up to Whitby for a wander around this morning. I predicted quiet, hubby predicted packed and I was right although it was getting busier as we left at about 1pm. Perhaps everyone had been braving the food shopping this morning and had ventured out for a wander this afternoon. Look at that gorgeous blue sky! I’d wrapped up warmly in a blanket scarf and my new coat, affectionately nicknamed ‘the duvet’ because it is quilted and just like wearing a duvet. It’s just from Sainsbury’s but it’s probably the warmest, most gorgeous coat I’ve ever owned. Anyway, it was welcome in the shadows but I was a tad on the warm side in the sun.

How adorable is that whale in the bottom photo? It’s made out of recycled plastic bottles and is for depositing your plastic drinks bottles. He looks very happy.

This is my last post of the year and I’m going to have a little look back over some of the extra special moments across 2022. If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll have had some insight into this already with a special Merry Christmas newsletter this morning. If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up here.

I’m going to do my reflection mainly in photo format.

NEW BOOKS

In 2022, I’ve had four brand new releases out and completed the six-book Hedgehog Hollow series…

THE WORKS

Three of my books have gone into The Works, bringing the total up to eight books going into branches of The Works and online. What an honour! A huge thank you to the staff in all branches of The Works who are always exceptionally friendly and in particular the manager Jamie and the staff at the Scarborough branch who love me going in to sign copies.

It’s always a thrill to see my books when out and about. This year, I’ve spotted them in other branches of The Works, Irton Garden Centre near Scarborough, the Helmsley Bookshop, Beverley Bookshop, Barter Books in Hawes, Good Reads Discount Bookshop in Whitby, Slightly Foxed in Berwick-Upon-Tweed and the Scarborough and York branches of Waterstones (not all shown here).

AWARDS AND MILESTONES

I was thrilled have Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café shortlisted as a finalist in the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel of the Year Christmas/Festive category. I went down to the Awards ceremony in London in March and, although I didn’t win, it was a fabulous event.

In the summer, I celebrated a sales milestone of 750,000 units sold since joining Boldwood Books – a number I never thought I’d have a hope of reaching.

Also in the summer, Boldwood Books celebrated their third birthday and I hit the third anniversary of my debut release – The Secret to Happiness.

There’ve been some amazing milestones with reviews/ratings, all of my books currently having at least 1,500 reviews/ratings on Amazon alone, including the most recent release. Several of my audiobooks have stormed the Top 20 of the Audible chart but my absolute highlight was this month when Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop made it to #4 in the overall Audible chart.

I didn’t think that could be topped but, this week, I discovered that the Hedgehog Hollow series is in Audible’s Top 20 of the best trending series of 2022 and Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow is in the Romantic Comedy Top 20 too. Wow! I was not expecting that and the company those hedgehogs are keeping is phenomenal. I can’t get over those big names we’re alongside!

If you want to check out the full listing, you can find it here.

FOREIGN TRANSLATIONS

Two of my books – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow and New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow – have been translated into Swedish through Lavender Lit. The third one – Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow – has also been acquired by them and will be out in spring 2023. I’m hoping they’ll take the final three too but they hadn’t been written at the time the deal was made.

It’s lovely seeing foreign translations and I adore the covers from Lavender Lit. I love the way they have kept the colours and themes of the English versions but put their own spin on them.

I also had an offer from Serbia to take two Hedgehog Hollow books which was really exciting, but I had to decline it because the offer was actually for book one and six and, although each book is a complete story, the characters are consistent and there are themes that build across the series. I didn’t feel right agreeing to a deal where book six wouldn’t make sense read after book one. Hopefully 2023 will bring other offers.

EVENTS

I trained on a one-month workshop in March through RNA Learning which I loved and for which I had incredible feedback and was invited back again for 2023.

Boldwood held their first face-to-face party in May which was a lovely event and I attended the RNA’s summer conference which I really enjoyed.

Stockton Libraries invited me to speak at Norton Library and it was wonderful to have such a big audience. I had been looking forward to speaking at the Richmond Walking & Book Festival too – my very first festival – but my slot clashed with our Queen’s funeral so had to be cancelled. Fingers crossed for next year.

I’ve had lots of get togethers with my bestie, talented author Sharon Booth who I’m thrilled to say has secured a publishing deal with Storm Publishing with a new series out through them starting next year, and with author Eliza J Scott.

Sharon and I both met up with Lizzie Lamb when she was on holiday in the area, I met four of the amazing five admins of The Friendly Book Community on Facebook when they came to Whitsborough Bay (aka Scarborough) for a weekend, and Sharon and I had a few days in York with our writing friend Jackie Ladbury. I do love spending time with book people as there’s never a shortage of things to talk about!

I spoke at a meeting of the Scarborough Soroptimists and spent some time with my friends at Wolds Hedgehog rescue – the real Hedgehog Hollow – with an amazing chance to feed a hoglet. I also went on a needlefelting workshop to make a robin in honour of the Hedgehog Hollow series (if you know, you know).

AND PERSONALLY…

I celebrated turning fifty in May. I don’t feel anywhere near my age, although my creaking knees do!

As a family, we’ve had a few holidays, making up for the pandemic years. We spent Easter in the Lake District which was partly a research trip as I’m, setting a new series in the Lakes next year. We had a week in Hawes in Northumberland in August, deferred from February half term when the hubby and I both came down with Covid. And we had a week in Lanzarote over the October half term break which was our first trip abroad since the start of the pandemic. It was lovely to be away again.

It’s been a busy old year but a lovely one too.

If you’re thinking it all sounds very rosy, there have been some tough moments too. I’ve had Covid twice – although thankfully not too seriously – and the downside of the first time was missing a gig and a holiday. My mum was poorly earlier this year which was a worrying time. I’ve struggled with some deadlines and suffered with conjunctivitis on a couple of occasions, making deadlines even harder. There’ve been other challenges too but I’d rather end the year focusing on all the positives and hope you can too for your 2022 as, even in the darkest years, there’ll always be chinks of light.

Wishing you and yours an amazing Christmas. I hope the final week of the year brings you happiness, hope and positivity. Thank you to all the readers/ listeners/ authors/ bloggers/ friends and family members who have championed my work this year and the amazing Team Boldwood. Your support means the world to me and gives me the motivation to keep doing what I’m doing, especially in those dark moments where I think I lack the talent/am incapable of writing another book.

Big festive hugs to you all
Jessica xx 

The one where the past two months have been crazy busy

Do you ever have months where there’s so much going on, you hardly get to pause for breath? I’ve just had two of them and there’s more still to come this month. But it’s (mainly) been wonderful.

I’ve met up with lots of friends, new and old…

Before I became a full-time author, my most recent role was as an HR Tutor – something I did for about five years. I marked assignments for students studying their HR professional qualification, CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development), and ran online workshops. However, when I first started in the role, the workshops were run in person on weekends and I met some wonderful students and also some amazing tutors.

One of my former (and favourite – but don’t tell the others!) students, Charlie, was holidaying in Whitby with his husband, Paul, and asked if I’d like to meet them in Robin Hood’s Bay. We worked out it had probably been about seven years since the workshop. It was so good to catch up with Charlie and to meet Paul. I never thought to take a photo but here’s a pic of Robin Hood’s Bay from a previous visit.

From my tutoring role, I also met up with my former colleague, Carol, for a day out in York. York’s my favourite city and so lovely for a wander, especially outside the school holidays on a weekday when it’s a bit quieter. We met at York Station where I spotted this gorgeous postbox topper and completely fell in love with the viking on the top – so perfect for York. Whoever made this is so talented.

I also had a catch-up with a blast from the past. An old friend from school dropped me a message recently on my author page and, as I write under a pen name, it was a bit of a mystery at first as to how she’d found me. It turned out that she’d seen me on the re-run of my appearance on ITV’s The Chase and had recognised me from school. She couldn’t find me on Facebook under my maiden name but couldn’t remember my author name. Then, spookily, she was running a workshop and a delegate mentioned that she was reading one of my books! So she found me and it was so good to meet up, although the memory was certainly tested as it’s 34 years since we left school. We’ll hopefully catch up again before Christmas.

I had several writing-related get-togethers too. My first was with Sharon Booth and Eliza J Scott which was several hours of wonderful chat. There’s a cafe and farm shop on the outskirts of Scarborough which is a great central location as Sharon and Eliza live in different directions and I’m in the middle.

I indulged in the most amazing hot chocolate before lunch and we had a quick look at a few of the animals before we left – and I mean quick because it started raining!

A second writerly meet-up was with author Lizzie Lamb who was also holidaying in Whitby. Sharon and I have both met Lizzie on several occasions at RNA events (Romantic Novelists’ Association) but, with so much happening and so many people to talk to, conversation has always been brief so it was fabulous to have a full afternoon together.

We exchanged signed books, which was lovely. Thank you, Lizzie, for my copy of Scotch on the Rocks and the accompanying bar of chocolate – nom nom!

My next writing-related meet-up was with four of the five-strong admin team on the amazing Facebook group, The Friendly Book Community. If you’re interested in sharing the love for books, this is such a happy, friendly place to be. I was thrilled to be invited to join the group right at the start and watch them grow to a whopping 2.7k members so far.

They’d come to Scarborough for a weekend and I met them for lunch. It was amazing to meet (from L-R in the pic) Sarah, Marie, Louise and Hazel in person (I’m in the middle), having got to know them virtually over the past 18 months or so, and they were just as warm and welcoming in real life. I stayed with them all afternoon and wish I could have stayed longer, but I had a deadline to get home to (more on that later). Love to Adrienne who was unable to join them for the weekend.

Our only disappointment is that we nipped to The Works where they hoped to get a photo of me next to my books on the shelves but the shelves were pretty empty at that point and all my books had sold through.

I have a final writerly catch-up today which I’m really looking forward to. Sharon and I are having lunch with authors Joy Wood and Sylvia Broady. Sylvia is in the same RNA Chapter as us so we have seen her recently but the last time I saw Joy was last September at the RNA’s York Tea. I’m excited to hear all their news.

There’ve been writing events…

I had three writing events lined up for September but only one of them actually went ahead. The first would have been the RNA’s annual York Tea but it was being held a little earlier in September than usual and, unfortunately, the date clashed with a few other events so there weren’t enough tickets sold and that got cancelled. It’s my favourite RNA event so hopefully all will be back to normal next year.

The next cancelled event was to be my first ever festival appearance. I was so excited about appearing as a speaker on the Richmond Walking & Book Festival but my slot was scheduled for 11am on 19th September – the same time and day of the Queen’s funeral – so it couldn’t go ahead. Hopefully I’ll appear next year instead. It was the only day that was cancelled so such a shame that I was booked for that day. What a sad time that was, losing our Queen, and it feeling so sudden too.

What did go ahead in September was a library talk. Stockton Libraries had kindly invited me to speak one evening so I went along to Norton Library and was thrilled to have an audience of roughly twenty there. They’d created an amazing display of my books and a local library user had made the most stunning (and delicious) cupcakes. Mmmm.

I completely fell in love with the kissing hedgehogs in the display and was told they were from Next. I couldn’t find them online but we have a Next Home on a small retail park near us so I nipped there the following day and was thrilled to find one on display so I bagged it!

A huge thank you to Ruth for arranging the evening and the amazing team at the library for being such welcoming hosts. Thank you to all those who attended including a few members of my Facebook group Redland’s Readers who it was lovely to meet in person. I am, however, mortified, as a member of my group came along and I didn’t register who she was. For some reason, I had it into my head that she was coming to my Richmond talk and couldn’t make it to the library. When she said her name, I misheard it too and made no connection at first. Even though we’ve messaged and it’s all sorted, I still feel really bad as I know she was disappointed that I didn’t click who she was. All I can plead is brain drain. There’s so much going on in my head at an event like this and my brain can’t always hold everything.

My friend and amazingly gifted artist Lucy Pittaway came along to support – an extra surprise for some audience members who love her work – and we went for a quick drink afterwards with her and her colleague, Vicki, which rounded off a perfect evening.

I’m excited to announce that, although I hope to speak at the Richmond Walking & Book Festival next year, I will definitely be appearing at a festival. Stockton Libraries collaborate with the Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland districts to put on an event called Crossing the Tees (genius name – the River Tees running through the area alongside the literary meaning of the phrase). A date for your diary is Sunday 10th June 2023 at 2.00-3.30pm at Ormesby Library, on the outskirts of Middlesbrough. I’ll be on a panel of authors talking about the romance genre. Jane Lovering, a fellow-Boldwood Books author, will be joining me and I’m in the process of securing another author too.

If anyone is an aspiring writer, I’m also going to be running a beginner’s writing workshop on the afternoon of Saturday 9th June. The details of the workshop and the venue will be confirmed later but I’m really looking forward to that.

It was my wedding anniversary in late September (17 years) and we had a family trip up to Whitby and a delicious meal on the way home. I was excited to see a whopping FOUR of my books in Great Reads Whitby (a discount bookstore) including one in the window.

It was a beautiful day, but very windy as you can see from the photos. That sea was definitely wild… and so was my hair!

There was a publication day…

Already looking pretty busy? There’s more! Around all this, I had publication day of Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow and a separate audio publication day on this occasion as we couldn’t secure the main narrator for the original publication date. Publication day is always busy with announcements, responding to congratulations messages, having the blog tour start, and eagerly watching the chart.

The hedgehogs have been dipping in and out of the Top 100 since publication day and, at the time of writing, they’re currently at #90 which is exciting (they have been higher – woo hoo!). This week, a day shy of 6 weeks since release, they had their 1,000th review/rating on Amazon and I’m so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to share their thoughts.

And some special offers on my Hedgehog Hollow series…

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow (book 1) and Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow (book 6) both went into Prime Reading so are free to Prime Reading subscribers. Finding Love is currently 99p on Kindle.

Although not in Prime reading, book 5 – Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow – is also currently on a 99p offer so do grab that if you haven’t already done so.

I mentioned writing deadlines a couple of times. These two months have also been deadline-filled. Book 18 is out on 24th January 2023 and is called Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn. It’s available to pre-order for Kindle right now (click the title to get to it) although the cover and blurb won’t appear until early November. It will be available to pre-order on other eBook platforms and on Audible nearer the time. It will also be out in all the print formats from publication day too.

I had a deadline to get the first draft in to my editor which I had to extend as I contracted conjunctivitis and had to spend a few days away from the screen. I’m really squeamish with my eyes. You know that episode of Friends where Rachel needs eye drops and the others have to quite literally pin her to the sofa? That was me! I swear the hubby took far too much delight in putting those drops in my eyes!

I made it to the revised deadline but knew my manuscript was a bit of a mess and that I wanted to change one part of the plot and the ending. My editor, Nia, is amazing and she typically agrees with what I’ve already identified is wrong with the story (but didn’t have time to fix) and comes up with some invaluable suggestions of her own. I then had deadlines for getting the 1st round of edits back and the 2nd, which were returned at the weekend. In between those rounds of edits, I came down with Covid for the second time!

Fortunately it was reasonably mild – bad cold, tired – and I’m so thankful it hit me between edits instead of during them as working was too exhausting. I watched lots of films but had hoped to do lots of catching-up on my admin so that all had to be put on hold.

I’ve seen the gorgeous cover and have had the blurb finalised too and can’t wait to share them with readers.

And as if all that wasn’t busy enough, I’ve had a flu jab, hair appointment, physio sessions (I have back/neck/shoulder problems – typical for an author spending too much time hunched over their keyboard!), a tour round the local sixth form ready for my daughter applying there for next September, and an open evening at her school about GCSE revision tips. Phew! Exhausted thinking about it all!

So today I’m off to meet Sharon, Sylvia and Joy as mentioned and then I’m off on my holidays over half-term – a much earned (and needed) rest after a couple of busy months.

Hope September and October have treated you well and hope you’ve enjoyed my photos. Do grab yourself those Hedgehog Hollows on offer if you haven’t already done so. And spread the word!

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one with the offers, the event, and the auction

Good morning and welcome to a new week and a new season. It’s autumn! Yay! Autumn is my favourite month. I love the cooler weather, the changing colours, the mix of glorious sunshine and cool crisp days, and the approach of Christmas.

I have lots of news so I thought I’d pull it all together in one blog post so I’d better crack on with it…

THE OFFERS

There are some amazing price reductions on two of the eBooks in the Hedgehog Hollow series right now and some of these are available internationally but, as with any offer, there’s a limited time so do take advantage asap to avoid missing out.

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – book 1 in the series – is on the following offers for Kindle:

  • UK – 99p
  • Australia – $1.89
  • USA – $1.99

This book is also in Global Prime Reading so anyone participating in the Prime programme can access it for FREE. It just went in last week and will remain in Prime Reading for at least 12 weeks so we’re pretty much talking the rest of the year.

Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow – book 5 in the series – is on the following offers for Kindle:

  • UK – 99p
  • Australia – $1.89
  • Canada – $0.99

If you are on Kobo, Apple Books or any other eReader, please do check as I believe the Chasing Dreams offers will apply and the Finding Love ones may well too.

THE EVENT

Tonight (Monday 26th September), I have a Facebook Live with my fabulous editor Nia Beynon. To celebrate the release of Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow – the final book in the series – we’ll be talking all about the whole series and I’ll be reading from Christmas Miracles.

We have some questions lined up and would love to answer questions from readers who join us. The Live will start at 6pm GMT over on the Book and Tonic Facebook page. You can set yourself a notification here.

I really hope you can join us to celebrate the final release. If you’re unable to join us live, the link above will also take you to the video afterwards. If you can’t join in but you have a question you’d love me to answer in the Live, please DM me on my Jessica Redland Romance Author Facebook page before 5pm today and we’ll squeeze it in.

THE AUCTION

I’m delighted to be taking part in the Children in Read Auction again this year which raises money for the BBC’s Children in Need appeal 2022. You can find the full auction here where there are currently a whopping 517 lots of reading/writing-related prizes to suit all ages and tastes. New lots are being added all the time and the amount bid so far is already approaching £10,000.

I’ve submitted two lots. My first is lot 444 which is all about ‘first in a series’ and is available to UK bidders only. It can be found here. This is a really special lot because the successful bidder will win signed copies of the first book in each of my four series (listed below) and the opportunity to name a character in my fifth series which starts in the summer 2023.

The first in series books are:

  • Making Wishes at Bay View – book 1 in the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series
  • Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop – book 1 in the Christmas on Castle Street series
  • Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café – book 1 in The Starfish Café series
  • Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – book 1 in the Hedgehog Hollow series

The retail value of these books combined is just shy of £43 and it currently has 12 bids on it which have reached £39. As I say, the books will be signed but can be dedicated on request.

What I think will really appeal about this lot is the opportunity to name a character in my brand new series set in the Lake District, the first book of which will be out next summer. This will be an important character but not one of the main two characters as I’ve already named them. It can be a male or female character and a reader could see their name in the book, the name of a loved one or perhaps a name they’ve created. My only stipulations are that it needs to be pronounceable and sensible – no Character McCharacters, no swear words and no innuendos. I also can’t accept a character name I’ve already used for obvious reasons.

My second lot is lot 445 which can be found here. There are currently no bids on it – eek! – but hopefully that will change soon. This is a one-hour Zoom conversation with me and this is offered internationally.

My suggestion is that this may suit either an aspiring writer looking for some advice and guidance on an aspect of writing. As I write contemporary women’s fiction, that’s where my expertise lies but I tutor workshops on writing a series and about creating locations and this is transferrable across all genres.

Alternatively a reader might be interested in talking about the books and asking me questions full of spoilers which would be discouraged in an open forum.

That’s all my news for now. Wishing you a fabulous week.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one where it’s audio publication day for Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

It’s publication day! Yay! This time it’s still the hedgehogs returning for their sixth instalment but with the audio version.

There isn’t normally a delay between publication formats – releasing a book simultaneously globally in all formats is one of the many amazing things my publisher Boldwood Books do so well. However we needed to have a delay this time around. The fabulous voice actor Emma Swan who has narrated the part of Samantha throughout the series wasn’t available to record the audiobook in time for the 6th September release date due to other commitments. I was given a choice of using a different voice actor or delaying and it was a no-brainer for me. Emma is fantastic and it would be very wrong to change the voice of Samantha on the final book, disorientating listeners and likely getting negative feedback so I held off.

I’m not sure why Audible had a further two-day delay this week to bring out the audio version today instead of Tuesday as planned but the great news is it’s out there now and you can find it on Audible here. I’m delighted to see that it’s already in the Top 500 first thing this morning and should rise higher later today.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been patiently (or perhaps not so patiently!) waiting for the final instalment. I really hope you enjoy listening to Samantha’s final story alongside Fizz’s whose chapters are narrated by Lesley Harcourt.

The Audible Narration add-on for Kindle purchases is also available from today.

Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

It’s the countdown to Christmas at Hedgehog Hollow Wildlife Rescue Centre, and everyone is gearing up for a festive season to remember…

It should be the most wonderful time of the year for Samantha and Josh as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby. But life at Hedgehog Hollow rarely goes to plan and the pair are faced with adversaries, old and new, and unexpected challenges to overcome.

Fizz’s job at the heart of the rescue centre is a dream come true but her personal life is more like a nightmare. With her love life a disaster and her past about to dramatically catch up with her, she needs the love and support of her Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever.

As the snow falls over Hedgehog Hollow, will Samantha and Fizz find the Christmas miracle they need to overcome their heartache and find happiness?

Top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland welcomes you back to Hedgehog Hollow this Christmas for the final time in this series for a heartfelt story of love, family, friendship—and hedgehogs of course!

Big hedge-hugs
Jessica xx

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big hedge-hugs
Jessica xx

The one where it’s publication day for Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

The hedgehogs are back for one final outing of the series. Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow is out today on paperback, hardback, large print and eBook formats. The audio will follow on 20th September.

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about a publication day wobble I was having. I’d have had one anyway with it being the final book in a much beloved series which many readers don’t want to end, but a particularly cruel 1-star review on NetGalley (an early reviews site) floored me with its personal attack. I have been so overwhelmed with the outpouring of support I’ve received from readers and authors with comments on the blog itself, my Facebook page and direct messages. It has been humbling and uplifting reading all those messages and I’m so grateful.

I had a lovely message of support from Karen Louise Hollis, book reviewer and author, with a great analogy which she’s given me permission to share. A lot of this reviewer’s comments came from her joining a six-book series at book six. She complained about there being too many characters and too much tragedy happening to them. The thing is, the issues explored were across six main characters in six books and 600,000 words. They weren’t all in one book. Karen says, “Of course if someone comes in at the end, they won’t get the most out of it. It’s like turning up to a party late, finding out your mates have already gone home and you don’t know anyone. You can stay and try to make an effort, chat and get to know someone, or – like your reviewer – turn around, flounce off and moan it was the worst party ever…” Isn’t that just perfect? Thank you Karen. You can find the first book in Karen’s 1980s-based series, Welcome to Whitlock Close here.

Today is a new day and the hedgehogs and I are going to enjoy every minute of it despite the trolls.

A blog tour starts today, organised by the fabulous Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources who celebrated five years of her business this last week. Happy business birthday, Rachel.

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to participate in this tour. Really excited to read all your comments.

How am I spending today? I’ve just been working through all the wonderful messages from readers in response to my blog post yesterday and will be responding to the publication day messages now. I have an Instagram Live with Fiona Jenkins at 1pm over on her Instagram page. It will be between 30-60 mins of chat and we’d love to have questions from anyone who can join us. You can find Fiona’s page here.

Tonight I’m off out for a meal with the hubby and daughter to celebrate publication day. I often have a Facebook Live on the evening with Boldwood Books so don’t get a chance to do this but we’re doing a lunchtime live next week instead – 12noon on Friday 16th September – as we’d like to give readers a chance to read some (or all) of Christmas Miracles first. That will be over on the Book and Tonic Facebook page found here.

Thank you to everyone who has shown the hedgehog love. Much appreciated.

Big hedge-hugs
Jessica xx

The one where The Secret to Happiness is 3 years old – my first Boldwood release

With so many books out there now (will be seventeen on Tuesday with the release of Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow), book birthdays are becoming a regular thing. So regular that I actually missed two of my August ones – oops! I’d celebrated one year since Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop came out through Boldwood Books but missed two years since Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes was re-released by Boldwood on 13th August and one year since the release of brand new book Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café on 31st August. Happy belated book birthday to both of them!

However, today is a super special birthday which there’s no way I could miss because it’s three years since The Secret to Happiness came out (3rd September 2019) and this was the book which secured my publishing deal with Boldwood Books and was my debut release with them.

I’ve just been reading back over the blog post I wrote the day before it came out which you can find here. I was absolutely terrified of failure back then. After so many years of struggling to make an impact with a publisher who went bust and then as an indie author, I’d placed all my hopes on Boldwood Books. This had to be my break at last. If a publisher of their calibre couldn’t find me readers who loved my books, then I may need to walk away and accept that I wasn’t good enough and would never make a living from writing. The thought of doing that was both terrifying and heartbreaking. I have no idea what I’d do with myself if I didn’t write because it is so completely who I am.

It was a slow start and I’ll admit I did have a bit of a panic in those first few months, worried I’d let Boldwood down as sales on my book weren’t anywhere near as high as the others that were released either side of mine, but momentum built as my backlist started to be re-released in 2020 and sales for The Secret to Happiness started to creep up.

Although it has never made it into the Kindle UK Top 100 (#122 being the highest), this book has had some pretty major achievements including Top 10 in Canada and Australia and #32 in the overall Audible UK chart. It’s my second best selling book with nearly 72,000 copies sold as at end of June (Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is my bestseller) and continues to sell steadily each month. It also has a canny few reviews on Amazon, 92% positive.

It has even more reviews than that over on Audible where it’s FREE as part of the Audible Plus programme. Again, they’re hugely positive. Yay!

So much has changed for me in the three years since The Secret to Happiness was released. Boldwood have been the dream publisher and the past three years have been such a gift. I’ve signed two twelve-book publishing deals and had sixteen books out so far, have had four books secured for foreign translation, have had eight titles go into The Works, and have sold more than 770,000 of my books across all formats. I’ve been able to write full-time for the past two years and I’ve met either virtually or face to face so many authors and amazing readers who have been such great support on this journey. Yet this time three years ago, I was in the last chance saloon.

So if you’re a struggling writer, hang on in there. Dreams come true … just not always overnight.

An enormous thank you to my amazing editor Nia Beynon and the team at Boldwood Books for taking a chance on the manuscript of Wish I Could Tell You Goodbye and turning it into the top 10 international bestseller The Secret to Happiness. I count my blessings every day. I found my secret to happiness the day I joined the Boldwood family.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

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…

An uplifting story of friendship and finding the strength to come to terms with the past: perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant and Cathy Bramley.

The one with TWO more books going into The Works

I’m delighted to announce that another two of my books have gone into branches of The Works. Woo hoo!

My seventh title to go in is Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop which is the first book in the Christmas on Castle Street series but can be read as a standalone as it’s connected to the other two by virtue of being a business in Castle Street at Christmas. My eighth title is Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café, which is the first book in my Starfish Café series.

I’ve been watching for them appearing online so I could share a link with my news but they still don’t appear to be on the website. However, my daughter went into our Scarborough branch earlier today and reported back that they were in stock there so, as I needed to go into town anyway to drop off my accounts, I’ve just been to sign them.

They only arrived with Tuesday’s stock but half of them have already sold through. The Scarborough branch gets ten copies of each and there were five of Christmas Wishes left and only four Snowflakes. I suspect the remaining ones will sell through pretty quickly as they often do because the staff are so great at promoting me as a local author to anyone browsing the books, bless them.

An enormous thank you to Boldwood Books for securing this for me and to The Works on for being so amazing to have taken so many of my books over the past two years.

The shelves were a little bare as they’re waiting for loads more winter book deliveries so I’m feeling very honoured to be among the first on the shelves. If you do spot either or both of them in your local branch of The Works, please do let me know on social media and I would love to see a shelfie (photo of them on the shelves) as it’s so exciting to see them out and about. And if you’re Scarborough-based and manage to grab yourself a signed copy, do let me know too.

Oh, and Mum, I took my special pen you gave me to sign them. Thank you xx

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one with the second huge sales milestone & a couple of audio offers

In October last year, I hit a sales milestone I never ever dreamed I’d achieve – half a million sales. This was for sales achieved through Boldwood Books only and not any sales achieved through my previous publisher or as an indie author. Having said that, there’d have been little impact if I added them in. To celebrate the half a million milestone, I did some number crunching and discovered that I’d sold less than 10,000 copies of my books during the 4 year 2 month period pre-Boldwood and across the transition period of a year during which some of my books were still available as indie titles before they had an edit and re-release through Boldwood.

I wrote a blog post at the time all about my journey, the struggle to make sales, and how exceptionally grateful I was to everyone who’d supported me on my journey. I don’t want to repeat everything on this post so, if you’re not familiar with my five-year struggle, you might like to check out that post here. If you’re an aspiring/struggling writer reading this, it may give you some encouragement that it can still happen. I’m living, breathing proof of that!

Eight months later, I am stunned to have achieved another milestone. For sales up until the end of May this year, my Boldwood releases have hit three quarters of a million. Woo hoo!

The latest Hedgehog Hollow book – Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow – wasn’t released until late June so it isn’t included in this graphic.

Next stop: One million! Eek! At this rate, hopefully I’ll be celebrating that milestone in early(ish) 2023.

I’m so incredibly grateful to my amazing editor, Nia Beynon, the team and authors at Boldwood Books, and anyone who has bought, borrowed, downloaded any of my books in any format, and those who have reviewed and recommended them. You continue to help make my dreams come true and inspire me to keep those books coming.

On a different note, I have a couple of audio offers on at the moment. If you’re an Audible UK subscriber, Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove and Spring Tides at The Starfish Café are in the 2 for 1 credit sale so why not use your credits to get them both. Lighthouse Cove is the third book in the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series but the first two are actually FREE to subscribers as part of Audible Plus so you can listen to almost the whole series for such a bargain. Spring Tides is the sequel to Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café which was on an offer recently.

This morning, it was a special moment to see Spring Tides in the Audible Top 50. THANK YOU! (It says ‘books’ below but this means ‘audiobooks’ on the behind the scenes information.)

Wishing you a fabulous week.

Big extremely grateful hugs
Jessica xx