Today is the official cover reveal day for my next release, The Start of SomethingWonderful, and I don’t think it’s possible for me to be more in love with one of my book covers than I am with this one. So here it is…
Isn’t it a stunner? Each time I have a cover reveal, I say it’s my new favourite but this has gone right to the top of the charts for me. There’s new branding with my name no longer in an arch and the ‘million-copy bestseller’ tagline which still feels like a dream. It’s so brilliantly representative of the Lake District National Park and perfect for the story.
My main character is Autumn Laine, an illustrator for a greetings cards company, and that’s her on the wooden cover looking out over Derwent Water.
I loved writing this book so much and am already really excited about starting book 2 in the series really soon (untitled so far but out in January 2024).
You can pre-order The Start of SomethingWonderful on Kindle right now – do so here – and it will go up for pre-order on other eBook platforms and Audible nearer the time. The audio version hasn’t been recorded yet as we’re just at the final proofread stage with it. ALL versions – audio, digital and print – will be out at the same time on the publication day of 17th July.
I have so much to tell you about the setting and the inspiration behind the story but I’ll save all that until the book is out there.
In the meantime, here’s the full blurb:
Autumn Laine has lost her creative sparkle. After losing her grandad and her job as an illustrator in quick succession, she is at a crossroads in life and needs a break. Spending time with her parents in Paris, even in the artistic community of Montmartre, doesn’t appear to be the answer.
So when her penpal, Rosie, invites her to stay in the Lake District, Autumn jumps at the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of Paris. After all, where better to re-discover her creativity than the place which inspired her heroine, Beatrix Potter?
Arriving at the picturesque lakeside village of Willowdale, Autumn is swept up by the beauty and magic of the stunning landscape. Welcomed into the community with open arms, she slowly starts to feel like herself again as her creative instincts re-ignite.
But when she meets Dane, who has escaped to the Lakes for his own reasons, will Autumn’s walls come down to let someone in again after so long? Or will the secrets of her past continue to hold her back?
A new beginning is a daunting prospect, but could it be the start of something wonderful too..? Join million-copy bestseller Jessica Redland for a brand new series, full of love, friendship and community.
Second post of the day from me, but I’ll keep this one short too.
I’m delighted to bring you the stunning cover reveal for the next book in the Hedgehog Hollow series. Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow is the fifth book and will be out on 28th June.
I’ve loved all my Hedgehog Hollow covers and my favourite so far has been A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow which I didn’t think could be topped… until this landed in my inbox. Those colours! Those hot air balloons! Those hedgehogs! This is now my new favourite and depicts a key scene near the end of the story.
Here’s the blurb:
Samantha has a secret. Returning home from her dream honeymoon to the normality of running her beloved Hedgehog Hollow rescue centre, she’s ready for the next chapter of her life with Josh. Or is she? Samantha is hiding something which could forever change the dreams they shared and bring their happy ever after crashing to the ground.
Lauren has given up on love. Twenty-seven years ago the love of her life, Shaun, left her a note and was never seen again. Two painful divorces later she still can’t face opening up to anyone. But little does Lauren know that the closure she’s dreamt of for all these years may be closer than she thinks, and perhaps the only way to let new love in is to forgive and forget.
Samantha and Lauren will need the love and support from the Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever. After all, some dreams are worth chasing…
Top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland welcomes you back to glorious Hedgehog Hollow where love, family and friendship conquer all.
Don’t they look so pretty together?
In other news, I have a confirmed release date for book 6 which will be the final book in the series. It’s out on 6th September this year. I can’t confirm the title yet as we’re deciding between two and it depends which fits best on the cover.
Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow is available for pre-order on Kindle here and will be up for pre-order on other eBook formats and Audible nearer the publication date. As with all my books (and all others published through Boldwood Books), it will be available in a multitude of formats from publication day – eBook, paperback, hardback, large print, physical audio and audio download with audio streaming on publication day too or soon afterwards.
On Christmas Eve Eve, subscribers to my newsletter were treated to an exclusive cover reveal of the second book in The Starfish Café series with a full cover reveal on Christmas Eve. (You can subscribe to my newsletter here). I’d like to say I wanted to delay my reveal on my website until after the big day as followers probably had loads on then, but the truth is I completely forgot. Oops!
So here’s the reveal of Spring Tides at The Starfish Café and the accompanying blurb (a little further down).
It’s out on 5th April and is available for pre-order on Kindle now through these links:
It will be available for pre-order for other eReaders including Apple Books but Kindle is the only provider that permits pre-orders so far in advance of the publication day. The Audible version should also go up for pre-order nearer the time and it will be available as a hardback, paperback and large print versions from publication day.
I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has taken Hollie and Jake’s emotional story into their hearts. Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café spent much of November in the Kindle Top 100 and all of December right until Christmas Eve when it dipped out. It has also performed really well on Apple Books although there’s no way for an author to track performance like there is on Kindle.
I’ve been thrilled at all the gorgeous reviews and ratings coming in and, at the time of writing this, it’s nearly at 1,900 so will soon be celebrating a whopping milestone of 2k on Kindle.
Spring Tides at The Starfish Café picks up Hollie and Jake’s story a few months on from where Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café ends and readers will meet a new character.
Here’s the blurb:
Welcome back to the Starfish Café – where you will find stunning views, delicious food and lifelong friendships.
A new season…
As winter turns to spring, Hollie – owner of The Starfish Café – is feeling content as she settles into her new life with her loving boyfriend, Jake, and their adorable dog Pickle.
But when an unwelcome visitor threatens the future of her café, Hollie must stay strong to protect her family’s legacy…
A leap of faith…
Emerging from an unhappy relationship, Tori finds herself with nowhere to stay and nobody to talk to. The long-hidden secrets of her past weigh heavily on her until a chance encounter with Finley, struggling to come to terms with his own secrets, provides an opportunity to open up.
Can she find the strength to stop hiding from her past and face up to her family? Especially when that would mean letting her guard down and learning to trust again…
A fresh start…?
Little do Hollie and Tori know that their lives are about to collide at The Starfish Café and they may be able to help each other with a fresh start. After all, with good friends in your life, nothing is impossible…
The plan is for The Starfish Café series to be a trilogy with the final part released in 2023. Each of the first two books tells a complete story with no cliffhangers so anyone reading/listening to Spring Tides at The Starfish Café at the point of publication won’t be left hanging on a cliff edge until the following year.
Thank you to everyone who has already pre-ordered Spring Tides at The Starfish Café. I really appreciate that support.
It was only a couple of weeks back that I brought you the gorgeous cover reveal for my 31st August release Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café, and I’m delighted to have another reveal today.
The fourth book in the Hedgehog Hollow series – A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow – has been available for pre-order since book 3 – Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow – was published at the start of May. It had a holding cover and, although we wouldn’t normally do an official cover reveal until much closer to publication day when we have an author of the day slot which includes releasing the book onto NetGalley (a site specifically for book bloggers and reviewers/influencers to get an early copy for review), the cover was ready and it’s so much prettier than a plain holding cover so we’ve released it today.
What do you think?
A huge thank you to my amazing cover designer, Debbie Clements, our Digital Marketing Manager Claire Fenby for the gorgeous visuals, and Boldwood Books for this beauty.
If you’d like to bob on over to my publisher’s Facebook page (Book and Tonic), you can find a short video of me telling readers what they can expect from the fourth book, spoiler free of course. Find it here.
For anyone eagerly awaiting book 4, I’m afraid this doesn’t mean it will be out any sooner than 6th January 2022. It actually can’t come out sooner because I haven’t finished writing it yet!
I ended Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow on a whopper of a cliff hanger and I love that readers are clamouring for the next instalment. It’s so incredibly flattering that they’re so engaged with the story and the drama that they are desperate to know what happens next. But it does take a little longer to write a book than it does to read it. And by ‘little’, I mean a heck of a lot!
So please do forgive me for taking that time and ensuring that the series does continue with an equally engaging and exciting story rather than rushing out something that’s mediocre.
In the meantime, I have two Whitsborough Bay books out. Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop is the final book in my backlist to have a fresh edit/new scenes add in and came out on Tuesday (previously out as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop). Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café is a brand new book and is available for pre-order now.
If you’ve loved Hedgehog Hollow but haven’t taken a trip to Whitsborough Bay yet, why don’t you have a little explore? There aren’t any hedgehogs but you’ll find everything else that you’ll have loved about the Hedgehog Hollow books: love, friendship, family, community, warmth and kindness. And maybe a character or two who you’re going to love to hate because I do love to create those baddies!
If you’d like to know what order to best read the Whitsborough Books in, you can find an explanation of all the connections here.
I hope you like the cover for A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow. It’s my favourite of the four and possibly my favourite of all my books although I do have some absolute stunners so it’s hard to pick.
Here’s a couple of pre-order links for Amazon. It will appear on Apple for pre-order but they don’t permit a pre-order to go up quite as early as Amazon so a little longer to wait there:
I’m thrilled to officially share the gorgeous cover for my forthcoming new release, Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café. Isn’t it stunning?
Here’s all the essential details:
PRE-ORDER: Available for eBook pre-order RIGHT NOW! (links just above my signature)
RELEASE DATE: Out on 31st August 2021
OTHER FORMATS: Available on all other formats from 31st August – paperback, signed paperback (available direct from me), hardback, large print, physical audio, audio download and via streaming services
AUDIO NARRATION: Lucy Brownhill and Gareth Bennett-Ryan (the team who narrate All You Need Is Love)
SETTING: Just outside Whitsborough Bay on a cliff top above Starfish Point, a colony to over 200 common and grey seals
WHAT TO EXPECT: An emotional story (grab those tissues) full of hope
This is my 13th book and sees the start of a brand new 12-book publishing contract with the wonderful Boldwood Books. Over the past couple of years, Boldwood have published four brand new titles from me and eight books from my backlist which have been freshly edited and have new scenes, chapters, titles and covers.
The very last of these is Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop (previously Charlee and the Chocolate Shop) out on 3rd August and also available for pre-order right now.
The new contract will be made up entirely of BRAND NEW titles which is really exciting. The Hedgehog Hollow series will continue with book four – A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow – out in January 2022 and another one or two Hedgehog Hollow books after that before the series concludes.
There’s plenty more to come from Whitsborough Bay too and from The Starfish Café itself. We have a sequel to Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café currently scheduled for April 2022 and possibly a third book in that series.
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…
‘Heartbreakingly moving and yet beautifully uplifting, I cried for all the right reasons!’ Jo Bartlett
‘Achingly poignant, yet full of hope – You will fall in love with this beautiful Christmas story’ Sandy Barker
Although it has been loitering for a few weeks on Amazon, Apple and Kobo, I’m delighted that today is the official cover reveal for my next release, Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop. Isn’t it a thing of beauty?
This book was formerly out as a Kindle eBook only under the title of Charlee and the Chocolate Shop and is the final book from my backlist to go through a full edit, refresh and re-release. Everything that is published by me from this point onwards will be a brand new never-read-before story.
My husband designed the original cover (using stock images) and I love that the street and lampposts are the same but with a new tree and a fabulous new couple in the foreground.
Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop is available for pre-order now – you can do so on Amazon here:
It will be out on Tuesday 3rd August in ten gazillion formats: eBook for Apple, Kindle and Kobo, paperback, hardback, large print, physical audio CD or MP3, audio download and audio streaming. Something for everyone!
So what has changed between the two versions?
The simple answer is pretty much every sentence! But the story hasn’t fundamentally changed. Let me explain…
I found it more challenging revisiting this story than any other book on my backlist which was unexpected because I thought it would be the easiest!
When I first started writing, my intention was to write light romantic comedies but I found myself drawn more towards deeper emotional stories and characters who’ve faced quite significant adversity so my later books are more emotional than my first few.
My amazing editor, Nia, commented on how much my writing style differed in this book to my others which surprised me as this was the sixth book I’d originally written and I thought I’d fully developed my voice and style by the time I wrote Coming Home to Seashell Cottage which, although now the fourth book in the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series, was the third book I wrote.
When I started to work through it, I was shocked! Nia was absolutely right. This was not typical of my writing style. I realised that I’d tried to write aspects of this story in a lighter romcom style simply because it was a Christmas read while having a story that fitted with the more emotional style I’d moved towards and the two didn’t mesh together particularly well. Or rather I hadn’t meshed them well. Where I did have an emotional scene, I hadn’t taken the opportunity to convey the full emotion that the character(s) would have experienced at that point because I was trying to keep the story lighter.
The other thing that had happened was that I’d wanted Charlee and the Chocolate Shop to be a Christmas novella. It had become apparent that there was a big market for Christmas stories and it seemed that readers were quite happy with shorter ones so they could squeeze more in. As is often the case when I write, I couldn’t think small. My premise was to have my heroine Charlee experiencing two very different Christmases so I already had a challenge on my hands of more word count needed to do justice to two Christmases instead of one. And there were quite a few threads I was covering so it became apparent that this wasn’t going to be a novella (17.5k-40k words). I compromised on a shorter novel instead but, to achieve that, I did quite a lot of telling.
There’s a writing rule: show don’t tell. The idea behind this is that you take the reader on more of a journey by showing them how a character is feeling, for example. In very simple terms, instead of telling the reader ‘Amanda was scared’, I’d show the reader that she was scared by describing her reactions e.g. Amanda’s hands shook as she pulled the duvet under her chin, holding her breath as she heard the scratching once more.
This rule also applies to scenes. I could summarise something: Jane still hadn’t spoken to Steve since their epic fight. As soon as she’d asked him whether there was someone else, he’d turned on her, accusing her of having an affair instead… And so on. This is also telling. If this is a key moment in the book, I really need to show the reader the ‘epic fight’ so that the reader feels what Jane is feeling, hears the dialogue, sees the facial expressions, feels the anger/pain.
There is a school of thought that realistically you can’t show the reader everything because (a) it doesn’t give any credit to the reader for filling things in themselves and (b) the word count could go through the roof. I’m particularly with this on how a character is feeling as sometimes you just need to get it on the page – Ellie was bricking it – and move on. If Ellie is well-developed enough, the reader will know what this looks like for her and be able to fill in those reactions.
With my feedback from Nia, my tell rather than show came more from the latter example of scenes. To move the story forward in less word count, I had summarised. A lot. And I’d missed some key moments as a result which would have added more depth and emotion to the story.
The thing is, the reviews were really positive. In fact, with a 4.8/5 average rating, they were my strongest set of ratings so readers clearly loved this book. I therefore could have made some of the editing tweaks Nia suggested and left the rest alone but I’m very much of the school of thought that if you’re going to do something, you do it well. It’s not in my make-up to take a sub-standard ‘it’ll do’ approach. If I had just done the basic edits, I’d have been left feeling that this book was the weaker one of the collection. As soon as my first negative reviews came in, I’d have put that down to not making the extra effort with this and I’d have kicked myself. I couldn’t bear the thought of reading a review that said something like: It’s okay but not a patch on her other books. I’m sure I’ll get those type of reviews at some point – in fact, I’ve just had a 2-star for All You Need Is Love which says something similar – but I didn’t want to be nodding along and agreeing that it wasn’t as good, knowing I could have done something about it.
As an author moves through their career and builds a bigger backlist, they will often talk about how their writing style has changed and how they don’t love their early work as much as their more recent books and would change loads about it if they could go back. I’ve been in a very unique position where I’ve had the chance to go back and ‘fix’ all my earlier books as part of the backlist edit I’ve been through with Boldwood over the past eighteen months. Even though my earlier books are more of a lighter romcom and my later ones are more emotional – representing a shift in the type of stories I create – I’m immensely proud of how all of them are written as everything I’d learned since the early ones were originally released was used to improve the new versions during my Boldwood edits. I therefore don’t have any I would say are of a lesser standard.
And this is why pretty much every sentence of Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop has changed from what it was in Charlee and the Chocolate Shop. I’ve restructured sentences, I have stronger dialogue, I have more show rather than tell, and I have some extra scenes. But the overall story premise has NOT changed; I’ve just improved how I’ve presented the story.
The major changes are as follows:
Charlee’s boyfriend is no longer called Darren. He is now Ricky. There is a main character called Daran (Irish spelling) in Coming Home to Seashell Cottage and it seemed unnecessary to use the name (albeit spelt differently) twice. You’re now crying ‘Ricky!’ like Bianca used to on EastEnders, aren’t you?
Several extra scenes between Charlee and Ricky have been added in, particularly when they hit some relationship challenges. I’m particularly pleased with a new one where Ricky gives Charlee a special gift
A couple of new chapters relating to Charlee buying and setting up her chocolaterie
I’ve included some extra scenes between Charlee and her best friend Jodie
There’s now an ending which doesn’t tie absolutely everything together for all characters with a bright red bow. A review for the original version commented on it all being a little bit perfect for everyone and, on reflection, I agreed, so I have a slight tweak to the ending for a couple of the characters
There are several other tweaks to smooth out some elements of the story/give more detail but I’d be giving spoilers if I listed them
So where does this leave you if you’ve already read Charlee and the Chocolate Shop? It’s the same as with all of my backlist changes. If you’ve already read the story, then there isn’t any need to read this revised version. There are new scenes and, as a result, it’s a longer book than before (another 14.5k words), but there are no new characters, no additional cameo appearances, and no completely new threads that would mean you miss something by not reading this.
Of course, if you would be interested in reading the story again anyway, you might as well dive into the new version. I took down the old version from sale in December last year and I have had it splashed over social media for well over a year that there was a new version coming out so I know some readers have decided to hold off and wait for the edited version.
There’ll be another Whitsborough Bay book coming out at the end of August – a brand new story – so there’s a double treat in August for readers who love Whitsborough Bay. And then we’re back with the fourth instalment from Hedgehog Hollow in January 2022.
Today is an extra special day for the cover reveal as it’s an anniversary. Two years ago today, Boldwood announced their list of their first twenty authors. It was news I’d been sitting on for months and it was so exciting to have it out in the open. It’s therefore lovely to have the cover reveal of my final backlist book – and the final book in my first contract – on the anniversary of the Boldwood announcement.
I hope you enjoy Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop. Thank you for all your support.
Big hugs and lots of chocolate Jessica xx
Sometimes you just need a little Christmas magic to make your wishes come true…
When master chocolatier, Charlee, takes the leap to move to the picturesque seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, she is determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and set up a chocolate shop.
Luckily, she finds the perfect location for Charlee’s Chocolates on beautiful Castle Street… Now she just has to refurbish it in time for Christmas!
With a useless boyfriend and countless DIY disasters, Charlee doesn’t know if she’ll make it in time. With no ‘traditional’ family to support her, she feels lost in her new surroundings and the secrets of the past are weighing her down.
But the warmth and festive spirit of the Whitsborough Bay community will surprise her, and when plumber, Matt, comes to the rescue, it might be that all of Charlee’s dreams could come true this Christmas, and she could learn what family really means…
Escape to Castle Street for the perfect uplifting, festive read from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.
Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop was originally released as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.
Ooh, I do love a cover reveal and I’m delighted to bring you the absolutely gorgeous cover for book 3 in the Hedgehog Hollow series: Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow.
We’re out the back of Hedgehog Hollow looking across the meadow and gardens towards the farmhouse and Thomas’s bench. Misty-Blue the cat is there and so are several gorgeous hedgehogs.
I absolutely love this cover. We wanted each one in this series to be a different colour and to move away from the blue that is on many of the Whitsborough Bay books. The green is so fresh and the three books look stunning side by side. Can’t wait to get my mitts on the paperback.
This story is out on 4th May but is available for pre-order now. It will be available on ebook for Apple, Kindle and Kobo, audio download, physical audio, paperback, hardback, large print and via streaming services so something to suit everyone.
Here’s the blurb:
Every family has its secrets, and at Hedgehog Hollow there is no exception…It was always Samantha’s dream to run her beautiful rescue centre, Hedgehog Hollow, full-time. But just as her wish comes true, she becomes a victim of her own kindness when she finds herself with a house full of guests – all with their own problems and secrets – looking to her for support.
When her self-absorbed cousin, Chloe, unexpectedly turns up at the farm – swiftly handing over her baby to Samantha to care for – trouble is definitely brewing. Especially as Chloe won’t tell anyone why she’s left her husband, James…
As Samantha juggles new hedgehog arrivals, family dramas and her own health challenges, it soon becomes clear that she needs to start putting herself first for once. Little does she know that life-changing secrets from the past are about to unravel and turn their lives upside down…
Any readers with an eagle-eye may have already spotted it lurking on Amazon for a few weeks but I’m thrilled to be able to officially reveal the gorgeous new cover and the blurb for the second book in my Hedgehog Hollow series: New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow.
What do you think? Isn’t it just so gorgeous and reminiscent of sunny spring days? Boldwood Books certainly know how to produce some absolute stunners. This may be my new favourite so far.
Time-wise, the story picks up immediately where the first book – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – ends and covers the whole of May and into June at Hedgehog Hollow. I’ve included a recap from Book 1 but I would suggest this is a book best enjoyed after reading Book 1 as it is properly a series.
The cover shows Samantha sat on a bench with Misty-Blue the cast, overlooking Thomas’s meadow at Hedgehog Hollow.
Who are the new arrivals in the title? Samantha, our heroine from Book 1, is a new arrival herself, settling into her new home and, of course, there are lots of hedgehogs because Hedgehog Hollow Rescue Centre is now officially open for business.
There were five hedgehogs in the first book – Spikette, Mr Snuffles, Sonic, Mrs Tiggy Winkle and Quilly – and a few readers said they wished there’d been more. Regrettably, I couldn’t include more because the centre only officially opened for business at the very end of the book but Book 2 is packed to bursting with hedgehogs. And – even more of a treat – there are hoglets in it too because New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow covers babies season! So cute!
If you’d like to know more about a year in the life of a hedgehog, I’ve blogged about that today on Boldwood’s blog and you can access the post here.
This story isn’t just Samantha’s; it’s Josh’s too. He’s another new arrival at Hedgehog Hollow and the book is told in dual perspective.
Here’s the blurb:
With new arrivals comes new responsibilities…
The sun is shining, wild flowers are blooming and Hedgehog Hollow is officially open for business.
For Samantha, the proud owner of this beautiful rescue centre, life has never been busier. But with an influx of new hogs and hoglets to take care of, not to mention a full-time job and ongoing family issues, can she accept the possibility that she has taken on more than she can handle?
Fortunately, she has the love of her life, Josh, by her side for support and encouragement. But Josh has his own family troubles to deal with. And soon he must decide if he’s ready to do the one thing he swore he’d never do – forgive his father.
For both Samantha and Josh it’s a season of change and for figuring out whether the past can ever truly be forgotten.
If I’ve whet your appetite, you can pre-order New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow for Kindle download here. It’s also now available for pre-order on AppleBooks and Kobo.
Released on 7th January 2021, it will be available as a paperback, large print edition, physical audio and audio download as well as appearing on Spotify. Lots of options whatever your reading or listening preferences! Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is also available in all these formats.
I’m excited to be able to reveal the cover for Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café. Isn’t it simply stunning? I absolutely love both the title of this book and the cover. Dreamy.
It’s out on 8th September but available for pre-order now. It will be released on eBook for AppleBooks, Kindle and Kobo, paperback, large print and audio formats as well as being available via the uLibrary App if your library subscribes. Something for everyone!
Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café was previously available under the title of Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café. Just like my ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series which got refreshed and re-released under new titles earlier this year, it’s one of my back catalogue books that my fabulous publishers, Boldwood Books, have acquired and breathed fresh life into.
So what has changed?
Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café has changed more significantly than any of the books in the ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series in that it is substantially longer.
25k words longer, in fact. That’s a lot of extra story!
Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café went on a blog tour when it was released in 2018 and was extremely well received. Not all bloggers gave a rating but those who did mainly awarded 5-stars. The reviews started coming in from readers which, at the point of writing this, are all 5-star (88%) or 4-star (12%). I was thrilled with the positive reaction.
But there was something niggling at me. A blogger who I adore loved the book and awarded it 4.5 stars. I love reading her reviews because, if it’s not a full 5-stars, she tends to give a constructive reason why. I don’t want to give any spoilers but there’s a scene near the end where Tara engages with someone from her past and this particular blogger said she’d have loved to see more of that. When I thanked her for the review, this was my comment:
As per my comments above, I decided that I would maybe work on some additional chapters and re-release Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café the following Christmas including these. Then I secured my amazing publishing deal with Boldwood Books for new books and some of my back catalogue. This included Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café so this plan was put on hold ready for a 2020 re-release.
The revised version as Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café has a longer ending. I loved the original story but think it’s even better now and I’ve already had a lovely comment on Facebook from a reviewer who has read both versions and echos my thoughts – loved it before but loves it even more now.
Both versions start on Christmas Eve one year and finish in December the following one. The original version ended close to Christmas but didn’t go quite as far as Christmas Day. The revised version now ends on Christmas Day with a lot more action happening across that second December.
In the original version, there are chapters that span between the two Christmases but some of the events are summarised. In Starry Skies, there are more chapters spread across the year so the reader can be right there alongside Tara as she progresses on her journey rather than have the key events presented in summary form.
Are the characters different?
No. We have exactly the same characters as before but we get some more insight into some of them than we had previously. However, there is a character who is mentioned in the original version who actually puts in an appearance this time. And there’s another new character who appears near the end. Both of these provide a link to a sequel (more on that later).
Is the plot different?
No. The overall plot remains the same but some aspects of the story switch around to allow for the longer ending. There are more scenes from Tara’s past, both as a child and as an adult. There’s some lovely detail about her finding and setting up The Chocolate Pot which didn’t appear before. There’s a lot more about Jed. Basically, with 25k additional words, there’s just a lot more throughout which I think helps readers engage with and cheer on Tara even more than before.
Do you need to read the new version if you’ve already read the original?
That’s entirely up to you. If you loved it and would like to revisit it anyway, then here’s the perfect opportunity to do so. The original version is no longer available to buy so, if anyone hasn’t already visited The Chocolate Pot but wants to do so, then Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café is the version you’ll be reading anyway.
My little brother made a good point this week when I was talking about this revised release. He said it’s like a Director’s Cut of a film being released or a Deluxe version of an album. Spot on! In both those situations, the essence is still there but you get a whole lot more.
Is Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café part of a series?
Tara’s story chronologically follows on from Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes as Carly and Tara are friends and their businesses are next door to each other on Castle Street so, for maximum enjoyment, I would encourage readers to read Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes first (and perhaps wait until 13th August when a freshly-edited longer version of this book will be released with the same title but a new cover).
Did somebody mention sequel?
Yes! Although Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café is completely wrapped up with a satisfying ending, I mentioned two characters earlier, one of whom puts in a physical appearance now and one of whom is new. These threads lend themselves to being explored further and I hope to write a follow-up next year after I’ve finished writing the remaining two books in the Hedgehog Hollow trilogy. These threads only appear in the revised version of Tara’s story, though, and not in the original version.
Hope this helps explain everything! Blurb and buying links below.
You can pre-order Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café on Amazon here.
Cosy up with a mug of hot chocolate for some festive sparkle from bestseller Jessica Redland.
Everyone is getting into the festive spirit on Castle Street – snow is falling, fairy lights are glistening and Christmas shopping is underway.
But for Tara Porter, owner of thriving cafe, The Chocolate Pot, this is the most difficult time of the year. From the outside, Tara is a successful businesswoman and pillar of the community. Behind closed doors, she is lonely.
With a lifetime of secrets weighing on her shoulders, she has retreated from all friends, family and romance, and shut her real self away from the world. Afterall, if you don’t let them in, they can’t hurt you. She’s learnt that the hard way.
But as the weight of her past becomes heavier and an unexpected new neighbour moves onto the street – threatening the future of her cafe – Tara begins to realise that maybe it’s time to finally let people back in and confront her history. It could just change her life forever…
Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café was originally released as Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.
I am very excited to be able to reveal the stunningly gorgeous cover to my new book. Isn’t it sooooo pretty. I think it might just have become my favourite of all my covers. Those hedgehogs. That farmhouse. The flowers. The sky. All so delicious.
I hope you love it as much as I do.
Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is out on 2nd July but is available for pre-order right now. Here’s the Amazon link but it’s available on AppleBooks and Kobo too. On release day, it will be available on audio format, paperback, via the uLibrary App if your library subscribes to that and, for the first time for any of my books, large print format. Something for everyone!
Here’s the blurb:
Can love really be found when you stop looking for it…?
As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.
But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.
Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfill Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.
Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…
Escape to Hedgehog Hollow this summer with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting, feel-good read.
This is the first book in a trilogy. Book 2 and 3 don’t currently have titles … mainly because I haven’t written them yet! I’ll be taking a break from my day job next week and should make good progress with book 2 then and we hope to have a title reveal by the time Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is released.