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 where we explored Northumberland Part 1

To all my UK-based followers, happy bank holiday weekend! Can you believe, that’s it with the bank holidays until Christmas Day? Eek! However you’re spending this one, hope you have a lovely time. I’m in my office all weekend catching up on emails and admin as well as starting my edits on book eighteen which came through on Saturday night. But, before you feel sorry for me working all weekend, I have just had a week’s holiday so I’m quite happy to be back in the office.

On Friday we returned from a week in Northumberland which, for anyone not familiar with the UK, is the most north-eastern area of England, bordering with Scotland. It’s an area full of spacious beaches and steeped with history so if you like the coast and you like castles, it’s a fabulous place to explore.

We’ve visited on several previous occasions and had originally booked this holiday for February half-term but we couldn’t go as hubby and I both came down with Covid. We’d been talking about having a week somewhere in August but hadn’t yet booked anything so we managed to shift our booking rather than cancel it completely.

One of the things we’ve loved about previous visits out of season has been how deserted the beaches can be, how quiet some of the attractions are, how we’ve never had problems parking or finding somewhere to eat. We were therefore a little apprehensive as to how busy it might be in the summer and it did end up impacting on some of our plans.

We were staying in Alnwick which is about 125 miles from us and, in theory, a 2 hour 40 minute drive. Hmm. Add a couple of hours to that for being stuck behind tractors and campervans on the minor roads and held up by roadworks on the main ones! We therefore stopped off for lunch in Durham en route although we couldn’t believe how hard it was to find somewhere that made takeaway sandwiches. Must have been looking in the wrong places. It was only a fleeting visit so no photo opps but I spotted this on the side of the library which I loved.

It was shortly before tea when we arrived in Alnwick. We were staying in a beautiful conversion called ‘The Malthouse’ which had formerly been where malt was stored ready to be used by the local brewery. It was beautifully decorated and perfectly located right at the top of town so not far to walk to anywhere.

I loved how so much of the decor was relevant to my books. Check out this little selection along with the most fabulous goody basket:

On the Saturday, we ventured up to Berwick-Upon-Tweed – the most northern visit we had planned. We’ve visited before but hadn’t gone out of the town centre. This time we took a walk along the coast, through the town, down by the river and through a park, discovering new parts of the town. The weather was hit and miss with bright blue skies and sunshine one minute and torrential rain the next.

In the town, I visited The Works and found a copy of Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow on the shelf in the sale so had to get a photo. The manager asked me if I was looking for anything in particular and I said I was visiting, but then was brave and said I was an author and always checked out The Works to see if they had stock in from me or my author friends. She was so excited to have an author in and I was whisked back to the shelf for more photos and her colleague wanted the book signed and dedicating so she could buy it. I love the staff in The Works. They are always so friendly and enthusiastic and make me feel so special if I’m brave enough to mention I’m an author.

One of my fellow Boldwood authors, Lisa Hobman, owns a pre-loved bookshop called Slightly Foxed in Berwick, along with a friend of hers. We’ve not yet met in person so we stopped in hoping Lisa might be working that day, but she wasn’t. Next time, Lisa! Slightly Foxed is gorgeous and I was particularly excited to see Starry Skies at the Chocolate Pot Café on the shelves!

We left Alnwick and drove to nearby Spittal, which we’ve never visited before, and I managed to grab some pics of the lighthouse shown in the ceiling image at Slightly Foxed before the weather turned again.

Our final stop of the day was Seahouses where we had a wander round the gift shops and an ice cream before returning to Alnwick.

On Sunday, hubby needed to do some work so my daughter and I went to The Alnwick Garden. Dogs can’t go in so Ella stayed back at the holiday apartment. I’ve never been to The Alnwick Garden but one of the lovely members of my Facebook group, Redland’s Readers, highly recommended it and it was lovely. We were lucky with the weather although it took us a while to work out that the big display on the water fountain was an hourly thing on the half hour and we kept missing it!

The gardens were stunning although we’d just missed the best time of year for the flowers, particularly the roses. I loved all the fountains and streams running through them and the beautiful gates.

There was a beautiful area with rows of cherry blossom trees and double swings. We were too late in the year for the blossom but we did have a moment on the swing. This is me trying (and failing) to look casual!

We moved onto Barter Books after that which is the same end of town as the entrance to the gardens. I’d wondered if I might see any of my books in there and was delighted to find two in the fiction section as you go in – Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café and Making Wishes at Bay View and another copy of the latter in the romance overflow in the main building. It really is such a thrill to see my books on a shelves, especially when it’s unexpected like this.

On Monday, we’d arranged for my parents to come over. They’d brought their caravan to an area about half an hour away and the plan was for hubby and me to go for a hike with my dad while our daughter entertained my mum.

It had been pouring on the morning so we were expecting a wet walk but the afternoon was overcast with a few spots of rain rather than anything torrential so, although it made for very pleasant walking conditions, the photos aren’t the brightest. Last time we visited Northumberland was February 2018 and we did the walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle along the cliff tops. We decided to do the walk to Dunstanburgh but from the other direction, starting at Embleton.

There were two lovely book libraries along the road where we parked, although no books inside by me or any author friends. I love seeing these little book libraries.

Hubby spotted a couple of hares chasing each other across a field and we stopped to watch them and were thrilled to see they were boxing hares. I’ve seen this on TV before but never in real life. My word, do they punch each other brutally! It was amazing to watch and, every so often, they’d pause to have a breather and something to eat, then be up on their hind legs thumping each other! They were too far away for me to get any photos, though.

A little later, we spotted a mouse scurrying down the path towards us and, when we hit the coast, we saw several flying fish. So much amazing nature in one place.

The weather was much better on Tuesday and we had a busy day planned starting in a place we’d never visited before: Alnmouth. The beach was beautiful and reasonably deserted when we arrived…

We had a walk along there (it’s dog friendly) and beside the river then into the village where there are some lovely gift shops.

The sand by the river was covered in worm casts. As a child, these absolutely terrified me and I’d have to be carried screaming off any beaches we visited which had casts on them. Urgh! Thankfully, I now know they’re not actual worms and just the sand left behind by them but I didn’t realise that at the time. Still gives me the shudders!

In the village there was another mini library, this time in an old red telephone box.

After the village, we took a different walk back through the sand dunes by the beach and I took some lovely pics of the walk to the beach and the lifebuoy but hubby’s were better so these are his!

Our final plan of the day was a circular walk from Amble via Warkworth Castle which we’d found in a guide book in the holiday apartment. The first part of the walk was through Amble town centre, through a new housing estate where there were some lovely distant views of the castle, but then we were just on a country road for quite a long time. It was really hot and there wasn’t much to see but I still enjoyed it. The others moaned!

When we got to Warkworth Castle, we were looking forward to a sit in the sun and a spot of lunch. Typically, the skies had started to cloud over at this point. There was an event on and, being the summer holidays anyway, the castle was quite busy.

We had a walk into Warkworth itself which is a really pretty village. There’s a Medieval bridge out the other side so we grabbed a couple of pics of that. There was a heron in the water, stood so still that I had to do a double-take to make sure it was actually real. You can just see it at the left side of the right arch in the first pic. It was great to spot another mini library opposite the bridge too.

As we walked back beside the River Aln, the weather picked up again and the view was prettier. This took us out by the harbour where there was a wrecked boat and a really interesting sculpture which you could step into for taking photos.

I’d hoped we’d make it back to Amble in time to explore the lovely huts on the harbour which sell crafts and lovely gifts, but it seemed they mainly closed between 3-3.30pm so we’d missed them all. However, there was still plenty to look at. A yacht had got grounded when the tide went out and the RNLI’s ILB (inshore lifeboat) was attempting to tow it out. There was no chance of freeing it but the next step had been to turn it to place it in the best possible position for release once the tide came out again. That was exciting to watch.

There was a big crowd watching the rescue and several members of the coastguard service on the pier in communication with the ILB. Presumably the yacht did survive and make it out safely when the tide rose again.

I’m going to leave this post for now and start on a part 2 as it’s getting pretty long so do watch out for another post later today. Hope you’re enjoying the photos.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one where I’ve had a very busy week

You know how you can have weeks with very little in the diary then suddenly you hit a week where everything happens? I had one of those last week…

It started with a talk at Scarborough Soroptimists on Monday. Months back the chairperson, Angela, asked whether I might be interested in joining them. I did a careers talk at my daughter’s school recently but this is the first time I’ve spoken to adults in real life since I was an indie author so it all felt very new.

I confess I wasn’t familiar with the organisation so was surprised to discover that Soroptimists International had celebrated their centenary last year. They’re about ensuring women and girls have a voice and you can read more about their great work here. The Scarborough branch meet at Ganton Village Hall which is a small village between Scarborough and Malton.

The talk seemed to go well and it was great to have questions afterwards. A huge thank you to the group for hosting me.

On Wednesday, I met author Rowan Coleman on Scarborough seafront for a cuppa and a doughnut (nom nom). It was a gorgeous sunny day (sunnier than the photos might look!) with a gentle breeze – lovely.

When I arrived, there were loads of primary school children emerging from ‘Aquarium Top’ to queue for an ice cream. I knew that the area that was formerly an aquarium had been painted so I took a quick look when the space was clear. How pretty is this?

On Friday, we were meant to be going to Castle Howard to see Duran Duran. This was advertised as a picnic-style gig where you take food and drink in and enjoy relaxing in a foldaway chair in front of the beautiful stately home. We’ve been to gigs there before and it’s fabulous. However, the promoters – Senbla – sent everyone an email at the start of the week with some ‘additional information’ which changed everything we’d expected. The gig was being held in a field away from the home so there wouldn’t the stunning backdrop with which we’re familiar, food and drink could not be taken in, chairs weren’t permitted, picnic blankets were an option but you might be asked to stand up when the gig started, and it was £10.20 to book parking (this being at a venue in the middle of nowhere to which you pretty much have to drive) or £15 cash on the night if you didn’t book 24 hours before. Wow! This was NOT what we signed up to!

I contacted Ticketmaster who claimed nothing had changed – it had! – and said it was the promotor’s issue, not theirs. I contacted Castle Howard and Senbla via both Facebook and Twitter to ask for an explanation and a refund and also emailed Senbla. All contact has been ignored. I’m not impressed at all.

This had been a gift for my 50th birthday but we had to give it a miss because I can’t stand for several hours and it would have ruined it attempting to do so. Sitting on a picnic blanket for ages wouldn’t be an option either – I’d struggle to get down and up again!

I’m extremely disappointed at the change to what we booked with no responsibility taken from any of the parties. So we’ve had to walk away from the money. We took a drive up to Whitby instead, got a chippy tea and went for a wander. It was strange seeing Whitby so deserted!

As we climbed back up to the car on the north side, there was the most beautiful light with the approaching sunset.

On Saturday night, I was invited over to see my friends at Wolds Hedgehog Rescue – the ‘real’ Hedgehog Hollow – for a catch-up. Nanny Angela needed to bring three hoglets over to be fed during the meeting and I had the honour of having a go at feeding one of them – first time I’ve ever done this. Awww!

Then on Sunday, I topped the week off with a visit into Scarborough. Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow went into The Works a few weeks back but I missed the Scarborough ones as they arrived and sold out really quickly. I was delighted to see they’d had another delivery so had a chance to sign them. As always, the staff in there were so lovely.

I actually hadn’t expected to see the book in there so I’d thrown on the same clothes from the night before (as I’d only worn them for 3 hours) and hadn’t put any make-up on or brushed my hair. So this is the natural look 🙂

I’ve just been on to the website at The Works but Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow appears to have sold through but you will probably still find copies in your local branch.

So overall a very busy week and I’ll finish it with a photo of a garden ornament I spotted in the window of The Gift Company which I absolutely neeeeeeed, and a photo of my gorgeous Eleanor Tomlinson print of Her Majesty the Queen with Paddington Bear. I’m cheating a bit as that actually arrived yesterday – not last week – but I thought I’d sneak it in here. My Steiff Paddington (a gift from my husband on our wedding day) couldn’t resist posing with it. The print went viral after the Jubilee and the signed edition sold out really quickly but Eleanor has printed an open edition (which is how I got mine) and you can get that and check out her other gorgeous artwork here.

This week is shaping up to be really busy too – hair appointment, dentist for a filling (argh!) and also a Facebook Live at lunchtime today. So if you read this post this morning and you’re free at 12noon, you might like to join us on Book and Tonic’s Facebook page. The Live will be Jo Bartlett, Helen Rolfe and me chatting about building our communities.

Have a fabulous week.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The one where the hedgehogs are in some amazing deals right now on Apple, Kobo, Kindle & Audible

It’s an exciting time for the hedgehogs at the moment as there are various great promotional deals for them. Let’s start with Kobo…

If you’re a Kobo listener and haven’t tried any of the Hedgehog Hollow series, Kobo are running a special ‘Spring into a New Series’ deal in the UK and ‘Fall into a New Series in Australia and New Zealand. As the first in the Hedgehog Hollow series, Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is included at a discounted price. In the UK, this is 99p.

This offer ends on 23rd May.

The next deal is from Apple Books in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada.

The eBook of the fourth novel in the series, A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow, is part of Apple’s ‘Romance Tropes’ promotion running until 28th May. This sees a price drop in all these territories. In the UK, this is 99p.

And because Amazon tend to price-match, the price has also dropped on this eBook on Kindle UK. I suspect it will run at this price for at least as long as the Apple promotion runs but I wouldn’t delay, just in case…

And for those who love listening, A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow is in the Audible UK ‘2 for 1 Sale’ starting today and running until Sunday 22nd May…

As with all their week-long promotions, a helpful countdown shows on Audible showing how long there is left to take advantage of this. It’s lovely to see Jo Bartlett’s A Spring Surprise for the Cornish Midwife featuring in the same promotion so there’s a great pairing you might like to go for. Jo’s series is fabulous and I’m actually reading this one myself at the moment – also the fourth in the series – and loving it.

I’ve had some amazing chart positions on Audible recently, with several Top 100 placings for my audiobooks on offer but also for my newest release Spring Tides at The Starfish Café which has been extra special as that wasn’t on a promotion. I’ll therefore be eagerly checking the charts later this afternoon to see how high those hedgehogs scamper, which isn’t ideal as I’m on a deadline for writing the sixth Hedgehog Hollow book this weekend so really need to be head down.

Please do spread the word if you know of anyone who might be interested in any of these deals and thank you so much if you take advantage of any of them yourself.

Don’t forget that Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is FREE via Audible Plus, Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow (book 3) has just gone into The Works, and all my Hedgehog Hollow books (and all my Whitsborough Bay books too) are FREE if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.

And although it has nothing to do with hedgehogs, I just have to pause to say a huge congratulations to Ukraine for winning the Eurovision Song Contest last night and for Sam Ryder for being phenomenal in representing the UK and coming second. What an absolute star he was last night.

Have a fabulous Sunday.

Big hedge-hugs
Jessica xx

The one where Family Secrets has an extra special reason for celebrating its one-year book birthday

Today – 4th May – is the one-year book birthday of the release of the third book in the Hedgehog Hollow series, Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow. And, as it’s Star Wars Day today – May the fourth be with you – I couldn’t resist a photo shoot with my adorable Grogu alongside copies of the book and a couple of knitted hedgehogs. Grogu is even the right colour for accessorising with the book!

The knitted hedgehogs are from the talented team at Wolds Hedgehog Rescue and did contain creme eggs. But not for long!

It’s an extra special one-year birthday anniversary for Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow because it has just gone into The Works! It appeared online today and you can grab it here for £2 or as part of the 3 for £5 paperbacks offer.

Paperbacks will also be going into branches of The Works so should be on the shelves this week/next week depending on when your local store takes deliveries.

I love this story and took a risk with it because it is partly narrated by our heroine Samantha and partly by her cousin Chloe who readers hate … and for good reason as she hasn’t treated our Samantha very well at all. By the end of this book, some readers end up loving Chloe, some like her and others still hate her but understand her better. For me, this was never about trying to get readers or listeners to like her; it was about me telling an interesting and unexpected story.

It amuses me when I see reviews for either this book or others in the series saying that the reader still doesn’t like Chloe no matter how much I’m trying to convince them to do so. I’m not trying to do anything of the sort! How a reader feels about Chloe is entirely their choice. What I’m doing is showing that antagonists aren’t necessarily all bad by presenting Chloe’s positives alongside her flaws. I imagined her at the start as a Marmite character – love her or hate her – and that’s exactly what she’s become. Do I love her or hate her? That’s my secret!

This is the third book and can be followed as a standalone story but I would urge readers/listeners to dive into the series from the start to fully understand the characters and the journeys they go on. The order is Finding Love… New Arrivals… Family Secrets… A Wedding… and we have Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow out next month and one more to come in early September to conclude the series.

This book does end on a whopper of a cliffhanger so be warned!

If you do see a copy of Family Secrets in your local branch of The Works, please do take a shelfie and tag me into it in social media as I don’t think the novelty of seeing my books out in the wild will ever fade.

Big hedge-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

The one where I signed New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow in The Works

I posted over the weekend to say that New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow – the second book in the Hedgehog Hollow series – had appeared online at The Works and also in stores but I hadn’t seen copies in my local branch.

The munchkin stays for drama club after school on a Monday so I need to pick her up and it’s on the other side of town. I arrived early today but she’d got out early which gave us just enough time to nip into town on the way home and scoot to The Works to see if my book was in. And it was!

The lovely manager Jamie was there and she’d been hoping I’d appear. The books were placed on the shelves on Saturday and half of them have already sold which was exciting so I only had a pile of five to sign but I’ve now done that.

Please excuse the state of me in these photos! This was an impromptu visit prompted by the munchkin being early so I have no make-up on, haven’t run a brush through my hair, and have my super-casual jogging pants on. But that didn’t detract from the excitement of signing copies of my paperbacks in a real shop. This is the fifth book of mine in there and the fourth time I’ve signed copies (never entered my head to ask the first time) and I don’t think it will ever get boring!

It was lovely to hear Jamie telling me that Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot had sold out really quickly and that they’ve had customers in really excited to get their hands on New Arrivals, hence half of them selling already. I also massively appreciate that they always place my books in the eye line buy line position in the middle of the shelves.

Thank you to Jamie and all the staff in The Works Scarborough who are always so welcoming and friendly.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

The hedgehogs are back in The Works

I was delighted to get the news a couple of months ago that a fourth title of mine – Starry Skies Over the Chocolate Pot Café – was going into The Works so I absolutely wasn’t expecting to have another title in there but I have exciting news…

I have another book available on The Works right now – New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow.

I was planning to share this news as soon as the book appeared online but it hasn’t appeared on the website yet. However, my great friend and fellow author Jo Bartlett, spotted a copy in her local branch of The Works today in Broadstairs, Kent so it’s out there in some stores and will hopefully appear online really soon.

A Jessica sandwich of book my books with fellow Boldwood authors Lisa Hobman and Rosie Clarke in Broadstairs, Kent

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow is the second book in the Hedgehog Hollow series. The first book – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – went in during the summer so it’s fabulous having book two following its lead.

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow can be read as a standalone book and I know plenty of readers who’ve loved it and followed the story well without reading the first book, especially as I provide a handy ‘story so far’ at the beginning. But I personally think that readers will enjoy a much richer reading experience and get to know the characters so much better by starting with Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow and reading the series in order.

As I’m with a small (but rapidly growing) independent publisher, you won’t find my books in supermarkets or book shops so it’s a real thrill to see them on the shelves of The Works. I nipped into Scarborough’s branch on Thursday and the hedgehogs weren’t there and I was in the Beverley branch today and they weren’t there either so I’ll try Scarborough again next week and hopefully be able sign copies again.

If you spot either book in your local branch, please do share a photo with me on Facebook or Twitter. I love seeing them in the wild (no pun intended for the hedgehogs!)

Starry Skies Over the Chocolate Pot Café appears to have completely sold out online but there should still be copies in store. I think they’re also selling through quickly in store. There are none left in the Scarborough branch, there was one left in Beverley today and any other selfies I’ve seen only seem to have 1 or 2 copies on the photo which is exciting (I put the one copy below in front of someone else’s books for the photo opp!)

Go hedgehogs go!

Big hugs
Jessica xx

One copy of Starry Skies left in Beverley The Works (East Yorkshire)

Signing Starry Skies in The Works

On Tuesday this week, I posted the exciting news that Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café – my Boldwood Christmas release from last year – had gone online at The Works.

I was in town for an eye test on Wednesday and it hadn’t gone onto the shelves of my local store but I needed to go into town again today to help hubby pick some frames for his new glasses and was excited to pop into the Scarborough branch to find that the festive books had arrived.

The staff in there are lovely and immediately moved the copies to ‘eye level – buy level’ (not at my request, I hasten to add) and cleared some space for me to sign the copies. I have no idea why I still had my sunglasses on in the above pic or my bag on my shoulder. Too excited!

And, yes, that is a hedgehog dress! It’s a Popsy and, since I discovered Popsy Clothing last year, I’ve been hoping they’d introduce a hedgehog print design and was thrilled when it came into stock last week. You can find this particular design here. I love it. It has a blouson style top which I’d worried might be tight on me but thankfully isn’t, and pockets. Gotta love a dress with pockets!

I can’t imagine I’ll ever tire of seeing my books in a shop and being able to sign them. Thank you so much to the lovely team for letting me do that.

If you do spot one in your local store, I’d love you to take a shelfie and tag me into it on social media.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café goes into The Works

I’m very excited to bring the fabulous news that The Works have taken on another of my titles.

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café is now available online right here and should be appearing in branches of The Works very soon. A huge thank you to my amazing publisher Boldwood Books for making this happen.

This is the fourth of my titles to appear in The Works after The Secret to Happiness and Making Wishes at Bay View went in during summer 2000 and Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow snuck in as a late addition just before we went into a second lockdown in the autumn.

All three of these sold out online fairly quickly last year but there may be the odd copy still to be found in stores, particularly if they’ve been positioned on the higher shelves (which means books don’t sell as quickly).

I’m in town tomorrow for an eye test so will be checking out the Scarborough branch of The Works but it usually appears in-store a short while after appearing online so I’m probably a bit early to catch it, especially when today is the first day Starry Skies has been available online.

All paperbacks in The Works are £2 or 3 for £5. Such a huge bargain and what a great excuse to treat yourself to three books… or six… or maybe nine! You could start your Christmas shopping with these great stocking-fillers.

The blurb:

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…

With over 1,700 reviews/ratings, 78% of which are 5-star and 16% of which are 4-star, this has been very warmly received by readers. Hot chocolate, Christmas and a giant house rabbit called Hercules … what more could you want?

If you do spot any of my books in a branch of The Works (or a garden centre, post office, local shop), please do post a shelfie on social media and tag me in. As my books don’t get stocked in the major bookshops or supermarkets, it’s a thrill to see them out and about.

Big hugs
Jessica xx