Hello Sunshines!! Have got a mega post for you all today? I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this epic blog tour for the whole; Whitsborough Bay series by Jessica Redland. Not only will I be sharing exclusive excerpts for each of the books, but I also have an exclusive to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals interview with Jessica, where will be chatting all about books, writing and my favourite topic; chocolate. So pull up a seat, grab that cuppa and enjoy.
Frankie: Hi, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.
Jessica: Thank you so much for having me
Frankie: Firstly, what five words would you use to describe yourself?
Jessica: Snuggly, imaginative, caring, fun, organised
Frankie: Can you tell us a little about your latest/up and coming release?
Jessica: Coming Home to Seashell Cottage is the final part in my ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series. The series is made up of four books, each centring around one main female protagonist:
Book 1 – Making Wishes at Bay View – This is a prequel to the series, introducing Callie who works in a care home and tends to make very poor relationship choices involving much older men. Her favourite resident, Ruby, thinks Callie would be better off with her grandson, Rhys, but Callie is worried that Rhys might be a figment of Ruby’s imagination. It’s a lovely story of intergenerational relationships and how it’s never too late to give up on a wish for a happy ever after.
Books 2-4 are set chronologically, each one picking up where the last one left off, and they follow three friends – Sarah, Elise and Clare. Each book is a complete story with one of the women as the protagonist but we get to know and find out about the others.
Book 2 – New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms – This is Sarah’s story. After being unexpectedly gifted her auntie’s florist shop, Sarah returns to her hometown of Whitsborough Bay, licking her wounds after a bad relationship. When packing to move, she finds a clairvoyant reading from when she was 18 and everything has come true except one prediction: she’s about to meet the man of her dreams. And his name is Steven. Best friend Elise is convinced it’s going to come true but her other best friend, Clare, thinks it’s a load of rubbish. Who’s right?
Book 3 – Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove – We’re focusing on Elise now. Her 12-year marriage has unexpectedly broken down and she’s facing a divorce yet has two weddings to attend as bridesmaid. Not easy! Gary was her one and only relationship so she decides that she needs to get back out there and recently-divorced Daniel may be just what the doctor ordered. Or is he?
Book 4 – Coming Home to Seashell Cottage – The final part of the series is Clare’s story. So much has changed for the three women that the dynamics of the friendship have shifted massively. We find out why Clare is so cool and spiky and why she doesn’t talk about her past. There are lots of secrets and demons to face as Clare discovers that she can run from the past but she can’t hide from it.
Frankie: When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?
Jessica: I really wish I had an interesting answer but I’m afraid I don’t get any time to relax. I have a full-time day job so I fit writing around that on evenings and weekends. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to write full-time and have a bit more me-time. In rare moments off, I enjoy watching romcoms or reading, and spending time with my family and dog, but these moments are definitely too few!
Frankie: If you could have a holiday home anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Jessica: I’d want it to be somewhere close enough to home that I could visit regularly. Last May, we had a family holiday in Portugal. It’s the first time we’ve been there and we absolutely loved it. The scenery was stunning and the people were so friendly. We’re going back this May because we loved it so much.
Frankie: If you could have one of your books made into a film, which book would it be and who would play your lead character’s?
Jessica: I would love the whole of the series to be made into a Netflix series! If it was just one book to be made into a film, I’d probably say The Secret to Happiness which is a standalone novel which was released last September. It’s the story of three women – Karen, Alison and Danniella – who need to say goodbye to someone/something but are struggling to do so. When they meet at a bootcamp run by Karen, can the power of friendship give them the strength to do what they’ve been unable to do alone? I would struggle to say who the main characters would be, though. I have a Pinterest board with inspiration for my characters but they’re not necessarily famous people. I struggle with picking celebs because I watch so little TV (back to earlier question about never having time to relax!)
Frankie: When writing, do you plot or do you go with the flow?
Jessica: Pantser. All the time. I know my characters very well and I know where the story is going to end but I let the journey unfold as I write.
Frankie: What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?
- If you want to write, write. You may not be great at it but you’ll never know unless you try
- Learn how to write. Being good at writing in day to day life v writing a book are two very different skills. There’s a lot to learn but there are some amazing self-help books, courses, and qualifications out there to help. I spent ten years learning my craft whilst writing my debut. To be fair, I had a lot of years where I didn’t write anything as I married, had a baby, opened and closed a business and changed job several times during that time, but I never lost sight of that goal and never stopped learning
- Take the NaNoWriMo approach of just getting on with it. You can edit it later. You might ditch a lot of it later. But if you don’t get the words down in the first place, you’ll have nothing to edit
Frankie: If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite?
Jessica: The famous person answer would be Dawn French, Chris Hemsworth and James Corden.
The non-famous answer would be my good friends Susan, Jackie and Catryn who I hardly ever get to see because we live so far apart.
Frankie: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, Jessica! I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun; What is your favourite snacking food?
Jessica: Chocolate. Nom nom. Specific favourite at the moment are Teasers (Maltesers). Ooh, salivating right now!
Frankie: Oooh, yes!! You are certainly talking my language with Teasers, thank you! xx
Jessica: Thank you so much for your fabulous questions. Jessica xx
Whitsborough Bay Series
Making Wishes at Bay View: The perfect uplifting novel of love and friendship for 2020 (Welcome To Whitsborough Bay Book 1)
This book was previously published as two novellas – Raving About Rhys and Callie’s Christmas Wish.
Never give up on a wish for a happy ever after…
Callie Derbyshire has it all: her dream job as a carer at Bay View, finally she has found the love of her life. Everything is perfect.
Ex-partners are insistent on stirring up trouble, and Callie’s favourite resident, Ruby, hasn’t been her usual self.
But after discovering the truth about Ruby’s lost love, Callie is determined to give Ruby’s romantic story the happy ending it deserves. After all, it’s never too late to let love in again. Or is it?
A heartwarming and uplifting novel of finding love and friendship in the least expected places from top 10 bestselling author, Jessica Redland.
New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms: The perfect uplifting page-turner for 2020 (Welcome To Whitsborough Bay Book 2)
Sometimes love can bloom where you least expect it…
For Sarah Peterson, it’s time for change. Coming out of a dead end relationship and having had enough of city life, she just needs to escape and have a fresh start – a new job, a new home and a new lifestyle.
So when her Auntie Kay unexpectedly offers her the opportunity to take over her flower shop, Seaside Blooms, the timing could not be more perfect. She could escape to the beautiful seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, start a new chapter in her life – and learn how to run a business!
But, as she packs up her life in London, she isn’t prepared for the discovery of a clairvoyant reading that’s been missing for twelve years. All of the predictions have come true, except one: she’s about to meet the man of her dreams. Oh, and his name is Steven…
As she prepares for the biggest move of her life, Sarah can’t help but wonder if Seaside Blooms could be a new beginning for love too?
A warm, uplifting novel of love, friendship and destiny from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.
New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms is a new, revised and updated edition of a novel previously published as Searching For Steven.
New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms; Excerpt
‘Come on, Jason. Ring.’ I frowned at my iPhone as I paced up and down in the lounge, my stiletto heels echoing on the wooden floorboards. ‘Or text. I don’t care which. Just make contact. Please.’
My heart leapt as the phone beeped, but the text was from one of my best friends instead.
Happy birthday Sarah! Last year in your twenties so make the most of it. Wish you weren’t so far away so I could give you a birthday hug so sending one by text instead. I’ve hopefully timed your present to arrive today. Hope Jason’s got you a fab gift… proposal maybe? Have a great evening xxxxxxx
I stretched out my arm to admire the sparkly silver bracelet she’d sent.
Just got home and your parcel was waiting. Way too generous as usual… but absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much. Not sure where he’s taking me but hopefully it’s somewhere nice this time. I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go! Would be lying if I said a proposal hadn’t crossed my mind. EEEEEEKKKK!!!! You’ll be first to know if he does xxx
My hands shook slightly and I felt a flutter in my stomach as I typed in the words. Could tonight really be the night? Maybe. The timing felt about right and he’d been talking about making plans for the future. We’d been together for two years and two months and had lived together for most of that time. Aside from occasional bouts of thoughtlessness on his part and a tendency to drag me to the gym or on a twenty-mile hike way more often than a person should have to endure in a lifetime, we were very happy together and I assumed that a proposal wouldn’t be too far away.
Another text arrived but it still wasn’t Jason.
Sorry for not texting earlier. Dim Daz borrowed my phone then drove to Essex with it. Bloody muppet. Anyway, better late than never… happy birthday you old fart. Can’t believe you want to spend the evening with your eejit flatmate rather than me. Hope it’s not McDonalds this time! Maybe he’ll really treat you & do Pizza Hut?! Keep Saturday night free if you want your card & gift or I’m keeping them xx
She’d added several laughing emojis to the end of the text.
‘Your Auntie Clare is being very rude, as usual,’ I said to one of our kittens, Kat, who’d appeared to demand a fuss. ‘Flatmate indeed.’ But I couldn’t help smiling. Only Clare could get away with a comment like that.
Thanks. Was beginning to think you’d forgotten me! I promise to keep Saturday free for you. Dread to know what sort of abuse I’d get if I don’t. Not sure where MY BOYFRIEND is taking me. Still waiting to hear. McDonalds was a misunderstanding and you know it! Laters xx
Misunderstanding my arse! My final guess of the evening… The Griffin
I shook my head. So our two-year anniversary hadn’t gone quite to plan, but it was my fault really. I should have known that saying, ‘I’d love to go out for a meal to celebrate; how about The Kam Po? I could meet you in The Griffin after work,’ was far too vague for Jason. I ended up nursing the same glass of Pinot Grigio for ninety minutes before finally accepting he wasn’t coming. Trudging home, I found him in his gym kit playing on his Xbox. ‘You been working late?’ he asked. ‘You should’ve texted me. I got you a McDonalds on the way home, but it’ll be cold now and there’s nothing else to eat.’ He returned to his game and I went to bed hungry. I kept hoping he’d realise his mistake but he never did and, by then, it felt too late to say anything.
I checked my phone again now. Nothing. It couldn’t happen twice, could it? No. It had been his idea this time. Some of my friends from work had suggested a birthday meal, but Jason had insisted on taking me out himself. I’d gently reminded him a couple of days ago and he’d assured me it was in hand and I wasn’t to quiz him any further or I’d spoil the surprise. He said he’d contact me last minute with a location to meet him so I could enjoy the excitement of speculating about where we were going. This was certainly last minute and excitement wasn’t quite the feeling I’d describe.
It was now after half six. Sod it! I couldn’t do this anymore.
This is killing me! Where are you taking me? I’m all ready and awaiting my instructions! Please tell me you haven’t forgotten xx
Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove (Welcome To Whitsborough Bay Book 3)
When it feels like everything is against you, sometimes you just need a little bit of hope…
Married to her childhood sweetheart for over twelve years, Elise feels like starting a family is the next natural step. However her husband, Gary, has other ideas…
Suddenly single, Elise is completely heartbroken and struggling to start over on her own. But when she’s enlisted to be bridesmaid to her best friend, Sarah, she has to put on a brave face, put her own feelings aside and find a way to get over Gary. Fast.
So when she meets handsome, recently-divorced, Daniel, she thinks he could be just what she needs. But why can’t she shake the feeling that he must be too good to be true?
Will she ever be able to take that leap and trust again?
An uplifting read of love, loss and finding yourself from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.
This book was previously published as Getting Over Gary
Finding hope at Lighthouse Cove; Excerpt
‘Li! Are you ready yet?’ Gary shouted up the stairs. ‘I thought we were meeting them at seven.’
I glanced towards the digital alarm clock: 18:28. Still twelve minutes till we needed to leave. I took a deep, calming breath then called, ‘Just a few more minutes. We won’t be late. I promise.’
Squirting another mist of hairspray on my loose auburn curls, I blew a few flecks of make-up off my new teal dress, then pulled on a pair of black strappy, sparkly shoes. Grabbing a black pashmina and clutch bag off the bed, I took a quick glance in the full-length mirror on the wall. Not bad. Perhaps a little over-dressed for a meal at The Bombay Palace with my sister and her fiancé, but surely Gary would be impressed with the effort, especially as the dress was his favourite colour on me. Maybe he’d even pay me a compliment. I shook my head at my reflection. I wouldn’t get my hopes up on that one. I’d be lucky if he managed the ultimate cop-out non-compliment of, ‘You look nice.’
I paused at the top of the stairs and gazed down at my husband tapping something into his phone, a deep frown creasing his brow. Even in a mood, he was still irresistible with his dark hair, dark eyes and tall, athletic build.
‘I’m ready,’ I called, preparing myself to do a little twirl so he could appreciate the tightness of the bodice clinging to all the right places – a daring move for someone who normally wore long skirts and maxi-dresses – but he barely managed a cursory glance as he pocketed his phone.
‘About time too,’ he said. ‘I’ll get the car started. Can you lock up?’ Without waiting for an answer, he went outside.
I reached for the banister and clung onto it as I took a few deep, shaky breaths and willed myself not to cry. It was fine. Timekeeping stressed him out and, even though we weren’t actually late, he was understandably tired and irritable. He’d been working long hours with the surgery expansion recently and seemed to be permanently on edge. He’d likely skipped lunch again so was bound to relax when we ate.
‘Would you like me to drive back tonight so you can have a drink?’ I asked as Gary backed his Lexus off the drive. I reached across to give his thigh a gentle stroke but withdrew my hand when I felt him tense under my touch.
‘I’m fine, thanks. We’ll stick to the rule.’
‘Okay.’ Gary’s ‘rule’ was that if it’s your family or your friends, you drink and the other drives. I rarely drink so was happy to be the designated driver most of the time, but Gary refused to deviate.
I stared out of the window as he drove along Abbey Drive then guided the car out of the small new-build housing estate where we’d lived for the past six years. Glancing across at his tight jaw as we joined the main road into Whitsborough Bay, he certainly looked like a man who could do with a relaxing drink. Perhaps I’d have one more try at breaking the rule.
‘Are you sure? You know I’m never bothered about drinking when we’re eating.’
We stopped at the traffic lights, but Gary still didn’t look at me. His hands tightly gripped the steering wheel. ‘I’ve already said I’m fine. She’s your sister so I’m the driver. Can we just drop it, Li? Please?’
‘Okay. Sorry.’ I turned to look out of the window again, blinking back tears. He’d come round when he saw Jess and Lee. He loved their company, even if he didn’t seem to love mine at the moment.
Coming Home To Seashell Cottage (Welcome To Whitsborough Bay Book 4)
*Winner of Chill With a Book Book of the Year 2019 Award as Dreaming About Daran*
For Clare O’Connell, home is where the heart aches…
Since the age of sixteen, Clare O’Connell has lived her life by four strict rules:
1. Don’t talk about Ireland
2. Don’t think about Ireland
3. Don’t go to Ireland
4. Don’t let anyone in
And so far, it’s worked well. She’s got a great career, amazing friends, and she’s really happy. The future is all that counts, isn’t it?
However Clare is about to realise that you can run from the past, but you can’t always hide from it…
When her boss insists she travels to Ireland for work, Clare finds herself drawn back to the village of Ballykielty – the home of her family, and the home of her secrets. The one place where vowed never to return to again…
With the door to her past now wide open, the first three rules have gone out of the window. Will Clare stick to rule number four?
Can she be brave and face up to her family and the demons of her past?
An emotional novel of family, friendship and dealing with your past from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.
This book was previously published as Dreamg About Darran.
Coming Home to Seashell Cottage; Excerpt
‘What the hell is that in the fruit bowl?’ I cautiously leaned forward on Ben’s sofa to get a closer look, hoping it wasn’t an enormous spider about to scuttle over me.
‘Apples, pears, kiwis and bananas,’ Ben said. ‘Don’t tell me that you’ve reached the grand old age of thirty-three and you still can’t identify your basic fruits.’
I raised my eyebrows at him. ‘Ha ha! You’re hilarious. You should be on stage, so you should.’ I reached my hand out towards the object.
‘Argh!’ yelled Ben as I was about to touch it.
I snatched back my hand, screaming.
‘Sorry. Couldn’t resist.’ He rolled around on the sofa, laughing hysterically.
‘You eejit!’ I whacked him with a cushion. ‘You scared the life out of me! Is this what it’s going to be like living with you? Because if it is, I can check into a hotel for the next few months instead. Are you ready to say goodbye to that new kitchen?’
I worked for a company called Prime PR, managing public relations campaigns for large corporates. Having recently been promoted, I needed to relocate from London to Leeds. Ben – or Saint Ben, as I called him – was the brother of my best friend, Sarah, and he lived in Leeds so I’d adopted him as my meal buddy for the past few years every time I visited on business. Meeting up with a friend for some good craic was far more appealing than dining in a hotel restaurant surrounded by suits staring into space, eating meals for one. On my last trip, I’d moaned about the prospect of living in a hotel for a month or two while I found somewhere to rent and, being the saint he was, Ben immediately offered me his spare room. Grand idea. It meant I could pay Ben rent using my allowance for not staying in a hotel, giving him the funds to refit his prehistoric kitchen. Win-win. Of course, he refused to accept payment, but I wore him down eventually.
Ben put his hands up in surrender as I lifted the cushion to whack him again. ‘Sorry. But you’d have done the same if it had been the other way round. You know you would.’
I smiled. He was right. ‘So, what is it, then?’
Ben reached into the fruit bowl, then held out the black object in the palm of his hand.
‘It’s a chess piece,’ I said, looking at the black king. ‘Why’s there a chess piece in your fruit bowl?’
He shrugged. ‘I came home from work last Tuesday and, quite randomly, it was on the front doorstep.’
‘With a note?’
‘No note. Just the king on his own.’
‘And it’s yours?’
‘Nope. I don’t play chess.’
‘Oh. Very random. But do you know what’s even more random? Why the hell it’s in your fruit bowl instead of the bin.’
‘It seemed like a good place for it.’
‘But you don’t know where it’s been. It could have been peed on by a dog. Or worse.’
Ben looked at the king thoughtfully. ‘Good point. Just as well it was between the bananas and kiwis, then, wasn’t it? They’ve got skins.’ He leaned forward and put it back.
‘Ben! Put it in the bin.’
I reached forward but he grabbed me and started tickling me, which he knew was a pet peeve of mine. I squealed, leapt to my feet and darted past him into his kitchen. Thankfully, I was saved from another attack by the arrival of our Indian takeaway.
‘Get your hands washed before you touch that food,’ I ordered Ben.
He winked at me. ‘I love it when you’re bossy.’
I dug out some plates and we busied ourselves dishing up the food.
‘Shall we watch a film while we eat?’ Ben asked. ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’s on TV and I’ve never seen it. My mate Pete said it’s really good.’
‘Is that the one with Jim Caviezel in it?’
‘I think so. And Guy Pearce.’
‘Ooh, two hotties. Grand. Count me in.’
About the Author
Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.
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5 thoughts on “#BlogTour | Whitsborough Bay Series by Jessica Redland; Feature, Excerpts and Exclusive Author Interview #WhitsboroughBaySeries #BoldWoodBlogger @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks”
Thank you so much for a whoppingly enormous post on the first day of my series blog tour. Really appreciate the support with the interview and the excerpts. I notice you’re a Yorkshire lass, like me! I’m not sure if you’ve had a chance to read any of the books yourself or whether you will have the opportunity later but, if you’re familiar with the North Yorkshire Coast, you may recognise a few places 🙂 xx
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Hi Jessica, Aww, I’m so pleased you liked the post, it was a huge pleasure to have you visit and to feature your books on the blog today.
What a wonderfully small world, it’s always lovely to ‘meet’ another Yorkshire lass 🙂
I haven’t read your books as yet, but I have a couple sitting waiting on my kindle, I am really looking forward to reading them.
Thank you for the awesome interview.
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Absolute pleasure, Frankie. Hope you enjoy your visit to the Whitsborough Bay 🙂 x
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Thank you, I’m positive I will. 🙂 xx
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