Monday Merry Meets: Jessica Redland

Welcome to our next Monday Merry Meet where we celebrate author’s who write romantic fiction. We’re excited to chat to Jessica Redland who has written many bestseller novels based in our beloved North Yorkshire and the Wolds.

Grab a cuppa and relax for five minutes while you discover what she has to say about her books, writing, the romance genre and of course, spells.

Monday Merry Meets: Jessica Redland

Vincent looking grumpy in a pink frame with love is in the air wording
Love from Vincent

Willow: Welcome Jessica, have a seat. We’re thrilled to have you this month to celebrate romance books to coincide with Valentine’s Day. While the Enchanted Bookshelf has oodles of fantasy and paranormal books, Rosa’s Box of Romance is full of romantic novels, including yours. Talking of romance, I apologise if Vincent, our Maine coon, is extra affectionate. The catnip we’ve used in some of our love potions has made him high. Amber has cast a no stick spell to prevent you getting covered in his fur.

Jessica: It’s so lovely to be here and I love cats so am more than happy to have a Vincent snuggle … although my dog, Ella, may be a bit grumpy with me for giving my affections elsewhere when I get home later!

Amber: What would you like to drink? We have umpteen blends of tea, including Yorkshire tea, hot chocolate, coffee or something stronger. We have some mead made from local honey too.

Jessica: Could I have some hot chocolate please? Did somebody say cream and mini marshmallows?

Amber: Hot chocolate isn’t the real deal without those. Won’t be a mo.

Pink mug full of hot chocolate and heart shaped iced biscuits
Hot Chocolate for Valentine’s day

Rosa: I’m so excited to have you here and many of our customers mention how much they love your books because of the local locations. Whitsborough Bay is based on Scarborough and the Hedgehog Hollow series is based in the Wolds. How important are the settings to your books and how do you decide which ones to use?

Jessica: My settings have become such a strong part of my brand but, funnily enough, I didn’t have one when I started writing. I’d relocated back to the north to be closer to my family after living away from home for about 12 years and I knew I wanted to write a book set in the north, but I had no sense of where. A couple of months later, I met my husband who was from Scarborough and, as soon as I visited him, I knew I’d found the inspiration for my setting. I’ve lived in Scarborough for nearly 19 years now and, with the northern tip of the Yorkshire Wolds being just a few miles away, it seemed a logical place to set my hedgehog rescue centre, adding a countryside setting to my coastal one.

Deciding on which setting to use falls naturally with the story I want to tell and whose story that is. I try to keep the two main settings distinctly different so a story involving a shop or café is more likely to be a Whitsborough Bay one with me keeping my Yorkshire Wolds setting for things that are more logically countryside-based like the rescue centre and a farm (Bumblebee Barn).

Willow: You’ve gone from different shopkeepers in Whitsborough Bay to the romantic occurrences in a hedgehog rescue centre and now jumping into reality tv with Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn. How easy do you find starting a new series?

Jessica: Scary! There’s always a fear of readers not enjoying a new setting. A lot of readers expressed disappointment when I ended the Hedgehog Hollow, which is incredibly flattering as it means I’ve created a world they love and want to keep visiting, but it’s also a lot of pressure on writing something new. I stand by the decision that it was time for the Hedgehog Hollow series to end, but fans of the series have enjoyed the treat of some glimpses into the rescue centre in Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn, so I think I may have appeased them.

When I first shared the blurb for Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn, a few readers expressed surprise at reality TV playing a part in the story as that’s very different and typically more of a romcom story line rather than women’s fiction, but I haven’t changed the style of book I write with it. The reality TV setting is simply a different storyline around how this story of love, friendship, family and community unfolds.

Photo of Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn book near some lavender

Rosa: I’m an avid romance reader and your books always provide the much needed an uplifting, happy ending. Did you always want to write in this genre?

Jessica: Aw, thanks Rosa. Yes, I did. I was in my early to mid-twenties when I discovered romcoms and, as soon as the idea came to write a book, I knew this was what I’d write because I also love that uplifting, happy ending. As I worked on my first series – Welcome to Whitsborough Bay – my voice and style developed and I moved from romcom to women’s fiction, which, for me, still means the same uplifting, happy ending but more of an emotional journey in getting there.

I do want to write in other genres in the future, but alongside this one. My heart will always remain with the romance genre, and I couldn’t imagine not writing heart-warming stories which help people escape from how tough life can be.

Amber: Healing Hearts on Bumblebee Farm is your eighteenth book. What has your publication journey been like? If you did it again, would you change anything?

Jessica: I can’t believe I’m at 18 already. When I wrote my very first book, I wasn’t even thinking about publication – just wanted to see if I could write one book! I went through the RNA’s NWS (Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme) between 2012-14 and started submitting my debut in late 2013. I had a stack of rejections but secured a 3-book publishing deal in 2014, which then extended to include a novella. The novella came out in May 2015 with the first novel released in June that year and I really thought I’d made it. Things didn’t work out as hoped. Eighteen months later, the publisher had ceased trading; I had my rights back, and I re-released those four books as an indie author.

Unfortunately, being indie didn’t work for me. I wrote and released another five books and none of them made much impact. I really needed to learn how to advertise properly, but I had a very demanding full-time job and any ‘spare’ time had to be devoted to writing or I’d have had nothing to promote.

In 2018, I realised I was going to need to either find another publisher and hope they could work miracles or accept that it wasn’t going to work for me and walk away. I’d written a new book, so put it out for submission and had a few rejections which completely floored me and massively knocked my confidence. Calling it a day was a very real consideration, but then I saw an advert for Boldwood Books. ‘One last submission,’ I told myself. Fortunately, they loved it and they’ve turned me from a struggling indie into a bestselling author.

Would I change anything? No, because I feel like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be now and I needed to go through the difficult years to get here and to appreciate what I now have. I’d like to have been better equipped with the resilience to deal with some of the tough stuff, but I wouldn’t change the actual journey.

Willow: Thank goodness for that final submission. After talking to several authors now, everyone seems to have different ways to tackle their writing. What is your writing day like?

Jessica: I used to cram writing into evenings and weekends so was really productive because, if I didn’t crack on with it, I’d never achieve anything. I became a full-time author in June 2020 and I still haven’t quite sussed a routine. I could be more productive than I am, but I allow myself to get distracted scrolling through social media and going down research rabbit holes. I’ve recently started writing book 20 and decided to try a different approach of writing first thing and only allowing myself to look at emails or social media once I’d written 2k words. That was going brilliantly for a week, then I got hit by the lurgy so had to have a week off. I now need to get back into it and hope I can sustain it.

Amber: There’s a lot of lurgy going round. Hope you’re feeling better now. Many would be writers come in looking for spells to help their creativity. Do you have any advice for fledgling romance writers?

Jessica: My first bit of advice isn’t specific to a romance writer, and it’s just to get on with it. We can find so many excuses not to write and time is the big one. I say we can all find time if we really want to. I used to watch several of the soaps after work, but I stopped watching them to free up time to write.

For a romance writer, I’d say to really think about the importance of setting. In a romance story, the setting is very much a character in itself which can add warmth and make readers feel so much more involved. I’m running a workshop through RNA Learning across March all about the importance of settings and it’s available to non-members as well as RNA members if anyone wants to find out more about this.

Writing Course with Jessica Redland

Amber: That sounds great. Not quite the fantasy settings I’m attempting to write but anything can be adapted right?

Willow: The Enchanted Emporium sells several candles in The Wishing Spell range which promise to help your day go smoothly. Which would you choose?

Jessica: Can I have them all? 😉 Too greedy? I crave a good night’s sleep, so can I go for that one please? It feels like I haven’t had one of those since I was first pregnant. My daughter turns 17 this year so I’m very tired!

Willow: One candle invokes memories of your perfect holiday or day when lit. Where would it take you?

Jessica: Aw, how lovely. Probably my wedding day. It was such an amazing day from start to finish. I spent a lot of the evening on the dance floor, which was great, but I wish I’d circulated a bit more to speak to some of my relatives, especially as many of them are no longer with us. I kept thinking I’d do a wander but then another great song would come on (we had an 80s disco) and I never quite made it.

An comic illustration of ghosts
Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay

Amber: Ghosts and paranormal activity plague The Enchanted Emporium. Have ever had any spooky experiences – has it influenced your writing?

Jessica: I was about to say no, but I’ve just remembered something. When I was at primary school, we went on a week to an activity centre and all stayed in this long dorm which was divided into 4 coloured bays. I was in yellow bay at the end and there was a rumour that the yellow bay was haunted by the grey lady. As the story was being relayed, the fire exit burst open and everyone screamed. It couldn’t have been opened from outside, so it was super spooky at the time.

I haven’t included any ghostly experiences in my books. There are, however, a few spiritual occurrences in my Hedgehog Hollow series at the point where a character dies. I’ve really enjoyed including those.

Rosa: And I enjoyed reading them. Some tissues were needed for some of them.

Willow: We often blend different potions beyond the love ones that are flying off the shelves this week. If we could create a spell to give you magical powers for 24 hours, what would it be?

Jessica: I’m wondering what spell could do the most good in 24 hours. Hmm. Would need to be a powerful spell but it would be amazing if I could send a spell round the world that would clean and heal everywhere that’s hurting – plastic and oil out of the oceans, rain forests growing where they’ve been cleared, war zones repaired and rifts healed, and so on. I can’t watch the news as it makes me cry and I’m so grateful that writing means I can escape into my happy world every day.

Willow: We’d have to increase our powers and spell repertoire to do that one. Our Enchanted Emporium bookshelf is a small lending library full of books with that are either fantastical, witchy or have paranormal theme. What would you add to it?

Jessica: I believe you’ve already got them because she’s had a cuppa with you before, but my best friend is the author Sharon Booth who writes the most amazing series called the Witches of Castle Clair. I’d add those as I love them.

Willow: So do we, though we do need to add her newest one, His Lawful Wedded Witch to the bookshelf. She was our first visitor and her interview can be found here.

Rosa: My Box of Romance’s is proving popular in the run up to Valentine’s Day. What would you add to it?

Jessica: All of Sharon’s non-magical books! I’d also anything by Eliza J. Scott or Jo Bartlett who also write lovely heart-warming stories and always with happy endings.

A scarf next to a notepad, mug of coffee and photo of a red heart declaring love you yesterday, today and tomorrow
Image by Deborah Hudson from Pixabay

Willow: And finally, what are you working on currently? Or is it top secret?

Jessica: I’ve just finished the final proofread on Summer Nights at the Starfish Café, which is out on 28th April. This is the final part of the trilogy, so, in the space of three books, I’ll have ended two of my popular series (Hedgehog Hollow and The Starfish Café). Eek!

I’ve started writing what currently has a working title of ‘Lakes 1’. It’s a brand new series set in the Lake District around Derwent Water, but I don’t have a name for the setting yet which feels a bit weird. I’ve proposed a few ideas to my publisher, but I’m waiting back to see what they like best. I love the Lakes, so I’m very excited about this series. The plan is for it to be the longest of all my series, with a different protagonist fronting each story rather than a consistent narrator plus guests like I’ve done for Hedgehog Hollow and The Starfish Café series. This makes it easier to keep adding stories in and also for readers to dip in partway through the series if they wish.

Lakes 1 needs to be submitted at the start of March, at which point I move on to book 21 which will be my Christmas release and a return to Castle Street.

Willow: You’ve a busy time ahead. Good luck with it and we look forward to visiting the Lakes in the future.

Rosa: A huge thank you for visiting. Please may you sign, the visitor’s book we’ve just started to celebrate the authors and customers who visit?

Jessica: Thank you so much for having me and for the delicious hot chocolate. Can I take Vincent home with me? He’s gorgeous!

The Witches: Do you love our author chats? Why not, subscribe to our blog and they’ll whizz to your inbox so you’ll keep up with the gossip from the Enchanted Emporium. Next week to celebrate diversity in romantic novels, Linda Corbett, author of Love You form A-Z.

Title: Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn

Author: Jessica Redland

Genre: Women’s fiction, romance

Publisher: Boldwood books

Release date: 24th January 2023


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

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

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

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

Author Biography

Photo of Jessica Redland, white woman, friendly face with smile and light brown straight hair.
Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is a bestselling author of emotional but uplifting stories of love, friendship, family, and community. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast where she lives with her husband, daughter and sprocker spaniel. Her Hedgehog Hollow series, set in a hedgehog rescue centre, takes readers into the beautiful rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.

All of Jessica’s books are available in a multitude of formats: eBook, paperback, hardback, large print, and audio. Her eBooks are all available for FREE via Kindle Unlimited and six of her audiobooks can be listened to for FREE as part of the Audible Plus programme for Audible subscribers. Libraries internationally also stock Jessica’s titles in a variety of formats.

Links to author landing pages:

Amazon UK:

Amazon USA:

Audible UK:

Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Barn:

Amazon UK:

Amazon USA:

 Audible UK:

Contact details:



Twitter: @JessicaRedland



Redland’s Readers (Facebook group exclusive for fans of Whitsborough Bay and Hedgehog Hollow):


Monday Merry Meet: Jane Lovering

Now the chaos of Yule and the New Year is over, we are delighted to share our first Monday Merry Meet of 2023. Today Jane Lovering, author of 25 books has popped in for a chat about her books, writing and of course magic. We all fell in love with her The Forgotten House on the Moor, a romance with a ghost hunting twist last year and can’t wait to read her new release, There’s No Place Like Home.

Grab yourself a cuppa and join us to discover more about this author.

Monday Merry Meet: Jane Lovering

Willow: Welcome Jane, we’re so excited to have you here. I hope you’re not allergic to cats. Vincent, our lumbering Maine Coon, has taken to sleeping on the sofa in the staffroom. Amber will move him out of the way so you can sit down.

Jane: I love Whitby! It’s not that far from where I live, so I can call it research, wandering down the little old streets and popping into the wonderful crooked little shops in the Old Town. Oh, and I’m not at all allergic to cats – in fact I’ve had them all my life. I don’t have one now because Current Dog is a Patterdale Terrier and the only response to hearing that someone owns a Patterdale is ‘oh dear, I am sorry.’ She’s a fiend. Vincent can sit on my lap if he likes.

Photo of a ginger Maine Coon

Willow: Be prepared to be squashed by him then. He loves attention. What would you like to drink? We have Yorkshire tea, herbal tea, coffee or something stronger. Since Christmas we have some homemade sloe gin left or wine.

Jane: I can’t drink alcohol at all, so I’ll have a big mug of Yorkshire Tea, please. Very strong, no sugar, hardly any milk. I have the tea palate of a jobbing builder. Oh, and if you’ve got any biscuits…

Amber: One mug of builder’s tea coming up and we always have biscuits.  

Photo of biscuits and a mug of tea
Image by Benjamin Nelan from Pixabay

Rosa: I’ve just finished your new book, There’s No Place like Home. It is set on the Yorkshire moors and, like your other books, has a wonderful sense of place. Do you spend a lot of time in potential locations to capture their atmosphere? Where is your favourite spot?

Jane: Most of my books are set around where I live, or within a few minutes’ walk/drive. I spend a LOT of time walking and running locally (see under ‘Patterdale terrier owner’) and it all serves to help me absorb atmosphere and scenery. Although when I’m running, I’m mostly sweating and swearing, to be honest. I don’t really have a favourite place, I love all the moors and fields and becks and dales and woods around me. It depends on my mood. Sometimes the exposed bleakness of the moors is best, and sometimes I just want some rustling woodland with leaves, and squirrels to chase. Er, for the dog, not me.

Willow: Your new protagonist, Izzy, joins a reality show to track down big cats wild in the British countryside. What was your inspiration for this idea?

Jane: A friend is fascinated by Bigfoot and watches a lot of those ‘Hunting Bigfoot’ programmes. He suggested that I wrote about a British Bigfoot hunt, but I’m just a wee bit more sceptical than he is. However, I know people who’ve seen what they have sworn are big cats out in the countryside, and I thought that finding one of these might make a good story. Then I needed to work out the how and the why – and came up with a reality TV show. They always seem to feature people doing ridiculous things that nobody would ever want to do in the normal course of events, and people will seemingly do anything for money…

Rosa: Among other things, this novel tackles homelessness. Was it something you planned to cover to raise awareness of the situation people find themselves in, or did it develop while writing about Izzy?

Jane: My characters tend to come to me fully formed, so I already knew that Izzy was homeless. The only thing I had to work out was how it came about, and come up with a way that was plausible – a way which would make many readers think ‘that could have been me’.

Amber: You’ve written 25 books. What has your publication journey been like? If you did it again, would you change anything?

Jane: D’you know, I don’t think I would? I’ve been very very lucky, and I’ve met such wonderful people and made such good friends along the way, that I don’t think I’d have anything any different – other than maybe have it happen twenty years earlier!

Willow: We always love hearing about author’s day. Do you have a strict your writing routine?

Jane: Well, it’s not ‘strict’ because I don’t believe in beating myself up over it, but I tend to wake up, make a big mug of tea and then go back to bed with the dog and my laptop. I try to write 1000 words a day, and then I’m up and out for a run with the dog and then off to work (I don’t start work until 3pm before you think I’m one of these ‘early risers’ whom I swear are a myth).

A pile of books
Image by Rick Stefanie from Pixabay

Amber: I dabble in writing. Do you have any advice for novice writers?

Jane: Read read read. Not just in the genre you want to write, but anything and everything. Biographies, ‘How To’ books, novels, poetry – every word you read informs the writer you become. Oh, and don’t ask for feedback on your writing from family, or anyone who might die at your hand if they criticise you. Find a beta reader or writing partner who is not emotionally invested in you – they are the only people who will be honest. Joining a writers’ group can be helpful, but it depends on the group – avoid any with loud, dominant characters who are only there to read their work and be told how wonderful they are.

Willow: Great advice and an ideal excuse to visit bookshops guilt free. Whitby has a delightful one. The Enchanted Emporium sells several candles in The Wishing Spell range which promise to help your day go smoothly. Which would you choose?

Jane: I live alone in a tiny little cottage (well, I’ve got the dog…) so I’m fine for peace and tranquillity, I sleep very well (because it’s so quiet), and I believe in making my own luck and security. I think it would have to be focus and concentration because I can be – how shall we put it politely? – a wee bit scatty and disorganised.

Willow: One candle invokes memories of your perfect holiday or day when lit. Where would it take you?

Jane: I’m not sure. I think my life is pretty perfect at the moment, actually! Possibly it would remind me of Christmases, spent with all my children around me, eating food, playing games and laughing. If it could blank out the hours of cooking, the arguing, the mess and the washing up, that would be nice too.

Amber: Ghosts and paranormal activity plague The Enchanted Emporium. Have had had any spooky experiences – did it influence your writing The Forgotten House on the Moor and other books?

Jane: A few minor happenings that I couldn’t explain – this is a very old cottage and I’ve had the usual amount of strange window and door openings, knockings and clonks. Over the years, I’ve seen things which might have been supernatural, and I have a belief that we don’t understand everything about the world beyond us. That sense of mystery, of enquiry and the ‘maybe’ runs through a lot of my books.

Willow: Your cottage sounds delightful. Unlike your character, Holly Grey in Hubble Bubble, we don’t dabble with magic, it’s in our blood. Bearing that in mind, if we could blend a potion to give you a superpower or special ability for 24 hours what would it be and what would you do with it?

Jane: I would like to be able to see the world through the eyes of animals. To experience what they do and understand how they see us. I think it might help me to understand why they seem to be such irrational creatures – I’d love to sit up trees with squirrels and stomp along with badgers and skitter about with the ponies!

Willow: I think I’d have to join you with that superpower, experiencing Whitby through the eyes of Vincent or some of the wild birds would be eye opening. What book would you add to The Enchanted Emporium bookshelf?

Jane: You’ve probably got them all! But I’m reading a book at the moment called ‘Mythology of the British Isles’ by Geoffrey Ashe, about the history of folklore in Britain and the origin of myths, which is fascinating.

Willow: That’s one we don’t have but it sounds like it’s a need.

Rosa: I have a Box of Romance books I share with friends and customers. What would you add to it?

Jane: That’s too hard! That’s like asking me to choose my favourite child! I have so many friends who write amazing romances, that I couldn’t possibly select just a few, it wouldn’t be fair.

Willow: It can be a cruel question. And finally, what are you working on currently? Or is it top secret?

Jane: My next book is with my editor and awaiting edits, but I’m actually currently writing a book set on Orkney, about a witch’s cottage, the person who inherits it and what happens when she does. It might be right up your street!

Willow: It truly does and we can’t wait to read it. I hope the writing goes well and you’ll have to pop back and tell us all about it.

Book cover for There's No Place Like Home.
Blue to lilac gradient sky, snowy moorland with small white cottage. One man in a green coat and red bobble hat sits on a bench with a woman on pink coat, hat and red wellies.
There’s No Place Like Home by Jane Lovering

Title: There’s No Place Like Home

Author: Jane Lovering

Publisher: Boldwood books

Genre: Woman’s fiction, romance

Release date: 10th January 2023

Purchase Link – 


Isabel, Izzy to her friends, has got nothing left to lose when she makes the bravest decision of her life.

A month living under canvas on the Yorkshire Moors with five strangers wouldn’t normally be her idea of a good time, even if there is prize money to be won at the end of it, but she’s all out of options.

Joining her in this wild goose chase, being filmed for a TV show, are farmer Seb, whose marriage is creaking but who is desperate not to lose his family. Sheltered Ruth who needs an opportunity to show she can make her own decisions. Glamorous socialite Kanga, who has been living a lie. American Junior who has his own secret that has led him there. And last but not least, mysterious and brooding Mac, who Izzy can’t help but be drawn to.

As the fickleness of nature tests them all to their limits, this disparate group come together to face the challenge. But when Izzy finally tells them the truth that has brought her out on the Moors, will that be the end of their adventure, or the beginning of her future? Because what Izzy really needs is a place to call home, and someone to share it with could be even better…

Author Biography

Photo of Jane Lovering.  White woman with red dotty bandana cuddling a black and white Patterdale Terrier in a autumn background
Jane Lovering

Jane Lovering is the author of 25 novels and novellas, which she calls ‘dark psychological romance, with jokes’. She lives in North Yorkshire, where many of her books are set, in a creaky old cottage with an obsessive Patterdale Terrier and a lot of cobwebs. She has won four Romantic Novel of the Year awards, likes biscuits and running (cause and effect) and Tony Robinson. Jane is actually a very nice person, despite her tendency to snarl ‘what do you want?’ out of open windows whilst holding back a growling dog with one hand. Honestly.

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