Book Spotlight | featuring an author Q&A with Jessica Redland about her Whitsborough Bay series! Including audio extracts from Books 2-4!

Posted Tuesday, 17 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , 1 Comment

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you know, I love reading Romance & Women’s Fiction stories – I like to hug into series as well which allow you to get to know the characters of a small towne setting wherein you get to interact with everyone in the community and have a lovely feel for the towne itself. Settings like those are amongst my favourites because of the community atmosphere and the ways in which the community itself will band together whenever someone needs assistance. I also like seeing how interconnected small townes are and of course, the natural environs which are surrounding them.

When it comes to this particular series – what first drew me towards wanting to interview the author is the fact it is set near water as those townes are especially keen to visit in stories as the whole sequencing of time is at a different pace than one that would normally be the rhythm of a series set round a larger city. I definitely wanted to ask about how the writer wrote the finer points of the setting – how we might even recognise the IRL towne it is named after and is thereby a composite setting of where people actually live whilst trying to gain a bit of an overview of the series, too.

I’d be curious to learn what kinds of series within either Romance or Women’s Fiction draws your eye when it comes to Contemporaries and what gets you excited if a towne is set by the sea? Is it the setting itself, the pace of living or something more imploring about small towne life that draws you into these kinds of stories overall?

You’ll find extracts from three of the stories in this series attached to this post – which cleverly are not text extracts but rather extracts being featured via YT. These are taken from the audiobook editions of the novels and give you a bit of a glimpse at the narrator’s style of performance whilst also giving you a bit of a sampler of the stories themselves.

This marks my second of three featured posts I’ll be sharing on behalf of Boldwood Books this Spring, 2020. I will be interviewing Jina Bacarr on behalf of her new release “The Runaway Girl” which is dramatic Historical set round Titanic (listed as one of my most anticipated reads for 2020) as well as having featured Rosie Clarke to begin this series.

Brew yourself a lovely cuppa

and enjoy what is revealled about the Whitsborough Bay series!

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Whitsborough Bay series:

Making Wishes at Bay View (book one)

New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms (book two)

Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove (book three)

Coming Home to Seashell Cottage (book four)

Published by: Boldwood Books (@BoldwoodBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance or #WomensFiction
as well as #WhitsboroughBay and #JessicaRedland

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As your series Whitsborough Bay is inspired by your own Scarborough – how did you want to visually introduce your readers to this setting and make it feel as authentic as a visitor to your own hometown?

Redland responds: I mention in my books that Whitsborough Bay is on the North Yorkshire Coast and York is occasionally mentioned as being an hour away so there’s an instant bit of geography around where in the UK it is. Because Whitsborough Bay has two bays – North and South Bay – and a castle separating them, anyone familiar with Scarborough is likely to instantly recognise Whitsborough Bay as a variation on Scarborough. For those not familiar, I use a range of weather conditions and the sounds of the seaside to try to transport them to the coast and feel what it’s like on a sunny day or when there’s a storm.

I don’t like to give too much description because I like readers to be able to imagine the setting for themselves so I plant enough description to guide them but not so much that they can’t be creative themselves.

One thing we’re working on is producing a map to show where some of the key places are but this a mammoth task!

I personally love reading Women’s Fiction which has an uplift of joy in how the stories resolve – how did you find this to be your personal niche of love when it comes to writing the stories of your heart? What first led you to find Women’s Fiction and what do you love most about the genre?

Redland responds: I discovered Marian Keyes and Jill Mansell in my early twenties and devoured their books and others in the genre. I very much set out to be a romantic comedy writer but, as my stories have developed, I’d say they’re more women’s commercial fiction with some humorous moments rather than being RomCom. I do tend to put my protagonists through the mill, through difficult back stories and/or issues they’re facing at the moment, so there can be tears but the ending is ultimately uplifting. For me, there has to be an uplifting feel and a happy ending or the promise of one. When I’m reading, I know I’ve read something uplifting and fulfilling if I have an ‘awww’ moment at the end and a smile on my face. I like to create that in my stories.

Your first story centres round Sarah’s journey towards sorting out her life, what she truly wants and whether to live in the city vs a small town; how did you want to showcase the choices of her life being at a crossroads anchored by her Auntie’s suggestion of taking over the family business?

Redland responds: Sarah’s journey was very much inspired by personal experience. I lived in a city and, after the welcome ending to a difficult relationship, I had a crossroads to face. I either stayed in the city, hundreds of miles from my family, or I took voluntary redundancy from my job and moved back to a small town in North Yorkshire to be closer to my family and run my own specialist teddy bear shop; something I’d always dreamed of doing.

Moving back home was a big thing. I was close to my family but I’d left home at 18 and, because of the career I’d chosen, hadn’t expected or planned to return to the area so it wasn’t an easy decision to walk away from the career I’d worked hard for. I wanted to mirror this with Sarah which is why she creates Post-it note lists of the pros and cons for staying and going.

For my decision, I was passionate about teddy bears but I wasn’t sure if I could turn this into a viable business so this translated into Sarah’s worries too; floristry was a hobby for her and she has doubts about whether she is talented enough to make a career out of this.

Elise is attempting to sort out how to move forward after a separation she hadn’t foreseen – what did you want readers to take out of her ability to shift forward with a positive attitude even if her heart still felt burdened by the actions of her husband?

Redland responds: Elise and Gary had been together since their schooldays and I wanted to capture the shock and hurt that would come with such a long-term relationship ending unexpectedly. Yes, there have been niggles while they’ve both faced some major career upheavals, but Elise thought they’d be together for life. While I was developing her reactions, I had a copy of the Kubler-Ross Change Curve close by. This model was designed to show the five phases that a person goes through when grieving but can be applied to any change in life such as redundancy or divorce. What I was conscious of was that Gary would be going through the same stages as Elise but he would not move through them at the same speed or at the same time as her so his reactions could set her back just at a point where she was gathering the strength to move forward.

She doesn’t find it easy – especially when her sister and best friend are getting married and she’s bridesmaid at both events – but she does move forward with the help of friends and family. I wanted readers to feel the support network that can make tricky times in our lives a little less difficult to navigate. A big step for me was having Elise trying to work out who she was as an individual instead of as one half of a couple, because of how young she was when she and Gary got together. This would ultimately make her a much stronger and more positive person.

My vision was that, because her relationship with Gary built from a strong friendship, I wanted them to end up being friends, despite everything, but this could not happen immediately and they’d both need to have gone through the curve before they could rebuild any sort of relationship.

Why do you think Clare felt it was necessary to live by such strict life rules which would take away the chance for serendipity and the unexpected from alighting in her life?

Redland responds: Clare’s one of my favourite characters. She arrived in the series as a spiky character with a hidden past and I didn’t know what that past was going to be so it was really exciting having it evolve. I saw her as a guarded character who had been so hurt and damaged by her past that she shut it out. She cut off all contact with anyone from Ireland and refused to ever talk about it. This was something she had to do otherwise she couldn’t have faced the future. She couldn’t have been strong. She couldn’t have carved out a career for herself and been independent. She thinks this is the life she wants but she also thinks it’s what she deserves. Completely shutting out the past is like Clare’s security blanket and she sees clinging onto that blanket as being way more important than any longer-term future-thinking.

Of all the secondary characters within this series – whom stands out most to you and why?

Redland responds: My favourite character across the four books in the series is Ruby in Making Wishes at Bay View (book 1). She’s in her eighties and has a colourful past. She was such fun to create, especially when I have her in scenes with another resident at the care home, Iris. Ruby makes out that she only tolerates Iris’s company but the main character in that book, Callie, suspects there’s more to it than that.

As your series is being retitled and rebranded this New Year 2020 – what can you share about the series for new readers just coming to find the series and for those who might be keen on knowing what they can find inside the series overall arc of direction for your characters and the town itself?

Redland responds: There are four books in the series which each centre 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.

When you’re not researching and writing your stories what uplifts your spirit the most?

Redland responds: Reading a good book, spending time with my family, and walking along the seafront.

Thank you for your great questions, Jorie,
and for featuring me on your blog.
Jessica xx

And, thank you Ms Redland for your candor and wonderfully insight responses
– as you’ve given my readers and myself a lovely ‘introduction’ to the Whitsborough Bay series!

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About Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland

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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This blog tour is courtesy of: Boldwood Books

Whitsborough Bay Blog Tour banner provided by Boldwood Books and is used with permission.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comNOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of the Whitsborough Bay series (stories 1-4), the author’s photo (for Jessica Redland) and biography as well as the blog tour banner were all provided by Boldwood Books and used with permission. Audio Extracts via YouTube links provided by Boldwood Books and used with codes provided by YouTube. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 17 March, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Romance Fiction

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One response to “Book Spotlight | featuring an author Q&A with Jessica Redland about her Whitsborough Bay series! Including audio extracts from Books 2-4!

  1. Thank you so much for the fabulous interview, Jorie, and for including the 3 x audio extracts. Wishing you all the best with your own writing career. NaNoWriMo was an enlightening moment for me and helped me speed up my writing so I can completely see where you’re coming from with that being something that changed you.
    All the best, Jessica xx

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