When I asked fabulous book blogger, Rachel Gilbey, of Rachel's Random Reads to set up a blog tour in celebration of Raving About Rhys's three-year anniversary, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I'd participated in a short blog tour set up by my publisher before my debut full-length novel, Searching for Steven, was released, but it was mainly about me answering interview questions to promote Steven and my debut as an author, rather than garnering reviews.
Rachel - via Rachel's Random Resources - has been amazing. I hoped to gather some reviews but knew that some bloggers might want to promote rather than review and was very grateful for the support, whatever form it might take. I was absolutely delighted that most bloggers who signed up did want to review the book and, over the past week, I've received a whopping 16 reviews alongside 3 promotions.
It's been lovely logging onto each morning to see if a new review has appeared and steadily watching them appear across the day. Even more lovely has been that everyone who has reviewed Rhys has rated him 4, 4.5 or 5 stars. Wow!
So a huge thank you to all the bloggers who have very generously given their time to read and review by debut novella. You are all amazing. Here's some of my favourite quotes from the tour. If you click on any of the blog names, you'll get to their home page, and you can read the full review by clicking on 'Review' against each entry.
The Cozy Pages"I have fallen in love with Jessica’s love stories! ... Whitsborough Bay is a gorgeous setting. The beach, the sun, the community all combine to create a cosy yet enchanting environment well-suited to happily ever afters ... The pacing of this novella is spot on. The reader is never left bored yet the action moves slowly enough for some quality character development. Each page and event moved the story along nicely." Review
Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews"What a sweet, charming, and enjoyable read about finding love and discovering who you are yourself….this is Callie’s story! If you are like me, you will love the story she has to share with you ... Callie is a great character. She isn’t perfect, but that is what makes her so wonderful. She is loving, trustworthy, loyal, and she doesn’t make judgements about others. She is very compassionate, even with those who don’t always deserve it. Her personality just jumps off the pages. I loved the addition of the secondary characters, especially Ruby. I think she deserves her own book. Oh, the stories she could tell us!!!!" Review
Whispering Stories"The book is a very quick, sweet read. The characters are well developed and I just adored Ruby ... The plot is quite predictable, yet thoroughly enjoyable. It is totally heart-warming and although it is only a short read, Ms. Redland certainly packed a lot into her story and has pure emotions running through it too." Review
Kraftireader"This was such a lovely story that I enjoyed very much. Full of a myriad of characters, humour, warmth, drama and it has left me wanting more. I’m looking forward to learning more about the residents of Whitsborough Bay." Review
Books and Bindings"I have read this series out of order but that doesn’t seem to have mattered as every installment has strong enough legs to stand on its own. I have enjoyed each of the Whitsborough Bay stories that I’ve read and fervently hope that Ms. Redland continues the series into perpetuity. I enjoy her amusing storylines and uniquely vulnerable characters, as most of us in the real world are struggling with something even if the issues appear of no consequence or minuscule to others. Her stories are well balanced with humor, angst, and an interesting and relevant storyline with a few twists and surprises tossed in to keep us alert." Review
A Ticket to Everywhere"Raving About Rhys is a fun and light-hearted novella which, while touching on some darker issues at times, does so with a delicate touch. Callie is an engaging and down to earth heroine whose judgement may be a bit suspect at times (!) but is able to step up when it counts, and thoroughly deserves a happy ending." Review
Stardust Book Reviews"Once I started it, I didn’t put this book down until I’d finished it! Right from the beginning I chuckled my way through it, laughing at the antics that Callie Derbyshire got up to ... Very clever writing by this author and I’m so glad that I’ve still got another book by her to enjoy as well!! Highly recommended!" Review
Birdie's Bibliotheca"It’s a simple story that touches on a variety of difficult topics, including infidelity, divorce, suicide, death, and growing old. All those heavy topics are interwoven into Callie’s story, though, and none of them really feel out of place. It’s all part of the awakening of Callie. The story is engaging and the characters are amusing." Review
Dash Fan's Book Reviews"A Fun, Witty, Must Read!! ... I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed this short read! In fact it was so good it didn't feel like I was reading a shorter story. I actually want it read it again!!... There were plenty of colourful characters and an endearing storyline that kept me hooked, and turning the pages. It was a deliciously quick and compelling. Ultimately a very satisfying read. The writing style is lovely, full of warmth and humour. There were some emotional dilemmas that Jessica handled realistically and sensitively, but still creating the right amount of emotion. I can't recommend Raving About Rhys enough. I am really looking forward to reading more from Jessica Redland. If you love short witty, packed full of drama, emotion, fun, secrets, passion, Humour, with a sprinkle of mystery then you will love Raving About Rhys!!" Review
Being Anne"Oh my goodness, I so enjoyed this one! Within 120 pages you’ll find the most perfectly developed characters, along with a really well-told story packed with gentle humour, drama and enough of a serious edge to make it so much more satisfying a read than you might ever be expecting .... The author writes so very well – there’s a real warmth to her writing, I’m a particular fan of her dialogue (so totally natural), and the humour she injects into every scene and exchange is beautifully done. If you’re not sure yet whether Jessica Redland’s writing is for you, this gorgeous novella would be the perfect introduction. I guarantee you’ll want to read more – and I most certainly do." Review
On the Shelf Reviews"I read this lovely novella in just one day, I didn’t want to stop (happily there are three subsequent books, one of which I will be reading soon, Searching for Steven) ... From the cover I was kind of expecting a bit of light-hearted fluff but this story goes so much deeper than that! The characters are complex and flawed, with a compelling story line, all set against the backdrop of a seaside town makes this the perfect summer read." Review
Thank you also to all of these bloggers. It doesn't mean I didn't love their reviews too but I started this post with a quote from everyone and it became extremely long so I've had to edit some out.
Wow! I am quite overwhelmed by such amazing comments, especially as Rhys is a novella so there isn't as much space for complex story lines and massive characterisation. I'd hoped I'd still achieved it and it seems from the reviews that I have.
Thank you so very much again to Rachel for organising the tour, to all the bloggers who took part and reviewed Raving About Rhys and to Literary Flits, Nesie's Place and Jazzy Book Reviews who all provided a promo. I really appreciate the support.