Monthly Archives: December 2013

My 2013 Blog Report

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report. Did you make the list of top 5 blog commenters?

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1 Week To Go! …Sneak Peek of The January Wish (and oh yeah, Merry Christmas!)

945866_christmas_tree_close_upMERRY CHRISTMAS! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and hope all your wishes come true 🙂

It’s officially one week until the release of my new novel, THE JANUARY WISH, and if you follow my blog you may have noticed I’ve been sharing an excerpt from the book each week until release day. When I realised the ‘1 week to go’ milestone would be on Christmas day I wondered whether to still include an excerpt, but because ‘8 1/2 Days To Go!’ doesn’t sound as exciting and because the main character in the novel is a control freak and likes things to be accurate and ordered, I thought it would be best to stick with the plan! 😉

So here is the final excerpt and photo of the setting before release day… I hope you enjoy it and I hope you get to read some great books over the holidays! (hint, hint) 😉

theblowhole

Excerpt from Chapter 2:

The herd of people filtering in from the plane dissolved gradually into the crowd, some walking quickly, others stopping to yawn and stretch. Sylvia wondered what each was doing in Sydney. She amused herself by trying to guess who might be arriving home and who was simply visiting. Perhaps some had bought a one-way ticket and were staying.

Then her heart skipped a beat.

A young woman entered the airport, placing iPod earphones into her ears, the thin white cords trailing down to her pocket. She smiled at the flight attendant as she walked past, and stopped to glance around, as if wondering which direction to go. The woman had a youthful radiance about her, a sense of excitement, like she was stepping into the world for the first time. She resumed walking, her head bobbing rhythmically to whatever music she was listening to, curly tendrils of hair bouncing happily about her face. Red curls, not orangey-red, but warm russet-like red curls…

Just like hers.

It was as though Sylvia was looking into a mirror, a younger image of herself reflected back. Like seeing her own ghost.

As if connected by the similarities in their appearance, Sylvia stood and followed the young woman. She walked behind her in the crowd, until the woman stopped to admire a dress in a shop window; a long, floaty summer dress, with large pink and purple flowers printed on it. Not Sylvia’s style at all, but the woman seemed inspired by it. She took out her phone and snapped a picture of it.

Strange.

A smile growing on her face, the woman entered the shop, walking out a few minutes later with a large plastic bag in her hand. Sylvia couldn’t remember the last time she’d bought an outfit on a whim like that. Her purchases were always planned with purpose; crisp plain shirts, sensible heels, black, navy, or cream tailored pants for work, and casual jeans, t-shirts, and knit tops for weekends.

She continued following the woman and waited again while she stopped to sample hand cream at a beauty shop.

Should she approach her?

But what would she say?

Sylvia now felt incredibly silly, following a complete stranger. It was just her mind playing tricks. They weren’t really that similar. Their hair was practically identical, but the woman lacked Sylvia’s height, although her build was the same: small-chested and big-hipped.

‘Final boarding call for Dr Sylvia Greene. Dr Sylvia Greene to gate eighteen please.’ The voice beamed through the airport speaker system and Sylvia’s eyes jumped wide open.

Oh God, my flight!

How could she not have heard the first boarding call? She spun around and headed in the direction of gate eighteen, then turned back around.

The woman was gone.

Part of her wanted to continue through to the baggage terminal but that would be crazy. She had to go. Shaking the moment of insanity from her head, Sylvia ran in as dignified a way as possible to the boarding gate where an attendant was just about to block off the entrance with rope.

A minute later she sat puffing in her seat on the plane.

‘Hi there, I’m Wayne,’ the elderly man next to her said as he held out his hand. ‘What do you do for a living, love?’

‘I’m a doctor,’ Sylvia replied.

‘Oh, really?’ The man twisted in his seat, sidling up close to her. ‘I might have to pick your brain then, you see, I’ve got this problem with…’

Sylvia released a gentle sigh as Wayne told her his medical history and current symptoms. He was probably a relative of Mr Benson’s.

This was going to be a dreadfully long ninety minutes.

When the man seated on the other side of Wayne got involved in the conversation after mentioning that he too had suffered with unrelenting tinea for years, Wayne twisted to face him and they proceeded to discuss the fungal infection in detail. Sylvia took the golden opportunity to close her eyes and pretend to be asleep. She’d flip through the MasterChef magazine on the flight home next week instead.

Her mind drifted back to that woman’s face, and the way her hair stood out from the crowd like a sunset on the horizon. Then she saw herself back at the Wishing Festival, tossing a coin into the fountain.

Making a wish one day, stalking a stranger the next — what had gotten into her? Maybe she was working too hard. Maybe the ten days she took off over Christmas weren’t enough. Or maybe a hidden part of her was surfacing, trying to come to terms with what she did all those years ago. 

~*~

If you’d like to stay up to date and chat with me about The January Wish and the Tarrin’s Bay series, there is now an online readers group on facebook. You can join here:)

 

TheJanuaryWishcoverPreorder The January Wish here. Releases 1st Jan!

Amazonhttp://amzn.com/B00GXUXOFE
Amazon UKhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Amazon AUShttp://www.amazon.com.au/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Kobohttp://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-january-wish
iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/au/book/the-january-wish/id767160149?mt=11

 

When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it’s the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences. 

A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia’s small coastal town with secrets that can’t be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia’s well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities. 

They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered.

At Home With… Darlene Fredette, author of One Sweet Christmas

To celebrate the upcoming January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’ve started a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to my fellow Escape author and one of my first ever ‘writing’ friends, Darlene Fredette! I recently finished reading her novella ONE SWEET CHRISTMAS and let me tell you it was one sweet read! 🙂

 

One Sweet Xmas Final Cover1. Hi Darlene Fredette, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

I live in Nova Scotia, the East Coat of Canada, and have lived here all my life. The summers are great, but the winters are cold and too long.

 

2. What do you love about the place you call home?

It’s a beautiful province. My favourite area to visit is the Valley.

 

3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!

We’ve just recently found a little shop called Wheatons, which has lots of great stuff from knick-knacks, jewellery, bath and body items, and they also carry my favourite line of hot chocolate!

[Juliet ~ Hot chocolate must be an essential item during your long winters!]

 

4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?

I have a six year old Yellow Labrador. His name is Jagger, and yes…he’s named after Mick Jagger. My husband is a huge fan of the Rolling Stones. My baby boy weighs in over 90 pounds, but he still thinks he’s a lap dog, and believes he is human.

[Juliet ~ Does he have the moves like Jaggar? Your dog, not your husband. Well, maybe both. ;)]

 

5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?

We’ve recently changed the living room around. I love to sit in my recliner, wrapped in my soft blanket, and watch a good movie or read. I also get my laptop out and work on my latest WIP.

 

6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?

Let’s hope that never happens, but of course family first, then all the USB sticks that hold family photos and my writings, my daughter’s cell phone to reach family, and a jacket because it’s damn cold out there.

 

7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?

For the house, I would add a second level. We’d have bedrooms upstairs…with large walk-in closets. For the town, it would be warmer weather <smile>.

 

8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?

Any movie with Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp, Jason Statham, Chris Hemsworth, Bruce Willis, Robert Deniro, John Cusack, and so many more. We like action/adventure! My daughter and I also love to watch animated movies.

 

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?

As long as I’m not cooking and there aren’t a lot of vegetables involved, I’m game for anything. However, my favourites are pasta, chicken, and roast beef.

 

10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

I have many to be read, but the top three are: The Good Wife by Jane Porter, Fast Forward by Juliet Madison (which I just downloaded!), and Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen (which comes out January 2014).

[Juliet ~ Let me know what Fast Forward is like and if you think I would like it ;)]

 

11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:

We don’t really have anything unusual, but in the fridge we have lots of juices. My daughter makes a mean Pina Clintada, which has orange juice, pineapple juice, and sprite. Depending on my mood, I add a shot of coconut rum to mine, yum!

 

k 01912. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?

Australia and it would be during the Canadian winter, lol!

[Juliet ~ Hope to see you here one day! I’ll save you a warm spot of beach.]

 

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

 

None of the above. My house is cleaned every morning. It’s my morning ritual before going to work. I’m a terrible hostess…just ask my family. So my only answer would be: Comb my hair.

[Juliet ~ If you do visit Australia I’m more than happy for you to continue your morning housework ritual at my place ;)] 

 

Thanks Darlene, and Merry Christmas!

> Even though Darlene would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads

 

> And help her pay for that in-house chef by buying a copy of her book here:

Escape Publishing: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9780857991058

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00G2UXCNE 

Read reviews here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18656524-one-sweet-christmas

 

ONE SWEET CHRISTMAS

It’s going to take more than a few pieces of chocolate to fill this Scrooge’s heart with Christmas cheer. Luckily Candice Cane has a whole shop full…

Candice Cane is not proud of the way she acted after her last encounter with Jackson Frost. Sure revenge was fun, but it’s left Jackson standing, angry and looking for answers, on the welcome mat in her chocolate shop. Now he’s after some revenge of his own. 

Jackson returned to his small hometown for one reason and one reason only…so he’s not sure how he’s ended up in a Santa suit in the middle of a chocolate shop, at the behest of its beautiful owner, instead of high-tailing it back to the city as fast as he can. 

Jackson wants nothing to do with his small town past, but Candice shows him what he didn’t even know he’d been missing. Can a bit of Christmas magic heal old wounds and offer up a future neither saw coming?

2 Weeks To Go! …Sneak peek at The January Wish

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been sharing excerpts from my upcoming novel THE JANUARY WISH (If you missed them they are here and here). Today, I’m sharing another excerpt and photo of the setting, and will again next week.

Enjoy!

k 018

Excerpt from Chapter 17 (the set up: During a hail storm, Mark seeks refuge in Sylvia’s house and the power goes out):

‘Do you have a competitive streak?’ he asked, pointing to the television cabinet where a collection of board games lay stacked on one of the shelves.

‘If there’s a competition, I’m in it,’ she replied. ‘I can’t pass up a challenge.’

‘Fancy a game of candlelit scrabble then?’

‘I can’t say I’ve ever experienced candlelit scrabble. How can I refuse?’ Sylvia put down her glass and took the game from the shelf. The last time she’d played was after her birthday dinner last year, when her parents came to stay. The weather was miserable, and forced interaction through a board game was the least painful way of spending time with her parents, whose conversation usually revolved around politics and the latest current affairs, something she had no interest in.

Mark set up the board while Sylvia lit a couple of tea light candles and placed them on the coffee table. They each picked a tile to decide who would start.

‘Ha! Me first,’ Sylvia said, wriggling into a comfortable position and selecting seven tiles from the velvet pouch. She studied her letters and immediately formed the word: RIPPLE. ‘Twenty points for me!’ She jotted down her score onto a notepad.

‘Twenty?’

‘Yeah, when you go first you get a double word score,’ Sylvia explained.

‘Well, enjoy your temporary lead, because it ain’t gonna last long,’ Mark said, eyes of determination directed to his tiles as he shuffled them around in different combinations. ‘Hey, do I get a double word score too if I add to your word?’

Sylvia shook her head side to side. ‘Nope, and now I know you’ve got an ‘S’,’ she replied.

‘Not anymore,’ Mark revealed, adding six tiles to the board and hijacking a ‘P’ from RIPPLE to form the word: SPECIAL.

‘That’s only fourteen points,’ Sylvia remarked. ‘What was that you said about my lead not lasting long?’

‘Just you wait, I’ll be ahead of you in no time.’

And soon he was. Sixty-two points ahead to be exact, thanks to a convenient triple word score and a venereal disease called SYPHILIS. If Sylvia hadn’t put TY on the end of SPECIAL, he wouldn’t have got it, so it wasn’t as if it was due to any skill on his part, just pure luck. Plus, since he used up all seven of his tiles in one go he scored a bonus fifty points. Damn Scrabble rules.

Soon random words littered the scrabble board, and to add to their own amusement they tried making up sentences with as many of the words included as possible. Sylvia tried unsuccessfully to hold back a snort of laughter when Mark came up with, ‘Ripples of syphilis waltzed downhill among moaning tigers’. It was so ridiculous it was funny, and Sylvia even managed to rearrange it into her own version, ‘Moaning tigers waltzed downhill among ripples of syphilis’. Twice in one night she’d had a good old belly laugh. She’d forgotten what that was like. With Richard everything was so serious, and she couldn’t imagine him ever mucking around for fun like she was with Mark right now. She didn’t miss him anymore.

‘You have a good vocabulary,’ Mark said.

‘You know a lot of big words yourself,’ Sylvia responded.

‘We’re vocabuliferous,’ he said with a grin.

‘Since when is vocabuliferous a word?’ Sylvia teased, lightly touching Mark’s forearm.

‘Since when is “moaning tigers waltzed downhill among ripples of syphilis” an acceptable sentence to say out loud, ever?

Sylvia laughed again. ‘Since tonight I guess.’ She shook her head at the ridiculousness that was this evening, yet marvelled at how relaxed and at ease she felt right now. Somehow, Mark had inched closer without her noticing, and before she could process what was happening, he leaned forward, his eyes staring into her heart, his lips seeking hers. She tilted her chin ever so slightly, then jerked back in surprise as light flooded the room.

‘Power’s back on,’ she blurted out.

~*~

If you’d like to stay up to date and chat with me about The January Wish and the Tarrin’s Bay series, there is now an online readers group on facebook. You can join here:)

 

TheJanuaryWishcoverPreorder The January Wish here:

Amazonhttp://amzn.com/B00GXUXOFE
Amazon UKhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Amazon AUShttp://www.amazon.com.au/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Kobohttp://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-january-wish
iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/au/book/the-january-wish/id767160149?mt=11

 

When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it’s the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences. 

A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia’s small coastal town with secrets that can’t be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia’s well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities. 

They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered.

 

At Home With… Alissa Callen

To celebrate the upcoming January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’ve started a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to rural romance author Alissa Callen!

 

Alissa Callen x1. Hi Alissa, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

I live in the red earth country of central western NSW near Dubbo. We used to live two hours further west but have been in Dubbo for the past sixteen years. Where does the time go?

2. What do you love about the place you call home?

We live on a small slice of rural Australia and I love everything associated with life on a farm. I have four children so really appreciate the unlimited space, the local sense of community and the chance for my kids to grow up away from a computer screen.

3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!

My favourite café actually comes from a neighbouring country town called Orange. The toasted BLT’s are sublime along with the home made gingerbread biscuits that arrive with your coffee. http://byngstreet.com.au/

IMGP34184. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?

We have two dogs, Dusty, a red-heeler cross, and Milly, a Jack Russell who has a rap sheet at the local vets an arm long. She’s been bitten by a brown snake, electrocuted, had a grass seed in her eye and eaten rat bait from the feed shed. We also have a thoroughbred called Big Bad Banjo and the obligatory small grey pony, called Gidget. All our pets are much loved and spoilt rotten.

[Juliet ~ Milly, what a trooper!]

5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?

Can I say an outdoor room? I love my rose garden. I have over 100 roses and a trellis of Pierre de Ronsards that creates a beautiful living wall every summer.

6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?

We very nearly had to this last summer when we had a grassfire in our front paddock. My top three things to grab were the kids photo albums, the filing cabinet draw with birth certificates etc and the usb containing my latest rural.

IMG_0307 a

7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?

In a perfect world I’d love there to be more local employment opportunities for country kids so they didn’t have to head to the city or to the mines for work.

horse 1 a8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?

My youngest calls our family favourite movie the Mr Darcy Show, but it actually is the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice.

[Juliet ~ Lol, the Mr Darcy show. Now there’s an idea!]

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?

I’d forgo the dinner party for a month’s worth of dinners that could be put into the freezer!!

[Juliet ~ ahh, very practical!]

10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

Both my husband and my kids have worked out how good it is to read on an ipad so at the moment the three books at the top of the ipad list are:  The Booger Book: Pick It. Lick it. Roll it. Flick it. (for the 12 year old Little Farmer), The Silver Brumby (for Miss Mini Farmer) and Blood Secret – Jaye Ford (for Big Farmer).

[Juliet ~ LOL again! Can’t say The Booger Book is on my TBR pile but Blood Secret definitely is.]

11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:

Cattle vaccine.

[Juliet ~ Loving this interview. Can’t say I’ve ever had cattle vaccine in my fridge either. ;)]

12. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?

There are too many fabulous destinations to choose from – have been lucky enough live overseas and every country has their own unique culture, cuisine, history, natural beauty and attractions.

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

LOL – me: d)

Laid back Big Farmer: a)

 

Thanks Alissa!

>> Even though Alissa Callen would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Website : Blog : Facebook : Goodreads 

 

>> And help her pay for that in-house chef (or housekeeper) by buying a copy of her books here:

 

Book cover RHBeneath Outback Skies – Buy here.

Paige Quinn will let nothing and no one distract her from caring for her wheelchair-bound father, Connor, and fighting for her remote, drought-stricken property, Banora Downs. Least of all a surprise farm-stay guest named Tait Cavanaugh, whose smooth words are as lethal as his movie-star smile.

Except Paige can’t help noticing that, for a city-boy, Tait seems unexpectedly at home on the land. And he does ask a lot of questions…

It doesn’t matter how much he helps out or how much laughter he brings into her life, she soon suspects he is harbouring a big secret – the real reason he has come to Banora Downs…

 

What Love_cvr smallWhat Love Sounds Like – Buy here.

Outback speech pathologist, Mia Windsor, believes her morning from hell is over. Then suited-up, city-boy Kade Reid strides into her office and announces he and his wide-eyed niece are the clients that she will be living with for the fortnight.

Kade Reid adheres to a single edict — money is as important as breathing. But when he becomes an instant father to four-year-old Tilly, he escapes to the only place he was allowed to be a child…the family property of Berrilea.

As Mia and Kade work together to help Tilly overcome her speech delay, can they face their fears in order to give Tilly the family she so desperately needs?

3 Weeks To Go! …Sneak peek at The January Wish

Last week I shared chapter 1 of The January Wish, if you missed it here it is. And this week I’m sharing another excerpt from the book (and photo of the setting), and will share one each week until the book releases on 1st January 2014!

landscape

Excerpt from Chapter 18:

Grace continued riding and smiled at a woman on a bike who passed her in the other direction. A baby about nine months or so sat strapped into a child seat on the back, his eyes squinting and mouth open wide in delight. As the track curved around and began declining, children swinging back and forth on the swings came into view, while others climbed a mesh of rope and slid down the slide. She slowed a little and swerved around as she neared the park, where a child on a tricycle pedalled as fast as his little legs could go, but only moved at the speed of a tortoise.

Then she saw them. The arms. Jonah’s arms, bending up and down, veins pulsing atop his muscles as he did push-up after push-up on the sandy ground next to the park. Was she imagining this? Not long before, the image of those arms had popped into her mind and now here they were. The vision of those arms entwined around her body came to the forefront of her mind again, and she sighed.

She swerved again, but not in time to stop her bike colliding with one of the wooden stumps that formed a rather pathetic barrier from the riding track to the sand. The back wheel of the bike lifted up suddenly, and as it came back down the bike toppled sideways, Grace landing half on the concrete track and half on the sand. She looked up just in time to see The Arms paused mid push-up, their owner staring right at her. As if laughing at her predicament, the loud cackle of a kookaburra shook the air around her and an uncomfortable flush of heat rushed through her face.

‘Are you okay, Grace?’ Jonah asked as he approached, holding out a hand to help her up.

‘Oh hi, I didn’t see you there.’ Lie of the century. ‘I’m okay.’ Apart from the burning graze on her knee competing with the burning embarrassment on her cheeks.

‘What happened?’ Jonah smiled, as he picked up the bike for her.

‘The sun got in my eyes and, er…well you saw what happened.’ That was the best she could come up with. What was she supposed to say? I was mesmerised by your biceps pumping up and down and lost my balance? She was dying to hold her sore knee but didn’t want to seem like a wimp.

He must have read her mind. ‘You should give that graze a wash in the salt water, c’mon.’ He held out his hand again and led her towards the shore. They both walked knee-deep into the ocean, and Grace splashed the water around her knee, holding back a wince that tried to burst onto her face.

‘Do you ride often?’ he asked.

Was that a polite way of saying she must be a complete amateur? ‘I used to, but this is the first time in years,’ she said. ‘As you can tell!’

He smiled again, but didn’t laugh. ‘So, how long have you been working at the bookstore?’

‘About two weeks,’ she replied.

‘Are you new in town? I haven’t seen you before, apart from those times at the café,’ he asked.

‘Yep, I am a newbie.’

‘Thought so. Did you move here with your family?’

‘No, just me. It might be temporary, but I’ll see what happens.’ Grace now had another reason to stay.

‘Where did you live before?’

Grace laughed. ‘I feel like I’m on a game show!’

‘Sorry for the grilling, I’m not known for being shy!’

‘I gathered that. I’m from Melbourne,’ she replied, as they walked to where Jonah had propped the bike against a tree.

‘Never been there before,’ he said.

‘Really? It’s a great place, never boring.’

‘Unlike Tarrin’s Bay?’

‘No, I love it here!’ Grace smiled. ‘Everyone is so friendly, and I love how you can walk everywhere.’

‘Or cycle,’ Jonah added.

‘Well, try to.’ Grace gestured to the scene of her tumble. ‘So…you’re not working at the café today?’ Duh!

‘I’m working tonight, actually. My parents own Café Lagoon so my shifts are pretty flexible. There’s an awesome local singer and guitarist performing from eight tonight, so it should make for a good night.’

Grace nodded. ‘Cool.’

‘You should come.’ Jonah touched her forearm lightly, and so briefly, that Grace wondered if she imagined it. ‘A few of my friends will be there, and I can introduce you to them if you like.’

Grace’s heart beat faster, as though it may lose balance and tumble over at any moment too. She couldn’t stop the smile that tickled her cheeks. ‘Sounds good, I’ll be there.’

‘Great, see you tonight then.’ Jonah stepped aside as Grace straddled her bike, willing her legs to stop shaking and start pedalling. Although tempted, she didn’t dare look back at him. She’d already fallen twice today. Head over heels on the pavement, and head over heels for him.

~*~

If you’d like to stay up to date and chat with me about The January Wish and the Tarrin’s Bay series, there is now an online readers group on facebook. You can join here. 🙂

 

TheJanuaryWishcoverPreorder The January Wish here:

Amazonhttp://amzn.com/B00GXUXOFE
Amazon UKhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Amazon AUShttp://www.amazon.com.au/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Kobohttp://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-january-wish
iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/au/book/the-january-wish/id767160149?mt=11

 

When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it’s the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences. 

A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia’s small coastal town with secrets that can’t be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia’s well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities. 

They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered.

 

Coastal Romance is Making Waves… [Plus, win a $100 gift card!]

CRBH2-200x300This post is part of the Coastal Romance Christmas Blog Hop, organised by bestselling author Annie Seaton. Every day up until Christmas Eve, authors are sharing a ‘post about the coast’ and offering a giveaway. Plus, at each stop you can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a $100 Amazon Gift Card and 26 coastal romance ebooks! You can enter the grand prize giveaway at the end of this post, and I am also giving away a coastal photographic print to one lucky commenter! Read on…

Coastal Romance…

When I was writing my novel The January Wish (out on 1st Jan), I wasn’t sure where it fitted in the market. It was women’s fiction, and it was also romance. Being set in a small Australian beachside town based on where I live, I thought perhaps it fitted loosely into the rural fiction market as it is also a country town, but most rural books don’t have beaches nearby. Maybe it was a small town romance? But then, not all small towns are near the beach either, and the water plays a special role in this book and series. But when I first heard the term “Coastal Romance” at the RWA conference in Fremantle in August 2013, I thought “Aha! That’s what I’m writing!” So it was great to hear that there was a name for these types of stories and a place for them in the market. My story is still a small town romance, women’s fiction, and it has rural elements, but overall, coastal romance suits it really well.

Why is coastal romance making waves in the literary marketplace?

In my opinion, especially as an Australian, it could be because we identify with the sea as being an integral part of our landscape and a place where we go for holidays and day trips with family, friends, and loved ones. The coast is where many lifelong memories are made. So what better way to capture the enticing essence of life by the water than by writing about the lives and relationships of characters who are visiting or living by the sea?

The concept of a seachange is also appealing, and many people hold dreams of one day moving out of the hustle and bustle of the city and suburbs and into a nice coastal town, where it feels like holidays all year round.

Think about these words: sun, sand, surf, summer, starlit nights, swimming, and sandcastles… Walking on the beach, camping under the stars, lazy lunches at seaside cafes, friendly communities, small town secrets, reading by moonlight, listening to the waves rolling in, finding treasures at quaint shops, colourful sunsets, uplifting sunrises, and a feeling of freedom.

Ahhh, sounds nice doesn’t it? These are elements often present in coastal romance stories.

If you’re new to coastal romance (or if you want to explore it further) you can view a collection of book covers and movies at the coastal romance Pinterest page here.

 

TheJanuaryWishcoverAnd here is a little sneak peek at a coastal scene from my upcoming new release, The January Wish

A glorious summer morning greeted Grace through the window of the caravan. Lush green leaves dancing about in the breeze, the sky an intense cobalt, and the salty smell of the ocean enticed her to the beach for a swim. Well, if you could call it that. She wasn’t used to swimming in the ocean; growing up in the heart of Melbourne meant she was limited to the occasional seaside holiday with her parents. But she enjoyed it nonetheless, wading into the water, feeling the pull of the wave as it receded to its source, and relishing the cool caress of the water on her hot sun-kissed skin.

She giggled along with some children nearby when each new wave approached. They would try to run away from it, but she walked into it, each splash enlivening her, waking her. What would it be like to live here all the time? If she did, she’d probably come to the beach every morning; it was a great way to wake up and start the day.

Grace’s eyes soaked up the vast expanse of blue surrounding her, and she wasn’t sure where the ocean finished and the sky began. It was all connected. Up to her right, the famous ‘Tarrin’ sat proudly on the headland. The brochure she’d read said the town was named after the unique ‘Earth Man’ rock formation, which naturally resembled a man’s face. Years of waves gone before had sculpted cheekbones, a strong jawline, and a protrusion that looked like a nose. It was amazing, actually, that a random natural phenomenon could produce something that appeared to be sculpted on purpose.

 

So… with coastal romance making waves (forgive the pun!), what better way to celebrate than to have a big giveaway?! You could win a coastal photographic print and/or a $100 gift card and 26 ebooks. Details below…

>> GIVEAWAY #1:

prize-Leave a comment on this post telling me where you would like to go for a coastal holiday, or tell me a coastal romance book you’ve enjoyed or are looking forward to reading. Easy! One person will be randomly chosen to win this beautiful photographic print (unframed), measuring roughly 30 x 21cm (or 12 x 8 inches). The photograph was taken on the south coast of NSW, Australia, which is where I live and where my Tarrin’s Bay series of books are set (the first book, The January Wish releases on 1st Jan 2014, and the second book, February or Forever releases on 1st Feb).

Giveaway is open worldwide, and will be drawn on 16th December, so hurry up and get an entry in by leaving a comment! The grand prize giveaway below however, will remain open until 24th December.

 

>> GIVEAWAY #2:

silverpresentWin a $100 Amazon gift card and 26 ebooks from the authors participating in the coastal blog hop! (see list below). What a great Christmas present if you win!  Winner will be drawn Christmas Eve.

To enter, simply click on the below Rafflecopter link and follow the instructions. You can get up to 11 entries in the draw:

Click here >> a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

>> BLOG HOP CALENDAR

Check out a new post each day until Christmas Eve and enter more giveaways:

28 November: Annie Seaton

29 November: Jenny Schwartz

30 November: E.E.Carter

1 December: NicoleFlockton

2 December: Dilys Carnie

3 December: Elsa Winckler

4 December: MaureenO Betitia

5 December: Sherry Gloag

6 December: Chris Stovell

7 December: J’AimeeBrooker

8 December: Susanne Bellamy

9 December: Barbara Cool Lee

10 December: Tea Cooper

11 December: Juliet Madison

12 December: Linda Mitchelmore

13 December: Julie McCullogh

14 December: Eva Scott

15 December: Maureen Fisher

16 December: Rachael Johns

17 December: Susanne O’Leary

18 December: Jean Joachim

19 December: Demelza Carlton 

20 December: Lily Malone

21 December: Marisa Cleveland

22 December: Monique McDonnell

23 December: Lauren McKellar

24 December: Annie Seaton Prize Draw

Good luck! Remember to comment below to win the print, and enter via Rafflecopter above for the grand prize! 🙂

Make a wish… Take part in THE WISHING FESTIVAL!

To celebrate the new year, my new book, and to spread some new year’s cheer around the world (well, Facebook at least), I’m hosting the inaugural Wishing Festival in January! You are all invited, and I hope to see you there (details below).

iStock_000010658066XSmallWhat is a Wishing Festival? Well, first of all let me tell you about the one in my book, The January Wish, which releases on 1st January. In the story, it’s an annual Tarrin’s Bay event held on the 4th January at the Wishing Fountain in Miracle Park, the popular meeting spot for the town’s locals. People come from far and wide to the small coastal town to take part in the festivities and make a wish in the historic fountain. Legend says that on the day of the fountain’s completed construction, a woman tossed in a coin, walked around the fountain, and later on her missing husband returned safe and sound. Another woman who made a wish was cured of a serious disease. Or so the legend says. Dr Sylvia Greene, sceptic and all round party pooper doesn’t believe in wishes, but on the day of the festival she does her bit for charity and takes part, and what comes next turns her life upside down and inside out…

So instead of going to the trouble of finding a fountain and getting my friends from around the globe to trek all the way to my little part of the world, I’ve created an online version of the event!

The Wishing Festival will take place on the designated Facebook event page on the weekend of 4th and 5th January. There’ll be fun and prizes galore, and who knows, your wish may even come true. 😉

Why take part? Here’s why you should come! You will get to…

1. Make a wish – toss a virtual coin into the virtual fountain and make your wish! In other words; post your wish to the event page, or in the comment thread of the wishing fountain picture and the ‘make a wish’ post that I’ll put up there on the day. *If you have a private wish, you can simply post: ‘I have made my wish.’ Let’s all support each other’s wishes and some may just come true!

2. Pay a wish forward by sharing the event logo on your Facebook wall, page, group, or on a friend’s wall. (The event logo can be seen on the event page now, but on the day I’ll post it again officially and let you know when it’s time to start the share-fest!). When you share the picture, include a message for your friend or all your friends in general, and tell them what you wish for them in the new year. For example: In 2014 I wish for you…an abundance of success in your career, or ...optimal health and happiness, or anything you think your friend/s might appreciate. You may also like to encourage them to share the logo and a wish to their own friends as well.

3. Win prizes! Throughout the whole weekend you could win a heap of different prizes, from books to gift cards to writing critiques to jewellery and other goodies (I’m currently collating some great prizes. If you would like to donate anything please do so via this link).

Here are the ways you can win:

  • Simply register for the event by clicking ‘Join‘. All registered attendees will be automatically put in the draw for a prize, even if they can’t take part in the fun (though I hope they will)!
  • Share the event logo and a wish for your friends over 4th and 5th January.
  • Post your wish on the event page or (preferably) the official ‘make a wish’ post over the weekend.
  • Leave a comment on any of my posts during the event. I’ll let you know in each post which prize is up for grabs so you can enter all or just the ones you really want!

4. Have fun! Get sneak peek excerpts from The January Wish novel (and maybe even the next book in the series which doesn’t release till Feb!), meet the characters, answer trivia questions and scavenger hunt questions to win prizes, ask me questions, chat with other attendees, mingle with surprise guests, and enjoy gourmet virtual food and drinks all served by the gorgeous Jonah from Tarrin’s Bay’s most popular cafe: Cafe Lagoon (Jonah is a character in the book).

 

So before the mayhem of Christmas and New year’s takes over, head over to the event page now and click ‘Join’, and invite a few friends too if you like. Here’s the link.

I look forward to seeing you there! And if you wish to read the novel before the event (not required but there might be some extra rewards for those that do!), you can preorder here. I might include some trivia questions that need a copy of the book to be answered 😉

Would you like to donate a prize for the event? Click here. Donations close 19th Dec.

 

Make a wish … Pay it forward … Win a prize! Join THE WISHING FESTIVAL!

WishingFestivalLOGO

COVER REVEAL! February or Forever

FoFTa-da! The cover fairies have been at it again! FEBRUARY OR FOREVER will be released on 1st Feb 2014. And you can add it to Goodreads HERE.

This is the second book in my new Tarrin’s Bay series, perfect for those who like romance and women’s fiction set in small towns, especially towns by the beach. February or Forever is one of my faves, and with this and all books in this series I guarantee you a beautiful setting, true to life characters facing compelling issues, gotta-be-together romance, family drama, and friendship. Overall; rich, heartwarming stories with a happy, uplifting ending.

FEBRUARY OR FOREVER

“In this heartwarming coastal romance, Escape bestselling author Juliet Madison asks, what if your favourite celebrity fell in love with you?”

Yoga teacher and single mother, Chrissie Burns has a plan: move into the rundown beach house left to her by her deceased aunt, renovate it, sell it, and move on. The scene of a terrible accident years ago, the house needs to get out of Chrissie’s hands as soon as possible. 

But Tarrin’s Bay, where the house stands, has more to offer than bad memories. The town is lovely, the people friendly, and even Chrissie’s young son finds friends and begins coming out of his shell. Employed at Serendipity Retreat as a yoga instructor, Chrissie is shocked to be given the role of private teacher to Drew Williams, Australia’s top singer/songwriter for the month. 

Relationships between instructors and clients are strictly forbidden, but Drew draws happiness out of Chrissie with his down-to-earth nature and sense of humour. Days of stretching and bending may bring Chrissie unexpected peace and strength, but she knows that this interlude must end, and there’s no pose or position to aid her when Drew walks away and leaves her broken-hearted.

 

I just love the colours in this cover, and the image is perfect for the story – you will see in the ending of the book why it is so right!

Add to Goodreads.

4 Weeks To Go! …sneak peek of The January Wish

On 1st January 2014 THE JANUARY WISH will be available for readers worldwide from all good ebook retailers.

I started writing this book in January of 2011, it was accepted for publication in January of 2013, and now it will be published in January of 2014! January must be my lucky month. It was also the month my son was born (he’ll be 17 soon). And I hope this January will be the month for lots of sales and happy readers! 😉

Each week until release day I’m going to share a sneak peek of the book and a photo of the real life town the setting is based on, so without further ado, here is the first excerpt for your reading pleasure!

kiamaharbour

Excerpt from THE JANUARY WISH

Chapter 1

Dr Sylvia Greene had never done anything like this before in her life. She wasn’t one for succumbing to fanfare or superstitious traditions. She didn’t knock on wood or cross her fingers, and couldn’t care less if she happened to walk under a ladder. But somehow, she’d found herself lining up to take part in the annual Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival.

What on earth am I doing here? People I know might see me!

Sylvia glanced around surreptitiously through the lenses of her Dior sunglasses. There were a few familiar faces, but most of the people wandering around and standing in line were tourists. Probably because the locals knew that wishes made by tossing a coin into the historic four metre tall fountain certainly didn’t come true. If they did, the local newspaper would be all over it. Not once had Sylvia read any proof that someone’s wish had come true. But every year on the 4th of January, the anniversary of the fountain’s construction, people came from far and wide to make their wish.

She only meant to wander around the market stalls in Miracle Park, soak up the delicious summer sunshine, and pick up a jar of her favourite chilli and tomato relish from the ‘Homemade for You’ stall, but as Sylvia walked past the huge line-up near the fountain, her legs had other ideas.

I should just go home.

She turned to the growing crowd behind her. To leave, she’d have to excuse herself past about fifty people in line, making herself more conspicuous. Plus, she spotted one of her patients in the line. A particularly loud and talkative patient, Mr Benson. Damn it! She’d have to stay in line or get noticed backing out.

When she was a hospital intern it had been easy to get out of difficult situations by simply pretending to be on call and rushing off to deal with a fake emergency. It certainly came in handy during many a disastrous date. Now though, she worked nine to five…well, to six or seven some nights, and was never on call. Sylvia loved her familiar routine. She’d been keen to get into general practice as soon as possible after receiving her qualifications, never having been able to cope with hospital shift work.

The coin in Sylvia’s pocket cooled her warm fingers as she fiddled with it impatiently. At least this was all for charity. That would be her excuse if anyone asked why she, Dr Sylvia Greene, sceptic and all round party pooper, was making a wish. She had a great life; an interesting career, a best friend, good health, a nice house, and even a new boyfriend. What else could she possibly wish for? What was she doing here?

Distracted by her thoughts, she jumped when the person behind tapped her shoulder and flicked a hand towards the front of the line. Sylvia took a step forward. Only one person to go, then it would be her turn. A teenage girl stepped forward and threw her coin joyously into the fountain, a hopeful smile on her face. Probably wishing for the boy she liked to notice her, Sylvia thought. The girl walked around the fountain three times, before exiting the cordoned area framing it and running off to hug her friends waiting nearby.

Legend says on the day of its completed construction in 1907, a young woman tossed in a coin to make a wish and walked around the fountain three times. That evening, her missing husband returned safe and sound. Another woman made a wish that day and not even a week later was cured of a potentially fatal disease. Or so the legend says. Again, there had been no proof.

‘Step right up, ma’am,’ said the guy with the microphone whose nonstop commentating brought more people to the line by the minute.

No turning back now.

With her wish in mind, Sylvia tossed the coin. A gentle plop sounded and circular ripples spread outward through the water. Tiny bubbles rose to the surface as the coin joined the others that had gone before. She walked quickly around the fountain three times, adjusting her sunglasses and dipping her head on the way. The process seemed to take forever, conscious that all eyes were on her.

Relief greeted her as she merged back into the crowd, but only for a moment.

‘Doc! Who’da thought we’d see you here today, huh?’

Sylvia’s patient waved as he waited his turn in line.

‘So, what did you wish for, Doc? Wait! Don’t tell me.’ He covered his ears. ‘If you tell someone your wish, it won’t come true, will it?’

‘I’m, er…just doing my bit for charity,’ Sylvia said in her best doctor-like voice.

‘Good on ya, Doc. Oh, I’ll see you next week. First patient for the year I am, 9 a.m. sharp Mondee mornin’. Been waitin’ patiently for you to resume work. Ya see, my constipation’s returned, and geez, this prostate of mine, whoa! I tell ya, the nasty little bugger’s givin’ me such a hard time!’

Mr Benson would quite likely be perfectly okay with Sylvia doing a consultation and examination as he waited in line.

‘…And don’t get me started on me arthritis, let me tell ya — ’ the person behind him, gesturing to move forward, politely cut off Mr Benson. ‘Oh, anyway, we’ll discuss all the details next week. See ya then, Doc!’

Sylvia waved, thinking she should have wished for Mr Benson to switch doctors.

The sun warmed her skin as she walked out of Miracle Park, past the historic terrace shops with their homewares, boutique clothing and unique gifts, and up the road towards her house. The afternoon ocean breeze ran like fingers through her hair as Sylvia thought about her wish. Eighteen years had passed since the day that changed her life forever, the memory playing on her mind more and more lately. She lived a satisfying life, but a part of her, deep inside, needed to fill the void that sat there.

Sylvia came to an abrupt stop and shook her head. What was she thinking? She should try to forget about that day, just like she did before. Why dredge up the past? The chance of her wish coming true was unlikely anyway. After all, wishes don’t come true. Do they?

 

 

TheJanuaryWishcoverPreorder here:

Amazonhttp://amzn.com/B00GXUXOFE
Amazon UKhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Amazon AUShttp://www.amazon.com.au/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Kobohttp://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-january-wish
iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/au/book/the-january-wish/id767160149?mt=11