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!
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. 🙂
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Amazon AUS: http://www.amazon.com.au/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
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.