Monthly Archives: January 2014

ARRA Nominee – Juliet Madison

A bit of fun, shared from the Escape Publishing blog 🙂

The Escapades

Welcome to ebookHARMONY, where we match readers with compatible authors.

In the lead-up to the Australian Romance Reader (ARRA) awards, we’re featuring one of the nominated authors in a special online datingvoting profile. You can review this profile for free and see if you’re a match, and if so, you may choose to vote for this author in the ARRA awards (voting closes 5th March!).

Today’s featured profile is from author: JULIET MADISON

Juliet has been nominated in the Favourite New Romance Authorcategory in the ARRA awards. Members of ARRA can now vote, or if you’re not yet a member, you can join here.

JULIET MADISON <insert best available photo that sets high expectations and probably looks nothing like you do in everyday life>:

About: Single, female, thirty-something, newly-published author seeks votes for Favourite New Romance Author in the Australian Romance Reader Awards.

Occupation

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2 Days To Go! FEBRUARY OR FOREVER teaser…

Here’s a quote pic from February or Forever to tide you over (pardon the pun) until release day! And below, a brief excerpt as well…

Kissquote-FoF

Excerpt:

Chrissie followed his lead and lay back too, hypnotised by the sparkling dots in the sky.

‘I think for tonight I’m going to believe that those stars really are guardian angels and not just lumps of gas,’ Drew said.

‘Me too. I like your hypothesis much more.’ Chrissie imagined each star as a caring soul whose purpose was to guide and protect her. ‘Isn’t it funny how you can actually get a star named after you?’

‘Ha! I’ve got one.’

She turned to face him. ‘Really? There’s a Drew Williams up there?’ Her grin grew along with his.

‘Sure is. It was given to me as a gift. Hey, I should get one for you!’

‘Oh,’ she giggled, ‘I don’t need one. No need to go to all the trouble.’

‘But then you could join me and my mates up there.’

‘Mates?’

‘Yeah.’ He released his hands from behind his head and pointed to the sky. ‘See, that one there is Bob, that’s Dazza, and that’s Pete.’

A laugh bubbled out from Chrissie, and as Drew lowered his arm by his side it brushed against hers, sending tingles of bliss along her skin. His arm flinched ever so slightly, as though he’d felt it too, and for a moment they didn’t speak, just gazed at the stars and breathed in the salty air as the waves whooshed onto the nearby shore.

There’d be no need for a jacket or cardi tonight; heat ran along her arm from Drew’s skin to hers, spreading throughout her body and heightening her senses. Drew’s hand moved a little, and breath caught in Chrissie’s throat as his pinky finger hooked onto hers. She would have continued focusing on the stars and enjoying the sensation of his skin against hers, had it not been for the unmistakeable feeling that he had turned his head and was now looking right at her.

Slowly, Chrissie’s gaze left the stars above and turned to the one lying next to her.

 

…Read more on 1st Feb in February or Forever, available from all good online ebook retailers. Click here for links or preorder from Amazon now.

FoFIn 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. 

> Also available: The January Wish.

Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop

I’m taking part in Book’d Out’s Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop!

AustraliaDaybloghop2014

FoFBetween now and midnight on the 28th January, you have the chance to win prizes from myself and all the other participating blogs (which you can see here.). I’m giving away an advanced ebook copy of my upcoming release, FEBRUARY OR FOREVER, a heartwarming story set in a small Australian coastal town.

To win, enter via the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this blog post. Contest open worldwide and winner notified via email and in the comments on this post. Good luck! 🙂

And now, for my Australia Day post:

 

AUSTRALIAN FICTION – My Top Picks

I love the diversity of Australian fiction, and I find I’m reading more and more books by Australian authors these days, partly because many of the authors have become my friends, and partly because I relate to the Aussie voice, sense of humour, and landscape.

Whether it’s rural, coastal, or urban, it doesn’t matter – I like all kinds of Australian settings. Though I am particularly drawn to small town settings because I love the community atmosphere and close-knit relationships between characters. And that’s why I’m writing my own small town series, the Tarrin’s Bay series, to explore the many stories and characters that can be present in small towns, and bring them to life. The first book in this series, The January Wish, has just been released, and the second book (though they can be read in any order), February or Forever, is out on 1st February (but as mentioned, you could win an early copy!).

Today I thought I’d give some of my fellow authors a plug and share a few Australian books I’ve enjoyed, both recently, and in the last few years. These books are all by Australian authors, and are set in Australia.

 

> Rural Top Pick: JILTED by Rachael Johns

Jilted bookpage– Three words to describe it: emotional, honest, fulfilling

She left him at the altar, but her heart was always his…

After more than ten years away, Australian soap star Ellie Hughes returns to the small country town of Hope Junction, determined to remain anonymous while caring for her injured godmother, Matilda.

But word spreads fast in the tight-knit community. It isn’t long before the people of Hope’s are gossiping about the real reason for Ellie’s visit and why she broke the heart of golden boy Flynn Quartermaine all those years ago.

Soon Ellie and Flynn are thrown back together again, forced to deal with the unresolved emotions between them. For Ellie is not the only one with secrets. Flynn has his own demons to battle, and Matilda is hiding something from her much-loved goddaughter.

When all is uncovered, can the ill-fated lovers overcome the wounds of their past? Or is Flynn destined to be jilted again?

 

> Small Town Top Pick: HOUSE FOR ALL SEASONS by Jenn J McLeod

HFAS-– Three words to describe it: clever, intriguing, original

Four women. Four lives unravelled. The truth will bind them forever.

Bequeathed a century-old house, four estranged friends return to their hometown, Calingarry Crossing, where each must stay for a season at the Dandelion House to fulfil the wishes of their benefactor, Gypsy.

But coming home to the country stirs shameful memories of the past, including the tragic end-of-school muck up day accident twenty years earlier.

Sara, a breast cancer survivor afraid to fall in love;

Poppy, a tough, ambitions journo still craving her father’s approval;

Amber, a spoilt socialite addicted to painkillers and cosmetic procedures;

Caitlin, a doctor frustrated by a controlling family and her flat-lining life.

At the Dandelion House, the women will discover something about themselves and a secret that ties all four to each other and to the house – forever.

Small towns can keep big secrets…

 

> Romantic Suspense Top Pick: WINGS OF FEAR by Helene Young

Wings-of-Fear-Front-Cover1-184x300– Three words to describe it: riveting, well-written, intelligent

High above the crystal-blue waters of North Queensland, Captain Morgan Pentland patrols the vast Australian coastline. When Customs Agent Rafe Daniels joins her crew, she is immediately suspicious. Why is he boarding her plane when she isn’t there? And why is he asking so many questions?

What Morgan doesn’t know is that Rafe has her under surveillance. Critical information about their Border Watch operations is being leaked and she is the main suspect.

Morgan’s ex, elite police officer Carl Wiseman, is back on the scene after she finally found the courage to throw him out. Is he trying to regain Morgan’s affections of are his intentions more sinister?

When Morgan and Rafe are shot down in a tragic midair attack, they realise they have to start working together – and quickly. One of Australia’s most loved icons is the next target and they have only nine days to stop it.

Will they uncover details of the plot in time, or will the tension that is growing between them jeopardise everything?

 

> Thriller/Crime Top Pick: BEYOND FEAR by Jaye Ford

coverLeft– Three words to describe it: unputdownable, scary, cinematic

Imagine if your worst fears came true. . . Again.

At seventeen, Jodie Cramer survived a terrifying assault at the hands of three strangers. Her schoolmate Angie was not so lucky…

Now thirty-five, Jodie is a teacher and mother of two – and her past is a horror she’s buried deep. When she sets out for a weekend in the country with three friends, all she has in mind is a few laughs and a break from routine.

However, unknown to the four women, their secluded cabin was once the focus of a police investigation and, like Jodie, it nurtures a dark secret. As her friends relax, the isolation reawakens Jodie’s terrifying memories. When she finds evidence of trespassers, she is convinced they are being watched.

But no one will believe her and as her past threatens to overwhelm her, she begins to doubt herself – and her sanity. Until two men knock at their door …

 

> Coastal Romance Top Pick: NOBODY BUT HIM by Victoria Purman

19292– Three words to describe it: sexy, beachy, satisfying

She didn’t expect to run into her first love… or to fall back in love with him! 

At eighteen, Julia Jones left for the city with a head full of grand plans for an exciting life that certainly didn’t include her home town of Middle Point – a main street with a pub – or Ryan Blackburn.

But fifteen years – and a lifetime later – she’s forced to put her big city life on hold when she heads home to finalise her mother’s estate. Which is where she runs smack bang into the town’s new champion… the same Ryan Blackburn. The sensible thing to do? Stay the hell away from him and head back to Melbourne as fast as her stilettos can carry her. But Julia finds his offer of a helping hand and a hot body too delicious to refuse and dives into a reckless, one-time fling. What she doesn’t realise is that tomorrow has a way of sneaking up, and that saying goodbye to her home town – and to Ryan – is much harder the second time around.

 

> Romantic Comedy Top Pick: HINDSIGHT by Sarah Belle

9689– Three words to describe it: funny, heartwarming, magical

Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before.

The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead…

Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in the year 1961.

Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.

As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.

 

> Women’s Fiction Top Pick: THE HUSBAND’S SECRET by Liane Moriarty

Husband'sSecret_Aus– Three words to describe it: honest, interesting, compelling

A funny, heartbreaking novel of marriage, grief, love and secrets.

When her husband announces he’s in love with her best friend, painfully shy Tess picks up her young son and returns to her mother’s house. There she begins an unexpected affair with an old flame.

Rachel is a woman in her sixties consumed by grief and anger at the loss of her daughter twenty years earlier. When her son announces he is taking her beloved grandson overseas, Rachel begins a descent into deeper bitterness and pain.

Cecilia is the quintessential “I don’t know how she does it” woman. A devoted mother to three daughters, she runs her household like clockwork, is President of the P&C, owns an extremely successful Tupperware business and is happy in her fifteen-year marriage. Until she discovers a letter in their attic labelled: “To my wife Cecilia, to be opened in the event of my death”… Her husband’s secret is a bombshell beyond all imagining with repercussions across the lives of all three women.

 

Have you read any of these books? If not, why not check them out! What are some of your favourite Australian books? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

>>And now, to WIN an ebook copy of FEBRUARY OR FOREVER, simply click the Rafflecopter link and follow the instructions. It’s quick and easy. Remember, giveaway closes midnight Jan 28th. Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

>>Once you’ve done that, head over to Book’d Out to see the list of participating blogs and enter their giveaways too!

 

Good luck… I’ll leave you with a brief blurb for the first two books in my Tarrin’s Bay series:

TheJanuaryWishcoverTHE JANUARY WISH: 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.

 

FoFFEBRUARY OR FOREVERYoga 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. 

At Home With Tea Cooper [Author Interview & Giveaway]

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

Today, we’re paying a visit to Téa Cooper…

 

©HarrisonPhotography

©HarrisonPhotography

1. Hi Téa, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

Hi Juliet! Great to visit. I live on 100 acres of bush just outside a tiny little village in the Hunter Valley, NSW called Wollombi. I moved here about five years ago – I used to live about closer to the big smoke but when I gave up teaching I decided I liked the idea of living in a smaller community.

 

16062. What do you love about the place you call home?

I love my house. It’s built from the rock that forms most of my “backyard”. (Think the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock). I love the outlook – virgin bush one side and bucolic cattle grazing amongst the vines on the creek flats on the other side, the peace and the isolation. I also love living in a village – being one of the “locals”. I know it is a bit contradictory…that’s me!

 

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

I have two favourite cafés – one is Café Wollombi, affectionately known as The Girls. They do the best juices, a mean lamb burger, delicious pasta and prawns and a Caesar salad to die for. The other is Panino Restaurant, Café & Deli, better known as Bruno’s – delicious Italian style food and of course entertainment courtesy of Bruno himself! And then there is The Great Northern Trading PostLaguna to the locals – Friday night is jam night and some really good food!

 

Poppy small4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? 

Poppy – the Rotweiller shares her home with me!

 

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

That’s difficult – I’m spoilt. It depends on the weather and my mood. A toss up between the “library”, my study and the sitting room-kitchen-dining room, one big room with an open fire and an air conditioner!

 

Banner small6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?

Too easy…I live in a seriously bushfire prone area. No mucking around. Poppy and I can be out in five! My MacBook Pro, my passport and a rather eclectic collection of jewellery I’ve acquired over the years – none of which I wear very often!!

 

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

I wouldn’t so much change anything as buy a helicopter…I’d like to live here in this environment but be able to avoid the wretched F3 – the freeway from hell – when I wanted to go to Sydney.

[Juliet ~ Oh, that would be convenient. I might wish for one too!] 

 

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?

No – sorry. We wouldn’t do it here. Wollombi has its very own outdoor film night every so often and it’s pizza from Panino and Noyce Bros wine and a variety of films. The most recent was The Graduate and Priscilla is up next, followed by Casablanca.

[Juliet ~ An outdoor film night sounds fantastic!]

 

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?

Lobster tails on the BBQ with a garden salad (actually I don’t really need the chef).

 

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

Twiggy: The High-Stakes Life of Andrew Forrest by Andrew Burrell

Girl of Shadows by Deborah Challinor

The Far Pavilions by M M Kaye (a re-read.)

 

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

A weird assortment of Indian spices – I lived in India once upon a time and like to play with them!

 

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

Oh! That’s hard…probably Paris because I’ve never “lived” there.

 

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.

Definitely (a)…it’s called “Catch as Catch Can” around here!

 

 

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

Website : Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads : Pinterest

>>And help her buy that helicopter by buying her book, Matilda’s Freedom here: 😉

Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | B & N

 

Matilda'sFreedom 300MATILDA’S FREEDOM (set in…Wollombi!)

An unconventional woman clashes with colonial society in this spicy and sweet Australian-set historical romance.

His carefree bachelor days over, Christopher Matcham returns to Sydney to take responsibility for his mother, two stepsisters, and the family property. Fortune smiles on him when he is introduced to Matilda Sweet, a woman in need of work. Though unusual, Christopher senses that her fresh ideals and positive outlook can only benefit his sisters, so he hires her as a companion.

By the time they arrive at Christopher’s family home, the two are fast friends. But Matilda’s unorthodox ways and her convict heritage make her a second-class citizen to the family. Christopher has responsibilities, and they include an advantageous match. A breeches-wearing, creek-swimming, plain-talking convict’s daughter will never figure in. After all, romance is a luxury the upper classes cannot afford . . .

 

>>WIN! You could win an ebook of your choice by Tea Cooper. Simply leave a comment below and Poppy will choose a winner! Open worldwide. Winner drawn Wed 29th Jan.

email small

My First Book Trailer: February or Forever

In February I’ll have five books out in total and thought it was about time I made a book trailer for at least one of them! So I chose to create one for my upcoming release, February or Forever (1st Feb 2014 from Escape Publishing).

You can view the video here or on YouTube, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you get notified of my future book trailers.

Do you have a favourite book trailer? Share the link in the comments. Or perhaps you’re an author and have one yourself? Share the link too! 🙂

At Home With RITA Award Winning Author Fiona Lowe (& Giveaway!)

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

Today, I’m excited to be paying a visit to award-winning author, Fiona Lowe! Read on to see how you could win a copy of Runaway groom.

 

fiona lowe 021. Hi Fiona, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

I’m from all over the place. I was born in country NSW, raised  for a bit in Papua New Guinea, lived my twenties in Melbourne, my thirties in the USA and now I’m in coastal Victoria.

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

The sea, the size of the town and the fact if I have to drive more than 15 minutes to get anywhere, it’s a long way out of town.

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

I am the world’s worst shopper. Seriously, I would do anything to avoid going shopping so I’m not great at helping the retail economy at all.

Peko-4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? (Feel free to share a photo)

I have Pekoe, the feisty cat. She plays soccer with all balls and she is an excellent goalie. NOTHING gets past her.

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

I have two fave rooms. My office because it has a view of the sea and my living room because it is the only place I ever sit down!

[Juliet ~ An office with a sea view – lovely!)

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

My external hard-drive because it has all the family photos on it.

The moustache cup that came from England with my grandmother.

My Rita statue!

[Juliet ~ And with that heavy Rita statue it would be hard to carry anything else! — See the pic below of me with Fiona, I’m helping her carry it because it’s so heavy. Nah, I just wanted to touch it! 😉 ]

photo 47. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?

I’d have a north-facing back garden  instead of a south-facing one and a lovely deck to go with it.

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?

Anything directed by Richard Curtis. I think his latest film, About Time is up there with Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

[Juliet ~ I agree. About Time is definitely one of my new favourite 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?

It really wouldn’t matter what it was because the fact I did not have to cook it would mean it would taste fantastic.

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

A Question of Travel by Michelle de Krester

Love A Little Sideways by Shannon Stacey

Holding out for  a Hero by Amy Andrews

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

Lemon Myrtle. It’s great on chicken and fish.

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

Well, as I’ve seen a lot of the world, I would go someplace I’ve never been so that would be either  Africa or South America.

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).

 Seriously? A person can do all that in five minutes? 😉

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.

‘C’ sounds like me. Everyone is welcome but they need to take me as they find me which is usually in trackies or shorts depending on the season, and a white T-shirt; my writing uniform.

 

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

Website : Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads : Pinterest

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

Amazon KindleBarnes and Noble, Carina Press, Kobo, iBooks, Booktopia

 

RunawayGroomRunaway Groom. Book three of Wedding Fever trilogy

Amy Sagar’s life is in ruins. Fired from her fast-track job and dumped by her double-crossing boyfriend, she retreats to Whitetail, Wisconsin, to lick her wounds and regroup. Meeting an impossible, sexy Australian isn’t part of her strategy for getting back on track.

Aussie, Ben Armytage is running away. After being left at the altar and publicly humiliated, he’s taking his vintage motorcycle on an extended road trip from Argentina to Alaska. Having his journey interrupted by a breakdown and sharing a house with a curvy, redheaded lawyer in a town obsessed with weddings was never on his itinerary.

Though being stuck in a luxury log cabin isn’t really a hardship, living together with their broken hearts isn’t easy. When the attraction between Amy and Ben proves unstoppable, they’ll both begin rethinking their plans…

For more weddings in Whitetail, check out Saved by the Bride and Picture Perfect Weddingavailable now!

 

>> WIN! Fiona would love to give away an  ecopy of Runaway Groom. To be in with a chance, please tell me which cover out of the Wedding Fever trilogy (below) you like best and why. Open worldwide. Winner will be drawn 22nd Jan so get in quick!

weddingfevertrilogy

My Goals for 2014 (and what happened in 2013)

I always like to take a look back at the past year and see how far I’ve come, and plan for the year ahead to give myself something to aim for. Though I think it’s important to be flexible and allow for plans to change as life unfolds, it’s good to have a basic guide to propel you forward.

So first of all, let’s look back on 2013, a huge year for me as it was my first year as a published author…

There were many firsts: seeing my first cover (I can’t tell you how exciting and surreal that was!), taking part in my first book club as author guest, seeing my book advertised on websites and in catalogues, getting reviews for my book, getting my First Sale ribbon at the RWA conference (and dancing like a lunatic at the awards dinner). Overall it was a great year, though there were some challenges and sadness too: my amazing Nanna passed away at age 94, and we lost our old home that my son grew up in, in the Blue Mountains bushfires (my parents had only just sold the place and moved out). Life is a rollercoaster, as they say.

Here are my writing and publishing achievements for last year:

2013

 

WRITING:

Overall I wrote 3 complete manuscripts, did 1 intensive revision, wrote 2 partials, and 4 outlines.

Here is the breakdown:

  • Wrote I Dream of Johnny – 15k words
  • Wrote The Delta Girls book #1: SIGHT – 52k words
  • Wrote February or Forever (Tarrin’s Bay book #2) – 84k words
  • Wrote partial (3 chapters & synopsis) of secret NA/YA project set in Salem
  • Wrote partial (3 chapters & synopsis) of You Know You Want To
  • Revised existing outline for The Bucket List Club
  • Wrote brief outline for Christmas novella
  • Wrote brief outline for Lovestruck in London
  • Wrote brief outline for a New Adult dance-themed novella
  • Revised The Life Makeover Club intensively (twice).

PUBLISHING:

  • The January Wish was contracted (didn’t release till recently, 1st Jan 2014)
  • Debut novel Fast Forward was released in Feb.
  • I Dream of Johnny was contracted and released in Sept.
  • Starstruck in Seattle was contracted and released in Oct.
  • February or Forever was contracted.
  • Signing with a literary agent after querying The Life Makeover Club to 70 agents.

2013 BLOG HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Views: 13,000 views in 2013 (over 5000 more than last year!)
  • Top 3 posts for 2013:

1. How To Choose A Pen Name (same top post as last year)

2. Editing Tip: 10 Words To Search For In Your Manuscript

3. I Dream of Johnny, & Johnny, & Johnny (3 Wishes Blog Blitz)

  • Top / interesting / funny search terms:

1. Most popular search term that brought people to my blog: ‘How to come up with a pen name”

2. Other popular search terms were: romantic comedies 2013, contemporary women’s fiction, pen name generator, setting the scene in a story.

3. The interesting, funny, and bizarre:  Cooking novels, Johnny Castle, tango, covered in spit (I actually did have a blog post with a similar title so I’m not that surprised, but why would someone search for it?), Mexican table decorations, me affair with Trisha, birthday cake too many candles, spiritual experience post 9/11, great halls in medieval castles, Help I‘m haunted, Miss chatterbox, raunchy birthday for woman, the neverending sentence, Eat Pray Love dinner party (that’s actually a cool idea!), Juliet is spit on by stranger full length (???), hopjulikit (????),what happened at the end of the fast forward by juliet madison (um, read it & find out!), please don’t disturb.

  • Top 3 commentors:

1. Kerrie Paterson

2. Iris B

3. Mary Preston

  • Top visitors from:

1. Australia

2. United States

3. United Kingdom

  • Top referrers to my blog:

1. Search engines

2. Facebook

3. Twitter

4. JulietMadison.com

5. Book’d Out blog

So yes, it was a big year! What’s in store for 2014? Hopefully more contracts and books out!

 

Here are my goals for this year:

2014

 

Overall I aim to write 4 complete manuscripts, of varying lengths:

  1. Write Haunted Housewives, a romagic comedy novel.
  2. Write a romagic novella, haven’t decided which one yet out of a choice of three.
  3. Write Miracle in March, the third book in my Tarrin’s Bay series.
  4. Write The Delta Girls book #2: SOUND, the next in my YA supernatural series.
  5. Write a partial of The Bucket List Club (and as much more of it as possible!).
  6. Read more books! (See my TBR list here). I won’t try to read a certain amount as I want reading to be relaxing and fun, not another deadline. But I will aim to make reading more of a priority and read at other times during the week, not just at bedtime.

What are your goals for the year ahead?

I read an interesting article recently that said goals can simply be things like: write for one hour a day, five days a week, rather than: I’ll complete a book by June. Sometimes people do better when their goal is more of a system to follow than a defined outcome. In my case though, I know I need to have certain books finished by certain times, so personally I need the specific outcome as a goal. Then I break it down to figure out how much time I need to devote to achieving it.

Hope you have a happy and successful 2014 everyone! 🙂

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My To-Be-Read Pile – so many books, so little time

relax-on-the-sofa-776289-mYears ago I would buy a book (or receive one as a gift), read it, then buy another one. Now, I buy (or receive) many in advance. I love having books around me, there is something magical about the beautiful covers, fancy fonts, and promise of secrets within (wow, that was deep, eh?). And because I’m now a writer I’ve become aware of many new authors and books I want to read, so my pile has grown, both physically (on my bookcases) and virtually (on my Kindle).

Today I’m not going to list ALL the books in my pile, just a selection of ones that I’m particularly keen to read soon.

Are any of these on your list too? Or have you read any of these and think there’s one I should read immediately?!

 

I’m currently reading The Returned by Jason Mott… what will I read next?

  • Blood Secret by Jaye Ford
  • Banish by Nicola Marsh
  • Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.
  • Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
  • Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery
  • Three Sisters by Susan Mallery
  • The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs
  • Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
  • Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger
  • Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  • The Secret Ingredient by Dianne Blacklock
  • Beautiful Illusion by Jacquie Underdown
  • The One That I Want by Allison Winn Scotch

At Home With Lee Christine…

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

Today, we’re paying a visit to romantic suspense author, Lee Christine, whose new release IN SAFE ARMS has just been released too, in follow up to her first release, IN SAFE HANDS.

 

Newcastle 0041. Hi Lee, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

Hi Juliet. Thanks for having me on your blog today. I live in Newcastle, New South Wales, and have lived here all my life, except for a stint in Sydney years ago.

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

I love the natural beauty of our beaches and Lake Macquarie. I also love our working harbour. Someone once said ‘there’s something honest about a working harbour’. I agree with that.

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

My favourite store is Scentsation at The Junction. It’s owned by my friend Michelle Rainey, and she has the most exquisite taste in clothes, jewellery, handbags and perfume.  If I’m trying to save money I don’t go in for a while because there’s always something to tempt me.

[Juliet ~ Sounds scentsational! I’ll pay a visit if I’m ever in Newcastle 🙂 ]

4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? (Feel free to share a photo)

I don’t have a pet at the moment 😦 . My last dog was a mini Schnauzer called ‘Shaq’. My daughter was into the NBA at the time and named him after Shaq O’Neill. We had him for eleven years and he was such a wonderful dog, I’m afraid if I get another one, I’ll be disappointed. He’s spoiled me for all others I’m afraid.

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

I love our family room at the back of the house. It’s where we live, where we’ve had many great days and nights laughing and eating and being together.

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

Old photograph albums. Hanging frames with family photographs in them, and the computers, again because of the photographs. You can’t replace those memories.

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

I really need to demolish the bathroom and update it, but with my two children studying overseas, buying airline tickets takes priority over a new bathroom at the moment.

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?

If the boys are with us, we’d be watching something funny like Death at a Funeral or Ted. If it’s just my daughter and myself, then it’s definitely Emma.

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?

Singapore Chilli Crabs followed by a variety of dessert tasting plates.

[Juliet ~ A bit of everything for dessert, sounds good to me!]

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

Watching You by Michael Robotham

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Man Drought by Rachael Johns

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

Cocoa with Mickey Mouse on the front from Disneyland.

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

Balestrand in Norway. I’ve been there once. A whole host of famous people have stayed there over the years like Eric Clapton and Yoko Ono. It’s so quiet and peaceful right there on the Fiord. I think I could write a great book there. Well…maybe!

[Juliet ~ Sounds perfect for a writer’s escape!]

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.

Definitely (d). I’m not a fan of impromptu visits. Well, give me at least twenty minutes notice.

[Juliet ~ I’m a (d) too, Lee!]

 

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

Website : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads

 

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

 

ISHIn Safe Hands:

Amazon, or other retailers via links at Escape Publishing.     

Threatened with the publication of naked photographs taken in her law student days, defence attorney Allegra Greenwood enlists the help of former SAS Commander Luke Neilson, unaware of his involvement in her brother’s death in Afghanistan.
In a race to stop the photographs appearing on the Internet, Luke battles a hidden enemy, his growing feelings for Allegra, and his conscience, which demands he protect a fallen comrade’s sister. As the stakes increase and more sinister motives unfold, Luke not only has to fight to save her career, he has to fight to save her life.       

 

ISAIn Safe Arms: 

Amazon, or other retailers via links at Escape Publishing.  

Legal secretary Josephine Valenti has no idea why a notorious bikie president would be contacting her, but when he is murdered in front of her eyes, she knows that she is in very deep trouble. Fleeing to her home, she’s intercepted by Nate Hunter, a man she used to know and lust after…a man she used to care about. However, Nate has changed. His leathers and his bike tell of a lifestyle that Josie can’t begin to accept or understand. His is a life of drugs, money laundering and prostitution. Though, all is not what it seems, and Josie must fight harder than she ever has before — for the truth, for what’s right, and, ultimately for the man who still has a hold of her heart.

A Monday Morning Surprise – I’m a Finalist!

2013 ARRA finalistI’m excited to announce that I’m a finalist in the Australian Romance Reader Association (ARRA) Awards for the Best New Romance Author category!! What a way to start the week. Thanks ARRA, and thanks to those who nominated me. 🙂

You can see the official list of finalists in all categories HERE.

As someone who’s been published for less than a year, this a great honour and reward for me. I’d like to thank those who’ve supported me in my first year as an author ((hugs)).

Winners will be announced at the ARRA Awards dinner on March 22nd in Sydney, and I’ll be there for the night!

To vote (voting closes March 5th), you need to be an Australian ARRA member. If you’re not already a member, you can join HERE. It’s only $20 a year and for that you get a fabulous monthly newsletter with book reviews, interviews, special deals, industry news, articles, giveaways and more, plus access to a private email group to interact with authors and readers. Author members get promotional opportunities and a chance to advertise in the newsletter. You also get discounts to special events and can hear about various author signings and events, and of course, can vote for your favourite authors in the annual awards! 😉

And if you haven’t yet checked out my books, here is a list of all my books at Goodreads.

Yay!