Monthly Archives: July 2014

5 Weeks To Go! HAUNTED EVER AFTER sneak peek

Each week until release day I’ll share a fun excerpt pic like the one below, and a longer excerpt here on the blog. So with 5 weeks to go, here is the first excerpt of HAUNTED EVER AFTER, my next full-length romantic comedy with a touch of magic. If you enjoyed the fun and mayhem of FAST FORWARD, be sure to check this one out on 1st September. 😉

5WeeksToGo

Excerpt:

What does one talk to a stripper about over dinner anyway? ‘How was work? Did you have a good day at the office?’

Georgie served our meals of Chicken Valdostano, and after taking a mouthful and complimenting the chef, Ty directed questions my way, saving me from having to think what to ask him. ‘When’s the big day?’

‘One week’s time. Are you married?’ I asked. It was so much easier to ask that question when men knew you were taken, otherwise it sounded like you were sussing them out for potential husband material. But anyway, what sort of wife would want her husband to strip semi-naked and have women grope him in order to pay the bills and put food on the table?

He shook his head, took another mouthful, then asked, ‘What do you do for a living, Sally?’

‘Sally’s a nurse,’ Mel said.

‘I’m sure she can speak for herself, Mel,’ said Georgie, her slender fingers wrapped around the stem of her wine glass.

‘Sorry, force of habit. Five kids.’ Mel shrugged.

‘Ah, you must be a very caring person,’ Ty said. ‘How long have you been nursing?’

‘Geez, he asks a lot of questions.’ Red sat at the empty chair to my right and placed her ghostly elbows on the table. Such a classy ghost. Crashing my party and bad table manners to boot.

‘Almost ten years now.’ I smiled.

‘I could have been a nurse,’ Red said. ‘All those smart, hot doctors to drool over. Mmm…’ she rolled her eyes back in an apparent daydream.

I wouldn’t spoil her assumption and tell her that most of the doctors I knew were either grey-haired and pudgy men or skinny and awkward young men with remnants of teenage acne. Sure, there were a few lookers, but it’s no Grey’s Anatomy.

‘How long have you been, um, stripping?’ I asked, as dignified as possible.

‘Three years.’ He took a sip of wine. ‘And did you always want to be a nurse?’

Did you always want to be a stripper? I couldn’t imagine him as a young boy at school getting up in front of the class and sharing his career aspirations for career day.

‘Well, sort of, I — ’

‘I want to ask questions too, sheesh! Can’t get a word in with this guy!’ Red sat on the edge of the table and I tried not to look at her. ‘What’s your favourite colour, Sally? Wait, let me guess, mauve, right?’

Quit distracting me! I tried the ESP thing again. But what I really wanted to do was push her off the table. So much for being a caring person.

‘Okay, what’s your favourite band then?’ she persisted. ‘Favourite food?’ She leaned over the table and shoved her face in front of mine. ‘Ooh, what about favourite celebrity when you were a teenager? Huh, huh? Answer me, girl!’

I shifted in my seat and pretended I was trying to retrieve the answer to Ty’s question, which had been diluted by Red’s constant verbal assault.

‘Favourite book? Favourite animal?’ she continued shooting questions at me like a tennis ball machine, and my head started to hurt.

‘Um…’ I cleared my throat and rubbed my ear, tension building inside like a boiling pot of water. ‘Sorry, what was the question again?’

‘I said, did you always want to be a nurse?’ Ty repeated.

‘Favourite song? Favourite shop?’ Red continued. ‘Ooh, ooh! Favourite sexual position?’

In frustration, my hand banged down on the table, sending my fork flying across to the floor. ‘Missionary, okay? Missionary!’ I blurted.

All eyes stared at me. ‘What?’ Lorena asked, curiosity and concern on her face at my apparent distress.

Oh dear God.

Red had collapsed in laughter on the floor next to me. ‘Missionary! Haha, missionary position! I knew it!’ she repeated, rolling about.

Just when I thought I’d have to excuse myself from the table, a convenient explanation hit me. I cleared my throat. ‘A missionary. I, er, wanted to be a missionary.’ I gave a confident nod.

‘Um, no you didn’t,’ Lorena said firmly.

Mel had cracked up as well as Red. ‘Since when did you want to become a missionary?’

I pushed my unnatural curls from my face and raised my chin. ‘Well, if you must know, since I was a kid. My parents sent me to Sunday school (true) and I really enjoyed it (false). I thought it would be great to one day travel the world and spread the good word of the Lord (also false). There. Now you know.’

‘Good for you,’ Ty said with a nod. ‘What stopped you?’

How could I get off the missionary topic? All this quick thinking was doing my head in.

 

Stay tuned for the release of HAUNTED EVER AFTER on Sept 1st from Escape Publishing.

>> You can add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE.

>> And you can preorder from Amazon & iTunes at the moment (though will be available 1st Sept from all ebook retailers):

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A bride-to-be, a mystery, and the stripper next door…

Yep, that’s what my next magical romantic comedy novel is about in a nutshell! HAUNTED EVER AFTER is now available for preorder and is on Goodreads (links below). And here is the official blurb, thanks to managing editor Kate from Escape Publishing who edited my draft into the fabulousness below…

HauntedEverAfter-JulietMadisonHAUNTED EVER AFTER (release date: 1st Sept 2014, Escape Publishing/Harlequin Australia):

Mixing romance, humour and a sparkle of magic, Juliet Madison is back with a new full-length novel about a bride-to-be, a mystery and the stripper next door. 

When bride-to-be Sally Marsh attends a weekend away with her bridesmaids, the last thing she expects is an uninvited guest: the ghost of her fiancé’s ex-girlfriend.

Red is quirky, loud and distracting, and Sally is soon desperate to find the reason behind her presence, so she can rid herself of her embarrassing shadow before the wedding day. Unfortunately, the ghost is reluctant to share the reason for her existence, but very enthusiastic about Ty, the surprise hen’s night stripper who keeps showing up at awkward moments. 

Time is running out for Sally, but it’s also running out for Red. By the time all is revealed, Sally will be tested to the limits, and go above and beyond everything she’s ever believed in order to ensure not only her own happy-ever-after – but Red’s as well.

 

Think Bridesmaids meets Ghost Whisperer with a bit of Magic Mike (the good bits) 😉

>> You can add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE.

>> And you can preorder from Amazon & iTunes at the moment (though will be available 1st Sept from all ebook retailers):

>> See the Pinterest board for the book HERE.

Thanks to my readers for your ongoing support, and I hope you enjoy Haunted Ever After! 🙂

Guest blogger: Juliet Madison

I’ve got an article up on the ARRA blog today about small town settings in books…

Australian Romance Readers Association

Juliet MadisonThe appeal of small-town settings

I like to read and write books set both in small towns and in urban environments, but small towns hold a certain allure for me. They have a cosy, magical quality, and I find them intriguing. When I came up with the idea for a small-town series of books, I knew I wanted to base it on the town I had just moved to, on the south coast of NSW. I was getting used to my new home and discovering all the quirks and beauty the town had to offer, and tried my best to translate that to the page. The first book I set here was The January Wish, which led to the decision to create a monthly-themed set of books linked by the same setting, and the Tarrin’s Bay series was born. I wrote February or Forever after that, and am now…

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Why We Need Fiction (inspired by A Place To Call Home)

If you’re in Australia you have probably heard of or watched the TV show A PLACE TO CALL HOME. I watched the final episode Sunday night, ending the series at season two, much to the disappointment of many fans. It was obvious the final few minutes of the episode were rushed to try and tie up loose ends, but still many viewers were left with unanswered questions.

It got me thinking how important fiction and fictional characters are to people, how we connect with them even though we know they aren’t real. As an author I try to do this on a daily basis; write characters and storylines that people are going to hopefully connect with and care about what happens next. With books you know you will get to The End, a proper ending, and know how everything turns out, but in television it is less assured. Writers, actors, producers, and directors often don’t know if the season they’re working on will be their last, and must not only prepare for a future season but keep in mind some options for tying up storylines should the show be cancelled. There’s nothing more frustrating than being left hanging, no resolution, no idea what was supposed to happen next.

Many fans of the show have taken to signing petitions to try and bring it back, and there’s a facebook page to show support for the show. I even wondered if fan fiction or a spin-off book would be possible to continue the storylines that had been planned for season three, who knows!

This reaction is a great example of the power of fiction in people’s lives. We all like a good story. Is it just the entertainment factor or is there more to it?

I believe it is human nature to be curious, and fiction stimulates that curiosity. I also believe that connecting with fictional characters helps us recognise similarities in our own lives – behaviours, experiences, relationships, issues in society – our real life world can be reflected through fiction in a controlled way that helps us make sense of life. And historical stories like A Place to Call Home remind some people and educate others on what times were like back then.

Ironically, fiction is both a reflection of and an escape from real life.

Whatever the reasons for enjoying them, stories told through TV shows, movies, books, plays, etc, are an integral part of human nature, and though the mediums for telling stories may change and evolve over time (as with the rise of ebooks), I don’t think the desire to enjoy stories will ever change.

 

What do you love about fiction both on the screen and on the page, and why do you think it’s so important for people in their lives?

And if you’re a fan of A Place To Call Home, what do you think would have happened next had the show continued? 😉

 

~ Juliet

Giveaway Time! Celebrating 100 Reviews of Fast Forward

FAST FORWARD has now reached 100 reviews on Amazon.com and I’d promised I’d do a giveaway when I reached that magic number. So here it is! 🙂

100ReviewsFF

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who’s bought a copy of my bestselling, wacky, time travel romantic comedy, and extra thanks to those who’ve taken the time to leave a review or star rating whether it’s been on Amazon, Goodreads, iTunes, or elsewhere. Here are some of the comments people have made:

  • “I don’t give 5* ratings easily… Those 5 brilliant, sparkly stars my friends I now reward to Juliet Madison for writing this funny, witty, magical tale I will never forget.” – Ananda
  • “If you love movies like Suddenly 30 (13 Going On 30), you’ll love Fast Forward.” – Diane
  • “I don’t write many reviews, but I had to rave about this story! it was an amazing, realistic peek into the future. Juliet Madison must have the mind of a creative genius to have come up with all of this.” – Closophari
  • “This is definitely a must-read, you won’t regret it, it’ll make you smile from beginning to end.” – Ben
  • “The first time I read it I had to put the book down in some spots because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t hold the book still.” – Annie M

If you haven’t yet read it, you can grab a copy from Amazon HERE or from other ebook retailers, links are HERE (click buy now on that page to see all retailer links).

Now, onto the giveaway…

I love giving stuff away, and I also know how frustrating it is when a giveaway is restricted to a particular country, so I’ve made 5 of the 6 giveaways international! For each prize that you’d like to win, all you have to do is click the rafflecopter link and enter. That way if you already have one of the books you can just enter for the ones you don’t have or any you might like to give as a gift if you win.

Winners will be drawn on 21st July and notified by email. Good luck! 🙂

 

PRIZE #1: AUSTRALIAN RURAL ROMANCE BOOK PACK (Australian entrants only, this pack is HEAVY!)

photoPrize consists of:

1 x print copy of OUTBACK DREAMS by Rachael Johns

1 x print copy of THE HOUSE ON BURRA BURRA LANE by Jennie Jones

1 x print copy of RIGHT AS RAIN by Tricia Stringer

1 x print copy of DRIFTWOOD by Mandy Magro

Plus, 1 x ebook of your choice from Juliet Madison, and assorted swag (postcards, magnets…etc)

>>ENTER BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW (Australian delivery addresses only!):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

PRIZE #2: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE BOOK PACK (International giveaway!)

bookprize1Prize consists of:

1 x print copy of ALL HE EVER NEEDED by Shannon Stacey

1 x print copy of THE LOOK OF LOVE (The Sullivans #1) by Bella Andre

Plus, 1 x ebook of your choice from Juliet Madison, and assorted swag

>>ENTER BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

PRIZE #3: FUN & FLIRTY BOOK PACK (International giveaway!)

bookprize2Prize consists of:

1 x print copy of LUCY IN THE SKY by Paige Toon

1 x print copy of FLIRTING WITH FORTY by Jane Porter

Plus, 1 x ebook of your choice from Juliet Madison, and assorted swag

>>ENTER BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

PRIZE #4: CAPTIVATING BOOK PACK (International giveaway!)

photo 5Prize consists of: 1 x print copy of THE INEVITABILITY OF STARS by Kathryn R. Lyster

1 x print copy of CAPTIVATE by Vanessa Garden

Plus, 1 x ebook of your choice from Juliet Madison, and assorted swag

>>ENTER BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE #5: WOMEN’S FICTION BOOK (International giveaway!)

weddingseasonPrize consists of:

1 x print copy of THE WEDDING SEASON by Su Dharmapala

Plus, 1 x ebook of your choice from Juliet Madison, and assorted swag

>>ENTER BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

PRIZE #6: WOMEN’S FICTION BOOK (International giveaway!)

winterlodgePrize consists of:

1 x print copy of THE WINTER LODGE by Susan Wiggs

Plus, 1 x ebook of your choice from Juliet Madison, and assorted swag

>>ENTER BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

How’s that for a giveaway? Why have just one when you can have six!

Good luck, and thanks for helping me celebrate 100 Amazon reviews of FAST FORWARD!

FF-BestsellerAmazonAspiring supermodel, Kelli Crawford seems destined to marry her hotshot boyfriend, but on her twenty-fifth birthday she wakes in the future as a fifty-year-old suburban housewife married to the now middle-aged high school nerd.

Trapped in the opposite life of the one she wanted, Kelli is forced to re-evaluate her life and discover what is really important to her. Will she overcome the hilarious and heartbreaking challenges presented to her and get back to the body of her younger self? Or will she be stuck in the nightmare of hot flushes, demanding children, raunchy advances from her husband and hideous support underwear forever?

 

 

COVER REVEAL! Haunted Ever After (plus excerpt)

Drumroll… Ta-Da! 🙂

What do you think?

HauntedEverAfter-JulietMadison

The design team at Harlequin Australia / Escape Publishing have given me another fabulous cover. It’s always so exciting to see a cover for the first time, and I end up giggling like a little girl. 😀

This is my first cover with a guy on the front! Hello. Oh, except if you count the male nose and mouth on the cover of Starstruck in Seattle. 😉

As soon as it’s up on Goodreads, and on Amazon etc to preorder, I’ll post links. But for now, enjoy the cover and the blurb and excerpt below…

(Unofficial) blurb:

When bride-to-be, Sally Marsh attends a weekend away with her bridesmaids in the small country town of Barron Springs, the last thing she expects is for an uninvited visitor to tag along: the ghost of her fiancé’s ex-girlfriend.

She’s quirky, loud, and hyperactive, and the prim and proper Sally is desperate to find out why she’s being haunted so she can be free of her embarrassing disruptions before the wedding day. Problem is, the ghost is reluctant to share the reason for her presence, but seems intent on tempting her with the hot and charming stripper, Ty, who is always turning up at awkward moments. Is the ghost on a jealousy-fuelled mission to stop the wedding? 

By the time the ghost’s secrets are revealed, Sally’s strength will be tested to its limits, and she must go above and beyond anything she’s ever experienced in order to ensure a happy-ever-after for not only herself, but others too.

Exclusive excerpt:

She pushed her finger forwards, and — plop! —the stone fell from my grasp and down my t-shirt through the small valley of my cleavage. I shivered at its cold, smooth surface as it travelled down to my abdomen. ‘Oh no!’ Red laughed as I unbuttoned my jacket and tried to discreetly shove my hand down my top.

‘Can I help at all?’ I spun around to see Ty standing nearby, my hand still lodged between my boobs and my elbow pointing to the heavens, where I wished Red would toddle off to. I yanked my hand out and straightened my jacket.

‘No, I’m fine thanks. Where did you spring from?’

‘I saw you looking at something in your hand so I came to see what it was.’

‘Oh, it’s just a gemstone.’ I brushed a non-existent strand of hair from my face. ‘It sort of, um, fell down my top.’ I could still feel it low against my belly, but I didn’t think my arm could reach down far enough to get it. I could also feel an uncomfortable wave of heat rushing across my face, belying the fact that it was a cold winter’s day.

Ty tried to hold back a grin, but a hint of it twinkled at the sides of his mouth. ‘So, maybe just give your shirt a bit of a shake?’ He grasped his close-fitting black ribbed top at the hem and gave it a shake, and a glimpse of his tanned, hard abs brought back flashes of him last night in his underwear.

The heat on my face intensified. ‘Well, you see, I sort of can’t,’ I replied, touching the spot where the gemstone lay.

‘Why not?’

Oh dear God. Of all the days, why did I have to wear this thing underneath?

‘Because I’m wearing a bodysuit.’

Ty’s eyebrows rose. ‘Oh, one of those all-in-one lycra things?’

I nodded.

‘So you’d need to, um…’

‘Unhook it, below, yes.’ Too much information. Why was I telling him this? Surely a man of his ‘experience’ knew how a woman’s bodysuit was structured.

‘In that case, I’ll let you get on with it.’ He gestured behind and turned away, then turned back briefly. ‘I’ll just wait over here.’

I hid behind a stall and grasped the stone through my clothing with one hand, walking it up my body the way one does with a draw cord lost in the waistband of one’s pants, but it only moved slightly. I plunged my hand down my top again and dug around, but the tight-fit of the bodysuit made it difficult. C’mon gemstone! Where are you? It was like the Bermuda Triangle in here. If this failed I’d have to find the ladies bathrooms and do the unhooking, but if I could just get it…

I grunted, sinking my stomach muscles inwards to make more room for my arm, and stretching poor Mel’s t-shirt piece of art. My fingers came in contact with cold stone which I grasped, and with my other hand I pushed it upwards, until the stone was in my hand and my arm was finally out of a place I didn’t exactly aspire it to be whilst in public, or even private, for that matter. ‘Phew!’ I breathed out, having held my breath for a little while.

I adjusted my top and jacket and returned to where I’d been, feeling as though everyone was looking at me, even though they weren’t. Except Ty.

‘Got it?’ he asked.

I held up the stone in victory.

He clapped. ‘If you were single I would have given you a hand. You know, just to do the helpful gentlemanly thing.’ He winked.

Flirt. ‘Oh, I’m sure.’ I crossed my arms and diverted my gaze from his.

 

Stay tuned… HAUNTED EVER AFTER releases on 1st Sept 2014. Subscribe to this blog or to my email newsletter HERE to be reminded on release day.