It’s been a long time between blog posts but I thought it was about time to share something new, a fabulous festive 5-in-1 collection of Australian Christmas stories, out today in paperback in Australia!
Keep an eye out on the shelves in places like Big W and target, Dymocks etc, or order online HERE.
This contains my novella ABOVE THE MISTLETOE, a heartwarming story about a grieving woman escaping her bad NYC Christmas memories in outback Australia, but finds that Christmas has followed her there. You can also read this on its own in ebook, available worldwide HERE.
Above the Mistletoe
A heartwarming Christmas novella about finding home in the most unexpected places.
After three disastrous Christmases, New York saleswoman Angelette Beaumont has decided enough is enough. To avoid history repeating itself, this year she is going to escape to a place far away, where it won’t feel like Christmas at all: a remote country town in Australia.
But when she arrives in the sleepy town of Seekers Hill, she discovers her accommodation has been double booked and there is no room for her at the inn. The only place to spend Christmas is in a small, dilapidated room above the local pub, The Mistletoe. A pub that is not only named after a Christmas novelty, but goes all out to celebrate Christmas in the biggest way possible.
Despite facing her worst Christmas nightmares, Angelette somehow finds herself drawn into the holiday cheer around her. Between the attractive pub owner who makes it his mission to revive her Christmas spirit, and a little girl who still believes in magic, Angelette’s avoidance tactics are failing. But embracing Christmas will mean opening up about the one reason she vowed never to celebrate Christmas again. And that will take a miracle.
Read in EBOOK
Read in PRINT, in Beneath a Christmas Sky.
Thanks to Harlequin / Harper Collins Australia for publishing this book, and congrats to my fellow authors.
There’s No Place Like HOME… new release & a giveaway!
Ahh, so true…
I’ve recently moved house, and although the others I lived in felt homely, I always knew they would be temporary. Now I finally feel like I’m home. I’m ready to unpack and settle in, and create a comfortable and happy living space. We have many animals; lambs, a dog, cats, ducks, and chickens (just like the character in my new release, Home for June – see below), and I have plans for creating a crystal fairy garden, hanging a tree swing, and having a few special writing spots to create my books. But most importantly, I’m home, because I’m with my son and my partner, and although it sounds cliche, home really is where the heart is.
That is the dedication in my new book, HOME FOR JUNE, a Tarrin’s Bay story about a city chef who moves to the town of new beginnings to set up a restaurant in his parents’ honour, and bumps into his old school friend from twenty years ago, Hannah, whose family farm he wants to buy and who is on her way out of town to move to the city.
Here is the cover and full blurb:
A second chance at love set in the beautiful coastal town of Tarrin’s Bay – after twenty years, will two old school friends finally find home?
Practical and hard-working event planner Hannah Delaney has only ever known life on her family’s chicken farm in Tarrin’s Bay. Needing a fresh start, she has finally made the decision to move to the city. But just when her mind’s made up, her past comes back to town – Luca Antonescu, her secret high school crush.
Grieving the loss of his mother, Luca is back in Tarrin’s Bay after years away working as a chef. He’s finally ready to settle down and open his own restaurant in his parents’ honour. When he runs into his old friend, Hannah’s event management skills seem like the perfect fit for his restaurant’s launch.
But as they work together to set up the new business, secrets are uncovered and long ago feelings resurface. Luca soon realises that he wants more with Hannah. But the woman he wants to share it with has other plans. Will Hannah follow through with her move to the city, or will she realise that everything she’s ever wanted is back home in the town of new beginnings?
It is book 6 in the Tarrin’s bay series but is a complete stand-alone story as are all the others, though there are some cameo appearances by characters from the other books.
BUY NOW >> Home for June is available as an ebook from all online ebook retailers, and can also be ordered in a large print edition. Published by Escape Publishing/Harper Collins:
Amazon / Amazon AU / Amazon UK / Kobo / Google / iBooks
At the end of this post you’ll find a special giveaway, so be sure to leave a comment and go in the draw!
And here are some more ‘HOME’ themed books to get your reading sorted for the next few months! Why not check them out too and do a ‘home’ reading challenge 🙂
- FEELS LIKE HOME by Lisa Ireland
- HOME TO LARK CREEK by Susanne Bellamy
- HOME TO TURTLE BAY by Marion Lennox
- HOME FIRES by Fiona Lowe
- COMING HOME by Ann B Harrison
- CLOSE TO HOME by Pamela Cook
- LONG WAY HOME by Nicola Marsh (Sep 2019)
- COMING HOME by Elisabeth Rose
- THE ROAD HOME by Fiona Palmer
- HOME AT LAST by Meredith Appleyard
- GOING HOME by Judith Keim
- HOME TRUTHS IN TUMBLE CREEK by Louise Forster
“Home, to me, means Sunday nights around the kitchen bench with a glass of wine, chatting to my family about their weekend, a cat on my lap, a horse or two in the paddock and a dog at my feet.” ~ Pamela Cook
“Home to me means getting together with family, cosy chats in the sunshine or beneath a moonlit sky. Hours spent together, enjoying every moment before the night ends. Peace, harmony, happiness, togetherness. That is home for me.” ~ Enisa Haines
“Home is wherever my family is. Summer evenings splashing each other in the pool, winter nights curled up on the couch watching Masterchef, holidays sharing food and laughter.” ~ Nicola Marsh
“Home is where my heart is.” ~ Fiona Palmer
“Home is family to me, my quiet space where I can be me.” ~ Ann B Harrison
What does home mean to you?
Since home is where the heart is, here is a heartwarming gift for you to win! A beautiful rose quartz crystal pendant from my store Hart and Soul Studio…
OPEN INTERNATIONALLY! Winner drawn June 22
- For ONE entry, leave a comment on this post saying what home means to you, and/or which of the ‘home’ book covers above you like the most!
- For an extra SIX entries (this is to celebrate the release of the 6th Tarrin’s Bay book after all!), buy a copy of Home for June and email a screenshot or receipt for proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s it! Good luck, and the winner’s comment will be replied to on the weekend of the 22nd June. If the winner doesn’t claim the prize within a week, another winner will be chosen.
Happy June, and happy reading,
Return to Centre…
Want To Feel More Balanced, Grounded, Peaceful, and Happy in Your Daily Life?
This brand new spiritual self care program from author and coach Juliet Madison will help you return to your true self, harness your inner power, and maintain peace throughout any challenge, via 44 weekly ‘centring’ processes; guiding and supporting you throughout 2019…
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am excited to share this with you… for the past six months since I had surgery to remove a vital organ, I have been working on something behind the scenes, whenever inspiration strikes, but not really knowing what it was. I thought at first I was journalling; jotting down thoughts and words to help me through a difficult time, and yet, these words seemed to come through me not from me.
So maybe I was writing a book. Another book. And maybe it will be a book eventually, but as the words kept coming effortlessly and I found myself not even having to think about what I was writing, I realised I was channeling insight and guidance from… somewhere. Perhaps the collective universal consciousness that ties us all together. It felt similar to the process of doing intuitive readings and coaching for clients around the world, where I tap into their energy and pinpoint areas of significance or answer their burning questions, but this time I was reading myself… at first.
Then as these insights began to help me regain my sense of peace, I realised they could help others too, and when I decided to open myself up to receiving more insight, it flowed even more, and in a way that I felt I was tapping into a universal need, a core, unified link between us all that needs to be nourished and supported… A ‘centre’ within ourselves and within the earth and universe itself, that we can sometimes stray from during life, but that can be accessed and returned to. We can return to this centre, where healing, hope, harmony, and peace resides. And this program is the result. What started as a way for me to cope with a challenging time, soon became a way for me to reach others, united by our spirit and human need for connection and peace within ourselves.
Centring is an ongoing journey, not a destination, and I’d like to invite you to share this journey with me in 2019…
First, what is Centring, or being Centred?
Being centred is the ultimate in self care… it’s about being tuned into your core self, your true spiritual and energetic nature where there is no judgement, no pain, and no fear. For want of a better explanation, it’s like heaven on the inside. It feels balanced, it feels peaceful, it feels confident, it feels well. It’s knowing you can say, “I’ve got this” no matter what is going on. Regardless of your religious beliefs or affiliation, we all have this inner core, this soul part of ourselves where our true, unlimited nature resides, that is not only part of us but part of all of us, together, united, as a whole. By being centred yourself, you also help others to more easily return to their centre too.
Why is Returning to Centre important?
Centring is the foundation of peace, alignment, and manifestation. It tunes us into our source, which is love, and which shines a light to our authentic self so that we are supported throughout any challenge, and allowed to be the best and happiest version of ourselves.
Returning to Centre works from the inside out. Instead of trying to fix all your outside or external circumstances that are not the way you’d like them in an attempt to feel better about your life, you aim to feel better on the inside first so that it doesn’t matter what is going on around you. And do you know what often happens when you are centred and aligned on the inside? The outside circumstances often shift anyway, seemingly by themselves! Our true power is not in influencing things around us, but by returning to ourselves, which allows the power of the universe to manage all those external things. This is not to say that you shouldn’t take external action, or make changes, it is simply to emphasise where your true power lies. And when you know this, everything else is work-out-able.
No matter what is going on around you, you CAN feel centred and grounded, and at peace. If you feel overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, time-poor, tired or unwell, held back from your goals and dreams, you feel no one understands you, or you feel too ‘sensitive’ to handle modern life, centring can help.
It’s not about hiding your feelings, or being positive 100% of the time… feelings should be experienced and expressed. It’s about having a continual connection to that special part of you, that centre, that holds you up through everything you go through.
When centred, manifestations happen more quickly, easily, and in alignment with your true self and what is best for you, because you’re operating from the highest vibration of yourself. When you’re in this state, everything that happens is right for you. Everything. Even the challenges. Centring allows you to not be afraid of challenges that are a normal part of life, but to know that all is well.
In life, we want the great job, the amazing partner, the perfect holiday, the house, good health and longevity, the book deal, the lotto win, etc, because it’s normal and human to desire things that we think will make us feel good. But what if you could feel good, or better, regardless of what you have or don’t have? And what if by feeling better within FIRST, those things you want come to you more easily?
This is what can happen, and often happens… this is the power of RETURNING TO CENTRE.
February 14 to December 20, 2019
Think of me as your spiritual life coach for 2019… not a guru, not a master, simply a guide. To teach this material that has helped me, and to help you integrate it joyfully into daily life. It is YOU that has the power, you are your own guru, and I’d love to be the guide and witness to your inner light and power shining through.
What does this 44 week program include?
Starting on Valentines Day, as a gift of love to yourself, you will enjoy…
- 44 inspiring weekly teachings posted in our private Facebook group every Sunday.
- 44 ‘return to centre’ strategies and activities, one to focus on each week. Depending on the nature of the activity, these may either be something you can do in an instant, or done at a later time, or integrated into your days as life unfolds.
- Monthly group intuitive card reading for extra insight, guidance, and focus.
- Discussion with myself and other participants, and answers to questions relating to each weekly topic.
- Weekly follow-ups to check in on how the activity for the week went for you.
- A safe space without pressure or expectations, to talk, express, ask questions, and have your self care supported and celebrated.
- Surprise gifts and giveaways 🙂
- The opportunity for individual, private intuitive readings for your specific needs.
- A downloadable PDF of all the teachings and activities at the end of the course, for future reference to use again as needed throughout your life.
- The opportunity to contribute your experiences and feedback to be published, should this material be made into a book in future! 😉
As you move through your day to day life, my intention is that you will be able to recall and utilise these strategies as needed to help you through anything life throws at you, or simply to maximise your wellbeing and happiness and support you in living a wonderful, miraculous, joy-filled existence!
Let’s do this together…
Why trust me with your spiritual self care?
My mission, or calling in life, is “entertaining and inspiring myself and others through stories, art, and self empowerment”. That is a broad description that I feel sums it up succinctly. After I left my successful career as a naturopath to homeschool my son with special needs, I have written over 20 books of both fiction and non-fiction, with 17 published so far in the last six years, and have written and facilitated numerous courses and workshops both online and in person. As well as writing, teaching, and creating art, I also do ‘readings’ as an intuitive guide and spiritual mentor, assisting clients with their life questions and future predictions. My aim in this area is to help people feel reassured, confident, and positive about their life and future, and with this course, it is to help you with the awareness and tools to return to your true self and inner peace and power at any time.
I practise what I preach, and I will be as much a student of this course as you will be, so I see it as a partnership, a team journey, where the collective energy and support of the participants will create something even more wonderful than planned. 🙂
“I would highly recommend working with Juliet, as her valuable insight and advice will help direct you onto the right life path.” ~ Marie
“She hit the nail right on the head, she definitely has a gift of insight.” ~ Bonnie
“Very quickly and with barely any information, Juliet intuited to-the-point information regarding my next career steps and how they related to my life overall. Even more impressive, she provided a specific vision of what was going on with a friend coping with cancer. Juliet’s insights helped me to provide targeted support for my friend without my friend having to struggle to verbalize her journey.” ~ Amy
“Juliet did a distance reading for me and all I can say is WOW. The reading was so accurate.” ~ Karen
“Most of everything you told me months ago has finally come full circle. I can’t believe it, and I just wanted to say thank you so much!” ~ Carol
When you make a conscious decision to keep returning to centre, the universe responds to your commitment by committing to you too. It shows you more people, places, and things that will commit to you. It lines you up with experiences that match the high vibration that you’re radiating… it’s magical. 🙂
To take part in this program with 44 weeks of guidance and strategies and personal support from me, it is only $10 a week; a total of $440 for the whole year. However, because 4 is my favourite number and I want it to be as affordable for as many as possible, until February 10th I am going to reduce the fee to only $4 a week, which is less than a cup of coffee! So for the whole program, from February 14 to December 20, your investment is only $176. Most of my courses that last for a weekend or up to two weeks are around the $50-$150 mark, so for a whole year of mentoring, don’t miss this extra special deal! Sign up before Feb 10th for only $176, or one of the other options below, and if you’re one of the first ten people I’ll also give you a BONUS free email reading which is equivalent to a 15 minute/1 question reading, valued at $44!
If you like, you can also select the 2nd option below which includes not only the program, but also four email intuitive readings to use anytime throughout the year at more than 50% off. Each reading is done via email and is equivalent to about 15 minutes, and includes 1 question answered about anything specific in your life. You can use these all at once for four questions in total, or spread them out through the year.
And with the 3rd option you get everything above, plus a full chakra reading, which is a special type of reading (valued at $99) that provides you with a visual chart showing the percentage each of your chakras/energy centres in the body are functioning at, along with a description of how that is impacting your body, mind, and spirit, your emotional profile, and physical issues you may be prone to, and how to get closer to balance, and to centre, through a combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual tools. A perfect accompaniment to this course.
So, without further ado,
Let’s get centred!
> To register, simply choose one of the options below and click ‘buy now’… you will receive a confirmation email instantly, and a link to join the online group where the program will take place.
OPTION 1: RETURN TO CENTRE 44 week online program:
$440 $176 AUD one time payment (save $268).
OPTION 2: RETURN TO CENTRE 44 week online program PLUS 4 email readings:
$616 $255 AUD one time payment (save $361).
OPTION 3: RETURN TO CENTRE 44 week online program PLUS 4 email readings PLUS chakra reading:
$715 $333 AUD one time payment (save $382).
I look forward to helping support your spiritual self care, for a happy, balanced, peaceful, authentic, miraculous and magical 2019!
Happy Easter from the Town of New Beginnings… and Hello April :)
Happy Easter to those who celebrate! And wow, April is here already.
April is my birthday month, so of course it would have to be one of my favourite months of the year 😉 And APRIL’S GLOW was one of my favourite stories to write.
What was my inspiration behind this novel?
Candles are pretty self explanatory, I LOVE candles and all the beautiful scents and colours and jars they come in and always wanted to write about a character who runs a candle store… and as for neighbours, I don’t mean the Australian TV show, but the idea of exploring how two people not looking for a relationship, yet undeniably attracted to each other, end up as neighbours and how this close proximity forces them to face the demons of their past, and trust in an uncertain future.
In this book I also wanted to explore two imperfect characters; one physically restricted and one psychologically restricted, and bring them together to help them help each other.
April is an amputee who has learned to live with her physical disability, but is still scarred by emotional wounds from her accident, and Zac is a recovering alcoholic with post-traumatic agoraphobia… hence the need to have most of his scenes at his home, with April as the next door neighbour.
Another thing I always wanted to do was write a character who writes poetry, as poetry was a big part of my life growing up and helped me express myself and get through difficult times during adolescence. So it felt natural to bring this element into April’s Glow, through Zac, who writes to help cope with his psychological issues.
Writing novels is a way to express parts ourselves that we wish to explore, while also discovering new concepts and characters that are completely different from our own lives. To me, writing is like living multiple lives, and being in control of the outcomes. There is a great deal of fulfilment in writing a book. And seeing it come to life, feeling as though it is a real story about real people, is very rewarding.
With each new story I discover something new about life, and about myself, and I can’t wait to see what I discover next… 🙂
Hope you have a wonderful Easter, and happy reading!
READ APRIL’S GLOW; >> http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9781760370312
~ Juliet xo
P.S. – Thanks to those who attended my recent talk at Shellharbour library!
Happy International Women’s Day! Plus a library talk…
Happy International Women’s Day! 😀😘
Who are your favourite female fictional characters?
I love writing about brave, authentic women who become empowered throughtheir challenges to live their best life possible… and after 17 books (15 fiction), it’s hard to choose a favourite, but if I had to I’d say April from April’s Glow…
I love that she speaks her mind without fear, even if it gets her into trouble, and that despite being an amputee she doesn’t let her disability define her, but simply does the best she can within her limitations. I also love that even after promising to stand by her fiance when he develops quadriplegia, and he shuts her out of his life to spare her the difficulty, she moves on with grace and hope towards a new future, starting a fresh life running her own business in Tarrin’s Bay. And then after all she’s been through, and dealing with an alcoholic father, she falls for a recovering alcoholic. She worries he will be just like her dad… but still she gives him a chance, and learns about the healing power of unconditional love and acceptance.
April was an amazing character to write, and when I think of my own challenges I am reminded of those who are dealing with so much more, and I am grateful.
Let’s celebrate the power of amazing female characters in fiction who have the power to remind us of our own strength, as well as giving us an entertaining story.
Books are important. Women are important. And you are too. 👍😊👊✌️
Thanks to Escape Publishing for publishing APRIL’S GLOW and many other books with strong female characters. READ THE BOOK…
>>> And to celebrate International Women’s Day, I’m giving a library talk this weekend about my writing journey over the past several years!
If you’d like to come and don’t live too far away, it’s at Shellharbour City Library, on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, on Sat March 10 at 1pm.
See flyer below for details and how to book your free seat. You can also register quickly and easily online here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/author-talk-juliet-madison-tickets-43152568494
Chapter One of SIGHT (The Delta Girls book 1) & A Giveaway!
To finish up the celebrations for the month of my 5th publishing anniversary, I’m having one last giveaway for February, a signed copy of my young adult supernatural mystery novel, SIGHT, which is book 1 in the Delta Girls series. If you like shows like Charmed, Ghost Whisperer, and enjoy books with mystery, suspense, humour, sisterhood and family dynamics, and young love, then you might like this series!
Below I am sharing Chapter One of SIGHT to give you a “taste” (title of Book 4, no pun intended!) 😉
Hope you enjoy, and read below to the bottom of the page for details on how to win a copy…
SIGHT (THE DELTA GIRLS #1) – CHAPTER ONE:
I always thought I’d spend my sixteenth birthday at home with my four sisters and closest friends having the sleepover of all sleepovers with streamers and balloons overtaking the living room, a bottomless bowl of salt and vinegar potato chips, and enough chocolate to feed a small country. We’d watch movies, pausing occasionally to drool over hot actors, before turning up the music and dancing around like lunatics. My eldest sister, Talia, and her twin, Tamara, would probably bring out their Ouija board and freak the crap out of all of us. With our nervous systems on high alert for an impending ghost visitation, it’d be more like a no sleepover. Add the fuel of excess sugar and hormones to the fire of fear, and we’d be up all night for sure.
Instead, I spent my birthday fast asleep. In a coma, to be exact. Not exactly the picture I had in mind, and I doubt the picture my sisters had in mind either. As the youngest child in the family, everyone always treated me as though I was made of fragile glass; and as one of triplets, my birthday parties were always shared with Serena and Sasha. But, for the momentous occasion of my sweet sixteenth, we were separated by my inconvenient lack of consciousness. Not so sweet after all.
I wasn’t aware of my birthday taking place, or aware of anything for that matter. I only remembered the heavy, drowsy sensation after the anesthesiologist put the mask on my face, and then everything around me faded to black. It was a risky operation, no doubt about that. I’d been given the choice of living my life with the ticking time bomb of a brain aneurysm, or having surgery to hopefully repair the damn thing, giving me the possibility of a so-called normal life. As any teenager would have done, I reached for the hope of a normal life—that Holy Grail of adolescence and the need to fit in, to be accepted, and to figure out who the heck I was. The idea of walking around with a head that could explode at any minute was about as appealing as wearing the pink sweater with a trail of fluffy pom-poms down each sleeve that Grandma knitted me two Christmas’s earlier.
I was told to expect a shocking headache on waking after the operation, but what I didn’t expect was not waking up at all. There was no headache, no lights, and no doctors and nurses hovering around me—okay, there could have been, but I wasn’t aware of them. I was trapped in a prison of darkness with no way out.
That was until the fourteenth of April, two months after being wheeled into the operating room, when a strange jolt coursed through my body. Warmth flushed my skin, and a kind of bubbly sensation tickled me from the inside; and for the first time in a long while, I saw something. The image was as clear as day; I knew it was real.
And then I opened my eyes.
“Did you feel that?”
“I thought I heard…”
The sound of my sisters’ voices became apparent as light soaked into my aching eyes, drowning in a thick blur of white.
“Oh my God. Savannah!”
“Quick, someone get Mom!”
I wanted so much to sit up and hug them, feel that I was indeed alive, but my muscles were deaf to my brain’s commands. At least my ears weren’t. The mismatched symphony of sounds gnawed at my eardrums, but I didn’t care. I was alive. My family was with me. The familiar click- clack of my mother’s shoes grew near, followed by her soft breath and cold palm on my face before it was quickly replaced by a sharp light protruding into my eyes.
“Savannah, can you hear me?” an unfamiliar male voice asked. “Blink twice if you can hear me.”
I blinked. Twice.
“She really is awake! Honey, it’s Mom. Everything’s going to be all right.”
“I…know.” It was as though I was speaking for the first time. The words sounded like strangers hijacking my throat as it scratched and strained in effort. It felt weird, but at the same time, it felt pretty awesome.
Three Months Later…
I’d forgotten how delicious ice cream was. Since my operation, eating ice cream had always been rewarded with a sharp, cold headache, but not today. Today I was rewarded with the bliss of boysenberry ripple cooling my tongue and delivering a burst of sweetness to my eager taste buds. I wiped at globs of ice cream as they dripped down my chin and giggled. Serena, my older sister by two and a half minutes, eyed me strangely.
“What?” I asked.
“Huh? Oh, nothing.” She flicked her slender hand. “It’s just good to hear you laugh again, that’s all.”
Smiling, I stepped onto the beach, reveling in the luscious, warm sand oozing between my toes. People laughed and chatted around us, children squealed and giggled, and seagulls squawked overhead; all relishing the freedom of the summer holidays. Flags marking the safe section of beach in which to swim flapped in the breeze as lifeguards watched over the crowd. The five of us dawdled along, licking our ice creams and inhaling the salty ocean air that tickled our skin as it swept around us.
Talia stopped and glanced at her feet, her wavy locks tumbling over her shoulders.
“What is it?” we asked in unison.
Bewilderment creasing her face, Talia raised her head. “I don’t know. But being here…it reminds me of something.” As though giving up trying to figure out what that something was, she shrugged, causing a spaghetti strap from her maxi dress to fall off one of her tanned shoulders. She returned it to its rightful position and we continued walking.
A dull thud knocked my head sideways a tad. “Hey!”
My gaze darted to the beach volleyballers nearby who were now missing a ball. I tucked the tip of my foot under the offending item, sharply flicked it up, and caught it in one hand. Good to know my soccer skills hadn’t died along with the aneurysm. “I’d say that shot was out,” I called across to the group of golden-skinned teenagers.
“Ya think?” a boy about my age, maybe older, replied. His hand shaded his face, but when he removed it to reveal beautifully proportioned perfection, I almost dropped the ball. And the ice cream.
Gulp. Maybe moving here away from my friends wasn’t so bad after all.
“So, are you gonna give it back or what?” He frowned. “Or can’t you throw that far?”
I’d spoken too soon. What an ass.
“Here, hold this.” I thrust my half-eaten ice cream cone into Talia’s unsuspecting hand and turned away from my sisters.
“Savannah, what’re you doing?” Sasha, my older sister by six minutes asked, lifting her sunglasses onto her forehead. “Just give the ball back.”
“Oh, I’ll give it back,” I said, confidence raising my chin. Or was it the desire for payback?
“Savvy,” said Talia, in her I’m-your-big-sister-and-I- know-what’s-best voice. “Don’t do anything stupid. The doctor warned you not to overdo it. Come back.”
She grasped my arm, but I flung her hand away. “I had an aneurysm. Had. It got fixed. I’m not a freaking invalid!” Geez, my sisters drove me mad sometimes, especially Talia. They treated me like a baby before the condition, but now it was ten times worse. They might as well have covered me in bubble wrap and attached me to a leash or something.
Talia crossed her arms and twisted her lips to one side as I approached the beach volleyballers. I stood at the corner of their makeshift court and shot a laser glare at Mr. I’m- So-Hot-It-Hurts. He stood at the ready, shifting his weight from one muscled leg to the other. Luckily, soccer wasn’t my only forte. It’d been a while since I’d played volleyball, but I remembered how to do a mean serve. And I was determined that this would be my meanest.
My eyes pinned the location I was aiming for. I stepped back on my right foot and tossed the ball in the air, meeting it on its descent with the side of my thumb as my fingers clenched into a fist. Bam! The ball went over the net toward the incredibly gorgeous and incredibly infuriating guy, who lunged for it and missed. The ball left a kind of mini UFO crop circle in its wake on the sand. Sucked in, hotshot.
“Woo-hoo!” yelled a girl on my side of the net, approaching me with a high-five. “That was awesome. You’re welcome to join us if you like.”
I glanced toward Talia who tapped at her watch as if we were running late for something. The sun reflected off the silver and I squinted at the glare. Then I held up my hand and mouthed, “Five minutes.” I turned back to the girl. “Thanks, I’d love to.”
I felt confident, powerful—alive. Hottie kept hitting the ball in my direction and only once did I miss. “I missed that on purpose,” I said. “Thought I better let you have at least one point.” He pretended to laugh, and I forced myself to look away from the silky ripple of a smile on his cheeks. I had to admit, he was pretty tough competition, but the thrill of opposing his every move sent a rush through my body I hadn’t felt in a long time. Not since… Oh. My. God.
I stopped. “Um, thanks guys, but I have to go now.” I waved awkwardly to the group then rushed over to my sisters who’d actually been cheering on the sidelines.
“What’s wrong, Savvy?” asked Talia, her brow furrowed.
“Nothing. But…I saw this.” I gestured toward the volleyball match. “Everything that just happened, I’ve already seen it. Back in the hospital, right before I woke up.” I placed my hands on my denim-clad hips and panted, catching my breath; from the exercise or the realization, I didn’t know which. Silence followed as they were probably trying to process what I’d said.
Talia stepped closer to me, her height making me tilt my head up slightly. She nibbled on her bottom lip as though she was trying to work out a nice way of saying, “You’re crazy, little sis.” But she didn’t. Quite the opposite, actually. “So did I. Only, I didn’t see it, I felt it. The sand giving way under my feet, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the ice cream cones in my hands. Right before you woke up,” she confessed.
My gaze locked on her intense blue eyes. I glanced at my other sisters who shifted awkwardly on the spot. At least if they thought I was crazy, my eldest sister would share the load with me. She’d felt this moment. I’d seen it. That was a fact, crazy or not.
Serena cleared her throat and scratched her cheek. “Me too,” she whispered, stepping closer in alliance. “Moments before you woke, I heard you giggle, just like you did back there.” She pointed to the ice cream van and squinted at the sun, crinkling her freckled nose. “I thought it was just a vivid memory at the time. I also heard the pop of the volleyball against everyone’s hands, only I didn’t realize what it was until now.”
My heart rate kicked up a notch. And as though encouraged by our revelations, Sasha and Tamara looked at each other curiously and nodded.
“I could taste the ice cream,” said Tamara, tucking a curly tendril of hair behind her ear, her round cheeks rosy under the heat of the sun.
“Wow, this is unbelievable,” said Sasha. “I could smell the salty air and the sunscreen lotion.” She shivered, despite the warm temperature.
The noise of the crowds and the splash of the waves subsided like we were the only people on the beach. My sisters’ words floated through my mind, crisscrossing into a weave of realization. The five senses. One for each of us. “So what you’re saying is, you all sensed this moment, in one way or another, right before I woke up?”
“Holy crap.” I ran my fingers through my dark, bobbed hair until they met the hot sweat at the back of my neck. How could this be possible? “What were you doing at the time?” I asked, my mind searching for a plausible explanation.
Talia threaded her fingers together then stretched and wrung her hands. “We were thinking you might never wake up, and Serena started crying. She wouldn’t let go of your hand,” she explained.
“Then Talia put her arm around me,” Serena added, glancing briefly at our sister.
“And we all joined hands around your bed,” Talia said. “Next thing I knew, I could feel sand under my feet and this wonderful, warm sensation came over me.”
“Me too, just as I heard Savvy’s laughter in my mind,” Serena piped up. “And I felt kind of…I dunno…” She circled her hands as though trying to summon the sensation back into her body.
“Bubbly?” I asked, tilting my head a little.
Serena’s jaw opened, and she gripped her smooth, dark ponytail, which hung over her shoulder. “Exactly! As though soda was inside me, bubbling up from my toes to my head.”
“How the hell?” Tamara shook her head from side to side, her curls bouncing around her face. “Amazing.”
“Do you think it’ll ever happen again?” Sasha asked, crossing one foot over the other and placing a manicured hand on her hip.
I flashed a grin and held out my hands. “Only one way to find out.”
*Copyright Juliet Madison.
Read the rest of SIGHT, and all 5 Delta Girls books, here:
~ Amazon (ebook, paperback, audiobook)
~ Book Depository (paperback, free worldwide shipping)
> ENTER TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF SIGHT! Plus some gemstone earrings… Head over to my Facebook page and follow the instructions on the post titled ‘GIVEAWAY!’ and dated Feb 23. Winner drawn 1st March.
Win My Colouring Book!
It’s time for the third giveaway this month for my 5th publishing anniversary (you can read my original post about how I became a writer HERE)!
This week a signed copy of my inspirational colouring and activity book, COLOR YOUR DREAMS is up for grabs, plus a beautiful notebook and a pencil case! This giveaway is open worldwide and I’ll draw the winner on Thursday 22nd.
To enter, visit my Facebook page HERE and check out the giveaway post dated Feb 15.
COLOR YOUR DREAMS contains 100 positive words, each drawn into an inspiring colouring page based around the theme of that word, and in addition, each has an activity page of empowering written exercises to get the most out of the theme and attract more of that positive element into your life.
I had the BEST time creating this book, and I love seeing what people do with the pages in my colouring group on Facebook!
Here are some sample pages from inside the book…
Enter HERE. Good luck!
February… Time For Love, and a Giveaway!
Thanks to all those who congratulated me on my 5th Publishaversary last week! If you haven’t read my post on How Becoming a Writer Helped Me Become Myself, you can do so here.
To celebrate my 5th anniversary of being published, I’m having some giveaways this month… congrats to Karen who was the lucky winner of last week’s giveaway; a signed copy of THE SECRET LETTERS PROJECT plus a beautiful journal!
Keep reading to see how you could win this week’s prize pack…
February is a time for love, and with Valentine’s Day almost here, it’s the perfect time to get those warm fuzzy feelings happening inside with a heartwarming romantic read. FEBRUARY OR FOREVER is one of my most popular bestselling stories, and explores an exciting ‘what if?’ question: “What if your favourite celebrity fell in love with YOU?” I’m sure our teenage selves wondered that at some stage! And this story shows how Chrissie, a single mother and yoga teacher who has just moved to Tarrin’s Bay, deals with that very scenario when she’s given the job of private yoga instructor to Drew Williams, her favourite singer-songwriter, while he’s in town for the month.
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 if Drew walks away and leaves her broken-hearted.
This book is part of my Tarrin’s Bay series which has books for each month of the year and is now up to ‘May’, and has guaranteed happy endings and new beginnings! You can start with The January Wish, or whichever story you feel most drawn to as they can also be read as stand-alone stories.
AND for the next week you will have the chance to WIN a copy of FEBRUARY OR FOREVER in print as part of the MORE TIME FOR THE BEACH anthology of 3-in-1 bestsellers! Included in this prize pack is a beautiful scented ‘coastal hideaway’ candle in a tin. Best of all, the contest is OPEN WORLDWIDE, despite shocking postage costs from Australia! 😛 I love hosting giveaways and I value my international readers as well as my Australian ones, so when I can I like to include some international giveaways too.
To enter this giveaway, please visit my Facebook page and find the GIVEAWAY post dated February 8th. I will draw the winner the day after Valentine’s day, on Thurs 15th.
Good luck, and stay tuned next Thursday for another special giveaway!
P.S. ~ If you’re a writer and love to write love stories, you might be interested in my upcoming online course, How To Write A Lovella (romance novella). It starts Feb 25th and goes for 2 weeks. All the details and registrations are HERE.
How Becoming A Writer Helped Me Become Myself…
Today is the 5th anniversary of being a published author. It’s my publishaversary! 😀
(Psst! Keep reading to the bottom of this post for a chance to win a signed copy of one of my books, and a journal… 🙂 )
It’s days like this that make you think back on your journey and how far you’ve come…
Since my first book, FAST FORWARD, was published in 2013, 16 more books have followed, and 4 anthologies/collections (see my BOOKS page for all the details). I’ve written romantic comedy, women’s fiction and coastal/small town romance, young adult supernatural mystery, and self help. I love diversity, and writing different genres helps me to feel creatively fulfilled.
I’ve learned a lot over the past five years of being in the industry (and also my eight years of writing), about writing itself, the editing and publishing process, cover design, marketing, and have experienced all the ups and downs including getting new contracts, getting an agent, getting rejections, getting good reviews and bad reviews, having the genres I choose to write both celebrated and ridiculed, and being both on time and behind with deadlines… the writing life is definitely a rollercoaster! I’ve also come to teach what I’ve learned by running online courses and doing coaching and critiquing for other writers, with Writing Mojo Academy.
But today, I want to write about something else:
How Becoming A Writer Helped Me Become Myself…
I’ve been reading a lot about authenticity lately, about the courage to be yourself, and coming into awareness of who you really are. Writing has, I feel, helped me to find my authentic voice, both in my writing and in my personal life, and discover and create who I really am.
When I think back to that person I was when I first opened a word document and wrote, Chapter One, she is so different to the person I now am.
My writing journey started when another journey had ended… my successful career as a naturopath, online health coach, and business owner. It didn’t end in a bad way, my circumstances simply changed, and with them, I had to change. My priorities had shifted, and deciding to put the wellbeing of my son first, I left my career, took him out of school, and facilitated his high school education myself through distance learning (a form of homeschooling, done through a high school). This decision not only helped him (he is now 21 and has not only written a couple of novels himself, but is pursuing a career in acting and also photography), but it also helped me, even though I felt guilty leaving my patients behind and wondering how on earth I was now going to pay my bills.
It was when this change began that I started reading again, never having had much time for it unless it was a medical or health book, or a research manual. I got back into fiction, and then ideas started to form in my mind. I would like to try writing a book… I think I can do it… I just want to know what it feels like to write a complete novel… thoughts roamed around my head, until that day I wrote ‘Chapter One’. From that moment on, I never stopped. I found my passion, my calling; to be a storyteller and to bring entertainment and inspiration to other people.
But I had no idea at the time that my writing journey would become an intensely personal journey of self-discovery.
When I started, I was undergoing immense change from being a successful working single mother, to a stay at home single mother homeschooling a child with special needs. I became isolated. Lonely. Withdrawn. I had also started developing a health issue that continued for many years, and for the next five years or so, every day was a struggle just to get by. To have the energy to get through the school lessons. To do the household chores. Even the grocery shopping took all my energy and effort for the day. But still I wrote. Writing became my outlet, my therapy …my healing.
I had loved working in the health field and was a confident and highly-regarded practitioner, but inside, I was struggling to understand and accept who I was as a person. An individual. A woman. Not only a mother or a practitioner. I hadn’t yet become aware of the fullness or truth of my identity. In some ways, I was scared to be myself.
Writing gave me a voice.
It gave me confidence.
It gave me self-expression.
Through my characters I dealt with life’s challenges, I found ways to understand things that had happened to me, I processed my emotions through my character’s emotions, and I enjoyed the thrill of my characters’ experiences.
By creating new lives through the art of fiction, I created my own new life.
I was not only becoming a writer, I was becoming myself. My true self, that until then, hadn’t been fully expressed.
And when I became published, I became heard. I hadn’t felt truly ‘heard‘ before. This was both exciting and scary, but the more I found out that readers enjoyed my books, the more confident I became, in my writing, and in myself.
Writing books, meeting other writers, reading their books, and immersing myself in this wonderful world of words, made me feel like I had found people who ‘got’ me. Who I could relate to. And I developed many new friendships as a result.
The more and more I wrote, the more and more my life started to become something resembling a novel! Sometimes funny, sometimes sweet, and sometimes heartbreaking. My career blossomed, and so did I. I started connecting with more and more people, trying new experiences, enjoying greater health by finally looking after myself and not just my patients, and ‘came out of my shell’. I even got a tattoo! …Something I had never thought I would do, but as I became more aware of my own essence, I wanted to express it, and as an artist as well, this was one way that felt right. It made me feel more ‘me’.
I am proud to stand confident and say I am a creative, motivated, determined, intuitive, resourceful, and kind person. A mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunty, a partner, a writer, and a woman.
It is always a process, and sometimes it’s not easy; learning more about yourself and coming to love and accept yourself and be confident with who you are, but I am there. My words, and the 19 books I’ve written so far helped me get there. They helped me tune into my own authenticity and personal power, and to finally be able to say, ‘It’s okay to be me, just as I am.’
Thank you for reading.
Love, Juliet xo
To enter to win a signed copy of my latest book, THE SECRET LETTERS PROJECT; a journal of transformation through the art of letter writing, please visit my Facebook page and follow the instructions on the GIVEAWAY post! And to stay tuned for more giveaways coming up this month, select ‘get notifications’ on my page to make sure you are notified when I post on Facebook.
I’ll draw the winner on Feb 8th. Contest open INTERNATIONALLY.
January… A Perfect Time To Make A Wish
Happy New Year!
January, 2018, here we are. Are you ready?
It’s been four years since THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my Tarrin’s Bay series, was released. I’ve made a few wishes myself since then, many of which have come true. 🙂
January is a perfect time to not only look back on how far you’ve come, but also look forward to where you want to be, what you want to experience, how you want to feel.
I love the new feeling of January, the ideas that inspire me from within, and knowing that it’s a fresh start.
When I wrote THE JANUARY WISH I not only wanted to make a great story, but show readers that anything is possible. That no matter what has happened in your past… grief, loss, regret, illness… you can rise above it all and become the best version of yourself and find happiness and peace in your life.
Some of the story mirrors my own journey, and as I’ve risen above many challenges and made a few wishes, I’m grateful to what has manifested in my life, both personally and professionally, including my rewarding creative career.
I love inspiring others to do the same with their own life, through the pleasure of reading fiction that entertains and empowers, or through direct guidance and support with my coaching and online courses that I run. I’m holding a special 2 week online course just for the new year, called New Year Mojo! – The Secret Letters System for Releasing the Past and Manifesting the Future, based on my book The Secret Letters Project and on the techniques I’ve used myself to overcome challenges and create the life I want to live. If you’d like to take part in this small supportive group and be guided directly by me to step forward into an amazing new year and new life, I’d love to have you on board! You can find out all the details and register right now by clicking onto this page HERE. 🙂
And if you haven’t yet read the bestselling and award-shortlisted book THE JANUARY WISH, it is available in ebook from all online ebook retailers, and also in large print, and in print as part of the Time For The Beach anthology.
From Escape’s queen of ro-magic comedy comes a sweet, emotional contemporary romance about the pleasures of making a wish and seeing it come true.
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.
Published by Escape Publishing.
Have an amazing new year!
~ Juliet xo
P.S. – Connect with me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/JulietMadisonAuthor/