Category Archives: Excerpts

Meet The Mothers In My Novels [& Enjoy This FREE Mothers Day Gift!]

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, aspiring mothers, mothers-to-be, mothers-at-heart, and single fathers! 🙂

I love writing about mothers in fiction, and being one myself, there is no shortage of inspiration to draw on… the fun, the challenges, the heartwarming and heartbreaking moments, I can make sense of these things in my life by putting them into stories.

Today for Mothers Day I’d like to introduce you to the mothers in my books, and I’ll share a little ‘motherhood’ snippet from each book:

 

FASTFORWARD-JulietMadisonMother #1: Kelli McSnelly from FAST FORWARD

Kelli suddenly becomes a mother when she transforms overnight from a 25 year old model to a 50 year old woman with two grown kids, a grandbaby on the way, and a husband she doesn’t like. As she navigates her way through the future, she’ll come to realise a few important things about life, love, and motherhood.

Excerpt:

Hang on, if she was pregnant, then that meant I was going to be … a grandmother. No way!

This couldn’t be happening. Real grandma’s knitted and had short curly mauve hair and stored tissues up their sleeves, didn’t they? I was too young for this. Two children and a grandchild-to-be all in one day? I needed Valium. Preferably intravenously. Damn! I should have asked the doctor for a prescription.

 

january wishMother #2: Dr Sylvia Greene from THE JANUARY WISH

Sylvia became a mother as a teenager, but she gave her baby up for adoption. In The January Wish she meets her now eighteen-year-old daughter and must discover how to adapt her life to make room for the child she never thought she’d see again.

Excerpt:

Sylvia turned away to give them privacy, and leaned over Maria’s grave to place down the single sunflower she’d brought with her. Silently, she thanked Maria. Thanked her for taking care of Grace, for loving her, for being the mother Sylvia wasn’t able to be back then. She wished she could hug her the way she’d hugged David, but she couldn’t. She simply placed a hand on the cold, rough headstone, and somehow hoped to communicate just how thankful she was that her daughter had been well cared for. Maria’s life may not have been long, but Sylvia knew it would have been fulfilling, having Grace in it. And suddenly Sylvia felt a strong sense of responsibility, that although she wasn’t taking Maria’s place, she was taking on a new role in Grace’s life. At sixteen, it wasn’t her time. But now, at thirty-five, it was.

 

FebruaryOrForeverMother #3: Chrissie Burns from FEBRUARY OR FOREVER

Chrissie has recently gone through a divorce and is now single mum to Kai, a challenging six-year-old boy. She moves to the town of Tarrin’s Bay when she inherits her aunt’s beach house and hopes she can make a fresh start and help both herself and her son open up to the joy and possibilities of life.

Excerpt:

‘Oh, but Mum. You don’t understand. You don’t know what it’s like to be this tired.’ He strung out the last word with dramatic emphasis.

‘Oh for heaven’s sake.’ Chrissie bent and hooked the heel of one shoe on her finger, then the other, and flung them into her son’s room. At least they were out of the way; he could put them in the wardrobe himself later. Chrissie picked up Kai’s school bag that he’d dumped next to the couch, and chuckled. Don’t know what it’s like to be this tired? She shook her head at her son’s naivety. Granted, he was only six, but if only he knew. Getting up five times a night on average for the first year of his life? That was the definition of tired.

 

Sisters at HeartMother #4: Carrie from my short story SISTERS AT HEART

Carrie is also a single mother with a young son who doesn’t want to go anywhere without her. She’s starting from scratch in a new town and living with her parents, desperate to find her own way and make new friends. When she volunteers for the school cake stall she experiences something profound that gives her hope for the future.

Excerpt:

‘I have to look after the cake stall along with another mummy, sweetie. Grandma and Grandpa will take care of you.’ I widen my eyes and nod in reassurance.

He cautiously turns his head towards my dad, who bends forward and holds out a lollipop of swirling, jarring colours.

Dental decay and hyperactivity to look forward to – thanks Dad!

Zac’s uncertain eyes glance back at me, then back at his grandpa. He releases one hand and holds it out to the lollipop while Dad inches back slightly so it’s just out of reach. Zac sighs and releases my other wrist, his pout soon replaced with a smiling red stain on ripping open the wrapping and licking the treat with gusto.

Bribery. Works every time. 

🙂

 

926565_giftFREEBIE ALERT! Do you have a favourite fictional mother character from a book, movie, or TV show? Let me know in the comments and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my short story SISTERS AT HEART! This isn’t a prize draw, everyone will get a copy, as long as you answer the question and leave your email address in the comment too so I can send the story to you! It is a quick story you can read over a cup of coffee 🙂 *Comment must be left before 16th May when the freebie offer will close. Spread the word! 🙂

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It’s My Birthday And I’ll Blog If I Want To

Yay, a birthday! Another year to celebrate being alive – yippee! That’s what I think on the 14th April each year (see my overjoyed expression below). Then reality hits… Oh. My birthday. Um. Hmm… another year older (see my overjoyed freaked out expression below). How does the time go so fast? Wasn’t it only recently that I was youthful and firm with skin all …dewy and stuff? What happened? Gravity and time, that’s what happened. Gravity – you suck. Except for the fact that you keep us on the ground instead of flying around in chaotic, uncontrollable astronaut fashion. Then again, that could be kinda fun. Occasionally. Except during meal preparation time… “Stay in the frypan, onions! And you naughty chicken breasts – stop floating towards the television! Don’t make me come get you!” And if I was boiling potatoes at the same time I’d also be dodging floating pellets of boiling water and looking like an uncoordinated ninja.

beforeandafterjuliet

But seriously, a birthday is a blessing. A privilege. And although physical ageing is inevitable, the mind and heart can stay as young as you wish it to be. And when I blow out that birthday candle tonight (one candle, because who can be bothered counting them all out once you’re over a certain age? 😉 ), I’ll be wishing for health and happiness for myself and my loved ones. And maybe some other things but I can’t tell you because then they might not come true! 😉

Sooo, I better go enjoy my day. Oh hang on, I have an idea. I’ll share a couple of snippets of birthday scenes from my books. Yes, that’s a good idea for a birthday blog post. Rightio, off to find them…

…I’m baaack!

Apparently only two of my books have birthday scenes. My other characters never age. Damn them.

Here are snippets from FAST FORWARD and THE JANUARY WISH:

 

Fast Forward, birthday excerpt from chapter 15:

FASTFORWARD-JulietMadisonI opened more presents, including a heat-sensing automatic temperature-adjusting blanket from Kasey and Max, along with a donation on my behalf to the Ants Have Feelings Too research foundation, and watched more amazing moving birthday cards, until only one thing remained on the present table. A white envelope.

It seemed strange that among all this technology, paper still actually existed. I slid my finger under the seal and pulled out a plastic card about the size of a book … if books still existed, I certainly hadn’t seen any around the house.

“Oh, whoops, that was supposed to be for later,” Will said. “Ah, might as well have it now, then.” His face went slightly pink.

“What is it, Kel?” Elaine asked with curious eyes.

“It’s a … ” I began, my cheeks becoming hot.

Ryan came over and plucked the card from my hands. “C’mon, the suspense is killing us!” He read the card and grinned. “It’s a couple’s intimate photo shoot at Image of Desire studios.”

“Woo-woo!” Regina said and a few cheers and whistles escaped the mouths of my guests, as Will held out his hands.

“Now calm down everyone, it’s just a makeover and photo shoot for married couples, nothing raunchy.”

“Yeah right,” Ryan exclaimed. “Have you seen the portfolio on the gift card? Look.” He pressed a button on the card and a slideshow played, showing various couples wearing minimal clothing embracing in imaginative positions like strands of spaghetti clinging to a fork.

A makeover and photo shoot I could handle, but with Will? Doing…that? My stomach lurched as I attempted to steal the card back from Ryan, who was holding it up in the air for everyone to see, keeping it out of my grasp. “Give it to me, son, that’s enough of your teasing,” I said in a motherly voice and interestingly, it worked.

“Sorry, Mum. It’s just funny, that’s all.” He handed me the card and I shoved it back in its envelope as Will mouthed a red-faced ‘sorry’ at me. I flicked my hand as though it was nothing and then re-opened Diora’s gift in an effort to distract myself—and everyone else—asking the nearest person to help me latch the necklace around my neck.

“There is another present, Mum,” Ryan said in a more serious tone.

“Huh? But you already took me bungy jumping.”

“You went bungy jumping?” Marge Simpson leapt from her seat, her beehive wig almost toppling forward.

“Didn’t you know?” Homer asked. “I told you yesterday remember, when you were baking that soufflé?”

“Darling, you should know by now to never talk to me when I’m baking, especially a soufflé, I won’t remember a thing for the concentration it requires.”

“Yes, she sure did,” Ben said. “She was awesome!” Ryan glanced longingly towards Ben and smiled, before turning back to me.

“This is something extra special, I’ve been planning it for a while,” Ryan said.

Oh dear God. Don’t let it be skydiving, or hang gliding, or a one-way trip to Mount Everest. Please!

 

The January Wish, birthday excerpt from chapter 28:

TheJanuaryWishcover‘I don’t think I can fit in dessert now,’ Sylvia said, as she leaned back in the chair at the dinner table and lifted her glass to her lips. She had no problem fitting in more wine.

‘You have to, it’s your birthday!’ Joyce said. ‘And the waiter needs something to put a birthday candle on,’ she added.

Mark nodded in agreement. ‘You know you’re getting old when you only get one birthday candle. It’s too much hassle to count out the correct amount,’ he said with a charming smirk. ‘Either that or there’s not enough room to fit them all on,’ he added. Everyone erupted in laughter and Sylvia kicked him under the table. He simply grinned, then winked at her. ‘Just teasing,’ he said. ‘You look great for someone your age, Sylvia.’ She kicked him again.

They say that one of the best signs that someone is recovering well from illness is the return of their sense of humour. Sylvia wondered if the same could be said for grief. When she’d first met Mark, his humorous charm had attracted her, but after their discussion about his wife’s death, he’d lost that charm. He’d become quiet and serious. Lately though, she’d begun to see a subtle re-emergence of his sense of humour. Tonight, it was obviously back in full force.

‘Look Sylvia, there’s lemon meringue pie.’ Joyce held the menu in front of Sylvia. ‘And coconut panna cotta with raspberry coulis and almond biscotti. Or what about Death by Chocolate?’

Maybe she could fit in some chocolate. ‘That sounds like a good way to go,’ Sylvia replied. ‘I mean, in terms of dessert choice, not death,’ she added with a chuckle, and hoped the mention of death wouldn’t upset Mark. She’d tried to keep their few discussions at work lighthearted, but that was difficult considering her profession. The subject of death was bound to come up occasionally. Thankfully, Mark didn’t seem rattled in the slightest, and in fact continued to mock her ‘old age’ by suggesting she tuck her napkin into her shirt collar and ask for her dessert to be pureed for ease of consuming.

‘Is the naturopath allowed any dessert?’ Sylvia asked Mark.

‘Of course. All things in moderation,’ he replied. ‘Tell you what, I’ll splurge on Death by Chocolate too.’ Mark placed his menu down on the table and signalled a waiter.

As the waiter made his way towards the table, Sylvia noticed Grace outside the restaurant. Strange, she thought. It’s a bit late to change her mind about joining them for dinner. Well, she could always just have dessert; there was room to pull up another chair. Sylvia was about to wave at Grace to come inside when a sense of dread filled her stomach. Grace looked different. Ghostly, in fact. And she was clinging to the window. A strange facial expression crossed Grace’s face as their eyes connected. Fear mixed with relief, Sylvia recognised. And within moments of their gaze locking on each other, Grace’s eyes rolled back and she slid down the window like a raindrop losing its grip on the glass.

 

~ Hope you enjoyed the excerpts! To check out the books or any of my others, here is my page on my publisher’s site with all the links: This one here. Go on, you know you want to. 😉

Until next year… 😉 

 

Escape into a Romantic Book on Valentine’s Day – 10 Excerpts to Entice…

What better day to get hooked on a good romance than Valentine’s Day? Today I’m featuring a few books from my publisher, Escape Publishing. Next to each book cover is a brief romantic snippet from the book so you can get an idea of the writing style and characters and see which ones click with you. To find out more about each book or to buy it, click on the book title.

To start, I’ll share a snippet from my latest release, February or Forever, followed by other books from Escape…

 

FebruaryOrForeverFEBRUARY OR FOREVER

She watched him for a moment, her finger wanting to desperately trace the curves on his face, but she settled for tracing them with her gaze instead. She lowered herself onto her elbow next to him, watching him sleep. Everyone said that sleeping children were gorgeous, but no one ever mentioned sleeping celebrities. Only he wasn’t a celebrity to her any more. He was a man. A talented and creative man, and a damn good dancer.

Watching him was like a meditation in itself, centring her mind and calming her breathing. She was about to snuggle up next to him when his eyes snapped open.

‘Gotcha!’ he said, a cheeky grin on his face.

Chrissie sat up. ‘You weren’t asleep?’

He shook his head.

She whacked him lightly on the chest with the back of her hand. ‘You trickster.’

‘You were watching me, weren’t you? I could feel it.’ A smug look graced his face.

‘No I wasn’t,’ she said. ‘I was just…waiting for you to wake up.’ She tightened the elastic on her ponytail and looked away.

‘Come here.’ Drew pulled her on top of him and whispered, ‘I would have watched you too.’

Chrissie confessed the truth with an honest smile, and her finger finally traced around the side of his face as she took in every perfect detail.

‘Your eyes,’ Drew said. ‘You’ve got Hungry Eyes.’

Chrissie smiled, remembering the song of the same name from Dirty Dancing.

‘Well then, you better feed them,’ she said, lowering her face to his and taking his lips in hers.

 

DearStrangerDEAR STRANGER

By day’s end, a dozen people would have a little piece of her heart. Perhaps it wasn’t the heart they longed for, but hers was a willing one.

Dressed for the occasion, Reese was a shock of colour on the subdued street. The bust of her dress was red and the lower half white. Just below her breasts the block of colour broke apart into tumbling hearts, which fell and pooled around the hem. The pockets of her long, red coat were stuffed with envelopes, none of which bore her name. Because these letters were not for her.

Reese didn’t know who they were for.

Each boasted the same sentence: If you’ve found me, I’m yours.

 

BeautifulIllusionBEAUTIFUL ILLUSION

Brennan opened his beautiful blue eyes again and stared into mine. “I have lived my entire life searching for you. The instant I laid my eyes on you, the moment you first opened your mouth to speak, I knew that I would one day love you. But what I didn’t understand in those first moments was exactly how much I would grow to love you. I couldn’t have even conceived of the force of emotions I now feel for you. Leah, I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I have no doubts or reservations about that.”

My heart fluttered. Breathing heavily, I asked, “What are you trying to say?”

He hesitated, enough for my heart to thud hard in my chest, before asking, “Will you marry me?”

As he said those words, it was as though everything around me dimmed out. All the noise and all the colours faded, leaving only Brennan and I in the entire world. I didn’t have to think, I knew instinctively what my answer was. “Yes. I will marry you,” I said, unable to hold back the tears any longer.

He leant over the table and kissed me. “Thank you,” he breathed.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small black ring box. My breath caught as he opened it and pulled out a stunning, antique diamond ring. I couldn’t tear my gaze from it as he delicately placed it on my left ring finger. It was beautiful; a generous square-cut diamond set in an ornate platinum band.

 

AlmostMineALMOST MINE

‘You’re really happy, aren’t you?’ I asked him as I observed every part of his face, mesmerised by what the emotion looked like on the outside, from his easy smile to his brows that were not at all crinkled like mine always seemed to be.

‘“Happy” seems tremendously understated I think.’ My nerves grew all at once wilder under the surface of my skin and my eyes widened. ‘Why are you looking at me like that?’ he said, as a hint of a smirk pulled on his lips as if they were gating a secret behind them.

With his relaxed disposition and loosely worn wedding attire, I could hardly breathe let alone answer him. ‘Like what?’ I managed.

‘As if I’m about to lure you into the fires of hell.’

‘How do I know that you won’t?’

He wrapped an arm around my waist and held my hand out to our side with the other, taking the pose that would begin a traditional waltz. He pulled me securely against him. ‘You know me better than that. Now, it’s about time that we get a little loose, don’t you think?

‘Nick,’ I warned, though all over my body my skin prickled with anticipation of what he had planned.

‘Do you trust me?’

‘You’re up to something,’ I accused.

‘You didn’t answer my question.’

‘I trust you, but—’

He shook his head dismissively. ‘No buts. It’s a yes or no question, angel.’

‘Yes. I trust you.’

‘That’s my girl.’

 

 LostInKakaduLOST IN KAKADU

Abi rested her hands upon Mackenzie’s knees, her fingers playing with his coarse leg hair. Her breasts bobbed salaciously above the water line and her wanton nipples peaked as the sensation of the warm water and the cool air teased her skin. Mackenzie placed his hands over her hands and she felt the warmth emanate from his palms. She closed her eyes and was absorbed in the immeasurable pleasure of a simple bath.

His hands splashed into the water and his fingers caressed her calf muscle. She opened her eyes. He was watching her. His honey eyes drew her in. Her heart beat faster and heat rose from within her core. As he devoured her with his gaze she wondered what he was thinking.

He licked his lips. “Would you like a foot massage?”

She swallowed hard, unable to answer.

Without taking his eyes off her he lifted her foot from the water and she chewed on her bottom lip in an attempt to curb the fireworks racing through her body. Her breath deepened more with each toe he massaged and she felt herself melting away when he ran his thumbs down her instep. Her heart quickened as she experienced one of the most sensuous moments of her life.

An exquisite pulsing between her thighs surprised her.

She wanted him to touch her more but she had no idea if he wanted her too. As she looked into his eyes she wondered if he was thinking the same thing. Never before had she wanted to be with someone so much.

 

MatildasFreedomMATILDA’S FREEDOM

Matilda smiled up at him, her eyes dark with passion. As she lay back against the pillow, her bright hair fanned out around her perfect face. ‘I know that you are to be married and that you will belong to another, but tonight I want what your eyes have promised me from the first moment we met.’

Dear God. This woman would be his undoing.

Kit knelt at the side of the bed and ran his fingers around the loose collar of her blouse. The sight of peaked nipples—visible through the cotton of her blouse—and of goosebumps sparking in the wake of his fingers caused an agonising pulse of need to score his already-tense body.

Surely she didn’t understand what she was saying.

‘Kit.’ The breathless tone of her voice turned his name into a caress more potent than the touch of her body. She was irresistible, and she was right—he had dreamed of this since that first moment she had leaned across the dinner table, captivating him in the candlelight.

Bending over her, Kit took her lips, kissing her slowly as though they had all the time in the world. As he nipped at her lower lip, she moaned in pleasure, licking and stroking until his body screamed with need.

Kit released her mouth and trailed a line of kisses across her cheek, inhaling the scent of warmth and sunshine in her hair.

‘Tell me once more,’ he whispered against her cheek. As much as he wanted her, this had to be her decision and must be made of her own free will. He would not take her until he truly knew it was her wish.

‘I want you, Kit. It is my gift.’ Matilda stated the words simply, ‘My gift to myself.’

 

TheHolidaySurvivalGuideTHE HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE

A rapid splash under the shower got him as alert as he was going to be. He was just reaching for the towel when the bathroom door opened and Erica slipped in, wearing a short cotton robe and looking pale and washed out. ‘You need a shave,’ she said, reaching out one small hand and touching his cheek.

‘Yeah,’ Nathan said, pushing the water out of his hair as he turned off the shower. She handed him a towel, and he wrapped it around his waist as she opened the bathroom cabinet and rummaged amongst the shelves. Then she pulled a small blue stool out from a corner and pushed him down on to it. Nathan didn’t protest as she soaped up his face, tilted his head to the side and set about shaving off a week’s worth of growth.

‘You’ve done this before,’ he said, wanting so badly to pull her close and just hold her, to tell her everything was going to be alright.

‘No,’ she replied. ‘But I’ve always wanted to.’ She touched her mouth to a clean patch of skin on his jaw. ‘I’m in love with you, you know,’ she said, offering him a pained little smile. ‘I didn’t mean to be. But it happened anyway.’ Another stroke of the blade against his skin, this time across his chin.

 

ValentinesDatesVALENTINE’S DATES

Brent Coleman’s gut clenched when the doorbell echoed through the house, heralding the arrival of another of Valentine’s Dates. Watching from the window, he committed the licence plate to memory as the expensive car eased down the driveway and out of sight. His fingers tightened on the frame, his knuckles turning white with the effort to rein in his jealousy. The sequence of beeps behind him indicated the front gate had been passed and the following three longer and one short beep marked the activation of the perimeter alarm.

He let go of the window frame with exaggerated care and turned to check the control panel. The property was broken up into zones, each linked in an overall system that protected the premises of the sprawling three thousand-square-metre estate. It was overkill, but it was a valuable testing ground. Being able to work out the bugs in his latest programs on the harbour-side mansion meant real-life experience and he wasn’t stuck in the office twenty-four-seven. Luckily, Wade, his business partner and best friend, more than welcomed Brent’s need to regularly tweak the security systems their company built.

Satisfied the alarm was armed, he made his way back to his office. Working and living with Wade had never been a problem, even once his best friend married and had a baby. Vee moving back in, however, made him uncomfortable. The woman had been a thorn in his side since the day she turned eighteen and made it clear any attention he gave her would be willingly received. But he couldn’t bring himself to admit he’d fallen for his best friend’s little sister. Talk about a walking cliché.

 

TangoLoveTANGO LOVE

Melinda dumped her wine glass on the bar, slipped off the chair and headed for the dance floor to join her friends. It was stupid to feel so hurt but she did. James didn’t know she had feelings for him, so she really had no reason to be angry. To him, she was just his housemate; the girl he could joke around with and test his pick up lines on.

The fact that she’d fallen in love him was her problem. He was the perfect housemate. He cooked, cleaned, ironed and listened. He even watched chick flicks with her sometimes.

He was the perfect guy and to him, she was just Melinda; the girl whose house he shared. He’d never once batted an eyelid when she’d brought guys home. In the beginning, she hadn’t batted an eyelid when he’d done the same and bought girls home. The fact that she hadn’t gotten laid in over six months wasn’t his issue. It was totally hers.

The realisation she’d fallen for him had been one Friday night when they’d been sharing Chinese. He’d said something and she’d looked over at him and WHAM that was when it had hit her. She’d fallen for him.

Mooning over a guy who wasn’t into you was the least attractive trait in a woman. How many times had she’d told her friends that? Now it was time to take her own advice and get over her feelings for James.

 

HindsightHINDSIGHT

Chris takes me in his arms, brushes the stray hairs off my face and gently traces my rounded cheek with his fingers. “My beautiful wife,” he says smiling at me. Those sexy crinkles melt my heart again. He puts a hand on my tummy and right at that moment the baby kicks. His face lights up and then he looks at my tummy as though it is the most miraculous thing he’s ever seen. “I can’t wait to meet you, little one. Be kind to your Mummy. She’s the love of my life.” A tear rolls down my cheek and my chin wobbles as he takes my face in his rough hands and brings his lips to mine in the most delicate, loving kiss I’ve ever experienced. I can still feel his lips long after he’s pulled away.

He heads out the door. “I love you, Chris,” I call out after him, but he’s gone and doesn’t hear me.

 

 

~ Hope you enjoyed these excerpts and hope you’ve found a new book to read! Which excerpt/s caught your attention the most?

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.

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

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

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

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

theblowhole

Excerpt from Chapter 2:

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

Then her heart skipped a beat.

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

Just like hers.

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

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

Strange.

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

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

Should she approach her?

But what would she say?

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

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

Oh God, my flight!

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

The woman was gone.

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

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

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

‘I’m a doctor,’ Sylvia replied.

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

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

This was going to be a dreadfully long ninety minutes.

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

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

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

~*~

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

 

TheJanuaryWishcoverPreorder The January Wish here. Releases 1st Jan!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

k 018

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

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

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

‘Fancy a game of candlelit scrabble then?’

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

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

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

‘Twenty?’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘You have a good vocabulary,’ Mark said.

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

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

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

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

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

‘Power’s back on,’ she blurted out.

~*~

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

 

TheJanuaryWishcoverPreorder The January Wish here:

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

landscape

Excerpt from Chapter 18:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Do you ride often?’ he asked.

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

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

‘About two weeks,’ she replied.

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

‘Yep, I am a newbie.’

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

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

‘Where did you live before?’

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

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

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

‘Never been there before,’ he said.

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

‘Unlike Tarrin’s Bay?’

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

‘Or cycle,’ Jonah added.

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

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

Grace nodded. ‘Cool.’

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

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

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

~*~

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

 

TheJanuaryWishcoverPreorder The January Wish here:

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

kiamaharbour

Excerpt from THE JANUARY WISH

Chapter 1

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

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

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

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

I should just go home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

No turning back now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

TheJanuaryWishcoverPreorder here:

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

Fast Forward the sequel?

SequelpicI promised when I got to 50 reviews on Amazon for FAST FORWARD I would share the first scene of the sequel (or spin-off, whatever you like to call it), so now that there are 50 reviews that’s exactly what I’m going to do! I figured 50 was an appropriate number considering the book is about 25 year old Kelli waking up as a 50 year old with no recollection of the last 25 years.

Before I do though, I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has downloaded the book, and especially those who have left a review on either Goodreads or Amazon. I’m thrilled that the majority of readers have loved the book and left 4 and 5 star ratings. Thank you! You can read some of the reviews here.

Now, onto this sequel business.

Let me say first that although I am about to share the first scene, this is all I’ve written so far!! So I’m sorry to say there is no sequel about to be published just yet, but it is something I definitely want to keep writing, though I am working on some other things at the moment. But I’m a fast writer so I’ll do my best to not take too long!

The sequel is titled DIORA’S DAY OFF, and if you’ve read the book you’ll know who Diora is. So for this book, the story will be from Diora’s point of view, not Kelli’s. But Kelli WILL be in the book (and hehe, did you notice that pun I just did? No? Read it again… got it?). Oh alright, I’ll spell it out for you. The character ‘Will’ will also be in the book! Yep, Will and Kelli McSnelly will be gracing the pages, but Kelli will be 55 years old! The story is set 5 years after the events of Fast Forward (that is to say, 30 years in the future). All your favourite gadgets and technology will be back (and some new ones), as well as the cast of quirky secondary characters.

Without giving too much away, the story is a cross between Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Parenthood (probably both the movie and the TV series). And yes, there will be something magical happening in the storyline. For Kelli in Fast Forward it was time travel, for Diora it will be something different… hmm, I might keep it a secret for now! Any guesses? It’s a tricky concept but I hope I can pull it off and not end up saying to myself: “What in the name of Dior was I thinking?”

Right, well I better stop babbling on and share this scene. If you’ve read this far, well done. But wait – there’s more!

DIORA’S DAY OFF – excerpt from work-in-progress:

Having big boobs is overrated. I’m serious. Who in their right minds would want the bloody things? They get in the way, get bumped and grazed by random strangers brushing past you in public, and wobble like there’s no tomorrow during everyday tasks like cleaning the kitchen benchtops. If I was ever lucky enough to have the luxury of a professional back massage, I’d need two extra holes in the massage table as well as the one for my face. And in hot weather, or even mildly warm weather, the girls need their own anti-perspirant. But nobody makes one for boobs, do they? Can underarm deodorant be used in your cleavage?

I rolled a tube of Lady Fresh down the front of my chest and under the weighty appendages, then fed my arms through the straps of the first non-nursing bra I’d worn in five years, having just finished weaning my youngest child a week ago. It looked like it could pass for an inflatable pool toy if you folded it in half, sewed it together, and blew air into the curved chambers through a straw. Maybe I needn’t have bought those expensive floaties for Sophie after all, I could just strap a couple of these babies onto her arms and she’d be good to go.

I put on my shirt and bent down to get my shoes from under the bed.

Creak!

What was that?

I straightened up, then bent down again.

Creak!

I’m only twenty-eight, surely that can’t be my joints? Or has having four kids under the age of six finally caught up with me and soon I’ll be getting heartburn and indigestion along with my arthritic joints? I walked to the bathroom to do my hair, my arms swinging gently by my side.

Creak, creak, creak!

It’s not my joints. It’s my freaking bra! I swung my arms with the enthusiasm of a marching soldier, then rotated them like an Olympic backstroker. Yep. The bra. Why is it creaking? I twisted my head to the side and peered over my shoulder, sliding my hand under my shirt and feeling the metal clasps holding the straps in place. It hadn’t creaked when I tried it on at the department store yesterday. Then again I’d only put in on briefly to check if it fitted, then ripped it off. Was it like a new pair of shoes that you had to wear in? Or did I give my bra arthritis from the cumbersome load I’d destined it to endure? Oh well, there was no time to change back into one of my worn out maternity bras, I had to get Lucas, Sophie, and Sebastian ready so we could get to Aurora’s school concert in time.

‘What’s taking you so long?’ my husband, Jason, asked as he peered into the bathroom.

‘My bra is creaking, and I haven’t done my hair yet.’ I ruffled my black tresses then smoothed them back into a tight ponytail. Creak, creak, creak. ‘See, can you hear that?’

‘Hear what? All I can hear is the ticking of the clock.’

I watched his reflection in the mirror as he lifted his wrist to his ear. ‘Clocks don’t tick these days, Jase. Unless you’ve switched your e-pad to one of those vintage pieces that are coming into fashion?’ I closed my eyes and finished my hair with a spray of Lady Sculpt, then turned to my husband with my hands on my hips and chest raised in a flirty pose. ‘How do I look?’

He coughed at the hairspray and barely looked at me. ‘Fine, now let’s go.’

Yep, to top it all off, even these whoppers failed to attract the red blooded male who promised to love me till death do us part. Not just today, but he’d barely cast a second glance at me since … um … how long had it been? Did we even have sex to conceive Lucas? Maybe I fell asleep during it and forgot about the whole thing, until a year ago of course when Lucas dashed, skidded, and tumbled out of my birth canal. It was no immaculate birth let alone conception. Hmm, it had been a long time. And Jason seemed … distracted, and disinterested. Something was definitely wrong.

* * *

There you have it. First scene laid bare for all to see. I’m kind of nervous now. 😉

As this book is yet to be written, I’m open to suggestions for what you would like to see, what things/characters you liked about Fast Forward that you would like me to revisit or expand on (SlimFX Magic Suit Version 3.0 anyone??).

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for reading 🙂

And check the blog again on Wednesday for another excerpt, this time from my upcoming release, THE JANUARY WISH…

Winners of the 3 Wishes Blog Blitz!

I’d like to say a BIG thanks to everyone who took part in the Three Wishes Blog Blitz to celebrate the release of my new novella, I Dream of Johnny, both the bloggers and the people who left comments to enter the prize draws. I have now drawn the winners and they are…

Prize #1: Juanita Kees
Prize #2: Shari
Prize #3: Nancy Goldberg Levine

…You have been contacted and need to reply within 48 hours to claim your prize, so please let me know if you didn’t receive my message. Congrats!

Thanks again bloggers, it was fun celebrating the theme of three wishes, and i enjoyed reading the posts!

And now, to officially conclude the blog blitz, I’ll leave you with a little excerpt from I Dream of Johnny

 

idojMy third wish. Oh. My. God. My third wish! Suddenly realising what was about to manifest, I checked my reflection in the hall mirror and smoothed down my hair. The excitement I’d felt knowing my money troubles were over was nothing compared to the anticipation building inside me now. I left the lamp on the hall table and carefully looked around the house for my Greek God. Wow, I’d be able to bring him to the wedding and make Dan jealous as hell! When I next saw Valerie I would hug her so tight and thank her for this remarkable gift. Unless it really was just an hallucination. But I didn’t care. Whatever it was, it was absolutely fantastic and I was going to make the most of it.

I tip-toed towards the bedroom and heard a ruffling of sheets. He’s in there! Breathe, Mandy, breathe! No amount of deep breathing could have prepared me for what I saw on entering the bedroom. A man lay seductively on top of the bed propped up by the multitude of cushions, his eyes oozing desire.
“Mandy, my love. Come here and join me.”
I squeezed my eyes shut and opened them again. He was still there, curling his finger in a come hither gesture that shook me to the core —not because he was irresistibly gorgeous —but because he was the total, utter, complete opposite. High-waisted shorts with suspenders stretched over a polo shirt, thick black glasses, a comb-over, a big zit on his nose, and —the sight was almost too much to bear —knee-high socks underneath sandals.
He wasn’t a Greek God at all. What had gone wrong?
“Who are you?” My voice shook.
“I’m the man you wished for, my darling.”
“No, no…I didn’t wish for you!” I backed away towards the hallway. “This is a mistake!”
“The magic lamp doesn’t make mistakes. It delivers exactly what you wish for.” He stood and walked towards me, arms outstretched.
“But you’re…”
“Jonathan Fortran Schnecklmyer. Your very own Geek God.”
The room seemed to spin and I held onto the wall again before dashing out and closing the bedroom door behind me. I raced towards the lamp and checked the screen.
Third wish granted.
I pressed the My Account icon at the bottom and then Wish History. A list of my three wishes appeared on screen just as I’d typed them. My eyes darted to the third wish.
Oh no. No way. One little typo or that wretched autocorrect and my wish had completely changed. There was no ‘r’ where there should have been. In my frantic moment of ignorance I’d carelessly forgotten to double check my spelling. I’d thought it was just a novelty lamp after all, but there it was, plain to see: I’d wished for a Geek God.

 

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