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Happy Birthday FAST FORWARD! My 1 year anniversary of being published :)

It’s my baby’s first birthday! My book baby that is 😉

FAST FORWARD, my debut ro-magic comedy novel that was published on 1st February 2013, is now one year old. Which means, it’s also my publishaversary! (sp?) As if that’s not enough excitement for one day, today, the 1st February 2014 is also the publication day of my new novel (and 5th book), FEBRUARY OR FOREVER! …Stay tuned at 3pm Sydney time for a special release day blog post for that. 🙂

So yay! Triple the celebration!

It’s been a BIG twelve months, and I’m thrilled that readers have had such a positive response to my first book (and my others). Over 100 ratings and over 50 reviews have come in for Fast Forward on Goodreads, which you can read here. You can also see a list of my published books on Goodreads here and add them to your shelves if you wish.

FASTFORWARD-JulietMadisonHow it all began…

It all started on New Year’s Day 2012. I was wondering which story to write next as I was flipping through a magazine. The next page I turned had an article titled Fast Forward, and I knew instantly that I had to write it, right away! (I had already come up with the title so it was like fate giving me a shove in the right direction). I wrote the first chapter that day, and the character of Kelli was born.

I had so much fun writing this character and her story, starting as a conceited young model and transforming her into a mature, empathetic, nice, well-rounded person (hehe, if you’ve read the book you’ll get that pun) 😉 I also loved writing the quirky secondary characters. I’ve had several readers tell me they fell in love with fifty-year-old Will! He’s such a Superman. 😉

What’s happened since then…

Since publication, Fast Forward became a Number 1 Bestseller in the futuristic category on iTunes, and a Top 100 Bestseller in the romantic comedy category on Amazon UK. It was also a finalist in the women’s fiction category of the Book Junkies Choice Awards, was a Harlequin Junkie Book Club pick, and I recently became a finalist for Favourite New Romance Author in the ARRA Awards. 🙂 It’s great to look back at the year gone and see how things have progressed.

And how appropriate that the cover of FAST FORWARD comes with its own birthday cake?! Saves me having to find a nice cake picture for the blog post! Speaking of covers, I couldn’t be happier with the design the fabulous Harlequin team came up with. The image of a beautiful young woman blowing out a fifty-year-old’s birthday cake is funny and intriguing, and captures the premise of the story perfectly.

…A wonderful thing during this past year was my Nanna being able to read the dedication to her at the front of the book. She passed away a few months later, so I’m glad she got to live long enough to see a book dedicated to her (and she read the book too!).

1206707_thank_youThanks, thanks, and more thanks…

To my publisher, thank you! And to my readers, thank you! Having a book out in the world (and now five), is a dream come true. If you’ve read Fast Forward and enjoyed it, I would love love love if you’d consider telling your friends about it. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend (though some would say coffee and chocolate, but no, I tell you the truth ;)) Just one recommendation can lead to another, and another, and so on, which can help authors to be able to continue writing and publishing books. If you’d like to share, send them a link to this post, or to the book’s page on Amazon, or my publisher’s page where all the various links to different stores are. Cyber hugs to everyone who’s spread the news about Fast Forward and/or my other books, you are the angels of this industry!

If you haven’t read FAST FORWARD yet, you can grab a copy via the links at the bottom of this post, and now I’ll leave you with a few one-liners from the book, followed by an excerpt from a scene that many have said is their favourite:

  • “Fifty?” I blurted, almost choking as the word launched from the slingshot of my voice box. “I’m not fifty! I’m supposed to be twenty five!”
  • Wait … if I was married to William McSnelly, then that would make me … Oh God, no! Kelli McSnelly. Shoot me now.
  • “Liliana, do you believe in … ” I glanced around surreptitiously to make sure there were no men in white jumpsuits getting ready to whisk me away to a facility for middle-aged menopausal psychopaths. “ … time travel?”
  • Automatically reaching for non-existent keys in my non-existent handbag, my hands then flew to my cheeks. How do I unlock the car?
  • I might need support underwear to fit into the support underwear and that could go on and on. I’d be my own Russian doll.

And a brief excerpt from many readers’ favourite scene: the ‘support underwear’ scene…

I grabbed the edge of the fabric again, pulling as hard as I could, but only managed to  squash my face, my upturned nose now practically touching my forehead. I must have looked like one of those criminals who cover their face with stockings. I could rob a bank in this thing, only I’d need an accomplice—or a guide dog—to show me where the hell I was going and possibly an oxygen tank feeding me air through a straw.

Oh my God! What was I going to do? My mind swirled in one chaotic haze, as panic rose within and the chances of getting out of this predicament alive seemed slimmer by the minute. Unlike my abdomen.

Crazy images flashed through my mind of Will finding me passed out on the floor of the bedroom, the magic suit still covering my head, arms still stuck up in the air … paramedics whisking me off to hospital …. Will waiting anxiously outside the operating room and the doctor emerging with an expression of defeat, pulling the mask off his face in resignation.

I’m sorry, Mr McSnelly. We did everything we could. We managed to remove some of it, but couldn’t get it all, I’m afraid. The situation was too far advanced and she couldn’t fight any longer. I’m very sorry.

Will would collapse in tears and the doctor would go back to the operating room and sign my death certificate. Cause of death: Asphyxiation by SlimFX Magic Suit.

A lawsuit—ha! how appropriate—would ensue and, if the suits weren’t taken off the market, they would at least come with a warning on the packet like cigarettes: Use magic suit at own risk. May cause death, deformity, or post-traumatic stress disorder. They’d have a grotesque picture of some poor woman—probably me—trapped in the suit. Others would show gangrenous arms from the circulation being cut off and faces permanently disfigured from the pressure exerted by the suit during its attempted take-off mission. I realised then that I’d have to have a closed coffin at my funeral so as to spare my family from the trauma of seeing me like that. Speaking of coffins, I’d probably need an extra-long one to accommodate my arms, permanently extended above my head from not only the stuck magic suit but also rigor mortis.

~*~

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

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

Buy FAST FORWARD via…

Escape Publishing, Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon AUSiTunes/iBookstore, Kobo, Google Play, B&N/Nook, JB Hi-Fi.

 

>> Join me this weekend for an online facebook party and chat to celebrate Fast Forward’s birthday and the release of February or Forever: https://www.facebook.com/events/1419435084961712/ 

My First Book Trailer: February or Forever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

A New Year, A New Book! THE JANUARY WISH is here… [Plus Giveaway]

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, 2014, here we are! And what better way to kickstart the new year than by relaxing with a good book? Don’t know what to read? Problem solved: my new novel releases today, 1st Jan, THE JANUARY WISH. 🙂

Here’s what the book is about:

TheJanuaryWishcoverFrom 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. 

 

THE JANUARY WISH is perfect for fans of Susan Wiggs and Sherryl Woods, and those who like small town books like Susan Mallery’s ‘Fools Gold‘ series. The (then unpublished) manuscript of The January Wish was also a finalist in the Choc Lit Search for an Australian Star contest  in 2012. It is the first in the Tarrin’s Bay series, and the second book FEBRUARY OR FOREVER is releasing soon, on 1st Feb 2014.

>>Buy THE JANUARY WISH from all good ebook retailers:

AmazonAmazon UKAmazon AusiTunes/iBookstoreKoboB&N/NookGooglePlayBigW ebooksBooktopiaJB HiFi ebooks.comAll Romance ebooks

 

WIN STUFF! I’m running a giveaway for the whole month of January. You could win:

Prize-blogtour1. A $25 Amazon Gift Card to spend on anything at Amazon (you can get quite a few ebooks for that!)

2. A beautiful coastal photographic print of the setting of the novel (South Coast of NSW Australia). The print is unframed so you can put it in a frame of your choice, and measures approximately 30 x 21cm (12 x 8 inches). I’ll also throw in some autographed book cover cards for you too. I will send this anywhere in the world.

>>Enter via rafflecopter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are several ways to enter and if you like you can tweet about the giveaway each day and get extra entries, just visit any of the posts during my tour schedule and click the rafflecopter link to ‘tweet about the giveaway’ on as many days in January as you choose. All other entry options in the rafflecopter form are once only. The winner will be drawn on 1st Feb and will be notified via email.

THE JANUARY WISH BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Read more about The January Wish, myself, and my writing life during my blog tour. Here are the blogs and dates in January I’ll be visiting:

1st: ARRA blog.

2nd: Jenn J McLeod’s blog – interview.

3rd: Jennie Jones’ blog – interview.

4th: Special Event: THE WISHING FESTIVAL day 1 – on Facebook. Join now!

5th: Special Event: THE WISHING FESTIVAL day 2 – on Facebook. Join now!

6th: Rachael Johns’ blog – guest post.

7th:

8th: The Australian Bookshelf – Author Q&A.

9th: 

10th: Whitney K-E’s blog – guest post.

11th:

12th:

13th: Juanita Kees’ blog – guest post.

14th: Eva Scott’s blog – interview.

15th: RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) – Author Spotlight.

16th: a) Tea Cooper’s blog – guest post.

 b) Aussie Owned & Read – guest post.

17th:

18th: Fiction Dreams – interview.

19th:

20th: Darlene Fredette’s blog – Book spotlight & excerpt.

21st:

22nd: Katherine Givens’ blog – interview.

23rd: Jenny Schwartz’s blog – guest post.

Escape Publishing blog – guest post.

24th:

25th:

26th:

27th: The Neverending Bookshelf – interview.

28th:

29th:

30th: Chick Lit Central – interview.

31st:

 

>> Join the Tarrin’s Bay Series Readers Group on Facebook here, for fun, discussions, competitions, sneak peeks, photos, and more.

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.

At Home With… Darlene Fredette, author of One Sweet Christmas

To celebrate the upcoming January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’ve started a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to my fellow Escape author and one of my first ever ‘writing’ friends, Darlene Fredette! I recently finished reading her novella ONE SWEET CHRISTMAS and let me tell you it was one sweet read! 🙂

 

One Sweet Xmas Final Cover1. Hi Darlene Fredette, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

I live in Nova Scotia, the East Coat of Canada, and have lived here all my life. The summers are great, but the winters are cold and too long.

 

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

It’s a beautiful province. My favourite area to visit is the Valley.

 

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

We’ve just recently found a little shop called Wheatons, which has lots of great stuff from knick-knacks, jewellery, bath and body items, and they also carry my favourite line of hot chocolate!

[Juliet ~ Hot chocolate must be an essential item during your long winters!]

 

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

I have a six year old Yellow Labrador. His name is Jagger, and yes…he’s named after Mick Jagger. My husband is a huge fan of the Rolling Stones. My baby boy weighs in over 90 pounds, but he still thinks he’s a lap dog, and believes he is human.

[Juliet ~ Does he have the moves like Jaggar? Your dog, not your husband. Well, maybe both. ;)]

 

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

We’ve recently changed the living room around. I love to sit in my recliner, wrapped in my soft blanket, and watch a good movie or read. I also get my laptop out and work on my latest WIP.

 

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

Let’s hope that never happens, but of course family first, then all the USB sticks that hold family photos and my writings, my daughter’s cell phone to reach family, and a jacket because it’s damn cold out there.

 

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

For the house, I would add a second level. We’d have bedrooms upstairs…with large walk-in closets. For the town, it would be warmer weather <smile>.

 

8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?

Any movie with Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp, Jason Statham, Chris Hemsworth, Bruce Willis, Robert Deniro, John Cusack, and so many more. We like action/adventure! My daughter and I also love to watch animated movies.

 

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?

As long as I’m not cooking and there aren’t a lot of vegetables involved, I’m game for anything. However, my favourites are pasta, chicken, and roast beef.

 

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

I have many to be read, but the top three are: The Good Wife by Jane Porter, Fast Forward by Juliet Madison (which I just downloaded!), and Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen (which comes out January 2014).

[Juliet ~ Let me know what Fast Forward is like and if you think I would like it ;)]

 

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

We don’t really have anything unusual, but in the fridge we have lots of juices. My daughter makes a mean Pina Clintada, which has orange juice, pineapple juice, and sprite. Depending on my mood, I add a shot of coconut rum to mine, yum!

 

k 01912. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?

Australia and it would be during the Canadian winter, lol!

[Juliet ~ Hope to see you here one day! I’ll save you a warm spot of beach.]

 

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

 

None of the above. My house is cleaned every morning. It’s my morning ritual before going to work. I’m a terrible hostess…just ask my family. So my only answer would be: Comb my hair.

[Juliet ~ If you do visit Australia I’m more than happy for you to continue your morning housework ritual at my place ;)] 

 

Thanks Darlene, and Merry Christmas!

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

Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads

 

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

Escape Publishing: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9780857991058

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00G2UXCNE 

Read reviews here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18656524-one-sweet-christmas

 

ONE SWEET CHRISTMAS

It’s going to take more than a few pieces of chocolate to fill this Scrooge’s heart with Christmas cheer. Luckily Candice Cane has a whole shop full…

Candice Cane is not proud of the way she acted after her last encounter with Jackson Frost. Sure revenge was fun, but it’s left Jackson standing, angry and looking for answers, on the welcome mat in her chocolate shop. Now he’s after some revenge of his own. 

Jackson returned to his small hometown for one reason and one reason only…so he’s not sure how he’s ended up in a Santa suit in the middle of a chocolate shop, at the behest of its beautiful owner, instead of high-tailing it back to the city as fast as he can. 

Jackson wants nothing to do with his small town past, but Candice shows him what he didn’t even know he’d been missing. Can a bit of Christmas magic heal old wounds and offer up a future neither saw coming?

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.

 

Preorder THE JANUARY WISH!

TheJanuaryWishcoverTHE JANUARY WISH is now available for preorder for those that wish (hehe) to make sure their copy will arrive nice and early on release day, 1st Jan. Great timing for a New Year’s Day chill out and recovery session!

Perfect for fans of Sherryl Woods and Susan Wiggs, this book is the first in my new Tarrin’s Bay series, set in a small coastal town based on where I live on the NSW south coast, Australia.

It has lots of drama, a pinch of humour, family dynamics, secrets galore, a medical and natural health setting, and two sweet romances for the price of one. Yep, two! The story is told from three points of view: the hero, the heroine, and the heroine’s eighteen-year-old daughter. So in a way it’s an ‘Adult’ and ‘New Adult’ romance in one.

Here’s the blurb:

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.

Preorder here:

The second book in this series, FEBRUARY OR FOREVER, will release straight after, on 1st Feb, so stay tuned!

And have a look on the blog every Wednesday leading up to release as I’ll be sharing an excerpt from THE JANUARY WISH each week.

At Home With… Iris Blobel [Plus Giveaway!]

To celebrate the upcoming January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’ve started a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to Iris Blobel, & she has a copy of her book ‘New Beginnings’ up for grabs…

 

iris blobel1. Hi Iris, where are you from and how long have you lived there?
I live in a small place called Miners Rest which is just outside Ballarat in Victoria. I’ve lived here for almost 9 years.

 

2. What do you love about the place you call home?
It took me a long time to get used to Ballarat, but nowadays I feel really comfortable here. Without wanting to sound like the town’s advert, but  it’s close to the mountains, the beach and all the facilities in Melbourne.

We live just outside of Ballarat and it is ideal for raising our two girls. I love the sense of community, the friendship, neighbourhood watch and  the idea that children can walk to and from school or friends without parents having to worry.

[Juliet ~ Sounds great!]

 

3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!
The Miners Rest Tavern! YEAH … great meals, great prices, great atmosphere!

In Ballarat – can’t go past the Hogs Breath Café and of course, 99.9 VoiceFM where I present the German Program every Wednesday 🙂

 

IMAG02314. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
Yes, little Spot’s been part of our family for the last three years. An absolute rascal who’s destroyed heaps of shoes in his short life, but a perfect pet and friend for my girls. They adore him and vice versa … and the only dog I know that can put a blanket on him on his own. I am not kiddin’!
Unfortunately, we lost our other dog died two years ago. She was such a loyal companion!

[Juliet ~ Love the tie, Spot!] 

 

5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?
Oh tricky!
First thought was bedroom ;-). But then the family room, because of that … being with the family. But, I admit, I love sneaking into my youngest girl’s room in winter on a sunny day, or on hotter days you can find me in daughter #1’s room.
So, there isn’t really a favourite room as such. I love our little house with a garden. Something I had always dreamt of when I grew up in a small apartment.

 

6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?
OMG, I hope that’ll never happen, because I haven’t got a clue on what I could leave behind.

Again, first thought would be my laptop, the big photo of my husband and me, the suitcase with all the photos, books, kids’ paintings, kids’ pressies …. Whoops … not allowed?

 

7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?
The distance to my family back in Germany!

 

8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?
Love Actually or Avatar
(My choice would be “Tangled”, but I have a feeling my husband would quietly leave the room after five minutes – LOL)

 

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?
“Leberknoedel”, with Sauerkraut and potato dumplings 🙂
I’d probably had to eat it on my own, but it really is very yummy!

[Juliet ~ I’ll take your word for it!] 

 

10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:
Suzanne Brandyn “Outback Fear”
Lee Goldberg & Janet Evanovich “The Heist”
Cecelia Ahern “One Hundred Names”

 

11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:
Spaetzle (certain kind of pasta)

[Juliet ~ You learn something new every day!] 

 

12. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?
Oh, the choices!
A year ago, I’d probably have said Canada or Scandinavia, but since our travels through the US, I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind going back to Oregon. We loved the diversity of the state!

 

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

Shame on me … it’s D – I’d probably not trip over something, but I can see myself rushing through my house, tidying up in my PJs, especially at the weekend 🙂 LOL. Thank goodness the house is never in a great state of mess anyway, but I do freak out when things aren’t  “at their place”.

 

Thanks Iris! 

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

Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads

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

Amazon : Astraea Press : Smashwords : Bookstrand

NewBeginnings 500x750 with logoNEW BEGINNINGS:

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know or have even heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator, and Sophie is afraid it’s all been a mistake.
As Mia settles well into her new school and life in general, Sophie is not only occupied by her search of what connected her to Clara, but also her new studies and the two men, who suddenly have become part of her daily life – Mark O’Connor, the lawyer representing Clara’s estate, and Zach, the hunk from across the road.

>>WIN! An ebook copy of New Beginnings by leaving a comment on this post. Winner will be drawn on Wed 4th Dec and notified here and via email.

At Home With Jenny Schwartz

To celebrate the upcoming January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’ve started a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to Jenny Schwartz…

 

JennySchwartzportrait1. Hi Jenny, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

Hi Juliet! Thanks for the chance to visit. I’m from Perth, Western Australia, and like a good sandgroper, apart from a few years sojourn in Canberra, I’ve always lived in the West. The sun has to set over the ocean or it just looks wrong to me!

 

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

My star sign is Cancer, so I really like being near water. Although I can’t afford (hello Lotto fairy, please do visit!) a house by the sea, Perth has its gorgeous coastline and amazing Swan River, and both make me feel good.

 

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

I’ll confess. I love bread. Yum, yum, YUM! No carbohydrate-free diets for me! If you’re ever at the Fremantle Markets (I remember them when they were rundown and full of hippies), you must buy bread from Abhi’s Bakery. The best bread anywhere.

 

Toby dog4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?

This is Toby, affectionately known as “Fur Factory”. He loves to cuddle and share his fur – especially if I’m dressed to go out and wearing black.

[Juliet – Always the way!]

 

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

Kitchen! I did mention my bread-obsession, didn’t I? 🙂 I like cooking. I don’t much like recipes, but mostly the results are edible.

 

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

I’m absurdly practical on this one: My purse because replacing cards is a nightmare, ditto my folder of important documents and probably my laptop. Photos tend to be online now, so no worries there, and clothes can be replaced. Hmm. I hate shoe shopping, so maybe I’d scoop up my shoes.

 

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

Give me that magic wand! I’d put a barrier around the suburb and not let any fruit fly in. With summer coming, it’s the time of fly traps and hassle trying to keep the critters out of the soft fruit. Although last year I did find that basil grown around the fig tree kept the fruit flies away.

 

8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?

It’s not a movie exactly, but I am desperately waiting on the third instalment of Sherlock. Meantime re-runs of the first two are welcome.

[Juliet – I have heard it’s good!]

 

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?

I would want to be surprised. Seriously, thinking up menus is hard work. I’ve just been doing that for my current book and it’s tough.

In case you’re wondering what my hero and heroine ate on their “this is definitely not a date” night out: chargrilled mushrooms stuffed with olive and thyme flavoured fetta, followed by roast chicken with pommes noisettes and spring greens, and Cassie insisted on a chocolate dessert. Any chocolate dessert!

 

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

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett – Terry Pratchett does steampunk!!!

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh – It was tough waiting for this to come out in paperback.

and I’m waiting for January for Jayne Ann Krentz’s River Road. I love her books.

 

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

Umm. *contemplates an emergency run to the supermarket to buy something interesting*

Ripe blueberries just picked from the garden. Not unique, but definitely scrumptious.

 

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

Florence! Wouldn’t everyone?

[Juliet – well, if you’re offering ;)] 

 

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

I have to add to c) attack hair with comb. When writing, if I’m truly stuck, I scrunch my hair as I stare at the screen. The result is a bit frightening, to be honest.

 

Thanks for your hospitality, Jenny!

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

Website : Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads : Google+

1013 It'a Love, Dude_500>>And help her pay for that in-house chef (or housekeeper) by buying a copy of It’s Love, Dude here:

From our favourite short story writer comes a debut full-length novel about sand, sun, small towns, and surfing…

Zane Carlton is a World Champion surfer. Molly Georgiou is a shy, small-town girl. They have nothing in common except an instantaneous attraction and an impossible quest for a rare, endangered Australian marsupial. But Zane is determined to make it work, and invites Molly to take a step into his world. But Molly isn’t ready for the spotlights and attention — she loves her town, its quirks, its characters. Opposites attract, but can two such different people find both a woylie and forever?

 

>>WIN! A digital copy of It’s Love, Dude. Open internationally. Enter by leaving a comment. *Winner will be drawn on 27th November and notified via email and in the comments.