Ta-Da! Here it is, the sparkling cover for my first ever Christmas story, 12 DAVES OF CHRISTMAS. 🙂
What is the book about? Here’s the blurb:
A beautiful, uplifting holiday story from best-selling author Juliet Madison about a lonely writer, her grandmother’s ghost, a road trip, and 12 different Daves.
Abby Solomon may write happy-ever-afters for a living, but doesn’t believe she’ll have her own. But then a surprise visit from her grandmother’s ghost sets her off on a journey she’ll never forget.
Grandma Charlotte wants to find her first love, Dave, who she mistakenly thought had died in World War II. A quick search yields a list of twelve possibilities, and Abby and Charlotte set off on a Christmas road trip – twelve Daves over twelve days along the sun-drenched East coast of Australia.
With just over a week to make the meeting happen, Abby has to meet a dozen Daves – some sweet, some quirky, some downright dangerous, while trying to honour her book deadline and enduring the awkward challenges of having a ghost as a travelling companion. But when she comes across a young doctor who looks like one of the heroes in her novels, Abby has the chance to discover that true love transcends time and space and that happy endings aren’t only to be found between the pages of a book.
12 DAVES OF CHRISTMAS is a 30,000 word novella and fits into the Romagic Comedy genre – it has romance, comedy, and magical elements, like some of my other books; FAST FORWARD, I DREAM OF JOHNNY, & HAUNTED EVER AFTER.
Release date: 8th December 2014
Publisher: Escape Publishing
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Here is an excerpt…
‘What about Grandpa?’ I said. ‘Is he, ah…’
‘On the other side? Yes. I’ve touched base with him, and it was good to see him again, it really was, but I’m afraid to say he’s moved on. We loved each other of course and had a great life, but the truth is…’ she took another of those redundant breaths, ‘…we weren’t soulmates.’
‘What do you mean he’s moved on?’
‘He’s spending the afterlife with Lorna. And I’m not angry. I don’t blame him, because when all the obligations and responsibilities of physical life are down the pooper, all that matters is being true to your heart and soul.’
I frowned, from disappointment at Grandpa’s choice of afterlife companion or confusion as to how this all worked, I didn’t know.
‘Sorry, darling, it must be hard to comprehend all this. But the fact is, Harry and Lorna had a…what do you call it? A rendezvous or a fling, if you like, many years ago. I knew about it and of course I was furious, but after a while I forgave him. Because in reality, I knew I still loved and longed for Dave, so who was I to judge?’
‘But Grandma, who is Dave and why didn’t you stay with him back then?’
‘It’s a long story, muffin. But the gist of it is, we were together before the war, well, during the war. But then he went off to fight when he was eighteen and I never saw him again.’ She dropped her gaze to the floor. ‘We promised that when the war was over we’d meet again at our favourite place, and I was to turn up there every Saturday at noon until we were reunited. Months and months passed and I was there every week without fail, but he never showed.’
‘But the letter…he wrote to you, obviously.’
‘Just the once. As you can see in his letter, he promised to keep writing whenever he could, but something must have happened to prevent him from fulfilling that promise.’ She puffed up her short fluffy hair with an upturned palm like she always used to do, and pointed to the watch. ‘He gave that to me before he left, said it was to remind me that in time we’d be together again. I maintained it and kept it working.’
‘But he didn’t die in the war?’
‘Apparently not. I thought he had, everyone did. They said he was missing in action, presumed dead. And then when the war ended and he failed to return after several months, well, after a while I had to decide whether to keep hoping or let go and start living my life.’
‘So what happened to him?’
‘That’s the thing, I don’t know. I’ve tried to find out where he is and what happened, but the wretched administration up there,’ she pointed to the heavens, ‘leaves a bit to be desired.’ She crossed her arms. ‘All they could tell me was that my Dave Smith had not passed through the pearly gates. But to find out more information requires more manpower and paperwork, and they put me on a three month waiting list. Three months! While Harry and Lorna have their happily ever after, I’m left to twiddle my thumbs and wait it out. I’ll be putting in a complaint when I get back, you mark my words.’ She gave a curt nod. ‘But that will probably take another three months to process! They’re utterly swamped up there, what with all the deaths. And the queues, there are more crowds than a Buddy Holly concert, let me tell you.’
I didn’t know whether to laugh at what I was hearing or be frustrated along with her. Grandma wasn’t known for being shy, and if she had something to say about something that was bothering her, she’d say it.
‘How do we know where to look? I mean, do you have any idea where he might be?’
‘I met him when we were living in Berrinda. He was passing through with his soldier friends for a camping trip to celebrate his eighteenth birthday. When he told me he was going off to war, he said that if he returned safe and sound he’d want nothing more than to settle down in a place like Berrinda, or one of the other small towns on the south coast. That’s all I’ve got to go on.’
‘That’s a start, I guess. He might be in the phone book. What did you say his last name was?’
I sighed. She had to go fall in love with someone who had an extremely common first and last name!
As if reading my thoughts, Grandma said, ‘Shame his name wasn’t Reginald Liktenblacht or something easier to find.’ She shrugged and grinned.