I just returned from the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Fremantle WA (post & photos to come soon), and while I was there, I got to see my new cover for the first time! It was such a nice surprise as it appeared on the screen of the Escape Publishing powerpoint presentation during the Awards gala after party. I love it! I think it captures the story perfectly, and I love how they included the skyline of Seattle. What do you think?
Here is the official blurb, and the story is released on 1st October…
Aspiring actress Anna Hilford might only have a small role in a leading television drama, but she longs to be dreamboat Karl Drake’s leading lady. Sick of being loveless and overlooked, Anna seeks the help of intuitive love coach, Lulu, from LuluTheLoveAngel.com to give her the courage and determination to follow her destiny. But fate has different ideas, Lulu has undisclosed power, and Anna is about to realise that life happens while you’re busy making plans…
In January 2011 I moved into a new house, in a new town, to start a new life. Somehow, I started a new book too! This book was The January Wish, set in my new town but with a fictional name. And exactly two years later (January 17th, 2013) I got an email with an offer of publication! Yes, I am excited to finally announce that I’ve signed my second publishing contract with Escape Publishing, the digital imprint of Harlequin Australia.
So now, two wishes have come true… my wish to have this story published, and my character Sylvia’s wish to… well, read the blurb to give you an idea 😉
When control-freak doctor, Sylvia Greene, makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, she doesn’t expect it to come true, but a week later her ordered life is thrown into chaos when the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen turns up in town. While dealing with deeply entrenched guilt, small town gossip, and a burgeoning attraction for her emotionally unavailable colleague, she discovers her daughter harbors a secret that could threaten to tear them apart once again.
The genre of this story sits on the border between contemporary romance and women’s fiction, although it will probably be put into the contemporary romance slot because although the story has themes of motherhood, career, and friendships, tying the whole story together is an emotional romance that I hope will have readers aching for the hero and heroine to be together.
The January Wish is the first book in my proposed ‘Tarrin’s Bay’ series, with each book being a stand-alone story but set in the same town with some familiar characters appearing in each book. Each book is also named after one of the calendar months, and I’ll be working on the second book, February or Forever, later this year which I’m really excited about as I’ve been plotting it for months! I’m also creating a ‘Tarrin’s Bay’ website to help bring the town to life for readers. Tarrin’s Bay is called ‘The Town of New Beginnings’ – it’s where people go for a holiday to find they never want to leave. There are beautiful beaches set against a backdrop of lush green rural land, a close-knit community, friendly people, quaint shops – including an old fashioned bookshop, and an historic wishing fountain in the town’s popular meeting spot – Miracle Park.
What makes this book unique is that it has three points of view – the hero, the heroine, and an eighteen year old girl, with each of their lives and stories being linked to each other’s. There’ll be laughter, there’ll be tears, and there’ll be secrets revealed.
Last year, The January Wish was one of the six finalists in the Choc Lit Search for an Australian Star contest, and I was completely gobsmacked when I found out! Although I didn’t win, it gave me confidence that readers might enjoy this story, and I can’t wait to share it with you on 1st December 2013. It was going to be released in January to tie in with the title, but by releasing in December instead it allows time to build up some excitement around the upcoming new year, which is what starts off the story – at the Tarrin’s Bay annual Wishing Festival in January.
Here’s a little snippet:
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?
To see some pictures I’ve collected that give you a feel for the story, have a look at my Pinterest page for The January Wish here.
To keep updated on this book and the Tarrin’s Bay series, you can subscribe to my blog by filling in your email address at the top right corner of this page (if you’re on a smartphone, click ‘view full site’ at the bottom, then go to the subscribe form). I look forward to bringing you interesting articles and posts about this upcoming book and series in the lead up to it’s release!
Have you ever made a wish that came true? 😉
In celebration of the imminent release of my debut novel, Fast Forward (see announcement here), I’m doing a series of interviews with authors about their past, present & future. Today, please welcome… Rachael Johns!
AND, it’s her birthday tomorrow (25th), so let’s wish her a very happy birthday!!
1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh SO many things. I was one of those kids who changed occupations as frequently as I changed my socks. I wanted to be a vet, a teacher (which I did eventually become), a flight attendant, a news presenter, a journalist, an actress, a zoologist, a nutritionist… I don’t think there are many careers I didn’t contemplate at some time or another 🙂
2. What did you do before you became a writer?
I was a high school English teacher (but only for six months before I went on maternity leave)! Before that I was a checkout chick and front-end supervisor and a copywriter for an on-hold messaging company. Believe it or not I liked the supermarket work better AND it paid better too!
3. What is one of your most treasured memories from the past?
Going on holiday with my mother to England the year I finished school. It was an amazing holiday seeing places she’d talked about my whole life – I was born in England but we left when I was 18 months old and this was our first trip back. On this trip I also met my dad, my half-brother and half-sisters for the first time in my life. It was an emotional and rewarding holiday.
4. What’s your latest release about and/or what are you currently working on?
I have two January releases – Stand-In Star from Carina Press and Man Drought from Harlequin Australia. Although both are contemporary romances, Stand-In Star is set in the glamorous world of Oscar Academy Hollywood and Man Drought is set in a small Aussie country town. In some ways both involve fish-out-of-water heroines who have to adapt to a new and sometimes scary situation. You can read more about each book on my website books’ page .
Right now, I’m working on my first ever novella – currently titled The Kissing Season, but of course that’s subject to change!
5. What’s a typical day like for you? (If there is such a thing!)
Haha – I’d like to say a typical day involves a nice sleep in, followed by breakfast in bed delivered by my sexy manservant, following which he brings me my laptop and I write in luxury all day but that would be a lie. I don’t really have a typical day. About two days a week I have a kid-free, shop-free (that’s my day job) day. Those days I get up, get everyone else organised and off to school/day care, chuck on a load of washing and do the washing up (sometimes I leave this till later) and THEN I sit down at my desk, check emails, Twitter, FB, etc and THEN I write. On these days I aim for as many words as I can, ‘cos the rest of the week, I can only steal writing time in snatches, most of which are at night.
6. Name three things you are grateful for in your life right now:
My family, my family’s health and my health. I could say my writing career finally going to plan and I am thankful for that, but when I hear such horrible stories of other people and families suffering, I often have to pinch myself that we are so blessed right now. Really as long as you have your loved ones around you and they are healthy, I don’t think you can ask for more.
7. If you could fast forward in time to any age or year for just one day, what would you choose & why?
I’m not sure of the age exactly, but I’d love to fast forward to when my boys are adults. I hope they are all well and happy and I am just so curious as to what they decide to do with their lives!!!
8. If you could have any new technology or invention in the future that would make your life a whole lot easier (or more fun), what would it be?
It’d have to be a robo-maid-cook!! Need I say more!
9. What are your hopes & dreams for the future?
Thanks Rachael, and have a FANTASTIC birthday!
And don’t forget to give Rachael the best birthday present ever – book sales! Buy MAN DROUGHT from Australian bookstores, Amazon, Harlequin, or Google play, Kobo, and ibooks. Buy STAND IN STAR from Amazon, B&N, and Carina press.