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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/ 

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…

On the 8th Day of Christmas…

…my true love gave to me… an interview on Lindy Dale’s blog!

And here it is. Lindy’s been doing a ’23 days of Christmas’ author interview series, so make sure you check out all the other fab interviews too while you’re there.

In this interview I talk about where I got the idea for FAST FORWARD, character crushes, and what I’d like to do before the world ends. I also share a short excerpt from the book.

Check out the interview here.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

THE LUCKY SEVEN!

My friend Efthalia has bestowed a tag on me in her fun post, “The Lucky Seven.”

The challenge: Post seven lines from an unpublished work of fiction.

My current WIP Fast Forward is a humorous women’s fiction story, centred around aspiring supermodel Kelli Crawford who wakes on her twenty-fifth birthday to find she’s a fifty year old housewife married to the high school nerd. In this scene she is meeting her husband for the first time, having just discovered her unfortunate reflection in the mirror.

The Golden Rules:

  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
  • Go to line 7
  • Post on your blog or Facebook page the next 7 lines, or sentences, as they are – no cheating
  • Tag 7 other authors to do the same

Extract: FAST FORWARD, Page 7, line 7:

“Okay, okay. I just wanted to make sure you were alright. And wish my wife a happy birthday of course.” He leaned in for a kiss but I pushed him off, horror overtaking me.

Wife? I’m not his wife, and he’s certainly not my husband! Grant is supposed to be my husband. Well, after tonight’s inevitable proposal that is. Oh God, tonight! My birthday party. I can’t go looking like this!

A high-pitched jingling sound interrupted my thoughts and the man made a strange movement; pinching his watch with his thumb and forefinger and appearing to pull some invisible strand to his ear.

 

© Juliet Madison 2012.

 

And the seven lucky nominees are –

Alli Sinclair

Diane Curran

Susan Child

Jenn J Mcleod

Imelda Evans

Kez Ptolemy

Nicola Marsh

I look forward to reading your seven lines if you choose to participate!

Don’t forget to post it in my comments then on your own blog with your seven lucky choices. 🙂