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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!

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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

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.

COVER REVEAL! The January Wish

TheJanuaryWishcoverTa da! What do you think? It’s amazing to finally see this story come to life as it’s been a long road to publication for this one. I think the cover really suits the feeling and emotion of the story, and hints at the secrets hiding behind the characters and this small coastal town.

Thanks to the team at Harlequin Australia / Escape Publishing for another fab cover!

The January Wish will release on 1st January 2014 and kickstarts my Tarrin’s Bay Series, and the good news is you won’t have to wait long for the second installment – February or Forever releases a month later, on 1st February! Yep, I’ve been hard at work making sure I could have the second one ready for readers right away 😉

So what is The January Wish about? It’s a sweet, emotional romance about the pleasures of making a wish and seeing it come true. It’s a blend of contemporary romance and women’s fiction, perfect for fans of Susan Wiggs and Sherryl Woods. This story is unique in that it is told in three points of view, one of which belongs to an eighteen-year-old girl whose journey and romance of her own make this a New Adult (NA) and Adult story in one! It’s also a small town romance, a coastal romance, and a medical romance (just to cover all bases, you know?) 😉

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.

This book was the second book I ever wrote, and went through lots of revisions to make it the best it could be, and I was thrilled when it was announced one of the six finalists in the Choc Lit Publishing Search for an Australian Star contest in 2012.

The setting of the story, Tarrin’s Bay, is based closely on the town I live in on the South Coast of NSW, Australia, so I hope I’ve captured the heart and soul of this special place on the page for reader’s to enjoy… Tarrin’s Bay is known as The Town of New Beginnings.

If you’d like to see some pictorial inspiration for The January Wish, you can visit my Pinterest board here. And add it to your Goodreads shelf here!

So until January 1st… I hope your wishes come true 🙂

~ Juliet xx

Book News: My 5th Book To Be Published!

I’m excited to announce that I’ve signed a contract for my novel FEBRUARY OR FOREVER, and it will be released by Escape Publishing on 1st February (how appropriate) in 2014!

k 019You may know that I have another novel releasing on 1st January, called The January Wish, and February or Forever will follow on from that as part of a linked series of books set in the same small town of Tarrin’s Bay. Both are stand-alone stories, you can read them both in any order you choose (I wrote February or Forever without any spoilers for The January Wish), but some characters do reappear. I hope you will fall in love with the beautiful small Australian coastal town I’ve created that is based on the town I live in on the south coast of NSW, and of course, the characters!

I absolutely loved writing February or Forever, and it was the fastest book I’ve ever written (I’ll do another blog post at a later stage about how I wrote 84k in 27 days!). Hmm, it may even be my favourite. But that could have something to do with the awesome character of Drew Williams. 😉

February or Forever is a small town coastal romance with a women’s fiction bent. There are some rural elements also. Here’s the blurb:

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. As the scene of a terrible accident years ago, the sooner Chrissie can get rid of the house the better. But what she didn’t plan for during her time in Tarrin’s Bay was to be given the role of private yoga instructor to Drew Williams, Australia’s top singer/songwriter who is staying at the Serendipity Retreat during February for some R&R. Nor did she plan for her favourite celebrity crush to fall head over heels for her. As Chrissie deals with haunting memories, an intoxicating yet forbidden attraction to Drew, and the need to create a better life for her son, she’s put in the most challenging position she’s ever faced.

 

Did you get the pun in the last line? ‘position’ … ‘yoga’ … hehe. Puns play a bit of a role in the book too 😉

I can’t wait to hear what readers think of my Tarrin’s Bay series, and I’m so glad the first two books are releasing back-to-back at the start of 2014. So I better get a move on and write the ‘March’ book, eh?

Stay tuned for more details about the series (book cover for The January Wish should be ready by around mid-November), and subscribe to the blog if you don’t want to miss anything. For now, here’s a link to my Pinterest board with some pictorial inspiration for FEBRUARY OR FOREVER…

AND… stay tuned also for some more good news I’ll be announcing very soon!! 😉

When wishes come true…

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 😉

1204463_sxc_loveWhen 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? 😉