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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? 😉

 

MY LITTLE PART OF AUSTRALIA [Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop!]

I’m excited to be part of the Book’d Out Australia Day Blog Hop! I, along with many other Australian bloggers and authors are running giveaways between Jan 25th and Jan 28th to celebrate Australia and the Australian writing community, so be sure to check out all the other blogs participating too – you could win lots of prizes! I’m giving away a $20 Amazon gift voucher and an ebook copy of my short story SISTERS AT HEART, a heartwarming tale set in the small Australian town of Tarrin’s Bay (fictional, but based on where I live… read more about that below).

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MY LITTLE PART OF AUSTRALIA:

I moved from the mountains to the sea two years ago, and in a way, I feel like I’m on holidays ALL THE TIME. Not that I sit about relaxing all day – far from it! – but the location, my surroundings, the atmosphere, it has that magical holiday feel.

I live in a town called Kiama on the south coast of New South Wales. Every morning I step out on my balcony and gaze at the ocean, watching the waves crash against the headland and breathing in the fresh, salty air. I love it. And I love the surrounding towns too.

Here are some other things I love about my little part of Australia…

~ The people – Everyone is so friendly, from the stranger saying hello while out walking to the customer service with a smile at one of the many shops. There’s a real sense of community spirit and united appreciation for this beautiful place.

~ The landscape – We are lucky to have both a scenic coastline with beautiful beaches and also a vast rural landscape of lush green hills and farmland. It’s country and coast combined. Many tourists come to visit our two popular blowholes and stand by with cameras at the ready to capture the sudden, huge splurge of water shooting through the rocks from the ocean below.

~ The climate – Although we get some really cold days in winter and some really hot days in summer (45°C last week!), most of the time the weather sits in the perfect early to mid 20’s. I love that it’s not usually as hot as up north and I love that it’s not as cold as the mountains where I used to live (and needed gloves, thermals, two pairs of socks, and a heavy layer of blankets that required super human strength to lift off in the morning!). It’s a nice ‘in-between’ type of climate.

~ The best of both worlds – Being the first country town south of Sydney, it has that homely small town feel – no high rises, no major shopping centres, no McDonald’s…etc, while still offering all the conveniences of modern society.

~ The events – There is always something to do, especially on weekends (Kiama is a popular tourist destination  – it is packed in January!). The seaside markets are always popular… I love strolling around the harbour and looking at all the arts, crafts, jewellery, books, food, and other interesting finds while watching the sunlight shimmer on the ocean. There are jazz festivals, arts festivals, surfing competitions, a local show with fireworks, New Years Eve celebrations, and a wonderful Christmas carols in the park each year.

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Have I convinced you to move here yet? If there’s no chance of that you can still enjoy this special place through my upcoming series of novels set in the fictional town of Tarrin’s Bay, which I’ve based on Kiama and other surrounding towns. Watch this space! And you can read a bit about this series on my ‘books’ page. Remember to subscribe to the blog to keep updated on news.

And now for the giveaway…

>>To WIN a $20 Amazon gift voucher and an ebook copy of my short story SISTERS AT HEART, leave a comment below and answer the following question:

‘What do you love about Australia? Or if you’re not an Aussie, why do you want to visit Australia?’

*Competition open worldwide and closes at midnight 28th January. Winner will be announced in this post and notified via email.

And don’t forget, once you’ve left a comment, go check out the list of other blogs participating in this Australia Day Blog Hop at Book’d Out and Confessions from Romaholics.

Good luck, and ‘av a happy Austraya Day! 😉

Mouthwatering Moment… by ME!

Today I thought I’d share one of my own Mouthwatering Moments with you! This scene is from THE JANUARY WISH, and unfortunately it is not published, but I hope it will be one day.

‘You never got to eat any Death by Chocolate,’ Mark said, a smile oozing from the corner of his mouth. ‘There’s still an hour and a half left of your birthday, how about we try and catch Café Lagoon before they close, and grab something to take-away?’

Sylvia’s smile grew wider. ‘As Grace told me today, ‘every birthday is a gift worth celebrating’, so I think it’s my duty to make the most of it.’

‘Especially at your age,’ Mark said, spicing his words with sarcasm.

Sylvia twisted her lips to one side and gave him an evil glare. ‘Watch what you say, mister, or –’

‘Or what?’

‘Or…I’ll thump you with my walking stick.’

Mark snorted. ‘In that case, I better think before I speak.’ It felt good to muck around with Sylvia, especially after the stress of tonight. ‘Anyway, in all seriousness, I think Grace is one wise girl.’

‘She sure is,’ Sylvia replied, accepting Mark’s offer of his outstretched hand.

At ten minutes to eleven they pulled up outside Café Lagoon, and Mark jumped out, before ducking his head back in the car. ‘What can I get the birthday girl?’

‘I’ll have a hot chocolate,’ Sylvia replied.

‘And to eat?’

‘Um… surprise me.’

Mark smiled and rushed inside. A staff member was wiping down tables and the last of the customers were filtering out. He paid for his order and then got back in the car, placing the cardboard tray containing the hot drinks on Sylvia’s lap, and the paper bag containing her ‘surprise’ between the two front seats.

‘Let me guess…a dandelion chai for you?’ Sylvia asked.

‘Of course.’

She tried to peer into the paper bag but he stopped her. ‘Uh-uh, wait till we get to the lookout. It’s a surprise, remember?’

~*~

My favourite meal: It’s hard to choose one favourite meal, but a meal I cook often that I love is lamb cutlets with sauteed bok choy and mushrooms, drizzled with toasted pine nuts and mustard dressing. The combination of flavours is beautiful.

My favourite treat: Guylian Belgian chocolate seashells (but I usually only have them a couple of times a year – birthday and Christmas!)

My favourite drink: A frothy soy hot chocolate 🙂

As well as this blog, I have a website you can visit here. And remember to leave a comment below and subscribe to the blog to be in the running for the Mouthwatering May prize draw at the end of the month! (You can see the prizes and rules here.)