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!
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.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Amazon AUS: http://www.amazon.com.au/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
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.
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!
Excerpt from THE JANUARY WISH…
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?
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
Amazon AUS: http://www.amazon.com.au/The-January-Wish-Juliet-Madison-ebook/dp/B00GXUXOFE/
I 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.
What was that?
I straightened up, then bent down again.
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…
…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.
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 -
Jenn J Mcleod
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.