Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress and sometimes sweet-talk author buddies into doing the same.
We have another guest this week, one you’re going to luuuuurve, but first you must endure news from the Hein House.
We’re home from our Queensland trip. Rah! Which means I’m back to working hard on Scarlett and the Model Man. The End is most definitely nigh now. Well, the end of the first draft that is. There’s a lot of ground still to cover after that point but hitting The End is always a milestone worth celebrating. I cannot wait to share this book with you. Scarlett and Sam are gorgeous together. Makes me all gooey just thinking about them!
Enough of me and my gooeys. We’re here to enjoy a teaser, brought to you this week by Jenn J. McLeod. Yay!
Although she’s had a few guest appearances on (now archived) blog series Friday Feast, this is Jenn’s first time on Teaser Tuesday. I’m so glad to have her on, too, because I adore the sound of her new release House of Wishes. I know you will too, when you read the excerpt.
Here’s Jenn to tell you more about House of Wishes and share her teaser.
So great to be here on Teaser Tuesday—and WHAT a Tuesday it is. Woot!
This is release day for my 6th small-town novel and possibly the most exciting launch day ever because of all it took to get here.
As Australia’s nomadic novelist, I’ve been caravanning my way through bucket list locations since hitting the road fulltime in 2014. That was the year Simmering Season came out—my second novel set in Calingarry Crossing (with House for all Seasons being the first). And guess what? On both those bookish occasions I was here, on Cath’s Friday Feast. I even gave away my very yummy and oh-so-easy homemade muesli recipe. (If only it was as simple to set up a publishing biz, eh?)
Being an author-publisher is another bucket list item and with a hankering to return to Calingarry Crossing for some time, the perfect book to begin this journey had to be House of Wishes. Thanks to a coffee catchup with awesome reader fans, Sharyn Rees and Janine Kimberly, I’m back in Calingarry Crossing with the Dandelion House ready to reveal its secrets. (Don’t worry if you are new to my novels. All my stories are standalone reads, although House of Wishes does have a sprinkling of character cameos. I really had fun with that aspect.)
In a nutshell, House of Wishes is a family relationship story about the choices we make, the connections that matter, the secrets we keep, and the power of a wish. With two story threads (current day and 1974) there are also two love stories. Even though the novel begins with a grieving daughter discovering her mother’s last wish, I promise the story is not all sad. As with all my books, you’ll laugh, maybe you’ll cry, but what I really hope is that you’ll love Tom and Don, because I do have fun writing a male point of view.
Please, let me know. I love to hear from readers.
House of Wishes is available in print and ebook through all online retailers. If you prefer supporting your local bookshop, ask them to order a copy in. Or you can buy direct from me via my web shop and I’ll send a signed copy with a snazzy bookmark. Don’t forget, you can also choose to ask your library to order in a copy.
I hope you enjoy this House of Wishes excerpt.
If you have a wish you’d like to share, leave it in the comments below. I reckon the power of a wish is so much stronger when it’s shared. I’ll start: “I wish for an e-reader that magically fills with endless Aussie fiction.”
‘I’m so very, very sorry for the confusion,’ a voice says.
Beth hears words reminiscent of her mother—a chronic apologiser raised by religious parents—but when she stands, she sees a woman whose voice is as ethereal as her appearance: skin ivory, hair ebony, eyes cerulean, but with lips blood red.
‘Hello, I’m Jesamiah Huckenstead. This should’ve been with your mother’s ashes.’ The stranger, dressed entirely in mauve and smelling like a life-size lavender bag, holds out an envelope. ‘As you’ll see, her wishes are very specific.’ The woman is talking while walking a bewildered Beth back through the reception area, opening the front door wide to let her pass. ‘Should you need to contact me, however …’
Beth glances at the proffered business card:
Madgick & Associates—Trust Managers
In Madgick we trust.
‘Take care of yourself, dear,’ the woman says, letting the stationery and the envelope fall into the gift bag with the ashes. ‘Have a good and safe trip.’
‘Trip?’ Beth repeats.
With her head spinning from the somewhat rushed exit, both her hands busy with bags, and her gaze intent on the contents, it takes her a few seconds to look up. When she does, the woman is gone, the door sign flipped to CLOSED, and Beth is on the footpath outside Forget-Me-Knot Funerals alone—utterly and desperately alone.
Back in her car, Beth eases the envelope open as if whatever is inside needs to stay contained until she’s ready. The truth is, Beth is nowhere near ready for more surprises—good or bad. She’s already said goodbye to her mother too many times: at both the hospital and the funeral service. Beth’s not sure she can manage another farewell. Not yet.
A tear lands on the two notepad pages she’s slipped from the envelope but, with barely a few lines above the scrawled signature, there’s little ink to smudge. The page is headed: MY WISH, while the other sheet is reminiscent of a treasure map, a childlike diagram with squiggles and symbols surrounding a circle at the centre. The envelope’s contents pose two simple questions in Beth’s mind: When had her mother prepared for her death? And why is she wanting half her ashes placed with her partner in a lawn cemetery of his family’s choosing, but insisting her grieving daughter spread the rest in a country town Beth has never heard of before now?
‘Why, Mum?’ She slumps in the car seat, slaps the letter on her knees, and opens the Maps app on her mobile phone. ‘And where the hell is Calingarry Crossing?’
Wow. What a teaser. Loved it. And I bet you did too which means you want to get your hot little hands on this book right now. Oh, yes you do!
Houses of Wishes is available now in print and ebook from these retailers:
Remember, you can also order signed copies direct through Jenn’s website, where you’ll also score a cool bookmark.
Now, as Jenn said, sharing can make wishes stronger. So here’s mine. My apologies for it being not very light-hearted but it’s heartfelt. I wish this rotten illness I have would disappear right now so I can stop taking all these horrible drugs and get my life back to normal.
What’s yours? I rather like Jenn’s of an e-reader full of Aussie reads – but I think we’d all like that. Join in the fun and share away in the comments. You never know, it might help make your wish come true!