Thursday 27 March 2014

This Is Now by Maggie Gilbert - Book Preview
Today we're sharing an extract from This Is Now by Maggie Gilbert, a New Adult Romance from Escape Publishing. I can't tell you how much I loved this novel - though you can find my review here. Much grittier than a lot of the romance I read, This Is Now really struck a chord with me. Although it has all the escapism you could ever want from romance, Maggie Gilbert's NA novel is particularly real, with a unique tone and characters who are unusually enticing.

From the Blurb:

A gritty, urban New Adult Cinderella story where the princess can do her own rescuing — she just needs someone to believe in her.

Sister to car thieves, ex-girlfriend to a drug dealer, high school dropout, no-hoper and loser — Jess is on the sidelines, watching her life become one epic fail. Her dreams of university are fading fast, as the people in her life fight to confine her to their own expectations.

Then she meets Sebastien, a gifted cellist from a very different walk of life. Sebastien is clean and strong and talented. He likes and respects her, but he too has expectations. Sebastien seems to think she can do anything, and Jess, despite her fears and the secrets she hides, is starting to believe him.
But just as Jess dares to hope, the secrets in her past and the lies in her present catch up with her. All seems lost and she has to make a choice. Between past and future. Between home and hope. Between now and never. And this is now.


At the front gate I turned and started down the street, tears stinging my eyes, not thinking about where I was going. I didn’t even bother looking at the houses and imagining them bigger, better or just different like I usually did.

How had that happened? Had my mother really just thrown me out? I couldn’t believe she’d choose him over me, but I knew she would if I pushed it. It was so stupid. I worked and saved, and worried so much about how I could get away from here and escape into a better life, but the thought of Mum throwing me out, of being homeless, was horrifying.

I coughed, dizzy, realising I’d been standing in the middle of the footpath, holding my breath. Without even noticing, tears had been sliding down my face, and my nose had clogged. Talk about your shitty days.

I unzipped my purse, and dug around inside, but of course there weren’t any tissues. Damn. I sniffled, grabbed the bottom of my t-shirt and used it to scrub my face dry of tears, then dug into my purse for cigarettes. I pulled out the pack and peered inside. Empty. Fuck.

That almost made me cry again, panic swarming up my chest. This was exactly why I was trying to give them up, I reminded myself. They weren’t just nasty and expensive, they ruled your life.

My phone rang, and I almost fumbled it, hoping it was Mum, telling me it was OK, I could come home, she didn’t really mean it.

It wasn’t. Any other time I would have been rapt to see the name that had come up on the screen. The ridiculousness of wishing it was my mother instead didn’t escape me.

‘Hi Sebastien,’ I said. My heart was thudding uncomfortably. I didn’t dare hope this meant the day was about to get better. I just had to hope nothing would make it worse.

This is Now by Maggie Gilbert was published by Escape Publishing on February 1 2014 and is available from Amazon.

About the Author:

Maggie Gilbert can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a writer, even when she was otherwise occupied. She’s been an executive editor, an equestrian journalist and worked with horses for the Modern Pentathlon event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Currently she’s an administration officer with an Agricultural Society by day and a writer of romantic stories by night—an ideal combination. She lives on a property in country NSW with her family and dogs.

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Maggie Gilbert will also be visiting the Love Reading Romance Blog next week with a guest post filling us in on all the details from behind the scenes writing This is Now!