(Penguin Random House SEA, 2023)
Lexi Lee thinks she’s found her soulmate. The problem is, she has never met Night, the elusive street artist who leaves his paintings in the nooks and crannies of the city. Still, that doesn’t stop her from penning letters to him and dreaming about living in his paintings.
After a car accident lands her in a coma, she finds herself wandering through Night’s paintings and her childhood memories. Her only companion in dreamland is a boy who doesn’t understand why he is trapped there with her and wants to leave.
Christopher Fang is trying to make sense of the recent dreams he has been having, dreams in which he meets the irreverent, free-spirited Lexi, a girl unlike anyone else he has met in his world of mercenary businessmen. Soon, he finds himself seeking escape from his life in those dreams. But when he finds out that his father’s latest property development project involves taking over the inn that Lexi’s father owns, Chris must choose between his loyalties to his father and helping Lexi return to the life she left behind.
But as Lexi and Chris grow closer, the truth about Lexi’s accident comes to light, threatening to tear them apart and making them question the people they believe in, their love for each other, and what it is they are really awake for.
Cover art © 2023 by Manasi Mathur
This is a story I never thought would see the light of day. I was a starry-eyed 23-year-old when I first wrote this book in 2013, but after years of querying to no avail, I thought there was no space in the market for my little whimsical book. It was only when I finally pivoted into writing fantasy that I got signed by Penguin Random House SEA, after a decade of querying.
So when the acquisitions editor asked me if I had any other projects under my belt – particularly romance – I pitched this one tentatively, wondering if it would once again get rejected. Not only was it not rejected, but it also received a lot of love from the Penguin team, and I realised that, truly, all rejection is redirection.
So to all the dreamers out there, this one is for you. I hope you find a piece of yourself in this story, where anything is possible, and never stop dreaming.
Mental illness (anxiety, paranoia)
Praise for UNTIL MORNING
"Gorgeously written and devastatingly romantic, Joyce Chua’s prose is as vivid as a painting and magical as a dream. I devoured this novel in a single sitting."
—Ann Liang, author of If You Could See the Sun
"Simply bewitching. I don’t know what else I can say about Joyce’s writing prowess except that I simply adore how magical it is. With Until Morning, Joyce transports you into a spellbinding world once again, and brings you on an enrapturing emotional journey with our leads that will capture your heart and soul."
—Leslie W, author of The Night of Legends
"A mesmerising world that pulls you in at the first instance. Joyce Chua's writing left me teetering between the here and now and the dream world inhabited by Chris and Lexi. I couldn't stop reading. I couldn't stop dreaming."
—Eva Wong Nava, author of The House of Little Sisters