Once upon a time, the moon rose, large and red …

Image from Pixabay

A snippet from the novel, ‘All the Colours Above’ … Tobiah has a book of beginnings, of unfinished stories … the dark blue book of endless possibilities, of mind probing, and inner revelations. The book of once upon a time … and of the dark night. He gives Indigo the beginning of a story, and she must finish it.

Tobiah opened the dark blue book, a little less immaculate after it had spent a month in the outdoors of Winterdom. He looked at me. ‘Close your eyes, and give the story words, with your mind and heart, then speak it to life.’

I closed my eyes and listened.

‘Once upon a time, the moon rose, large and red, dominating the sky with its splendour. People gasped. All except Lucelle. She fingered the letter in her pocket, knowing that it needed to be opened. Now.’ Tobi’s voice sounded fruity, in a gentle speaking melody, singing to my heart, the core of my being.

I exhaled, then took in a deeper breath, and fell inside the story that started drawing images in my mind. ‘Once upon a time, the moon rose, large and red, dominating the sky with its splendour. People gasped. All except Lucelle. She fingered the letter in her pocket, knowing that it needed to be opened. Now. She wanted to keep looking at the moon. She wanted to memorize every detail about how the colours of red and orange bathed the moon in magic, knowing it would stay with her for days. But she couldn’t concentrate for two reasons. Firstly, she had learned to hate the moon, and, secondly, a long-awaited letter had arrived three days ago with the inscription, “To be opened as the blood moon rises”.

She took one last lingering look at the moon and tried to inhale all of its majesty, then slipped her hand into her pocket and pulled out the letter. She stared at it, checking three times that the handwriting belonged to the deceased.

Of course it was. It could only be from him.

She moved away from the hordes of people and sat between the black volcanic rocks, hidden. She pulled out her book and a torch from her bag. She wedged the torch higher up behind her in the crevasse of a rock, settled more comfortably on the sand, took a breath, and slid her finger above the red wax seal on the back of the envelope, opening it.

Her heart pounded, and she hesitated, like she always did. She had been receiving letters like this since her love died.

Who did he give them to?

What instructions had he given them?

Was it a man or a woman?

And how did the letters get to earth from the base on the moon?

She slid the letter out, held it against her face, closed her eyes and inhaled the familiar cologne of her love – a crisp blend of aquatic and woody scents. She so wished he was still here with her.

She unfolded the letter, opened her book, and placed the letter on the page to read in secret, like she had done every other time since the accident.

She frowned. His words were fewer this time.

Dear Lucelle,

As I write these words I live and breathe. And, as you read these words, I live and breathe.

Still.

Lucelle took a sharp breath. He was dead. How can he breathe? She looked up at the blood moon. She was told he had died while researching on the moon base. And these letters, all fifty-two of them, were written as he prepared for death, written to … make his death less difficult for her. She continued to read:

By the time you have this letter, I will have been released from quarantine. From isolation. Meet me on the beach where we first met. 2pm. July 27th.

The reason my heart is still beating, is because of you.

I love you.

Grayson xx

Lucelle’s breath shuddered. Her eyes filled with hot angry tears. Then guilt. Her wish had come true. She should be over the moon that he was not dead as she had been led to believe.

It was all a lie? She had been betrayed?

How could they?

Squeaky footsteps in the sand came closer. Lucelle closed her book, ensuring no part of the letter, or any of the other letters, were protruding. She blinked away her tears as best as she could before Gael sat beside her.

“Hey, my beautiful wife,” he said as he lowered himself to the ground and gave her a chaste kiss. “Why are you here? You can see the moon better from the other end of the beach.”

Lucelle looked up at the moon. She was sure she could see the damage of the lunar station explosion on its south pole. “I thought, if I could move away from the crowds with their phones and cameras, I could see it better, here … where it’s darker,” Lucelle lied.

Gael looked up at the moon and tilted his head to the side. “I don’t think so.” He stood. “Come. Let’s walk to the other end of the beach. This is a once in a lifetime event.” He held out his hand to her.

She sucked in a shaky breath and placed her hand in his and stood, and they began to walk. She kept her eyes on the sand. She couldn’t tell him that she hated the moon. She couldn’t tell him that the moon was the reason for her broken heart. And now. Grayson was back. From the dead.’

From the dark blue book of endless possibilities, of mind probing, and inner revelations. The book of once upon a time … and of the dark night, in the novel, ‘All the Colours Above’.

Enjoy the book trailer

Grab a print book at Lilly Pilly Publishing Or an eBook or print book at Amazon

Julieann Wallace is a bestselling author who writes novels under the pen name of Amelia Grace. She resides in Australia and likes to encourage others to use the Arts to be changemakers, and a voice for others through use of the power of written words and visual art. She is a self-confessed tea ninja, chocoholic, and papercut survivor, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

Instagram Amelia Grace https://www.instagram.com/ameliagraceauthor

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallace.author/

Website https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Amelia’s novel, The Colour of Broken (and prequel to ‘All the Colours Above’), has a main character with Meniere’s disease, and was #1 on Amazon a number of times. It was longlisted from 1000s of novels to the top 42 for “Adaptable – from book to screen” in 2021. She donates 100% profits from sales to the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney where researchers are searching for a cure for Meniere’s disease.

Enjoy the book trailer

Grab a print book or eBook at Amazon. Print book also at Lilly Pilly Publishing

There was once a boy …

A snippet from the novel, ‘All the Colours Above’ … Tobiah has a book of beginnings, of unfinished stories … the dark blue book of endless possibilities, of mind probing, and inner revelations. The book of once upon a time … and of the dark night. He gives Indigo the beginning of a story, and she must finish it.

B & W photograph from 123rf. Eye artwork by Julieann Wallace

‘There was once a boy …’ Tobiah said, his voice fruity, like an elegant red wine.

I waited for him to continue reading. When he didn’t, I opened my eyes and looked at him.

He connected his eyes to mine. ‘Finish the story,’ he said, his voice like velvet.

‘What?’

‘It’s what you have to do with this book. It gives you the beginning of a chapter, and you have to finish it.’

I frowned at him. This was the stupidest book I had ever heard of!

‘I like to escape into the words and get lost in my imagination. It helps me to relax and stop overthinking life,’ he said, as a way of explanation.

I inhaled deeply, wondering what would make him overthink, then decided to go along with his little charade and humour him.

‘There was once a boy. He was born with knowledge that no one else had. He could see things that no one else could see. But when he spoke of these things in truth, he was told he was lying. So, with every breath of every day he tried to hide his gift; his otherworldly knowledge, but his eyes couldn’t. Whoever looked into them could see the stars that shined, showing them that he was not like the others. He was different. And was misunderstood. He became the centre of allegations and rumours and untruths. So, to protect his heart, he withdrew from people. And he learned this: if no one could like him, he must be unlikeable, and therefore, unlovable.

The boy made himself invisible. Head down in books. Caps hiding his face. Ear buds in to block out the world. And the stars in his eyes faded until there were none, replaced by the uncolour of normality. Of gray colours of acceptance. Of camouflaged colours of blending in. Of being liked by others.

And so, he must be happy, mustn’t he? He was now like everyone else and fitted in with perfection, his giftedness boxed up, sealed, and buried.

Dead.

His behaviour had been moulded by others, by society, creating him into a copy of them, like they were all on the same medication to stop individuality. And that is how he lived his life. Like the others. Sleep. Wake up. Work. Sleep. Day in. Day out.

Then one night, when he was lying in his hiding place, stripped bare of his normality, daring to release his true colours and his inner light while looking up at the stars, a girl stumbled upon him.

She gazed into his eyes and saw more stars than the night sky.

‘What!’ he said, angered that she was in his hiding place beyond the trees in the open field, and that she had seen him. The real him.

Disappointed by his reaction, she hung her head. ‘Nothing. I just thought … you might be … different … to the others.’

His face softened. ‘Different in a good way … or different in a bad way?’

‘Different, in a good way. Trying to fit in with the world is a boring path that keeps its own flat line, without peaks and falls. No challenges. No creativity. No imagination. No triumphs. It just is. Sleep. Wake up. Work. Sleep. Wake up. Work. Mediocrity.’

She reclined next to him and gazed at what he was looking at: two versions of himself. In one vision, he was dead in spirit, to fit in with others, but in the second vision; his true being, fearfully and wonderfully made, was shown—his inner light and his vibrant colour.

She poked him in the chest. ‘I prefer this colourful, shiny version of you. Release yourself from your self-imposed prison. Be who you are meant to be. Follow the path that was built just for you. Love others like you want to be loved.’

He frowned at her. ‘You can see what I see?’

‘Yes. You’re not the only one who sees what you see. The world is waiting for you to show them light. But it takes courage. I know you can do it.’

He shook his head.

‘After the first step, it gets easier.’

He looked at her, eyes brimming.

‘The world will love you for being you. Not at first, and not always. But in the end.’ She covered his hand with hers, and he held onto her fingers, and closed his eyes.

When he opened his eyes again, she was gone. But the stars in his eyes were brighter, burning like they were created to be.

He smiled. He had work to do. Important work to gift to others.’

From the dark blue book of endless possibilities, of mind probing, and inner revelations. The book of once upon a time … and of the dark night, in the novel, ‘All the Colours Above’.

Enjoy the book trailer

Grab a print book at Lilly Pilly Publishing Or an eBook or print book at Amazon

Julieann Wallace is a bestselling author who writes novels under the pen name of Amelia Grace. She resides in Australia and likes to encourage others to use the Arts to be changemakers, and a voice for others through use of the power of written words and visual art. She is a self-confessed tea ninja, chocoholic, and papercut survivor, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

Instagram Amelia Grace https://www.instagram.com/ameliagraceauthor

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallace.author/

Website https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Amelia’s novel, The Colour of Broken (and prequel to ‘All the Colours Above’), has a main character with Meniere’s disease, and was #1 on Amazon a number of times. It was longlisted from 1000s of novels to the top 42 for “Adaptable – from book to screen” in 2021. She donates 100% profits from sales to the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney where researchers are searching for a cure for Meniere’s disease.

Grab a print book at Lilly Pilly Publishing, or an eBook or print book at Amazon

Enjoy the book trailer

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – a book review

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Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
By: Gail Honeyman
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers

5-stars

Panic set in when I realised I didn’t have a novel to read before bed. Thankfully, my daughter came to the rescue with a book she had just finished, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’.

‘Thanks,’ I said, and turned the book over this way and that, checking out the cover design. Used matches. There must be fire involved. It’s a natural assumption, based on predicting a story by the cover.

Once I began reading, it was obvious that Eleanor Oliphant was not completely fine, and from that moment, I knew I was in for a treat. Life experience has taught me that everybody has a reason for they way they behave. We are living and breathing stories, shaped by our experiences.

A couple of days later my daughter said, ‘Have you met Raymond yet?’
‘Yes.’ Then I frowned. ‘Eleanor’s mother is not so nice, is she?’ I said.
Strangely, my comment was met with silence from my daughter. Which she did on a couple more occasions when I asked her about other parts of the story. She is very good at not giving storylines away. Frustratingly!

As I continued to read ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, the authentic voice of Eleanor was a delight to hear in my mind, endearing me to her. As odd as she was, I really liked the character. All I wanted was for good things to happen for her.

Thank you, Gail Honeyman– I totally looked forward to reading your novel each night when I went to bed, enjoying the humour, the highs and the lows, and turning the pages, manically reading to find out the reason for Eleanor being the way she was.

Like my daughter, I can’t give anything away in the story, but one thing is for sure, Eleanor Oliphant is a survivor.

If you enjoyed reading ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, you will love ‘The Colour of Broken’ by Amelia Grace, as sent to Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Huey Lewis, Nicole Kidman – available at Amazon and other online bookstores.

 

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as a children’s author, or as a fiction novelist, she is working as an editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors, and as secondary visual arts and drama teacher at a private school. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing. 

In 2018, Julieann was honoured to have her #8wordstory printed on the back of the Queensland Writer’s Centre business cards: 

(and yes, her name was spelt incorrectly – the story of her life – you just have to laugh! )

Julieann is a member of: