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.


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

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – a book review


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


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)

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:


We of the Between, a book review


Title: We of the Between
by: Martii Maclean
Publisher: Kooky Cat Books

The world is changed, poisoned. The seas have warmed and risen to flood the land. Trin is part of a team that defy the stormy seas at the new coastline to help heal the oceans. But now Trin is hearing voices from the stormy sea. Is she sick or crazy?

Rilla has lived hidden deep in the ocean all her life. Challenging her father’s rulings, she will take the catalyst to transform and ascend, leaving the world of the Abrax forever so she can help the walkers heal Mother Ocean. When two strangers arrive on the high tide, Trin and Rilla’s lives will change forever. Their fates will be intertwined in the place between two worlds.

We of the Between is a fascinating and thought-provoking story with multiple gripping layers:

The Above 
The Below 
The Between 
The Walkers 
Double-tailed Mermaids and Mermen 
The Warming 
The Choosing Ceremony 
The Hall of Colours 
The Terrifying Deep 

It’s a stunning book that will whisk you away into an imagined world, where author, Martii Maclean, cleverly paints pictures in your mind of The Above and The Below.

The Above is on the earth—land. The Warming has taken place with dire consequences and the Walkers are trying to heal Mother Ocean. But one walker is different. Trin. Fish talk to her, and she communicates with them. She first hears the fish as a frittering, musical jangle as they signal to each other. The signals were mostly emotional: curiosity, hunger, joy, fear, all smashing together.

The Below is in an underwater kingdom, at the City Cavern of Lemuria, where there is a glowing Hall of Colours. The Below is filled with double-tailed mermaids and mermen. They communicate by neumes (mind communication). There we meet Rilla. She wonders what it would be like to walk; to have legs instead of two tails.

Rilla has a life changing decision to make at the Choosing Ceremony – to become a Walker forever in The Above, or to stay with her family in The Below.

We of the Between is an intriguing tale that will have you captured. Martii’s words flow like a melody, singing gently, compellingly, pushing you up to the Above, and pulling you down to the Below. You will be completely immersed in the story.

If you had a Choosing Ceremony, what would you choose to do? Would you be a Walker on The Above, or a Mermaid or Merman of The Below?

Purchase a copy:  http://www.martiimaclean.com/shop/ or online bookstores

Title: We of the Between
by: Martii Maclean
Publisher: Kooky Cat Books
ISBN: 978-0994540843
Category: sci-fi/fantasy
Pages: 288


Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Published Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

Julieann is a member of: