Category Archives: General
Happy New Year!
January, 2018, here we are. Are you ready?
It’s been four years since THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my Tarrin’s Bay series, was released. I’ve made a few wishes myself since then, many of which have come true. 🙂
January is a perfect time to not only look back on how far you’ve come, but also look forward to where you want to be, what you want to experience, how you want to feel.
I love the new feeling of January, the ideas that inspire me from within, and knowing that it’s a fresh start.
When I wrote THE JANUARY WISH I not only wanted to make a great story, but show readers that anything is possible. That no matter what has happened in your past… grief, loss, regret, illness… you can rise above it all and become the best version of yourself and find happiness and peace in your life.
Some of the story mirrors my own journey, and as I’ve risen above many challenges and made a few wishes, I’m grateful to what has manifested in my life, both personally and professionally, including my rewarding creative career.
I love inspiring others to do the same with their own life, through the pleasure of reading fiction that entertains and empowers, or through direct guidance and support with my coaching and online courses that I run. I’m holding a special 2 week online course just for the new year, called New Year Mojo! – The Secret Letters System for Releasing the Past and Manifesting the Future, based on my book The Secret Letters Project and on the techniques I’ve used myself to overcome challenges and create the life I want to live. If you’d like to take part in this small supportive group and be guided directly by me to step forward into an amazing new year and new life, I’d love to have you on board! You can find out all the details and register right now by clicking onto this page HERE. 🙂
And if you haven’t yet read the bestselling and award-shortlisted book THE JANUARY WISH, it is available in ebook from all online ebook retailers, and also in large print, and in print as part of the Time For The Beach anthology.
From Escape’s queen of ro-magic comedy comes a sweet, emotional contemporary romance about the pleasures of making a wish and seeing it come true.
When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it’s the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences.
A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia’s small coastal town with secrets that can’t be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia’s well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities.
They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered.
Published by Escape Publishing.
Have an amazing new year!
~ Juliet xo
P.S. – Connect with me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/JulietMadisonAuthor/
A novella is shorter than a novel, but longer than a short story. They are usually between around 10,000 to 40,000 words, and can be read easily in one or two sittings, making them great for readers who want a faster but still satisfying journey towards The End.
> Here are 7 reasons to write a novella:
1. When starting out as a writer to discover your style and voice:
A novella involves less commitment than a novel, and can be a fun and revealing way to experiment with a few different styles to find out what and how you like to write. It can also be a way to practise focusing on just a couple of main characters and a basic plot, before working on developing secondary characters and sub-plots.
2. To try a different genre, point-of-view, or experiment with a new story idea:
For writers who may have already written one or more novels, a novella can be a great way to explore a new genre and see how it feels. It can also be a way to try a different point of view, for example, going from third person to first person, or vice versa. Novellas can be good ‘experiments’, but can also be publishable and successful works of fiction.
3. To reclaim your joy & passion for writing, and stimulate your creativity:
If you’ve been writing for a while, or have become busy in other areas of your life and have lost touch with your writing, novellas can help to stimulate your creativity and give you an outlet to simply write for the joy of it, and see where it leads. They can be good for writing in between longer novels, to break up the routine a bit and inject some new enthusiasm into your writing life.
4. To use as a freebie to encourage new readers for your other books:
From a marketing perspective, novellas that you make available for free, such as via self-publishing, or in conjunction with a publisher, can be a great tool for attracting new readers. You can give one away to new newsletter subscribers, social media followers, or to those who have bought other books. A novella can be a useful introduction to an author.
5. As a complement or prequel to a series:
Novellas can also help to add extra interest to an existing series, by offering fans a bonus read. They can be written as a kind of ‘bonus feature’, like extras in a DVD, or can be a bridge between two linked novels, or a prequel to act as a lead-in to the series.
6. As a holiday-themed story or topical story to coincide with world events:
Themed novellas are popular, and easy to market around appropriate times such as certain holidays and special occasions (Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, etc). You can also write a topical novella to coincide with world events in areas such as politics, royal life, current affairs, and other issues that are popular discussion points.
7. For an anthology with other authors:
Your novella can stand alone and/or be included with other novellas in an anthology; a collection of similar novellas by other authors, so that you benefit from cross-promotion. Your readers are likely to enjoy similar books by other authors, and vice versa. These are often self published but can also be traditionally published as a virtual boxed set, or a print compilation.
Novellas are fun, fast, and have many possibilities when it comes to adding to your catalogue of books or expressing your author brand. They also allow readers to get a taste test of what your writing style is like, and so for readers they are a great way to discover new authors, enjoy an introduction to a new series, or to enjoy reading something different without committing to a full length book, especially if their available reading time is brief.
Just because a novella is shorter than a novel, doesn’t always mean it is easier or quicker to write, though in general the time frame is usually faster. It still requires the same process for a writer, in terms of establishing an idea and concept, authentic characters, conflict and plot development, and a satisfying conclusion.
With novellas, there is not as much time to get to The End, and sometimes this can be tricker to work out out how to get there while maintaining enough plot interest and character development.
But there are tips and tricks to planning and writing a great novella, and I’ll be teaching these in an upcoming online course, as well as what types of publishing opportunities there are for novellas, and how to market them and make them a valuable and worthwhile addition to your book catalogue.
For this course, I’ll be focusing on romance novellas, which I like to call: Lovellas. 🙂
So if you’d like to learn How To Write A Lovella, head on over to the course information page where you can find out more and also register and take advantage of a couple of special offers! >> https://writingmojoacademy.com/how-to-write-a-lovella/ (the course will also be available as a download after the live event is complete)
Do you like to write or read novellas? Feel free to comment with your favourites, or leave a link to your own…
August was “Secret Letters to Strangers Month – Global Kindness Initiative”, to tie in with the release of THE SECRET LETTERS PROJECT book. People around the world wrote uplifting letters to strangers (using the Official Template or including the hashtag & website), and left them in public places for people to find. I did this too, and had a great time finding sneaky places to leave them! Many of us shared our experiences and photos in the Secret Letters project Facebook group. If you haven’t yet joined, you can do so HERE.
August may be over now, but secret letters to strangers will continue for all who want to keep writing and making this a regular part of their life. I hope to run the same event next August to make it more of an ‘official’ annual event to get as many letters out to the world all at once in a shorter space of time, and encourage new people to participate.
I’d like to thank every person who got involved in the project, it’s so rewarding to see people getting benefit out of not only finding these letters, but writing them as well. Some wonderful stories came through of people finding a letter just when they needed some encouragement or were having a difficult day.
Here are just some of the real life experiences and feedback I’ve received from recipients… (click each image to read up close)
“I recently lost my mum and one day a friend and me where in a second hand shop in Te Awamutu (New Zealand) looking for a special tea cup and saucer for a special friend when I came across this white envelope addressed
Dear Stranger – open me!
Yes you! If you found me, I’m yours! 🙂
Finding this envelope came at a time where I really needed it. The letter was so lovely and very befitting with how I was feeling and grieving the loss of my mum.
Thank you kind stranger! xox”
“So last week I received this secret letter. I cannot begin to tell you how much I needed these words particularly right at that moment. Last month I had a miscarriage my husband and I have been trying for our 2nd child for some time now without any luck. Finally we get that positive test only to lose that hope in a few short weeks.
It all happened so quickly I found out on the Tuesday had procedure done Friday and was back at work the Monday. Bring me to last week. After a rough week at work not having systems working and wasting a lot of time trying to get them fixed adding unnecessary stress coz I’m falling behind the work that needs to get done.
On Thursday we had to take my son to hospital we got home at 3.30 am in the morning and I was up at 6:30 am for work.
On less than 3 hrs sleep I worked a full day only to have more system issues and fall more behind with my actual work. When I spoke to my boss there was not even a care that I had showed up to work that day rather than call in sick like I should have. I walk out of work to find this letter. Everything that was written was exactly what I needed to hear.”
You can search social media for the hashtag #secretlettersproject to see other photos, stories, and experiences.
In addition to the recipient, writing these letters has also proved beneficial for the writer:
“As I was writing each word, I was feeling connections being formed and developed with people everywhere. Every person I pass on the street or have contact with could be a recipient of my letter, therefore I started acting that way towards others more often too and the results were surprising. After writing each letter I felt lifted, positive and significant.” ~ Tina
“For me I felt like I was writing the letters to myself without realising until I read them back. Giving myself permission to feel things I didn’t realise I didn’t know I needed.” ~ Laura
“It helped me gain perspective and peace on dark days knowing I was potentially helping someone else. It is truly givers gain where you get something wonderful by giving without expectation of getting something in return.” ~ Traycie
And it was great to see people writing about the project on various blogs and websites:
- The Simple Life: Secret Letters Project on News Tribune.
- 9 Secret Letters to Write for Reflection, Growth, and Transformation on Popsugar.
- Blogs: Keeps Me Out Of Mischief and Anxiety Mum.
I would also like to thank everyone who has bought a copy of THE SECRET LETTERS PROJECT, which not only talks about writing letters to strangers, but talks about the secret letter writing process I’ve developed for 20 different types of letters, such as Dear Universe, Dear Me, Dear Ex, Dear Son/Daughter, Dear Past Event, etc.
I love creating books like this and hope to make many more, and every sale, every word of mouth recommendation, every review, makes a BIG difference for an author in being able to continue writing and publishing the books they want to write. So if you’ve got the book and would be happy to leave a star rating and/or a brief review online, that would be very much appreciated! It doesn’t have to be detailed, just a simple ‘I loved this book’ or something similar is all that’s needed. The more reviews a book has the more visibility and exposure it gets in online stores such as Amazon. Thank you to everyone who has supported the book so far!
>> If you haven’t got a copy, you can get it from all online book retailers such as Amazon and B&N, and in stores in the US and Australia (Dymocks). The Book Depository has free fast worldwide shipping too.
And if you’d like to leave a review, go to the online store you purchased it from to leave your feedback, and/or write one on Goodreads. Thank you! 🙂
…Now onto something new and exciting… I’m holding some fun and inspiring online courses about my secret letters process, and you’re invited!
The first course: Secret Letters for Self Empowerment, is starting soon on Monday Sep 18, through to Friday Sep 22. And the first course is FREE! But if you miss it that’s ok, you can go back to the group where the content is posted and do the activities in your own time. You don’t need a copy of the book to participate, but it is a good adjunct if you wish to get the most out of it. The course will help with your self confidence, self love, self acceptance, and self empowerment, and is a great starting point for the courses that will follow.
JOIN here! It’s free. 🙂
The two follow-on courses (dates to be confirmed but probably during January) are:
- Secret Letters for Releasing the Past
- Secret Letters for Manifesting
These are a little more intensive than the first course and numbers will be limited so that I can guide each individual through the course as needed. The purpose of all is to free yourself from any limitations and past hurts and grief and allow you to move forward into the life you want to create for yourself. Once you experience the full healing and manifesting power of a secret letter, it will become a regular part of your life as it has for mine. 🙂
If you’d like to be notified when registrations open for the above two courses, please email email@example.com and ask to be notified. And you can also join the group for the first course to take part. I look forward to seeing you there!
CLICK HERE to take part in the Secret Letters for Self Empowerment online course!
Love, laughter, and light,
~ Juliet xo
Imagine if you were going about your day as usual, or maybe even having a really bad day, and then the corner of an envelope poking out from behind a tree branch catches your eye… or maybe you arrive back to your car to find an envelope tucked under your windscreen wipers… or you’re browsing the books in your local library and notice an oddly placed envelope between the spines…
You pick up the envelope, wondering what it is.
It says ‘For You’.
You wonder if someone has dropped it, or left it for someone else who didn’t pick it up, or it as been mistakenly placed where you found it.
But still, it says ‘YOU’, so maybe you should open it?
You open it. Of course you do. 🙂
You start reading. A small smile lifts the corners of your lips, when you realise the letter IS for you.
But you don’t know who wrote it. It could be anyone… a friend, a school student, a busy parent, a local doctor, or a stranger. Regardless, as you read the words, you feel a strange but exciting connection to the person who wrote these words. It was like they knew what you needed to hear, what would help you on this very day. It’s like a guardian angel whispered in their ear inspiring their words and guided them on where to leave it so you would find it. It seems somehow … magical.
The letter reminds you about what is really important in life. It reminds you that you are doing the best you can. It helps you understand that you are not alone. This letter, from an anonymous stranger, helps you feel connected. Special. Lucky.
You re-read the letter and then glance around… is someone hiding, waiting to see your reaction? Or have they long gone, satisfied in the knowledge that the right person at the right time will find it? The right person did find it. You found it. This simple letter has made your day, and the warmth of gratitude fills your heart.
Now imagine if you were the person who had written the letter. You may not ever know who received it, but you would know you’d done something great, however simple, that could either make someone smile, or even change their life. You just never know.
If you had the chance to do that, with only a few minutes of your time, would you do it? What if not only you did it, but lots of other people. Hundreds. Thousands. Maybe more… Imagine the effect on so many people, letting them know that someone out there cares, even if they are a stranger. Because we’re all in this life journey together, and one by one, and together, we can make a difference. By spreading kindness and support, we can bring more light to this world that is experiencing so many dark moments.
During August 2017 to coincide with the publication of THE SECRET LETTERS PROJECT book and journal, I will be encouraging people around the globe to write secret letters to inspire strangers and leave them in public to be found.
And I invite you to take part…
Join the “Secret Letters to Strangers Month – Global Kindness Initiative” here: https://www.facebook.com/events/465815260431665/ and let’s make a positive difference in the lives of others.
*I would love to get as many people as possible to take part in this, and I need your help to spread the word. Please share the event page or this blog post with as many friends as you can, in your FB groups, and in any communities you belong to. Thanks in advance! 🙂
~ Juliet xo
Though this blog is mostly about writing and books and self-empowerment, a writer’s gotta eat, and something I love almost as much as writing is cooking and baking (but mostly eating what I’ve cooked and baked). 😉
If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen my #JulietsBakingAdventures posts. If not, here are some of them…
A lot of people ask me for the recipes, but the thing is… I’m what I like to call an “Intuitive Cook”. Translation: I make stuff up as I go along. And that sometimes means I don’t know how to replicate what I’ve made and have to get all “intuitive” again. I used to joke that if I published a cookbook it would be called The Intuitive Cook ~ DIY Recipes, and inside would be photos of the creations with each page blank except for the words: Here is what it should look like, figure it out yourself! 😉 But I’m changing my ways! I’ve started writing down my ingredients and steps, and today I will be sharing with you my PALEO SAVOURY MUFFINS. (Thanks Luke Hines for
demanding encouraging me on Facebook to share the recipe!) 😉
But first…why paleo?
I won’t go into detail in this post (it’s a whole book in itself), but Paleo principles form the majority of my eating regime and lifestyle. Before I became an author I worked as a naturopath and nutritionist with a health science degree in complementary medicine, and was privileged to hear Dr Loren Cordain speak about his paleo research at a conference in Australia several years ago. I was sold. And then chef Pete Evans started creating his own paleo recipes which helped bring the lifestyle into the mainstream. I’ve had great personal success with eating paleo (including 14kg weight loss and overcoming two medical conditions), and when understood and followed properly it makes perfect biological sense to me. Here I am with Pete and Luke at their Paleo Way tour in 2015…
Now, RECIPE TIME!
PALEO SAVOURY MUFFINS:
- gluten free
- dairy free
- grain free
- high fibre
*Why I like them: You can freeze them for a quick breakfast or meal on the go, eat cold or warm, add variations, and they are perfect for when I’m in the writing zone and don’t want to interrupt my muse 😉
The recipe below is the basic recipe, in that you can eat them plain, or add other ingredients for some variation depending on what you like. Although I’ve tried to be as specific as possible with quantities, I’m not so much when it comes to herbs and spices, so use what feels right.
- 1 & 1/4 cup of almond meal
- 1/2 cup tapioca
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons of psyllium husks (adds fibre)
- 4 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder (or homemade paleo version)
- 1-2 teaspoons xanthan gum (not essential but use it if you have it)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- sprinkle of pepper
- sprinkle of garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, and a pinch of nutmeg
- sesame seeds – add a good sprinkling (word of the day), however much you prefer, then save some to sprinkle on top of each muffin before baking.
- small bunch of fresh chives, chopped (or use a couple tablespoons of dried)
- 5 organic free-range eggs
- 3/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened & carrageenan-free, or homemade)
- 1/4 cup oil (coconut or olive or macadamia depending on the flavour you prefer)
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
WHAT TO DO:
*Preheat oven to 180 d/celsius
- Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork or whisk.
- Mix eggs and apple cider vinegar together briskly with a whisk until it becomes frothy. Then whisk in the almond milk and oil.
- Add wet mixture to dry mixture and combine well.
- Add variations* if desired, otherwise spoon chunky blobs of mixture into silicon muffin cases (will fit 12 regular sized muffins, or use a mini muffin pan for a bite-size party food option). Top with extra sesame seeds.
- Bake for around 25 minutes or until firm and golden on top.
- Serve warm as they are, or cut open and spread with a tiny bit of organic ghee if desired. Store in fridge or freeze leftovers.
- Add cooked sweet potato, spinach, and a small handful of pine nuts
- Add cooked chicken and herbs or paleo pesto
- Add smoked salmon, dill, and a squeeze of lemon juice
- Add sautéed chopped onion and organic nitrate-free bacon
If you want to keep updated on my recipes (and of course my books and news), subscribe to the blog (I don’t post ‘too’ often), or follow me on Facebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe at my website.
~ Juliet xo
“Be grateful, not hateful.”
Here’s a fun CHALLENGE for you:
Think back on the year that has passed and on what brought you joy. Write a list of everything you can think of that you’re grateful for from 2015. I did this last year and wrote 100 things. Once you get going, more things come to mind, and they build on each other, and by the end of your list you will feel amazing. Try it! 🙂
But don’t just write 5, or 10, or even 20… Aim high, see if you can get at least 50 or more. At first I didn’t think I could get to 100 but when I did, I could have kept going. Be very specific and break each down into smaller things, for example: “I’m grateful for my family” could be: “I’m grateful for hugs from my children”, “I’m grateful for enriching conversations with my partner”…etc.
Then in the new year, try to maintain the momentum by writing at least 1-3 things each night before bed that you’re grateful for from your day. It could simply be ‘breathing’.
The more grateful you are the more you attract into your life to be grateful for.
If you’ve been through some challenging experiences this year, before starting your grateful list write down the challenges you faced and next to them write what you learned from them, or something positive that came from them. There is always something.
And if you like, share some of the things, people, or experiences you’re grateful for in the comments on this post.
To sum up, here’s what to write in your list or journal:
- 2015 Challenges and what I learned from them, and/or a positive aspect of these challenges:
- My 2015 grateful list (aim for 50 or more):
- Daily gratitude diary (1-3 things each day, or on most days):
Let’s end 2015 in a state of gratitude and joy! 🙂
~ If you like empowering activities like this, there are 100 more in my upcoming inspirational activity and coloring book, COLOR YOUR DREAMS! Published April 2016 by Sourcebooks. Join the group HERE for updates and exclusive content or PREORDER the book.
Thanks to everyone who’s congratulated me on the launch of the first book in my Delta Girls series, SIGHT! If you missed the release day post with all the info & links and photo with my big goofy grin, here it is.
There’s currently a blog tour happening with reviews and posts and giveaways, thanks to tour organiser Me Myshelf And I, and one of the posts is: 10 Random Things About Juliet. So if you’d like to know some slightly weird and random tidbits, head on over to Taking It One Book At A Time! I had a lot of fun writing it. I can’t believe I used the phrase ‘bad grandma’ in there somewhere, not to mention something about dancing in the kitchen and something to do with rapping, which, just so you know, I will not do. Ever.
And there is also an awesome 5/5 review over there for SIGHT. Thanks to Jessica for reading the book and sharing her thoughts! 🙂
Click here to read 10 Random Things About Juliet.
Click here for the links to the other blog tour spots.
~ Juliet xx