New non-fiction, ‘Buddhism for Meat Eaters’, coming July 2019

BUDDHISM_FINALAnd now for something completely different… Coming in July from Simon & Schuster Australia is my second non-fiction title and they have done a beautiful job with this book. Two books hitting the shelves this year. Lucky me!

The blurb reads:

“An engaging, challenging and contemplative guide on how to live a compassionate life in a consumerist era.

For many years, Josephine Moon struggled with the question of eating meat; fervently wishing to live as a vegetarian yet requiring meat in her diet. From Josephine’s philosophical, spiritual and physical battle with eating meat came, Buddhism for Meat Eaters – a book for animal lovers, the environmentally and ethically conscious, and generally thoughtful people who eat meat but perhaps aren’t entirely comfortable doing so.

Open, honest and utterly without judgement, Buddhism for Meat Eaters encourages readers to be more mindful about their choices, rather than berating themselves for them, and offers ways for people to live ethically, honestly and guilt-free, whether as a carnivore, vegetarian or vegan. This highly practical guide also includes workbook-style activities and topics for consideration to guide you in your own journey to making wiser decisions on how you consume, how you live, and how to change the world around you.”

Authors for Townsville, Giant Book Raffle

I know, it wasn’t that long ago we were raising funds (nearly $20,000 in the raffle alone) for our Australian farmers with a giant book raffle and manuscript assessment opportunity. Now, Townsville needs our help! From drought to floods… in just a handful of months. Welcome to Australia, hey?

Once again, Australian authors have been fantastically generous in donating books to another giant book raffle!

The book list is still growing at 75 pledged books in 24 hours and still coming in. I’ll be capping the list at 100 books, like last year. But I know some of you will be keen to get in now and get your tickets and commit your support for our friends in Townsville at this time, so if you can get in early and secure your tickets right now.

Once the list is finalised, I will divide them into 3 prize packs.

Tickets are now on sale at https://www.trybooking.com/BATEJ

  • $5 for 1 ticket
  • $20 for 5 tickets

These are just some of the books pledged so far, a fantastic array of books across genres, some favourites from last year and a whole bunch of new ones too. It’s an exciting pack! Let’s raise some money! 😀

 

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Special Chance to Win for all Pre-Orders

WIN!!! Loves, I know how much you love my big book giveaways! This time I’ve made it bigger than ever for a special reason. THE GIFT OF LIFE is out on 2 April but I want to thank those of you who go out of your way to pre-order the book should have the chance to win this 8-book pack!

You get ‘the full moon’ (new copies of my previous four novels) PLUS another 4 of my pre-loved books. All you have to do is comment here and send me a copy (email or paste photo here) of your receipt/order for preordering THE GIFT OF LIFE by 5pm 1st Feb. josephinemoon@live.com.au

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!! I will be doing more competitions in the lead up to the launch of THE GIFT OF LIFE, so even if you miss out this time around, you’ll automatically be entered in future draws too!

If you’ve already pre-ordered (thank you!), you can still enter exactly the same way.

Here’s a few outlets I know of who have it for pre-order at a discount price:

https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-gif…/prod9780143791997.html

https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/…/the-gif…/p/9780143791997

https://www.amazon.com.au/Gift-Life-Josephine…/…/ref=sr_1_2…

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Please note: As always the four pre-loved books in this stack may come with cracked spines, turned down pages, bent covers…. you know the drill! (And having said that, they’re in pretty good shape.)

 

Researching The Gift of Life: Watching a Heart Transplant to Finding the Silent Story

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Research is my happy place. I do extensive research for every book I write and it’s where I learn not just technical information but also start to find my character development, settings and plot points too. I get to travel within Australian and overseas for location research, which is a great gift. I interview people, spend hours on the internet, watch loads of YouTube videos and, inevitably, buy a lot of reference books. It is the phase where anything is still possible, ideas are still forming and excitement takes me back again and again for more.

My forthcoming novel, The Gift of Life, is based around organ donation, specifically, heart transplants. I love anatomy (I studied it for two semesters) and Biology was also my strongest subject at school and I then did another semester of it at uni. As a result, I loved brushing up on all my anatomy and physiology and researching the many causes and treatments of heart failure, some of which lead to the need for an organ donation. I even ended up at the cardiologist myself, as I have a long history of arrhythmias and, as I found out in my research, these can lead to heart failure! (Fortunately for me, the type I have appear to be uncomplicated.) My husband, too, also ended up at the cardiologist, then my mum went… It seemed like every time I turned around, ‘hearts’ were the theme of the day.  One thing I learned through all this research was that we are all vulnerable to heart issues, which can come with a long list of complications, which can also lead to a need for a transplant. I really had no idea how common it was.

The amount of personal testimony I came across (both from the point of view of a heart transplant recipient and also from the family of those who had consented to the donation of their loved one’s organs) is significantly higher coming from the USA than it is Australia. This was both tricky–because the USA medical and legal systems are very different to ours–and also an opportunity to hear different experiences and voices from those who’ve gone through the process.

There is a wealth of videos on YouTube and I even came across one that showed a heart transplant operation. That one was a little tough to stomach, to be honest!

I interviewed two Australian heart transplant recipients, which was a fabulous opportunity to hear their stories firsthand. They were both very different people–he a middle-aged man with a wife, children and career–and she a young woman in her twenties with a long life ahead if only she could get the chance. Their experience of the process was vastly different too. The organ transplant process is a gamble at every stage: the illness, the waiting period, the operation, the recovery, the chances of rejection and ongoing complications.

In the end, I had way more information than I could use in the book, which is normal. The Gift of Life starts two years after Gabby McPhee had her heart transplant; therefore much of what I learned about the difficult, emotional waiting stage (and the ongoing physical rehabilitation and care through that period) had to be cut and left out; however, it’s all there in my mind, forming the basis to the background of Gabby’s psyche.

I also became really interested in the more silent half of the story–the experiences of the family members who make the decision to donate. These stories are harder to find, and understandably so, as their experience is rooted in trauma, shock and grief. But as a writer, that ‘silent space’ is the most interesting to me. The possibility of a new, untold story is the one I want to follow. The wealth of information I found on the other side (the recipient’s stories) served to highlight a gap in the narrative that, when voiced through the character of Krystal Arthur, fleshed out the full circle of life.

I loved researching this book. It was utterly fascinating from beginning to end.

 

Josephine Moon’s Top Non-fiction Reads of 2018

I often think I don’t read enough, but when I look back over my list of books I’ve dived into over the past 12 months, I see that not only do I read more than I think, but that I read quite a few non-fiction books each year too.

Here is my Top 5 non-fiction titles I devoured this year (in no particular order).

 

  1. Sophie’s Patch, by Sophie Thomson. This I’m more than just a gardening book, it is an inspiring, life-affirming guide to love, passion and health. Total joy.
  2. Any Ordinary Day, by Leigh Sales. How do we cope with tragedy? Leigh Sales has the answer, having compiled extensive research into how our brains and bodies respond after the worst day of our lives. It sounds heavy, but it’s written with such a lightness of touch to be both moving and inspiring at the same time.
  3. How to Give up Plastic, by Will McCallum. As a species, humanity is facing one of its biggest environmental disasters: plastic pollution. We can’t afford to turn away. The time to face up to this and remedy the situation is right now, and this book shows you how to do it, room by room in your house.
  4. Buddhism for Break-ups, by Meshel Laurie. Relationship breakdowns happen across all areas of life–love, friendships, families and workplaces. But breaking up ‘well’ takes commitment and effort and that’s what Meshel Laurie sets out to show us in this book. If you’re not going through a break-up (I wasn’t), it’s still great reading to be prepared when the next one comes your way, as it inevitably will.
  5. The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to read this book. Eckhart Tolle is one of the most influential thought-leaders on the planet and for good reason. His wisdom is profound and resonates long after you’ve closed the book.

 

I hope you find some inspiration in this list for your next great non-fiction read.

Jo

Word of Mouth TV appearance, and WIN a huge book pack!

I am delighted to be a featured author on Australia’s first online television series about food and books, Word of Mouth TV, hosted by Kate Forsyth and SL Mills!

Click HERE to watch!

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 7.38.46 pmKate, Sarah and I talk about the inspiration behind Three Gold Coins, the biggest challenges in writing the darker, difficult themes inside the story, and the absolute joys of Italian food and romantic heroes!

Kate serves up my scrumptious Tuscan white bean soup, we drink vino and I share the rather amazing moment that led to my big breakthrough into a writing career.

The whole episode is shot in Kate’s fabulous home in Sydney and we had a very long Italian feast indeed. (It is quite dark when we finish!)

You can also win a huge pack of my books, plus a copy of Matt Moran’s cookbook too.

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 7.43.33 pm Click HERE to find out how to win this bunch of delicious books.

Best of luck!

Authors for Farmers: It’s a Wrap!

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 8.43.49 amWell, what a whirlwind that was! All the Ebay auctions have now finished and every single manuscript assessment on offer sold! Ten lucky writers out there are getting themselves one-on-one manuscript assessment with a leading Australian publisher or author.
 
I want to say a HUGE thank you to the publishers and authors who put themselves up for auction! As I was putting those profiles together and listing them I thought, wow, this would be really scary! To put yourself out there like that takes great courage and I am so grateful so many people did it. THANK YOU, Sophie Green, Ali Watts, Annette Barlow, Lisa Ireland, Michael Trant, Louise Allan, Melinda Tognini, Annie Seaton, Katie Rowney and Jenn J McLeod!
 
Books are still flowing over to the winner of the giant book raffle, who is in turn sharing her books with her friends. Thank you to all the authors who contributed books (far too many to list out here). You helped make this the biggest book raffle around and raised nearly $20,000 for Australian farmers in need through Buy a Bale (Rural Aid).
 
The auctions raised another $8,000, though I’m still waiting for ebay to calculate the fees before I can get a final figure and do the transfers.
 
But whatever the final value is it is a big win for our farmers and I’ve no doubt will be much appreciated when it gets into their hands.
 
I’ve decided I will do this again next year, for a different charity and I can’t wait to see what turns up then.
 
THANK YOU ALL for buying tickets and bidding on auctions. You are STARS!!!!
 
Jo x