How 1 Euro Italian houses and The Cake Maker’s Wish are Related

Since I started writing The Cake Maker’s Wish (all the way back in 2015), my imaginary idea of reviving a dying little village by importing people from around the globe has gone a little more global (and viral).

Today, you can buy an Italian house for only 1 Euro, in the same country that previously gave away castles, monasteries and towers. Ireland has called for residents of Australia and USA to emigrate to the tiny island of Arranmore. Spain has had a problem of abandoned villages across the country, so the officials from Galicia set about giving away one of these villages. In all of these examples, the goal has been to give the properties to someone who has detailed plans to renovate, restore and add capital back into the local area, to save a dying population and/or economy, and restore economic trade to the local business owners. This is exactly the premise that I used for the setting of The Cake Maker’s Wish, though at the time, I didn’t know it was really ‘a thing’.

Where it all began…

In 2015 I travelled to the UK on a writing trip to meet with my UK publisher and agent, to delivery an author talk in Abergavenny in Wales and to do research to look for a new story. I travelled with my dad, my sister and my sister’s baby (who was 14 months old). As part of that trip, we rented a stone cottage in the Cotswolds where we based ourselves for ten days and travelled the area from there.

I was lucky enough to get to know some of the locals. Two of them—men who’d grown up in the village in the fifties—made me a cup of tea to tell me about what life was like when they were young. In that conversation, they lamented the fact that the village had changed so much from when it was owned by the Lord of the Manor, which had created a unified, collaborated feel through the workers, with a thriving community spirit. Over time, as the village was sold off, wealthy investors from the city would buy up cottages as holiday homes, but that meant that most of the properties were sitting empty for most of the year. The village couldn’t function as it used to, no longer community-sufficient, with people having to travel further and further away to find work and services and the house prices forcing workers out of the market.

I was really touched by their sadness and went back to my rented cottage and sat down with a notebook and pen and thought, well, I’m a writer, surely I can bring this village back to life on the page. And that’s how it started.

And now…

I confess to being truly delighted that my imagination has conjured something that isn’t completely out of the box at all, that its themes and efforts of small communities trying to survive and hold onto their connections is very real, and that equally real efforts are happening around the world right now to save them. In my heart, I am a girl from the village. I may have been born in Brisbane but I have now spent almost fifteen years living in small country towns. I know the huge beating hearts that live in them and how important it is to support them and celebrate them. This is exactly what my new novel does.

The Cake Maker’s Wish is out 2 June but you can pre-order it now from all good bookstores and online retailers. I look forward to sharing the imaginary village of Stoneden in the Cotswolds with you very soon!

 

Coming Soon! The Cake Maker’s Wish

I am thrilled to share the cover for my new book, The Cake Maker’s Wish, coming to you on 2 June 2020. I adore it!

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Life in the village isn’t always sweet and simple . . .

When single mum Olivia uproots her young son Darcy from their life in Tasmania for a new start in the English Cotswolds, she isn’t exactly expecting a bed of roses – but nor is she prepared for the challenges that life in the picturesque village throws her way.

The Renaissance Project hopes to bring the dwindling community back to life – to welcome migrants from around the world and to boost the failing economy – but not everyone is so pleased about the initiative.

For cake maker Olivia, it’s a chance for Darcy to finally meet his Norwegian father, and for her to trace the last blurry lines on what remains of her family tree. It’s also an opportunity to move on from the traumatic event that tore her loved ones apart.

After seven years on her own, she has all but given up on romance, until life dishes up some delicious new options she didn’t even know she was craving.

An uplifting and heartwarming story about the moments that change your life forever, human kindness and being true to yourself.
Praise for Josephine Moon:

‘A mountain of heart, an abundance of soul and a banquet of mouth-watering food.’ Good Reading

‘You can’t go wrong with a book by Josephine Moon.’ Vanessa Carnevale

‘A delightful page-turner and a truly moving tale.’ Better Reading

Introducing The Writers Emporium

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I have news!

I have teamed up with best-selling author Rachel Bailey to create The Writers Emporium, a collaboration focused on bringing high-quality professional writing development workshops, retreats and training here to the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

We will be kicking off 2020 with a two-day event from 8-9th February called the Sunshine Writing Lab. We’ve called it a ‘lab’ because we want you to get your fingers into your work! Our point of difference is that we are so committed to bringing you value in our programs that we are running two streams of training alongside each other across both days. This gives us the flexibility to provide quality opportunities to writers of all stages, from beginners through to those more advanced. You can choose from formal workshops, one-on-on session with either Rachel or myself, or small group sessions (three people maximum). The power is in your hands.

If you’re interstate, no worries! Our location at The Sebel hotel in Maroochydore is just minutes from the Sunshine Coast airport so you can fly in and fly out again and stay at the hotel with the discounted room rate.

Rachel and I both love teaching and we’re so excited to join forces to help you reach your writing dreams.

Check out our website for full details of course content and more and while you’re there be sure to sign up to The Writers Emporium mailing list to keep up to date with upcoming events in the future.

The Best Review Ever

Is this the best review ever? I think it might be! Huge gratitude to Better Reading for this glowing review of Buddhism for Meat Eaters. I love it so much, I had to repost the whole thing here! My heart is full 🙂


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This is not a book that preaches about animal rights, nor is it a weighty text on Buddhism. Instead, Moon chooses some of Buddhism’s core concepts and delivers them in such a way that provides a framework for how anyone can approach food, the environment and life. She covers non-violence, compassion, mindfulness and judgement. She asks big questions in a very Buddhist way – no definitive answers, just guidance and leaving the reader to truly work out what is right for them.

To help you come to your own conclusions are practical workbook-style activities and topics for consideration. These 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.

As a vegetarian of thirty years myself, who recently returned to eating fish, and someone who has studied Buddhism, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this book isn’t just for me, despite me appearing to be the very reader it’s written for.

While it appears to be a book pitched at animal lovers, the environmentally and ethically conscious, and generally thoughtful people who eat meat but perhaps aren’t entirely comfortable doing so, it is actually a wonderful book for anyone to read. It’s a wonderful book for anyone interested in making choices to tread more lightly on the planet. It’s a special gift for friends with children. It’s not just a guide to eating meat thoughtfully, but also a guide to a compassionate life.

One of the key chapters is The Gift of Impermanence. Nothing lasts. Everything passes. And in Buddhism, the idea is to understand that, because attachment to anything is a form of suffering. This chapter alone is worth the cover price – read it, learn this, teach it to your children.

Moon finishes with a chapter on ethical choices and resources, helpful for anyone who reads this book and thinks, ‘I now want to make a difference.” I guarantee that’s exactly what you will think after reading this book. Kindness to animals, the planet and ultimately yourself made simple – what a lovely world it would be

Buy a copy of Buddhism for Meat Eaters here.

Winners Chosen

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Last week, I offered my VIPs the chance to win a copy of Buddhism for Meat Eaters. I received so many wonderful answers as to what they hoped to get out of reading the book that I had to choose two lucky winners! Here are some of the heartwarming responses I received. Thank you to everyone who entered. I’m sorry you couldn’t all win but I loved reading every message, thank you!

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Since I have had kids, I’ve been wrestling with the issue of eating meat… They like animals, and they’re interested in the environment, so I’d hope that reading “Buddhism for Meat Eaters” might help me find some strategies to engage them in looking at meat differently. (L)

In a house full of meat loving males I’d love to find my peace. (T)

I struggle mostly because it’s such a black and white decision: I would love to hear your thoughts on meeting in the middle to be far more conscientious as a meat eating family and being at peace with the decisions I make in the supermarket! (S)

I feel it might help our family to live with the newer ideas around food and living sustainably. (L)

I think this sounds like a great read for my daughter… she had been vegetarian but recently stopped and I am sure is wrestling with this decision as many do. (C)

We’re a family of intense animal lovers and I never felt I could adequately answer my kids’ questions about why some animals are members of the family and others are just food! (D)

I too feel guilt over my eating of meat… I’d love to find some comfort in this book, and a way of balancing those feelings. (L)

I look forward to finding out how I can help to make peace with myself. (M)

I’ve always had an issue with feeling ethically hypocritical as I’m such an animal lover and despise any form of animal cruelty. However I can’t get by without my meat. (J)

We all need to have more understanding and kindness in our world. (S)

I’d love to learn tips and tricks to be more mindful about my food choices, how I impact the world with my consumables and to read more of your writings. (S)

I am vegan and for health reasons have tried to become vegetarian but the guilt is something I am struggling with significantly. (L)

I hope to get a sense of internal peace from reading your new book. (J)

I hope to alleviate my guilt and get some inspiration to share with others to make my world a better place. (A)

 

Listen to Buddhism for Meat Eaters, right now.

If you can’t wait for the paperback edition of Buddhism for Meat Eaters, you can listen to it right now through Audible, read by Kate Blakk.

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Publisher’s Summary

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 listeners 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.”

 

If you’re an Audile member, you can pick it up for just $14.95 or 1 credit. If you love audio books but you aren’t a member, I can highly recommend it. I am a huge fan of audio books and look forward to spending my credit each month.

Happy listening!

The Countdown is On!

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‘An engaging, challenging and ultimately uplifting guide on how to live a compassionate life in our consumerist times.’

 

My personal stock of Buddhism for Meat Eaters arrived today and they are gorgeous! I’m still so in love with the cover and the addition of sparkly gold highlights on the finished copies really make it irresistible.

Some stock will start appearing in bookshops over the next couple of weeks, though the official release day is July 1, where all good books are sold.

You can also pre-order and/or purchase it online at Booktopia, Amazon, Bookworld, Dymocks, and Book Depository (with FREE international shipping).

For your chance to win a copy from me, make sure you are signed up to my email newsletter to find out how.

I look forward to sharing ideas on compassionate living with you very soon.