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Guest Post: Chrissie Bradshaw - Once Upon A Moon

I just had to use the waxing and waning of the moon as the timeline for my novel, ‘A Jarful of Moondreams’…

Last month, I enjoyed reading Jack Steele’s contribution to Elaina's blog. It was on visiting and choosing the right locations for a novel and I thought about how vital the setting of place and time are to any novel. I decided to carry on the theme of setting this month by writing about how I have shown the passage of time in my debut novel, ‘A Jarful of Moondreams’.

I write contemporary fiction and my currently released novel is set in the present day, 2015 to be precise. When I was writing, I had a calendar out to track events from May to September but I just knew that my characters would feel happier if I used the waxing and waning of the moon as the timeline for my novel. This could be lots of fun when I got it right but, at times, it was a headache to track the moon calendar of 2015 and make sure that it was in synch with the events in the novel.

Why did I do It? Well, with a family who had the surname Moon and a wonderful character who had encouraged her daughters to use a ‘moondream’ jar to hold their wishes that were made on a new moon, it was a natural way to show the passing of time over their tumultuous summer. My story begged to be told in moon months.

When I was researching moon names, I found several lists from different eras and continents; the moon's cycle is important thought history and across the world. This is the sort of research that can eat into writing time but it is fun! I now know what the Algonquian, the Cherokee and the Choctaw native Americans called their moons as well as the Celts and medieval England.

How did I use that wealth of information? I decided to use just a touch of ‘artistic licence’ and chose the most apt, or the nicest sounding, name from each source. I knew that my character, Teri Moon, would have had no trouble mixing and matching to suit her mood too. Having chosen the names, I used descriptions of the moon to reflect the mood of the story.

My story starts with the Pink Moon of May and then we journey into the Flower moon of June. After that, we encounter the excitement of two moons, the Thunder moon and an extra Blue moon in July. This brings thunderous times and a ‘once in a blue moon’ magic moment of course. After the Corn moon reaps many changes, there is a lovely full Harvest moon where we say farewell to the summer and leave the family to enjoy their happy ending.

I know that readers may not notice any of these elements; they do not need to in order to enjoy the turmoil, changes and romances of this eventful summer. I'm just happy that it adds another layer of meaning to the story and I know that it pleased Teri Moon. Maybe, if you read my book, it will please you too.

A JARFUL OF MOONDREAMS is available from Amazon and all good book stores.

About the author: 

Chrissie Bradshaw, 2016 winner of the Romantic Novelist's Elizabeth Goudge writing trophy, is a seasoned tea drinker and a tenacious trainer of her welsh terrier, Oscar. A JARFUL of MOONDREAMS, a contemporary story about family relationships, secrets and how dreams can come true, is her first novel.She has always loved match-making a book to a reader. Writing the kind of book she loves to read takes this a step further. When Chrissie is not writing or reading, you will find her walking the troublesome terrier on the beach, trying to avoid the gym and spending time with her family and friends.

Chrissie enjoys tweeting to readers on @ChrissieBeee

Her blog is

She has a Chrissie Bradshaw author page on Facebook

Amazon link:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thank you for inviting me onto your blog, Elaina. I enjoyed using the moon to show time passing in A JARFUL OF MOONDREAMS. I thought I was over it but... Did you know there's a new corn moon tomorrow night? Anyone can make a wish.

    1. You're welcome Chrissie, it was lovey to have you on the blog. What a fantastic and unique way of portraying time. I love the idea!

  3. Interesting post, Chrissie. I'd no idea there were so many different names for the moon and what a creative way to mark time in a Jarful of Moondreams. I love discovering new words or phrases, so completely understand how researching such a topic might have turned into a never-ending rabbit-hole moment. : )

    1. Thanks for stopping by Rae, glad you enjoyed Chrissie's lovely blog.

  4. Great blog Chrissie, it's so interesting to learn about the different moons. I loved reading A Jarful of Moondreams too.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Rhona, glad you enjoyed Chrissie's fantastic post.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.


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