The Joy - 6 August 2021

w/ Clare Connelly, whose best-selling romance novels aim to set your soul on fire.

The Joy is your weekly read, a chance to meet cool people and find a reason to smile about the week that's been.

Clare is an author who grew up in an Aussie country town and has now published over 90 novels.

Hey Clare! Tell us:

What do you do, and why do you love it? ❤️

I get to write love stories for a living and that is pretty amazing. I have always loved writing. I can honestly say there’s never a day I don’t relish hitting the keyboard. On the contrary, I find it stressful when life intervenes, and I can’t get into my story. I’ve written over one hundred category romance novels and am nowhere near running out of ideas or enjoyment for what I do!

What are you currently working on? ✍️

I’m actually writing a book that’s a little poignant at the moment – it’s a love story, but it also deals with death, loss, and the long journey through grief to feel attached to life and living. It’s challenging to slip into the headspace of my character and then slip out of it, to resume the patterns of my normal life.  

What are you watching? 📺

I’m very late to the party, but I’ve just come out of two weeks of quarantine and my husband and I tackled the American version of The Office. As a family we watched the two seasons of The Mandalorian, which we all LOVE. So much so that our soon-to-arrive puppy is being named Mando…

What are you reading? 📖

I’m always reading a couple of non-fiction books (currently one on grief – research, and one on American politics – an interest of mine), and for fiction, I’m reading my way through Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series because, swoon!

Who is inspiring you right now? 📱

I’m living for Jimmy Rees’ videos on Insta/Facebook. My kids grew up watching him as Jimmy Giggle in Giggle and Hoot, and now he’s morphed into one of my favourites. I absolutely love his take on parenting, covid, and life. The importance of humour can’t be underestimated right now. Life is heavy. Worry is everywhere. Being able to tune out and laugh is truly lifesaving and I’m so grateful to anyone who can shine that light.

What do you drink when you’re not drinking? 🍷

I love de-alcoholised wines, spirits, as well as mineral water with a dash of fruit juice. Drinking was a ritualistic habit for me. I don’t miss alcohol at all, but when I first liberated myself from alcohol I missed the ‘ritual’, so I started having a glass of something special at six o’clock in the evening. I drink it from a wine or cocktail glass, and I don’t drink it at any other time of day. It meets that need to put a line under my workday and segue into the leisure portion of my night.

What's your go-to snack that brings you joy? 🥨
Vegan KitKats are a red-hot favourite! Also, I am a sucker for citrus so
snack on way too many mandarins and oranges through winter.

What is your most joyful memory? ☀️

I’m very blessed to say that I have way, way too many to recount! Ironically the time of my life that I found most ‘stressful’ – having two children under two and working at the same time – is now a stage that I reflect on as being the most joyous. Naturally, I didn’t appreciate it at the time (because it was *hard*), but what I wouldn’t do to be able to go back!

What has brought you joy this week? ✨

If the last eighteen months have taught me anything, it’s to find joy in the smallest moments of each day. Sitting down with a cup of tea and listening to a song I love, walking on the beach, a quiet moment to read, making the bed with crisp, clean sheets, watering house plants, and, having uber coffees delivered to my door in the last two weeks was a godsend.

Learn more about Clare on her website, follow her on Instagram (@clarewriteslove) or grab a copy for yourself to see what the fuss is all about!


Thanks for sharing with us, Clare!


Cocktail of the Week 🍸

Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine

1 x Bottle of your preferred non-alc red
1 x Large Orange, cut into thin slices (or 250ml OJ)
1 x Cinnamon stick
2 x Star Anise
2 x Whole Cloves
A pinch of Ground Nutmeg

Method: Pour all ingredients into a large pot, simmer on low for at least 20 minutes. Sweeten to taste with brown sugar if required. Simply multiply for more.

Serve HOT! Ladle into a heat-proof glass or mug and garnish with fresh orange or an extra cinnamon stick.


Joy Story  📖

Dog Yoga is a real thing - and yes, it's called 'Doga'

Dogs are very intuitive animals. They are easily aware of our emotional state and can sense anxiety and stress. This all boils down to the way that we breathe and how this has an effect on our dog’s central nervous system. Many that teach doga believe that the energy you are feeling when practicing yoga can be directly transferred to your dog.