The Taste of Hope Contest

by Therese Walsh on March 1, 2014

The Taste of Hope Contest is now closed, and a winner has been chosen with the help of a Random Number Generator. Congratulations to Karen Halsted! Karen has been contacted, and will receive the sensory prizes described below.

Thank you to all who participated! This contest was loads of fun for me. I enjoyed reading all of your creative entries–even the ones that made me hungry. And you know what? I think Olivia and Jazz Moon would have approved of all of this cross-wired creativity, too. Well, at least Olivia.

Happy Reading, everyone, and thank you again.

– Therese


Moon Sisters was released on March 4th, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate here than to have a great contest! But what sort of contest is worthy of The Moon Sisters?

The story of The Moon Sisters wouldn’t have occurred at all if, one night, Olivia Moon hadn’t dreamed that she’d seen a will-o’-the-wisp light over a bogland, and that it tasted like hope. The taste of hope filled her with joy and helped her to shed what had seemed an overwhelming sadness, and so she clung to it and set out to find a will-o’-the-wisp for real.

Not everyone can taste hope, but a synesthete might. Synesthesia is a condition whereby a person’s sensory areas are uniquely wired, so that they might smell sights or taste ideas or see sound.

Though not many of us can taste hope in reality, we can still imagine it.


What would hope taste like for you?

Share your imaginings here and be entered to win a sensory gift package worthy of The Moon Sisters:

KIS OILS. This gift pack of six oils includes the following scents: peppermint, lavender, sweet orange, tea tree, lemongrass, and eucalyptus. These are 100% pure essential oils, therapeutic grade.


COLORFUL MOLESKINE DATEBOOKS. Some of us, like Olivia, can see a calendar in our minds–a personal and constant visual of months and days and years. The rest of us need a real calendar to keep things straight. Olivia would approve of this, though: color-coded moleskine date books to get you through 2014 without any confusion.

colorful moleskine planners

CHOCOLATE. According to Olivia, a clear blue sky always smells of warm chocolate and adrenaline, and I suppose we’ll have to take her word for it. Winner will receive a selection of chocolate, chosen just for you by Therese. Milk or dark, your choice.

THE MOON SISTERS One winner will receive a signed, personalized hard cover edition of The Moon Sisters from Therese’s personal stash.


Hungry for a win? Leave your comment here to officially enter the contest. A winner will be chosen at random on March 25th.

What would hope taste like to you?

Or, if you’d rather tackle another sense:

What would hope look like?

What would it smell like?

What would it sound like?

Good luck!

p.s. Help us spread the word about this contest, and your entry will count multiple times. Just come back and leave another comment indicating you’ve shared and linking to that share. One extra entry per share.

p.p.s. You can also gain an extra entry by signing up for Therese’s newsletter HERE. (Newsletter subscribers will receive some exclusive content for The Moon Sisters, first access to contests, and more.) Just be sure to loop back to announce you’ve become a subscriber for your extra shot at the gold chocolate.

{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

ML Swift March 4, 2014 at 1:46 am

Hope lives in the smoky ribbons of a thousand beeswax candles in a small southwestern grotto, each lit in prayer for a love one’s safety, health, or good fortune; its smell, a melange of the most fragrant local wildflowers; its taste, the happy marriage of pumpkin and cinnamon with just a dappling of nutmeg; its sound, a violin’s laughter as it dances with the cello; its texture, the warming caress of an afternoon sunbeam; and its beauty, indescribable.


ML Swift March 4, 2014 at 1:49 am

Oh, and btw…I was already a subscriber. πŸ˜‰ And I will be sharing. Mmm…dark chock-lit.


Julia Munroe Martin March 4, 2014 at 9:57 am

I think hope would taste and smell like freshly peeled oranges. Congratulations on the book, Therese, so exciting!


Jennifer I March 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Hope would look like the bluest of blue skies. The grin on a baby’s face when they see their momma or daddy come home from work. The mother of the bride as she watches her daughter be readied for her wedding day. The look on the faces of a family as they send their dearest loved one into a surgery. The stickiness of cotton candy on the face of a toddler at the county fair. Those are some of the ways I imagine hope and how it would look.


Jennifer I March 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm

I signed up for the newsletter. πŸ™‚


Laura Wickwar March 4, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Hope would taste like lemon meringue pie. With beautiful white peaks of sunshine and lots of foam.


Leah March 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Hope would taste like newly-sliced, garden-fresh cucumbers.
Hope would smell like the grass right after a spring storm down in the hollow where I grew up in West Virginia.
Hope would sound like slowing spring rain on a tin roof.
Hope looks like the smiles on my kids’ faces when they’ve achieved something they’ve strived for.


Leah March 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm

I’m already a subscriber and I’ve shared your post on my Facebook timeline (Leah Welsh Lowe)


D. D. Falvo March 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Hope tastes like a fresh picked raspberry wrapped in cotton candy. πŸ˜‰ Cheers, Therese!


Bonnie Franks March 4, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Hope would taste like the air does on a warm summer day standing in the edge of the ocean with the sand between your toes. As a matter of fact, the ocean with the sun shining on it is what hope would look like, the rushing in of the waves is what it would sound like, and the smell would be salty. Congratulations on your book! And thank you for your giveaway!


Amanda Helms March 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Hope tastes like champagne, and its bubbles tickle your throat and make you want to laugh.

Congrats on the book release!


Bonnie Franks March 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Just went and signed up for the newsletter also! Thanks again!


Melissa Crytzer Fry March 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Therese – I LOVE everything about this post because of its sensory nature. When I first learned about the topic of your new book way back when — the synesthete side of it — I was immediately intrigued. You know how much I loved MOIRA LEAHY, so I cannot wait to read this book, as well!

I’m pretty sure I can’t outdo Olivia’s description of what hope might taste like, but to me, it would have to be sweet. So, instead, I’ll go with what Hope might look like: Hope is water droplets upon the parched lips of flowering hedgehog cacti, moisture clinging to the bone-dry petals of desert marigolds, and rain dripping down the smooth pistachio-colored branches of Sonoran Desert palo verde trees. Hope looks like water because, in the desert, fallen water seems to cling just a little longer. A little more frantically.


Melissa Crytzer Fry March 4, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Oh, yes… I signed up for your newsletter as well!


Tonia Harris March 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm

green tomatoes fried
grandma’s lilac by the sink
cut grass in the rain

I signed up for the newsletter and here’s my share link:

Mostly, congratulations. I can’t wait to get my copy! xox


Judy Kinz March 4, 2014 at 5:21 pm

~ I would breathe Hope in to exhale doubt…. breathe in Hope to exhale fear….and anger….
breathe Hope in to expel Tears of Sadness and Joy….which would journey down through streams of Sorrow carved into the hills of my face….
finally reaching the Sea of my mouth to be stirred with the Honey of soft Whispers and Dreams murmured in the night….
Hope’s bittersweetness would transform into the Delicate Ambrosia of Promise ~


Melissa Crytzer Fry March 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm
Christi Craig March 4, 2014 at 6:11 pm

For me, hope would smell like Spring in the early morning, fresh with dew. And very green.

Love the video, can’t wait to read the book! Happy Launch Day!


Christi Craig March 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Just tweeted ( & signed up for the newsletter πŸ™‚


Jan March 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Hope would taste like beach sand washed in the night tide, warmed by the morning sun, and sprinkled with sea treasures to find and keep.


Wendy Greenley March 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm

No need to search for metaphors or hyperbole. Hope would taste like a York peppermint patty. Fresh, crisp and delightful.


Nancy March 4, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Hope tastes like a newborn baby!


Nancy March 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Hope tastes and smells like a newborn baby!


Lisa Threadgill March 4, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Hope smells like a woodfire on a crisp fall morning at dawn.

I do subscribe, and I did share, but I have *no* idea how to find the “share link”. πŸ™


thea March 4, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Hope tastes like butterscotch lifesavers from the pack you bought on the way home from the last day of school – so you are more willing than usual to share ‘some’ (two and that’s it) with your little sister.


Bernadette Phipps-Lincke March 4, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Hope tastes like the first sip of fresh coffee in a world stirring awake.


lynn buttedal March 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Hope tastes like food finally tasting good after your taste buds come back from chemo and radiation!


lynn buttedal March 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm

following on pininterest pinned Lynn Buttedal and signed up for e-mail!


Amy Sue Nathan March 4, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Hope looks like the foam on ocean waves.

Hope sounds like crunching leaves.

Hope tastes like cool, clear water.

Hope smells like lavender.

The calendar in my head has a big circle around today! It’s The Moon Sisters launch and my son’s 22nd birthday. Many reasons for hope.



Bonnie Dodge March 4, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Sliding across my tongue and down my throat, hope tastes like the colors of a rainbow, all sherberty and kissed with sunlight.


Allison March 4, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Hope would taste like a loaf of warm bread, hot and steaming from the oven, as you slather it with fresh churned butter and a drizzle of golden honey.


Amy March 4, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Hope would taste like lemon, honey and ginger. Sweet and fresh with a zing


Amy March 4, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Signed up for email


Chris Iglesias March 4, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Hope would taste like cookie dough fresh from the bowl.


Donna Cochran March 4, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Hope tastes fresh and light and leaves a tingle on your tongue, like lime sherbet after a heavy meal.


Lillie March 4, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Hope to me tastes like lemon cake. Soft buttery light and tangy. Hope will always lift you up, make you laugh, and pucker your cheeks!


Jessica March 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Hope tastes like peanut butter cups because I always feel better when I’m eating them.

Thanks for the giveaway. I also signed up for the newsletter.


Denise March 4, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Hope taste like that first crisp bit of an apple bitten into on a fall day spent picking apples at an apple orchard. It smells like fresh cinnamon sugar donuts made at the same orchard and sounds like fall leaves that are just right for jumping into on a warm autumn day. Hope looks like a bright autumn tree so full of color no one is predominate and just leaves you dreaming of wishes.


Denise March 4, 2014 at 10:43 pm

I signed up for Therese’s newsletter and shared the link on my facebook page Lisa – Denise Mason.


Cynthia Hudson March 4, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Hope is like a fresh peach cake, staked high with coolwhip luciousness.


Judy Kinz March 4, 2014 at 11:21 pm

I’ve shared your link on my facebook page…. (aka sadie faline)


Judy Kinz March 4, 2014 at 11:24 pm

I signed up for your Newsletter and emailed your contest link to two family members….


Jan O'Hara March 5, 2014 at 12:40 am

No need to enter me in the contest, but did you know the hope-tasting question was one my psychologist friend used to help us change and redecorate our medical clinic?

For me, hope is a sun-warmed peach after a day spent at the beach.


Andrea Wahle March 5, 2014 at 12:44 am

Hope smells like the first rain of spring and freshly cut grass
Hopes tastes like grass and Honeysuckle nectar
Hope is always intertwined with grass – it can spring up everywhere, but is often taken for granted…


Tom Bentley March 5, 2014 at 12:58 am

Well jeez, it’s obvious:
Hope tastes like those plums in that William Carlos Williams poem
Hope looks like Ma Kettle about to open the door to an encyclopedia salesman
Hope smells like the slightly burnt top of your Halloween punkin
Hope sounds like a perfectly tuned ’62 Caddy going 99 miles an hour on the way to Vegas

Hope, it’s mighty fine.


Jasmine March 5, 2014 at 3:19 am

Hope is that first deep breath you take as you walk outside. It’s the sun rising over the mountains welcoming a new day. It’s the birds chirping on a spring morning. It’s the wind cleansing your soul and the sun warming your spirit. Hope tastes like home on a new day.


Heather McCloud-Huff March 5, 2014 at 5:22 am

Ah, I think hope smells like an Indian curry!


Heather McCloud-Huff March 5, 2014 at 5:24 am

Already subscribe, and I shared on Facebook as well.


Kim March 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Hope is a savory taste. Like the salty skin on the shoulder of a beautiful man who has just tilled the ground for his spring garden.


Lara McKusky March 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Hope tastes like dark chocolate with sea salt and firm, chewy caramel, a cup of strong tea, making you feel like anything is conquerable with just these two things to refresh you.


Natalie March 5, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Hope smells like the first day in Spring you can smell the dirt — it isn’t frozen anymore, but nothing is growing yet. It’s just warm enough that the air holds just a hint of fecundity. And, to be honest, a leeetle hint of dog poop that is no longer frozen.


holly kiely March 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Hope tastes like fresh squeezed juices. Bright and radiant lemons that zest away old powers if fear and disbelief. Tart and tingling on the tongue. Cucumber, light like spring time and washing the palette while quenching parched lips. Shiny green apples, sweet and tart, bright with the most sensuous droplets beading from the fresh cut slices. Emerald green kale, filled with and dense juice so pregnant with minerals it is like drinking in the earth. Ginger, fire juice, that burns away old habits and makes blood and bone effervescent. All coming together to taste like hope, the wellspring of a creative dream called life.


Abigail Carter March 5, 2014 at 9:04 pm

For me, hope would smell like those tiny grape hyacinths poking their tiny purple balls up through the snow looking for sun. Which then leads to grape soda, a forever hopeful smell to me, since as a child, I used to beg for it whenever we stopped at a specific store on the way to my grandma’s house. Yup. Sickly sweet grape = hope.


Suzanne March 5, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Hope tastes like fresh baked yeast rolls. The kind you eat at our local hospital while awaiting the arrival of a new baby, the healing of a loved one, or the passing of another. You hope the baby comes safely and Mama will be fine. You are filled with hope that those you care for will soon be returned to you whole and well. You hold on to hope as a dear one takes their final bow and prepares to exit this realm. Hoping against hope for just a little more time. After they depart you sit around that cafeteria table… Unable to leave… and hope they have found what we are all looking for on the other side. Through it all there is this amazing combination of flour, yeast, and butter. It is a balm to my soul and forever to me the flavor of Hope.


Linda Visman March 6, 2014 at 12:22 am

Hope seems to me that it would have a nebulous taste something between sweet and tangy, with a hint of sour.


Pat Harris March 6, 2014 at 12:35 am

Hope … hmm. I think hope would taste like homemade vanilla ice cream with just the right amount of ice crystals in it. And maybe a drizzle of caramel and, of course, rich dark chocolate. And when I got to the bottom of the cup and reached inside to scrape it with a spoon, there would be a note printed on the inside: “Congratulations. You have won free Ice Cream for Life, topped with your favorite Chocolate Caramel Topping. You have only to believe it is so to make it true.”


Karen March 6, 2014 at 1:32 am

Hope looks like the first buds in sprung pushing forth.
Hope tastes like fresh lemon & lime squeezed over ice w/ a mint sprig.
Hope smells like the damp earth of spring warming in the sun.


Kaye Barley March 6, 2014 at 2:39 am

signed up for your newsletter


Linda h. March 6, 2014 at 5:41 am

Hope tastes like the first snowflake to touch your tongue – because it also smells like the air when that first snow falls… Fresh. Clean. New. Joyous.


Kerry Black March 6, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Inhale the scent of apple cider simmering with cloves, cinnamon sticks, and oranges; Feel the tug of a healthy toddler, pulling on a soft, over-sized knitted sweater; Hum a loved hymn, while the family sings along; See a smile through the pain, breaking across a face once clouded over, full of rainbow aspirations and electrifying dreams, blurred by grateful tears. These are hope.


Danielle Moore March 6, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Hope smells like the salty ocean waves and sounds like waves crashing on the beach. To me the beach is a place you can Hope to discover your dreams and find something new. There’s open opportunity to hope to find something never befor discovered by anyone.


Danielle Moore March 6, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Just subscribed to your news letter????

So glad to have found you as new author for me to enjoy and it’s all because I read a post on of my most favorite authors posted on her FB page, Sarah Addison Allen.


Danielle Moore March 6, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Sorry didn’t mean to do the ??? Meant !!!


Danielle Moore March 6, 2014 at 6:20 pm
Danielle Moore March 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Just shared it on Pinterest and started following you too ????

Hey, check out this pin on Pinterest: The Moon Sisters book Contest!!!!!


Danielle Moore March 6, 2014 at 6:30 pm
Danielle Moore March 6, 2014 at 6:33 pm

And lastly I shared this to my Instagram


Heather // girlichef March 7, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Hope sounds like my children’s laughter.


Heather // girlichef March 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm

I just signed up for your newsletter (yay!).


Bridget March 7, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Hope would sound like the laughter of my grandsons.


Bridget March 7, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Also, signed up for your newsletter.


Amy Feld March 7, 2014 at 10:51 pm

When biting into the first ripe peach of summer, sweetness explodes, dancing on my taste buds. Warm days ahead. Long days, breezy nights. The smell of a garden in bloom. Hope tastes like love enveloping me in a soft cotton blanket, a hug so comforting. Confirmation anything is possible.


Jocosa Wade March 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm

What a delightful contest. Thanks for expanding our world, Therese.

Hope sounds like Snow Falling
Hope smells like Fresh Cut Grass
Hope looks like the Sun
Hope feels like Baby Cheeks
Hope tastes like Seedless Grapes


Janel Gradowski March 8, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Hope would taste like warm buttered toast topped with plenty of cinnamon sugar. A start to a day full of possibilities and hope for a fabulous day.


Sharry Miller March 8, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Today, hope smells like spring on the breeze, sounds like the giggles of my daughter and her friends as they decorate a cake to look like Scotland, and looks like sun streaming through my winter-dirty windows.

Congratulations on publication, Therese.


A. Wilson March 13, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Hope taste like the faith , peace and grace…


Diane Rosencrantz March 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Hope tastes like the first kiss of a newborn baby, soft and sweet and innocent but filled with hope and promise of days to come.


Rhonda March 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Hope would sound like a choir of angels singing just for me.!


Sonny Neal March 17, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Hope is rain filled clouds to a parched earth; the aftermath is new life.


Kat D'Andrea March 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Hope. Tastes like a cool wind in the spring. The kind with a warm edge around it. Tastes like change, which seems odd but maybe not. It is the warmth of it that has the taste. It blows at just that moment when you can feel the weather change, or need the weather to change. It sparkles, but just at the edges where it’s warm. Hope is elusive. Maybe like the smell of chocolate that isn’t in your hand. Or the smell of a lilac tree that you can’t find. But hope can be tangible like rain after a drought. Promise of green things to come if you just wait at bit.


Hailey Fish March 18, 2014 at 2:57 pm

What hope looks like to me is the joy of meeting all of my favorite authors and winning more book giveaways! πŸ™‚


Tia Mushka March 21, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Hope is the taste of bright yellow lemons in the middle of a long dark February. Hope is the sound of the first lawnmower in spring. Hope smells of freshly turned earth.


Jonathan March 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Hope smells like page one of a brand new book, the crackling, world-numbing blast of ink and paper and glue and thread. It’s the promise of something magical and new and thrilling.


Dawn Townsend March 21, 2014 at 9:32 pm

A few years ago, I would have written something all flowery and poetic, but it’s much simpler and straight forward to answer now. Hope sounds like my son laughing. It looks like my son grinning. It tastes like a sticky Popsicle-covered kiss from my litte boy.


Veronica March 21, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Hope sounds like tinkling wind chimes.


Marilyn Watson March 24, 2014 at 9:14 am

Hope smells like the ocean, fresh breezes, tangy water, happy waves lapping the shore.
it fills the senses teasing our dreams, longing for more…


Tina March 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm

This is probably because I’ve been thinking about the Easter season… Hope tastes like the little cracker washed down by tangy grape juice during communion. It always gives me the feeling of starting over and yes, any time I drink grape juice, I feel that little stirring of hope because I remember communion. The taste of the cracker and juice also reminds me of the wine country. Those heavy grapes hanging off the vines always seem so promising. And your book is on my Kindle! So excited to read it! πŸ™‚


Tina March 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

And I subscribed to your newsletter! Why had I not done that before?


Melissa March 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Hope tastes like one of the crumbly, sticky-with-powdered-sugar almond cookies my mother used to bake every Christmas. I have my her recipe, but in the years since her death I’ve never been able to bring myself to make them. I’m really not sure why. I think their official name is crescent cookies, but I always called them her “moon cookies.”


Kaye Barley March 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Hope, to me, smells like vanilla fragrance candles


Kaye Barley March 25, 2014 at 1:42 pm

have shared on my facebook page and subscribed to your newsletter. Thanks!!


angie March 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Just-bathed babies’ heads,
citrus salads, printers ink:
haikued smells of hope.


becky March 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Hope would taste like the most perfect chess pie ever made. Not too sweet ,but oh so satisfying. Hope brings satisfaction where anxiety lurked.


Ellen Weeren March 25, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Hope tastes like spring rain and feels like it too.


Madeline March 25, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Hope tastes like chilled watermelon as it slides down your parched throat.


Tom M Franklin March 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Hope sounds like the TARDIS appearing.


Lydia L March 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Hope tastes like the warm, fresh air of spring after a long, cold winter.


Mike Meroney March 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm

(I thought I would incorporate all of the options into a poem)

Once I was told
that hope tastes like Spring-
it can look like a sunrise
and make you wanna sing.
It is said to smell yummy-
like a bowl filled with love-
and the sound of a birdsong
from skies up above.
When I did my research
to find what is true-
I discovered they’re right-
hope reminds me of you.


Mike Meroney March 25, 2014 at 8:11 pm
Sarah McCoy March 26, 2014 at 2:05 am

HOPE tastes like hot, sweet black tea on a frigid morning… or iced, sweet black tea on a sultry summer one. Either one with you, Teri, and your Moon Sisters is my perfect HOPE.

(I’m not entering to win the contest–I’ll leave this fabulous goodie bag for another good reader. I just wanted to play along because I love dream games and YOU even more, T-sis. xoxo)


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