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'Seagulls on the Ganges' is a love story. Not quite a memoir ... but close. The story explores the themes of synchronicity. When events collide and create a coincidence too meaningful to ignore, the woman at the centre of the story, Ellie, who has lost her great love, Michael, trusts her heart to interpret what these events mean and so she begins a journey to heal and chart a new chapter for herself. Ellie isn’t prepared to let loss defeat her. She travels to destinations that strangely and suddenly call her, and once there, she finds her answers in the most unlikely characters.

‘Seagulls on the Ganges’ is a story about healing and the forces that surround us to make healing possible. It reminds us that people come into our life for a reason, a season and a lifetime and the size of our journey is in allowing them in and knowing when to let them go.

 ... I am changed forever because of the inspiration of Ellie ... 

 Ellie could no longer ignore the coincidences ... all involving a seagull ... for Ellie some moments were just too coincidental to ignore ... and so, she let her heart lead the way ...

debut novel by


I’m certain 'Seagulls on the Ganges' was always resting in me, just waiting for me to fall in love, live my experiences and meet with the lessons that would chart a new course for me.

I've so loved writing it. I hope my story touches your heart and empowers you to live your bravest life.

 ... not quite a memoir ... but almost ...

... If you paid more attention to those random occurrences in your life that make you stop and wonder, and then you listened to what your heart wanted to make of such moments ... would you be brave enough to follow where your heart wanted to lead you ...

All because a pesky seagull landed on Ellie's beach house balcony, just days after her husband, Michael, passes, and stays, Ellie decides to throw caution to the wind and live her life guided by the whispers of her heart. Those whispers lead Ellie to Dubrovnik, Paris and eventually to Varanasi where she'll meet the most unlikely characters for reasons she could never imagine ...


" 'Seagulls on the Ganges' is Julie Stafford's autobiographical saga of cosmic connectivity and meaningful coincidences ... only those who have felt love in such a sublime form and manner can understand Stafford's  (she is Ellie in her story) celestial togetherness with her soulmate, husband, Bruce (Michael) or Michael's longings and cravings to hold onto Ellie from the realms of afterlife. Here, in Stafford's story ... love reaches DIVINITY. "  Sumit Paul (Journalist, The Free Press Journal)

The Free Press Journal is one of the oldest English Daily newspapers from Mumbai with a heritage of more than 88 years. And yet, The Free Press Journal is a contemporary paper and rooted in current urban realities. In keeping with the international trend, it has reinvented itself in terms of design, get up and content. 

" Ellie’s journey has sparked a decision in me to throw caution to the wind and to break free from my acceptance of having a mediocre life. Instead there is a little voice urging me to take a leap of faith and to declare boldly (even just to myself) that I am heading for an extraordinary life. Like Ellie, I have no clue at all as to how this might unfold, but if I can adopt her strategy and trust the words uttered in my heart rather than listening to the irritating voice that would prefer I stay small, well who knows where life will take me. Ellie encourages us to be brave and bold. She wants us to be still, to be in the moment so that we can find those signposts, the meaningful coincidences that will light our way and help us to move forward when we feel hopelessly stuck..." Debbie South Australia

"There are some books that get under your skin. You feel as if the characters are your friends and there is a sense of loss as you come to the end. Days and even weeks after, you catch yourself thinking about those characters and wondering how they are, what they might be doing… and hoping for a sequel. ‘Seagulls on the Ganges’ was such a book for me. In the midst of heart crushing loss, Ellie’s courage and spirit shone like a beacon..." Lisa Victoria

People come into our lives
for a reason, a season or a lifetime ...
the story

 ... There were hundreds of seagulls, all chasing after the boats, flying low, and then ascending to great heights. It was like watching Rahul’s story, about 'moksha' come to life, right before Ellie's eyes.  Was it possible that the seagulls were really collecting the souls of the deceased as their ashes were being scattered on the Ganges and delivering them into their next lifetime? Of course, Ellie would never know the answer to these questions, but she loved that her heart was open to the possibility of it...


 ... In delicate threads of homemade pasta, seasoned with just the right amount of "garlic and chili",  generous portions of lobster, fish and clams, all fresh from the Adriatic, the least likely restaurateur bullied Ellie back to life with 'Posip' (Croatia's most famous white wine usually served at banquets); a night at the 'Lindo' (Croatia's popular dance) and he gave Ellie a most profound lesson hidden in an inconsequential stone set firm in the walls of the Franciscan Church on Stradun (Dubrovnik's famous main street). And then, Ellie was stunned to learn that Croatia's most famous love song was a song about a seagull ...

 ... In Paris, Ellie discovered sets of sleek, silky, sexy lingerie and how it felt against her curves. She even allowed herself an affair with the handsome Marcel Bellamy as the mystery of whether the birds in Michael's painting were doves or seagulls was resolved ... 

At 53, trusting in the whispers of her heart,  Ellie teaches us that life begins when you let go and trust in your journey.

Seagulls on the Ganges' 

not quite a memoir...but almost 


Julie Stafford

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© Julie Stafford 2017. Proudly created by Evie Foster Creative.