The book cover is finally here! It won’t be much longer till I can share New Parish with everyone!
The old saying that, “a picture says a thousand words” is true… enjoy!
Every story has to have both heroes and villains, there’s really no way around it if you want a good intriguing, interesting, and involving story. In life we find a few heroes and run up on a villain or two as we sojourn here on planet earth. Sometimes heroes are easy to spot and sometimes villains are easy to spot, sometimes they’re not… I’ve been fooled a few times myself, as I’m sure most people have. The old saying, “actions speak louder than words,” is very true when detecting either a hero or a villain – and even then, we can be fooled.
There are times in life when we get into situations where we have to be rescued by heroes and there are other times we have to become our own hero and recuse ourselves. In either situation it’s not easy, if you need rescuing that always means you’re in trouble. In New Parish there is more than one hero and more than one villain. There are a few times where Sarah is rescued by these other heroes and there are a couple of times where she has to become her own hero. Finding the inner strength to become her own hero isn’t easy, and leads to emotions she doesn’t want to face, but she finds a way…
New Parish Coming Soon!!!
Excerpt from New Parish:
“When the waiter left to get their drinks Brad nodded toward the dance floor and smiling broadly said, “Let’s dance.”
“Okay,” Sarah smiled back.
He took her hand in his and led her to an open space on the floor – the band was playing A Moment Like This. Brad pulled her into him, uncomfortably close for Sarah. She tried to position herself to create a little more distance between them, as the vocalist sang, “Some people wait a life time for a moment like this.” He encircled her in his arms, moving even closer, caressing her back as they danced. Sarah could feel his body against hers, this made her feel very awkwardly compromised. She felt a little breathless and was working hard to regain her composure.
He spoke softly near her ear, “I have to be in Key West tomorrow morning.”
“Okay so maybe we could exchange emails and keep in touch,” she suggested.
He responded, “We have tonight.” His hand dropped to touch her hip, his fingers quickly following her panty line.
Sarah swiftly grabbed his hand and put it back on her waist, “That’s very inappropriate,” she said firmly.
“Lighten up,” he smiled broadly at her.
Sarah didn’t think his smile was nearly as attractive as she had before the dance begun. She noticed several people watching her, she didn’t know why they were watching but that made her feel even more uncomfortable.
“I want you,” Brad whispered in her ear.
“Yeah,” she said emphatically, “That’s not going to happen!”
Brad slid his hand from her back around her waist and up her side, Sarah tried to wriggle out of his arms, “Let go!” she demanded.
Brad laughed and grabbed her breast.
Sarah’s instincts took over, the self defense classes she’d taken when she moved to Atlanta came freshly to her mind… her knee found its target with the precise results that her instincts and training had intended to extract. Brad let out a loud groan and fell to his knees holding his crotch, then onto the floor in a fetal position.
He’d let go of Sarah immediately, free from his grip Sarah took deep a breath and began her move to the exit. Some guys at the bar were laughing so hard they had to hold onto the bar to steady themselves. Sarah forced herself to be in control, she held her head high not making eye contact with anyone and walked toward the door of the restaurant. Two girls sitting at the end of the bar, said as she passed them, “You go girl!” Sarah kept walking, inside she could feel herself falling…
She stepped through the door and felt a tear escape. She quickened her step and was across the parking lot in a few seconds. Stepping on the boardwalk she left the lights of the restaurant and parking lot behind – the darkness matched her feelings. Her pace was slowing, she felt like she was crashing inside. At the end of the boardwalk she stopped at the swing that had earlier been her respite to prepare for a new adventure. Earlier when she was excited to meet an incredibly handsome, nice, friendly guy for lunch… Now memories of many other failed dates were creeping into her thoughts, all the jerks, of her past were laughing at her for falling for this completely stupid social interaction called dating! “Why did I even go out with him?” she thought to herself then she answered herself, “He was handsome and friendly. That’s why! How stupid…” Then with a firm resolve, “I’ll never do it again!” she said aloud. “How could I have been sucked back into a situation like that?” she asked. All the emotions of what had happened on her “last date” and the thoughts and feelings of not knowing what to do about the decision she came out here to make came crashing down on her like the whole ocean had landed on her. She knew that now she had to think about the hard choices, and what she wanted for the rest of her life, and what she was willing to live with for the rest of her life. Never being a mom wasn’t something she wanted to live with for the rest of her life. She sat there and cried for a while… she’d never felt so alone in her life. She’d figured out long ago that there wouldn’t be a Knight in shining armor riding on horse that would come rescue her, but she’d always thought there would be a nice guy to spend her life with, out there somewhere.
Sarah pulled her sandals off and got up, she started walking down the beach trying to clear her head of the emotions she was fighting. She could feel the sand beneath her feet which was a vaguely comforting. The wind started blowing, making her scarf float behind her like a flag of surrender. Anger began cropping up first on her emotions list, for allowing herself to get tricked into that situation, embarrassment was next for what he’d tried to do, then sadness, frustration, disappointment, and back to loneliness…”
As Spring is rapidly approaching my thoughts wander off to the changing of the seasons. Everyone has their favorite season, mine is Fall or Autumn if one is formal. That’s where New Parish begins, I don’t think I planned it that way on purpose, but maybe that’s where it began because of my love of Fall. Oh, I like the other seasons too and they’re all present in my book New Parish, but I’ve always enjoyed Fall the best. Sarah enjoys Fall with her family in Savannah for Thanksgiving then the story moves on to Winter. Winter is nice, I like the cooler weather, but it can get too cold and have other challenges, such as wild winter storms. Sarah’s first visit to New Parish is in the winter, this visit, isn’t just fun, but very enlightening… Sarah’s first winter in New Parish becomes an inner journey of winter changing into Spring. Spring is nice, it’s like life begins again, after a long time of barrenness… Sarah’s first Spring in New Parish is by far the most unique one she’s ever experienced, I won’t give spoilers… Spring is also a prelude to Summer. Summer can be nice in New Parish, early in the morning and late in the evening, after the sun goes down, but it can get too hot and has lots of insects that like to munch on a person. I don’t talk about the insects much in my book, New Parish, there’s way too many other things to be getting on with. As summer fades in New Parish the cycle begins again, and Fall returns with a whole new situation…
Of all the seasons we enjoy in New Parish or anywhere else I remain firm in my love of Fall, it’s cool but not too cold, there are still flowers hanging around, and it kicks off the holiday season, which if I’m honest is really my favorite season…
I hope everyone will enjoy all the seasons in Sarah’s journey to New Parish!
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish: Winter was Sarah’s first season in New Parish
“The next day after breakfast Sarah and Mary decided to get out and explore some of the community and enjoy the snow that had fallen. Several of Mary’s little brothers and sisters tagged along with them. They were all bundled up in coats, scarves, gloves, and boots. Sarah laughed at herself and the rest of the gang, they were definitely prepared. Sarah had already decided that the community was quite beautiful but now with a blanket of snow it seemed like a picture postcard of a Christmas village from long ago. There was even a wooden wagon with red painted wheels going down the road pulled by two large chocolate brown horses, it was all very picturesque.”
There are many journeys we take throughout our lives. Sometimes it seems life takes us on these journeys whether we want to go or not, and sometimes we choose the journey. There are far and distant places to visit, there are unique, to us, things to do, there are huge life changes that happen, all these are journeys… journeys that we each have to make on our path to find ourselves and our home – the place we belong. Finding the place we belong isn’t an easy journey, sometimes it takes a life time to find, or sometimes it’s just outside our comfort zone – wherever it is, we’re on a quest to find it, that’s our ultimate journey…
I’ve been thinking about these journeys lately and the journey Sarah takes in my book New Parish. The journey she ends up taking isn’t at all the one she thought she’d be on in her life, or at the very least it was far outside her comfort zone. It was not only out of her comfort zone, it was across the country, against her parents wishes, and scared her a bit. Sarah’s journey begins with desire, heartache, and determination – I hope you’ll all enjoy Sarah’s journey to New Parish…
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish:
““What’s wrong with me?” she asked aloud in frustration.
Sarah’s mind went to something her new friend Mary had said when they were working together at the children’s center. Mary had mentioned her home, a place called New Parish in Arizona. Sarah had known her for a few months. Mary was only going to be there for a while longer, just until she finished her degree in early childhood development with the work study program she was involved in at the children’s center.
Sarah thought about the day she’d been complaining about the poor dating prospects and her dream of being a mom floating away from her, when Mary revealed to her that in the community she came from, the people did plural marriages. So, any girl could get a good man and not have to worry about missing out on being a mom. Mary’s descriptions of her home made it sound like a little piece of heaven, where people lived happy lives, and found their happily ever afters.
Sarah sighed, thinking of the small rural community Mary had described, “Maybe…”
The children’s center, had somehow become the hub of Sarah’s social life. She loved children and had always wanted to have a big family of her own, she knew this wasn’t a popular dream for most girls in modern times but it’d always been what she wanted… this was becoming a frustrating distant dream that she was trying very hard not to give up on. Sarah began wondering why people would choose to live that way, in plural marriage, and could she even consider it. She drifted off to sleep with a firm resolve to talk to Mary more about this community and how things work there…”
All my life I’ve heard that there’s more than one way to do something. That old saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” always used to gross me out, but it has some real world applications – and some literary ones. In my book New Parish, Sarah definitely finds more than one way to live her life. She grew up in a small town, on a road where everyone knew everyone, then after college moved to Atlanta, which of course is a very large city where most people don’t know their neighbors or the person sitting next to them on the public transportation system. Then she moves to a very small community in the desert of northern Arizona which is more different than any other place she’s ever experienced – with cacti, very short trees, and a healthy smattering of cowboys…
As a writer I like to write about what I know, I’ve visited Savanah Georgia, where Sarah grew up, I’ve visited Atlanta, walked its streets and partaken of the public transportation system. I’ve also lived out west in the area where Sarah settles, and have experienced all the nuances she experiences in moving out there – everything from horse apples, to cacti, to the majestic mountains and mesas that surround the place… and have met a few cowboys along the way as well…
Beside finding more than one place to live, Sarah finds that there’s more than one way to live… finding her happily ever after gets complicated, but she finds her way there – eventually.
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish: Part of Sarah’s visit to Tybee Island
“Before stepping from the pavement to the sand she removed her shoes so that she could enjoy every second of the experience. Tying the strings of her canvas sneakers together she hung them over the strap to her backpack which she slung over one shoulder. Her oversized blue denim shirt was perfect for this time and place. There were a few white puffy clouds in the sky of brilliant blue, the sun was shining down warming her face with its touch. The light cool breeze from the ocean fanned her long white boho skirt that hung down around her ankles. She took a deep breath and stepped out onto the sand to begin her journey toward the decision that would affect the rest of her life.
Sarah had the beach mostly to herself, she could see a few sage gentlemen standing iconically on the pier fishing, but other than that she was alone with her thoughts and her decision.
The white sand made a slight scrunching sound beneath her feet and she couldn’t resist digging her toes in it as she walked. The waves gently embracing the shore carried her thoughts to a place where there was no ocean – New Parish…
Sarah sighed, “Living there would be so different, just the climate with its dry arid environment would be a challenge,” she thought. “I had to use loads more lotion when I was out there for just a few days. I could get used to that, and invest in tons of lip balm.” She pondered over the mountains and mesas of the surrounding areas of New Parish. She stopped her walk and stared out at the ocean waves in the far distance, some were creating little white caps. “It would be so far away from my family,” she thought. “I’m not one of those girls that needs to be near their mom, but living in Atlanta is near enough to go home any time I want.” Sarah sighed again, the “girl talk” session from her last night in New Parish came into her thoughts, “What if I get into a mess like some of those girls?” She walked on down the beach with her thoughts, feeling very heavy and worrisome now.”
As I’ve said before, the one thing that’s for sure in life, is that things always change. You never know what’s just around the corner… Just around the corner could be a new job, a new place to live, a new person of interest that enters your life, or a myriad of other things. My point is, just around the next corner of life, your life could change forever.
Out here in the wild west, along the Arizona Strip, things can change in an instant. There could be anything from a flash-flood, loose cows, or even a girl from the southeast showing up and shaking the place up a bit. These things happen in real life, and also in my book, New Parish.
I’ve been the girl from the southeast that’s shook things up, and I’ve encountered loose cows, suddenly, and have seen flash-floods, from a distance. Life brings us surprises we’re not expecting just around the corner… Sarah finds many surprises on her journey to happiness, in New Parish.
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish:
A couple of Sarah’s just around the corner events in New Parish:
“After soaking in a tub of very warm water for a very long time and her body starting to feel like it could actually be warm again, Sarah thought, “Albert is a really nice guy, he would be a great husband…” She removed herself from the tub and wrapped a very soft bathrobe around her still wet body, while slowly drying off. The memory of the “incident” kept running over in her mind, “Why didn’t I move?” she thought, “How could something like that really happen? Why was I so mesmerized by that silly cowboy?” She let out and exasperated, “Ah! I hope I never see him again!””
Later in the story:
““I feel like I’ve stepped into a Louis L’Amour novel,” Sarah said looking around at all the cowboys and horses.
The cowboy band was playing and there was a square dance going, Mary said, “Come on let’s go!”
Sarah said, “No way, I’ve never dosey doed in my life. I don’t know how,” trying to excuse herself from this activity.
Mary grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the dance area in front of the wooden stage the band was on, “I’ll show you, it’s fun!” she said laughing.
Sarah had an inner dread that she was not only going to dosey doe for the first time, but that Mary had much more confidence in her abilities than she did.
Mary had her twirling around the grassy dance area in no time. They were both laughing at her many mistakes, and having so much fun. Then Sarah saw one of cowboys on the stage… it was Max, he was playing the guitar, and smiling at her. He was wearing a black cowboy hat with a silver and turquoise band around it, a white shirt with a bolo tie, and a black leather jacket. Her mind had inventoried him quickly and then lost all cohesiveness. After that she lost her footing, causing her right foot to trip over her left foot, she landed on the ground with a thud. “Oh, I hate him,” she thought picking herself up from the ground quickly. Mary tried to help her up while trying to hide the fact that she was almost doubling over laughing at her.
“Seems you’re always falling for him,” Mary teased.
Sarah was even more embarrassed to know that Mary had seen the cause of her fall, “Thanks, that helps,” she replied half way laughing too.”
As I pondered the “new updates” that had to be installed on my computer last night (they took all night and most of the morning), I thought of how our lives have glitches as well. There are many different kinds of glitches in life, health problems, accidents, or a good dose of Murphy’s Law happening to you. We all have to deal with them in one way or another, and in one way or another they define who we are…
In my book New Parish, Sarah runs into one glitch after another in trying to live her dream. The biggest glitch is finding a decent man to marry and have a family with, but there are many more glitches, such as dating problems, family interventions, animal accidents, the wrong guy, the right guy who she thinks if the wrong guy, a couple of storms, and finally finding the life she always wanted in a very different situation.
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish:
“Sarah gathered herself together as best she could and began walking toward the stall which looked like it would be too close quarters for her and the cowboy. With her focus on the stall she didn’t see what was on the barn floor just ahead of her. The second step she took, her foot stepped into something soft and slimy. Her foot slid forward and upward, the rest of her went backward and downward… hard. As she lay there on the floor of the barn with the aroma of what she’d stepped in wafted strongly around her she thought, “It just figures!””
Glitches happen… so if you find any glitches in this post… glitches happen, especially when we’re not expecting them.
We’ve all had times in our lives, when we’re sure someone threw a monkey wrench into what we had planned, or gotten a complete surprise that we weren’t expecting. Sometimes it’s a snow storm that keeps us from doing what we intended, or an illness, or simply being in a big hurry and forgetting something we definitely need when we were out of the house. These things happen so very often in real life that of course I have to use them in my writing… I love working with monkey wrenches! In New Parish Sarah gets hit with many monkey wrenches, some are small and trivial, some are simply annoying, but some are huge and, at times, she thinks, insurmountable.
Sarah is a high-tech modern girl with a few old fashioned values, she simply wants to get married and be that soccer mom that she’s always dreamed of being. Her huge monkey wrench is that she can’t find a fella to do that with…
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish:
“Around lunch time she headed out to the children’s center. As she walked down the busy Atlanta sidewalks she looked around at the horde of people on their way to their next destination. She thought about when she’d first moved to Atlanta and how excited she’d been to be living in a big city with so much going on. She’d lost that excitement: it had turned into a tired frustration. The city hadn’t contributed to her dreams at all, her experiences there had diminished them. Her thoughts went to how much her goals and dreams had fragmented over the last few years. Her career was great, but she’d planned on being married and having at least three children by the age of twenty-seven. She sighed thinking, “I have neither a husband or children.” Her frustration on this was starting to grow beyond the normal parameters. Her thoughts turned to her job, “Right out of college, I got this great job, doing what I love, being a graphic artist for children’s books. I’ve worked hard, and now I’m the top artist in the company. I chose this career so I could be a stay at home mom. Sheesh! What’s a girl gotta do to make her dreams come true?”
Extremely loud sirens jolted Sarah out of her thoughts, she jumped and looked to see what was happening. “Oh, it’s just the cops,” she thought and walked on. No one else seemed to notice. Sighing she thought, “Growing up in Savannah didn’t really prepare me for living in the big city of Atlanta, or the daily adventure each time I leave my apartment.”
She continued down the sidewalk a few more blocks and entering the children’s center, went to the front desk to sign in. She quickly scanned the sign-in sheet to see if Mary was already there. She was.
“I can’t believe I’m actually going to ask her about this plural marriage thing,” Sarah thought to herself. “Am I really that desperate?” her thoughts were interrupted by a large group of preschoolers running up to her with giggles and open arms for needed hugs. She spent the next hour playing and reading to them. This calmed her mind, it was therapy for her – her dream of having a big family with lots of children was both eased and made more difficult by the involvement with her little friends.”
We’ve all known them, friends, those who come into our lives for a short time, those who we’ve known our whole lives, and those who come into our lives to stay – and change our lives forever. As I’ve said before, I pull from my own experiences when I write. So, I’ve pulled from personalities and characters, bits and pieces of people I’ve either known or heard stories about to create the friends Sarah encounters in my book New Parish. To me this brings the characters to life and gives them depth, because after all, I really know them…
It all begins with Mary, who’s out in Atlanta working on her bachelor’s degree at the local children’s center, where Sarah volunteers. They become fast and true friends, which opens up a whole new world for Sarah… Mary becomes that new friend, who not only becomes one of those who come into her life and changes it forever, but introduces her to more of new friends who become her, forever best friends.
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish:
“Sarah’s mind went to something her new friend Mary had said when they were working together at the children’s center. Mary had mentioned her home, a place called New Parish in Arizona; she had explained that she was only going to be there for a while, just until she finished her degree in early childhood development with the work study program she was involved in at the children’s center.
That day, Sarah had been complaining about the poor dating prospects and her dream of being a mom floating away from her. Mary revealed to her that in the community she came from the people did plural marriages, so any girl could get a good man and not have to worry about missing out on being a mom. Her descriptions of her home made it sound like a little piece of heaven, where people lived happy lives, and found their happily ever afters.
Sarah sighed, thinking of the small rural community Mary had described, “Maybe…””
““Mary!” Sarah waved as she entered the room.
Mary was working with a group of three year olds on coloring pictures of shapes.
“Hi!” was Mary’s cheery reply.
“Do you have some time to talk today?” Sarah asked, noticing Mary’s strawberry blonde hair. She always had it done in some really pretty style, today it was rolled up behind with a pretty colorful clip in it. Sarah liked how petite Mary was, she was only about five feet tall and very slender with bright green eyes that always seemed to be ready to smile.
“Yes, in about ten minutes when these little guys get to go to the gym,” Mary answered.
“Cool,” said Sarah, “I’ll wait around in the garden room.”
“Okay, see you there,” Mary said, as Sarah waved and walked away.
Sarah was checking messages on her phone when Mary joined her on a bench underneath a big tree. “Hi, what’s up?” asked Mary.
“Well I don’t know if I’m really desperate, stupid, or what, but I wanted to ask you about that whole plural marriage thing that goes on where you’re from,” Sarah said with some apprehension.
“Oh?” was all that Mary said as she sat down beside Sarah and waited for her to continue.
“Yeah, well, how does it work?”
“Very well, I think,” Mary said, looking quizzically at Sarah.
“Oh come on! What do they do? What’s the process? Are they miserable? Are the women conditioned to be in these relationships, like “Stepford Wives”? Do men abuse the women? How do the women get along? Are they mean to each other?” Sarah bombed Mary with all the serious questions she could think of, and in a way, trying to talk herself out of further inquiry.”
““All I can tell you is that my mothers all seem very happy, they don’t attack each other, they’re really good friends. They’re always joking around and laughing, I haven’t seen any of that attack stuff,” Mary replied, now looking at Sarah with concern.”
I can’t wait to share the whole story with everyone! Very soonish…