Tag Archive | Christian romance

Sisters…

All sisters have some things in common, and some very distinct differences. My sister likes the color purple, I’m more inclined towards blue. She doesn’t like Winnie the Pooh (when she was little, she was scared to death in a department store by someone wearing a Pooh costume), he’s one of my favorite characters. She likes pigs. I had to feed them as a small person and discovered I didn’t like them at all. We both love to watch Dancing with the Stars and Downton Abbey. I love to ponder the things we have in common and the things we are so very different in. Our biggest thing we have in common is that we love being sisters! Sisters are always there for you, no matter what, and that’s my very favorite thing about sisters. In my New Parish series readers meet Sarah, Hannah, Brenda, and Beth – all sisters, with very different likes, dislikes, and ways of doing things – but you’ll find that they all love being sisters too.

These southern girls each make a journey that’s very different, even though all the journeys have a common destination – New Parish. In the first book, New Parish, Sarah makes the maiden voyage, discovering a new way of living out west that leads her to her very own happily ever after. In the next book, Return to New Parish, Hannah makes the journey. Yes, it’s the same destination, but the journey is very different for Hannah. Hannah isn’t just looking for her happily ever after, she’s running from something that she needs her sister to help her escape from…

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

“…Now I’m scared, I don’t trust my own feelings about things. Maybe I’m damaged, maybe I’ll always be.”

“No, you’re not damaged,” Sarah defended her little sister, “You’re hurt and shaken, but you’re not damaged. Just like any other wound this needs time to heal, take the time you need to heal and feel better. You’re strong and smart and you’re going to be okay!”

Hannah heard the firmness in her sister’s voice, it gave her some strength and a little peace. Telling Sarah about what happened helped, but it also made the event very real in the now once more. A whirlwind of emotions tried to engulf her, anger, embarrassment, fear, and an overwhelming sadness that felt like it would never leave. She had kept it a secret, and tried desperately to bury it deep inside herself but now it was on the surface and flooding her with pain.”   

New Parish is out now! Return to New Parish will be out in a few months!!!

You can get a copy of New Parish here:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

A Morning Filled With History, Gardening, and Writing…

The title says it all. My morning has been spent with history, gardening, and writing. A morning well spent, I think. I’m working on a new project that includes, of course, history. I’m quite enjoying it, and seeing it all come together is always very fulfilling. The gardening is my inside gardens – I have a garden window in my kitchen and a garden room that’s just getting organized, with lots of new little babies just peeping up to greet me. The writing aspect of my morning is edits for Return to New Parish, I’m almost finished and getting very excited about getting all the other things done so I can share it with everyone. I have to tell you that the book cover is going to be wonderful with a new picture to represent the new story, Hannah’s story, as she discovers New Parish for herself…

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 2 – Cowboys and Horses

          “As she neared the small community Hannah saw some men and a small boy riding horses across the prairie next to the main road. She also saw that they had a purpose, they were moving a heard of about thirty cows away from the road. One man, an older cowboy, who seemed to be in charge was sitting on his horse, a large impressive palomino, and pointing while the other men were gathering the cows in the direction he wanted them to go in. The sage cowboy made Hannah think of Sam Elliot, whom she had loved in several westerns.

            The boy stayed near the cowboy in charge until the old truck in front of Hannah made a huge bang! It was a very loud backfire, Hannah jumped and shouted, “Dang!” She looked back to the scene she’d been watching to see the boy’s beautiful blond palomino suddenly dart toward the fence opposite the road she was traveling on. The old cowboy was suddenly on the move, his horse quickly caught up with the one the boy was on. He grabbed the reins of the other horse slowing then stopping the horse. After steadying the boy on his saddle, he patted him on the back reassuringly.             Hannah smiled, “I’m gonna like it here.””

Remember to find out all about New Parish by reading my book New Parish!

You can get a copy of New Parish here:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

First Page…

I think the first page of a book tells a lot about what the reader is heading into. The first page can excite, entice, or make the reader wonder what’s going to happen in the story they’re thinking about reading… The first page can also introduce a character the reader might want to become friends with or give insights into the character’s motives. I look at the first page of a book and sometimes that’s the deciding factor if I read the book or not. So today I decided to share the first page of Return to New Parish with everyone. I think it gives some insights to the story and the main character, Hannah. I hope everyone will become friends with Hannah, she’s a young energetic, vibrant, feisty southern girl just leaving college to begin the rest of her life…

Remember to read New Parish! You’ll meet Hannah in there as well…

You can get a copy of New Parish here:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 1 – The Drive

            “Hannah’s car was packed to the brim with her stuff, she sent some of it home to her parent’s house, the rest of her things filled every nook and cranny of her red Prius. She took a deep calming breath to relieve the stress of the morning rush. Then she checked her list of to do items once more before she started the car – cleaned and emptied her room at the Wymont Terrace, turn in her key, packed snacks for the drive down, and Christmas shopping done. She had checked off everything on her departure list so she pushed the power button to start her car and selected her play list. Bach’s sixth was one of her favorites, it was first, she loved the classics. She could usually find peace and solace in her music during times of needing peace and solace. She’d been having these times a lot lately.

            Hannah smiled at the light dusting of snow on the tops of surrounding mountains which had happened overnight. There were some things she would miss about Provo, but there were others she was going to be very glad to put behind her. Her mind went to when she first came to this place, she was excited at the prospects of learning, getting a degree, immersing herself in the lifestyle and culture, and, maybe, finding a great guy to spend the rest of her life with. She turned that thought into a checklist – she often did this. She had learned a lot, check, she had gotten two degrees, check and check, she had enjoyed the lifestyle and culture, check and check. Although there were many possibilities and opportunities for the great guy, she hadn’t found him, so a big red X was placed on her mental checklist for that item. She quickly swiped the checklist from her mind and thought, “This is a new beginning, I’m going to Sarah’s for Christmas and checking out what she did. She found a really great guy, so why not me?””

Free Ebook

As promised, the free ebook (on Amazon.com) of New Parish will start tomorrow and be available through Friday! Happy Birthday to me, a free gift for you!         You can get a copy of New Parish here: New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com Also available at: Barnesandnoble.com Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park) Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Giving…

I love to give! It’s one of my favorite things. This next week is my birthday, so for my birthday I’m giving away free ebook copies of my book, New Parish, on Amazon.com – Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (1/30-2/1). I hope you all enjoy the adventure of New Parish, I know I have… and still am. Return to New Parish will be available this year and I can’t wait to share that adventure with you all. Excerpt from Return to New Parish: Chapter 5 – Christmas Party “Hearing a light tapping on her door she pulled herself up from the sofa and walked to the door.  “Hi,” Sarah said, entering the room. “I wanted to check in with you before I settled in for the night.”             “I’m good,” Hannah smiled at her sister who looked very tired, “Go settle.”             “I will in a sec,” Sarah shrugged. “What did you think of things today?”             “It was all good fun,” Hannah shrugged back. Then thinking of the guys she’d met asked, “So what do you know about Daniel and Steve?”             “Um, not too much.” Sarah wrinkled her nose as if a bad smell had entered the room then asked, “Why?”             “Well they are cute eligible guys,” Hannah proposed, thinking Sarah had been out of the game too long.             Sarah laughed, “Oh, I see. Well, all the guys here are eligible, but really those two guys are unproven. So I wouldn’t give them much thought.”             Hannah was a bit surprised at Sarah’s comments, “Ah, I guess I hadn’t thought of it that way.” She felt a little weird with the new perspective Sarah had just put forward. She knew the sink in time for this new perspective was going to take some time.             “You have that deer in the headlights look,” Sarah teased her.             Hannah laughed, “I suppose I’m allowed,” she defended. “I really hadn’t thought about that whole eligibility or unproven thing. What do you mean unproven?” she asked, completely not understanding what her sister had said.             “They don’t even have one wife,” Sarah explained with her nose wrinkled again. “Max told me that he went on a work mission, then to college, then built a house and started a ranch and his electrical business before he got married. He said it gave him time to get his head on straight and mature some, so he could appreciate having wives, and becoming a father.”             “Oh,” Hannah said, feeling like the deer in the headlights look had returned to her expression.             Sarah smiled slyly at her and said, “Goodnight.”                  “Goodnight,” Hannah chuckled as Sarah closed the door.” You can get a copy of New Parish here: New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com Also available at: Barnesandnoble.com Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park) Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Writing the West…

Being a good ol’ southern girl from Georgia, living out west has been an adventure. I’ve often marveled at the extreme contrasts and complete differences this land has from that of my nativity. This has become a major focus in my writing. The characters I write about are often in awe at the beauty they find in the west, and just how very different it is from Georgia. Writing about the west for me encompasses not only the New Parish series but also Brigham Tea Magazine (which will be out soon!). The research I do for either New Parish or Brigham Tea Magazine always spills over to the other. At this point in time I’m researching Texas Rangers and Federal or Territorial Marshals from the late 1800’s. This research is part of a new character development I’m working on for an upcoming book, but will most definitely find its way into an article for Brigham Tea Magazine. I love getting to know each new character in New Parish, it’s like making a new friend. For me each character has their own distinct personality and history, so I’m very careful to make sure that uniqueness sticks with them. I hope you’ve all gotten to know some of my friends from New Parish and the wonderful American West. If not here’s some excerpts to introduce some of them, from both New Parish, and Brigham Tea Magazine.

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 8 – The Social

           “It was a short trip in Brother Michael’s SUV to the edge of the community where Sarah saw a rustic archway made of rough cedar that said, Lucky A Ranch, with two horses on either side of the words. Sarah thought, “It looked like those ranches she used to see on the old westerns,” an automatic smile came across her lips. When the SUV was parked in what looked like a hayfield across from a huge pasture they walked toward the festivities that were already under way.

            “I feel like I’ve stepped into a Louis L’Amour novel,” Sarah said looking around at all the cowboys and horses.

            A 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 the 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.

            “Food?” Mary suggested, trying to suppress her laughter. She was pointing to two long tables brimming with food across the driveway from where they were, “It’s on the other side of things.”  

            “Good,” said Sarah, “I need to be on the other side of things.””

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 2 – Cowboys and Horses

            “As she neared the small community Hannah saw some men and a small boy riding horses across the prairie next to the main road. She also saw that they had a purpose, they were moving a heard of about thirty cows away from the road. One man, an older cowboy, who seemed to be in charge was sitting on his horse, a large impressive palomino, and pointing while the other men were gathering the cows in the direction he wanted them to go in. The sage cowboy made Hannah think of Sam Elliot, whom she had loved in several westerns.

            The boy stayed near the cowboy in charge until the old truck in front of Hannah made a huge bang! It was a very loud backfire, Hannah jumped and shouted, “Dang!” She looked back to the scene she’d been watching to see the boy’s beautiful blond palomino suddenly dart toward the fence opposite the road she was traveling on. The old cowboy was suddenly on the move, his horse quickly caught up with the one the boy was on. He grabbed the reins of the other horse slowing then stopping the horse. After steadying the boy on his saddle, he patted him on the back reassuringly.

            Hannah smiled, “I’m gonna like it here.” A right turn took her into the community, a few more turns and a couple of miles later and she was pulling up in front of Sarah’s home.”

Excerpt from Brigham Tea Magazine:

The Wild Desert

The Bird

When I go out to explore places along the Arizona Strip, I try to remember to take my bird book with me. When I forget I inevitably hear myself say, “I wish I’d brought my bird book!” I’ve seen many different types of birds as I’ve gone out into the desert, or up on a mountain, or over a prairie. They always seem to catch my eye. Lately several red tail hawks have been near where I live. They are amazing to watch, the birds are very large, almost two feet tall, and have some amazing design detail on their wings and tails.  The details are marked by the stark contrasts between the dark browns, tans, and whites that always make me think of Native American designs I’d seen on blankets or rugs. I saw a rather large red-tailed hawk on a fence post recently, it had very detailed sharp contrasts in its markings. The bird was simply gorgeous. I watched it as I approached, it was very still and obviously deeply engaged in something I couldn’t see. I was hoping it would stay there and let me get close enough to get an amazing picture, and more visual details for myself. My approach was slow and deliberately unthreatening. I actually got within a few feet of the bird and its fence post. It didn’t seem interested in me or my unthreatening approach.

As I neared, it suddenly swooped down onto the ground a few feet away from its perch. I was surprised by this action, as I was expecting it to soar into the sky. I watched as the bird wrestled around on the ground with something for a few minutes, wondering what its quarry was. The bird’s wings expanded and retracted quickly as it aggressively pounced and twisted about in the tall prairie grass, giving me a unique view of its colors and markings. Yes, very beautiful…  I stayed where I was so as not to disturb the struggle, hoping the bird wouldn’t fly away. It didn’t, the bird returned to its fence post with its snack, what looked like a small field mouse, and proceeded to, snack.  The bird and I continued on with our lives, I’m sure it never gave me another thought, but to me that experience will linger in my thoughts for a long while…

Promise and Possibilities

We’re in 2019! This year is full of promise and possibilities for New Parish and its sisters. I think of the New Parish series as sister books: they’re related, they’re all about family, and most of all they stick together and support each other.

Last year Sarah found her way to New Parish, and this year Hannah makes the journey. In each book the Nichols sisters find not only romance, but also lots of adventure, many surprises, some frustration, and in the end their very own happily ever afters.

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 9 – Max

            “The trail began to be quite steep just a few minutes into the hike. Sarah’s thoughts were soon lost in the beauty that was surrounding her, the mountains were striped with wonderful chocolaty umbers, the cacti, and other desert plants growing sparsely along the trail.

            The excitement of being out in nature was filling Sarah up, with no room leftover for any of the issues she’d been dealing with. Albert was talking about his work and how much the work load increased during tax season. Sarah sympathized with him but couldn’t really pay too much attention to what he was saying, the beauty of the mountains was distracting her.

            After about thirty minutes on the hike, Mary, who had been paying more attention to things asked, “Hey, have we gone off the trail?”

            “No,” Albert sounded very sure of his course. “We’re on the trail, it goes over here then up some more,” he pointed out the way he thought the trail went.

            “I don’t think so,” Mary disagreed, “I’ve hiked this trail many times and this isn’t it.”

            “It’ll be fine,” Albert smiled. “You’ll see we’ll come out on that ridge in just a bit.” He pointed to a rock outcropping several feet above them.

            Mary looked as though she were going to argue more but a light sprinkle of rain started to fall on them. As they looked up, a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky which was now dark and filled with clouds.

            “We’d better head back down,” Albert’s voice sounded uneasy.

            “We should find shelter till the storm passes,” Mary suggested.

            “No way,” Albert said. “We’re going down.”

            “Okay,” Mary reluctantly followed.

            Sarah hadn’t really watched which way they were going, but now she wished she had. The rain began to pour down and pelt them so hard that it was difficult for Sarah to keep her eyes open.

            The noise of the storm had become very loud, Mary shouted, “We need to find shelter!”

            Sarah agreed with her, “Yeah, but where?”

            “In my car when we get back down!” Albert stubbornly insisted.

            “NO!” shouted Mary, “We need shelter now!”

            She grabbed Sarah by the hand and pulled her along to the side of the mountain where there was a short overhang, “It’s not much but it’s better than staying out there and getting struck by lightning.”

            Sarah nodded her agreement, the wind had begun to blow, gusting hard, and she was so cold that she didn’t want to try talking. She was shivering uncontrollably, and even though her coat was usually very warm, she discovered that when it was wet it was just heavy and if she moved it felt like it was stuffed with ice cubes.

            “It’s not that far to get back down to the car,” Albert argued his point.

            “It took us over thirty minutes to get here,” Mary stated the facts. “We need to stay and wait out the storm.”

            The wind blew hard, pummeling them with rain that felt like it had slushy ice in it, Sarah shivered and gasped for air.

            “I’m calling Dad,” Mary shouted.

            “There’s no phone service up here,” Albert reminded her.

            “No cell service but Dad gave me a satellite phone just in case of emergencies,” Mary said pulling off her backpack and rummaging through it.

            “Awesome!” Sarah said through chattering teeth.

            “Here it is,” Mary retrieved the phone and turned it on.

            She pushed in some numbers and held the device to her ear. After a few seconds she said, “Dad, we’re stuck up here in the storm. What? What? Okay. No I think we lost the trail a while back. What? Okay.” She turned to Sarah and shouted, “He’s sending someone to help.”

            Sarah nodded, she was shivering too much, again, to talk.

            “Who’s he sending?” Albert asked, sounding annoyed.

            “He didn’t say,” Mary replied sounding annoyed back at him.

            Sarah would have laughed if she could have, instead she made a mental note to laugh about their exchange later, when she could feel her feet and hands again. Sarah tried to busy her mind with thoughts of soaking in a warm tub, with the room all steamed up from the warmth of the water she was soaking in. She imagined the smell of sweet honeysuckle and roses permeating the warm room… the wind blew hard again and disrupted her thoughts. In an instant, her self-imposed delusion vanished and she was back standing under the small rock overhang with rain stinging her skin and her body shivering uncontrollably.

            Sarah looked at Mary, her lips were getting a bluish tint to them, she tried to smile but wasn’t sure it had worked. Mary nodded and said, “It shouldn’t be too long,” through chattering teeth.

            Sarah nodded back, knowing that talking was still beyond her capacities. The rain slowed but the frigid wind continued to blow through her as if she didn’t have any clothes on at all. She looked at Albert, he was leaning back against the side of the mountain with his eyes closed and arms wrapped around him in a sort of self hug. Sarah started wondering how long they’d been waiting, it seemed like an eternity. The not being able to feel her hands and feet was spreading, she was sure now that she couldn’t feel her knees anymore. She couldn’t understand how it could’ve become so cold so very fast. Her mind was pondering the morning, it was a bit chilly but not too cold, she remembered thinking that she would probably have to take off her coat in a while, now she felt like she might never be warm again.

            Sarah turned to look at Mary again when she thought she heard a loud shrill whistle.

Mary nodded eagerly, “They’re close,” she struggled to whisper through the shivering and shaking.”

 

Sneak preview excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 3 Palominos –

“Hannah had to do a double take, to realize this amazing place was really real. It was like the opulent ranches shown in the old westerns she and Sarah used to watch when they were kids.

            “So does Louis L’Amour live here?” she asked trying not to giggle out of sheer delight.

            Sarah laughed, “Nope, but a real cowboy hero does. Wait till you meet Uncle Alex, he’s great! He used to ride in rodeos, herd cattle on long trail drives, and do all that cowboy stuff. You’ll love him!”

            “I love those palominos!” Hannah said excitedly, “They’re gorgeous!”

            Sarah pulled the car up near the house and got out, “You can go ahead out there and see them if you want. I’m going to pop inside to see the ladies of the house then I’ll join you.”

            “Cool,” Hannah replied and headed toward the palominos. Reaching the corral fence she climbed up on the bottom of the three wooden rails and held onto the top one while reaching out to touch the nose of an approaching blonde horse. The horse nuzzled her hand as though they were old friends. Hannah smiled and let the honest friendship flow between them.

            “Well, aren’t you a pretty little sorrel filly?” a deep melodious voice said from behind her.

            Turning quickly to see who was talking Hannah saw a tall, slender, older cowboy, dressed in full cowboy regalia. From the top of his dusty cowboy hat to his dust covered cowboy boots, Hannah couldn’t believe it, she might have been very happy to meet this guy, if he hadn’t just called her a red headed horse.

            Looking that old cowboy up and down she could see the weathered tanned skin on his face, the graying mustache, the cowboy hat that covered his graying unkempt hair, the worn pale blue cotton button up shirt, the worn leather chaps that wrapped snuggly around his blue jeans, and his very worn cowboy boots. He was carrying a lasso in one gloved hand and a tool to remove rocks from a horse’s shoe in the other hand – Hannah recognized the tool from her stable days as a kid.

            He was smiling at her in a friendly sort of way, which annoyed her, she knew why but didn’t want to admit it to herself. She did admit to herself that a guy smiling friendly at her was still not something she was ready for.

            “I’m not a horse,” stepping down from the rail, the anger in her voice was evident as she spoke to the man who looked like he was the beach-bum of ranch hands. He made Hannah think of the old guys on the beach who forgot they grew up so they were still out there acting like kids, “What does he think he’s playing at?” she thought. He had no right to call her a filly or approach her like that. The anger was gaining ground as he stood there looking confused at her comment.

            When he finally spoke again, Hannah thought he sounded like he was excused from the “normal” etiquette that everyone else had to adhere to.

Smiling broadly underneath his mustache he drawled, “Yes ma’am.” 

            “Who does this guy think he is?” Hannah thought angrily. Looking toward the house where Sarah had gone, she didn’t see her. “Come on Sis,” she continued to think, “rescue me or him, this isn’t going to be pretty.” All the while she continued to give the old cowboy an annoyed look that would have made most guys leave whimpering. He didn’t leave, he kept smiling like he was enjoying himself, this made Hannah even angrier.

            “Do you like the horses?” he asked still smiling.

            Instead of saying they’re absolutely gorgeous and I love them, which was the truth, Hannah looked at the dusty old cowboy and said, “I’m waiting on my sister and I don’t need company to do that.” She hoped that would be blunt enough to let him know to leave her alone.

            “Aw, you’re much to pretty to have that much venom,” the old cowboy smiled at her with one eye closed as though he were sizing her up.

            “Listen here you ornery old codger! I don’t put up with any crap from men like you nor do I need your passive aggressive comments!” Hannah unloaded on him with full force, and would have kept going if Sarah hadn’t intervened.

            “Hey,” Sarah said with an awkward, let’s calm down, tone in her voice, “What’s going on, Hannah? I see you’ve met Uncle Alex,” she gave Hannah a look that told her to cool it. Then turned to Uncle Alex and said, “Hi, this is my sister Hannah, Uncle Alex.”

            Uncle Alex smiled broadly and said, “It’s very nice to meet you Hannah,” removing his glove and holding out his hand to shake hands with her.

            He still looked like he was enjoying himself, which kindled Hannah’s anger even more, she took a deep breath and said, “Yeah,” as she took his hand, but only because of years of her mother droning it into her to have manners. She pulled her hand away quickly so as not to prolong the experience or give him any ideas about forgiveness or friendship. The soft gentle touch of his hand lingered in her mind but his next comment synched her dislike for him.

             “I can see that your hair and temperament are in perfect alignment,” he smiled pleasantly at her.

            Sarah gave Hannah a look that she recognized immediately, it said, behave, but she wasn’t sure that was going to happen. “This guy is asking for it!” she thought as she leered at him. Looks passed back and forth between Hannah and Sarah with no words being said, Hannah’s final look told Sarah she wasn’t going to put up with Uncle Alex’s comments.

            Sarah quickly said, “I came over to see your ladies about the party prep we’re going to be helping with and get an idea of what we’re going to be doing tomorrow. So I guess we’ll go now, I need to get back home and you know, hurl,” she smiled awkwardly at Uncle Alex and pulled Hannah along with her toward the car.

            “Alright, Sarah, hope you feel better,” he smiled. “I’ll be looking forward to seeing you again Hannah,” he winked at her.

            Hannah had a myriad of things to say to him but Sarah pulled her arm very hard and said, “See ya tomorrow,” to Uncle Alex.

            Once in the car and on the road Sarah asked, “What the heck, Hannah?”

            “He made me mad,” she sulked back.

            “He jokes around a lot, but he’s really a nice guy, really,” Sarah almost pleaded with her. “We’re coming back over to his place tomorrow. You will try to be nice, right?”    

            “I’ll try, but I make no promises if he starts up his crap again,” Hannah returned.

            Sarah sighed loudly, but didn’t say anything else about it.”   

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions are really goals we set for ourselves. Yes, sometimes we set unreasonable goals that we can’t reach, but there are also those we can achieve as long as we remember to pay attention to all the little steps in-between where we are and where we want to be. Each year I try to look back and see what I actually accomplished and what I need to do next to get the rest of the job done. This last year my first book in the New Parish series was published. That was a wonderful goal to accomplish, but it took completing several other goals to actually get that one done. I know there have been lots of movies that romanticize the life of a writer, but in all actuality it’s really just a lot of hard work… Plotting on many different levels, character development of many different characters, research and more research, editing, and more editing… it goes on and on. Then when the book is finished, it’s not finished, there’s the copyright, ISBN numbers for each type of book you’re publishing, the book cover, the formatting, and the endless marketing once it’s out there. Then even before all that is done, you’re already writing the next book to go through all that process with again…

The gist of it is that we all have goals or resolutions, sometimes they are complicated, sometimes they’re simple, either way we have to take it step by step, paying attention to all the little steps as we go. In my book New Parish Sarah has what she thinks is a very simple goal. She wants to get married to a great guy, have loads of kids and be the quintessential soccer mom. Her goal turned out to be not so simple, it got a bit complicated and she had to think outside the box to actually achieve her goal.  

We can accomplish our goals, as long as we remember to work on each of the other goals – little steps – that will get us to the one we most desire. For me it was publishing my books, and still is, for Sarah it was getting married and being a mom, even if she had to do it a bit differently…  some of her little steps were actually quite big, moving to a whole new place, getting married a very different way, and having children even before she had one of her own.

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 1 – Bad Date

          ““How am I supposed to know which guys to go out with and which ones to not go out with?” she groaned within herself.

            She pulled her long brown hair back into a ponytail and looked at herself in the mirror as she pulled on her pajamas. She scanned her bangs hanging over her forehead while some of the layered strands fell loosely around her face. The events of the evening were flashing through her mind like an old movie, as she thought to herself, “I’m not ugly… why can’t I find a good man? I have curves in all the right places, with ample endowments.” This had been a source of a pride with her as a girl and more especially as she got a little older. Sarah thought it was fun how boys would stutter and stammer at times if she wore a low cut blouse. Her five foot seven, somewhat athletic frame carried her very well, she thought, as she scanned for flaws. She looked at her face to check out what others would see when they looked at her. She had always thought her nose was a bit small but it looked okay, her brown eyes were a little big but they were okay too. “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…””

 

Want to see how she accomplished her goals? Get your copy of New Parish from any of the places below.

 

   

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Merry Christmas!!!

 

May your Christmas be filled with happiness and love… along with a cowboy or two and some sassy southern girls! 

  You can get a copy of New Parish here:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!