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!
We’re always building our lives, tweaking them, rebuilding them, adding things that make them better, removing things that we no longer need… Like life, making a scrapbook can be challenging and fun, it allows us to see with a unique perspective the things that are important to us at different times in our lives. We not only place pictures in our scrapbooks but also mementos that remind us of special times, or activities, or places that are important to us. Whether it’s making a scrapbook or living our lives we are drawn to what we love, what we want, and what will make us happy. Tweaking our lives or our scrapbooks is always a bit of work, okay, sometimes a lot of work, but in the end, we end up with something that we love…
In New Parish, Sarah doesn’t make a scrapbook per se, but in her scrapbook of life she’s making some big changes that gives her a unique perspective, and that she hopes will be just the right tweak…
Where will Sarah find a place to put her new life’s picture? In New Parish, of course!
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish:
“Sarah nodded again, listening intently to what Brother Michael was saying.
“The last thing I want to suggest to you is to take some time to ponder and pray about this decision. This is your life. Is this really what you want for your life? This lifestyle has many blessings but it can also be considered a curse to those who don’t have the capacity to accept it in all its varied and sometimes complicated components. I want you to understand that I only want the best for you. If this is truly what you want to do, then I’ll do everything in my power to make it happen for you. But, if you have doubts about it, then take the time to find the answers you need to put those doubts to rest, before you make your decision. Okay?”
Still nodding Sarah said, “Yes, and thanks for helping me, and for letting me come out here and stay in your home, with your family.”
“You’re very welcome,” Brother Michael said with a smile and a wink, “I’ve got nothing to hide… really.””
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…”
Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a huge NBA fan. I have players and teams that I like, and some I don’t. The meter by which I measure the players is by their skill and finesse in playing the game. Some of the most skillful players don’t always win the game, but they always walk away with their honor intact. When playing the game with integrity, even if you don’t win the game, you don’t have to look back and wish you’d not done something… that doesn’t mean you can’t be bold and courageous on the court, it just means that you don’t have to hurt someone else to achieve your goals. To me skill and finesse is much preferred to playing dirty. The old saying, “Life is what you make it,” is true, we can live our lives and play the game with honor, or without… either way it’s what we make it.
I think life is a lot like basketball, it’s an exhilarating adventure that we’re all on… we can choose to play with integrity, or commit fouls… but at the end of the game we all have to live the life we’ve made. We can walk away with our honor intact or wishing we’d done better.
In my book New Parish there’s no basketball, but there are people living their lives with integrity, or at least doing their best, to do their best. Sarah finds new friends who’ve learned that it’s better to help others along their way than to stick a foot out to trip them as they go by. She finds people who are willing to work hard instead of cheat their way to the hoop – and people who help you up instead of kicking you when you’re down. She even finds a new team to be a part of, a team where she can not only fulfill her own dreams but help others make their dreams come true too. Even though there’s no basketball in New Parish there’s lots of game and plenty of adventure.
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish:
““So can I ask you guys some questions about plural marriage? I need to know the whole story, warts and all,” Sarah almost pleaded with Susan.
“Sure, just give me a few minutes to set things up,” Susan replied. She busied herself with gathering dishes and food, all these were placed on the large island in the kitchen. “This is how we do it,” Susan smiled at Sarah who was watching her actions in bewildered silence. There were brownies, ice cream, cupcakes, and cookies covering the top of the island now, with dishes at each corner, “Okay, we’ve got all the essentials for “girl talk,” Susan said as she completed her task.
Sarah laughed and thought, “Yeah, after getting to know them, this fits them exactly.”
Susan sent a text to her sister wives and Mary and soon everyone was entering the kitchen wondering what the “girl talk” session was about. “Sarah wants the low down on plural marriage,” explained Susan grabbing a brownie and sitting on one of the high stools around the island, “Warts and all.” They all laughed and gathered around the sugar smorgasbord.
Sarah smiled and asked, “Has it always been this way? You all seem so happy… What about jealousy? Do you get jealous? How do you deal with it? How does Brother Michael deal with it?””
If you want the answers to Sarah’s questions, you have to read the book… which is coming soon!
Dreams are what motivate us to do great things, or even simple things that make us happy. Dreams can take us to the moon, or inspire us to open our own business, or move to a new place – dreams can also encourage us to become something more than we are, such as a teacher, or a writer, or a mother…
We all have different dreams, things that we want more than anything else, things that quicken us… For Sarah this dream was to become a mother, she wanted that more than anything else – the problem was finding a guy to have children with. At 27 she begins to wonder if her dream will ever come true. She feels her dream is behind schedule, and begins to worry that it’s becoming out of reach…
Turning our dreams into reality takes a lot of hard work and can take a bit of facing fears and new situations that could throw us off track if we let them. Dreams take a lot of focus, and most of the time they take all the dreamer has inside to make them come true…
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish:
“The frustration of it all boiled over in Sarah’s mind so she decided to go for a walk to try and clear her head.
The cool air and busy sidewalks were almost enough to distract her mind from the pervading thoughts of how much this plural marriage thing could go wrong. She wanted to believe that things could be as wonderful as Mary said they were, but she knew how people could be, especially men… her thoughts went to, “Maybe I should just drop the whole thing,” then the idea of dating again entered her thoughts which almost made her nauseous. Then the thought of giving up on her dream of having kids and a family came to her mind. A tear rolled down her face, which she quickly brushed away, that thought was the saddest one she’d ever had…
Sarah looked up at the sky and saw a plane flying west, she knew she would be on one soon… flying west. She breathed out a sigh and with a new resolve walked back to her apartment.”
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.”
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.”
Every now and then we all have to deal with storms. Whether they are internal or external – they happen. It seems there have been a lot of weather related storms lately around our country… these storms can bring challenges, stress, and even serious consequences. Our internal storms can bring much of the same things into our lives, whether we are dealing with internal storms or weather related ones – we must go through them… Sometimes in life our inner storms can be like a hurricane, with inner thunder rolling through us with a vengeance and unexpected lightning strikes that bring us to our knees. Then we reach the eye of the storm and get a short respite from it all, we might even think the storm has ended, then we get hit with the ravages of the back-end of the storm… things are never the same after one of those kinds of storms. We change, we make decisions, we sort out the aftermath… then we move forward.
Sarah faces both an inner and an external storm in my book New Parish, it’s the inner storm that changes her forever…
New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!
Excerpt from New Parish:
“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 little 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… Her thoughts raced through questions that she didn’t want to answer, but had been plaguing her for a while, “What do I really want? What if I can’t do plural marriage? Is this my only option? Can I really do this? Am I desperate? Am I nuts?!? What if I have to live my life alone? What if I never get to be a mom?” Sarah hugged herself trying to calm down, she’d lost all sense of peace she felt as if a storm were beginning to rage inside her… she looked up to see the stars, that always comforted her, but there were no stars tonight just dark storm clouds above her. She felt tiny drops of rain lightly touching her face, she remembered she hadn’t checked the weather forecast, she’d let herself become distracted. She knew not to be out on the beach when the rain starts up. She quickened her pace as the wind increased its speed. The rain got heavier, she ran as fast as she could, the tiny drops turned into huge drops in a torrential down pour.
Completely drenched and soaked through, she reached for the door knob to the condo. As she closed the door the thunder sounded so loud she could feel the vibration from it in her stomach. She ran to the bathroom and stepping into the bathtub quickly peeled the wet clothes from her now shaking, shivering body. She shoved her clothes to the end of the tub with her foot and turned on the hot water. It quickly heated up, the warmth of the water washed over her body and slowly stilled her shivers. She stood there in the warm water for a long time secretly wishing it could wash away the feelings that were growing inside her. She heard the thunder sound loudly again and jumped. She felt like the storm inside her was gaining strength… she turned off the water and grabbed a big fluffy towel to wrap around her. She quickly dried off and ran to the bedroom to put on her pajamas.
Looking out the window Sarah could see the wind blowing wildly as the rain pounded the windows and everything else outside. The storm outside was gaining strength…”