Tag Archive | Country

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!

Countdowns

We do countdowns for lots of things – when we’re young we countdown till our birthday, when we’re older we countdown till our children’s birthdays. We countdown for the ball to drop each New Year. Even NASA does countdowns to launch things into space. The Christmas countdown has always, and will always be my favorite. There are nine more days till Christmas Day… There are Christmas carols to be listened to, or sang if you’re good at that, and loads of Christmas movies to be watched. There are treats to be cooked, baked, and of course decorated. There are also Christmas stories to be read, whether you’re into Dickens, Clement Clarke Moore, Luke Chapter 2, or all of the above, the stories are all wonderful and definitely are very good re-reads each year.

 In my book New Parish there’s plenty of Christmas fun to read about… and even more in the coming soon, Return to New Parish.

 I hope your Christmas tree is up and giving you constant reminders to celebrate this wonderful time with your family and friends.

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 4 – Girl Talk

       “On Christmas morning Sarah and Mary were up early because Mary said Sarah, “Didn’t want to miss this!”Entering the main sitting room, it looked to Sarah like a magical place of happiness. The tree was full of colored lights and was filled to the brim with ornaments that depicted children, toys, and candy, and all sorts of Christmas paraphernalia. The tree had been there when Sarah first arrived and she’d immediately loved it. Mary had complained that she missed the decorating and explained to Sarah that the whole family gets in on the event, they put the tree up together, place the lights together, hang the ornaments together, make homemade things like popcorn and cranberry garland together and put it on together. She’d given Sarah the whole run down on Christmas at her home.

             The presents that had been added over night were covering a third of the room and there was a table with hot chocolate, marshmallows, and cool-whip. The table,with hot chocolate, made Sarah think of that “incident” she had been trying not to think of.

        The room looked and felt like Christmas, the best part of Christmas, you could feel it when you walked in… the kids were all filing in with excitement in their eyes and big smiles on their faces. Everyone was in their pajamas. This made Sarah think of her own childhood and the wonderful feelings she’d had on Christmas morning. This made her both happy and sad, as a deep longing to share this type of experience with her own children filled her heart.

            Brother Michael came in last and as the kids excitedly jumped up and down pleading with him for permission to open presents he laughed and said, “Okay, have at it.”They did just that, there was a present opening frenzy the likes of which Sarah had never seen. She watched as Brother Michael slowly walked over and put his arms around two of his wives and kissed each on the cheek. Sarah smiled thinking she might like something like this, “It could really work… maybe,” she thought.

            The rest of the morning was spent with hot chocolate and viewing the gifts the kids had received. Mary shouted looking out the window, “It’s snowing! How perfect is that?” Everyone crowded around the windows to see the Christmas magic falling down in large fluffy feathery flakes outside.”  

 

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!

Cowboy Party

This time of year, there are many parties going on everywhere. Whether it’s a Christmas party, a New Year’s party or a just for fun party. Have you ever wondered what a cowboy party might be like? I think there would be a lot of good food, good music, some dancing, some horses – and yeah lots of cowboys!

I do love a good party… In New Parish there’s a fun cowboy party I want to share with you.

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 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.”

 

If you’d like to visit New Parish for yourself and see what else happens the free autographed paper back contest will be going on all this month (December, see other post – Free Books, for details) or the ebook will be available for free today on amazon.com.

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!

Free Books!!!

One free book each week in December. What better way to gear up for Christmas! Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift, either way get your very own copy of New Parish this month.

This is how it’ll work: all you have to do is use the contact form on my website – www.julieworthington.com to submit your name, address, and email. Each week one name will be drawn for the free book. You’ll receive an email from me letting you know that you’ve won and the free book will be autographed and sent to you free of charge.

Good luck! I hope you enjoy your visit to New Parish…

You can always 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!

 

Thanksgiving Jetlag

My son and I had loads of fun cooking this year. We made messes and cleaned them up while enjoying the fruits of our labors. We discussed the philosophy of peeling boiled eggs and deciding that sometimes it just doesn’t work out well. There was Christmas music playing in the background and many wonderful aromas to enjoy as the cooking progressed. There was lots of smiles and a bit of laughter…

Two days after Thanksgiving when the cooking is done, the eating is still going on, and the fatigue it still going on… it’s still not over. It’s only the beginning! I’ve always thought of Thanksgiving as a pre-Christmas celebration. I of course don’t mind if others feel differently about it, but to me it has always been that. Two days after Thanksgiving is a time for family and food, and making plans…

So now Christmas plans will be made, well, after the food is gone and we’ve recovered from all that fun…

Here’s a little bit of the end of Sarah’s Thanksgiving from my book New Parish. She’s making plans too…

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 2 – Undecided

“All the food was ready by two o’clock and everyone was seated. Sarah’s father offered a prayer and the family feast began. The conversations were the completion of many different catch up stories for each of them. Sarah listened quietly and was glad the inquisition on her investigation of plural marriage wasn’t the main topic of their conversations.

            By the end of the meal, when everyone was trying to shove more desert down on top of all the other food Sarah’s dad said, “Sarah, your mom and I talked last night about what you are looking into.”        

            Sarah’s heart sank. She’d hoped the subject would be skipped over… She looked her dad in the eye and braced for impact.

            He continued, “We don’t think it’s a good idea at all, but we love you and always want to be a part of your life, and always want you to be in ours. So, we’ve decided to be conscientious objectors to your choice to live that way, if you choose to do so.”

            Sarah saw the resolve and concern in his face as he talked and was very grateful that he was willing to love her and not cut her off because she might want to be different. Her love and respect for her dad grew at that moment far beyond what it had ever been. With a tear in her eye she said, “Thanks Dad, that really means a lot to me.”

            He nodded and smiled warmly at her. The feast continued with lots of family stories past and present, then on to future goals and wishes. The rest of the time Sarah spent with her family was filled with feelings of uneasy calm. No one else said anymore about her plural marriage research, which was a relief, but for Sarah it had become a constant backburner thing in her mind.

            Trying to settle back into her apartment and routine in Atlanta, Sarah thought it all seemed very empty. Her thoughts turned more and more to New Parish and the things Brother Michael had told her. She was planning on going out there for a few days over the Christmas holidays but was still very unsure of what to expect.”

New Parish available now:

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!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful reason each year for us to remember to be grateful for all we’ve been blessed with. Gandalf taught us a truly great lesson, “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” It’s not the big things, but the small everyday things, not just what we get, but what we give as well… There’s so much to be grateful for this year, family, friends, and New Parish.

The traditional Thanksgivings in the south have always been full of family, food, and cooking for at least two days. This special time together is of course included in my book New Parish. Sarah’s Georgia family and her new Arizona family get together for Thanksgiving and things get very interesting. Here’s a small peek into their Thanksgiving…

 

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 12 – Home

“The next morning Sarah and Hannah were back in the kitchen early, preparing the cinnamon rolls that would call everyone to action. The morning frenzy of cooking and mixing was in full on assault. Sarah smiled as she watched her mom and thought, “She’s so loving this.” Then she heard her dad shout, “Hot stuff coming through!” which was his usual battle cry when he took the turkey out of the oven. It always made everyone laugh as he feigned innocence as to why they were laughing.

            By four o’clock the tables were set, and everyone was seated. David said a prayer of gratitude for food and family, then the feast began.”   

 

From all of us in New Parish to all of you, we hope you all have the best Thanksgiving ever!

 

New Parish available now:

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!

 

 

Life Happens…

Sometimes we can’t figure out why things happen in life…  but they always seem to happen… In my book New Parish, Sarah couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t find a wonderful man to marry, and have her wonderful family with. She couldn’t figure out why her plans weren’t going the way she thought they should…

Albert Einstein tried to figure out why things happened and how. He spent years going down a path just to find out that it didn’t work and then finding a new one that did. He tried to explain the great mysteries of everything, but even he couldn’t figure it all out. He did discover in his theory of relativity that things move relative to each other. He also theorized that in time dilation, time can slow for one person if there is more length between things, and that all objects are in motion and have gravitational attraction to each other. I’m not sure he could have helped Sarah with all her problems but he might have been able to shed some light on things for her. He might have been able to explain to her how when one idea doesn’t work it’s time to move on to a new way of doing things. He might have been able to explain to her a bit about when time slowed down as she was introduced to a certain cowboy. He might even have been able to explain to her about the gravitational attraction that was happening between her and that certain cowboy… But, sometimes even the greatest minds can’t explain why life happens the way it does. We each have to travel the roads in front of us and find out where they take us and live the life we’re meant to live… Sarah finds that out on her own in New Parish…

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 3 – New Parish

“Sarah was quite impressed at the cowboy aptitude of Brother Michael and the other men present. They were able to drive most of the cows toward the entrance of the park and contain them there, but there were three cows that would not cooperate with Brother Michael’s agenda, they were still stubbornly rampaging through the park. Then Sarah saw something she had to do a double take to realize was really happening. It was so surreal, a man on a horse came quickly and proficiently riding into the park after the cows and was expertly gathering them up. The man looked every bit like a cowboy right out of a western movie and immediately made Sarah think of Tom Selleck sitting on his horse, he was tall and tan, with dark hair and mustache with a three or four day showing of whiskers on his face. His hair was a little long and shaggy for this community, where every guy she’d met was sporting short very controlled hair. He was wearing a dingy grey cowboy hat, faded blue button up shirt, a blue paisley bandanna, jeans covered with shotgun chaps, and worn cowboy boots and gloves.

            Sarah had been so mesmerized by the cowboy and what he was doing that she stood there in a stunned daze… she didn’t see the cow coming toward the table she was standing near.        Brother Michael shouted to the cowboy, “What’s going on here Max?”

            The man on the horse shouted back, “I had a few heifers break down a fence and get out, sometime last night. I didn’t know it till this mornin and was rounding ‘em up when some stray dog started yippin at ‘em and they got ahead of me.”

            Brother Michael smiled and said, “Max I’d like to introduce you to, Sarah, from Georgia.”

            Max pulled on the reins of his horse and stopped a few feet away, he smiled and drawled, “Howdy, ma’am.”

            Sarah was completely captivated by this cowboy, she thought his smile was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen, his deep blue eyes sparkled – she felt like her head was filled with something sweet and gooey which was slowing her thought processes down. Her brain was stuck on, “Oh my gosh, he’s so gorgeous…”

            Before she could reply to the cowboy’s greeting she heard someone shout, “NO!” The next sound she heard was a dog barking… This inspired the cow that was getting near her to jump, and run, bumping into the table and with a sort of bounce, trip, and run action. It landed on the table with a bang collapsing the legs of the table. At the same time of the table collision the cow bumped into Sarah knocking her to the ground as it ran off toward the playground. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but what happened next made Sarah think of a sitcom situation on a TV show, because this sort of thing doesn’t happen in real life… not in her life.

            Sitting on the ground where the cow had knocked her, Sarah saw the table legs fold under as the table hit the ground with a thud from the weight of the cow and very large metal container that held the hot chocolate – it instantly poured out all over the ground where she was sitting. But Sarah’s main focus was on the punch bowl that had been catapulted into the air from the other end of the table, it was coming right at her with all the red punch it held. The step ladder that had been placed underneath the table for support had worked as a fulcrum to create the catapult for the punch bowl.

            Sarah’s mental faculties returned to her in time for her to put her hands up to prevent the large plastic punch bowl from hitting her head… she was drenched in red punch and the hot chocolate had soaked into the skirt of her dress along with turning her shoes a new color of brown. She felt as though everything had been turned off for a few seconds or slowed to a slow motion state and now it was all back on in vivid living color.”

New Parish available 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!

 

Reviews

Even though Facebook feels the need to censor me, and not allow me to boost my posts so I can let people know about my book, New Parish, it’s getting great reviews on Amazon.com. New Parish is wholesome, clean, and a fun read – Facebook will promote many things that are not wholesome or clean daily. I get things on my Facebook page that sometimes, at least, makes me blush, shake my head, and wonder why… but I suppose if Facebook thinks that’s something good to promote they have that right. I don’t know why Facebook doesn’t want to promote my book, but people who’ve actually read it, have given the reviews below:

 

 

Socrates Essze

5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine Heart

June 25, 2018

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

…old fashioned goodness with genuine heart, what a concept in today’s climate of polarized bickering…Julie’s writing returns us to the heartland of America where the “Golden Rule” once lived…

 

Missie Moore

5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!

July 1, 2018

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Such a great story by a great story teller!! Can’t wait for more!!

 

Charlene

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read

October 20, 2018

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Appreciate the point of view of someone who intentionally converted to the polygamist lifestyle. A lot of misconceptions corrected. Thank you.

 

“Julie is a captivating author. After the first six chapters I spent more late nights reading than I should have. This story captured the magic of your community, it’s the kind of hometown we wish we all had, and the kind of community where we wish all of our children could be raised.

 I’ll be first in line to buy anything she publishes.”

Jaclyn Knapp, M.S., ED.S

 

Find out what Facebook doesn’t want you to know…

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!

Nip in the Air…

October always brings that sweet release from the heat of the long, hot, grueling summer. To me, Fall is time of year for replenishing ourselves, harvesting our gardens and snuggling in to read a good book. Might I suggest New Parish for those of you who haven’t gone on that journey yet. New Parish has it all, romance, adventure, humor, all four seasons, rain, sleet, snow, and heat… New Parish is also full of happily ever afters. It’s different, be warned… but like the Fall, it presents a sweet release from the long grueling drought in Sarah’s life. It’s not exactly what she expected, but exactly what she needed to achieve her happily ever after… It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, (Sarah didn’t think it was her’s either), but even if it’s not your cup of tea I still think you’ll enjoy Sarah’s journey.

If you’re curious about New Parish, I’m going to host a book club Q&A on Facebook next Saturday, October 20th at 1pm MST, on the Books by Julie Worthington page. I’ll be answering your questions and replying to your comments for an hour on that day. I’m very excited to chat with you all!

Until then here’s a bit of New Parish for you:

Excerpt from New Parish:

“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.”

New Parish Available Now!

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com –

https://www.amazon.com/New-Parish-Julie-Worthington/dp/1732224005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535156774&sr=8-1&keywords=new+parish+by+julie+worthington     

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-parish-julie-worthington/1129421210?ean=9781732224001      

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!