Tag Archive | family

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.”   

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!

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!

 

Irons in the Fire

Have you ever heard the expression too many irons in the fire? Meaning too many things going on at once… I’ve always been a person who likes to keep busy. Not just busy, but busy doing things that I love to be totally engaged in. The New Parish books are one of my irons in the fire and the other is Brigham Tea Magazine. Those two irons keep me very busy and very engaged. I know you haven’t seen the magazine yet, but you’re all going to love it, when I get it up and running. There are so many articles about the west – histories of people that I’m trying not to let fade away for good, places that don’t need to be forgotten, and the awesome grandeur and beauty of the real wild west that still exists.

So, I thought I’d share a few excerpts today from all my Irons in the Fire. Hope you enjoy…

New Parish:
“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…””

Return to New Parish:

“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 had 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 shocked 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. It was slowly sinking in, but she knew this 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 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 all the opportunities of married life.”

            “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.”

Home to New Parish:

            ““So when’s your return flight?” Samantha asked entering Brenda’s bedroom and interrupting the moment of peaceful delight she was enjoying.

            “It’s the same as I told you before, Mom, January 3rd at eleven in the morning,” Brenda returned in a we’ve already discussed this tone, and giving Wren a little scoot to get him on his way.

            “Just checking,” Samantha said with raised eyebrows. “You know how I feel about you going out there.”

            “Mom, I’m going to spend Christmas with my sisters, at one of my sister’s home. We’re going to have a wonderful time, and it’ll be good for the kids,” Brenda returned, trying to sound logical and ignore her Mom’s innuendo.

            “As long as you and Beth come back with no plans of repeating what Sarah and Hannah did,” Samantha stated firmly.

            “I’m over thirty and have four kids, Mom. Believe me, no one wants me, here or there,” Brenda sighed defeatedly and resumed packing.

            “That’s not true,” Samantha stammered, looking awkwardly uncomfortable. “I’m sure you’ll find someone wonderful, here.”

            “Really, Mom?” Brenda paused and looked at her mom with a very doubtful expression.

            “Yes, really,” Samantha returned defensively.

            Brenda sighed, shook her head and once again resumed packing. Her cell phone rang cutting off her Mom’s inquiry.

            “Hello,” Brenda answered, waving her mom off.”

Passion in New Parish:

Only in the planning stages – it’s Beth’s journey to New Parish.

Brigham Tea Magazine:

Tea Time

When the first pioneers moved west and settled along the Arizona Strip, rations could get a bit scarce. Some reports say that the Mormons learned about Brigham Tea from friendly Indians and that it was previously called squaw tea. I don’t have any concrete evidence of how they found out about it, just that they did, and they drank it.

In our day, there are so many teas to choose from, that everyone can find something they like. I think it’s good that we have a wide variety of tea to choose from, and a wide variety of people to get to know, and wonderful places to explore. I’ve found that people gravitate toward what they like, whether it’s tea, or friends, or places. There are times when we want what’s familiar and comfortable and other times when we want to try something else, that’s new or different.

Heroes of the Past

Jacob Hamblin Part 1

In researching the people who lived out here in the wild west, back when it was very wild, I’ve found that there were many who were real life heroes, who lived lives like Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett – they were true to life characters that John Wayne would have played in his best old cowboy movies.

One of the real-life heroes that made his mark on the Arizona Strip was Jacob Hamblin. Most of the research I’m using in this series of articles is from the man himself, through James A. Little. Little spent time interviewing Jacob Hamblin and recorded what he said in text form. I find Jacob Hamblin fascinating…  He was born in Salem Ohio on April 6, 1819. When he was just a few months old his family moved to another county in Ohio, Geauga, and continued the family business, farming. When he was a young man, around 17 years old, his family moved again – this time to the Wisconsin Territory in Spring Prairie. He homesteaded eighty acres of his own land there, next to his father’s homestead of the same acreage.

Pipe Springs National Monument

A while back I visited an amazing place, not too far from where I live, called Pipe Springs National Monument. The discovery of Pipe Spring by the white man, happened when Jacob Hamblin and his group of explorers found it back in 1858. I could see why explorers in the desert would be drawn to this place. It was, and is literally an oasis in the middle of the desert.  It has tall trees and lots of green around. The reason for the green is the natural spring that’s been quenching the thirst of the land, Native Americans, pioneers, and many a weary traveler for as long as recorded or verbal history can tell. It’s truly like stepping back, into the past.

The first actual settlers to the area were James Witmore and his brother in law Robert McIntire, in the spring of 1863. They lived in a small dugout house near where the fort was later built. They raised cattle, until 1866 when the settlement was ended with an Indian raid that took their cattle and their lives.

A Day in the Life of a Sister Wife

The moss ladened trees of Savanah strolled through Sarah’s mind as she sat on her balcony overlooking the mesas just past the desert prairie. Her new home in Arizona was a stark contrast to her old one in Georgia. Her new life was hugely different as well. If anyone had told her a couple of years ago that she’d be married to a cowboy who’d already been married twice, she’d have told them they were nuts. Sarah chuckled to herself thinking, “Yes, Max has been married twice. But, the thing is – he’s never been divorced.” Thinking back to the day she met her sister wives, Sarah remembered that she’d liked them instantly. That like had grown into a deep love and respect very quickly,” she smiled. “The like had taken a while with Max.”

The mug of hot chocolate warmed her as she braced for impact. She knew tomorrow would be a supreme test of her “mom” skills. Both her sister wives, Myra and Del, were going to be busy and gone all day, Myra had a meeting with a local art gallery and Del was going to her pre-natal checkup and then on to do some much needed shopping. So, Sarah would have her own baby, Parley (six months old), the family toddler Annie (18 months old), and two four year olds, Mia and Rosie to take care of, along with breakfast, lunch, and dinner to prepare for the whole family, which consisted of about seventeen people, if no one brought friends home for lunch. Sarah had always liked the fact that everyone came home for lunch, it was something she looked forward to each day, her feelings about tomorrow’s lunch held a little more stress.

 

There are many more irons in the fire for me. I hope you’ll all enjoy the ones I’ve shared…

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!

The Light and the Dark…

In a recent conversation with someone near and dear, we discussed the good and the bad of what I write about. Please don’t get me wrong, this was not an argument in any way. I know there’s some trepidation on the part of some people… So, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on this topic. As in all things there’s both good and evil, light and dark… In this conversation we both agreed that just like in Star Wars, there’s good and bad, and there’s a balance between the two. We have to have, the really good to make up for the really bad…

I think sometimes we hear so much about the bad in our world that we can forget to look for the good. We hear about the war, terrorism, the civil unrest (even in our own country) and we see the bad. I don’t like to think about the bad guys who’ve hurt people, like Jim Jones or Warren Jeffs, but they are there and they did what they did. I like to focus on the good guys like Mother Theresa, Elenore Roosevelt, Eliza R. Snow, Jacob Hamblin, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, Joe Darger… the list goes on and on… people who live and lived as real heroes.

 I’m a very Pollyanna kind of person – if you don’t know who Pollyanna is please google it – but in short, she’s the girl who always looks for the good in every situation. I see the bad just as much as anyone else, but I choose to focus on the good. I see people helping people, I see people standing up for what they believe in, I see people finding happiness in adversity. So, I write about the good things, I don’t focus on the bad, there’s enough people writing about and reporting that. I hope to be the balance and show the good in our world…

In my book New Parish Sarah finds a way to be happy while discovering a very different way to live… the dark side of things are discussed, but I focus on the good.

Excerpt from New Parish:
Chapter 2 – Undecided

“Later that night there was a knock on Sarah’s bedroom door, “Come in,” she said, but Hannah had already opened the door and was entering the room.

            “Hey,” she said tentatively.

            “Hey,” Sarah replied curiously.

            “So, tell me about this New Parish place and plural marriage,” Hannah said, as she plopped down at the end of Sarah’s bed and sat with her legs crossed like an Indian – just like she used to do when they were kids.

            “What do you want to know?” Sarah inquired with surprise.

            “You’re not the only one who’s had “dating” experiences with guys who aren’t who you want to spend your life with. If this is a good thing, I might think about considering it too,” explained Hannah.

            “Oh,” Sarah said, now in complete surprise. “Okay, well, what I’ve learned so far is that they have the same beliefs we were taught growing up in the church, except, they still have everything that was restored and didn’t give anything up, back in the day.”

            “Okay, so how do they do it?” Hannah urged her sister on.

            “They use an old traditional matchmaking system, but no dowries. The girls have freedom to choose and get out of the marriage if it’s not working out. Brother Michael, the church leader is so funny…”

            Sarah spent over two hours explaining what she’d learned to Hannah. When Hannah finally left her room, Sarah felt like she somehow understood the whole thing better. As she lay there drifting off to sleep she thought, “Maybe explaining to Hannah clarified things in my own mind.” She felt very much at peace with things, and hoped she could stay that way.”

Find all the answers to Sarah’s journey in New Parish!

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!