Tag Archive | Julie Worthington

Writing the West…

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

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 8 – The Social

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

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

            A cowboy band was playing and there was a square dance going, Mary said, “Come on let’s go!”

            Sarah said, “No way, I’ve never dosey doed in my life. I don’t know how,” trying to excuse herself from this activity.

            Mary grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the dance area in front of the wooden stage the band was on, “I’ll show you, it’s fun!” she said laughing.

            Sarah had an inner dread that she was not only going to dosey doe for the first time, but that Mary had much more confidence in her abilities than she did.

            Mary had her twirling around the grassy dance area in no time. They were both laughing at her many mistakes, and having so much fun. Then Sarah saw one of the cowboys on the stage… it was Max, he was playing the guitar, and smiling at her. He was wearing a black cowboy hat with a silver and turquoise band around it, a white shirt with a bolo tie, and a black leather jacket. Her mind had inventoried him quickly and then lost all cohesiveness. After that she lost her footing, causing her right foot to trip over her left foot – she landed on the ground with a thud. “Oh, I hate him,” she thought picking herself up from the ground quickly. Mary tried to help her up while trying to hide the fact that she was almost doubling over laughing at her.

            “Seems you’re always falling for him,” Mary teased.

            Sarah was even more embarrassed to know that Mary had seen the cause of her fall, “Thanks, that helps,” she replied half way laughing too.

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

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

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 2 – Cowboys and Horses

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

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

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

Excerpt from Brigham Tea Magazine:

The Wild Desert

The Bird

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

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

Promise and Possibilities

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

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

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 9 – Max

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            “Okay,” Mary reluctantly followed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            “I’m calling Dad,” Mary shouted.

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

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

            “Awesome!” Sarah said through chattering teeth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sneak preview excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 3 Palominos –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            “He made me mad,” she sulked back.

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

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

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

New Year’s Resolutions

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

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

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

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 1 – Bad Date

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

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

            Sarah’s mind went to something her new friend Mary had said when they were working together at the children’s center. Mary had mentioned her home, a place called New Parish in Arizona. Sarah had known her for a few months. Mary was only going to be there for a while longer, just until she finished her degree in early childhood development with the work study program she was involved in at the children’s center.

           Sarah thought about the day she’d been complaining about the poor dating prospects and her dream of being a mom floating away from her, when Mary revealed to her that in the community she came from, the people did plural marriages. So, any girl could get a good man and not have to worry about missing out on being a mom. Mary’s descriptions of her home made it sound like a little piece of heaven, where people lived happy lives, and found their happily ever afters.

          Sarah sighed, thinking of the small rural community Mary had described, “Maybe…””

 

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

 

   

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Merry Christmas!!!

 

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

  You can get a copy of New Parish here:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

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!