Tag Archive | Utah

Challenges…

I think in life we all have challenges. Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. Some challenges lead to other challenges that come along because of the original challenge… In my book New Parish Sarah finds that her challenge of becoming a mom is complicated by several other challenges. Challenges such as finding a good man to marry, moving west to live in Arizona, overcoming some predisposed prejudices about a certain cowboy… I hope you’ll enjoy Sarah’s challenges, and her journey to solving those challenges, in New Parish.

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 5 – The Storm

“Looking out the window Sarah could see the wind blowing wildly as the rain pounded the windows and everything else outside. The storm outside was gaining strength…            

Sarah wanted desperately to distract her mind from the thoughts and feelings she was having so she went into the kitchen to fix some hot chocolate. She grabbed a warm blanket to wrap herself in on her way, the chill from earlier was still lingering deep inside her.            

With hot chocolate made, she sat on the mismatched cushions of the wicker sofa and watched the storm outside. The storm inside her raged on as well, she felt like her whole life was in turmoil, not just because of another bad date with a man who really, in the big scheme of things, didn’t matter – but because she had allowed herself to be in that situation, “So, what’s the next situation I’m going to allow myself to get into?” she wondered. She decided to go back to an earlier strategy and consider the pros and cons of plural marriage because now that she had definitely decided that dating was never happening again, plural marriage with its matching system seemed her only option. “Well either that or live my life completely alone and never have the kids I’ve always dreamed of having,” she spoke this thought aloud – she thought her voice sounded sad and angry at the same time.            

Sarah took a sip of hot chocolate and thought, “Cons, umm, Brother Michael’s wives covered a lot of those – jealousy, unfair treatment, possessiveness, controlling sister wives, husbands not doing what they should or allowing the new wife to be excluded… “Ah,” she said aloud, “It all sounds like a bunch of “mean girl” stuff! I don’t want to live the rest of my life that way!” She wrapped the blanket tighter around her and listened to the storm outside. The rain beat on the balcony like hundreds of miniature drums beating, the lightning and thunder joined in often to round out the show.            

Sarah felt like her mind was going numb from too many thoughts – like when you get an injury, it initially hurts then it goes numb and then hurts like crazy later… she welcomed the numbness, but she could still feel the turmoil and conflict of her inner storm just under the surface of her emotions. She sipped her hot chocolate again and braced for impact. Then a memory suddenly and clearly came to the forefront of her thoughts and she could hear Brother Michael’s voice repeating the advice he’d given her when she was in New Parish.            

He said, “The last thing I want to suggest to you is to take some time to ponder and pray about this decision. This is your life. Is this really what you want for your life? This lifestyle has many blessings but it can also be considered a curse to those who don’t have the capacity to accept it in all its varied and sometimes complicated components. I want you to understand that I only want the best for you. If this is truly what you want to do then I’ll do everything in my power to make it happen for you. But, if you have doubts about it, then take the time to find the answers you need to put those doubts to rest, before you make your decision. Okay?”            

“Okay,” she said aloud to this vivid memory, “I’ll pray, I’ve done the “pondering” well, I’ve mostly done the struggling, agonizing, and suffering.”            

Sarah determinedly sat her hot chocolate down on the old wooden end table beside the sofa and pulled the blanket tightly around her. Bowing her head, she poured out all her thoughts, doubts, and questions in sincere prayer. When she finished the long tearful appeal she sat there on the sofa quietly wondering what to do, then the memory of how she felt when she went to church in New Parish filled her with the peace and sense of belonging she’d felt when she was sitting in that place. She began to feel a new calm come over her heart and mind. Memories flowed now of how happy Brother Michael’s wives were and the things they said about accepting each other without requirements or expectations came to her memory’s surface. Next she remembered how happy the kids were and how Mary had described her family.            

The thought dawned on her, “I was only focusing on what could go wrong. There’s a lot that can and does go right…”            

Sarah began to smile, she wanted to keep this feeling, the storm inside was gone as the thunder outside was now sounding far away, she felt peacefully happy inside and had a peace and calm she hadn’t felt in a very long time… “Yeah,” she said, “I know what to do and what I want.””   New Parish is out now! Return to New Parish will be out in a few months!!! You can get a copy of New Parish here:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Free Ebook

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

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!

Racked Up!!!

My office has been invaded by New Parish!!!

When the Brigham Tea Magazine website launches soon, you can buy directly from me… till then you can get your very own copy from – 

https://www.amazon.com/New-Parish-Julie-Worthington/dp/1732224005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530458749&sr=8-1&keywords=new+parish+by+julie+worthington

Monkey Wrenches

We’ve all had times in our lives, when we’re sure someone threw a monkey wrench into what we had planned, or gotten a complete surprise that we weren’t expecting. Sometimes it’s a snow storm that keeps us from doing what we intended, or an illness, or simply being in a big hurry and forgetting something we definitely need when we were out of the house. These things happen so very often in real life that of course I have to use them in my writing… I love working with monkey wrenches! In New Parish Sarah gets hit with many monkey wrenches, some are small and trivial, some are simply annoying, but some are huge and, at times, she thinks, insurmountable.

Sarah is a high-tech modern girl with a few old fashioned values, she simply wants to get married and be that soccer mom that she’s always dreamed of being. Her huge monkey wrench is that she can’t find a fella to do that with…

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish:

            “Around lunch time she headed out to the children’s center. As she walked down the busy Atlanta sidewalks she looked around at the horde of people on their way to their next destination. She thought about when she’d first moved to Atlanta and how excited she’d been to be living in a big city with so much going on. She’d lost that excitement: it had turned into a tired frustration. The city hadn’t contributed to her dreams at all, her experiences there had diminished them. Her thoughts went to how much her goals and dreams had fragmented over the last few years. Her career was great, but she’d planned on being married and having at least three children by the age of twenty-seven. She sighed thinking, “I have neither a husband or children.” Her frustration on this was starting to grow beyond the normal parameters. Her thoughts turned to her job, “Right out of college, I got this great job, doing what I love, being a graphic artist for children’s books. I’ve worked hard, and now I’m the top artist in the company. I chose this career so I could be a stay at home mom. Sheesh! What’s a girl gotta do to make her dreams come true?”

            Extremely loud sirens jolted Sarah out of her thoughts, she jumped and looked to see what was happening. “Oh, it’s just the cops,” she thought and walked on. No one else seemed to notice. Sighing she thought, “Growing up in Savannah didn’t really prepare me for living in the big city of Atlanta, or the daily adventure each time I leave my apartment.”

            She continued down the sidewalk a few more blocks and entering the children’s center, went to the front desk to sign in. She quickly scanned the sign-in sheet to see if Mary was already there. She was.

            “I can’t believe I’m actually going to ask her about this plural marriage thing,” Sarah thought to herself. “Am I really that desperate?” her thoughts were interrupted by a large group of preschoolers running up to her with giggles and open arms for needed hugs. She spent the next hour playing and reading to them. This calmed her mind, it was therapy for her – her dream of having a big family with lots of children was both eased and made more difficult by the involvement with her little friends.”

Friends…

We’ve all known them, friends, those who come into our lives for a short time, those who we’ve known our whole lives, and those who come into our lives to stay – and change our lives forever. As I’ve said before, I pull from my own experiences when I write. So, I’ve pulled from personalities and characters, bits and pieces of people I’ve either known or heard stories about to create the friends Sarah encounters in my book New Parish. To me this brings the characters to life and gives them depth, because after all, I really know them…

It all begins with Mary, who’s out in Atlanta working on her bachelor’s degree at the local children’s center, where Sarah volunteers. They become fast and true friends, which opens up a whole new world for Sarah… Mary becomes that new friend, who not only becomes one of those who come into her life and changes it forever, but introduces her to more of new friends who become her, forever best friends.

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish:

“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; she had explained that she was only going to be there for a while, just until she finished her degree in early childhood development with the work study program she was involved in at the children’s center.

That day, Sarah had been complaining about the poor dating prospects and her dream of being a mom floating away from her. 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. Her 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…””

……

““Mary!” Sarah waved as she entered the room.

Mary was working with a group of three year olds on coloring pictures of shapes.

            “Hi!” was Mary’s cheery reply.

            “Do you have some time to talk today?” Sarah asked, noticing Mary’s strawberry blonde hair. She always had it done in some really pretty style, today it was rolled up behind with a pretty colorful clip in it. Sarah liked how petite Mary was, she was only about five feet tall and very slender with bright green eyes that always seemed to be ready to smile.  

            “Yes, in about ten minutes when these little guys get to go to the gym,” Mary answered.

            “Cool,” said Sarah, “I’ll wait around in the garden room.”

            “Okay, see you there,” Mary said, as Sarah waved and walked away.

            Sarah was checking messages on her phone when Mary joined her on a bench underneath a big tree. “Hi, what’s up?” asked Mary.

            “Well I don’t know if I’m really desperate, stupid, or what, but I wanted to ask you about that whole plural marriage thing that goes on where you’re from,” Sarah said with some apprehension.

            “Oh?” was all that Mary said as she sat down beside Sarah and waited for her to continue.

            “Yeah, well, how does it work?”

            “Very well, I think,” Mary said, looking quizzically at Sarah.

            “Oh come on! What do they do? What’s the process? Are they miserable? Are the women conditioned to be in these relationships, like “Stepford Wives”? Do men abuse the women? How do the women get along? Are they mean to each other?” Sarah bombed Mary with all the serious questions she could think of, and in a way, trying to talk herself out of further inquiry.”

…….

““All I can tell you is that my mothers all seem very happy, they don’t attack each other, they’re really good friends. They’re always joking around and laughing, I haven’t seen any of that attack stuff,” Mary replied, now looking at Sarah with concern.”

I can’t wait to share the whole story with everyone! Very soonish…

 

Book Cover

I’ve worked for a long time to get to this point, and now that it’s finally happening, I’m enjoying every moment of it. Last week we went out to a special place near New Parish for a photo shoot. We did two days of shooting, and now have some fun decisions to make on what pictures to use for the New Parish book cover. I guess I hadn’t given this part of the book much thought before now, but it’s really fun.

I’m learning so much about all the aspects of, the rest of the story, of writing. Putting a book together and getting it ready for publishing has a lot of details to be tended to. There’s copyrights and ISBN numbers to be purchased, there’s editing, there’s the publisher/printer, there’s marketing, there’s the synopsis and author bio to be written, and reviews to be gathered… Then there’s book covers to be created and book launches… it’s loads of work but I’m having a lot of fun along the way.

I’ve been so focused on the actual writing for so long that this new adventure is a refreshing change… then when it’s all done, I of course will return to New Parish. I can’t stay away from that story for long… Sarah’s journey to New Parish has been an all encompassing journey for me to write, although it’s fiction, it’s full of real life situations, difficult decisions, and choices that will change the course of lives forever. Just as New Parish beckons Sarah, it also calls me back…

New Parish Coming Soon!!!

Excerpt from New Parish:

“Sarah felt like a cool fresh breeze was blowing inside her, “This is so refreshing and energizing to finally be a part, of the next part of my life,” she thought. “I’m going to use this time before being matched, as a learning and adjusting time. I want to learn what it’s actually like to live in such a large family on a regular basis and determine what I need to change or fine tune in myself to be successful in this new life. I’m going to figure out how to do this…””

…….

“At dinner that night Sarah was starting to reflect on the changes that were happening in her life. It was still a bit surreal for her, that she was back in New Parish, and preparing for her dreams to come true. Her thoughts turned to the gratitude she had that her parents hadn’t disowned her. Even though she knew they didn’t really support her choice she was glad they were accepting it. She was again glad they’d come out to New Parish with her. She deep down wanted them to know, that she wasn’t joining a cult or moving into a commune of weirdos.

            Her mom interrupted her thoughts when she leaned over and whispered, “There are so many conversations going on till I don’t know how anyone knows what’s happening.”

            Sarah smiled and said, “Just think of it like Thanksgiving dinner with a few extra.”

            Her mother’s eyes widened as she whispered, “A few?!?””

 

New Parish – Coming Soon! Summer of 2018! Brigham Tea Magazine – Heroes of the Past

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you chose to do something completely different? Sarah did…

In New Parish she finds a life that’s so different than she’d ever imagined she’d have.

Excerpt from New Parish:

“The cool air and busy sidewalks were almost enough to distract her mind from the pervading thoughts of how much this plural marriage thing could go wrong. She wanted to believe that things could be as wonderful as Mary said they were, but she knew how people could be, especially men… her thoughts went to, “Maybe I should just drop the whole thing,” then the idea of dating again entered her thoughts which almost made her nauseous. Then the thought of giving up on her dream of having kids and a family came to her mind. A tear rolled down her face, which she quickly brushed away, that thought was the saddest one she’d ever had…

            Sarah looked up at the sky and saw a plane flying west, she knew she would be on one soon… flying west. She breathed out a sigh and with a new resolve walked back to her apartment.”

Brigham Tea Magazine:

The next section of Brigham Tea Magazine I want to share with you is Heroes of the Past… enjoy the slideshow.

Plans and Goals for Next Year…

I’m not skipping holidays I promise, (I love Thanksgiving, and especially Christmas!), I’m just getting a head start on a couple of New Year’s resolutions. I’m the kind of person who likes to plan things way ahead of time, I’m okay with serendipity when it happens, but I’ve never trusted it. I’ve been working on a few plans for next year, for a while now… so, I thought I’d share some of them with you.

New Parish will be published next year!!! Probably mid-summer, I’ll let you know as things progress. I’m so excited!!! Getting to share New Parish with everyone is a wonderful dream come true. There are still so many details to work through, but it’s finally happening, and I’m enjoying the journey.

Something else that I’m planning for next year is a new magazine! It’ll launch the first quarter of next year… details coming soon! The name of the magazine is Brigham Tea Magazine, it’s been in the planning stages for a while, and has become an almost all-consuming project. I’m not obsessed, really… Brigham Tea Magazine is a fresh new look at the West. Its readers will find unknown gems of the past and previously hidden treasures. Brigham Tea Magazine is for everyone who lives in, or loves the West – its culture, history, places, legends, and the western spirit