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Family means many different things to many different people. Some people think of groups of friends they belong to as family, others think of simply those they have a blood relationship with as family. Families come in all shapes and sizes, whether they are created by blood or other bonds… Families can have a single parent or many parents. Either way, family is always the place we call home, family is the place we find shelter from the storms of life, and family always include the people we love and who will be there for us. I think of it as an unwritten code – they don’t have to help you or be supportive… they just do.

My book New Parish is all about family… Sarah grows up in one kind of family, and decides to enter into another kind of family. This change creates a whole new dynamic for her old family and her new family… in the end they do what families do… they just do.


Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 6 – The Return (Sarah and her parents arriving in New Parish)

“Laden with luggage they all entered Brother Michael’s house, “Sarah! Oh it’s so good to see you again, Sweetie!” Susan came running up and gave her a big hug. Then shouted, “Sarah’s here!” toward the hallway in front of the entry.

            It looked like the house had began to ooze people, they poured in from every direction. Sarah was busy getting and giving hugs when she noticed her mom’s expression, it was one of sheer terror.

            Sarah suppressed a giggle and said, “Everyone, this is my mom and dad.”

“Here,” Brother Michael said placing the bags he had on the floor and taking charge, “Let me introduce you to my wives and you’ll catch the kids names eventually. This is Marla, Michelle, Lisa, Karen, Susan, Sharon, and Ann. Ladies this is David and Samantha Nichols.”

            Sarah almost burst out laughing when she looked at her dad’s expression, he was at another cross, this one was a cross between amusement and disbelief. Her mom looked even more traumatized, but graciously shook hands with each of Brother Michael’s wives as she was introduced.

            They were given a tour of the house, and shown the bedroom where Sarah would be sharing with Mary. All the while Sarah was suppressing giggles, her mom’s look of shock and her dad’s look of amusement was totally entertaining her. After the tour her dad was taken outside to see the huge pond where Brother Michael was encouraging wild geese and other migratory birds to stop over – and Sarah’s mom went up to her bedroom to help unpack her things.

When Mary stepped out for a moment to go get something Samantha said, “I honestly thought you were joking about him having that many wives.” She looked at Sarah with uncertainty in her expression and continued, “I could just pinch your father! He thinks it’s all uniquely charming. He’d better not get any ideas!””

Chapter 12 – Home (Part of the Thanksgiving gathering for both of Sarah’s families)

            “The next morning Sarah was up early so she could make her grandmother’s cinnamon rolls with Hannah and so she could get a hot shower before everyone got up and pilfered all the hot water. The kitchen was quiet when she entered but Hannah arrived soon after, they started the Christmas playlist – which always had to be playing when the family was preparing Thanksgiving food.  Then they began rolling out the yeast rolls and preparing them for the sprinkling of yummy stuff.

            “So I met this guy,” Hannah smiled slyly at Sarah. “He’s got promise, I think.”

            “Awesome! Tell me all about him!” Sarah demanded.

             Hannah giggled and said, “He’s a returned missionary, attending BYU like me, and he’s taking some programming classes with me. He’s really smart, and gets almost as good of grades as I do.”

            “He sounds okay,” Sarah smiled, “What’s he like? You know, sense of humor, common sense, financially responsible? That sort of thing, oh yeah and is he gorgeous?”

            “He’s very gorgeous!” Hannah smiled. “He’s got a good sense of humor sometimes he thinks he’s funnier than he is, but it’s good though, he’s cute and can pull it off.” She shrugged and continued, “I don’t know about common sense or finances yet, I only met him a couple of months ago.”

            “Ah, still in the early stages huh? Well make sure you be careful,” Sarah said in a big sisterly way.

            “Of course,” Hannah smiled and intentionally bumped Sarah’s arm to make her spill the cinnamon, “You too.”

            They both laughed and continued to sprinkle the rolled out yeast rolls with sugar and cinnamon. Not long after the cinnamon rolls were in the oven, there was a trickle of family invading the kitchen, the trickle soon turned into a flood with everyone present. The aroma of the cinnamon rolls had emanated from the kitchen and called the family together. As they began indulging in the wonderful treats, they were given their assignments for the day. There was so much food to be prepared for tomorrow’s feast that it would keep everyone busy, all day.

            The work began even before the cinnamon rolls were eaten. Most of the workers were holding a cinnamon roll in one hand, (or in their mouth), and doing the food prep single handedly. As the day went on they all were snacking on the food they were working on, so there was no reason to make lunch. It was a just grab something and keep working sort of thing, which was their usual for this day.

            Sarah noticed her mom enjoying the fact that there were thirteen more kids calling her, Grandma. She thought that maybe her mom was beginning to soften on the plural marriage situation, maybe. She decided to test the waters by asking, “So, how do you like being grandma to a bunch more kids?”

            Samantha smiled, “Oh its nice.” She paused letting the thick syrup she was pouring over the sweet potatoes drizzle into some areas that were not as drenched with the stuff then continued, “They’re really sweet kids, and so beautiful.” She looked at Sarah and asked, “How do you like being a mom?”

            “I’m loving it!” Sarah replied enthusiastically.

            “Are you still wanting to have a baby?” her mom inquired.

            “Yes,” Sarah answered reluctantly. “It just hasn’t happened yet.”

            “Oh,” Samantha looked concerned. “I didn’t know you were already trying.”

            Sarah shrugged, not really wanting to talk about this bit of sore frustration in her life.

            “Sometimes these things take time,” her mom consoled. “It’s easier to make a baby by accident than to plan on it.”

            Sarah smiled and admitted, “Max said I should try to chill about it. But I really want a baby. I’m a bit frustrated over it, and can’t really find a way to chill.”

            “It’ll happen,” her mom smiled at her.”  

Do you want to find out for yourself what happens next? New Parish is now available on

Simply search New Parish by Julie Worthington or follow the link below…