Sometimes, It’s Okay to Relax

I know I’ve already posted today, but this is a quote worth sharing:

Sometimes, it’s okay to relax.

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I hope that you’ll take a few minutes to recharge! (As for me, I’m sipping a soothing chamomile tea.)

Sending Love & Light,
Atina

20 Reasons to Already Love the New Year 2020 (Okay, Just 5, but Same Energy)

2020 is HERE!

Happy New Year! You’re probably just as excited as I am to ring in 2020. To get into the celebratory spirit of things, I’m listing 20 simple reasons to already love the New Year 2020. (Okay, when I started this post, I was overly ambitious. In reality, I’m sticking to 5.)

1. This is simple. It’s 2020. Who doesn’t love a repetitive number for a calendar year?

2. A full year of pun fun is on the way. May we all have clarity and 20/20 vision this year. *wink, wink*

3. 2020 is a leap year. What fun! (Okay, so maybe I was too ambitious when thinking about these reasons, but it’s a new year – and I’m no quitter.)

4. We’ve been given another chance, another fresh start in life – however symbolic it may be. Let’s make the most of it!

5. It’s up to us treat this year as one filled with opportunities, second and third chances, and undiscovered blessings – many of which we don’t even yet know about. Look forward to them.

Image of Happy New Year 2020 with golden letters and confetti with a pastel pink background

Source: metro.co.uk

2020 Resolutions & Goals

If you’re like me, resolutions may not exactly be your thing. Instead, I like to create goals & go from there. When viewing Love & Life as a journey, not a destination, it certainly feels like a more relaxed, self-accepting approach.

One 2020 goal of mine is to write more books.

Because I also have a business to run, that means that something’s got to give somewhere. My family comes first, so that’s no-negotiable. I’ve mentioned before that atinaatwood.com will be modified this year; one modification will be the frequency of my posts and engagement on social media.

In order to prioritize the continuation of my Holiday Heartbeats series, I’ll be spending more of my blogging time to, well, write. (When I put it that way, it does make sense, doesn’t it?)

For those of you who subscribe to my mailing list, no worries. You’ll be the first to receive chapter shares, get exclusive sneak peeks, and tantalizing cover reveals!

Gif of actor Bill Murray standing, smiling, and applauding enthusiastically
Source: GIPHY

Have an amazing New Year and may your positive visions this year always be 20/20!

Sending Love & Light,

Atina

©Atina Atwood 2020 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series and a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, writing. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Fresh Memories

Showing versus Telling Wins Again

One of the most beautiful things about having a little person in your life is the fact that EVERYTHING is new to them. Late Sunday afternoon, my preschooler noticed a spatula that I’d placed on the counter after pulling it from the dishwasher and asked, “What’s that for?”

Nevermind the fact that he’s seen it before, or even plays with one of his own in his kid’s kitchen. His natural curiosity and desire for an explaination warmed my “tell me about everything under the sun” heart. I took the time to lean down, give him a hug (becuase how could I resist?), and explained what the instrument is typically used for. He listened to me politely when I explained, but honestly, what’s the fun in that? It dawned on me that this moment could be so much more.

The Best Pancakes EVER

So, I pulled out the gridle – my old-fashined one that your grandma probably has – gathered a few ingredients, and whipped out a couple of mixing bowls. In just a few minutes, he and I were contentedly making 100% whole-wheat buttermilk chocolate chip pancakes!

The entire experience was precious, and we had so much fun. The end result was actually INCREDIBLY delicious, and I promise you, even the most skeptical person would enjoy the taste of these whole-wheat pancakes. Let me know if you’d like the recipie. I’m posting a picture here – and although it’s far from fancy food-blog-worthy, it’s a photo capturing a moment in time where my only child and I made a beutiful memory.

No wonder the pancakes tasted so good.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series and a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, writing. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

The Power of Love

The Power of Love

love-is-power

“If you could only love enough, you could be the most powerful person in the world.” – Emmet Fox

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series and a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, writing. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

It’s Fall, Y’all

Fall is Here!

It’s Fall, y’all! As wonderful as this past summer has been, I still have to admit that I’m excited October is here. Not just because it’s my birth month (although that’s already a fantastic reason) – no, this is the perfect month and season to start reflecting on the year that is nearly finished and appreciate all of the amazing things that have already happened. Of course, the flip side of reflecting and reminiscing means that you also may be tempted to think about the things that haven’t turned out so well, or the things that still haven’t come to fruition.

This season is not one to play with. To me, as the days get shorter and the number of darker hours increases, it makes me really want to hunker down somewhere and start to dig deep. I mean, get your Snuggie, your hot pot of tea or warm beverage of choice, and start thinking. Do you find yourself thinking more during the autumn season more than any other? If you do, well, you’re not alone.

In German, it’s called a period of besinnlichkeit. This period of “contemplation” is exactly what many of us need in order to cope with the changing of the seasons. Whether we want to or not, we have to acknowledge that the sunny days of summer are now a thing of the past; what’s the next step on your agenda? Will you sit back and reminisce about the happier (sunnier) times? Will you stress out about the future? Or will you jump feet-first into all great things associated with Fall? (Sorry to disappoint, but I am NOT a fan of pumpkin anything – well, except the color. But, I do love apples!)

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Google

What will you be thinking about during this period of reflection? Right now, health and stress-wise, my family and I are going through a long season of winter, so I know that I’m keeping all of us in prayer for improved health and healing. Let me know if I can do the same for you! In the meantime, stock up on those warm drinks, cozy mysteries (btw, I’m looking for some new authors in this genre – if you have any recommendations, let me know), and all of the happy, snuggly, awesome, bountiful gifts that this season brings.

 

Just a heads up here: I will be making some changes to my website in the coming months. Thanks so much to all of you for following my arbitrary path on this blog (I’ve learned that apparently fiction authors who blog have a tendency to be all over the place on blog topics, so it’s cool that you’re still riding with me on this random roller coaster). A tremendous THANK YOU to those of you who also support my Holiday Heartbeats novella series. Happy Fall, Y’all!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series and a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, writing. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Love is Untamable

Love is Untamable

love-is-rebellious-atina-atwood

“Love is a rebellious bird that nobody can tame.” – Georges Bizet

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats #3, is now available. Free books from various authors are available here.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

#MotivatedMonday: Live without Regret

August is Support Indie Authors Month! Download your copy of Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3) here.

I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done. -Lucille Ball

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”
– Lucille Ball

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Get FREE sweet romance books, including Love Games, for a limited time.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Love Is All We Need

“All you need is love.” – The Beatles

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here. Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats #3, will be released this month. Preorder now.

#AtinaReads The Art of Falling in Love by Haleigh Wenger

Go to Your Local Library! (A Random Appeal)

While the summer heatwave is getting the best of us, I’m catching up with some fantastic books. I love encouraging my toddler to read, and although we admittedly have a pretty impressive library of well-loved books, it’s also important to me that we go to our local library at least once every two weeks.

It’s my understanding that each time you visit your local library and check out a book or participate in activities, this leads to more funding or opportunities for that particular branch (ask your librarian for specifics). Requesting books can increase the number of available copies, or they can even help put new authors on your shelves (insert dainty *ahem* here). In any case, showing love to your local libraries is one small, yet impactful way to strengthen your community. Yay, libraries!

The Art of Falling in Love by Haleigh Wenger

Our little family participated in the Summer Reading Challenge, where each person read either 30 books or for 30 hours within a certain period of time in exchange for two free passes to the National History Museum and additional swag. It’s a 100% win-win situation. The last book I read to complete the summer challenge was Haleigh Wenger’s The Art of Falling In Love, where I had the honor and privilege of being an Advance Reader.

TAOFIL-Art-Cover
The Art of Falling in Love by Haleigh Wenger.

At this point, you should know that #AtinaReads “sweet” romance. This YA book goes beyond that by incorporating social commentary as well.
It’s hard enough falling in love – imagine navigating those treacherous waters while being homeless:

Seventeen-year-old Claire Haynes always spends summer vacation at her family’s beach house in Florida, sketching and dreaming of art school with her biggest fan–her Opa. But when Opa dies right before summer break, all Claire has left besides her memories is a sand-sculpting contest application with her name on it and the lingering question of why Opa filled it out in the first place. Claire has never even made a decent sandcastle, but she reluctantly turns in the entry forms, hoping the contest will help her navigate the grieving process by honoring one of Opa’s last wishes.

When she meets Foster, a teenage boy with a talent for turning recyclables into abstract sculptures, the two join forces to win the contest and salvage the Summer of Art. They spend the humid summer days shoveling sand, devouring ice cream, and exploring Florida’s art scene. Just like Opa, Foster understands Claire and her overwhelming need to create, but he has a secret that threatens to ruin everything: he’s homeless and hiding from an abusive brother who would have him believe family trumps all.

When Claire’s parents find out about Foster’s homelessness, they offer him a home along with their hearts. But even picture-perfect families like Claire’s can harbor an ugly side, especially in the aftermath of Opa’s death. When someone close to Claire spills Foster’s secret, they’re both forced to choose between love and familial obligation. If Claire can’t break through long-held beliefs and prove family is more than shared DNA, she could permanently lose Foster and a chance at the sand contest to honor Opa.

– The Art of Falling in Love, back cover exerpt

Far too often, trends in Romance focus on “The Billionaire” this and that. Kudos to Haleigh Wenger for providing us readers with a hero who forces the reader to explore the novel with both heart and conscious. I especially appreciated her vivid, descriptive writing, empathetic character development, and a great story that didn’t shy away from uncomfortable subjects – juvenile homelessness, sibling rivalry/betrayal, and coping with life after a devastating event. (On a personal note, it was also wonderful to reconnect with familiar areas in Florida.)

Preorder The Art of Falling in Love and take this book with you on a day at the beach for an even more awesome experience. You’ll swear that Claire and Foster are somewhere nearby!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats #3, is now available for preorder.

The first chapter of Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3) is available for free on Wattpad. Read it here.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Motivated Monday: Grab your Dream & Don’t Let Go

Hold on to your Dreams

When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go. - Carol Burnett

“When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go.” – Carol Burnett

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available for preorder.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.