Thank You to All of Our Veterans

We See You

Today is Veterans Day here in the United States, and I’m happy to be one of many extending my thanks to those who have served. I want to use this opportunity to share a link to Charity Navigator.org that’s devoted to helping our veterans and their families: Highly-Rated Military and Veterans Organizations. This is simply a reminder that we can help in many ways, both nationally and locally.  A thank you to our veterans is great, but getting them food, a place to stay, and consistent medical attention is even better.

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“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” – Maya Angelou

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.

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The Art of Falling in Love by Haleigh Wenger #AtinaReads

The Art of Falling in Love by Haleigh Wenger

(This is a modified reposting from July 2019.) Just in case you haven’t had a chance to check out this amazing book, add Haleigh Wenger’s The Art of Falling In Love to your Fall reading list to keep you warm while the temperatures plummet!

If you’ve had a chance to read this coming of age, please consider leaving a review so that others have a chance to find out more about this lovely author!

This YA book goes beyond “sweet” romance by incorporating social commentary about a topic that many authors are afraid to touch.
It’s hard enough falling in love while you’re a teenager – 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. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, kudos to Haleigh Wenger for providing us readers with a hero who forces the reader to explore the novel with both heart and reflection. 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.)

Order The Art of Falling in Love and add it to your TBR pile in time for the Holidays!

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.

 

Victory Begins in Your Head

It’s All in Your Mind

Victory always starts in the head.

“Victory always starts in your head.” – Douchan Gersi

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.

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Life Without Love is Death

Take Away Love…

Take away love and our earth is a tomb.

“Take away love and our earth is a tomb.” – Robert Browning

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.

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Is Your Dream Crazy Enough?

How Crazy is Your Dream?

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“Don’t ask if your dream is crazy, ask if it’s crazy enough.”
– Lena Waithe

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.

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Take Action for Success

Action is the Key to Success

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Action is the foundational key to all success.
– Pablo Picasso

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.

You Deserve It

You Deserve It

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“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky

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.

“Do Small Things in a Great Way”

“Do Small Things in a Great Way.”

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“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
– Napoleon Hill

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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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.

Motivated Monday: Let the Sunshine In

Don’t get in the way of your own happiness.

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“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

©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, writing. 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.