End of February Greetings & Readings

Let’s Go, 2020!

It’s hard to believe we’re only just now reaching the end of February. I don’t know about you, but so far, 2020 has felt like it’s been the loooongest year! In any case, I hope this year is treating you well. If you have a challenge or two like my family and I have had (thankfully, all surmountable), I hope that you’re keeping your head up and continuing that onward march!

Keep on Reading

Thanks to all of you for downloading my free short story Playing Cupid! It’s so exciting to see people from all around the world take a glimpse into Bailey & Luc’s special moment on Valentine’s Day. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, download it now. It’s a quick read at a little over 3,500 words.

Love Games is a longer story, but also fast-paced. Marisol & Dante have great chemistry, and surprisingly, the two have a lot more uncommon than Mari initially believes. She loves challenging him, and Dante loves meeting those challenges and surpassing Mari’s expectations. Love Games is available wherever you get your ebooks, and it’s on sale until the end of the month!

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m working on my next Holiday Heartbeats Christmas story. I’m in the process of looking for Advance Readers, so if you’re interested, contact me and I’ll put you on the list.

give-me-books

There are about 6 reasons why I’m looking forward to the month of March; one of them is because my umpteenth wedding anniversary takes place! Another one is because Luck of the Irish finally gets its holiday moment in the sun. I’ll share more about this love triangle (yikes!) in a later post.

Until then, I hope to post more about Love and Life next month.

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.

Playing Cupid: A FREE Holiday Heartbeats Short Story – Just for You

The year 2020 is blasting off at full speed, and it’s hard to believe that we’re already in the middle of February!

Although I’ve been quieter on my blog, it’s a good thing because I’m able to spend more time developing the stories that I want to share with you. Right now, I’m working on a new Holiday Heartbeats Christmas story that I’m really excited about. I can’t wait to share Holly and Nick’s story with you!

Free Short Story (Download Now!)

In the meantime, I’ve got a fun, free short story for you. Playing Cupid is a sweet story about best friends Luc and Bailey. After Valentine’s Day, things between them will never be the same.

I made this story available to my newsletter subscribers at the beginning of the month, so if you want to be one of the first in the know, sign up here.

Playing Cupid

Luc and Bailey have been best friends since they were four years old, but lately, things have changed. When a practical joker locks them in an entertainment room on Valentine’s Day, will one of them finally gather enough courage to share how they really feel?

– Best friends to lovers
– Pizza, red wine  & red velvet cupcakes
– Forced proximity with a big screen TV & firepit

3,500 words (sweet romance) Free download

If you’re looking for more Valentine’s Day fun, Love Games is your perfect match. The chemistry and banter between Dante and Mari is so much fun!

Atina Atwood Love Games A Holiday Heartbeats Story

Dante is a born player. This time, he’s playing for keeps.

Dante Cole is a player. Women know what they’re getting into before the first kiss, and as his business grows, they can expect to sign an NDA before the dessert menu lands on the table. As committed as he is to work and family, there’s no room in his heart for a serious one-on-one relationship. He’s afraid to look for anything more.

Marisol Aguilar only needs to work for the loathsome Dante Cole for a few weeks while her mom recuperates from a freak accident that nearly destroyed their family’s livelihood. Despite her mother’s inexplicable fondness for the man, Mari refuses to think highly of him. She’s heard the stories. But chance encounters reveal different sides of Dante that contradict her expectations of him.

When Fate throws them together on Valentine’s Day, will Mari fall victim to the player’s game? Or will she be the one making the rules?

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.

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.

Changes… They’re ‘a Comin’

My Website in 2020

It’s hard to believe that the year 2019 is already coming to an end. Not only that, but it also means the end of another decade! 

Right now, that’s too much reflection for me to dig into. Nevertheless, as I look at the fantastic and tragic things that took place in my life this year, I am wholly and incredibly grateful. 

Last month in November, I didn’t publish any personal posts because of an unexpected trip to Germany. We’re never ready to say goodbye to the ones we love, and for me, it was no exception. In the past few weeks, it’s occurred to me that I want to spend most of my time connecting with others in ways that feel the most impactful. As I incorporate more life-affirming choices in my everyday experience, I will also do the same with my website.

Holiday Heartbeats – and More

In the new year, my focus will be on creating new installments in the Holiday Heartbeats series, and developing concepts for upcoming series and standalone novels. I look forward to sharing more about these projects with you here. If you’ve had a chance to read books from the series, please consider leaving an honest review on Goodreads.

Thank you so much for your continued support! Join my mailing list for sneak-peek cover reveals, freebies, and exclusive content. I’m incredibly humbled knowing that my sweet California romance series resonates with so many of you!

Have a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season;
Sending Love and Light to all of you.

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©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 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.

 

Nothing Stops Love When It’s Time

Get your copy of Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3), available now.

“When it’s time for souls to meet, there’s nothing on earth that can prevent them from meeting, no matter where each may be located. When two hearts are meant for each other, no distance is too far, no time is too lo

“When it’s time for souls to meet, there’s nothing on earth that can prevent them from meeting, no matter where each may be located.
When two hearts are meant for each other, no distance is too far, no time is too long, and no other love can break them apart.” 
– Jaime Lichauco

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

Fight for Love (Luck of the Irish is now LIVE!)

Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3) is LIVE! Get your copy today.

he stood in front of her door. Uninvited. Unannounced. Unwanted. Still, he knocked.-3

“He stood in front of her door. Uninvited. Unannounced. Unwanted.
Still, he knocked.”
– Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats #3

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Get FREE books from numerous for a limited time 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.

Character Spotlight: Jack from Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3)

Meet Jack Smith

“He couldn’t even remember how he got there, but now he stood in front of her door. Uninvited. Unannounced. Unwanted. Still, he knocked.”Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3)

brandonbeemer-inspired-jack-in-luck-of-the-irish-atina-atwood
Actor/model Brandon Beemer captures the angst that Jack has in Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3)

I think this quick moment from the book sums up Jack in this story. He’s hella-angsty, privileged with a promising future ahead of him – and is as miserable as he can be.

Jack’s a native of Boston but his family moved to San Diego when he was about ten. His mother is Irish, and his high-profile politician father is Irish-American. Jack is the youngest of three children, the only son, and is destined to follow in his father’s political footsteps. Because of this, Jack’s always felt the heavy pressure of his father’s scrutiny. Always hungry for his dad’s attention and approval, Jack doesn’t trust himself to reveal his long-term relationship with Nhu to his family.

When he’s faced with the dilemma of choosing between the love of his life and proving his loyalty to his father, Jack’s against the wall in a no-win situation. His decision will change everything.

The song that comes to mind whenever I think of Jack is Post Malone’s Better Now. Without a doubt, Jack is willing to fight for his love – but is it too little, too late?

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

Character Spotlight: Eoghan Kelly from Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3)

Meet Eoghan

First of all, it’s pronounced “Owen”. Yes, this is a bit of a mystery, but Eoghan isn’t the kind of guy to keep you guessing for long. What you see is what you get, and well, Nhu likes what she sees.

luck-of-the-irish-eoghan-kelly
I’m sorry to say that I don’t know the name of this Irish male model, but he is definitely rocking the vibe that Eoghan Kelly has in Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3).

Eoghan Kelly

Eoghan’s from Dublin, Ireland, and he’s in San Diego interning with a local aquatic organization while he completes his studies to become an environmental engineer. He’s staying with his cousin, Jack Smith until his leased beach house on Coronado Island is ready. The two were best friends when they were kids, but now, time isn’t the only barrier that’s creating a distance between them.

Nhu is unlike any woman he’s ever met, and as the two get to know each other, Eoghan finds himself falling in love with the woman who has a fierce sense of independence. As the two grow closer, an unexpected connection throws their budding romance in a tailspin.

Regardless of Nhu’s choice, Eoghan will respect it. He’s also unwilling to destroy his relationship with his cousin, Jack. Never before have his love and loyalty been challenged like this.

The song that comes to mind when I think of Eoghan is “If I Can’t Have You” by Shawn Mendes. Like Eoghan, the song is upbeat and refuses to mince words. The feelings that Eoghan has for Nhu are like nothing he’s felt before, but that’s not going to stop him from enjoying them and pursuing them.

It’s been a blast writing Luck of the Irish, and there’s a heck of a lot is packed into this novella. I can’t wait for you to get to know these characters and Nhu’s Holiday Heartbeats story.

Luck of the Irish is available at your favorite online book retailer for download.

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.

Character Spotlight: Nhu Hoang from Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3)

Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3) is LIVE! Order your copy now.

Say Hello to Nhu

There have been a few times where someone’s asked me if I’m inspired by people I know in the characters I create. So far, I can confidently say not exactly. It only takes a spark – a sentence, scenario, or even just an image – to open the gateway into the world where one of my characters lives. After that, I feel to a certain extent, the characters reveal themselves to me, little by little. I just have to be in tune in with their stories in order to pick up their nuances. (Often easier said than done.)

While writing Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3), I’ve been introduced to three very strong characters: Nhu, Eoghan, and Jack. The more time I’ve spent with them, the more I like all of them (which is a terrible thing to do when a love triangle is involved). Their story has quickly become my favorite of the series (although Love Games still has a soft spot in my heart).

Earlier this summer, I sent an exclusive link to my mailing list subscribers with the entire first chapter of Luck of the Irish. I’m an impatient person, so I had to share some of Nhu’s awesome story before then. Likewise, I’m excited to share a quick Character Profile with you.

Vu Thi Hoang My _Nhu Hoang.png
Images of Vū Thi Hoàng My totally inspired my vision of Nhu’s persona.

Nhu Hoàng

Nhu is 26, originally from San Jose, California but moved to San Diego when she was 12. Marisol Aguilar (Love Games) is her best friend from law school. Nhu’s an only child who’s strong-willed, driven, and charismatic. Currently, she lives on the gorgeous Coronado Island working as a barista while she prepares for the California State Bar Exam for the 2nd time. She’s also setting up a freelance career as a Contract Analyst for those entering the modeling and performing arts industries.

Her boyfriend of nearly two years is Jack Smith, son of a presidential candidate. He’s kept their relationship a secret from his family the entire time, but he swears that he loves her. What will happen to their relationship when Nhu begins to recognize and own her self-worth?

Inspiration for Nhu

While writing Love Games, Nhu popped up as Mari’s best friend. As no-nonsense as she came across with Mari, I was surprised to see that she tolerated Jack’s chronic flippancy in their relationship. When looking into her character, I came across an image of model/actress Vū Thi Hoàng My. I loved how her last name was just like Nhu’s, and as time progressed, I could see a likeness in the way I envisioned Nhu’s expressions and mannerisms.

The song that STILL won’t get out of my head when I think of Nhu is Halsey’s Without Me. Honestly, it’s Nhu’s Leitmotiv and a bit of an own for Jack. Even as I write this, the intro is jammin’ away in my head. *Sigh*

In any case, I thought I’d share a little bit about one of the folks living in my head. Stay tuned for character profiles on Jack… and Eoghan. Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3), is now available. Haven’t read Love Games? It’s currently free in this sweet romance showcase for new mailing list subscribers.

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, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram,  Amazon, and Facebook for more. Sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.