#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.

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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.

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#MotivatedMonday: Where Are You Going?

It isn't where you came from. It's where you're going that counts. - Ella Fitzgerald

“It isn’t where you came from. It’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitzgerald

The month of August is going to be all things Luck of the Irish! Download this novella and at it to your end of summer reading list.

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.

I Will Find Love Again

“My heart might be bruised, but it will recover and become capable of seeing beauty of life once more. It’s happened before, it will happen again, I’m sure. When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to

“My heart might be bruised, but it will recover and become capable of seeing beauty of life once more. It’s happened before, it will happen again, I’m sure. When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive. I’ll find love again.”
– Paulo Coelho

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.

Advance Readers Wanted! Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3)

Be the First to Read This Book!

Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3) is going live next month on August 8th. Based on advance reader’s reactions, it’s the best one yet in the series, and I can’t wait for YOU to read it. (Seriously – I really can’t wait for you to read it.)

That’s why I’m looking for up to 10 people to read Luck of the Irish before its release date in exchange for an honest rating/review.

luck-of-the-irish-holiday-heartbeats-atina-atwood
Luck of the Irish is available now for preorder.

Am I freaking out about this? You bet your bippie (whatever a “bippie” is, but I digress.) Still, I fell in love with this sweet love triangle that inspired a young woman (Nhu) to recognize and claim her worth and settle for nothing less. I hope that you’ll fall in love with her story, too. As with all stories in my Holiday Heartbeats series, this is a novella. Lately, I’ve wanted to expand their stories to novel-length, but this series is designed to be a quick, light, romantic read.

If you’re interested in becoming an Advance Reader, simply do the following:

* comment and retweet/repost on social media to get my attention

* be willing to leave an honest rating and/or review (please be kind!)

 

I look forward to sharing Nhu, Eoghan, and Jack’s story with you!

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.

 

Motivated Monday: It’s Never Too Late

 

its-never-too-late.png“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Elliot

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.

Dive into Love

“Love is the greatest refreshment in life.” – Pablo Picasso

“Love is the greatest refreshment in life.” – Pablo Picasso

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.

Just (Don’t) Do It – Be Content Doing Nothing

During the summer months, I’m so blessed to be able to spend real quality-time with my husband and toddler. To me, this is the best gift that I could ever receive! Even as a writer, words fail me when I try to describe how beautiful it is to see my two men standing in front of a mirror dancing around, singing Beatles hits at the top of their lungs.

Be Content Doing Nothing

Still, despite these blissful weeks of Family Fun, there’s an ominous shadow lingering in the back of my mind. Amid the laughter, day trips, and super silly giggles, a niggling voice keeps telling me that I should be DOING MORE.

What exactly is it that I have to do besides enjoying my husband and our little one while his sweet, purely innocent nature isn’t a distant memory? What could possibly be more important than a virtually-carefree summer day with the two guys who stole my heart? Well, in my overachieving mind, that ambiguously important other thing is simply doing anything that’s the opposite of relaxing and letting go.

Power.of.Doing.Nothing
I’m pretty sure this is from SpongeBob Squarepants, but I found the image on Google.

Let’s face it, far too many of us – quite often (but certainly not exclusively) many of us women – feel the persistent need to be doing something. All the time. Even though we are frequently running ourselves ragged with our personal and professional lives, there’s a constant companion that’s judging our actions from within. Are we doing enough? More importantly, do others perceive us as doing enough?

One of the things I’ve noticed is that when someone asks what we do for a living, it’s a thinly-veiled way of asking who we are.

Two of the most powerful words in human speech are “I AM.” There is so much power in these words, and as a Woman of Faith, I feel an even more profound connection to these all-encompassing words. As an overachieving creative, I’ve always struggled with trying to fit myself into one simple, concise sentence that defines who I am. To say, “I am an overachieving creative and business owner” is painfully accurate, but it isn’t remotely close to defining everything that I do or who I AM. And yet, I’m constantly fretting about how I can succinctly define myself to people I merely meet in passing – because networking is everything. It’s silly, and yet, I know I’m not the only one. Any person who understands how social media works knows exactly what I mean.

Anyway, I sat there, watching two beautiful, contented souls from the sidelines. As they danced, I caught my own reflection in the mirror – a wistful grin on my face as I observed them, seated at my desk with a neat stack of work that refuses to shrink. Instead of fully participating in a moment that has quickly evolved into a pleasant memory, I was merely in the background. Why?

My long To Do list oddly seems to get longer each time I complete one task. I didn’t walk away from my traditional career to forfeit living a well-lived life on my own terms as much as I sensibly can. There’s not enough time in a day to take care of everything, and I need to accept that. When I chose to become a mother, that day I made a commitment to putting my little one and my family first. But there are days when the struggle to balance career, writing, and family life is tremendous. It’s hard to do it all, and do it well.

Stop chasing after doing and find contentment in simply being.

Next time, when I’m at a social mixer rubbing elbows with folks that judge and are being judged, when someone asks me what I do, I want to take a breath, smile, and simply say,

“Enough.”

When you feel yourself chasing your dreams a bit too hard and you find yourself out of breath, stop yourself, look around, and remind your inner critic with a booming voice of self-assurance: “I AM ENOUGH.” (And then whip out your favorite album and sing in front of the mirror at the top of your lungs.)

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, goes live on August 8th. Preorder now.

©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: Your Courage Defines You

What is Success Without Courage?

Christmas in July!
https://books.bookfunnel.com/christmasinjuly/3b9tyeusu1

https://books.bookfunnel.com/christmasbonanza/a6bp4jwpoz

Use these two links to help you chill out and get in the Holiday mood. You can get up to 42 holiday-themed books, including His Epiphany (Holiday Heartbeats #1) absolutely for FREE. Just select the books of your choice for more details!

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal_ It is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill.png

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, goes live on August 8th. Preorder now.

©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.

Christmas in July – FREE and Discounted Books for All!

Happy Holidays! (FREE and discounted BOOKS for all!)

No need to panic. We still have some time before we need to start thinking about December and all of the delicious, fun holidays to come. If you’re enjoying the scorchingly-hot weather, fantastic! I love reading romance and cozies in the summer to unwind. FREE BOOKS and BIG SALES are two of my favorite things. Beat the heat with these sweet treats!

 

Christmas in July – Discounted Bestsellers!

Christmas Bonanza! _ FREE BOOKS!

Use these two links above to help you chill out and get in the Holiday mood. You can get up to 42 holiday-themed books, including His Epiphany (Holiday Heartbeats #1) absolutely for FREE. Other books are reduced for a limited time. Just select the books of your choice for more details!

His Epiphany by Atina Atwood

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.

Thursday Love: Cherish Every Moment

Never Underestimate the Power of A Moment

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory. - Dr. Seuss

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment,
until it becomes a memory.”

– Dr. Seuss

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.