Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Each week we're visiting the characters from my newest release, "Awakening Avery," and designing a give-away around that character.

This week, meet widower Gabriel Carson, Anna Maria Island's most sought after bachelor and father of two narcissistic twenty-something daughters, Emilia and Gia.

Gabriel is a private and contradictory man who loves his home, his family, and Key Lime Pie. A gifted landscaper and florist, he can, by brawn and force, tame acres of wild land, and yet his gentle fingers can also prune and coax a fragile bonsai or a tender sprig of ivy along.

A similar paradox is evident in his relationships. This man who deftly guided a young, floundering boy to manhood, is now ripping himself from his home and family to compel his overly-dependent daughters to grow.

Ironically, the real estate coup that provides his excuse for escape places him in a summer house swap with widow Avery Elkins Thompson, a widow and mother seeking a healing place so she can save her own floundering family.

Avery isn’t sure if she believes in karma, but she does believe that places, like people, evoke a certain spirit or feeling. Gabriel's house has a good spirit about it; Gabriel’s spirit is here, in every nook and cranny.

Avery is now immersed in Gabriel's complicated world, and Gabriel is knee-deep in Avery's. With different views on religion and life, they still have much in common, much they can teach one another, if they can awaken to the opportunity life has thrown them.

And now things begin to get complicated.

Avery and Gabriel make hard choices out of love for their families. What hard choices have you ever made for your family?

Write your answer in the comment box. You must be a follower of this blog to enter, so click and join to play! This week's prize is a Key Lime Pie scented candle or a copy of "Awakening Avery."


  1. I'd say moving to the city was a hard choice for us. We needed to do it to get a better career and such but it meant moving away from family and friends who were a great help to us.

  2. My son Avery, who is 15 has Aspberger Syndrome. My other son Landon does not. There are countless hard decisions that I make for my family on a daily basis. Life is hard, harder for the sick and afflicted. Be thankful for your good health if you have it! :0)

  3. Following through Google friend connect and fellow LDS (small world)! :0)

  4. Moving from Arizona to Utah was a very difficult choice. Leaving parents, children, grandchildren, and ward family...not to mention taking teens out of the schools they have grown up in...It has certainly been a learning experience.

  5. I don't remember having to make a hard decision for my family (such as moving), but I've always remembered the experience a local accountant told-- that when he was doing well in his CPA practice, friends asked why he didn't sell his small house and move into a bigger house--that he would look more successful to the world in a more affluent neighborhood. He admitted that he was happy in his house and hadn't considered moving, but listening to his friends talk puffed up in his pride. He went home and prayed about it. The Spirit told him that if he wanted to save his children spiritually, he should stay in his humble home. So he did and testified that from then on he could see how attending the less affluent high school, ward, and living in a humble home helped his children grow and keep eternal purpose in perspective.

  6. It's inspiring to hear other women's tales from the family "front lines." We're blessed to understand that the family is the center and purpose of the whole experience. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  7. We decided to leave our comfortable life back in Arthurdale and move to the big city of Frederick for a better job, schools, opportunities for the boys, etc. Our oldest son was in his senior year and was not happy about the move. He eventually adjusted but there were some hard times along the way.

  8. Drive carefully. It is not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker. ....................................................

  9. not to go into much specifics but I had to make the choice 8 years ago after the birth of my son, whether staying married to his father was a good choice or not for our family. i remember praying and crying for months trying to determine whether it was better for my son to be raised by a single parent and to be raised in a happy spiritual home; or for me to stay with his father and most likely not be raised in a good environment with anger and other emotional and spiritual issues.
    I chose to leave and after 7 years have found a wonderful man i married last year, and expecting another little boy, and hope to be sealed in the DC temple next year.
    my son and i have grown so much in the last several years and i KNOW i made the right choice for our family even though divorce was never something i wanted to do or agreed with. we have been so blessed over the years with family support, gods help and strength and now blessed with a wonderful husband and father. my son and i couldnt be happier!!

  10. First, I want to say that I like this discussion board. It is humbling and eye opening to hear of other' struggles and hard discussions.
    Several thoughts come to mind in what hard choices I have made for my family. I think the most recent hard choice was to have our 4th daughter Emma. Through all of my other three pregnancies I have had troubles and been in the "high risk" zone. When I had my 3rd it became clear that it wasn't going to get any better. We thought of three being it but couldn't shake the feeling that someone was missing. After a lot of prayer we both felt it was right to venture again into that tough world that pregnancy is for us. It was by far the most interesting 9months. My body seemed to reject and protect the baby in such extreme ways. It even kept the doctors scratching their heads a bit. But we made it, she is here and such a blessing.
    Thanks to all the others that shared their stories

  11. Thank you, ladies, for all your beautiful, honest comments. Our winner this week is Rachel Harris! Congratulations, Rachel! But really, we've all benefited from sharing ideas here.

    I'd have to say that the hardest thing I've had to do for my family was to relax my need to control things. Letting teens begin to make their own choices and face the ensuing consequences is needful but painful at times. Letting go of little hands, and even bigger hands, is tough.

    I hope you all check back in this coming week for the next drawing!

  12. Just became a follower. Looking forward to next week's drawing!