What Are You Reading in 2020?

Elaina Avalos, Chasing Hope, Books you care about, reading challenge 2020

Reading has always been a favorite escape. I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I read early. I read a lot. And then somewhere in there, life got busy. I read less. I was online more (I say as I type out a blog post on my laptop). This year, I’m making a commitment to read more.

I plan on tackling my literal stack of to be read books (and the Kindle queue too). All of them have been started. None have been finished. The idea of participating in a reading challenge to help keep me motivated, is the right way to go. By the way, as far as my TBR is concerned, I’m at stage one.

I found quite a few reading challenges, but ultimately decided on this one, by author Kristy Woodson Harvey. I am not going to lie – I may stretch the categories a little. But I’m a rebel, so there you go. As an example, for January, the category is a Book Related to Your New Year’s Resolution. But I’m not a resolution kind of girl (I’m a one word kind of girl).

TBR, Elaina Avalos, Chasing Hope, reading challenge 2020

So instead, I’m going to finish Slightly South of Simple, which is the first book in The Peachtree Bluff series by Kristy Woodson Harvey. I started it last summer and then . . . life happened. While I don’t have any resolutions, I am working on being intentional about reading and writing. I thought it would be a good place to start.

While my goal is 12 books, when/if I finish early each month, I’ll plan on reaching for one in my pile, on my Kindle, or a few that have piqued my interest.

Here are a few of the books I’d like to read:

Hurricane Season by Laura K. Denton

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

The Family Fang: A Novel by Kevin Wilson

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

The Favorite Daughter (I also need to finish The Bookshop at Water’s End but it’s currently packed) by Patti Callahan Henry

What are you reading in 2020? What else should I add to my list?

Hope When We Least Expect It

Beaufort NC, Beaufort, Crystal Coast, Hope, Fear, Grief, Southern Fiction, Women's Fiction

My novel, Chasing Hope, is about . . . hope, light, and healing after fighting your way through grief. It’s about loss and renewal. It’s about finding a family where and when you least expect it.

I’m hoping to return back to my Sample Sunday tradition to end 2018 & head into a new & BIG year for my little family. So in keeping with that, here are some of the first words I wrote for this novel that holds a special place in my heart.

Huge Sale!

Chasing Hope, Elaina M. Avalos, novel, indie author, fiction, novel, Beaufort NC

My novel, Chasing Hope, is on sale! The Kindle version is 80% off and the paperback version is 50% off! The sale is for a limited time only. Find the book, here.

You can read what some of my readers have said here, here, or here.

To read excerpts, go here, here & here.




Beaufort’s Beautiful Homes

Beaufort NC Homes, Beaufort Waterfront Homes, Beaufort NC, Beaufort NC real estate, Front Street Beaufort NC

In my last post, I mentioned that I’d share more Beaufort, NC inspiration. I’m back today to share a handful of homes from Front Street. Beaufort’s beautiful homes can be found throughout the old town area.

But I do have to admit that I’m partial to the homes that face Taylor’s Creek and Carrot Island. Chasing Hope is set in Beaufort {as I’ve mentioned approximately 435,000 times}. Ava Cooper, the protagonist in Chasing Hopelives on Front Street in what she calls a “southern slice of heaven.”

Grayden Paul Park Beaufort NC, Beaufort NC, Beaufort NC waterfront, Front Street Beaufort NC
Grayden Paul Park on Front Street

When I first started writing this novel, I pictured several different homes along Front Street, for Ava. If you read the book you know that Ava’s family is wealthy – as is her interesting ex-husband. As the story took shape over the years, so did my vision for her home. The moving to a small town to escape/heal/grow, thing is not new in fiction. Heck, I did it in real life. 😉

What I didn’t want was for Ava’s life to take a complete departure from the life she once had. So . . . I kept her in a big, old rambling house. Not only was that what she had always known, but deep in her heart, she longed to have her stepchildren with her. Her dream to have a house full of kids and life was the real reason she purchased that particular Beaufort house.

Before I share a few more photos, I thought I’d show you a satellite view of Beaufort itself.

Beaufort Satellite View, Shackleford Banks Satellite View, Carrot Island Satellite View

This first photo gives you a view of Beaufort in the background from the Atlantic. Shackleford Banks is part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore {includes the Cape Lookout lighthouse} and is home to 100 of the areas wild poniesCarrot Island, which can be seen from Front Street, is also home to wild ponies.

Taylor's Creek Beaufort NC, Taylor's Creek, Carrot Island NC,

This is a view from one of the docks that looks out at Taylor’s Creek and Carrot Island. Most of the docks on this side of Front Street are private, belonging to the homes across the street.

Beaufort Satellite View, Beaufort NC, Carrot Island NC

Beaufort Satellite View, Front Street Beaufort NC

This third view shows you not only the docks in relation to Front Street, but gives you a good sense of the size of the homes. My favorite is next to the Beaufort Town Hall. Interestingly enough, that home was built by a doctor around 1905 {Dr. Charles Duncan House}.

Here are a few more of Beaufort’s beautiful homes:

Beaufort NC Homes, Front Street Beaufort NC, Front Street Homes Beaufort NC, Beaufort NC Waterfront Homes

Beaufort NC Homes, Front Street Beaufort NC, Front Street Homes Beaufort NC, Beaufort NC Waterfront Homes

Beaufort NC Homes, Front Street Beaufort NC, Front Street Homes Beaufort NC, Beaufort NC Waterfront Homes

Beaufort NC Homes, Front Street Beaufort NC, Front Street Homes Beaufort NC, Beaufort NC Waterfront Homes

Beaufort NC Homes, Front Street Beaufort NC, Front Street Homes Beaufort NC, Beaufort NC Waterfront Homes

Beautiful, right? If you enjoy info on architecture in towns like Beaufort, this blog has some interesting info about the mix of styles you can find in town.

All of them share the gorgeous view Ava spends a lot of time looking out at, as she fights her way through her grief to healing and hope. It’s a good town to sit for a while and do just that.

Beaufort Docks, Beaufort NC, Carrot Island,Beaufort Docks, Beaufort NC, Carrot Island,

I’ll be back next Sunday to share one of my all-time favorite Beaufort experiences!

P.S. I took all of these photos during some of my many walks around Beaufort.