Chasing Dreams – Book Anniversary

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

One year ago today, my novel was published. It was a long time coming. I started writing this book so long ago. Like all of us, as we grow and change over the years, it changed too.

But it was always about family, adoption, and love. To celebrate the anniversary of finally chasing my dreams . . . the book will be on sale, starting June 12th!

You can read an excerpt, here & here. You can find it on Goodreads, here. You can find the Amazon reviews, here.

What dreams have you been chasing lately, friend?

More from Beaufort North Carolina!

Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, Beaufort, Beaufort NC, NC Maritime Museum, Beaufort Food & Wine

I recently started a series about Beaufort, NC. You can catch up on the first couple of posts here & here. I haven’t written in a couple of weeks because I have quite literally spent nearly all of my free time working on an update to my book, Chasing Hope.

I switched the way my book will be printed & distributed. When I did, the old cover of the book would no longer work due to a variety of requirements from Amazon. But the process of updating was much harder than I anticipated.

So . . . I am behind. But back to post three in my series with more from Beaufort, North Carolina! The last two years I’ve attended the Beaufort Wine & Food Festival. I had said for a while that I wanted to go. I have a bad habit of talking and not doing.

Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, Beaufort, Beaufort NC, NC Maritime Museum, Beaufort Food & Wine

As my 40th birthday approached {yes, I’m admitting how old I am} in 2016, I knew that I had to start making changes. So rather than just talk about going someday, I needed to do it.

The first event I bought tickets for in 2016 & 2017, was the Wine, Bread, Cheese & More seminar. I know! What could possibly be better? Not much, I tell you. Not much. If you’re a wine person, my guess is . . . you’re probably a food person, too.

This year’s seminar was even better than last years. The setting for the seminar is the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center. It’s on the water, just across the street from the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Though held in late April, the humidity has already started to seep in. But even still, it could not be a more beautiful setting. I mean . . . look at this . . .

Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, Beaufort, Beaufort NC, NC Maritime Museum, Beaufort Food & Wine

I also attended the Vin de Mer Epicurean Village both years. There is a lot of wine and food happening up in there and it’s awesome! They describe it as organized chaos which is a great description.

Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, Beaufort, Beaufort NC, NC Maritime Museum, Beaufort Food & Wine

Beaufort, Beaufort NC, NC Maritime Museum, Beaufort Food & Wine Festival, Vin de Mear Epicurean Village

Beaufort, Beaufort NC, NC Maritime Museum, Beaufort Food & Wine Festival, Vin de Mear Epicurean Village

Along with all of the food and wine, there are also cooking demonstrations. My first year, Clarke Merrell, the Chef and owner of Circa 81, did a live cooking demo. I saw most of the live cooking demos in 2017, too.

It even prompted me to try oysters with cucumber sake. I was proud of myself because that has not exactly ever been high on my list of must-try foods.

Though Beaufort is a tiny town on the southern Outer Banks, this event has not disappointed. Next year, my goal is to attend a wine dinner along with my favorite seminar and the Vin de Mer.

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.

Beaufort-by-the-Sea

Beaufort NC, Beaufort NC waterfront, Clawson's 1905 restaurant

In June, I released my first novel, Chasing HopeYou can enter to win a copy of the book, here. My favorite novels draw you into the setting – not just the story itself. Southern Writers do this better than anyone. While I am not sure I’m up to par with some of my favorite writers, I do hope that when my readers have read the book, they can imagine the beauty of the area and the charm of the town.

Chasing Hope is set in the small coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina {aka Beaufort by the Sea}. I thought I’d do a quick series on a few of my favorite things about Beaufort. Before getting to that, Beaufort shares a name with Beaufort, South Carolina – home to one of those Southern Writers I mentioned above. Beaufort-by-the-Sea is pronounced like Bow-fert, whereas Beaufort in South Carolina is BYOO-fert.

Beaufort NC, Beaufort NC waterfront, Beaufort NC boardwalk

Beaufort is one of my favorite places. I spent more time than I’d like to admit sitting at a table, at the now closed Taylor’s Big Mug, drinking coffee, looking out at Front Street, and writing. Besides the charm that’s clear when you drive over the draw bridge into town, it’s also a great place for people watching.

My view one afternoon while writing . . .

Beaufort NC, Beaufort waterfront, The Dock House Beaufort NC

Here are a few of my favorite spots in Beaufort . . .

The Dock House

The Dock House, The Dock House Beaufort NC

I can’t say they have the best food. But it’s an awesome view and a great place to eat, sip a drink, and sit a spell. There are a few more photos on Foursquare. I also did some writing there, too! After all, Ava lives just a quick walk from The Dock House. 🙂

Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant

Clawson's 1905, Clawson's 1905 Restaurant & Pub,

The Fudge Factory

1908142_979543275390810_6365120016868212097_n R-SomerSetSquareExterior-2-XL-uai-1032x461

Rocking Chair Book Store

Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could sell my books in this store?

Olde Beaufort Farmer’s Market – If it was closer, I’d be at this farmer’s market every Saturday! You can find their Facebook page, here.

farmer's market, Beaufort Farmer's Market, Beaufort NC

The Old Burying Ground

The Burying Ground highlights 300 years of history. It’s an incredible spot to visit – not only because of the history but it’s a beautiful location that reminds me so much of what I love about my coastal North Carolina home. The photos below are some that I’ve taken on my many trips to the Burying Ground.

Beaufort NC, Beaufort, Old Burying Ground

Beaufort NC, Beaufort, Old Burying GroundBeaufort NC, Beaufort, Old Burying GroundBeaufort NC, Beaufort, Old Burying GroundBeaufort NC, Beaufort, Old Burying Ground,

If there’s any chance you’re making your way to the Outer Banks or Cape Lookout on the Southern Outer Banks, make sure you stop in Beaufort. Next time, I’ll share a few of my favorite homes on Front Street, including the handful that inspired Ava’s house.