Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Erin Bartels | Exclusive Excerpt: ALL THAT WE CARRIED
Author Guest / December 29, 2020

Melanie’s heart quickened when the first tower of the Mackinac Bridge came into view. This would be her seventh time over the bridge, a significant number. Seven days of the week. Seven notes in the diatonic scale. Seven letters in the Roman numeral system. The seven in the Tarot deck was the card of the chariot—the symbol of overcoming conflict and moving forward in a positive direction. Lucky number seven. She’d need luck on this trip if she hoped to move forward in a positive direction with Olivia. She hit her sister’s upper arm with the back of her hand. “There’s the bridge!” To her surprise, Olivia smiled. A good sign. Maybe it would all work out. It had to. Because they couldn’t go on as they had for the past ten years. Something had to change. Only time together would do it. Time with no distractions. Time in the forest. Time for Melanie to explain herself. She had seven days to make it work. Seven days was enough. Her seven-day spiritual detox program was her most popular offering on Meditations with Melanie. And nothing needed detoxing like her relationship with her sister. “I know a bailiff who refuses to…

Erin Bartels | Holding Onto Hope
Author Guest / January 4, 2019

Hope. It’s a concept that can feel out of reach during tumultuous times. When our eyes and ears are flooded with the reality of national disunity and violence, a difficult family situation, broken finances, career disappointment, or frustration with ourselves for a multitude of reasons, hope can feel…flimsy. Like it belongs to some other person in some other time. But hope is something that we can have and hold on to in any time and circumstance. And here are a few ways to help you do just that: Develop perspective. No matter what is happening in our own lives, it is likely that there are others going through even more difficult circumstances. This doesn’t mean that our pain doesn’t matter. It means that we are not alone. There are people out there who understand what we’re going through because they’ve been through it—and worse. The struggles others have experienced in the past and in other parts of the world—war, genocide, displacement, religious persecution, lack of medical care, and more—help our own troubles become smaller, less scary, less insurmountable. Reading the account of a Holocaust survivor or a quadriplegic athlete is sure to put things in perspective. Count small blessings. I…