Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Guest Post & Excerpt Learning to Love Again by Kelli Heneghan

Title: Learning to Love Again
Author: Kelli Heneghan
Series: Currently a Stand Alone with Potential to be the first in a Series
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: July 2015
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print on Demand via Amazon

What do you do if Fate gives you a second chance at the love of your life?   Do you learn from past mistakes, or do you relive them?  Nicole Winters is about to find out.  After suffering severe injuries in a car accident, she is lucky to be alive.  She has to return to her home town to recover, only to discover her family has been withholding information and the doctor on her case is none other than her college sweetheart, Jason Marrow.  The man she dumped right before graduating from law school and leaving Texas.  Once back in her hometown, Nicole realizes that she has allowed the ghosts of her childhood to rule her life.  As she faces her past, and with the help of her family and friends, she realizes the love between her and Jason never faded.  Can they recapture what they had and build on it?  Can she move beyond the past and Learn to Love Again?

Mitch stretched his legs out in front of him.  “I’ve talked to your doctor; he wants to see you in his office on Monday morning, just so he can have a baseline to go by.  The hospital was nice enough to send all of your records to him, but he’d still like to see you for himself.”
“Who is my doctor, anyway?  I never thought to ask who was still practicing around here.”
Mitch glanced away unwilling to meet her eyes as he said, “Jason.”
“Jason?  Jason Morrow?” She froze.
“Yeah, my old buddy from Austin that you’ve managed to avoid for the last decade.  That’s him.  He finished his residency and fellowship in orthopedics and signed on at Waketon Memorial.  He keeps himself pretty busy.”  Mitch glanced over and caught her eye.  “Is there going to be a problem?”
She shook her head, lowering her gaze.  “No, why would you ask that?”
“Because Jack had to threaten to tie him up to keep him from storming up to Austin and taking over your care up there, from what I understand,” Mitch told her, moving over to stand in front of her.  When she didn’t look up, he knelt down and forced her eyes up to his.  “Look, Nicole, I know you’ve never opened up to Carly about what went down between you two, and Jason never talked to me about it, but I’m here for you if you need me to listen.  And I won’t pick sides,” he promised, standing up and picking up his Stetson.
Guest Post 

The Story Behind the Story
The story behind the story…that’s a tough one to answer because I have to think back so far!  Learning to Love Again actually started out about 8 years ago as a very simple piece, inspired by the question of “what if…”  I had a friend who was having a rough time in her marriage and she was wondering whatever happened to the first guy she’d ever really fallen in love with back in college.  The first draft of what we now have in front of us was born…
The first final draft that is.  There were a lot of deleted copies that never lasted very long.  And even more that lasted a few pages and then I’d realize I didn’t like how the story was going and I’d trash it all.  But from start to finish, that first final draft only took a few short months to write.
I had a lot of start and stops, though—obviously, as it’s been 8 years since I started the story!  A few characters underwent a few major rewrites—for instance, in the very first draft, Jack was actually the much younger brother of Uncle Steve, and Mitch and Jack were a number of years older than Nicole.  
But I had no idea what to do with a book.  And 8 years ago, indie publishing wasn’t as big of an option as it is now.  If you wanted to be taken seriously, you had to go with traditional publishing.  And I did look into publishing it—even sent a query letter off to a couple of the major ones, but didn’t get any offers.  So I kept reworking the story, making changings and trying to make the story better.
And life got in the way…when I started writing this story, my ‘baby’ was only a little over a year old.  So my ‘free’ time was very limited at home.  Writing started getting less and less time.  But I kept looking at my story and thinking “this is GOOD.”  I wanted to do something with it, but I didn’t know what, or even how.  My life revolved around getting home from my day job, getting the kids fed and homework done and get them into bed at a decent time so we could do it all over again the next day.
Then one day, I heard about indie/ self-publishing, and how I could do this myself…so I dusted off the story one last time and started asking around for editors.  I found someone willing to take a chance on an unknown and I’m still pinching myself to believe that I’m actually at this point after all this time!

Kelli grew up all over the East Coast but her family finally settled in Cincinnati long enough for her to finish high school and college.  She has always loved to read books and write her own stories.  In high school, she used to pass around the latest chapter of the story she was writing for her friends to read.  There is more than one high school teacher out there that can probably remember telling her to put the book down and pay attention to the lectures. 
Graduating from the University of Cincinnati with her BS in Nursing, she left Ohio for Texas and the U.S. Army.  She received a medical discharge for a knee injury, but was able to meet the man she'd one day call her husband first--thanks to some mutual friends who insisted they would perfect together.  And what do you know--they are!  
She continued to read books by the dozens and write her own stories.  And then one day, a friend dared her to enter a contest.  She didn’t win, but the feedback she received from the judges convinced her that maybe people were interested in the stories she wanted to tell.
She still lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two children and 2 dogs.  

Places to find Kelli
Places to find Learning to Love Again