Learning To Bend
by Michelle Davis
GENRE: Women’s Fiction
Jenna Moore's flawlessly orchestrated life and engagement to Ben Kelly, “the perfect man,” vanish when she discovers a controlling side of her fiancé. Confused and unsure of who she is without Ben, Jenna decides to uproot from her safe, predictable life in Boston and move to Bend, Oregon, hoping to find her answers there. It’s when she meets Jackson, a former Navy SEAL who battles demons of his own, that Jenna finds the courage to let go of being perfect and embrace uncomfortable risks, transforming her life through forgiveness, compassion, surrender and acceptance. Yet the rewards from discovering her true self exceed Jenna’s expectations – not only does she find the greatest love of her life, but she also understands what’s kept her from learning to bend.
Twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four... one more, I think to myself, straining to finish the final pull-up. Twenty-five. Done. I then grab a thirty-five-pound kettlebell and begin the first of three sets of twenty swings. The clock on my nightstand says 4:41. I spend the next half-hour hammering my muscles with weights, knowing that is not the end of my morning workout – I still have a run. Welcome to my world. This is my daily practice, my religion. It’s the only stable aspect of my life. But I need it, crave it actually. It’s what helps me counter the nightmares and the pain.
It’s been over a year now. My thirty-four-year old body hasn’t physically changed since I left the SEALS. At six feet two, discipline and hard work have kept me at a steady weight of 197 pounds. In fact, my only variance from years of following the SEAL’s strict codes is that I grew out my hair. Now, it’s almost at my shoulders. I think letting it grow was symbolic at first, representing a departure from my former life as a Navy Commander. Yeah, those were the best years of my life. I loved what I did, and my guys were freakin’ awesome, totally dependable and loyal as dogs. But afterward, it was impossible to stay. I couldn’t trust myself.
INTERVIEW – Michelle Davis
What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
When I had breast cancer, I had to undergo a double mastectomy and then four rounds of chemo. My husband was always by my side – beyond amazing. He would gently wash my hair in the sink when I was unable to wash my own hair in the shower. And when I’d be feeling nauseated from the chemotherapy, he’d make me bacon sandwiches on mushy white bread – the only thing I could stomach. He was incredible throughout that entire journey.
How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
I would probably go to Miraval Wellness Resort and Spa my husband. We both love holistic treatments!
Where do you get your best ideas?
My creativity seems to flow best when I’m running, doing yoga, or taking a shower. Also, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea. I just need to remember to write it down. Otherwise, I go back to sleep and I can’t remember the idea in the morning.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Both occur simultaneously. I have trouble imagining a story line without specific characters, and characters by themselves would be boring.
What does your main character do that makes her special?
Jenna learns to take risks to become the woman she knows she is capable of being. She readily admits her faults, owns them actually. But she wants to be better, constantly digging deeper to understand what’s keeping her from learning to bend. Plus, Jenna can laugh at herself, something a lot of twenty-somethings don’t give themselves permission to do.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Michelle Davis, whose career path includes banking, teaching, and college admissions consulting, holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and a M.S. in Education from St. Joseph’s University. Through her blog, elevate, Michelle’s goal is to inspire others to shift their perspectives and welcome change as they realize their life purpose. A Pennsylvania native, Michelle and her husband enjoy visiting their sons in Boston and spending time in Bend, Oregon, the settings of her debut novel, Learning to Bend. To learn more about Michelle and how to elevate your life, visit www.michellemdavis.net.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LearningtoBend/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/michellemillerdavis/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Davis/e/B083ZLXBXS/
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