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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.
read an excerpt...
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.
About the author...
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/
More personal "stuff" about Michelle Davis...
Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
Yes – when I was a little girl, about three years old, I had an imaginary friend named Susie. She would play dolls we me. I remember her distinctly – but then she disappeared – sometime right before I turned five. I’ve often wondered how I could bring her backJ.
Do you have any phobias?
Absolutely! I am terrified of bear. I’m not sure why – keep thinking that I must have been mauled by a bear in a past life. But I wish I didn’t have this fear, as it affects me when I’m spending time hiking or cross-country skiing in the forest. I am also very uncomfortable in the ocean because I’m scared of sharks. No doubt this stems pack to reading Jaws when I was in third grade (Back then there wasn’t a lot of great kiddie lit, so I tended to read what the adults were reading.)
Do you listen to music when you're writing?
I often listen to music. My husband often plays acoustical “Zen” background music in the morning, so I listen to that while I blog. Then, in the afternoons when I work on my novel, I will play a variety of music from Spotify – just depends on my mood. But I keep the volume low, otherwise I become distracted.
Do you ever read your stories out loud?
The only time I tend to read my stories out loud is when I am doing a final proofing. I often catch typos when I force myself to slow down and actually say the words. Not only am I more likely to find typos, but it also becomes apparent if I am using the same word over and over.
Tell us about your main character and who inspired her.
Jenna Moore, the main character of Learning to Bend, shares a lot of my challenges. Jenna struggles with perfectionism and the “disease to please.” Additionally, we share other attributes. Both of us have used running as a way to destress, often resulting in reoccurring injuries. Plus, we’ve both battle inflexibility (mental and physical). I’m still working on touching my toes! And, our mountain biking skills are quite similar. Like Jenna, I taught elementary school. However, we don’t look alike, nor do we have similar family situations. Plus, our “boyfriend” history is different. J