Welcome to my Second Acts Series!
Today, we have Soul Mate author Jeri Bronson sharing her inspiring journey to a light-filled second act and her debut novel, Seeking Perfect.
I’ve been thinking about Second Acts, so this blog was perfectly timed. My first novel debuted this year, but before we discuss the now we need to talk about the before, the first act. I really want to lie and tell you this amazing story of my beginnings, but I can’t. My first act was tough, so tough that I longed to hide in the dark forever. I learned at an early age that everyone had an angle and absolutely no one could be trusted.
Then a day came when I could no longer hide from my darkness I had to walk into the light. I did a lot of reading, self- reflection and learning about who I was and who I wanted to be. It was one of the hardest roads I walked, but I am grateful for that tough road.
I was lucky enough to have gotten laid off from my full time job and stayed home with my kids in 2007. Jesse and Derek’s story was born that first summer. Jesse taught me so much about myself that I will be forever grateful to her, which brings me to the Second Act. Now that Jesse is out in the world I have been set free. Writing was the best possible medicine for me on this journey of self –reflection and I must say I’m really excited for my Second Act.
Everyone has a story and it’s your choice on how you let it define your life. Me, I really clung to a quote from Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter. “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” My light was always books and those amazing writers who saved me from the darkness. I want to encourage you to never give up on yourself because you are so worth it. I am telling you the truth. Maybe Jesse’s story will bring you hope with some light mixed in for good measure.
Jesse learned early not to trust a soul, but what if he was her soulmate?
Senior year of high school should be about friendship, boyfriends and graduation, but for seventeen-year-old, Jesse Barnes, it’s about escaping the shame of life with an alcoholic mother.
Jesse’s goals are clear, keep a roof over her head, avoid the revolving door of leering men her mother brings home, graduate from high school, and do everything possible to keep her home life secret. Friends, boyfriends, not an option. Who would understand?
Then, perfect, popular Derek Aames, sits with Jesse at lunch. How can she discourage him? How can she keep him from intruding on her life and discovering her secret? And most of all how can she keep him out of her heart?
Will his persistence finally break down her walls, or just break her?
Jesse furiously tried to think of an excuse for Derek not to have to take her home on a Saturday night. It was like playing Russian roulette and she didn’t want him anywhere near the line of fire if Sheila decided to go off.
“You don’t have to take me home tonight. I’m not sure how long I will be here. Plus, I wouldn’t want you to miss out on hanging with your friends or whatever it is you do on the weekend.” She knew she was being rude after everything that he had done for her, but she was scared. What if he really meant it when he said he wanted to kiss me? What if he really does like me? Worst of all, what will I do when he breaks my heart, not if – when? To be involved with Derek Aames could not possibly have any positives. She had to try to maintain her focus so she could get to college. Six more months. Except all thought of college kept being blown away like a desert wind the minute he looked at her.
He sat silently finishing his lunch. It was becoming an annoying habit that was grating on her last nerve. She couldn’t fathom what he was thinking while she waited for him to respond. He took one last drink before he turned to face her.
“You’re not going to get rid of me that easily.”
She started to protest again to convince him that she had a lot of work. She didn’t want to ruin his weekend by making him feel obligated to give her a ride. He silenced her before she could even get a breath out by putting his index finger on her lips.
“Let me finish before you start giving me your rational explanations. I have an ulterior motive for taking you home. I want to ask you out on an official first date,” he said.
I live in Orange County, California with my husband of 29 years and my 16 year old son. My daughter is off in college having her own adventures, but I miss her terribly. I love cats, fairies, castles and definitely chocolate. I do my best writing while I’m walking around my neighborhood. Lucky for me I haven’t fallen with my wandering mind. One of my greatest past times is watching tennis. I am a super fan. I’ll admit sometimes my writing wanes when a Grand Slam tournament is on…sshh, don’t tell. I work part time as a substitute high school teacher. I learn so much from the kids it’s a wonderful source for this young adult writer. I do have another young adult I’m working on as well as trying my hand at suspense. I never thought I would be a writer, but I never gave up. The door has been opened and I am never letting it close.
Where to find Jeri Bronson…
Jeri, Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey. Love the Harry Potter quote! Best of luck with sales.