By: Jennifer Frank
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: April 6, 2015
Publisher: Clean Reads
If you had a chance to do over your biggest regret, would you take it? When Alison learns the terms of her aunt’s will require that she reverse her life and take the road she rejected six years ago, she has to determine if she can trust herself to make the right decision or if she will be pressured once again to allow someone else to choose for her.
Alison lives a comfortable, safe, life advocating for women at the domestic violence shelter where she works and being bossed around by her cat. When her dynamic Aunt Elinor decides to tie Alison’s inheritance to successfully completing law school, Alison confronts the past that led her to choose love over the law – and lose at both.
As Alison battles through law school admissions, the challenges mount both personally and professionally. Will she sacrifice her dreams again to satisfy her new love, Ryan, and her Aunt Elinor?
Uncle Sam cleared his throat. “‘Alison, you are my favorite of this whole lot. Now don’t everyone get their panties in a bunch. I love you all, but I like Alison the most. She reminds me of my own best qualities and is humble enough to admit I’m right when I am, which is most of the time. I say that, Ali, because what I’m asking of you is going to be hard but, I think, worth it. I always regretted that you gave up law school. I think you would’ve been a terrific lawyer, and as a lawyer you could’ve done far more for those abused women you work with than you do now as a secretary. I know why you didn’t go to law school and think that was the most foolish decision you’ve ever made. I hope you regret it because I certainly do. And I’ll say it: I was right. That Nick wasn’t going to tolerate you stealing his sunshine. You might think it’s too bad you ended up without him, but I say good riddance. So, sweetheart, this is your second chance to get it right. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, which you darn well better do, is to go back to law school. I don’t care where, and I don’t care what you do with your law degree. I just want you to have the chance few of us ever do—to go back and correct a mistake. Here are the terms. Within the next year, you must apply to, be accepted into, and matriculate into an accredited law school. You must graduate. Beyond that, you can do what you like. I’m certainly not going to dictate your whole life for you. You have to make some decisions on your own, after all. Here’s my part of the deal. I will pay for your tuition, books, and a living stipend while you are in law school. On the day you graduate, you will receive a two-million-dollar inheritance. Oh, and one more thing. I know you’ll be overcome with guilt about leaving your job at the shelter. So, to sweeten the pot, in case my wise counsel hasn’t been enough, I will make a one-hundred-thousand-dollar donation to the shelter each year for the three years you are in law school. Good luck, my dear. I believe in you.’”
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There is a great country song about advice you’d give your younger self (Letter to Me by Brad Paisley). Given that my novel, Getting It Right the Second Time Around, is about looking back on a younger self and trying to determine if you can still trust the choices you made when you were younger, I’ve compiled my top ten pieces of advice for my own younger self.
1. Use sunscreen. I do love the look of a great tan, but now that I’m in my early forties, I can definitely see the price I’ve paid for hours at the beach, by the pool, and in the garden without a hat or sunscreen.
2. Don’t worry about who you are going to marry. I spent a lot of time in my twenties worried about finding “the one”. While I do love my husband very much, I don’t believe that we only have a “one” – marriage is much more about working hard to forge a life with another imperfect human being than about magically seeing your true soul mate across a room.
3. Dance with abandon. I love to dance but am often shy when it comes to busting a move on the dance floor. Life is too short to sit out dancing to a great song.
4. Nurture relationships with your siblings. I went off to college when my youngest sister was nine. It was heartbreaking for her to lose her older sister, and I was too excited to start college to notice much. If I had to do it again, I would have spent more time staying involved in the details of her life as she was growing up.
5. Choose your friends well. As I’ve gotten older and moved all over the country, I am happy that I did choose my friends well. Any friend that you can instantly pick up a conversation with after a decade of being apart is a true gem.
6. Don’t get overly focused on finding the “right” school or the “right” job. Life is full of detours and dead-ends – all of which have something to teach you and all of which help you grow. What you do with your opportunities is much more important than the actual opportunities you are given.
7. Expect serendipity. Serendipity is a wonderful blend of luck and opportunity that often leads you to unexpected places. Look for it, celebrate it, and take full advantage of it.
8. Read what you love. When you are in school, you are often told what classics you need to study. This can lead to the false impression that some books are better than others. While this is undoubtedly true, reading is about enjoyment and learning and stretching your mind. Any book that does that for you is a good one. Enjoy.
9. Sleep in while you can. When you have kids, it takes a long time (until they are teenagers) until you can sleep to noon again. Luxuriate in a lazy morning.
10. Don’t let your own fears or beliefs set limits for yourself. You can do more than you think you can, and you are more powerful, talented, and capable than you know. Go ahead and surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.
Physician by day, writer by night. Jennifer’s love of writing grew out of the many meaningful moments shared with patients – some joyful, often emotional, always special. Her initial essays, appearing in medical journals and literary magazines, explore the ups and downs of a medical life. As an avid reader, Jennifer adores a great story, eventually deciding to create her own. The characters are her favorite part of any story she writes. When not stamping out disease, coaxing patients to eat their veggies, or composing the next scene, she enjoys spending time with her four children and stay-at-home husband.
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