Kayley Carson thought she had it all...married to the love of her life, a great job, and a baby on the way. Then one day, her life changes forever when she loses her husband in a tragic accident. No longer sure how to navigate life after her enormous loss, Kayley clings to her newborn baby, her family, and her friends to keep herself living.
When she meets someone that challenges her belief that she's better off alone, she has to decide if she is capable of letting him in after swearing she was never going to love anyone the same way again.
She's not the only one with a painful past. He is struggling with trust issues after a previous relationship went horribly wrong. After a terrible misunderstanding brings out both of their insecurities, will the painful memories of the past keep them both from living again?
** the book will be free for one day only on 11/4 only**
LL Collins is a 30-something teacher from Florida. She's a wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend. Her love of writing has found a home in the self-publishing world. Look for her debut novel, Living Again, coming October 4th to eBook and paperback, and her second novel, Reaching Rachel, in January 2014. LL has been writing since she was old enough to write. Always a story in her head, she finally decided to let the characters out and start writing and try to make her lifelong dreams of becoming an author come true. She has been a teacher for over ten years, a wife for 14, and a mom to two boys, 11 and 9.
20 Fun Facts~
1. I'm a full time elementary school teacher as my "real" job
2. I'm married to my high school sweetheart (we met when I was 16)
3. I am mom to two boys, 9 and 11
4. I'm a procrastinator and work best under pressure
5. I love to shop on Black Friday just for the craziness and fun of spending time with my girls. It's a yearly tradition.
6. I've never lived anywhere but Florida
7. I named my little sister after a character in the Facts of Life. I was four :)
8. I wrote Living Again in under two months
9. My original major in college was Occupational Therapy, but I went back to my love-- English/ Creative Writing not long after starting my first anatomy class
10. I wrote a series when I was a kid called "Camp Sticks"
11. I graduated from Florida State University and have been a lifelong NOLE fan. I bleed garnet and gold.
12. I'm a big Honda lover. I've owned six of them in my life.
13. I am seriously addicted to my iPhone (and Facebook)
14. My dream would be to write full time and hope that someday that goal can be attained.
15. I have several friends that I have had for 20+ years that are still HUGE parts of my life
16. I didn't like coffee- at all- until seven years ago. Now I can't live without it
17. We have a serious love of Moe's (WELCOME TO MOE'S)
18. Target and I are BFF's. However, my wallet (and my hubby) disagree
19. Before I became a teacher, my best friend and I wanted to open our own bridal shop
20. Publishing my first book has been a complete and total amazing experience and it has surpassed my wildest dreams.
Excerpt #1- Alex~
Kayley took a deep breath and pushed open the door, not ready for what she was about to see but needing to see with her own eyes that her Alex was not there, not coming back. She pushed the door shut behind her, not allowing her eyes to travel the room to find him. She could see the bed out of the corner of her eye and knew he was there, but she wasn’t ready to look. She leaned against the door, breathing heavily. What was she thinking? She couldn’t see him like this.
Just like that, she felt him. She felt Alex near her, and her knees almost buckled. She couldn’t explain why she felt that way, could never tell anyone why she thought he was there, but she felt his presence like she felt her own. He was part of her soul; maybe that is why she thought she could feel him here, in this room. She slid down the door and sat on the floor, her chin resting on her knees. She now could see the end of the bed and Alex’s feet sticking up under the covers. She stared at them for what seemed like an eternity, trying to get the courage to stand up and see him for the last time.
Finally, she slowly got up off of the floor. Still averting her eyes, she headed towards the bed that held the love of her life. Her breath came in shallow spurts as she tried to will herself to look at him. Her peripheral vision told her that he was laying there with his arms to his sides and the blanket pulled up to his broad chest. Kayley closed her eyes and stepped closer to the bed, reaching her hands out to grip the railing of the bed so she didn’t run into it. When her hands made contact with the cold metal rails, she sucked her breath in. Open your eyes, she willed herself. Kayley knew that opening them and looking at Alex was a life altering moment. She would never again be the same. She cracked her eyes open, his face coming into view. She willed herself to open her eyes the rest of the way, and when she finally did, she locked her eyes on Alex’s handsome face. He looked- perfect. Peaceful. There was bruising and scrapes on his face, neck, and collarbone, and his head was wrapped in gauze from his surgery, but it was him. Alex. He was laying here just like he was sleeping. His full lips were red, his dark eyelashes fanned across his cheeks. She scanned his broad shoulders and muscular chest and stomach, covered by the blanket but she knew his body like her own. She reached her hand out and touched his hand, briefly, then pulled back, shocked. How could he feel like her Alex, but not be there anymore? She stared at his left hand where the imprint was there of his wedding band, but the jewelry itself wasn’t there anymore. A sob escaped her lips as she realized why- they wouldn’t leave a wedding ring on someone who wasn’t alive anymore.
Kayley’s body shook as her eyes travelled back to Alex’s beautiful face, the face that she had loved for so long now, she could hardly remember a time in her life without him. That face had kissed her so many times, smiled at her, loved her. She reached her hand out again and caressed his face, his lips, his eyes, his beautiful cheekbones. She leaned her face over him and she swore she could still smell the aftershave that he wore and she loved so much. Tears dripped from her eyes onto his face. She wiped them gently away. She leaned down and kissed his lips one more time. They felt just like him, just like home. Her body shuddered as she rested her forehead on his for one last time.
“Alex,” she whispered. “Why, Alex? Why did they take you away from me? It’s not fair, Alex. It’s not fair! You just look like you are sleeping. Wake up, Alex! Wake up!”
We start off with the beautiful Kayley Carson who's pregnant with her 1st child. She doesn't know she's having because her and her husband didn't want to know. They wanted to be surprised. And, they were so beyond thrilled to be having their 1st child. If only it were that easy.
Kayley's world went from being fantastic to everything crumbling down around her. She got the phone call that nobody wants. Her husband Alex was involved in a terrible car accident. After she rushed to the hospital she was told shortly after her husband had passed away.
While she's at the funeral she's a wreck. She can't imagine how she is suppose to love without Alex. Kasey is devastated that her unborn child will never get to meet Alex. She makes a vow to life,breathe her unborn child. And, that includes swearing off love!! Kayley gave a eulogy at Alex's funeral that had me crying hysterical!!!
Shortly after she gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl. Who she called Alexis Kayley Carson. Who she called Lexi for short. The next year was a complete fog for Kayley. Looking at Lexi was like looking at Alex. Kayley cried constantly. Her parents and best friends Emily & Rachel were her rocks. She relied on them for everything. Kayley really, really did have a EXCELLENT support team.
On the year of Alex's death, Kayley decided it was time.... Time to move forward. Kayley & Alexis along with all of her and Alex's family anf friends went to the beach with Alex's ashes and set him free. Kayley also took her wedding & engagement ring off.
On Alexis's 1st birthday, Kayley had the 2nd worst day in her life. Alexis got sick and had to be rushed to the ER. That's when she meets Dr. Ben Nichols. Emily names him Dr. Yummy & that sticks thru the whole story. LOL.. BOTH Ben & Kayley feel an instant connection. But, Kayley is still very much raw. And Ben... Ben's been burned and been burned bad. But, when he looks at Kayley & Alexis none of that matters. When he looks at them he sees home. He feels complete.
After struggling back & forth with feeling guilty. Along with her best friend Emily Kayley decides to jump in. Now I won't go much further simply because this book was long and had a lot in it. It had a lot of ups & downs. Some of the downs you'll scream at your book hoping they'll hear you. I know because I did it a bunch of times. I was literally in love with little Alexis!! Every time I read what she did & said I'd smile. People thought I was crazy because one minute I'm smiling. The next I'm crying.
This is L.L. Collins debut novel. And, I'm honored to be able to read it 1st. It was such a great story, with characters that I really connected with. I gave it 4 stars because I felt some of it was repetitive & a little dragged out. But, other then that EXCELLENT!!! I'm waiting for her next book!!!
"I love you. I miss you with every fiber of my body. I want you to be here right now, with me, as I'm about to meet our baby. You were my soul mate. How am I supposed to do this without you? I miss you so much. How did this happen to us? We were so happy... so happy..."
"I understand you're scared. You lost a lot. You thought you were with the one man you were going to stay with forever and he's gone. I get that. But please, baby. Please. Give me a chance to show you he wasn't the only one that can love you."
"I want to make love to you, Kayley. For me, doing this with you isn't about sex. I want to show you that I love you. So please, don't doubt that this is very real for me, too. I love you, and I'm going to give myself to you, if you will have me."
Playlist for Living Again
Jason Mraz- I Won’t Give Up
Jason Mraz- Lucky
Hunter Hayes- Wanted
Hunter Hayes- Cry With You
Florida Georgia Line- Stay
Maroon 5- Sad
Phillip Phillips- Gone, Gone, Gone
Labrinth- Beneath Your Beautiful
Brad Paisley- Then
Blake Shelton- God Gave Me You
Blake Shelton- Mine Would Be You
Kelly Clarkson- Standing In Front of You
Tim McGraw- My Little Girl
Tim McGraw/ Faith Hill- It’s Your Love
Faith Hill- There You’ll Be
Rascal Flatts- What Hurts the Most
Rascal Flatts- Bless the Broken Road
Justin Timberlake- Mirror
Heartland- I Loved Her First
Lady Antebellum- Need You Now
Lady Antebellum- Ready to Love Again
Lady Antebellum- As You Turn Away
Dave Matthews Band- You and Me
Celine Dion- Alone
David Guetta & Usher- Without You
Daughtry- Start of Something Good
Adele- One and Only
Garden State- Let Go
Jason Derulo- Marry Me
Chantel Kreviazuk- Feels Like Home
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