Erika Marks’ Forget Me Not


I don’t know what I’m more excited about—being here on Jane’s fabulous blog, or getting the chance to invite y’all back to Magnolia Bay for another romance!

I hope you’re ready for summer, friends, because from where I’m sitting, it has arrived! The breeze is heavy with honeysuckle, the sunset hangs on a little longer in the sky, and the mint is muddled for mojitos. I’m no meteorologist, but I call this falling-in-love weather.

Speaking of love…Who here is a sucker for second-chance love stories?

(*Erika waves wildly from her chair* “Oh, me! Pick me!!”)


Now we all know the saga of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and the phenomenon it became. From all appearances, the author seems to have weathered the media storm quite well—but what if the author wasn’t looking for fame and fortune as an erotica writer, I wondered? What if she never imagined her family and friends would find out what she was writing? And what if they—or her ex-boyfriend—did?

From there FORGET ME NOT was born.


As a writer myself, I am always aware of the effect of my words on my loved ones—all writers are, certainly. But for Mallory, her words belonged to someone else, an alias known only as Farrah Ivory. Until the day her identity is revealed to the world, and the media firestorm that ensues sends her back home to hide—where she finds herself face-to-face with the boyfriend she left behind, Josh Loveless.

Now if you’ve been to Magnolia Bay before, then you already know those irresistible Loveless boys—and Josh is cut from the same sexy Loveless cloth. Josh is my kind of alpha. Strong in body and soul. But he’s no player. To me, there is nothing sexier than a man who knows what—and who—he wants. And Josh wants Mallory. At least, he used to, before she left Magnolia Bay five years earlier to pursue her writing career in New York City. When she goes, he moves on with his life and opens the outdoor adventure store he’s always dreamed of. But what about his heart? Well, he believes he’s moved on with that part of himself too…until Mallory rolls back into town, looking to ride out her scandal, and suddenly everything Josh thought he wanted gets as tangled up as a set of climbing wall ropes.

It certainly doesn’t help matters that everyone in town thinks Josh was the inspiration for Mallory’s rock-climbing, billionaire bad-boy—and ribs him for it mercilessly. And while some men might be flattered by the attention, Josh likes to keep his love life—and his athletic bedroom prowess—private.

For her part, Mallory Reynolds is no shrinking violet. No, ma’am. Yes, she’s embarrassed at all the attention, but she knows her books are as well-written as anyone else’s and while she’s willing to tuck her tail between her legs at first, she’s not about to apologize for her success—especially not to Josh who should know she’s still every bit the same fun-loving, good-hearted woman he fell in love with in high school. Has she changed some? Of course. How could she not?

I loved, too, exploring the theme of personal growth—both as we see ourselves, and as others see us. For Josh and Mallory to find their way back to each other will take more than forgiveness—it will take acceptance of a fundamental truth: we grow and we change. It is our right and, one might even argue in this book, our duty. (Fortunately for Josh and Mallory, their attraction to one another is the one thing that hasn’t changed!)

I hope Josh and Mallory’s second chance at love grows on you, too, friends.

Have you ever found yourself going home again years later? Was it the place you remembered? Were you?

Facebook/Magnolia Bay:


Erika, thank you for sharing with us today!  Readers, be sure to download your copy of Forget Me Not soon.

To help celebrate the release of Forget Me Not, we have a great Erika Marks prize full of good books, gift cards and fun stuff!  For a chance to win, leave a response to Erika’s questions and you’ll be entered!  Contest ends Thursday with winner announced Friday!


  1. Thanks for sharing! 😀
    My neighborhood has changed so much in the years I have been gone… so many people I knew moved away… even my house that I grew up in was recently demolished… it kind of breaks my heart… as for me… there have been some changes over the years, but I am pretty much the same and am sure others would see it.

    1. Colleen, how heart breaking for you to know your old house is gone–it can be so hard to hold on to places, even when they stay put! I love your wisdom that the place can change but the people–and who we are back there–doesn’t have to.

  2. I never returned to my birth place, and probably won’t. Many left to far flung lands and so did I. Your books are memorable.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Elaina! It is amazing how life can take us all to so many different places–so long as the memories remain–which they always do, thankfully:)

  3. I often visit my old home half an hour away. It has been for sale dozens of times since my mom died in 1995. One time, I was talking with the neighbour about the yard, and he said that since nobody was living there, why not go look in the windows at the back? I went back to the back porch/stoop and, totally forgetting that I was now in my fifties with very arthritic knees, jumped down the 3′ stoop. OMG, I can barely climb down off of a kitchen chair, let alone that! Still, my knees didn’t tense up because I totally wasn’t thinking about it, so I was fine.
    Another time, I was visiting another neighbour when there was an open house, so you know I just HAD to go in! It would have been better had I been alone to breathe in the memories, but no. I laughed later when I realized I knew a lot more about that house’s history than she would ever know (like how the trims were all originals).
    The current owner is a friend of my brother’s, and he has offered for us to come visit at any time to see just what he has been fixing up. Little does he realize that I WILL be taking him up on his offer, as I have seen numerous “improvements” through these last twenty years….

    1. Laney, we are kindred spirits! I would have done the same thing, and had to have a peek (or two) I grew up in an old house and as my mother restored it over the years, she and I would always comment on the “layers” of change that were always visible when you started pulling off wallpaper or trim or boards…

  4. I have been back to the house where I grew up … but only once in the last 10 years and that was enough. The house hasn’t changed (and neither has my mother) but I have changed so much!

    1. Cheryl, you raise a great point–how our parents see us when we go home vs, how we are, right? Or how we see our parents! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    1. Kathy, how fascinating! I am going back to the neighborhood where I grew up soon, and will likely see my old home–I am always curious to see what has changed (a ton, of course) and what hasn’t.

  5. I’ve never been more than 10 miles from where I grew up because we’re. Very close family. Mom and dad built a new house 5 minutes away after lots of time and brother moved into the original house because he couldn’t stand for someone else but us to live there. We all have keys to each others places and come and go like we feel like. I don’t think we’ve changed just gotten older. My older sister moved two streets from me and younger moved in with my parents after trying another state were homebodies

    1. Diana, I love your comment and the sentiments within. How special for you all to be so close! There is definitely a timelessness between siblings, isn’t there? My sister and brother and I can revert back to kids VERY quickly around each other;)

  6. Happy Release Day to Erika. I have family and friends that still live in my old neighborhood, so I go back there frequently. Some things never changed, but you do notice the changes especially the “new” people in the neighborhood.

    1. Thank you, Janiec! So great that you get to frequent your old neighborhood–I do too, which I always look forward to. Wishing you a wonderful summer!!

  7. I’ve never really needed to go home again because I’ve always lived in my hometown. Charleston, SC is just too nice to ever leave. =]

  8. I still go home several times a year because my sister still lives there, but it is not the same. The people have all changed over the years and a lot of the family is gone now.

    1. Quilt Lady, I have a similar experience when I go back to my old neighborhood since it’s been a very long time since I–or my family–lived there. I know how lucky I was to grow up in a small town, how close we all were, kids all up and down the street. Good, good memories.:)

  9. I still live in my neighborhood and visit with my mom quite frequently. Nothing has changed.

  10. Hi Erika! I really enjoyed this story. I only have my mother close by (about 30 minutes away). All of my sisters have moved off and I rarely see them.

    1. Hi Janine!! I’m sure your mom is so grateful to have you close. It is so hard when family moves away–even when we are close to them emotionally, life steps in and makes it so hard to see each other. It always amazes me that we have the ability to bridge distances more than ever with air travel and soon on, and yet our schedules are so busy that it seems harder than ever to get together.

      1. That’s true, we do all have busy lives. My husband works 6 days a week, so we don’t have the time to go anywhere even if we wanted to. But his boss did surprise the guys and giving them a three day weekend for Memorial Day.

  11. It’s a 3 hour trip to my old home. Since we don’t have family there, we seldom return. But there’s a group of people who live/lived there on Facebook which keeps us up on what’s happening back there!

  12. it is about a 3 hour drive to my “home”. we go there at least a few times a year. more often it is in May and August. it changes every time we go back. i haven’t lived there in 32 years, so it has grown a lot!

  13. This story sounds so good. I like reading going home stories because I have always lived in San Diego county. My mom still lives in the house that I grew up in and I always enjoy going there to see her which is a few times a week.

    1. Thanks, Linda! I too love stories of people coming home, and what transpires when their current life collides with their past. How fantastic that your mom is still in the house you grew up in!

  14. I only live an hour from my hometown, and I get there fairly often, so no surprises for me.

    Congratulations on the new release!

  15. I made the mistake of going back to my grandparents’, whom I adored, house, only to find it had been turned into a parking lot.
    I made the same mistake returning to my mini-farm where my twins spent their youngest years, only to find it had been turned into a subdivision. Again, I cried. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson but I returned to one other home I’d owned in AK when the boys were youngsters only to find the current owners took out the windows!!!! and put solid walls in their place. No more view of the mountains….SMH!
    Since then, I do NOT return to places I’ve loved as child, young woman and now, mature chronologically 😉 woman!

    1. Oh Kathleen, no!!! I would have bawled too! Those are the times we DON’T want to go back–and make us treasure our memories even more dearly. I studied historic preservation so I am always heartbroken when I see old architecture bulldozed for lots and shopping malls. Recently here an old farmhouse was being torn down for a huge development and they took forever doing it–I watched for MONTHS because I had to drive by the site regularly and it broke my heart.

  16. Forget Me Not sounds really good! 🙂 I’ve always lived in the same area my whole life, so I’ve never had that kind of chance to go back home to see how things have changed. But I’m also lucky to have all the people I love close by too!

    1. Amanda, you are right, my dear–you are so very lucky to have those dear ones near, and clearly you appreciate it!:) So glad the story sounds like one you might like!

  17. Every time I make the trek to Palo Alto, I always drive by my childhood home. On the outside, it still looks the same–just fresh paint. I was able to see photos of the inside on Zillow when it was up for sale. It has changed quite a bit. There’s no way that I can afford my old home. I always feel nostalgic but do get over it after a few days.

    1. Bonnie, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who goes on Zillow looking for interior shots of houses I’ve lived in–I can’t help myself! And I too get nostalgic (or territorial, as in, How could you repaint my beautiful red bathroom?)

  18. My mom is back in my home town so I have to go back occasionally. It hasn’t changed much but I have. To be honest, I feel a deep sense of doom and depression when I cross the town line…I don’t like going back.

    1. Kirsten, thank you for sharing that because I think that is also the flip side of going home sometimes–I know there are places I’ve lived where going back brings with it baggage I find hard to shake off, no matter how much I’ve moved on or changed. Places can hold a lot, good and not so good. Especially I think if we’ve changed a great deal from the person we were when we lived there. It can be tough, I agree.

  19. I can’t wait to read this book! I’ve literally come full circle. I love one block from where I gre uo. I go to the same church I grew up in. When I dream my house is always the one I grew up in. I live very much in the now and have so many new friends and family–husband kids, etc but my roots are deep here and it is a very comforting feeling when life gets a little much. Congrats on your new book and as always great give away!!!

    1. Thank you, Laurie! And I love the joy in your words! How special to have that connection and that continuity. I have often thought how much I wish my family could move to my old hometown–it is no longer the same place, but I have such fond memories of its sense of community and spirit.

  20. I’ve lived in the same place all my life so no going home stories for me but I do love reading them!!

    1. Bette, you and me both, my dear! I think that’s what I love about writing the Magnolia Bay series–it’s going home again EVERY story;)–and I never get tired of that journey back!

  21. We moved away for a while when my husband was in the Army and I missed it so much. I was so excited to move home again. Once we got back I really couldn’t remember why I missed it so much.

    1. Laurice, our hearts and memories are funny things, aren’t they? I often think we miss things more when they aren’t in our lives–or maybe memory is sweeter? I think there’s a story in here, what do you think?;)

  22. I am born and raised in my home town of San Antonio, TX. Love my city and all its quirks.

  23. I love second chance stories and believe in second chances. You are a new to me author. thanks for sharing

  24. I grew up in Southern California, we moved to Indiana when I was in junior high. I have not been back to California since. I would love the chance to take my girls to the places I grew up. I know the last home we lived in was destroyed in a mudslide about 4 months after we moved.

    1. Jayme, my family lived in Indiana for a while–small world! I understand your wanting to take your girls to CA to see where you grew up. I feel the same with my daughters–and they have seen lots of the places I landed, but not all of them yet:)

  25. I have lived in six different states, and have learned that “home” is where your loved ones are, right now, in the present. Where I’ve come from stems from my parents, and of course, my birthplace, but my home is right here, right now, in PA with my husband, kids, and parents. So no, I can’t say I’ve ever gone back to my original home! 😉

    1. Liz, my husband and I are ALWAYS saying that to our daughters. I have always moved around my whole adult life (I love moving, I’m crazy, I know;))and I firmly believe that’s true. Where family is, that’s home.

  26. Went back to the old neighborhood. So many changes. Thou could still picture some things that was there when I was a kid. Lots of great memories and hope who lives there now is building their own great memories. Me, I am sure I have changed a lot too. Since it was a good 50 years ago 🙂

    1. Patty, I loved your sentiment that you hope whoever lives there now is building THEIR own memories. It is a cycle, isn’t it? A lovely cycle. Thank you for that point!

  27. Happ New Release! I live in So California now, but I was born and raised in Indy. For the last several years I have gone back to help take care of my gram. She passed away a year and half ago and I have made one trip and getting ready to make another. So much seems the same, but I feel very different and there is definitely a disconnect. Love the story just finished it today.

    1. Thank you, sweet Kimberly! (And I didn’t know you had IN ties too! We were there for several years:)) I appreciate your word, disconnect, because there’s such truth to that. Time really can make us aware of what has changed (ourselves, the space, etc) and yet there is still that pull of nostalgia:)

      1. I left Indy 4 days after my 19th birthday and moved to Colorado for a few years and then CA. I do enjoy seeing some of my friends and spending time with some of my relatives, though I feel that my home is here. But yes it is fun to remember and visit places from the past especially restaurants. =)

  28. Can’t wait to read the new book. No, but I am going home next year on vacation. It has been a long 13 years. I’m excited to see everyone and how much it has changed.

  29. It had been about 10 years and I went by my old high school. I literally screamed because of all of the changes. I scared my friends to death. There was nothing but the high school there when I went to school, now there’s a large gas station/convenience store on one corner and a drugstore on the second corner and across the street a movie theater and restaurant. Totally blew me away.

  30. I have gone back to my old house. Well outside of it. Brought back some good memories and some bad. But you have to take the bad with the good.

    1. Sarah, that is so true. I think from a distance, we can be selective about our memories–but when we are back in that space, all bets are off. It’s intense and it’s full-throttle. As you wisely say, you take the good with the bad.

  31. I know that people tend to take that saying literally…..but what it means is you can’t go home again because every interaction with another human being changes you, so you can never be the same person you were the last time you were home…..whenever I go home I always feel differently about the place I grew up! But I always love my family, exactly the same!

    1. Debbie, yes! Our love for one another doesn’t change (which is what Mallory and Josh find out;)) but it is SO true that you can never TRULY go home again–at least I think so–and that’s what makes the journey so interesting!

  32. This is a great premise! We all have things we do that would be a tad….embarrassing if others found out. I can’t wait to read this! As for me, I have no intention of ever going back to where I was raised. If I had a Josh waiting for me, however, I would definitely consider it!

    1. Love it! I agree that having a Josh to come home to might make the transition a bit more, ahem, smooth…;) Thanks so much for stopping in, my dear!

  33. I frequently go back to where I grew up. It is still the same one light small town. Our old house has been removed and is barely recognizable. I am definitely not the same person I left as.

    1. Melissa, how amazing that your town has kept its small scale–I think very often the more our towns stay the same, the more aware we are of how much WE’VE changed…

  34. Happy release day!

    I go visit home once a year. Some things change over time, some don’t. People change or they don’t. I am a changed person for sure – having changed the country of residence, the language I speak every day and many more things.

    1. Tatiana (your name is beautiful, btw!) thank you for your wishes!! Another powerful point you make–that people change or they don’t. I always tell my daughters that I am a work-in-progress, and I truly mean it!:)

  35. I can honestly say I haven’t because I never had a steady home we moved a lot but I am not repeating that I’m now halfway through buying my first home for my kids to have a steady home

  36. We moved away from home 16 years ago. All of our family is back there. It was hard at first, but we made new friends in the community and church. Our kids are now grown and they consider this their home. We are here to stay.

    1. Hello, dear Shari! It is so hard to leave home–I know. But when your children return to where you are, that IS home, and it sounds like you’ve built up such a wonderful and loving community where you are. They are lucky to have you there!:)

  37. I only live 15 minutes away from my home town…and my parents are still living in our house. But I am both the same and different than I was when I lived in that house. Congrats on your newest book, Erika!!

  38. No we moved so much that I don’t really feel there is a family home and don’t feel like I am missing anything by never looking back. Can’t wait to read your new book. Congrats on release day!!!!!

  39. I’ve never gone too far from where I grew up. I’m still in the same county I was born in. I have gone to a house we lived in along time ago, which was remodeled. I personally am always going through internal remodels. Each one I’ve gone through has brought me closer to the person I want to be! Thanks for insight into Forget Me Not, it looks great!

    1. Tanya, I LOVE that term, internal remodels. You need to copyright that one, my dear–that is so spot-on. Truly! As I said in an earlier comment, that’s me when I say I’m a work-in-progess–always changing, always growing!

  40. I have gone home many times, but not as often as I’d like. My mom still lives in the home I grew up in and I still refer to it as home, though it does feel different now. The house was gutted and remodeled and my dad is gone. The biggest difference for me, though, is the loss of all the trees lining the road leading home. It always felt like they were hugging me and welcoming me home! This trees were cut down during the time my dad was dying of cancer, which is probably why I feel the loss so much.

    1. Oh Kelly, what an amazing image that is of the trees hugging you and welcoming you home. I can only imagine how hard that must have been, and how hard it must continue to be when you return. I find it so tough to let go of places that hold such deep significance to me–when they change, it’s as if they are taking a part of me with them. I so appreciate you sharing that with me.

  41. I never really left. I live not far away from the home I grew up in and my parents still own it.

    1. Amber, it is such a treat to hear from everyone and it’s been a lovely balance between those of us who have moved away and those who have remained near. Thank you for adding to the discussion! Hope you have a great summer!!

  42. I still live in my hometown and was only gone for a couple of years while my husband was in the Navy. The street that I grew up on has changed a lot. All of the neighbors I grew up with are gone now and I don’t know the folks that have moved into those houses. My sister and I are in the process of cleaning out my parents home as they are both deceased. It’s sad going through the things at the house, but it has to be done.

    1. Anita, I’m just so glad you and your sister have each other to face that impossible challenge together. May the process bring you both some peace and reminders of good, loving memories. Hugs to you.

  43. Nope, I’ve lived in the Montreal area all my life. I do love second chance love stories though…a certain familiarity mixed with new feelings, a change of tempo.

    1. Kathryn, I love that part of it too. I think we all wonder at some point, “What If…?” so it’s a fun story to play with and watch someone else try it out!;)

  44. Yes I believe in 2nd chance love, I’ve lived in the same area my whole life so I can’t say that I ever came back after years of being gone. It’s changed in front of eyes. I am pretty much the same person as I’ve always been

  45. I never got far from home so I watched the town progress in real time but I moved back into my childhood home and boy am I a different person! It took a long time for me to feel like this place was home again. I never realized how much I had grown into my own person until I literally moved back home!

    1. Amy, isn’t it amazing how going back to “familiar” places can show us just how much different we are? The way we see our childhood homes, the parts we never paid attention to, or the places we spent an inordinate amount of time in!;) I think about the wall next to my bed growing up and how well I knew that wallpaper, how many daydreams I built looking at that pattern! It kind of makes my head spin!;)

  46. Happy release day! I went back home for my grandfathers memorial service and it was bittersweet and to met up with old friends, some were married and their wives were giving me dirty looks and I was the one that went up to them and introduce my self, that’s who I am, they felt threatened, it was nice seeing them that wasn’t the reason why I went back home, the house seem so small and when I was little it felt like a mansion. I had just goodtimes at home but without my mom and grnadparents its just not the same,

    1. Carole, thank you for your wishes, my dear! That’s another part of the coming home story I love to explore–how our old friends (and ex’s!) try to absorb us back again–not always smoothly! I love too how the space you remember as so large was scaled down. I had the same experience recently at a relative’s house. It shocked me how much smaller it was than I remembered!

  47. I never got to go home again because after I left my parents were divorced and moved out of the family home. The rest of the family all moved away and now there is no one left in our home town. My sisters and I visit sometimes. Funny how life goes.

    1. Renee, it is funny, isn’t it? I always say that to my daughters, that you really can never say never because as much as we plan and set goals, life will always step in. I hope you have a lovely summer to look forward to, my dear.

  48. My old home place is gone. We owned 20 acres and it’s now part of my old high school, church and a vacant lot. I look at it when I go and visit, and the memories always swamp me and it breaks my heart. But I’m blessed because they are such wonderful ones.

    1. Angie, what an amazing development for you all–but I so appreciate you saying that they are good memories. And I’m so glad for you for that:) Hugs.

  49. Well, we have gone back by the house I lived at from 4th grade to beginning of sophomore year, and also by my grandmother’s house in the same town. Those houses looked so much smaller than what I remembered. And the town has changed some as it’s grown southward to meet the interstate.
    We can’t take the kids back to where we lived when they were little. Both the housing units / areas (Air Force base) have been torn down. And the one area has had new housing built by even the old roads were totally changed so nothing but the school looks the same.

    1. Donna, it’s hard isn’t it, because we want to show our children, and then time has marched on and so much changes. I will face that this summer myself.

  50. Couple of different ways I can answer this as I (and part of my family) were born overseas and that is “home” in ways the US is not. (Just as the US is home in ways that my birthplace is not.) Then there is the fact that, while I have spent the better part of my life in Florida, mom and I have moved a couple of times while I went to school and each place was ‘home’ in a different way. With the last move (w/my step-turned-adoptive-dad), we’ve been in our current home about 26 yrs.

    I have been back to the place of my birth (and where I had spent the first few years of my life) several times. I’ve only a few flashes of memory from ‘back in the day’, so I can’t really compare to that and a lot of the places were unfamiliar to me the first time I went back.

    Quite a few years went by between the first time I went back for a longer stay and the second longer trip (with a shorter trip in between) and yes, then I did notice differences, but there was a sameness as well. As I found my way around, I found things coming back and a certain confidence in doing things. The folks I know – and who are around, for the most part, with a few who have passed on – are the same but different at the same time. But then, so am I – I’ve grown older (just like they have), my perceptions have changed – of the place, of them, my own reactions to some things.

    Both main places are home (and yet not) in different ways (as are the other homes we lived in) and I feel blessed in many ways being able to know both.

    1. Yvonne, thank you so much for sharing that deeply personal response. How wonderful that you’ve remained connected to both places–because in today’s world, it can so hard to stay connected to ONE let alone more than that. I think sometimes staying in touch with an old home can, in its own way, help us move toward the future–or at least, understand how far we’ve come. Best to you, my dear.

  51. I’m from Massachusetts, but have been living in Jersey for 44 years. My parents built their own home in 1952 and stayed living there for many years. My Dad passed in 1995 and it became more difficult each year for my mother to maintain the place. She sold our family home in 2006 and moved into senior housing and has a cute little apartment. I drove by our family home after it was sold and the new owners took me thru the house. It was a bittersweet moment, as so many things had been changed/remodeled. There is no longer a place for my family and I to stay when we go to visit and the longing to stay at our homestead has gone. Change over the years is inevitable, but it saddens my heart to know that I can never go ” home ” anymore.

    1. Ruth, I have wanted so many times to ask the current owners of my old house to take me on a tour–maybe next time I will, because I love to hear stories of people doing just that. Even though I know, as you so wisely pointed out, so many things will look SO altered. So glad your mom is in a comfortable home–I always think about how hard it must be for our parents to leave the places where they raised us, how deep those memories must run.

  52. I feel you can go home again. But as times are changing things change and it isnt what you remember. Even small towns. As a person grows i would hope they dont stay the same. I know i am not the same person i was when i left after high school

    1. Misty, that is exactly the sentiment my hero Josh needs to get to in this story–otherwise how can he see his ex in a fresh light? I think even when we stay in the place where we grew up, we change in some ways. It’s inevitable, even though we may not always recognizes those changes for ourselves.

  53. This is next on my to-read pile. I have lived in the same town for almost 40 years–since we moved in 3rd grade. I didn’t even go away to college.

    1. Gretchen, thank you! I hope you think I do justice to my series’ small town. It reminds me so much of the town where I grew up (just not on the water;))

  54. I have gone back home and it is the same. The same people and same houses. I did have to move home for awhile after my divorce, but could only live with my month for a month before she drove me crazy.

    1. Chris, I think even parents and children who adore each other end up getting on one anothers’ nerves when we move home after being away. You are not alone, my dear!

  55. Hi Erika and Jane!! I did move back home after having been away ten years. We’ve been back for five years now and since no one knows me by my married name we are treated like the new people, even though I went to and graduated from the school district my kids attend!! I’m definitely not the exact same as when I left, but my kids are following in my footsteps with earning awards and being members of our chapter of National Honor Society. 🙂

    1. Jennifer, hello! What a neat perspective to get to come back as a new person, truly, but still have all the familiarity of knowing a place. Congratulations to your kiddos! That’s so impressive!! Bet they are looking forward to summer!:)

  56. This book sounds amazing!

    I left home for college and then internships in D.C. returning home to the Midwest was eye-opening. Things that had always seemed the same and comfortable were now completely different. I grew up so much during my time away that gojng ho e and adjusting to life again was very hard.

    1. Michelle, thank you! College is such a remarkable time, I think, no matter where we go–and I remember those first few visits home after being away at school and feeling that same sense of readjustment. You really don’t expect it!

  57. I have not gone back to the small town where I grew up, I have no desire to. The folks I knew back then are all gone now. Departed or moved on. I do keep in touch with old friends and family.

    While I haven’t returned home, I like stories where someone comes home and discovers a love they lost or finds a new one. There is such depth, and tension in revisiting what you once left or lost.

    1. Katie, I feel the same way. It’s definitely one of my favorite plots to write–and read. Even if we don’t go back to our old haunts, we can definitely appreciate how that might feel. Have a great summer!

  58. i have gone back to where I grew up, and it’s not the same at all and I have changed too. Discovered home is where your heart is, and you’ll always have the memories

  59. I get to visit my parents this summer, I find it different each time I go home. I get to visit with my best friend, hang out with family. It’s wonderful to have the chance to be able to visit and reminisce.

  60. Wow sounds like an awesome premise for this story. Can’t wait to see how you worked it all out! Congrats on the new book! I hope it’s a great success for you!

    As for going home…I, like Jane, came from Visalia. Me and my family moved away over 20 years ago, yeah it has changed. Drastically! No I can’t say I am the same (other than the obvious…much older…LOL!!! ), in fact I’m both the same and vastly different! Life can and will change us all, yet at our core we are not changed much. We learn new things about ourselves, grow a deeper understanding of our core beliefs…and develop a clearer way of expression. Hopefully! Sometimes we can visit and sync with our younger lives…other times we find that it’s just time to move on. Maybe our sense of what is home changes, but where we grew up remains the same because it is alive within our memories!

    Congrats again! Thank You to you and Jane for entertaining us with your writing…it brings much Joy to your readers!

    1. Gayle, thank YOU for such kid words! And for adding your thoughts to this great discussion. I love this idea of a change in our sense of what home is–I totally agree that that changes as we grow, absolutely.

  61. I have not, yet, gone home. I hope to, and know I have changed, but I think I have grown stronger and more confident. And my best friends are there, so I hope it is soon, so I can see how much it has changed, and be able to spend time with my friends, and have our kids hang together, too.

    1. Kerry, I hope for you it can happen too! I have a feeling it will–if you want it badly enough, I know you will get there. Hope it’s a wonderful time when it happens:)!

  62. Honestly, I have never really left home. I still live in the same house, in the same town I grew up in.

  63. I am soooo lookinf forward to reading this book!! A couple of summers ago we stopped in the town where my family lived during my high school & college + years (My parents moved away 32 years ago across the country.) It was on our route to meet some friends. I felt lost and out of place. Lots of changes, busier than I remembered. It didn’t feel like home. Doubt I’ll go back again. At least through facebook I’ve reconnected with lots of high school classmates so I can keep up on what’s going on back there.

    1. Hi Eileen! Thank you! I so hope you enjoy it! Facebook is such a great way to stay aware of past places and old friends, isn’t it? Sometimes it just isn’t possible to get back to our old stomping grounds, so getting a peek at where/how everyone is now is a real gift of modern technology, for sure! Happy summer, my dear!

  64. I returned home feeling a lot less confident, depressed from divorce and the lack of trust from bad experiences was really rough. Time had stood still when I returned home-all still the same old thing. It was I who changed and it took years to forgive myself and reclaim my spunk and view on life as positive. Was different from going to college because I never really moved out; it was a change of scenery. The comfort of being at “home” and time to heal is what helped me to move forward.

    1. Patty, thank you for sharing that–I too had a time of returning home after a break-up when I was in my mid-twenties and it was a hard transition but ultimately that familiarity did help my healing too, so I very much appreciate your comment. Wishing you a warm and sunny summer.

  65. Yup, fell in love in college, got married, got cheated on, divorced, and moved back home in the space of 3 years.. Lived with my widowed mom for 5 years.. it wasn’t always fun, but I was grateful to have someplace safe to go.

  66. Hi all! Just wanted to thank Erika for being a guest on my blog, and such a wonderful guest, too. I love how she took time to chat with each of you!

    The winner for the Erika Marks giveaway is from #17 Katheen B.

    Kathleen, can you please email me privately with your mail address and I’ll get Erika’s prize out in the mail to you?
    Happy weekend everyone. Hope it will be safe, relaxing and happy

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