The Story Behind Homecoming by Meg Bellamy


I have the honor of having a lovely fellow rose on the ranch today. Please welcome Meg Bellamy! Let’s sit back and let her tell us how Homecoming came to be.


When family illness forces Julie Loring to return home to North Carolina from New York, she intends to make the speediest possible escape. Her hope to avoid seeing old love Dan Williams is dashed the first night back in their small town…

Still in love with Julie, not knowing why she ran off twelve years before, Dan wants her as his wife and mother to his child. Though Julie warns she’s not changed, neither can deny the sparks that fly between them.

But Julie left with a secret — one she’s certain will destroy any chance they might have to make a life together.

This is actually the latest version of a story that has deep roots for me — several decades deep. Though I now live in the San Francisco Bay Area, scratch my surface and I’m still the Jersey Girl I was when I grew up, first married and had my children. While I still lived in New Jersey I remember reading a news story about a couple somewhere in the South. After they’d broken up, they discovered she was expecting. She wanted to end the pregnancy, but he wanted her to have the baby and give him custody. At the point I read the story, the ex-lovers were facing off against each other in court.

I never did find out how that case came out, but I thought about it a lot. How would the woman have felt if she had to go through with the pregnancy and turn the child over to its father? Was there any chance that the child would bring the couple back together? So many questions and so many ways for that story to turn out.

In Homecoming Julie is very young and very determined to escape the poverty she grew up with. She’s so determined that she’s willing to turn her back on the deep love she and Dan share. She’s so determined that she tears herself away from her roots, resolved never to return. Then one day she has no choice and must return to the home she despises.


“Let’s walk.” Dan nodded toward the path to the meadow now lit by the setting sun. “Holler if you get cold.”

“Why’d you want us to come out here?” Julie asked.
“I don’t want to give the gossips in town any ammunition.”
 “You might as well try to stop the sun from rising in the east.” Her laugh brief and dry, she added, “Tell me about your daughter, Trish.”
Dan stopped for a moment and pulled out his wallet. “Here’s her latest school picture.”
Julie shivered. What she saw stunned her. If she didn’t know better, she’d swear to be looking at an old photo of herself. Though the child had Dan’s coloring and his eyes, the chin, mouth, nose and the defiant expression were familiar. For a moment, Julie wondered if by some bizarre alternate universe kind of twist, this was the child she’d lost.

Dan seemed to anticipate her reaction. “She’s also built like you — and Mary Lou.”

“Does it sound self-serving to say she’s beautiful?” She handed the photo back to Dan.
“Just honest. And that’s what I’d like to have between us now and always. Honesty.”
No way could he know the secrets she’d kept. How could she tell him now?
“So,” he went on, “talk. The sixty-four dollar question. Why did you leave the way you did?”
She shook her head. “Really? That’s your question after all these years?”


 Buy at The Wild Rose Press:

Find Meg: and on Twitter @megbellamy

That’s all I’m going to say for now. Having the chance to write an ending to that newspaper story I once read is one of the reasons why I love being a writer. 

Thanks Meg. What a great story! I love your cover, too. 

How about you? Do you love to speculate and supply endings to the unfinished stories that come your way?

You heard her. Tell us how your endings come about. Inquiring minds need to know!


About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters and wife to a wonderful man of 35+ years. I'm also an avid seamstress, polymer clay artisan and die-hard crafter, always coming up with things to make with, and for, my six granddaughters and two grandsons. Check out my craft site when you have a moment. I'm also a small online business owner of Okie fLips on Etsy and Poshmark (eBay/Merkari coming soon), and I'm a published author of sensual romance. I write about stubborn men and women who don't take no for an answer, and there's always that golden HEA. Cowboys and first responders are my favorite contemporary heroes to write about. My light paranormal heroes are strong men ready to protect their women--not that they need protecting, since they are capable of caring for themselves.

Posted on 10/11/2011, in inspirations, The Wild Rose Press and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. I, too, wanted to keep reading more. I have to know what happens and will definitely be getting this.

    Great job and good luck.


  2. Great interview ladies! Love how you came up with the idea of your story. I find a lot of mine the same ways…from something I read in a magazine, see on the news, hear from a friend of a friend of a friend.
    Loved your cover and your excerpt. Sounds like a terrific read with a dash of mystery.
    Congrats on your story!


    • Thanks so much, Christine! I’m especially fascinated to see all the different stories people come up with when they start from the same stimulus! I expect we ourselves would come up with different story lines from the same source at different times.

      Thanks again —


  3. My tbr list is towering over my head. Dare I stick one more up there? Of course.

    Thanks everyone for stopping in. I spoke to Meg and she will be in a little later. Please keep coming by!


    • Hi, Calisa,

      Just a brief stop home between coffee with one friend and lunch with another. Don’t I sound like the social butterfly? Then, later, I’ll be working with a student.

      Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog and your TBR pile!



  4. Wow, this story sounds wonderful, Meg! Anxious to read more. Guess I’ll be putting it on my TBR list.


    • Thanks so much! As one with an immense TBR pile, I’m thrilled to know my story will find a home in someone else’s!

      Happy reading —


  5. Loved the excerpt and definitely want to know the story. Don’t all beginnings and endings to stories begin with the simple questions, “what if?” I loved writing my own endings to books/movies whose endings left me unsatisfied. In my inexperienced and possibly arrogant mind I thought “I can do better.” Funny thing is, I’ve gone back over some of those fanfiction writings and believe there are a few that would have been better! *sigh* Thanks for sharing Meg and Calisa for always being the perfect host.


    • Thank you, Joelene. It’s fun to look at different premises, sometimes even different scenes within a story and imagine them done differently. LOL, this works well with movies too. What would I do if this were my world… I love the infinity of possibilities that opens up.



  6. Wow! I really love that cover. It’s beautiful and different (in a good way) 🙂
    The premise is fantastic. As someone else said, yet anther wonderful story to add to my TBR list.


  7. Good morning Meg and Calisa:)

    I enjoyed the post, and found the storyline very interesting:)…It’s timely also… many women are making difficult choices in the last few decades. I think a lot of women are trying to use their heads, as well as their hearts in many areas. It makes for a good story doesn’t it?:)
    Congratulations on your book!:)



    • Thanks so much, Lo. It’s the truth. We women often have to come up with tough decisions — always using the best info and intuition we have at the time. Sometimes when we look back we realize we’d have made a different decision or wish we had. That’s when it’s important to remember we did the best we could at the time…



  8. Hi Meg…very interesting post. I love hearing about how authors come up with story ideas. Also, welcome to the TWRP garden. I am one of the TWRP Roses, too, and it’s a wonderful place to be. 🙂 Congratulations and best of luck with the story!


  9. Hi Meg, I enjoyed your excerpt. I live near Jersey and I also remember that news story – don’t know how it turned out, but I’m anxious to read more of your story.


    • Wow, Gale, I’m thrilled to have contact with someone else who read that news story! Isn’t it amazing how some things we hear about stay with us for a long time!
      It would be fascinating to find out what did happen… I wonder if there’s a way to do that?

      Meg, contemplating


  10. Meg, this story sounds fascinating. Great, great excerpt. I wanted to keep going! Guess I’m adding yet ANOTHER book to my TBR list! Sigh…


  11. Welcome to the ranch Meg! I’m so thrilled you could come for the day and tell us about Homecoming. Thanks for coming by.


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