Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Favorite Reads Giveaway Hop

Happy June! I'm excited for summer reading time in the sun and I've teamed up with Kathy from I am a Reader, Not a Writer for another of her fabulous blog hops.

This is special because I get to highlight some of my favorite reads to give away. My list is incredibly long so I chose 5 to give away from different age groups because I love reading all kinds of books! And there's a little reader swag too in the form of chocolate!
Not all books are brand new, but they are all in good condition. I love each of these books for different reasons. Board books are great for babies and toddlers. The 7 Habits of Happy Kids is one of my kids favorites and I love the lessons it teaches. Out of the Dust is a Newbery medal winner and a heart-wrenching story. And Sweet Valley Twins? Need I say more? :)
Boardbook of The Mitten 7 Habits for Happy Kids (Hardcover) Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (Hardcover)
Do you remember reading Sweet Valley Twins? I loved them, so I thought it'd be fun to add this copy of #14 Tug of War (gently used).

and because I'm the co-sponsor of this hop, I'm including my first novel, Wrong Number
And finally, every book is better with CHOCOLATE! The lucky winner will get one Toblerone chocolate bar with their books.

Just fill out the form to enter.
Please enter from June 1st-6th.

Contest Rules: Please read my Liability Disclosures and Policy statement before entering giveaways hosted here. Updated 12/8/2011 This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners will be announced by June 10, 2012 and will have 24 hours to claim their prize. If potential Prize winner forfeits or does not claim the prize, prize will be re-awarded, in Sponsor’s sole discretion. All prizes will be awarded. All entrants agree to release of liability of the sponsor, RachelleWrites. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the 48 Lower U.S. & D.C., 18 & older. Begins 12:00 a.m. EST on 06/01/12 & ends 11:59 p.m. MST on 06/06/12. Here's the linky list for the other blogs holding giveaways!

I'm Giving Myself Permission

Today's Thursday Thought came to me as I was doing laundry the other day.

"No one can give you permission to enjoy life except yourself."
--Rachelle J. Christensen

You can probably understand how that thought came doing housework, huh? Actually, I don't mind doing laundry and I think it's all about the attitude, and maybe because I don't save all my laundry for a once-a-week mountain climb.

But there are many other things in life that I want to enjoy more and I've decided that I can't wait for that perfect moment or when I'm not tired, or when the kids get older, or when I've checked off those items on my To-Do list OR for someone to give me permission to stop and smell the roses.
So I'm giving myself permission to find more joy. I hope you'll join me.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book Review: Under Oath by Margaret McLean

If you're a fan of John Grisham novels, then you need to take note of the sophomore efforts of author Margaret McLean. I was sent a copy of Under Oath by her publisher and I'm excited to share my honest opinion with you.
Under Oath is the thrilling story of young prosecutor, Annie Fitzgerald and a high profile murder case with trial law scenes at their best. I felt like I was sitting in the courtroom hearing testimony and I loved how McLean showed both sides of the case so well, that at times I wasn't sure who was innocent and who was really guilty. I definitely couldn't predict how the case would pan out. Only a former prosecutor could write scenes like these with such accuracy, and McLean's experience shines through.

I also liked how McLean took me along the ride for behind the scenes investigative action with Annie--this chick is smart and incredibly courageous--definitely a heroine to root for.
McLean possesses a great writing style with a knack for using triggers to place the reader right in the scene so you experience the story with all of its anxiety-riddled plot twists.

Here's a blurb from the book:

The “code of silence” remains sacred in Charlestown, one of the most historic yet insular neighborhoods of Boston. Gangster Billy Malone stand accused of killing Trevor Shea, a suspected FBI informant, with a potent dose of heroin.

Prosecutor Annie Fitzgerald must crack the infamous code of silence and battle seasoned criminal defense attorney Buddy Clancy, who unleashes reasonable doubt with his penetrating cross-examinations.

The trial explodes into a high-energy race to justice when Annie’s chief witness is killed, jurors defy their instructions, and FBI cover-ups obscure the truth. While the jurors are deliberating, Annie discovers incriminating evidence against the Malones. 

Time is of the essence...but will justice prevail?
Former prosecutor Margaret McLean combines the best of John Grisham’s legal thrillers and Dennis Lehane’s Boston crime novels in Under Oath.

If you're looking for an edge of your seat read, pick up Under Oath and let me know what you think. Have you read Margaret McLean's first book,Under Fire? It looks like another one I need to add to my To-Read list.

 I'll be posting a Q&A with author Margaret McLean, so check back to hear what she has to say.

Tell me about the books on your summer To-Read list, mine hasn't reached the ceiling yet so I'd better add a few more!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday Thought May

Today Susan Denney shares one of her favorite quotes:

"I believe the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity, is daring to dare."-- Maya Angelou

Susan says: "I received a card with this quote on it after my first novel was published. It made my day. And it is so true. Sending out a manuscript to a publisher or agent is the biggest dare of your life. Your "baby" represents many hours work and contains a part of your heart and soul. You love it and you want to give it to the world. But it takes a lot of courage to send it out to be rejected or ignored.  This quote helps me remember that no novel gets published if it sits in a drawer. And no story can make a difference if you don't tell it. "

Excellent advice, Susan! Thank you.

Susan Denney is the author of Snarky and Sweet: A Romantic Comedy about Twins, Texas and a Big Red Diamond. She also writes for The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband.

Visit her website:  and Facebook page:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Million Dollar Diva Review & Get Your Free Copy!

Finance is something that all of us need to know something about, but most of us don't know enough. If you're like me, many finance books are bo-ring or use lingo that is hard to follow. And if you're like me, you're still looking for a great book to help you manage your money that is actually FUN to read. Ahem* I have a book for you. I'd like you to meet this incredibly smart and simple book.  
Million Dollar Diva by Tristi Pinkston, Brett Kitchen, and Ethan Kap.

Tristi shares her experiences honestly and simply in ways that help the reader identify with common financial problems and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I was excited to review this book, but even more excited to share with you how you can get your own FREE copy of Million Dollar Diva. Just visit the website,
 click through and get a copy of the book for free plus $5.95 shipping and handling. This will only be good until June 15, 2012.
This topic is so important to Tristi, Brett, and Ethan that they want to make it as accessible as possible. So grab your free copy while you can.

 Here's a bit from the back of the book:
In this book, you'll discover:

The 5-step, simple, safe, and predictable process to change living paycheck-to-paycheck to enjoying wealth and security.

How to give yourself a $400 per month raise without asking the boss or working a minute of overtime.

"Spend Like a Diva." How to have anything you want - nice vacations, eating out, trips to the mall. It's all part of the plan!

The secret formula of how to completely eliminate your debt in 1/3 the time and save tens of thousands on interest costs in the process. You'll see why all the TV gurus are wrong!

5 Million-Dollar-Diva investing strategies that will grow your money safely and predictably every year, without the guesswork.

Plus! Discover the key to stop fighting and quarreling with your spouse about money forever!

Imagine yourself living debt-free and building a million-dollar retirement safely and securely, so you can have total confidence in yourself and your future.

Visit the website to get your free copy or you can purchase a copy at Amazon as well.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hawaiian Travelogue

One week ago today I arrived home from the beautiful island of Kauai in Hawaii.

This is my new background on my desktop computer. Ahh, isn't it beautiful? That is a picture of the Na Pali coast, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Traveling to Hawaii has been a dream of mine for quite some time, and honestly I didn't think it would be happening for probably another decade because of the run of luck we've had in the Christensen household. When my baby broke his arm in 3 places in January and the bills just kept coming, I started to panic about this trip! Thankfully, because of a lot of careful planning and great tips from my awesome brother we were still able to go. Our flights were nearly free, we stayed in a condo with my brother who was working there, and nearly everything we did in Kauai was free.

Have I mentioned how much I love my brother? Yep, I do. And my parents and Steve’s parents who took care of our kids while we were gone—the longest we’d ever been away from our kids!
As many of you know I like to write novels and last year I started a new suspense series about a wedding planner who solves mysteries. Well, in book 2 she plans a destination wedding in Hawaii and I really needed to go to Hawaii to research my book. Not gonna lie, I had so much fun researching!

I want to keep a record of the wonderful time my hubby and I had in Kauai, and I thought it’d be fun to share a little travelogue with you. I’ll share with you a few secrets I discovered for my book’s plot and lead into a fun giveaway.
So here’s my first day in Hawaii. 

  After a long seven hour flight in a murderous straight-backed chair—Steve and I were right by the dividing wall so our seats could not even recline an inch (talk about bobble-head dolls) I was so glad to get off that plane.
My brother picked us up at the airport and we drove to the South shore and stopped at the Hyatt Resort to sign for our rental car—Amazing! 

That was the closest I’d been to the ocean in a decade. That cliff you see is famous in the movie Six Days, Seven Nights with Harrison Ford--it's the one they jumped off of.

So the wedding planner in my book is probably going to stay at the Hyatt with the wedding party and do some activities there, but I’m not sure about the actual wedding ceremony yet. But holy cow, that place was amazingly beautiful. I have some more pictures of the incredible beach front pools they have.

Then we went to our condo at Poipu Kapili not five minutes from Poipu Beach.   

Our bedroom looked out over the ocean and we walked across the street and sat on a rock wall to watch the sun set.
Here’s a pic of that sunset and my awesome brother, Patrick.

We went to bed at 8:45 completely exhausted because of the 4 hour time difference from Utah. I woke up around 4am and looked out at the ocean and took this picture of the full moon. 

It was so bright I could see the waves crashing. Then I crawled back into bed and slept in for the first time in way too long!
Join me soon for day 2 of the Kauai, Hawaiian Travelogue. Did I mention I took over 700 pictures? Yeah, you won’t get to see but a smidgen of them, but I have some way cool shots.

Have you been to Hawaii? Kauai? Tell me about it.


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