Monday, November 2, 2015

Part 5 of the Women Who Wrote Echo Ridge

Over the past few posts I've introduced you to the amazing women behind the Echo Ridge Anthology (available here for just 99 cents!). I'm including a little spotlight about myself here, but first I wanted to share some pretty amazing news!
My family just moved from Utah to Idaho, so I'm back to my roots! We're working hard on our little farm, unpacking boxes like crazy, and loving every beautiful sunrise and sunset in the Idaho desert.
I'm preparing another post with pictures about this new adventure. I'm thrilled about this big change.
Now here are more fun tidbits...

Award-winning and Bestselling Author Rachelle J. Christensen.

1rachelleweb Rachelle J. Christensen is a mother of five who writes romance and mystery/suspense and solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University (Go Aggies!) with a degree in psychology and a minor in music. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and, of course, reading. Rachelle is the award-winning author of six books, including Wrong Number, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, and What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know, as well as the Rone Award-winning novella Silver Cascade Secrets. She and her family just moved to a farm in Idaho.  You can learn about Rachelle's upcoming releases at www.rachellechristensen.com or catch up with here here http://www.facebook.com/rachellechristensenauthor here http://twitter.com/#!/rachellewrites and here http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/. If you'd like to sign up for her newsletter, click here: http://eepurl.com/eFD3o

On the lighter side

Here are five random facts about me:
  1. Rachelle loves multi-colored Christmas lights on the tree and as a child used to love getting under the tree and looking up through the branches at the lights and ornaments. 
  2. Her first visit to New York state was when she was seven months pregnant with her fourth child and attending a writing conference in Chautauqua. She also visited Niagara Falls. 
  3. She met her husband on Halloween at Utah State University.
  4. Rachelle loves chickens and cats and they get along well together on her little farm in Idaho.
  5. She is brainstorming the next novella for Echo Ridge and is super excited to tell the next love story from New York.

Snippet from Hope for Christmas



“Stupid Christmas tree,” she muttered. If it weren’t for Megan, she’d skip Christmas altogether. The holiday was a slap in the face to someone like Anika— a divorced, single mom with a deadbeat ex. She hadn’t been able to locate Jimmy after he’d been released from jail the last time, but she was tired of hiding from him. When she moved to Echo Ridge a year ago, she decided a fresh start would be the best solution to her problems. The sleepy little New York town had been full of promises and hope, but after losing her job two months ago when Megan was hospitalized with pneumonia, everything had changed. Although the state had helped pay for Megan’s treatment, Anika had fallen farther and farther behind.
Her chest tightened when she thought about what was around the next corner. This job was temporary, and Anika had run out of options. If she didn’t find something soon, she’d be evicted from her one bedroom apartment.
She pulled the tree trunk upright and began putting together the sections of the tree. It took much longer than it should have with bits of the white flock crumbling and sticking to her clothes. One of the branches refused to straighten, the end was all twisted and it took her nearly ten minutes to smooth out the kinks. Anika grumbled to herself about the fake tree and its apparent mission to annoy her by not snapping together correctly. She fiddled with the pre-lit strands that had to be connected in several places. There were three different cords to test the lights, but she couldn’t get them all to work together. The box said the lights were supposed to twinkle, but Anika couldn’t even get more than one strand to turn on at a time. She grumbled and stepped back— on Megan’s dolls. Anika’s foot turned, she gasped, and fell forward into the tree with a shriek.
Before she could react to the fake evergreen needles poking her in the face, strong hands pulled her back from the mass of lights and cords.
“Are you hurt?”
Anika blinked and looked up at the man who had spoken. Her mouth opened and closed, and she shook her head. If Enrique Iglesias had come to her rescue then she was definitely going to thank the blasted Christmas tree. She rubbed a hand over her face and saw that he wasn’t Enrique, but with the shadow of scruff along his chin and his slightly mussed black hair against caramel skin, he could be Enrique’s younger brother. Anika shook her head. She was gawking, and hadn’t answered his question. “I’m not sure,” she said.
“Let’s get you away from this tree. I don’t think it likes you.” He cupped his hand under her forearm, carefully lifting her off the ground.
Anika winced when she put weight on her foot. “Ouch. I kind of twisted my ankle.”
“Sit down right here and I can take a look at it.” His dark hair matched his chocolate brown eyes and Anika found herself wondering again if Enrique did have a younger brother.
He helped her sit, leaning next to the wood paneling of her checkout station. He crouched down and held out his hand. “I’m Carlos Rodriguez. I’m a volunteer fireman, so I have some medical training. Mind if I take a look?” He had a Spanish accent, not heavy, but alluring, and Anika listened to him appreciatively.
“Oh, it’s just my ankle. I’m sure it’ll be fine in a few minutes.” Anika winced again when she moved her toes. “My name’s Anika Fletcher.” She held out her hand and Carlos shook it, his grip firm, yet gentle at the same time. Anika tore her eyes away from him and reached down to examine her ankle. It didn’t appear to be swelling, but every tendon around the bone ached. Maybe she should have him look at it. “Ugh, this is just what I didn’t need tonight.” She leaned over and massaged the tender side of her ankle. It wouldn’t cost her anything to have him look at it. “Okay, maybe I’d better have you look.” She moved back so that Carlos could see her ankle.
He leaned over and gently pulled her pant leg up. His fingers were warm, and he pressed lightly around her ankle. Anika’s heart sped up— it was hard to ignore the flutter in her stomach as he carefully examined her foot. He looked over at her and smiled. “There might be a little swelling later, but it’s a good sign that it’s not turning colors. You need to ice it and wrap it to stabilize the area.”
Anika let out the breath she’d been holding when he released her foot. “Okay, thanks for your help. I was trying to get that dang tree figured out. It definitely doesn’t like me and the feeling is mutual.”
Carlos walked over to the tree, now standing almost ten feet tall, and shifted a few branches. Then he crouched down by the electrical outlet. “You know, this could be considered a fire hazard.”
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