Winter Blogfest: Rachelle Paige Campbell

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Enter to win a kindle copy of Holidays, Inc.

Waiting for Memories

My favorite family tradition started as the thing I hated most as a kid. Growing up, I lived thousands of miles away from extended family. For several, very special years, my grandparents, my great uncle, my uncle Tim, my aunt Joanne, and my three cousins traveled to our house in New Jersey for Christmas. Those visits were filled with laughter, hugs, and delicious food. The culmination of each trip was Christmas morning. Our seventies tract house had a huge entry hall with a staircase leading to the second floor. With the highest ceilings in the entire house, the nine-foot-tall tree stood centerstage. Underneath the pine-boughs, the floor remained empty until December 25th. Then, we’d wake to the astonishing sight of mountains of presents for five lucky kids and seven adults. From the top of the stairs, we glimpsed every package, debating the name year’s biggest. We couldn’t wait to open the gifts. But at the bottom of the stairs stood a sentry.

I mentioned five kids and seven adults. We were outnumbered. None of us were brave enough to charge down the steps and risk getting in trouble on the happiest day of the year. Instead, we waited. With much belly-aching and whining, we begged the adults to please let us down. Under the feeble excuses of making coffee and looking for the camera, the grown-ups made us wait. My parents swore I’d do the same thing one day and I’d enjoy it. I promised when I became a Mom I’d make my parents wait on the stairs. We were both right. On the years I’m blessed to have my parents celebrate the holidays with my family, my mom and dad sit on the steps next to my two sons. My boys complain far less than my brother and I did. But the memories are no less sweet. My go-to saying is you can’t choose your children’s memories. When my boys are men, I hope they will think fondly on our Christmas mornings.

Former child actress, Danielle “Dani” Winter, left Hollywood to transform an old cinema into a dinner theater, seeing the project as her chance to take control of her future. The middle-of-nowhere location in Wisconsin is a perfect escape from backstabbing celebrity friends. The small town welcomes her help with open arms, but one man questions her plan.
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After unsuccessful writing stints on both coasts, Paul Howell returns home to New Hope. He’s shocked to discover that his sister has sold the family business to a beautiful woman. With the encouragement of his neighbors, he reluctantly agrees to write Dani’s next musical.

Working together, they discover more similarities than differences and grow close. When Dani’s former best friend and America’s sweetheart, Kara Kensington arrives, their blossoming relationship is threatened in more ways than one.

Rachelle stumbled into the world of romance novels in college; as a way to help speed up her reading to make it through Art History textbooks. After years in the professional world writing very dry grant proposals and auction descriptions, she started writing the contemporary romance stories she wanted to read. Setting her books in some of her favorite destinations was her inspired way to require plenty of research trips every year with her family.

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  1. What a lovely memory and tradition. Pictures are so important.

  2. nice family tradition

  3. I think my grandfather was related to your family. When we would get up, we could have our stockings and see what unwrapped gifts Santa made. We had to wait and open presents until after breakfast… not til we were finished, but until my grandfather was finished. Longest. Breakfast. Of. The. Year. Anticipation really does make the reward sweeter.

  4. I love your memory!! It’s interesting what we recall from our pasts. Often things you wouldn’t think we would. Thank you for sharing!

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