I am thrilled to have Rachel Hanna with me today. Rachel is the author of SECOND CHANCE, a story of love. Rachel dropped by to talk a little bit about the book and her choices as an author. Enjoy!
September 17 Guest Blog
The New Beginnings Series – Why Is It So Real?
When I wrote “Second Chance”, I had a few reviewers ask me why I wanted it to be so “real”. I had to laugh a little at that because I wasn’t really sure of my answer at first. As an author, I am fully aware that books are supposed to be an escape from reality. No one wants to read a book that details everything a stay-at-home mom does during the day. No one wants to know all of the ins and outs of how you made your sandwich for lunch. Talk about drudgery for the reader! They want excitement and something different than what they do all day.
They do want an escape, but what I have also found that readers want is HOPE. They want to identify with characters who are flawed like we all are. They want to know that those characters have challenges and worries and catastrophes like we all do. But, and here’s the important part, they also want to know that there is hope for a new beginning. And that is precisely why I started the New Beginnings series with “Second Chance”.
Shannon Harris, our hero in the story, is hit by a series of life changing events in a short period of time. Have you ever had this happen to you? It seems like a black cloud is following you around, and you just cannot shake it. One thing after another happens to her, but she bounces back time after time. When the ultimate loss happens, the question is whether she will battle back and learn to live again. Will she allow herself to have a new beginning in the face of ultimate loss?
Because “Second Chance” is a novella, it is a shorter read and full of twists and turns. There is no fluff or boring stuff in this book. Life happens quickly and ferociously to Shannon Harris, but something else special happens too – her new beginning.
The exciting part of this series is that there are new beginnings happening all around us each day. One novella I am writing at this moment is going to be a fantastic love story that is unlike anything I’ve ever read. By weaving the truths and trials of life into a love story, I think it connects with us all and allows us to connect with the characters.
Second Chance Excerpt
After I hung up the phone, I realized that I hadn’t eaten lunch or dinner, and my stomach was growling like a bear. I walked into the kitchen to see if there was anything in there that might suit my fancy. When you’re hungry, just about anything edible will work.
Thankfully, there was some food in the fridge which was weird since no one had been living there for awhile. I found a frozen TV dinner with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans in it. The date was still good, so I figured the former owner may have been there recently and stayed overnight or something.
I fired up the microwave and started cooking the meal. Then, I noticed a radio hanging on the wall. I also saw a bottle of red wine sitting in a wine rack on the counter. I found a wine glass in one of my boxes and poured myself a glass.
I decided a little music was in order, so I turned it on my favorite station but it was full of static because I was so far outside of the range.
I found another station that was playing Southern classic rock and Sweet Home Alabama was on. I love that song, so I turned up the volume in an effort to wake myself up.
As the food cooked, I started swaying and singing to the music. I felt a sense of freedom wash over me for the first time in almost two decades. Sweet Home Alabama had never sounded so good!
I closed my eyes and started dancing around on the hardwood floors. Without thinking, I bumped into the counter and spilled the red wine all over my white lace sundress.
“Dang it!” I said as I pulled the sundress over my head. Realizing I was standing there in just my bra and panties, I had a momentary freak out wondering who could see me through the kitchen windows. Then, I realized that I was so far outside of the city, I could run naked through the front yard if I wanted. Freedom washed over me again.
The song changed to one of my favorites of all time – Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. My newfound freedom kicked into high gear as my exhaustion wore away and my feet began dancing again. Here I was, in my bra and panties wearing nothing but a pair of designer cowboy boots, dancing around this large country farmhouse.
My, how life had suddenly changed…
I danced and danced, eyes closed, singing at the top of my lungs. I never even heard the microwave bell “ding” when my food was done cooking. Instead, I swigged a little wine and kept dancing.
Suddenly, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. You know that feeling you get when someone is watching you? I opened my eyes and turned around to see a man standing in the arched doorway between the kitchen and the living room.
Without missing a beat, I grabbed a butcher knife from one of the kitchen boxes, held it up and said “I’ve got a knife!”
“Well, ma’m, you might have a knife but the blade seems to be missing… And your clothes are missing too, I might add,” he said with a smirk that made me want to smack him.
“Crap,” I muttered as I dropped the knife handle which had broken away from the blade. I quickly grabbed my wine stained dress from the floor and held it in front of me to cover what I could.
“It’s okay, I am not here to hurt you. I live here,” he said walking toward me.
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