Title: Holidays, Inc.
Author: Rachelle Paige Campbell
Genre: Sweet Romance, Contemporary Romance
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.
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.
“May I help you?” Her voice cracked.
“I’m not sure.” He swiveled his head, scanning the entire room. Scrubbing a hand over his face, he stuffed his hands in his jeans pockets and shrugged. “I must have wandered into the wrong building.”
“Oh, of course.” She stopped tapping and lifted the corner of her mouth in an approximation of a friendly smile and relaxed her shoulders. With her lifetime experience of constantly meeting new people at auditions and on sets, she should be used to the basic conventions of polite introduction. Six months of interacting with the same faces, however, she’d grown rusty. “I’d be glad to guide you to the right building but…” She pursed her lips. Why was he so familiar? His eyes glinted like chrome and triggered some recognition past her memory’s reach. Did she know him? “Since you’re here, do you mind helping me?”
He stood taller and puffed out his chest. “Do you need me to move something?”
She scanned the muscles straining under the basic T-shirt. He probably purchased a multi-pack on a grocery run, yet the cotton hugged like a custom fit highlighting a trim figure. As she met his gaze, she spotted the fine lines around his eyes. He was definitely a few years older than her, but not by much.
Her chin trembled. “No, no, heavy lifting.” She smoothed a stray tendril behind her ear, brushing her fingers against her warm cheeks. With her years of repeated exposure to attractive people on TV sitcom sets, she hadn’t been susceptible to another person’s good looks in years. Taking in a steadying breath, she crossed her arms. “Getting an honest opinion in New Hope can be a little difficult.”
He ran a hand through his dark hair.
His fingers nearly disappeared in thick locks overdue for a trim. The slightly unkempt hair suited him. With his even features, he’d look too perfect with a short haircut. She gave her head a shake. She wasn’t casting him for one of her productions. The stranger would answer her question. She’d steer him to his destination and would never see him again.
“Really? You can’t get someone’s unwanted opinion in this town?” He arched an eyebrow.
Pursing her lips, she cocked her head to one side. His incredulous tone raised her hackles. “Since I moved here, I’ve heard nothing but yes, ma’am. Not that I mind.” She uncrossed her arms and held up both hands, palms to the sky. “I’m not used to the consideration.”
“Interesting. I’ve had the opposite experience. I’m told no before I finish asking the question.” He folded both arms over his chest.
“Maybe somewhere between us is one person who has the benefit of constructive criticism with positive feedback.”
“Perhaps.” He lifted the corner of his mouth. “What’s on your mind?”
Too much. She swallowed the lump lodged in her throat. His half-smile invited her to drop her guard and speak freely. He sparked an instant connection, like running into an old friend. Was he someone she’d forgotten? If she told anyone her fears—even a helpful stranger—she empowered her insecurities. She refused to ever give anything—or anyone—agency over her life again. Everyone was counting on her plan, and she wouldn’t disappoint. “I’m wondering if you think the backdrop looks okay.” Spinning on her heel, she faced the backdrop. “I painted the Atlantic a different color from the Pacific.”
“Rob couldn’t color match for you?”
“You know Rob?” She twitched and turned toward the stranger. He knew the owner of the hardware store on a first-name basis. What if he wasn’t passing through town? Dragging her gaze over his face, she pursed her lips. She’d swear she never saw him, but doubt tickled her mind.
He shrugged. “Of course, I know Rob. Everyone does.” He narrowed his gaze and stared once more past her toward the stage. “The background looks like blue and blue. The left side is a little darker, but nothing significant. If you hadn’t prompted me, I wouldn’t have noticed a difference.”
“Oh, good. Thanks.” She sagged her shoulders. “I can tweak the lighting. My staff wouldn’t have been so forthcoming.”
With a nod, he lifted the corner of his mouth.
A smile of commiseration? She shook her head. Why was she sharing anything with this mystery man? “They’re wonderful. My employees are a little green but very determined. Converting a movie theater into a real stage for live performances has tested everyone.” She clamped her mouth shut. Would he spread her comments through the local gossip mill? She shuddered. Some lessons—like be careful who to trust—never took, despite learning the hard way.
Frowning, he drew back his chin. “Movie theater?”
“Sure.” She rocked back on her heels, grinning broadly. “Welcome to the former Howell Cinemas, now home to my musical theater company.”
Twisting his neck, he scanned the room from top to bottom. He wrinkled his brow, spinning clockwise then counterclockwise. “What’s going on here?”
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The Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/books/holidays-inc
What makes your featured book a must-read?
Holidays, Inc. is a feel-good story about second chances. Dani Winter has come to town to transform an old movie theater. In looking for her next career move, she revitalizes the entire community. The quirky cast of characters round out the book as Dani celebrates every holiday of the year.
Enter to win a $40 Amazon gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs January 11 – January 20, 2022.
Winner will be drawn on January 21, 2022.
Rachelle Paige Campbell writes contemporary romance filled with heart and hope. No matter the location—big city, small town, or European kingdom—her feel-good stories always end with a happily ever after. She’s grateful for the support of her family, her robot floor cleaner, and her reluctant writing partner (her dog).
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Rachelle-Paige-Campbell/e/B00T0T533Q