Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Book Blitz and Giveaway: One Broke Girl by Rhonda Helms

Mini Interview with Rhonda Helms

Q: How did you come up with the idea for ONE BROKE GIRL?

A: I brainstormed the story in an online writing group, first looking for embarrassing/crazy/weird jobs to help me develop ideas. All I knew at that point was I wanted a heroine working a job she never thought she’d do. When someone mentioned “lunch lady,” the story started writing itself. I realized it was going to be a riches-to-rags story with potential for laughs and heartfelt moments.

Q: Who are your favorite New Adult authors?

A: Oh man, I go through big reading spells where I devour a ton of New Adult because I can’t quit it. I love the intimacy and immediacy of the narrative. Some of my fav authors are Erin McCarthy, Lexi Ryan, Caisey Quinn, Tammara Webber, Sophie Jordan, Marilyn Brant, Samantha Young, Colleen Hoover… I could go on and on, lol.

Q: What’s your writing routine like?

A: I’m an editor by day, so I typically write in the afternoons or early evenings after my work is done. I write 5-10 pages a day, 5 days a week when I’m in drafting mode. Because I plot out scene by scene beforehand, I can sit down and bang out the story pretty quickly.

Q: What’s next in the Edgewood Falls series?

A: Book 2 is Natalie’s story, coming out in June. I’m working on it now, yay. Book 3 will be Bianca’s story, coming out in August. And if readers love these books as much as I do, I’ll probably write more in the series. I’m loving these so much.

Q: What’s one random/weird fact about you?

A: Oh man, I have tons of quirks. Lol. Probably one of the biggest things is I carry at least 2-3 different lip balms on me at all times…in case I have a dry lip emergency or something, I guess. Hah. I can’t quit my lip balm.


Excerpt #1

“You work here? I thought…” Gavin cleared his throat, and his Adam’s apple bobbed right above the knot of his blue tie. “I figured there was some kind of certification or testing to be in food service at a school.”
Righteous anger flared in my belly, and I scooped carrots onto Michael’s plate. “I passed my background check and the exam, thank you very much. I’m perfectly qualified.”
That one damn brow quirked—apparently this was his signature look for me. It seemed he didn’t think I should be allowed anywhere near food. Or kids. “I see.”
My cheeks burned more. Like I wasn’t already feeling awkward enough about my life. I didn’t need this guy judging me. “I notice you don’t have a tray,” I noted in a haughty tone, “and my line is starting to back up. So if you don’t mind…”
“By all means,” he said as he backed away, hands in the air. “Please, continue.” But he didn’t leave the area. He just watched me in silence while I served the next kid.
“These potatoes are lumpy and look funny,” the girl said in a high-pitched whine.
It was so hard to keep the fake smile plastered on my face. “It’s homestyle. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.”
Gavin huffed a small laugh, but I refused to look at him.
I thrust my chin higher in the air and urged the kid along.
“I’ll see you later,” Gavin said to me softly. The almost verbal caress of his voice drew my attention to those potent green eyes.
The air caught in my throat, and I could feel my pulse flutter madly.
“Oh, and Anna?”
“Yeah?” I was a bit embarrassed by how breathy I sounded.
“You have mashed potatoes in your hairnet.” With that, he walked off.

Excerpt #2

“Holy shit,” Bianca breathed into my ear. “Gavin’s staring at you like he wants to eat you alive.”
That got my blood pumping even more, but I gave her a casual smile without looking at him to confirm. I was kinda disturbed by how much I wanted to though. “Huh. That’s interesting.”
The grin she shot me was filled with knowing. “Yeah. It is. You should go say hi.”
“I don’t need to say hi, and I don’t want to.” I raised my arms in the air with the rest of the crowd on the floor.
“Are you afraid?” she challenged.
I scoffed. “Afraid of what?”
“Afraid that the attraction you feel for Gavin is stronger than what you feel for this rich dude you’re dating.”
Shit. Nailed it in one. My cheeks flamed, and I dropped my arms. The truth I’d been trying to run from was thrust right in my face. I could blame my self-honesty right now on the alcohol buzz, but that wasn’t it. Gavin drew me closer, even as he aggravated me. Today at work I’d studiously avoided him while serving. He was a dangerous distraction, a temptation I couldn’t handle.
I didn’t want to be that girl. One cheater in the family was enough.
Bianca thrust a few bucks in my hand. “Can you get us water? Talk or don’t talk to him—I won’t push. But if he’s impacting you this much, you shouldn’t ignore that to stay with someone who doesn’t put a tingle in your vajingle.” With a knowing look, she shoved me off the floor.

Excerpt #3

The song pouring through the speakers changed to a deep, throbbing bass, and the crowd’s mood shifted into a sensual vibe.
“Will you dance with me?” Gavin asked in a sexy tone that made my belly flutter.
I should say no, because I was beyond attracted to this guy, despite my efforts. But I found myself starting to sway. He didn’t touch me, just let the inches of space between us thicken with tension. We moved in silence, eyes locked in an intensity I’d never experienced before. It was like he could see inside me, knew the inappropriate thoughts I was having.
I was so turned on, even as I fought against it.
All too soon, the song ended. With heated eyes, Gavin brushed his fingers along my forearm then turned and walked off the dance floor.
“Wow,” Bianca said as she joined me, tugging Natalie’s hand to draw her into our circle. “That was hot. I almost had an O just watching you two.”
I barked out a laugh as my face flamed. I said to them both in a casual tone, “Oh, he apologized for being a jerk. It was nice of him to do so when he didn’t have to. And he asked me to be his friend, too, which I think is great. Everyone could use more friends, right?” My excuses were paper-thin, a barfing of words, but they were all I had right now, so I clung to them.
Bianca’s grin widened. “Girl, if that’s friendship, I’m obviously making the wrong kind of friends.”

Excerpt #4

I absentmindedly handed out pizza and corn to the next several students who shuffled through the line. All the while, Gavin and I shot each other awkward smiles. I cleared my throat.
“So how was your weekend?”
His bright white teeth flashed in the cafeteria light. “Fine. And yours?”
“Fine as well.” It was so hard to not look at those sexy lips. I made myself think of Steven’s face to appease the self-reproach flaring in my belly. Surely it wasn’t wrong to find a guy mildly attractive, right? I mean, it wasn’t like we were going to do anything. I might have made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I wasn’t going to cheat.
I’d just keep repeating that chant in my head every time I saw him and it would be totally fine.
“This is a scintillating conversation, you know,” he said with a wide grin.
“Mr. Metcalf,” a young boy interrupted as he tugged on Gavin’s sleeve. “Is it time for recess yet?”
“After lunch. Go finish your food, okay?”
The kid’s face fell, and he glared as he crossed his arms. “I hate my sandwich. It tastes like balls.”
I huffed a sharp laugh and tried to focus on the students in line.
“That’s so not appropriate,” Gavin said. “You shouldn’t repeat things you hear the older kids say.” He gripped the kid’s shoulder and led him back to his table.
Well, it was probably good that Balls Kid had interrupted us. I didn’t need to be kinda-flirting with him anyway. Not only because I had a boyfriend, but because I was crazy occupied at the moment. I had a busy life, what with this job, fixing stuff up at home, starting the maid work and possibly delivering pizza on my bike.
The fun times never ended.

One Broke Girl by Rhonda Helms
(Edgewood Falls #1)
Publication date: April 7th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Anna Parker’s life disintegrates with one phone call. Her dad’s selling their ritzy New York City condo because her Wall Street banker mom emptied their bank account and ran off with another man. Which means Anna has to drop out of her elite college and move with Dad back to their small Ohio hometown. Anna’s determined to reclaim her life ASAP, so she’ll use the next few months to save money, help Dad get back on his feet, and find and confront her mom.

But Anna doesn’t anticipate things going so wrong. The only job she can get is working as a lunch lady in an elementary school. Their money-pit duplex is falling apart around their feet. And her dad is depressed without her mom, who’s proving hard to find.

One bright spot in the chaos is Gavin Metcalf, a kindergarten teacher she dated when they were young teens. With his easy wit and sexy smiles, he makes her forget her stresses—and the fact that her boyfriend Steven back in New York doesn’t know the truth yet about her dire circumstances. When past and present collide, Anna has to decide where her future lies…



Rhonda Helms started writing several years ago. She has a Master's degree in English and a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She also edits for Carina Press (an imprint of Harlequin Publishing) and freelance edits.

When she isn't writing, she likes to do amateur photography, dig her toes into the sand, read for hours at a time, and eat scads of cheese. WAY too much cheese.

Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her family.

Author links: 


Blitz-wide giveaway


--A $10 Amazon or BN gift card, plus a kindle or nook copy of ALL I EVER WANTED, a New Adult anthology with novellas by Rhonda Helms, Lexi Ryan, Caisey Quinn and Marilyn Brant.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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