Tuesday, June 17, 2014

RELEASE DAY: Rachel Jones "To Dance One More Day"


Desertion and death of her family leaves Jillian Russell alone in the world. A medical diagnosis takes away her performance career. Starting over in Charlotte, North Carolina, she opens a ballet company which takes all her resources and leaves no time to build new relationships.

Trauma surgeon, Alan Armstrong, is determined to fix Jillian’s life before he moves on to set up a rural community clinic that had been the top priority in his life, until he met Jillian.

Will their undeniable connection cause them to change their ambitions so they can be together? Or will they walk away from each other to continue on the paths they had chosen before they met?

About the Author:

In 1977 Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and taught music for ten years. After the birth of her second child, she returned to school and in 1991 earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing and passed the state boards for registered nurses. She has been a labor & delivery and antepartum nurse since that time.

Anticipating her retirement from healthcare, Rachel decided to write her first novel at age fifty-seven. For years she had experienced scenes of heroes and heroines rambling about in her thoughts and spilling into her dreams. So it was a no-brainer that she should attempt to capture these thoughts on paper.

Rachel resides in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband of thirty-seven years. She has three adult children, who help spoil their Labrador retriever. She is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Southeastern Writers Association and is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America.

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Chapter One

Jillian opened and closed her eyelids several times, taking in the darkness accompanied by an eerie silence. She dragged her head from side to side, trying to clear away the fuzziness surrounding her consciousness. Her head hurt. How long had she been knocked out? A minute? Ten minutes? Feeling something warm on her cheek, her fingers followed the sticky trail up to her right temple, touching the gash that caused blood to spill down her face. Without moving, she listened to pieces of refuse falling to the floor around her, making thumping sounds. She shifted her body, and tiny bits of confetti-like debris sprinkled down around her, creating a powdery film of dust on her skin. With guarded motions, she touched her arms and torso, assessing for other injuries. Moving her legs, she let out a sigh of relief when she discovered it was not painful. A ballerina with injured legs couldn’t be a ballerina.

What in the world had happened? She had stopped at Mancini’s to pick up some takeout for a late lunch and decided to run into Goodwin’s Pharmacy next door for toilet paper and shampoo. “God, please help me,” she prayed as she lay on the floor in the dark.

She called out, “Is anyone there?”

Someone moaned. “Over here — I’m hurt.”

The woman took in short breaths as she began to sob. Jillian struggled to shift her body, crying out in pain. She moved her right hand over her left shoulder and discovered something protruding from her shoulder blade. Her initial reaction was to pull it out, but instinct guided her hand to move away before she acted on impulse. Taking a deep breath and gritting her teeth, she moved to a sitting position. Attempting to keep her voice even, to sound braver than she felt, she called out, “I’m Jillian, what’s your name?”

“Cathy — Strickland. There’s something heavy on my right leg. I can’t move it.”

Holding her left arm immobile, Jillian stood up on trembling legs. With caution, she moved in the direction of the voice, but the scattered rubble surrounding her blocked her path.

“Oh — I just felt a gush. I think my water broke.”

“It’s okay. I’m sure someone will come for us soon.” Working hard to keep the sob in her throat from escaping, she sat down on the floor. Her head pounded as she held her arm close to her body. She couldn’t focus on the pain; she had to remain calm.

The crying gnawed at Jillian’s heart as she tried to assess their situation. And then Cathy screamed, claiming her full attention.

“What’s wrong?”

Cathy sobbed. “That was — a hard contraction. I can’t go into labor here.”

In an authoritative voice she had used many times with her students, Jillian took command of the situation. “You’ve got to calm down.”

“It — hurts so much.” She screamed again.

“Take some deep breaths for me.” Jillian wanted to go to her but it was too dangerous to move around in the dark.

“My baby’s too small.”

Jillian wanted to cry but knew she had to take hold of her emotions and figure out a plan. Hearing a loud sound in the distance, she jerked her head up from its bowed position, her eyes following in the direction of the sound as muffled voices reached her ears.

“Listen! Someone’s coming. I told you someone would come.”

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