(Edgewood Falls #1)One Broke Girl by Rhonda Helms
Publication date: April 7th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Purchase: Amazon US / B&N / Amazon UK / Amazon CA
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…
“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.
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.
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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.