Proposals and Poison by Rachelle J. Christensen
Love can be a very dangerous thing.
At least it seems that way to Adri Pyper, the premier wedding planner in Sun Valley, Idaho. When one of her clients dies mysteriously, Adri takes the advice of the local detective and swears she will stay out of the investigation . . . this time. Luke Stetson’s involvement in the case, along with the possibility of a kiss between the two, should be enough incentive to keep Adri out of trouble. But when a dog-themed wedding is almost ruined by a suspect, Adri and her assistant, Lorea, are thrust into private eye mode. When poison enters the picture, even a reluctant sleuth can’t steer clear of danger.
Rachelle is the award-winning author of ten books, including The Soldier’s Bride (A Kindle Scout Selection), Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, Veils and Vengeance, and Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology. Her novella, “Silver Cascade Secrets,” was included in the Rone Award–winning Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.
Rachelle loves laughing with her husband while raising five children and dozens of chickens on a little farm in rural Idaho. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music.
Q&A With the Author:
3. What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
My own self-doubt. I have to push past my fears and insecurities and put the words on the paper. I reassure myself that there will be plenty of time to edit later, so just get the story written. Like the saying goes, You can’t edit a blank page!
4. What kind of music do you listen to while you write?
A lot of times I don’t listen to anything, but when I do listen it’s music that matches the mood of what I’m writing. I really enjoy listening to Christian music stations because I can stream from my computer and plug my headphones in and not hear any of the fighting/laughing/screaming that is usually a constant in a houseful of 5 kids.
The afternoon sun had the asphalt steaming when I closed the door of my wedding shop on my way to run errands. Summer was notoriously busy for weddings, and July promised no respite from the work ahead. I couldn’t complain about my workload, though, because it made me happy to finally be in a place where my life was falling into a somewhat predictable routine. It also kept me from obsessing over my relationship status with Luke Stetson.
At the moment, Luke was in court, working a messy divorce case that was ballooning into so much drama he’d had to cancel on me three times in the past two weeks. The case involved the sister of Lily Rowan, one of my new clients. Lily was the happy part of the story, because she just got engaged to Tim Esplin—the vet I would take my cat to this afternoon. Lily wanted a November wedding, and since it was already July ninth, I was pushing to get the most important decisions made so we could progress with the rest of her plans.
My phone beeped, and I looked at the reminder on my calendar. In one hour I would be meeting with Lily to talk about the theme she and Tim wanted for their celebrations.
Sliding my finger across the screen, I dismissed the reminder, only to once again see the text from Luke. He’d canceled our lunch date by text this morning and still hadn’t called. I wondered when the case would be over, and if he’d have more free time or get bogged down in another case.
Well, my work almost kept me from obsessing about Luke for, like, two minutes, I thought, frowning. As I slid into my car, I considered the question that had entered my mind right after Luke canceled our lunch date. Would Luke Stetson, divorce attorney, ever be able to love again? And should I, Adri Pyper, wedding planner, be spending time (a.k.a. pursuing a relationship) with him?
The elusive answer shimmered like the heat from the pavement, just out of reach. I shook off thoughts of Luke and cranked the air conditioner up on my way to the consignment store located just a mile from my shop. Everybody’s Closet had a summer fling sale going on with new merchandise, and Necia kept me in the loop since I was always on the lookout for vintage and unique decor to use in my weddings and parties. It was the height of yard-sale season, and Necia usually got in all the leftovers from people’s garage sales. I loved going to yard sales and finding great bargains, but too many weekend weddings had me missing the early morning sales. Everybody’s Closet was the next best thing.
The parking lot only had one other vehicle, a single-cab white pickup that didn’t belong to Necia. She usually walked to work in the summer months. I pulled in next to the pickup, right in front of the store, and put my car in park. When I looked up, my eyes locked with those of a man standing in front of the doors, holding a rifle.
The silver metal of the stock gleamed in the hot afternoon sun, and I blinked, waiting for my brain to catch up to the strange sight before me. The man was short and stocky with dark brown hair, and as I studied him, he smiled and moved his rifle, pointing it toward the sky. I sucked in a breath when the man stepped forward. My windows were down, and the sound of robins trilling cheerfully carried across the parking lot. He said something in a different language. It wasn’t Spanish—I spoke a little, and his words had a Slavic sound to them. Regardless of the language, I was pretty sure he was swearing.
I fumbled for the window and door lock controls. My throat went dry as the man looked at me again and fired a shot into the air. I covered my ears and screamed, reaching for the gearshift to back out of the parking lot. My hand slipped and my car went into neutral. When I moved to put it in gear, the car died . . .
Read more here! Available in print, ebook (all platforms), and audiobook.