Please welcome author Ellen Butler as she talks about her new novella, SECOND CHANCE CHRISTMAS, and takes us on a walk in Emma’s shoes.
The setting for our estranged lovers in Second Chance Christmas takes place in the bustling suburbs of Washington, DC. I decided to locate Emma and Colton’s story here for a couple of reasons. Mark Twain once coined the adage, “write what you know.” I’ve lived in the outskirts of DC for many years, and know it is home to a vast array of military personnel. Moreover, it’s a location that is host to a bevy of three lettered intelligence agencies, including military intelligence at The Pentagon; a good place for our hero, Colton Evans to be stationed. Additionally, in 2008 it was estimated that there were approximately 80,000 lawyers working in DC and its suburbs; a perfect location for our junior partner Emma Taylor. Finally, I decided to set the story here because Washington, DC is unarguably a majestic city, and it is injected with a singular beauty during the holidays. In this article I seek to share a small part of the history of the area in which Emma and Colton reside.
We start with Emma’s home-base of Old Town Alexandria. Founded in 1749, historic Old Town Alexandria was once a busy port, an important tobacco trading post, and housed some of the largest slave-trade companies of its day. In 1791 Alexandria became part of Washington, DC and was later retroceded back to Virginia in 1846. Located approximately five miles south of DC, Alexandria is an easy commute into the city and plays home to numerous government, military and professionals working there. It’s a quaint, walkable town and a perfect location for a single lawyer such as Emma to live.
Cooper and Ginny reside in another suburb of DC, Falls Church, Virginia. After WWII, Falls Church, which was considered to be rural farm area, exploded in housing growth for middle-income families. In 1948 the City of Falls Church was incorporated mostly due to residents call for better schools. The town, is approximately ten miles Southwest of DC, and according to a 2010 census report, the City of Falls Church ranks second in the United States for the number of its citizens holding advanced academic degrees. I’ve located Cooper and Ginny in a post-war, 1950s style rambler in a family friendly neighborhood.
In the story, Colton’s best friend, Captain Luke Bellamy is laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. The mansion at the Cemetery was once the home of Mary Randolph Custis, Martha Washington’s Great-granddaughter, and her husband Robert E. Lee, Brigadier General and Commanding Officer of the Confederate Army. Once Virginia seceded from the Union, federal troops crossed the Potomac River and set up military installations around the 1,100-acre home. In January 1864 the mansion and estate were put up for public auction, due to unpaid property taxes, and was purchased by the tax commissioner, for “government use, war, military, charitable and educational purposes.” On May 13, 1864 the first soldier laid to rest was Pvt. William Christman, a twenty-one year old infantry man. In addition to active duty military, veterans and their spouses, Arlington National Cemetery is a resting place for presidents, congressmen, and Supreme Court justices. Apollo 1 Astronaut’s Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee are also buried at Arlington Cemetery. In 2001, Section 60 became the burial ground for military personnel, fighting the Global War on Terror, killed in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Finally, we come to Colton’s place of business, The Pentagon. Located in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, The Pentagon is headquarters to the United States Department of Defense. Construction started on the mammoth structure September 11, 1941 and finished approximately 16 months later to the tune of $83 million. The 6.5 million square foot edifice (approx. 17.5 miles of corridors), houses upwards of 31,000 military and civilian workers. The building has five concentric rings of corridors that radiate out from a central courtyard, five above ground floors, and two basement levels. On its 60th Anniversary of the groundbreaking, The Pentagon fell victim to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when a Boeing 757 crashed into the western side of the building, killing 189 people. The death toll would have been higher had The Pentagon not been undergoing renovations at the time, leaving many of the offices unoccupied due to the construction.
I hope you enjoy Second Chance Christmas and the highlights of this small pictorial history lesson about its setting. Perhaps one day, during your own travels, you’ll get a chance to visit the Washington, DC area and walk in the steps of Emma and Colton.
Second Chance Christmas
- Entangled Flirt
- ISBN: 9781622663804
Prominent DC attorney Emma Taylor is pulled away from a promising date the week before Christmas to pick up her ex-fiance from the ER after a bar fight. She’s in no mood to re-open old wounds, but it’s Christmas and she can’t just leave him alone and injured.
Eight hundred eighty-four days. That’s how much time has passed since Major Colton Evans made the biggest mistake of his life. Even after two tours of duty and too much shrapnel in his leg, it’s still the loss of Emma that haunts him. And if he can win her back, he’ll take any chance.
When she insists he stay with her during the holiday, they put out enough sexual electricity to rival the most decorated house on the block. But will it be enough to light the way to a future together?
I am an old, new writer. In other words, old to writing, new to novel writing. My history includes a long list of writing and editing for dry but illuminating professional newsletters and journals, and windy papers on public policy and political science. The leap to novel writing is simply a creative outlet for my over active and romantic imagination to run wild.
My genre is Women’s Fiction and Romance. I like to provide strong female characters, romance, and suspense in my novels. I work hard to envelop you in the story, to make you root for the heroine by laughing with her or yelling at her when she makes mistakes.
- Website: http://www.ellenbutler.net/
- Blog: http://www.ellenbutler.net/blog/
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EllenButlerBooks
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8183693-ellen
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