Sunday, September 26, 2010

Author of Return Engagement-- Elaine Cantrell

Scribal Love Welcome Elaine Cantrell

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in South Carolina.  I hold a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and am a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators.  I’m also a member of Romance Writer’s of America and EPIC authors.  My first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Books.  At present I teach high school social studies.  In my spare time I enjoy reading, collecting vintage Christmas ornaments, reading, and playing with my grandchildren.

How long does it typically take you to finish a writing project? 

Forever!  I write a scene and go back the next day and make corrections.  When I finish the book I go back and edit it again.  Then if it gets accepted for publication I have to do more edits.  Until it’s actually in print I’m not through.

The question most readers want to know but never get to ask, do you ever write in your pajamas?

When I’m not teaching, I always write in my pajamas.  I seldom get dressed before lunch time.   That’s the good part of being an author.  Nobody can see how you look.

Where do you write?

I used to have a wonderful little office upstairs, but my desktop computer died, and my husband bought me a laptop.  Now I usually sit in my recliner and write.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I adore Elizabeth Peters who also writes as Barbara Michaels.  If you haven’t tried her Amelia Peabody series you don’t know what you’re missing.  Karen White is one of my new favorites.  I just read The House On Tradd Street and loved it.   It’s the perfect blend of mystery and the supernatural with a dash of romance besides.  I like lots of authors.  It’s hard to list them all.

What brings you the most joy?

My grandchildren of course.  I also love a winter’s night when the moon is bright, and the tree branches are stark against the moon.  It brings me joy to hear the insects chirping on a hot summer’s night.  I always feel a surge of pleasure when I first see my husband too.  Yes, even after 34 years.

Tell us about your latest book.

I’d be glad to!  Here’s a blurb to tell you what it’s about.

Elizabeth Lane
has heard the call of the four most seductive words in the entire English language: what might have been.  Would you risk everything you hold dear to find out what might have been?  That’s the choice which Elizabeth has to make.

Elizabeth is lucky, for she has it all, money, fame, a satisfying career and a devoted fiancé.  Her humble beginnings are all but obscured, but she isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard.  Senator Lovinggood plans to make Richard the President of the United States; he’ll need a woman from a wealthy, powerful family by his side.  Ten years ago he broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time it won’t be so easy, for Elizabeth wants to know what might have been. This time she’ll fight back, a struggle which ultimately leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.

This book is a regular contemporary romance, but the sequel is a time travel novel.  I’m editing that one now.

Would you share an excerpt with us?  Be sure to include a buy link.

Gladly!  This excerpt takes place after Richard and Elizabeth meet on the beach following a ten year separation.  Richard asks her to go to a carnival with him, and now they’re on their way home.  Return  Engagement is available at 

An Excerpt:

“Look at the moon, Richard.  Have you ever seen anything so big and beautiful?  Isn’t it lovely the way it’s reflecting off the water?”
“Yes, but not as lovely as you are.”  Richard made a sound of disgust.  “That is so trite.  You’d think I could do better, but all evening I’ve had trouble saying what I mean.”

Elizabeth laughed.  “Maybe it’s because you’re trying too hard, but for the record, I think you’re doing just fine.”  She shivered and hunched her shoulders as she hugged herself.  “That wind is cold.”

Richard immediately removed his jacket and handed it to her.  “Here, put this on.”

“Won’t you be cold?”

“I’m fine.  I’ve got on long sleeves and that’s enough.”  His eyes twinkled in the moonlight.  “In fact, I kind of like the idea of you wearing my clothes.  Sounds like high school, huh?”

The chilly wind that blew across the moon-drenched water snatched Elizabeth’s laughter away.  “Who cares?  Sometimes it’s nice to be as irresponsible as a teenager.”

Richard tugged on her hand.  “Let’s sit down and watch the moon awhile.”

Elizabeth willingly sank into the damp sand and cuddled close beside him.  My gosh the man had muscles she hadn’t known even existed!

“Richard, about this evening….”

Elizabeth, about Alex….”

“You go first,” Elizabeth urged.  Her shoulders marginally relaxed.  She wasn’t looking forward to telling him she couldn’t see him again.

“All right, I will.”  Richard turned slightly, an almost angry look on his face.  “What the hell do you think you’re doing getting yourself engaged to Alex Crawford?  It’s obvious to a blind man that you don’t love him.  You’ve been teasing me and flirting with me all evening.  You’ve even kissed me.”  He stirred up the butterflies in her stomach when he gently caressed her shoulder.  “Right now your body language makes me think if I wanted to take this snuggling any further you’d be willing.”

“Wha…” Elizabeth sputtered.
“You don’t strike me as the type of woman who’d pick a man for a night of sex and then go back to her fiancé like nothing had happened.  If that’s true I don’t think you love Alex as much as you think you do.  The question is: what are you going to do about it?”

Elizabeth moaned and hid her face in her hands.  Richard expected this surprise meeting to lead to something more that a hot dog on the beach, a casual meeting between two old…friends.  I’ve done enough damage for one evening; I’m going home before I cause any more trouble.  I’ve betrayed Alex and given Richard hope for a relationship with me when there is no hope. 

She tried to jump up, but Richard grabbed her and held her close.  “The wind is cold, and you can think just as well, no better, in my arms.”

Elizabeth gave up the effort to get away from him.  There was no way she could argue with those hard, muscled arms.  “Yeah, right.  Being in your arms clarifies everything!  I’m so confused I don’t know if I’m coming or going,” she cried.  “I do love Alex.  I do!  That’s why I agreed to marry him, but with you I feel like a different person.
“I know I shouldn’t have flirted with you and kissed you, but I couldn’t help myself.”  Her eyes misted with tears.  “I didn’t want to help myself.  It’s like it was ten years ago only better because now nobody can accuse me of corrupting a minor.  You asked me what I’m going to do, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know.  The only thing I’m sure of is that I don’t think I can stand it if you walk away again.”

Elizabeth threw her hands over her burning face again.  “What kind of woman am I?  I haven’t seen you in ten years, yet here I am leading you on and encouraging you to…  What’s wrong with me!”

Richard jerked her hands away from her face and kissed them.  “From my point of view things have finally taken a turn for the better.”  Satisfaction oozed from his voice. 

“You’re willing to admit you don’t want to lose me.  It’s taken ten years, but we’re back where we belong-together.  Everything I ever felt for you came back the minute you spoke to me.”  His voice lowered and became husky and persuasive.  “Don’t tell me you didn’t feel it too.”

“I…”  Elizabeth fell silent.  After all; what could she say?

“Let me help you make up your mind about what to do.”  Richard pushed her back into the sand and kissed her, a delicate, brushing of lips that deepened as hearts caught fire.

Elaine, thank you so much for coming.  Return Engagement sounds like a wonderful read.

Thank you, Clare.  I do appreciate it!

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