Elaine, welcome. We are thrilled to have you come for a visit. To start things off, we'd like you to tell us how you got started in your writing career.
My writing career began when I submitted a manuscript to The Timeless Love contest sponsored each year by Oak Tree Press. That book, "A New Leaf," was the 2003 contest winner and was published by Oak Tree in 2004. (Buy Link: http://www.oaktreebooks.com)
What an exciting way to begin a successful writing career! Could you tell us what books you have published since "A New Leaf?"
Since that time I’ve had the following books published:
Grandfather’s Legacy-All Romance Books. (available only from the author due to the death of the publisher )
Purple Heart-The Wild Rose Press-
The Welcome Inn-Wings Press-
The Best Selling Toy Of The Season-Midnight Showcase
That's a very impressive list of books! What will you be releasing next?
Return Engagement is coming in July from Whiskey Creek Press-http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com
Which of the books you’ve had published is your favorite?
My favorite so far is Return Engagement which comes out in July from Whiskey Creek Press. That sounds a little like a sales pitch, but I absolutely fell in love with my hero whose name is Richard Lovinggood. He works for the FBI, is drop dead gorgeous, and is a little bit dangerous. He’s an Alpha male even though I usually write Beta. He’s passionate, impulsive, and brilliant, and he has the ability to love whole-heartedly with no restraint. He also has a romantic side which is always nice. I loved him so much that I’m planning a trilogy about the Lovinggoods.
I totally love the hero's name. Lovinggood is absolutely inspirational. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if your trilogy is a huge success, based on what you're telling us about "Return Engagement" and its characters.
I've got a sneaking suspicion the heroine from "Return Engagement" might be the answer to my next question, based on your description of the hero. If you could be a character in one of your books, who would it be and why?
As much as I love Elizabeth Lane, Richard Lovinggood’s romantic interest, I think I’d like to be Julianna Martin from The Welcome Inn. Julianna is smart, sassy, determined, and unquenchable. She’s also strong enough to stand up to Buck Abercrombie who bought the property she loves when the bank refused to loan her the money.
Uh-oh, looks like I was wrong, but I can understand your admiration of Julianna. She sounds like the type of heroine I enjoy meeting in a good novel.
Now that "Return Engagement" is ready for release, what project are you working on next?
I’ve finished the sequel to Return Engagement, and I’ve started a fantasy novel. So far, I’m having a lot of fun with it. It’s nice to create new worlds.
Wow, you've finished a sequel to "Return Engagement" already? Good for you. Best of luck with the fantasy novel. Creating fantasy worlds sounds complicated.
Since we're becoming more and more eager to have a peak at your books after learning a bit about them, tell us, do you have an excerpt page where readers can read multiple excerpts?
Yes, I sure do. I have them posted on my web site at http://www.elainecantrell.com.
I would like to share an excerpt with you from "Return Engagement" right here and now, if that's okay.
Terrific! Go ahead.
In this part my hero and heroine have just met each other on the beach after a ten year separation during which Elizabeth (my heroine) got herself engaged to another man. They were never able to forget about each other, and they soon find that time hasn’t changed their feelings at all. I’ll give you a blurb first to help set the stage for the excerpt.
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.
They rode the Ferris wheel and the tilt-a-whirl two times each. Then they went through the haunted mansion which gave Elizabeth a great chance to scream and cling to his side. She hid her face against his shoulder, savoring the male scent of him. When they left the haunted mansion, they found a place that sold cotton candy and funnel cakes. They bought a huge amount of both and devoured the sugary treats as if they’d never had anything so tasty. I shouldn’t flirt so brazenly with him, Elizabeth thought, but who cares?
She paused when they passed a shooting arcade. “Richard, you’re FBI, so I guess you’re supposed to be a good shot. Win me a stuffed animal.”
Richard groaned. “Those guns are probably all sighted wrong so you can’t win. Couldn’t I just buy you one instead?”
“No, that won’t do at all. Never mind. It’s okay if you don’t think you can do it,” she replied with no hint of a smile whatsoever. Would he try to win a prize for her or not?
“Okay, I know a challenge when I hear it.” Richard stepped up to the counter and inspected the row of guns provided by the arcade. “I’ll win you an animal if I have to stay here all night.”
The attendant, a wizened gnome of a man with a sour expression on his face, wandered over to them. “Win a prize for the lady, mister? Dollar a shot.”
“Yeah, I’ll give it a try.”
He selected the gun he wanted and shot, but he missed. “Just as I expected, the sights are off, and it pulls to the left.” He adjusted for the bad sights, aimed, and squeezed the trigger. This time he hit the target dead center.
“Hooray,” cheered Elizabeth. “I want that big white cat over there. How many does he have to hit to get it?”
“Ten in a row,” the man sourly replied.
A few minutes later Richard and Elizabeth walked away carrying the big cat with them.
Elizabeth tucked her arm through his. “This is so exciting! Nobody ever won anything for me before. You are such a good shot. I bet you’re one of the FBI’s best marksmen.” Is he blushing? thought Elizabeth. I bet it’s been a long time since a woman made him blush.
She couldn’t resist the urge to tease him. She came to a halt and looked intently into his face. “Why, Richard, are you blushing?”
The color in Richard’s face deepened. “I don’t think so. It’s just the lights.”
“Oh, yes you are! You always used to blush when I teased you. Did I embarrass you?”
Richard ducked his head, a little gesture of vulnerability that probably sent her blood pressure sky high. “All right, my face does feel a little warm” he admitted, “but no, you didn’t embarrass me. It’s… well it’s kind of nice to have you flirt with me and brag on me. I’m surprised how bad I wanted to show off and win that damn cat for you.”
“You are so sweet,” she declared, giving him a warm smile.
“I don’t believe it! Is that what I get for winning the cat? Sweet? I don’t want to be sweet.” Ignoring the crowds of people all around them, he jerked her close which made her breath leave her in a little woof. “I want to be your lover. I want you to say I’m sexy and that you want me. I can’t believe you think I’m sweet.”
Elizabeth willingly threw both discretion and Alex to the wind. What did discretion or Alex matter at a time like this? “Oh, that’s what you want, is it? I’m glad you made your intentions clear, Mr. Lovinggood.” She took a small step toward him and obligingly tilted her face upward.
Elaine, thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you'll come visit us again sometime.
Readers, thank you for welcoming Elaine Cantrell, and thank you for making June's interviews and excerpts such a rousing success.
Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author