Everybody, please welcome Guest Author, Elaine Cantrell.

Hi, Elaine, I'm thrilled to have you here with me today. Your new book looks absolutely wonderful, and it's always exciting to get to know more of the authors I work with at The Wild Rose Press.

So let's talk writing!

We all start in different places on this path. Different influences drive us to write, different experiences push us onward. Would you briefly take us on the journey with you – when did you start writing, did you start in the genre you’re published in now, what hurdles did you have to overcome, etc.

ELAINE: I started writing in 2001 because my son came home and told me he wrote a book. I couldn’t believe it! I’d always wanted to write myself, but I didn’t think I could. Now, here was my younger son handing me a manuscript. He told me that he had always made up stories in his head to amuse himself, so he thought he might as well write them down.

Oh. My. Goodness. I had always done the same thing! I sat down at my computer, and after staring it for about ten minutes I started writing. I haven’t stopped since. No one liked my first book, but I didn’t care. I was hooked. I immediately started the second book.

About that time I heard of a small press called Oak Tree Press. They sponsored the Timeless Love contest every year, and the prize was publication of your book. At the last minute I sent off my manuscript, then promptly forgot about it. Imagine my surprise when months later the publisher called me and told me I’d won. That book was a contemporary romance which is what I mostly write today. I’m trying to do a paranormal and an inspirational, but I’m mostly a sweet to sensual contemporary writer.

You know, that's interesting, because I hope that my boys find the same love for writing as I do -- whether they choose to use it professionally or not. It's nice when our children can motivate us to greatness too.

Now, you just said you write primarily in the contemporary genre. Is that your favorite genre to read? Do you write in any other genres, or under any other pen names you’d like to share?

ELAINE: I do read romance, but I read other genres too. Right now I’m reading a cozy mystery called The Teaberry Strangler by Laura White. I have an account on Goodreads where I list all the things I’ve read. As I said I’ve written both a paranormal and an inspirational romance, but they don’t have homes yet.

I can relate to that. I have a historical and a romantic suspense without a home yet too. You've got a substantial back list. Of the books you've published, do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?

ELAINE: That’s a tough one. Each time I work on a new book I like it the best, but if I had to pick I’d choose my new one Return Engagement. I fell in love with my hero, so much so that I have a sequel written and have started on a third book featuring him and his family.

Since I mentioned it, would you mind to share your published titles and tell us about anything coming down the pipe next?


A New Leaf http://www.blogger.com/www.oaktreebooks.comThis one is the one that won the Timeless Love contest.

Grandfather’s Legacy is available from me as a PDF because the publisher died and the publishing house was closed.

Purple Heart http://www.blogger.com/www.thewildrosepress.com

The Welcome Inn http://www.blogger.com/www.wings-press.com

The Best Selling Toy Of The Season http://www.blogger.com/www.midnightshowcase.com

Return Engagement http://www.blogger.com/www.whiskeycreekpress.com

All of the books are also available from amazon.com.

I do have one more book that’s coming soon. It’s called Kara’s Change of Heart and will be published by Lachesis Publishing. You won’t believe the things that happen to my heroine!

Well, we came here to talk about Return Engagement, and this book is one that really shouldn't wait. So with much ado, let's talk about this new release!

Tell me about your plot development? How did the idea spur, did you have to do much research, any interesting tidbits that we should know?

ELAINE: My entire idea revolves around the idea of “what might have been.” I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t wondered about that. In this novel I explore what happens when two people get a second chance at love. Research for this one was minimal. I had to look up a couple of descriptions, but that’s about all.

I sense you have a hero to die for. Perhaps even literally. Tell me more about Richard. What’s one thing about your hero that we wouldn’t necessarily learn in the book? A secret dream, an embarrassing habit, an episode from childhood.

ELAINE: Richard, my hero, is impulsive which is obvious in the book, but the extent of his recklessness won’t become apparent until the sequel which is tentatively titled Blue 52. At that time we learn some about some very disturbing consequences of his impulsive behavior.

If Richard doesn’t have a pet in your novel, what kind of pet would best suit his personality?

ELAINE: A Doberman. The Doberman is sleek and muscular, loyal to those he loves, and willing to protect his loved ones at all cost.

All heroes are unforgettable in one way or another. What’s one thing about your hero that makes your heart go pitter-pat?

ELAINE: He’s awfully good looking, but I think what I like best is that he’s a one woman man. He’s an Alpha male with a soft spot for his Elizabeth. He’s willing to kill for her and even die if necessary.

There's that 'dying for'! I knew it! Only I had it backwards. He sounds like you picked him right out of my ideal hero dreams. I can't wait to meet him, Elaine.

Since you mentioned Elizabeth, and since these two are obviously inseperable, share a bit more about her, if you would. Everybody has flaws. Sometimes they are endearing, other times they are annoying. What is your heroine’s greatest fault?

ELAINE: She’s too cautious. Of course after her life I can understand that.

Without giving away details that might spoil the story for those who have not read it, could you tell us the one strength your heroine provides to your hero?

ELAINE: Stability. He’s fire and action, and she calms him and tempers his recklessness.

Mmm. That makes my heart sigh just thinking about it. A perfect counterbalance.

If your heroine was your daughter – what advice would you give her upon meeting your hero?

ELAINE: Be careful. This guy will upset your life in ways you can’t imagine.

That's absolutely intriguing, and definitely sound "mom" advice. Though, it's intriguing enough I'm not sure I would want my daughter meeting Richard. Laugh!

If we peek in on your hero and heroine’s lives ten years from now, can you give us a glimpse of what we’d see?

ELAINE: He’s the most powerful man in the country, but they’re struggling with infertility.

Well if he's going to be the most powerful man in the country, I don't suspect we should keep him waiting. He's probably not too fond of that. So let's have a face to face.

Here's a tempting bit about Return Engagement


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 excerpt takes place after Richard and Elizabeth met on the beach after a ten year separation.

“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.

* * *

Oh yes, very nice. May I keep him? Please?

I'd like to go back to you for a minute, before we say goodbye.

What do you find most difficult about your job as an author?

ELAINE: Undoubtedly, it’s promotion. I’m not very good at it since I’m basically an introvert.

How has writing changed your life?

ELAINE: I’ve learned that dreams can come true. I have a lot more confidence in myself now than I used to.

What has surprised you the most about being a published author?

ELAINE: What surprises me the most is that people assume all authors are making a fortune. I wish!

Laugh! I wish too! Wouldn't it be nice?

It's been a pleasure having you visit, and I hope you'll come back with your next release. We'll let you get back to creating dangerous cirumstances and crafting yummy heroes we'd like to take home with us. Before you go, would you tell us where we can find you? (Website, blog, twitter, etc.)

My web site is http://www.elainecantrell.com/
My blog is http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com/
My twitter account is http://twitter.com/ElaineCantrell I’d love you to follow me.
My Facebook page is at http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000153041486 Do send me a friend request.
My MySpace page is http://www.myspace.com/elainecantrell Send me a friend request.

If you have a newsletter, how can we sign up?

ELAINE: Go to my web page and scroll down until you find the yahoo button. Click it and follow the directions.

Thanks again, Elaine, and I hope to see you back soon!


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5 Responses so far.

  1. Nice interview, Elaine. I hope it brings you more readers.

  2. Great interview! What might have been is, indeed, something we've all wondered at some point about something. Best of luck with Return Engagement, Elaine.

    Claire, I see you're in Nano mode, as well. Hope the words are flowing!

  3. Claire and Elaine, what a great interview. I love the sound of your book, Elaine. I love reunited lovers stories. There is so much baggage to deal with. LOL

  4. Thanks to everyone for stopping by. I appreciate all of your comments. These two do have a lot of baggage, but wait until you see what new disaster is headed their way.

  5. LK -- I am in Nano mode. It's kicking my rear. Laugh. I hope things are going well for you there.

    Elaine -- better keep us posted on those disasters!

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