Monday, June 28, 2010

Let's Welcome the author of Texas Blue, Celia Yeary!!


Howdy!!! Celia Yeary is the author of Texas Blue, a western historical sure to make you want to dust off your cowboy hat and don your cowboy boots.

Let's give her a warm welcome.

***Contest: She's giving away one PDF copy of Texas Blue to one lucky winner who leaves a comment or asks a question. Sorry, the cowboy is not included.

In six years’ time, I have written about a dozen manuscripts, have three of them published, and three more contracted. In the beginning, I only wrote, mainly because I had no idea what I was doing. My life had settled down, I had new-found freedom for the first time since the age of eighteen, and simply by chance I wrote a couple of paragraphs about a young woman walking down a dusty road. Then I decided the woman had a little girl with her, and they lived deep in a forest, isolated and abandoned from the world.

This simple act turned on my brain and out gushed story after story. All I did was write, not knowing or thinking an editor or publisher would ever see my work. But as an oil gusher at first pours out tons of oil (pretend the Gulf Oil Crisis does not exist), the flow one day slows to a trickle.

Now, I know too much. Is the POV clean and pure? Are the chapter transitions clear and precise? Did I include too many passive sentences? Have I told the reader too much, instead of showing?

When I begin to doubt every word I write, I place myself in a time-out. There’s no use banging my head against the wall or slamming the lid down on my innocent laptop. So, I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.

Writing Bursts: One exercise I perform sounds very easy, but if a writer is truly in the doldrums, it can still present problems. You won’t know until you try. The exercise is called “writing bursts.” Sit down with a blank sheet of paper in front of you. For me, that would be my Toshiba laptop. For others, that might mean a pen and notebook. Think of a topic or ask someone near you—“name any topic that comes into your head.” Then, begin to write without thinking—assuming you know a little something about the topic—and continue for ten minutes. Do not stop to edit for anything—don’t worry about spelling, style, or grammar. Now. See? Isn’t that easy. It warms up your brain.

A Story in a Nutshell: Next, describe your plot in one three-part sentence—a story in a nutshell. Try it first using one of your published novels. Next, try it using one of your WIPs. Note: you may not use, “Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and then boy gets girl.” Now, you have an outline made of three sections—the beginning, the middle, the ending. This makes your plot resemble a three-act play, a tried and true method.

Concentrate on One Character’s Desire: Concentrate solely on your protagonist—male or female. What does this character want more than anything? Answer this question in detail, and voila! You have a plot based solely on his/her desire.

Now, if only I can make this work for myself.

Texas Blue my newest release. I’d love to give a PDF of this Western Historical novel to a visitor. I’ll randomly choose a winner.

BLURB:

She wasn’t a fit mother…

So said the county judge who hired Buck Cameron to retrieve his little daughter. But when Buck finally locates the pretty mother and child, he finds the claim very hard to believe. Now, he faces a dilemma. Should he obey the order? Or should he defy the judge and rescue Marilee and her child from isolation?

She’d been banished…

Rejected and abandoned by her father, Marilee Weston used the pain of betrayal to survive. Now, she needs a way out of the forest, where she and her daughter had lived for five years. But the towering pines and fear of the unknown imprisoned her. How could she begin a new life for herself and five-year-old daughter? Will the alluring stranger free her, or prove to be even more dangerous?

EXCERPT:

“Oh…well then, what else would you like to talk about?” Her voice trembled, but she couldn’t control it.

Without turning to face her, he said, “Are you trying to make a joke, Marilee? We haven’t talked about anything worth a damn since that night in the boarding house.”

At this, he turned on the step to look up at her with his eyes narrowed. “And we had one hell of a night, didn’t we? Or maybe you didn’t. Now that I think on it, that didn’t make any impression on you. You know what it feels like, Marilee, to be made a fool? It hurts. Gut-level pain. Stupidly, I honestly thought you wanted me just like I wanted you. I’d fallen so in love with you, I firmly believed I could make you love me, too. Then what did you do? Slapped me right down from my lofty feelings.”

“Buck, I…”

“Don’t placate, me, Marilee. I got the message, loud and clear. Finally. You were right. I do have a thick skull. Takes me a while to see the real picture.”

His words struck deep, into her soul. Now, she realized how much he truly loved her, and she knew in her heart, he could overlook all of her shortcomings. He started to rise, and gently, she placed her hand on his arm to keep him in place.

“My darling,” she whispered. She felt his muscles tense. “Please forgive me. I am undoubtedly the most stupid woman on the face of the earth. Now, you have to answer this question.”

With a disbelieving look, he stared at her. She heard him breath slowly and deeply. Still as stone, he looked into her eyes and waited.

“I have six dollars saved. I have a daughter, soon to be five. I have a few clothes, but they’re all castoffs. That’s all that I have in this world. Except for one more thing. I have so much love for you, I will go anywhere with you, that is, if you still want me. And I…”

He cut her words off with a hard kiss, an open-mouthed, devouring kiss. He pulled her up, around the church, and between two Rose of Sharon bushes. He pushed her against the clapboard siding of the building, placed his hands flat on the wall, and pressed his body into hers.

“Damn, honey. You’ve about killed me.” Pushing back a little, he took her face in his hands and whispered against her mouth, “Will you marry me?”

She managed a nod, but it was enough for Buck.

NOTE: This isn’t the end of the novel—a few more events take place before the wedding day.

Thank you for visiting today--

http://celiayeary.blogspot.com

Celia Yeary

Romance…and a little bit o' Texas

www.celiayeary.com

TEXAS BLUE-eBook and Print

SHOWDOWN IN SOUTHFORK—eBook

ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS-eBook and Print

www.thewildrosepress.com


Monday, June 21, 2010

Interview with Denise Jeffries


Drama, Secrets and Suspense, Denise Jeffries is the author of tantalizing romances that keep you coming back for more. She talks about her characters, Samantha and Elijah in her new book Masquerade! And that's not all---Did you ever want to know what your name means to other people? Psst...Denise's favorite research book has all the answers and she's willing to reveal the title. Let's give her a warm welcome.


***Contest: Denise will be giving away free books and goodies throughout the day. Anyone who leaves a comment or asks her a question will be eligible to win. Don't forget to leave your email information.


Tell us a little about yourself:

Hmm, let’s see. When I’m not writing I am a registered nurse and I work as a case manager in a hospital, but that is so boring. I’ve been writing in journals and writing short stories as fall back as I can remember. I guess it’s always been a passion. It just took me until my adult life to figure it out. I love to travel and meet new people. I love to people watch and listen to conversations. Yes, I love to ease drop. You never know when and where you might find a good story line.


What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I’ve been reading my entire life. I remember winning a reading contest in the 7th grade. I read everything. Mystery, suspense, you name it. If it was good, I read it.


What inspired you to write your first book?

Oh my God. Why’d I know you were going to ask that. Okay, see what happened was, I had just been given a copy of Felicia mason’s Body and Soul and after reading, I immediately fell in love with romance. That same girlfriend convinced me that I should start putting some of those short stories I’d written and tucked away into books.


In your book Masquerade, Samantha Skylar is a CEO for a pharmaceutical company. Tell us a little about Samantha.

Samantha is a tough as nails African American woman who after too many failed relationships and having her heart broken too many times she has closed herself off to men. She is a no hostage taker, no holds barred kid a gal. She’s worked in a man’s world all her life and frankly, doesn’t know anything else. That is until she hires Elijah McCray.


Tell us a little about your hero, Elijah McCray in Masquerade. What does he do for a living? What does he look like? (It’s okay to make us drool. LOL)

Oh la la. You know of all of my male heroes Eli is the only one who I couldn’t put next to an actor to give you a comparison. But here goes. Tall, very tall. Muscular but not overly. I always love a man who can pick up a real woman, cradle her in his arms and carry her across the room. Well there you go. He’s also had it hard in life and he’s running from some secrets of his own. Secrets that could tear him apart and destroy what he’s trying to build with Samantha. He has money (inherited from parents) but he works hard to make his own. He’s strong, mentally and physically. Isn’t afraid of a fight, especially when it involves fighting for his woman. He’s educated. He works as Samantha’s VP of product development and sales.


Is Samantha anything like you are? Is Elijah McCray fashioned after someone you know or is he purely a fantasy?

Lets see. When ever someone reads my books they say some of my attributes are in the heroine. I’d like to think so, but mainly because I’m an independent strong woman who loves an independent strong man. I’m not afraid of going after the things I want. LOL. I can’t give an actor or person to relate to when you think of him and usually I can, but with Elijah, I want every woman to think of her fantasy. Think of that one many, your number one and that’s Elijah.


Can you share a little of your current work in progress with us?

I am working on Book three of my St. Agnes series. Whispers in the Dark and Visions in the Dark are books one and two respectively. Book three, will spot light, Jericho’s best friend, Marcus. You may have met him in Whispers in the Dark. He’s a journalist and owns the St. Agnes newspaper. He stumbles across some major dirt in the political world and while investing he turns into the target and is on the run. The only thing, he’s injured and has amnesia. His only hope is police office Natalia Lucas who’s taken on the task of helping him, but her intentions are not entirely clear. Dominique, Jericho, Chief Hunter Roberts and Jasmine (Jade) make appearances.


Do you have a favorite research book?

I love the any personality trait book but my all time favorite is the Baby Name Survey Book. It not only gives you name origins but it gives you survey reports of what people think of the name, such as Damien, surveyed and people think of the devil’s son. I was a little hurt when I found out people think of Denise as fat and funny. Why’d they have to call me funny. LOL.


Tell the readers where they can find you:

I’m all over the place. I’m on myspace, Facebook, and I have a new blog on blogspot. I also have a yahoo group, Denise Jeffries the author and I have a monthly newsletter, Shenanigans. You can drop me an email and I will add as a friend or add to newsletter. I love hearing from readers so don’t be shy. I have a website but it’s in the process of being updated. www.denisejeffries.com


Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

I almost forgot, when I’m not writing as Denise Jeffries, I write erotic romance as Alexis Ke.


Where can we buy your books?

All of my books are available via amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, borders or through the publisher.


MASQUERADE

BLURB

As stocks plummet and emotions soar, Samantha Skylar, the owner and CEO of Sky Pharmaceuticals is plagued by deceit and conspiracy. She’s tough, powerful and alone. The last thing she needs right now is a mysterious, devastatingly delicious man intruding in her personal and business life and to make things worse, a mysterious virus that has been dormant for ten years is plaguing the United States once again. Her pharmaceutical company is on the brink of bankruptcy; however, this virus could bring her company out of a financial slump. The one man who can break the case is stirring emotions in her that haven’t been felt in years.

Elijah McCray, the newest Executive Vice President of Product Development and Sales is also tough and powerful. Immediately he is intrigued and captivated with Samantha. His plans to ‘get to know her’ are rudely interrupted by the appearance of the virus only known as Taz-D. He knows he will have to slowly chip awau the frozen persona of a woman who has spent her entire life running what she thinks is, ‘a man’s world’ to conquer this newest threat.

Cover-up, Deception, Love

“… bursting with drama, romance, secrets and suspense, MASQUERADE will surely tantalize the senses of romance readers.” Reviewed by Sharon Lewis, RAWSISTAZ.COM

MASQUERADE

EXCERPT

CHAPTER ONE

Across town. Midnight.

The darkened streetlights would tell no secrets tonight.

“Did you buy the stocks?” The man asked. His eyes, dark and ominous, scanned the seedy bar. Music from scratched CD’s and the stench of stale beer and corn chips filtered through the air.

“I got the certificates right here. I still can’t figure out why you would drop so much dough into a stock that has been falling like this one.” His fingers picked at the dried catsup on the table. He didn’t look at his associate. He couldn’t. Nervous? Afraid?

“Don’t you worry. That’s my business. I got a feeling this stock is about to go sky high.”

“Well, whatever you’re up to I don’t want anything to do with it. What did Sky ever do to you, anyway? Some grudge you got going here.”

He didn’t answer. A low guttural laugh rumbled out his mouth. Maybe if she had done something to me. . .

With that brief conversation he was out the door. The night had grown cool and damp. The clouded sky blocked any light from the moon.

Footsteps clicked on the pavement in rapid succession as he walked to his vehicle. Suspicious eyes scanned the dark surroundings making sure no one saw him. He got in the car and sped off.

¨¨

“Mr. McCray, I presume.” Samantha Skylar sat in the black leather, wing back chair the next morning, leaned back and rested her head in the headrest.

Her gaze slid slowly up and down the frame of the man sitting across from her. Serious. Powerful. Maybe as much as her. Impeccably dressed and just under the surface there was something else. Something she couldn’t quite put her finger on. She would, given time.

“You have impressed my board of directors. However, I’m not as easy as they are.” She flicked through the papers on her desk trying to not pay attention to him.

Samantha prided herself for her toughness, her kick ass business sense and her take no prisoners attitude. It took her years to acquire and perfect it and now it was as much a part of her as her tailored suits. People feared her, some hated her, but she didn’t care. This is who she was and how she made her money. Otherwise, she’d still be working behind a local pharmacy counter dishing out pills. This was the world she built and if people got in her way, she stepped on them and scraped the remains into the trash. She told herself everyday how much she loved it.

“And, why is that?” Elijah’s voice was strong, yet elegant and at the same time commanding. His eyes never left hers but instead stared at her with such intensity she almost wanted to look away. Almost.

“Never have been, never will. Most people come in here thinking I’m a man and then sit in that same chair as you, taking up my time, tongue tied and dumbfounded. So let us cut to the chase.” Samantha turned to the day planner that lit up the computer screen to her right. She paused and leaned forward. “I have more important things to do today than interviews and I don’t like my time wasted. You have three minutes to bore me, eight minutes to entice me and twenty minutes to convince me why I should give you a job with my company.”

She opened the top drawer of the desk, pulled out a small egg timer and sat it on the corner.

Shaking his head, Elijah cleared his throat and shifted his weight.

“You are wasting my time, Mr. McCray. You have only two,” she glanced at the timer, “and a half minutes left. So far, I’m not in the least bit impressed. I would suggest you get busy.”

“You do that very well,” Elijah said with a voice warm enough to melt ice.

Tilting her head she asked, “And what is that?”

“Try to intimidate people.”

“Doesn’t seem to be working today.”

“Not in the least.” Elijah’s lips curved into a soft smile that told her nothing as to what was going through his head.

His voice strong and husky, wrapped around Samantha like hot chocolate on a cold winter night. She took a quick deep breath and blew it out, not liking the way it felt.

Looking toward the egg timer she drew her hand up and tapped the top of it. “Your time is running out, Mr. McCray.”

A soft laugh escaped his throat. “If my memory serves me right, I did not look for you or your company. You came looking for me, besides it won’t take me three minutes to convince you.”

“Oh really,” Samantha leaned forward in her chair and crossed her arms on top of the desk. “I guess they forgot to tell you I am not interested in resumes, previous employment or letters behind your name.”

Turning to the right, she dropped his portfolio into the waste paper basket. “Now, your time is steadily ticking away. You did, however amuse me enough to surpass your three minute limit, but only because I like your ability to hold my attention. You haven’t told me yet why I should give you a job with my company.”

“Hum.” He nodded, a slow movement of the head. “I’ve never been called amusing. I grossed 1.25 mil last quarter in product development and sales.” Pulling a business card from his breast pocket, leaning forward, Elijah placed it on the desk in front of Samantha. “When you are ready to talk business have your people call me.” He pushed up from the chair extended his hand and waited for her to shake it. When she didn’t, he turned and walked toward the door.

Samantha relaxed back in her chair, took a deep breath. “I like you, Mr. McCray. Not too many people have the balls to do what you just did.”

“I’m not most people.”

“Oh, really? Have you ever worked for a woman?” Samantha knew this was a no-no question for interviews but what she gathered from him; his answer would play a deciding factor in her resolve and whether she wanted him on her team. If he couldn’t handle himself she’d have no place for him. Weak men were not her forte’. In and out of the workplace.

A harmless smile curved his lips before he answered. “You would be the first, but why would it matter? If you had taken a longer look at those papers you threw away so easily, you would have noticed I’m a pretty boy from Penn State.” He knew how to defend himself. Good.

“Kappa?”

Nodding his head, Elijah continued, “I go after everything I want and I get everything I go after.”

Samantha fisted her hand under her chin and continued to listen to him, liking what she heard. She loved the idea of a money making man. Earning potential always caught her attention.

“Does that matter?” Elijah asked. “If I’ve never had a woman, over me?”

“Of course it matters,” she said. “It’s all relevant. Positioning in this world can make or break a person.”

Samantha picked up the phone and dialed a few numbers. After a brief pause she said, “Jacob, I’ve got McCray here. Find him something to do.” She hung up. No goodbyes, no talk to you later, no nothing. “Go see my assistant. She’ll tell you where to go.”

¨¨

Samantha relaxed in her chair. Her legs extended out and propped up on the desk. She closed her eyes. Umm, umm, umm, that’s one fine brother. Just the thought of his espresso skin with a splash of cream and those ebony eyes made her shudder. She even noticed the empty tiny hole in his right ear lobe and imagined a small diamond stud twinkling when the light hit it just right. Her heart sped up when she wondered what he could do with those strong hands and long fingers.

“I’ve got to tell my people to screen the applicants better,” she muttered to herself. Someone like Elijah McCray could really keep me distracted. What a day. I’ve got to learn how to curtail those thoughts. He could really get me into trouble with the board. The last time I had thoughts like that and acted on them I was dragged through the coals. Wasn’t a pretty sight after I finished with him, either.

She sat and remembered Samuel. He was the one man in her past that melted her heart and when he was finished, threw her away like yesterday’s trash. Her smile slipped as memories of him flooded her mind. Shaking thoughts of Samuel away, her consciousness floated back to Elijah. Taking a deep breath she could still smell remnants of his scent mixed with his cologne.

Samantha leaned over and pulled his portfolio out of the trash. She slowly perused the papers containing all of the information about his life. “Not bad at all,” Samantha mumbled while she made notes in the margins. A devious smile pursed her lips as she turned and focused her gaze on the buildings rising in the view of her window. The brother could go far in this industry if he lived up to his resume.

She liked that he was single, educated, and definitely good-looking. Plus, he had a great earning potential. The resume didn’t say it, but she knew he had to be in his early forties. The few flecks of gray at his temples came to mind as she continued to read the papers. She liked what she saw. She liked it a lot.

He’d already made quite a bit of money. He’d spent a lot of time and resources on education, too. Advanced degrees in pharmacy, chemistry and a degree in strategic marketing. She folded the papers in half and placed them in the desk drawer. Grabbing the phone off of the base, she placed another call.

“Jacob, how much does McCray want?” An eyebrow arched. “Oh really.” She snorted out a laugh. Something she rarely did. “I bet he does.”

Pausing for a brief second, she took a deep breath and continued, “Give him what he wants and add ten percent.”

After listening to Jacob’s response she then said, “Don’t worry. He’s going to work very hard for his money.”

¨¨

Elijah’s earlier conversation with his friend Barry popped into his head. The edges of a smile began to tug at his mouth. Barry teased him about his move north. He asked him who he was running from and why? Elijah just laughed at him. He wasn’t running from anything. That was his story and he was sticking to it.

He hadn’t even thought about leaving his last place of employment until the public relations headhunter contacted him three weeks ago. However, the position they offered sounded good, Executive Vice President of Product Development and Sales. Stepping into the office he felt tiny beads of sweat form on the back of his neck and his stomach knotted. Something about the infamous Sam Skylar escaped him.

In everything that had gone on over the past week he’d forgotten Sam Skylar was a woman. Samantha Skylar to be precise. And what a woman. Standing in the corner of the office, she talked on the hands free phone arguing with whoever was on the other end. Something to do with money, stocks, sales and point margins.

She had such power in her voice; in the way she stood and carried herself. Pacing the office, Samantha’s hands waved in the air expressing each syllable.

His eyes scanned her from head to toe. She was tall, very tall. At least six feet, maybe even a few inches more. He watched her as she walked by him. Absolutely stunning.

Her hair was medium length, softly touching her shoulders. Jet-black, just the way he liked it. Not too long, but long enough for his fingers to get entangled in. No highlights. No different colored roots shining through. Absolutely stunning, re-entered his mind as he tried to push back a smile.

Her makeup was impeccable. He’d never seen such beautiful lips on a woman before. Each time her mouth moved they curled perfectly. Even and full. Visions of him sucking, pulling them in his mouth and tasting them ran through his mind. He laughed inwardly, shuddered and tried unsuccessfully to ignore the tingling in his groin muscles.

Even her suit was impressive. Tailored. The jacket cut at the hips showed her curves and the skirt short enough allowed him to see those sexy dimples behind her knees. He wanted to run his hand up the length of her long curvaceous legs and have her heat warm his fingers.

Shivering, Elijah looked out the window, hoping it would distract him from those last thoughts. He wasn’t sure where they’d come from, but knew they needed to leave.

This couldn’t possibly be the president of Sky Pharmaceuticals. Or could it? For the first time in his life Elijah wished it was a man. This woman was going to make it awful hard for him to stay focused. It was easy talking to men.

Something about this woman intrigued him though. He wasn’t sure what, but he knew it would be nice to find out.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Interview with Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell writes romantic tales that will pull at your heart strings. Let's give her a warm welcome.

***Contest:
Ms. Cantrell is offering a chance to win an e-book copy of Purple Heart. All you have to do is leave a comment or ask her a question.


Tell us a little about yourself:

I was born and raised in a little town in upstate South Carolina. I have 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 Writers of America and EPIC authors. I’m married to my college sweetheart and have two sons and three grandchildren. Besides writing I enjoy quilting, gardening, collecting vintage Christmas ornaments, and discovering new restaurants with my friends.

What were some of your favorite books growing up? What inspired you to write your first book? Oh what fun! I love remembering my childhood favorites. Let’s see. Little Women was one of my favorites. I cried and cried when Beth died. I was horse crazy so I liked Black Beauty and the Black Stallion books. I read the Trixie Belden mystery series, and absolutely adored the Anne of Green Gables books.


As to what inspired me to write that first book, well, you can blame it on my son. He came in one day and said that he’d written a book. ‘I always made up stories in my head to amuse myself,’ he said, ‘so I thought I’d write them down.’ Amazing. I had always done the same thing. About that time, a teacher friend of mine said we should both write a book, and we’d critique each other’s work. I gave it a shot. My first book had lots of flaws, but I wrote a second and submitted it to the Timeless Love contest sponsored by Oak Tree Books. To my great and utter surprise, I won the contest, and my book was published the following year. I’ve been hooked ever since.


Tell us a little about Purple Heart and what inspired you to write the tale.


I wrote Purple Heart after my nephew came home from Iraq and talked to me about things that happened over there. I started thinking about the ramifications of war, and Purple Heart was born. The book is the story of veteran Mike Hightower and young widow Jenna West. When Mike gets out of the army he rents an apartment from Jenna even though he doesn’t like her. She’s Lebanese. People like her killed his friend Ramirez when the army sent them to Iraq. As time goes on Mike can’t help but see the goodness in Jenna. His feelings start to change, but he doesn’t know if he can overlook her ethnic background or not. If he does, wouldn’t he be betraying Ramirez? Purple Heart is available at: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/purple-heart-p-404.html


Tell us about your upcoming release due out in July, Return Engagement. What might have been has probably haunted everyone at one time or another. I’m curious to know why Elizabeth Lane is willing to take the risk of finding out.


Elizabeth is willing to take a big risk. She has everything she ever wanted: fame, wealth, and the love of a good man. She’s willing to risk it all because Richard Lovinggood is unforgettable. They fell in love ten years ago, but Richard’s father Senator Henry Lovinggood broke them up. He didn’t think Elizabeth was good enough for Richard. He wants Richard to be the president, and Elizabeth’s family isn’t the kind you want to brag about. But how could she ever forget Richard? He’s gorgeous, impulsive, brilliant, hot tempered, and probably a little dangerous. He also has a romantic side. When she’s with him the whole world sparkles. He makes her feel alive in a way she’s never felt before. Ten years ago she lost him, but when she gets another chance at happiness her heart won’t let her turn it down.

Return Engagement will be available in July from Whiskey Creek Press at: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com


Can you share a little of your current work in progress with us?

I’m currently working on a fantasy. Let me share the first few paragraphs with you. As you can see, my hero, Alan, has a big problem.

King Bowdyn sprang from his throne and paced around the room like a crazed tiger as his son knelt before the huge golden chair studded with crimson and emerald stones. “Perhaps you did not understand me, Alan,” he snarled. His hands clenched into fists held rigidly to his side. “This is not a request, but a command. You will marry Lady Maybina before the next full moon has passed.”

Alan dared not raise his eyes from the floor. “Father, I do not…”

“Silence!” the king roared. “I have respected your wishes for three years now, but my patience is at an end. You will wed Lady Maybina as I have commanded.”

“Father, having married once for love, I have no desire to marry a woman whom I have never met! Can you not understand? Think of the love you share with my mother. Is it so bad that I desire the same kind of relationship?”

Do you have a favorite research book?

No, not really. I do most of my research online, though.


Tell the readers where they can find you:

My website is http://www.elainecantrell.com

My blog is http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com

My My Space page is http://www.myspace.com/elainecantrell

My Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100000153041486


Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?


Yes, I’d like to say that I like Return Engagement better than any book I’ve ever written. My characters captured my imagination to the point that I have two others books featuring the same family. If Return Engagement does well, I’m hoping Whiskey Creek Press who’s publishing Return Engagement will want them too. The book is coming out in July, but they haven’t told me if it’s the first or the middle of the month. When it does, if you buy a copy of the book, email me your receipt I’ll send you a free PDF of my second novel Grandfather’s Legacy. This offer is good for the first 50 people or 48 hours whichever comes first. I’d sure appreciate any support you can give me. Go to http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com


Blurb:

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 fiancĂ©. 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.

Excerpt:

In this excerpt my hero and heroine have met each other on the beach ten years after they broke up.

They picked up their trash, threw it in the garbage can, and continued their walk down the beach. They hadn’t gone ten steps before Richard took her hand. Elizabeth tried to breathe normally. Okay, why not hold hands with him? Why, she might turn her ankle walking in the sand! Richard had always tried to protect her and keep her safe. How nice that he still wanted to take care of her.

They had only gone a little way when he drew her against his side and put his arm around her. Really! I shouldn’t have held hands with him, she thought. What was I thinking?

Before she could scold him Richard came to a stop. Her knees started to shake as his eyes bored into hers. “Are you going to slap my face if I try to kiss you? I hate getting slapped, but I’m having a hard time keeping my hands to myself.”

A heady sense of feminine power rose up in Elizabeth and almost made her heart jump bounce out of her chest. Richard Lovinggood wanted to kiss her! Richard Lovinggood. Sexy, wonderful Richard Lovinggood! Shame abruptly flooded her. For some reason her thinking seemed muddled and messy tonight. I have a wonderful life. I have everything I ever wanted-wealth, fame, a great job, and they don’t make men any better than Alex Crawford. How can I risk my happiness by cheating on him, especially with a man like Richard? There’s no possible hope of a future with him.

From under lowered lashes she caught sight of the amusement park in the distance. “Look, Richard. I see the merry-go-round. Let’s hurry.” She broke away from him and sprinted down the beach with Richard right behind her.

They rode the merry-go-round first, and after that Elizabeth gave up her attempt to keep things impersonal. Richard made such an adventure out of this visit to the carnival that she had too much fun to worry about Alex. I’ll probably have to pay for it later, but darn it, tonight I intend to enjoy myself.

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? Her obvious joy caused some bystanders to smile as they remembered their own courtships.

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?

Richard stepped up to the counter and inspected the row of guns provided by the arcade. “Okay, I know a challenge when I hear it. 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 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.

She had known Richard wouldn’t waste his chance. His eyes darkened as he bent his head. Elizabeth gasped when his lips touched hers. She had forgotten how his kisses made her knees shake, her heart pound, and almost burned her up from the inside out.

Richard finally lifted his head. “You have a lazy, satisfied smile on your face,” Elizabeth breathlessly observed.

A smile crossed his face. “Yeah, I do.” His voice dropped. “You held me so close, and you kissed me like you’d never get enough of me.” He gently stroked her cheek with his fingertips. “That kiss thrilled me from head to toe. I…I don’t ever want to let you go.”

Elizabeth looked around at the crowds of people everywhere and blushed herself. “It’s one thing to kiss an actor in front of a camera, but I don’t like to be too affectionate in public. No more kissing right now, please.”

“Can I kiss you later when we’re alone?”

Alex! Elizabeth came down to earth with a thud. “No. We shouldn’t have kissed at all. It’s my fault, and I apologize.”

Richard laughed as if she’d said something hysterical. “You don’t have to apologize for that. You won’t hear any complaints out of me.”

Oh, lord! What time was it? She glanced at her watch. It was time to go home. Maybe Mother and Alex are worried about me. I haven’t behaved very well tonight. It isn’t fair to Alex for me to go out on a date with Richard. Oh, but you can’t call this a date! Yeah, right, and maybe the sun won’t come up tomorrow. She picked up her cat, and they started the walk back to their cars.