10 March 2011

Elaine Cantrell talks about dreams today

The first thing I’d like to do is thank Sherry for letting me come to her blog. It’s always a pleasure to meet new people.
Let’s talk about dreams, the dreams people have for their lives. Suppose you were a young woman born to a dirt poor family with an alcoholic father and an overworked mother. Suppose the whole town talked about your family and judged you by what all of your relatives did. What do you think such a young woman would dream of? I think it would be difficult to even imagine a better life for yourself. After all, the town considers your entire family trash, and you’ve grown up hearing it so often you might think it’s true.

But suppose you were so beautiful that every man who met you wanted you. Does that give you an advantage? Maybe. But it might also be a disadvantage because some men probably have anything but marriage in mind for you.

Elizabeth Lane is such a woman. The town calls her trash, but Elizabeth has something besides her good looks to fall back on. She has talent and determination, and she has a mother who believes in her. After the death of Elizabeth’s father, she and her mother move to Hollywood to give her her chance.

Is she successful? You betcha. Elizabeth has that hard to describe ‘it’ that makes her a superstar. And she catches the attention of Richard Lovinggood, son of California senator Henry Lovinggood. Senator Lovinggood has big plans for Richard. He’s grooming his son to be the president of The United States, and Elizabeth won’t advance his career. With one well-timed visit to Elizabeth, he breaks them up.

Fast forward ten years to a chance meeting on a California beach. Richard and Elizabeth get a second chance, and this time Elizabeth isn’t willing to let him go. I hope you enjoy the following excerpt from Return Engagement. You can watch a video preview of the book at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nSYYbAZZWY

If you’re interested in learning more about me and my writing you can check out
my website http://www.elainecantrell.com/ and
my blog http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com/

I’m also on Facebook and would love to be friends. http://www.facebook.com/elainepcantrell 

You can read the first chapter of Return Engagement at http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=819&zenid=da39611ee4c60ba80d9754963ad30f92 

I don’t mean to brag, okay, maybe I do, but Return Engagement is number 5 on the publisher’s top ten list. Romantic Times liked it too. They gave it 4 ½ stars, and in part they said, ‘This touching story is beautifully written and explores the emotions involved when two people who love each other are influenced by outside forces and their own doubts. Each character is fully developed and the plot is filled with interesting twists.’

In this excerpt, Richard and Elizabeth are on their way back to their cars after spending the evening together at the beach.

She didn’t come from money the way Richard did. Mentally, she pictured the small, two bedroom home where she had grown up. The house had originally been white, but they hadn’t painted it even once during the nineteen years Elizabeth had lived there. By the time she and her mother came to Hollywood, most of the peeling paint had finally flaked off, leaving the weathered, gray boards exposed to the elements.
The inside matched the exterior: old, faded, and dirty looking no matter how much she and her mother tried to clean it. It had mice too. They never had any food to waste, so they constantly fought the little pests. She vividly remembered the day she found a mouse in the sack of dried beans her mother planned to cook for dinner. Sadly, her mother had thrown the bag away. For the next two nights they’d had nothing but sliced loaf bread smeared with margarine for dinner. Of course, she had truly felt grateful for the bread, but it hadn’t filled her up. The corners of her mouth turned down. To this day mice revolted her.
She stumbled in the dark and tripped over a chunk of driftwood. When Richard reached out to steady her, the moon glinted on the face of his watch. It looked, and undoubtedly was, expensive; it looked like the kind of watch she had seen on the arm of Brandon Whitaker, her first high school crush.
Brandon’s family had more money than anyone in Fairfield. He looked fabulous, dressed divinely, and drove a wonderful little blue sports car. They had algebra together in Mrs. Wheeler’s fourth period class. In the spring of her sophomore year he had invited her to go to the prom with him.
Thrilled, she had gone to the Goodwill store and found a prom dress. Her mother could ill afford to spend twenty five dollars on an outfit Elizabeth could only wear once, but she worked an extra day at her second job to raise the money.
As it turned out, she never wore that dress. Brandon’s father found out he had asked her to the prom and refused to allow it. Brandon had taken Sherry Fisher to the dance instead, and Elizabeth had sold her dress to her cousin Jennifer who wore it to a policeman’s ball. Tears of anger even now threatened to fall.
Yes, I’ve had to be careful. I never want to go back to that horrible, little house. I have a great life, thank you very much, so why have I let Richard turn my world upside down? Alex never affects me this way. He comes from a nice middle class family. When we spend time together I never lose every bit of common sense I possess. Alex makes me feel safe and comfortable, but Richard doesn’t. He makes me feel unsettled and out of sync. She sighed. I can’t decide if I like the difference or not. I care for Alex on many different levels, but Richard…
Thankfully, Richard didn’t want to talk. Right now she needed to think.

I won’t tell you what she needs to think about, but it’s big. Real big. And it will throw her world into chaos.

Sherry, thanks again for letting me come.
It's been a pleasure to have you here today, Elaine.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recomend it.

1 comment:

Elaine Cantrell said...

Thanks, Sherry. I appreciate it.