Genre: Romantic comedy
Publisher: Clean Reads
Date of Publication: January 27, 2016
Number of pages: 190
Cover Artist: Cora Graphics
Aimee Sherwood never dreamed that following her fiancé into the witness protection program would land her in a haunted house in a town that’s downright creepy. She’d have laughed if she had been told the guy who lives down the road might be her soul mate, not the man whose ring she’s wearing. Life in West Virginia is nothing like life in Los Angeles, but between bean ball battles with Marilyn Monroe, remodeling a crumbling farmhouse, and starting a new online business, life in the country is anything but boring.
Cade held out his arm to Aimee. “Ma’am, I would be delighted to show you the gazebo. Do take my arm. The ground is rather uneven.”
“Why, thank you, sir.”
As they strolled toward the gazebo, Aimee allowed the setting to mesmerize her and capture her imagination. What would it have been like to attend this party in the year 1860? Would the threat of war have lent a spice of excitement to the festivities that made ordinary activities like visiting the gazebo seem new and romantic?
Cade indicated a built-in bench, which circled the inside of the gazebo. “Would you like to sit down?”
Aimee sat and gathered her skirts around her, admiring the rustle of her long, crinoline petticoat. She patted the space beside her. “Sit beside me.”
Cade bowed. “You honor me, Miss Sherwood.”
“You may call me Miss Aimee, sir.”
“Miss Aimee, then.” He raised her hand to his lips and kissed it.
Aimee’s heart took off in a mad gallop. She felt heat rising from her chest and knew it colored her face an inconvenient shade of red. Oh! My! Goodness! All he’d done was kiss her hand, and she was melting. If only she hadn’t left her fan at Miss Gladys’ table.
Cade kept hold of her hand even though she’d expected him to let go of it. His calloused fingers felt so male, so strong, so warm that another wave of heat washed over her and almost took her breath away.
“You look beautiful tonight, Miss Aimee. There’s not a woman at the party who can touch you.”
Was it her imagination or had he moved a bit closer to her?
“Your eyes sparkle like blue diamonds, and I love those curls of yours. You’ve captured the sunshine.” He reached for her ponytail and bounced her curls in the palm of his hand.
Breathe. She mustn’t forget to breathe.
Please welcome Elaine Cantrell to Musings and Ramblings for a little Author Q&A.
*Offers Elaine a cup of coffee and a plate of blueberry scones.*
I can’t thank you enough for featuring Fortuna at your blog. I’m really excited to be here.
*Elaine takes a bite and sighs.* They’re truly delicious.
What prompted you to become a writer?
I think I mostly became a writer because I wanted to read a certain kind of book and couldn’t find it. Have you noticed that the minute a certain book becomes a hit everyone wants to copy that author? Think about the Twilight series. People always liked vampires, but after Twilight EVERYBODY wanted to write vampire novels. I get tired of the same old stuff. Publishers say to be original and write out of the box, but I don’t think they mean it. Everyone is afraid to write something different. It’s amazing when you think about it that there are so many lovely books written each year. I decided I’d write what I wanted to read, and to my surprise a lot of people like my work. LOL. Yes, that surprised me.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Of course! What’s an author without a ritual? Okay, step one: get something to sip on. I really like coffee with real cream, but icy cold water will do too. Step two: Turn off the TV or music and put the dogs outside. Step three: Find my straw. Huh? Find a straw? What’s up with that?
You see I found that before I start writing I need to review what I wrote the day before and think a minute about where I need to go with the new scene. It’s crazy, and I know it, but I can think better if I tap and play with my bendy straw while I’m reading and thinking. My family mocks me, but I’ve noticed them playing with it too when they thought I wasn’t looking.
What are the best and worst jobs you’ve ever had?
The worst job by far was being a grocery store checker. Some of the customers were so rude, but I could take them better than the pitiful people. Some of the folks who came through my line just broke my heart. Besides that, my feet hurt so bad I thought they might break off. Take a guess how long I kept that job? Any takers? It was less than a week. I got a summer job in a factory that made electrical components, and that was a lot better except for the time the little machine I worked on caught on fire.
The best job was teaching. Nothing in this world can compare to helping a child make a connection and understand what you’re trying to teach him. I think our educational system needs a lot of improvement, but if you like kids teaching can be so rewarding.
What's your secret talent?
I have no idea. It’s still a secret to me too. I’m waiting on the big reveal, but so far nothing.
Name 5 Things on your Bucket List
Seeing a few special places is right at the top of my list. I’d love to see the Western part of the US. We went to Arizona once and toured the entire state, but that’s only the beginning. I want to see the Rocky Mountains, tour Los Angeles, see Vegas, and so much, much more.
My second thing is to edit all my unpolished manuscripts and get them out there. I’ve been a prolific writer, and I still have some stuff that I think is really good.
Number three on the bucket list is to buy a place on the beach. My family goes to Garden City Beach every summer, and if we actually had our own place I doubt we’d ever stay at home. Garden City is in South Carolina
I may actually get item number four. I want a garage and a screened in porch. Before Christmas I would have added a fireplace to my list of wants, but at Christmas we got one. Our yard is kind of challenging when it comes to the garage and porch, but we’re working on both.
The last item on my list is something I’m working on right now. I want to learn to be a great baker. I can bake things, I do all the time, but I want to be really good at it. There’s a lot more to it than I ever knew, but I hope that over time I master the art.
Bonus Fun Question:
A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
Well, I've gone and done it again. Just when you think your days can't get any worse you lock your keys in your car.
Thanks for sharing with us today. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Thanks so much for having me today. My author links are somewhere in this feature so please join me on FB, etc. I’d love stay connected with all of you.
When I saw this book cover, something about it struck me. Maybe it's the guy laughing into the girl's hair. Or maybe it's that little smirk on her face that just screams troublemaker. Either way, it was enough to make me take a second look at the book and read the blurb. And I liked what I was reading. First off, big city to small town can cause all kinds of issues. Throw in a haunted house, starting a new business, remodeling a house, witness protection and on top of that possibly being with the wrong guy? It's just a recipe for disaster. And I couldn't help but giggle with glee and the thought of all the things that could go wrong.
I didn't realize it at the time, but this is a clean read. So nothing that you would be ashamed to share with your grandmother or your granddaughter. There were some over the top moments, but since the story started out in Los Angeles with professional wrestlers, it's kinda of a given that would play a role. There were some really cheesy moments to be had, like the character reading a book by the author, but it was all in good fun.
This was a quick read that didn't take itself too seriously and had that wink, wink, nudge, nudge feel to it. There were a few moments where I started to roll my eyes, but then the true absurdity of the moment would come through and turn it into a wry smile. I enjoyed this book and it was a solid 3 star read, giving me an afternoon of enjoyment.
Thanks to Goddess Fish and the author for the opportunity to read this book.
Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina where she obtained a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University. She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators and Romance Writers of America. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest. When she’s not writing or teaching, she enjoys movies, quilting, reading, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments.
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