The countdown to Valentine's Day continues today with romance author Elaine Cantrell and the heroine of her romantic suspense novel, Return Engagement...
Hello, my name is Elizabeth Lane. Elaine told my story in her novel Return Engagement. I’m an actress with an Oscar to her credit, but I didn’t come from a wealthy family like my sweet Valentine. His daddy is a rich senator who wants my Richard to become the President. I’d like to thank Amber for giving me the chance to talk to everyone. These are fun questions, so here goes.
Elizabeth's story is available now from Whiskey Creek Press! More on Return Engagement....
Elizabeth Lane has it all, but an actress isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard. Ten years ago he broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time Elizabeth’s fighting back, a decision that leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.
Our own Cozy correspondent, Tink, sat down with Elizabeth earlier in the week for 20 Questions with Elizabeth Lane. Take it away, Tink....
Tink: Are you the first one on the dance floor or not so much?
Elizabeth: That depends on who’s asking me to dance. If it’s Richard I’m the first one out there. You haven’t lived until you feel his arms around you! My goodness the man has muscles I didn’t know even existed.
Tink: Do you prefer to spend the night at the theatre or at a bike show?
Elizabeth: I’m an actress so forget the bike show.
Tink: Do you give relationship advice or think it’s a bad idea?
Elizabeth: I have been known to play Dear Abby, but in general I’d rather not interfere. That could come back to bite you!
Tink: Describe the ideal hero – rough and tumble highlander, titled gentleman of the ton, modern-day bad boy, or supernatural anti-hero?
Elizabeth: This one is so easy! He’s tall and blonde with blue eyes that look like sapphires when he’s turned on. He’s an Alpha male for sure, but he’s a one woman man who’d die for his woman if he had to. He’s sensitive, passionate, and romantic, and possibly just a teeny bit dangerous. (Okay, you got me. I’m describing Richard.)
Tink: Would you rather tell someone you love them or show it?
Elizabeth: With Richard I can’t help saying it. The words just burst out of me before I even think about it, but I believe it’s better to show people.
Tink: Travel to the past or into the future?
Elizabeth: Oh, the future for sure! I can’t wait to meet the babies Richard and I plan to have, and one day we’ll have a houseful of wonderful grandchildren. And maybe I’ll become the first lady. And win a few more Oscars.
Tink: Bubble bath or hot shower?
Elizabeth: Are you kidding? Bubble bath. Richard and I love to take bubble baths together. Don’t mention that I told you either. He doesn’t want his buddies to know that a big, tough FBI agent takes bubble baths with his honey.
Tink: Flats or high heels?
Elizabeth: High heels. They hurt like the devil, but they sure do wonderful things for a girl’s legs.
Tink: Flowers or chocolate?
Elizabeth: Sorry. Can’t choose. I have to have both.
Tink: G-rated or unrated?
Elizabeth: Yikes. Maybe something in between.
Tink: Alpha or beta?
Elizabeth: Alpha like my Richard.
Tink: Would you make the first move or wait it out?
Elizabeth: Make the first move. Hey, it’s the twenty first century.
Tink: Favorite love song?
Elizabeth: Bryan Adams "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You." Richard sent me that song as a gift not long ago. It’s old, but if you listen to the words, your heart will just melt.
Tink: For Valentine’s would you rather go out or stay in?
Elizabeth: Go out. This year Richard is flying me to Paris for Valentine’s Day. We’re going to eat at a little restaurant that’s been in business since the French Revolution, and then we’ll walk along the banks of the Seine arm in arm.
Tink: Karaoke: yes or no?
Elizabeth: You haven’t heard me sing, have you? No karaoke.
Tink: Describe your most romantic moment.
Elizabeth: That’s hard because the man is incredibly romantic, but I think if I had to pick I’d pick the time he sent me little gifts every hour on the hour from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. His favorite was a big Hershey’s kiss, but I liked the recording of Bryan Adams best.
Tink: Boxers, briefs…or kilts?
Elizabeth: Oh, briefs. To me they’re sexier.
Tink: What is your idea of a dream date?
Elizabeth: Hmm. Valentine’s Day in Paris is pretty close.
Tink: Valentine’s Day watch: sappy love story, romantic comedy or forgo all of the above and go with the action flick?
Elizabeth: Sappy love story. I love to empathize with the heroine. The best ones are the ones that make you cry.
Tink: And, most importantly – do you like your man clean shaven or with a five o’clock shadow?
Elizabeth: Clean shaven. My man’s profile is too crisp and gorgeous to be hidden by whiskers.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for answering Tink's instrusive questions! Readers, if you would like to know more about Elizabeth's story or author Elaine Cantrell, visit at their website! Elaine was born and raised in South Carolina. She holds a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America and EPIC authors. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Books. At present she teaches high school social studies. She spends her spare time collecting vintage Christmas ornaments, reading, and playing with her grandchildren.
And now for an excerpt from Return Engagement....
A tall, blond man standing near the back of the crowd caught her eye. She faltered and stumbled, catching hold of Cathy’s arm to stay upright in the sand. No, it couldn’t be! Richard! They hadn’t seen each other in ten years, but yes, it was Richard. She’d know him anywhere. His blue eyes still mesmerized her as he watched her progress across the beach. Irrelevantly, she remembered that when he was aroused his eyes always darkened.
Her heart took off in a wild gallop. He had matured since she last saw him. His shoulders had broadened, and the well defined muscles in his chest rippled under his tee shirt. His stomach appeared flat and hard, and his legs looked shapely and well formed. The expression on his face spoke of a fiery, passionate nature. Her face flushed as it occurred to her that if she faced him across a bed today as she had done ten years ago, the outcome might be very different. He didn’t look like a man she’d want to turn down.
Uh oh. She had started to shake. Would she be able to do her scene or not? She hoped so, but seeing Richard had brought the past vividly to life. A dull ache, long familiar, reminded her how much it hurt to break up with him. He really was too young for me, but somehow it didn’t matter at all. We were compatible in every way. No wonder I fell head over heels in love with him. Her lips tightened. She had never told him what happened right before their final date, but she remembered it as well as if it had happened only yesterday.
“Hello, Miss Lane. May I come in?”
“Of course, Senator Lovinggood. It’s nice to see you. Please, come in and have a seat.”
“That’s all right. I won’t be staying long. I stopped by to tell you that I don’t want you to see my son anymore.”
“Please, hear me out, Miss Lane.”
The senator’s cold eyes bored into hers. “Richard is only seventeen, but you are twenty-two. Presumably, you are more experienced than he is. Truthfully, I blame his infatuation for you on his inexperience. Don’t take advantage of an impressionable boy, Miss Lane. Richard isn’t a toy to be used for your pleasure and then discarded. He’s being groomed for important work in the future, but if he keeps seeing you he has very little chance of winning any political office. If
you care about him let him go.”
Even now she swallowed against the anger that still burned her. I was so angry I thought I might have a stroke, she thought. How dare he come to my home and try to intimidate me! Her eyes took on a faraway expression. I decided on the spot I’d never agree to the senator’s demands. I thought that seeing me wouldn’t ruin Richard’s future career. The senator only wanted to frighten me away.
She and Cathy had reached the set now. Elizabeth pasted a brilliant smile on her face, but inside where it counted she was bleeding. I changed my mind when Richard and I ended up in my bedroom kissing, touching, and undressing. I knew then that Senator Lovinggood was right. If Richard and I continued our relationship, the press would crucify both of us. While it would probably help my career, it would only hurt him. Scandal titillates the public and enhances a star’s reputation, but it’s the kiss of death for a politician.
“Psst, Elizabeth! Aren’t you listening to me?” Cathy sounded cross.
“Sorry,” Elizabeth apologized. “What did you say?”
Cathy shrugged. “It wasn’t important. What were you thinking so hard about?”
“I…ah…I was..thinking about someone I used to know.”
“Who?” Kathy asked.
Elizabeth sighed. “An old boyfriend if you really want to know. I let him go, but it almost killed me. I…don’t know if I…ever really got over it.”
“Oh, I guess everyone remembers the one who got away,” Cathy lightly answered. “You’ve got Alex now, and you guys are happy, right?”
“Yes, very happy.” And they were, but come hell or high water she intended to talk to Richard the minute this scene ended. She’d like to know what he’d done with his life. Hmm. Wonder if Senator Lovinggood still tried to control him? He didn’t look like a man who’d take kindly to his father interfering in his business.
She squared her shoulders, a look of determination on her face. After ten years she deserved a sense of closure, and she intended to get it. Then maybe she could finally close the door on the past and Richard Lovinggood.
***GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Good news, readers! Elaine has generously offered a giveaway for today! By commenting to this post before midnight EST, Monday; February 14th, you will have a chance to win a copy of Return Engagement! (Chances of winning depend on the number of entries. You must be 18 years or older to enter. One winner will be chosen by the True Random Number Generator at Random.org and announced the morning after contest closing. Please check back in to see if you have won.)