Thursday, April 12, 2012

Elaine Cantrell Promo

Today I like to welcome Elaine Cantrrell to the blog who has kindly written us a guest post about Southern things.

First of all, I’d like to thank for letting me blog today. It’s a privilege to be here. I’d like to talk to you about Southern things. I was born and raised in the South, so I am a teeny bit qualified to talk about it. In particular, I’d like to share one of the very best things about life in the South-the porch swing.
I first made the acquaintance of porch swings when I was just a little girl. My grandmother’s house was a long, white, one-story house with a front porch across the front that ran the entire length of the house. As was the custom, the porch itself was painted blue, and so was the ceiling. The swing itself was on one end of the porch suspended from chains hanging from the ceiling.

If there was anything the grandchildren loved it was that swing. Grandma had some white chairs scattered down the porch, but we always raced to see who could get the swing. Naturally, being active kids we didn’t stay in it for too long before we darted away to see what else we could find.

But sometimes on a hot summer evening, the house was too stuffy to bear, so the adults took over the porch. Know what? I think they liked the swing too. Then the kids all sat on the steps or anywhere they could find a spot. It was fun listening to the adults talk. We’d sit there soaking it in until someone got the idea to go play tag or catch lightening bugs. (Fireflies to you non-Southerners.)

If we fast forward a few years, everyone got air-conditioning. It made life in the South lots more comfortable, but for a while there it seemed like everyone was forgetting about porches and porch swings. I’m happy to say that we’re swinging back the other way now. I see lots of houses with both porches and swings now. How do you like the one in the picture?

I’m practically swooning over it! I adore the bold, primary colors against the white swing. Actually, this is exactly how I pictured Rachel Amos’s front porch. Who’s Rachel Amos? She’s the heroine in my novel The Sentence. Here’s a description of Rachel’s house from the hero’s point of view. Er, I guess you need to know a bit about this scenario before you read the excerpt. See, Clint accidentally burned down the church where Rachel’s father is the minister. As punishment, the judge made Clint live in the Amos’ garage apartment for six months while he helps rebuild the church. This is his first look at the house.

Clint Hayes parked his car in the minister’s driveway and sighed. Six long, dreary months stretched like an eternity in front of him. Reverend Amos would probably make him go to church every time the doors opened, but what did the man intend to do with him the rest of the time? As far as he knew, they only had church on Sundays and Wednesdays. Did the Reverend want help raking his leaves or splitting firewood? Maybe the house needed painting.

Actually, the house didn’t need painting. Its pristine white paint gleamed in the crisp, autumn air. Clint sort of liked the red shutters and the big front porch that ran from one end of the house to the other. The maple trees strewn around the yard blazed in shades of green, gold, and red and made the white house look like a picture in a calendar.

A dog barked in the distance, jerking him back to reality. Sitting in his car wasn’t getting the job done. Sighing, he got out and made his way to the front porch where he rang the doorbell. In a moment, Reverend Amos opened the door.
“Hello, Clint. Won’t you come in?”
“Uh, thanks.”
Reverend Amos stood an inch or so taller than Clint and outweighed him by probably forty pounds. He had dark hair and brown eyes that made Clint uneasy. The preacher didn’t stare at him or anything, but Clint feared Reverend Amos saw right past the front a man presented to the world and looked into his heart—a place Clint had kept private for years.
The preacher stood aside, allowing Clint to enter the lion’s den. He indicated a room on the right. “This is our living room. Come on in.”

Did you recognize the description of my grandmother’s house? She didn’t have the colorful cushions like the swing in the picture, but if she were still alive I’d buy her some. The Sentence is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from the publisher at The story is told from a distinctly Southern point of view that I’d love to share with you.

Here are my links. I’d love for you to check them out. Oh, and if possible, go and get yourself a porch swing. You’ll love it.

Thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life… Love


Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I love a porch speaks to summer and cool fall nights. I can see myself sitting there with a coffee and my book. Lovely post

Anonymous said...

Your South sounds very exotic and attractive for the European I am ... !!! I do so love your white swing and its colorful and lovely cushions, thanks for sharing.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Ladies, thank you both so much for coming by. Do get yourself a swing! You'll love it.

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