Monday, June 20, 2011

A New Dream by Elaine Cantrel

Author: Elaine Cantrel

Title: A New Dream

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: Print and Ebook
(Available for Kindle and Nook)

Purchase Here

After an accident destroys his pro-football career, Matt McCallum struggles to find a new dream for his life.  Nothing engages him like football until he meets Violet Emerson who has big dreams of her own.  Together they find a common dream for their lives, but will a loose end from Matt’s past destroy their future before it even begins? 

Setting:  In this excerpt Matt and Violet my hero and heroine have just finished a Halloween festival that Matt sponsored for his and Violet's employer Chef's Pantry.  (a grocery store)

Matt took Violet’s hand in his and pretended to wipe his face in relief. “Thank goodness that’s over.”

“I knew you’d do a good job,” Violet said. “You always do things well, Matt. Always.”

Matt beamed at her. “Thank you,” he answered, his voice warm and husky. “It’s been a long time since a beautiful woman gave me a compliment.” Sudden excitement lit his eyes. “Violet, have you ever seen my office?”

“No, of course not. You know my mother warned me not to be alone with you in your office or people would talk.”

“Tonight there’s nobody home but us. How about it? Walk up with me while I lock up this receipt.”

Violet nodded. “I sure will. I’ve wanted to see your office for a long time. No use to waste this chance.”

“Let’s take the elevator,” Matt suggested as they entered the store and locked the door behind them. “My knee hurts tonight.”

Violet stopped dead in her tracks. “Why, Matt McCallum! That’s one of the sweetest things you’ve ever said to me.”

“Which part did you like? The one about the elevator, or the one about my knee?”

Violet tucked her arm through his. “Your knee, silly. Matt, we don’t talk about your accident at all. I know you lost your right leg, and your left leg is all messed up, but you’ve always pretended nothing’s wrong with you. This is the first time you’ve let me get close enough to even mention it.”

Matt’s shoulder twitched. “I don’t like to talk about it. I like to pretend it never happened. I must be tired tonight.”

“No, you aren’t tired,” Violet declared with an emphatic shake of her head. “You’re beginning to trust me. You’re beginning to trust us.”

Matt paused for a kiss. “Us has a pretty good ring to it.”

“Mmm, I think so, too.”

When they got off the elevator, Matt unlocked his office door for Violet, who studied the room in great detail. “They redid the office in Packer colors. Isn’t that sweet?”

“Yeah, it was nice of them, I guess.”

Violet gestured toward the big picture of Matt in his uniform, which was clearly visible from the manager’s office. “Do you miss it?”



Matt shrugged. “Sometimes I do, but not so much lately.”


“Yes, really.” He smiled at Violet. “Don’t you know you’ve made all the difference in the world to me? I’ve been depressed since my accident, but the moment I met you, I started to feel better. You get the credit for giving me something besides football to dream about.”

He unlocked the safe and deposited his receipt inside. “There, that’s done.”

When Matt turned around, Violet caught a glimpse of his face, and it occurred to her how dark and quiet the deserted store seemed. Maybe she shouldn’t have worn such a revealing costume!

Violet hunched her shoulders and pulled the top of her gown up. But that only drew attention to her chest. His eyes lingered and his tongue darted out and lined his lips. Violet shivered as her senses registered how the air swirled with sensual overtones.

“Hadn’t we better go?” she appealed as she fidgeted with one of her bracelets.

“What’s the hurry? We never have a minute to ourselves. Someone’s always around.”

Violet’s heart raced as Matt moved toward her. She wasn’t really afraid of him. She couldn’t imagine him forcing his attentions on her no matter how big and powerful he was, but he had acted different the last week or so. With effort, she held her ground at his approach.

“Why are you scared of me?” Matt asked his voice as soft and rich as velvet. “Your eyes are as big as saucers.”

Violet’s chin came up. “I’m not scared of you.”

“Then you won’t mind if I do this.” Matt trailed his fingers up her bare arm, leaving a path of goose bumps behind.

Violet quivered and tried to catch her breath as he pulled her into his arms. She didn’t know whether to bless or curse her costume, for both of his hands now rested against her bare back.

Matt laid her head against his shoulder. Violet caught his male scent and shivered; she pressed herself closer to him. A warm, fluttery feeling deep inside coiled and twisted and threatened to build into something monumental and wonderful.

He bent his head and nuzzled his face against Violet’s neck. She felt his lips warm against her throat, and convulsively her arms tightened around him. A few guys had kissed and nuzzled her before, but it had never been like this. This was the most arousing experience of her life. Matt’s masculinity had stimulated all of her feminine instincts. Had she ever been so aware of a man before? No, she hadn’t.

Boldly, she stroked the back of his neck and explored the texture of his hair. Matt didn’t seem to mind, so she rubbed his shoulders and back; the man did have great shoulders. Matt made a little sound low in his throat that made her knees grow weak. What audacity to think she could control the leashed power under her fingers.

In a sudden, swift motion, Matt pushed one of the brief sleeves of her costume from her shoulder and kissed the place where the sleeve had rested. “Your skin is so soft and warm,” he whispered.

Find out more and Elaine Cantrel and her writing:


Be sure to stop by the Dessert Diva's Kitchen Blog to find out about Ms. Cantrell's collection of Vintage Ornaments!

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