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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Release Party Her Kind of Man

Hello, and welcome to the 2012 Summer Reading Trail. The release party for Her Kind of Man is long over, but the excerpt is still there. When I did the party I included the entire first chapter of Her Kind of Man, so scroll down and enjoy the pictures and the excerpt.  When you finish reading, you can go back to the trail homepage to find more links. That's at

Hello!  Welcome to the Her Kind of Man release party.  My heroine Kara Cochrane is giving a barbecue which is super appropriate since my hero Ross Williams owns Little Knoll Dairy Farm.  How do you like the way Kara set the tables?

  Everyone has been very complimentary about the mismatched chairs.  Ross wanted to rent matching chairs, but Kara convinced him this would be better.  The flowers all come from Kara’s garden.  Did you notice that she’s using jars instead of vases?  She had to convince Ross about that too.  And don’t you just love the lights and the heart shaped wreath on the barn?  Ross and his brother Bobby hung those.

Kara’s menu is simple but tasty.  She got it from Martha Stewart so you know it’s good.  She’s serving barbecued ribs, Yukon Gold potato salad, greens with bacon, and cornbread baked in big iron skillets.  For dessert she wanted cupcakes.  They’re so pretty I have to show you a picture of them.

The people who don’t want cupcakes can have ice cream instead.  Ross recently started selling his own brand of ice cream so he’s always willing to let people taste it.  After they do, they usually buy some.  Little Knoll ice cream is appearing in all the major supermarkets now.

Of course Kara loves clothes so she put a lot of thought into her outfit.  She decided to wear this shirt with black jeans and black boots.  It looks perfect for a barbecue.  Those earrings aren’t bad either.

Ross reminded me that a party isn’t a party without some kind of gift.  So, if you’d like to win a copy of Her Kind of Man, just leave a comment along with your email.  I've giving three copies away. If your name comes out of Ross’s hat, you win a book.

Both Kara and Ross are tickled about the book. Not only did it make #10 on Fictionwise yesterday, it also has some great reviews from Rom Con.  Want to read them?

Review #1:four crowns

The storyline was nothing what I expected but it drew me in from the beginning. It was heart wrenching, lighthearted, touching and romantic at times as well as filled with so many misunderstandings that you couldn't help but cry and other times be laughing out loud.

Review #2 :five crowns

Wow! I absolutely loved “Her Kind of Man.” I devoured it in almost one night. Cantrell’s characters came to life right before my eyes and involved me in their world instantly because they were so easy to relate to. But the main reason I enjoyed this book so much is because of the emotion throughout.
And now, why don’t we take a look at chapter one of Her Kind of Man.  If you like what you read, Her Kind of Man is available at  If you try the code Her-Kind-of-Man-25-percent-discount you might get a discount. Nobody told me when the sale ends. The book is also on Amazon, Fictionwise, and most major retail outlets. Buy links are at the end of the excerpt.

Chapter 1

“You may as well forget about finding a dress that’ll look good on both Kelly and me. She’s long and lean, and I’m short and round. We don’t wear the same style of clothes.”

Eyes dancing, Kara Cochrane laughed at her sister’s glum expression. “That’s why we’re at the library. I want to look at some back issues of Bride’s World and see if I can find something that’ll look nice on both of my sisters.”

“Do you think the stork put Kelly in the wrong bassinet at the hospital?”

“Probably,” Kara agreed with a giggle. “She is the middle sister after all, and she doesn’t look like either one of us. Why is she long and lean, and we’re short and round?”

Both girls chuckled as they entered the library, an elegant red brick structure built almost a hundred years ago. Regal white columns graced the entrance and spoke of a more gracious, slower age.

They went inside and selected the latest issues of Bride’s World from the magazine racks. Kara gestured toward a scarred, worn, oak table nearby. “Let’s sit over there.”

Katie’s stack of magazines hit the table with a thump. “Where is Kelly anyway?” “She said she had to work late.”

“Too bad for her. Let’s pick a dress for short, round people while she isn’t here.” Katie tapped a picture in the magazine for emphasis. “I like this one.”

The girls snickered when the elderly librarian behind the desk cleared her throat in warning.

“Being short and round didn’t make any difference to Brandon,” Kara whispered. “He proposed to me anyway.”

“And gave hope to the rest of us short, round girls.”

Hello, Kara.”

Kara turned at the softly spoken greeting. “Oh, hello, Ross. How are you?”

“I’m fine. I saw your engagement picture in the paper. Best wishes.”

“Thank you. I appreciate it.”

Ross nodded and moved toward the circulation desk.

“If Brandon ever gets tired of you, you can always marry Ross,” Katie whispered as she pulled another magazine from the stack on the table.

“He’s a dairy farmer for crying out loud.” Kara rolled her eyes. “Can you imagine me milking the cows?”

Katie clapped her hands over her mouth to stifle a giggle. “I’d love to see you pulling on a cow’s teats. Seriously, though, Ross may be a cow farmer, but you’ve got to admit he’s cute.”

“Shh, keep your voice down. He’ll hear you. To tell you the truth, I’ve never given any thought to his looks.”

“Neither have I until now,” Katie agreed. “He’s awfully tall and good looking. It’s hard to believe that in high school he always faded into the background.” She shrugged. “Maybe it’s because he wasn’t an athlete.”

Kara’s gaze drifted to Ross who had just handed his library card to the librarian. He had to be six three at least. Katie was right. Why had she never noticed how handsome he was? He had dark brown hair, blue eyes, broad shoulders, and a strong face with regular, even features. Even though he wasn’t an athlete in high school, he certainly had the physique for it.

“My, oh, my,” Katie breathed. “Look at the muscles across his back.”

“Probably from farm work. I think his father worked him pretty hard when he was a kid,” Kara whispered. “Don’t you remember? Ross didn’t go to the prom our senior year because his father needed him at home.”

“I bet he didn’t go because you were going with someone else. Ross always reminded me of a devoted, old spaniel. He adored the ground you walked on, and I think he still does.”

Kara chuckled when she remembered Ross’s lovesick behavior. “That’s a pretty good description. Every time I spoke to him I expected him to duck his head and blush. One word from me and he was too tongue-tied to put two syllables together.”

Katie closed her magazine. “Remember when you let him change a tire for you in the senior parking lot?”

“I remember. Brandon and I sat on the tailgate of Ross’s truck talking while Ross changed the tire.” The smile faded from Kara’s face. “That wasn’t very nice was it?” She bowed her head. “I can’t believe I did such a lousy thing.”

“I’m sure he’s forgotten all about it,” Katie comforted. “In high school girls can be such—”

“Don’t say it.” Kara slid another magazine across the table and sat back in her chair. “Here. Take a magazine, and let’s look for the perfect dress.”

Ross Williams threw his library books into the back seat of his car and slammed the door with more force than necessary. He wished he hadn’t even bothered to speak to Kara.
Flicking on his turn signal, he merged into the stream of late afternoon traffic with Kara Cochrane on his mind. He had first noticed Kara when they were in the second grade. That day she had worn little red overalls and a white blouse with red cherries on it. Someone, maybe her mother, had pulled her honey-blond hair back into a bouncy little ponytail and tied it with a big, red ribbon.

His own hair was dark brown and short; so was his brother’s. He only wanted to touch her hair because it was so different from his, but he didn’t intend to pull it or anything. Still, Kara had screamed bloody murder when she felt his hand on her ponytail.

Not only did the teacher make him stay inside for recess as punishment, but his brother Bobby told on him when they got home. His father had taken a belt to him and made him understand he’d better not get into trouble at school again.

From that time on she was almost always in his class, and when they got to high school she had at least one class with him every year. But Kara never noticed him. He was nothing more than wallpaper to her.

Kara and her sisters Kelly and Katie were cheerleaders. They ran with the preppy kids who wouldn’t give a country boy like him the time of day. Most people thought Kara’s sister Kelly was prettier. She was tall and slender with legs a mile long, but Kara was short, and while she wasn’t fat, she did have some definite curves.

It didn’t matter. Those curves almost took his breath away. No wonder she moved down the halls with such confidence and grace.  Even though he knew the answers in class, he wouldn’t raise his hand in hopes their teachers would pick Kara to answer and he could hear her almost musical voice. Kara was more than a pretty package, though. He also admired her quick, alert mind. It came as no surprise to him when she was the valedictorian of their class.

He had fantasized about taking her to the prom, but he never gathered the courage to mention it to her. Even if he had had the money for the tux rental, he wouldn’t have asked her. It would have cut him too much to hear that sweet, lilting voice turn him down.

Ross sighed. A rather moot point now, in any event. Kara was engaged to her high school sweetheart Brandon Miles. If he had any sense he’d find a girl and get married himself. Bobby had married three years ago and had a nice little family.

        Maybe it was time for him to start looking around. He’d never really had a chance with Kara anyway, and whether he liked it or not, she’d made her choice.
Kara rushed into her mother’s kitchen with Katie right behind her. “Look, Mama,” she cried as she shoved a magazine at her mother. She kicked off her shoes to enjoy the coolness of the tile floor after the heat of the day.

        “Did you find a dress?” Martha Cochrane demanded. She studied the picture as she stirred the fresh creamed corn simmering in a big pot on the stove.

“This is the best one I found. Kelly and Katie will both have to make do with it.”

“I like it,” her mother approved. She slid the corn off the burner and stuck a pan of brown and serve rolls into the oven. “I’m sure the bridal shop will be able to order the dresses for us. Here, John. Look at this and tell us what you think.”

John Cochrane snorted. “You know whatever you girls want is fine by me.”

“Just what I expected,” Kara teased as she filched a slice of cucumber from a plate on the counter. “You just want your daughters to hurry up and get married so there’ll be more men in the family.”

John laughed as his eyes twinkled. “Why deny it? I’m a little outnumbered here, Kara, and I’d like to even the odds a little.”

The timer on the oven dinged. Dinner’s ready,” her mother announced. “Kara, bring the corn to the dining room, please.”

Warmth flooded Kara. Oh, she enjoyed this time with her family – when they were all together sharing the ups and downs of their day– laughing and joking with each other.

“Mama, where’s Kelly?” Kara frowned at the empty chair across from her. “Isn’t she home yet?”

“I don’t know. She said she had to work late, but I expected her by now.”

“She’ll be here soon, I imagine,” John remarked.

Kelly burst through the door twenty minutes later.

“Sorry I’m late. I had something I had to finish at work.”

Martha indicated Kelly’s chair with a nod of her head. “Well, sit down and have some dinner. I had no idea working at a doctor’s office would get you so much overtime. We haven’t seen very much of you the last couple of weeks.”

Kelly shook her head. “Thanks, Mama. I’m okay. I grabbed something at work.”

Kara passed the picture of the bridesmaid’s dress to Kelly. “I found the dress. How do you like it?”

Kelly barely looked at it. “Very nice. Sorry, Kara. I’m really tired. I need a hot shower and to get ready for bed.”

“What’s up with her?” Kara muttered as Kelly left the dining room without once meeting her eyes.

“She’s probably tired,” Katie guessed. “With all the overtime she’s been doing, it’s late before she gets in. She can see the picture tomorrow. We can’t order the dresses until then anyway.”

Ross grimaced when he saw Bobby’s van in the driveway. His mother must have invited Bobby and his wife Sue for dinner. He didn’t dislike either Bobby or Sue, but their five- year-old son Justin reminded him of the Tasmanian Devil. If you valued your health and peace of mind, you’d never turn your back on the child.

The noise assaulted Ross’s ears the minute he opened the front door. Justin was on a tear about something. He lay on the living room floor roaring and shrieking as if tigers were eating him alive. Bobby was trying to quiet him while Sue helped his mother Annie in the kitchen.

“What’s his trouble?” Ross shouted.

“He wants to play with Mama’s shoe collection.”

Ross grimaced and tossed his library books on the living room sofa. One of them bounced off the sofa and landed on the floor, but Ross ignored it. “Maybe we can distract him.”

He threw himself on the floor beside Bobby and made a buzzing sound. “Look, Justin. The bumblebee is coming for you!” He tickled Justin’s stomach, and while Justin was laughing, Bobby ran to the car for the child’s favorite toy tractor.

Ross breathed a sigh of relief when Justin started to play with the tractor. As far back as he could remember, his mother had collected glass shoes. She knew every shoe’s history including where or whom the shoe came from. Even though she wouldn’t say anything if Justin broke one, it would hurt her feelings.

“Come on, boys, let’s eat!” Sue called.

Ross and Bobby dragged Justin who refused to walk into the kitchen. After several failed attempts, Bobby got him strapped into his high chair.

“How’s business?” Bobby asked Ross as he attacked his pot roast with gusto. “Mama, this is great pot roast.”

“Business is good. I’m thinking of hiring a new man.”

“That’s great,” Bobby enthused. “I’m glad for you, Ross. All your hard work is paying off.”

Ross’s eyes twinkled. “Sure you don’t want to buy back into the farm? Buying you out after Dad died cut into my profits.”

Humor faded from Bobby’s face. “No, I don’t. Working so hard on this blamed farm is the reason Dad’s in his grave years before his time. Give me a nice nine-to-five job any day.”

He picked up his glass and swirled the ice around for a moment. “Ross, if buying me out put you in a bind, I’ll be glad to loan…”

Ross leaned over and punched his shoulder. “Hey, no way. I’m doing fine. I’m going to hire a new man, remember? I’m fine, Bobby. Really, I am. I was just teasing you a little.”

“If you change your mind, let me know. Say, did I tell you I saw Bart Adams at the grocery store the other day?”

Ross grimaced. “No, you didn’t. Did he give you a lecture about how I was going to ruin Dad’s farm with my old-fashioned notions?”

“Yeah, he did, but I told him you liked doing things your way. I said you liked that Little Knoll was known for compassion and kindness to its animals.”

Ross chuckled. “I’m sure that made a big impression on him. I don’t like the conditions on some of the big farms like Bart’s. If I can’t make a profit dealing humanely with my animals, then I’ll join you in the computer lab.”

The shrilling of the phone interrupted them. Ross pushed his chair back and got up to answer it. “Hello?” He listened for a moment. “No, don’t call the vet yet. I’ll be right down.” He hung up and slapped his roast beef into a roll. “Neil says one of the cows is calving and needs help. I’ll see you guys later.”

“That’s farming for you,” Bobby said as Ross dashed out the door. “I don’t see how he can stand it.”

Ross heard his brother’s parting remark through the open window as he stepped off the porch. He and Bobby had both grown up on the same farm, but Bobby hadn’t taken to it the way he had. I guess growing up on a farm doesn’t necessarily make you a farmer, Ross thought to himself. It was in his blood, though. He loved Little Knoll.
Buy Links:

Picture credits:
Barn: Pinterest
Sunflowers: Pinterest


Crystal McMillan said...

Love the excerpt can't wait to read the whole book.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Thank you, Crystal. I'm glad you came by.

jrlindermuth said...

Best wishes for many sales and all good reviews, Elaine.

elaine cantrell said...

Thank you, JR. I appreciate your stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the release of Her Kind of Man and the great reviews!

Ute Carbone said...

Happy Release Day, Elaine!

elaine cantrell said...

Thank you, David. I'm thrilled that so far the reviews are great.

elaine cantrell said...

Ute, thank you so much for coming by. I do appreciate it.

Wallace said...

I have read all of her books and she just keeps getting better with everyone.

Anne K. Albert said...

Super excerpt, thanks for sharing. Her Kind of Man is going on my TBR list. Thanks for inviting me to the launch party!

elaine cantrell said...

Wallace, you're my kind of man! thanks for coming.

elaine cantrell said...

Thanks for coming, Anne. I hope you enjoy the book when it comes to the top of your list.

Dawn said...

Looking forward to reading the rest of it!

GladysMP said...

Those cupcakes are simply adorable and the entire party setting is so inviting.

Enjoyed the excerpt and looking forward to reading the book.

Jennifer Mathis said...

Congrats on the release :) Love the excerpt

best wishes for many sells

elaine cantrell said...

Thanks for coming, Dawn. I appreciate it.

elaine cantrell said...

Thanks, Jennifer. I sure am hoping!

Adelle Laudan said...

I'm sure this one will be a smashing success. Thanks for the invite. Love the decor.

Tamara B. said...

Love the party you set up and the cow cupcakes are just too adorable! Can't wait to read another great book of yours !

Barbara said...

Party looks great; book looks like a great read--congrats!!!!

elaine cantrell said...

Thanks for coming, Adelle. I downloaded your book and will start it as soon as I finish the one I have started.

elaine cantrell said...

Tamara, thanks for coming. I adored those cupcakes.

elaine cantrell said...

Barbara, thanks for coming to the party. It was lovely to see you.

Shadow said...

Hi! Congrats!! Your book sounds great! Love the excerpt. Has me hooked and ready to read more. Oh, those cute!!! I love them! :D Wishing you all the best!! Thank you for the party invite. Congrats!!!

Liz said...

Congratulations! It sounds cute. And the decor is perfect for a barbecue! At least, to my mind, a barbecue is more informal than a formal dinner.

elaine cantrell said...

Hi, Shadow. Thanks for coming. I lvoe those cupcakes too.

elaine cantrell said...

Liz, the minute I saw the picture I knew it was perfect for the barbecue. I agree that the barbecue is more informal.

cheralyn said...

Great excerpt, I definitely want to read this book! Thanks for the invite!

Elaine cantrell said...

Cheralyn, come back anytime.

Crystal said...

Oh YUM! I LOVE Yukon Gold potatoes! They are just the very best. I don't eat sugar, but those cow cupcakes are TOTALLY adorable! And yes, the heart on the barn and the flowers on the table were the first thing I noticed. Sounds like it's going to be a lovely party!
Thanks for the invite!
Wow! And I'm the second Crystal to post here! Fancy that! Should be a record. :-)

elaine cantrell said...

Crystal is one of my favorite names too. :)Thanks for coming.

catslady said...

Everything is so creative - simple yet eloquent. I enjoyed the excerpt. Congratulations!

elaine cantrell said...

Thank you so much, catslady. I'm guessing you like cats. :)

Tamara B. said...

How is the party going? Wishing you great success with your new book!

Elaine Cantrell said...

Thanks, Tamara. I'm so glad you came.