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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Purple Heart

Elizabeth: The month of December is almost over, Nikki, so our time at Elaine's blog is limited.

Nikki: That's right, so what should we do today?

Elizabeth: I think maybe we should share an excerpt from one of Elaine's books.

Nikki: Which one?

Elizabeth: Let's do Purple Heart. Everyone loved that book.

Nikki: What did the reviewers say about it?

Elizabeth: Fallen Angel Reviews gave it 5 out of 5 angels.

Nikki: Wow, that's impressive!

Elizabeth: I think so. Here's what the review said: Elaine Cantrell writes stories that consume me. I am always moved by her storytelling and Purple Heart is no exception. This is one poignant story I could read again and again. The plot is ingenuous, with Jenna being from a country where Mike has been fighting. When Ms. Cantrell throws in the secondary characters, where some wish to create a little tension, the read is more of a page-turner. As I read the story of Jenna and Mike, I must admit it makes me think about accepting another person’s lifestyle and culture. Even though I haven’t been in a fighting zone, I can see how believable Mike’s actions are; he truly shows how someone could not wish to be around a person of a different culture. This story is amazing in every way and one that I will not forget.

Nikki: Can we read an excerpt?

Elizabeth: Sure can! Purple Heart is available at

Excerpt: In this excerpt, Mike Hightower has returned from fighting in Iraq where his best friend was killed. He has rented an apartment that is owned by a woman from Lebanon. He isn't too fond of her.

Mike moved in the next day. His mother had given
him her old sofa, the one stored in the basement, and his
brother, David, had given him a bedroom suite. He went
to Super Mart, the local discount store, to buy some
lamps, a TV, some dishes, and a few towels, and he was
ready to start housekeeping. He needed a few more
things, but they’d have to wait until he got paid.

David had volunteered to help with the move into the
duplex, and he liked the apartment. “It’s plenty big
enough, and everything looks new.”

“Yeah, it’s close to work too. The only problem is the

“What’s wrong with her? Did she hit on you?” Both
Mike and David got that a lot. They’d been told it was
because their blond hair and beautiful blue eyes were
irresistible. Whatever it was, they drew women like flies
to honey.

Mike just snorted. “She’s one of the people who killed


“You know; Middle Eastern.”

David looked shocked. “Mike, she’s probably a nice
woman. I know that Ramirez was your friend, but you
can’t blame an entire race of people for what happened
over there. If you don’t let go of this anger it’s going to eat
you up.”

Mike didn’t argue because David had willingly given
up his Saturday to help, but he’d blame anyone he wanted
to, and that included Jenna West.

They finished their work around lunchtime, and after
David went home, Mike made a grocery list. He had
almost finished when someone knocked on the door. That
surprised him. He hadn’t expected company so soon.

He opened the door, and frowned when he saw Jenna
West. “Can I help you?” He hoped she wouldn’t make a
habit of bothering him. If she did he’d have to move to the
Botany Arms, and he didn’t like that at all.

The woman gave him a big, sunny smile. “I know you
probably haven’t had time to go to the grocery store, so I
thought I’d offer you some lunch.” She held out a casserole
dish. “I hope you enjoy it.”

How dare she try to be nice to him. He didn’t want or
need her charity, but if he didn’t take it, he’d seem like a
jerk. “Thank you. I’ll return your dish,” he grumbled.
“You’re welcome. I was glad to do it.”

Mike watched her sprint back to her own half of the
duplex, and tried to decide what to do with the casserole.
He was starving, and it smelled great, but he didn’t really
want to eat something that she had cooked. She might be

His stomach growled, and he actually took a plate out
of the cabinet before he decided that he wouldn’t risk it.
He dumped the whole thing into the garbage and ran
some water into the dish. Boy, it had smelled good.

With an exclamation of disgust, he grabbed his
grocery list and pulled on his coat. He didn’t have a bite to
eat in the whole house.

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