Monday, March 26, 2012

Spaghetti and The Sentence

Spaghetti and The Sentence

“What about you?” Clint asked, his face filled with curiosity. “Do you like to cook?”

Rachel preened and knew it. She was proud of her culinary skills. “I do okay,” she assured him.

“Oh, yeah?” Challenge lit Clint’s eyes. “Cook something for me and prove it.”

“You don’t think I can?”

“I didn’t say that.”

Rachel scowled. “No, but you hinted at it.”

Clint just stood there with a faint smile on his handsome face, so Rachel picked up the gauntlet he had thrown down. “Okay, I will. I’ll cook dinner for you tomorrow night.”

“I’ll look forward to it.”

Had she totally lost her mind? Why had she done that? She didn’t have to prove anything to Clint Hayes. Well, it was too late to cancel now. If she didn’t cook the stupid dinner for him, he’d think she couldn’t.

She stormed back to the house where she belonged and slammed the door behind her. “Goodness,” her mother exclaimed. “What’s got you in such a snit?”


Mrs. Amos turned to Rachel and set her coffee down. “What did he do?”

“He manipulated me into cooking dinner for him tomorrow night.”

A faint smile crossed her mother’s face. “And how did he do that in such a short time?”

“He insinuated I don’t know how to cook.”

Mrs. Amos took a seat at the kitchen table. “Sit down with me, Rachel.”

Rachel pulled a chair out and joined her mother. “Yes, ma’am?”

“Honey, you be careful with Clint.”

Hello, readers, my name is Elaine Cantrell, and the brief excerpt you just read is from my  novel The Sentence which was released from Astraea Press on March 22.  (Buy link: at the end of the post.)The Sentence is my first inspirational novel.  Most of my work is “sweet” romance, but for a long time I considered doing an inspirational novel.   After debating it for about six years, I sat down to write.
I got lucky.  The first publisher I sent it to wanted it, but before I could even sign a contract with them, they closed their doors.  I let the book sit on my computer for a year or so and finally sent it to Stephanie Taylor of Astraea Press.  Astraea specializes in “sweet or clean” romance, so I thought it had a good chance of finding a home there.  As I had hoped, Stephanie took it.  My cover was designed by Gin Kiser who works with Astraea.  If you’re a self-pubbed author, Gin is good, and so is Elaina Lee who’s done a lot of Astraea’s covers.  Contact Elaina at, and I can give you Gin’s email if you want. 
The cover is wonderful.  It shows my heroine, a minister’s daughter, with her hands folded in prayer.  It also shows the little white church that my hero accidentally burned down. 
The Sentence will be available first as an ebook, and will go to print later.
Getting the word out about a new book is hard work.  I have several activities already planned.  On April 3 I’m holding a virtual release party at my blog (, and on April 12 I’ll be doing a release party at the Romance Studio.  I’ll be giving prizes at both parties so do join me if you can.  If you want me to come to your blog for an interview of guest post,  just ask me.  I’m looking for places to tell everyone about my book. (All links below.)  If you’re a book reviewer, I’d love a review.
I hope you will pick up a copy of the book.  All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the East Pickens Baptist Church miracle building which is a youth center.
Now what did Rachel cook for Clint?  Spaghetti.  Here’s her recipe for spaghetti sauce.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Rachel’s Spaghetti Sauce
3 or 4 stalks celery chopped but not too fine
1 stick butter
1 lb ground round or hamburger
4 cloves fresh garlic
½ bottle Worcestershire sauce (big bottle)
2 can tomato soup
1 can tomato paste  (small can)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can mushroom soup
1 small can sliced mushrooms drained
½ bottle garlic powder
3 cloves fresh garlic, not three whole heads
2 large onions chopped but not too fine
1 bell pepper chopped but not too fine

Fry the celery, onions, fresh garlic and bell pepper together with butter until tender.  Add steak, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and cook to gray color.  Add tomato soup, sauce, paste, and mushroom soup.  Last add mushrooms.  Let cook on low 15-30 minutes.  This sauce tastes better if you give the flavors time to blend.  It can be frozen which is good because it makes a lot.

Bri, thanks for letting me share with your readers.

Elaine, I'm more than happy to have you on the blog. Love this coverart. And as an APsista I'm thrilled you stuck it out and could have yet another amazing novel with Astraea Press. I'm not a big fan of inspirational at the moment. It's just the season I'm in as a reader. But Clint and Rachel have an amazing story. The background characters in this book are those that have that perfect balance of adding but not overpowering the story of the protagonists. I highly recommend The Sentence.

Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life… Love

Buy links:


  1. This spaghetti recipe is truly amazing. Try it. You'll like it!

    1. Thanks Elaine for sharing it. I definitely am.