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Thursday, April 7, 2011


A Season of Renewal

Can anything move us and stir our hearts like springtime?  After a long, dark, colorless winter we long for sunshine and balmy breezes.  Aches, pains, and cares waft away on fresh, clean spring air.  Nothing in the world smells exactly like spring!  Or looks like it for that matter.  

In my part of the world spring comes early.  In late February I start to watch my back yard for the first sign of yellow.  Long ago I planted daffodils along the fence that encloses our back yard.  It seems like I go to bed one night with no sign of either green or yellow, but when I wake in the morning there they are, turning their cheerful faces toward my window and nodding hello.

I resist the urge to pick every single one of them, but I do collect a few to brighten my little office. 
By the time the daffodils are gone, my iris and azaleas are blooming.  You haven’t seen a beautiful sight until you see masses of mature azaleas blooming in a riotous profusion of colors.  I take picture after picture trying to capture the essence and beauty of the bushes, but no camera can do them justice.  

Tulips are wonderful too.  Last year I had a beautiful cluster of red ones planted in a corner of the yard.  It seemed that they didn’t last long, though.  I found out why when I looked out the window and saw my dog appreciating the flowers.  At first I thought she was sniffing them, but as I watched she neatly bit the blooms off and scattered the petals.  Oh, well.  At least she doesn’t like my daffodils. 

My heart too finds renewal just as the flowers do.  I begin to tackle projects I’ve neglected through the cold winter months, and my energy level spikes like that of a fifteen year old.  New dreams come to me, and I occupy my time seeking the best way to fulfill them.

Renewal and new dreams is the theme of my current release A New Dream.  Matt McCallum is mired in cold darkness when he loses his dream, but just as spring renews the flowers, Matt finds a new dream when he meets Violet Emerson.  You can read an excerpt from A New Dream at .  A New Dream is published by Astraea Press and can be purchased at .  

Now it’s your turn.  What’s your favorite thing about the spring?  

Visit me at or at  .  I’m on Facebook and would love to be friends. .

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators.  She is also a member of Romance Writers of America and EPIC authors.  Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Books.  At present she teaches high school social studies.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, collecting vintage Christmas ornaments, and playing with her grandchildren.  Visit Elaine at and at .  She’s on Facebook at and would love to be friends.


margaret blake said...

What a beautiful song to Spring, Elaine, I really enjoyed reading your description. We are a tad behind you for a blossoming of Spring - daffodils and the first tulips - but your blog made my heart sing. Thank you!

Karen H in NC said...

I love the flowering trees that begin their non-stop blooming here in NC. And of course, I love the longer days. What I don't like is the time change! Could never figure out the purpose behind daylight savings time.

kkhaas at bellsouth dot net

JoanneR said...

That is my favorite part of spring and renewal, the flowers. Absolutely love that your female character's name is Violet, how appropriate for spring.

Maria said...

I love when the flowers start to come up through the ground and bloom, it's a sign that winter has definitely passed. Our tulips just started to open this past week and the temperature seems to be determined to stay over 60 which is a very nice change!


Tammy Doherty said...

We are a bit behind you for spring. Our daffodils are up and budded but won't open for another week most likely.

In early June, Mountain Laurels burst into bloom up here in central MA. I thought of them when you talked about the azaleas. A nearby town has a stretch of road with woods on each side. The Mountain Laurels are tucked in like the grass in an Easter basket. When they bloom, it's like God turned spotlights on the woodland. So beautiful.

I, too, love your character's name of Violet. Hopefully she's not a "shrinking" type!

mail_tammydoherty at charter dot net

Rebekah E. said...

I keep looking out at the tulips and other flowers my daughter planted just waiting for them to bloom. I just love spring.


Elaine Cantrell said...

Ladies, thank you all for stopping by. My yard is beautiful right now. All of my azaleas are blooming like crazy. I do have some pictures of last year's flowers on my Facebook page in the photos section. My page is at if you'd like to see them. If you do look, notice the bird nest behind the gutter on the picture of my son using his cell phone.

Jean P said...

I look forward to the bulb flowers pushing there way out of the ground. Last year we planted a magnolia tree, so I am looking forward to seeing it bloom this year.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

chey said...

My favourite part of spring is -- no snow.

Stephy Smith said...

Love the blog Elaine. I'm still waiting for Spring which seems like has abandoned my area. Congratulations on your new book. Sounds good.


cheryl c said...

The flowers and the signs of new life after a dreary winter bring a new feeling of optimism and energy. I am glad that I don't live in a part of the country that seems to be stuck in winter.

castings at mindspring dot com

Judy said...

I enjoy watching all the green leaves sprout all over the trees and the flowers getting blooms on them and the birds coming out more and more. My husband keeps birdseed for them, so we have alot even during the winter, but you can tell they know it is getting warmer the way they flit about!!

Your post was very enjoyable and your book looks great, of course!!


Elaine Cantrell said...

Ladies, thanks for stopping by. There are excerpts from A New Dream on my website at

This morning my clock went off around 5:30, and I lay in bed for a few minutes just listening to the birds sing. Spring has truly arrived in South Carolina.

Anthology Authors said...

Well, spring is playing hide and seek with us out in CA. Today, it's cold and dreary again. The entire weekend is scheduled for cold and dreary. (sigh) I am looking forward to some real sunshine. :)

Lovely post, Elaine. :)


kayspringsteen said...

Great post! I also have dogs who "appreciate" my flowers just a bit too much! Funny, they never seem to "appreciate" the roses twice! Best wishes on your release, A New Dream!

Cheryl said...

I was just talking about daffodils and tulips this week. When I was a growing up in the house my grandfather built, we had a lovely azalea bush that bloomed each spring. I still remember it.

Best of luck,



Linda Swift said...

What a lovely ode to spring, Elaine. And from the response you've gotten, I think many other authors feel as you do about this beautiful season. I'm glad your dog was eating tulips insead of popppies! And Violet, what a well-chosen name for your heroine. I am going to read the excerpt of this book right now. Happy spring. Linda

Kim Bowman Author said...

Congrats, Elaine! Can't wait to read:)

Elaine Cantrell said...

Thanks for coming by, ladies. I'm really glad the dog didn't eat poppies.

booklover0226 said...

I took a hard look at the grass's green and long! Finally, spring is here!

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Elaine Cantrell said...

My dogwoods are lovely too. I love the pink ones, but the white are gorgeous.

Kytaira said...

My favorite part about spring is that winter is on it's way out the door!

I enjoyed reading about your book. Sounds like emotion and suspense rolled up together.

Sue A. said...

Nothing says spring is here like the profusion of pink to the landscape that comes with cherry blossoms popping up.

DL Thomas said...

Spring...the giver and renewal of life.

It is finally getting warm enough for me to start going for walks again. I love to watch all the flowers, bushes, trees and animals come into themselves again.

Loved the blurb to your book. It is on my TBB list.


Heidiwriter said...

Spring is my favorite season too! I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), so I look forward to emerging like the tulip each spring!

Faith said...

The array of colors available in azaleas is mind boggling! I used to have one at the old farm that was a cross between salmon pink and neon orange.


Karen Michelle Nutt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Beautiful post about flowers and spring, but what I love most about spring is the days begin to become longer.

Happy Spring!

Crystal said...

Daffodils are my favorite flower. THere is just something so heart lifting about their bright cheerful yellow color.. they just make me feel good!

Read your excerpt of A New! Talk about a cliff hanger of a snippet!


Terra Pennington said...

Love spring and all the flowers. Great time to sit outside with a good book and enjoy the fresh air.


EdgesAngel23 said...

I totally love all the new flowes that pop up and all the new little critters that come out to enjoy the nice weather. I love it when my Grandma's tulips come up too. Sometimes we get some pretty out there colors for tulips because the squirrels like to dig up tulip bulbs and bury them in new places so my Grandma-who only planted red and yellow tulips-ended up with purple tulips one year!
Ashley A

Joni said...

Nothing says spring as much as the beautiful azaleas and flowering trees that I love.

Sarita said...

Your post made my heart warm, thank you!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

My daffodils just opened up today, and we're still waiting for the tulips. But i know they'll come, as long as i'm patient