I love sharing about books that I enjoy and am therefore honored to welcome Amanda Cabot to The Power of Words today. While many of you probably associate Amanda with historical romance, she has written a delightful contemporary series that I am greatly enjoying and wanted to spotlight.
The beauty of the Texas Hill Country is vividly conveyed in Amanda's Texas Crossroads series, and she has done a wonderful job creating realistic, endearing characters in a family-like setting - while at the same time, dealing with some serious life issues that add much depth. Quality writers craft characters that we want to revisit, and that is what Amanda has beautifully achieved in these stories.
Book #2 in this series has just been released, In Firefly Valley (click on title to see my review), and Amanda will tell us about this book today. She is also graciously offering one of our readers a copy of book #1, At Bluebonnet Lake. Details are at the end of this post.
Q: Please share briefly about your writing, Amanda . . . For instance, do you write full time? What genres do you write in?
From the time I was seven, I wanted to be a writer, and though the road has had its share of twists and turns and has included both fiction and non-fiction, I’m happy to say that I’ve been a published author for quite a few years.
Fulltime or part-time? You’d think that would be an easy answer, wouldn’t you? I guess you could say that I’m a fulltime writer, because I’ve retired from my day job, but reality is that I write only about three hours a day. So, does that make me a part-timer? You decide.
As for what I write now, that’s easy: Christian romance. My first two series were historical romances, one set in Texas in the 1850s, the other in Wyoming in the 1880s, but now I’m writing full-length contemporary romances and historical novellas.
Q: Just a few fun short answer questions, Amanda . . .
Introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between . . .
One of my favorite research trips was . . .
To the Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. I wanted to get “up close and personal” with cameras that were used during World War One. When the curator took me into the vault, I got much more than I’d expected, including the opportunity to see Ansel Adams’s camera and the one that took the first pictures on the moon. That was a definite goose-bump moment.
You may not know this about me, but I . . .
Enjoy sewing and make most of my clothes.
A recently-read book that I would recommend is . . .
Daughter of the Regiment by Stephanie Grace Whitson
I love to _______ in my spare time.
Read. (How predictable is that?)
Small town or city girl?
City, although it might be more accurate to say suburban/city, since most of my life was spent in suburbs. Now I live in a small city.
Q: Please tell us about your newest novel, In Firefly Valley, and how it fits into the Texas Crossroads series.
I’m always challenged to tell a story in just a couple paragraphs, so why don’t I simply share the back cover copy with you?
She’s lost her dream job—but has she found the man of her dreams?
Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow’s End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa’s dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake’s real identity?
This warm and witty story of dreams deferred and mistaken identity will have you believing in second chances.
Q: Through the character of Blake, you bring up the possibility of unintended or negative effects of an author's writing. Is this something to which you can relate as an author yourself?
Thankfully, not so far, or at least not that I’m aware of. Although readers might think I based Blake’s challenges on some I’ve experienced, that isn’t the case. Unlike Blake, I’ve never had writer’s block, nor have I had readers react as negatively as Marisa does to his books. Of course, I also haven’t had my books turned into movies, nor have I gained vast wealth from royalties. Blake’s story is fiction – pure fiction.
Q: I love the depth you achieved with In Firefly Valley by dealing with some serious life issues. Is there a particular theme or spiritual message that spoke to you, Amanda?
I’ve always believed in the healing power of love. Since I write romance, I focus on the love between a man and a woman, but since this is Christian romance, a more important focus is God’s love for us. What I hoped to do in In Firefly Valley was to show how the characters – particularly Marisa – need to ask for God’s help if they want to experience that healing.
Q: Of the Texas Crossroads heroes so far - Greg, Blake and Drew - which one would you favor as a son-in-law? Why?
That’s a difficult question, because each of them has his strengths … and his weaknesses. But if I had to choose only one, it would be Blake, primarily because of his strong relationship with his father. That would bode well for his relationship with my husband and me and our daughter, if we had one.
Q: What stories can readers expect from you in the months ahead, Amanda?
I’ve just finished the final edits for On Lone Star Trail, the third of the Texas Crossroads contemporary series. As you might guess, it continues the story of Rainbow’s End and the people who are turning it from a rundown to a remarkable resort. That’ll be released in February 2016.
In the meantime, for those who prefer historical novellas, “The Fourth of July Bride” is part of the 12 Brides of Summer series and will be released in e-book format on July 1. It’s also available in print right now as part of Prairie Summer Brides, which is available in select Walmart stores. This fall, my “Christmas Star Bride” novella, which was released in e-book format last December, will be included in a deluxe print edition with the other eleven 12 Brides of Christmas stories.
Q: How can we support and/or pray for you?
I would ask you to pray that my books continue to touch readers’ hearts and deepen their faith. That’s my prayer each day.
Carole: Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us, Amanda - and I loved getting to know more about you through the short-answer questions. From the next book in this series to your upcoming historical novellas, we certainly have a lot to look forward to. And please know that you are welcome here anytime.
Amanda, thank you for sharing a copy of book #1, At Bluebonnet Lake, with one of our readers. To enter the drawing . . .
1) If you're on Facebook, please go to this Facebook post and share about the giveaway.
2) Answer the following question that I asked Amanda:
Are you a small-town or big-city type of gal? Why?
"Likes" on my Facebook page, ThePowerofWordsBookReviews, are also greatly appreciated. BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Monday, June 29. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by e-mail. Respond within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be chosen.
Eligibility: US residents