Monday, May 18, 2015

IN FIREFLY VALLEY - Amanda Cabot - One Free Copy of AT BLUEBONNET LAKE

Bio: Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming

Welcome back, Amanda. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
A beautiful sunrise. Oh, wait … you didn’t mean a literal horizon. What’s on the immediate horizon for writing is another historical novella. 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. 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. And that will be followed by another contemporary romance next February. On Lone Star Trail is the third in the Texas Crossroads series and continues the story of Rainbow’s End and the people who’ve turned it from a rundown resort into a successful establishment.

Tell us a little about your family.
When people ask why I write romance, the answer is simple: because of my husband. God brought him into my life at exactly the right time. I was a junior in high school, terribly disappointed because my dream of becoming a foreign exchange student wasn’t coming true, when I met him. Now I think back to that March so many years ago and realize that God answered my prayers in ways I could never have imagined. He didn’t give me the year abroad when I wanted it. Instead He gave me what I needed at that time: a man to love, a man whose love made me believe in happily-ever-after. But God wasn’t finished. Soon after my husband and I were married, He gave us the opportunity to live abroad, compliments of the US Army. Never doubt that God answers prayers – every prayer – and that both His answers and His timing are perfect.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
The biggest change is that I’ve become a very critical reader. I no longer have much patience for stories that don’t hook me in the first few pages, and I have no – zero! – patience for poor grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

What are you working on right now?
I’ve just finished the first edits for On Lone Star Trail, the third of the Texas Crossroads books. Like the first two, it takes place at Rainbow’s End and features characters who are at crossroads in their lives. Famous pianist Gillian Hodge’s career is destroyed when her hand is crushed in a motorcycle accident, so if there’s one thing she never wants to see again, it’s a man on a motorcycle. You can guess what happens. She’s on her way to Rainbow’s End when a sudden thunderstorm causes a motorcycle to hydroplane and crash in front of her. On Lone Star Trail will be available in February 2016.

What outside interests do you have?
You won’t be surprised that some of my interests are writing-related. I lead a group of Christian fiction writers in northern Colorado and spend a fair amount of time mentoring them. But when I step away from the computer, I love traveling with my husband. We’ve always enjoyed exploring new places together, and ever since I started my “Wednesday in Wyoming” blogs, we’ve had a focus for our travels. It’s so much fun to visit some of the lesser-known parts of Wyoming and share pictures with readers.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Since I’ve already told you that I love traveling, it won’t be much of a surprise that I find settings when I travel. I fell in love with the Texas Hill Country the first time I saw it, so when I was choosing the setting for both the Texas Dreams historical trilogy and Texas Crossroads, my current contemporary series, that was the first place that came to mind. Similarly, when my editor asked me to set a series in Wyoming, the location that popped into my mind immediately was Fort Laramie. The first trip my husband and I took after we moved to Cheyenne was to Fort Laramie, and though I hadn’t expected anything more than a day away from unpacking, I discovered a place that fired my imagination and simply demanded to be the setting for a book.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Oh, what a hard question to answer! There are so many fascinating people I’d like to meet, but if I could only choose one, it would be Abraham Lincoln. I’d love to talk to him about the challenges he faced as President during the Civil War and how he managed to keep his sense of humor while he led the country through one of its most turbulent eras.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How long the whole process takes. I hadn’t realized just how much effort went into editing and that cover design was such a time-consuming step of the process. And then there’s the advance time needed for marketing. Now I understand why publishers want a manuscript a full year before the book will be released. They need that time to get everything ready so that when the book is actually ready for readers, readers will be ready for it.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Patience. Without a doubt, patience. It’s not a new lesson, but it’s one that I’m still learning. So many things move slowly in the publishing world, and I’m not by nature a patient person, so learning to wait for His plan to be clear isn’t the easiest thing for me.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
The first is to read extensively in the genre you want to write. That’s the best way to learn what a publisher is buying. Secondly, join a writer’s group. ACFW is wonderful for writers in the Christian marketplace, and Romance Writers of America is excellent for anyone interested in writing romance. A writer’s group provides support, networking, and so many other resources to the aspiring writer that I can’t over emphasize the importance of joining one. And lastly, never give up. Rejection is a fact of life. I won’t sugarcoat it: rejection hurts. But if you let it defeat you, if you stop sending out your manuscript just because it was rejected, you’ll never be published. Believe in your book and in yourself. Oh … that was four pieces of advice. Sorry! 

Four is just fine. Tell us about the featured book.
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.

Please give us the first page of the book.
It wasn’t the homecoming of her dreams. When she’d pictured this moment, Marisa St. George had imagined herself riding in a shiny new Lexus. She’d be wearing a designer dress and sporting an impressive diamond on her left hand, while her tall, dark, and handsome husband smiled at her as if she were the most beautiful woman in the world. Instead she was driving an ordinary white sedan with more than its share of dents and a loud rattle that the previous owner had assured her wasn’t serious. Her clothes were as ordinary as the car, and the diamond ring and doting husband were as much a figment of her imagination as the luxury car and expensive clothing.

The car clanked again, reminding Marisa she was no longer a rising star at a prestigious Atlanta accounting firm but was back in the town she’d been so eager to flee and headed for a job that was definitely not part of her career plan.

Think of something positive, she admonished herself. She glanced at the sign marking the entrance to town and nodded. It still said “Welcome to Dupree, the Heart of the Hills,” reminding passing motorists that they were in Texas’s famed Hill Country, but the sagging wooden post that had turned it into a Texas version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa had been replaced by two perfectly straight shiny metal poles. The sign itself was freshly painted, a nice improvement over the faded and peeling greeting Marisa had seen the last time she’d been here.

Maybe it wasn’t just wishful thinking. Maybe Mom and Lauren were right when they said Dupree was changing. Marisa hoped that was the case. The town needed a boost, and so did her mother and her best friend. Being with them again was the one good thing to come out of all that had happened this year.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love hearing from readers and encourage them to email me and to sign up for my online newsletter. My social media links are:


Thank you, Amanda, for sharing this new book with us. By the way, you look very pretty in pink.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
In Firefly Valley  -  Christianbook.com
In Firefly Valley: A Novel (Texas Crossroads) - Amazon
In Firefly Valley (Texas Crossroads Book #2): A Novel - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

angela in Ky would love to win.

scottsgal said...

I went to college near the Texas Hill Country area - would love to read a book set there.
Cheryl in IL

Amanda Cabot said...

Angela -- Isn't Kentucky a beautiful state? I've never lived there, but I had the opportunity to travel there several times and simply loved it.

Amanda Cabot said...

Cheryl -- Did you explore much of the Hill Country when you were in school? I'll never forget the sight of fields covered with bluebonnets, and the German pastries I discovered in Fredericksburg were worth a second trip ... or a third.

Linda Kish said...

I'd like to read more of the story.

California

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Trixi said...

I would love to know more of Blake and Marisa's story, your excerpt has me wanting to read this book! And I grew up in Illinois, so I've visited President Lincoln's birth city and seen where his house was. It's a very fascinating piece of history :-)
Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book, I love that cover!
teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

Trixi said...

I forgot to say where I was from, oops!

Trixi from Oregon

Britney Adams said...

I enjoyed this great interview and would love to win a copy of At Bluebonnet Lake! Thank you so much for this giveaway opportunity!

Britney Adams, TX

Mary Preston said...

This sounds like such a lovely story.

Mary P

QLD AUSTRALIA

Loraine Nunley said...

I can relate with needing to be hooked right away by the books I read. I have such a large TBR list that I can't be as patient about it. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

Loraine in TX

Patty said...

I've never visited Texas, only been through one of the airports once. I'm sure it's beautiful country.

Patty in SC

Beth Gillihan said...

Great interview. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Martha Sturm said...

I read the first book in this series, and would recommend to everyone to read it and the other two books in the series.
I am with you, Amanda, if spelling in a story is wrong I can't stand it!
Martha
WI

sm said...

I enjoy your books, Amanda. I would love to read this next one. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com CA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter Me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Lyndie Blevins said...

I'm interested in reading this book.

Lyndie in Duncaville Tx

Rebecca said...

Sounds like an interesting story. Thanks for a chance to win. Oh, and I agree, she does look pretty in pink!

Rebecca in Oregon

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a interesting book! Shelia from Mississippi

Merry said...

I love visiting Texas via great stories or in person to see my daughter and grandkids! Please add me for In Firefly Valley, thanks.
Merry in MN