Monday, March 13, 2017

A STOLEN HEART - Amanda Cabot - One Free Book

Bio: Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, the Texas Crossroad trilogy, 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. I know you used to write for the secular market. What made you decide to write Christian novels?
It was literally a matter of life and death. Though I’d thought I was happy writing for the secular market, I was also frustrated by some of the things my editors wanted in my books, notably explicit love scenes, and what they wouldn’t let me include, namely any references to God. Only once was I allowed to include a scene with a character praying and discovering the power of God’s love. The sole reason that escaped the editor’s delete key was that it was a pivotal scene and vital to the plot. Despite my frustration and the fact that readers kept urging me to write Christian novels, I kept writing for the secular market.

The turning point came the summer that a dear friend from college entered the final stages of leukemia. Though we were separated by thousands of miles, that summer brought us closer than we’d ever been. Knowing we had only a few months left together, we spoke of many things. For the first time in the more than thirty-five years we’d known each other, we spoke of what was truly important: faith, love, and hope. In our lighter moments, we spoke of the final gift she had for me. Though she was referring to a piece of French porcelain, what she gave me was of far greater value, for her last months on Earth brought me a stronger faith and the realization that it was time for me to write about God’s love.

I love it when things like that happen. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
I’d invite Stephanie Grace Whitson, Delia Parr, Kathleen Morgan, and Ann Gabhart. They’re all writers I admire tremendously, and I know it would be fun to brainstorm plot ideas and talk shop with them.

Do you have a ministry other than writing? If so, tell us about that.
Like you, I feel called to help other writers achieve their goal of seeing their stories in print. That’s the reason I organized and still lead Front Range Christian Fiction Writers. The group, which meets in Loveland, Colorado, one Saturday of each month, has evolved since it was established in 2007, but what hasn’t changed is the fact that we’re more than writers, more even than Christian writers. We’re a group of people who genuinely care about each other. That’s why when one of our members was diagnosed with a very rare, incurable disease of the brain, I had no trouble pulling together a team to make her dream of becoming a published author come true. I’ve told a bit of the story in a post on my own blog. http://bit.ly/2gQdAUD Although there was a tremendous amount of work involved, no one complained. It was truly heartwarming to watch so many of our members put aside their own writing, even when they were on deadline, to help.

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
Do your homework and never give up. By homework, I mean the same things you probably tell them – read extensively in the genre you want to write, join a writers’ group, attend conferences, find a critique partner who understands and enjoys the genre you’ve chosen, and – most importantly – write! It takes a lot of hard work to write a book, but the rewards are immeasurable.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Stolen Heart, the first in my new historical trilogy, is set in the fictional Texas Hill Country town of Cimarron Creek in 1880. It’s been fifteen years since Appomattox, and while many of the wounds inflicted by the War Between the States and Reconstruction have been healed, the town’s idyllic appearance hides secrets, some of which threaten lives and livelihoods.

Syracuse schoolteacher Lydia Crawford’s carefully planned life is shattered when her fiancĂ© flees to Texas after being involved in a fatal fight, leaving her to complete her teaching contract before she joins him for a life of happily-ever-after. Four months later, she arrives in Cimarron Creek only to discover Edgar has disappeared, leaving behind a pregnant wife. So much for his promises to Lydia.

The last thing Sheriff Travis Whitfield needs is a woman in his life, especially a Northerner. As if his ordinary duties weren’t enough, he’s coping with his ornery father’s anti-Northern sentiment, and now he has to deal with a missing man. But, like it or not, Cimarron Creek has a new resident, a lovely young woman who touches Travis’s heart despite his intentions.

Have I intrigued you? I hope so.

I hope so, too. I am almost finished reading A Stolen Heart, and loving it. Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
May 1880
No matter what anyone said, she wouldn’t believe this was a mistake. Lydia Crawford glanced at the other passengers, wondering whether her hours of sitting here, remaining silent but keeping a smile firmly fixed on her face had done anything to lessen their hostility. She had considered pulling a book from her bag and spending the day lost in one of Jane Austen’s tales but had feared that would only rile her companions more.

Though Lydia wanted nothing beyond a peaceful journey and some pleasant conversation, she suspected that was impossible. The two sisters who were traveling together and the mother and son had given her friendly smiles when they’d boarded the stagecoach in Dallas, but the moment she’d opened her mouth, those smiles had turned to frowns, the friendliness to hostility.

“She’s a Yankee,” the older of the sisters had announced. “Mebbe a sister to one of them Carpetbaggers. She’s sure makin’ a mistake coming to Texas.” They both glared at Lydia for a moment, then turned away, refusing to even look in her direction.

The mother had taken more drastic action. Though she and her son had chosen seats next to Lydia when they boarded the stagecoach, once Lydia had spoken and they’d realized she was a Northerner, they’d moved to the less comfortable backless bench in the center of the coach rather than risk being tainted by her presence.

Lydia had endured snubs before, but none of this magnitude. Though she’d tried to slough it off, she’d been unable. Not only had the woman’s shunning hurt, but it made Lydia wonder if she would face similar rejection in Cimarron Creek. Nonsense, she told herself. Edgar would have warned you if that were the case. But of course there had been no word from Edgar. The night he left, they had both agreed it would be far too risky for him to send a letter or telegram. He would go to Texas and make a home for them, leaving Lydia to join him as soon as the school could find a replacement for her. Though it wasn’t their original plan, it was the only one that made sense after what had happened in the saloon. Surely it wasn’t a mistake.

Lydia’s gaze moved past the disapproving sisters to the dark-haired boy in the center of the coach. With little else to occupy him, he’d been staring at her. Now he leaned forward, his hand extended as if he wanted to touch her. Lydia shook her head slightly, knowing nothing good would come from encouraging the child. A second later, though his mother had been gazing out the window, seemingly oblivious to the curious looks her son had been giving Lydia, she turned abruptly and yanked him back onto the bench.

“Silas, you stay right here. I don’t want you talkin’ to that person.” She spat the final word as if it were an epithet. Lydia refused to cringe. She’d been called worse, especially once she’d crossed the Mason-Dixon line. Though the war had been over for more than fifteen years, the enmity caused by four years of bloodshed and the disastrous era known as Reconstruction remained, at least in some hearts.

“But, Ma,” the boy protested, “she’s real purty. I nebber seen hair like that.”

This time Lydia did cringe, wishing she’d been Silas’s teacher. The boy was clearly old enough to attend school, but his poor grammar told her that if he was being taught, it wasn’t well.
Silas’s mother continued to frown. “You do as I say, young man, or I’ll tan your hide.”

“Yes, Ma.” But, despite his mother’s admonitions, Silas smiled at Lydia.

“Silas!”

He looked up at his mother, his expression one of feigned innocence. “I ain’t talkin’.”

Though Lydia was tempted to grin at the boy’s cheeky response, she didn’t want to get him in any more trouble, and so she turned to look out the window. At least the scenery would not protest a Northerner’s gaze.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love hearing from readers and encourage them to connect with me either on social media or – if they want a more personal connection – via email. Here are links to my web site and social media accounts.

Thank you, Amanda, for sharing this book with us today. I’ve always loved reading your stories.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Stolen Heart - Christianbook.com
A Stolen Heart (Cimarron Creek Trilogy) - Amazon paperback
A Stolen Heart (Cimarron Creek Trilogy Book 1) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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:

22 comments:

Wendy Newcomb said...

Love Amanda's books, thank you for the chance to win this one.

Wendy back in Nebraska!

wfnren at aol dot com

Barbara Lynn Thompson said...

Amanda Cabot's writing is so great and I want to read her book. Thank you for allowing the opportunity of this special giveaway.

Barbara Thompson - Louisiana
419 Morning Meadow Circle
West Monroe, LA 71292

barbmaci61@yahoo.com

Cindy W. said...

I would love to win a copy.

Blessings,
Cindy W. from Indiana

Pam Graber said...

Ha! I was intrigued the minute I saw Amanda Cabot's name on the book cover! I loved her Texas Dreams trilogy and look forward to starting a new trilogy with her as the author. Would love to win this one!

Pam in OH

Deanna Stevens said...

intrigued I am!
Deanna in Nebraska

Beth Gillihan said...

Great first page! Sounds like a wonderful book. Have a great day!

Beth in Montana

Kim hansen said...

Sounds like a good read. north platte nebraska.

Abigail Mitchell said...

Your books look soooo good! Can't wait to read them! God bless.
Abigail in VA

R Merr said...

Love her books...always SO good! DownEast Maine!

Connie said...

This book sounds lovely and Amanda's friend and her influence on Amanda's writing is a wonderful testimony to love, faith and following God!
Thanks for sharing and Blessings!
Connie from KY
cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

Amanda Cabot said...

Ladies -- Your comments are making me smile. Thanks so much for your kind words and your faith in my writing. And, if you were curious about how Revell created such a gorgeous cover, you might enjoy my blog post about the cover design process. http://amandajoycabot.blogspot.com/2017/01/behind-cover-for-stolen-heart.html

BJM said...

Sounds like a good book for my to read list.

BJM Upstate SC

Winnie Thomas said...

This book sounds so wonderful. I love the cover--it grabs my interest and intrigues me! I haven't read any of Amanda Cabot's books yet, but I'm hoping to remedy that soon! This book needs to go on my wish list. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

Winnie T from Utah

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a great book and has a beautiful cover. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity .

Melanie Backus, TX

Mama Cat said...

This sounds intriguing! A period in US history that I especially appreciate. Thank you for the interview and opportunity to win!

Jeanie in Arizona

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Amanda is a new author to me. Thanks for the chance and loved the interview Lena!
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
Maryann

Anonymous said...

oops, forgot to add my state - New York!
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
Maryann

Patty said...

Christmas Roses by Amanda Cabot is one of my favorite Christmas novellas. I would love to read more by her.

Patty in SC

Melody B said...

Thank you for the chance to win!

Melody B from Quebec, Canada

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Amanda J. said...

I remember reading Paper Roses long ago and loved Amanda's writing. Looking forward to this book. Thank you both!
Amanda J. from FL

rubynreba said...

I'm looking forward to this new trilogy.
Beth from IA