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