A Tender Hope on the blog. It’s a wonderful historical, romantic suspense novel. Her characters always leap from the pages straight into my heart bringing me into their stories. An what a story! Lots of suspense, romance, and surprises. I highly recommend this wonderful read. You’ll have a hard time putting it down.
Bio: Amanda Cabot’s dream of selling a book before her thirtieth birthday came true, and she’s now the author of more than thirty-five novels as well as eight novellas, four non-fiction books, and what she describes as enough technical articles to cure insomnia in a medium-sized city. Her inspirational romances have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists, have garnered a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and have been nominated for the ACFW Carol, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers Best awards. A popular workshop presenter, Amanda takes pleasure in helping other writers achieve their dreams of publication.
Welcome back, Amanda. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
The initial impetus came from my readers. So many of them were intrigued by Thea, the heroine of Paper Roses’ little sister, and asked for her story that I kept thinking about their pleas to show them what happened to Thea when she was all grown up. At first, I was committed to writing other series, but when I started plotting the Cimarron Creek trilogy, I knew it was time to give Thea her own book.
I loved the fact that we went back to the characters from Paper Roses. If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Oh, what fun this would be. I’m already planning a dinner party where we talk about the changing face of contemporary Christian fiction and how each of my guests is impacting that. The authors I’d invite, in no particular order, are:
Irene Hannon. Her Hope Harbor stories are guaranteed to make me smile when the characters reach their happily-ever-after.
Liz Johnson. As a fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery, I fell in love with Liz’s books set on PEI and all the references she made to Maud and Anne of Green Gables.
Suzanne Woods Fisher. I debated whether to put her on the list for the historical party or this one, since she writes both. Eventually I decided she’d be a great addition to the contemporary authors, since her wonderful Amish stories provide a contrast to the other guests’ books.
Erin Bartels. Her debut novel, We Hope For Better Things, is one of the best books I’ve read in many years.
Lynette Eason. When I’m looking for keep-me-awake-all-night suspense, Lynette’s my go-to author.
Sandra Orchard. When I grow up, I want to write mysteries as well as Sandra does. In the meantime, I simply enjoy hers.
Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
We’re not going to have a dinner party this time. Instead, since we all write about “times gone by,” I’m going to serve high tea. Scones, crumpets, some decadent pastries, and six different kinds of tea. I hope my guests will enjoy the menu and the discussion of how we ensure historical accuracy while still telling stories that appeal to modern readers. My guests would be:
Stephanie Grace Whitson. Her endless creativity never fails to amaze me, which is why I’ve loved each of Stephanie’s books.
Karen Witemeyer. When I want to laugh a bit while I’m reading, I turn to Karen.
Kim Vogel Sawyer. Kim and I’ve been in several novella collections together and have had a lot of fun with them. I know it would be even more fun to meet in person.
Valerie Fraser Luesse. Missing Isaac was such a phenomenal book that I’d love to have its author at my party.
Jane Kirkpatrick. I’m in awe of the way Jane turns true-life stories into such fascinating novels.
Ann H. Gabhart. Whether she’s writing historical novels or contemporary mysteries, Ann never fails to deliver top-notch stories.
Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
My biggest challenge – I refuse to call it a problem, since that might lead to writer’s block – is making each story different from and better than the previous ones. I never want readers to say, “I’ve read that before” or “All Amanda’s characters are the same,” and so I agonize over each and every book I write.
Tell us about the featured book.
A Tender Hope is the last of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, but like all of my books, it can be read as a standalone. One of my pet peeves are books where I feel lost if I read them out of sequence, so I’ve made a promise to my readers that I’ll never put them in that situation.
What's the story about? I'm always challenged to tell a story in only a couple sentences, but here's what I wrote as part of the proposal for this book:
When a Texas Ranger comes to Cimarron Creek on a mission to capture the men who killed his brother, the last thing he expects is to find his heart touched by an abandoned baby and the widow who may hold the clues he needs.
As for the widow, she's Thea, the little sister from Paper Roses who captivated so many readers. Thea's all grown up now, and oh, does she need a happy ending. Unfortunately, when she leaves her home, trying to put the pain of the past behind her, she may have put her life in peril.
Back Cover Copy
As far as Thea Michener is concerned, it’s time for a change. With her husband murdered and her much-anticipated baby stillborn, there is nothing left for her in Ladreville. Having accepted a position as Cimarron Creek’s midwife, she has no intention of remarrying. So when a handsome Texas Ranger appears on her doorstep with an abandoned baby, Thea isn’t sure her heart can take it.
Ranger Jackson Guthrie isn’t concerned only with the baby’s welfare. He’s been looking for Thea, convinced that her late husband was part of the gang that killed his brother. But it soon becomes clear that the situation is far more complicated than he anticipated—and he’ll need Thea’s help if he’s ever to find the justice he seeks.
Please give us the first page of the book.
August 8, 1881
She was free.
Thea Michener smiled as she checked the harness, then climbed into the buggy. Within minutes, she would be leaving the only home she could remember. As much as she loved Ladreville, whose half-timbered buildings and Old-World charm made visitors declare it to be one of the prettiest towns in the Hill Country, it was time for a change.
While others might have trembled with fear over the thought of leaving family, friends, and all things familiar, the prospect filled Thea with relief. A new town, new possibilities, a new life beckoned her. A year ago she would not have dreamt of leaving, but that was a year ago. So much had changed in the past year, most of all Thea.
“But you haven’t changed, have you, Maggie?” Her smile widened into a grin as she looked at the bay mare that had carried her on countless journeys. The horse was the one part of her old life that she was taking with her, that and the tools of her trade. What she was leaving behind were the need for secrecy and the fear that someone would discover the truth she had tried so hard to hide.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to hear from readers and hope they’ll explore my webpage and follow me on social media. Here are the links:
Thank you, Amanda for allowing me to introduce this story to my blog readers.
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