A New Giveaway and the Story Behind it

This week I’d like to give you a glimpse into a new historical fiction novel in a bit different way. Author Amanda Cabot and her publisher are hosting a three-prize package giveaway to celebrate the release of A Borrowed Dream, the second novel in her current trilogy.

The idea of giving away the book and its predecessor, A Stolen Heart, wasn’t surprising, but I was curious about the other prizes being including and I asked Amanda why she chose those things, assuming they must be connected to the story in some way. 

Here’s her response: 

Well, when Revell’s Marketing Director first asked me for gift ideas to go along with the books, I was stumped. I asked her to let me think about it, but the ideas flowed more like the proverbial molasses in January than clear water. It wasn’t writer’s block – after all, how can you have block over an apparently simple question? – but something was keeping me from being creative.

That’s when I realized I needed to ask my characters for their ideas.

On Thursday, March 4, 1881, a late winter ice storm strands two of schoolteacher Catherine Whitfield’s pupils in the small town of Cimarron Creek, Texas. Neither Hannah, the too silent daughter of handsome rancher Austin Goddard, nor Seth Dalton, whose frequent bruises suggest his father is far from the gentle man Austin is, can reach their ranches. So Catherine takes them home with her, never dreaming the simple action will have dramatic consequences.

The next morning, I (Amanda) sat all three of these characters at Catherine’s kitchen table and asked the simple question, “What are your favorite things?”

“Popcorn,” Seth declared.

I stared at him, startled by his response. I would have expected him say pencils and paper since he loved to sketch. “Why popcorn?”

He gave Catherine a shy smile. “Because she let me make it all by myself. She trusted me.” And trust wasn’t something he’d been given before.

I nodded as I turned to Hannah. “What about you?”

Her reply was the one I’d anticipated. “A music box like the one I used to have before …” She stopped abruptly, clapping her hand over her mouth as if she’d said too much.

Knowing I would get no more from her at this point, I posed the same question to Catherine.

“Books. A whole room with floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with books.”

And just that simply, I had my answers for my publisher.

Seth would have popcorn, but not ordinary popcorn. No, indeed. He’d get gourmet Texas popcorn. Hannah’s request was almost as easy to fulfill, with a beautifully carved music box that looks like it could have been made in the nineteenth century. Catherine’s wish posed the biggest challenge. We obviously couldn’t give away a room of books, but we could – and did – find a beautiful jigsaw puzzle of a book-filled room that looked like her dream.

So there you have it – the story behind the three gift packs for A Borrowed Dream. I hope you’ll enter the contest http://bit.ly/2ptas6E and that I’ve intrigued you enough to add A Borrowed Dream to your TBR pile.

Sandra: You’ve certainly hooked me. Readers, be sure to click through to enter the rafflecopter giveaway. If you have a question for Amanda, leave it in the comments below.

 

Here’s a little bit more about A Borrowed Dream:

There is no such thing as an impossible dream . . .

Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the local doctor’s treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life where dreams rarely come true.

Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.

With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

 Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, the Texas Crossroads trilogy, A Stolen Heart, 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.

Social Media Links

www.amandacabot.com

https://www.facebook.com/amanda.j.cabot

https://twitter.com/AmandaJoyCabot/

http://amandajoycabot.blogspot.com/

Buying Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Christian Book Distributors

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Go Green! Pass it along to your favourite Patty’s Day Pal.  🙂 

 

Click here to: Read an excerpt.

 

Join Me

Today I’m blogging on the International Christian Fiction Writers’ blog, divulging such secrets at what this odd discovery I swam across was and how it might relate to a future book. 

 

 

And no, it isn’t Fred Flinstone’s missing bowling ball or Chuck’s best friend Wilson from the movie Castaway (remember the volleyball?), but those were both wonderfully creative guesses from Facebook readers.  🙂 

Enjoy Humorous Mysteries? Enter to Win!

Do you wish you could discover another laugh-out-loud mystery series like my Serena Jones Mysteries? 

Well . . . you might find a few gems to suit your tastes amongst this collection of “mysteries with humor” [or “humour” as we say it in Canada 😉 ] in the general fiction Booksweeps I’m participating in this week. 

Many of the authors are giving away free novels, novellas or short stories to participants just for entering. Two lucky winners will receive copies of the 30+ mysteries pictured above and the Grand Prize winner will receive an Ereader! 

To learn more and to enter, visit:

 https://booksweeps.com/book-giveaway/mysteries-with-humor-february-2018/

 

Good Luck!!!

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Special Valentine’s Interview & News

Harold has stopped by for an exclusive interview!

For those who haven’t read the Serena Jones Mysteries or if you’ve forgotten the characters, Harold is Serena’s lovable cat adopted along with the apartment from Aunt Martha.

Harold, in your first interview, after the release of A Fool and His Monet, you complained that you never got to see Serena in action. But that all changed in Over Maya Dead Body. Tell us about your trip to Martha’s Vineyard.

It was great. Well, except for those creatures on the beach with those nasty claws. <shivers> But the sweet feline I met made up for that. <purrs>

<gives his paw an absentminded lick>

Oh, and I was instrumental in finding important clues to solving the mystery.

Wow, that’s impressive for your first time in the field.

Purrs.

Now this was the big book a lot of readers were waiting for, because Serena finally falls in love. Were you happy with the man that ended up being?

Hmm, in my last interview I mentioned sneaking on Serena’s computer and voting for a certain someone, since you were letting readers dictate the outcome and all, so my answer could be a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t read Over Maya Dead Body, don’t you think?

Good point. You’re a smart cat.

Purrs.

A number of secrets were revealed in this book. Did you know them already?

<emits an amused snort> As long as I get two square meals a day and a warm bed to sleep in and a decent backrub now and again, I don’t get worked up about much else.

However . . . I will divulge something that isn’t in the book.

Oh, really? What’s that.

I’m going to ask that sweet feline you brought into my life to be my Valentine.  😎 

Ah, I’m sure she’ll be pleased.

Readers, if you’ve read Over Maya Dead Body, (and you’re on Facebook), I have a Valentine’s surprise for you too. Join our private Chat About Serena Jones Facebook group to read an alternate romantic scene between Serena and the man she doesn’t choose in the end.

Click here to read more fun interviews, including Harold’s first one.

Coming Soon:

From Feb 19-26, I’m participating in a BookSweeps event for Mysteries with Humor. Subscribe to this blog to be sure not to miss the entry link, or come back Feb 19th to find it.

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This Picture Book Makes a Wonderful Gift

No, I’m not writing picture books now. But my friend has!

This is my friend whose daughter was the inspiration for the developmentally challenged sister of Ginny, the heroine in my first published book, Deep Cover.  

I was so excited to receive Jesus, Let’s Talk as a gift to share with my grandchildren.

The book was created to help children, early readers, and people with developmental differences enjoy the sweet basics of conversation with Jesus. This natural approach to prayer is truly inspiring.

The colorful photographs of children and young people were specifically chosen to celebrate that the fingerprints of God are on all people, all around the world.

The book also highlights key words using American Sign Language. This allows little ones who are not yet talking, or those who experience hearing impairment to express themselves, as well as those who simply want to have fun learning new ways to communicate.

My grandchildren (ages 0 to 6) are captivated by the photographs of real children and love to learn the “signs” for the words depicted on each page.

Our two-year-old, who usually rapidly turns to the next page before I can finish reading the one we’re on, didn’t do that with this book. He studied each picture, attempted the sign language I taught him from the page and listened to the simple prayers. They are wonderful examples of how to pray and demonstrate how to view ourselves through God’s eyes.

The pictures were also a springboard to interesting discussions with our four- and six-year-olds about the challenges some children and families face.

 

The author is Lisa Jamieson who, alongside her husband, parents a grown daughter with special needs and is a national disability ministry leader. She is also a speaker and the author of Finding Glory in the Thorns and related Bible study materials. Jesus, Let’s Talk is her first children’s book.

The photographer is Ann L. Hinrichs who serves missionaries worldwide, while enjoying the arts as a musician, worship leader, voice teacher, and international photographer.

This book would be a wonderful gift to any parents or grandparents of young children, or children with special needs, or to the children themselves. It would also be an excellent resource for Sunday School classes and in the primary classroom of Christian schools.  

I highly recommend it.

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The View From Here

As you may have deduced from my sparse number of blog posts of late, life’s kept me busy. A happy busy.

I’m grateful for Facebook that allows me to regularly connect with many of you. I do so love our interactions there. 

That said, the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a lot of posts around the blogosphere about a

“word”

each post’s author has chosen to focus on for the year and felt inspired to chime in. I’ve contemplated choosing a “word” a few times, but I’ve never made a conscientious effort to follow through. 

Last year, for example, I knew I needed to focus on finding balance (that is to say figuring out how to be a writer and have a life too). I did take an extended vacation with my husband and prioritized spending time with my grandchildren and rediscovered crocheting and amazingly, still managed to finish three manuscripts!

We won’t mention how few blog posts I wrote here.  😳 

‘Cause, hey, this weekend, I even FINALLY got around to finishing painting the very large rec room I’d started before my grandson’s accident two years ago!!!

As I was prepping the very old plaster walls (no easy task), the word perspective kept coming to mind. 

 

And wow, who knew how many cobwebs hide in the corners under those low tables? 

Remember . . . last year’s word was balance, so dusting wasn’t a priority.  😀 

The cobwebs got me thinking about the trouble I could get my newest heroine into and how I could shake up the story simply by changing her perspective of the situation.

Then came the leaking window.  😕 

The cracked plaster beneath the corner should’ve been my first clue. But the fact my plaster repair job refused to cure was the clincher.

So . . . I tore off trim and (reminisced about how much I missed renovating) 😉

Getting into the walls gave me a whole new inside-out perspective

(Unfortunately not one that, as of yet, has revealed the source of the window leak.) 

But it did entrench the compulsion to think more on perspective this year. 

The word actually goes hand in glove with balance, since it means “true understanding of the relative importance of things,” as well as, “a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something.” 

And . . . bonus . . . it can be a writer’s best friend in crafting stories!

Your Turn: Have you ever chosen a word to focus on for a year? If so, would you share how it worked for you.

 

Cobweb Image courtesy of Pansa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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Merry Christmas!

 

Sorry I’ve been so quiet around here. I’ve been hanging out with my grandchildren a lot.  😀 

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy new year!

In the Mood for more Art Crime? Book Sale

Hey, everyone. Sorry I’ve been quiet here for so long. The past six weeks have been a blur. I had a fabulous time at my first Bouchercon Mystery Conference. It was especially fun to meet Maureen Jennings, the author of the original Murdoch Mysteries, and to hear how they evolved into a popular TV series. 

Then my grandson had another surgery on his whole leg to straighten it, so I’ve been spending a lot more time with him and his siblings, helping out, since they also have a new little baby in the family, and it will be a few more weeks yet, before he’s mobile again. He is progressing fabulously, though, and we so appreciate the prayers of the many who have been remembering him. 

Now . . . to the book sale news. 

If you’ve only recently discovered my novels, you may not realize that before Serena Jones and the Port Aster Secrets series, I wrote several romantic suspense novels. 

One of them, Perilous Waters, is about another member of the FBI Art Crime Team, Sam Steele, and he’s chasing down the bad guys aboard an Alaskan cruise.  

Cover for Perilous Waters

May I just inject here how much fun I had researching this novel!  😉 

The great news is that right now, Perilous Waters is on sale for 99¢ on all the Ebook platforms. 

Sooo, if you’ve enjoyed following Serena Jones’s cases, now is a great time to pick up Perilous Water, because I’m not sure how long the sale will last. 

Click on the book’s cover above to go to the book’s page on my site, where you’ll find links to iBooks, Kobo, kindle etc. through the “buying options” button. And after you read the book, check out it’s bonus features here

Announcements

Please join me at the International Christian Fiction Writers blog today, where I am interviewing Canadian author Stacey Weeks, who also happens to be one of my treasured brainstormers (Nate’s champion in the Serena Jones series.)  😛 

And she’s giving away a copy of her debut romance The Builder’s Reluctant Bride to one randomly selected commenter. 

 

 

And the randomly selected winners from last week’s blog giveaway (using random.org) are: Pirrko, Lynda, Faith and a bonus winner, Jody. Ladies, please look for my emails in your inboxes. 

Have a wonderful week everyone!