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.

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Introducing Susan Anne Mason

I’m super excited to welcome the fabulous new Canadian historical romance writer, Susan Anne Mason to my blog along with Brianna O’Leary, the heroine in her debut historical release with Bethany House, Irish Meadows, which received a starred review from the Library Journal

I first met Susan when we both attended an ACFW conference in St. Louis in 2011 when my debut book released. To think we live a mere couple of hours apart and we had to fly to St. Louis to meet!

Susan Anne Mason & Sandra Orchard
Susan, myself and our mutual friend Eileen who introduced us

Well, today, we’re all going to meet Susan’s heroine: Brianna O’ Leary

Welcome, Brianna. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Irish-Meadows-662x1024I am one of six children (five still living). We live in Long Island, New York where my father owns “Irish Meadows”, a horse breeding farm. Daddy is determined that once I graduate I will marry a man he deems suitable in order to keep up our position in society.

Ooh, I hope we’ll meet a few horses. Our family loves horses. Tell us your greatest dream.

My greatest dream is to attend college in Manhattan. I want more out of life than to just become someone’s wife and to attend endless social engagements. I want to study literature and perhaps become a teacher or a librarian, and prove to my father that I am a daughter to be proud of.

What is a quirk of your personality that most people wouldn’t know?

I was a true tomboy as a child, much to my father’s dismay. I used to steal my brother’s pants and ride bareback around the track when Daddy was away. Mama finally sewed legs into my old skirts and I wear them when I ride my precious mare, Sophie.

Yeah, I guess that answers my question about meeting horses, too! 😀 Name something you would hate people to know about you.

That I’m jealous of my older sister who is so beautiful and vivacious that every man in the county would love to marry her. She also has Daddy wrapped around her finger and gets her way every time, whereas I can barely get Daddy to notice me.

Wow, being a horseman, I’m surprised your Dad isn’t taken with you love of horses. Tell us about the man who has stolen your heart. What makes him special?

Gilbert Whelan and I grew up together. He was my best friend and he taught me everything about horses. Now that he’s home from college, I can’t help seeing him as more than a friend. Gil is kind, loyal, compassionate, and he understands me better than anyone else in this world.

Well, I certainly hope he sees you the same way. Thanks so much for visiting and thank you, Susan for bringing her by. that must’ve been one long ride!

carriage ride

And for those of you curious about Susan, here’s her bio:

Susan describes her writing style as “romance sprinkled with faith.” She particularly enjoys exploring the themes of forgiveness and redemption in her stories. Irish Meadows is her first historical novel and won the Fiction from the Heartland contest sponsored by the Mid-American Romance Author chapter of RWA.

Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, two children, and two cats. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA).

Connect with Susan Anne Mason at:

Webpage: www.susanannemason.com

FB Author page: https://www.facebook.com/susan.anne.mason.333