Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse ~ Photo: Mark Papke

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea." ~ Medgar Evers, American Civil Rights Activist (1926-1963)


The American Historical Christian Fiction blog hi-lights books by Christian authors who are led by the Lord to write about characters and stories set in America's past.
They are exciting stories of romance, adventure and suspense, written to inspire and encourage.

If you're looking for a book for yourself, a loved one, or those who may need an uplifting message woven through an entertaining story, please consider new monthly releases in inspirational historical fiction found here--the kind that take you on a journey into our country's past (from early colonial times to WWII) and illuminates the trials, beauty and blessings of our great nation.

This week it's my pleasure to hi-light Author of the Week: Amanda Cabot and her latest release: "Tomorrow's Garden"

Title: Tomorrow's Garden
Author: Amanda Cabot
Publisher: Revell

As the seed awaits the spring sunshine, so one young woman hopes for a brighter tomorrow

Harriet Kirk is certain that becoming the new schoolteacher in Ladreville, Texas, is just what she needs—a chance to put the past behind her and give her younger siblings a brighter tomorrow. What she didn’t count on was the presence of handsome former Texas Ranger Lawrence Wood—or the way he affects her fragile heart. But can Harriet and Lawrence ever truly conquer the past in order to find happiness?

Book 3 in the Texas Dreams series, Tomorrow’s Garden is a powerful story of overcoming the odds and grabbing hold of happiness.

Amanda Cabot

The following is my interview with Amanda....

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I can’t say that there was an “aha” moment when I realized I wanted to be a writer, because for me wanting to write simply evolved from loving to read, but I do remember being seven years old and announcing to my parents that when I grew up I was going to be a writer. Admittedly, my first efforts, which included two plays that my fifth grade teacher allowed me to produce for the other classes and a very short-lived neighborhood newspaper, were less than stellar, but I never stopped dreaming of being a published author.

How did you prepare? College courses? Workshops? Books on Craft?

This is going to be embarrassing, but how about ‘none of the above’? I was so na├»ve that I just wrote. At the time, RWA and ACFW didn’t exist, so there was no one to mentor me and to tell me that you never, ever send a query letter to “Dear Editor.” You’re supposed to know the editor’s name and title and be sure to spell both correctly. Fortunately for me, “Dear Editor” was new to her job and bought my first book, despite my obvious inexperience.

Were you writing fiction before you got published?

Oh, yes. Fortunately, I was wise enough not to send any of those early manuscripts to an editor.

How many years did you write before the first one was accepted?

I started writing when I was seven, but that doesn’t count. Or does it? Although I had dabbled with a number of books, it wasn’t until a month before my 29th birthday that I started writing seriously. You see, I had a goal of selling a book before I turned 30, and I figured I’d better get working if I was going to accomplish that. One week before my 30th birthday, “Dear Editor” told me she loved the book and wanted to buy it. So, you could say it was either a little over a year or 23 years, depending on when you want to start counting.

Why do you enjoy writing historicals? (and anything more you want to add to this--anything special about time/settings etc.)

Although I’ve written both contemporary and historical fiction, I have to admit to a strong preference for tales of days gone by. I love fiction because of its ability to transport us out of the here-and-now into a different world, and what’s more different than an earlier time? I also love learning about (and writing about) different eras, seeing how the social constraints of the time influenced characters.

As for specific time periods and settings, I’ve set books everywhere from medieval France to Gold Rush Alaska. My Texas Dreams books take place in the beautiful Hill Country starting in 1856, and my next trilogy, the Westward Winds series, is set in Wyoming beginning in 1885. As you can see, I enjoy learning about new places and time periods and hope that my readers do, too.

What's your next book/release date we can look forward to? (A quick sentence or two of what it's about to whet our appetites? :)

Tomorrow’s Garden is my current release. Although it has the less than auspicious release date of April 1, it should be in bookstores a week or so before then. This is the last of the Texas Dreams books, but I want to assure readers that, even though it’s technically part of a series and has continuing characters from the first two books, it’s not necessary to have read Paper Roses or Scattered Petals to enjoy it. So, what’s it about? Here’s a bit from the back cover copy: Becoming Ladreville's new schoolteacher is just what Harriet needs--a chance to put the past behind her and give her younger siblings a brighter tomorrow. What she didn't count on was meeting the handsome former Texas Ranger Lawrence Wood--or the way he slowly but surely claims her fragile heart.

Pat, thanks so much for inviting me to be part of your blog. I’ve enjoyed our conversation.

What a great interview! Thank you, Amanda for your in-depth and thoughtful answers. Have a blessed April, everyone, we're into Spring!

(There is no giveaway for Tomorrow's Garden)

Historic Flash Facts

Curious about what happened on your birth date one hundred years ago....(wouldn't it make a great theme for your birthday party?) Or searching for an historical event to include in a story you're writing? Check out Historic Flash Facts; new entries will be added weekly to keep you "up-to-date".

April 3, 1860
The Legendary Pony Express began carrying mail between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California. The delivery system lasted only 18 months before giving way to the transcontinental telegraph.

Union forces occupied the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

The outlaw Jesse James was shot to death in St. Joseph, Missouri by Robert Ford, a member of James' gang.

Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma, the Japanese commander responsible for the Bataan Death March, was executed by firing squad outside Manila.

President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Marshall Plan, designed to help European allies rebuild after WWII and resist communism.

April 4, 1949
12 nations, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington D.C.

April 5, 1614
Pocahontas, daughter of the leader of the Powhatan tribe, married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia. A convert to Christianity, she went by the title of Lady Rebecca Rolfe.

George Washington cast the first presidential veto, rejecting a congressional measure for apportioning representatives among the states.

April 6, 1909
American explorers Robert E. Peary, Matthew A. Henson, and four Inuits, became the first men to reach the North Pole.

April 7, 1862
Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

The image and voice of Commerce Secretary Herbert hoover were transmitted live from Washington to New York in the first successful long-distance demonstration of television.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific opened on Broadway.

April 8, 1911
An explosion at the Banner Coal Mine in Littleton, Alabama, claimed the lives of 128 men, most of them convicts loaned out from prisons.

The 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for direct popular election of united States Senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), was ratified.

April 9, 1865

Confederate General, Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

Singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington after being denied the use of Constitution Hall by the D.A.R.

American and Philippine defenders on Bataan capitulated to Japanese forces; the surrender was followed by the notorious Bataan Death March which claimed thousands of lives.

"May the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: may the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Num.6:25-26 (KJV)

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