Please join me in welcoming the fabulous Amanda Cabot to the blog today to chat about her new historical romance, After the Shadows! I have been drooling over this cover ever since I first saw it!
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of After the Shadows, as well as several historical and contemporary romance series, including Mesquite Springs, Cimarron Creek Trilogy, Texas Crossroads, Texas Dreams, and Westward Winds. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming. Learn more at www.amandacabot.com.
AFTER THE SHADOWS by Amanda Cabot
SERIES: Secrets of Sweetwater Crossing #1
GENRE: Inspirational Historical/Western Romance
RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2023
A brighter future awaits–if she can escape the shadows of the past
Emily Leland sheds no tears when her abusive husband is killed in a bar fight, but what awaits her back home in Sweetwater Crossing is far from the welcome and comfort she expected. First she discovers her father has died under mysterious circumstances. Then the house where the new schoolteacher and his son are supposed to board burns, leaving them homeless. When Emily proposes turning the family home into a boardinghouse, her sister is so incensed that she leaves town.
Alone and broke, her family name sullied by controversy, Emily is determined to solve the mystery of her father’s death–and to aid Craig Ferguson, despite her fears of men. The widowed schoolmaster proves to be a devoted father, an innovative teacher, and an unexpected ally. Together they must work to unmask a killer and escape the shadows of their own pasts in order to forge a brighter future.
Bestselling author Amanda Cabot transports you to 1880s Texas Hill Country for a brand-new series that will have you flipping pages to solve the mystery and get to the happily-ever-after you long for.
Hi Amanda! Welcome back to the blog!
Amanda: Summer. It’s all too brief here in Cheyenne, but I love the longer days, the bright blue sky, the deciduous trees covered with leaves (except when our all-too-frequent hailstorms knock them to the ground), and the pleasure of being able to take a walk without a coat or heavy sweater.
Carrie: As much I enjoy spring and fall in Georgia, I think I need to move someplace like Cheyenne where summer is brief haha!
Amanda: Tea, definitely tea. I can’t recall when I started drinking it, but it’s an important and necessary part of my life. I drink literally quarts of it each day. And, while I do enjoy the aroma of coffee, I don’t care for the flavor, although I have been known to eat mocha ice cream.
Carrie: if coffee only tasted as good as it smelled…
Amanda: That’s a difficult choice, because I love them both. I find the ocean’s vastness and the rhythm of the waves soothing, but since you said I had to choose only one, it would be mountains. They’re part of the reason my husband and I moved from the East Coast, where we were only an hour or so from the ocean, to the Mountain West. On a clear day, I have to walk only a block to see the Rockies.
Carrie: It is my dream to one day live somewhere with a mountain view. Fortunately, we have some pretty ones in Georgia … but there’s that summer thing again 😛
Amanda: Ebook. Although there’s no denying the tactile pleasure of holding a print book, I love the convenience of my Kindle – being able to adjust the fonts, having hundreds of books at my fingertips, and being told just how long it will take to finish the chapter, because I can’t – absolutely cannot – stop reading in the middle of a chapter.
Carrie: I feel the same way! I still own the print copies so I can hug them periodically but I’m almost exclusively an ebook reader these days.
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Amanda: The superpower I wish I had is being able to get past the middle of the first draft of a manuscript without thinking it’s the worst prose in the English language. I refer to first drafts as skeletons, and like the ones you see at Halloween, mine are ugly, but they’re also necessary to support the body, in this case the manuscript. The problem is that when I reach the middle, I become discouraged. By the time I get to the end of the first draft, I realize that it’s simply a first draft and that everything I don’t like can (and will) be fixed in the next draft. But oh, how I wish I had the power – and, yes, it would be a superpower – to avoid the middle-of-the-first-draft doldrums.
Carrie: from what I hear other authors saying, you are not alone in wishing for this particular superpower ♥
Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Amanda: Anne-with-an-E from Anne of Green Gables. I loved the whole series and the opportunity to watch her grow from a precocious young girl into a mature woman. The fact that she’s an aspiring writer helped cement her position as a favorite character and a bit of a role model.
Carrie: such a great series / character!
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Amanda: I’ve written almost everywhere – in hotel rooms and airport waiting areas, on airplanes themselves, in restaurants (can you tell that I was a frequent flyer for my day job?) – but my favorite space is where I am right now: my home office. This is the first time I’ve had a dedicated room for writing, and it’s equipped with everything I need: a desk for writing longhand (which I do when outlining a chapter or doing the initial revisions on the second draft), a separate computer desk, research books, and – my favorite part of the room – a wall with framed covers from my books.
Carrie: you’ve got some great covers to make into wall art – including the one for After the Shadows!
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing After the Shadows, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Amanda: I’m a dyed-in-the-wool plotter, so I always have the whole plot outlined before I write the first line. At that point, I’m convinced that I know exactly what’s going to happen and in what order. After forty-some books, you’d think I would realize that my carefully constructed scene-by-scene outlines are simply roadmaps designed to get me from “Once upon a time” to “And they all lived happily ever after” and that detours are inevitable.
By the time I finish the first draft, I have a list of scenes to be added, others that need to be deleted or at least substantially revised, and – this always comes as a surprise to me – new characters who absolutely, positively insist on making an appearance in the story. For me, the initial plotting is essential, but so is realizing that I need to be flexible as the characters reveal new facets of themselves. That discovery process is fun!
Carrie: it sounds fun! 🙂
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from After the Shadows & why do you love it?
Amanda: “She stared in horror, praying that her mind was playing tricks on her, knowing that it wasn’t.” This is what authors call the inciting event, the moment when everything changes for the protagonist. In this case, Emily has entered the barn looking for her father. When I wrote this particular line, my hope was that it would keep readers turning the pages to learn the truth behind what Emily discovers.
Carrie: that is such a gripping quote!! I’m intrigued 😀
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Amanda: Carrie, thanks so much for inviting me to be here with you. I enjoyed our time together and am delighted to share what’s coming next. The second book in the Secrets of Sweetwater Crossing series, Against the Wind, will be released this fall. Many readers asked me to write more than one book a year, and this is the answer: two books in 2023!
Carrie: that’s another great cover!!!!
Revell is offering a print copy of After the Shadows by Amanda Cabot to TWO of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read After the Shadows by Amanda Cabot?