It’s our pleasure to welcome Austin Goddard to PASTimes today!
NOVEL PASTIMES: It’s a pleasure to meet you, Austin. Perhaps I shouldn’t presume, but since your name is Austin, I assume you’re a native Texan.
AUSTIN: No, ma’am. I’m afraid I can’t claim that honor, but I will say that I’m grateful the Lord led me to Cimarron Creek. The Texas Hill Country is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen.
NOVEL PASTIMES: That sounds as if you’ve lived in a lot of places. Where else have you called home?
AUSTIN: Well …
NOVEL PASTIMES: I can see that I’ve made you uncomfortable. That wasn’t my intention, but I am curious about where you’ve lived.
AUSTIN: You won’t repeat what I’m going to tell you, will you?
NOVEL PASTIMES: Of course not. This is just between us.
AUSTIN: All right. I’ll trust you. I was born in Oklahoma, but I’ve lived in Philadelphia and Paris.
NOVEL PASTIMES: Paris, France? The city with the Louvre, Notre Dame cathedral, and the river Seine?
AUSTIN: That’s the one.
NOVEL PASTIMES: Is it as beautiful as I’ve heard?
AUSTIN: I don’t know what you’ve heard, but it is indeed a beautiful city.
NOVEL PASTIMES: And yet you left it.
AUSTIN: It was time to bring my daughter home. I wanted her raised in America.
NOVEL PASTIMES: The ladies at church are all talking about her and how quiet she is. I can’t help but wondering whether she’s always been that way.
AUSTIN: Not always, but it was difficult for Hannah to leave Philadelphia.
NOVEL PASTIMES: Then why didn’t you stay?
AUSTIN: There was no choice. I had to keep her safe. And, please, don’t ask me to explain. There are some things I can’t talk about, and that’s one.
NOVEL PASTIMES: I’m sorry. Once again, I’ve made you uncomfortable, and that wasn’t what I had intended. I just wanted to get to know you. Before today, all I knew was that you were a widower and the most eligible bachelor in Cimarron Creek.
AUSTIN: Eligible bachelor, bah! When you talk to the other ladies, do me a favor and tell them that I’m not looking to remarry.
NOVEL PASTIMES: But surely Hannah needs a mother.
AUSTIN: Maybe so, but I don’t need a wife. Especially not one of the young ladies that have been paraded before me. If I wanted a wife, I’d pick someone like …
NOVEL PASTIMES: Don’t stop there. Like who?
AUSTIN: Like … nobody.
NOVEL PASTIMES: Not even Catherine Whitfield?
AUSTIN: Catherine’s different from the simpering misses. I’ll grant you that. She’s a wonderful teacher, and Hannah loves her, but the simple fact is, I’m not planning to marry her or anyone.
NOVEL PASTIMES: So you say. So you say.
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of A Stolen Heart, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best Awards. She lives in Wyoming. Learn more at www.amandacabot.com.