A Conversation with Evelyn from Amanda Cabot’s Out of the Embers

NOVEL PASTIMES: Good morning, Miss Radcliffe. I’m delighted to make your acquaintance.

EVELYN: I’m pleased to meet you too, but please call me Evelyn.

NOVEL PASTIMES: That feels a bit unseemly, since we’ve only just met, but if that’s what you want, Miss Radcliffe, I’m willing to do it.  

EVELYN: I’d prefer it. You see, I’m calling myself Evelyn Radner now, and it’s sometimes hard to remember to answer to that name.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Oh, my. Two names. That sounds as if you’re hiding. If you are, there must be a good reason for it.

EVELYN: There is. I hope I can trust you not to tell anyone, but someone’s trying to kill me. I can see I’ve shocked you, and I’m sorry for that, but I know it’s not my imagination. Even though the sheriff told me they’d caught the man who murdered my parents, I don’t believe it. I know he’s been watching me and that he wants me dead too. That’s why he burned down the orphanage where I was working and killed everyone inside. He’ll do anything to ensure that the last of the Radcliffes is gone.

NOVEL PASTIMES: My dear Evelyn, you’re so right. You have shocked me. I’m almost speechless over the horror of it all.

EVELYN: I didn’t mean to upset you.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Don’t apologize. I’m the one who’s been asking the questions. Now I understand why you’ve come here – to hide from that man.

EVELYN: And to keep Polly safe.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Polly? I don’t think I’ve been introduced to her. 

EVELYN: Probably not unless you’ve been to the schoolyard. Polly’s only six years old. But let’s not talk about her. Her life has been even more difficult than mine, and that makes me want to protect her from everything, even well-meaning questions.

NOVEL PASTIMES: I understand. I feel the same way about my children, and even though you haven’t said it, it’s clear to me that Polly is as dear to you as if she were your daughter. So, let’s talk about other things. Tell me what you think of Mesquite Springs. 

EVELYN: I don’t know where to begin other than to say that the people are the friendliest I’ve ever met and that it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived. I can’t decide what I like the most – the hills that surround the town, the little river, or the springs themselves. There’s so much natural beauty.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Don’t forget the bluebonnets.

EVELYN: I haven’t had a chance to see them yet, but I’ve been told they’re spectacular.

NOVEL PASTIMES: They are. And so is Wyatt Clark. At least that’s what all the single ladies tell me.

EVELYN: He is handsome, but have you noticed that he seems unhappy? I’ve heard he wants to leave Mesquite Springs, and I don’t know why. Do you?

NOVEL PASTIMES: I hadn’t heard that rumor. What I have heard is that he’s planning to sell his horses here rather than take them to one of the big cities.

EVELYN: It’s no rumor. Everyone I’ve talked to is excited about the idea of having more people come to Mesquite Springs. Even if it’s only for a few days, it’ll be good for all the businesses.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Including yours.

EVELYN: I hope so. I don’t want to seem boastful, but I’m pleased by the town’s response to having a restaurant again. 

NOVEL PASTIMES: We all need to eat.

EVELYN: And to have a place to gather. I sometimes think that’s almost as important as the food I serve.

NOVEL PASTIMES: I agree. I probably shouldn’t ask this, since we’ve just met, but I’ve heard that you have a number of men courting you. Is that true? Oh, I’ve made you uncomfortable. I’m sorry.

EVELYN: You don’t need to apologize. The reason I shuddered when you said that was that I don’t think they’re truly interested in me. I think it’s my cooking that appeals to them.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Surely, you’re wrong. I know everyone in town raves about your food, especially that oatmeal pecan pie, but there’s more to marriage than cooking.

EVELYN: Like love. And that’s something none of them have offered.

NOVEL PASTIMES: None?

EVELYN: Well, maybe one …

About the Author

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of A Stolen Heart,A Borrowed Dream, and A Tender Hope, as well as the Texas Crossroads, Texas Dreams, and Westward Winds series. 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.

A Conversation with Aimee Jarre of Amanda Cabot’s A Tender Hope

A Tender Hope-Book Cover
NOVEL PASTIMES: Good morning, Aimee. Did I pronounce your name correctly?

AIMEE: I’m afraid not, but don’t feel badly. Most Americans have trouble with it. It’s eh-MAY, not Amy.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Of course. You’re French.

AIMEE: You might not think so from my accent, but I was born right here in Texas. That makes me a Texan, doesn’t it? It is true, though, that until a couple months ago, I lived in France.

NOVEL PASTIMES: So, why did you come to America, or am I being presumptuous in asking?

AIMEE: It’s not a secret. I wanted to find my mother – my birth mother, that is. You see, when my parents died – my French parents, that is – I learned that I’d been adopted.

NOVEL PASTIMES: That must have been a surprise.

AIMEE: A surprise, yes. Also a shock, but it explained so many things.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Like what?

AIMEE: Like … Would you mind if we talked about something else?

NOVEL PASTIMES: Of course not. Please believe me when I say that I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. It’s simply that I’ve never met anyone who lived in France. What was it like?

AIMEE: Beautiful but old, and the people are more … how do you say it? Reserved. That’s the word. Reserved. I find Texans friendlier.

NOVEL PASTIMES: We pride ourselves on that. We’re curious too, which is why I want to know more about your trip here. I heard that you came to Cimarron Creek with our new midwife. What’s she like?

AIMEE: Thea’s wonderful. I’ve always wanted a sister, and she’s as close to one as I could ever have dreamt. Truly, God led me to Ladreville at the perfect time. If I’d arrived a month later, I might never have met Thea.

NOVEL PASTIMES: The ladies are all happy that we have a new midwife, but I heard some of them say that sometimes Thea seems sad.

AIMEE: That’s only natural, don’t you think? After all, she lost both her husband and her baby this year. Wouldn’t that make anyone sad?

NOVEL PASTIMES: Of course, but I sense that you think there’s something more.

AIMEE: I shouldn’t say anything.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Whatever you say, it’ll just be between you and me. A secret. I promise.

AIMEE: Thea says there are no secrets in Cimarron Creek.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Then she’s wrong. There are plenty of secrets. But if you don’t want to tell me more about her, I won’t press you.

AIMEE: One thing I can tell you is that I hope she finds another man to love and maybe even marry.

NOVEL PASTIMES: What about the Ranger who’s been spending so much time in town?

AIMEE: Jackson seems like a good man. He might be the right one for Thea.

NOVEL PASTIMES: What about you? What kind of man would be the perfect husband for you?

AIMEE: Me? I don’t plan to marry anyone.

NOVEL PASTIMES: You don’t expect me to believe that, do you? You’re a pretty girl and a smart one. I’m sure all the single men in town are standing in line to court you.

AIMEE: That’s not so, and even if it were true, there’s only one who’s caught my eye.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Who’s that?

AIMEE: It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t feel that way about me.

NOVEL PASTIMES: But he might change his mind.

AIMEE: Maybe, but I think it would take a miracle.

NOVEL PASTIMES: Miracles do happen.

AIMEE: Not to me.

Well, thank you, Aimee. We are eager to hear the rest of your story!

***

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of A Stolen Heart and A Borrowed Dream, as well as the Texas Crossroads, Texas Dreams, and Westward Winds series. 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.

Cabot_Amanda

A Conversation with Austin Goddard from A Borrowed Dream by Amanda Cabot

A Borrowed Dream-Book CoverIt’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.

 

Cabot_AmandaAmanda 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.