Shannon here: Amanda Cabot shares her inspiration for her latest Historical Romance, A Tender Hope. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for Friday’s drawing for two Caryl McAdoo books. Deadline: March 30th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Amanda:
“And they all lived happily ever after.” That’s the classic ending to many of the fairytales I read as a child. It’s also what many of us dream of: a love that will bring us happiness, a love that will sustain us through the inevitable difficult times, a love that will last a lifetime. I’ll freely admit that I’m what some call a hopeless romantic, which is why I write romances. No matter what trials my characters endure, readers know that they can expect a happy ending. And, since I’m also a firm believer in the healing power of love, many of my stories have characters who need – and receive – healing. Some are even professional healers.
How does all this relate to A Tender Hope? Thea Michener, the heroine, is a midwife. While she doesn’t actually heal her patients, she guides them through one of the most joyous and sometimes one of the most heartbreaking times of their lives. Unfortunately, Thea knows far too much about the heartbreak that can sometimes accompany childbirth. You see, her husband was killed, and soon thereafter, the baby that they’d both longed to hold was stillborn. Talk about a woman who needs healing!
Then there’s Jackson Guthrie, the Texas Ranger who’s determined to bring the notorious and elusive Gang of Four to justice. On the surface, Jackson does not need healing, but he has wounds deep inside that have festered for too long, wounds that only a woman who’s experienced her own losses can heal.
They’re meant to be together, or are they? While there’s no doubt that they need each other, many things keep them apart. Thea, who’s haunted by the memory of a strange perfume on her husband’s shirts, no longer believes in happily-ever-after. And Jackson has his own secrets along with burdens that make him feel unworthy of love. Can they find happiness? Maybe.
Are you wondering why I’d create characters with such deep wounds? The answer is simple: many people are in situations similar to Thea and Jackson’s, living with a spouse’s infidelity or the belief that they were responsible for a loved one’s death. They need the reassurance that healing is possible.
One thing I’ve learned from the letters I’ve received from readers over the years is that fiction can help with that healing. Even though – or perhaps because – it’s fictional, readers can identify with the characters’ plights and can be encouraged by the fact that these deeply wounded characters find healing and happiness. The Greeks called it catharsis, a purging or purification of the emotions that brings about spiritual renewal.
Whether you call it catharsis or simply healing, that’s the reason I write romance: to show readers that love can surmount obstacles, that it can heal wounded souls, and that there is such a thing as happily-ever-after.
About Amanda: Amanda Cabot’s dream of selling a book before her thirtieth birthday came true, and she’s now the author of more than thirty-five novels as well as eight novellas, four non-fiction books, and what she describes as enough technical articles to cure insomnia in a medium-sized city. Her inspirational romances have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists, have garnered a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and have been nominated for the ACFW Carol, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers Best awards. A popular workshop presenter, Amanda takes pleasure in helping other writers achieve their dreams of publication. Learn more and connect:
About the Book – A Tender Hope: As far as Thea Michener is concerned, it’s time for a change. With her husband murdered and her much-anticipated baby stillborn, there is nothing left for her in Ladreville. Having accepted a position as Cimarron Creek’s midwife, she has no intention of remarrying. So when a handsome Texas Ranger appears on her doorstep with an abandoned baby, Thea isn’t sure her heart can take it.
Ranger Jackson Guthrie isn’t concerned only with the baby’s welfare. He’s been looking for Thea, convinced that her late husband was part of the gang that killed his brother. But it soon becomes clear that the situation is far more complicated than he anticipated—and he’ll need Thea’s help if he’s ever to find the justice he seeks.
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Question for Readers: Do you believe that love heals? Why or why not?
Come back March 22nd for Caryl McAdoo!