Saturday, February 4, 2017

14 Days of Sweet Stories: Amanda Cabot's book "On Lone Star Trail"

Excerpt from On Lone Star Trail, written by Amanda Cabot

Relax. Gillian Hodge forced her fingers to stop gripping the steering wheel as if it were a lifeline. This wasn’t her Carnegie Hall debut or the finals of the Brooks competition when so much was riding on the outcome. This was a vacation, for Pete’s sake. A week with her best friend and the woman who’d been a surrogate grandmother. She should be filled with anticipation, counting the minutes until she arrived, not wound as tightly as a metronome.

Gillian took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. In, out. In, out. The technique had never failed when she’d used it before performances, and it did not fail now. She could feel her neck and shoulder muscles relaxing as she repeated the slow, even breathing. The tension began to drain, and for the first time since she’d left the freeway, Gillian looked at her surroundings rather than concentrating on the highway.

Kate was right. The Texas Hill Country was particularly beautiful in the spring. It had been lovely when she’d been here for Kate’s wedding last September, but the fresh green of spring grasses and leaves and the patches of vividly colored wildflowers turned what had been simply lovely into something spectacular.

No wonder Kate kept raving about her new home.

Though it was still difficult to believe that Kate, a dyed-in-the-wool city girl like Gillian, had given up a major promotion and traded a glamorous life as an advertising executive to run a small resort in the middle of Texas, that was exactly what had happened. Of course, one particular man had a lot to do with Kate’s decision. She had come to Texas almost kicking and screaming and had discovered true love.

Gillian’s smile faded. Despite her father’s advice that marriage was what Gillian needed, she wasn’t looking for love at Rainbow’s End, just a change of scenery and a chance to rest. Months of physical therapy had not accomplished its goal. Her dreams had been crushed—literally—leaving her no choice but to build a new life. At this point, Gillian had no idea of what the future would bring other than that concert stages would not be part of it. After six months of dwelling on what she could no longer do, it was time to discover what other talents she had. But before she did that, she wanted time with the people who’d known her before her name ever graced a marquee.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Focus on the progress you’re making, not what you can’t do. The scars will fade, and so will the memories. Brushing aside the memories that had so far refused to fade, Gillian scanned the roadway, smiling when she saw what appeared to be an armor-plated animal lumbering along the shoulder. Who wouldn’t smile at an armadillo? They looked like something out of prehistoric times. Though she thought they were supposed to be nocturnal, what did she know? Other than her weekend trip for Kate’s wedding, the only parts of Texas Gillian had seen were airports, hotels, and concert halls. The only armadillos she’d seen were the stuffed varieties in airport gift shops.

The chuckle that curved her lips upward died as she glanced in the rearview mirror. It couldn’t be. Not now. Not here. Gripping the steering wheel so tightly her knuckles whitened, Gillian stared at the approaching vehicle. The bright red motorcycle, the black-clad rider, the black and red helmet were indelibly etched in her memory along with the damage they had wrought.

She bit her lip, trying to tamp down the fear. It couldn’t be the same one. That motorcycle was almost two thousand miles away. There must be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of men in black leather riding red motorcycles. There was no reason to believe this was the one who had changed her life.

He was going faster now, that horrible red machine eating up the distance between them. Maybe it was the same motorcycle after all. That one had been going too fast. Though the police had cited the rider for excessive speed, witnesses had said there was no sign of reckless driving, claiming the crash was an accident. An accident that would haunt Gillian for the rest of her life.

She slowed the car, wanting the bike to pass her. The sooner it was out of her sight, the better. Dimly, she was aware of clouds blocking the sun. In mere seconds, the day—like her mood—had gone from bright and sunny to ominously dark. It wasn’t an omen, a portent, or a warning. It was simply a change of weather. And yet Gillian could not tamp back the sense of foreboding. She flinched as a crack of thunder split the sky and the deluge began. Within seconds, the pavement had gone from dry to wet. And still the motorcycle drew closer.

He was in the left lane now, getting ready to pass. Gillian’s eyes widened and her heart began to pound. No! Not again! No!

Review of Amanda's book: 
On Lone Star Trail is the third book of the Texas Crossroads series, and to my dismay, the last book set in Dupree, TX. 

I loved the characters featured in each of the books (At Bluebonnet Lake (Texas Crossroads Book #1): A Novel and In Firefly Valley: A Novel (Texas Crossroads)), but On Lone Star Trail resonated the deepest. 

Amanda Cabot redefines the expectations of character depth and development in Gillian and TJ - two normal people dealing with grief as well as they think they know how - peeling back layers of joy and sorrow in each character's life as situations warrant to help them realize God has a plan for each of us. 

As with all of Amanda's books, there are subplots interwoven throughout the book allowing the reader to invest in the entire community of characters, and come away with a sense of satisfaction that for a short time, you can be carried away to a different time and place. ~Written by Audra Harders for

Author bio: 

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, the Texas Crossroad trilogy and Christmas Roses. 

A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. 

Amanda is delighted to now be a full-time writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming.

Blurb for Amanda's book:

A woman without a future. A man running from the past.

One enchanting place where broken dreams are mended.

If there’s one thing Gillian Hodge never wants to see again, it’s a man on a motorcycle. Her last encounter with one left her right hand crushed, ending her promising career as a concert pianist. Unsure about the next phase in her life, she heads to Rainbow’s End Resort for some R&R when a sudden thunderstorm causes a motorcycle to crash right in front of her.

When TJ Benjamin’s wife died, he lost more than his best friend; he lost his faith. He has spent the past year wandering the country on his motorcycle, trying not to think about the future. When he finds himself stranded with a busted bike and a reluctant rescuer, he has to wonder about God’s sense of humor.

As these broken people collide, they find that a bright future is still ahead—it just might not be the one they imagined for themselves.
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1 comment:

  1. I love to read books about women discovering their place in the world! We all experience periods of wondering how what we are going through will work out for our good. I'm excited to see just how this unfolds for Gillian!


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