Always an avid reader, inspirational romance author Amada Cabot first aspired to be a playwright, then a newspaper reporter, and finally a novelist. In college, she majored in French with the intention of teaching to support her writing habit. After she graduated, she took a “temporary” job as a computer programmer that turned into a permanent career, while writing in her spare time. She’s now the author of more than twenty-five books and writes full time.

Amanda married her high school sweetheart, who she says has driven tens of thousands of miles to help her research her books. They make their home in the Cheyenne, Wyoming area.

Let’s talk about your new book, Christmas Roses (Revell, September 2012). Please tell us about it.

My publisher always asks me to describe my books in a sentence or two, which is very difficult for someone as long-winded as I am. Here’s the one I created for Christmas Roses. “Can an itinerant carpenter searching for his father and a young widow who seeks only her daughter’s well-being find happiness in a small Wyoming mining town in the fall of 1882? It may take a miracle, but after all Christmas is the time of miracles.”

What sparked the idea?

It all started when another author who’d read Scattered Petals told me she wanted to see one of the secondary characters have a happy ending. I started thinking about that character, and—as often happens to me—my thoughts took a major detour. Instead of a young bride in Texas looking forward to the birth of her first child, I envisioned a young widow in Wyoming, wanting nothing more than to keep her infant daughter safe. Christmas Roses was born.

God often uses our stories to teach us something. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?

You’re so right that God’s lessons come at unexpected times, Kathy. Writing Christmas Roses reminded me of the importance of family and how truly blessed I have been to have a husband, sisters, and a very special sister-of-the-heart who love me and brighten every day.

What’s next for you?

Publishing schedules being what they are, I’m currently working on two books that will be 2014 releases. One is the last of my Westward Winds trilogy, the other the first of a new series tentatively called Home Front. What’s more exciting for me right now is that I have a new book almost ready to release. The official pub date for Waiting for Spring is January 1, 2013, but the print version should be available in brick and mortar stores and online around the middle of December. I’m absolutely delighted with the cover for this book. Though Revell has given me gorgeous covers for all my books, I think this is the best yet. They even commissioned the gown specifically for this cover—a huge honor and one that left me speechless.

And, in celebration of the holiday season…

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Do I really have to choose only one? It’s a toss-up between Adeste Fideles and O Holy Night. Both of them are so beautiful that they bring tears to my eyes when I hear a choir singing them.

What’s your favorite Christmas comfort food?

A wonderful cookie that goes by several names. My family always called them “Russian tea cakes,” but I’ve also heard them referred to as “Mexican wedding cakes.” They’re a delicious combination of butter, flour, and finely chopped nuts, all rolled in confectioner’s sugar. Messy to eat, but oh so good.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition or memory?

After my last answer, you probably won’t be surprised that it’s baking special Christmas cookies. Growing up, my sister and I made literally hundreds of cookies (with our mother’s assistance at first) each year. Although we had home-baked cookies all year, the Christmas ones were special. In addition to the Russian tea cakes I mentioned, we made some absolutely delicious filled cookies called date pinwheels. Our mother’s favorite were what we called peppernuts, the English version of Pfeffernusse. And of course there were sugar cookies in fancy shapes, all just begging to be frosted. My mouth is watering, just thinking about all those treats.

Which best describes your perfect Christmas tree: a lush blue spruce decorated with the latest couture; a shaggy cedar covered in homemade ornaments and strung with popcorn; a vintage aluminum tree with shiny glass bulbs; or a palm tree adorned with pink flamingos?

Oh, my! What a choice. The strange thing is, I’m one of four children, and I can picture each of us with a different one. Mine would be the cedar with the homemade ornaments, including a special one for each year. I love homemade ornaments, but I’d string cranberries along with the popcorn to give the tree more color.

Thanks, Amanda! It’s nice to have you back at DivineDetour!

Thank you, Kathy. It’s been fun to be here.

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For more information about Amanda, visit her website at

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