Sunday, March 13, 2022

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Spark of Love (Mesquite Springs #3) by Amanda Cabot

Welcome to my stop on the book blog tour for The Spark of Love by Amanda Cabot. This blog tour was organized by Lone Star Book Blog Tours. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win all three books in the series and swag. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: The Spark of Love
Series: Mesquite Springs #3
Author: Amanda Cabot
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: March 1st 2022
Print Length: 352 pages
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
She's determined to start a new life in the West . . . if only the old one would leave her alone.

When a spurned suitor threatens her, heiress Alexandra Tarkington flees New York for Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country, where her father is building a hotel. But the happy reunion she envisions is not to be, as her father insists she return to New York. Instead, Alexandra carves out a niche for herself in town, teaching schoolchildren to paint and enjoying the company of Gabe Seymour, a delightful man she met on the stagecoach.

But all is not as it seems. Two men, each with his own agenda, have followed her to Mesquite Springs. And Gabe, an investigator, is searching for proof that her father is a swindler.

With so much to lose--and hide from one another--Alexandra and Gabe will have to come together if they are ever to discover whether the sparks they've felt from the beginning can kindle the fire of true love.

From Chapter One

April 1857

She had to leave.

Alexandra Tarkington tried to bite back her anger as she removed the tray from the smaller of her trunks, laying it carefully on the floor. This shouldn’t be happening, but it was. Though she was grateful today was her maid’s half day and she wouldn’t have to deflect Bridget’s curiosity, Alexandra had never before packed a trunk or even a valise. Then again, she’d never before been forced to flee.

“What are you doing?”

She looked up, startled by her great-aunt’s approach. Aunt Helen was showing signs of her seventy-one years and moved slowly, but the sound of her cane on the hardwood floors should have alerted Alexandra. It would have alerted her if she hadn’t been so preoccupied.

“Tell me, child.”

Alexandra winced at the final word. Aunt Helen might believe she was still a child who needed to be protected, but the truth was, Helen was the one who needed protection. While she might seem formidable to those who sought her favor, Helen Cameron’s bones were fragile. If Franklin resorted to the physical violence he had threatened and Aunt Helen tried to protect Alexandra, she might be injured. Alexandra couldn’t take that chance.

“I’m going to the Springs.” Once Alexandra left New York, her aunt would be safe.

“Because of Franklin.” Aunt Helen made it a statement, not a question.

“Yes,” she admitted, “but how did you know?”

Her aunt wrinkled her nose as she settled onto a chair. “I may be hard of hearing, but I’m not deaf, and he was shouting.” She leaned forward and laid her hand on Alexandra’s. “No matter what he threatens, Franklin can’t touch your trust. Your grandmother hired the best attorneys in the city to make sure your mother and now you were protected. Even after you marry, the money is yours, not your husband’s. You can use it, but you can’t give it to him. It can only go to your daughter. Still, after hearing Franklin last night, I think you’re wise to get away for a while.”

Though she knew that, Alexandra railed at the necessity. “I hate feeling like I’m running away.”

She’d heard whispers that Franklin was a violent man, but she hadn’t believed them. Until last night, he’d been a perfect gentleman. Until last night.

“You’re being wise,” Aunt Helen repeated, making Alexandra wonder if she’d overheard Franklin’s threats. “Besides, your cousin will enjoy your company. It’s been a long time since you and Opal were together.”

“That’s true.” Alexandra hated deception, but her aunt would be safer if she believed that the springs Alexandra planned to visit were Saratoga, not Mesquite. The charade wouldn’t last forever, but it should give her enough time to reach Texas. Even if Franklin discovered where she’d gone, he wouldn’t follow her, not when he realized Papa would be there to defend her.

Alexandra took a deep breath, wishing she could believe that, but the assurance she sought was overwhelmed by the memory of Franklin’s fury. Tamping down the fear that threatened her composure, she tried to smile.

“Don’t worry if I don’t write. I imagine I’ll be so busy I won’t have much time.” If she didn’t receive a letter, Aunt Helen could honestly say she didn’t know where Alexandra had gone if Franklin asked. When Franklin asked. Alexandra was certain he would.

Once again, Aunt Helen inclined her head, her gesture as regal as her coronet of braids. “Especially if you find new things to paint. You’re taking your watercolors, aren’t you?”

“Of course.” Alexandra would not consider leaving behind the one thing that had comforted her during the lonely times.

“Well, then, I shan’t worry about you.” Aunt Helen smiled.

“You’ll be safe and happy at the Springs.”

Alexandra could only hope that was true.

(Click here to read all of chapter one.)
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of Out of the Embers and Dreams Rekindled, as well as the Cimarron Creek Trilogy and 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.

Win all three Books in the Mesquite Springs series by Amanda Cabot + a keychain & reader stickers. (US only)

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prizes. The author, Amanda Cabot, assumes all responsibility for this giveaway.)

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  1. So fun to see the map of the town!

    1. I agree!! This was a pleasant surprise feature to the post. I've never seen this done before.

  2. Hey, I just wanted to let you know that the raffle copter link took me to their main page, not the giveaway.

    1. Thanks for letting me know. Strange it did that as it usually goes just to the actual giveaway. I use my laptop, so it shows up as the whole giveaway instead of a link, but when I used my phone, the link went to the actual giveaway. Try again if you'd like. It could just be that Rafflecopter was having a funny 5 minutes (which happens a lot, haha).

  3. What are the pros and cons of being an author?