Face-Off with Amanda Cabot!!

Author of several books, versatile writer of both historical and contemporary, and fun face-off opponent! Those are the words I would use to describe Amanda 🙂 You can check out some of her novels here:

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Let’s get to it!!!!


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The rules are simple. I ask Amanda some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. When was the last time you ate honeysuckle?

Amanda – I’m sorry to say that would be never.  As much as I like the fragrance of honeysuckle, I’m allergic to it.  I know, I know.  Who could be allergic to something so sweet?  All I can say is that constant sneezes and runny eyes are no fun.  I don’t even want to think about what would happen if I ate it.  And, for the record, I’m not allergic to many things, so I don’t know why honeysuckle caused such a violent reaction.

Charity – Now, who knew?! What are the odds that the only person I’ve ever asked that question to is ALLERGIC?! Man, what a crying shame?!

There’s a big plant that we pass every time we go for a walk (as a family).  We usually stop and eat some. My husband is totally scared of germs, so he just stands there and cringes while we partake. haha

— I am taking one while I have the chance!!

Charity 1 / Amanda 0

2. Have you ever been sailing during the fireworks on the Fourth of July?

Amanda – Sailing, yes.  Fireworks, yes.  Together, no.

Charity – Same! Sounds like it would be so fun together…

— Tie

Charity 1 / Amanda 0

3. Have you ever been to Williamsburg, VA?

Amanda – At last, a question where I can say ‘yes.’  I’ve been to Williamsburg multiple times – in the summer heat (not recommended), during the spring and fall (very nice) and even during the winter.  It’s an incredible place.  I’m not sure what I enjoyed the most – walking along the streets and feeling as if I were transported back to Colonial America or eating in the restaurants.  The food was so good that I even bought a Williamsburg cookbook and have made a number of items from it.  That’s not as good as being there, but it brings back such good memories.

Charity – I agree! It is the most beautiful place in the spring and fall. You can just sit there and watch people walk by. It’s so nostalgic and gorgeous!! I absolutely love it. I like the giant lawn in front of the Governor’s Palace (and, the maze out back, of course!)

–Tie! Wonderful place!!

Charity 1 / Amanda 0

4. Do you ever do re-enacting?

Amanda – Does dressing in historic costume for book signings count?  I didn’t think so, but I have to say that readers are always intrigued by my bustle gown, especially when I demonstrate how difficult it is to sit in one.  As for buckling a seatbelt in a car …

Charity – Ha! Of course it counts!! I have never worn a bustle. I can’t even imagine!! I have worn a hoop skirt and…well, let’s just say that it can quickly go awry if you don’t know how to sit in one of those either!!!

— We are too similar!

Charity 1 / Amanda 0

5. Strangest fan experience?

Amanda – That would have to be the letter I received from the convicted murderer who told me he was planning to visit me as soon as he was released from prison, because he knew I’d be fascinated by the story of him and his second wife.  In parentheses, he added “the murdered one,” then proceeded to proclaim his innocence.  What would you do with a letter like that?

Charity – 😮 misery_1

There. Are. No. Words.

It sounds like the movie, Misery…

— There’s no topping that!!! You must have been shaken up a bit. Whew.

Charity 1 / Amanda 1

6. Best true life moment falling in love with your husband?

Amanda – There’ve been so many wonderful moments that it’s hard to choose, but I knew he was “the one” on our first date when we both ordered hot fudge sundaes and the waitress put more of the hot fudge sauce outside the bowl than on the ice cream.  Someone else might have been annoyed or even berated the waitress.  When he simply laughed, I knew life with him would be fun.  And it has been.

Charity – Oh! I love that!! Kind husbands are the best. Mine would be the same way. He is so compassionate. I am sick a lot (I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which means I have chronic pain from it) and he works hard all day, comes home and takes care of me. He is so kind and never complains about it. Even if it means he has to whip up sandwiches or mac and cheese!

— Amazing husbands WIN!!

Charity 1 / Amanda 1

7. How do you strive to give God the most glory in your life?

Amanda – Like many Christian authors, I consider my writing a ministry.  My prayer each day is that my stories will touch readers’ hearts and deepen their faith.

Charity – Yes! Just doing whatever He asks of us with a full heart towards Him. Beautiful.

— God wins!!

Charity 1 / Amanda 1

8. Bing Crosby or Danny Kaye?

Amanda – Bing Crosby

Charity – I am going to have to agree with you! Nothing beats White Christmas!! (Well, maybe Andy Williams does…)

— Tie

Charity 1 / Amanda 1

9. Do you love watching crocodile wrestler shows?

Amanda – Crocodiles, no.  Alligators … well, the answer to that is also no, so I guess I struck out on this one.  You’re definitely winning this face-off, Charity, but I predicted that from the beginning, didn’t I?

Charity – HA! You will be very surprised!!! I do not watch them either! It is just too unnatural to wrestle those things! blech!!

— Tie again!! *Soul Sisters!!*

Charity 1 / Amanda 1

10. What is the best Olympic sport and why? Do you look forward to it every couple of years?

Amanda – Figure skating.  Men’s, women’s, pairs – it doesn’t matter as long as they’re on the ice.  I love watching the grace, the artistry and the pure athleticism that’s involved in skating.  And, yes, I look forward to each of the Winter Olympics.

Charity – I am right there with you! Remember the great big Tonya Harding fiasco? haha. And that year Paul Wylie surprised the world with that amazing set! ❤

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Final:

Charity 1 / Amanda 1

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Thank you, Amanda!! What fun 🙂 You did better than you thought!!!! We were pretty pathetic to only score one point each! haha.

Ok, guys!! Today is RELEASE DAY!! Head on over and pick up Amanda’s NEW BOOK, In Firefly Valley!! Link is in the pic!!

Also, you can pick up a copy of Summer of Promise for FREE!! Link is also in the pic 😉

Face-Off with Tamera Alexander!!

No! Your eyes are NOT playing tricks on you!!! They read it correctly!!! alexander145rt

Ok, you want a list of some serious awards?

– 4 Time CBA Bestseller

– 5 Time ECPA Bestseller

– 4 Time Christy Finalist

– 2 Time Christy Award Winner

– 1 Time RITA Award Finalist

– 4 Time RITA Award Winner

– Library Journal Starred Review

– Booksellers Best Award Winner

– Golden Quill Award Winner


WOW! Deep breath!!! Let’s play, shall we??

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The rules are simple. I ask Tamera some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Do you garden?

Tamera – Does fawning over Southern Homes and Gardens magazine qualify? Or having two peace lilies that are six years old that I haven’t managed to kill off yet? I wish I could say I garden but right now, I do not. Just no time. But I aspire to garden. How’s that? Sometimes I just go to Lowe’s in stand in front of the fertilizer, breathe deeply, and dream. (And get a little woozy.)

Charity – ha! Nice. I get woozy THINKING about gardening… I have a serious black thumb. You couldn’t get any less gardening-ish than me!

— At least you want to and don’t kill things!!

Charity 0 / Tamera 1

2. What is your favorite kind of fish (to eat!)?

Tamera – Salmon all the way. To catch? Bass. I love to fish! And yes, I bait my own hook when we use live bait. But I find it more sporting to use lures. Something I learned from my husband of 30+ years. Far more sporting that way—for the fish.

Charity – 😮 Whew. You are a real woman!! haha. I like Tilapia, to eat! Fishing…not so much.

— You get that, for sure!

Charity 0 / Tamera 2

3. Strangest fan encounter?

Tamera – Hmmm…. I think every author has the bathroom story, where someone is waiting outside the stall. But when she knocked ON the stall wall… LOL. Well, that got my attention. We laughed about it afterwards. And then I left as quickly as possible. (JK!)

Charity – I’m sorry. 😮 Did you say you “laughed about it”???? OMGosh! hahahaha. That is so frightening!! I can’t even handle it when people talk to me, or are in the bathroom at the same time as me. If they were talking and knocking…whew!!!

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— I am getting CRUSHED!!

Charity 0 / Tamera 3

4. Do you like to attend professional sports games? If so, which teams?

Tamera – I watch on occasion but I’m not a diehard fan, by any means. I love the Broncos. The John Elway years were epic. We lived in Colorado for 17 years. Such fun to play in the Rocky Mountains.

Charity – Oh man! I LOVE sports. It’s kind of backwards in this household. My husband gets bored. He goes to the gym while I watch football!! hahahaha. Redskins, Braves, and Duke Blue Devils are the teams I follow.

— Totally taking it!!

Charity 1 / Tamera 3

5. Do you have any unpublished books?

Tamera – No. But my first one almost wasn’t. The manuscript that sat in my drawer—the first story I ever wrote—for nearly 7 years was finally published after a total rewrite. The Inheritance. It’s sold over 100,000 copies to date and is my all time bestseller. Who knew, huh? All you writers out there: Never throw away a manuscript. Every “no” along the way is really part of God’s final “Yes!” when his perfect timing is reached. Be patient. Keep writing. Keep seeking His will.

Charity – That’s a great one!! I loved it!

Uh, I publish everything I write on my blog. No books.

— Tamera

Charity 1 / Tamera 4

6. What is one of your favorite holiday memories?

Tamera – I have many, but the most treasured is a couple of Thanksgivings before Mom passed away. It’s of cooking with her in the kitchen. We laughed and laughed, made pies and cornbread dressing and sweet potatoes while watching It’s a Wonderful Life in the background. I treasured the time then, but even more so now.

Charity – Now, that is a low blow! How can I compete with that?! That’s the sweetest story of all time!!!

— ahhhh

Charity 1 / Tamera 5

7. If you had to choose one name you would NEVER want to name someone, what name would it be? (ie: worst name ever)

Tamera – Buttford. I read that in an old diary once and thought, “Seriously? What were the parents thinking?”

Charity – AH!! HAHA! That is HORRIBLE! I was thinking Archibald, but…have you played this game before?

— You are SERIOUSLY good at this game!

Charity 1 / Tamera 6

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Tamera – Through surrendering to Him in every area of my life. And honey, I’m a work in progress. A decision I made five years ago was to start the BSF study (Bible Study Fellowship) that meets once a week, and it’s an intense Bible Study. It truly has changed my life, and my understanding of who God is and how much he loves us. But also, how much he expects—demands—obedience to him. What truly takes my soul’s breath away is to realize that God gave the Law to Moses, and all of those instructions for sacrifices, all the rules, as a foreshadowing of Christ. From the very beginning (to us, anyway, He is the Alpha and Omega, he knows no beginning and no end), his plan was to offer his Son as a ransom for our sins. Sins he knew we could never pay for. He set it up that way, because he loves us that much. If that’s not a motivation to surrender, I don’t know what is.

Charity – Beautiful. He is insanely precious. I just want to be in His arms at all times!!!! ❤

— God ALWAYS wins!

Charity 1 / Tamera 6

9. How do you celebrate the 4th of July?

Tamera – We take the boat (remember, I told you I love to fish?) and we go fishing for the day, then cookout, then watch fireworks from the lake that night. Fun family time. Especially when you’re dodging buoys in the dark as you make your way back to the dock.

Charity – Oh!! NICE!!! We found this glorious, small town that had the best 4th of July celebration! They feed the entire town as much Papa John’s pizza as you can eat!!! That’s not counting the chips, desserts and tons of other food!!

I live really close to Yorktown, VA, so I have spent MANY celebrations there. I was in the Fife and Drum corp when I was growing up, so we preformed every 4th.

— Totally taking a point wherever I can get it! I DON’T CARE IF YOU HAVE A FANCY BOAT!!

Charity 2 / Tamera 6

10. Favorite thing to cook/bake?

Tamera – Pies. Hands down. I adore making pies. It’s a spiritual kitchen experience. My favs are Creamy Praline Pecan Pie, Buttermilk Pie, any kind of fruit pie, and last but not least, French Coconut. Next would be biscuits. Making biscuits is so comforting. The feel of the dough, then cutting them out and slipping them onto the pan, the wonderful floury feeling on your fingers. And sneaking bites of buttermilk dough isn’t bad either. Yum!

Charity – I want pie.

I love Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Whoopie Pies
Original recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Cakes

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 c. oil
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
3 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Cream Cheese Filling

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1 8-oz. package cream cheese (you could use light)
3 c. powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup of 1/2-1 tsp. maple extract
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level with a knife. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, white sugar, and oil. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix well. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined.

Using a 1 tablespoon scoop or a 1/2 tablespoon measure, drop the batter onto a baking sheet (lined, if possible, but not necessary), leaving about 1″ between the batter. Try to keep the batter as circular as possible. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until the tops are done and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.

To prepare the filling, beat the butter on high for 1-2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, maple, and vanilla and beat until combined. Transfer to a large Ziploc bag and cut 1/2″-1″ off the corner.

Flip the cakes over on a flat surface. Squeeze about 2-3 tablespoons of filling per large whoopie pie (less if you used a 1/2 tablespoon measure) onto every other cake. Top each pie with the remaining cakes. Serve immediately if possible; otherwise, these can be refrigerated in an airtight container. Makes about 30 large whoopie pies.


— YUM!!! Tie!!

Final:

Charity 2 / Tamera 6

76245498_55f95743f4 I got smooshed again.


Tamera, you were more than a worthy opponent! You were AWESOME!! Balloons-for-Birthday-PartySQUEEEE! You all know what the balloons tell!! A GIVEAWAY!!!

Tamera is giving away a paperback copy of her new book!!


Doesn’t it look lovely? I love this series!! Oh, best news? It’s ONLY $4.99 pre-release!! You only have a few more days to get it at this price! It will probably triple a week from today! (Link is in the pic)

Ok, so if you want to try to win this, head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and enter.

*U.S. Rez only (We do love the rest of you too)

** All entries will be checked. Any falsified will get disqualified!

GOOD LUCK!!