EXCERPT: A Borrowed Dream by Amanda Cabot

Monthly Edition: 
Take a trip to Cimarron Creek in Amanda Cabot's latest inspirational historical romance, A Borrowed Dream! The town's schoolteacher, Catherine Whitfield, is heartbroken after the death of her mother. Catherine believes the town doctor was too excessive in his use of bleeding treatments, but nothing can bring her mother back and she knows she will never be able to trust a doctor again. 
 
Austin Goddard is new to Cimarron Creek and he's hiding his past to keep his daughter safe from a dangerous criminal. It doesn't take long for Catherine to light up his heart, but will Catherine stand by him when she learns that he's actually a surgeon?
 
We can't wait to find out, but until then, enjoy this excerpt! 
 
It was only a dream.
 
Catherine Whitfield fumbled with the lamp on her bedside table, taking a deep breath as light filled the room.  There was no reason to be upset.    
 
She swung her legs over the side of the bed and took another deep breath.  This was far from the first time she’d dreamed that she was in Paris, walking along the left bank of the Seine toward Notre Dame.  She’d had that dream many times over the years, but never before had it ended this way.  In the past, she had awakened with a smile on her face. Tonight …
 
Catherine took another breath, trying to calm the trembling of her hands as she opened her watch and stared at it.  Though she had thought it no later than midnight, it was already five a.m., only an hour earlier than she would normally rise.  While school did not begin until eight, pupils started straggling in by 7:30, and she needed to have the building open and warm before the first one arrived.
 
It was foolish to go back to bed.  With the memory of the dream reverberating through her brain, she’d never fall asleep.  She might as well get dressed.  Reaching for the skirt and shirtwaist she’d laid out the night before, she paused.  Was that the reason her dream had turned into a nightmare?  Was she distressed over the thought of putting away her mourning clothes so soon?  
 
Catherine shook her head as she fastened the last button.  Mama wouldn’t have expected her to wear black for a full year.  She knew that Catherine had loved her and that in her heart she would mourn her for far more than a year.  It was only the fact that others in Cimarron Creek might not be so progressive that had kept Catherine in unrelieved black for four months.  Her pupils would appreciate the white shirtwaist and the navy skirt.  
 
No, her clothing choice wasn’t the reason the dream had ended the way it did.  More likely it was the result of the stomach ailment that had plagued her all weekend.  She had thought she was fully recovered last night, but perhaps some of the illness had lingered.
 
Catherine twisted her hair into a low chignon, forcing a smile to her lips.  She wouldn’t think about the dream.  Instead, she’d make breakfast, then spend the extra time at the schoolhouse, preparing for the week ahead.
 
She had just removed the grounds from the coffee when the kitchen door swung open.
 
“Are you all right, Catherine?”
 
She turned at the familiar voice, and for the first time since she’d wakened, she felt peace settle over her.  “I am now that you’re here,” she said as she hugged her early-morning visitor. 
 
Though Lydia Crawford Whitfield had been gone less than two weeks, Catherine had missed her more than she’d expected. From the day she’d arrived in Cimarron Creek, the pretty blonde who was now the sheriff’s wife had been Catherine’s bulwark, her confidante, the sister she had always wanted, and with her away visiting her husband’s family, Christmas had been dismal for Catherine.  The new year was supposed to have been better, but getting sick had not been an auspicious beginning, and then there was the dream.
 
Though Lydia settled into a chair while Catherine filled two cups with coffee, she kept her gaze fixed on Catherine.
 
“Tell me about your trip,” Catherine urged.  Lydia’s stories would help banish the memories that refused to be dislodged from Catherine’s brain.
 
Her friend shook her head.  “Not until I know you’re all right.  I woke this morning feeling that you needed me, and then Opal mentioned that you missed church yesterday,” Lydia said, referring to the woman who helped her run the town’s confectionary.
 
Catherine wasn’t surprised that Lydia’s partner had noticed her absence or that she’d reported it to Lydia. Even when the candy store wasn’t open, the Cimarron Creek grapevine was active. 
 
“I was sick all weekend,” she admitted. “I don’t know what it was, but I couldn’t keep anything in my stomach. Fortunately, I’m fine now.  I even managed to eat a bit of toast while the coffee was brewing.”
 
“You don’t look fine.  Are you sure you should go to school today?  You might still be contagious.”
 
“It’s not that.”  Catherine took a sip of the coffee, debating how much to tell her friend.  “I had a dream — more like a nightmare — and I can’t forget it.”
 
Will Catherine be able to move past her fears to a new future? Find out by pre-ordering your copy from one of these retailers: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Indiebound
 
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