Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I'm Moving!

My fabulous new website www.amandabarratt.net is officially LIVE!! Please check it out and sign up for my newsletter. I won't be doing further posts on this blog, except for an occasional book review. But I have recently joined Facebook and Twitter, and I'd love to see you there. The links are below:



Looking forward to hanging out with you at my new online home!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Heartwarming Read!

After reading Melissa Jagears’ debut A Bride for Keeps, I had high expectations for her next release. A Bride in Store did not disappoint. With an exciting start and a sigh-worthy finish, I loved every word of this delightful romance, similar in style to Jody Hedlund and Karen Witemeyer.  I enjoyed Melissa’s thoughtful portrayal of a little known medical condition and it lent depth to the story. And after reading about Will in A Bride for Keeps, it was great to see him finally get the girl! A must read for all lovers of historical romance!!

Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn't even in town when she finally arrives.

Axel's business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend's mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store--where she quickly proves she's much more adept at business than he ever will be.

The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. However, their troubles are far from over when Axel finally returns, and soon both Will and Eliza must decide what they're willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams--or if God has a new dream in store for them both.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dreams Really Do Come True!

Signing my first contract!
I’ve dreamed of being a published author for over five years. When I visit a Christian bookstore, I dream of finding a novel with my name on it. I imagine what the cover looks like, and the feel of the printed pages. That wonderful day my words would be read by more than family and critique partners. But, after many rejections, I despaired of this ever taking place. Still, I trusted in the Lord’s perfect timing, knowing that since He gave me the talent, He would use me, when and how He chose.

About a month ago, I received a call from my agent. Her words sent me straight to the ceiling. Barbour just notified me that they’d like to publish your novella “A Bride for a Bargain.” I was practically screaming and jumping around while on the phone with her but I managed to compose myself and listen while she explained the deadline, release date, etc. Then I told my family and they were absolutely thrilled too. We all did a wild happy dance! If this were not enough, later that evening, I received another call from my agent saying that Barbour would like to publish another of my novellas as well. So, in May 2015, my novella “A Bride for a Bargain” will release. Then in July, the other novella “The Substitute Wife” will hit the shelves.

If you’re not sure what a novella is, let me give you a frame of reference. A typical novel is 90,000 words, or about 300 pages. These shorter stories are 20,000 words, or around 70 pages. Each of the collections will feature nine stories, all revolving around a similar theme. If you’ve seen one, you know what a great job Barbour does putting them together and how fabulous they are from cover to content.

I’m still in awe of this wonderful opportunity God has given me. One of my greatest dreams has been to touch people with my words and to use them to lead others to Him. Now this dream is a reality. Everything I write is only because of His grace, and I give Him all the glory!

On a side note, I recently created an author Facebook page, and I’d love for you to stop by. Also, my website amandabarratt.net will go live within the next month or so. Once the website is up, I’m planning on doing less with this blog, and more with that and my  Facebook page.

Thanks to all my wonderful blog readers who have shown me such support! I’m blessed by all the people God has put in my life.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Ending With A Bang! Writing That Leaves Your Reader Wanting More

Final scenes in novels need to leave a lasting impression that makes the reader eagerly await your next book. Its commonly quoted, “The first chapter sells your novel, the last chapter sells the novel after that."

With that in mind here are four essential ingredients for a good ending. Use these tips and you'll leave your reader wanting more.

1)Is it satisfying? All novels need a satisfying ending. This doesn't necessarily mean a happy one, but one that wraps up the story line and makes the reader feel the story is complete.

2)Does it seem natural? Ever read a novel where it seemed like the author just got tired of the story and decided to end it two pages later? An ending must seem naturally grown. If it doesn’t evolve, we won’t believe it. The characters need redemption or there has to be a valid reason why its lacking. Often my endings get tweaked quite a bit while editing, to make them more believable and less contrived.

3)Does it end with a bang or a sigh-worthy last line? Every good book ends with a great last line. A line that moves the reader in some way. While the first line in your novel should intrigue, the last line should leave a lasting impression. 

4)Does it tie up loose ends? Sometimes authors have one or two mini endings, to tie up subplots before the final ending. Stand-alone novels should not leave the readers wondering “What happened to that character?"  Novels in a series can have more intrigue that leaves you awaiting the next installment.


Here are several examples of stellar endings from some of my favorite novels:
1) Shakespeare's Lady by Alexa Schnee : "I knew the world would never remember me or what I had done, but it would never forget the man I loved." 

2) Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta: "I squeezed his hand as tightly as I could, never wanting to let go. Yet I knew if I didn't, I would never discover the other side of love. I took my first step of faith." 

3) For Such a Time by Kate Breslin : " A soft breeze arose at that moment, steady and sweet across the hills of Lvov. And Hadassah smiled, hearing His whisper."

These endings showcase the points above, yet are all very different. "Born of Persuasion" is the first book in the "Price of Privilege" series so this particular ending hints at more to come. "Shakespeare's Lady" is an example of an ending that isn't exactly happy, but still finishes with a satisfying note. "For Such a Time" is the perfect happy ending. The characters have gone through trials, loved and lost, but they came out stronger in the end and the reader is now content.

Try these tips yourself and you’ll be sure to write an ending that shoots straight for your reader’s heart.

-Happy Writing

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Birthday Future King George! A Father & Son Comparison

Two future King's of England. Baby
Will on the left and George on the right.
Tuesday, July 22nd is future King (currently Prince) George's first birthday! So here are some photo's of Prince William, his father when he was about that age contrasted with some of little George now. If you see little Georgie make sure you wish him a happy birthday from us here in the states!

Baby George's Baptism

Baby Will - how cute!

Like Father - Like Son

This is the cutest photo of Will

Baby George. Doesn't he look like a future King?

As you can see from these photo's George and Will look alot alike. Both future Kings and
both were cute as babies.

Happy 1st Birthday George.

Next week I am going to do a special post about a mansion located right here in my own home state. So stayed tuned for that!

Happy Writing!


Friday, July 4, 2014

Do the British Celebrate the 4th of July!

Yes! They call it the day we got rid of those dreadful Americans. (Just kidding) Actually, however for them the day Americans enjoy independence from British rule with cookouts and fireworks is just an ordinary day for those over the pond.

For them the equivalent is Guy Fawkes Day on November 5th. It celebrates the overthrow of the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Guy Fawkes, one of Britain's most notorious traitors, was caught in the cellar of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. Their plan was to kill the King, the Prince of Wales and the Members of Parliament. He was caught, tortured, and executed. In modern day the event is commemorated every year with bonfires and fireworks.

So just because they live over the pond doesn't mean our charming British cousins miss out on similar yearly

Happy 4th!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Meant to Be Mine- Review

If you were to ask me what my favorite book of 2014 has been so far, I would have a quick and emphatic reply - Meant To Be Mine by Becky Wade. It has everything a good novel is made of.  Surprising plot twists, heart-stopping romance, and a handsome hero sure to win any reader’s heart! With laugh out loud moments mingling with scenes guaranteed to elicit sighs and tears, I enjoyed every moment of this engrossing read. Becky Wade has a fresh and clever writing style, using similes and metaphors to bring out details otherwise missed. And the research into bull riding provided an interesting glimpse into a career I previously knew little about.  A perfect 5 out of 5 star book!  

Here is a brief synopsis:
     Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school--irresistible. When their paths cross again after college--still irresistible. This time, though, Ty seems to feel exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel.

     The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia's ready to be Ty's wife, but Ty's not ready to be her husband. He's a professional bull rider, he lives on the road, and he's long planned to settle down with the hometown girl he's known since childhood.

     Five and a half years pass. Celia's buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty's achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the eyes of the woman he couldn't forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.

     How much will Ty sacrifice to win back Celia's trust and prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?  You'll have to read it to find out!

Great job Becky! You've wrote a great book for all of us romance fiction lovers! This book is published by Bethany House and is available on Amazon and at a Christian book store near you.

How is your summer reading coming along? Any good books you want to pass onto readers and us writers? 

As always- reading and writing!