My guest today is the amazingly talented Amanda Berry. My friendship with Amanda is case in point of how small the world really is - thanks to the internet. We first met on YIM as sprinting partners. As we talked we found out she and my husband grew up in the same small town. She was my rock and confident when my daughter's world fell apart... offering advice and a meet-up if I needed it. Oh yes.. and discovering we seem to crave chocolate when there isn't a bite to be found in the house anywhere!
I was ecstatic when Amanda sold her first book, L.A. Cinderella. It was her Nano book that first year we met. If you've not read it, you might want to add it to your cart when you pick up her new release... Father By Choice. Two different books that show her writing ability.
Thanks for stopping by to meet... Amanda Berry!
You’re readers have waited three years for a new book from you. Father By Choice is nothing like L.A. Cinderella. Why veer from your first book?
L.A. Cinderella was more of a fantasy. A true Cinderella story. Father By Choice is more of a dramatic family story. I love the fantasy aspect of L.A. Cinderella, but family drama is something I have firsthand experience with ;) I grew up in a small town as well, so it speaks more to what I grew up with.
It sounds as if Amber may have captured Brady Ward’s heart. What is it with little girls and their daddy’s? And did you draw on a bit of personal experience for their relationship?
I think all little girls have their daddy wrapped around their finger. My own daughter is in awe of her father and while she won’t do something if I ask, if daddy asks she’s all over it. I think what makes their relationship more intense is that Maggie didn’t have that same experience with her father and it’s what she always wanted from her father.
You have a great premise for Father By Choice. What makes this story unique compared to similar plots?
The premise of the secret baby has been done over and over. What makes mine a little different is that Brady goes out of the country shortly after and leaves on bad terms with his brother. When his brother finds out about Maggie’s pregnancy, he “takes care of it” by sending money every month. Maggie is left believing that Brady is no better than her own father, which is easy for her to believe.
You and your family have moved in the past year. Is your awesome new location sparking future stories?
I’m surrounded by Live Oaks dripping with Spanish Moss, mosquitoes the size of small birds, and palmetto bugs (a nice way to say cockroaches with wings). I love my new office and am trying to get back into a regular schedule for writing. No easy feat having moved for the first time in ten years from our house and we’had lived in St. Louis for twenty years. It’s a lot to adapt to, but we are coming up on a year of being here in August. There are stories hiding in the cedars out where we live and I’m sure that it will inspire many books in the future.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your books?
I hope that they come away fulfilled and happy with the book. I love when I read a romance and come away feeling filled with that love shared between the hero and heroine.
Here's an excerpt from Father By Choice:
"I heard about your mom." Sam rubbed the back of his neck. His nervousness was starting to make her worry. What if something had happened to Brady? "I'm real sorry to hear she passed."
"It was the end of a long battle," Maggie said automatically. Even though it had been a different cancer that had taken Mrs. Ward, Maggie knew that in this respect Sam and she had something in common. Her gut clenched momentarily.
They stood there awkwardly for a moment. He looked around as if he wanted to be anywhere but here. The feeling was mutual. "I really need to.. " She gestured to the screen door.
He hesitantly stepped on the first step. Apparently, he wasn't going to leave until he'd had his say. "Would you mind if I came in? I need to talk to you."
She stared him down, trying to determine whether she was willing to listen to anything a Ward had to say. But he seemed open and sincere.
She shrugged and opened the screen door. "Is everyone okay?"
"Yeah. Fine as far as I know." Sam followed her into the small living room. Out of habit, she gestured to one of the worn recliners. Her furniture may be worn but it was clean and paid for.
"Would you like something to drink?" Manners won out over the burn of anger. Why now? After eight years of silence, why was Sam here? Was he coming to tell her that Brady was through sending money? She'd have to put in more hours as secretary at the furniture store if that were the case.
"No, thanks." He sat on the edge of the chair, leaned his elbows on his knees and clasped his hands. Then he sat upright and half stood. He gestured to the chair opposite. "This would be easier if you sat."
Her stomach knotted. She moved toward the chair but didn't sit. What would be easier?
"I've done some stupid things in the past, Maggie." Sam seemed to think she was in the mood for confessions.
"I'm sure you have, but I have work to do—"
"Sit down, Maggie Brown." His stern expression had her lowering to the edge of the seat. Obviously remembering where he was, he added, "Please."
"You have a lot of nerve—"
"Yes, I do." Sam ran a shaking hand through his shaggy hair. "You have no idea how much nerve I have." She crossed her arms over her chest and waited. "I've done some really stupid things—"
"You said that part already."
He looked up to the ceiling before returning his gaze to her. His eyes softened. "I know Amber is Brady's." She flushed and started to rise.
"But Brady doesn't."
About Amanda Berry:
After an exciting life as a CPA, Amanda Berry returned to writing when her husband swept the family off to England to live for a year. Now she's hooked, and since returning to the states spends her writing days concocting spicy contemporary romances while her cats try in vain to pry her hands off the keyboard. Her Marlene award-winning contemporary romance, L.A. Cinderella, debuted from Silhouette Special Edition in June 2010. One thing she requires of all her books is a happily ever after. Amanda grew up in the Midwest, but recently moved to the Southeast with her husband and two children. For more information, please visit www.amanda-berry.com.
You'll find Father By Choice where all your favorite romances are sold including this direct link: Amazon.com