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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spotlight on Sandra D. Bricker and Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas

Today, I'm honored to feature the first of the 2 debut authors selected to launch the brand-new romance line for Summerside Press. The "Love Finds You" books specialize in unique towns across America and include a romance that you're sure to love...all the while learning about a unique small town. You just never know. It could be yours!

Sandra D. Bricker has been chosen one of two authors to launch the new Love Finds You line of inspirational romance for Summerside Press this month, and she's here today to "chat" with you.


SANDRA D. BRICKER declared the words, "I'm going to be a writer when I grow up," to her father on a Sunday afternoon in Slidell, Louisiana. She was 5 years old, and was referring to being able to string her cursive letters together to write her full name for the first time, but the declaration proved somewhat prophetic. By the time she reached high school and her first article was published in The Cincinnati Enquirer, Sandie knew writing was what she wanted to do. For more than a decade, Sandie lived in Los Angeles and, while writing in every spare moment, worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved cross-country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

Sandie's interest in telling a story knows no boundaries. Three novels for middle readers carved out the beginning of the journey; then Avalon Books followed up with two hardbound romance novels in 2001: unWANTED: Husband (romantic comedy) and Change of Heart (romantic suspense). The response was tremendous, and Sandie was asked to pen a sequel ... and so Sins of the Past was released in December 2003. Next up was another romantic comedy; Wish I Weren't Here was released in February 2005.

After spending nearly 15 years dealing with her celebrity clients' fans, Sandie finds it amusing that she is suddenly the one getting fan mail! "When people were actually buying my books at a recent signing, I found myself wanting to go around and invite them all to dinner or offer to bake them cookies. Hey! In fact ... maybe I'll do that very soon."

by Sandra D. Bricker
Published by Summerside Press


Lucy Binoche is not an outdoorsy kind of girl! In fact, her idea of "roughing it" is suffering through a long line at Starbucks. But will she pretend to be someone she's not just to snag the guy? Or will she discover someone who loves her just the way she is?

Laugh-out-loud romantic comedy for the inspirational market.

Buy Your Copy of Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas Today!


1. You are helping to launch a brand new line for a new publishing house in Summerside Press. Tell us a little about the experience and the line.

When I first read about Summerside Press and the line of inspirational romance they were starting, it seemed like a perfect next step for me. I'd been publishing for several years with Avalon Books, doing sweet romance. As a Christian, I'd been trying to break into the inspirational market for years but never quite found the right fit. Summerside's whole outlook was just what I was looking for.

I submitted several proposals, and always got a positive response, but ultimately every one of them was rejected. Then one day, Rachel Meisel emailed me and asked if we could have a conference call. The first thing she said when we started the call was that she wouldn't be buying any of the manuscripts I'd proposed! I thought, "Hmph. You're calling to reject me a second time? That's different." But then she went on to tell me that the Summerside staff had a meeting to talk about what they really wanted for the two launch spots, and for one of the two of them they wanted something light and funny ... and they felt like I was just the author to deliver it.

This came as a pretty big surprise since everything I'd sent them was pretty serious. The great thing was that she said it was my emails that convinced them. Apparently, I'm funnier than I thought! Three days after I turned in the proposal, I heard from the creative director who wrote, "Sandie, you nailed it! I knew you would."

2. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

A lot of inspiration came from the setting. Summerside's Love Finds You line is all centered around unique rural towns across the country, and I'd spent some time in Arkansas when I was a publicist. When Rachel said they wanted something for Snowball, Arkansas, I was thrilled. I'd been so moved by the area of the Ozarks around the Buffalo National River that I'd talked often about retiring there one day, and suddenly I had crystal-clear 20/20 about the purpose of that trip and falling in love with the area.

Additional inspiration came with the freedom handed to me when they asked me to write something funny. Once I created Lucy and set her down into a couple of funny situations, the story kind of wrote itself. I fell in love with the hero of the story right along with her, and enjoyed the lessons about trusting God with our future.

3. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

A little piece of me is in all of my characters, but Lucy has my goofiness. I am not an outdoorsy kind of girl by any stretch of the imagination. When other people go camping, I head for the nearest hotel with movie channels and room service. There are several situations in the book that are taken from real life, I'm sorry to report. For instance, when claustrophobic Lucy goes on a tour of underground caverns, she is hit in the head by a flying bat. That idea came from a 4th of July I spent in the mountains in California. The sun had just gone down, and while we were waiting for the fireworks all these birds (well, what I thought were birds!) were flying around overhead. I was just in the middle of asking someone what kind of birds they were when one of them flew right into my forehead with a thud. I'd always heard that bats have a built-in radar to keep things like that from happening, so during my research for the book I asked one of the cavern guides if that could happen inside their caves. He laughed and said, "It's unlikely, but not unheard of." Then he snorted and said, "Some people just attract those kind of things." He said a mouthful there. Lucy and I share that unfortunate magnetic something!

4. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Well, Lucy would absolutely be Rocky Road. Her journey is full of bumps and tumbles ... but it's worth it to her because the outcome is that she finds yummy true love.

Matt, on the other hand, would be a beautiful, sweet, creamy vanilla that seems plain at first glance, but contains so many unexpected nuances. And oh-so delicious. :)

5. What themes exist in Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Destiny and the hand of God guiding us through life is a universal theme in all of my books. I'm a true believer. The theme of this particular book, however, is more about who we were created to be. Lucy is a very unique girl, but she gets this idea in her head that she has to be someone completely different in order to snag the guy she thinks she wants. The underlying message of her story is that we don't have to make ourselves over to fit with the right person; the right person finds their way to us because of who we are at the core.

6. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

I can honestly tell you that, outside of a very strict tiimeline in turning in the manuscript, there wasn't any portion of this book that was difficult to write. It was a whirlwind adventure, and I really loved taking the ride with Lucy and Matt and their friends. My favorite parts to write were the mishaps, like her encounter with the bat, or when she tries to catch a fish and then gets freaked out when she sees it up close. I found myself laughing out loud as I was writing. Once when I was a kid, I saw a chicken close up and my mom said I tried to be a vegetarian for the next year of my life.

7. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

I'm not sure about the next book, actually. My agent is handling negotiations on a couple of projects, but there's nothing in stone that I can talk about yet. I do hope to do another Love Finds You book or two for Summerside, though. I think this line is the combination of all the best parts of the inspirational market, and I'm really eager to see what the public thinks of what we've tried to do.

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Thank you, Sandie, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.

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Cherie J said...

Ooh! This book sounds really good. Sounds like a wonderful new line of books.

windycindy said...

Her book cover is lovely. A romantic comedy sounds good to me right now! Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks very much! Cindi

Anonymous said...

Cherie and Cindi, thank you so much for stopping by! I wish you both luck with the contest, and I hope you'll let me know what you think after you read the book. My prayer is that everyone who needs a diversion for a couple of hours, or who just needs to laugh out loud, will find their way to Snowball with me.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Debby Mayne said...

I read Sandie's book on the plane going to the ACFW conference, and I groaned when the plane landed because that meant I had to stop reading until I got to my hotel. Snowball is cute, funny, poignant, and an absolute joy to read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great story in a gorgeous setting with fun characters.

Donna said...

I grew up in Arkansas but moved to Texas. I am always telling my husband I want to move back. I would just love to win this novel.

Clarice S said...

I loved this book. I got is as a pre buy so I got to preview it before it was released to the public. It was the funniest and best romantic novel I ever read. I loved the with, the characters, and the story. It is the first book I ever read by this author and now I want to get all Sandie's books and read them.

Clarice S

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I'm really happy that people are already reading the book and enjoying it! And I really am grateful for the gift I've been given in getting to write this book.

Happy Reading!

Jo said...

I would love to read this book.Please enter me for the drawing


Martha A. said...

Fun book!
Please enter me!

Doreen said...

This sounds great! Please count me in. Thanks! purposedrivenlife4you (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

This is the first I've heard of of Summerside Press. Thanks for the heads-up! There is so many books to keep up with! I've learned about many new books from your site!

Thanks! And please include me in the contest!

Janna said...

These covers are beautiful! I'd love to be entered :-)

ryanx6 at msn dot com

Miralee Ferrell said...

Cool! It's so great to see the first of the Summerside Sister's books releasing. Great interview and I LOVE the premise for this book. Best wishes Sandie!

Miralee Ferrell

Becky C. said...

I love the sound of this book.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.

ChristyJan said...

Love Finds You In Snowball Arkansas sounds like a wonderful read ~ please enter me for a chance to win a copy.


Carolynn said...

I love the cover and the book sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:


Congratulations! I've emailed you for your mailing information so we can send out your book.

Others, check out the interviews on Sally John, Donn Taylor, Maureen Lang, Virginia Smith, Andrea Boeshaar and Golden Keyes Parson to see if you've won.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.

ThePetSitter said...

I just finished Love Finds You in Snowball Arkansas, and I giggled all the way through it! It's so great to actually find a Christian-based book with a sense of humor!
Sandra Bricker is a great writer, and I was all for Lucy all the way through the book!
I would recommend it to anyone!