I am so pleased to welcome Amanda Barratt to the blog today! I just finished reading her first novel, My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York, and all I can say is wow. I loved it. Review will be posted in a few days while I recover! I’ll give you a sneak peek at one of my favorite quotes:
“It’s not a thing to be gambled. Life isn’t a game of chance, where everything lost can someday be regained.”
Let’s just say there are many scenes where Amanda has written things like this to make you think. She spreads the gospel so effortlessly, especially the second half of the book and I found it so uplifting. But we’re not here to talk about the book. We’re here to talk to Amanda. So let’s get right to it!!
Welcome to A Baker’s Perspective Amanda! Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Thanks so much for hosting me today, Jessica! You have a great blog, and I’m thrilled to be joining you on it!
I’m the author of seven novellas published by Barbour (the seventh one releases in March) and My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York. I live in Northern Michigan— the weather has been crazy here, lately! I love thought-provoking novels, unique coffee shops, BBC dramas, and seek every day to serve my Savior.
I hear you would like to travel to England! (as would I!) Any specific spot you’d visit first?
I love this question! I’ve been dreaming about a trip to England for YEARS, and whenever a new travel guide releases, I always check it out from the library. I would probably begin my trip in London, since that’s where I’d fly into. First stop, after I’d recovered from the time difference J, would be either the Charles Dickens house, or Kensington Palace. Plus, the Tower of London, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Hyde Park. Oh, and I’d want to find some Regency era architecture. And eat fish and chips.
After London, I’d head to Cornwall (Poldark locations, anyone???), Derbyshire (for Chatsworth and some of the Pride and Prejudice locations), Yorkshire (to visit the Brontë’s house and basically just run wild on the moors. LOL), and Dorset (the setting of my favorite Hardy novels). Just writing this is making me grin ridiculously with excitement!
Um, do you think you could fit me in your luggage when you go? It’s sounds fun!
So, you love BBC dramas, huh? Who doesn’t! If you could have lunch with anyone from a BBC drama, who would it be and why?
So I actually have to pick between John Thornton from North and South and Mr. Darcy? Torture! 🙂
Haha. I didn’t say the questions would be easy!
I’m going to go with Jane from Jane Eyre. I’ve always admired her for her strength of character and independence in an era when women were often repressed. And I’d like to, completely off the record, ask her what she reeeally thought when she found out Mr. Rochester already had another wife. The book doesn’t give nearly enough details! 🙂
Okay, when you find out, make sure you tell the rest of us!
You just released your first novel. How was writing this different then writing a novella?
Aside from the difference in length, there was much more space to explore subplots and dig deep in a way that the size of a novella doesn’t allow. I loved being able to go on a journey with the characters, and watch them change and grow. I always liken novellas to a 90 minute movie, and novels to a BBC miniseries. Both are great, but there’s just something special about the investment of time you make with the characters when reading a novel.
Did you visit Niagara Falls for research?
Yes, in a way. I visited Niagara Falls, but didn’t know I was going to be writing a story set there. I actually got the idea AT Niagara Falls, which was pretty special. I have this writer thing that whenever I visit a historical location, I always imagine the stories that could play out. As I read about the daredevils during my trip to the Falls, the idea came to me—a daredevil meets a woman who fears risk.
Let me just say that I am so glad you took that trip!!
The question all readers want to know – what book are you currently reading?
I just finished The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. I’d already read it twice before, but it’s such a powerful story, and one of my favorite books, so I reread it again. I’m always so inspired and challenged with each new reread.
One of my church kids did a school project on Corrie ten Boom! I think I need to read that book!
Where is your favorite reading spot?
On my couch with a cup of green tea beside me. And a blanket, because it’s been sooo cold.
Ugh, I know. This weather is crazy! I like to be on the couch with a comfy blanket too, but I’ll take coffee or hot chocolate depending on the time of day.
On your website, you mention having 2-3 To-Do lists. Do you have a To-Do list reminding you to do these To-Do lists?
Actually, right now I only have one To-Do list. 🙂 It’s in my 2018 planner, and has a section for each day, with lines and checkboxes. So far, it’s been working well, and consolidating smaller To-Do lists and calendars I used to have, so I’m going to stick with it. I love picking out a unique planner for each new year. This year’s has a vintage feel, with shades of muted brown and blue, and 2nd Corinthians 5:7 on the cover. So pretty!
I love planners. That is one thing I like about the end of the year, I get to pick a new one out!!
So, what can readers look for next?
In March, Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers releases. I’m excited to begin sharing more about this roundup of Western-themed stories about seven Rangers who find love as they track an infamous gang of outlaws.
Yay. I’ll be looking for that!
Name one fun fact readers do not know about you yet.
I talk to myself. Weird, I know, but it actually helps me process things, including plot problems and story ideas. In the summer, I like to take walks (we live down a dirt road in the woods) and talk out whatever is on my mind.
Although, after watching The Man Who Invented Christmas, I feel somewhat less weird about doing this. I promise I’m not as eccentric as Charles Dickens. I promise.
Um, confession. I talk to myself once in a blue moon. I mean sometimes. I mean quite a bit. Okay, okay. It’s everyday. Nothing weird about that, right!? Thank you so much for stopping by and answering our questions. I can’t wait for the next book to come out!!
ECPA bestselling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story – a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes inspirational historical romance, penning stories that transport readers to a variety of locales – from the sweeping coastline of Newport, Rhode Island, to the rugged landscape of Central Texas. Her novella, The Truest Heart, finaled in the 2017 FHL Reader’s Choice Awards.
A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters.
These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England.
My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Journey
She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.
Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.
Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.
On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love. When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?