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, was a finalist 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. Connect with Amanda at the following locations
Now, let’s take a little glimpse at My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York
Journey to Niagara Falls, New York, 1870
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.
Join me in giving a warm welcome to Amanda Barratt! I’m thrilled to have you visiting with us today, Amanda. Let’s get started with some fun questions!
Thank you so much for letting me hang out with you all today! This is super exciting!
Q: What is your favorite season, and why?
Amanda: Autumn, hands down! In northern Michigan, we’re privileged to have a beautiful array of fall colors. There’s nothing better than walking down a secluded country lane, your boots crunching against fallen leaves, and then coming inside for a cup of hot apple cider. 🙂 Christmastime is probably a close second though, as I love the season of celebration and giving!
Trisha: Fall in Michigan is beautiful. Here in the south west corner of Michigan I especially enjoy the scent of the grapes ready for harvest.
Q: What is the best part of your day?
Amanda: This is a tossup between morning and evening, since I love both for different reasons. Mornings are great, because I spend some time doing devotions, then get to dive into my writing for the day, which I always look forward to! But evenings are when I read, have meaningful conversations with family, and catch up on my latest period drama obsession. 🙂
Trisha: Such a great way to bookend your day!
Q: What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?
Amanda: I actually just read one that was published in the late 80s. Vienna Prelude by Bodie and Brock Thoene. This book was magnificent—full of so much drama and emotion and characters to love and root for. It was my first time reading it, and I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the series. Redeeming Love is another one that I return to over and over again.
Trisha: Yes, I too enjoyed reading the books by Brodie & Brock Thoene. Absolutely, can’t forget about Redeeming Love!
Q: If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?
Amanda: An odd mixture! LOL Along with some Christmas music, I’ve been listening to Celtic Thunder, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and the soundtrack from the show Victoria.
Trisha: I often listen to Celtic music when I am writing, and I too enjoy listening to Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra. I haven’t yet listened to the soundtrack from Victoria, I enjoyed watching that series.
Q: Did the plotline or the characters come first?
Amanda: Both came pretty much at the same time. We’d planned a family vacation to Niagara Falls. Before the trip, I was reading up on the history of the area, because that’s just what history nerds do. 🙂 I’d read quite a bit about the stunts and daredevils, and as I was walking along, looking at the Falls, the idea of a daredevil falling in love with a woman who feared risk, came to me. When Barbour put the word out that they were looking for authors to submit to a destination romance line, my sister suggested I do Niagara Falls and make the hero a tightrope walker. Sisters always know best! 🙂
Trisha: Niagara Falls is a place on my list that I want to visit! I’m so glad your sister encouraged you to write this wonderful story!
Q: Which character took you by surprise?
Amanda: Delany, definitely. I was writing the scene where my heroine arrives at the home of her relatives, and lo and behold, the butler at the door is far from your ordinary staff member. It was one of those unexpected bursts of inspiration that I had a ton of fun building on.
Trisha: It is fun when characters surprise us!
Q: What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?
Amanda: I never stayed up late working on this story. I probably laid awake at night thinking about it sometimes, but I’m a morning person, and around 8 PM my brain checks out for the night. 🙂
Trisha: I’m not much of a night owl myself, but occasionally I will be so wrapped up in a story, that time gets away from me and I end up staying up well past my usual bed time.
Q: What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?
Amanda: I generally add more than I delete. So while my first draft looks different than the final one, it’s because of addition, rather than subtraction. I ended up omitting some analogies that I thought were rather clever when I wrote them, but made me cringe when I read them a second time.
Trisha: Thank you, Amanda for visiting with us today. It was fun getting to know you better and getting a behind the scenes peek at the story.
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