Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas by Sandra Bricker

I'm thrilled today to welcome a new-to-me author named Sandra D. Bricker as we highlight her new book "Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas" out from the new publishing house, Summerside Press. Readers: we're having a contest for a free, autographed copy. Read on to learn more.

Because Summerside Press is a new house, here's a bit of what this Christian house is about:

Love Finds You(tm) is a series of full-length romance novels that give readers a peek into the flavor of local life across the United States. The novels are uniquely named after actual American towns with quirky, interesting names that inspire romance and are just plain fun! This means that each fictional story draws on the compelling history or unique character of a real place.

Our fresh, original love stories will feature everything from romance kindled in small towns, to old loves lost and found on the high plains, to new loves discovered at exciting vacation getaways.

Here's the back cover copy:

So what if she can't hook a fish? This city girl has a plan to snag something else . . . and his name is Justin. Lucy Binoche is reasonably attractive, intelligent, and fit. She has French lineage and better-than-average hair. So why is she nearly 30 and still single? Justin Gerard is the rugged hottie new to her church's singles group. When he signs up for a camping trip in the Ozarks, Lucy loses no time writing her name on the line beneath his. There’s only one problem Lucy's idea of "roughing it" is suffering through a long line at Starbucks. She assumes she can rely on the grace of God and the assistance of her friend to get through. But at the campsite in Snowball, Arkansas, Lucy bungles everything she attempts as she tries to impress Justin. She can't fish, hike, or ride a horse; caves make her hyperventilate; and hot-air balloons make her ill. Soon, events are snowballing out of control. Will Lucy pretend to be someone she’s not just to snag a boyfriend? Or will she discover someone who loves her just as she is?

And now for my review, followed by an interview with Sandra!

Oh. Yum. This book is so much fun. If novels are about entertainment, this one is a best friends’ get-together—complete with laughing guests, a roaring fire, music in the background and a delicious meal on its way. You will laugh out loud as you witness Sandra’s characters’ missteps. Sandra’s timing and ability to create hilarious scenarios make for one enjoyable escapade after another. For this new series of books by Summerside, one of the elements is that of including the name of the real city in the story. She cleverly uses the term of “snowball” in her story (read it to see what I mean). Though the story is set in the fall, it's an anytime read. Sandra’s romantic thread is very enjoyable and for the most part unpredictable, making this a more enjoyable find. Another very fun aspect is the inclusion of recipes. Sandra included some great recipes I plan to try. Romantic comedies are a favorite read of mine, and they come along only once in a while. I appreciate the pacing of this story, the LOL factor, the setting, the storyline. And though some blunders were predictable (where the character, who’d been tripping up all along, would be tripping up again) some were a surprise, and most were downright slap-your-thigh funny. Careful about reading this book in a quiet house. You might wake everyone else up with your uproarious laughter! (Well, okay, that’s probably the best time for reading. But, just a little forewarning.) LOL factor=10. “Enjoyability”=10. “Recommendability”=10. Enjoy!

Now for our interview:

How long have you been writing?

For as long as I can remember. I wrote my first story in the 6th grade, and my first article was published when I was a senior in high school. I wrote screenplays in the 80's, adventures for kids in the 90's and then finally found my way to women's fiction in 2003. I'm an editor in my "day job" too, so writing is just a way of life for me now.

Do you generally write romantic comedies?

When I was writing for Avalon Books, I wrote two comedies and two suspenses. But recently it's come to my attention that people really seem to respond to my comedy more than anything else. I wasn't really looking to make a niche for myself, but that's what happened.

I haven’t read your earlier work, but I can say you nailed the romantic comedy genre! How did you get connected with the new press, Summerside?

As soon as I heard what they were planning, I really wanted to be a part of it. I put together several proposals but, when my editor finally called me, she started out by saying that they weren't going to be publishing any of them. I thought, "You're calling to tell me you're NOT buying my books?? Well, that's different!" But she went on to say that they wanted some lighthearted comedy to launch the line, and they thought I was just the author to deliver it. Since everything I’d proposed was rather serious in nature, I asked her, "Um, what would make you think that?" As it turns out, the e-mails we’d exchanged throughout the proposal processes were what sold them. I guess I cracked them up. Three days after sending in the book proposal I worked up based on that phone conversation, I got an email from the publisher saying I'd "nailed it!" and that I would be one of the first two authors representing them.

Wow. That’s a great story! I love it. How much research was involved in learning about Snowball, AR?

Well, I'd been to the area several years back when I was living in Los Angeles and working as a publicist for actors in the soaps. One of my clients had a personal appearance in the area, and we kind of went exploring for a couple of days afterward. I fell in love with the area around the Buffalo National Park, which is coincidentally where Snowball is located. So I called on my memories from that visit, and then I just started calling locals and asking them questions. It was such fun!

Sounds great. Seems to me the best kind of research is in person, and then contacting folks to fill in the blanks. I can’t wait to read your next book. What is next for you?

Thanks for asking! I have two more Love Finds You books contracted. One set in Big Sky, Montana, and another in my own back yard, in Holiday, Florida. I recently spent a whole day in the Holiday area, and had such a great time. Then in Spring 2010, Abingdon Press will release another comedy called The Big Five-OH!

How exciting that readers can look for more coming soon! Where can readers contact you?

My website is at They can email me via the contact form on my site.

Anything else you’d like to add?

If your readers would like to see a video trailer for Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, they can go to

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas by Sandra. We'll have the drawing on Tuesday, November 25th, just in time for Thanksgiving. Leave an email address in your comment, like yourname [at] wherever [dot] com.


  1. What a fun interview! And an amazing sale story!! LOL

    Congrats on the release!

    missytippens [at] aol [dot] com

  2. Wow, with a review like that I'm definitely interested! Sounds like a funny book :-)


  3. I love your story, Sandra and I really, really, really want this book. If I don't it in bookstores right now?


    Sorry if this shows up twice... I wasn't paying attention ...:) But then again, feel free to put my name in the hat again. :-) Told you I really want your book.

  4. What a beautiful cover for that title. And I love how you sold them on working with you. It's really just best for everyone when we are who we are, AND we can be who we are with others, without trying to hide. (Hey, that sort of sounds like the lesson your heroine must learn, huh?)
    Congratulations on your success, and I wish you much, much more of it!

  5. Thank you so much for the great comments! And Jessica, I was pretty much over the moon about the review myself (as you can well imagine!).

    The cool thing is I've heard from teenagers, and I've heard from grannies ... and everywhere in between. That was the plan with this book, to appeal to a broad range of readers: young and old; Christian and non-Christian. I'm completely humbled by the response I've received.

    Jess, Snowball is in bookstores now. I've seen it in Borders, and I've heard about it being in Barnes and Noble, several Christian book chains, and even Walmart! If all else fails, you can always order it at amazon or, or most other online outlets.

    Linore, you did make a compelling argument for the whole theme of my book! Perhaps you should think about going into PR. LOL

    Thanks again to all of you for stopping by to visit.


  6. I keep looking at this book. Nice cover and great storyline. I would love to read it.

  7. Hey ladies, we have a winner. It's Missy!! Congratulations!!

    I'll email you, too.

    Thanks for reading everybody. Look for more on this new Love Finds You line and be sure to check out Sandra's awesome book!

    Happy Thanksgiving!