I’m going to be a writer when I grow up!”
Sandra D. Bricker declared these words 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.
“I guess most people would see my career as a publicist as a sort of dream job. But giving it up turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me!” she declares. “Not only was I given the gift of getting to know my mother as an adult woman before she passed away, but I was also afforded the blessing of being able to focus completely on my dream of a writing career.”
That career weaves a web that draws in every age of reader. 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 to Change of Heart … 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.
“I’m a Christian woman, first and foremost,” she says. “So my newest book is also a bit of a dream-come-true. Summerside Press has chosen me as one of two authors to launch their new Love Finds You line in October 2008. Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas is a romantic comedy for the inspirational market. The best of all worlds, as far as I’m concerned!”
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! In fact … maybe I’ll do that very soon.”
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?
Excerpt from Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas
by Sandra D. Bricker
“Give a girl a fish, and she’ll eat for a day,” Lucy exclaimed the moment Matt opened his front door. “But teach a girl to fish, and she’ll come home with a hot boyfriend named Justin.”
Matt stood in the doorway, shaking his head.
“If you didn’t have Chinese food in your hand, I might not.”
Holding the bag up toward him, she began to swing it to and fro. “Mmmmmmm,” she teased. “Crab rangoooooon.”
“Lucy Louise Binoche, you’re just lucky I’m starving.”
The two friends discussed their workdays over dinner, exchanging barbs and anecdotes, plans and challenges. Hardly a minute passed in silence. They never seemed to run out of things to say to each other, and Lucy loved it that way. Matt was, without a doubt, her best friend in all the world.
“Mattie, you’re such a good guy. I really appreciate you doing this.”
“Helping me not to make a fool of myself.”
“Well, you may be over-estimating my abilities here, Luce.”
“Come on,” she said on a serious note. “I mean it. I just don’t want to look like a total rookie out there.”
“Would that be so bad?” he asked her. “I mean, you are a rookie. It doesn’t change anything about who you are.”
Lucy squeezed Matt’s arm. “You don’t understand.”
“Nope. Guess I don’t.”
“Okay, so what’s first?” she asked as she hopped up and rinsed her plate in the sink. “Boating or fishing?”
When she returned to the dining room, Matt was standing in the middle of the adjoining living room, one brow arched, and holding a fishing rod with both hands.
Lucy hurried toward him and reached for the pole.
“Not so fast,” Matt chided. “First things first. Bait and Hook 101.”
Lucy let herself sink down into the overstuffed chair facing the coffee table, and Matt sat on the sofa across from her.
“Buffalo National River is known for its small-mouth bass fishing,” he explained, and he laid the pole to rest across his legs while he opened a small white container. “And these, my friend, are like crab rangoon for bass.”
Lucy looked down into the container and then popped out a one-syllable scream. “Mattie, what is that?”
Lucy grimaced and pressed herself against the back of her chair.
“Well, what did you think you were going to catch them with? Your good looks and charm?” Matt asked her. “Now come over here so I can show you how to bait your hook.”
“Oh, Mattie. You’re kidding, right?”
“Do you want to learn to fish or not?”
Their eyes locked for a long moment while she thought it over and worked to hold down her dinner. Finally, with a groan, Lucy got up and rounded the table, sitting on the edge of the sofa with guarded caution.
“You take them between your fingers like this,” he demonstrated, and Lucy closed her eyes and turned away.
“Matt, I can’t.”
“I can not.”
“Okay. It’s no skin off my toes if you don’t want to learn to fish after all. It’s probably better that way anyhow. I mean, you were sure to make a complete fool of yourself.”
“Oh, give it to me.”
She clutched the squirming thing between two fingers, holding it away from her like a smelly diaper. Suddenly, the worm wiggled right out of her grasp and fell to the floor. Lucy hopped to her feet, screaming as she did, and then did a little dance as she jumped from one foot to the other and back again.
Matt leaned over and picked up the worm, and then he just stared at her.
Once she was seated again, he placed it between her two twitching fingers.
“Now you take the hook like this,” he said, showing her, “and you pierce the worm once here, and then again here.”
“Are you serious?”
“What do you mean?”
“You stab him? Twice? Why twice? Isn’t once enough, Matt?”
“Twice. To keep it on the hook.”
“Does it hurt him?”
“Maybe,” he told her truthfully. “But not as much as being eaten by a bass, which is the overall plan, isn’t it?”
Lucy looked at him with serious regard, and Matt burst out laughing.
“It’s the circle of life, Lucy. You stab the worm, and then the fish eats the worm so that you can eat the fish.”
“Come on. Give it a try.”
Lucy held the worm up in front of her and leaned in toward it. “I’m so sorry,” she whispered, and then made several attempts before the hook finally went through the twisty-turny worm.
“One more time,” Matt encouraged her.
“It’s awful,” she whimpered.
“I know. The things we do for love.”
She tried several more times to make the second stab, but she just couldn’t manage it.
“Okay, Mattie. I’ve got the idea. I don’t have to torture him any more, do I?”
Without a word, Matt removed the worm from the hook and tossed it back into the container. He then removed the hook from the end of the line.
“How about we try some casting?”
“Like throwing the line?” she asked, not quite containing her excitement. “Did you see that Robert Redford-Brad Pitt movie about the river and the fishing? It was so beautiful, and they were out there in the middle of the river, throwing their fishing lines, back and forth, back and-”
“Not in my living room!” Matt warned, yanking the fishing rod away from her. “In the back yard.”
A few dozen cast attempts later, the only injuries incurred were those of the hanging ivy plant on Matt’s patio and the pride of the neighbor’s dog after being unexpectedly slapped with the end of a fishing line.
Love Finds You by Summerside Press
Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas: Lucy Binoche is sure she knows God’s plan for her life, and it’s the handsome new member of her church group. Watching her try to remake herself in the name of love made me laugh until I actually cried. This heartwarming story is not only impossible to put down, but it makes you really think about the decisions and mistakes we all make. Sparkling dialogue, wonderful characters, and a great story makes Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas by Sandra D. Bricker as smooth and delicious as a hot cup of deep chocolate topped with thick whipped cream—but less fattening.
–Page Traynor, Reviewer for Romantic Times Magazine
Coming soon: Love Finds You in Paradise, PA from Summerside Press.
And The Boys Club speaks out …
You really did a fabulous job with the voice and the dialogue. I laughed out loud. Really funny!–Jason Rovenstine, Creative Strategist, Summerside Press
“Sandra D. Bricker has evolved so much over the years. Her writing style is tender and insightful, but it also appeals to men on a broader level as well. It is comedic and concise, and the characters are approachable and well-defined. I continue to ask myself why she isn’t on every bookshelf in the country.”
–Tom Merino, Film Director, Los Angeles CA
“I’ve been reading Ms. Bricker’s novels for years. She continues to write a strong male presence into her stories, which broadens her audience beyond the expected ‘chick-lit’ type genre. When I finish reading them, I always pass them on to my mom, who appreciates the softer side of the writing as well. Following this writer’s career has become a true family affair.”
–Craig Gilbert, Mortgage Payment Processor, Tampa FL