Friday, November 13, 2009

LOVE FINDS YOU IN HOLIDAY, FLORIDA - Sandra D. Bricker - Free Book

Because today is my birthady, I'm giving you a bonus interview with a very funny author. Welcome, Sandie. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

Well, I write Christian books because that’s where my heart is. There’s so much really awful secular fiction out there, the kind that makes me close the book very quickly. Once I knew that this was God’s plan for my life, it seemed like a no-brainer that I would use that gift to uplift Him and His children. I write comedy because … I’m a very funny person! LOL

I first met Sandra in person at the ACFW national conference, and she's a lot of fun to be around. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

I fought for months on end against stage 3 ovarian cancer. There were surgeries and radiation treatments and what felt like YEARS feeling horrible. Even at that, I’d heard so many statistics about how this disease likes to sneak back up on you, and there’s a huge percentage of women who face it again within five years. On the day that I’d been clean for five years … that was a spiritual and physical jubilation like I can’t even adequately describe.

I can imagine. I lost my sister that way. Praise the Lord, He healed you. How has being published changed your life?

I spent a great deal of my life as a publicist for actors, essentially telling the world how wonderful my clients were. I kept it to myself, but I often thought how great it would be if some of them would use their celebrity to bring enlightenment to hurting spirits, or at least to inspire people to be more effective in their lives. I never really realized until recently that I’ve been given that opportunity as a published author. I receive emails and notes all the time from readers who have really been moved by something I’ve written, or I’ve made them laugh at a time when they didn’t think they had any more laughter in them. I’m so humbled and grateful every time I hear a story like that, and it strengthens my resolve to continue providing entertainment AND encouragement through my books. The scripture says a merry heart is as good as medicine, and I feel like that’s been my assignment, to provide light-hearted truths.

One of my novellas was titled The Best Medicine, based on that scripture. What are you reading right now?

Things Left Unspoken by Eva Marie Everson. She’s phenomenal.

What is your current work in progress?
I am just putting the finishing touches on my second novel for the new Abingdon Press fiction line. It’s called Always the Baker, Never the Bride, a comedy (of course) about a baker who is diabetic and can’t eat her own creations. I’m having such fun with this book. It’s going to be hard to say good-bye to the characters when it’s finished … but a relief to stop thinking about cake and pastries all the time!

What would be your dream vacation?

It’s really funny that this should be one of the questions because, just this week, I was talking to a friend about needing a break when this next book is complete. She asked me the same question, and my instinctive answer was this: Somewhere tropical like Sanibel Island, Florida, with 6 of my favorite women (and my dog), just getting some sun, sharing a few meals, reading books, taking long naps, leaving the computers behind and turning off the cell phones.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

For the Love Finds You books, Summerside chooses them, and they ask me to write for that location. For my other books, it’s just somewhere that I’ve either lived or visited, somewhere that’s left a lasting impression. The Big 5-OH!, due out in February, is set in Cincinnati (where I spent much of my childhood) and Sanibel Island here in Florida (my favorite escape).

Actually, I chose the setting for the Summerside book I'm writing right now. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

My friend David. We’ve been so busy lately that we haven’t had any real time together. He’s one of my favorite people. He’s uber-smart, and he always makes me laugh, and I can fearlessly bear my soul to him. How many people can you say that about?

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I love to scrapbook and take pictures, and I’m also a bit of an armchair designer. I make greeting cards and specialty tee-shirts and even paint pottery and ceramics. My creativity gene is an over-achiever.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

That would have to be balancing my life. I’m still working a day job as an editor in Corporate America, so that’s 40+ hours every week that belong to someone else. Balancing a full-time writing career with that is rough, and then adding some sort of life into it … well, you can imagine.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Finish something. I meet so many people who talk about writing, and they start a hundred projects, but they’ve never finished a single one of them. I think it’s very important to get beyond a synopsis and three chapters. To do that, there’s no substitute for putting your fanny in the chair and writing, writing, writing until you finish something. And when you do … take a break … and then do it all over again.

Tell us about the featured book?

Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida, isn’t your typical romantic comedy. The hero and heroine are in their mid-50s, and the humor is extremely quirky and unusual (just like the town of Holiday!)

Bostonian Cassie Constantine is only in Florida long enough to use her Christmas break to get the vacation house that she’s always despised ready for the real estate market. But her widow status is like a target on her back, and the elderly matchmakers around town manage to sidetrack her mission at every turn. Holiday is a land mine of golf tournaments, ballroom dancing competitions, shuffleboard and day trips. But the biggest obstacle of all? Nope, not Sophie the crazy Collie. It's Richard Dillon. The stuffed shirt she’s paired with on the dance floor makes her heartbeat tap faster than the rhythm of The Quickstep.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Cassie rounded the curve of the street and pulled into the driveway, and there they were! Those horrible neon pink flamingos, grinning at her from beneath the palm tree in the front yard. Just that morning, she’d deposited them in the trash receptacle, hoping that would be the end of them. Something told her she would never be rid of them.

Oh, what a thought!

As she climbed out of the car and stalked toward them, the horror of it buzzed around her like a swarm of gnats. The picture was a vivid one: Sitting on the back deck in her old age, sipping one of those terrible Southern beverages Zan was always experimenting with, her silver hair standing on end and frizzy from the Florida humidity. And poking out from beneath the dock … or peering at her from around the side of the house … or possibly standing tall in one of the large flowering plants … Those eyes. Those gawking, neon eyes, just staring back at her, mocking her with their presence.

Cassie yanked the first one out of the ground where its hard plastic spike anchored it to the front yard, and she tossed it to the grass behind her. Just as she wrapped both hands around the beak of the second one, Zan’s laughter taunted her from across the street.

She turned her head slowly toward him, narrowed her eyes and stared him down, the distance between them bridged by a look her husband had come to know all too well.

“Hi, baby,” he called out to her, grinning as maniacally as those flamingos he loved so much. “Want some help carrying in the groceries?”

Lounging on the front step of Millicent’s porch with his faithful dog Sophie at his side, Zan could surely be spotted from the space shuttle in that colorful Hawaiian print shirt. He waved his arms at her, and then the old woman in the rocking chair began to wave as well.

“Hello, Cassie!”

Cassie planted both feet and faced him, hands on hips. “Alexander Constantine, I won’t have these horrible things displayed in the front yard. What will the neighbors think of us?”

“Ah, come on, Mac. They’ll think we’re kitschy. Don’t you want to be known as kitschy?”

“I certainly do not.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Web site:
Personal blog:
Group blog:
Facebook: Sandie Bricker

Thank you, Sandie, for spending this time with us.

Readers, here's a link where you can order the book. Using this link will help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link. 


Debby Mayne said...

I'm reading Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida now, and it's hilarious! True Sandie Bricker comedy--a laugh (or two or three or four) on every single page.

Great interview, by the way!

Deborah said...

i loved sandra's first book in the Love Finds you series and would love to win this one!

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks. wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Abi said...

Oh, yes, My hand is raised for this one. I'd love to win this book. I love the cover. Neat!
Love this series.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Debra said...

I've heard some wonderful things about this book. I would LOVE to win a copy.
Please add my name to the drawing. Thanks!


Connie E said...

Please enter me!

~Connie E

Jessica said...

What a wonderful interview! I've learned a lot of new things about Sandie. I've had the privilege of meeting her a few times, and not only is she funny, but she's super kind and friendly.
Congrats on the books! The baker one sounds great!!!
Thanks for the interview, Lena.
:-) I enjoyed reading it.

Linda said...

This has got to be good since it's about a 50-year-old widow in FL.!!! I have two friends who winter in FL, so I know it's something of a riot!
Please enter me. Thank you.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Wendy said...

Thanks for the chance to win this book.

G.R.I.T.S. said...

I can't wait to read another Love Finds you book! Please sign me up!


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday.

I would love to be entered in your draw.

karen k

Author Sandra D. Bricker said...

How exciting that so many people are here already to win a copy of my book! And I've only just had my second cup of tea.

Thank you so much for stopping in. I really hope you enjoy reading Holiday, and I'd love to hear back from you when you do!


Judyg said...

This looks like it will be a fun book to read. Please enter me the drawing.

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview and would love to be entered in the drawing.

Heidi Main said...

Looks like a great book! Heidi

The Herd said...

Happy Birthday!!!

gahome2mom said...

Thanks for sharing and for giving. :)


Casey H. said...

I am reading this book right now and loving it! If I win this copy, I am going to give it away for someone else to enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I love a good comedy book. Please enter me for a chance for a free book. Thanks!


ahappyheartathome (at) gmail (dot) com

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

This sounds like such an awesome book! I did an interview with Sandra earlier in the week and she is so cool! If you would like to check it out I posted it on my blog with a chance to win a signed copy of LFY in Holiday, Florida! Thank you for sharing your interview Lena!

xoxo~ Renee

Sylvia M. said...

Oh, I'd like to read this book! I've read Love Find You In Snowball Arkansas, and one of Sandra's Avalons. They were both very interesting.


Michelle said...

Thank you for entering me!!!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Martha A. said...

I love the Love finds you series and would love to win a copy of this one so I do not go broke trying to buy them! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Author Sandra D. Bricker said...

Thanks, ladies. This is a really supportive group.

And thanks for having me, Birthday Girl!

Katherine said...

Happy Birthday Lena! This book looks very good. Please enter me.


Author Sandra D. Bricker said...

You know, I mentioned in my interview that I am a cancer survivor. What I failed to mention is that I have co-written a devotional called Be Still ... and Let Your Nail Polish Dry, and a portion of the proceeds to it will be given to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Today is a very special day because some of the research we're helping to fund was released to the public, and I'm filled with eager hope and anticipation about the future of that research. If you'd like more information, I hope you'll go over to our blog for the devo and read more.

Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Would love to read this book.

sharon54220 said...

Another great interview. I would love a chance to win this book.

Thanks for the chance.

Sherry Kuhn said...

First, Happy Birthday Lena! Hope you're having a good day.

Great interview Sandra. Thanks for sharing. The book sounds like a lot of fun. Please enter me in the drawing.


Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Happy Birthday, Lena! I hope you've had a great day! :)

Congrats to Sandra on being a cancer-survivor! I have a few family members that are also survivors.

I can't wait to read sounds like an awesome book! Sandra is a new author for me, but I think she's going to become one of my favorites. *wink*

Thank you for the interview!
~ Lori


Mark said...

I'd like to enter

mariska said...

Cute cover ! please count me in the drawing !

Edna said...

I would love to win this book, the interview was great and the books sounds to be a great Christmas read.


Lady Araujo said...

I'd love to be entered.

God's blessings

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, deserve the best ever! Please enter me. Thanks.

Rose McCauley said...

Hi Sandra, from a fellow-scrapbooker and fellow- Sanibel Island lover! Do you mention the Bubble Room and the Key Lime Pie and the Green Flash? And thanks to Lena for such an interesting assortment of authors and books! I'd love to win a copy. thanks!

Merry said...

Ah, this looks like fun. Please include me, thanks!

Charity L. said...

Please enter me in your giveaway. Thanks!

Carly Kendall said...

I love the Love Finds You books and I would love to win a copy of Holiday, Florida. Thank you very much.

Donald said...

My wife would love this book! Please consider this my entry!


Buukluvr81 said...

Please enter me in this giveaway! It would make a great addition to my book collection!


Jo said...

I've been enjoying reading the "Love Finds You" books so please enter me in the giveaway.


Cíntia Mara said...


I already saw something about this book, looks very good.

Please, if still have time, enter me in your draw.

God bless you!

Anna W. said...

I've heard great things about this book! Please enter me!

Anna W.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book.

Carole said...

I have heard great things about the Love Finds You... line and would love to read Sandra's book. Thank you for the interview and giveaway.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Brenda said...

I would love to read Sandra's book!
Please enter me!

dancealert at aol dot com

Jamaie W said...

Would love a book set in favorite state...not family & I love it there. Please enter me.

hulahawaiimomma @ yahoo . com

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in the drawing,thanks.

kristen said...

Sounds fun!!

Connie E said...

Please enter me. I enjoyed reading the interview!

JakeJonah said...

Great interview! Book sounds awesome!

Please enter me if you don't mind

Hope said...

I'd like to read this book!

Sarah R said...

I love the books in this series. I look forward to reading this one too. Please enter me in the drawing.

Marla said...

Please enter me. Sounds like another great read. Thanks!