The thing I love most about the last book in my Ward Brothers trilogy is that the farm that Sam works is based on my grandparents’ farm. I actually wrote quite a bit of the story while I was visiting my mother who lives there now. My grandparents moved to the farm when my mom was young and lived there the rest of their lives.
I spent my childhood having sleepovers there with my cousins, going out every Sunday for Sunday dinner and celebrating every holiday and birthday there. We never built a treehouse like Nicole and Sam in His Small-Town Sweetheart but we had a huge boat that sat in the driveway that we played in and fields we ran in.
Sure we did some chores. Everyone helped when it was time to round up the pigs for the sale barn. I’d ride with Grandpa in his huge black truck to the nearby town to get grain. We’d feed the baby animals. Milk the goats and sometimes the cows. (Cows are really quite ornery so us kids generally weren’t allowed to milk them) Work in the garden. Collect the eggs from the chicken coop. Even pluck the chickens (not my favorite part).
I wanted to bring that sense of love and caring that really goes into a family farm to Sam’s story. That sense of community between farmers. My mom’s neighbor comes and plows her field for her. We used to spend summers swimming at another neighbor’s pond.
It was fun to revisit the experiences and bring it to life in a book that hopefully brings it to life for the readers. His Small-Town Sweetheart is out in paperback now and out in digital on February 1st. Is there somewhere special you remember as a kid?
His Small-Town Sweetheart
Twenty years ago, Nicole Baxter left the only home she knew—and the boy who shared all her secrets. Now, with nowhere else to go, she's back in Tawnee Valley to figure out her next move—and cry on her old friend Sam Ward's shoulder. Except the gentle dreamer has become a brooding loner who's gearing up to sell the place he loves most.
When Nikki moved away, Sam lost the best friend he ever had. The beautiful, elegant woman who comes home is a world away from the tomboy with pigtails and skinned knees. And he's no longer the dreamy kid who believes in happy endings. Until Nikki starts to convince him they share the same dream: a future together right here in their own backyard…
Amanda Berry's bio:
Between walking her Jack Russell-beagle mix, petting her two cats and driving her two kids all over creation, Amanda Berry writes contemporary romance novels (thanks to a supportive husband). A Midwest girl stuck in the wetlands of South Carolina, she finds inspiration in her small-town upbringing. A list of her current releases and backlist can be found at amanda-berry.com.