Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Amanda in the Summer by Brenda Whiteside

Folks, have I got a treat for you today. I have Brenda Whiteside visiting and I hope you'll find her as interesting as I do. I snagged this photo of her and her granddaughter off Facebook just 'cause I love it so much. Couldn't you just kiss the sweetness off that baby's cheeks? 

Brenda spends half her time writing stories of discovery and love. The other half is spent tending vegetables on the small family farm she shares with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Together, they’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States - multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents. 

Although Brenda didn’t set out to write romance, she’s found all good stories involve complicated human relationships. She’s also found no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or mystery, all her books revolve around those two facts.
Vonnie, thanks so much for hosting me today. Okay – fire away! I can see you're chomping at the bit to question me.
Oh, you have no idea. LOL What is the story behind your book title?
A couple of years ago, I received an invitation to a wedding on an 8 ½ x 11 inch sheet of paper. The page was folded in such a way that the words “Amanda in the summer” came together. The bride’s name was Amanda and the event was a summer affair. I was fancifully struck by the sound of the accidental string of words. I stuck it away in my idea folder. When I got it out one day, the story flowed. Such fun.

I love when something plucks my fancy like that. So, tell us about your current release…or soon to be release.

Amanda in the Summer released August 27 for a three month Amazon exclusive. The worldwide release date is December 18.

The story is told through letters from three Amandas to Tilly. Tilly is the dearest friend of the first Amanda and the opening letter is dated August 5, 1947. Subsequent letters from her daughter and granddaughter to Tilly span fifty-seven years. There is a secret that you might guess but is only totally revealed in the last letter. This is a story of female friendship and love so be prepared to laugh and cry.

Oh, I do love a good tear-jerker. What are you currently working on?

I have several projects going right now. I’m in the throes of editing The Art of Love and Murder, a novel about…love and murder. I’m nearing completion of the second love and murder novel called Southwest of Love and Murder. Having so much fun writing this one. My heroine, Phoebe, is a free-spirited author falling for a rancher in the middle of the murder mystery. On the back burner, percolating in my head is a sequel to my 1945 historical, Honey On White Bread. Oh and book three in the love and murder series has a few chapters already set to laptop.
Gee, and I thought my mind works on too many storylines at once. Girlfriend, you've got me beat. Now how about I throw some fast questions at you? 

1.   Heels, sneakers or flip-flops? Oh keep me out of heels! Did enough of that years ago. I’m a flip-flop person although I do have to wear sneakers sometimes even if I do feel elderly when I slip them on.

2.   Chocolate, champagne or cheesecake? Can’t I have all three? Whoops, put on five pounds just saying that. I’ll take chocolate.

3.   Any tattoos? No, I hate to say. I don’t show enough skin anymore to make it worthwhile.

4.   Long hair, short hair or weave? Long, mostly all of my life.

5.   Straight stick or automatic? Automatic. I HATE to shift!

Did you bring along a blub to tempt us today? I'll pour a cup of herbal tea to put you in the mood to share.
You know I did...

Three generations of women…and the secret that strengthens their love.

A line of women, all named Amanda, stretches back for generations. Each with her hopes, her joys, her pain—each pouring out her heart in correspondence with a dear family friend who shares their lives, understands their loves, and joins in their sorrows.

But within the correspondence lies a secret. And as the youngest of the Amandas retraces the journey through the years—beginning in post-war America and following through to modern day—the letters reveal, layer by layer, the Amandas who came before her. Soon, the truths and lies hidden in the letters lead her down a path of self-discovery that forges a bond between her past and future.

August 24, 1968

Dear Tilly,
A few days of bliss with no one to talk to but the seagulls. I have you to thank for this. I’m so glad you popped back after Amanda, Robert, and Mother left. The strain I put on all of us while you were here would’ve dragged on for who knows how long if you hadn’t returned. Once again, Tilly, you read the tea leaves and righted things.
My moods have been so ragged of late. Jealousy of all things. Jealous that you could talk to my daughter, get along so lovely with her, which I’ve had difficulty doing these last few months. Jealous of your longer running friendship with Robert than with me. I’m not sure if I was jealous of him or you. You’re both mine. And angry that the two of you are uncomfortable around each other after so many years and not making sense of that. When Robert left, I tried to give him the blue swimsuit you had left behind and asked him to drop in on you to return it. He said no, I could do it when I got
back. This was so unlike him and did more to unsettle me...


Visit Brenda at

She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at

She blogs about prairie life and writing at


Melissa Snark said...


Love the picture of you and your granddaughter. That's a darling looking baby. Good luck with your new release! :)

tweeted and xposted

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Melissa. She is definitely a keeper. And I'll take your good luck wish too!

Alison Henderson said...

Good morning, ladies! Brenda I adore all your photos of Sadi - keep them coming. I've also been inspired by your "grand adventure". Best of luck with AMANDA IN THE SUMMER. It sounds like another keeper.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hi, Alison. Thanks for stopping in and I'll be sure to do that.

Ashantay said...

Great post! Love the photo of your granddaughter. Spoil away! She looks like she deserves every hug and kiss!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Ashantay. She is quite a little personality.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Intriguing post--I want to go find the book! Was it hard to write it all in letters?

Brenda Whiteside said...

Lynn, it was so much fun to write. I was an avid letter writer in my teens. We've totally lost that art nowadays with texting and cells. It actually flowed quite easily. I'd love to write another one like this but we'll see how this one does before I decide. So far, I've got great reviews on Amazon.

Calisa Rhose said...

Sadie is precious, Brenda. I believe I already got this book, and like so many others on my Kindle, I can't wait to read it. It already intrigues me.

Angela Adams said...

Chocolate, champagne or cheesecake? I would want all three, too, Brenda! That precious baby gives new meaning to "pretty as a picture."(smile!).

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hi Angela and Calisa. I know what you mean, Calisa. Those Kindle books can pile up. Exactly, Angela!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks for having me,Vonnie and thanks everyone for checking in. Nighty-Night!