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Howdy, reader friends! I’m delighted to introduce y’all to today’s featured author. I’ve been looking forward to becoming better acquainted with this new-to-me author!
About the Author
Brandy Bruce is a mom, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who really loves dessert. She’s the author of the novels Looks Like Love, The Romano Family Collection, and The Last Summer.
Having worked in the publishing industry for more than a decade, Brandy currently works as a freelance book editor, when she’s not writing novels!
Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in the beautiful state of Colorado. She’s very active online and she loves to hear from readers. Sign up for Brandy’s newsletter via her blog!
What is one of your favorite holiday traditions?
Brandy: I basically love to celebrate anything and everything! I think I’m going on seven years now of hosting an ornament exchange party sometime in the month of December. This is something I absolutely look forward to every year.
Whether the group is large or small (some years everyone travels for Christmas it seems, some years everyone is in town!), I invite my girlfriends over for a Christmas party and everyone has to bring an ornament to exchange.
Some years this has looked like an evening get together where we share stories about favorite holidays. Some years I’ve hosted a potluck brunch (complete with mimosas of course!). And other years I’ve hosted a holiday tea party. And always we either exchange ornaments or make them!
Beth: Sounds so fun! Like a cookie exchange without the calories!
What is one of your all-time favorite books?
Brandy: Hands down, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows undid me. By the time that book released, I was so invested in the characters that I read the story on the edge of my seat, terrified of what might happen to any of my favorite people.
J.K. Rowling had me crying just from the dedication! I read the whole book in one sitting (starting at midnight of book release date, no less!). And I found it to be utterly heart-wrenching and satisfying, with JK’s touch of humor where we needed it.
I’ve read it multiple times since then. To me, it was the perfect ending to that special series.
Beth: I actually haven’t read Harry’s stories myself but my daughter certainly enjoyed them!
Name your favorite fictional couple.
And Jamie and Claire absolutely have a not-so-linear love story. Together. Apart. Fate is against them. Fate is for them. Choices, choices! They are both flawed in real ways.
But their relationship, to me, looks like a picture of real marriage and sacrifice and love and even disappointment. (All while in a time travel novel! Ha!)
Beth: I love love stories!
Favorite character name
Brandy: The first name that popped into my head is Tandelyn! This is funny to me because she’s almost a non-character in my book Looks Like Love. In that story, she’s only mentioned as the new girlfriend of our main character Kasey’s ex.
I remember loving that line as I wrote it. Kasey thinks to herself, Tandelyn? What kind of name is that? It sounds like a flower. Or a weed.
Beth: Very pretty name… and yes, flowery even!
Favorite childhood series.
Brandy: Well, as a small child, I loved the Berenstain Bear books. My mom would read them to me and my sister. We’d be so excited every time a new one came out and my mom would buy it for us!
I have a huge stack of those books (from childhood and beyond) that I now read to my own children. In fact, when I was pregnant with my third child, Lily, I read the Berenstain Bear book Baby Makes Five to my kids. In that book, a new sister is born to the family and her name is Honey Bear.
We decided after reading that story that we’d call our new baby Honey Bear until we chose a name for her. So, throughout my third pregnancy, we all referred to the baby as Honey Bear! I confess, Lily is two now, but when I go to get her out of her crib in the mornings, I still call her ‘Honey Bear.’
Beth: How sweet! We did “baby in the belly” nicknames, too!
Tell us about your latest release
Brandy: My novel The Last Summer released this summer and I’m so excited about it! The story first came to me during my freshman year of college. It’s been rewritten several times since then, but the original concept never changed.
It’s a story of seven friends—twentysomethings—as they navigate life and love during a season of change. There are themes of friendship and grace and acceptance that I hope resonates with readers.
Because the story has been with me for so long, it’s extra special to me. And now to have it out there, it’s almost surreal! I’m so thrilled, and I hope people will dive in and get to know these characters.
Beth: I haven’t had a chance to read this story yet BUT some of my bookish friends have given it rave reviews and the first line is a great hook! I’m looking forward to it!
For twenty-something Sara Witherspoon and her group of friends, a perfect Southern summer includes lake-house getaways, wedding planning, outdoor concerts, and a dash of romance. But for these seven friends who love each other like family, this year, summer rolls in with changes for everyone.
Sara’s longtime crush, Luke, has been her best friend for as long as she has been a part of the group. When Luke begins seriously dating another of their friends, Sara’s forced to deal with her hurt and jealousy, while outwardly try to support them both.
While Sara comes to terms with her own heart and her friends’ relationships, an unexpected handsome pilot from North Carolina and an old flame are thrown into the mix. Knowing her heart suddenly becomes much more complicated.
But as time unfolds and friendships begin to unravel, Sara and the others are presented with the reality of what a season of change does to old friendships and new love interests.
Does growing older mean growing apart?
What are you working on now?
Brandy: I’m actually working on a follow-up book to The Last Summer. I’m hoping it will be a winter release. Stay tuned!
Beth: Ooooo, exciting! Thank you for sharing some of your favorites and your book news with us, Brandy!
Brandy Bruce has a copy of The Last Summer for one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader!
What does YOUR perfect summer look like?