“When I pick up a book by Sandra D. Bricker, I know I’m going to have to strike a delicate balance between two certain facts,” writes Sherry Ann Braddock from Covington, Kentucky. “#1: I’m going to laugh my rear end off, and #2: the romantic in me is going to be absolutely thrilled!”
Bricker receives a high volume of reader mail via her Web site that reads just like this one. From her first inspirational romantic comedy, Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, unleashed on readers several years ago, she’s been inspiring them to find that same delicate balance between hilarity and a belief in happy endings—A fact which begs the question: What makes Sandra D. Bricker so funny, and yet such a hopeless romantic?
“Ah, the question of my lifetime!” she says with a chuckle. “But the truth is I have no idea why I look at things the way I do. I’m always the person who will find something funny about the most un-funny things, often to the complete horror of the people around me. But my romantic notions… those run deep, all the way back to a goofy teenager growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio.”
Bricker’s “first love” came in the form of a burning crush on a local Cincinnati musician. “His name was Gary, and he was beautiful!” she exclaims. “Dark hair, blue eyes, tall and lean, really funny, and just as sweet as they come. Of course, the fact that he was a musician didn’t hurt either. How romantic is it to look up at a stage from the second row, and feel like every song is being performed just for you? Of course, I didn’t figure it out for a few years that every other girl in that audience felt the exact same thing!”
And when she says those first romantic notions ran deep, she isn’t kidding. “A few years later, I fell in love for real with—guess what!—a musician. Dark hair, blue eyes, tall and lean … Well, you get the idea. And he was the love of my life. He never grew tired of teasing me about my former crush. ‘Look, I know I’m no GAAAARY!’ he would say, just to embarrass me.”
What ever happened to the man she labels the great love of her life? “He died in a car accident some years later,” she says sadly. “I often imagine that we’d still be together to this day if not for that heartbreak. But then experience has kind of taught me that heartbreak so often plants the seeds of deeply-rooted romantic notions.”
Those seeds of romance, whether planted by heartbreak or her penchant for “sappy old Doris Day and Cary Grant movies,” have paid off in a big way for Bricker. She has won multiple awards for her books over the last few years, and she is now considered a “best-selling author” since being named as one of Doubleday Book Club’s Top 100 Best Sellers. In fact, in 2010 alone, the author has created quite a bit of buzz with the release of three romantic comedies, all receiving high acclaim.
The Big 5-Oh! from Abingdon Press greeted the year to stellar reviews and propelled the author to #3 on amazon.com’s list of Most Downloaded; and Love Finds You in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California from Summerside Press brought the author’s passion for the era of classic film to the forefront. But September’s publication of Always the Baker Never the Bride took Bricker to new heights.
“It was released in September,” she says, seemingly a little stunned by the news even now. “It went into its fourth or fifth printing before the end of the year, and Abingdon came back to me and asked me to write three more novels based on those characters and set in the same location. It was just astonishing! … In a great way, of course.”
Always the Wedding Planner Never the Bride, Always the Fashionista Never the Bride, and Always the Baker Finally the Bride will be released by Abingdon Press over the next couple of years, starting this fall.
“This is what I love about Sandie’s books,” says Rachelle Gardner of WordServe Literary Group, Bricker’s agent for the last couple of years. “She is the consummate romantic, and she’s so funny that you always close one of her novels feeling really, really good. There aren’t many authors in the inspirational fiction market these days who offer readers what she does. She sort of re-created a very specific niche, and she continues to fill it with book after book.”
“Sandie is one of the sharpest, funniest people I know,” says David Page, a special friend to the author for more than ten years. “Combine her wit with that deeply romantic thread running through her—the one that makes her cry at commercials or make up a happy ending for a movie before she’s finished watching it—and there you have it. It’s impossible not to see the connection between the person of Sandie and the author of Sandra D. Bricker. There’s really no one like her, and I think her readers sense that in a big way.”
It would appear that Bricker cherishes her readers just as much in return. An avid supporter of organized book clubs across the country, she has recently lent her name (and countless free copies of her books as well) to The Book Club Network, a new organization devoted solely to providing support and fellowship to readers and book club members. “They have created an awesome community,” Bricker says, “where readers can meet and discuss books. Plus—Score!—Fred and Nora St. Laurent run some really fun contests, with great prizes.”
If readers haven’t tried a Sandra D. Bricker novel yet, and they would like to, amazon.com is hosting a full week of FREE Kindle downloads of Always the Baker Never the Bride, starting on Friday, January 7. Hilarity, heart-pounding romance and a happy ending almost certainly guaranteed!