Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Amanda Barratt & My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York

January 5, 2018 Amanda Barratt, Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, historical, romance 92

Please join me in welcoming Amanda Barratt back to the blog! Today we’re celebrating her DEBUT NOVEL!!! Cue the confetti and fanfare 😀

ECPA bestselling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story – a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes inspirational historical romance, penning stories that transport readers to a variety of locales – from the sweeping coastline of Newport, Rhode Island, to the rugged landscape of Central Texas. Her novella, The Truest Heart, finaled in the 2017 FHL Reader’s Choice Awards.


A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters.


These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England.

Find her on Facebook, and sign up for her author newsletter on her website,

Her debut novel, My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls New York, released January 1, 2018!

Journey now to Niagara Falls, New York, of 1870 where…
She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love.  When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?

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Hi sweet lady! Welcome back to the blog!

Amanda: Peanut butter pie with chocolate sauce on top. 🙂

Carrie: YUM

Amanda: Red roses.

Carrie: So pretty!!

Amanda: Christmas!

Carrie: YES! Me too 😀

Amanda: Just one? This is seriously so hard, as I listen to so many different genres. But Amazing Grace is definitely at the top of my list, so I’ll go with that.

Carrie: If you’re like me, your favorite song changes with different seasons in your life, but Amazing Grace is always at the top of my list. So much special about that song ♥

Q: Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?

Amanda: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade, and Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

Carrie: Oh my goodness – yes! The Hiding Place is one of my enduring very-faves

Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say? 

Amanda: I am very mean to them up until the end of the story, at which point I allow them their happy ending. I’m moody when they’re not cooperating, but blissfully happy when they are.

Carrie: LOL! love it 🙂

Q: Niagara Falls is such a beautiful and awe-inspiring travel destination. What are some stops on your travel bucket list?

Amanda: It would be great to return to Niagara Falls at some point, but my top destinations are: England, Washington DC, England, France, England, Germany, England… can you tell where I reeeallly want to go? 🙂

Carrie: uhhh… I’m getting that you really want to go to England? 😉

Q: Drew Dawson is prepared to cross Niagara Falls on tightrope if it helps him provide for his sister & make a name for himself. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Amanda: I tend to mostly leave the super scary adventures to my characters. 🙂 But I’ve attended multiple writers’ conferences and pitched to agents and editors, despite being terrified. I also recently did a Facebook Live which, for an introvert like me, is pretty adventurous.

Carrie: Oh my gosh – Facebook Live totally counts!! That – and hosting a Facebook party – terrifies me lol!

Q: Between Drew and Adele, which character’s personality do you most relate to?

Amanda: Probably Adele. She struggles with wanting to control her environment and circumstances, something I’ve dealt with. She’s also driven to take care of her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to keep those she loves safe.

Carrie: I think I’m going to like Adele ♥

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York?

Amanda: That we can only find peace when we trust and truly surrender to God. Trying to maneuver circumstances and people to get a desired outcome causes stress and bad choices, whereas a true “handing over the reins” to Jesus, brings the greatest security we can hope to have.

Carrie: Yes, amen! Such a tough thing to do – handing over the reins  – but so very worth it.

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me, my friend! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Amanda: In March, I have a novella releasing in the Barbour novella collection Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers. It’s sort of a sequel collection to Seven Brides for Seven Texans, only this time, the heroes are Texas Rangers tracking a dangerous band of outlaws. Many beloved characters from Seven Brides for Seven Texans have cameo appearances, and I’m super excited for the collection’s release!

Carrie: Texas Rangers? Be still my heart!! SWOON!

Amanda Barratt is giving away a print copy of My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? Have you been to Niagara Falls? If so, what did you love the most?


92 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Amanda Barratt & My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York”

  1. Abby Breuklander

    I haven’t been to Niagara Falls yet, but it’s definitely on my travel bucket list!!

    • Amanda Barratt

      You would LOVE it, Abby! I’d recommend going when the tourist season is low…maybe in the middle of the week, not during peak season. That way there’s less of a crowd. But then, there’s been crowds there since early Victorian times…

  2. Amanda Barratt

    CARRIE!!!!! THRILLED to be joining you today! I totally agree about favorite songs changing with the seasons of life. Right now, I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack…I think it’s helping me forget about the cold. LOL

    • Amanda Barratt

      All of those are great destinations! 🙂 England, particularly (grin).

  3. Susan Dyer

    We life 90 minutes from Niagra Falls and are planning a trip in the spring after all the snow melts! I’m so excited!!

  4. Stacy

    I live rather close to the Falls but don’t visit that often except when I have guests who have never been there.

    • Amanda Barratt

      I hear ya! Playing the tourist, but not in your own town. 🙂 Sometimes though it’s fun to visit those local, familiar places.

  5. Perrianne Askew

    Yes!m we went there for our 25th anniversary. The falls are trulu mesmerizing. Thank you formthe interview and giveaway opportunity.

    • Amanda Barratt

      What a special way to spend your 25th anniversary, Perrianne! I’ve a feeling Drew and Adele might do something like that. 🙂

  6. Debbie Clatterbuck

    Even though I grew up in New York, I never got to go to the Niagara Falls. I wouldn’t mind going someday. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone.

  7. Kay Garrett

    Yes, I’ve been to Niagara Falls. It was on our bucket list of places to go and was the first trip we marked off. Well, we took a 32 day trip going up the whole Maine coast and the New England states to see the fall colors. Neither hubby or I had been the the northeast. Then we went to Niagara Falls before going to Amish Shipshewana, IN and on to friends in St. Louis area before going home. Some ask why 32 days, that is as long as the post office would hold our mail. 🙂

    I loved being able to stay at a very nice motel right by the falls with a casino across the road with great places to eat. We parked and never left the time we were there. The like I loved the most was my first sight of the falls and exactly how beautiful they were. Gorgeous at night lit up in different colors as well. It’s all so breath taking. I took a helicopter ride (my suggestion and I’m terrified of heights) over the falls that was magnificent and I have some gorgeous pictures but I don’t remember the flight at all because I was concentrating on taking photographs. LOL Hubby said that was a good thing since we turned and flipped just about every way imaginable. Love to go back!

    • Amanda Barratt

      I love the story of your helicopter trip, Kay! That sounds like so much fun! I didn’t know the post office would hold your mail for exactly 32 days. 🙂 I guess I’ll have to keep my trip to England under that limit. 🙂

      What a great trip, and what special memories to make with your husband!

  8. Connie Scruggs

    I’ve never been to Niagara Falls. But I would also love to go to England. Castles!!! Need I say more?

    • Amanda Barratt

      Castles! Be still my heart… If/when I actually traveled to England, I will have to be physically dragged away from the castles. 🙂

  9. Jeanne C

    I have not been to Niagara Falls, but would love to some day! We have the very pretty Minnehaha Falls (which is completely frozen now with our cold snap) and Gooseberry falls in Minnesota to tide me over until I can get to Niagara Falls 🙂 Thank you for this fun intereview and for the chance to win this book! It is on my wish list. I have heard great things about this book and new-to-me author!

    • Amanda Barratt

      Thank you so much, Jeanne! Those waterfalls in Minnesota sound so pretty! In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan – I live in the Lower – there’s a beautiful waterfall called Tahquamenon Falls that I’ve visited before. I’d actually like to return there this year, as it’s closer to me than Niagara. Since writing the novel, I’ve become quite fond of waterfalls. 🙂

  10. Paula S.

    I seem to be collecting this line of books. Started out on Mackinac Island with Carrie Fancet Pagels and picked up two more along the way. Would love to add this one! I’ve never been to the Falls or even to New York. But I do love history and used to visit Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, as a kid. Thanks for the opportunity to win this one!

    • Amanda Barratt

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Paula! Carrie’s Mackinac Island book was a treat, since I live only a couple of hours from Mackinac Island. The My Heart Belongs in… series has been spectacular, and I’m thrilled to be representing Niagara Falls in this fun lineup. 🙂

    • Amanda Barratt

      It’s definitely worth a trip… either an actual vacation or a literary one! 🙂

  11. Rita Wray

    No I have never been to Niagara Falls. It is beautiful from what I have seen in pictures.

    • Amanda Barratt

      It truly is, Rita! In person, it’s quite spectacular, with the roar of the Falls, the wind, and the mist in the air.

  12. Winnie Thomas

    I’ve been to Niagara Falls and thought it was beautiful. We took a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat.

    Thanks for the fun interview, Carrie and Amanda. Your book sounds so intriguing, Amanda. I hope I can read it soon.

    • Amanda Barratt

      I’m officially jealous, Winnie! 🙂 I’ve never gone on a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat, though two pivotal scenes in my novel take place on one. I can imagine a modern one is quite different than the Victorian ones I researched. 🙂

    • Amanda Barratt

      It’s definitely an iconic location! I hope you have the chance to visit it at some point.

  13. Kim G.

    I haven’t been to the falls. 😕 this book sounds really good! Thanks Carrie!!

  14. Janet Estridge

    My Niagara Falls visit was over 40 years ago. We spent several days on the Canadian side and walked behind the falls, dressed in yellow slickers.

    • Amanda Barratt

      I’ve actually not visited the Canadian side, Janet. I’ve heard it’s the best view. Next time, I’ll definitely have to cross the border. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  15. MH

    Funny story about Niagara Falls – took our oldest three there when they were really young…..all they wanted to do was watch cartoons in French….and they don’t even remember visiting Niagara Falls now!

  16. Jocelyn

    Ive been to Niagara Falls twice. Once when I was a child, and the second time in 2001 with my own family. I loved visiting the Canadian side and riding Maid of the Mist. The driver was so good. He commented throughout the ride, and then took us right up to the falls and very dramatically stated..

    Ladies and Gentlemen, THIS IS Niagara Falls.

    • Amanda Barratt

      I love the whole “ladies and gentlemen” thing! That’s probably how they used to do it in Victorian times too. The trip of a lifetime!

  17. Pam K.

    I haven’t been to Niagara Falls. I’m really looking forward to Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers if it is like Seven Brides for Seven Texans. That is a terrific novella collection.

    • Amanda Barratt

      Aww, thank you so much, Pam! The Rangers collection is different, in some ways, but we’ve brought back some beloved characters from Seven Brides for Seven Texans, and created some fun new characters as well. I’m excited for its release!

  18. Beverly Duell-Moore

    Oh, I’m from around there! We lived, visited and have family not far from the falls. In fact, we have to go around them to get to our relatives. Just about all my family on both sides are from up that way.

    You’re book sounds really great and I can’t wait to read it!

    • Amanda Barratt

      How fun, Beverly! It’s always great when family lives near a popular vacation destination. That way you can visit them, and then enjoy some sightseeing too.

      I hope you have a chance to read the story! I had a lot of fun writing it!

  19. Martha T.

    I have been to Niagara Falls. I was astonished at how massive and beautiful it is!

    • Amanda Barratt

      It truly is! I had so much fun describing it through my characters’ eyes in the novel.

    • Amanda Barratt

      Hopefully, you’ll have a chance to go at some point. It’s a beautiful locale!

  20. Dianne Casey

    I was at Niagara Falls in October. It is so beautiful and breathtaking. We took the boat ride that goes up to the falls, so we got up close and wet. It’s really worth seeing.

    • Amanda Barratt

      You definitely get wet when you go on the boat tour. It’s totally worth it though, getting so close.

  21. Vivian Furbay

    I’ve never been to Niagara Falls but have seen some beautiful pictures of it. This sounds like a very interesting book.

    • Amanda Barratt

      I love looking at pictures of the Falls, Vivian! While writing the novel, I especially had fun looking at photos from the Victorian era. It was quite a peek into the past to see the same views popular with modern photographers, only in black and white with ladies in Victorian dresses standing next to the Falls. 🙂

    • Amanda Barratt

      I haven’t traveled very many places either. That’s why I love books, because I can travel wherever I want through stories. 🙂

  22. Elmabrooks

    I’ve never been nor have I ever seen the Statute of liberty..hope to one day see them.

  23. Julie Waldron

    I went to Niagra Falls in 1987. The thing I remember most about it is getting very wet.

    • Amanda Barratt

      Getting wet is kind of a free souvenir! It’s about the only free souvenir you’ll find there too. LOL

  24. Becky Smith

    I have not been to Niagara Falls but hope to get there soon. One of our boys went there this year and sent us a video. We could hardly hear what they were saying!

    • Amanda Barratt

      It is quite loud, Becky! It definitely adds to the majestic grandeur of the experience.

  25. Kimberly D Linaburg

    I’ve never been to the Falls, but I would love to go sometime! Thanks for the giveaway! Sounds like a great book!

  26. Caryl Kane

    I haven’t visited Niagara Falls. I’ll visit with Amanda’s book!

    Great interview! Thank you for the chance!

  27. Brittaney B

    I have been to Niagara Falls and it is awe-inspiring. While there my mom and I decided to walk across the grass only to look down and see the entire lawn area was covered in what looked like animal poop. We were halfway across by that point and froze not knowing what to do. A policeman walked by and started laughing at us. He then informed us that they were piles of dirt made by some burrowing animal. Whew!

  28. Kelly Blackwell

    It has been a long time, but I went to Niagra Falls on the Canadian side in 1982 and US side in 1985. It was stunning. I have to say that one of the things I loved was the rainbows in the falls. One of the things that threw me was the smelly raincoats that we had to put on when we went on the little boats out closer to the falls. I’ll be honest, I don’t know which side of the falls I was in when the raincoats were stinky, and that is probably a good thing. 🙂

  29. MomIsReading

    I have been once, many years ago. I just remember it being breathtaking. I would love to go back sometime!

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