Amanda Bretz is the contemporary romance author of 'Finding Justus' and 'Love in Greener Pastures'. She is currently hard at work on her third book, with the working title of "Love, Simplified."
She holds a degree in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida, and has worked as a journalist in both print and online news media.
When not writing, Amanda can be found whipping up something delectable in her kitchen, spending time in nature or getting lost in a good book.
Amanda resides in the Midwest with her husband, Brandon.
'Love in Greener Pastures':
Recent college graduate Gabby Richards has big plans for her life. At the top of those plans is landing a job for a major magazine in Chicago. While Gabby is busy mapping out her career as a journalist, her father gets seriously injured. Upon hearing of his accident, Gabby drops everything, including her career plans, and heads home to her small, rural town of Clear Lake, but vows to return to Chicago as soon as her father is well.
Suddenly Gabby is catching up with old friends, dealing with small town gossip and facing parts of her past she’d rather forget. Luckily, she meets the town’s hunky mechanic, Jake Harrison, who helps Gabby confront her past and tries to help her see she can have a career in Clear Lake. Will Gabby realize she can be a successful journalist anywhere? Or will she leave Clear Lake in pursuit of life in greener pastures?
Read an excerpt from 'Love in Greener Pastures'
“What’s wrong city girl, can’t keep up?”
The two of them, plus Smudge, were enjoying a Wednesday evening run. Gabby was beginning to feel a slight stitch in her side, she hadn’t ran this far in years, but she’d be damned if she let Jake know. Determined to push through it, she gritted her teeth and kept running.
“I can…keep…up,” she said breathlessly.
Jake spoke a soft command to Smudge and slowed to a brisk walk.
“Oh well, I guess we’ll have to just walk the rest of the way. Look at Smudge, she’s worn out. She can’t keep up with you, you know?” Jake said to Gabby.
“Weakling,” Gabby said around a gasp as she bent at the waist and held her right side.
“That’s no way to talk about yourself, Gabby. You’re just out of practice,” Jake said with a wink.
“I was joking about your dog, and you know it,” she told him as she gave him a playful shove. “Thanks for the confidence builder anyway.”
“I was being truthful. I could tell you’ve had a stitch for the last few blocks, but you’re too proud to say anything. You can’t fool me.”
Gabby, who was still panting for air, decided it was foolish to pretend she was anything but out of breath and tired. She made a bee line for a soft patch of grass and collapsed on the ground in a heap. As she stared up at the mass of branches she recited one of her favorite lines from Frost’s poem Birches. The line about swinging on tree limbs always reminded her of childhood.
“I love Robert Frost,” Jake said as he reclined on his elbows beside her.
“You read Frost?” Gabby asked, looking at him puzzled.
“Yes, you seem surprised. He was my mom’s favorite poet, she used to read his poetry to me a lot growing up,” he said quietly. “Birches is one of my favorites.”
“Mine too,” she said with a whisper. “There’s something about that poem that can always take me back to a more carefree time in my life. I know that sounds kind of cheesy.”
“It’s whimsical,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Yes, it is. It’s more than that though. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always been drawn to that poem ever since I first read it in high school.”
“You know what I’m drawn to?” Jake asked as he rolled onto his side to face her. “You and those luscious lips,” he said just before he planted several sensuous kisses on her mouth. He reluctantly released his hold on her mouth and lightly stroked her jaw as he gazed into her eyes.
As she stared back into his blue gaze, she could swear she felt her heartbeat get erratic. She remembered why she had plopped down in the grass in the first place and she realized the stitch in her side had gone away. Gabby had caught her breath and was rested enough to begin walking again, but she didn’t dare say anything. She didn’t want to ruin this amazing moment with Jake. A part of her thought she could lie in this spot with him forever.
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Official website: http://www.amandabretz.com/