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Amy Andrews on Romance Books and How To Mend A Broken Heart plus GIVEAWAY!

Today I invited Australian Author and long time friend of RBP- Amy Andrews. But she came with a GIFT! And she is asking a question..... What is the purpose of romance books. Are they to entertain us or make us think?

The following is the Dear Reader letter that appears in the front of How To Mend A Broken Heart. This book has caused some chatter about the purpose of romance novels and suggestions that maybe it’s just a bit too dark and gritty. So with Nas’s blessing I’m reposting the Dear Reader letter here so you can judge for yourselves before you buy and read whether it is the right book for you.
Sometimes, as writers, there are just stories we have to tell. And this was one of them. I appreciate that it won’t be for everybody but I need to hope that with love and time even the deepest grief can be overcome. And I believe these love stories – the ones that aren’t easy - need to be told too.
I’d like to stress that Tess is in an abnormally long grieving cycle. She’s stuck. She’s not living, she’s just surviving. This may seem over the top to some people but believe me, while it isn’t the norm, it does happen.
I’d also like to thank my editor, Lucy, who had faith that I could do this heart wrenching issue justice and to thank everyone else for the thought provoking conversations and reviews.
 
 



Dear Reader,
 
The opening scene of How To Mend A Broken Heart came to me in this perfectly formed picture in my mind. I knew little about the woman kneeling over the grave at the time other than she was grieving for her child and that she was very, very broken. I didn’t even know her name! But I knew, after many years of sadness, I wanted her to be happy. To start functioning again.
The book deals with some heavy issues. Issues that, sadly, I have come across in my other life as a paediatric intensive care nurse. Issues that, no matter how hard you try to keep an emotional distance, still touch you on a personal level.
I often wonder what becomes of couples after their child has passed away. When they leave hospital for the last time without their little loved one in their arms. How do they cope with the grief? How do they ever lead a normal life when something so precious and integral to their happiness and identity as a couple has been wrenched away? And in particular how much worse is it when the death is accidental. When for a split section of distraction, a blip of inattention that marks us all as human beings, everything changes. How badly must they want to be able to go back in time, to do over that one moment, to make it all okay?
I also wanted to write a romance that didn’t have a “riding off into the sunset” ending. Re-uniting two broken people was never going to be easy and to give them an everything-is-okay-now future didn’t seem true to life. I wanted to show Tess and Fletch’s love was true but I needed to acknowledge that to make their marriage a success the second time round, they were going to need help. That they were going to have to work at it.
I loved giving these two people their lives back and whilst their story is wrenching at times, I hope I’ve been true to them and their love.
 
I hope you think so too.
Love,
 
Amy

 
 
 
Amy Andrews around the web:
 
Facebook      Twitter      Website 


One commenter will get a copy of HOW TO MEND A BROKEN HEART.

 
 

52 comments:

  1. Wow - sounds like a truly powerful story. Dealing with something THAT devastating has got to be so incredibly hard. Good for you for tackling such an intense issue!

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  2. Hi Jemi,

    It is a powerful story. But I agree with Amy, it is something which happens so it's reality.

    Thanks for coming by!

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  3. I think the purpose of romance books, at least for me, is to enhance the appreciation of life, love, and just being -- and usually there is a winding and/or bumpy road involved.

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  4. Welcome Amy!

    Thanks for dropping in to chat with my friends!

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  5. Hello Laney,

    That is so true! Thanks for swinging by!

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  6. Wow, this story sounds profound. I think there are many people out there who can relate to this. I can tell the book is heart wrenching but sounds like it's also healing, too.

    Best wishes for your success, Amy.

    Thanks for featuring Amy in your post, Nas!

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  7. What a lovely beginning to a story! I spent some time in the NICU and PICU with my babies. It's heart wrenching. This sounds like a great premise for a romance.

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  8. I'm sure this is an excellent book. I'm also sure it took a special writer to pen the story.

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  9. Hi Nas and Amy
    This appears to be a story that tugs at those heart strings but having worked in NICU I know that it's such a reality. Thanks Amy for another great read and all the best with the book.
    Hugs
    Your Super Fan
    Kamy

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  10. That premise gave me goosebumps. The raw pain and the strain placed on a marriage is gutwrenching. Capturing it in a book must have been too. I bet it left you totally wrung out, Amy. Thanks for welcoming me in, Nas.

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  11. I'm going to have to stop reading that darned letter and reviews on this book. I tear up every single time. Curse you Amy for finding a sore spot in my heart and lancing it. Read this book. It's amazing. Worth every tear and ache in the heart.

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  12. Hello Lyn,

    Yes, this story is heart-wrenching but ultimately uplifting.

    Read my review here: How To Mend A Broken Heart

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  13. Hi Emily,

    So sorry to hear that you had to spend time in PICO with your new baby. Hope everything is okay now?

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  14. Hello Carol,

    Yes! That! This special writer pushed the boundaries when she penned a heroine in her thirties and then again when she wrote about mental illness, so you get to see Amy Andrews is a very versatile writer and sge writes great stories!

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  15. Hi Kami,

    Thanks for coming by!


    Hello Clare! Yes, it is a gut-wrenching story as halfway through I had to stop and regroup.

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  16. Hello Fiona,

    You're so right! I started tearing from the first page when Fletch silently watches her at the graveyard.

    This story touches on many levels. Then there is the parkinson's disease it skims about which also brings us information about it.

    Thanks for swinging by!

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  17. OOh I love that Laney - that they enhance life. So true!

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  18. It is heart wrenching Lyn but as I said in my intro, I think ALL kinds of love stories need to be told, even the hard ones :-)

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  19. Hey Emily - hope all is well with your babies now. Hugs.

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  20. Hi Carole - yes, you're so right, a very special person :-)

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  21. Hey my super fan - thanks for stopping by. NICU nurses are THE best!

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  22. Hi Clare - the emotion in the story did get to me. I think having seen the reality of it a little too much didn't help.

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  23. LOL Fiona. I loved your review of this book and its exactly what I'm talking about. The conversations have been wonderful!

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  24. The death of a child must be one of the most devastating things a couple can go through. But if both are willing to work together on their healing, then happiness can come back again. Kate Walker says that the wonderful thing about being a romance novelist is that your stories can actually give people hope. She is so right. With the right writer and treatment, this story can work.

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  25. Hi Maria,

    *nodding here and agreeing with you completely!*

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  26. I'm nodding too Maria. I wanted there to be hope for Tess and Fletch,

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  27. Amy, I definitely understand writing the story on your heart. I'm sure if readers understand what you're trying to do from the blurb, then they'll also be willing to take the journey with your characters. The book does sound very different from the usual romance novel.

    Hey, Nas! Hope all is well.

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  28. i think it's great if book can entertain or make me think and imagination what is the next even the book had been written : the end :)

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  29. Hi JL. Yes, it is different from my other romances!

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  30. Sounds like a really touching story!

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  31. Wow, I almost have tears in my eyes just from reading that letter. It must be such a devastating thing to lose a child. I'm sure it was a tough book to write.

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  32. Doesn't even gear thinking about does it, Susan?

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  33. Yay for another Aussie author!
    How to Mend a Broken Heart sounds like a wonderful read. I don't mind that it covers some more 'gritty' issues.

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  34. Sounds like an incredibly powerful story. Well done for taking it on.

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  35. I admire the way you could go to the place you had to go to to examine that level of tragedy.

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  36. The story sounds wonderful. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

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  37. I think there's nothing wrong with having deep issues in a romance. Amy's hard experiences with grieving parents probably helped shape her story into something even more special.

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  38. I love the idea of a letter to the reader, rather than, say, a prologue.

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  39. Hey Lynda. Yes us Aussies are everywhere, aren't we?

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  40. Thanks Leslie. Deep emotional research is always much harder than the nuts and bolts type methinks.

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  41. Hi Medeia. Thanks for dropping in.

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  42. Hi Theresa. Yes I definitely drew on my nursing experience to write this story.

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  43. Hi Deniz. I hadnt quite thought of it like that but I like :-)

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  44. And the winner is....Jemi!!!
    Contact me via my website Jemi and I'll get your prize to you.
    Thanks everyone for all your lovely thoughts and comments!

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  45. Thanks so much Amy and Nas!!! You made my day, ladies! :)

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  46. I really like the sound of this one! I actually like that it is powerful and deep. I am curious to know more about. Also- I am so happy for Jemi that she won. Lucky lady! :)
    ~Jess

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  47. Oh my this books sounds really really awesome ! Thank you for bringing Amy to the blog and thank you Amy for the lovely post and for the awesome giveaway !

    Desere

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  48. Hi Amy - coming in really late here but just reading your post made me cry. This sounds like an amazing story!! Can't wait to read it.

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