The Fourth & Final Chapter of A River Between Them is Live on Wattpad!

The fourth chapter of my historical romance A River Between Them is now live on Wattpad.

To read the story beginning at chapter one, click here.

I’ve enjoyed sharing the parts of this story over the past four weeks and I plan on sharing future works-in-progress and other published stories, so stay tuned.


Chapter Three of A River Between Them is Live on Wattpad

If you’ve been following my blog posts for the past three weeks, then you’ll have noticed that I’m sharing stories on the Wattpad site now.

I was hesitant to join, but now that I have started using Wattpad, I can’t believe I waited so long! I’m really enjoying the community and the sense of “instant feedback” I can get on my writing. In the future I may use it to test out my WIP books or to preview a chapter or two before a book releases.

For now, you can find my historical romance A River Between Them on Wattpad. So far I’ve published the first three chapters. To read chapter three, click here. To start at the beginning and read chapter one of A River Between Them, click here.

Stay tuned, next week I’ll share the fourth chapter and then I’ll be sharing a whole new project on Wattpad in late October-early November.

Chapter Two of A River Between Them Live on Wattpad

Last week, I shared the news that I’m now on Wattpad and am posting the first four chapters from my historical romance novel A River Between Them weekly on my Wattpad profile.

I’ve just uploaded chapter two, which can be read here. To start at the beginning, read chapter one here.

Also, I hope you’ll follow me on Wattpad!

Find Me on Wattpad

Readers can now find me on Wattpad, a website dedicated to connecting readers and writers through sharing written content.

Some authors use Wattpad to test the waters on their WIP, as the site can be a great way to see what stories readers respond to and what types of stories people would rather not see.

I don’t know if I’ll use the site in that way, but I do intend to share a few chapters from some of my self-published stories as a way for new readers to discover my work.

20140505-102801.jpgFor my first Wattpad project, I plan to share chapters 1-4 of my historical romance A River Between Them on Wattpad.  Currently, I’ve uploaded chapter one, which you can read right here.

My plan is to release a new chapter each week, then release a few chapters from one of my other novels. I hope you’ll join me on Wattpad, my user name is AmandaBretz, and leave me feedback on my stories :)

Falling into Creativity

I’ve been so quiet in this space and just about everywhere else. I’ve had what I call a summer of dormancy.

An extra warm summer here in the Northwest made me yearn for the outdoors; we had friends and family visit us; we made a trip back to the Midwest and I’ve had an uptick in both day job and freelance work. All of these are pretty good things, but those factors combined with a feeling of “burnout” made being on the computer the last thing I wanted to do.

Most of my social media profiles and this blog haven’t been updated in at least two months, but that mainly stems from the feeling of burnout I had. The internet can be so busy and overwhelming to me sometimes, and I think when my own life is extra busy my online life goes by the wayside.

I also think over the past several months I needed time to regroup and just lay fallow. Since the beginning of 2014 I’ve written more words, and written more consistently, than ever before. As spring of 2015 approached I noticed a slowing down of my creative process, but I kept trying to force it and push through because I was in the middle of what could literally be the biggest break of my career (more on that in a minute).

After pushing through and putting down over 30k words in a few weeks I just lost my ability to be productive. I worried about it, which made it harder to write, which turned into a vicious cycle.

Fall Leaves

Then one day I was staring out my window, trying to get the impetus to finish the damned story already, and it dawned on me, there’s a season for creativity. Just as a tree doesn’t bear fruit 365 days a year, artists don’t create 24/7, 365.

There’s an advance and retreat to creativity that has to be respected. I didn’t want to admit that to myself, I guess, and I was berating myself for not finishing my manuscript fast enough. For possibly blowing what could be an amazing opportunity, for screwing up my career before it even had a chance to take off.

I blamed my day job, thinking that my place of work was just a “creativity killer”, blamed myself, wondering if I had a self-defeating streak a mile long or if I was one of those people who deep down just feared success.

But no. It’s none of those things. The truth, as it often is, was much simpler. I was just smack-dab in a dormant period of my creative cycle. I’m happy that my ideas–and words–are flowing again and that my characters are talking to me once again.

I have about 12k words to go to finish the manuscript that could change my career–and my whole life. In March I entered a contest held by Harlequin for new authors for their Blaze line. I did not expect to be selected to move on to the second round. The editors saw something in my writing and in my story, and have asked to see the entire manuscript to consider it for a publishing contract!

So, to be in the middle of writing this manuscript and just feel like every ounce of my creativity was zapped was beyond frustrating. It made me crazy! But, the more I tried to force myself to write, the worse I felt.

I’m back working on the story again and am going to give it all I have before submitting to the Blaze editors. I’ll of course keep all my blog readers updated on my progress with Harlequin–and with my writing in general.


El Pueblito Restaurant Review for Boating Times

I have a new freelancing gig, writing restaurant reviews for the Pacific Northwest edition of Boating Times. As a reviewer, I get to scope out delicious dining options for boaters in the Puget Sound area. My first article was recently published and I wrote about El Pueblito, one of my favorite Mexican eateries in Gig Harbor.

El Pueblito Mexican Restaurant

August 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment

Mail AttachmentNestled in the heart of Gig Harbor’s quaint downtown area, El Pueblito Mexican Restaurant serves up delectable Mexican fare. While it is not located on the water, docking is available at Jerisich Dock, a public dock located just 190 feet away from the eatery.

The restaurant has large windows and plenty of tables along them, allowing for harbor views and people-watching. The interior’s colorful atmosphere and large booths offer patrons an inviting and festive experience.

Complimentary chips and salsa are delivered to each table within minutes of being seated. The house-made salsa is delicious with just the right amount of smokiness; it pairs perfectly with the warm, crispy tortilla chips.

The restaurant offers a variety of appetizers. One of the best is the nachos El Pueblito, a mound of chips, melted cheese, beans, and salsa.  It is big enough to share with the whole table. Other options include a Mexican pizza and quesadillas.

Seafood lovers should try camarones apretalados, a dish of bacon-wrapped prawns topped with Monterrey Jack cheese, served with rice, beans, coleslaw salad, and warm tortillas. Of course you can also order Mexican favorites like enchiladas and chimichangas — both are smothered in gooey cheese and provide those classic Mexican flavors and are filled with the patron’s choice of ground or shredded beef, chicken, pork or cheese.Mail Attachment 2

Most main course portions are not small. A bowl of tortilla soup or albandigas, a flavorful Mexican meatball soup, are tasty smaller-sized options.

The eatery offers vegan and vegetarian options such as the seasoned grilled vegetables served with a side of steamed rice and spinach enchiladas topped with cheese and accompanied with rice and beans.

There is a bar helping to quench the thirst you’ll acquire from those spicy dishes. Enjoy a traditional margarita, mojito, or a cold cerveza (beer).

Even though most of the portions are large, save room for dessert. There is a selection of Mexican staples like fried ice cream and flan sure to satisfy your sweet tooth’s cravings.

El Pueblito is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Jerisich Dock has transient slips at no cost and reservations aren’t required.

Review by: Amanda Bretz

El Pueblito Mexican Restaurant

3226 Harborview Drive

Gig Harbor, Washington


Things I Learned by Reading The Art of Social Media

Over the weekend I read The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick,  on my Kindle. I mention that I read this in ebook form only because I missed out seeing a few graphics and embedded screenshots clearly because my Kindle screen shows images like that in smallish grey scale. To get the full effect, I’m going to pick up a paper copy of the book as well.

I don’t consider myself to be a social media newbie by any means, so I was a bit skeptical as to how much I could actually learn. Just to play it safe, I checked it out from my library to see what I could glean from The Art of Social Media.

So, I started reading and right away…cue the DUH moment. This book is an Amazon #1 best-seller for a reason. Of course I learned a ton from it! I definitely recommend it if you’re trying to use social media for marketing or building brand awareness.

I talk about a few of the things I picked up from The Art of Social Media in this audio clip I posted to SoundCloud.


However, if you want to know more, you can do two things:

  1. Read the book yourself! You might take away something totally different from it than I did.
  2. Watch this space. I plan on putting a few ideas I have from the book to use on my blog and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so to get the whole scoop feel free to follow me!