SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW: Wendy May Andrews’s “Sophie”

by | Jun 27, 2018 | spotlight

Welcome to a special Wednesday, friends! I have an opportunity to introduce you to a book series that has so intrigued me that I am on the edge of my seat waiting for you to read about it! Fellow Clean Reads author Wendy May Andrews, whom you may have met here on my blog, is sharing about Book 1 in a new series (which I have already added to my TBR (To Be Read) pile). And the cover is AH-mazing. But I’ll stop and let “introduce” you to Wendy…

Thanks, Wendy, for being on the blog today. First, can you tell us a little about your novel?

Sophie is a prequel to a series I’m launching that will follow a group of young women as they escort a trainload of orphans as they head out west to start new lives. Each book will feature one of the young women and how this adventure leads her to love.

I am intrigued. My first love is clean Historical Romance. Can you share some of the historically significant events behind Sophie?

In the 1850s there were so many orphans due to the high death rate amongst the impoverished of New York. Mr. Charles Brace, a philanthropist who helped found the Children’s Aid Society, believed there’s always room for one more at a farmer’s table. He sent many of these orphans out west to be adopted into new families. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement. The farmers could use help and the orphans could use a family.

I am only somewhat familiar with this tidbit of history. And I’ve seen other novels featuring this piece of history. But I like your concept. Three women escorting a train. And you are sharing their backstories through these prequels. I LOVE this concept. What was the inspiration for Sophie?

A friend was adopting a child and I began researching the history of adoption. It was fascinating!

It is so true that writers find inspiration everywhere! That’s one of the best parts of the process for me. But we know it’s not all fun… What part of the writing process do you dread?

Editing. And blurb writing. Yuck! I love writing the first draft, though, and that makes up for it all.

That is the truth! That blurb writing will give a writer a complex (well more than we already have)!

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?

Well, you’re already a great writer. But always grow. The biggest room is the room for improvement.

Thank you! I hope I do always strive to improve. I ask this question because I know that everyone, no matter where they are in their journey has wisdom I can glean from. I am always looking to learn.

What are you currently reading?

I’m an avid reader so this changes too often to say. But a friend of mine just released the 2nd book in her series. Rebekkah Lee Jenkins is her name and the book is Hope in Oakland. I read it while it was in rough draft form. I’m anxious to read the finished product.

This is maybe the strangest question like to ask, but a lot of non-writers are curious about it… How long does it take you to write a book?

It really depends on what else life is throwing at me but I can write 1000 words per hour of decent first draft writing. Double that for editing. So a 50,000 word book is going to take at least 100 hours. That 100 hours could be all in one month or spread out over six months depending on life…

I like how you put that. Because it’s so true. There is rarely a “normal”. It all depends on that particular season of life.

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’m working on the first draft of the fourth book in the series. I love these books! This is my first truly planned series and I’m really enjoying the process.

Wonderful. I just want to say that this cover is FABULOUS! And I myself am eager to dive in. So, I won’t keep my readers from digging into this sneak peek of Sophie.


the Prequel

Book 1 in the Orphan Train Series

His pursuit of her threatens everything – except her heart:

Sophie Brooks has lived at the orphanage since she was ten years old. Now nineteen, she’s not only a resident, she works there as well. It’s the only true home she can remember and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep it safe.

When her budding relationship with the son of one of the orphanage’s benefactors threatens the charity’s funding, Sophie must choose between her loyalties and her heart.

Enjoy an Excerpt

She was just pinning what she hoped was a gracious smile back onto her face while scanning the gathering crowd, looking for the rest of her group, when her gaze collided with that of the most handsome man she had ever seen. His blue eyes were so clear and bright, they reminded her of the Atlantic on a sunny day. His dark hair was almost black and was clipped short. It looked as though it would have a tendency to curl if he had not controlled its length. His square jaw and high cheekbones should have looked fierce, but his lips quirked up in the corners as though he had a propensity for smiling or laughing. Sophie’s breath caught as she tried to take it all in and once again found herself hoping her mouth wasn’t hanging open.

He strode toward her, as she was frozen in place. There wasn’t much space separating them, so he was beside her in a few paces.

“Good evening, miss. I haven’t had the pleasure of making your acquaintance. I just saw you talking with my mother.”

Sophie blinked and almost turned to look behind her before she remembered that she had just been speaking with Mrs. Rexford. Feeling a blush stain her cheeks, Sophie tried to achieve coherent speech, but nothing intelligent came to mind so she merely offered him a slight curtsy like she had done with his mother.

Buy Links

Available for free through Kindle Unlimited!

$0.99 for Kindle:

More About the Author

I’ve been writing pretty much since I learned to read when I was five years old. Of course, those early efforts were basically only something a mother could love J I put writing aside after I left school and stuck with reading. I am an avid reader. I love words. I will read anything, even the cereal box, signs, posters, etc. But my true love is novels.

Eight or nine years ago my husband dared me to write a book instead of always reading them. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but to my surprise I love writing. Those early efforts eventually became my first published book – Tempting the Earl (published by Avalon books in 2010). There were some ups and downs in my publishing efforts. My first publisher was sold and I became an “orphan” author, back to the drawing board of trying to find a publishing house. It has been a thrilling adventure as I learned to navigate the world of publishing.

I believe firmly that everyone deserves a happily ever after. I want my readers to be able to escape from the everyday for a little while and feel upbeat and refreshed when they get to the end of my books.

Connect with Wendy and her books





"Sign up for my newsletter and get a FREE copy of the Hope in Cripple Creek prequel novella!"

Sara R. Turnquist