Spotlight ~ Life of Privilege by Amanda Bretz



Does Our Identity Come from Within?

Thank you so much for having me as a guest today here at Girly Girl Book Reviews, I’m very excited to be here!

Does the sense of identity come from within or others’ perception of us? In a way I think it can be both.

I’ll give an example from my professional experience. I have a degree in Communication and during my senior of college I had to obtain an internship as part of my program. I planned to pursue journalism when I graduated so I interned for a local paper.

Going into the situation I was completely green, aside from writing a few pieces for my college newspaper and basic reporting classes I had never written a real newspaper article before. The editor at the newspaper where I served my internship was a seasoned pro and one of my first assignments he gave me was to write a feature article on an individual on staff at my university. I found a person who I thought would make an interesting write-up, interviewed him, wrote the article and turned it into my editor. He was pleased with my work and gave me ample praise, from that point on until the end of my internship whenever a feature article needed to be written, I was almost always assigned the task.

That first editor shaped the future of my journalism career by repeatedly assigning me feature articles and by telling me again and again that I write features very well. Since my internship I’ve been known as a features reporter, that’s the majority of the type of writing I’ve done and it has served me well – since feature reporters tend to be something that newspapers of all sizes need. Still, I’ve always wondered would I have discovered that if I’d gained an internship at a different newspaper and worked with a different editor? There’s no way to know for sure, but I do think that I have a knack for feature journalism so I would’ve ended up doing that regardless as to where I worked.

The idea that identities are shaped by external forces, such as someone else’s perception of us is something I wanted to explore in my latest release . The novel is the next installment of Totally Bound’s best-selling imprint What’s Her Secret, which are contemporary stories that revolve around a woman with a secret. In the book, Katherine Dawson is a judge on a hit reality TV competition and she’s also one of the biggest names in the fashion industry. Since she was born into this glamorous life of privilege, she doesn’t know any other version of herself. Her entire identity has been shaped by other people, mainly her mother and the media. It takes some pretty extraordinary circumstancesshe leaves her groom-to-be at the altar and flees her life in Manhattan to hideout in Seattlebut eventually, she’s able to form an identity that she feels like is more representative of the person she is inside.

I’ve brought an excerpt with me to share and in the following scene Katherine has just ran out of the church on her wedding day. Her actions have caused a media firestorm and she’s at her penthouse trying to decide what she should do with her life. All she knows at this point is that she can’t continue on her current path: she lives with crippling anxiety, she doesn’t know who she is or what she wants and she’s unhappy with almost every aspect of her life.


Excerpt from :

God, I need my pills.

Her eyes flew open at the thought, and she started to cry. Not just cry, but weep uncontrollably. Heavy sobs racked her body and it pissed her off. This was not the kind of person she wanted to be. Just another poor little rich girl plagued with anxiety and popping pills to help deal with shit. Adrenaline, anxiety and anger all blended as one in her veins. Frustrated, she let out a wail and a curse. Getting some of it out helped a little.

Her heart rate slowed, her breathing became deeper. Opening her eyes, she tried to find a focal point. Her gaze came to rest on the photograph of her and her grandma in Seattle. That had been one of the best trips of her life. She tried to take herself out of the painful and stressful events that had transpired today and go back to that time, focusing, on the emotions and experiences she’d had nearly ten years ago.

She breathed deeply and remembered the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Smiling, she thought of the way the sun had bounced off the waters of Puget Sound. Or the sounds of chatter around her, while she, her grandmother and her grandmother’s friend Marie had shopped at Pike Place Market. Suddenly it all made sense to her.

The anxiety attacks, the need to escape her impending nuptials with Nathan, the desire to run away? It was because she didn’t belong herenot just in New York City, but in her life, in the role she’d been given as Katherine Dawson, heiress to one of America’s largest clothing dynasties. Socialite extraordinaire. Reality TV star. Fashion plate.

That wasn’t her. It wasn’t who she really was. She’d become a character, shaped and molded by the media and her mother.

But if that wasn’t her, then who was she?

What did she want? What did she like? What were her interests? At age twenty-six she should be able to answer such questions without hesitation, but she couldn’t.

Blurb for :


Living the life of a celebrity isn’t always as perfect as it seems.

Katherine Dawson was born into a life of privilege as the heiress to an apparel dynasty. Between judging a reality TV competition for budding fashion designers and having been the face of her family’s clothing line for most of her life, she’s one of the biggest celebrities in her field.

When she becomes engaged to up-and-coming television producer Nathan Taylor, she appears to have it all. To any outsider, she has a picture-perfect life, so when Katherine leaves her groom-to-be at the altar and disappears, the tabloids are full of speculation over her sudden departure.

Fleeing New York to hide out in Seattle, she quickly finds that living the life of an heiress in hiding isn’t as easy as she thought, especially after she meets a magnetic writer named Royce Reynolds. In her new life on the West Coast, she struggles to keep her anonymity, and experiences a relationship with a man who wants her for the person she is, not the celebrity she used to be.


Like the sound of Life of Privilege? Buy it .

About Amanda Bretz:



In addition to being the author of contemporary, historical and erotic romance, Amanda Bretz holds a degree in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. She is a multi-published author of several books and short stories and has worked as a journalist in both print and online news. Amanda writes romantic stories with happy endings and invites readers to experience the rush of falling in love.

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.

She resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Brandon.


Enter Totally Bound’s Life of Privilege competition for the chance to win a copy of Life of Privilege as well as three more titles from the What’s her Secret? Imprint.



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