Emerging Writer Member Profile
Amanda J Evans
Amanda J Evans is an award-winning Irish author. She writes paranormal and fantasy romance novels as well as children’s stories. Growing up with heroes like Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones, her stories centre on good versus evil with a splice of magic and love thrown into the mix. An early tragedy in her life has also made its way onto the page and Amanda brings the emotions of grief to life in her stories too. Amanda lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.
Her first novel Finding Forever was self-published in January 2017 and went on to win the 2017 Summer Indie Book Awards for Best Thriller.
Amanda's second novel, Save Her Soul, was self-published on the 1st August 2017 and took the Silver Award for Best Paranormal in the Virtual Fantasy Con Award 2017. It also received a 5 Star Readers Choice Review.
Amanda also secured a publishing deal with Handersen Publishing (Nebraska, USA) for a children’s book of short spooky stories, Nightmare Realities, which was released in September 2017 and to date has sold over 200 paperback copies. It is also available in ebook.
Amanda was invited to take part in two themed anthologies for 2018. Breaking the Myth was published on the 25th of January 2018 and an Angels & Magic themed anthology, featuring book 1 of her new Cursed Angels series, was published in June 2018. She has also been invited to take part in two further anthologies which will publish in 2020. One is a Bronte inspired anthology and the other is a sweet romance.
Amanda's latest novella, Hear Me Cry, a fantasy romance retelling of the Irish legend of the Banshee was released on the 16th of May 2018 and went on to win the Book of the Year award at the Dublin Writers Conference 2018.
Amanda is the author of Surviving Suicide: A Memoir from Those Death Left Behind, published in 2012.
Amanda also writes the weekly Really Useful Links column on the writing.ie website and is an active member of the IndulgeInWriting group.
From my novel Winterland - Currently out on Submission with Agents
Chapter 1 - Katherine
A blank canvas waiting for the painter’s touch; a serene landscape. That’s what most people would see from the car window, but not me. I saw blankets made to strangle and flurries of icy shards eager to slice my delicate skin to ribbons. I saw death and it was coming for me.
‘Where are we?’ I asked, wiping the sleep from my eyes.
Riley startled. ‘You’re awake. I wasn’t expecting you to wake until we got there.’
His white knuckles clasped the steering wheel and his usually well-groomed dark curls were a mess. Five years older than me, at that moment Riley looked all his twenty-eight years as he turned his attention back to the road. Surprising how fear can age you. I could have offered to take over the driving, navigate the slippery roads, but I didn’t. The less reminders I had of my past the better.
‘You didn’t answer my question.’ I refused to take my eyes off him. I couldn’t bear to look out the window. The white fields danced to terrifying tunes, harsh notes forcing the wintered blades to sway to a melody that cracked their delicate stalks.
‘We’re nearly there. Another thirty minutes. Why don’t you try to go back to sleep? I’ll wake you.’ Riley was nervous, I could hear it in his voice.
‘I’m not tired, I’m freezing.’ My tone was a little sharper than I’d planned, but claws of dread scraped along my back and I couldn’t help it.
He removed one of his hands from the steering wheel and reached behind. Seconds later a bright luminous orange jacket landed in my lap. ‘Wrap that around you, it should help. I took the liberty of packing a suitcase for you as well. I hope you don’t mind.’
‘Why didn’t you just tell me where we were going. I could have saved you the trouble.’
Riley glanced over at me, his Adam’s apple bobbing. ‘Come on, Kathy. No need to be like that.’
‘It’s snowing!’ I said, motioning to the white mass outside my window.
‘Everyone likes snow?’ Riley said, placing his hand on my thigh.
His hand squeezed gently as he smirked. ‘But think of all the fun we can have keeping warm.’
He wiggled his eyebrows and a slow smile crept across my face. How could I stay mad at that face? ‘There is that, I suppose, but don’t think I’m forgiving you that easily for tricking me into coming here.’
‘That’s my girl. I promise you, by the time the weekend’s over you’re gonna love the snow.’
‘I wouldn’t go that far, but I am dying to see how you get back into my good books.’
Riley smirked before turning back to the road. ‘It’s more than your good books I plan on getting into.’
Swatting him on the arm, I laughed, and the claws digging into my back released.
‘Where are you taking me anyway?’ I asked, trying to keep the light conversation going.
‘Not much further now. All will be revealed.’
I reached for the heating controls. The car was freezing or maybe it was the ice lodged in my bones.
The radio buzzed and my heart leapt. ‘What’s happening?’ My voice - one I hadn’t heard in years trembled.
‘It’s alright, just a little interference. We’re in snow country now. A little radio silence is to be expected.’
Typical Riley, he didn’t take anything seriously. Snow country indeed. If he really knew about snow country, he’d be panicked too. I rubbed my arms, trying to get some heat into them.
‘You cold?’ Riley asked.
‘Yes, I’m cold. You think I’m rubbing my arms, trying to get the blood flowing for the fun of it?’
‘Jeez, someone really did forget their happy pills this morning. What’s gotten into you Kathy?’
‘I’m sorry. I’m just cold, and I hate the snow.’
Tears welled in my eyes. I was so angry with Riley right now, and all I wanted to do was make him turn the car around and take me home.
‘Hey, don’t get upset. It’ll be fun, you’ll see.’
He sounded sincere. He probably was. I’d never told him the reason I hated snow. Never told anyone, besides the doctors. They all thought I was mad - a psychotic episode they’d said. They were wrong. I know what happened to me. It wasn’t a delusion. I sucked in a deep breath to calm myself. If I wasn’t careful, Riley would think I was mad too. I decided to take his advice and try to sleep – even close my eyes - anything to stop me panicking and snapping at him. It wasn’t like me to behave this way, not anymore, and if I wasn’t careful, Riley would ask a lot more questions than I was prepared to answer.
‘Almost there now,’ Riley said, breaking the silence after about twenty minutes.
I opened my eyes and yawned.
‘You see the smoke rising in the distance? He motioned to his left. ‘That’s home for the next three days.’
I followed his gaze and saw wisps of smoke rising above the treeline.
‘It’s a log cabin, all by itself. We’re going to become self-sufficient for the weekend, you and me. A little similar to when we visited Lake Mura in the spring.’
He was enjoying this. I could tell by the stupid grin on his face. ‘I hope it has running water, and a bath,’ I said. ‘Otherwise, I’m going home.’
Riley laughed. ‘Yes, Kathy, we have running water and a bath. We also have a hot tub.’ Riley wiggled his eyebrows again. ‘Remember the hot tub in Castle Rock?
I smiled. How could I not? The heated water, the bubbles rising around me, and Riley.
‘That’s my girl,’ he said, placing his hand on my knee. ‘Think of what fun we can have this time. We’ve learned a few tricks since then.’
I laughed. We sure had. Castle Rock was the first time Riley and I had sex. I’d wanted to wait, make sure things would last before I did anything I’d regret. It was perfect, and the hot tub was one of the big highlights.
‘You still thinking about Castle Rock?’
‘Hmmm,’ I said, bringing myself back to the present.
‘Maybe we can do it all over again tonight?’
‘Maybe,’ I smiled.
I am currently working on The Cursed Angels book 2. Book one has been completed at 40,000 words and is included in the Angels & Magic Anthology published in June. Rights reverted to me in February 2019 and I am making it available publicly via Wattpad while I decide what to do with it.
I have completed Nightmare Realities 2 for my US publisher, Handersen Publishing. This is the second collection of short spooky stories for children and will hopefully be published before the end of 2019.
I am currently querying agents for my novel Winterland. This is an 86k fantasy romance. My one sentence pitch is: Katherine Prendergast, champion skier with a fear of snow, must outwit death and reclaim her stolen memories to discover the identity of her mysterious protector.
A sample blurb is included below.
Katherine Prendergast was tipped to be the world number one ski champion at eighteen, but a freak accident left her in a coma for three months and a fear of everything she once loved. Five years on she struggles through her mundane existence, longing for what she can never have again.
A weekend away with her boyfriend Riley awakens her terror once more as she is confronted with her nightmares and snow. There’s also the mysterious Jared, a name scribbled in her forgotten journals, a man who seems so familiar.
With Death hot on her tail, a boyfriend who’s determined to get her to ski, and Jared who claims to be her protector, can Katherine piece together the missing details before it’s too late? Will she discover who hides behind death’s mask and why Jared risked everything to save her?
The second time around there’s a lot more at stake.
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