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.
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 also working on a new novel with a working title of Winterland which she hopes to send out to agents and publishers in 2019. The writing sample below is from this new title.
Amanda is the author of Surviving Suicide: A Memoir from Those Death Left Behind, published in 2012.
A blank canvas waiting for the painter’s touch - that's what my view reminded me of. An empty void, like my life. I folded my arms, hoping to cling to the slightest bit of warmth I could find.
‘Come on, Kat. Who doesn't like snow?’ Riley said, placing his hand on my thigh.
‘Me. That's who. I don't like snow, and you know it.’
His hand squeezed gently as he smirked. ‘But think of all the fun we can have keeping warm.’
I watched him wiggle his eyebrows and a slow smile crept across my 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 glanced over at me quickly 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 for the first time in over an hour, I felt at ease. Don't get me wrong. I loved nothing more than being swept up in Riley's surprise weekend adventures. Sex, laughter, and always fun, but this time… I shook my head. I couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to think of the snow and the horrors that came with it.
‘How much further?’ I asked, trying to keep the light conversation going. Anything to keep my mind off the white stillness outside my window.
‘Not much further now.’
I reached for the heating controls. My third time to increase the temperature in the last twenty minutes. No matter how high I turned it, I still felt cold. It felt like ice in my bones.
The radio buzzed and my heart raced. ‘What's happening?’ I said in a voice I hadn't heard in years.
‘It's alright, just a little interference. We are 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 really that cold?’ Riley asked.
‘Yes, I'm really that 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 Kat?’
‘I'm cold, I'm tired, and you know I hate the snow. Why you even considered this, I have no idea.’
I could feel the tears welling in my eyes. I was so angry with Riley right now, and all I wanted to do was go home.
‘Hey, don't be like that. It'll be fun, you'll see.’
He sounded sincere. He probably was. I had never told him why I hated the 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 dream. I know it wasn't.
‘Almost there now,’ Riley said, breaking the silence. ‘You see the smoke rising in the distance? That's home for the next three days.’
I followed his eyes and watched as wisps of smoke rose above the treeline.
‘It's a log cabin, all by itself. We’re going to become self-sufficient for the weekend, just you and me.’
He was enjoying this. I could tell by the stupid grin on his face. ‘It better have running water, and a bath,’ I said. ‘Otherwise, I'm going home.’
Riley just laughed. ‘Yes, Kat, we have running water and a bath. We also have a hot tub.’ Riley wiggled his eyebrows again. ‘Remember the hot tub in Rio?’
I smiled. How could I not? The hot tub in Rio. My first time in one and wow was it good. 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. Rio was the first time Riley and I had sex. I'd wanted to wait, make sure things would last before I did anything that I'd regret. Rio was perfect and the hot tub was amazing.
‘You still thinking about Rio?’
‘Maybe we can do Rio all over again tonight?’
‘Maybe.’ I smiled.
The log cabin came into view a few minutes later and I couldn't help but gasp. It was amazing, larger than I anticipated too. Steps up onto a small porch with a swing seat and table and chairs. I suppose in summer this would be perfect for relaxing in the evening. We certainly wouldn't have any use for it now.
‘You wait in the car and I'll go open up,’ Riley said, switching off the ignition.
I watched as he made his way up to the cabin. Most of the driveway had been cleared of snow, but there was still a good twenty metres that we had to walk. Obviously, whoever had been clearing the snow got tired or something. I looked down at the sandals on my feet. Usually, when Riley calls to say be ready in an hour we're going away for the weekend, it means a luxury hotel, or a sun getaway. I wore what I usually do. No wonder I was freezing. My light dress and sandals said sand not snow. It was a good job Riley had thought ahead packing a second suitcase for me. And he bought me a big coat - bright, luminous orange. It still wasn't enough to keep out the cold though and the thought of putting my feet into the snow was killing me.
‘Right, come on, let's get you inside,’ Riley said, pulling open my door.
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 revert to me in February 2019 and I will then publish it when all three books are completed.
I am also working on Nightmare Realities 2 for my US publisher, Handersen Publishing. This is a second collection of short spooky stories for children and will hopefully be published before the end of 2018.
I am also working on my novel Winterland. This is an urban fantasy romance and will finish between 80k and 110k. A brief synopsis of this is below.
A young woman desperately tries to find life after a freak accident in a world champion ski competition leaves her in a coma for three months. Five years later, Kathy struggles to find her place in the world and when her boyfriend Riley takes her skiing for the weekend, her nightmares catch up on her. Kathy must face her fears head on to find the truth about what really happened to her during the three months her body lay unconscious.
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