I am delighted to join in with Zoe in her fabulous Author Take Over, a fabulous idea that allows us readers to showcase some of the wonderful Authors out there. Over the past few days Zoe has been sharing reviews and posts for Amanda James and you can check out the posts on her blog at – Zooloo’s Book Diary.
I have read a few of Mandy’s books and the first I read was Behind The Lie.
Here is a snippet of my review…
Well what a book, I do admit to falling for the synopsis, and it did it’s job and did not disappoint. We meet Holly and Simon West, husband and wife and expecting twins. But they only take their daughter Iona home, their son, who was to be called Ruan, didn’t survive. Holly has had a troubled past, and when she starts to think and then believe Ruan is actually alive her husband and her best friend Demi start to believe her past is not quite her past and believe she is suffering from depression, well some people try to be supportive.
There are a quite a few characters in the story that have known Holly and Simon before they were married, and they have different opinions that are expressed throughout, this gives a really good background to the characters and the dynamics between them. The plot was good, but I do admit to being correct on a few thoughts as I was reading, but to be perfectly honest that really didn’t matter as I was more interested in how Holly dealt with the situations as they arose. It was Holly on her journey that was intriguing me as well as my being a witness as she transformed from a self doubting, beholden to her husband type of woman, to a strong, resilient woman who is willing to put her family first regardless of the risk. There were also a few things I didn’t expect and and a couple of great twists. It was all told at a good pace that kept me frantically reading until the last page.
After I had finished this book I knew I would be back to read more, so the next one was Another Mother…
Her is part of my review…
Lu is your average almost 30 something, dead-end job and a bit of a loner, she is also adopted. After the recent death of her adoptive mother she decides this is the thing she needs to give her the push to actually find her birth mother. When contact is made, Lu makes the decision to make the visit to meet her mother in Cornwall. Things seem to go well and a tentative relationship is struck between mother and daughter. As they get to know each other a little more the cracks start to show.
This starts off more like a contemporary fiction and then slowly it morphs into an absolutely amazing psychological story…this story changes, it steps up a gear and the depth the plot is revealed. Here I think the author has done a great job of building up the thought of something not being quite right and when the twist finally shows itself bloody hell was I shocked, really didn’t see it coming and caught me completely unawares.
By this time I was hooked on this author and the next book I read was The Calico Cat…
Now this is my favourite book (so far..) and here is what I thought… Oh this is a book that I adored and so very different to the couple of other books I have previously read by this author. Set in beautiful Cornwall I got to meet Charlotte, or Lottie as she prefers to be called, and learn of her story. She tells of her family life from a teenager to present day. There have been changes, teen rebellion but also of a dramatic change in her family that still has a hold over her and her feelings. Lottie is not quiet or timid, she is quite vocal in her beliefs and extremely principled with a very matter of fact way in her conversation and thoughts, with an interesting way of voicing her opinion. I would say she is the sort of person that would be very easy to misunderstand, but that is the way she is and it is quite refreshing.
This is a gentle amble around the Cornish coastline and also Lotties life, it mixes elements of the dramatic landscape and personal heartache with hope and moving forward, with new starts and beginnings. The plot and story of how Lottie and those in her life has been done in a wonderful way that gradually drew me in. I wanted to know more about her and why she reacts the way she does, it held my attention and I loved being immersed in her world for the few hours it took me to read it.
I have read a few more of Mandy’s books and come back tomorrow and I will share the rest that I have read.
Amanda has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published, given that she left school with no real qualifications of note apart from an A* in how to be a nuisance in class. Nevertheless, she returned to education when her daughter was five and eventually became a history teacher. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true when her first short story was published. Amanda has written many short stories and has six novels currently published.
Amanda grew up in Sheffield but now has realised her lifelong dream of living in Cornwall and her writing is inspired every day by the dramatic coastline near her home. She has sketched out many stories in her head while walking the cliff paths. Three of her mystery/suspense novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie. Rip Current is also set in Cornwall and will be published by Bloodhound Books in April 2018.
Amanda, known to many as Mandy, spends far more time than is good for her on social media and has turned procrastination to a fine art. She can also usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx