Welcome to Amanda Ward, who's here to answer my nosy questions and to tell us more about Without Saying A Word, which, yes, you guessed it, is a story about a male virgin.
Great to have you here, Manda!
Great to have you here, Manda!
Thank you Doris for having me here. I'm Amanda Ward and I have a novel out with Books To Go Now titled Without Saying A Word.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
A. Sure, lets see. I live in Bedfordshire in England. I'm a full time mum, wife, reader, author, book addict and cat lover. Also a major procrastinator. I adore Doris Day films, have recently discovered that I cannot guess the murderer in any Castle episode, and am a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie and of course Dr Who. Big all round geek really. I also love to cook as Doris has been on the receiving end of some rather expansive lunches.
Q. What made you write ‘this’ story?
A. I have always wanted to read a romance with the hero as a virgin. As I've been getting older (41), I find myself straying away from books with 20 something year olds. I couldn't find any, so I decided to write one myself. Here we are two years later and Without Saying A Word is the type of novel I personally would like to read. Just hope other readers like it too.
Q. Tell us about your cover.
A. The cover is seriously beautiful. I asked for the Cumbrian Moors with clouds swirling around, a few sheep and a couple on a mound of earth. This is exactly what the company sent me. I love the expression on his face. As if she is the only woman in the world. Laura's face is directed to the sun, soaking in the warmth.
Q. Describe a typical day’s writing for us
A. There isn't one. I am in a routine with the children. So until August I have 2 1/2 hours to myself Monday - Friday. I think for me, when the mood strikes, and the kids and hubby are quiet, then I can write like the clappers. Weekends are spent with my writing T-shirt on, upstairs in the bedroom. Earplugs in and hubby downstairs with kids. That would be ideal, however....that is a rare occurrence.…. Strangely enough as is peace and quiet in the house.
Q. What inspires you?
A. Now that's a good question. Random things I guess. Memories from the past, films I've seen. Even a quip from my husband or children can send a story running at a hundred miles an hour. Too fast for me to get to a notebook and write it down.
Q. If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
A. I am restarting an Open University course in October with a view to a History Degree. I have always loved walking around stately homes and castles, so I would love to be an archivist, historian or maybe a tour guide once the children are in their late teens which gives me at least another decade to learn. However raising children and trying to be a wife and mature adult is more than enough vocation for me.
Q. Do your characters ever surprise you?
A. Yes they do. I do write out ideas and the characters names. Then from there I tend to let the characters speak for themselves.
Q. What could not do without when you’re writing?
A. Peace and quiet. No interruptions and copious amounts of tea and shortbread biccies!
Q. What words of wisdom do you have for the aspiring authors out there?
A. Don't give up and for heaven's sake do not let yourself procrastinate.
Q. Where do you see yourself in ten year’s time?
A. Alive with a few more grandchildren and able to immerse myself in history and romance without the cry of "Muuuuum" every so often.
Q. Do you have a favourite quote?
A. There are a few. However my favourite is from Anne of Green Gables the Sequel. Anne is on the bridge with Gilbert Blythe at the end of the film and she says to him.
"I went looking for my ideals outside of myself. Discovered it's not what the world holds for you, it's what you bring to it. The dreams dearest to my heart are right here"….
Q. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
A. All the time....and I get so frustrated and angry with myself.
Q. What other books can your readers look forward to?
A. Secret Cravings Publishing are releasing The MisAdventures of Pann Haggerty in late August this year. I am currently working on a series for Books To Go Now and the second in the Pann Haggerty novels. Currently in progress I have written three chapters of a 20k novella called Seducing Seth.
Q. And finally can you share an excerpt with us?
“Ah, you found my family secret.” Rhean nudged Laura’s arm in a playful manner.
Laura was confused, yet intrigued at the same time.
“What family secret?”
“That Leightons marry for love and not fortune,” he confided in a stage whisper and chuckled. “Can't you tell by the way they are looking at each other?” Rhean put his arm around her under her breasts and held her tight. “You have heard the story about how my parents met?”
Laura shook her head.
“My grandparents own a small bed and breakfast in Ireland. Dad was over there on business and, as he always said to us, it was love at first sight. It just so happened to be when Mum served his breakfast. He used all his Cumbrian charm to persuade her to join him and since that day, they’ve always breakfasted together. Of course, the Irish influenced our names too.” He smiled and pulled Laura closer into his embrace, and as he gazed deep into her hazel eyes, his face became all seriousness.
“Laura, there is something I need to say, and for me to tell you this, well, it's very difficult. But I need to be straight with you.”
Laura shook her body, and stepped away from him with a frown on her face.
“You are going to tell me you are gay,” she blurted out wildly, pre-empting his speech.
“I had a feeling this was coming. How could you do this to me now? Well, this is going to make life incredibly awkward for us.” She wrung her hands in despair and humiliation.
Rhean pulled her back into his arms, holding her tight despite her struggles
“What on earth are you talking about? I'm not gay—far, far from it. Would I kiss you like this if I was interested in men?” His mouth crushed hers, claiming her as his own, branding her.
So what is it you have to tell me then?” she asked, still reeling from the dominance of his kiss.
“That I have never made love to anyone.” His voice was calm, his gaze steady as his cheeks flushed crimson.
“Let me get this straight. You mean you have never had sex? That you are a...?” Laura's voice trailed off and she was at a loss for words. It was rather a bizarre statement to have made—especially in the gallery with its echoing atmosphere. Anyone could have heard, and especially the staff.
That he trusted her enough to tell her a very intimate secret was flattering, but Laura now regarded Rhean in a whole new light.
“Not at all, and yes, I am a virgin; a 34-year-old virgin.”
Sounds great, Manda. Thanks for stopping by and sharing today.
I hope the readers like this excerpt. If they want to read more, Without Saying A Word is available currently at Amazon UK
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