Category Archives: Amanda Dick

IN THE SHADOW OF SATELLITES by AMANDA DICK :: REVIEW

5 STAR REVIEW
Standalone – emotional story of loss, second chance at love and friendship

TBB 5 Star Rec

SYNOPSIS

Memories are precious, and for Sian Bennett, they are fleeting. On 22 February 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocks Christchurch, New Zealand. Sian was there, along with her husband and baby son. What happened that day is a mystery; all she remembers is waking up in hospital five months later, alone.

Two long years pass, and the memories continue to disappear into the black hole that was opened up the day of the quake. Life becomes a perilous journey lived on a tightrope that stretches between the past and the present. Retreating to a lakeside cottage in Rotorua, she shies away from a world she no longer understands.

When Luke Lancaster moves into the derelict cottage beyond the trees, he respects his reclusive neighbour’s silent plea for privacy. Now half a world away from his native North Carolina, he has seen war, misery and chaos. Along with his dog, Geezer, he lives with a few ghosts of his own.

What begins as a fragile friendship leads to a much deeper connection, in which truth, lies, love and pain are intimately bound. Even in paradise, shadows lurk.

A slow-burning tale of loss and love, stoked in the flames of fate and superstition, it is ignited by the power of hope.

Available to purchase below:

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Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

In the Shadow of Satellites

“I don’t’ know how you feel. No one does but you. That’s all yours, just like what happened to me is all mine. But I know what it feels like to try so hard to keep it together when you’re really falling apart.”

This is our second book by Amanda Dick and once again, we found ourselves moved implicitly by her words. In The Shadow Of Satellites is an emotional story of love, loss and hope, and it’s a story we felt with every ounce of our hearts.

You know you’re on a good thing when you realise you’ve highlighted an author’s stunning words from the very first page. When you’re instantly gripped into a story that hits your heart so readily you find an instant connection to the characters and ache for their welfare, there’s no greater feeling.

‘They’re together. I’m not with them, but at least they’re together. It’s a small comfort, but it’s all I have.’

Sian Bennett has known profound loss. An earthquake claimed the lives of her beloved husband James, and their treasured son, leaving Sian to grieve their loss every day. Not only that, but Sian had the added pain of missing a chance to say goodbye, having life go on around her whilst she lay in a coma for five months, waking up to find her life had irrevocably and devastatingly changed forever.

‘I died once. We all did, all three of us. The only difference is I came back. I didn’t get a choice.’

Two years later, twenty seven year old Sian is living an isolated existence, spending her days reliving her memories. With the exception of weekend visits from her best friend Ana, Sian spends her days on her own, locked in her grief. It’s thanks to the strength, love, loyalty and determination of Ana, that Sian is able to exist in the present. Although still preferring to stay in the past, Sian manages to get through one day at a time, knowing she needs to move on but if living in the present means leaving her treasured memories behind….she just can’t do it.

‘A scar is a reminder of something that once hurt you. What do you call that which continues to do so, long after the physical evidence has healed?’

On one of Ana’s visits they meet Sian’s neighbour Luke Lancaster. Luke, an American, also prefers the solitude the island in New Zealand provides for him, as he too has suffered loss, carrying the pain and burden of his time in the army on active duty.  A friendship develops and a lot of honesty and willingness to trust is shared between Luke and Sian as love blossoms and takes hold.

‘I wake with the sun and go to sleep with the moon, but the in-between is what’s killing me.’

Despite his own pain and loss, Luke was so intuitive to Sian’s feelings, he understood her and in doing offered the glimpse of happiness Sian so desperately sought. The pull between them was powerful, it tender, moving, sad and so astonishingly beautiful.

‘The air of vulnerability that I rarely see surrounding him is suddenly neon. He battles demons just like I do, only he does it silently.’

Amanda Dick has written a beautifully emotion driven story, a true meeting of damaged hearts. Her words elicited such alluring vision and heartfelt sentiment, hitting every piece of our hearts. She vividly describes her scenes yet never allows over descriptiveness to overpower her story. The atmospheric feel of her setting was breathtaking; we were there, in that little cottage with Sian and Luke, living and breathing their story, putting our hearts on the line right along with them.

A stunning slow burn romance, a potent and beautiful story brought to life with meticulous detail and whilst there was an insurmountable sadness throughout the story, it never felt draining because at the crux was a story where we experienced the complexities of healing, the strength of the human spirit and the power of the heart to love again. A definite recommendation from us!

‘I can’t forget, because I don’t want to forget. Forgetting is what scares me. Remembering is everything.’

 * * * *


TBB Also recommends by Aamanda Dick
THE TROUBLE WITH PAPER PLANES
“We make sense, somehow. I don’t know how, but we do.”

The Trouble with Paper Planes

SYNOPSIS

I’ve always believed in what I can see, what I can hear and what I can touch. Surfing was my religion and destiny was just a fairy-tale. But one summer, over ten days during the hottest February on record, all that changed. I found hope – the kind of hope that sustains you, even when you don’t want to be sustained.

The night Emily disappeared, I was branded. She became the girl on the ‘missing’ posters, and I became the one trying to keep everyone from falling apart. I thought that somehow it would keep me from being devoured by the emptiness inside me. Five years later, I was beginning to appreciate how deluded I really was.

Then Maia showed up. New in town, with a past as mysterious as she was, she reminded me so much of Emily that I couldn’t stand to be anywhere near her. What I didn’t realise was that there were forces at play that neither of us could possibly understand.

It takes a determined soul to alter destiny. There is a loophole, a back door, and the events that unfolded during those ten days showed me how that loophole can change everything. 

Do you believe in fate? If so, let me tell you my story. If not, what happened to me might change your mind.

Available to purchase below:

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Filed under 5 Stars, Amanda Dick, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE TROUBLE WITH PAPER PLANES by AMANDA DICK

The Trouble with Paper Planes

SYNOPSIS

I’ve always believed in what I can see, what I can hear and what I can touch. Surfing was my religion and destiny was just a fairy-tale. But one summer, over ten days during the hottest February on record, all that changed. I found hope – the kind of hope that sustains you, even when you don’t want to be sustained.

The night Emily disappeared, I was branded. She became the girl on the ‘missing’ posters, and I became the one trying to keep everyone from falling apart. I thought that somehow it would keep me from being devoured by the emptiness inside me. Five years later, I was beginning to appreciate how deluded I really was.

Then Maia showed up. New in town, with a past as mysterious as she was, she reminded me so much of Emily that I couldn’t stand to be anywhere near her. What I didn’t realise was that there were forces at play that neither of us could possibly understand.

It takes a determined soul to alter destiny. There is a loophole, a back door, and the events that unfolded during those ten days showed me how that loophole can change everything. 

Do you believe in fate? If so, let me tell you my story. If not, what happened to me might change your mind.


Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense/Women’s Fiction

The Trouble with Paper Planes

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

✯✯✯✯ 1/2 Stars

‘They say falling in love takes time, but I call bullshit on that. It takes guts. It can happen in a moment – a single heartbeat, even – but to hand someone the key to your happiness is the most courageous move you’ll every make. ‘

We had no idea what to expect from this story and we’re so glad we went in with no preconceived expectations because we were taken completely by surprise. What a searing, beautiful and thought provoking story this turned out to be. The synopsis pulled us in and the authors enthusiasm for her story made us want to dive in immediately. This is our first book by Amanda Dick and after experiencing her meaningful, heartfelt and powerful prose you can bet we’ll be picking up more of her work to devour!

The Trouble With Paper Planes was a slow building yet completely intriguing story. We were kept guessing as to the outcome and nothing could have prepared us for what eventuated or how deeply our emotions would be hit.  We sobbed buckets as Heath’s character resonated deeply with us and this story struck a chord on so many levels.

‘My heart was a balloon, filled with all the love I had for her, the hope I had for us, and it was lifting my feet off the ground.’

The Trouble With Paper Planes is told primarily in Heath’s pov and it is through his words and his heart we gain a first-hand insight into the grief, loneliness and conflicted feelings Heath has experienced over the past five years following the disappearance of Emily, the love of his life. Heath lives with the constant fear that one day he may have to face the realisation that Emily may never return, but until the day he receives irrefutable proof to the contrary, Heath refuses to give up hope that Emily is alive and will one day return to him.

‘I was a black hole, a star frozen at the point of collapse. I couldn’t go back, yet I couldn’t seem to move on, either.’

Heath is knocked for six when a girl named Maia turns up at Emily’s Mum’s Café in search of work. Maia bears an uncanny physical resemblance to Emily in some ways yet is quite different to Emily in others. Heath is unnerved by her but can’t deny the intense  and instant connection he feels towards Maia.

“We make sense, somehow. I don’t know how, but we do.”

As we said, we had no idea of the direction this story was headed and constantly flipped between believing and disbelieving but the one thing we never wavered on were the intense feelings we felt towards Heath. This man was so beautiful inside and out. Our hearts desperately needed Heath to move on and experience soul deep love once more.

There were a couple of times we felt the story did drag a little however when we came to the end and began discussing the events, we started to reflect on moments that at the time may have felt inconsequential yet became so poignant, moving, beautiful and meaningful to us both once we finished the story. And that aha moment in regards to the title? Well, that left us us breathless.

This did have an otherworldly feel to it so if you go into The Trouble With Paper Planes with an open mind and an open heart you’ll be rewarded with a beautifully written, deeply moving and unforgettable story that will seize your heart. We can’t stop thinking about this one and find ourselves constantly reliving the significant moments that will stay with us for a long time to come. Word of advice though: have some man-size tissues on hand because you’ll need them!

**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by the author, with thanks**

 ♥ ♥

THE TROUBLE WITH PAPER PLANES by AMANDA DICK
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The Trouble with Paper Planes

 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Amanda Dick, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny