Today I give a warm welcome to Amanda Knight, joining me on Behind the Pen with a few of her favourites. Over to you Amanda!
What is your favourite…and why…
Character from one of your books?
Wow, it’s tricky to pick a fave – it’s like asking which of your children is your preferred!
Beth, from Situation Critical is a woman I admire. I love to listen to, and be amongst strong women, who also aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. Beth is a woman who ensures people feel safe both physically and emotionally, without exception. I love that she isn’t perfect. Beth can hold her own amongst her peers (mostly male) without changing herself. She’s authentic. She doesn’t see success as measured through the lens of whether you’re male or female – she simply sees it as a ‘person’ thing, and is committed to be the best she can be. Beth doesn’t let Nate (or anyone) treat her any less than she deserves, no matter how bad things get. She also holds Nate accountable for his actions, and allows him to redeem himself, admit to his mistakes, with his dignity still intact. She’s gutsy without being reckless, and has the courage, the tenacity to do what needs to be done, even when she is terrified. She can say she’s sorry, and admit to her mistakes… she’s quite a woman!
Scene from one of your books?
From Situation Critical:
‘Listen, Doc, I’m sorry, real sorry about before.’
Despite herself, Beth smiled at Nate. ‘We all say things under pressure. I understand you’ve been through a lot, you’re not yourself.’ Neither am I for that matter.
‘Appreciate it,’ he said, scrubbing at the back of his head. ‘Listen, I know you and the Major think I need outta here to recover fully, but can you have another look at whatever it is I gotta do to keep my pass to stay on base? I want to be here. Actually,’ he pointed to the smoke haze in the distance, ‘I want to be out there.’ He turned to face her, desperation blazing deep in his eyes. ‘Please.’
‘There’s a few things that need to be considered,’ Beth said eventually, her damp palms pressed into the fabric of her pants. ‘I can review your progress again in forty-eight hours, maybe delay your transfer, but you have to understand, we’ll only do what’s best for you, follow the safest course so you have the best chance at a full, uncompromised recovery.’
‘I understand,’ he said quietly. ‘Thing is, I won’t recover, won’t want to recover, if I’m safe and they’re not. These men, I’ve sworn an oath to protect them, Finn too.’ The steel in his tone raised goosebumps over her arms. ‘And like I said, I won’t get on that plane without them.’ He reached for her, wrapped his hand around her forearm, the heat from his fingers burning through her jacket into her skin. ‘Please … you have to give me the chance.’
Every argument she had ready to go, evaporated from her mind. She fought the urge to lay her own hand on top of his, and instead, pulled her arm free, and pushed up out of the chair.
‘I’ll see what I can do,’ she said, swallowing hard. ‘But I’m not making any promises, okay?’
‘Okay,’ he said, still leaning forward, ‘then neither am I.’
Movie of all time?
I find this super tricky to narrow down to one; so will just go with the first one that popped into my head! Shawshank Redemption is a perennial ‘go to’ for the reminder of the power of hope. I find that is a common theme amongst the movies I love!
Book that you always keep a copy of and recommend to others?
Fiction: The Shiralee – D’Arcy Niland
I read all of his books in my teenage years and loved the emotional depth within each of the characters and the quintessentially Australian settings and people.
Non-Fiction: Light is the New Black – Rebecca Campbell
This reminded me that we’re all uniquely, beautifully different, and that to embrace this and live your own truth without apology is the very best way to find internal peace.
Fashion accessory that despite having plenty of, you still keep collecting?
Vintage inspired shoes (closely followed by dresses!) I am certain I’ve had a previous life during the late 40s/early 50s era!
Drink that you enjoy everyday?
Had I answered this question a month ago, I would’ve categorically said my daily mocha. However, having altered my diet slightly, now I will say it’s an afternoon Ginger and Lemongrass Tea, has a glorious aroma and also does revitalise my energy and mood!
Treat you indulge in?
Cadburys Turkish Delight is an absolute fave (and traditional rose water Turkish Delight is just as high on the love list!) closely followed by Arnotts Lemon Crisp biscuits.
Place to be?
Somewhere crisp and cold (I really, really dislike the heat!) preferably by a fireplace, watching a storm roll in through enormous glass windows…
Person you admire?
There isn’t one person I admire above all others. There are traits that I admire, and there are people globally, and within my little circle that exhibit these characteristics unreservedly, consistently and without the need to advertise the fact. These people have passion, and the courage of their convictions, and don’t give up when the going gets tough. They’re focused, they provide value to others, and advocate for those who can’t do so themselves. They challenge and encourage others to be their best selves. They’re authentic, warm and make everyone in their world feel valued and important. These are the kind of people I like to listen to, watch and learn from. Some, recently at the top of my list are Bene Brown, Emma Gonzalez and Malala Yousafzai.
Season of the year?
Autumn. The cooler days, stunning colours – amber, gold, red… the crunchy leaves, the smells that hint winter is coming – it’s a glorious sensory smorgasbord! For me, Autumn also inspires me to be reflective, a little quiet in my soul… I just love everything about this season!
A taut debut novel about a wounded soldier, a courageous doctor, and a dog in desperate need of a rescue
Soldier, surgeon, traitor, dog…
When Sergeant Nate Calloway is carried into the field hospital with no memory of how he got there or where the other members of his unit are, Australian army surgeon, Captain Beth Harper cares only about repairing his broken body. But it’s clear that something went terribly wrong on the other side of the wire, and as Nate slowly recovers, he becomes more and more anxious to return to duty, go back into the field, and rescue his friends, his unit, and the bomb detection dog that he loves.
The only way Nate can be released to active duty is if a doctor agrees to accompany him, and Beth surprises everyone by volunteering. Her role is to monitor Nate and take him right back to hospital the instant that his health deteriorates enough to put their rescue operation at risk. But as she stays close, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to his courage, his determination, and his commitment to his fellow soldiers.
Instead of a straightforward recovery, however, Nate and Beth soon realise they’ve stumbled on a tangled web of deceit and danger, and the enemy is no longer outside the wire. He is one of their own, a traitor, and he has them in his scope.
If you like the sound of Situation Critical, there is currently a price promotion across all ebook platforms for $2.99. But get in quick as today is the last day you can purchase at this price.