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When Kevin O’Neill approached me about adapting his screenplay CAPTAIN FIN into a novel, I was intrigued. Once I read the script, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was, thrilled doesn’t cover the joy that I felt. I immediately fell in love with one of the characters, Hannah, but oddly enough it wasn’t from an angle or perspective that was presented in the script that he had handed me.

I could envision so clearly the direction that I felt Hannah should ‘go’ through the novel that had yet to be written, and once I’d discussed it with Kevin, he agreed.
I was so worried about my time commitments. Already in the midst of writing BITTER BETRAYAL and working daily at a company whereas a partner, and CEO, I’m obligated to be present every single day.

At one point I even told Kevin,”As saddened as I am, I don’t believe I have the time to finish Captain Fin. I love this piece, and if you’d like to take my ideas, chapters, and give them to another writer, I completely understand.”

To my surprise, Kevin did not accept my offer but gave me a call instead. His words not only humbled me, but I felt as if he handed me a gift instead. I don’t think I will ever forget his words. “Amanda, I can’t really see anyone else writing this novel. I love your ideas, what you’ve written so far, and I understand how busy you are. I’ll wait. I’ll wait until you have the time to write it.” I can’t tell you the shock I felt. To hear someone had that much faith in my work was amazing to me.

Hannah Gunner, once a carefree child, is faced with secrets, lies, and betrayal. A life-changing event during her adolescent years forces her to confront a past that she no longer recognizes.
Now, questioning everything she thought she knew, Hannah struggles with the person she is supposed to be! With the help of her boyfriend, Grayson Parks, nicknamed Cash, and her closest friend, Lindsey, they discover several clues that may hold the missing links to her life.

A tattered box filled with worn-out letters holds some of the answers that she needs, but not all of them! With an assist from her aunt and a visitor from her past, Hannah manages to track down the only person in the world who can answer her questions—the Captain!

Why did those closest to her lie in the first place? Will Hannah ever find the answers that she needs to bring her peace? Suspenseful, engaging, and with twists and turns that make it impossible to put down, this is a book filled with surprises!

excerpt-300x50Edition #98 – August 21, 2019


By Amanda M. Thrasher
Based on a Screenplay by
Kevin James O’Neill

Chapter 1 – Hannah
“That’s it, then!” Hannah whispered in a raspy voice. “She’s really gone?”
Lindsey stared down at her lap, avoiding eye contact, not knowing what to say to her best friend, who was still in shock and so much pain. Tears had welled up in Hannah’s eyes, and though she’d been fighting to hold them back, they threatened to flow uncontrollably down her cheeks. Hannah couldn’t allow that, not yet, knowing that once the tears fell she’d lose it completely. The air had chilled, and she stood shivering, but Hannah didn’t seem to notice. The oversized black sweatshirt she’d picked that day drowned out her petite frame. She looked like a little kid instead of a teen. Every now and then her arm reached up and swiped away escaped tears from her face, as if denying they were ever there.

Lindsey had been Hannah’s best friend since they’d been paired together junior year for a chemistry project. It was a good match. They had more in common than the pair realized. Gossip, boys, music, both lacked fashion skills, which didn’t seem to bother either of them at all, neither wore much makeup, and they both loved to write, especially poetry, and constantly carried a journal or had one close by. They practically lived in Vans, jeans, sweatshirts, Nike shorts and, of course, T-shirts. This day, this terrible day, was the hardest day they’d ever experienced together as friends. Lindsey opened the door of her gently used gold Toyota Corolla, affectionately named Silver. A joke, agreed upon by the two girls, which made them laugh every time they referred to her—except for today.
“Silver awaits. Climb in; it’s freezing. I’m taking you home.”

Ridden with guilt, Hannah felt conflicted. On the one hand, she didn’t want to be with anyone, including her best friend or her boyfriend, and on the other hand, she didn’t want to be alone. Reluctantly, she climbed into the car. As soon as the door shut, face buried in her hands, she sobbed without taking a breath. Within minutes a full-fledged panic attack set in, and she couldn’t breathe. Lindsey pulled the car over to the edge of the road and opened the windows. The fresh cold air blew across the back of Hannah’s neck, but it didn’t seem to help. Gently rubbing her friend’s back, Lindsey whispered words to help calm her down.
“Breathe. Calm down and breathe, in and out, slowly, but just breathe.”
“I can’t, can’t breathe.”
“Just calm down and take a deep breath.”
Hannah’s heart was racing and it felt like her chest was about to cave in. Lindsey continued to talk her down. Finally, Hannah’s breathing returned to normal. Struggling to hold back tears of her own, Lindsey dabbed her friend’s tear-stained face with her sleeve. Sitting in silence for a few moments, the two huddled together inside the car. No words of comfort were offered, none needed—they’d already been said, and Hannah knew that Lindsey was grieving as well.
“Are you ready?”
“Yes. And I’m sorry.”
“No need to apologize.”
Lost in thought as she drove, a slight smile crossed Lindsey’s face.
“What is it?” Hannah asked. “Could do with a smile myself.”
Lindsey proceeded with caution. “It was a memory.” Glancing at Hannah, she continued. “Of the first time I met Gloria. Do you remember?”
Thankfully, Hannah smiled.
“How could I forget? My mom told us, even that day, we were bound to be double trouble.” Hannah laughed, the first time she’d laughed in a while. “She also said we were going to be thick as thieves.”
“Cause we are!” Lindsey grinned. “I’m so glad she moved you back here.”
Hannah remembered the day her mom had asked her to move back to their hometown of San Francisco. After relocating more than a few times over the years, it made absolutely no difference to Hannah where they went next…

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Award-Winning Author Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England, moved to Texas and resides there still. She’s the author of picture books, middle-grade chapter books, early readers, and young adult pieces.

Additional word includes a graphic novel for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, Driving on the Right Side of the Road program (DRSR), titled What If . . . A Story of Shattered Lives, which was adapted into a reader’s theater.

She is a multiple Gold Recipient of the Mom’s Choice Awards for YA, General Fiction, and early reader chapter books. A winner for YA – Social Issues of the 2017 International Book Awards, an NTBF award winner in the YA and General Fiction category, and was awarded a New Apple Literary Award for YA and general fiction.

As Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, she assists other authors with their work and shares her writing process and publishing experience with them.

Currently, she is under contract to adapt a screenplay into a novel by director Kevin James O’Neill. She continues to speak and share her work with children and adults of all ages, conducts workshops, writes a blog, and contributes to an online magazine.

The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for children, families, and educators. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products, and services. The organization is based in the United States and has reviewed thousands of entries from more than 55 countries.

Around the world, parents, educators, retailers, and members of the media look for the MCA mother-and-child Honoring Excellence seal of approval when selecting quality products and services for children and families.

The NTBF, North Texas Book Festival, assists schools and public libraries with literacy programs in North Texas. Since its inception, it has awarded more than $45,000.00 in grants to deserving programs.


Find Amanda on:
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