Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday's Author Spotlight: Mandy Thomas

Today I’m excited to have author Mandy Thomas on the Sunday’s Author Spotlight. Mandy Thomas is the author of the contemporary romance Hard to Feel series. Mandy’s first book ‘Hard to Feel Whole’ was published in November 2014 and her second book ‘Hard To Feel Free’ is published TODAY!!

‘Hard To Feel Whole’ received many raving reviews and this book is definitely going on my TBR.

About 'Hard To Feel Whole' (Hard To Feel #1):
At a tender age, Abigail James experienced events no one should ever have to go through; abuse, betrayal, broken promises and the heartbreaking loss of a friend.
Is it possible for her to find peace after ten years of hiding behind a shield of shyness and anti-social behavior, developing an unrealistic expectation of relationships?
Can a ghost from her past show her what it is to be truly loved and cherished? Can he make her feel whole again?

This book is available at Amazon.






About 'Hard To Feel Free' (Hard To Feel #2): 

Abbie didn’t believe in fairytales, why would she?
The second dramatic installment of the emotionally charged Hard to Feel series finds Abbie, desperate to find peace; free from the traumatic childhood that has held her captive for years.
Her happiness with Jake hangs in the balance as new challenges loom on the horizon, testing the strength of their bond.
Abbie battles her fears, struggling to leave the past where it belongs while Jake fights to keep what he has with the woman he loves.

This book is NOW available at Amazon.  

Interview with Mandy Thomas:


Tell me more about who Mandy Thomas is.

I'm a 47 year old mum, originally from Wigan, a mining town in the North West of England.
At seven-years-old we moved to South Africa because of my dad's job. After three years we returned to the UK, picking up where we left off. I didn't enjoy SA too much.
I guess I was a bit of a geek in some ways through high school. My friendship group could be compared to Glee in today's circles; we were all musicians. My love was, and still is singing. However, I found a balance with a good helping of sport. I represented the school in every team possible and the county of Greater Manchester in U16 Hockey.
I headed off to university after school. Bretton Hall College of Higher Education was wonderful. I met a fabulous circle of friends and learned more about myself than I ever dreamed possible. I spent four years training to be a primary school teacher with Music as my specialism and special education a strong interest.
Still no signs of an interest in writing I hear you mutter. No it wasn't my first love. In fact I found the subjects of English Literature and Language terribly taxing. At school I scraped through Language by the skin of my teeth, but alas never grasped the formal study of English Literature.
I left Bretton in 1990 with a Second Class Honours Degree in Primary Education with Music. I successfully gained employment on my penultimate day at college.
Following college I threw myself into teaching, but enjoyed an active social life and importantly at that time, an intense fitness regime. Aerobics and Step classes filled my evenings and school filled my week days. I enjoyed eating out and night clubs most weekends.
Still no writing.
I met Barry, my hubby when I was twenty-four. He was working in the pub which the rounder's team I was a member of, used as a social base after matches.
We were married in 1997 and later had two children. Struggling to find our niche in England we moved to Australia in 2005. We now enjoy a wonderful life in Australia on the Mornington Peninsula. My two children are the centre of my universe. They both show signs of having similar interests to me, be it in sport or music.
In 2012 we decided to head over to Perth, Western Australia, wondering whether we had made the right choice settling in Melbourne. Call it a mid-life crisis. Needless to say, I hated it. We moved back to Melbourne ten long months later. We've been settled here ever since.
My family are my driving force in everything I do.

Did you always want to become an author?

I never, ever considered becoming an author. I always wanted to teach. From being twelve-years-old it was my only goal. I had a fabulous Music teacher at high school. She inspired me to be the best I could. I wanted to be like her when I grew up. We are still in touch now on Facebook.
I have always enjoyed reading and like thousands of people, read Fifty Shades of Grey in 2012. On completing the trilogy I felt a need to read more and discovered Wattpad through a friend. Over the months that followed, I read dozens of great and some not so great stories by every day people like me. After reading on Wattpad for a year I finally plucked up the courage to post my first chapter in July 2013. The feedback was tremendous.

What do you love most about being an author?

Hmm, I love getting my characters onto the page and seeing them travel their journeys. I also enjoy sharing my stories, and that people enjoy them as much as I love writing them.
How did you come to the idea of writing ‘Hard to Feel Whole’?

Like the cliche; everyone has a story in them. Hard to Feel Whole was mine.
Hard to Feel Whole had to be written. It was in me. I never felt a burning desire to write it, but once I started , I couldn't stop. If I hadn't written Hard to Feel Whole, I wouldn't be writing stories today. My stories and confidence grew out of that first story.

What are your future plans in writing?

To continue writing. I have no choice. It's who I am now. I love it.

What do you enjoy most about self-publishing?

The bottom line is I love the control that comes with self-publishing. I get to decide what I want the interior of my books to look like.  I get to design my cover. I have the final say on my edits. The finished product is entirely down to my preferences. That's a powerful thing.
Also, I have made some great friends through the Indie process. Some of whom will be friends for many years to come.

What is the best thing that happened since you’re book ‘Hard to Feel Whole’ came out?

Reconnecting with old friends.

Where do you go to write your books? And where do you get the inspiration?

I don't have a study or special place. My writing place is in my lounge room among my family. I use a laptop computer and ear plugs so I can get into the zone without being isolated from Barry and the kids.
I listen to music when writing. The track I listened to most of the time during Hard to Feel Whole was Pat Metheny's Travels, a jazz track. I can zone into the scene being written without distraction while listening to it. An old friend from school introduced me to Pat Metheny during our A Level Art exam.
My inspiration comes from life. Much of my writing is based on the passionate and tragic encounters many people face in everyday life. I look for hope and passion in everything. Life is what we make of it.

What are your favorite books? 

As a child I read every Enid Blyton book I could get my hands on. I also had a fascination for Roald Dahl. As a teen I read Mills and Boon, Silhouette Desires, Silhouette Special Editions and Harlequin romances. Reading has always been my escapism.
I'm not a well-read author by any means. I enjoy Indie authors as much, if not more than traditionally published authors. I stopped reading for a period after meeting my hubby, reading in bed became a problem as the lamp light kept him awake, The only books I read after meeting him were the Harry Potter series and the Twilight saga. Until I became the fortunate owner of an iPhone. I read Fifty Shades of Grey and then couldn't stop. I didn't need a lamp anymore. There was no stopping me.
As a reader my genre of choice is Contemporary Romance and now as a writer, I write what I like reading.

What book are you reading right now?
I have just finished 'Lemon Drops and Love.' by Angela Stevens. It's the first in her Cocktail series. I found Angela on Wattpad where I began my writing journey.

Praise for Mandy Thomas:

Mandy Thomas pulls you into her amazing story and gives you a first-hand experience with one girl’s heart wrenching story.

I recently purchased Hard To Feel Whole and sat up till 3.30am to finish reading this riveting story. The author described the intense emotions her characters experienced in such graphic detail I felt every moment as deeply as the main characters Abbie and Jake.

This book plays with your emotions, it leaves you heartbroken, has you laughing and leaves you with a warm cozy feeling. Mandy Thomas sure knows how to write a great contemporary Romance story and I have no qualms about recommending it to fans of this genre.

About the Author:


Mandy Thomas is an English born mother and teacher, living in Australia on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula with her husband Barry and their two children. She enjoys nothing more than relaxing with a great book and glass of wine while soaking up the stunning Australian sunshine. Hard to Feel Whole is her debut novel and first in the Hard to Feel series. It follows Abbie James and her circle of friends through many of life’s challenges and possibilities.

For more information about Mandy Thomas and her books please visit Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.

Thank you for visiting Maureen's Books!



  1. Thank you for having me Maureen. It was a pleasure to share a little about myself with your followers.
    Best wishes
    Mandy xxx

    1. You're very welcome! Thank YOU for participating. I loved making this post about you ;)


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