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A Gentle Thief

The first book Amanda started writing is the most recent one to be published, A Gentle Thief, her first novel.  It was inspired by a case she worked on during her few years spent in the practice of law.  A Gentle Thief is the story of a young girl, Madeline Johnson, found dead on New Year's Day in Cedar City, Utah, with a single gun shot wound to her right temple, cradling a gun to her chest.  Her neighbor found her and called the police to report a suicide.  The local police assumed it was a suicide, and everyone else did, too, except for her father.

He was not unlike many family members of suicide victims in this regard, except that he fought for years, decades, to have her death certificate changed.  This was his only mission in life.  Enter Sophie Brownlie, a young attorney who feels a passion for the first case she is handed, for the tragic death of this young girl 20 years ago, and for her father still suffering so many years later.  A Gentle Thief is the unraveling of whether or not Madeline died by her her own hand, or whether the boyfriend she had broken up with just days before her death was somehow involved, or perhaps someone else, someone the police failed to look at might have played a role.  The novel is set in Las Vegas and Cedar City and is filled with the language of Shakespeare, which Madeline loved, and which speaks to the reader throughout, helping her uncover the truth. 

 
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Wake Up to a Happier Life

In her first book, Wake Up to a Happier Life, published in 2007 by Shadow Mountain, Amanda talks about finding your soul's work, what the Buddhists call your "right livelihood." Whether you quit your job tomorrow, in five years, or never, there are tools we can all use to have more joy in our work. Amanda tells us we begin where we are, by giving away whatever we crave. So, if we want appreciation for our work ("Don't they know they'd have to hire 3 people to replace me?"), we appreciate people. If we want respect ("Nobody gets my contribution around here. This place would shut down without me!"), then we begin with respecting people. It is Amanda's greatest wish that her first book will encourage the disguntled worker (or even just the bored one), lighten the heart of the single mom who is struggling to do it all, give a laugh to the avid reader who is just seeing what she has to say. The book is available online in hardcover or read by Amanda on CD at Deseret Book.

 
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Change It Up

Amanda's second book, Change It Up, was published in 2009 by Shadow Mountain. It's a book about looking at change differently, perhaps in a way that takes some of the fear out of it.  Change It Up speaks to the challenges of our time, both personally and professionally. Amanda noticed that people, despite what they may say, actually like change - at least change they choose. They love a new hair style, a new living room. They love the warmth of spring and new car smell.  So why don't they enjoy other changes that may be pleasurable, but that they didn't select?  Amanda looks at changes large and small, welcome and dreaded, in this hands-on book. Click here to see a video with more information about the book.