Thursday 3 March 2022

Chasing Lions by Amanda Marks BLOG TOUR #ChasingLions #AmandaMarks @RandomTTours #BookExtract


Chasing Lions is an empowering and captivating memoir. It shows that a lack of self-confidence doesn’t have to stop you from living the life you want and finding the love you deserve.

When Amanda is mugged by a gang of schoolkids, she knows things have to change. She decides to go in search of her inner lion.

It proves to be a bruising experience both physically and mentally. But she perseveres, and surprises herself by becoming a truck-driving tour leader in the bohemian and male-dominated world of overland expeditions.

Over three years and 55,000 miles, Amanda faces her feelings of inadequacy as she strives to discover her roar. On her journey, she watches the moon rise over the Serengeti and the sun set behind Egypt’s pyramids, she rafts with Zambezi river gods and communes with gorillas, she faces lions in the wild, has her fortune told by a crab sorcerer . . . and meets her soulmate?

Chasing Lions is a compelling tale of inner transformation through immersion in the natural world and being open to the rich diversity of life. Amanda encourages us to live life to the full, be brave, and choose love.

Chasing Lions By Amanda Marks was published on 13 February 2022 by Antler House. As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today.

Extract from Chasing Lions by Amanda Marks


I was sitting in the dark somewhere out the back of beyond by a river in the middle of Africa.
I was about to get myself fired from the best job I’d ever had and was ever likely to have.
It was 19th May 1991, I was twenty-seven and I was the leader of a six-month-long overland expedition across Africa from the UK to Zimbabwe. With me were my co-driver, Rob, and fourteen adventure-hungry travellers.

It had all been going so well but then one person’s thoughtless ice cream in Algeria became the whole group’s diarrhoeal downfall. By the time we reached Kano in northern Nigeria, we all ended up in hospital. The trauma of being so ill affected us all and relationships built up over the last two months started to unravel. Selfishness kicked in, nerves and tempers frayed, and bitchiness curdled all previous camaraderie. We were on a journey of a lifetime but right now it was no fun at all.
In a few days’ time, we were going to hit the most difficult section of the trip, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). Travelling through Africa’s remote ‘heart of darkness’, we would be crossing endless swathes of emerald green rainforest. The red earth roads that forced their way through this immense wildwood served up a very good line in truck-eating mud holes and precarious log bridges guaranteed to bring out any driver in a cold sweat. If we couldn’t work together or help and trust each other, we’d struggle to get safely through the rigours of a month in the tropical forests of this vast country.

Someone had to rally the group. As leader, that someone should have been me but I’d been trying without success for the three weeks since we left hospital. I could only think of one last strategy: to tell them the harsh truth about their behaviour, no punches pulled. Either I would shock them into once again becoming the decent human beings I knew them to be — a long shot, I had to admit — or I’d be on the next flight out of Bangui and a new leader would have to be sent to replace me. I didn’t like the odds. Bugger.

Two years previously, I’d hit the road hoping to see lions in the wild and discover the courage I thought I lacked. This is the story of some of the adventures of my 55,000-mile journey through the Middle East and Africa in a sixteen-ton truck. It was a journey that ultimately helped me find not only lions but my place in the world.

"I loved it!" 

"This book made me want to jack it all in and sign up for a long overland road trip! Amanda really captures the joy of adventure and the magic of the places she visits - as well as the many challenges - and the characters she encounters along the way.

It's a tale of taking risks and learning to be brave . . . of a young woman daring to follow a dream.

I loved it!"

Jane Dunford, Travel Editor, The Guardian 

Ever since reading the Narnia novels of C.S.Lewis as a little girl, I yearned for a magical connection
with nature. I found it. I found it in the hills of Durham and the north of England where I grew up, and I found it when I became a lifelong traveller exploring far-flung lands as a guide and then a travel company founder. I have sat, entranced, with gorillas and chimpanzees in the wild; I have paddled in a dugout canoe for 5 days on the Congo River; I have walked across living root bridges in north-east India, and trekked through the Amazon forest in Peru.

I believe in taking myself out of my comfort zone now and then, to try new things, to meet new people and to open my eyes to different cultures, beliefs and ways of life. Sometimes, though, talking to a tree is enough for me.

When not on my travels, I live in Suffolk with my husband, two grown boys, a cat and a dog, in a house that has ancient markings to stop witches entering.

Best wishes, Amanda

Facebook @amandamarksauthor

Instagram @andnaturewrote

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