Thoughts and prayers

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Scamanda review

Production company – Lionsgate Sound

Rating –  


Before you start, I know, I know. My reviews are supposed to go out on a Sunday morning, and there was nothing but silence on the notification front yesterday. Not one ping. There is a good reason for this though. I was lucky enough to secure advance episodes of a new podcast that releases today, so I delayed the review to coincide with the fanfare. Without further ado, here is the release date review of Scamanda. I should also take the time to thank the GreatPods website that has managed to hook me up with this opportunity.

So what’s it about?

Amanda C. Riley could surely be labelled as one of the original influencers. From a seemingly happy, church going family, Amanda started a blog after being diagnosed with cancer, documenting her battle. She posted almost daily, describing the hope and heartbreak that comes with trying to cope with such harrowing news.

Her friends at church rallied around her too, raising money to help pay for things, and soon her story spread across America and she was living rather well indeed. The donation from crowdfunding campaigns and public fundraising took off and she was able to pay for the treatment she so desperately needed. Then the cancer came backā€¦

Behind this hope and fear, Amanda was also dealing with her rather complex family life. There were custody battles and lawsuits over her stepchildren, and as all that was going on, Amanda kept writing. She posted pictures of herself when she lost her hair, and sitting in chemotherapy wards. She was filling her pages with inspirational messages for fellow cancer sufferers, and she was thanking everyone for their generous donations.

While all this was going on though, there were two people digging into Amanda’s story. Investigative producer Nancy Muscatello, and detective Martinez from the financial crime department think that there’s something fishy about Amanda’s story, so they start to dig.

Is it any good?

When I was first given the trailer and the blurb, I had almost made my mind up to pass on it. I didn’t think it would be my thing at all, but I was wrong (as I seem to be rather often these days). I tend to be a bit finnicky with my true crime, and as such, my podcast list is full of cybercrime, conmen, and the occasional murder.

The story is outstanding, and barely believable. Enraging and heartbreaking, as the story goes on your thoughts on the subject will change. As mine did in fact. I started writing this after only listening to the trailer. When I got all the episodes in advance, I had to go back and rewrite half of this review because I had jumped to so many conclusions (which is why I tend not to listen to trailers in the first place!)

The production quality is really great, as you’d expect from a company like Lionsgate. The dramatisations are well acted, and the whole series is expertly presented and produced by Charlie Webster.

Final thoughts

I had mixed thoughts on this series that seemed to change constantly as it progressed. This is the mark of a brilliantly created podcast. There are parts that are shocking, parts that are depressing, and parts that broke my heart. Ultimately though, this is an incredible story that will have you gripped until the very end.

Maybe the saying is true that “a change is as good as a rest”. As I said earlier, I wouldn’t have given this podcast a second look if I had seen this recommended on my podcatcher. I’m glad I did though. 

I blasted through the whole series in a day. I’m not sure what the actual release schedule is, so you may have to be more patient. This is such a good story though, that I’m glad I didn’t have to wait!

You can get Scamanda here:



  1. Can someone help figure out how I can contact Nancy Muscatello? I have tried finding her online but have had issues. Any help would be appreciated greatly!


    Brendan DeMeester

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