Posted in audio books, Book Review

Close Up

Close Up by Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz

Narrated by Morgan Hallett

I caught part of Jayne Ann Krentz’s Facebook live a few days ago. I was surprised that people were complaining about the era she is setting her historical romances in now. The last few books have been set in 1930s in a resort community just outside of Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong, I adored her regency romances, but this time period in history is so full of interesting breakthroughs in science and politics, music and technology.

The town of Burning Cove just outside of Hollywood is a hotspot for the rich and famous. Amanda Quick has crafted a town peopled with characters we’ve all come to know and love. Close up brings art photographer, Vivian Brazier to the cove when she becomes the target of a killer.

Nick Sundridge uses his talent to protect others. When he is sent to Vivian after she is attacked by the “Dagger Killer,” he knows there is more to this job than just protecting a stranger.

Vivian’s vision with the camera allows her to see the story inside her subjects. It makes her photographs more personal. It also allows her to see the darkness of a murderer, but will she realize too late the danger she is in?

The action-packed romance is in true Amanda Quick style, a little paranormal, a little suspense, a lot of drama, some humor and romance, wow, this is another example of why Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz is one of my favorite authors.

I’m addicted to audiobooks and Morgan Hallett did a fantastic job of narrating Close Up. She lent her talents to bringing this story to life, allowing us to see and hear the characters as if we are watching it on screen.

Posted in audio books, Book Review

The Vanishing, An Audiobook Review

The Vanishing #1 in the Fogg Lake Series, by Jayne Ann Krentz

Audible Narrated by Sandra Michelle

I’ve made no secret of the fact that Jayne Ann Krentz is one of my favorite authors. One of my bucket list goals is to meet Ms. Krentz, of course I probably won’t be able to talk to her and will end up embarrassing myself, but I’ve already told my niece I’m coming to visit just so I can stalk JAK. You’re safe for now I’m too broke to travel but one day…

The Fogg Lake series is starting out to be another hit, I can hardly wait to read the next book. As a reader I find myself falling into the world Jayne creates and feeling like I am a part of it. Her characters are familiar friends who come to call and when they leave, I miss them. It is one of the great things about listening on audio, I can play it again, Sam. Sandra Michelle has the perfect voice her narration of this book added a feeling of Cinema to the already wonderful story.

As a writer, I’m in awe and a bit jealous of the ease in which Jayne Ann brings her stories to life. Whether it’s her historical Amanda Quick books, her modern JAK’s or her science fiction futuristic Jayne Castle stories, she gives us strong characters. I especially like her strong female characters who often save themselves and even their hero.

In The Vanishing, the two young women, Catalina Lark and Olivia LeClair, define strong modern women. They set their goals and priorities and refuse to let men or circumstances derail them. When Olivia goes missing, Catalina starts searching for her. While admittedly, she might need help, Catalina is no damsel in distress.

When Slater Arganbright shows up at their office the day after Olivia is taken, the two team up to uncover a more serious plot. Equals, each respecting the other’s strengths and willing to offer theirs where the other is weak, Slater and Catalina soon find themselves discovering more than an evil plot to control a missing lab.

Olivia and Catalina along with Slater and the Foundation will have their hands full in this series as one family tries to regain control of the lab for psychic experiments and all of its assets.

This is a fun blend of mystery, intrigue, paranormal and romance. I can’t wait for the next book.

Posted in Book Review


By Jayne Ann Krentz, narrated by Amanda Leigh Cobb

Jayne Ann Krentz is the first author that made me fall in love with contemporary romance. Her slightly paranormal character-traits, strong heroines and the combination of romance with intrigue, makes her romantic-suspense novels a thrilling read.

When meditation expert, Winter Meadows first takes on Jack Lancaster for a client, she was just trying to pay the bills. She never expected to fall in love with him or get tangled up in his obsession of hunting a dead man.

Jack Lancaster is an FBI consultant with the ability to find patterns and details through lucid dreaming. When his dreams threaten to overwhelm his reality, he seeks out Winter Meadows and her meditation techniques. In a short time, Jack comes to rely on Winter. She understands him in a way no one else, not even his family can.

Quinton Zane knows he must first get rid of Jack Lancaster before he can fully realize his goals. When he underestimates Winter and thinks to use her to destroy Jack, he makes a huge mistake. Together, Winter and Jack are Untouchable.

Jayne Ann Krentz weaves the fabric of a story with character, plot and a glittering strand of what-if. She makes the reader believe in possibilities and leaves us entertained and ready for more. One of my favorite authors and Untouchable is another reason why.

Posted in Book Review

Promise Not To Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz is another fabulous story from one of my favorite authors. JAK combines intrigue, action and mystery with a bit of romance. Her characters, though flawed have a code of honor that guides them. They are often misfits who find each other and find they fit together perfectly.
Virginia and Cabot, have several failed relationships between them. They are not looking for another. Virginia Troy, a gallery owner, arrives at the private detective offices of Cutler, Sutter and Salinas with a bizarre tale, one that Cabot Sutter and his partner, Anson Salinas believe. The three share a past and a common nightmare; when Virginia tells them, their shared ghost may have returned and committed murder, Cabot is convinced the Devil has returned.
Art, murder, a missing treasure, a terrifying cult leader who once tried to murder them and a bit of family drama all entwine to create a story with Ms Krentz’s signature style. Can Virginia and Cabot puzzle out the pieces of the past and unravel the present before they fall victim to the vengeance and greed of a mad man. Will the past come back to destroy them or will they discover, they are no longer victims but the heroes of their own stories?
One of the reasons I love Jayne Ann Krentz so much is her ability to weave a great story with characters who are unique and interesting. She takes a problem or a flaw and turns it into part of the solution. She gives us characters who seem unlovable and give them their perfect mate. As a reader, I finish her books knowing, this mystery could have only been solved by these two characters because they are integral to the solution. If you haven’t read any of JAK’s books before, you can’t go wrong by starting with Promise Not to Tell.

Posted in Thoughts

Joy and Hope, Books that Leave You Feeling Renewed

Have you ever met someone who just talking to them leaves you feeling so good that no matter what trials you might going through at the time their presence makes it all seem better? Their joy is so infectious, you walk away lighter, as if your burden has been lifted and everything is right in the world. Even if it is only temporary, the relief is so pleasant that whenever you see that person you automatically feel the burdens lifting. People like this are few and far between, too often we are influenced by that person who couldn’t be happy as a taste taster in a chocolate factory. They make you tired as soon as you see them coming. Their dark cloud lingers long after they’re gone.

While most of us are neither the drunk on life dancing poodle or the “Oh my God it’s morning” Grumpy Cat, we fall into the trench of the normal. Walking through life as members of the medium without the high highs or the low lows. As writers this can be deadly, we should choose to be more than average. Normal is so overrated.

Who wants to go through life in the middle of the road? We shouldn’t be afraid of choosing a destination and taking the dark and scary path to get there. As a fiction writer I want to deal with real issues. I want my characters to look like the people in my world, a rainbow of colors, religions and social preferences. I believe I can temper the harsh realities of this world with humor and romance.

Sometimes it’s a fine line to walk finding that balance between enlightenment and preaching. If you try to beat me in the head with some new thought or idea I will most likely dig in and defy your well-meaning argument but if you show me this in action with interesting and sympathetic characters, then I hear the message on a different level. I feel the message. When I write, I want readers to get inside the head of my characters and feel what they feel. Know what it’s like to suffer PTSD or insecurities. I want to reach out and touch the person reading my books and show them a different way of looking at life. I want them to feel the pain, ache with the loss and loneliness and fall in love and have hope. Above all else I want to leave them with a feeling of hope and happiness.

I believe it is important to leave people with a good feeling whether it is in our personal life or in our writing. Just as rare as those feel-good people are those authors that really get what it means to write books that leave you feeling renewed. There are authors I read simply because their books are like a cool balm to my soul. I’ve spoken of this before how after my home burned down my husband took me to Books-A-Million for a new book. We’d lost everything but he knew how important books were for me. After the trauma and tragedy of losing our home and everything we owned, I didn’t need a heavy book that would leave me depressed. The book I chose was The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries.

Sabrina Jeffries is one of those writers who understand the importance of balancing the austerity of the real world with the hope that love can make everything better. Ms. Jeffries leaves her readers feeling happy and believing in possibilities. Meeting Ms. Jeffries in person, her natural personality shines through in her writing. She loves books, writing and people and her grasp of character and storytelling is inspiring. She doesn’t shy away from the tough subjects but setting her stories in the Regency allows for a different spin on these subjects and the characters’ reactions.

For a contemporary author who grasps the importance of the happy ending even while dealing with subjects as real as abuse, PTSD and body image, Virginia Kantra weaves a beautiful balance of hope and reality to encourage readers of the possibility for their own happy endings.

To get the happy ending in any time period: past, present and future I turn to one of my favorite red heads, Ms. Jayne Ann Krentz aka Amanda Quick or Jayne Castle. Her tough feminine characters inspire readers to be strong and courageous even when life is difficult.

Life isn’t easy. Every day we face trauma and tragedy, violence and illness, life and death, and our fiction should encompass these realities. The idea of fiction is ultimately to entertain. We can implement change with our stories, showing people who are strong and capable who face the hopeless and find strength and determination to make a difference. I believe in happy endings and I want a story to give hope and leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling.