Jana Petken
AUTHOR

Jana Petken

Jana Petken is a historical fiction author and screenwriter. She is critically acclaimed as a bestselling, gritty author who produces bold, colourful characters and riveting storylines. She is the recipient of numerous major international awards for her works of historical fiction. Before life as an author, she served in the British Royal Navy. During her service, she studied Naval Law and history. After the Navy, she worked for British Airways and turned to writing after an accident on board an aircraft forced her to retire prematurely. Titles by Jana Petken. Bestseller, Multi Award Winning, The Guardian of Secrets. (2013) The bestselling Mercy Carver Series: award-winning, Dark Shadows, book 1, and award-winning Blood Moon, book 2. (2014) Multi Award Winning, The Errant Flock: The Flock Trilogy Book 1. (2015) Multi Award Winning, Swearing Allegiance. (2016) Award Winning, The Scattered Flock (The Flock Trilogy book 2) Award Winning, Flock, The Gathering of The Damned (The Flock Trilogy Book 3) Multi-Award-Winning, The German Half-Bloods The German Half-Bloods Trilogy Book 1 (2018) The Vogels: On All Fronts. The German Half-Bloods (Book 2) Before the Brightest Dawn. The German Half-Bloods (Book 3) Oath of Allegiance, coming February 2020 https://www.janapetken.com/ @AuthoJana petkenj@gmail.com Youtube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jana+petken The Guardian of Secrets BlueInk Reviews Red Star Review Jana Petken delivers a powerful family epic that chronicles the travails of an expatriate British woman and her family during the Spanish Civil War. Recently wedded, Celia Merrill Dobbs' initial expectations of marital bliss quickly dissolve in 1912, when her husband Joseph reveals he has married her only to inherit her wealthy father's prosperous farm in the English countryside. A gambler and drinker with a violent temper, he frequently beats her and secretly murders her father. After Celia discovers that Joseph is her father's killer, she and their newborn son Peter escape to Spain with the assistance of her aunt and family friends. Petken masterfully moves the gripping action along by creating credible characters and suspenseful plot twists. Writing in a straightforward manner and infusing scenes with details that inform but don't overwhelm, she portrays each of the characters' efforts to survive while coming to terms both with the horrors of wartime and personal bouts with excessive pride and passion. Though the action is grounded in a particular time and place, the novel's concerns are universal, as typified when Celia's daughter ruminates on whether Spain would eventually "look back and feel proud of a war that had killed hundreds of thousands...or would it feel as she did now, betrayed by men with selfish political ambitions and lust for power." Despite its length, the captivating story succeeds brilliantly and becomes an unforgettable page-turner. This is a must-read for historical fiction fans. ***** KIRKUS REVIEWS A dark debut novel about a woman's escape from a life of abuse and her ensuing struggle. By all appearances, Celia Dobbs has everything a young Englishwoman in 1912 could want. She's newly married to Joseph Dobbs, a handsome man with whom she's besotted, and is the daughter of Peter Merrill, a wealthy man whose ownership of a vast farm ensures that Celia and Joseph will live well. But all is not as it seems: Joseph soon shows his true colours as a violent drunk with gambling debts, and he proves to be a severely abusive husband, flinging expletives and punches as swiftly as he once cast promises of love. His dark side takes on added horror when Celia learns that he's responsible for the murder of her father. With the help of her aunt Marie, Celia and her newborn son escape from Kent to Spain, and Marie promises that she will see justice served while Celia's away. Once in Spain, Celia meets a man named Ernesto and begins the next chapter of her life. After Joseph's trial ends with a guilty verdict and order of execution, Marie decides to give Celia the dignity of being a widow instead of a divorcee, by destroying the divorce papers that would have freed Celia from her marriage. Back in Spain, the novel details Celia's recovery and her children's developing lives, and they become key players in a tense, fast-paced story. The writing is often captivating, with a consistently engaging tone throughout, although the violent scenes are somewhat graphic and disturbing. Celia's growth as a character truly sets this novel apart as more than a simple drama: It's also a commentary on how strong a woman can become when facing adversity. A suspenseful, compelling historical novel. *********************************************************************
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