This week’s author is someone I am really thrilled to feature as I’ve read all her books bar one. And, that one I have on my kindle and I’m saving it for a treat – to read when I have time to stay with it from start to finish.
Jana Petken writes historical books, often with a romantic thread. Like all good writers she’s had a varied and interesting career.
She joined the (British) Royal Navy at the age of seventeen becoming a leading Naval Policewoman, equivalent to a sergeant in the Military Police. After the Navy, she went to work for a travel company as an overseas representative. During the first Gulf War she was a security guard at the BBC World Service radio station. After she left the BBC, she spent twelve years as a bodyguard for a Saudi Princess.
Her final career outside the house was with British Airways where she was a cabin crew member on the worldwide fleet, which allowed her to travel extensively to every corner of the world, at least two or three times. Unfortunately, she had an accident on board a flight. The aircraft, a Boeing 747, was flying at 39,000 feet above Africa when it was caught in clear-air turbulence. As the plane dropped her body flew upward and she hit the cabin’s ceiling. As a result of this accident, she has had three major operations on her spinal cord and has now been forced to retire.
She says she misses the busy and interesting experiences of working and so she began to write. She’s lived in many different countries, and modestly says she’s a jack of all trades but master of none. She believes she’s made so many mistakes in her life that she often wonders how she managed to survive this long. She feels blessed to be able to call writing, her last stand. Long may it last.
Well becoming a writer certainly wasn’t a mistake, as I for one love her books. She’s a modern day Jean Plaidy and I think Jana’s historical novels will also stand the test of time.
Right at this moment she is in Miama, Florida collecting a silver award at the Miami Book Fair. She’s well on the way to being one of those really successful authors we admire.
My favourite of her books is The Errant Flock – it’s set during the Spanish Inquisition and follows the story of four men who struggle to survive in those brutal times. It’s one of the few books I will read over and over again.
Jana’s books and what other readers have to say about them.
The Guardian of Secrets
“An epic in every sense, The Guardian of Secrets is War and Peace for a new generation. Jana Petken is a natural storyteller and in The Guardian of Secrets she weaves an engrossing, passionate tale of family life, of love, of betrayal, of war and redemption. These are classic themes and they are combined here to produce a classic tale in the finest traditions of historical fiction.”
Dark Shadows: Mercy Carver Series
“Dark Shadows, is the first five-star book in Jana Petken’s exciting Mercy Carver series. This meticulously crafted and riveting tale had me captivated from the very first page.”
Blood Moon: Mercy Carver, Book Two
“The author did a fantastic job weaving this story. I admit I was surprised at some twist and turns. Many times, I found myself holding my breath!”
The Errant Flock
“A glorious read, I was totally captivated by this story. Her descriptions of the people, the country and the history put me right in the picture and I couldn’t put it down. She is a great storyteller with lots of depth to her writing.”