The Third Circle in paperback

Today, you can finally buy The Third Circle by Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) in paperback. This is good if you like to save money on your books. These days the hardcover editions of books are crazy expensive. I still buy them occasionally, but most of the time, I scope out Amazon.com’s bargain books and look for inexpensive hardcover editions of my favorites. I got two new hardcover copies of Second Sight for less than $7 each. The paperback cost more than that.


bookcover image of The Third Circle

Although I read some reviews that made it sound as if The Third Circle wasn’t a fabulous book, I disagree. I liked it better than Second Sight, and although I would have liked a bigger, bolder ending, the romance was wonderful and the story was engaging and fun. It’s one of my favorite Arcane Society books.

Amanda Quick Book Trailers

Book Trailers and Videos for Amanda Quick’s Books

The Perfect Poison bookcover image Amanda Quick has released a book trailer for her latest book, The Perfect Poison. This is the latest book in the Arcane Society series, book #6.

The first trailers were for her Jayne Castle books in the Ghost Hunters series. While I really liked the Dark Light trailer, I also really liked her Jayne Ann Krentz book trailer for Running Hot. This is the second book trailer for a book in the Arcane Society series.

The Perfect Poison

This book trailer is for Amanda Quick’s The Perfect Poison. The music isn’t that great but the visuals are neat. It’s a nice teaser for The Perfect Poison.

The Perfect Poison (Caleb Jones, Lucinda Bromley) :: This is an interesting book trailer, but I admit to liking the Running Hot and Dark Light trailers better. :)

All “Arcane Society” Books

All Amanda Quick Books

Arcane Society Novels from Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle

The Arcane Society Series

Contemporary Setting
Book #5Jayne Ann Krentz weaves together historical, futuristic, and contemporary stories in her tales of the Arcane Society, writing as Jayne Ann Krentz and her pseudonym Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle.

Click the image to buy or read reviews
bookcover image of The Perfect Poison bookcover image of The Third Circle bookcover image for Second Sight bookcover image for Running Hot, Jayne Krentz bookcover image of Sizzle and Burn bookcover image for White Lies

An interesting aside is that the newest Jayne Castle book, Dark Light, is set in the Harmony universe and as usual revolves around psychic ghosts and alien ruins. In it, there is a clear tie to the Arcane Society. So it’s not an Arcane Society book, but it’s definitely linked.

[Update: The link is complete. With Midnight Crystal, Jayne Castle’s books are now part of the Arcane Society novels.]

Second Sight

Historical Setting
Book #1

Like many other of Amanda Quick’s most recent historical romance novels, this particular book was heavy on the suspense plot and light on the romance. If that’s what you most like, then you’re going to be more than happy with this book. As for me, I’d rather have had the romance.

The thing I’ve always love most about Amanda Quick books is how much the hero needs the heroine, and how much the heroine needs the hero. That’s been lacking lately, but not just in Amanda Quick’s novels. Many authors have taken to writing more “mainstream” and less romanticism into their works. Lately, I’ve seen that trend in many Amanda Quick novels.

Gabriel was a great guy, but he wasn’t a particularly enthralling hero. Venetia was an interesting female, but she lacked much of the singularity that makes Quick’s heroines so appealing to me.

That’s not to say this was a bad book. It just wasn’t a great book. As the start of a series, this book was good. As a romance, it lacked the impact and emotionalism that I needed to completely enjoy the romance between Venetia and Gabriel. The book read quickly but it’s not one of the many Amanda Quick novels I’ll be rereading anytime soon.

White Lies

Contemporary Setting
Book #2

White Lies introduces the psychic detective agency J&J (Jones and Jones) and the Arcane Society into a contemporary 21st century setting. The second book in the Arcane Society series, White Lies is a fast-moving tale of romance and mystery as Claire Lancaster and Jake Salter try to discover who might be out to harm Claire and put the blame on her for murder.

Claire’s ability to tell truth from deception is all that saved her half sister from death at the hands of her husband eight months prior. Now Claire is back in Arizona at her father’s behest and she’s suddenly become the target of someone out for revenge. Jake Salter works for the psychic detective agency of J&J as a consultant using his psychic abilities to work a very important case. Claire wasn’t supposed to be a factor, but now she’s here and Jake has an immediate desire to get to know her very well indeed.

Jake is a somewhat less than politically correct hero with a take charge attitude and a talent for dealing with danger. I liked him enormously and think his attitude is mostly to blame. I prefer Amanda Quick’s historicals for this very reason usually, because I prefer the strong, take-charge heroes–at least those who have an equally strong appreciation for the heorine and her abilities.

Compared to Sizzle and Burn and Zack Jones, Jake Salter is much more my style. I’m sure this is one big reason why I prefered White Lies to the more recent addition Sizzle and Burn.

As for Claire, her take on lying is a key part of the story, and honestly, this is what made her such a great character. Krentz did a fabulous job of building Claire’s personality, not to mention the very visual descriptions. This was one heroine that stands out in my mind, and although I love Jayne Krentz’s and Amanda Quick’s heroines, even I can admit that sometimes there just isn’t that much to differentiate them. In this case, though, Claire is well-defined and memorable.

I liked White Lies, but I will warn you that this isn’t a character focused book. The focus stays firmly on the mystery and suspense plot. The romance is hot, but you won’t wonder if the characters will get together, only if they’ll survive to enjoy it.

Nevertheless, White Lies was an excellent and engaging read. Highly recommended.

Sizzle and Burn

Contemporary Setting
Book #3

Certainly not the strongest book of the series, Sizzle and Burn is nevertheless a nice read. I almost feel like I’m insulting JAK when I qualify any story she’s written as less than stellar, but the fact is, I compare everything she writes to the best of her works, and those best are spectacular indeed.

In this addition to the Arcane Society, Raine Tallentyre hears voices, but they’re all in her head. The voices of victims, murderers and the like lead her to save an intended victim of a serial killer who is locked in the basement of Raine’s desceased aunt’s home. Zack Jones is hired by the Arcane Society’s PI firm, J&J. He has visions. Together, Zack and Raine must figure out the mystery surrounding the death of Raine’s aunt. Woven throughout is the continuing arc of the founder’s formula and the dark organization that’s developed a way to produce and use the psychic energy enhancing drug.

Although the two leads in this story were intriguing, the plot was a little flat and the twists seem to come out of nowhere, with little to tie it all together. However, I can’t stand to read a series and skip a book, and the rest of the books in this series certainly make it hard to pass any new addition to the tales of the Arcane Society.

There’s some interesting byplay between Zack and Raine that gives the book a readability factor that might have been missing otherwise. A weak plot for Krentz but an entertaining read anyway.

The Third Circle

Historical Setting
Book #4

The Third Circle is my favorite historical entry in the Arcane Society books. I liked Second Sight, but I didn’t love it, not the way I usually love Amanda Quick’s novels. This book dealt much more heavily with the romance between the characters, Leona Hewitt and Thaddeus Ware.

Leona is can work psychic energy through crystal and Thaddeus is a strong mesmerist. Leona is mostly immune to his psychic powers, and that’s a great thing for Thaddeus, since his abilities have made it difficult for him to find love.

They meet when they both happen to be looking for a very special crystal and end up standing over the dead body of a woman who appears to have become the latest victim of The Midnight Monster.

This book had both a mystery and a romance that entertwined nicely. I enjoyed Leona’s spirit, and Thaddeus is an intriguing hero.

I learned more about the mysterious Mr. Pierce and Adam in this book, and although they aren’t my favorite characters (they often bring out a little too much womens’ lib preachiness in Amanda Quick’s writing), I found that in this book, they started to grow on me—somewhat.

My only complaint about this one was that I wanted a bigger ending. I won’t say too much about that to avoid spoiling the book for another reader, but I thought Leona’s powers could have been used much more effectively at the end so that I could have the big ending I wanted. Ravished and other older Amanda Quick novels have very well done high-impact endings. That’s what I would have liked to have seen here.

This is a book I could enjoy rereading.

Running Hot

Contemporary Setting
Book #5

The Perfect Poison

Historical Setting
Book #6

There’s a video book trailer for The Perfect Poison, although it’s not one of the best. I enjoyed this book a lot, and in a way it reminded me of an earlier Amanda Quick book, Wicked Widow, because in both books the heroine is believed to be involved in wicked deeds.

Fired Up

Contemporary Setting / Hawaii
Book #7
Dreamlight Trilogy Book #1

Burning Lamp

Historical Setting
Book #8
Dreamlight Trilogy Book #2

Midnight Crystal

Futuristic/Paranormal Setting
Book #9
Dreamlight Trilogy Book #3

In Too Deep

Contemporary Setting
Book #10
Looking Glass Trilogy Book #1

Quicksilver

Historical Setting
Book #11
Looking Glass Trilogy Book #2

Canyons of Night

Futuristic/Paranormal Setting
Book #12
Looking Glass Trilogy Book #3

Book trailer for The Perfect Poison

I have a thing for video book trailers. I admit it. I just put up the book trailer for Amanda Quick’s newest release, The Perfect Poison. Although I loved the trailers for Running Hot and Dark Light and this one was also a neat little trailer, I wasn’t quite as impressed with this one. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the images seemed fitting, but the music seemed off somehow.

The Perfect Poison

Plagued by rumors that she poisoned her fiancé, Lucinda Bromley manages to live on the fringes of polite society, tending her beloved plants—and occasionally consulting on a murder investigation. For the notorious botanist possesses a unique talent: She can detect almost any type of poison, especially ones that have their origins in the botanical kingdom.

But the death of a lord has shaken Lucinda to her core. At the murder scene, she picks up traces of a poison containing a very rare species of fern. So rare, in fact, that only one specimen exists in all of England—and it was stolen from her conservatory just last month.

To keep her name out of the inquest and to find the murderer, Lucinda hires fellow Arcane Society member Caleb Jones who runs a psychical investigation agency. A descendant of the founder of the Society, Jones is very skillful at protecting its secrets—and frighteningly good getting at the truth. Immediately, Lucinda senses both a raw power and an undeniable intensity in the imposing man.

But as a nearly overwhelming desire blooms between Caleb and Lucinda, they are drawn into the dark heart of a deadly conspiracy that can be traced to the early days of the Arcane Society—and to a legacy of madness that could plunge Caleb into the depths of his own tortured soul….

What did you think about the trailer? Am I being too critical because of the success of the previous videos in making me excited about the books and the characters? Or do you agree that this one just doesn’t have the flair the other book trailers possess?

The Perfect Poison out in April

The next historical installment in Amanda Quick’s (aka Jayne Krentz’s) Arcane Society novels will be available in April 2009. I’m excited to see another historical installment because I really enjoyed The Third Circle. You can see my comments at the bottom of the Arcane Society page on StoryHeaven.

bookcover image of The Perfect Poison

The Perfect Poison

Book Description

A notorious lady botanist with a reputation for having poisoned an unwanted lover becomes passionately involved with a dangerous gentleman who uses his psychic talents to solve murders. For those who are following the Arcane Society series, this is the eagerly awaited story of Caleb Jones and the founding of Jones & Jones, the Society’s psychic detective agency.

And…

In Victorian London, spinster botanist and psychic Lucinda Bromley meets her match in Caleb Jones, a member of the Arcane Society and descendant of an alchemist family that makes him “the stuff of myth and legend.” Together, this paranormal pair of snoops sets out to track down a thief who made off with a dangerous plant implicated in the death of a wealthy lord, but wind up uncovering a sinister secret order.

I’m very much looking foward to this book. :)

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz goes on sale Tuesday, December 30th

I didn’t get this one for a Christmas gift, so I guess I’ll be buying it for myself. I don’t mind, but I have to say, I’m really looking forward to it. I like the way the Arcane Society series is shaping up these days. Just yesterday I finished reading The Third Circle, the latest historical entry in the series of paranormal romances.

I have to say, I’m looking forward to this book more and more. That said, I think I’m looking forward to the next historical set novel even more! I want a story about Caleb Jones. I wonder if Amanda Quick will give me one? What do you think?

Oh, and if you haven’t watched it yet, don’t skip the book trailer for Running Hot.

The Art of the Pseudonym

Jayne Krentz has made her pseudonyms work for her. Even now, when many of her books’ themes are starting to overlap–contemporaries with psychic elements, historicals with paranormal leanings, and futuristics with both paranormal, science-fiction, and psychic turns–she has a distinct use for each pseudonym. I’m not sure how many other authors have followed her lead with the use of pseudonyms, but I can name several who have done the same, years after Jayne Krentz split herself into three different authors.

Nora Roberts began writing futuristic romance/mystery under the name J.D. Robb. Sherrilyn Kenyon writes paranormal romance, but using the pseudonym Kinley MacGregor, she writes historical romance novels.

I’m not taking real names into consideration, because I’m most interested in why authors’ write books under different names, not why they don’t choose to use their real names on their books.

Heather Graham Pozzessere used Heather Graham Pozzessere for her category romance novels. She branched out into single title romance and suspense with Heather Graham. She writes historical and paranormal romance as Shannon Drake, but she also used to write historical romance under the name Heather Graham, and she did write some single title suspense as Heather Graham Pozzessere. So how does one differentiate between Heather Graham’s pseudonyms? To me, this isn’t nearly as efficient and artful as Jayne Krentz’s use of pseudonyms.

Jayne Krentz differentiates her books by time period with her pseudonyms. She continues to publish contemporary romance novels under her Jayne Ann Krentz name. She publishes paranormal/science-fiction romance set in the future on worlds other than Earth under her Jayne Castle name. Using Amanda Quick, she publishes historical romance fiction, mostly set in the Regency or Victorian era, but she’s also published several medieval era romance novels as Amanda Quick.

There was a time when the delineation between her books was stronger. Her contemporaries weren’t very paranormal, but now, with the Arcane Society series, she’s blurred the lines between her style of books. This isn’t a bad thing. She’s able to use her strengths from each type of book and combine them into one strong series.

Some authors don’t see the need to separate their books. L.E. Modesitt Jr. writes both fantasy and science fiction under his one author name. I haven’t read any of his science fiction, and I’ve never been surprised by picking up a book that I thought fit into his fantasy worlds but was in fact a science fiction story.

I wonder sometimes how much of Jayne Krentz’s decision to go forward with the Arcane Society series was simply a decision to find a good way to cross-promote her different books. Maybe at this point she wishes she were using only one name. I can’t say and I shouldn’t speculate, because I can’t know the answer without asking, and I probably won’t do that.  :)

I think if an author chooses to use a pseudonym, the way Jayne Krentz has used them is a great way to do so.

What do you think about it? I don’t mind when authors write different types of books under one name, even if those books are very different, although I do like consistency too. What about you?